Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (“TRIM Notice”)

Building in downtown Fort Lauderdale,FL
Building in downtown Fort Lauderdale, FL

Did you receive your 2018 Notice of Proposed Property Taxes ( “TRIM notice” )in the mail? It was send by Broward County Property Appraiser Marty Kiar.

As you received your letter in the mail, please remember – it is NOT a tax bill, but a document so that homeowner can make sure not to pay too much in property taxes. There was a newspapers included that explained the TRIM notice.

The property appraiser does not send tax bills. The property collector does not set or collect taxes. This is job for Broward County Tax Collector.

A Home’s Outside Matters as Much as Its Inside

New high-rise building in Young Circle downtown Hollywood, FL
New high-rise building in Young Circle downtown Hollywood, FL

It is very important how the house looks from the outside. First impressions of the house are very significant and crucial in making decision about the rest of the home from inside.

Everything is very important- the driveway, the landscaping, the lightning and, of course, architecture features of the home.It is called curb appeal, and it is very important.

I found a great article online Mansion Global, where in an interview of a well known architect Annabelle Selldorf who says that an outside of the home matters as much as inside. 

While I was reading this article, I find it interesting when Annabelle Selldorf mentioned Miami real estate:

The success of Miami, despite rising tides and other weather-related issues, I find surprising. […] When I think about a luxury home, I think about great architecture. Great architecture is very hard to come by. Just because you have very expensive houses in Miami, does not make them great pieces of architecture.

I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did!



Trim The Trees Before Hurricane Season

Broken tree branches
Broken tree branches after the hurricane Irma hit South Florida in 2017

After the hurricane Irma hit South Florida in 2017, we have learned what extensive damage can be from poorly maintained trees. Falling tree branches can damage the electric lines, cars or property.

New hurricane season starts soon. So it is the time to properly take care and trim the trees.

Broward County Parks and Recreation offers tree trimming classes. This tree-trimming course teaches how to proper prune of trees for clearance, wind tolerance, and canopy restoration. Tree trimming classes teaches how to maximize trees longevity while cutting the branches off.

Proper tree maintenance is very important.

In order to keep the tree strong and healthy, here are few tips to follow:

Plant the right tree in a right place.

A large tree should not be planted near the house. A tree should not be planted near or under power lines. It is the best to do some research and to choose the best native species for a spot- native plants are well-suited to its environment.

Prune tree annually.

Hire professionals trained in best tree pruning practices. Be very careful of hiring somebody who does not know proper tree trimming. Trees can become less storm tolerant in the long run if trimming s done incorectly. When branches break off the tree during the storm, it can cause property damage.

How to Sell a House Where Pets Live


Black & Tan Miniature Dachshund
Black & Tan Miniature Dachshund

“How to sell a house where pets live?” is a very common question from the homeowner.

Homeowner has to prepare house for sale. But there is even more work involved when that homeowner has a pet that lives in the house.

But it is not imposible. When homeowner decides to sell a house, he just  needs to do some serious housecleaning and repair work.

Where does the pet go?

First of all, homeowner has to decide what is going to happen with a pet during a period of time when house is on the market. The best and easiest for all involved would be to see if family member or friend can take care of the dog during this period of time. If so, then take your dog with all the belongings like food bowls, toys and blankets to mom’s house. It is easier to show and sell your home (and keep it clean), if pets are not present. If family member or friend can not help by watching dog while the home is for sale, then there are other things homewoner can do at least to have a dog away from the house when people are over. Homeowner can take pet to the dogcare every single day. Board pet at a kennel. Take them to work for the day. Maybe get a dogsitter, who can take a dog for a walk before the showing. Or even ask a neighbors, if they can take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood during a home showing.

At the very least, keep pet in a crate. Put a note with the crate, asking that people would not touch the dog, put fingers inside the crate, etc. Pet is an animal. Only by seeing strange people at the house, his only instinct can be to protect the house, so he might bite by accident.

So, by having a dog at the house during the showings is also a liability for the homeowner.

It is  not acceptable to leave a free wandering pet in the house for real estate showings. Pet can escape the house during the showing, or even worse if the pet bites the stranger in the house. There is big liability for the homewoner if the pets bites.

Remove or hide beds, toys, blankets, etc.

The homeowner should hide all signs of pets in the house. If the homeowner has sent pets to stay with the family member during the home sale, then it is very simple just send all pet’s favorite items with them and and put away the rest.

If the homeowner removing the pets only for showings, then hide all items during that time.

Cat litter boxes is a problem by itself The best option is to take the box outside. If homeowner can not do that, so just cover and hide it really good. But do not hide it in the closet.

Get rid of pet odor smell.

If pets damaged the carper or flooring with their urine, the homeowne should get it  professionally cleaned. A strong odor is one of the top reasons for the buyer to pass on a home. Sometimes carpet or flooring needs to be replaced, if stains and odors are really bad.

If the pet odor at the house is really strong, the homebuyer will likely deduct the cost of carpet replacement offer as a result.

Homeowner should not use air fresheners to hide the odors, because people with allergies will react.

The homeowner should clean the house and vacuum daily to get rid of pet hair and odor.

Repair any damage.

A lot of pets destroy something in the house, which can be a carpet, hardwood floor, furniture, walls, or doors. All of this damage should be repaired before putting the house for sales.

Even if the cat damages the furniture, the homeowner should replace it. Because it can give the impression to the homebuyer that the owner doesn’t care about the furniture or the home itself.

If the homeowner makes the repairs and fixes the damages, it will be well worth it once the offer to buy the home comes in from a buyer.

Clean the yard.

The homeowner should pick up any messes in the backyard, and have any sod replaced and damage repaired.



What is a Short Sale?

Building. Fort Lauderdale, FL
The outside wall of the building with interesting windows. Fort Lauderdale, FL

In real estate, a short sale is when a real estate owner sells a property for less than the remaining amount of the loan.

Instead of loosing the house to the foreclosure, the property owner sells it for less than he bought it for. But first, the mortgage company has to agree with short sale. If the lender allows a short sale, then the homeowner can sell the property.

To make it easier to understand, lets look at the example with numbers. Lets say, a home owner borrowed $300,000 to buy a house a few years ago. Then he lost a job and and was not able to pay his monthly mortgage payments.  After getting comparative market analysis (CMA) for the property, the owner finds out that the house value decreased to $240,000. The lender agrees to let the property owner to sell the real estate for the current value of $240,000.

The homeowner lists the property and sells it for the amount of $240,000, despite the fact that he paid $300,000 when he bought it.