Top 3 Hidden Costs of a Homeowner
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It’s always exciting when you buy a new home; you’ve been through months and months of planning and searching for the perfect place, and now that you have your heart set on one, the next big, nerve-racking step is making an offer. Once you’re willing to dole out that kind of money, you want to know what you’re getting into, right? There are a lot of things overlooked by first-time home buyers that go unnoticed to the eye. Whether it’s something you forgot or simply inexperience, continue reading below to find out which costs homeowners incur the most often.

1. HOA Fees

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Ever wonder how a neighborhood or complex has such great amenities or how all the residences look so symmetrical and well-kept? You have HOAs to thank for that! HOAs, or homeowners association fees, usually come in the form of monthly or annual payments that each resident makes in order for upkeep and amenities to happen. Depending on how strict maintaining a certain look to your home is or the extent of the amenities offered, HOA fees can vary tremendously. Be sure to look into HOA fees in the neighborhood you’re eyeing and whether or not it will be fluctuating in the coming years from new improvements.

2. In-home Repairs

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Whether fresh new appliances come with your new home, or you have to budget for new ones, one thing’s for sure: things inevitably break. In a NerdWallet article, financial planner Matt Becker shared this- “While every situation is different, the typical rule of thumb is to expect to spend an average of 1% to 2% of the value of your home on repairs each year.” While yes, most new or recently improved systems in a home will last for an average of ten years, one can never be too sure, and it’s better to budget at the start then wait for a mishap down the road. Make sure to find out the year built, installed, or refurbished of every appliance and system in your home, and use this handy infographic to learn the average lifespan of each.

3. Energy & Insurance

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Another price tag that (unfortunately) doesn’t come with your brand new home’s asking price is utility bills and homeowners insurance. According to Zillow, the average American homeowner pays around $3,000 a year in utility bills and almost $1,000 a year in insurance costs. While we do suffer from the occasional hurricane, Florida is on the lower end of the spectrum in average energy costs at $292, being substantially lower than other states that suffer from earthquakes and heavy winters (WalletHub). Don’t let these varying costs catch you by surprise! Research is your best tool in uncovering how much this hidden price tag will cost you.

We here at Collins & Company Inc. know the ins and outs of homeownership like the back of our hand. Don’t hesitate to call us with questions or concerns regarding costs like these!
Inspiring a Healthier South Florida
  Photo from Property Market Groups

Photo from Property Market Groups

     We’ve all heard of the de-clutter to de-stress ideology; keeping a minimalist home design by arranging our furniture and wall art has been a continuous trend, most likely because of its gorgeously simplistic look, appealing to homeowners and house hunters alike. But what about changing our homes to improve our physical and mental health? Clean air, purified water, and periodic changes to lighting based on the time of day are new trends that will soon circulate throughout every home in the United States- starting with south Florida.

     About a year ago, Dr. Deepak Chopra, author and alternative medicine advocate, partnered with Property Market Groups to bring this new health-conscious effort to south Florida. Their project, Muse Residences Sunny Isles, would go on to be the first ultra-luxury property with the aim to “enhance both the physical and emotional well-being” for Florida residents, PMG CEO said to Curbed Miami. According to Forbes magazine, “Each residence will incorporate custom Chopra/Delos designed Circadian lighting systems, state-of-the-art air and advanced water purification, and hand-picked Chopra finishing selections including mood aligning paint colors mimicking nature.”

     While each of these new home additions will execute exactly what they intend to do under Chopra’s seasoned guidance, they are also projected to take over the real estate scene in south Florida. It’s essentially altering our housing market even more to fit the profile of the high-end, ultra-luxury real estate markets, mirroring those of Manhattan and San Francisco. Its monumental design trends can inspire you to make more healthy, self-aware updates to your current or future home.

     Whether Chopra’s changes will make their way into your home or not, one thing’s for sure: extravagant advances are underway in south Florida, benefiting our housing market economy just as well as our health.

     Check out the virtual tour of this inspiring, luxurious building below and let it influence your next big design idea!



5 Ways to Boost your Curb Appeal
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All our lives, we’ve been taught to never judge a book by its cover. And while that’s mostly true, it's a rule you need to forget in real estate. When listing your home, the first thing potential buyers see is, in fact, the “cover”, or the outside of your home. It’s the first impression of your home, and first impressions are everything when you’re selling. You want buyers to see a welcoming, well-kept home, one they can picture themselves returning to after a long day. While you’ll find many ways to achieve perfect curb appeal that varies for each home, we’ve outlined 5 foolproof ways you can attain that ideal first impression

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1. Out with the old

Act like the buyer and take a good at the outside of your home. Do you see any eyesores, like broken planters or old lawn decorations? Collect all old items that don’t match the image you want to present to buyers and toss them. Replace them if need be, but this will freshen up your property and make it look well-nurtured.

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2. Fresh paint

In the blazing Florida sun, paint can become dull fast. This goes for your home’s overall wall color, shutters, lampposts, mailboxes, fences, etc. Stop by your local homeware or paint store and pick up some new touch up paint for every dull surface you see, and for those items you can’t paint, pick up some polish to make it new.

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3. Revive your landscape

Take control of those trees and shrubs that have gone awry by giving them a good trim and getting rid of any dead ones. Make sure your lawn is neatly cut and healthy, and that no tree is hanging in the way of a window or other accent of the house. After all the cleaning up has been done, add something fresh, like planting some flowers! Be sure to plant something bright that nicely contrasts the main color of your home.

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4. Update the focal points

On any home, the eye is drawn to a few main attractions, including the roof, driveway, and front door. All should be updated or redone, if need be. If the driveway is dull and full of cracks, get it repaved! Get your roof professionally power washed to make it shine again. Lastly, make the front door the star of your home by giving it a fresh coat of paint, updating the hardware, and making sure you polish up your house numbers.

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5. Stage like you mean it

Once everything is looking nicely, it’s time to add the extras. Bring in a seasonal wreath to put on your front door, or purchase a bright, new welcome mat for an extra touch. To make your home feel extra cozy, set up a makeshift porch in whatever area you have, complete with some porch chairs or a swing, decorative pillows, and a small table. These extra touches allow buyers to picture themselves in what could be their new home.

Don’t forget to contact us here at Collins & Company when you’re ready to sell!