Please Pardon the Dust

Please pardon the dust while this blog is being revamped.  A re-launch will be coming soon!

Pardon Our Dust

Pardon Our Dust


Broward County Events – Mardi Gras and Renaissance Festivals

Following are some Broward County events to entice residents and vacationers alike:

Duck Fest (February 2, 2008 at 11 a.m.) – The Duck Derby festivities are at Esplanade Park on the New River in Fort Lauderdale.  Following the event will be music, food and various children’s activities.  The event is free and you can adopt a duck for $5; benefits Kids in Distress.

Great Bridal Expo (February 2, 2008 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) – at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.  Did you get engaged recently?  If you’re planning a wedding, this is the place to go to check out everything for your wedding and honeymoon all in one convenient place!

Mardi Gras event in South Florida!Mardi Gras Fiesta Tropicale (February 2nd from 10 a.m.-midnight & Feb. 3rd from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.) – ArtsPark at Young Circle at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. & U.S. 1/Federal Hwy. in downtown Hollywood.  Festivities include a costume and float parade, live music, Louisiana cuisine,  For details, call 954-921-3016.

Florida Renaissance Festival ( February 9th – March 9th, 2008; 10 a.m. till sunset; weekends only) – Come to Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach to partake in this annual festival which celebrates Medieval Times. Watch costumed performers including jousting knights.  See educational demonstrations of period trades and crafts.  Peruse the dozens of artisans selling their wares.  Feast on food fit for a king!

A1A Marathon Health & Fitness Expo (February 15th from 12 p.m.-7 p.m. and February 16th from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.) – at the Broward County Convention Center.  The A1A Marathon is from Las Olas Blvd. to the Hillsboro Inlet and takes place on Sunday, February 17th.  For more info, call 561-241-3801.

Orange Blossom Festival, Parade & Rodeo (February 23rd at 8 p.m. & February 24th at 2 p.m.) – at the Bergeron Rodeo in Davie.  See 80 cowboys and cowgirls compete in bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bullriding!

Taste of the Beach (February 27, 2008 from 5-9 p.m.) – at El Prado & the Beach (just north of Commercial Blvd.) in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.  Admission will get you the best offerings of food from 45 local restaurants.  There will also be entertainment and a silent auction.  For details, call 954-776-1000

:: To view current Broward County Events, click here. ::

Affordable Central Palm Beach County Townhome

Palm Beach County Townhome for SaleThis quad-style townhome has a spacious and private fenced-in courtyard, ideal for entertaining or just relaxing.  Located in the Village of Palm Springs, FL (central Palm Beach County) and just a few minutes to I-95, Palm Springs Townhomes is a small townhouse community of just 20 units.  This 2-bedroom/1.5-bathroom townhome is tiled throughout both floors for easy maintenance and comes with a brand new A/C.  The fence is only 1 year old.  Unlike many other townhome communities, this one includes two assigned parking spaces per unit.  The low HOA maintenance fee of only $115/month includes cable!  No HOA approval or application is needed, making it easy to move in quickly and making this an investor-friendly community.  

Just two blocks away are the recreational facilities of the Village of Palm Springs, which include 4 tennis courts, 2 basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, playground/tot lot and even miniature golf!  This townhome does need updating but is priced to sell quickly at only $107,900.  Be sure to view this Palm Beach County townhome’s virtual tour!  If you’d like to view it in person, contact Leanne at 954-846-1600.

Broward County Events – CanadaFest, Art, Antiques and more!

Here’s a list of some upcoming Broward County events scheduled for this month.  Take advantage of the cooler weather January offers!

Enjoy one of Broward County's outdoor events!Las Olas Art Fair (January 5-6, 2008, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. between SE 6th Ave and SE 11th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) – Enjoy the cooler weather while strolling along the famed Las Olas Boulevard and perusing the various arts, crafts and more available for purchase.

SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch – Riverwalk in downtown Fort Lauderdale (the first Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. -2 p.m.).  Jazz music performed on four stages along the historic New River.  Bring a picnic basket, blanket, chairs, children and even your dog! For more information call the 24-hour hotline: 954-828-5363.

Broadwalk Friday Fest – Takes place from 7-10 p.m. on the 2nd & 4th Friday of every month at Hollywood Beach’s popular Broadwalk.  Come out and enjoy some live music (jazz, blues, pop, etc.) while enjoying the ocean breezes.  While you’re there, get a bite to eat at one of the many beachfront cafes and restaurants.  Call 954-924-2980 for more info.

Dania Beach Art & Antique Festival (January 25-27, 2008) – Some of the nation’s leading dealers will be showcasing along Dania Beach’s historic Art & Antique District.  There will also be live music and entertainment.  Call 954-921-1231 for additional information.

CanadaFest 2008 (January 26th & 27th from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.) – along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.  Come and enjoy some French-Canadian culture along with food, entertainment and arts & crafts.

::  To view current Broward County Events, click here.  ::

South Florida Real Estate Market Conditions – November 2007

The November 2007 real estate market statistics for Miami-Dade County shows a decrease in single-family home resales of about 28% since last month, while there were much smaller changes in both Broward and Palm Beach County with regards to the number of resale homes sold.  However, while the number of homes sold decreased considerably in the Greater Miami area, it was also the only one of the three South Florida counties to see an increase in the median sales price (up by approximately 1.25%).

Comparing the November 2007 statistics for condos, villas & townhomes to those of October, the Greater Fort Lauderdale area stayed rather stable with regards to the number of sales of existing condominiums but the West Palm Beach/Boca Raton area saw a drop of about 11% in resales and the metropolitan Miami area experienced about a 32% decrease in resale condos sold.  Oddly, the opposite of what happened with resale single-family homes can be said for the South Florida condo market.  This time it was the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County area (up about 4.5%) and the Greater West Palm Beach area (up about 11.5%) which saw an increase in median sales price of homes while Miami-Dade County experienced a very slight drop (about 0.6%).

While the numbers in the chart below will show you comparisons from one year to the next (during the same month), you’ll find that I typically comment on the month-to-month changes, so please keep that in mind as you review the information contained in the chart.

South Florida real estate market statistics for November 2007.

*Median is the price at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

:: Read all my posts tagged with South Florida Real Estate Market Conditions – 2007. ::

Source (for chart numbers only): Florida Association of Realtors (F.A.R.); Commentary is © 2007 Leanne Paynter.

Artesia’s Clubhouse and Recreational Activities Are Like No Other!

Luxury condos in Broward County!If you like to lead a social lifestyle, it’s hard to beat what owning a condo or townhome at Artesia in west Sunrise has to offer.  ‘Villa Artesia’… the magnificent new clubhouse at Artesia, officially opened it’s doors in late June 2007 by hosting an open house for real estate brokers in the Sunrise, Florida area.  The event was well worth attending as we were amazed at the range of fitness, recreational and social activities the palatial clubhouse and outdoor amenities have to offer the residents of Artesia.

Artesia truly brings the resort lifestyle to West Broward. This new home community features a vast plaza with shimmering pools and fountains… including a Grand Canal. Stroll along the brick-paved walkways and enjoy the lush landscaping throughout. Take a dip in one of three pools! Sip a drink by the tropical poolside tiki bar or have a bite to eat in the charming Fountain Cafe. Try your hand at pool in the ultimate billiard club room (complete with sports bar and flat screen TV) or take a class in the Art Room. Get in shape in the state-of-the art Exercise Center, or play a game of basketball or tennis, then get a massage at the spa. The Sunrise Room is available for hosting social gatherings.  There’s even a tot lot and waterworks area for kids! All this and much more is available for you at Artesia… South Florida living at it’s best!

::  View a Virtual Tour of Artesia’s Clubhouse & Amenities!  ::

This new home community is located in the Sawgrass area of Sunrise, Florida.  It’s an area that has seen a great deal of activity in recent years not only because of the new construction of condos (including Tao) but also because of new local shopping areas (IKEA’s Sunrise store & Sawgrass Landings, where you’ll find LA Fitness, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Quizno’s, Kinko’s & more).  Let’s not forget the additions to the Sawgrass Mills Mall (the Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass, Grand Lux Cafe & PF Chang’s to name a few).

If you haven’t visited any of the models at Artesia yet, but are thinking of going, be sure to call me first to find out how you can qualify for a $1,000 rebate at closing (one of the conditions is that I must register you as my customer).  By the way… I don’t bite.  Really!  If you’d like to view Artesia condos for sale on the South Florida MLS, click here then choose “Broward County” and enter “Artesia” next to “Complex Name” and click on the search button.  At the time this post was published, there were 23 Artesia condos for sale varying in price from $293,000-$549,000.  I’m offering the rebate on resale condos in Artesia as well as new construction units (call 954-846-1600 for details).

Historic Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale – Decorated for the Holidays!

Decorated for the Holidays!During the Christmas on Las Olas event we had the opportunity to visit Stranahan House.  Built in 1901 of Dade County pine, the historic Stranahan House is Broward County’s oldest standing structure!  If you didn’t already know, it was home to Frank and Ivy Stranahan, two of the area’s earliest settlers.  Between 1901 and 1906 it served as a trading post, town hall, bank and post office.  Frank started out by running a ferry service across the New River when he met Ivy Julia Cromartie, who served as Fort Lauderdale’s first school teacher (and later became founder of “Friends of the Seminoles”).

Holiday Decorations in Fort LauderdaleSince 1973, the house has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1979, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society took possession and together with the Fort Lauderdale Area Board of Realtors (now known as the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale), began a careful restoration of the historic home, which is an example of Florida vernacular architecture.  By clicking on the link below, you can take a virtual stroll through the Stranahan House with its period furnishings and see it beautifully decorated for the holidays (by Flowers and Found Objects, a Fort Lauderdale florist) with red bows, garlands, a lighted Christmas tree and poinsettias by the fireplace.

:: Click to View a Virtual Tour of Stranahan House. ::

Historic Fort Lauderdale HomeStranahan House is located a block south of Las Olas Boulevard (directly on the New River) at 335 SE 6th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.  Visit the official Stranahan House site for directions, hours, tours, admission rates, history and more, or phone them at 954-524-4736. Parking is available next door at the Riverside Parking Garage.

In recent years, Stranahan House has had some legal challenges due to the proposed Icon Las Olas (a 42-story luxury high-rise condo building that would be built on the old Hyde Park Market site at 500 E. Las Olas Boulevard, next to Stranahan House).  If built, Icon would become the tallest building in Fort Lauderdale.

Want a Bigger Backyard? Buy a 2-Story Home!

Is the size of the backyard important to you?If you’re searching for South Florida homes for sale and one of your criteria is that you want a big backyard, consider focusing on two-story homes as they generally have a smaller footprint on the property and often have more air-conditioned living space for about the same amount as a single-story home.  This photo of two Broward County homes side-by-side provides an example of what I mean.  The lot size of each of these properties is 5,665 square feet.  On the left is a 2-story home with approximately 2,400 square feet of air-conditioned space while the one on the right is a 1-story home with approximately 1,950 square feet of a/c space. 

Now look at the footprint of the house on each lot.  While they both have about the same size front yard, the backyard of the 2-story home is large enough to accommodate a pool and still have some yard space left.  In subdivisions, the front setbacks are typically the same so the real difference can be found in back of the house. Surprisingly, there usually isn’t a big gap between the sale price of each home, assuming they are in the same neighborhood, have similar lot sizes and are the same type of lot (ex: waterfront) with similar outdoor amenities (ex: pool).  So the question to ask yourself is, which is more important to you… no stairs or more useable land/outdoor space?

Miramar, Florida – Recent Home Sales Prices

Miramar recent home sales.Located in southwestern Broward County, Miramar attracts many people who work in the Miami area but want a suburban lifestyle.  In 2005, the City of Miramar ranked 8th in the “Fastest Growing Cities” list according to the U.S. Census.  Miramar has also attracted many businesses to locate their headquarters there, including Southwest Airlines and the administrative offices and studios of WTVJ/NBC 6.  In fact, the city has become home to more Fortune 500 Companies in recent years than any other city in South Florida. 

Although Miramar is the second largest city in Broward County, approximately two-thirds of the city’s total land area is still vacant land not yet developed.  Residents can enjoy 27 neighborhood and community parks, and the city offers various recreational activities.  Many new home communities (condos, townhomes and single family homes) have been built here over the past 5-10 years, most of them are located in west Miramar, just east and west of I-75.

Below is a sampling of recent home sale prices* in Miramar, Florida (sold/closed sales over the past 3 months through the date of this post).  However, feel free to search for Miramar homes for sale – you’ve got plenty of choices, from ‘affordable’ to luxury homes!

BR=Bedroom, BA=Bathroom, CG=Car Garage

Recent Single-Family Home Sales Prices in Miramar, FL:

Recent Condo and Townhome Sales Prices in Miramar, FL:

  • Escada at Vizcaya – 3BR/2.5BA/1CG – $250,000
  • Melrose Point at Monarch Lakes – 3BR/2.5BA – $238,000
  • Missionwood at Miramar – 2BR/1.5BA/1CG – $177,000
  • Nautica – 3BR/2.5BA/1CG/Lakefront – $265,000
  • Silver Falls (townhome) – 3BR/2.5BA/1CG – $332,000
  • Villages of Renaissance – 3BR/2BA/1CG/Lake – $252,500

*As reported on the South Florida Multiple Listing System (MLS).

Florida’s Condominium Ombudsman Coming to South Florida!

CondosIf you are a condo owner or other interested party, you’re invited to attend South Florida’s Inaugural Annual Condominium Association Members’ Round Up.  Florida’s Condo Ombudsman, Danille R. Carroll, will be present at the event. 

“The condominium ombudsman is corralling the key players involved in the regulation of condominium association living.  This is your opportunity to be heard, ask questions and get answers.  You will have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of the condominium ombudsman, the director of the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums and Mobile Homes, and your local state legislators.  Information on laws and rules regulating condominium associations in Florida will also be provided.”

The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 8th from 10 am to 1 pm at Broward Community College’s South Campus (7200 Pines Blvd., Building 68, Pembroke Pines, FL).  Admission is free.

“Created by an act of the Legislature in 2004, the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman was established to be a resource for unit owners, board members, condominium associations and others.”  Learn more about the Florida Condominium Ombudsman’s duties.

Broward County Events – Holiday Happenings 2007

Broward County Christmas Events 

The following are upcoming Broward County events scheduled for this month.  There are certainly plenty of events to help you get into the holiday spirit, so pick one!

  • Victoria Park Holiday Home Tour (December 1-2, 2007, starting at 1:00 PM) – tour six homes that are decorated for the holidays.  For more information call 954-467-2008
  • Florida Dive Show (December 1-2, 2007) at the Broward County Convention Center – the largest dive show in Florida.
  • SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch – Riverwalk in downtown Fort Lauderdale (the first Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. -2 p.m.).  Jazz music performed on four stages along the historic New River.  Bring a picnic basket, blanket, chairs, children and even your dog! For more information call the 24-hour hotline: 954-828-5363.
  • Christmas by the Sea (Tuesday, December 4th) at Commercial Blvd. and the Beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.  Live entertainment, hayrides, and watch the lighting of the giant Christmas tree. Santa will arrive in the parade. See it snow in South Florida!  For more information call 954-776-1000.
  • Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade (Saturday, December 8, 2007) – with Ron Magill of Miami’s MetroZoo as Grand Marshall.  This year’s theme is “Penguins in Paradise” and the parade features floats and marching bands.  For more information call 954-921-3404.
  • Weston Holiday Home Tour (Sunday, December 9th) – a ticketed event benefitting Kids in Distress.  Two tours, 11 am & 2 pm.  Trolleys will depart from Weston Town Center’s Clock Tower on Main Street.  (No children under the age of 12.)  For more information call 954-252-3365.
  • City of Coral Springs Holiday Parade (Wednesday, December 12th at 7 pm) – A parade along Sample Road from Coral Springs Drive to University Drive; featuring floats, bands and other entries, all with a sports theme.  For more information call 954-345-2112.
  • Historic 1930’s Wray Home Decorated for the Holidays (now through December 31, 2007; closed Christmas Day) – Flamingo Gardens in Davie; guided tours from 10 am – 4 pm.  Santa will visit the Wray Home on Saturday/Sunday, December 22 & 23 from 10 am – 2 pm.
  • Bodies… the Exhibition (now through February 17, 2008) at Las Olas Riverfront, 300 SW First Ave., Suite 214, Fort Lauderdale – an interesting look at the human body.
  • Light Up Lauderdale (after dark; now through January 8, 2008) – view holiday lights and displays along the Riverwalk, Las Olas Blvd., Broward Performing Arts Center, Esplanade Park, and Huizenga Plaza.
  • Winterfest Boat Parade (6:30 pm on Saturday – December 15, 2007) – this year’s celebration marks the beginning of a new starting location for the boat parade (in downtown Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on the New River).  This year’s theme is “Magical Movie Moments” and the parade will then travel east to the Intracoastal Waterway and continue north to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach.
  • George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker (Friday-Sunday, December 21-23, 2007) at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Tao Condos in Sunrise, FL – Nearing Completion!

Highrise condos in West Broward are almost ready for move-in!The tallest buildings in western Broward County are just a few months from being ready for unit owners to start moving in.  The two 26-story Tao condo towers will have 396 residences (with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms) and, per the builder’s representatives, are currently about 90% sold out.  The expected date of completion is April 2008 with closings starting in May.  Prices start in the high-$400’s for the 1-bedroom condos.  Maintenance fees are approximately 38 cents per square foot per month.

The views in the upper floors of these highrise buildings will undoubtedly be amazing.  I doubt I’m the only one who’s seen these towers from a considerable distance!  I know I’ve spotted them from as far north as the Sawgrass Expressway between Atlantic Blvd. and Sample Road.