Davie Canoe Landing – a bit of Davie, FL History

Davie, Florida is a town that is full of history and proud of it, as evidenced in part by historical markers and the town’s desire to maintain a “western” theme throughout its downtown area along Davie Road between SW 39th St. and Griffin Road.  It is because of the Town of Davie’s residents strong desire to maintain their heritage that the Davie Area Land Trust exists.  You’ll find the Davie Canoe Landing (pictured below) on Orange Drive (which is parallel to Griffin Road), about a block or two west of Davie Road, and just steps from the Davie Town Hall.

Davie, Florida History

The plaque on the Davie Canoe Landing reads as follows:

“This historic canal site was Davie’s first canoe and barge landing.  Nicknamed the Venice of America, Broward County canals were the lifeblood of the community, controlling flooding, nourishing the land and providing settlers with vital transportation links.  Early residents of Davie used these canals to transport goods and produce to the railroads in the east.  We dedicate this site to Davie’s early pioneers who labored in the past to create this peaceful place.”

Davie FL History

(The backside as seen from across the South New River Canal.)

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South Florida Real Estate Market Conditions – July 2007

The Florida Association of Realtors (F.A.R.) has released the sales reports for July 2007.  When compared to June, the number of resale single-family home sales as well as the median sales price decreased in both Broward County and Palm Beach County but increased in Miami-Dade County – quite a change from last month when the Miami metropolitan area did not fare well.

The number of sales of resale condos and median sales prices decreased in the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach metropolitan areas while the greater Miami area saw their numbers remain stable or increase.  Overall, it’s looking like Miami-Dade County may be coming out of the slump it’s been in.

Current Market Statistics

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

Source: Florida Association of Realtors (F.A.R.)

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Plantation Florida – Recent Home Sales Prices

Recent home sale prices in Plantation, FL - Broward CountyYou’ll find a variety of architectural styles when viewing homes for sale in Plantation, FL.  Single-family homes are currently available in various price ranges (from $127,500* to $3.5 million for single-family homes) to fit almost any budget.  If you’re searching for a new place to call home, you’ll probably find something you’ll like in Plantation. 

Below is a sampling of recent single-family home sales prices** in Plantation, FL (sold/closed sales from 7/1/07-8/24/07).  If you’d like information on homes for sale in any of the following Plantation neighborhoods, click on the link and let us know the specifics of the home you’re looking for.

* This includes single-family homes in 55+ communities.  Single-family homes in non-55+ communities in Plantation, FL, currently start around $199,000.
**As reported on the South Florida MLS. <– Search for South Florida real estate for sale!

Proposed 2007 Broward County Property Taxes

envelopeOver the past few days Broward County property owners have been opening their mailboxes only to find the dreaded “Notice of Proposed 2007 Property Taxes”.  More than a few owners of non-homesteaded properties are angry, to say the least.  I had one out-of-state client whom I sold a house to a few years ago call me yesterday to ask me what they can do to fight their fourth consecutive increase in property taxes… this time of approximately $500 due to a supposed $40,000 gain in assessed value. 

As many of you are aware, it was around late 2005 that the South Florida real estate market stalled and then started becoming a buyer’s market.  Over the past 18-22 months, inventory has drastically increased and market values have fluctuated somewhat during that time period.  To be clear, market value is what a buyer is willing to pay in today’s market, regardless of what similar properties sold for a few months ago. 

According to the Florida Association of Realtors, the median* sales price in the greater Fort Lauderdale area in year-end 2005 was $361,100.  A year later, in year-end 2006 it was $367,800 (only a 2% increase).  So, you can imagine why the out-of-state client called in amazement that his assessed value increased considerably more than 2%.  Obviously, they plan on challenging their property assessment.  Anyone wanting to do the same should read the flyer and newsletter that were included in the envelope containing your 2007 notice of proposed property taxes. 

According to the “News for Broward Taxpayers” Summer-Fall 2007 newsletter, “For non-homesteaded property, the assessed value is always identical to the property’s market value as of January 1, 2007. […] In most instances, our market values are determined using a mass-appraisal process based upon multiple sales of comparable properties in the same or similar subdivisions.  BOTTOM LINE: If our market value of your property […] is higher than you believe a buyer would reasonably pay for your property on the open market, either call or email our office or file a value petition by the September 18, 2007 deadline.”  Learn more about how to challenge your 2007 property value assessment and the Value Adjustment Board (VAB) appeals process.

The Broward County Property Appraiser’s main office is located at 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 111, in downtown Fort Lauderdale (just south of Broward Blvd.).  Here are three phone numbers you may find useful:

  • 954-357-6830 for Exemptions and General Info
  • 954-357-6831 for Residential Property Values
  • 954-357-6832 for Condo and Co-Op Values

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

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

Condo Termination Law – Condos at Risk of Redevelopment

CondosA new law that can impact the private property rights of every condominium owner in Florida took effect on July 1, 2007.  The “condo termination law” could make it easier for developers to purchase existing, older condo buildings that currently sit on land that is very valuable so that they can redevelop it for a sizeable profit. 

The condo termination law requires only 80% of unit owners to consent to the takeover.  Before the new law, all owners in a condo building had to consent before the sale could occur (allowing for a few resistant to selling out to prevent a sale).  Under the new law, the takeover plan can only be stopped if a minimum of 10% of the unit owners of the complex object in writing within 90 days after the date the plan is recorded (the “effective date”). However, according to Senate Bill 314, they have “the burden of pleading and proving that the apportionment of the proceeds from the sale among the unit owners was not fair and reasonable.”

The condo communities most ripe for redevelopment and, therefore, “at risk” of being takeover targets as a result of the new condo termination law are the older condo buildings that are oceanfront or on the Intracoastal. Perhaps the easiest targets will be the smaller complexes where a larger, luxury building can take its place.  Only time will tell whether the condo termination law will cause the type of controversy that eminent domain issues did in recent years.

Florida Real Estate News

Florida Real Estate News Headlines:

  • Will the proposed overhaul of property tax breaks save homeowners money? (Read Article)
  • Sales tax exemptions possibly on the reform list. (Read Article)
  • South Florida Real Estate News Headlines:

  • The developer of Boca Raton’s Mizner Park will share his plan for a new downtown project. (Read Article)
  • If the new “super exemption” wins approval, some cities in Palm Beach County face a loss in tax revenues. (Read Article)
  • Sale of South Florida homes could be hurt by tax cuts. (Read Article)
  • .

    South Florida Real Estate Market Conditions – 2nd Quarter 2007

    The Florida Association of Realtors (F.A.R.) has released the sales reports for the 2nd quarter 2007.   Most of the South Florida real estate market is doing reasonably well despite ongoing negative media reports.  Comparing the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2007, it seems that the real estate market in Broward County and Palm Beach County improved in recent months.  Unfortunately, Miami-Dade County did not fare as well.

    Sales of single-family resale homes and condos increased in the greater Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas when compared to the 1st quarter 2007.  Median sales prices also increased in both areas during the same time period.

    However, in comparison to the 1st quarter 2007, sales of single-family resale homes decreased in the greater Miami area even while sales of resale condos increased.  Although sales of condos increased, the median sales price decreased for both condos and single-family homes in Miami-Dade County.

    Current Market Statistics

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

    Source: Florida Association of Realtors (F.A.R.)

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

    Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Real Estate • 49th Street Townhomes

    front view49th Street Townhouses are located in the sought-after Coral Ridge area of Fort Lauderdale and if you like the beach, you’ll love their location because they are only one block south of Commercial Blvd. and east of Bayview Drive. 

    The business and shopping district along Commercial Blvd. is just steps away from 49th Street Townhomes and residents need drive only 5 minutes to get to the beach and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s pier.  Holy Cross Hospital is only about a mile west and the popular Coral Ridge Country Club is just 10 blocks south on Bayview Drive.

    .

    rear view49th Street Townhomes is a waterfront community of 28 tri-level townhouses located on one of Fort Lauderdale’s many finger canals off the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).  These townhouses are very spacious and offer 2-bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a loft, and a 1 or 2 car garage.  

    Want more information?  Read more about these Fort Lauderdale waterfront townhomes and find out which ones are currently for sale.  Of course, if you own one of these townhomes and are considering selling, we’d love to hear from you, too.  Remember… we market homes like no one else!  This post illustrates just one of the marketing techniques we utilize to ensure maximum market exposure for your home.

    Home Energy Conservation Tips

    Summer SunIf you’ve ever visited or lived in South Florida during the summer months, you know there are days when it can be very hot and humid!  Whether it’s due to global warming or just coincidental, it’s always a good idea to take energy conservation seriously.

    Taking steps now to conserve home energy costs can save you money over time.  These steps range from the free or low-cost to the more expensive which are worthwhile but will take longer to see a return on investment (ROI).  Examples of both include keeping your blinds closed (except during showings if your home is for sale!), installing a programmable thermostat, regularly replacing your A/C filter, vacuuming any build-up of dust on refrigerator and freezer coils, lowering your hot water heaters’ temperature setting, installing window tinting, or replacing your air-conditioning system with a new, more efficient one.  Whole house air-conditioning units typically need replacement every 10-12 years in South Florida.

    To find out if your energy use is above average, take 5 minutes to complete this home energy analysis. To perform this worthwhile test you’ll need to know your home’s age, square footage, number of occupants, and energy bill totals for a consecutive 12-month period (1 year).

    Here’s a breakdown of what the typical energy bill pays for:

    • 45% – Heating and Cooling
    • 15% – Other*
    • 11% – Water Heater
    • 10% – Clothes Washer & Dryer
    • 7% – Lighting
    • 6% – Refrigerator
    • 2% – Dishwasher
    • 2% – TV / VCR / DVD
    • 2% – Computer and Monitor

    * “Other” represents an array of household products including stoves, ovens, microwaves, and other small appliances. Individually, these products account for no more than about 2% of a household’s energy bills. Source: EnergyStar.gov

    Also, many utility companies offer homeowners a free energy audit that includes a report on things you can do to lower your energy bills.  Wondering what to do to reduce your home’s energy consumption? Here are some resources to assist you:

    Google Maps of South Florida Can Be Useful to Home Buyers

    blue tarps on roofs in South FloridaIf you use Google Maps you may have noticed that they seem to have recently updated their maps of South Florida (satellite/hybrid aerial maps).  How can I tell?  Well, because now when I use Google Maps, I see lots of roofs with blue tarps on them… something we saw everywhere throughout South Florida for many months after Hurricane Wilma blew through Broward County as well as other surrounding counties.  Even now… almost two years later, you’ll still ocassionally see homes with a blue tarp on the roof.

    If you’re a home buyer looking at homes in South Florida, this may be a good way to tell if the home you’re considering buying had roof damage.  In fact, the aerial maps even reveal which South Florida neighborhoods had roofs that weathered the hurricane better than others.  

    Of course, Florida home buyers should always ask the home seller to provide them with a copy of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) which is designed to assist home buyers in evaluating the property being considered.  In Florida, a home seller is obligated to disclose to a buyer all known facts that materially affect the value of the property being sold and that are not readily observable.

    Silver Thatch Mounted Beach Patrol

    Sometimes you can drive down the same street dozens of times before you notice something that’s been there for a long time.  That was the case with the following historical marker that I took a photo of the other day.  It’s located along N. Riverside Drive in Pompano Beach and I was glad I finally noticed it because it offers some interesting tidbits of the history of that area of Pompano Beach. 

    The recreational area encompassed by Colony Club Road is considered a Florida Heritage Site and the historical marker is sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and the Florida Department of State.  Apparently, the marker was erected in 2002.  For ease of reading, I’ve included the text of this historical marker below the photo.

    Silver Thatch Mounted Beach Patrol

    “The recreation area encompassed by Colony Club Road, during World War II (1941-1945) , was the site of the corrals and paddocks for the United States Coast Guard’s Silver Thatch Mounted Beach Patrol.  The mounted beach patrol protected the coast from U-boat activity and saboteurs.  The location of the Beach Patrol headquarters was the site of the Old Silver Thatch Inn, which was built by the Jelks family c. 1930s.  When the Coast Guard requsitioned the property in 1942, stables, corrals and a paddock were built behind the hotel, which served as headquarters for the unit and barracks for the men.  Starting the eight-hour duty at 4 P.M. , the unit patrolled from Hillsboro Inlet to Port Everglades.  In 1945, the unit was decommissioned and the hotel was returned to civilian control.  In 1954, Ed Stack, who later became Broward County Sheriff, and then was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, purchased the property and started the Bath and Tennis Club of Pompano Beach on the site.  The hotel was torn down in 1972, when the Silver Thatch Atlantic Plaza was built on the property.  The recreational area remains because of a 1962 deed restriction, which precludes any building on the parcel.”

    Average Temperatures for Fort Lauderdale

    When I ask buyers what made them decide to relocate to South Florida from other states, their reasons almost always include Florida’s year-round warm weather.  While the summer months may be uncomfortably hot for some, there are plenty of ways to keep cool and enjoy living in South Florida year-round.  Below is a chart of the average temperatures and precipitation for the greater Fort Lauderdale area.

    Average temps for Fort Lauderdale