Exemplary Service

Debra Wellins

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Miami Category

One Sale Leads to Another – Relationships in Real Estate Deals

As real estate deals go, this one was a triple double.  I was tremendously fortunate to represent the buyers and sellers in a transaction that closed today. I'll tell you about the home in a minute as I'm more interested in relating why relationships, not to mention open houses, are so important in the real estate business. I met the sellers about a year ago when they purchased one of my listings in Biltmore Heights. They dropped in during an open house, instantly fell in love with the home and hired me on the spot to represent them with... Continue Reading >

How to Calculate Your Real Estate Tax Portability when Downsizing Homes

So often, I'm asked how to calculate the real estate tax savings or tax portability when downsizing homes.  Here's a clear and simple example that I provided to one of my sellers in Pinecrest.  Use it as a template for your own numbers. Take a look at the chart.  If you own a home that has a current market value of $2,300,000 with an assessed value of $1,165,000, the cap difference is $1,134,273. You are allowed to "port" or transfer up to a maximum of $500,000 of this. Let's say... Continue Reading >

A Zen Real Estate Deal

I've worked with great clients before, helping them buy and sell property, but this transaction was straight out of the Zen book of real estate deals. I was holding my first open house when a family of three stepped past the red front door, glanced around the room and proclaimed , "we are buying this house."  I immediately liked them!  Fifteen or more families with young children had the same look of enthusiasm as they walked into the living room. The house simply oozed warmth and charm... Continue Reading >

A Peruvian Cobaya this Guinea Pig Loved

  My first adventure into the COBAYA dining experience did not disappoint.  For those of you unfamiliar, it is a mystery dining club of sorts.  Sign up on the email list, receive an announcement with the date for the next dinner, respond in the affirmative and pray that you win the lottery.  You are notified about five days out if you have been selected.  There is no mention of where, who or what.  The time and location is only provided two days... Continue Reading >

Charming New Home for Sale in Biltmore Heights

I just listed a delightful 3 bedroom 2 bath family home on a quiet, tree-lined street in the Biltmore Heights section of Miami.  Biltmore Heights is a wonderful neighborhood nestled between Coral Gables and South Miami. This 1,649 square foot home features pergo and tile floors and a living room, dining room, family room, laundry room and updated kitchen.  Beautiful wood cabinetry and granite counters highlight the kitchen which also includes a breakfast counter that opens to the dining room. The air conditioning, replaced in 2009, has a maintenance contract and the roof, completed in 2011, is still under... Continue Reading >

Pho Long Hy Vong

After 36 years, the final night of pork rolling cakes, calamari salad, best pho in the world, beef and fresh rice noodles and spicy fried chicken was nothing short of delicious delirium.  Despite the Friday early seating, the spirited diners were jubilant to snag a table for the last supper (perhaps).  The eight and ten o'clock diners were no doubt mightily disappointed that the early birds got the last of the Banh Cuon - steamed pork rolling cakes. [gallery ids="10003,10010,10004"] There is some bright news, though. Owner Kathy Manning has a site on Douglas Road in mind for the... Continue Reading >

Guide to Brunch and Adventure on Mother’s Day

Brunching is definitely in order on Mother's Day. But after champagne and Eggs Sardou, what will you do? The Brunch Mother's Day at the Deering Estate at Cutler's annual Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday, May 10, 2015 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. Enjoy a variety of appetizing dishes and desserts provided by Chef David Schwadron Catering and Event Design, tour the grand Stone House and historic Richmond Cottage, and take in the natural beauty and grandeur of the Estate. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden knows what your... Continue Reading >

Performance Art Incites Love and Hate

Debra Wellins  I attended a Nadia Beugre dance performance this past weekend on Stage Black Box at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. Nadia, choreographer and dancer, performed Quartiers Libres, a French expression meaning "free territory" or "limitless space".  It was strange and unfamiliar, confusing and angry and expressive, wild and intense.  Everything about the performance screamed freedom from oppression, from the tangled microphone cable strangling her body to the musical score and meteor shower of plastic water bottles.   I didn't fully understand it until the question and answer session with the artist after the performance but learned... Continue Reading >

Upward Trend for Miami Real Estate

The momentum is palpable.  The Miami real estate market is steaming up with international and domestic buyers looking to live in a global city with world-class amentities. Here's a brief market update on single-family homes and condominiums year over year in March, 2015. Miami sales are up 10%. Miami single family homes and condos continue to sell for close to the asking price Miami cash buyers represent more than twice the national average. Short sales continue to decline. Active listings have increased 8.2%. Data provided by the Miami Association... Continue Reading >

Lakefront Condo Sold

Congratulations to my seller who recently closed on her lakefront penthouse apartment. This was one of the few condos around that had three spacious bedrooms with a split floor plan and three full baths. The seller was incredibly happy in getting the highest price for a condo in her building this year, despite the fact that it needed total renovation. This was a great deal for the buyer as well who saw it as a good investment and safe home for her family. Once it is modernized, it will be an amazing home. 671 NE 195... Continue Reading >