It’s Tax Time!

Take the stress out of tax time this year


Albert Einstein once said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax.” Luckily, tax preparers and DIY tax software take much of the mystery out of the process. Whether you prepare your taxes yourself or send them to a professional, it’s still important to collect and sort your information, including any changes in status or economics that occurred during the year.

The information below is intended to prepare you for tax time. Page one provides a list of financial details you may need to gather ahead of time to make the process easier, as well as some tips to help you get your refund faster. Page two outlines steps to take to help you protect your identity from thieves who wish to gain access to your information.

Tax season doesn’t have to be stressful. With a bit of preparation, the process becomes a breeze.


** Source: Buffini & Company

What’s in Store for the Housing Market in 2018?

What will the year hold for the real estate market? Will the market favor buyers or sellers? Will home prices continue to rise?

While it’s impossible to predict the future, experts rely on current market trends to forecast what may happen this year, if present trends continue. This information outlines several predictions experts have made about the national housing market in 2018, as well as a few predictions about mortgages. How do these trends stack up to trends we’ve seen in our local housing market? If you are thinking of buying or selling, or you just want more information about our local market, give us a call!


*Source – Buffini & Company

New Listing on Lake Catalina

Own a piece of a Water Resort with concrete dock, boat ramp and private beach. Enjoy fishing, jet/water skiing and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets in the comfort of your backyard on exclusive Lake Catalina. This vintage 5/4  home  is ideal for a large or extended family. The house boasts a large (21×15) lake view family room with brick fireplace, built-in bookcases and party bar. Expansive 56 x 15 screened/roofed patio with serving bar great for entertainment with access from the family room, kitchen, dining room, and master bedroom. Split plan offers Master Suite with direct lake view plus 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on east side of house and 1 bedroom/1 bath plus inside laundry room on west side.  Over-sized 2 car garage, walk-in closets throughout, formal living and dining rooms, breakfast area, and plenty of natural light all on a 24,000 square foot lot with 95 feet of private waterfront.

Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale

As we are about to bring in the New Year, families across the country will be deciding if this is the year that they will sell their current house and move into their dream home. Many will decide that it is smarter to wait until the spring “buyer’s market” to list their house. In the past, that might have made sense. However, this winter is not like recent years.

The recent jump in mortgage rates has forced buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!! At the same time, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year.

Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:

Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2017, now may be the time.

*Source: Keeping Current Matters, Inc., 2017 Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale

High Demand for Home Sales, 5 Reasons You Should Sell Now


5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

School is back in session, the holidays are right around the corner, you might not think that now is the best time to sell your house. But with inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family.

Here are five reasons why you should consider selling your house this fall: 

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7-months.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this fall.

Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream home within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. 

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

If you want a current market value for your property, call or email us today. 

*Source: Keeping Current Matters, Inc., 2016 5 Reasons to Sell this Fall

Florida’s Number One Real Estate Brokerage

June 6th, 2016

We just received word from EWM Realty International CEO Ron Shuffield: “Thanks to our positive and productive interaction among those within our industry, EWM has been chosen for the second year in a row by one hundred of our local competitors and industry leaders as the #1 real estate brokerage firm in Miami-Dade County.  Individual interviews were conducted from March 16 – May 5, 2016 to survey many segments of our overall market. The results were published in today’s Business Monday section of The Miami Herald.”  

This link will take you to the full survey, as well as the announcement of EWM’s #1 recognition.

When asked the question, “If you were selling your own home, and you couldn’t use your own company, who is the brokerage that you would hire?”, EWM was the #1 company chosen by the interviewees.  Being chosen #1 by those within your industry is probably the greatest honor that any company can receive.

 We are always ready to assist you with all of your real estate needs.
Give us a call today!

Beautiful University Pines Home

May 6th, 2016

14501 SW 96th Ave, Miami, FL 33176


Fall in love with this home ideally located just 1 block south of E-lake. Freshly updated in 2009, the home has a top-of-the-line kitchen with solid wood cabinets, granite plus renovated slate bathrooms. Kitchen opens to family room. Home has new 2014-15: A/C unit, appliances, and a renovated pool. Tile floors throughout house; slate floors in separate media room (partial 2 car garage conversion can be removed). Separate laundry/office with closet. Large domed screened pool and patio. Giant backyard with privacy fence and fruit trees. Location close to “The Falls”, top schools, hospital, transportation, etc.

Your Team Made Chairman’s Club Diamond Level

February 17, 2016

2015 EWM Awards Marketing

Thanks to our amazing friends and clients  we made Chairman’s Club Diamond Level again this year.

Closing Simplified?

January 18th, 2016

Blog 5 photoIt just became a lot easier to navigate the complicated mortgage process. New disclosures being utilized in the mortgage world requires lenders to provide home buyers with two new forms that clearly detail their home-loan terms. For many buyers these changes are an improvement in what is a rather intimidating process. For the average consumer, home-loans are the biggest investment in their lives. Luckily, today we have the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule which in two pages accomplishes what the four pages of the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure used to do.

Additionally, lenders have to provide folks looking to buy a home a loan estimate form within 3 days of a submitted application, minimizing the nerve racking wait time of previous years. This estimate consists of three pages detailing amount, interest rate, and where the figures can change post-closing. Having the estimates more easily available makes comparing loans a whole lot easier. However, one should still look out for the type of interest rate; whether it’s fixed or adjustable and if there is potential for any future penalties. The forms additionally estimate closing costs of your transaction.

Having these figures clearly stated should make it a lot easier to compare loans from different providers; allowing you to shop around to find the best rates and terms. Finally, the forms help the closing process, for lenders now must provide the closing disclosure 3 days prior to closing.  Buyers can approach a closing with more confidence knowing that the figures previously agreed to will be what is seen at the closing. These new forms are a step in the right direction to get closing simplified.


Buy or Lease

August 5th, 2015


The obligation of a mortgage can be uncomfortable for many people. However, it needs to be realized that there is no way to avoid paying a mortgage; except by paying cash when purchasing your property.  Even when you are renting a property you are paying for your landlord’s mortgage. Simply put… a house will always consume housing whether they are owned or rented. But which one is right for you? To buy or to rent?

Let us for now set aside the favorable accounting treatment of owning and just focus on how owners have the benefit that they are paying down their own principle while households that rent pay down the principle of a landlord plus a rate of return for their rental.

The choices between buying a home and renting one are among the biggest financial decisions that an adult makes. Though the costs of buying are more varied and complicated than for renting… there are many added benefits which include feeling grounded, the decorative freedom that comes with owning and the potential for resale. We suggest that before making your final decision on whether to buy or rent, make sure to talk to a financial adviser and a real estate agent. The decision is very much dependent on where you are in life and both of these industry professionals can help you make the right one.