Miami Real Estate

Achieving multiple professional certifications and surpassing customer expectations has propelled Keyes Company Sunset Office Vice President Carlos Garcia to become Dade County's top producing real estate leader within The Keyes organization. Garcia's cumulative sales volume is more than $575 Million since he launched his Real Estate career in 1995. In recognition of his exceptional success, Garcia was appointed to The Keyes Company's prestigious President's Council. Garcia is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), a graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI), a Certified Relocation Specialist and Luxury Homes Member. In 2010, Carlos Garcia was named Vice-Chairman and Communication Chair for the Master Brokers Forum (MBF) representing the top 250 agents in Miami-Dade County. To better serve his customers with Short Sales and Foreclosure guidance, Garcia obtained his Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation. Prior to launching his career in Real Estate, Garcia served as Vice President of Operations for a major electrical Company in Miami. Carlos has achieved the Number ONE position again in Sales for Miami-Dade County and was awarded the President's Council Award in January 2014 for the 15th consecutive year at the Keyes Annual Awards and has always been ranked amongst the top FIVE sales associates in The Keyes Company which employs over 2,500 sales associates.(press release 2014)

The information on this web site has been obtained from the public record or the property owner and has not been verified. The information, documents and related graphics, may include inaccuracies or typographical errors and should be independently verified. The Keyes Company and/or Carlos Garcia (Associate) is not responsible or liable for the inaccuracy of the information.

Copyright ® 2007 Carlos Garcia, LLC.

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Updated: Thursday, April 24, 2014

No Mow Blow amp; Go For Your Homeowners Association

Ahhhhh Spring Thoughts of lovers turn to love and those of landscaper contractors turn to growing things, like the lawn. Its time to weed, fertilize, remove moss and reseed to get it up and growing again. For homeowner associations, this usually means the landscape contractor has also been busy for weeks firing up the irrigation system, thatching, doing drainage corrections, removing and replacing dead plants, sweeping, blowing and mowing. Theres a lot to do. And theres a lot to know about how to do it right.

Its important to recognize the difference between your "mow and blow artists" aka "lawnscalpers" and true landscape contract professionals. Mow and blow is basically a guy with minimal tools and experience. He usually does a passable job lawn mowing but ra>

A true landscape professional has an artists eye, a horticulturists training and managers organization to ensure that your landscaping thrives through good weather and bad. Each season brings its own challenges: Whether its too wet or too dry, too hot or too cold, the landscape professional has sophisticated ways to keep it looking its best. Here are some helpful landscape contractor screening tips:

1. Determine capabilities. Besides the usual services, some install hardscapes like retaining walls, drainage and irrigation systems which could be important to the overall job.

2. Check credentials. Individuals should have either an education in Ornamental Horticulture or several years on-the-job training. The company is usually a member in national or state landscape associations which indicates a desire for excellence. Ask for a list of references and professional affiliations.

3. Confirm licensing and certification. If required by state law, the company should be licensed or certified. Licensing provides higher accountability and ensures the level of competence required by state exams.

4. Level of maintenance. Do you have low maintenance landscape or a high impact design with seasonal color, intricate pruning and pest control needs? The budget can vary a lot depending on the level of service.

5. Check insurance. Require proof of insurance for workers compensation, liability and vehicles. Check for limits and policy expiration.

6. Visit a similar job. Do a random site check of some current clients to verify work quality.

7. Review the contract. Your landscape maintenance contract should have a detailed annual schedule to handle all aspects of the work. Some tasks are done more or less frequently according to season and the schedule should reflect it.

8. Share the work. Some HOAs have volunteers that like to do certain aspects of landscape maintenance which can reduce costs. Discuss options with the contractor.

So whats it going to be, landscape professional or lawnscalper? The first ensures a vibrant and healthy landscape while the second will skin your landscape alive. Your choice. For more on hiring professional landscape contractors, see Professional Landcare Network:

Several Landscape Specification samples are available to Gold Subscribers of

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Why You Should Consider Challenging Your Property Tax Assessment

You may well be paying too much in property taxes.

Your city, school district and county property taxes are supposed to be based on current market values. When you buy a home, the tax base resets at the value you paid, whether its higher or lower than the previous owners tax bill.

Local laws put a cap on how much property taxes can be raised each year, regardless of market values. Most municipalities dont have the manpower or the resources to assess each and every property individually, so taxes can be assessed based on general averages, drive-by appraisals or automatic increases based on your homes sales price.

Many areas dont assess annually, so your homes values can be overvalued in a cool market or undervalued in a hot market. Which means you could be paying too much in property taxes.

You may recieve your property value assessement and tax bill soon. If you dont think the assessment is fair, its your right to appeal.

Represent Yourself

The appeal process doesnt have to be intimidating. The appraisers and appeal boards are well aware that the appraisal system isnt perfect, so they are prepared for challenges.

Depending upon your municipalitys appeals process, you can represent yourself. You dont need your CPA, attorney or real estate professional. All you need to do is simply make an appointment for a review of your property. Call early, as the time for appeal appointments is usually limited to a specific time frame.

Print out a full copy of your propertys tax appraisal from your city/county website. Check it over carefully for errors in square footage, number of bedrooms, baths, stories, parking spaces, lot size, and other details. Your neighbors appraisals will also be accessible as public information so you can double check their assesssments to find comparisons. Be sure the comparable homes that you find are very close by and as identical as possible to your home in size and amenities.

Take pictures of your exterior and be sure to include anything that can lower the value of the property such as a busy street, telephone poles, looming water towers, peeling paint, sagging roof, etc. In the interior, photograph dated kitchens or baths, and any damage to floors, windows, walls and ceilings. Condition matters in appraisals.

City appraisers use the same Multiple Listing Service that real estate professionals do, so if you know an agent or broker who can get recent comparables for you, bring those to the appraisal appointment. Some agents may charge a fee for this service, but if youve been a client, they may be willing to print a comparable analysis at no charge for you.

During your appointment, youll be meeting with an individual appraiser or perhaps an appraisal board comprised of volunteers, real estate professionals, appraisers, or city officials.

Dont be intimidated -- youre not on trial. Its a hearing that youve requested.

Your appraiser will show you the values of nearby comparable homes to illustrate why the district arrived at your appraisal price. Bring a map so you can illustrate zoning changes, construction, road expansion that may affect the areas value, as well as your home. Courteously present your case and documentation that supports your claim. Just in case, bring a map so you can illustrate zoning changes, construction, road expansion that may affect the areas value, as well as your home.

Your data will be compared with the findings of the reviewer. You may need to defend your appraisal several times throughout the appeal, so know your neighborhood well.

Usually, the answer will be immediate. If the tax assessor agrees with you, he or she will adjust your appraisal right on screen right in front of you and print out a new assessment for you to take home.

If the assessment stands as it is, you havent lost anything but a little time.

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The Nitty Gritty On Storage Auctions

Many people fantasize that the old bureau thats been catching dust in their attic for years is actually their ticket to early retirement. And with the popularity of television shows like Storage Wars, acquiring a rare gem for very little investment seems like a profitable gamble.

Whether youre interested in becoming a full-fledged "storage warrior" or just curious how storage auctions go down in the real world, here are some of the most common questions and tips from the pros to get you started.

1. Why are storage units contents auctioned? When a unit occupant fails to pay their rent for a period of time, the facility owner can auction off the contents in order to legally recoup their losses. Details vary by state, but generally protocol is across the board.

2. What if the tenant wants their stuff back after an auction? The original tenant may request to give their contact information to the unnamed buyer. The buyer can then decide to sell items back. Buyers are sometimes required to return unsellable personal items, like legal records and photographs, to the original owner.

3. Who can be at an auction? Bidders must be 18 years old with a valid drivers license or government-issued ID.

4. What is the auction process like? All potential bidders register. After some ground rules are laid out, the group will move to the first unit. When the first door is opened, bidders have a few minutes to look into the unit. No one can enter or touch any items for safety and liability concerns.

Pro Tip: Bring a flashlight You will be able to make a more informed bid. Cameras and recording devices are banned.

From there, the auction commences. Each unit and auction are opened and closed individually until all units are finished. Usually, this takes several hours, so remember to pace yourself.

Pro Tip: If you are not an experienced bidder, keep it simple by raising your hand. You dont want to miss out on a great unit because the auctioneer didnt notice you tugging on your ear.

5. What valuable items are commonly found in the storage units? Household items, appliances, furniture, tools, and electronics are the most useful common finds. The more obvious the valuable items -- such as cars -- the livelier the auction

Pro Tip: Units that are neatly organized are more likely to have valuable items than units with its contents haphazardly thrown in. But, as is the essence of storage auctions, junk can be organized, and treasures can be hidden. Experienced warriors say that bidding on what you see instead of what may be hidden will yield better results.

6. What happens when I win? When yours is declared the winning bid, you will be required to pay cash onsite immediately.

You will most likely be given 24-48 hours to clean out the unit in its entirety -- treasures, junk, trash and all.

Youll also pay a 50-100 cleaning deposit. This deposit will be returned after youve thoroughly removed all items and swept up. Adhere to this agreement, or youll be banned from future auctions.

Pro tip: Have a plan and bring some friends to help, especially if one of them has a truck and hauler. If you plan on coming back later, bring a padlock to secure your purchases.

7. How likely am I to make a profit? Storage units go anywhere from 1 to 10,000. Because of other bidders, weather conditions, and any number of factors -- including luck -- theres really no way to predict your profit. One of the most exciting aspects of storage auctions is that the playing field is completely even: the auction is free, and newbies and professionals get an equal look at the units ahead of time.

8. What do I do with the junk? The best way to make money through a storage auction is to sell as many items as possible. Craigslist, eBay, and garage sales are great. If you end up with a lot of one type of item, selling them in bulk to a flea market vendor could be economical.

Consider donating gently used items to homeless shelters, rehab facilities, churches, or other local charities. Remember to keep all of your receipts

9. Where can I find out about upcoming storage auctions? Keep a lookout for ads in your local paper, or do a web search for your area. Many sites are devoted to these schedules.

10. What other Pro Tips can you give on being a storage warrior? Decide what you are willing to spend and bring that amount with you in cash. Its good to set parameters when youre first starting out and can easily get caught up in the moment.

The auction will start on time, so check out the route beforehand and arrive early.

Dont invite your non-bidding companions to view the units. When there are too many extra people, the process gets held up. Move quickly and with purpose.

Questions are certainly welcome, but ask them before the auction begins. You will be held to your bid no matter what.

Greet the auctioneer and chat with fellow bidders before business starts. Being a part of the storage auction community can be the best part

Garret Stembridge is part of the team at, a leading provider of self-storage facilities. Garret often writes about storage and organization topics for homes and for businesses.

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