- About The Keyes Company/Realtors®
- 1926-2013 Celebrating our 87th Year in Florida!
- Over 25 Offices State Wide with National and Worldwide affiliates and partners. Keyes is a member of The Leading Real Estate COmpanies of the World. We have foreign affiliates worldwide.
- Offices Staffed 7 Days A Week To Provide Superior Service!
- Relocation and Luxury Home Specialists
- Commercial Leases & Investments
- We Are The Largest Family Owned Real Estate Company In Florida With Over 2000 Associates!
- Land and Business Opportunities
- Keyes Title Services and Keyes Home Insurance
- Keyes Home Mortgage Loans with Guaranty Bank affiliation
- Multiple Listing Services (MLS) for South Florida
- 500 Brickell Avenue
- Brickell Key One
- Brickell Key Two
- Courts Brickell Key
- Courvoisier Courts
- Grove Isle
- Grove Towers
- Grovernor House
- ICON Brickell
- Icon South Beach
- Murano Grande
- Murano Portofino
- One Tequesta
- St. Louis
- Ten Aragon
- Three Tequesta
- Two Tequesta
- Valencia South Miami
You set the groceries down, call out the names of your family, and take a quick look around. Then you check your cell.
With the Pinnum phone app, you’ve got GPS meets social media. You can see exactly where everyone in your household is – your wife is on the freeway, your son is at the ballfield and your daughter is at the next door neighbor’s.
You send each of them a quick text - "steaks on the grill in 30!"
The responses come fast. "Mom’s picking me up in 10." "Can Emily come 2?" And from your wife -"My hero!"
Gathering the troops is only one of many uses for the new Pinnum app, which is free to end users like project manager Mario Moraila.
"It takes away a lot of the anxiety over being a single parent," said Moraila. "I’m often gone overnight. I can see what my son Christian is doing and – just as important – he can see what I’m doing."
That’s how Moraila sold the idea of using the GPS-based app to his son. It’s not Big Brother – it’s about staying connected, feeling loved and being safe. If you don’t want to be tracked, simply turn on the "stealth" feature and you’re off the grid.
Moraila and Christian have used the app for over eight months. They enjoy creating groups to follow just like social media, and refreshing the screen to see where friends and family are and what they’re doing next.
And, suggests Moraila, the app is also a lifesaver in an emergency.
"We had a scare at Christian’s school one day. Someone had something in their backpack and the school called the parents," recalls Moraila. "I was able to go on Pinnum and pinpoint the classroom where he was and I knew he was all right."
Pinnum is also a great safety tool for women, suggests real estate broker Debbie Ferrari."
"I have 25 agents, nearly all of whom are women," said Ferrari. "I’ve always cautioned them about going out and meeting people they don’t know. If they’re on Pinnum and showing properties, we can track them down. What if they can’t make a phone call? It’s a safety apparatus. And if they don’t want the office to know where they are, they can put their phones on Stealth."
Ferrari’s husband Bill Koelzer added, "The business has changed. It used to be early evenings and weekends. Now you may show property at any time. If your wife is a Realtor and there is any deviation of where she said she was going to be and you can’t reach her by phone, I’d alert the police. You can send her location to the police and they can check it out quickly."
You can think of hundreds of examples from the news where the Pinnum app could have been a lifesaver.
"If those kids who got lost in the mountains for days had Pinnum, they would have been rescued before sundown," said Pinnum founder John Giaimo. "There’s terrific potential for police, forest rangers and firefighters to save lives."
What about ordinary flat tires and car breakdowns? You can quickly call for help and send a screenshot of your Pinnum location to emergency services. And if your phone goes dead, someone you know has probably sent your Pinnum to the appropriate authorities.
But hey, you don’t have to use Pinnum just for emergencies. It’s great for business, too.
Suggested Giaimo, "Businesses can see the movement of their drivers, field staff or equipment. Another great use for pinnum is the "Group" function which allows for Public or Private group notification, messaging and mapping."
"We have meetings frequently," said Koelzer. "Sometimes our agents are late, and you can check where everybody is and whether to wait a few minutes or get started."
It’s a great app for locating and communicating with people you know. Create groups - coaches and players so you can find the right field quickly. Friends - find the new restaurant downtown without getting lost on one-way streets.
And it’s free. Visit www.pinnum.com.
Who is responsible if your neightor’s tree falls on your property? The general rule is that unless the neighbor knew - or should have known - that his tree was unsafe - even if it caused damage to person or your property, he is not responsible. Our courts follow the old common law: it’s your property, so take care of it, unless you can prove your neighbor was negligent.
The legal answer to this is quite simple; however, the interpretation and implementation of the law is rather complex.
How do you prove that your neighbor’s tree was unsafe and that your neighbor was negligent in not assuring that the tree would not fall? What constitutes negligence?
The answer depends on all of the facts. Did your neighbor have any knowledge that the tree was a potential hazard? Should the tree owner have been on notice of a problem because the tree was not showing leaves but only bare limbs?
Did you complain about the safety of the tree, and yet he took no action?
Here we have to look to specific cases. Take the leading case in the District of Columbia (Dudley v Meadowbrook, 1961). The Defendant’s tree fell onto the Plaintiff’s property, and damaged a garage. The evidence indicated that there was no strong wind blowing when the tree fell. The Court wrote that "a healthy tree does not ordinarily fall of its own weight without some exterior force being directed against it. Though some evidence indicated that the tree looked sound, it was in fact full of decay. At least 13 years earlier it had been subjected to surgery and a large area filled with concrete."
In conclusion, the Court suggested that a land owner has a duty to periodically inspect the trees on his property or at least have them examined by an expert to determine whether they are safe to continue to stand.
In order for negligence to be found, the Plaintiff (the injured neighbor) would have to file suit against the tree owner. Most cases are not clear cut; they require extensive background research, expert testimony and a potentially lengthy trial. This is both time consuming and expensive for a Plaintiff. And it should be pointed out that our legal system has adopted what is known as the "American Rule of Legal Fees". In the absence of a written contract or a statute authorizing attorneys fees, each side pays their own attorneys fees.
And even if a lawsuit is brought, the tree owner can raise the defense that an "Act of God" (or in this case an Act of Derecho) caused the tree damage. If the tree owner was on notice before the storm that the tree was likely to fall down, this defense may not be accepted by a Court of Law. But it nevertheless is a legal defense which every defendant will raise when sued.
There is yet another defense, namely "contributory negligence". The general rule throughout the United States is that if a tree limb or a tree root protrudes on a neighbor’s property, that neighbor has the right to exercise self-help -- i.e. the offending root or limb can be cut off.
Some Court cases have determined that the tree owner was not liable, since the neighbor -- who knew that the tree was dangerous -- did not exercise this self-help. In other words, the neighbor’s own negligence defeated his claim against the tree owner.
What if your tree falls on a public roadway? According to a recent Supreme Court case in Virginia, a landowner does not have a duty to inspect and cut down sickly trees that have the possibility of falling on a public roadway and inflicting injury. This is the duty of the local government to periodically inspect to assure the safety of the public. This is also the law in the District of Columbia, where the high court here made it clear that government must exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of well traveled thoroughfares.
What is the role of your insurance policy? Homeowners should carefully review their home owner’s insurance policy -- often called the "hazard policy". Many policies are now written in relatively simple English, so you should be able to understand what position your insurance carrier will take should you decide to file a claim. In most cases, your carrier will reimburse you for any damage caused to your property when a tree falls, subject of course to the level of your deductible. If, however , no damage resulted, there will be no insurance coverage and you have to bear the cost to remove the tree.
And according to Robin Manougian, an insurance agent in Silver Spring, Maryland, "should a live tree be struck by lightening - which is a covered peril in the policy - the insurance would pay for the tree up to the policy dollar limits, but generally not for the removal of the tree."
But, do you really want to file a claim against your insurance policy?
We have all heard stories that the carrier -- when faced with a claim -- will either significantly increase the next years premium or decide not to renew the policy.
Thus, if your damage is minimal, give serious thought to picking up the cost yourself. Let’s say you have $4000 in damage and your deductible is $2,000. If you file a claim, and you can produce proper evidence that the repair cost is really $4000, you will receive $2,000 from your carrier. But is this money worth facing possible non-renewal (or an increased insurance premium) next year?
If there is damage to your property, talk with your insurance agent, but make sure that he/she understands you are only seeking information and advice -- and are not yet ready to formally file your claim.
There is a long -- often convoluted and contradictory -- legal history relating to the development of "tree law". Our legal system is predicated on what we refer to as the "Common Law" -- the laws which came over from England before the founding of our nation. Under the common law, the land owner owed no duty to those outside his property to correct natural conditions on the property -- even though those conditions might present a hazard to outsiders. My home was my castle and I was master of that property.
But as our nation grew from a rural to an urban environment, this common law rule began to lose its impact. Houses were next door to each other, and homeowners had to be concerned about injuring or damaging their neighbor -- or their neighbor’s property.
Accordingly, Judges faced with such tree-falling cases began to carve out exceptions to the common law. Some Courts held that a falling tree was a trespass; others held that such a tree was a nuisance. Both theories evolved into the current rule of law, namely that the tree owner is only responsible if that owner was negligent.
The clear moral to this legal history is that litigation may not be the best approach. If your neighbor’s tree falls onto your property -- whether or not it causes damage -- you should talk to your neighbor and propose that you share in the cost of removal and repair. Clearly, this is probably the least expensive way to resolve your issues, and you also can avoid filing that claim against your insurance carrier.
How do tree owners protect themselves to avoid the allegation of negligence? One safe harbor is to have your trees periodically inspected by a certified arborist, and get a written report stating that the trees are healthy.
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There are a number of reasons why some DIY projects turn into a nightmare that results in more time, energy, and money spent trying to clean up the mess than if you'd hired a professional in the first place. As a business owner of a video production company, I've seen this happen too many times. Professionals who work in specialized fields are used to doing their jobs. They can create a video, for instance, quickly and efficiently whereas a novice might take months to get it done and then it looks like amateur work. That can mean lost time, money, and, in the end, the main gain is tons of frustration.
This same idea is why DIY real estate isn't likely to be a wise choice for most people. Shopping for a home or selling a home requires a good amount of knowledge about the industry, the neighborhood, marketing, negotiation, home staging, and more. Most consumers simply don't have all those skills and when it comes to buying or selling their own home, whatever skills they have can be compromised because personal emotions get involved.
A common mistake DIY (or for-sale-by-owners) sellers make is pricing their homes too high. Often sellers look at how much they owe on their homes and try to work backward from there to determine a price. The problem with that is, the buyer isn't concerned with how much the seller owes. The buyer is comparing the home to those in the neighborhood. But often cash-strapped sellers are looking to make a bit more so they may try to push the price higher in hopes of creating more cash flow.
Listing a home for more than its competitive value can prove to be very unsuccessful. A lot of times, an overpriced home will get very few showings. The longer it sits on the market, the more "stale" it gets. When buyers and their agents see this, they often know to play the waiting game and let the humble fall begin for the seller. Eventually, there will be price reductions. How quickly this happens will depend on how motivated the seller is to close on the home.
Another reason hiring a professional real estate agent to handle your real estate transactions is smart is that it gives you an ally and someone to answer your questions. These days, real estate paperwork is getting more complicated and plentiful. When you attempt to go it alone, you're taking on a lot of responsibility and risking making some very big and potentially costly mistakes.
I always recommend getting a firm understanding and education about any project you're working on even if experts are hired. For instance, I had a water pressure plumbing issue recently and learned that even our own city officials didn't completely understand the plumbing solution that was needed. By talking with experts and doing some research, I may have saved myself from some even bigger plumbing issues down the road. But I didn't tackle this problem alone... I hired experts who had the job done in a few hours. The difference was not only receiving peace of mind but also quality care and expertise. A home is a major purchase/sale. Choose wisely how you proceed through the transaction.
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