Susan's Column

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THE PRICE IS RIGHT

by Susan Koslovsky

January 25, 2015

Price effects so much of how and what we spend our money on. Advertisers bank on our purchasing what they advertise and at what price the items are offered. “Buy one get one free,” “two for one,” and a gift card bonus if you purchase two or three items in the same category are popular marketing techniques to draw you in to the store or online and make those sales. Depending on what the items are and the need involved, you as the consumer can determine the urgency of ownership and the amount you are willing to pay for any particular item. When a new product comes on the market, so many are willing to buy regardless of the price as the need or want of ownership far exceeds a better deal at a later date. Great lengths are taken on the part of the manufacturer, the advertiser, as well as market share consensus to determine the correct price at which to offer an item for sale. As new things come available, the older models often take a back seat and in order to continue to sell them while the new ones are out, the prices are slashed and reduced in an effort to offer incentives to buy. In real estate price is determined by supply and demand, and the value at which a buyer is willing to pay for a particular property. Sometimes the price doesn’t even seem to make sense but there is such a demand that the price rises above the normal parameters. Foreclosures and short sales made real estate purchases seem like good deals as the original sales prices were often slashed greatly as sellers walked away from mortgages they could no longer afford to pay. Banks took back the properties and many were able to purchase real estate way below the market price. The process is long and arduous and is never a sure thing. Most are best off going the more conventional route and sticking with available properties that are readily transferrable. Still a good deal is a good deal, and for those willing to wait, and stick out the time and bumps in the road, many a great opportunity has been had. But, when a new property comes on the market, and the price is calculated correctly, buyers and sellers usually agree pretty quickly. With a good agent, comps are done correctly, and market analysis is evaluated along with assessing the value of the home itself. A price is set to make a good first impression because as we all know first impressions are just that…first and cannot be first again. They can be adjusted as time goes on if the need arises based on the market and the seller. In the meantime, call us for your real estate purchases or sales, and trust we will guide you with professional experience and knowledge so the price will be right for you.

YOU CAN GO BACK

by Susan Koslovsky

January 18, 2015

Elementary, Middle, High School and then College. Not everyone completes that last piece consecutively, without a break or two, or perhaps three. I did not expect when I walked down the aisle at my High School graduation that four years later I would not be doing the same walk after college. I began Brooklyn College actually while still in High School and expected to continue without pause after the High School tassel was placed on the other side of my graduation cap. But one thing led to another and my path in life took a different turn. I moved to Florida eight months after High School and continued at Miami Dade when it was just a two year community college. After achieving my AA degree I enrolled in FIU when only the South Miami Campus existed. I was a business major, only 20 years old and about to be married. School just didn’t seem to fit into my life as I was working closely with Sid and family in the hotel business. Having lost my Mom during my senior year in High School nothing seemed more important to me at the time than getting married and starting a family. Once the children were born, one, two and three, life was just as busy as could be. I was so happy and content with my life, my family, working with my husband, and being active in community life. A couple of times I reenrolled in FIU which by now had a North Biscayne Bay Campus, but after the second return I switched my major to psychology feeling quite strongly that if I was to return and spend the time and effort it should be totally immersed in a field I felt I could enjoy and grow from. In 2002 for the third time I left college and assumed at that point in my life I would most likely never complete my degree. After all I had everything I wanted and that degree was not going to enhance my life. All three of our children continued on to wonderful universities achieving degrees, going to graduate schools, and boasting professions they all love and excel at. Their education became my mission in life vowing that each one of them would surpass what I did not accomplish. I have no regrets, I don’t really believe in them. But what I do believe in is the ability to go back and pick up the pieces where you left off if you so choose. With six grandchildren now in the picture, the decision to return to school seemed easy. Things have changed on the college campus in 12 years, so much is done online, the teachers, advisors, and of course the students are much younger than me, but learning is still learning. With only a minimal amount of classes left to complete my Bachelor’s degree, I have returned determined to finish this time without a break. I will walk down that aisle, with my children and grandchildren as witnesses that you can go back with no one more proud of me than me.

WHY WE LIVE HERE

by Susan Koslovsky

January 11, 2015

The number of South Floridians has grown over the years due in a very large part to the weather we so richly enjoy. Of course we always have the annual fears and possible threats of hurricanes in the summer months and the added heat as well but the trade offs are well worth it. While the rest of the country, especially the Midwest and the Northeast, deals with the cold temperature blasts and snow this past week, we look out most days at sunshine. The grass is greener than ever, and the flowers that cannot handle the summer heat, grace every lawn, driveway, and road median around town. The combination of the warmth and the breeze truly make this the tropical paradise that we have all come to know and love. Everyone wants to be here this time of year. We are the envy of all around us with our Chamber of Commerce weather. We may not be on vacation, doing what all the tourists are doing, but you cannot escape even the small or should I say big indulgence of enjoying the weather along with all the vacationers who flock here to escape the miserable weather back home. You only have to turn on the news or check the app on your phone to see the record cold temperatures gracing the rest of the country to appreciate what we have here in South Florida. Down here we are pleased about the drop in heat to enjoy the change in temperature and an opportunity to pull out the sweaters and boots. But we know it is temporary and short lived all the while enjoying our glorious sunshine. Those on vacation for a few days or perhaps a full winter season are enjoying the beautiful hotel resorts or perhaps an apartment they purchased to take a stake hold in Florida real estate. Some bought when the prices were preconstruction while others bought when the prices skyrocketed. Now is a great time for those who truly want to be permanent return guests and purchase while there is still inventory around at affordable prices. Interest rates are still low so that will work in your favor if you choose to finance. Either way make it your business to get in on the action and treat yourself to a lifestyle many only dream of. Give us a call or stop in to see what might be worth your investment. Make South Florida your vacation spot, your second home, or your permanent place to hang your hat.

PURGE, CLEAN OUT, AND ORGANIZE

by Susan Koslovsky

January 4, 2015

Since the beginning of each year brings new plans, new hopes, and lots of motivation and enthusiasm, why not make the beginning of the year a time to get organized. Counting back the number of years you are advised to save necessary papers and receipts, purge your home, your office and your overpaid storage spaces with the oh too many boxes and files you dared and were too scared to part with. Take the time to reminisce and review maybe for sentimental value and save only what you must. Be brave and bold and shred away. Lighten your load and get a better grip on what you should be keeping and organize yourself so anything and everything will be in easy reach if you should need to access that information. This is not an easy task and should not be attempted by the faint at heart. Don’t expect to do it all in one day and pace yourself over a long weekend or several evenings. Tackle one area at a time, from the past, and the present to planning for the future. With each file that is reviewed and reorganized you will feel empowered and freer. Take the time to tackle this task with pictures on your cameras and computers as well. As we live in the digital world and so many of us rarely print out every picture we take, it is easy to lose or misplace where our favorite photos have gone. Get your pictures organized by date or by event, and make sure they are saved in a secure place on an external hard drive and even a DVD for safe keeping. The start of the New Year is a good time to check on credit cards reviewing balances, credit limits, and even rewards you may not have followed. Who knows what surprises you may find with points having accumulated that you forgot you had. Check on the expiration dates for driver’s licenses, passports, and protection plans for your electronic equipment. Nothing is worse than thinking you have time still to go when the expiration date has come and gone. It’s overwhelming, I know, and it’s easier to look away, say I’ll attend to it later, and deal with it at a later date. The truth is if you” bite the bullet” and take the time now you will save yourself time and lots of stress later when you need to put your fingers on information in a hurry. Shred, shred, shred. I cannot stress that enough. No one wants crucial account numbers, addresses, and phone numbers to fall into the wrong hands. It may seem like no big deal but the consequences can be frightening. Start slowly, gain speed and in no time you will find yourself updated and in order. Be patient, lighten your load, and start 2015 knowing everything is right where it belongs.