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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
5 Home Upgrades to Consider This Season

(Original posted on RISMedia.com) When it comes to home improvement, the options are endless. While many homeowners have their sights set on a huge overhaul (hello five-star kitchen complete with the latest and greatest appliances and gadgets), simple home updates that can be completed in a timely manner—without breaking the bank—typically offer the best return on your investment.

If you’re itching to upgrade your home this season, whether with your own two hands or by bringing in a certified contractor, consider the following ideas:

Change the Hardware. If a complete kitchen or bathroom overhaul is out of the budget, don’t write these rooms off your list just yet. By simply replacing the hardware (drawer pulls, knobs) and faucets, you can create an entirely different look. If you’re feeling really adventurous, and in the mood for a more drastic effect, you can even paint the cabinets. Or, dress up the kitchen with a decorative backsplash that ties the whole room together.

Add a Little Paint. Do all the rooms in your home blend together because they’re painted the same color? Painting an accent wall is a great way to help a room ‘pop.’ Whether it’s in the kitchen, living room, dining room (or any other room in the home), an accent wall is a simple way to incorporate a color you love into the space without going overboard. If you’re content with the walls just the way they are, another popular alternative is to paint the ceiling.

Update the Entryway. An inviting entryway is just as important for creating a good first impression among visitors as it is among prospective buyers. Wow your guests—and even your family—with an updated facade. From (re)painting the front door to incorporating vinyl door decals to welcome visitors in style, updating the front of your home is a surefire way to create a welcoming environment.

Install Hardwood Floors. Hardwood floors are a popular choice among homeowners looking to update their space, and with a little elbow grease and know-how, avid do-it-yourselfers can complete the look with their own two hands. Tongue-and-groove flooring that fits together like a puzzle is a safe bet for anyone looking to get their hands dirty in home improvement projects this season.

Add a Porch/Patio. Whether they’re semi-enclosed, attached to the home’s front entrance or built at ground level, the addition of a porch/patio extends a home’s living space. From adding value to your home to upping its curb appeal, if you have the space, this is one project you should move to the top of your to-do list.

No matter what type of home improvement project you choose to undertake, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to call in reinforcement, especially when it comes to projects you might not be able to tackle on your own.

“When considering completing any home improvement project, you should consider the value of hiring a general contractor,” says Lance Malcolm, chief operating officer of Contractor Connection. “An experienced contractor can be the difference between keeping the project moving forward smoothly or being delayed.”

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor.

Posted at 1:50:14 PM
Monday, April 20, 2015
Report: Fort Lauderdale Ranks As 4th Hottest Housing Market

Employment rates are up and housing demand is growing.

Fort Lauderdale ranked fourth in a list of the top 49 hottest single-family housing markets in the US, according to Auction.com.

Home prices and housing demand in the city are closing in on pre-downturn levels, according to the report. The market has seen a 7.8 percent gain in home prices and a 2.3 percent increase in volume of sales year-over-year.

In addition, population numbers were up 1.3 percent in 2014, and employment is up, as well, as the report shows that the estimated 100,000 jobs lost during the recession have been recovered.

The top spot on the list belonged to Denver, CO, which enjoyed a 9.2 percent increase in home prices and a 4.6 percent increase in sales volume, year-over-year. Fort Lauderdale was followed by Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; and Phoenix, AZ.

"As the US housing market has continued to recover from the "Great Recession", we've seen significant regional variances in terms of both price appreciation and sales volume," said Auction.com executive Vice President Rick Sharga in a statement. "Earlier in the recovery, most of the growth came from markets that had suffered the biggest declines during the housing bust, but what we're seeing today is more in line with fundamental economic trends: markets with the bext job growth and population growth are recovering most quickly."

- Sean Stewart-Muniz, The Real Deal

Posted at 2:10:43 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Coldwell Banker, Part of One of the World's Most Ethical Companies!

The Gayle Borden Real Estate Group is pleased to share the exciting news that Realogy Corporation, Coldwell Banker's parent company, has been named among the 2015 World's Most Ethical Companies for the fourth year in a row outperforming its industry peers for ethical conduct.
(Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is a part of NRT LLC, which is a subsidiary of Realogy.) This designation was awarded by the Ethisphere® Institute, a leading international business ethics think-tank.

Realogy earned this prestigious honor by implementing and maintaining upright business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company's success, benefit the community, and raise the bar for ethical standards within the real estate industry.

We are proud to be affiliated with a company that shares its parent company's deeply instilled commitment to demonstrating the highest ethics and integrity in all business practices. The honor is no surprise to the sales associates and employees at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, as the Coldwell Banker® brand was founded 108 years ago on the principles of trust, honesty and integrity. Today, the organization, and those of us within it, continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the highest ethical standards, and your complete satisfaction is our top priority.

For over 30 years, The Gayle Borden Group has been providing our customers with the highest level of service along with those principles, and we hope that you continue to remember us for all of your Fort Lauderdale Real Estate needs.

Posted at 2:53:26 PM
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
'Dockominiums' making a comeback in South Florida

By Doreen Hemlock
Sun Sentinel 3/22/15

A parking spot for $3 million? That's what you'll pay for the largest superyacht dock at Harbour Twenty-Six in Fort Lauderdale, where 26 covered boat storage units are being sold like condominiums, each with a property title.

Prices start at $1.8 million for smaller docks, which can handle yachts starting at 80 feet long. Add several thousand dollars more every month to cover the cost of a clubhouse, swimming pool, security and other perks at the marina set for the Shady Banks neighborhood on the New River.

Developers call the project "the only fully covered dockominium megayacht marina in South Florida." They're counting on owners of multimillion-dollar yachts to pay the price to ensure a parking spot in the "Yachting Capital of the World." Finding a space to fit their super-long boats in peak season can be as tough as parking your car in South Beach on a festival weekend. And forget about parking in the shade. "Covered spaces for megayachts are coveted because they're few and far between in South Florida," said marine consultant Jim Bronstien of North Palm Beach, who is helping to manage the venture.

Shade matters, because sun, dust and the elements degrade a boat's paint, wood surfaces and exterior furnishings. And just painting a megayacht can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. "The sun can be vicious on a paint job, just like on your car," said Kitty McGowan, who runs the U.S. Superyacht Association based in Fort Lauderdale. Plus, a covered dock makes it cooler for the live-aboard crew — sometimes a dozen or two people — to do daily maintenance and other work. The Harbour Twenty-Six project will include a clubhouse, swimming pool, security and other perks.

A different megayacht project was planned on the same site before the recession, but it was shelved with the crisis. The nearly 6-acre property went into foreclosure. An investor group bought it and then sold it for $6 million to the current developers, Battle Plan Capital led by Nathan Cox. Cox mostly builds single-family homes in his home state of Alabama. He had come to Fort Lauderdale to see a colleague and heard about the property. He asked all of the people he could about the direction of the yacht industry and the need for parking — and received so many positive comments that he jumped in.

"Either I was the biggest laughing stock of South Florida and everyone was in on the joke, or this was a pretty good opportunity," Cox said in a phone interview from Alabama.

Cox's group aims to break ground this summer on the site of the former Summerfield Boat Works. Construction should take just under a year, with sales of all 26 docks fetching about $50 million. The group unveiled the project at the Miami International Boat Show in February and has five reservations for the slips so far, each secured with a $25,000 nonbinding deposit, Cox said.

The big crunch for parking superyachts around Fort Lauderdale tends to come in the fall. The boats stop off between summer cruising in the U.S. northeast or Europe and winter cruising in the Caribbean. In hurricane season, the big boats prefer spaces in protected coves or upriver — away from the coastline.

New docks upriver can offer other benefits for buyers, brokers say. Megayacht owners can save money on insurance because the facilities meet new hurricane codes. Plus, owners, generally corporations, get tax advantages from buying, and they can make some of their money back by renting out the space when they're not using it.

"Harbour Twenty-Six is the first new marina project in Broward in a long time," said Kit Denison, a marine industry veteran who is helping to sell docks up to 170 feet long at the venture. But don't look for many more projects like it. Waterfront property for marinas remains limited in South Florida, and some spots have piers over submerged lands that are leased from the state and not owned outright. Developers prefer not to sell docks over rented lands, partly because of extra fees involved.

And really, how many buyers can afford $1.8 million or $3 million docks, plus monthly maintenance?

dhemlock@sunsentinel.com, 305-810-5009, @dhemlock on Twitter

Posted at 11:22:19 AM
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Fort Lauderdale Turns Off The Lights For Earth Hour 2015

Fort Lauderdale is joining the world in celebrating Earth Hour this Saturday at 8:30pm! (Information provided by the City of Fort Lauderdale.)

Earth Hour 2015
Date: 03/28/2015 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM

The City of Fort Lauderdale proudly supports Earth Hour 2015 and its mission to create a sustainable world.

On Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., communities everywhere will switch off lights for one hour to celebrate a commitment to the planet by leading a more sustainable lifestyle.

The City of Fort Lauderdale plans to participate by turning off non-essential lighting at City Hall.

Where possible, we invite our neighbors to join us in an effort to preserve our planet for future generations.

For more information on this World Wildlife Fund initiative, please visit www.earthhour.org.

Posted at 2:23:56 PM
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Rupert Murdoch: Why I Bought Realtor.com

NEW YORK – Jan. 30, 2015 – News Corp founder and executive chairman Rupert Murdoch took the stage at Real Estate Connect in New York on Thursday to explain why Move Inc., the operator of realtor.com, was a better acquisition than other online real estate advertising websites.

According to Murdoch, Move and realtor.com have a trifecta of powerful marketing points over Zillow and Trulia:

  1. "Move has the most up-to-date and accurate listings in the market," Murdoch said, noting that realtor.com's listings are updated every 15 minutes.
  2. "Move has a close relationship with the National Association of Realtors®, and I believe real estate agents are crucial to every home sale in America," he said.
  3. "Realtor.com attracts transaction-ready consumers – they're not just window shoppers – and that's attractive to advertisers," Murdoch said.

Most people who begin their real estate search online eventually need human interaction and guidance, Murdoch believes, and realtor.com facilitates those connections.

"There is no digital replacement for the human touch," he said. "No technology can meet all of someone's needs. It takes a real person. Realtor.com helps bring homebuyers, sellers, and agents together. We want the shortest distance between the American Dream and a family's reality to be realtor.com."

Murdoch reassured critics that News Corp's goal is not to turn Move into a media company and take realtor.com away from its mission of connecting agents with consumers. Instead, he said, he wants to enhance the realtor.com user experience to help it better fulfill its mission.

"We're going to add to the user interface, make it more obviously friendly for agents and consumers," Murdoch said. "We've got to make a better product, and then when we're satisfied, we need to get out and market it hard.

Australian-born Murdoch said that he understands "there's a different business model in America. We don't want to replace agents – we think they're absolutely central."

Murdoch also predicted that the U.S. housing market would continue to expand and recover – another reason he was interested in buying a real estate company. He said the data he's been seeing from Move thus far is encouraging, and the U.S. market offers the best bet for long-term growth in the world.

Murdoch ended on a note that became the most talked-about moment of his appearance: He said he believed in the ability of the realtor.com name to attract consumers away from the site's rivals because "we all know what 'Realtor' means," Murdoch concluded when he compared the marketing muscle of online ad sites. "What the hell does 'Zillow' mean?"

Source: Graham Wood, Realtor Magazine

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Posted at 11:33:27 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Fort Lauderdale Neighborhood Spotlight: Rio Vista

Rio Vista is a beautiful tree-lined community adjacent to downtown Fort Lauderdale. Its name means "River View" in Spanish, and as you can expect, the sought-after neighborhood is perched right along the banks of the New River, as it snakes its way through the southeastern part of the city towards the Intracoastal. It is one of the oldest communities in Fort Lauderdale and, in addition to its shady tree-lined streets, features meandering sidewalks and plenty of unique architecture, both old and new.

At the close of World War I, Fort Lauderdale claimed approximately 2,000 residents. An era of prosperity in the early 1920’s, along with the proliferation of new modes of transportation, saw the city begin its transition from a mostly agricultural community to a full-fledged resort town. Residential areas began to develop along the river, with the creation of neighborhoods like Rio Vista on the south banks and Colee Hammock on the north. The first plat of the area to the south of the river was recorded by Mary Brickell, the famous pioneer developer in Miami and now a major landholder in Fort Lauderdale, as well (she also owned much of the land in Colee Hammock and along Las Olas Boulevard). Upon her death, the land to the south was purchased by C.J. Hector, who began developing the area he dubbed “River View”. By February 1923, the Fort Lauderdale Herald newspaper (now the Sun Sentinel) reported that Rio Vista was booming, with over 5,000 feet of sidewalk laid and streetlights installed!

The land boom reached its peak by 1925, when Fort Lauderdale's population climbed to 16,000. The late 1920’s saw a series of unfortunate events plague the city, only to be followed by the start of the Great Depression, and then the onset of World War II later in the decade. It was after the war that Fort Lauderdale started seeing growth again when thousands of servicemen discovered the area with its pleasing climate and a chance to reasonably purchase land in a burgeoning community. Rio Vista development began anew, thus accounting for the eclectic architectural style that is incorporated in this picturesque community. You may find an original 1930’s Spanish Mediterranean design next to a 1940’s bungalow next to a modern estate; yet nothing seems out of place, lending to the distinct character of this charming neighborhood.

Today our beautiful city has a total population of close to 165,000 and Rio Vista is comprised of about 1000 homes. It is bordered by US 1 to the west, the Intracoastal to the east, SE 12th Street on the south (adjacent to the neighborhoods of Harbordale and Lauderdale Harbours) and, of course, the New River to the north. Though the interior of the neighborhood is very quiet and peaceful with no through traffic, the enviable location (close to downtown, commercial/retail areas, as well as offering quick and convenient access to major highways, airport, and Port Everglades) makes this waterfront neighborhood one of the most desirable places to live in the area.

Of course, that’s not even taking into consideration its prime waterfront location. Though Fort Lauderdale has nearly 170 miles of waterfront real estate (it isn’t called the “Venice of America” for nothing!), Rio Vista has long been considered one of the foremost communities for mariners to call home. Residences along the “Rio Vista Isles”, or the finger streets on the east side of the neighborhood, have only 17th Street Causeway bridge over the Intracoastal between them and the open sea (this bridge measures 55’ when it’s closed, but will open for vessels upon request). Many homes here are on double lots with 100’ of waterfront. The canals are large – averaging about 130’ wide (with depth varying from 4-7’) - offering many options for boat size. There are also homes along a stretch of the Tarpon River, but with a width of 60-90’ and a fixed bridge at SE 9th Street with just an 8’ clearance, only smaller motorboats and kayaks can traverse this route. But it is the dozen or so homes located directly on the New River that are the most sought-after in Rio Vista. With 100’ of waterfront each along the river that is 140-165’ wide, there is ample space for homeowners to dock even the largest yacht right in their back yard!

The Gayle Borden Real Estate Group is the leading expert in luxury Fort Lauderdale Real Estate, working tirelessly to provide comprehensive service to all of our clients. For information on Homes for Sale in Rio Vista or other fine Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods, please contact us by phone at 954-525-3355 or by e-mail at gayle@gayleborden.com.

(Originally posted 9/19/14)

Posted at 10:30:40 AM

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5 Home Upgrades to Consider This Season
May 19, 2015

(Original posted on RISMedia.com) When it comes to home improvement,...
> Full Story

Report: Fort Lauderdale Ranks As 4th Hottest Housing Market
April 20, 2015

Employment rates are up and housing demand is growing.

Fort Lauderdale ranked...
> Full Story

Coldwell Banker, Part of One of the World's Most Ethical Companies!
April 16, 2015

The Gayle Borden Real Estate Group is pleased to share the exciting news that Realogy Corporation, Coldwell...
> Full Story