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Friday, November 16, 2018

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner? If the thought of spending hours in the kitchen preparing numerous dishes is giving you the holiday blues, then never fear! Several top notch Fort Lauderdale restaurants will be serving special Thanksgiving feasts at a fixed price. All will include a variety of traditional Thanksgiving dishes, so save yourself some time and let the experts do the cooking this year! Be sure to make reservations now as these deals may go fast. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Burlock Coast, 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-302-6460 :

This beachfront staple at the Ritz-Carlton features a deluxe buffet noon-8 p.m. ($129 adults, $49 children 5-12). The meal includes bottomless drinks for the grownups (rum punch, mimosas, Bloody Marys), along with seafood, carved meats, tapas, caviar bar and a dessert station. For those who still want to dine at home, the restaurant also will offer takeaway packages for $369 (plus tax, serves six to eight people.) The family-dinner menu includes a whole turkey with trimmings, sides and pecan pie. Order by phone by Nov. 19, pick up in the hotel lobby noon-4 p.m. Nov. 22.

Etaru, 500 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-477-8068:

This fantastic Japanese restaurant will serve a noon-6 p.m. holiday buffet that blends West (turkey carving station, grilled lamb chops) with East (sushi hand rolls, white miso soup, yuzu prawns with asparagus tempura). The cost is $75 per person (plus tax and tip) and includes a welcome cocktail, bottomless pours of selected wines and, for a $20 supplement, unlimited Louis Roederer Champagne.

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach, 505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 877-214-6725:

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort is hosting a Thanksgiving Feast at Ilios Restaurant, located on the sixth floor. Join us to enjoy a delicious spread without the hassle! Items include a traditional carving station, cold bar & accompaniments, then of course indulge in the all-day brunch items and desserts. We invite you to eat, drink & be thankful!

Sea Watch on the Ocean, 6002 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-781-2200:

Celebrate with sweeping ocean views! This seafood house will be open noon-9 p.m. for Thanksgiving. A limited menu will be offered, including a traditional turkey dinner for $32 per person, excluding tax and tip.

Hope everyone has a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Planning a Home Remodel? Obtaining the Proper Permits is a Crucial Step

A beautiful, successfully executed home remodel can be a wise investment for a homeowner. It can make a home more desirable, and ultimately increase its value when it's time to sell. However, making over your beloved home does not only involve planning a realistic budget, timeline, and finding the appropriate professionals to turn your dreams into reality. It is also incredibly important to obtain the required permits, whether you are revamping the kitchen or removing a wall. Ignoring this key step can result in having to redo work already done, steep fines, and immense stress for the homebuyer. Keep reading to find out what projects require permits, why you need them, and how to move forward with homes that have already had construction done (those looking to buy, take note!).

How Do I Get a Permit?

Most local governments have a building department that issues new construction as well as re-model and home addition construction permits. The building departments monitor construction and home re-modeling to make sure all work complies with existing zoning laws and meets the required safety standards.

Safety First

In most areas, the permit process requires inspections of work at the beginning, middle, and end of construction. Local inspectors will ensure that many requirements, including that work meets a variety of building, electrical, and plumbing standards and codes. Meeting these standards is crucial as it can save the homeowner thousands of dollars, allow me to explain. If a homeowner goes the non-permit route or hires an unlicensed contractor (or contractor willing to ignore permit rules), then numerous safety hazards can arise, such as electrical fires or disastrous plumbing leaks due to poor quality work. Additionally, when it comes time to sell, potential buyers will need to know what changes to the home were made, and will have their home inspector make sure all changes meet local regulations.

I Would Like to Buy A Home with Construction Done. What Next?

All homebuyers must make sure that the home they are interested in has only had work done under the proper permits. If this is not done, your wallet could suffer the consequences when you plan your own home remodeling project. Lack of permits means that upon having an inspection done for changes you are planning, the inspector will also look at past home construction. The building department can issue new permits based on this inspection that could require the homeowner to correct past faulty work. Also, the discovery of unpermitted work could cause the value of the home to rise, leading to an unexpected increase in taxes for the homeowner. Remember that work that usually requires a permit includes anything that changes the structure of a home, adding a new electrical panel, additions to a home, changing out the HVAC, installations of decks, changing the size of a septic system, increasing the size of the water main feed line, and major electrical and plumbing jobs. Also, certain work can only be done by a licensed professional in a specific trade.

Home remodels can add a much-needed change to the overall energy of any home. They can increase a homes value, attract more buyers, and add another level of luxury to the property. Just make sure that before any construction begins, you are well-informed of the required permits involved to make the process as smooth as possible. Have fun and good luck!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Broward County Experiencing Major Growth, Great Sign for the Future

My years of experience in Fort Lauderdale real estate mean I always pay attention to trends affecting Broward County as a whole. I have blogged in the past about the impressive growth currently taking place in Fort Lauderdale, particularly in the luxury real estate sector. The rest of Broward is following this promising trend, a great sign for buyers, as it means that purchasing a Broward County property is a great investment.

Over the next five years the total population of Broward County is expected to increase by 167,320 new residents, as reported by a Cushman & Wakefield study. By 2021, it is projected to have a population of 2.1 million. With increased population and residents comes an amplified need for more homes, shopping centers, and offices, a major part of the current Broward real estate boom.

One of the biggest projects in development is Metropica, a mixed-use project that spans 65 acres in Sunrise. It will be comprised of 485K SF of retail space, 2,200 condos in eight towers, 650K SF of office space, and 240 hotel rooms. Other Broward suburbs expecting serious expansion are Miramar and Margate, thanks to the highly anticipated American Dream megamall. Once complete, it would be the largest mall in the world, with retail shops, an indoor amusement park, indoor pool and beach, water slides, and even ski slopes! Other noteworthy Broward projects are the University Pointe development in Davie, 250 apartments plus ground-floor retail and office spaces that will cater to students attending Broward College, Nova Southeastern University, McFatter Technical College, and Florida Atlantic University. Pembroke Pines is looking forward to the completion of City Center, consisting of 325K SF of retail, 120K SF of office space, 400 apartments, and a 350-room hotel on 47 acres.

Make sure to continue reading my blogs for more updates on the real estate boom currently taking over Fort Lauderdale and the rest of Broward County!

For information on Fort Lauderdale and Broward County real estate, contact Joann Edwards at 954-770-8525 or realtor@joannedwards.com.

Check Out these Upcoming Broward Projects:


American Dream Mega Mall:

University Pointe:

Pembroke Pines City Center:

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Monday, October 8, 2018

For Fort Lauderdale residents, fall season means getting ready for one of the most spectacular events of the year…the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show!

The 59th Annual Fort Lauderdale Boat Show cruises into the city October 31st-November 4th, bringing the most spectacular mega-yachts in the world with it. Taking place at 7 different locations and spanning 3 million square feet of exhibition space, the show displays over 1,500 boats from 1,200 exhibitors, and draws a crowd of 110,000 plus visitors from around the world. Over $4 billion will be showcased in various watercrafts including small vessels, yachts, high-performance boats, center consoles, cabin and express cruisers, catamarans, ski boats, trawlers, electronics, marine accessories, and the stars of the show, multimillion dollar superyachts! A noteworthy change to this year’s show is a relocated and redesigned boat entrance, which features a plaza-like configuration, efficiently designed security, and a VIP and exhibitor gate. According to a press release from Informa Exhibitions, the company putting forth the show, show cuisine will also be much improved, and includes “fresh, farm-to-plate fruits and vegetables, sustainable seafood, and natural, organic meats through partnerships with purveyors of locally-sourced, organic and sustainable products.” Other enjoyable activities taking place at the boat show are marine art and jewelry exhibits, a floating cocktail lounge, live music, and adult and children’s fishing clinics.

Various sources of transportation of the show will be provided, and 12 additional parking lots have been added. The lots will be incorporated into a parking master plan that will utilize the downtown Brightline train station, bus shuttles, and seven Water Taxi pickup/dropoff sites. Show hours are Wednesday from 12-7 pm, Thursday-Saturday from 10-7 pm, and Sunday from 10-6 pm. Tickets start at $33.

Now for the fun part! Take a look at some of the fantastic yachts that will be on display!

Abeking & Rasmussen -242 feet, Elysian

Palmer Johnson-150 feet, Grey Matters

Icon Yachts -205 feet, Party Girl

Feadship, De Vries -151.6 feet, Lady May

Rossi Navi-205 feet, Utopia IV

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Where money is involved, there will always be the threat of fraud. As a real estate expert, it is my job to closely follow trends that may be affecting the market and guide my clients accordingly. As such, I would like to discuss 6 types of mortgage fraud that are becoming more prevalent in this country, due to rising home prices and strong demand. In this blog I will explore fraud for housing, which is committed by borrowers who misrepresent or omit relevant details about employment and income, debt and credit, or property value and condition with the goal of obtaining or maintaining real estate ownership. Research shows that fraud is most common in conforming mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of 80 percent or less, according to real estate data firm CoreLogic. New York, New Jersey, and yes, Florida, are the states with the highest incidences of mortgage fraud.

Here are the most common types of mortgage fraud:

  • Income fraud: An applicant misrepresents the existence, continuance, source, or amount of their income (this has had the largest increase in the past 12 months at 22%).
  • Occupancy fraud: An applicant deliberately misstates the intended use of a property as a primary or secondary residence or an investment.
  • Transaction fraud: The applicant misrepresents the nature of the transaction, such as an undisclosed agreement between parties, falsified down payments, non-arm’s-length sale, or use of a straw buyer.
  • Property fraud: An applicant intentionally misrepresents information about the property or its value.
  • Undisclosed real estate debt: An applicant fails to disclose additional real estate debt or previous foreclosures.
  • Identity fraud: An applicant alters their identity or credit history, or uses a false identity.

In order to prevent mortgage fraud from occurring, make sure realistic expectations are set for both borrowing and homeownership. Be aware that there is numerous legislation at the local, state, and federal level designed to reduce mortgage fraud (particularly for investors and industry professionals). Real estate, title, and insurance agencies are licensed and monitored by government agencies, and many states also require periodic auditing of mortgage-lending companies' activities and transactions to monitor compliance. Knowledge is power, so keeping yourself informed of credible resources and what constitutes fraud is key.

For tips and insight into the South Florida real estate market, contact me at realtor@joannedwards.com.

Comments: 0

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Riptide Music Festival Expands to Three Days! Announces New Lineup!

Great music, Gorgeous beach, and huge crowds can only mean one thing..the Riptide Music Festival is on the way! Another year of great bands and musical lineups will entertain on Fort Lauderdale Beach for the third annual Riptide Music Festival. Thanks to huge crowd turnout (over 37,000 people attended the festival last year), organizers this year have expanded the event to three days. Headlining sets will include Panic! At the Disco, 311, and even a Jacksons reunion.

Taking place November 30-December 2, this year attendees can look forward to a weekend filled with a mix of millennial alt-rock, pop, and 90’s throwback jams. Performers include bands such as Everclear, Third Eye Blind, and Collective Soul. The Friday lineup will surely attract fans of legacy acts, as tributes to two music titans, Michael Jackson and Prince, will take the stage to perform the 2 music legends top hits. On Saturday younger fans can look forward to rocking out to the musical offerings of Panic! At the Disco, Cold War Kids, Sublime with Rome, and Dirty Heads. Groups such as Third Eye Blind, Sugar Ray, and The Crystal Method will round out the festival on Sunday.

The first wave of passes for Riptide Music Festival went on sale September 14th, and pre-sale tickets are available for as low as $60 for 104.3 The Shark Chum Club members. There will be three tiers of general admission tickets, with each one increasing in price as the festival date approaches.

Check out the complete Riptide Music Festival 2018 lineup:

Friday, November 30

  • The Jacksons
  • The Sugarhill Gang
  • Baha Men
  • Lisa Lisa
  • Sheila E.

Saturday, December 1

  • Panic! At the Disco
  • Sublime With Rome
  • Young the Giant
  • Dirty Heads
  • Cold War Kids
  • Blue October
  • Bishop Briggs
  • Robert Delong
  • Sir Sly
  • Alex Merton
  • Bob Moses
  • Dreamers
  • Lovelytheband
  • The Driver Era
  • Two Feet
  • Superorganism
  • The Knocks

Sunday, December 2

  • 311
  • Live
  • Third Eye Blind
  • Collective Soul
  • Sugar Ray
  • Everclear
  • The Crystal Method
  • Just Loud
  • Silent Rival
  • DJ Immortal

Click here for more info on the festival!

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Planning a Home Remodel? Obtaining the Proper Permits is a Crucial Step

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