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Looking for Something to Do? Here are 4 Best Miami Beaches You Need to Visit Today

Monday, February 18, 2019

No matter if you are a long-time Miami resident or you have just recently relocated and now call Miami your home, this beautiful Florida city boasts numerous beaches for surfing, relaxing, and swimming. And while there are dozens of beaches in Miami and the surrounding area, it can be hard to choose your favorite. Here are just four local Miami beaches that you need to visit today.

1. Lummus Park Beach

If you want to enjoy a very classic beach environment with beautiful blue water and surfers and swimmers everywhere you look, this is the place to be. Lummus Park Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area and you’ll definitely notice right away. There is always something to do and see at this beach.

2. South Point Park

At the tip of Miami Beach is South Pointe Park Pier. This beautiful beach is perfect for the entire family with a large 17-acre park and playground area, a fishing pier, walking paths, and more. Sit back and take in all of the beauty of this Florida city and enjoy a nice afternoon out in the sun.

3. 46th Street Beach

From 46th street to 63rd street, you can kick back and enjoy the rolling waves and the sound of the ocean. This is one of the more quiet beaches in the Miami area. It is perfect for a more relaxed afternoon or one with your family. Parking and settling into this beach are easier than many others but you don’t get all the beautiful views as you do with other beaches in the area.

4. Crandon Park

If you are looking for the perfect place to spend an entire day, you’ll find it at Crandon Park. This park area does not only feature a beautiful beach, but it has golf and tennis, a walking path, and more. A nature center is also located here along with self-guided nature trails and a fossilized reef overlook. Not only can you relax, but you can also spend the day enjoying the captivating Miami wildlife.

Whether you are looking for a fun and exciting day in the sun or you want to just sit back and relax, you can find it at one of the many Miami beaches. For more information on the Miami area or if you want to purchase or sell a home in this gorgeous Florida city, contact Miami real estate agent Carla Oliva today.


Small Bathroom? Here’s How to Make it Work for You

Monday, February 11, 2019

When buying a home, you may have a large wish list. One of those “must-have” features may be a large and spacious bathroom. Unfortunately, this isn’t available in every home on the market and you may find yourself falling in love with a home that boasts a bathroom with limited space. Don’t fret. There are several things you can do that will not only make this small bathroom more functional but also beautiful.

1. Choose the Right Size of Vanity

A vanity can consume a large amount of space in the bathroom — space that should not be wasted. You may want to replace the vanity with a smaller item or a corner product. If you don’t need much counter space, consider a pedestal sink. This is a design-friendly option that will open up this entire room.

2. Get Rid of Those Shower Curtains

Shower curtains only make your bathroom appear dark and small. It closes off a portion of your bathroom area and limits your open space. If your budget allows, consider turning your tub into a standing shower surrounded by glass or just replace the shower curtain with glass shower doors. This not only makes the bathroom appear large, but also bright and trendy as well.

3. Forget the Towel Bar

Towel bars are popular accessories in bathrooms, but they can consume a lot of extra space. A large towel bar can take away an entire wall that could be used for décor, storage, and more. Rather than use these items in the bathroom, use towel hooks. Or if you really want the towel bar, consider hanging it on your shower door.

4. Choose a Large, Beautiful Mirror

Whether it is a bathroom, bedroom, or even a kitchen area, if the area is small, many experts suggest placing a large mirror on the wall. This creates the illusion that the room is large and bright. It is particularly beneficial for rooms with little natural light — such as a bathroom. In this area, hang a large mirror on the wall and surround it with a beautiful frame or another decorative element.

5. Use Bright Paint Colors

When updating this space, don’t choose dark and bold paint colors. This is only going to make the room appear overwhelming and dim. Rather, you want to choose light, calming colors. Consider paint colors such as light blues, grays, or tans. If you really want to use some bright and bold hues, implement these colors in items such as your rugs or towels.

Whether you have just recently bought a house with a small bathroom or you are placing your home on the market, use the above hacks to make this area work for you. If you are looking for the perfect home with the right size of bathroom in Miami, contact Miami real estate agent Carla Oliva today. She can help you find your dream home in the perfect location.


How to Create the Ultimate Laundry Room

Monday, February 4, 2019

When selling your home and trying to impress potential buyers, there are several features and upgrades you can make, such as remodeling the kitchen, improving the landscaping, updating all home appliances, etc. But one area of the home that is often overlooked is the laundry room. If designed correctly, this is one room in the home that can make the difference between your Miami property or the one down the street.

Here are a few ways to create the ultimate laundry room that potential buyers will love.

1. Include Lots of Storage

Ample storage is a large selling point for many potential home buyers, particularly in the laundry room. If space allows, install a few cupboards and drawers in the room for laundry basics such as soap, extra towels, and bed linens. If you have limited space in your laundry, try to take advantage of all areas such as unused corners and the ceiling. Install corner shelves, racks from the ceiling, and more. Be creative when it comes to your storage.

2. Install a Long Shelf or Table

A folding table is an excellent addition to any laundry room. This not only makes this task — which is a dreaded chore for many — much easier, but it helps create a very cohesive look in the room. If you have a long wall or extra space in the room, consider installing a built-in shelf or countertops. Or, if you have a front-loading washer and dryer, place the table over these appliances to save a little room.

3. Keep the Area Bright

While many individuals already dread doing the laundry each day, don’t make it even harder by creating a dark and dreary laundry room. Keep the area bright with large, open windows and simple window treatments. Paint the wall neutral and very light colors and feel free to decorate with fun, colorful rugs and wall art.

4. Don’t Clutter the Room

It can be easy to turn the laundry room into a type of storage room, but this will not impress potential buyers. You want to eliminate all unnecessary clutter from the room and make it not only appear large and organized, but welcoming as well. Don’t stack items in corners or on shelves and avoid filling the cupboards and drawers with unnecessary items.

If you are ready to put your Miami home on the market or are looking for more home-staging and selling advice, contact Miami real estate agent Carla Oliva at Global Life Realty today.


What Closing Costs Should I Prepare For?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will make throughout your lifetime. This is why it is critical that you are financially prepared for it.

When many people think about buying a home — particularly a first home — they dwell on saving enough money to provide a down payment. Most experts recommend that you provide at least 20% of the property’s purchase price as a down payment, which is a substantial amount of money. For example, the average home in Miami is approximately $334,000. If you wanted to provide a 20% down payment, you would need $66,800.

However, this $66,000 is not the only amount of money that you should prepare for. You will also have closing costs that you must pay in addition to your down payment. Closing costs are a number of fees and expenses that you need to pay to complete the real estate transaction. On average, they will total about 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. While there can be many closings costs you will need to prepare for, here are some of the most common.

Lender Fees

Your lender will have a number of fees that you need to pay. These can be anything from pulling your credit report, courier fees, administration fees, processing fees, and more. Some of these fees may be negotiated and you may be able to cover the cost with a point system.


Your lender will hire an appraiser to determine the value of your home. The cost of the appraisal will vary by your location as well as the appraiser himself. However, on average, you can expect to pay between $250 and $450 in Miami for a complete appraisal.

Title Fees

Most of the closing costs you will pay for are related to your title. These can be anything related to your title such as title insurance or title searches. Talk to your real estate agent regarding the best title company and for any questions regarding many of these title-related closing costs.

Processing Charges

Each state and county will have its own set of fees to process and record the real estate transaction. Additionally, if you choose to sign the papers outside of a title office, you will likely have additional notary charges and processing fees which can add up to hundreds of dollars.

There are several additional closing costs you may need to pay such as attorney fees, mortgage insurance, inspections, etc. However, before you begin to feel overwhelmed, there are many options to help you pay for these costs. Hire an experienced real estate agent like Carla from Global Life Realty to help you work out all the fine details and purchase a home you love.


4 Things You Can Do This Weekend to Update Your Kitchen

Monday, January 21, 2019

The kitchen is the gathering place of the home and for many potential buyers, it can either make or break a sale. While you may not have the time for a complete kitchen remodel before you wish to sell your Miami home, there are several small things you can do that will make a big difference. Here are just four things you can do this weekend that will change the look and feel of this space.

1. Change the Hardware

While you may not want to completely refinish or replace your kitchen cabinets, change out their hardware. Replace all of the old, greasy handles for new, modern hardware. This can take you just a few hours (or maybe even one!) to complete and your cabinets will have a fresh look.

2. Replace that Old Light Fixture

Do you have a light fixture that is out of style and consumes a lot of energy? Get rid of it and replace it with a more modern, stylish fixture. Pendant lights have become extremely popular in kitchen areas and there is no sign of this trend disappearing.

3. Replace the Kitchen Appliances

If you want to make a big impression and you have an adequate budget, consider replacing all of the appliances in your kitchen area. Keep a very cohesive look with all of your appliances and if you desire, consider some smart appliances such as a smart fridge.

And while new appliances may not be the biggest cosmetic change you can make to your kitchen, they are big selling points for potential buyers as they like knowing the products are new, under warranty, and are more energy efficient.

4. Add Color

Color can instantly capture the eye of potential buyers and evoke various emotions. Look at your kitchen space and decide where you can implement color easily and without much time and stress.

For example, maybe you can paint an accent wall or you can replace the backsplash behind your stove. Or it could be something as simple as replacing window treatments or adding new towels and rugs throughout the room. Evaluate the room, your budget, and your time to see how best to add pops of color to this space.

Placing your home on the market so it impresses potential buyers can be overwhelming but with the help of the right real estate agent, it’s simple. Contact Miami real estate agent Carla Oliva today to begin your home-selling journey.


Should You Consider a Pre-Inspection of Your Home?

Monday, January 14, 2019

While a home inspection is not always a mandatory step for homebuyers, it is highly recommended. It alerts them to many of the hidden issues and problems with the property and of any repairs that need to be fixed right away. But for sellers, should you hire an inspector to conduct a pre-inspection of your home? Is this process worth your time and money? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this option.

Advantages of a Pre-Inspection

For sellers, you may find yourself surprised and spending thousands of dollars to fix up hidden repairs and issues that you weren’t aware of prior to placing your house on the market. There are hundreds of features and areas in a home that an inspector looks at and by conducting an inspection ahead of time, you can be prepared and make any repairs that are needed. You also have more control over the timing of these repairs and you will not feel as rushed to have them completed by a fast-approaching deadline.

Additionally, by making many of the repairs before the home is even on the market, it prevents fewer buyers from walking away following the inspection. It also makes buyers feel more confident in your property as they know that they won’t have too many surprises. They are also aware of what they are getting up front, which can help with the negotiation process for both parties.

Drawbacks of a Pre-Inspection

One of the biggest drawbacks to a pre-inspection is that you will need to disclose many of the issues that you find during the inspection. If some of these issues are significant, it can scare buyers. Plus, keep in mind that each inspector is different. This means that while you may hire one to conduct a pre-inspection on the home, the inspector hired by the buyers may be more critical to tiny details, providing you with a different report.

Also, you will have to pay for the cost of the home inspector. While these costs will vary by location, you can expect to pay between $200 to $500. This is an additional charge on top of the repairs and maintenance issues you will need to take care of in the home.

Choosing to have a pre-inspection of your Miami home is a decision only you can make but it is wise to talk to your real estate agent, like Carla at Global Life Realty, to determine if this truly is the best decision for you.


How Does Location Affect Your Home’s Sale Price?

Monday, January 7, 2019

When a home is placed on the real estate market there are several factors that contribute to its sale price. One element that contributes greatly is the location of the property. In fact, this one thing can be even more important than the home’s overall condition. Let’s take a closer look at how the location affects a home’s sale price and what you should think about if you are in the market for a new home in Miami.

1. Proximity to Local Amenities

You will notice that homes close to downtown and near many local amenities such as shopping, movie theaters, restaurants, etc., will be priced significantly higher than those several miles outside of town. It is because many individuals want homes with very little commute times, near essentials such as grocery stores, gas stations, and more.

2. Quality of Local Schools

When your home is appraised, the quality of the local schools is taken under careful consideration. The quality of the education a child receives is important to families with small children and teenagers and buyers will often pay more for homes where their children can go to a highly-rated school.

3. Crime Rate

No matter if you live in Miami or another city in the United States, there are neighborhoods with higher crime rates than others. However, neighborhoods, no matter what city, with lower crime rates will have higher property values. This is because individuals will pay more to live in safer communities. Although, not all crime is going to affect your home’s value. For example, according to a 2010 study by Florida State University, local robbery and aggravated assault crimes had the biggest impact on a neighborhood’s housing market.

4. The Condition of Your Neighborhood

Not only should you worry about the condition of your own property when selling your home, but the condition of the neighborhood as well. When neighbors take little pride in their home and clutter the outside of their house, it can affect your own home’s sale price. If you are in the market to purchase a new home, you want to carefully look at the neighborhood. Spend time in the area both during the day and the evening hours.

If you have any questions about how your current home’s location can affect your sale price or if you are looking for the perfect neighborhood for your Miami home, contact Carla at Global Life Realty.


4 Projects That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

Monday, December 31, 2018

When selling your home, you want a great deal. You want to receive an offer that reflects the value of your home. And, in addition, you also want to create a space that potential buyers will fall in love with. To do this, you want your home to be in tip-top condition. While there are a number of possible projects and upgrades you can complete, some of them will pay off more than others. Here are four projects you should consider if you want to improve your home’s value.

1. Energy-Efficient Windows

While energy-efficient windows do not drastically change the look and appearance of a home, they are a major selling point. This is because they are expensive and inconvenient to install but they can save a significant amount of energy and decrease your energy bills. Energy-efficient windows can cost you between $200 and $800 per window but you can receive up to 80% of your investment back when selling your home.

2. Kitchen Remodels

Updated kitchens are not only a perk for many buyers but it is where you can receive the biggest return on your investment. Plus, you don’t need to knock down walls and install new cabinetry. You can do little things such as refinish or paint cabinets and walls, add new hardware, install a new backsplash, or replace old appliances. These are projects that will not only improve your home’s value but attract many buyers to your home as well.

3. Improve Your Landscaping

If you have a yard, you want to make sure it is in excellent condition when placing your home on the market. Make sure the grass is mowed, the flower beds look great with plants and flowers, bushes and trees are trimmed, etc. If you have a swimming pool, make sure this area is staged well and fix cracked or broken bricks, repair pathways, update lighting, etc. If you do not have time to take care of your home’s exterior, hire a professional to do so.

4. Update Your Front Door

Your front door welcomes buyers into the home. When this door is old, in poor condition, and has little curb appeal, buyers will expect the rest of the house to be the same. But, when you have a beautiful front entryway, buyers will be more anxious to see the rest of the home. If you do not have the money for a new front door, consider painting your current one and installing new hardware.

For more expert advice on selling your Miami home, reach out to Carla at Global Life Realty. She can answer your questions and help you receive a great deal on your property.


Questions You Should Always Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Monday, December 24, 2018

There are dozens of real estate agents in Miami and the surrounding area. So, how do you determine which is the best agent for you? Asking the right questions before hiring a real estate agent will ensure they meet the qualifications you are looking for, have the experience to handle many headaches and stressors that come your way, and can keep the entire process enjoyable. Here are several questions you should always ask before hiring an agent.

What is Your Experience?

Experience should be one of the most important qualities you consider when looking for a real estate agent. There are many obstacles and challenges that can occur whether buying or selling a home and you want someone who has overcome these issues and can help you navigate them with ease.

Can I Contact Previous Clients?

Talking to past clients will help you determine the work ethic, trustworthiness, and credibility of your agent. This will also give you confidence that you made the right decision with such a large investment. And if the agent will not provide any referrals, it may be a red flag.

What Was One of the Hardest Challenges You Faced as an Agent and How Did You Overcome It?

This question will not only tell you how the real estate agent handles some of the tough decisions that come their way but also if your personalities will work well together. A house is a large investment and it is critical that you make decisions that you feel are best. If you disagree with your agent’s choices during previous real estate transactions, you likely won’t be happy with their help with yours either.

How Long Does Your Average Listing Stay on the Market?

You want to sell your home quickly in Miami. To do this, you need a real estate agent who is trained and has the expertise to promote a home well, along with a strong network to share the listing with. Keep in mind, however, that this number will change depending on the location of the home, its price, and the current real estate market.

Why Should I Hire You?

In many situations, it is best to ask an agent what separates them from the competition. Why should you hire them instead of the real estate agent down the street? Find out what makes this particular agent different and how they can help your specific situation.

The right real estate agent can make your home-buying or selling experience hassle-free and enjoyable. If you are ready to have an incredible buying or selling journey, contact Carla at Global Life Realty. Give her a call today and find out why she stands above the competition.


Cost-Friendly Tips for Creating the Perfect Master Bedroom

Monday, December 17, 2018

Whether you recently purchased a brand new home or you are looking to upgrade certain areas to attract potential buyers, the master bedroom is one room that needs a little TLC. This room is where you will spend a significant amount of time and the good news is, you can create a beautiful, aesthetically-appealing space without spending a lot of money. Here are a few cost-friendly tips for creating the perfect master bedroom.

1. Focus on the Lighting

A well-lit master bedroom is inviting and cozy. As you design this space, update this room’s light fixture to a more modern and energy-efficient appliance. You can choose a device, such as a chandelier that can become a statement piece or consider a fixture with a dimmer, which gives you more control over the light in your room.

2. Choose Light Colors

Light colors such as grays, blues, greens, yellows, and tans are excellent paint colors for a bedroom. The bright colors help the room appear more warm and welcoming. Dark and bold colors can make the room appear dark and dreary. If you really want to incorporate dark colors in your color scheme, use them as accent colors. You can then incorporate them in your bedspread, rugs, pillows, etc. for added effect.

3. Add New Window Treatments

Opening the windows and letting in as much natural sunlight as possible will help boost your energy levels and can make you feel happier. Choose window treatments that are easy to open and that help give your room a cohesive look. If you need more color or texture in your room, choosing the right curtains is a simple and fast way to do so.

4. Hang a Large Mirror

A large mirror with a decorative frame is not only excellent wall décor, but this item can help make a room appear bigger and brighter. This is because the light reflects off of the mirror, creating the illusion of a larger, brighter space. Just be mindful that you don’t choose a mirror that is too large for the room as it will create the opposite effect.

By implementing the above ideas into your master bedroom, you will create a space that you and potential buyers will instantly love. For help selling your home, or if you have any questions about how to make your home more appealing to potential buyers in Miami, talk to Carla at Global Life Realty. She can help you sell your home quickly with optimal results.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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Looking for Something to Do? Here are 4 Best Miami Beaches You Need to Visit Today
No matter if you are a long-time Miami resident or you have just recently relocated and...

Small Bathroom? Here’s How to Make it Work for You
When buying a home, you may have a large wish list. One of those “must-have”...