Category Archives: Highrise

  • 0

Are You Retiring? Consider Downsizing Your Home

Retirement is an exciting time, and if you’re at that point in your life, it’s time to examine your current situation, financially and in terms of real estate, to determine how you want to spend your golden years. When you’re ready to retire, downsizing from a single family home to a highrise condo can be an attractive option— after all, it’s finally time to relax! Read on to find out how downsizing may be the right move for you!

Downsizing Doesn’t Mean Downgrading!

When you’ve invested in a single family home, you’ve got a lot of things. You might have an in-home office, a garage, a yard. When you trade all of that in for a highrise condo, the tradeoff has to be worth it. Luxury highrise condos are the way to go. Maintenance free, chock full of amenities, upgrades galore, and exquisite design details; your condo could be what you’ve always dreamed of having. Add in a gorgeous view, and you’re living in paradise! Why vacation? It’s time to live the good life every day.

Two Words: Liquid Assets

If you’re nearing retirement age, you may be in a situation where you have paid for most of your current home (if not paid it off entirely). Selling your home for a condo may leave you with a decent amount of funds that can be used as you wish. Maybe you’ll invest that money, add it to your retirement income, or make your monthly payment on your condo lower. Of course, every situation is independent to the individual, but it might be something to consider if you’re in that position.

Declutter and Live Freely!

Don’t think of downsizing as a negative thing. Think of it as finding the size that fits your current needs and an opportunity to leave a cleaner, less cluttered life. Downsizing can mean getting rid of junk! You have it, I have it, we all have it. But why should you surround yourself with things that just take up space? Live with what you need and live well. Donate items to charity and feel good about the positive impact you’re making. Yes, downsizing means that you will have less space. However, you are perfectly capable of living a happy life — if not happier, more relaxed life — in a highrise condo.

Less Work, More Reward

Highrise condos provide you with easy living! No more mowing and watering the grass, taking care of landscaping gardens, or cleaning the gutters! When you downsize to a condo, you’re rewarding yourself with, to put it simply, less work! Not only will you not have to go to your job, but you won’t have to do work around the house and handle general maintenance. And that means you’ll have more time to enjoy the things you love, like golfing, hanging by the pool, shopping, and eating out. The great news about living in The Colony in Bonita Springs is that you will never run out of things to do. We offer golf, kayaking/canoeing, fitness, a butterfly garden, and more.

You’re Retired – Enjoy It!

Luxury highrise condos are typically surrounded by things to do! You’ve been working your whole life, and it’s finally time to take time out for yourself. Highrise condos offer a ton of amenities within the building, like fitness centers, pool and barbecue areas, private golf courses, and some even have spas. Picture it now: you’ll be looking forward to Monday morning because you can go golfing, hit the beach, lay out by the pool or do exactly what you want to do. These are all things that highrise condos, like The Colony, offer. That’s what retirement is supposed to be all about, right?

Freedom to Travel

When you own a single family home, the thought of leaving it can be daunting — what if something goes wrong, and no one is there to tend to it? What if someone breaks in? Who will cut the grass? The list of worries could go on. When you downsize to a highrise condo, you won’t have to worry about who will take care of your home because your association will take care of it for you. And as an added bonus, most luxury highrise condos offer excellent security as part of the amenities they offer.

Safety First!

Speaking of security, not only will you not have to worry if you want to pack your bags and travel, but when you’re at home, your mind will be at ease knowing you’re living within a safe community that has its own private security. Solicitors won’t be able to bother you, and scam artists posing as solicitors won’t make it past the front gates. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s surveillance in the unlikely event something might go wrong (after all, we do not live in a perfect world — but highrise condo living might be as close as you can get!). Security can get expensive in a single family home because you have to pay for the installation as well as monthly fees to keep it running, and even if you already invest in a security system, you likely don’t have actual security guards manning the entrance. Security won’t be free in a highrise condo, but it will wrapped up in a nominal HOA/condo fee.

Community Living

If you’re like many folks who have retired, you may have children who have grown up or perhaps moved away to attend college. Even if you’re married or have a significant other, living by yourself can get lonely. Highrise condos are an ideal situation for retired individuals because there’s a lot to do, and a lot of people around you who are at similar points in their lives and who likely share common interests. You can make new friends and enjoy spending time with the friends you’ve had for years. Individuals who invest in luxury highrise condos for their retirement years are looking for the same things you are because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be there.

Retire in Style! Consider The Colony in Bonita Springs Today

If you’re in the beginning stages of planning your move to a highrise condo, I strongly urge you to consider The Colony in Bonita Springs, Florida.

We’re located in the quiet heart of Southwest Florida, with close proximity to beautiful beaches, high-end shopping, amazing dining, and more. Additionally, The Colony offers highrise condos with an abundance of amenities: kayaking, canoeing, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a butterfly garden, and more.

To learn more about luxury, highrise condos in The Colony, contact Jill Kushner, a real estate specialist and resident of The Colony. Simply call (239) 691-5505 or click here.


  • 0

7 Tips for Taxes and Luxury Real Estate Investments

When you’re ready to move forward with your next luxury real estate investment, it’s important to be armed with as much information as possible before you take action.  Choosing your next luxury home purchase can be intimidating because they often come with hefty taxes and rules that may seem complicated if you’re not a tax professional. Despite the fact that Florida does not have a state income tax, there are still real estate taxes that must be considered when moving forward with making a luxury real estate investment.  In order to help you make the best, informed decision, I’ve assembled seven tips that will make dealing with taxes a breeze.

1.Estimate Your Taxes

Planning ahead is the best thing that you can do when preparing to make a large financial investment. The Estero Fire Department created an excellent handout that explains how taxes work in Florida. Here’s the formula that they provide for estimating your real estate taxes:

Just Value (market value) – Assessment Limitations (e.g. Save Our Homes) = “Assessed Value” Assessed Value – Applicable Exemptions (e.g. Homestead) = “Taxable Value”

Taxable Value X Millage Rate = Total Tax Liability

It may be wise to estimate your market value (aka just value) on the higher end of the spectrum so that you are financially prepared to invest in your next luxury home.

2. Homestead Exemptions

Florida is unique because it offers the “Save Our Homes” assessment limitation, which means that taxes on your primary residence (homestead) cannot increase by more than 3% or the percent change of the Consumer Price Index (whichever is less). Essentially, the assessment limitations prevent your taxes from increasing in the event that your assessed value increases to more than the just value of your home. It’s important to note that if you’re moving within the state of Florida, you may be able to transfer your existing homestead exemption to your new home. The portability forms can be conveniently completed online through the tax assessor’s website.

However, keep in mind that in the event that you don’t plan on your next luxury home purchase to be your primary residence, or if you intend to rent out your home seasonally, you may risk your homestead exemption. Past court cases have shown that merely having a couple locked closets will not negate the “abandonment through rental” clause, which eliminates the homestead exemption. Be sure to consult your attorney and/or real estate professional if you intend to pursue the homestead exemption on a property you may rent out, as you may lose your homestead exemption. The good thing is that if you lose your homestead exemption, taxes in Florida for non-homestead properties are still capped at 10%.

3. Get an Appraisal & a Home Inspection

Because the property assessor’s office doesn’t always complete individual appraisals, you would be wise to get an appraisal to see the true value of your home. Assessors combine the value of comparable properties, consideration of costs (e.g. how much it would cost to replace your property), and potential income of the property to determine the market value. The market value is not always the true 100% value of your property, so keep this in mind when estimating your taxes. Furthermore, if you have proof to show that what the property you’re interested doesn’t match the assessor’s appraisal, you may be able to contest the assessed value. You should also make sure that you get a full home inspection. Just because your next home or real estate investment may be part of a highrise or within a community does not mean it is exempt from problems. Protect

yourself and your finances.

4. Don’t Overspend

When you’re looking at making a luxury real estate investment, it can be tempting to pull out the stops. After all, your intention is to get luxury, so why would you hold back? One answer is simple: you can’t afford it. While it can be tempting to get every upgrade imaginable or engage in a bidding war (where it is very easy to lose sight of the initial financial plan you made), you don’t want to get yourself in a situation where you’re in over your head. The higher the value of a property, the higher the taxes will be. Establish a financial plan and follow it. You’ll be happier in the long run.

5. Be Prepared: Anonymity Might Be a Thing of the Past

Many wealthy individuals who are able to pay cash for a home — even a luxury home — prefer to do so to maintain their privacy. You may have even considered buying the home under a corporation or business venture’s name. However, due to the influx of shady real estate transactions over the last few years, specifically in Miami-Dade County, the federal government has imposed new policies to combat the issue. According to a recent article in The Miami-Herald, “The new policy will require title insurance companies to identify the true owners of shell companies that pay $1 million or more in cash for homes in Miami-Dade and $3 million or more for homes in New York City. Insurers will then have to report the names of the buyers to the U.S. Treasury Department.” Although this new policy relates specifically to homes in Miami-Dade and New York City, it’s important to stay abreast of changing policies that could potentially proliferate into surrounding areas of luxury real estate in south Florida.

6. Capital Gain is Your Gain

Whether you’re buying a vacation home or downsizing, if you’ve sold a property in order to invest in luxury real estate, you may end up with a profit. If you do, be aware that you are not required to pay capital gains tax for the first $250,000 in profit for single individuals and $500,000 in profit for married couples who will file a joint tax return. Keep in mind, it is required that you lived in that home for two years in order to bypass the tax. With that said, you may end up with a decent amount of money available to put towards your next real estate investment.

7. Get Qualified Help

Taxes aren’t always that easy to understand. Do your research when hiring a tax professional/accountant to help you create your financial plan to make sure that they are licensed professionals. And when you’re ready, make sure you hire a real estate agent you can trust. You need them to be upfront, honest, and in it for your best interests — not just the commission. If you need a professional accountant or consultant to assist, as a realtor in The Colony, I have the connections and recommendations to do just that.

The Colony in Bonita Springs: Your Next Luxury Residences

As a realtor and resident of The Colony in Bonita Springs, Florida, I can confidently say that an investment in a residence here is a wise decision. The Colony offers an array of amenities, including a kayak/canoe park, state-of-the-art fitness center, championship golf course, and more. When you purchase a residence here, you will have more than just a luxury home; you will have a lifestyle some only dream of.

To learn more about available homes in The Colony, contact Jill Kushner today at (239) 691-5505 or click here.


  • 0

10 Reasons to Invest in a Highrise Home in Bonita Springs

Making the decision to invest in a highrise home is one that many individuals may consider due to their personal preferences, lifestyles, and financial means. If you’re looking in Southwest Florida, you should consider buying that highrise home in Bonita Springs, but not just because it’s pretty. Read on to learn 10 reasons why you should make Bonita Springs the choice for your highrise home purchase:

#1: Excellent Resale Value

No one wants to make a bad real estate investment.  The U.S. has seen an 8.4% increase in home values, and Bonita Springs is not an exception to that rule with an increase of 11.4% from last year. Market trends show that the median property value is on the rise in Bonita Springs, and in January 2016, it reached the highest values it’s been in the last five years with no signs of slowing down. Prior to that, Bonita Springs has enjoyed steady growth — proving that it’s likely you won’t just break even, you may be able to make money on your investment if you decide to sell.

#2: Bonita Springs Brings Options

Currently, Bonita Springs is in a neutral market, meaning that there are options, but you won’t get stuck in a bidding war due to low inventory. Similarly, you also aren’t going to lose money investing in Bonita Springs because of too high inventory. A neutral market is ideal for both the seller and the buyer because it’s not a high pressure environment for either party. And who wants to make a massive investment with added stress? I can’t think of anyone!

#3: Potential for Growth

Much of southwest Florida real estate market has been in a period of stabilization. The great part about that is now that the market has had a chance to relax, it’s in a prime position to grow. Zillow projects home values will continue to increase by 3.6% within the next year.

#4: The View

Situated right off of Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, Bonita Springs is home to unspoiled, jaw-dropping, beautiful beaches, like Barefoot Beach and Lover’s Key — and what better way to take in those gorgeous sunsets than from the lanai of your own highrise home? Highrise homes offer spectacular views that you just can’t get when you’re on the ground. You won’t need to escape to paradise when you own a highrise home in Bonita Springs. You will live there.

#5: Low Inventory of Foreclosures

As the US has continued to recover from the market crash, foreclosed homes have become a more common part of a home search. The good thing is that the streets around town aren’t plagued by unsightly foreclosures — Bonita Springs has relatively few foreclosure listings. Market trends show that both foreclosures and bank owned properties have decreased over the last year. Although you may still be able to find a bargain with a foreclosed home, you won’t be driving past a slew of dilapidated homes in Bonita Springs.

#6: Easy Living

Obviously, whether or not a highrise condo is for you is based on personal preference. However, part of what makes owning a highrise home an attractive option is that they provide you with easy living — no need for lawn maintenance in a highrise! The grounds are typically well manicured and taken care of with a nominal maintenance fee. You will only need to worry

about putting your personal touch on the interior of your home.

#7: Amenities Galore

Many highrise homes, such as Florencia in The Colony, include excellent amenities: a fitness center, pools, security, golf courses, and more. And it’s not just luxury highrise homes that offer these amenities. There are a number of affordable highrise options on the market right now that still provide convenient amenities to its residents.  It’s worth mentioning that highrise homes that offer security really offer an additional value as they are great not just for personal safety, but for the safety of your home and belongings should you choose to travel. Beyond that, Bonita Springs is also a great social community, with restaurants, shopping and, of course, the beach!

#8: Affordability

Homes in Bonita Springs, and especially highrise homes, are quite affordable, especially in comparison to nearby Miromar Lakes or Ft. Myers Beach. With a several highrise homes in the $100,000 range, Bonita Springs definitely offers budget-friendly options. However, if it’s luxury that you’re after, Bonita Springs has supreme choices with a plethora of options ranging anywhere from the $500,000 to multi-million dollar highrise luxury homes. The sky (and your budget) is the limit!

#9: Low Crime

As I mentioned previously, most highrise homes offer security, which provides peace of mind and comfort in your home. While no community is exempt from crime, Bonita Springs enjoys a relatively low crime rate. Trulia reports the crime risk is relatively low, with most of the police activity being community policing (simple area checks/patrol) and traffic violations.

#10: Shhh…Quiet!

Because highrise living involves living very closely to your neighbors, many condos promise inhabitants the ability to enjoy their space in peace and quiet. People are respectful of these bylaws not simply because they are required to abide by them, but also because highrise living is community living. You will run into your neighbors at the pool, on the golf course, or in the fitness center. And with all of the activities that Bonita Springs has to offer, you will likely see your neighbors in the hallways or in the elevators, and because of that, it’s important to keep the peace and maintain the neighborhood community-feeling of the highrise.

Choose a Highrise in Bonita Springs

Whether you choose to invest in a highrise home in Bonita Springs for yourself — or simply as a way to make money, it’s certainly an attractive option. Now you don’t have to wonder why you should buy a highrise home in this exceptional community.

The Colony in Bonita Springs has plenty of high-rise options available. Take a look at all the high-rise communities in The Colony – click here! To start your search for the perfect high-rise in Bonita Springs, contact me today.


  • 0

Featured Treviso Listing at The Colony: #1703

Treviso Listing Now Available

Southwest Florida luxury listings are abundant, but how many listings actually provide you with that WOW factor? There are so many Southwest Florida listings deemed lavish, claiming the listings are in ultra-luxe neighborhoods. What actually constitutes a five-star neighborhood – unsurpassed security, sweeping water views, a first class county club, and cutting-edge amenities? Five-star neighborhoods can be defined inversely; not everyone believes a first class county club is paramount.

For those individuals that truly want the best residential living in Southwest Florida search The Colony Listings in Bonita Springs. The Colony Golf & Bay Club is one of Southwest Florida’s premier communities, providing residents with a maintenance free lifestyle infused with luxury features. The Colony Golf & Bay Club contains some of the finest homes in the state and the homes are situated in well-desired neighborhoods.

A spectacular residential high-rise listing is now available in the Treviso community at The Colony. If you have ever pondered about owning a piece of Southwest Florida, now is your chance – a well maintained Treviso unit #1703 is now available for $1,199,000.

Treviso at the Colony #1703 in Bonita Springs: Features

Treviso at The Colony in Bonita Springs, FL ascends 21 stories and was built in 2004. Treviso is a residential high-rise within The Colony at Pelican Landing. Residence #1703 is on the 17th floor of Treviso. Upon entering thru the double doors, you’ll notice spectacular, unobstructed sunset views of Estero Bay, Gulf of Mexico, and the Golf Course. This particular unit has 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, with 2,709 square ft. of living space. The units’ floorplan embraces an open concept design. The relaxed master suite has custom closets and outstanding westerly sunset views.

Treviso has 2 guest suites, fitness, and theatre for residents to enjoy. The Colony offers a unique array of amenities including private waterfront dining at The Bay Club, tennis, canoe/kayak/sailing parks and a 34-acre Private Island Beach Park, etc. Also, equity golf memberships are available.

Find Out More Information Regarding This Treviso Listing Today

Treviso unit #1703 will provide you with that WOW factor! If you truly want the best in Southwest Florida residential living, schedule a tour of Treviso unit #1703. For more information regarding this Treviso listing, contact Jill Kushner today! Jill Kushner will make it her #1 priority to find you the perfect home in the perfect setting.