Author Archives: Savino James

Florida Realtors® Celebrates June As National Homeownership Month

Florida Realtors® Celebrates June As National Homeownership Month

ORLANDO, Fla., June 2, 2017 – Opening the doors to homeownership is a top priority for Florida Realtors® . Across the state and throughout the U.S., Realtors continue to promote housing opportunities and the removal of barriers to homeownership in recognition of June as National Homeownership Month.

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Realtor® Anthony Askowitz: Climbing for Children

Realtor® Anthony Askowitz: Climbing for Children

MIAMI — Always looking for a new challenge, RE/MAX Advance Realty (RMA) broker/owner Anthony Askowitz was asking his family for suggestions one day. On a whim, his brother-in-law’s girlfriend mentioned climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. “Within minutes, I went online and booked the adventure,” Askowitz recalled.

The grueling six-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro took him across the globe and almost 20,000 feet above sea level. The successful ascent not only marked a personal goal for Askowitz but a charitable one as well. The local real estate leader invited friends and family to support a fundraising effort on behalf of Miami Children’s Health Foundation (which benefits Nicklaus Children’s Hospital) that has raised nearly $2,000 to date.

“I have been blessed with good health and opportunity, making this climb through challenging terrain and wavering temperatures possible,” said Askowitz. “Many children in our community are not so fortunate, and their courage inspired me to not only raise these funds but to keep climbing even when things got difficult on the journey.”

Supporting the community

RMA is a longtime supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, whose local beneficiary is Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

“Anthony has been a longtime friend and supporter of the CMN Hospitals Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital,” said Maria Moldes, senior director of programs and community relations for Miami Children’s Health Foundation. “Anthony’s passion for helping children in our community goes beyond leading the largest RE/MAX office in our community. Anthony always keeps CMN Hospitals top of mind with his creative fundraising efforts, including his annual online auction, his cufflinks sales, his yearly involvement with our MCHF5K walk, and his latest adventure, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! Anthony, thank you for making miracles happen for over 20 years!”

Preparing for such a climb was as big a challenge as the climb itself. Askowitz climbed Machu Picchu in Peru and did the Lost City trek in Colombia before tackling Mount Kilimanjaro.

“To say climbed would be a bit of a stretch in each case; these are more like very strenuous hikes!” he said. “To do this, I had to take a hard look at my level of physical fitness. Although I play quite a bit of tennis and am in relatively good shape, I also turned 50 this year and realized I needed to add some muscle and lose a few pounds.”

So, he hit the gym, adjusted his diet, and made sure he got plenty of sleep.

“After a typical day on the journey, which usually consisted of a nine-hour trek carrying a 15-pound backpack, I was very grateful for the additional training I had put my body through,” said Askowitz.

New challenges

Askowitz is already on to his next challenge: “I want to visit the Amazon and live purely off the land for one week. Then, [I want to] live on a deserted island – Survivor-style (like the TV show). Finally, I would love an extended visit to Costa Rica, or another Spanish-speaking country and immerse myself so I can become fully fluent in Spanish.”

Whatever comes next, he’ll continue to support his community. In addition to his support of the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, he also does his part to help the homeless in the Miami area.

“I know it’s not much, but I carry around peanut bars and crackers to give to the homeless when I see them at intersections,” Askowitz said. “It’s an easy and personal way to help.”

Florida Realtors® serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 165,000 members in 55 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at http://media.floridarealtors.org.

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Median Prices Continue to Rise in Fla.’s Housing Market in April 2017

Median Prices Continue to Rise in Fla.’s Housing Market in April 2017

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2017 – Rising median prices and constrained inventory remained a prevailing trend in Florida’s housing market in April, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. The trend resulted in a loss of momentum for home sales: Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 23,829 last month, easing slightly (-1.2 percent) when compared to April 2016.

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Fla.’s Housing Market: Sales, Median Prices Up in 1Q 2017

Fla.’s Housing Market: Sales, Median Prices Up in 1Q 2017

ORLANDO, Fla., May 15, 2017 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and more pending sales during the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 60,733 in 1Q 2017, up 5.1 percent over the 1Q 2016 figure.

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Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Awards $166,000 in Scholarships

Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Awards $166,000 in Scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 10, 2017 – Hearing “the check is in the mail,” is welcome news to 104 well-deserving young people who live in communities across Florida. Why? These students — high school graduates about to enter their first year of college and others already enrolled in a college or university — have received scholarships through the Florida Realtors® Education Foundation Inc.

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Realtor® Anne-Marie Wurzel: Giving Kids a Chance to Dance

Realtor® Anne-Marie Wurzel: Giving Kids a Chance to Dance

The Wurzels, Anne-Marie, Robert and Reagan, enjoying family time together.

WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. — Realtor® Anne-Marie Wurzel is a fighter. Like most moms, the sales associate with Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Winter Springs wants to make sure her daughter gets every opportunity to thrive. That’s because 3-year-old Reagan was diagnosed at birth with glutaric acidemia type 1, a rare, inherited metabolic disorder.

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Fla.’s Housing Market: More Sales, Rising Prices in March 2017

Fla.’s Housing Market: More Sales, Rising Prices in March 2017

ORLANDO, Fla., April 21, 2017 – Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and increased pending sales in March, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 25,921 last month, up 9.3 percent compared to March 2016.

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Florida Realtors®: Which Home Improvements Are Best Value?

Florida Realtors®: Which Home Improvements Are Best Value?

ORLANDO, Fla. — Before tackling a home improvement project, Florida Realtors® recommends that a homeowner do a little research first. For example, if a home improvement project costs $1,000, how much money will the homeowner get back if he sells the home – what is the return on investment (ROI)? In 2017, only attic insulation recoups more than its cost.

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Florida Realtors®: Prepare for Hurricane Season

Florida Realtors®: Prepare for Hurricane Season

ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricane season will be here June 1, 2017, and lasts until Nov. 30. For the next six months, Floridians face an increased possibility of major storms and should take steps to help weather a severe storm.

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Study: Florida Ranks 5th for Commercial Development

Study: Florida Ranks 5th for Commercial Development

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Realtors®: It appears business is booming in the Sunshine State. When it comes to commercial development, Florida ranks fifth nationwide, according to the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), a commercial real estate development association. By sector, it’s third in retail, third in warehouse/flex sectors and seventh in office space.

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