Summer Travel Hot Spots

Interested in a little architectural tourism this summer?  Check out this list from our friends at Curbed.com.  Check out the complete list of summer travel hot spots here.

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, CA

Even when it’s shrouded in the Bay Area fog, this 1.7-mile suspension bridge, arguably the most famous in the country, still attracts cyclists, crowds, and onlookers marveling at one of San Francisco’s most recognizable symbols. Learn more about this infrastructure marvel at Curbed San Francisco, then plan a visit.

Shutterstock

2. Hallidie Building

130 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

It may seem a little short to be the forerunner of today’s skyscrapers, but when it was built in 1918, the Hallidie Building was the first of its kind with a glass facade. A recent multi-year restoration project restored a bit of the nearly century-old structure’s shine.

3. SFMOMA

151 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94103

According to Curbed San Francisco editor Brock Keeling, this long-anticipated expansion of one of the city’s signature cultural institutions is both an “unabashed success” and “standout in the neighborhood.” Snøhetta’s 10-story contoured facade, an update on the classic Mario Botta building, was inspired by San Francisco’s characteristic fog and choppy Bay waters.

Henrik Kam

4. Space Needle

Space Needle, 400 Broad St
Seattle, WA 98109

One of the symbols of Seattle, this space-age observation tower, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, is in the midst of a $100 million renovation set to finish this summer. Late in July, visitors will be able to check out a new observation deck, complete with a glass floor.

Shutterstock

5. Gas Works Park

2101 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103

A revolutionary creative reuse project, this Seattle park, designed by architect Richard Haag, reimagined a coal gasification plant on the city’s waterfront as an active park and children’s play place. Landscaping and repurposing of different sections of the abandoned industrial facility have made this one of the more unique parts of the city’s landscape.

6. Hearst Castle

750 Hearst Castle Rd
San Simeon, CA 93452

The inspiration for Xanadu in Orson Welles’s classic film Citizen Kane, William Randolph Hearst’s castle in San Simeon was built on family land where he would take camping trips as a child. Architect Julia Morgan designed the ranch and hilltop estate based on the newspaper tycoon’s eclectic tastes, including Spanish themes. “La Cuesta Encantada” (“The Enchanted Hill”) became a sprawling enterprise, complete with the nation’s largest private zoo, a movie theater, the Neptune Pool (which contained the façade of a Roman temple Hearst imported from Europe) and a private power plant. A perfectionist, Hearst often ordered different sections to be redesigned and rebuilt; Morgan started pitching ideas in 1915, but the project still was incomplete by the time Hearst died in 1951.

Creative Commons Image by Bri

7. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

1 Ahwahnee Drive
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389
(888) 413-8869

Visit Website

One of the defining examples of “parkitecture,” the rustic style of design found throughout the National Park System, the Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel) has hosted generations of tourists. Designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in 1927, the building was made to match its surroundings, and reflects the natural splendor that makes Yosemite so compelling.

Geoff Livingston/Flickr

8. Eames House

203 Chautauqua Blvd
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Anybody convinced that modern design means cold edges and a stark palette need only peek inside the exuberant home Ray and Charles Eames designed for themselves in 1949. Commissioned as part of Art & Architecture magazine’s Case Study program and placed amid a eucalyptus grove in the Pacific Palisades, the prefab exterior, a Mondrian-like assembly of off-the-shelf parts—colorful panels, glass, and steel—conceals a playful and living room. The inspiring, oft-photographed space, an artful array of toys, tchotchkes, and furniture reassembled piece-by-piece as part of the epic “California Design” exhibit, embodies the couple’s imaginative and all-encompassing design philosophy.

Carol Highsmith/Library of Congress

9. Sheats-Goldstein House

Sheats Goldstein Residence
Los Angeles, CA 90210

The LA County Museum of Art’s first-ever architecture acquisition, the Sheats-Goldstein House high in the hills of Beverly Crest, designed by John Lautner and owned and loved for decades James Goldstein, is one of the most spectacular houses in Los Angeles: triangular concrete jaws held open by walls of glass, and filled with transparent sinks, built-in leather furniture (including a bed), outdoor corridors with no rails, and windows that look into the pool.

Elizabeth Daniels

10. Schindler House

835 N Kings Rd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

A radical departure from architectural convention at the time it was built in 1922, R.M. Schindler’s experiment in shared space, separated by sliding glass panels, came from an unlikely inspiration: a vacation village at Yosemite National Park. The layout of those shared campsites gave Schindler the idea of creating a live-work space appropriate for two families, a pair of L-shaped apartments with two studios and a utility room apiece. While it may not look it from the road, the home’s then-unique blurring of interior and exterior created a precedent, Also known as the Schindler Chace House, since his friend Clyde Chace and his wife were the first family to share the home with Schindler (Richard Neutra was next), this unique building was a early Modernist classic.

Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. Let me be your Miami home consultant. STC Loans has been able to grow a repeat and satisfied clientele because we offer lending services traditional banks do not.  Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage.

Call me today at 305-598-1600, via email at mario@stcloans.com or contact me here.  Let’s find your dream home or refinance your property!

 

foreign national loans

foreign national mortgage loans

 

Foreign Nationals Mortgage Loans

Miami is an international and cosmopolitan city with much to offer.  Of all the cities in the United States, Miami offers beaches, an international flare and very appealing weather year-round.  It’s no wonder Miami boasts a high population of both international tourists and international residents.  Once the tourists visit and get a feel for the city, naturally the appeal is there to consider making Miami a second home.  And many do.  As a result, foreign nationals mortgage loans have been on the rise in past years.

While many foreigners who purchase here are affluent, they often wish to take advantage of the lower mortgage rates.   American banks have the ability to offer low interest rates.  When comparing these interest rates to those of the borrowers’ native countries, USA interest rates can’t be beaten.  Hence, these foreign nationals find American interest rates very appealing through foreign nationals mortgage loans.

Recently I was approached by colleagues of a branch for a large lending institution to offer this service to one of their clients.  This individual owns two seven-figure properties but was unable to refinance his properties as most banks do not offer “foreign national loans”.

While most banks do not offer this service, Strock & Tanner Mortgage/STC Loans does.  Reach Mario at 305-598-1600 or via email at mario@stcloans.com.

 

Father's Day in Miami

Father’s Day in Miami

excerpts from the Miami News

Father’s Day in Miami

Father’s Day is approaching, Miami. Have you thought about how you’ll treat that special man in your life, the one who helped calm a lifetime of temper tantrums? Instead of taking the easy route — buying him a gift card from Home Depot and a case a beer — why not spend some quality time with Dad? Tell him how much you appreciate the lifetime of love he’s given you, because raising a kid ain’t easy. Have a look at these five Father’s Day weekend activities in Miami.

3 Great Father’s Day Weekend Activities in Miami

1. Father’s Day Superdad Spectacular at CityPlace Doral. Head to Doral for an afternoon with the family from 1 to 4 p.m for a chance to meet some superheroes and princesses. 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 17, at CityPlace Doral, 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; cityplacedoral.com. Admission is free.

2. Sip. Swim. Soccer at 1 Hotel South Beach Rooftop. Bring dad to the 1 Hotel South Beach Rooftop, dubbed by New Times’ as one of Miami’s best pool-party spots, and catch the Brazil and Switzerland World Cup soccer game.  This event is 21+. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 17 at 1 Hotel South Beach Rooftop, 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-1000; 1hotels.com/south-beach. Admission is free.

3. Cars & Cigars. This Sunday, treat your car-loving dad to an afternoon of admiring classic sets of wheels, hand-rolled cigars, and cold beer in the Miami heat. Celebrate Father’s Day at a family-friendly celebration featuring live music, crafts for the kids, and more in Coconut Grove. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 17, at the Barnacle Historic State Park, 3485 Main Hwy., Miami; 305-442-6866; floridastateparks.org. Admission is $2, free for children under six.

Father's Day in Miami

Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. I hope you all have a happy and safe Father’s Day weekend in Miami.  Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage.

Call me today at 305-598-1600 or contact me here. Let’s find your dream home!

 

kitchen remodel

kitchen remodel

 

Is a Kitchen Remodel in your Horizon?

What’s the main reason for a kitchen remodel?  Decluttering!  Tidiness is the biggest trend this year, according to the 2018 House Kitchen Trends Study.  The study found that 75% of homeowners named decluttering their counters as their number one priority.  This followed with 66% who want to put things away.  49% are focused on recycling.

What’s the greatest issue?  Storage.  Cited by 93% of survey respondents, storage is the greatest issue when it deals with decluttering one’s house.  Space planning encompassed the next 38% of respondents.  32% wanted an overall cleaner home as well as an equal amount wanting more entertainment space.

The survey also noted that homeowners have an interest in pullout garbage bins, organizers and utensils as well as wine bars.

 

Is a Kitchen Remodel a Worthwhile Investment?

Whether you’re interested in remodeling your kitchen or any part of your home, it’s a known fact a new kitchen offers the greatest value for a home vis a vis either refinancing or selling.  Studies have shown kitchen remodels will usually yield well over a 100% return when the time comes to sell.  And, it also adds value if your’e interested in refinancing.  Either way, a kitchen remodel is an excellent strategy for improving your greatest investment.

My wife, Claudia and I, recently remodeled our kitchen completely.  We bought our dream home two years ago and now saved the funds to renovate and have our dream kitchen.

Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage.

Call me today at 305-598-1600 or contact me here. Let’s find your dream home!

 

 

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First Day of Hurricane Season

Hurricane preparedness tips can not only save your property, but your life, too. Preparing in advance is ideal.  What better time to reinforce and share hurricane preparedness tips than on the first day of hurricane season? Why be caught off guard?  Now is the best time to prepare – during the calm. Today marks the first day of hurricane season.  Are you prepared?

 

Make Early Preparations for Hurricanes

To better help Floridians prepare for hurricane season, the state is allowing for a tax free period between Friday, June 1 and Thursday, June 7, 2018.  During Florida’s hurricane sales tax holiday period, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax.  Now is a good time to stock up on batteries, flashlights, radios, reusable ice packs, candles, coolers and ice chests.  Even generators up to $750 are included in the tax-free holiday.

Hurricane Irma impacted Florida in 2017.  Though given fair warning, many Floridians were unprepared.   Unfortunately,  though Floridians have been hit by hurricanes regularly throughout the years, citizens tend to take a lackadaisical attitude with regards to hurricane preparedness.

Resources

Moreover, the following two websites provide the latest details on final check list preparations. Both NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Hurricane Center offer useful tips to guide you with hurricane preparations. You may access this website here.

The U.S. government also provides excellent resources on how you may prepare your home in the event of a hurricane. You may access this website on hurricane readiness and preparedness here.

While much of the information on these two sites are the same, have a look at the most important factors to keep handy below:

Tips:

  • Prepare before hurricane season starts. Pacific hurricane season starts May 15 and Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1.
  • Create an emergency communication plan with your family before a hurricane.
  • Have emergency supplies in place at home, at work, and in the car.
  • Check your insurance coverage, damages caused by flooding are not covered under normal homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • Know your local community’s evacuation plan and evacuation routes and how to receive alerts.
    Listen to local officials.

Hurricane season extends between June 1st and November 1st.

Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage.

Call me today at 305-598-1600 or contact me here. Let’s find your dream home!

 

Memorial Day Weekend in Miami

Memorial Day Weekend in Miami

reprinted from the Miami Herald

What you need to know to get around Miami Beach on Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend in Miami is here.  This means thousands of visitors will flock to Miami Beach for a weekend of parties, concerts, and special events.

 

 

Home buying in Miami

Miami home loans

 

Miami Home Loans

Were you among those who were affected by the Great Recession?  Did a short sale hit you like a ton of bricks during the real estate bubble?  If you executed a short sale during the real estate bubble three years ago,  you are now eligible to purchase again using an FHA loan.  If your short sale was over four years ago, you may qualify for a conventional loan with as little as 5 % down. There is a way to qualify for Miami home loans today.  This way is simpler than anything we’ve seen since the financial crisis.

Available for immediate applications and funding.

If you are self employed we have a new 1 month bank statement program, no tax returns, no prepayment penalties 30 year rates rates less than 6%. Very low doc loan.

Call or text me for more information at 305-598-1600 or email me at mario@stcloans.com

Why Work with Mario Quintero

I help people reach their goals. Whether you want to buy for the first time, refinance your existing loan, purchase an investment property, or sell your home, TODAY is your moment. Have a look at your options with the help of Mario Quintero of STC Loans. Mario has been in the Miami real estate and mortgage business since 2002. His experience is tested and true. Mario has helped thousands of clients reach their home ownership goals.

Mario Quintero, principal of Strock and Tanner Mortgage, gets your deal done. Let me be both your trusted Miami realtor and Miami mortgage broker.

Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage.

Call me today at 305-598-1600 or contact me here. Let’s find your dream home!

home buying in Miami

home interest rates

What High Interest Rates?

There seems to be a lot of commotion about home interest rates rising in the USA banking environment these days.  So because we’ve gone from 3.75% to 4.75% in the course of two years people think the sky is falling.  Really?  You’ve got to be kidding.

Back when I bought my first house in the 80’s, the interest rate environment was a completely different scenario than the current one. I purchased my home at an 17.5% interest rate.  Now that was a high interest rate.   Even as not too long ago as the early to mid 2000’s interest rates were hovering around 8% reaching to 6% by 2008 just prior to the financial crisis.

Because the nation was faced with an almost depression-like scenario, our leaders acted quickly to stabilize financial markets.  It is because of this reason that interest rates went as low as they did, in order to avoid an entire financial collapse.

What’s the moral of the story?  Higher interest rates mean an improving economy.  This results in an all-around better economic scenario for everyone, not just a few.  Because things are better in the USA economy today, we can feel safe with a few basis points higher in interest rates.

And regardless, historically speaking, interest rates as this level are still low.  It continues to be a perfect environment to both buy and sell and maximize your money.

Why Work with Mario Quintero

I help people reach their goals. Whether you want to buy for the first time, refinance your existing loan, purchase an investment property, or sell your home, TODAY is your moment. Have a look at your options with the help of Mario Quintero of STC Loans. Mario has been in the Miami real estate and mortgage business since 2002. His experience is tested and true. Mario has helped thousands of clients reach their home ownership goals,

Mario Quintero, principal of Strock and Tanner Mortgage, gets your deal done. Let me be both your trusted Miami realtor and Miami mortgage broker.

Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage..

Call me today at 305-598-1600 or contact me here. Let’s find your dream home!

 

5 de Mayo in Miami

5 de Mayo in Miami

5 de Mayo in Miami

Celebrations for 5 de Mayo in Miami offer up visual images of much fun and partying. Who doesn’t enjoy going out for drinks on a festive holiday together with friends?  This year, 5 de Mayo falls on a Friday night.  Talk about the most fun of weekly happy hours!

While all of this is good and true, it’s important to also keep safety in mind.  Driving under the influence claims the lives of hundreds of people each year in Florida.

In the past year, in Florida alone, there were 31,783 arrests for driving under the influence, 797 deaths associated to DUI’s, 27% of all traffic accidents. In fact, DUI’s represent one of the leading causes of motor vehicle deaths every year. Is a 5 de Mayo DUI worth it?  Ruining your life dreams for an extra sip of that drink is not worth it, trust me…

 

Why Work with Mario Quintero

I help people reach their goals. Whether you want to buy for the first time, refinance your existing loan, purchase an investment property, or sell your home, TODAY is your moment. Have a look at your options with the help of Mario Quintero of STC Loans. Mario has been in the Miami real estate and mortgage business since 2002. His experience is tested and true. Mario has helped thousands of clients reach their home ownership goals,

Mario Quintero, principal of Strock and Tanner Mortgage, gets your deal done. Let me be both your trusted Miami realtor and Miami mortgage broker.

Get in Touch with Mario, Your Miami Realtor

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage..

Call me today at 305-598-1600 or contact me here. Let’s find your dream home!

Home Bidding Wars

Home Bidding Wars

 

courtesy of CNBC – Diana Olick

Homebuyers are stretching their budgets and mortgage limits to win bidding wars

  • More buyers are stretching their budgets, putting less money down or using adjustable rate loans that offer lower rates.
  • Buyers today need to be not just pre-approved for a mortgage but have a mortgage commitment.
  • Borrowers have more options for low-downpayment loans, options that were not available as recently as just a few years ago.

Buyers today not only need to be preapproved for a mortgage, but they must also have a mortgage commitment. Home prices are hitting new highs and the gains are growing, just as mortgage interest rates are turning higher again. All of that has more buyers stretching their budgets, putting less down or using adjustable rate loans, or ARMs, that offer lower rates.

They are actually feeling emboldened to do so, thanks to the rise in the stock market and the improving economy.

Borrowers also have more options for low down payment loans, options that were not available as recently as just a few years ago. Fannie Mae reintroduced a 3 percent down payment loan that it had discontinued during the recession, and some private lenders are venturing back into subprime, although they’re calling them “nonprime” loans. These are mortgages to borrowers with lower credit scores.

Higher debt-to-income ratios

After holding steady for two years, the share of conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae with down payments of less than 10 percent rose from 12 percent to 14 percent in 2017. The expectation is that it will be even higher this year.

Banks are also willing to take on more risk in the jumbo loan space. They hold these loans on their balance sheets.

Why Work with Mario Quintero?

Are you having difficulty finding a property?  Are you stuck in a bidding war?   We have helped many repeat clients purchase similar properties and either keep them for themselves or use as an investment. Mario has been in the real estate mortgage business since 2002. Mario’s experience is tested and true. Mario has helped thousands of clients secure and improve competitive real estate mortgage interest rates .

Mario gets your deal done. Let Mario be both your trusted Miami realtor and Miami mortgage broker.

Get in Touch with Mario

I’m Mario Quintero, your mortgage & realtor for life. Let me be your Miami home consultant. Our office specializes in both residential and commercial real estate and financing programs. Let me help you secure a conventional, jumbo, FHA and foreign national mortgage loans. Furthermore, we can help your elderly parents secure a comfortable retirement with a reverse mortgage.

Call me today at 305-598-1600 or contact me here.