Welcome to the Waterfront Wonderland Blog

Property Disclosures

There is virtually no sale that is “as is” in Florida. The Seller and real estate licensee must disclose every fact he/she knows that materially affects the value of the property, whether or not it is readily apparent to the Buyer. Using an As-is Addendum or As-is Contract doesn’t void this responsibility when selling a property. In Florida law, the theory of caveat emptor or “let the buyer beware” is not applicable.

The court case that led to the “Material Defects” disclosure is Johnson v. Davis. This case was ultimately determined by the Florida Supreme Court. This court decision is important not only for property disclosures; but also because Johnson and Davis didn’t close on that sale, the liability arose with the signing of the purchase contract.

What is considered a material defect? Consider the following:

  • The building was constructed in violation of the building code or without a permit.
  • The seller know of a structural problem.
  • The seller fraudulently obtained hazard or flood insurance.
  • There was a misrepresentation as to the property use.
  • There was concealment of a pending foreclosure, eminent domain, lawsuit.
  • There’s something the Buyer can prove that, if known prior to the purchase, would have caused the Buyer to either not make an offer or offer less than they did.

A few exclusions exist to material disclosure. A murder or suicide that occurred on a property is not considered a material fact, and thus does not have to be disclosed. A Seller or real estate license should act with an abundance of caution when faced with such a dilemma. In some cases, the question may be: Does it HAVE to be disclosed, or SHOULD it be disclosed? Another exception to the disclosure rule applies if a Buyer asks whether the Seller or anyone in the property is infected with the HIV virus or diagnosed with AIDS. This is not considered a material defect and can’t by law be disclosed. These persons are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It is recommended that Seller’s give the Buyer a Property Disclosure Statement prior to the signing of a contract.

Beware of Email Phishing Websites!

This blog post details a very sophisticated phishing scam I got in my email. Below is the email chain I received from the scammer asking about New Homes. I responded to their cryptic 1st email and this email message is their response.


Good day Drake,

Sorry for my late reply i was away for New year celebration and medical surgery. I’m ready to purchase my new Year home. Please find new listing and letter from lender below.

HOME LISTING’S <— This was a link to the phishing website
PRE-EQUAL <— This was a link to the phishing website

Hope to chat soon.

Jonathan Brown.
(719) 398-0941 <— This Phone rings to an anonymous number


When I click on one of the secure web https links in the email, I got the web page shown below.

When I click on one of the email login buttons shown on the website, I got the web page shown below.

The image looks exactly what a Google login page would look like, however, if I continued and enter my email address and password, I could be giving the scammer full access to my email account.

One way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you add the 2-Step Verification for your email login access.

Here are the links to get 2-Step Verification for several popular email services.

Office 365 2-Step Verification

Outlook 2-Step Verification

Google 2-Step Verification

Yahoo 2-Step Verification

AOL 2-Step Verification

Facebook 2-Step Verification

I hope the above information can help you avoid having your email address stolen from you!

Even in Florida, you can freeze your credit!

Sleep Sound

Sleep Sound – Freeze your Credit!


Security freezes, also known as credit freezes will restrict access to your credit information making it difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. A recent law that went into effect on September 21st, 2018, you can now freeze and also unfreeze your credit file for free. You also can get a free freeze for your children who are under 16 or an incapacitated adult if you are their guardian, conservator or have a valid power of attorney.
Use the links below to check to see if your information was comprised in the Equifax Data Breach. put a credit freeze on your credit at the three major credit reporting bureaus.

Assigning Categories in the MLS Portal

MLS Portal Selections

I wanted to share a helpful tip when reviewing properties sent to you from the MLS Portal searches. When you get a listing to see via email, click on the property link. After evaluating the listing, you can select the “Heart Icon” located in the upper right of the window, once selected a menu will pop-down and shows you three options. The three options are shown in the image above.
You can use the “Save as Favorite” selection to add a red heart icon that signifies that you like the property.
You can use the “Save as Possibility” selection to add a yellow heart to signify to sort of like the property and need to research it further.
You can also use the “Discard Listing” selection to add a “Trash Can” icon to signify that you do not like the property.
The search results in the Portal can be searched by theses categories. You can change a listing’s status by selecting the “Heart Icon and again and making a different selection. When you discard a listing, you will no longer get status updates for it in emails.
Other Link: Finding your Favorites in the MLS Portal

Smile! You May Be On Camera

Camera Outside     Camera Inside

To help you understand Florida law with respect to home surveillance devices you should know the following: Florida law requires the consent of all parties to record telephone calls or in-person conversations, including videotaped conversations that capture sound.

Many homes have security cameras that also record any conversations you may have while in the home and all parties must consent to that recording. If there is only video recording in a home, it is permissible as long as written notice is clearly given on the premises or the recording device is immediately obvious. You may be recorded inside or outside a Seller’s property and you should receive a disclosure of such recording.

Just because you do not see a camera does not mean they are not there. So consider what you say and comment on carefully. You do not want to offend the Seller or tip your hand on your interest in the home before negotiations to purchase begin. The Seller should disclose the presence of video or audio recording devices, however, you can not count on this and need to behave as though you are under surveillance when inside someone’s home.

How to Measure Carpet


It is important that you get the correct carpet measurements for your project before going to the flooring store. Most flooring retailers will have overstock that they call “remnants”, these left over pieces can be purchased at greatly discounted prices and work great if you have individual room that need carpeting.

One option is to have a local flooring retailer professional come to your home and evaluate the amount of carpet you will need. This is the least desirable option as the retailer may not give you the measurements they used to arrive at the carpet square yards needed and may have financial incentives to over sell you.

A better option is to contact a local carpet installer to come to your house for the carpet measurements. This assures you that the carpet installer that performs the measuring will know how to optimize for installation.

You can do the carpet measuring yourself. You may need to draw a detailed diagram or use a floor plan for your home. This will help the flooring wholesaler to determine the square yards of carpet required for your installation. Do not be intimidated by measuring yourself. You will need a tape measure or electronic measuring device, notebook, calculator, and a pen/pencil. See the links below if you need to purchase these items.

You will need to draw a diagram of the area(s) to be carpeted in order to determine the amount of carpet needed. This diagram is used for estimation purposes plus carpet layout, to account for doorways, carpet seam placement, traffic patterns, hallways and closets. If you feel unsure about your diagram and layouts, ask the flooring retailer or installer to come to your home for a site inspection, and to confirm your calculations.

Keep in mind, carpet is manufactured in variety of widths, the most common is 12 foot wide rolls. This is important to note because just measuring the dimensions of a room may not provide an accurate representation for the amount of carpet needed. For example, an 11 foot by 10 foot room provides an area of 110 square feet, extra length should be added if you will be carpeting the door threshold and/or closet spaces. For carpet manufactured in 12 foot widths, 110 square feet equals 12 foot width by 10 foot length of carpet (add more as required for door openings). Purchasing only 110 square feet of carpet may result in having a piece that will not fit your room or a good deal of seaming. In this case, 120 square feet of carpet would be required to properly install an 110 square foot room. Keep in mind that the direction of the carpet pile or pattern must remain the same throughout the installation.

These rules should be considered in your calculations:
Seams should not fall in a doorway.
Measurements for rooms should start in the center of the door threshold, not the base of the wall.
Patterned carpet, such as Berber will require an additional 10% of carpet for pattern matching.

In closing, you can measure yourself or call in a professional. New carpet will make your home look and smell new again.

Salt Water Pools

Most pools use liquid chlorine to sanitize the pool water. Some people prefer using salt to sanitize the pool water. Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt. There are two parts that make up a salt water system. The chlorine generator uses electrolysis to convert the saltwater to chlorinated water. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilizes added salt and a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of liquid chlorine. The control module reports current salt level and calculates how much salt needs to be added to the pool to maintain proper chlorination.

We bought our salt water system in May of 2013 at The Recreational Warehouse store in Fort Myers. We had a local pool service company install it. We like the saltwater system much better than the old liquid chlorine method. We find the water better for swimming in and the chlorine levels have been easier to maintain than our previous method.

As a REALTOR® out looking at homes, I see a lot of saltwater control modules severely damaged by the sun. The control module is one the most expensive parts of the saltwater system. To protect this part from the sun, I suggest you place a sunscreen over the module. The sunscreen can be as simple as using an old piece of a thick sheet or pillowcase to cover the plastic control module. What I did to make a sunscreen was to first cut a hole on each side of a pillowcase near the top. Next, I attached the sunscreen over the top of the module (between the mounting bracket and the wall) using the mounting screws.

See the images above for our saltwater system, the module looks near new after many years and it gets direct sunlight all afternoon.

Welcome to the
Waterfront Wonderland Blog

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Your Credit Score

The outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the personal and economic effects it is having on individuals is extreme. No one is not facing issues by this major disruption. The three credit bureaus have created pages to assit you in managing your credit during these...

read more

Property Disclosures

There is virtually no sale that is “as is” in Florida. The Seller and real estate licensee must disclose every fact he/she knows that materially affects the value of the property, whether or not it is readily apparent to the Buyer. Using an As-is Addendum or As-is...

read more

Blog Categories:

Translate »