Real Estate Information


Alex Bruno


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10

5 Tips for Getting Over “The One That Got Away”

by Alex Bruno

Imagine you finally find the house of your dreams. It has everything you hoped for in a home, from the right countertops to the right landscaping. You spend hours envisioning the parties you'll throw in the backyard and the baths you'll take in the clawfoot tub. But fate intervenes. For some unfortunate reason – perhaps a fierce bidding war or a fickle owner who decides to stay put – deal falls through. How do you recover? Here are some tips.

1. Get right back in the saddle

If you must have a pity party, do it quickly. Perhaps a quick toast to what could have been, then dive straight back into search mode. In today's market, things move fast. You don't want to miss an even better home while you're mooning over photos of the lost listing.

2. Don't dwell on one dwelling

Delete the listing of the home that got away. Erase the pictures you took with your phone when you toured. Do your best not to compare new homes to the one you lost. There are lots of homes with lots of new possibilities. Keep an open mind.

3. Don't settle

Don't let your frustration push you into a hurried purchase of the next available property simply to get the process over with. Stay true to your shopping list of features you need and want.

4. Re-evaluate your budget.

Take another look at what you can spend and what the homes you're looking at have been selling for. Do you need to add cushion to be more competitive when making an offer? Or do you need to start looking at a less expensive neighborhood to find a home that has everything you want?

5. Talk to your agent.

Your RE/MAX agent will be full of advice for surviving the lows – and highs – of your real estate journey. 

5 Closing Mistakes to Avoid

by Alex Bruno


The seller has accepted your offer, the inspector didn't find any underground streams or shaky foundations, and the closing date is set. You're in the homestretch! While you can breathe a little easier, remember, the deal's not done until everyone signs all the (zillion) documents at the closing table. And, your lender can still change their mind. Here are 5 closing mistakes to avoid when buying a home.

1. Don't mess with your income-to-debt ratio

The ratio of your monthly income to your monthly debts is one of the main factors the lender considered when qualifying you. And your lender will probably run your financials two or three more times before closing. While it's tempting, don't take out a big loan for the new deck you want to install when you move into your new place. Don't sign the lease on the new Audi that will look perfect in your new driveway. The bank looks at lease payments like any other debt payment.

2. Don't disappear

Be sure to keep in touch with your lender and be readily available to immediately address any last-minute concerns.

3. Don't change jobs

Lenders love stability. Switching jobs right before closing can make them anxious, and you want to give them every reason to feel confident. Most lenders prefer to have a two-year job history in hand, so making a big career move could slow things down, or squash the deal entirely.

4. Don't open new credit cards

Yes, you'll be buying furniture to fill those lovely rooms. Yes, you might need a new fridge. And yes, new dishes to match the new kitchen would be splendid. But resist the lure of opening new credit cards until after closing. Doing so can affect your credit score. For now, just open catalogs.

5. Don't be late

Even though you may have been riding the real estate roller coaster and life's been chaotic, be sure to stay current with all bill payments. Late payments, too, can affect that all-important credit score.

2017’s 15 Best Real Estate Agents in Fort Lauderdale

by Alex Bruno


Less than 30 miles north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist destination, retirement community, and home to more than 165,000 residents. With 3,000 hours of sunshine every year and an average year round temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, Fort Lauderdale has miles of beaches and waterways within the city.

With an extensive system of waterways throughout the city, Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America. It is a great city to enjoy the beach, nature, entertainment, and the arts. There’s excellent access to amenities, sunshine, above average employment, and a slightly lower cost of living than other nearby communities.

Fort Lauderdale’s major industry is tourism, attracting wealthy tourists and cruise ships with nautical recreation. The city is also a major yacht manufacturing and maintenance center, hosting the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the world’s largest boat show. Fort Lauderdale is also known for its business center as the headquarters of Microsoft Latin America and Auto Nation.

The city’s cultural center is the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment district running along Las Olas Boulevard from the beach to downtown. In this district is the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Elbo Room Bar, and more. There are restaurants, museums, international art galleries, and shops that make this district ideal for a day out walking and taking in the sights. The city is also the host of the Langerado annual music festival. Other cultural points of interest are the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop indoor flea market with the world’s largest drive in movie theater, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Outdoor recreation is a major point of interest in Fort Lauderdale. Of special interest is the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, a 180 acre park along the beach. This park features camping, picnicking, canoeing, nature trails, and the Terramar Visitor Center. Other natural amenities popular in Fort Lauderdale are the Intracoastal Waterway, Las Olas Beach, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, and Port Everglades. Fort Lauderdale also has plenty of scenic views to choose from.

Fort Lauderdale has earned a number of recognitions, standing out among other Florida cities and the United States as an excellent place to live. It’s been named one of the most livable cities in Florida, one of the best cities for millennial job seekers in Florida, one of the best places to retire, the best city for a working retirement, one of the best cities in Florida for military retirement, one of the best cities for foodies, and one of the best cities for LGBT seniors.

South Florida’s real estate market continues to see home values increase, especially in the Miami area. And as the Miami real estate market tightens up, some are looking northward to Fort Lauderdale with access to luxury condos and a more affordable lifestyle. Real estate experts say Fort Lauderdale is particularly attractive for its affordability, lifestyle, and water with the ocean and intercoastal waterway. Often, buyers flock to Fort Lauderdale to get more home for their money, making it the new frontier in South Florida. There’s an especially high demand for homes close to downtown that don’t require much commuting.

Though Fort Lauderdale’s real estate market is healthy, it can be difficult for buyers, sellers, and investors alike to make the most out of real estate in this city. With many different neighborhoods, new luxury condo developments, and more, Realtors can help shed light on the best plan of action for your next real estate move in Fort Lauderdale. It’s a good idea to take advantage of one of Fort Lauderdale’s leading real estate agents to make the most of your real estate transaction in the city, finding your dream home, selling your home for maximum profit, or getting a good return on investment in Fort Lauderdale real estate.

Our list features the 15 best real estate agents in Fort Lauderdale. With these agents, you can expect expert advice, connections, and top notch knowledge of neighborhoods, new developments, and the Fort Lauderdale real estate market. They have a reputation for excellence and delivery great service, support, and resources for every real estate client.

Any one of the real estate agents on our list would be a good choice for your next real estate move in Fort Lauderdale, so we have listed them without any particular ranking order. But we’d like to know which one you think is the best. Please vote in our poll at the end of this article to let us know which of Fort Lauderdale’s leading real estate agents are the very best. Don’t wait to vote! Place your vote today, as the poll closes in 30 days.


Alex Bruno is the owner of RE/MAX 5 Star Realty in Hollywood. He is an experienced multimillion dollar producer specializing as a buyer’s agent and listing agent. With a strong network of home buyers and investors, Bruno is an excellent resource for finding great deals and excellent results. He also specializes in staging homes to help find buyers quickly. Bruno is bilingual, offering service in both Spanish and English. He is also HUD certified and works with all of the programs offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He has earned the RE/MAX 100% Club designation for several years and earned the RE/MAX Hall of Fame designation in 2012. Bruno makes a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network with every closed transaction. His clients say he is hard working, but easy to work with, offering a great experience in Fort Lauderdale real estate and beyond. They appreciate his professionalism as he is always available, on time, and easy to reach. His hard work, honesty, and knowledge are incredibly valuable to him. They are particularly impressed by his knowledge of the area and his ability to move through every transaction with ease. Going above and beyond, Bruno is sure to take care of the needs of his clients.

5 Things You Should Love About Your Home Before You Commit

by Alex Bruno

You swoon at the curb appeal and your heart flutters at the sight of the kitchen countertops, but is the home you're considering buying really The One? Before you make an offer, be sure you love these six, hard-to-change things about your potential new place.

1. Square footage

Too small and you may quickly outgrow your new space. Too big can mean unnecessary energy bills and money spent furnishing space you never use. Aim for "just right."

2. Drive time

Be sure your daily commute won't leave you sitting in traffic, rethinking your relationship with your house. Consider driving to work from your potential home a couple times during rush hour to make sure you know what you're getting into.

3. Walkability

Being able to stroll to shops, restaurants, parks and public transportation can really boost your quality of life. If it's important to you, check out your potential home's official walkability score at

4. Community

Does the neighborhood include features that you feel are critical to your particular lifestyle, like yoga studios, late night takeout options or a safe playground for your kids (or pups)?

5. Planes, trains and automobiles

If you travel frequently, be sure you love how close your potential new home is to the airport, main highways or public transportation. Not a fan of planes flying overhead – or late night trains? Keep that in mind when scoping out areas as well.

If you're crazy about these five aspects of the house, it might really be true love. Make an offer and with luck, you could live happily ever after. Working with an experienced agent can help

3 Home Features That May Not Be Worth the Work (or Expense)

by Alex Bruno

As you compose your list of "must-haves" for your next home, make sure you're up for the work and added maintenance expense each item may require. Here are a few things to think over.

1. Wood-burning fireplace
Snuggling by a cozy fire can be sublime, but beware of the splinters that come with maintaining a wood-burning fireplace. There's the bill from the annual chimney sweep, the cost of wood and the hassle of keeping critters from camping out in the pile. Plus, a fireplace can raise your energy bill. A chimney sucks up most of the warmth from a fire, along with some of the room's heated air, according to the EPA.

2. Extensive landscaping
A beautiful garden may draw you to a home, but keep in mind how much work it will be to maintain once you move in. Perhaps you find trimming topiaries a soothing form of meditation. If not, a home with less landscaping may be a better fit.

3. More square footage
Vast rooms with cathedral ceilings come come with soaring energy bills. Unused rooms leech heating and cooling energy from the rest of the house. Keep this in mind if you're considering purchasing a home to grow into.

As you think about what you really must have to make you happy in your next home, talk to a Realtor. He or she will be able to help you understand the cost of different features as well as evaluating them for potential resale value. 

Top 4 Financial Tips for Buyers

by Alex Bruno

Getting ready to buy a house? Before you head out on your first home tour with your agent, arm yourself with the following advice.

1. Double check your credit

If you're thinking about buying, you should already be "keeping score." Know your credit score, and make sure to rectify any credit reporting errors before lenders take a look. 

2. Understand the added cost of certain features

As you make your list of "must-have" home features, be sure you consider the added expenses that may come with them. Your math should include things like the cost of landscaping maintenance for extra acreage and energy costs that come with added square footage. 

3. Discover where your dollars go

Get up close and personal with your monthly budget and track every single thing you purchase over 30 days. Review your credit card and bank statements to categorize where you spent each dollar (e.g., entertainment, food, clothing). Several online sites and software programs can help you track and categorize spending. This will help you identify where you can cut back to put more money toward a monthly mortgage payment. 

4. Research mortgage options

You don't always need to invest a 20 percent down payment. Explore your options, like a Conventional 97 from Fannie Mae. Just 3 percent down is enough to help you qualify for this program, as long as it's for a fixed-rate mortgage on a single-family home for under $417,000. 

If you're ready to buy a home, an experienced agent can help you calculate how much house you can afford, then find a home you'll love within your budget. Find an agent to work with here. 

Drastically Improve Your Home With These DIY Projects

by Alex Bruno

Looking for some dramatic home improvement inspiration? Cruise through the pins on the Before & After board on the RE/MAX Pinterest page for examples of how a bit of strategic work can make a big difference. Here are a few suggestions for projects that won't break the bank or steal more than a weekend or two.

1. Make an entrance

The entrance to your home is a focal point and a few simple changes can leverage its impact. Sand and repaint your front door or invest in a brand new one. Add some bling with new address numbers, knobs, doorbells or knockers. Frame the door with planters to help complete the picture.

2. Class up your cabinets

You don't need to buy new cabinets to give your kitchen a new look. Add a fresh coat of paint, or try out new cabinet hardware (buy knobs and pulls that are the same size as the ones you have to save installation time) for details that give the upgrade an added level of elegance.

3. Make a splash

You don't need to be a pro to install a new kitchen backsplash. Many home stores offer quick classes, or you can cruise YouTube for "how-to" videos. Customize your kitchen with ceiling tiles, glass or ceramic tiles, wood or stainless steel.

4. Crown yourself

Crown molding around your walls is a simple addition that can add a ton of character. If you don't have woodworking tools, don't panic. Home improvement stores can cut strips of molding to your measurements.

5. Look to the little things

You'll be surprised at how much of a difference swapping out old switch plates, outlet covers and doorknobs can make.

Do your ambitions extend beyond a few small projects? Maybe you'd like to tackle an entire fixer-upper. Talk to your RE/MAX agent to see what's available. Find one on

4 Signs It's Time to Call An Agent!

by Alex Bruno

While house hunting TV shows tour the neighborhood, close the deal and throw a housewarming party in 30 minutes, real life is not as streamlined. If you're in the process of buying a home, here are signs it's time to call a realtor.

1. You believe everything on the internet

While you can view tons of listings online, not all of the information is accurate or up-to-date. You'll see outdated comps, conflicting forecasts and different ratings. With access to the MLS and insight on properties about to hit the market, a Realtor will make sure you're considering all of the homes in your market that fit your criteria.

2. You're juggling a hectic schedule

You don't need to spend time sorting through listings and contacting sellers. An agent will do the browsing so you only visit the homes that best fit your needs and price range.

3. The biggest thing you've negotiated lately was your kids' bedtime (and you lost)

As professional negotiators with years of experience, Realtors know how to create, present and negotiate the best offer. Remember, you'll be going up against another professional negotiator: the seller's agent.

4. You don't know if a neighborhood is on the way up or down

An agent who knows the neighborhood can give you the scoop about local developments and changes that don't always pop up in a Google search. He or she will also put them in context of larger market forces that could impact the future value of a home.

If you're looking for an experienced professional to guide you through the home buying process, look no further than your local RE/MAX office. Find an experienced agent to work with here.

A 5-Point Action Plan for Your New Place

by Alex Bruno


After waiting weeks for the keys to your new home, you probably want to treat yourself to something nice.

Here are some quick home improvements you'll likely be happy with:

1. Practical problems first.
Prioritize easy repairs and upgrades that affect your day-to-day living, such as leaky faucets, dirty or worn fixtures, poor paint choices, holes that need patching or flooring that needs updating.

2. Head-to-toe detail.
Detailing isn't just for your vehicle. Your new home deserves deep cleaning, too. Take advantage of it being completely empty, and hire someone to clean every inch.

3. Consider the view.
The right window treatments improve a home’s ambiance, comfort and privacy. They can even save you money in the long run. Drapes, curtains, blinds and shutters block unwanted light, let in the right amount of sunshine and keep your home warm or cool when drawn or shut.

4. Bright ideas.
Proper lighting also affects your comfort. After you arrange furniture, pay close attention for a few weeks and note which areas are too dark and which get too much light. From there, you can decide whether new overhead lightning, lamps or bulbs will do the trick.

5. The right appliances.
Major appliances – refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers and stoves – impact your daily life, your home's appearance and your utility bills. Purchasing the right appliances now can set you up for savings and efficiency for years to come.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Alex Bruno

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10




Contact Information

Photo of Alex Bruno Real Estate
Alex Bruno
RE/MAX 5 Star Realty
4131-4151 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood FL 33021
Mobile: (954) 673-7739
Office: (954) 361-0000
Fax: (954) 361-0070