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CHARLESTON REALTOR SEES STRONG DADE MARKET

 CHARLESTON REALTOR SEES STRONG DADE MARKET
 MIAMI, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dade County real estate market


may heat up in the immediate future if the post-hurricane Charleston, S.C. market is an example of what happens after a major storm.
 "Right now there's so much chaos it's hard to see the opportunities," Grange Cuthbert, president of The Prudential Carolinas Realty in Charleston, S.C. told a group of 150 Prudential Florida Realty sales associates from throughout Dade County. "But you're probably facing the best real estate business you've ever had."
 Different types of buyers will characterize the market, Cuthbert said, from builders looking to buy fix-ups, investors searching for properties to existing residents who will use insurance proceeds to trade up to larger homes.
 Richard W. Cope, chairman of The Prudential Florida Realty, advised sales associates to be zealous in working with sellers and buyers.
 "This is a full-disclosure company, and we're going to error on the side of full disclosure," Cope said.
 "From experiences elsewhere, we fully expect to see much more real estate sales activity in Dade County for some time to come," Cope added.
 Following Hurricane Hugo, which hit Charleston and South Carolina's coast in 1989, a robust real estate market lasted approximately two years.
 Cuthbert spent Thursday in Miami meeting with sales associates and managers as part of The Prudential Florida Realty's efforts to allay concerns about the Dade County real estate market.
 Most concerns centered on property values in Dade County, and issues facing buyers and sellers of homes damaged by Hurricane Andrew. Property values in Charleston dropped immediately after the storm, Cuthbert said, but bounced back within a few months.
 "Most of the lots have been rebuilt and values have been steadily rising," Cuthbert said.
 Some advice offered by Cope and Cuthbert:
 -- Buyers of homes damaged in the storm should consider obtaining accurate estimates of work needed to repair the structure. Many homes will be sold in "as is" condition with insurance proceeds signed over to buyers. Buyers should know the extent of work involved.
 -- Buyers and sellers should expect some delays in closings and appraisals, new inspections and mortgage processing is slowed.
 -- Buyers of homes damaged by the storm may need to arrange for mortgage financing in the form of a construction-to-permanent loan.
 The Dade County market is already showing signs of increased activity.
 Cope announced that the five branches in The Prudential Florida Realty's Dade network registered $27 million in gross sales volume through the first three weeks of September, ahead of the pace set for the same month of 1991. (By how much?)
 The company's Kendall office, which is officially closed because the building is uninhabitable, has logged $4 million in sales volume.
 In fact, Jim Mueller, president of The Prudential Florida Realty, is reviewing Dade County real estate brokerage companies for possible acquisition to boost the company's Dade share in the area.
 The Prudential Florida Realty is Florida's largest independent full- service real estate brokerage, with 64 offices throughout the state. More than 2,600 licensed sales associates generated $2.90 billion in sales in 1991. The company has more than 300 employees.
 -0- 9/25/92
 /CONTACT: Linda Burger of The Prudential Florida Realty, 813-442-4111; or Robert Kneeley of Robert Kneeley & Co., 305-493-8220, for The Prudential Florida Realty/ CO: The Prudential Florida Realty ST: Florida IN: SU: ECO


JB-AW -- FL003 -- 3488 09/25/92 11:39 EDT
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Date:Sep 25, 1992
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