The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate can help anyone considering flying the coop for warmer temperatures find the home of their dreams down south

Platinum Jan 123
The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate has agents in place in Florida and coastal South Carolina with the experience and hometown sensitivity to help people find the best investment for their unique situation.

By Patricia Nugent

When the weather outside is frightful, it’s time to fire up some warm weather dreaming. Wouldn’t you rather concentrate on sunshine than snow shoveling?

It’s no coincidence that January and February are big months for vacation planning to escape the big freeze. But have you considered buying a second home in Florida or South Carolina instead of spending your savings on vacations with no return to your net worth?

I sat down with local real estate expert Denise Zervos, who has been in real estate for over 30 years and along with her husband Mark, who leads The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate, for insights into investing in a place you can enjoy now—and one day retire to—while renting it out in the meantime when you’re not using it.

“Now’s the perfect time to have a conversation about leveraging real estate to benefit your overall long-term financial health,” says Denise. “In addition to Mark and me, we have expert agents in Florida and coastal South Carolina with the experience and hometown sensitivity to help people find the best investment for their unique situation. This is a quickly growing segment of our business operations. I believe word of mouth is responsible. Once people find out one of their friends has taken the plunge of owning a second home somewhere warm and it’s a shrewd financial decision for their future, they want that for themselves. We’re also working with younger clients, people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, who are looking for smarter, more sustainable pre-retirement avenues of building wealth.”

Denise and Mark know how to walk the talk and have owned property in Florida for the past four years. In fact, they’re currently building a new one. They’ve been in homes for sale all over the state and are familiar with the neighborhoods that make for the best buys and suit people’s short list of what a dream home means to them.

“Our expertise in the market equips us to sit down with people and get the conversation about vacation homes started, taking the guesswork away,” she says. “Those first steps begin with evaluating an individual’s equity position. After our chat, people are often surprised at how attainable buying a second home can be. Also, with more and more folks being able to work from home, why wouldn’t they choose to move south permanently?”

Equity Boost
If you’ve owned a home more than one year, you’ve started building equity. Your home might be worth more than you think it is.

“Due to the imbalance between the number of homes for sale and the number of buyers in the market, home prices have risen dramatically over the past year,” she says. “Higher prices affect the current value of your home, minus what you owe on your loan, or your equity position. In 2022, homeowners in Ohio got an average of a $21,000 equity gain. That compares against the national average, which was $34,300.”

Denise adds she would describe the current market here in Lake County as “moderating” from where it’s been the past several years, which have seen multiple- offers and overbidding on homes.

“Buyers are now starting to be concerned about mortgage rates and those are largely impacted by what happens with inflation this year,” she says.

So why not cash in on the market now and turn your dream bubbles into reality?

Platinum Real Estate has multiple offices in Northeast Ohio and Columbus; Florida and South Carolina. To get more information and schedule your 15-minute home equity evaluation, scan the QR code, call 216-990-2100 or visit

Categories: Professional Services