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Success S av v y Peak Performance O n Jan. 30, the streets of Miami will be filled with the sound of cheering as thousands of runners take it to the limit at the annual ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon. Many of those participating will be raising money to support worthy causes such as preventing childhood obesity. Get out of your lawn chair and watch the athletes from Miami and around the world get fit for their favorite cause — or, even better, register and run; INGMiamiMarathon.com. Web Smarts Anyone who owns a business knows that nowadays your website is usually the first stop potential clients make before reaching for the phone to call you. If your website is not up to par, you’re falling behind. Take your web presence to the next level with an expert website custom-made to fit your needs — and those of your current and future clients; ChannelMarkerDesign.com. Make Me An Offer! As the housing market in South Florida began showing signs of recovery this fall, the foreclosure processing mess by the banks has thrown a wrench into the system and created more delays for many buyers and sellers. With so much uncertainty in the market and so many distressed properties, we are now seeing more short sales for single-family and condominium residences than we’ve ever seen before. Our experienced real estate attorneys are working with buyers and sellers of distressed properties throughout South Florida. In short-sale transactions (in which the bank must agree to accept less from a new buyer than the amount owed by the original owner), it is important to remember that both the buyer and seller are at the mercy of the bank, and it is almost always impossible to speed up the process or to anticipate all costs which oftentimes the bank refuses to pay at closing, and which must then be absorbed by either the buyer, seller, or sometimes even the brokers. There are many opportunities in today’s market for such deals that could ultimately benefit both the buyer and seller as well as the bank, but it’s now more imperative than ever for buyers to perform necessary due diligence. Parties should work exclusively with a qualified lawyer, real estate broker and title insurer that have experience in these types of transactions. As the housing market continues to rebound in the months to come, our experienced bilingual real estate attorneys will continue to work very closely with buyers and sellers of homes and condominiums. O scar R. Rivera is a shareholder with Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel, P.A. The firm focuses on all aspects of real estate and construction law as well as homeowners and community association matters. FOr a consultation, call 1.800.737.1390 or visit SiegfriedLaw.com. Special Occasions Holidays are great. Some mean you get the day off work — which is even better — but they all provide a great excuse to throw a party, unwind, or try something different. Here are some of January’s lesser-known reasons to celebrate. 20 High Flying Jan. 5 is National Bird Day. And no, we’re not referring to the sort you stick out the car window. We mean the sort you feed sunflower seeds and watch with binoculars. Scribble Time Believe it or not, Jan. 23 is officially National Handwriting Day. We’re not really sure how to tell you to celebrate this one, but we’re pretty sure beer should be involved. Tartan Pride Literary geeks throughout Scotland will spend Jan. 25 celebrating Burns Day, in honor of poet Robert Burns. It’s a great excuse to throw a kilt party and serve some haggis.