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Here you will find various postings on Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter events, real estate news, and community sales with statistical information.

May 20, 2024

13 Hidden Costs of Buying a Home in Palm Beach Gardens

It is no secret that buying a house is an expensive feat. What may be a secret to some is that the price of the home you buy isn't the only one about to hit your wallet hard. It is important to understand the hidden costs of buying a home so that you can budget accordingly to prevent becoming house-poor and brace your wallet for the many expenses of buying and owning a home.

Continue to read to find out the 12 hidden costs of buying a home in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.Hidden costs to buying a house

Hidden Home Buying Costs 

When you are searching for the perfect home in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, it is fair if your main point of focus is the home prices. However, that isn't the only expense you will need to save for. Before you say yes to your dream home, there are other costs to consider when buying a house.

1. Home Appraisal 

If you need a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of your house, the lender will require you to pay for a home appraisal as well. Even if you plan to pay cash, it is a good idea to book an appraisal to have a current assessment of the home's market value. Appraisers look at a home's condition to determine if there are safety hazards or structural issues to assess the value of the home. Home appraisals will come out of pocket, and typically cost between $300 to $400.

2. Home Inspection 

A home inspection is another upfront cost to tackle, it can save you a lot more money in the long run. Home inspections range between $300 to $500, which will reveal if there are any major issues or concerns with the home. If the inspection should reveal problems with the home, you can always negotiate with the seller to have them fix the issues or lower their sale price. You might also be inclined to decide to walk away from the sale if the issue isn't one you want to deal with.

3. Earnest Money 

When you purchase a home, you will pay what is called "earnest money" up front after a seller approves your offer and before you jump through all the hoops required to buy a home. The earnest money deposit shows the seller that you are serious about your plans to purchase their property. Once the transaction goes through, you will get your earnest money back. If you choose to back out of the deal, you might get back your earnest money. The contract will outline the rules about your deposit, but earnest money is usually 1% to 3% of the home's sales price.

4. Property Taxes 

While the property tax is an ongoing expense you will need to budget for as a homeowner, you will also need to pay for six months of those taxes before you can close on the sale of your home.

5. Escrow Account 

You will typically pay for your property taxes and other expenses like insurance in the form of an escrow account upfront. Your lender may require you to leave extra money in your escrow account to cover miscellaneous expenses.

Home sales expert Bill Gassett of Maximum Real Estate Exposure provided helpful advice about remembering the impact of real estate taxes.

"Going from renter to homeowner can come with significant expenses. Most people know the basics of mortgage payments but must remember to budget for the last part of PITI - taxes and insurance.

 

Taxes can be a significant expense. Unfortunately, most people don't realize they almost always go up and not down. I recommend budgeting for all my clients. I started doing this in my early years of homeownership, and it has always been helpful. I set aside a percentage of every paycheck, so I was assured of having ample funds to cover the bill."

6. Closing Costs 

When the day comes to close on your new home, you will need to pay for necessary closing costs, with some costs previously noted. If you have not paid them by the time of closing, you will pay them at that point. Closing costs can include the following:

  • Appraisal fees
  • Closing or escrow fees paid to the escrow agent
  • Homeowners insurance for the first year
  • Loan origination fees
  • Mortgage points
  • Property taxes for the first six months
  • Title search and insurance

7. Moving Costs 

If you think it's time to close your wallet, pause a moment. Once you close on a home, it is time to move. This exciting moment is also a pricey one, especially if you need to hire a moving company. Leave a little room in your budget for packing supplies, time off work, and hiring a mover or renting a moving truck.

Ongoing, and Overlooked, Costs of Homeownership

Now the hidden costs are laid out when expecting during the home-buying process, it is time to create a budget to help you navigate that expensive time in your life. When your focus is primarily on the major price tag that your new home comes with, it is easy to forget about how the additional costs when buying a house add up. The costs don't stop once you buy a home, they are just beginning.

Hidden costs to buying a house

8. Utilities 

Before buying a home, you need to do the math to ensure you can afford more than just the monthly mortgage payments. If you previously lived in an apartment or a smaller home, you might face some utility shock when moving into a new place. You will likely encounter  a wide variety of utility bills such as the following:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Heat
  • Sewer
  • Water
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Phone
  • Trash

Where your home is located, what size your home is, and your habits will greatly affect how much you pay for utilities. For some of the listed utilities, you need to pay installation fees, which add up for new homeowners.

9. Home Maintenance & Repairs 

The expenses of being a homeowner can sneak up on you when you least expect them to. Have an emergency fund set up to cover the costs of future home maintenance and other unexpected repairs so you don't have to worry about how you will pay for them when the time comes.

10. Homeowner's Insurance 

If you have a mortgage loan, the lender will require you to buy homeowner's insurance to protect both you and them financially. Even if you opted to pay cash for your home, it is always a good idea to take out a solid homeowner's insurance policy to cover the costs of major repairs needs, injuries that occur on your property, and the possibility of theft.

11. Mortgage Insurance 

If you aren't able to make your downpayment of 20%, you will have to pay private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI, each month.

12. Homeowners Association Fee 

Homes that are located in a planned community often come with a homeowners association fee that homeowners must pay monthly or annually to cover the costs of landscaping, community repair, and maintenance of amenities such as pools. How much your fee is will depend upon the community you choose to live in but expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $400 a month. You can always skip these fees if you buy a home in a neighborhood without an HOA.

The Bottom Line 

The high costs of homeownership are often worth it in the long run, but it is always important to know what costs are coming your way so you can plan, save, and avoid unnecessary stress. Let the Palm Beach Coastal Realty team help you find your next dream home in Palm Beach Gardens, FL today!

Posted in Palm Beach Gardens
May 13, 2024

8 Activities You Can Do When Visiting the Beaches in Jupiter, FL

things to do at the beach in Jupiter

If you are looking to spend quality time with your family, what is better than going to your favorite beach? Beautiful sunsets and waves of the sea give you picturesque visuals, and nothing can match that. When visiting with family, you need to do many other things, rather than only taking an exploration walk or tanning on the fluffy, white sandy beaches of Jupiter, FL.

This type of visit can become far more fun and enjoyable by doing special beach activities. If you are planning to go to a beach with your family, continue to read to find the 8 activities you can do to make this trip more memorable.

8 Things to Do with Your Family at the Beach in Jupiter, FL

Try Your Hand at Surfing

When visiting a beach, but not spending any time in the water what is the purpose of going there? Try out a new experience and join a surf lesson. Surfing can be a great experience if you have never done it before, as experiencing the power of water and its waves is a lifetime experience. Surf tours are always dependent on the weather and sea conditions, but when it all aligns just right, Waves Surf Academy is considered to be one of the best surf camps in town. You don't own a surfboard? Check out one of the many Jupiter, FL surf rental shops for all of your gear! The Salty Dog Paddle is a well-known rental store in Jupiter, FL carrying all of the equipment you need to get out on the water and enjoy a few of those waves.

Build a Sand Castle

Test your creativity and build a sand castle! When you bring your family to the beach, look to build a sand castle! It can not only be a fun family activity for kids of all ages, but it can easily gain children's attention. Florida is home to a league of professional sand sculptures, who get out on the sand and build anything from large-scale castles to pirates and treasure chests. Team Sandtastic is a group of devoted sand sculptures based out of Florida who sculpt for events, such as proposals or sculpt indoors for charities.

Kiting

Playing around with a kite is a lot of fun for the whole family, as you will learn how to use the wind to draw figures in the sky! A beach is a great place for kiting as it won't get stuck in trees, as it would at parks. You can find kites of all levels of experience or even try to make your own. Jupiter is home to perfect conditions for another type of kite flying, except out on the water. Kiteboarding is a wind-powered water sport that uses a kite and board to propel you across the water, and there is no better place to get all your gear for this adventure than Jupiter Kiteboarding

Camp on the Beach

For a unique experience, go camping on the beach and witness the sunset. Everything about camping on the beach will be a terrific opportunity for connecting with the family, from putting up the tents to sharing stories over the fire. Be aware that camping is not permitted on all beaches, so it is important to check out the local rules, and don't forget to clean up after yourself and pick up trash left behind. The Pine Grove Campground in Jupiter, FL is not exactly on the beach, but it is close enough to see from your tent.

Add Seashells and Rocks to Your Collection

It can be one of the finest collections you can add to your home decor, and having natural seashells and rare stones straight from the beach always seems attractive. When you can have them for free, what's better than that? Respect nature, and don't collect too many shells or harm the dunes. Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve near Jupiter, FL is one of the only beaches with an abundant amount of shells to pick up and collect.

Have a Boat Ride

Boat tours are a great way to get your young ones out on the water in a safe way, allowing them to get familiar with the water and its beauty. The best way to do it is by getting all your family on the boat and taking them to the sea. You might also witness sea creatures, which can be fascinating. From dolphins to sharks, enjoy a great viewing and have different sights of everything. The Flying Lady Boat Tours in Jupiter, FL offer completely narrated tours that will take visitors through the rich history of each area while highlighting historic landmarks as well as celebrity homes, and local wildlife for the full experience of a lifetime.

Play Games

The beach is the perfect spot to play games, from football to classic beach volleyball. Beach tennis is also fun. Less obvious games like tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, or hangman on the sand can be a nice means of competitive gaming. All they require is some imagination and a drawing tool, like a stick. Sticks and seashells are beach treasures that might improve the games even further.

Prepare a Picnic

When you decide to spend extended time on the beach, it is obvious to get hungry. Therefore, why not make a full-fledged picnic day? With a great atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, it can be the best treat for the family, as well as your Instagram page. There are plenty of infamous food trucks around Jupiter, FL. The Scoop Coop serves up delicious soft-serve ice cream with an impressive list of flavors and gluten-free and dairy-free options as well, meaning there is something for everyone.

Conclusion

A beach can be a fantastic spot to explore with your family if you want to take time to appreciate the natural beauty of Jupiter, FL. Whenever you look to visit a beach, keep the points mentioned above in mind to have more fun. Let Palm Beach Coastal Realty help you find your forever beachfront property in Jupiter, FL today!

Posted in Jupiter
May 6, 2024

Tips For Landscaping your Jupiter, FL Home

When it comes to giving your home a new facelift, what is the easiest method? Landscaping! With sunny, spring weather looming upon us, now is the time to beautify your flower beds and the curb appeal of your home. In this warmer time of year, gardens start to come to life thanks to the number of warm-season crops that can be grown at your Floria home.

Continue to read to find out the top tips for landscaping your Jupiter, FL home.Tips For Landscaping your Jupiter, FL Home

According to the Institute of Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS) at the University of Florida, Floridians can continue to plant warm-season crops in April. Below are the following:

  1. Annuals. For a simple means to add bright and vivid colors, coleus is a wonderful annual for spring as it is capable of growing well in either sun or shade.
  2. Bulbs. Daylilies are a favorite in the spring as they provide many months of beautiful blooms with little maintenance.
  3. Herbs. For something different from the norm, try nasturtiums, in your herb garden—the leaves and flowers of this member of the watercress family have a peppery flavor. Since herb plants are smaller, they are perfect for container gardening if you lack the room. Sweet basil, coriander, mint, rosemary, and sage are a few popular herbs that can serve the dual purpose of eye-catching greenery and delicious flavor in all of your favorite dishes.
  4. Vegetables. Warm-season crops, including cantaloupe and okra, can continue to be planted in Florida in late April.

Some other tips for spring planting include using mulch to aid in providing water and preventing weeds. When it comes to incorporating new plants into your landscape design, use the following suggestions to create a well-designed landscape that is easy to maintain.

Kelly Fruit of Firstfruits Landscaping offers some great tips for homeowners:

"Equipment Access. Future home maintenance or renovation projects could take a toll on your beautiful garden if not designed to allow machinery access into the yard.

Create a Focal Point. Just as home decorators maintain each room, there should be one decor item that draws your gaze, acting as a focal point. Your landscape should do the same. Whether it is a small statue or a uniquely colored plant, pick one visually engaging object—make sure it connects with the style of the other landscaping."

  • Avoid Formal Landscapes. Symmetry in a garden can be a challenge, especially when it comes to maintenance. If a plant needs to be replaced with a matching specimen, this can be a nearly impossible task. It is best to go with something more natural and free-form.
  • Add Curves to Your Landscape. Curves add interest to the space, however, too many can quickly become overkill and leave you feeling confused rather than enchanted.
  • Add Movement. Static landscaping is very much like looking at a picture, and we recommend you add plants like ornamental grass that will blow in the breeze, as well as flowers to attract birds and butterflies.
  • Accent Your Home. Use plants and flowers to soften the edges and blend the surroundings of your home, without letting them get overgrown and take over.
  • Keep Plant Size and Growth Rate in Mind. Experts suggest planning your garden space properly so fast and large-growing plants don't dominate your entire landscape. Design with air circulation around plants, which prevents problems with fungus and insects.

Springtime provides pleasant weather and conditions for planting and embracing a landscape project for your home's exterior this season will provide you with pleasurable outdoor living in the upcoming summer months. Explore the best of Jupiter, FL today. 

Posted in News
April 29, 2024

10 Secret Gems of Jupiter, FL—Must Sees, Dos & Visits

Jupiter, Florida is nestled along the Atlantic Coast, a hidden gem that offers a healthy blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and a small-town feel. Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful beach getaway, Jupiter has something for everyone. From an iconic lighthouse to the serene riverwalk, this coastal town invites visitors to explore its rich maritime history, indulge in water sports, and unwind in its lush, tropical environment.

Continue to read to find out the 10 best secret gems of Jupiter, FL's must-sees, dos, and visits for 2024.

1. Visit the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum with Your Family 10 Secret Gems of Jupiter, FL—Must Sees, Dos & Visits

Take your kiddos to climb the top of the historic Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse for panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Learn some history while exploring the scenic beauty of the lighthouse to find out it has been guiding sailors since 1860. It is not only a navigational aid, but also a symbol of the town's heritage. The adjoining museum offers a glimpse into the area's history, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Jupiter's pioneer and maritime past.

2. Check Out the Riverbend Park 

Riverbend Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring miles of biking and hiking trails that meander through natural Florida landscapes. Visitors and residents can kayak or canoe along the Loxahatchee River, one of the most scenic waterways in Florida, and spot various wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and tons of beautiful bird species. The park's tranquil setting is perfect for picnics, photography, and enjoying the outdoors.

3. Spend a Day at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center 

Dedicated to the rehabilitation of sea turtles and ocean conservation, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a must-visit for animal lovers. The center offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and up-close encounters with rescued sea turtles. Visitors can learn about the threats facing marine life and what they can do to help protect the magnificent creatures.

4. Dine and Shop at Harbourside Place 

Harbourside Place is Jupiter's number-one shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. Stroll through the waterfront promenade, browse through unique boutiques, and savor a meal at one of the many restaurants offering everything from casual to fine dining. The amphitheater frequently hosts live music and events, adding to the vibrant, and laid-back atmosphere.

5. Embark on a Fishing Charter 

Jupiter's prime location along the Atlantic coast makes it a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts. Charter a boat and head out to sea for a chance to reel in a variety of native Floridan species, including snapper, grouper, and even sailfish. Experienced captains will guide you to the best fishing spots and provide all the gear you need for a successful day on the water.

6. Experience the Jupiter Outdoor Center 

The Jupiter Outdoor Center provides families with adventure and the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Jupiter up close. Rent a kayak, or standup paddleboard and explore the area's waterways, or join a guided tour to learn about the local flora and fauna. The center offers camping and other outdoor activities for a full immersion in nature.

7. Visit the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium 

For baseball enthusiasts, the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is a premier sports venue known for hosting major league baseball spring training and minor league baseball games. This state-of-the-art facility offers a unique dual-team setup, as it serves as the spring training home for both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins. With a seating capacity of over 6,800, the stadium provides an intimate and fan-friendly atmosphere, allowing attendees to get up close to the action. The stadium is currently under renovation until Feb. 24, 2024.

8. Get a Bite to Eat at Guanabanas 

Guanabanas is an outdoor-only restaurant and local favorite offering fresh-from-Florida fare and a truly breathtaking view. The restaurant is known for its lush, tropical setting, great cuisine, and cocktails. You can find live music from both national acts and the hottest names in South Florida. Guanabanas specializes in Florida seafood of all kinds including freshly caught fish, wild-caught shrimp, clams, blue crab, and Florida lobster. It is a tropical paradise that offers the ultimate waterfront dining experience.

9. Check out Charlie and Joe's at Love Street 

Founded on a longtime friendship between two Jupiter area locals, Charlie & Joe's at Love Street is a slice of paradise that caters to locals, tourists, and other visitors alike. With a spectacular view of the Lighthouse, Love Street is the perfect place for a waterfront dinner or a fun happy hour with friends. Head upstairs to Topside, a social destination where you can indulge in classic tiki cocktails while enjoying the view from the rooftop. Alternatively, grab a bite in a relaxing atmosphere at Lucky Shuck and indulge in freshly caught seafood for their raw bar.

10. Explore DuBois Park 

This gem is a large park right at the mouth of Jupiter Inlet with fantastic views of the Jupiter Lighthouse. Nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway, this waterfront park offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and recreational amenities. DuBois Park features a pristine sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or simply enjoying the stunning views of passing boats and the shimmering waters. A well-maintained playground is a hit for young families.

Interested in a day well spent exploring Jupiter's top 10 destinations? From the best waterfront dining to fun on the water, and viewing the wildlife in their natural habitat, there is something for everyone in Jupiter. Explore the best of Jupiter, FL today. 

Posted in Jupiter
April 15, 2024

Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer Upper in Palm Beach Gardens

Buying a house is an expensive ordeal. However, if you are willing to put the work in, you can purchase what is known in the real estate world as a "fixer-upper," at below-market price. This type of home buying is a serious investment, though, so ensure you are committed before going through with the purchase.Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer Upper in Palm Beach Gardens

Continue to read to find if you are ready to look at fixer-upper houses, it is important to walk through the buying process and uncover the pros and cons of a fixer-upper purchase.

What is a Fixer-Upper?

A fixer-upper is a property available at a lower purchase price because it requires major maintenance work once you purchase the house. While you can still live in the fixer-upper, you will be required to spend a lot of time and money on structural and/or cosmetic improvements. You might benefit from a fixer-upper if you want more house for your money or you are interested in flipping it to make a profit.

How to Find Fixer-Upper Houses For Sale

Todd Blair with Palm Beach Coastal Realty offers this advice:  "The easiest way to find fixer-upper homes is to work with a trusted real estate agent in Palm Beach Gardens, someone with the inner knowledge and connections that can help you find just what you are looking for. If you are looking for the right fit, friends at Palm Beach Coastal Realty can match you with one of the aligned goals of keeping within your budget to find the home you can make your own."

Buying a Fixer-Upper in 5 Steps

If you are thinking about buying a fixer-upper home, you may want to keep the following tips in mind.

1. Get a Home Inspection 

A home inspection can cost you a couple of hundred dollars, but it should be a nonnegotiable if you want to buy a fixer-upper. A qualified home inspector will perform a thorough investigation of your prospective home and provide a report that outlines all the repairs it will need.

Without a home inspection, you might have no idea that the home needs new plumbing, the septic tank needs to be replaced or the foundation has a crack in it. A home inspection helps you to avoid unpleasant surprises as well as budget for and prioritize projects.

2. Estimate Renovation Costs 

When buying a fixer-upper house, you will want to make sure you can comfortably afford to turn it into the space that is desired. Create a list of every project you intend to complete and price out the materials and labor costs. It is always best to do online research as well as acquire quotes from contractors. You won't be able to come to an exact cost for everything, you can figure out a ballpark estimate that allows you to budget accordingly and decide if the investment is worthwhile.

3. Identify What You can Renovate Yourself via DIY 

There is no denying that DIY renovations will save you tons in cash. After all, contractors can be pricey—especially if you use them for every project. If you are handy, figure out which projects you can renovate yourself. While you might not be able to tackle the electrical and plumbing, you might be able to paint and apply a backsplash without a contractor's help.

4. Explore Fixer-Upper Loans 

Many lenders will offer loan options specifically for homes in need of renovation or home improvements. Some financing options can help you pay for the cost of your home as well as the renovations.

5. Make a Smart Offer 

You should avoid at all chances overpaying for a fixer-upper. The whole point of buying a house that needs work is getting a good deal on it. Make an offer that strikes a balance between a good deal and the cost of necessary repairs. With any offer, you should always include contingencies, which are exceptions that allow you to back out of a purchase if something comes up. Common contingencies are inspection and appraisal contingencies.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

Here are the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper house to keep in mind.

Pros 

  1. A Lower Purchase Price. You need to spend more on renovating a fixer-upper house, it will come with a lower list price and down payment requirement.
  2. Less Competition. You will find less competition for fixer-upper homes, so you are more likely to land the home you'd like at a great price.
  3. The Chance to Customize Your Home. Once you buy a fixer-upper house, you as the homeowner have the freedom to do with it as you please. Remodel the whole thing if you so wish.
  4. Quality Control. With renovations, you are in charge. You can choose the materials, colors, contractors, and everything else you would like to build your dream home.

Cons 

  1. Expensive Renovations. Depending on the renovations, you might end up barely breaking even—or spending more money on your fixer-upper.
  2. Difficult Budgeting. You can run the numbers and estimate how much your renovations will cost, it is almost impossible to come to an accurate figure. Surprise costs will always pop up.
  3. Unexpected Issues. Even if you get an inspection, unexpected issues will always arise—especially if the house is older.
  4. Long-Term Construction. Unless you live somewhere else while you are renovating your fixer-upper, you will have to live in a construction zone for as long as it takes to complete your renovations.

The Bottom Line

At first glance, a fixer-upper might seem like a great deal you can't pass up. Once you realize how much you need to spend on repairs and renovations, however, you might have a different opinion. Before making an offer on a fixer-upper, do the heavy lifting and be sure it is a worthwhile investment. Let your Palm Beach Coastal Realty team help you find your new dream fixer-upper today.

Posted in News
April 1, 2024

Top Parks around Palm Beach Gardens to Enjoy a Summer Afternoon

Palm Beach Gardens and North Palm Beach are home to plenty of parks. Make sure to add sunscreen to your list, as well as water and a picnic blanket for your homemade picnic to eat after a long day of playing in the sun with your loved ones, and come along with us to read about the best parks in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Continue to read below our alphabetized findings of the best Palm Beach Gardens parks.Top Parks around Palm Beach Gardens to Enjoy a Summer Afternoon

Anchorage Park 

603 Anchorage Drive, North Palm Beach 

Anchorage Park has one amenity that can't beat during South Florida summers—an abundance of shade where the kids can frolic and you can lay your blanket on the grass for a picnic. There is plenty to do for everyone in the family, including a playground to explore for the kids and a fenced-in dog area with separate spaces for furry friends of all sizes—large and small—to play and socialize in. Anglers will enjoy the piers on the south side of the park, and North Palm Beach residents with a permit can use the boat launch.

Burns Road Recreation Campus 

4404 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens 

At the Burns Road Recreation Campus, walkers or dogs can enjoy shaded walking trails and an outdoor fitness training area, attracting adults to one side of the recreation center, while a sprawling playground next to the pool on the other side delights children.

Lilac Park 

4175 Lilac St, Palm Beach Gardens 

Just outside the main drag of Military Trail in a suburban area of Palm Beach Gardens is Lilac Park, completed in conjunction with the Palm Beach County School District for their needs, though it is open to the public. Lilac Park has plenty of new facilities, featuring a new double-sized multipurpose field, playgrounds, 2 picnic pavilions, an exercise trail, and restroom facilities. The Dog Park features a new "little dog" area exclusively for smaller breeds under 30 lbs. The park also has a regulation-size baseball facility as a joint effort with the School District and a concession stand.

Mirasol Park 

12385 Jog Road, Palm Beach Gardens 

Children of residents have been having a blast on the new playgrounds the city installed at Mirasol Park last year, which also features outdoor exercise equipment positioned to allow parents to keep an eye on their children while working out. The playgrounds have special squishy surfacing that eliminates scraped knees and skinned elbows that end in tears. This part houses picnic pavilions., multipurpose fields and basketball courts, a baseball/softball field, and a volleyball net.

PGA National Park 

1 Ryder Cup Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens 

Though the entrance is easy to miss, the PGA National Park is just west of the Florida Turnpike off Northlake Boulevard, large enough to accommodate a disk golf course, picnic pavilion, tennis and basketball courts, and baseball/softball fields. The playground appears super fun, and this park has one that is not only accessible to children but also to children with disabilities. There is a putting green available as well.

The Gardens North County District Park 

5101 117th Court North, Palm Beach Gardens 

The Gardens North County District Park offers a reprieve from the city with state-of-the-art LED sports lighting that surrounds the multipurpose fields, and luscious Hibiscus flowers that line the playground area. There is colorful, anti-slip concrete that covers the ground of the splash pad and water fountain.

Interested in the allure of visiting Palm Beach Gardens playgrounds this summer? From parks featuring expansive walking trails to playgrounds and splash pads to play on in the warm summer days, there is something for everyone to do in the great outdoors of the parks in Palm Beach Gardens. And for all Palm Beach Gardens homes for sale, don't hesitate to reach out.

 

Posted in Palm Beach Gardens
March 25, 2024

Wanting to Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage? 5 Things to Know

Home shopping typically starts in a lender's office with a mortgage application and not an open house. Many sellers expect buyers to obtain pre-approval for financing and are commonly willing to negotiate with those who prove that they can obtain a loan.

Key Takeaways of the Blog  5 Things to Know

  • A home seller often asks for a mortgage pre-approval letter before negotiations begin.
  • Pre-approval requires proof of employment, assets, income tax returns, and a qualifying credit score.
  • Mortgage pre-approval letters are typically valid for 60 to 90 days.
  • Upon pre-approval, the lender will provide the maximum loan amount, which helps set a price range for the home shopper.

Continue to read to find out the top 5 things to know about needing to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

A pre-qualification mortgage can be useful as an estimate of how much someone can afford to spend on a home. A pre-approval, valid for 60-90 days, is more valuable, as it means a lender has checked the buyer's credit, verified assets, and confirmed employment to approve a specific loan amount. Buyers will always benefit from consulting with a lender, obtaining a pre-approval letter, and discussing loan options and budgeting. The lender will provide the maximum loan amount, which will help set the price range for the home shopper.

Requirements for Pre-Approval

Mortgage pre-approval requires a buyer to complete a mortgage application and provide proof of assets, confirmation of income, good credit, employment verification, and important documentation. Pre-approval is based on a handful of things, including:

  • FICO credit score
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

Some loans can be designed for moderate-income homebuyers or first-time buyers.

1. Proof of Income

Potential homebuyers must provide W-2 wage statements and tax returns from the past two years, current pay stubs that show income and year-to-date income, and proof of additional income sources such as alimony or bonuses.

2. Proof of Assets

A borrower's bank and investment account statements prove that they have funds for a required down payment, closing costs, and cash reserves. The down payment, closing costs, and cash reserves. The down payment, expressed as a percentage of the selling price varies by loan type. Many loans require the buyer to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) if 20% of the purchase price is not being put down.

What if you don't have proof of assets? 

This is not uncommon especially since I've been seeing a lot of self-employed buyers lately. Non conventional income sources, such, as self employment, freelance work, commissions or rental properties may not always come with pay stubs or W2s. In cases individuals might rely on bank statements showing deposits to demonstrate their income.

In scenarios where individuals have recently acquired assets through an inheritance or property sale their bank statements may not yet reflect these assets.

Privacy concerns may arise for individuals to disclose all their assets. It's important to acknowledge that lenders require verification of your loan repayment capacity, which includes assessing your assets.

For buyers lacking proof of assets there are loan options available;

"Asset based loans prioritize a borrowers assets like stocks, bonds or investment accounts when qualifying for a mortgage.

No documentation mortgages are becoming less common. May still be offered by some lenders to borrowers, with credit and substantial liquid assets." - Jackie Barikhan, Summit Lending

3. Good Credit

Many lenders will require a FICO score of 620 or higher to approve a conventional loan, or 580 for a Federal Housing Administration loan. Lenders typically reserve the lowest interest rates for customers with a credit score of 760 or higher.

4. Employment Verification

Lenders not only verify employment through a buyer's pay stubs but will likely call the employer to confirm a borrower's employment and salary. Self-employed buyers provide additional information such as the stability of the borrower's income, the location and nature of the business, and the ability of the business to continue generating and distributing sufficient income to enable the borrower to make the payment on the mortgage.

5. Other Documentation

Personal documents and identification required for pre-approval include the borrower's driver's license, SSN, and authorization to allow the lender to pull a credit report.

Pre-Approval vs. Approval

A lender is required to provide a document called a loan estimate within three business days of receiving a completed mortgage application. It will outline the pre-approved loan amount and maximum loan amount, terms, and types of mortgages, interest rates, estimated interest and payments, estimated closing costs, an estimate of property taxes, and homeowner's insurance.

Is it Important to Get Pre-Approved?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage gives a home buyer bargaining power since they already have mortgage financing and can therefore make a reasonable offer to the seller of a home in which they are interested. Otherwise, the prospective buyer would have to apply for a mortgage before making an offer and potentially lose the opportunity to bid on a home.

The Bottom Line

Mortgage pre-approval is an examination of a home buyer's finances and lenders require five items to ensure borrowers will repay their loan. Potential borrowers complete a mortgage application and provide proof of assets, confirmation of income, credit report, employment verification, and important documentation to obtain pre-approval.

Interested in learning more about getting pre-approved for a mortgage? This guide can be used to get a head start on getting pre-approved for your Palm Beach Gardens mortgage for your home. Explore the best of Palm Beach Gardens today. 

Posted in News
March 18, 2024

Tips on Planning a Home Renovation in Jupiter

Planning a home renovation

Renovations are amongst the best ways to breathe new life into homes and bring them back to life. However, renovating a residential property isn't always a walk in the park. Proper planning has to take place before any changes can be made to the structure. If you have a plan in progress for your home renovation, you can make it a success by taking note of the following factors in this article.

Continue to read to find tips on planning the perfect home renovation in Jupiter, FL.

Building Code

Different places have regulations when it comes to house renovations. Find out what the regulations are in your area so you know what you can and cannot do when renovating your property. By following these results, you can restore the appearance and structural integrity of your house without running into legal issues down the road.

Budget

Renovating your home won't be cheap, and you will have to prepare yourself to spend a substantial amount on this project. If major changes have to be made to bring your home back to tip-top condition, this is particularly true. Setting and sticking to a budget will help you keep your costs low without compromising on quality.

Building Materials

As much as possible, we recommend going for building materials with the highest possible quality that will fit into your budget. You may end up spending more, though the cost will be worth it once your renovated areas are more durable and resilient and won't be easily damaged.

Pick the Right Team

Once you recognize you might need extra help in the renovation process, the next step is to pick a good team. Part of determining who should be on your remodeling team will be based solely on the scope of your job. To determine what help you need, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the floors being replaced? If you are having new flooring installed, chances are you may only need a tile contractor or a flooring installation professional.
  • Do you need to pull permits? If you are planning on pulling permits, that could indicate you will need to hire a general contractor, though it is not always the case, so follow up with legalities.
  • What is your comfort zone? Some who are partaking in renovations themselves may feel they need a general contractor, while others may feel they need help.

Real Estate expert Bill Gassett of Maximum Real Estate Exposure shared valuable advice with me.  

"When guiding clients on what to renovate in their homes, a critical factor is always the return on investment. Making significant improvements when selling only makes sense if the cost is justified. Will the upgrade make the property more salable or put more money in your pocket than what's left?  

Two improvements that come to mind that are usually losers are a new roof and replacing windows. Unless a roof leaks and causes damage to a property, it should be skipped. You're better off negotiating something less than the replacement cost with the buyer. You won't be able to tack on the cost of a new roof to the asking price and expect a buyer to pay for it.

  Windows is another improvement loser when selling. The value comes in replacing windows and saving on energy bills when you have them in your home. They are far too expensive to recoup the cost when selling. I think you should skip this project. However, remember that if they need replacement, that should be accounted for when negotiating the price with a buyer."

The Bottom Line

Make your home renovation a success by following this article. If you are interested in additional tips, or if you are searching for experts in Jupiter, FL who can aid in your renovation process, check out the Jupiter area for top-notch property improvement solutions. Contact Your Jupiter Realtor for more information. And for the ultimate sellers guide, visit us here.

More: Backyard Renovation Tips

Posted in Jupiter
Feb. 26, 2024

Planning a Romantic Jupiter, FL Boat Tour 101

Are you in Jupiter, FL with your loved one looking for a special and romantic activity to bring you closer? Nothing screams romance more than taking to the water for a romantic boat tour to watch the sunset with a drink in hand and the beautiful water all around you. Jupiter offers an ideal setting, and in this post, we will go over how to organize a romantic Jupiter boat excursion that both you and your special someone can remember. Planning a Romantic Jupiter, FL Boat Tour 101

Check Out All Boat Tour Providers 

The first and most important step in organizing a romantic boat excursion in Jupiter is to check out all the local boat tour providers. Private tour providers should be sought out while they offer more individualized and intimate experiences. Verify ratings, recommendations, and the types of boats they offer. 

These are some of our Jupiter favorites: 

Love Street Outdoor Center 

Manatee Queen 

Jupiter Water Tours 

Choose a Boat Type 

The next recommended step is to choose a type of boat you’d like to tour around with your loved one. Because this is going to be a romantic cruise, we’d recommend something smaller and more intimate. From here, decide on a classic pontoon boat, or a classy design like the Flying Lady. 

Prepare Your Route 

Plan the path you want to go before starting your boat journey. Talk about the finest locations to visit with your loved one with the Skipper and boat tour business. Many local favorite romantic spots for their scenery include the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Peanut Island, and the Intracoastal Waterway, all a few well-known locations to take into account. Plan out time to unwind, go swimming or snorkeling, and document your time together with photos.

Gather Your Essentials

Pack those necessities that will enable you to have a comfortable, carefree, pleasurable trip on the Jupiter boat tour. For some unforeseen weather changes, pack sunscreen, towels, and extra clothing. You can even amp up the romance by packing a picnic basket filled with a yummy lunch and a bottle of the finest wine. 

Relish the Occasion

It is time to unwind and take in the experience after all your hard work is prepped and you are enjoying your Jupiter boat tour. Live in the moment with your significant other while taking in the stunning surroundings and fresh air. Turn off the noise from the outer world and spend time with each other. 

Organizing a boat tour in Jupiter can be a special and unforgettable experience. This article with all its suggestions may help you have a relaxing, enjoyable, fun experience on your boat tour. Just remember to do homework on your boat tour providers to pick the perfect one for you. 

Contact Your Palm Beach Realtor. 

Posted in Jupiter
Feb. 5, 2024

How Accessibility Features Can Enhance Home Value

How Accessibility Features Can Enhance Home Value

Accessibility is one of the biggest conversation pieces in modern home design and remodeling. People want to feel comfortable and want their guests to feel as welcome as possible in their homes.

Thankfully, this means that you can create a property that's safe and easy to navigate without having to worry about a negative impact on property value. These are some accessibility features that are awesome to include and why they matter.

1. Why Accessibility Matters

Accessibility is something that affects everyone, regardless of whether they realize it. Most of us age to a point where we start needing wheelchairs or other accessibility aids, and some need these from a very young age. Building an accessible home is something that has use for everyone and offers value even if you're not who it was originally intended for.

This adds value to your home and makes it a property that people from almost any age group can consider purchasing, which will be a great perk when you decide to sell.

2. Easy Changes to Start With

Small changes can be enough to make massive changes in a person's life. Adding perks like a handrail with LED lights can add accessibility and safety while still seeming luxurious and new. 

Other items to add that can boost value are grips on stairs, if you have any, making your windows and doors easier to open, and even investing in clear lighting for pathways outside. Although these might not seem like accessibility boosts on first blush, they'll make living there far easier.

3. Widening and Raising Doorways

One of the biggest parts of a home that could use a change, which most people don't think about, is the doorways. Wider doorways allow more space for emergency workers to bring in and out wheeled gurneys, allow more space for walkers and wheelchairs, and ensure that you have plenty of room to move around if you need it. 

This can be a slightly more expensive change, but the end result is good for as long as the house stands, so it’s a fantastic change.

4. Adding Ramps

Ramps are something most people don't ever consider adding to their homes, but think about all of the ways they can help! Of course, the most obvious is wheelchairs, but they're also great for moving furniture in and out, wheeling carts if you can't physically carry your groceries, pushing in and out large purchases, and so much more.

Although stairs have a classic beauty to them, they're not the most accessible part of any home.

5. Investing In the Bathroom

Bathrooms and kitchens are usually the main spaces where accessibility is needed most. People want to be able to live their lives as easily as possible while avoiding having to remodel every home they move into so it'll work. This could mean adding simple changes like grip bars in the shower (which could benefit everyone!) or having the second bathtub in the home be a step-in tub that can double as a hot tub.

Your bathroom doesn’t have to be outfitted like a hospital bathroom by any means, but it should allow someone to comfortably get around and use it in a way that won’t make them unsafe for doing simple things.

6. Understanding Change

Although many of these changes are permanent, it's vital that you keep some areas open to change. Technology is always changing rapidly, so although adding things like a modern intercom system (most Alexas and Google Home devices have this built-in) can be helpful, you need to remember how quickly they age. 

Consider building shelving units for them so that when you upgrade or replace them, you won't have to take them out of the walls.

This doesn't mean you can't add things that you might only need for ten years! Although an automated chair lift for stairs may only work for ten years, it's incredibly necessary for those ten years. Weigh life necessity with how important it is to build items into the base of the house itself.

7. Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are some mistakes people make that were done in good faith as an attempt to boost their homes that end up taking off value. Falling for simple schemes to make things seem accessible but are actually wastes of money can leave you with a less accessible home. 

This could mean you add a ramp, but it's too steep to be usable, or adding easy open windows that are too far from the ground for someone seated, or shorter, to be able to reach them. Be aware and mindful of each decision you make.

Safety Brings More Value

Home value sits at the front of most property owners' minds. If you're ready to make your home safer and more accessible while boosting your property's value, follow some of these tips!

Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise in residential and commercial real estate, as well as engineering and construction. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.

Posted in News