Welcome to the PBCoastal.com Blog...

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

Dec. 7, 2017

What to Look for in the Perfect Neighborhood

Finding the right neighborhood can be easy when you know what to look for. There are so many communities, gated neighborhoods and enclaves around Palm Beach County it can be difficult to know what it is your even looking for. Some neighborhoods have great social calendars while others have resort-style amenities, and still, others are in a great school district zone. What matters to you, matters to you, and it may not matter to someone else. But when it comes to looking for the right neighborhood here are some key points to keep in mind.What to Look for in the Perfect Neighborhood

Create a short list and ask the right questions.

Make a list of what you are looking to get out of the neighborhood. Do you want to be within a certain school district, close walking distance to the nearest coffee shop, close to your neighbor or do you want more space between houses? Are you looking for amenities or a neighborhood that has no homeowners dues? There are a lot of different details and you may not even know what you want until you start looking out there. Is a gated community important to you? Do you want to be close to a golf course, tennis courts or the community swimming pool? Do you want an active social calendar with there are different events new every night of the week? Are you looking for a good retirement community or one that has school age children? There are a lot of questions but if you start making a list we can narrow down the field tremendously.

How much maintenance do you want?

Are you looking for a maintenance home, perhaps a condominium or townhouse? Or do you prefer to do a little bit of gardening, and love the lush landscaping of Southern Florida? There are several properties that have zero lot lines. This type of homes extends close to the edge of the property lines. This means that there is less yard spaces for fewer yard care responsibilities. This is great for people that tend to travel a lot or just don't want a lot of maintenance.

The location.

How far away do you want to be from work? The nearest freeway? A particular school? Or general shops and markets? Maybe you want to be within 10 minutes from the beach? Take a look at the location, how far you are willing to drive for work and other necessities, and determine a good radius to keep your search within.

What is your current community lacking?

This is a great question to ask yourself because there something that you just wish your community or neighborhood would have. This is definitely something to be looking out in the next neighborhood.

Make a list of what you don't want in a neighborhood.

Obviously it's hard to determine what type of neighbors you'll have and almost impossible to predict that your next-door neighbor will have a barking dog all hours of the night, but, if you can make a note about things that you don't like in a neighborhood or that are not that important to you, we can rule those out when looking through communities.

Finding the perfect neighborhood doesn't have to be hard but it does require a little bit of planning. Understanding exactly what you want out of your neighborhood can go a long way to finding the perfect spot. If you have an idea of your ideal neighborhood to give me a call. Because I know most of the communities around Palm Beach Gardens in Jupiter, we can find something that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Awesome Posts That Can Help  You Find What You're Looking For

How to Buy Your Dream Home When You Weren't Ready

Strategies Southern Florida Home Buyers Should Adopt

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Buying a House

How to Make an Offer Stand Out

10 Tips to Buying Waterfront Property in Florida

 

 

Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 28, 2017

Best Holiday Events in Palm Beach County 2017

As we say goodbye to Thanksgiving 2017 we look forward to Christmas, holiday events and all that the season brings. Here are some of the best holiday events throughout Palm Beach County this year.

 

CityPlace Snow falls nightly through December 31 except for Christmas Day at CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

The West Palm Beach Holiday Tree Lighting on December 3 at 101 North Flagler Dr. in West Palm Beach starting at 6:00 PM. This is a great way to kick off the holiday season with their 600 ton Sand Tree! Best Holiday Events in Palm Beach County 2017

On December 10 at 51 North Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach is a tree lighting ceremony with the world-famous 100 foot tree. There will be visits with Santa and performances throughout the season.

On December 5 the Martin County boat Parade will take place in Stuart. As well as the Palm Beach holiday boat Parade in North Palm Beach to the Jupiter lighthouse.

December 5 – 12 and December's 14 – 16 is the festival of trees in West Palm Beach at the end Norton Sculpture Gardens, 2051 South Flagler Dr. Members and seniors are $15 with all general admission $20.

The Jupiter holiday parade is happening December 10 at 1:00 PM along the alternate A1A from Center Street to Bridge Road.

December 6 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM is the Palm Beach Gardens tree lighting ceremony at 4404 Burns Rd. Enjoy life music, games and of course a visit from Mr. C.

There will be a menorah lighting in Delray Beach on December 12 at sundown for approximately 5:30 PM at the Old-School Square Park on 96 N. E Second Avenue. 

will feature Christmas trees and a glowing Hanukkah display, live entertainment and more open daily from 6 PM to 10 PM.

From our family to yours have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa season and happy holidays.

Posted in West Palm Beach
Sept. 19, 2017

What the Real Estate Market is Really Like in Palm Beach County

What the Real Estate Market is Really Like in Palm Beach County

Well, we did it. We survived Irma. Yes, we know it's hurricane seasons but not every year is death-defying. Okay, I'm exaggerating. Living in Florida is a dream and even though we are close to the coast, most years it's a tropical storm from time to time. But this year it was a little more exciting. We only got heavy rain and some wind and very little damage to our area unlike the Keys but it still is a little concerning for those that may not be used to it.

Don't worry. We are used to it and it's not as bad as the rest of the country makes it out to be. But all that being said, what about our real estate market - both now and before Irma hit? Will we see lingering impacts from this? 

Summer is really not our strongest market. It's hot and most people choose to buy and tour open houses in the fall and winter. But, school doesn't follow the weather. If people have to move before school starts, the summer is the best time to do that. So all in all, we have a pretty active market year round for different reasons. 

Things change rapidly around here. While much of the country is in a hot seller's market, we have cooled off a bit here; good news for buyers though! Let's take a look at a few of the major cities in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach Gardens: 

Average home price is about $340,000. 

Average days on the market is about 70

Number of properties for sale is 613

Median List Price is $539,000

Market is leaning in favor of buyers. More homes for sale, lower prices, better inventory.

Jupiter:

Average home price is about $335,000

Average days on the market is about 55

Number of properties for sale is 566

Median list price is $547,000

Market is leaning in favor of sellers. Hotter market than surrounding areas, less inventory, fewer days on the market.

Juno Beach:

Average home prices is about $410,000

Average days on the market is about 80

Number of properties for sale is 58

Median list price is $600,000

Market is leaning in favor of buyers. Higher number of listings, lower prices. Prices have actually dropped in this area over the last 6 months. However, not a lot of newer developments. Older, more established developments are popular. 

The surrounding communities of North Palm and Singer Island also are more geared toward buyers right now so it's a great time buy and if you're in Jupiter, it's also a great time to sell! As we get into a little cooler weather, buyers will be looking for homes that have withstood strong winds and storms. Homeowners are urged to have a pre-inspection to check the integrity of the home before listing - trust me, it could really pay off.

Wondering about the value of your Palm Beach County home? Give me a call. I'd love to help find the right home for you or help you sell quickly. 

CHECK ALL THE STATS FOR INDIVIDUAL COMMUNITIES AND SUBDIVISIONS AROUND THE AREA

 

 

Posted in Real Estate
Sept. 5, 2017

Best Way to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane

We were just coming off the heels of Hurricane Harvey only to be hit with Hurricane Irma days later. Nobody wants the reality of what might happen but it's important to understand and be prepared as much as possible.

One of the biggest things to prepare and plan for is to evacuate when you're told to do so even before. There's just no point to risk it if there's any chance of death or injury.

That being said, there are some things to help prepare your home just in case it gets hit.

How to prepare your house for a hurricane

#1. Review your insurance policy. 

Ask your insurance company what they will cover. Many insurance companies will handle general fire or theft but may not have coverage for natural disasters. Also, you might have hurricane insurance but not flood insurance. Many people may not even be able to get flood insurance so it's important to understand what you have, what it covers, and talk to them about your concerns so that you are covered or have a plan of action if you need to.

#2. Take an inventory of your property.

Go throughout your house and take pictures of each room. Take specific pictures of high-priced items or high to get personal materials such as pianos, jewelry, high-end furniture and other items. Make a list of all of these things and have them in the cloud so that you can access them should your home get destroyed.

#3. Secure and seal your roof if you can.

The roof is one of the largest potential openings on the house and wind and water can do a tour of damage to a roof. Try to inspect your roof ahead of time to make sure that all the shingles are secured and that there are no broken or missing tiles. You may have to spend about $500 to seal the roof deck, but it could help.

#4. Consider roof straps. 

Florida requires builders to attaca home's roofof to the walls with metal straps. So make sure that those roof straps are in good working condition and have been installed properly.

#5. Seal windows and doors.

Check the seals around your windows and doors. You might just get a little bit of wind and rain but you certainly don't want any of that coming in through the cracks in and around the windows. This could lead to rot and mildew inside the walls. This also includes sealing any additional holes from electrical wires or cabling coming into the house.

#6. Clear the lawn and deck.

Make sure you're not leaving anything lying around such as lawn furniture, pots, vases, chairs, anything that could be blown around and used as a missile heading toward your windows or your doors and the side of your house. Make sure everything is stored indoors or secured to the ground.

#7. Reinforce your garage door.

Garage doors can blow in and if you have an attic above the garage it can blow up and tear the house apart. Strengthen your existing garage door by installing a vertical garage door brace and reinforcing it with horizontal wooden beams. [Source]

#8. Have an emergency pack ready to go.

This will include all first aid supplies, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, flashlights and batteries, chargers for your phone, cash, food and supplies for your pets. You may also need about 1 gallon of water per family per member per day.

#9. Put things up that you want to save.

It's hard to prop up couches and chairs, but try to put everything up at least 5 feet or higher in the room to protected as much is possible. Put computers and power supplies up into closets and pick anything up off the floor that you want saved such as books, rugs, shoes, blankets and chairs if you can.

Hold on tight Florida, Irma is coming for us. But, we can try to be as prepared as possible both for our own safety initially and for the rebuilding of our homes later on. But, let's all pray we don't have to go that far.

Posted in Real Estate
Aug. 29, 2017

Best Advice for Home Sellers 2017

I know we're not done with 2017 and I'm sure there will be more amazing tips and tricks but so far, these are my favorite posts for home sellers. If only everyone knew these things! But alas, that's what I'm here for! Take a gander at some of the best advice for sellers in 2017 so far. 

3 Things Sellers Wish They Knew Before Selling a House

We all know more after going through something than before. Don't you want to learn from other people so you don't have to make all the mistakes yourself?

 

 

buy or sell first?

Should We Buy First or Sell First?

 

 

The ongoing dilemma. If you sell first will  you be able to find a house and if you buy first and your house doesn't sell right away will you be stuck with two mortgages?

 

 

 

When Should I Reduce the Price of My Home?

Some advice off-site but very good info here. When SHOULD you reduce the price? At all? Never? Every week? Or only when it doesn't sell for a few months?

 

 

stubborn sellerHow to Negotiate With Stubborn Sellers

I know this is more for buyers but hey, don't be a stubborn seller. 

 

sellers disclosureHow Much Do I Really Have to Say in the Disclosure?

Yes, you really have to disclose that you put up that shed without a permit. I know you don't like it but you don't want things to come back and bite you later.

 

 

 

 

buying simultaneously Easy Tips for Buying and Selling a House Simultaneously

And then there's the buy and sell at the same time. Total chaos, right? well, it doesn't have to be. 

Posted in Real Estate
Aug. 25, 2017

Simple Ways to Budget-Friendly Relocation

Moving can be an expensive process. I'm not even talking about selling the house or buying another one, but simply the process of relocation. Packing up, renting trucks, gas to move to another place and then restock a new home. That can really add up. There are ways to keep a big move from breaking your budget but it does take some planning on your part beforehand. Here are some simple ways to a budget friendly relocation.

simple ways to budget friendly moving

#1. Clear out clutter first.

Before packing up everything and moving it to the new location only to discover you don't want half of the stuff, is a waste of time and energy. Clear out clutter ahead of time by donating, throwing things away or selling a lot of items. Once you really start digging in closets, garages and cupboards, you find things that you haven't used in years. It's time to toss those things and not just move them from one place to another.

#2. Find out how to get free boxes.

Put an ad out on Craigslist for free boxes. You would be surprised how many people are trying to get rid of the boxes once they have moved. You can throw a request out on Facebook or any of those free marketing sites. Plus, you can check with major retailers and liquor stores for their empty boxes.

#3. Use your personal items to wrap other personal items.

No need to spend a lot of money on bubble wrap or packing when you have it all already in your house. Use clothes and towels to wrap dishes and fragile items. Use blankets to wrap around delicates and things that you want to keep safe and unbreakable. Use what you already have us packing material but, remember to label it.

#4. Label it.

Just like I said above, label everything including the packing material you used in the box. It might be a box full of dishes but if you have wrapped each dish with all of your towels, you may never find your towels unless you label the box.

#5. Should you hire movers?

Moving on your own does require a lot of time and planning but, you know how to pack your items and you know if they are going to be safe or not. Using a mover is a risk that you may or may not be willing to take. Movers can move boxes into the truck and then move the truck for you or they can do it all from dumping everything in a drawer in a box and packing it up and going. If you don't have the time or ability to move yourself you might consider hiring movers but, get a lot of references and referrals because poor movers can damage a lot of your personal things.

#6. Make a moving budget.

Get a few quotes, write down your projected budget, and see how much things will really cost. Don't forget to include gas from one place to another, especially if you are moving long distance. Whatever your budget is, you should increase it by at least 20% to cover any unexpected expenses.

#7. Report a change of address and transfer utilities.

Before you even move in it might be a good idea to start moving mail over to your new location if you can. Make a note of all of your expenses, bills that you've received in the mail and your utilities so that you can check them off as you go.

Remember, moving expenses can be deducted if your move is work-related. If the move is 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job location was from your home you can deduct a lot of your moving expenses but there are eligibility requirements. Be sure to check with your tax accountant on the details of deducting moving expenses.

When you're ready to move, whether it's across town or across the state, contact my office. I'd love to help you find a home in the Palm Beach County area or help you sell your home quickly and for as much money as the market can bear.

Should We Buy First or Sell First?

Easy Tips for Buying and Selling a House Simultaneously

Posted in Real Estate
Aug. 8, 2017

All Jupiter Country Club Members Can Play Golf at These Courses

Did you know!?

As a member of the Jupiter Country Club, you have access to dozens of golf courses in the area? The Jupiter Golf Shop must call Reciprocal Clubs for all tee time reservations. 

Summer members and Charter and Full Members can play at most of these but there are restrictions for each. 

Just a few of the courses include:Jupiter Country Club

Palm Beach Polo Club

PGA Golf Club

PGA National

Turtle Creek Club

Yacht and Country Club

Admiral's Cove

Ballenisles

Ibis

AND MANY, MANY MORE! Click the brochure on the right for all participating clubs!

July 18, 2017

How Much Do I Really Have to Say in the Disclosure?

When you have to sell a house there's this tricky little form that goes along with it called the "sellers disclosure form". Most sellers will give you a disgusted look anytime you suggested this form but it is mandatory in most if not all real estate transactions. Even as a homeowner, if you are selling the home as is, you still have to disclose what you know about the property and, if you choose not to disclose something that you have knowledge of, it could come back to bite you in the butt.

But, what all do you have to disclose?do I have to disclose everything?

Repairs and remodels.

If the home has had nature remodels, additions or structural repairs that you know of you must put that in the seller's disclosure. Whether or not you had a permit pulled for the work done, you still have to disclose that it was done. Now, this doesn't mean every little light bulb change out or socket plate replacement, but, if you've done anything to the structure of the property that could affect the integrity such as building a deck, installing major appliances with new wiring or plumbing, taking out or removing load bearing walls or adding on rooms including bathrooms or parts of kitchens or bedrooms, this all should be disclosed in the sellers disclosure form.

Damage.

If the home has had any damage from water leaks, natural disasters, fire, or other extenuating circumstances, even if someone ran into the house with a car, the future buyer needs to be aware of this.

Lead-based paint.

Most homes built after 1978 do not have lead-based paint and homeowners that have an older home may not even know it existed in the home at one time. Chances are it's been painted over multiple times so it's fairly safe unless you have pets or small children gnawing on paint chips and the walls. If you don't know, you can simply say that you don't but, if you are aware of lead-based paint, you have to mention that you know about it.

See: 3 Things sellers wish they knew before selling

Radon

Radon is a chemical element the comes from the natural breakdown of uranium. It is usually found in igneous rock and soil but in some cases, well water may be a source of radon. Depending on where you are in the country, radon testing may be required in the home inspection. If the house has high radon levels, which one in 15 American homes can test high for radon gas, it's not that easy to get rid of. Most homeowners don't realize there may be radon in the soil but if you have a well, it's important to get this tested. This doesn't necessarily mean that buyers will walk away from the deal after finding out there is elevated radon levels but they can negotiate with the homeowner to have a radon mitigation system installed and reduced radon test results before closing on the property.

Poor neighborhood or bad neighbors.

If you don't like your neighbors, you don't have to tell the next buyers. Buyers should do their own due diligence and find out for themselves if the buyer down the street is a hoarder with junker cars in the front yard or if the dogs barking incessantly throughout the night. However, in 1992 there was a court case that held sellers responsible for disclosing neighbors "pattern of offensive and noxious behaviors", which can include the operation of noisy equipment, or if there is some offensive or dangerous behavior in the neighborhood that the homeowner is aware of. This is a slippery slope and a tricky subject so it's important to navigate it with your real estate agent.

See: Do Buyers Still Want to See a Home Office?

Your financial situation.

This is definitely something that the buyers don't need to be aware of. They won't have access or information on your bank accounts or even why you are selling the property.

Haunted.

Disclosing whether or not you think the home is haunted can fall under an umbrella of material facts. Most real estate laws require sellers to disclose material facts, which covers repairs, additions, and construction. But chances are a seller would not need to disclose whether or not the homeowner feels the house is haunted, but this can vary from county to county. It also depends on how famous the haunting could be. If you're selling a historical home that has a reputation for being haunted, that probably should come up somewhere in the disclosure form.

Death in the house.

If you are aware of a death in your house you may have to disclose it based on the state in which you live. Each state and county even have different laws. If an older person simply passed away in the home, that might not be as important to know as a horrific murder or homicide happening in the house. Some buyers to care less what others are extremely superstitious.

For Buyers: What do Sellers Try and Hide? 

What do sellers hide?Drugs.

Again, state laws vary greatly but in the state of Florida, sellers are legally required to disclose known facts that materially affect the value of the property, and this could include drug-related paraphernalia or activity if it has affected the structural integrity of the property. For instance, if there was a meth lab in the basement, that will greatly affect the air quality and structure of the property, however, if previous homeowners lit up a joint from time to time, that's probably not required to be disclosed.

Again, it's important to discuss all of this with your real estate agent. You don't have to give everything away, but you do have to be honest and disclose as much as legally required.

Have a question about the seller's disclosure form? Give me a call at any time. I focus generally in the Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens real estate market of Florida.

 

 

 

Posted in Real Estate
July 7, 2017

Easy Tips for Buying and Selling a House Simultaneously

Easy Tips for Buying and Selling a House Simultaneously

Selling the home and buying a home at the same time can be a stressful situation but it is not uncommon and many people need to do it in order to move on. If you're selling a home in the Palm Beach County area and need to purchase in the same area it's a great idea to use the same agent for both transactions. This limits the confusion and frustration of dealing with too many people and too many parties in the transaction. But here are some other tips to make buying and selling simultaneously and easy and stress-free process.

#1. Try to keep emotions at bay.

This will be a very stressful and complicated time but it doesn't have to be as difficult as you might think it is. By preparing yourself ahead of time, keeping emotions at bay and trusting your agent can make the process go a lot smoother.  It can be a little bit stressful that you've found a home you want to live is that you have a sold your current home or perhaps you've sold your home but haven't found a new home in which to move. Don't let anxiety overtake you. Trust your agent, however, don't feel like you need to trade off on things that are vital to you if you need to buy or sell first. You also not want to accept an offer they feel is too low simply because you are strained by two home loans. Talk to your lender, get your finances in a row and let everyone know what your situation is before diving into the process. Once the process is started it can be difficult to backtrack and way more stressful if you have not prepared.

Read The Ultimate Home Sellers Guide

#2. Understand the housing market in your area.

The housing market is quite different than where it was just 10 years ago so understanding the market can help you price, sell and then find a home a lot better than if you have no clue what's going on in the real estate world. If it's easier to sell then buy in your area you might want to consider buying a home first or at least placing an offer on a home. If it's the other way around, consider selling first and then finding a home. Again, talk to your agent about the best way to go about buying and selling simultaneously.

#3. Schedule as much as you can.

This might be difficult because it will depend on the logistics of why you're selling and moving. You might not have a chance to calculate the right timing and dates for all the necessary procedures that will be coming up. However, if you can arrange your calendar cautiously by making sure that you have enough time to move, sell, buy and close on both home simultaneously it will feel a lot less stressful. Now is probably not the time to sign up the kids for multiple sporting events, take on more projects than you need or take on extra work at your place of employment. It's best to free up the calendar during the 1 to 4 months it may take to buy and sell a home.

Related: How Has Home Buying Changed Since Our Parents Time?

#4. Understand the money -related arrangements.

Talk to your lender about your goals and what you're trying to achieve by buying and selling simultaneously. Talk to them about the options of maintaining to home loans if necessary should the home not sell before you find a new one. Ask about bridge loans, carryover loans and other options that might be available to you in this type of situation. Most real estate agents and lenders will suggest trying to sell your home first. At the very least, listing and marketing your property before looking at other homes is a little bit smarter than finding the home you want and then starting the marketing and listing process.

The takeaway is to really talk to your agent about your needs, your desires and the goals that you're trying to achieve. If your agent and your lender both understand where you're trying to get, they can do all they can on their side of the transaction to make sure those deadlines are met.

If you need to buy and sell a home in the Palm Beach Gardens or Jupiter please contact me today. Let's discuss your options and financing programs and see what works for your situation and timing.

Posted in Real Estate
June 19, 2017

If I Buy a House, Can I Keep the In-Ground Pool?

Yes, I have really heard this question before. And, if you have come across this question because you're wondering the same thing, you're realizing it's not that audible question. You might be wondering if you could to keep the inground pool if you buy a house. Now, if you think this through, it would be quite a tragedy to rip up an entire pool and it would leave a huge mess so yes if you buy a home with a backyard inground pool, it should remain. But, I do want to leave this little caveat; sellers do have the right to write anything they want in the purchase and sale contract but you also have to agree to it for it to happen. So, if for some reason the seller says they are going to fill in the pool before closing on the property and you don't agree with that, you need to either not agree to it in the contract or make a separate negotiation in the contract or addendum.If I Buy a House, Can I Keep the In-Ground Pool?

Just as there are interesting questions from buyers, there are odd and bizarre behaviors from homeowners as well. You never know if a homeowner is going to do something that the buyer simply finds outrageous between the time of mutual acceptance and closing. But, if the seller does anything that is not written in the contract or legally allowed by the time closing happens, the buyer does have a right to go back to the seller for litigation.

If we are talking about a portable aboveground pool that can be easily removed, that is something that should be discussed prior to closing. Buyers may want to keep it and so it should be written into the purchase and sale contract, not just assumed that it will go with the property.

Other items that are included with the sale of the property that buyers may not be aware of include temporarily attached features such as light fixtures, curtain rods, drapes, flooring, and bookshelves. These items may be removed but typically they are part of the house and should be sold with the property. Even curtains hanging on attached curtain rods are included with the sale of most properties unless otherwise stated by the seller or the fire and agreed upon.

Again, it all comes down to what the buyer and the seller agree upon. If it is written into the contract and mutually agreed upon, the contract stands. If you move into a property that has been damaged or something removed not included in the contract, the buyer has every right to go back to the seller for retribution.

Have a real estate question? Give me a call at any time and you never know what might make it into the blog.

Posted in Real Estate