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.

June 25, 2021

5 Tips to Know Before Taking Your Own Real Estate Photos

I've had a lot of homeowners asked to use their own photos on the listing and this is worked out great if they are a professional photographer. If you really want to sell the home, those photos can be the first impression that will make or break the sale. If you want buyers to step one total into your home, those photos really better be amazing. When it comes to listing a property, photos are really the first impression that property gives a potential buyer.

Here are five key tips to know before taking your own real estate photos.Real estate photos

#1. Use a wide angle lens.

Whether you are taking the photos, your real estate agent or professional photographer, make sure that they use a wide angle lens. The focus is usually spot on and it's perfect for taking pictures of large rooms and small rooms alike.

#2. Ask about insurance.

If the photographer is moving around your property, especially if you still have furnishings in the home, ask about some type of insurance. What happens if the photographer breaks something in your home?

Related: How to Take Awesome Pictures of Your Home

#3. Ask about the details of the contract.

If you photographer has a contract ask what your responsibility is when it comes to taking photos. Is this simply a 10 to 15-minute photo shoot, going around the entire house taking pictures of each room, or is this a 2 to 4-hour event where you'll need to stage, set up, clean and arrange furniture and furnishings in order to get the best shot. Make sure you understand the details and that there is a contract between the photographer and either the real estate agent or homeowner.

#4. Editing is okay to a degree.

If you're a photographer that's photoshopping and editing the images so that it doesn't even look like your house anymore, there's no point to show that on the real estate listings; that's false advertising. However, many preset editing features on Photoshop and item such as light where you can save a lot of time creating a beautiful photo that anyone would want to display.

#5. Take pictures of what really counts.

Take pictures of the rooms that are really going to sell the house. Taking pictures of the inside of a closet or pantry is probably a waste of the picture unless that feature is phenomenal. You want to see what is actually being advertised, not the furnishings in the house. Yes, furnishings can set the stage and make a beautiful arrangement but don't neglect taking photos of the actual home and bones itself so that people know what they are buying.

Taking professional real estate photos truly is an art just as portraits landscape photos can be. To really sell the house, showcase the home in gorgeous print flyers and online, there's really no alternative to professional photos.

For more information about taking professional real estate photos of your Palm Beach County listing contact Todd Blair today

Our top neighborhoods in the area:

Mirasol Country Club


Admiral's Cove - (Check out the new changes)

Thank you to our guest post this week Jane Goodrich - NY child and family photographer

Posted in Real Estate
May 26, 2021

10 Simple Ways to Make Buying a Home More Affordable

You want to buy but you just don't know where to start or how. Getting your finances together, looking at homes then pulling the trigger all seems like huge steps, and they are! But you can make it easier and more affordable with these 10 simple steps.

Here's How:10 ways to make home buying eaiser

1. Fix Your Credit Score

Start here before you ever apply for a home loan. Check the history for 12 months to fix any errors and correct any issues before applying. Depending on what you are going to be applying for, VA approved lenders require a credit score of 620 and FHA's 3.5% down payment program requires a credit score of at least 580. Anything over 700 can usually qualify for a conventional loan.

2. Close toward the end of the month.

All prepaid expenses such as mortgage interest, homeowners dues, mortgage insurance, home insurance, and taxes accrue from the date of closing through to the end of the month.

3. Look for low down payment options.

There are several low down payment programs, such as the FHA or other USDA and national and local programs that can offer down payment assistance, grants and credits toward your down payment or the purchase price of your home.

4. Practice paying your mortgage payment.

If you've already started saving for a down payment and you're making monthly rental payments, consider increasing the rental payment to what a mortgage payment would be and put the extra away. This will get you in the habit of making that mortgage payment each month and find out if your finances can handle it.

5. Downsize other major plans.

If you're considering a wedding, vacation or other major financial expenses consider downsizing them in order to save money for a down payment. Cut costs, go on vacation in offseasons or simply find a better deal on things so that you can save money elsewhere.

6. Research the housing market.

Understanding the housing market is a key component to getting the best deal and understanding the market. You certainly don't want to overpay so talking to your real estate agent and finding out about the best deals in the best neighborhoods is a great way to set yourself up for financial success.

7. Adjust expenses.

Do you really need a dream home right off the bat? You may want your dream home to start but actually, starting off with a smaller home, gaining equity and then rolling that into a larger home is really a better way to do things. Your finances are not strained and you can practice the art of homeownership first.

8. Consider a fixer-upper.

You can get a great deal by purchasing a fixer-upper, especially if you are handy with construction. You can do a lot of the work yourself or spend some time and do things gradually, increasing the value and selling it for high equity later on.

9. Get a good real estate agent.

Once you've worked on your finances you want to hire a real estate agent to be your buyers representative. This agent will know the market, help you find the right home and facilitate the transaction. Going with the listing agent on the property means that your needs, budget, and negotiation strategies are not the highest priority. Have your own agent when looking for homes. Need an experienced agent? Start here...

10. Relax and have fun.

Buying a home should be fun but also planning, getting experience and education will make the entire process much less stressful. Contact us today to get started or for answers to any of your home buying questions, we're here every day of the week. [Article derived from GoBankingrates.com]

Our top neighborhoods in the area:

Mirasol Country Club


Admiral's Cove

Valuable Home Buying Tips

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of New Construction

What to Look for in the Perfect Neighborhood

Simple Ways to Budget-Friendly Relocation

Posted in Real Estate
April 26, 2021

Competing With Other Cash Buyers for a Home

We see a lot of articles and situations where first-time homebuyers that are financing a property have to compete with all cash buyers, but what happens if you are a cash buyer and you have to compete with another cash offer?

This is something that were actually seeing a lot of in the Palm Beach County area. These homes, some of them worth millions of dollars, are actually being purchased with all cash and if the seller is receiving numerous cash offers, which one do they go with?How cash offers can compete with other cash offers

You want your offer to stand out even if it's very similar to a competitor's offer. So how can you do that?

Bill and Lisa were looking at houses in Jupiter Florida. We looked at several homes in popular communities such as the Jupiter Country Club and even some of the newer homes in Sonoma Isles. A few the homes we have looked at were quite unique and because of this, they were selling fast. Bill and Lisa really wanted to get in the game but the new they needed an advantage over other cash offers. Cash is quite a popular mode of purchase around here and with multiple cash offers, they needed to stand out. Here are several ways that we went about making offer stand out.

First up, I made a solid offer. We didn't ask for any inclusion such as personal property in the sale and there were no contingencies on selling a previous home before the purchase of this home finalized. We also were very flexible with the sellers requests and time frames. The seller needed 45 days to close, which we were more than happy to comply with.

Communication is also key. Because I had solid communication with the listing agent I was able to find out what the seller really needed in their home sale. Because of this, we tailored our offer to be as attractive as possible and they also presented the offer in person.

We also added an escalation clause. This stated that we were willing to pay $10,000 over the highest priced offer up to a certain amount. Because we were paying and all-cash we didn't have to worry about an appraisal. This escalation clause only works if the home appraises for the escalated amount. Because we were paying in all cash and Bill and Lisa could easily afford to go higher, they were willing to make that offer and take the risk.

Our offer really stood out because of our willingness to be personal and flexible with the seller. However, we didn't waive the inspection contingency, which a lot of buyers may do in order to get the sale. This may be a tactic if buyers are financing and need to compete with cash offers however, in our case, we didn't need to forfeit our inspection because the rest of the offer seemed very attractive.

We also were diligent and efficient in our time frames. Communication is key and staying in direct communication with the seller and the listing agent, we were able to come to an agreement quickly and effectively. I didn't simply submit an offer and then wait to hear back. I spoke personally with the listing agent, telling them about Bill and Lisa struggle of finding the right home and how much they loved this particular property. This personal inclusion made it easy for the sellers to agree to the cash offer and we were able to close on the home within the sellers time frame.

Again, it comes down to being personal and having an experienced agent that understands the market and how to compete with the sellers in a particular community or subdivision. As Bill and Lisa's guide through the home buying process, we were able to prepare a plan, execute that plan flawlessly with the seller and the listing agent and ends up with a home that they love.

For more information on obtaining a buyers agent for the Palm Beach County real estate market that understands today's trends, the sellers and how to compete, contact my office today.

Posted in Real Estate
March 29, 2021

Buying New Construction in Palm Beach Gardens Without a Buyer’s Agent

Buying New Construction in Palm Beach Gardens Without a Buyer’s Agent

If you're thinking about buying new construction or pre-construction throughout the Palm Beach Gardens real estate area you might be considering the benefits of enlisting the help of a buyer’s agent. Of course, you certainly don't need one; you can visit the model showroom and the development without a buyer’s agent and have the assistance and help of the listing agent or the buyer’s agent on duty. They can help you with colors, styles and facilitate the transaction all the way through to closing. Buyer's agents can be the mediator between the sellers or the developers and your negotiating strategies, answering questions along the way in helping you close on time.

But remember, who is this agent really working for?

The buyer's agents and the listing agents that work the model showrooms and homes are working specifically for the developers. They have contracted with the builders and the developers in order to sell these properties. They specifically are obligated to help sell these homes versus other homes. So do you think those buyer’s agents really have your best interest at heart?

When you work with your own dedicated buyer’s agent we have no hidden agenda or ulterior motive on selling one home or property over another. You can walk confidently into the model showroom or home and explain to them that you already have a buyer’s agent. The pressure is now off and you can browse through the colors, accessories and custom details and yet have a buyer’s agent that keeps your negotiating and financing strategies confidential.

It costs you absolutely nothing to use the help of a buyer’s agent, whether on-site or your own. Buyer’s agents that work specifically for a buyer and not through any developer or subdivision have no agenda on which property you buy as long as it's the one you're looking for at a price that meets your budget.

I've worked with many buyers and have saved them thousands of dollars by negotiating for their terms and their price. Remember, the listing agents that sits the model homes are trying to get as much profit for these properties as possible for their developer or builder. Using your own buyer’s agent means your budget is the most important financing tool, not the developers.

So yes, you can certainly buy new construction without the help of your own dedicated buyer’s agent but is it financially wise to do so? Feel free to give me a call at any time to discuss new construction homes and developments throughout Palm Beach Gardens  and how you can save money using your own buyer’s agent.

More Resources for Buyers

Most Common Questions New Home Buyers Ask

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

Ten Tips for Buyers

Posted in Palm Beach Gardens
March 10, 2021

Should We Buy a New Home or Existing Home?

New Home or Pre-Existing One in Palm Beach County?

If you're considering purchasing a home any time in the near future you may be wondering whether or not a new home purchase, custom-built home, or pre-existing property will work best for your situation and your finances. There are a lot of great communities and new subdivisions around Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter to choose from like Sonoma Isles and Alton. But this may not be the best option for your budget or your family. 

Here are some basic pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages to purchasing a new home versus a pre-existing one.

New homeShould We Buy a New Home or Existing Home?

In a new home, you'll be able to choose the hardware, colors, upgrade options and customize the property exactly the way you want it. You can get in on the purchase at any point whether it's starting from the foundation or putting the final touches on the countertops and trim. You can choose your own lot and build from the ground up with the landscaping as well. You can inspect it as you go and possibly get the closing costs covered by the builder.

The disadvantage of buying a new home is that you won't be able to move into it right away. There is usually a minimum of 4 to 9 months depending on the type of home, in what stage you began buying it, and how many times there are changes. However, some communities have move-in ready homes available, so if you need to get in soon, ask about these options. 

You also may not be able to choose the right home style for the lot that you want. Not every layout works for every lot.  Finding the right lot with the right home design may be a challenge.

Not every layout can be next to each other either. If you're choosing one layout the people next to you may not be able to choose the same layout and vice versa. This could create a challenge and disappointment if you're set on a specific lot with a specific layout.

Pre-existing homes

The advantage to buying a home that already exists is that it's often move-in ready. You can typically move into the home at closing or shortly thereafter, usually within about 30 to 45 days.

Landscaping will also be more mature. This could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the condition of the landscape.

You might be able to find a home that meets all of your needs including your budget, and possibly one which already has all of the upgrades and customization you want.

The disadvantages to purchasing a pre-existing home are that you don't know how it was previously maintained nor who lived in it and to what extent they took good care of it. Although you should always have an inspection, you might be surprised to know the materials that were used are not up to par or up to code and there might be some changes expected.

Buying a pre-existing home means there could be some allowances and compromises you'll need to make to find a home that meets your budget.

[Related Post: What about rehabbing a fixer property? Is it worth it?]

There are pros and cons to any decision when purchasing a home.  Finding what works best for you, your lifestyle and your budget is challenging to get you on the right track to a satisfying home purchase. Call me today and let's get started finding the best options for your needs and your budget. There are few new developments around the Palm Beach County area and of course hundreds of existing homes and properties for sale.

Phone: 561.440.1000

Feb. 24, 2021

What Does Equity Membership Mean?

Equity Membership or Mandatory Equity Membership means the country club or community requires membership to join. Most fees are paid once when you purchase a home and you may get some back when you sell the home. Additional fees for golf or social memberships may be required.

Throughout Palm Beach County there are several gated or non-gated communities that offer different levels of membership either for golf equity or just country club membership. Mirasol is one of those communities. There are three categories of equity membership that serve the changing needs of the residents. One of the best things about finding the right home in Mirasol is you can fill out an online survey to list the top priorities for your home. Is it golf, tennis, fitness, or dining? All of these fall into different membership categories that may or may not be available depending on the time of year or a current waiting list.Membership in Mirasol


Golf Membership

Currently, there is a waiting list to get on the golf membership but if you purchase a home that already has a membership attached to it, you can skip the waitlist. This membership includes:

  • Unlimited use of golf, tennis, fitness facilities, the pool and spa, dining facilities, and social activities
  • There's a 14-day advance sign up for golf tee times and golf cart fees are required but the greens fees are waived.
  • There is a mandatory seven day advance sign up for tennis but court fees are waived
  • Members are eligible to own a private golf cart
  • Access to the golf facilities, the Esplanade, the salon and spa, and tennis center
  • Unlimited club at tournament access
  • Golf memberships are only available to purchasers of a home that has a golf membership

Sports Membership

  • Unlimited use of tennis, fitness, spa, pool, dining, and social activities.
  • Seven-day advance sign up for tennis but court fees are waived
  • Private golf cart ownership is limited and there is a current waitlist

Golf access November 1 through April 30: 12 rounds of golf per membership reserved five days in advance, payment of sports greens fees and cart fees required, and use of practice facilities available after 12 PM or before a morning teatime reservation.

Golf access May 1 through October 31: unlimited rounds of golfers are 14 days in advance and greens fees are waived, payment of cart fees required for golf tee times, and there is unlimited, unrestricted use of the private facilities.

Social Equity Membership

  • Unlimited use of pool, dining, and social activities year-round
  • May through October access to golf, spa, tennis, and fitness one day per month upon payment of guest fees
  • Social members may purchase a sports equity membership

The sports equity membership is similar to the golf membership but limited only to golf. A few rounds in the winter high season only and the normal access for off-season usage but less days in advance to make a tee time. Membership is mandatory but residents have the choice of either sport, full golf level, or equity membership. These memberships can be transferred to new owners.

All members have access to the full amenities of the area including the security team featuring a full-service team with roving patrol officers and 24 hour staffed entry gates. They have use of the Grand Clubhouse, including three card rooms, a member library, locker rooms, and restaurants. The aquatic center featuring a pool deck with three swimming pools, private cabana, and hot tub and the Sports Complex including basketball courts, playgrounds, open fields, and an air-conditioned recreational building.


Fees vary depending on the year, these are the most current for 2018 - VIEW CURRENT FEE SCHEDULE

Additional member fees:

Capital contribution common areas – $2000 required with each home purchase

Sports member greens fees – $50

Cart fees – $25

Private golf cart trail fee – $1900 but there are different rates for different categories of membership

Application fee – $250 plus tax

Gate access devices – $25

More on Mirasol:

Posted in Mirasol
Jan. 25, 2021

Home Inventory Still Hard to Come By in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach, Florida, continues to dominate as possibly the ‘hottest market in the world’ for luxury homes, according to some experts. Known for its gorgeous island getaways for wealthy millionaires and billionaires, Palm Beach is seeing a growing trend among potential homebuyers. Not only do wealthier people continue to move there, but the inventory for much of the homes in the area has also spread continued to spread thin.Home Inventory Still Hard to Come By in Palm Beach County

To give you some perspective, the average home value for that expensive home in Palm Beach was approximately $7 million during the last quarter of 2020. According to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel, signed contracts for homes in the region surged by 62%. That’s pretty incredible news as more families look to relocate to states like Florida. Unfortunately, it spells bad news for many more families looking to buy as the report also shows inventory dropping by nearly 80%. Clearly, there is a dynamic interest in living in Palm Beach!

Erin Sykes, recently appointed as Chief Economist for Nest Seekers International, has had her own issues with procuring homes for her clients. She said the following: "I have a client who wants to spend $25-$30 million and there is simply nothing available. I am making calls daily for leads to off-market properties." Think of that! Even though one has the funds to afford a luxury property there, it often cannot be done simply because there aren’t enough homes to go around. Whether it’s single-family units or condos or multi-bedroom homes, the craving is there to buy whatever comes available.

One of the biggest driving factors for wealthy people moving to Palm Beach has to do with the lower taxes throughout the state. Many of these individuals are leaving states like New York, California, and Connecticut because their taxes are so high, particularly for the wealthy. Another nice bonus to Florida is the fact that it doesn’t have a state income tax. Even if you’re not in a classification of millionaire or billionaire, living in a state that doesn’t constantly find new ways to take more of your money is always an added appeal.

Another factor that has always been a part of why more and more people continue to move to Palm Beach and Florida, in general, is the amazing weather. As I write this, it’s just shy of 80 degrees in Palm Beach in the latter half of January. Typically, when people reach retirement, they tend to navigate to warmer climates; and the wealthy are no exception.

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

Posted in News
Dec. 30, 2020

Admiral's Cove Real Estate Market Report 2020

Admirals Cove is an exclusive, waterfront, boating enthusiasts community located in sunny Jupiter Florida. Nearly every home in Admirals Cove is waterfront with a dock, both slip, and access to the Intercoastal Waterway. This nautical paradise of waterfront homes along the tropical natural setting of South East Florida offers first-class amenities, fantastic housing options, private docs, and elaborate waterfront estates. From simple 900 square-foot villas to immaculate 20,000 ft.² estates, Admirals Cove is one of Jupiter Florida's most premier gated communities.

Real estate in Florida has been crazy this year. With a drop in sales in March and April, things have rebounded dramatically making Florida the #4 hottest states for real estate in the country. If you're looking on selling or buying in Admirals Cove in 2021, here's what you should know about the housing market over the last 6 to 8 months.

There are roughly 10 to 25 properties for sale at any given time in Admirals Cove with average days on the market of less than 100. Sales prices are currently about $650,000 on average with an average sale price per square foot at $323. Prices have actually gone down slightly in Admirals Cove but with the lack of inventory, homes typically sell fairly quickly.

Currently, there are 25 listings as of the publishing of this post priced from $500,000-$12,750,000. Sizes range from two-bedroom and two-bath units up to nine-bedroom and 14 bath layouts of nearly 15,000 ft.².

Depending on the type of property and whether or not it's considered a "hot home" properties can last anywhere from 2 to 3 days up to 200 days on the market. The right marketing, pricing, staging, and preparation all play into how fast a home sells in Admirals Cove.

Additional fees living in Admirals Cove

Admirals Cove has several initiation fees as well as dues. From full golf and sports memberships to tennis and social membership, annual dues typically range from $12,000-$22,000 with service charges, goals and validated service charges, marina assessment and capital dues. These dues and fees can change and increase over time. There are so many different types of memberships in Admirals Cove from Marina membership to golf, legacy and even exempt property affiliate memberships. Affiliates are entitled to use all the swimming, fitness, and social facilities of the club and restricted use of the golf and tennis facilities.

For more information on homes for sale in Admirals Cove, a luxury community in Jupiter Florida, browse available listings here or simply contact my office at any time for answers to any of your questions about Admirals Cove and similar neighborhoods in Jupiter Florida.


Posted in Admirals Cove
Dec. 8, 2020

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



Posted in Real Estate
Nov. 17, 2020

Waterfront Communities in Palm Beach County Florida



Homes Directly on the Water....



Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter home to some of the worlds most prestigious waterfront communities.  Aside from the fact that we have some of the best weather in the world year round, the lavishness in this style of living is invaluable.  Each waterfront community or beach community offers a plush, tranquil atmosphere of private living conveniently situated within only a few minutes from town. 


Whether you are looking for a new year-round home, summer house , or a vacation home , these communities offer only the best in South Florida golf real estate .  Each waterfront community has been designed to feature customized home and condominium designs in a variety of styles and prices.   Ownership provide social opportunities in addition to casual and formal dining, spas and fitness, libraries, board rooms, card/television rooms, locker rooms, golf and tennis. 


Real estate in these waterfront resort communities begins with town homes and villas starting around $240,000, but opportunities expand to large luxury estates and luxury condominiums  exceeding 2 Million.  There are a variety of spacious floor plans designed to cater to any active Florida lifestyle. These elite residential communities are filled with an assortment of the most satisfying details such as large entertainment and living areas, wet bars, fireplaces, secluded garden patios, vaulted ceilings, private garages, pools, cabanas, spas, magnificent views, and more.


Some of the most popular of these water communities are Jupiter Island, Harbour Isles, Singer Island and Admirals Cove.  Each waterfront community is garnished with its own unique atmosphere, but each one is operated with the most intelligent and accommodating staff and includes a full list of luxurious amenities. 

To find out more about these Palm Beach Gardens waterfront communities or Jupiter beach communities  simply click on the appropriate links above.

Posted in Real Estate