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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.

April 16, 2018

The Housing Market in Palm Beach County

The Housing Market in Palm Beach County

For years now Palm Beach County Florida has been an extremely hot market, especially after the recession of 2007. It's been one of the best places to reside or even have a second home with beautiful beaches and waterways. It's abundant and natural beauty and becomes very attractive to those that want to retire, on a vacation home, or simply enjoy the weather.

It's been growing for most of its modern existence fueled by new development that attracts not only families but retirees from across the country. Over the last 12 months, we've seen property increase steadily since 2012 and sellers are now above water when it comes to equity. Even in the wake of recent hurricanes, real estate transactions and new listings are remaining steadily balanced. Values are up 5% over last year and we anticipate an increase even greater throughout 2018.

Here are some basic stats for the Palm Beach County area:

  • The number of listings on the market is lower than one year ago.
  • The absorption rate is below five months (indicating a balanced market)
  • The sold to list ratio is about 93%
  • Median sales price is up 5%
  • And median list price is up 5% with the average list price of 8%

According to a recent article in My Palm Beach Post, we are still in a seller's market as Palm Beach County house prices slowly increase. The median home price of a single-family home was about $344,000, up 8% from 2017. The number of sales was down 2%, which usually means a decrease in inventory. Realtors counted about a five-month supply of homes according to the article as well and anything short of a six month supply is considered a seller's market. This means that if no more listings hit the market as of today it will take about five months for all listings to be sold. This is a great place to be for many sellers and while most of the market has been shifting to higher-priced homes, first-time homebuyers are still finding a magnitude of homes priced between $250,000 and $400,000. From $300,000 to over $1 million is the sweet spot and the sale of homes between $400,000 and $600,000 jump 19% over the past year. Mansions priced at more than $1 million increased 16%. Condos also rose slightly with the highest price condos being some of the longest listings on the market. A typical condo priced between $600,000 and $1 million took an average about 175 days to sell.

Currently as of April 2016, the median sales price of $739,000. The home value index is about $270,000.

If you're planning on selling or even buying throughout Palm Beach County it's important to understand what's going on in the market so they can make informed decisions and not undervalue or overprice your home. As a buyer, it's important to understand how the market is going so that you know when to buy and how much to offer.

For more information on Palm Beach County, real estate, and the housing market browse my website and view all market updates for different cities throughout Palm Beach County or simply give me a call today.

Posted in Real Estate
April 6, 2018

The 2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

Most people don't think about buying a house until someone else mentions how easy it is. We tend to think in one perspective until someone else points out another. For instance, I remember a Disneyland commercial several years ago where they literally gave you the cost of a Disney vacation for a family of four. They said it was about $1200 for everything, the hotel, the flight, and entrance to the park. You see a mom and dad looking at the computer and then at each other saying, "well we could do that". When we don't know how much something costs we think that it's more than we can afford. But when you actually see the costs and you understand the process, it makes it much more obtainable. For instance, considering buying a half a million-dollar home light seem crazy but when you price it out as a $2500 a month mortgage payment, it might sound much more obtainable, especially if you are paying that it rent anyway. Or, if you're paying less, jumping up a few hundred dollars might not seem that bad.The 2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

I firmly believe that we are scared of what we don't know. The more we know, the more unafraid we become of it and more confident we become in general. Because of that, here are two major myths the tend to be holding back homebuyers.

#1. You need a 20% down payment.

Unless you are a repeat buyer and have a huge chunk of equity to put down on another home, most first-time homebuyers don't have the 20%. We are often unaware of the option to take out low down payment mortgages. Only 19% of consumers believe lenders would make loans with a down payment of 5% or less and over 30% of homebuyers think that lenders expect the 20% down payment. But, this is just not the case. There are so many different options out there nowadays where you can have a 3.5% down payment and even then there are options to help with the down payment. Don't let the 20% scare you. Find out what you can afford by talking to a lender.

#2. You need a 780 FICO score or higher.

This is also not the case. You don't have to have perfect credit to buy a house. 53% of homebuyers actually fall between 600 and 750 on the credit score scale. Only 12% of homebuyers are over 800. Most can get a great loan even if you have a credit score less than 700. Don't let this number frighten you. Even if you've had bankruptcies, short sales, or foreclosures in the past, the timeframe for reapplying is getting shorter and shorter. The only way to find out is to talk to a lender about your options. Most are happy to help you set up a plan to get your credit score back on track and offer you great down payment options.

Again, the more we don't know the more it scares us so educating yourself and finding out exactly what you can afford might really surprise you. Give me a call today and let's discuss your options.

Read More: Most common questions home buyers ask

Posted in Real Estate
March 22, 2018

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of New Construction

New construction is everywhere across Florida and because we are one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, new construction is inevitable. People always want the newest and the best and especially if they can be the first one in a new home, all the better… Or is it? Yes, new construction means no one else has lived in this home prior to you moving in and you have the newest and shiniest of everything but is that enough to make new construction more valuable then resale homes?

Before jumping in on a new construction home it's important to understand the pros and cons to a new construction.The Good, Bad, and Ugly of New Construction

#1. Everything is new. Obviously. When you get a brand-new home it's built just for you and no one else's lived in it before. You also have the newest materials, appliances, finishes and fixtures.

#2. No one else has tested it. It's like getting a brand-new car, no one else has worked out the kinks or bugs yet. So even though you have a brand-new dishwasher it could be a lemon. Maybe that faucet needed to be recalled or that material wasn't really what you had in mind. Buying new construction means you are the first one testing all of these new things out.

#3. Are you buying a model home or custom designing one? Depending on when you get into the buying process of a new home, you could be designing it custom from the ground up or you could get in on the tail end of construction. New homes in Alton and Sonoma Isles are not only being built to customers but tracked homes are being built as well. How custom do you want the home? Do you want to make decisions on every little detail what you want it almost done for you? This is something to consider when buying new construction.

#4. You may have to buy it without seeing it first. Like I mentioned before, you're technically buying a product that's not complete yet. You might have pictures, renderings, floor plans and maybe even a virtual tour, but you won't actually see the home until it is completed. That may or may not be an issue for you.

Related Post: Pros and Cons of buying a home on the golf course

#5. Prices can vary. You may have agreed to buy the home at a certain price but that also included certain materials and finishes. If you want to upgrade, add a bedroom, add more space, etc. that's going to increase the price upon final closing. Plus, I wouldn't expect a price reduction if you choose not to go with certain high-end things. Those prices may be set in stone.

#6. An in-house lender may get you a better price. Often these subdivisions and newer communities will have their own in-house lender that can offer incentives, cashback, or reduced interest rates. It's important to check out what they can offer and compare with other lenders in the area.

#7. Make sure you understand what lot you are getting. You may love the house but when it's all said and done you may hate the lot it sits on. New homes are usually released in phases so it's important to understand where your home is going to be and you get the right home site for your needs. Do you want to be close to the entrance, close to parks, or do you want to be more private so that people are not walking by your front door every day?

#8. Amenities may not be available yet. Building a new home usually means they will build some houses first and then work on the amenities. It may be several years before that clubhouse is completed or the swimming pool gets put in. Are you willing to wait? It's important to ask when these items will be built.

Related Post: Creative Ways to Buy a House

Of course, I always recommend having your own real estate agent and not going with the agent on-site. Their primary goal is to sell that house, not necessarily to find the best house for you. Having your own agent on your side means your tastes, budgets, and needs will be the top priority. Have someone that's on your side, not the builder side.

For more information on new construction or to see what's currently available in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, and surrounding cities give me a call. BROWSE ALL NEW CONSTRUCTION COMMUNITIES

Visit New Construction at Admiral's Cove

 

Posted in Real Estate
Feb. 28, 2018

Best Dog Parks in Palm Beach Gardens

 

 Just south of Jupiter Florida is the town of Palm Beach Gardens where there are even more parks to explore with your pups. All are great but here are some of the ones that fans seem to love.

Lilac Park Dog Park:

This park is a playground for your pet. There are two sides of the park that are fenced for safety, one is for large dogs and the other is for small dogs. In addition to the two yards, there is also an agility course for dogs to play on. The course includes a ramp and some tunnels and a square hoop to jump through. The ground of the course is grassy with patches of dirt so watch out for muddy paws if it starts to rain. But if the park gets too hot there are covered areas and dog bowls that will fill up to quench your pet’s thirst.

Wellington Dog Park:Best Dog Parks in Palm Beach Gardens

This park has three different off-leash areas, small, medium and large with plenty of room for your pets to run and play. Wellington Dog Park is made more unique by the large dirt pile for dogs to play on and a series of concrete tunnels for your pet to explore. This is another park where your dog is sure to get dirty but don’t worry, the dog park comes with a place to hose off after a day of playing. And there are plenty of water bowls for thirsty dogs to rehydrate at and if they get tired there are picnic tables and covered areas to relax at.

Lake Ida Dog Park:

Located on the shore of Lake Ida, this dog park is great for the whole family. There are two dogs runs both with plenty of space to run and play. If you want to give your dog some on-leash time there is a walking trail that goes around the park. There is a place to wash off your dog and plenty of places to grab a quick drink. This is a nice park with plenty of shade and places for owners to sit while their dogs play. Though the park is on the water it is not recommended that you allow your dog to swim due to possible alligators and water vehicle use.

 

No matter which park you go to it is important that you supervise your dog. One aggressive dog can ruin a day at the park and risks the lives of other animals and owners. If you notice a dog behaving aggressively remove your dog from the situation and if an attack happens to report it. The parks benefit from responsible owners, too many aggressive dogs or not picking up after your pet can result in people not wanting to use the park anymore. 

Check out all the best dog parks in Jupiter Florida

Stay up to date with the local information, news, real estate reports and tips on my blog and of course, check all the latest homes for sale in Palm Beach County.

Posted in Palm Beach Gardens
Feb. 16, 2018

Best Dog Parks in Jupiter Florida

Taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood is an easy way to get exercise for both you and your dog. But being able to go out to a dog park is a great way to let your furry friend get exercise while meeting new friends. So here are some of the best dog parks in Jupiter Florida.

Dog parks in Jupiter

F.I.N.D Dog Park:

This is one of the top dog parks in the city. There are two fenced in areas that are off-leash so pups can run and play. One of the areas is for larger breeds and the other is for smaller dogs to ensure the safety of the dogs. For hot days there are hoses to fill up bowls and puppy pools so your dog can take a quick dip if they get too hot. And there are places to sit for the pet parents and shady spots to keep cool. If you want to take your pooch for a walk, there is a walking trail and access to the beach for more play time, but those areas are not off leash so make sure to keep a hold of your pooch.

Dog Beach:

Looking to have some fun in the sun, sand, and surf? Then head on over to this dog park. Dog Beach is one of the few beaches in Florida that allows for off-leash dogs. The dogs are allowed to roam free throughout a section of the beach but are asked to stay out of the lifeguarded areas and away from bathrooms. Parking is available near the beach and there is no fee to use it. Owners should supervise their pets at all times to make sure that they are not disturbing anyone. The park is also not segregated by breed size so owners should keep close eyes on their pets. Owners are also asked to pick up after their dogs so that the beach remains clean for other people to use.

 

There are plenty of things to do in Jupiter Florida with your pups. From dog parks to off-leash beaches, and even doggy surf lessons there is something for everyone here. 

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Posted in Jupiter
Jan. 24, 2018

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Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 19, 2018

HOA Reserve Fund Issues Become Homeowner Issues

HOA Reserve Fund Issues Become Homeowner Issues

There are a lot of homeowner associations and private communities throughout Palm Beach County such as Admirals Cove, Abacoa, Jonathan's Landing, and some of our newest ones, Sonoma Isles and Alton. With these gated communities come homeowner association dues, which cover common area maintenance, landscaping, management, and usually several amenities such as golf membership, community pool, and the like. But, one of the biggest conundrums to these homeowner associations is the replacing of common elements that they may not have planned for. Many of these communities have been around for 20+ years and it's time for an upgrade. One of the biggest right now is the Ballenisles community upgrades, which will cost thousands of dollars, which will translate to higher fees for residents.

Some of the newer communities such as Alton and Sonoma Isles have already set up homeowner association fees that reflect management on these items. Residents probably won't have to deal with any reserve fund issues for a couple of decades. But on buildings older than about 30 years, replacements of elevators, wiring, and plumbing can be an expensive repair.

Read More on the Million to Update PBC Clubs

Because of this, many associations may have to update the reserve study so that residents are paying appropriately into the fund to cover any major replacements in the years to come. Other issues such as changes to codes and building requirements may change, increasing prices even more. Green and sustainable building techniques are another layer of complexity to reserve planning and with so much technology, many associations are not only upgrading materials but the technology behind them.

One of the best things about these reserves and planning for it is that it can grow and change as situations and conditions do. It's important to choose an HOA with a board that does annual revisions and updates and stays on top of any repairs so that the repair can be minimal, versus letting it go for a few years until it's a major expense.

Many associations will also use a qualified reserve study professional. These individuals have years of experience and can help plan the reserve funds to the residents and the Association is not brought under any hardships. When choosing an HOA, ask about reserve planning. It's important if you only plan on living in the home for a few years, you never know when that extra assessment or increase might happen.

Call me today for more info on local communities, neighborhoods and clubs around Jupiter and Palm Beach County.

Image by Artur Staszewski

Posted in Real Estate
Jan. 5, 2018

$200 Million in Renovations to Clubs in Palm Beach County

First Mirasol with $40 million, then BallinIsles with $35 million and then Ibis at $37 million and now Admiral's Cove. Mirasol renovation did what many of the members only clubs in Palm Beach County are trying to do, make their clubhouses more appealing to active adults. These three and now Admirals Cove, are the most expensive projects in northern Palm Beach County in recent years. There are at least 10 communities that afford millions and upgrades in this fast-growing north end of the county. These spacious, new clubs are part of a relentless competition to capture younger clientele and grow their membership.$200 Million in Renovations to Clubs in Palm Beach County

So what does this mean for homeowners? Well, the higher price often comes with substantial fees assessed to homeowners. And younger buyers are especially sensitive to the cost of membership fees. Some homebuyers may have a difficult time psychologically paying less for the actual real estate than the club membership. However, you have to look at the overall picture. Some of the clubs can be very affordable and attractive. Mirasol residents are paying back $30 million in loans with a $175 per month increase in their assessments for golf and tennis memberships. The higher price certainly doesn't turn away a lot of older members, but it might deter some younger members. The average age for most of the communities in Palm Beach County is about 63 but, young professionals are now moving in and there are about 600 children that already live in the community with their families. They're trying to attract a younger generation with all of these upgrades and renovations. The PGA National Resort & Spa recently renovated is 33,000 square-foot sports and racquet club, which was in dire need of some upkeep. Jonathan's Landing charges homeowners between 3000 and $5000 for a one time fee for their 10 million-dollar clubhouse renovation completed in 2016. In places like BallinIsles, no new assessment is expected, only a loan to be paid back over 12 years. 

In the 90s, golf courses didn't need to be as imaginative. A great clubhouse and lounge was all it took to attract buyers but today, people are looking for resort style amenities, restaurants, markets, child care and more. People also want to feel they are getting a good return on their investment and that means keeping up with changes and the competition. 

Learn more about the Admiral's Cove renovation here.

Posted in Admirals Cove
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.

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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