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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.

Oct. 15, 2018

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
Oct. 9, 2018

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
Sept. 25, 2018

Should We Buy a Condo, Cottage House or Single Family Home in Palm Beach Gardens?

Condo or Single Family House in Palm Beach County?

Considering moving to the beach? Maybe you already live here and are now considering a home of your own. Whatever the case may be you might be wondering if a condominium, cottage house or townhome or a single-family house makes the most sense for your lifestyle and your budget. Here are the pros and cons to each and price ranges between homes and condominiums in Jupiter, Singer Island, and Palm Beach Gardens.

Condos and townhomes:Condo in Palm Beach County

A condominium and townhome is typically less expensive. Currently, there are 5,900 condominiums for sale in Palm Beach County priced up to $15 million but there are literally thousands of condos priced from $50,000 on up so the choice is almost endless!

Condominiums or townhomes make ideal first-time homebuyer options. You can ease into home ownership with low maintenance responsibilities and get a good sense of what it’s like to pay a mortgage payment and own your own home. Many times first-time homebuyers start with the condominium or townhome, build up equity, and then sell, using that equity to put a down payment on a single-family house.

Living in a townhome or condominium will require extra homeowner’s dues, however. Typically homeowner’s dues are roughly $100-$1000 per month or per quarter and maintain the common areas such as a swimming pool, landscaping, and exterior building maintenance. The homeowner's dues also vary depending on the complex's amenities. Of course, luxury condominiums with dozens of amenities will require a higher monthly or quarterly homeowners fee. (Some are up to $4,000 a month!)

Condominiums and townhomes will feature common areas such as swimming pools, clubhouses, fitness centers and other perks that are usable by all the members of the Homeowner's Association and residents in the community.

Read more: Benefits and Disadvantages of a Condo vs. a House

One drawback to a condominium or townhome is that you are somewhat restricted when it comes to remodeling and renovations. Many times major renovations will need to be approved by the Homeowner's Association and cannot alter other condominiums or resident units.

Single Family House in Palm Beach CountySingle-family house:

A single-family house will be typically more expensive priced from about $150,000-$10 million depending on size, condition and location. Homes with views tend to be more expensive. Overall you can probably get more square footage for less money in a condominium then you can in a single-family house. The average home price in Palm Beach County is about $300,000 and include 2 to 4 bedrooms and about 1500 to 3000 ft.² of living space.

With a single-family house, you may not have homeowner’s dues but you may have association fees per year that keep up the local landscaping and management. These fees are typically anywhere from $100-$800 annually.

A single-family house and gives you more options when it comes to renovations. You can typically paint your house any color you want and have full responsibility for the exterior landscaping and appearance of the home as well as the inside. However, you do have the maintenance and responsibility of upkeep and repairs should something break or need replacing.

The first thing I would do is find out how much home you can afford and then make a list of what you’re looking for in a property. I can help you find the right home at the right price anywhere on the island of Oahu so call me today and let’s get started.

More For Home Buyers

10 AMAZING Tips for Buyers

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Buying a House

The Most Popular Neighborhood right now: Mirasol Country Club


 Images courtesy of MLS

Posted in Mirasol, Real Estate
Sept. 20, 2018

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
Sept. 14, 2018

15 Things All New Homeowners Should Do

15 Things All New Homeowners Should Do

New to homeownership? There are a lot of things to know and keep track of, but I have developed a list of the 15 most important things to know or do as a first-time homeowner.

1. Change address and set up utilities

  • Student loans
  • Credit Card
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Delivery services
  • Insurance Companies
  • Amazon
  • Bills
  • Friends and Family

2. Change the locks

3. Find the emergency shut-off valves to hot water heaters, natural gas, propane, water, and furnaces.

4. Make a home maintenance checklist

  • Test smoke detectors
  • Clean gutters
  • Fertilize
  • Clean dryer vent
  • Clean and replace the furnace filter
  • Sweep chimney

5. Review the home inspection for anything that you want to repair or replace or put on a list for future maintenance

6. Replace furnace filter

7. Clean all ducts and vents in the house for energy efficiency

8. Double check under sinks for leaks

9. Replace burnt bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs

10. Set up Internet and external routers

11. Develop an emergency plan for your family in case of fire, flood, earthquake, or other natural or domestic disaster.

12. Get to know your neighbors for your own peace of mind and safety

13. Trim trees and bushes away from lower windows to maintain safety. 

14. Store all home purchase documents and important papers in a fire-proof safe. 

15. Map out routes to schools, stores, and common services.

Of course, there could a million other things but these are really the most important. Be safe, plan for safety, and move into a home the right way!

Additional Resources:

Summer Checklist your Trees will Love

8 Home Must-Haves for Next-Gen Buyers

3 Tactics for Preventative Home Maintenance

How to Keep a House Clean All Year Long





Posted in Real Estate
July 18, 2018

The Best Thing about Mirasol Country Club

The Mirasol Country Club is one of the fastest growing and one of the most popular communities in Palm Beach Gardens. Originally developed by Taylor Woodrow, there are about 1200 homes in homesites on two championship golf courses nestled in among natural preserves and lakes. It spread over 2300 acres on property previously owned by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. Both of the 18 hole golf courses were designed by Arthur Hills and Tom Fazio.

Note: Past Sales Point to a Successful Mirasol Agent

But why do people love Mirasol so much?

With the new communities popping up all throughout Palm Beach County including Alton and Sonoma Isles, Mirasol still tends to be the number one community in the county. It has similar amenities to all the other communities and neighborhoods around the area including a beautiful swimming pool, fitness room, clubhouse, golf courses and more. So what makes a Mirasol so amazing?

Mirasol Brunch

  • Maybe it's a Sunday brunch? The Country Club puts on a Sunday brunch at poolside and offers a unique blood he Mary bar with veggies, protein, accouterments, and a variety of different tasty cocktails.
  • Maybe it's camp Mirasol on Water Wednesdays. Check out the sports complex for summer camps for kids of all ages.
  • Maybe it's the nearly 700 pounds of lobsters delivered for lobster night at the club where members and their guests can savor a fantastic feast.
  • Perhaps it's a beautiful breakfast at Revive, which is open for breakfast and lunch and has an extended patio bar and frozen yogurt hours for kids of all ages to enjoy poolside treats.
  • It could be chef Michael specials at the Grille Room. Whether it's a juicy skirt steak and crispy onions, wedge salad, or local seafood, chef Michael can prepare something amazing for all residents and their guests.
  • Maybe it's just keeping your brain alive with amazing game nights such as Jeopardy night, were tables of up to eight people compete against Mirasol's best and brightest.

Mirasol Golf

The Most Popular Restaurants Near Mirasol

Or, maybe people just like the idea of living in a great community on two championship golf courses. You can head out onto the course anytime you want and enjoy the weather, sights, and sounds of your own, private community.

Note: How Satisfied are Mirasol Homeowners?

Mirasol Country Club

Whether it's swimming, social activities, award-winning golf, or just a fabulous home, people love Mirasol. There are so many different choices when it comes to homes as well; from a condominium cottage to a large single-family estate and prices for just about every budget. Mirasol is really where it's at. I'd love to show you some beautiful homes or you can start your search here for free at any time. Browse all available listings for sale or learn more about the Mirasol Country Club and why you should probably be a part of it too.

Contact Todd Blair Search Properties

Posted in Mirasol
July 12, 2018

The Hidden Cost of Selling Your Home

We all know that selling your home may cost a little bit of money, either in real estate commissions or marketing costs but there are a few hidden costs to selling your home that you might not be aware of. It's important to know all of the details to selling, marketing and advertising your home that extends beyond simply paying your real estate agent to list and facilitate the deal.Hidden cost of selling your home

Here are four hidden costs that you should be aware of when selling your home in Mirasol (or any Palm Beach County Community)

#1. Transfer (or Documentary  Stamp Tax) taxes.

Just as with anything major that you buy or sell there are taxes involved. Regardless of whether or not you own your home outright, you'll need to pay the government to transfer this property. This is paid to either your state, county, municipality or all three. The amount that you pay will be based on where you live the tax rates typically range from .01% up to 4%. For Florida (except for Miami-Dade County) is only .7% currently, which on a $400,000 house the tax would be $2800. One good thing is that many buyers and sellers actually split this cost.

#2. Capital gains taxes.

If you sell your home for a significant amount of money you'll need to pay this capital gains tax. However, this is avoided up to a certain amount. Singles can avoid this tax up to $250,000 and married filing jointly can avoid paying this tax up to $500,000 in profits from the sale of their home. However, in order to clean the exclusion, the property must have been your primary home and you must have lived in the property for at least two years out of the last five years. Also, if you have claimed another home sale exclusion in the last two years you may not exclude another one but you can deduct closing costs, selling costs and realtors fees to lower your capital gains taxes. If you sell your home for over this amount the capital gains tax for short-term is 6.75% in the long term is 5.43% for Wisconsin.

#3. Staging costs.

This is not always a must but it can bring more profit to the sale of your home and a faster sale. Sprucing up your home and staging ahead of listing can get more buyers in the door and potentially more offers. Of course, you can do some of the work yourself but even spending a little bit of money getting a consultation can put you in the right direction on your own personal home staging. On average, sellers can spend about $1800 to stage a home if they choose a professional. This can add anywhere from a $2000 or more to the sale of your home, so it may be worth a look into.

#4. Certificate of occupancy.

In some counties and states, the seller must obtain a certificate of occupancy, stating that the property is safe and suitable for living. This certificate is required whenever there is a change in the occupancy of a home, condominium or apartment. Each county and city is different so be sure to check with individual rules and requirements with where you live. Often times this certificate of occupancy is only required when the home is originally built and not when it is purchased or sold but again, make sure that you are up to code before transferring ownership.

Related Post: How Agents Price and Sell Your Home - External

Each community and neighborhood in Palm Beach County is different so please contact my office today. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have or do some research on what your home is currently worth and how quickly it would sell in today's market.

Popular Neighborhood Posts:

Best Restaurants Closest to Mirasol

Camp Mirasol Sports Complex

Past Sales Point to Successful Mirasol Real Estate Agent


Posted in Real Estate
June 25, 2018

Best Restaurants Closest to Mirasol

PGA Boulevard, located just south of the Mirasol Country Club, is chock-full of restaurants, markets, entertainment, and more. You don't have to go far for a great restaurant in Mirasol but here are some of my favorites.

Best Restaurant Closest to Mirasol

The Coolinary Cafe - Nope, I didn't spell that wrong, this is really what it's called and they are phenomenal. We had down there at least once or twice a month, grab a cocktail and some delicious appetizers. If you are old-school, you have to try their deviled eggs, they are phenomenal! Fried chicken and waffles, delicious burgers, and really good desserts. This is your neighborhood restaurant and a perfect go-to any night of the week.

Salutes Market – just outside of the entrance to Mirasol is a fabulous restaurant open for lunch and dinner. This wine bar features small plates of items such as pulled barbecue chicken egg rolls with a fabulous aioli dip, pork belly and waffles with warm peach slaw,

Kabuki - for those that love sushi, you have to check out Kabuki. They have the typical rolls and nigiri, but they also have unique items such as octopus and conch salad, noodle dishes, tie spring rolls and fried rice dishes.

Christopher's Kitchen – located at 4783 PGA Boulevard, this vegetarian and vegan restaurant is a great place to get some delicious vegetarian fare. From mushroom tacos to spinach artichoke dip, flatbread pizzas, their own mac & cheese and C K burritos, Christopher's Kitchen is a great place to go for some delicious food that makes you feel healthy inside and out.

Talay Thai - this local Thai food restaurant has amazing dishes like their venous clams in a spicy broth, grilled salmon on a bed of brown rice, deep-fried red snapper, lobster pad Thai and other familiar dishes. If you're looking for a taste of Thai food, you have to try this place just a few minutes outside of Mirasol.

The Lunchbox – for a quick bite to eat, sandwich or rap, the Lunchbox makes a great place. Try their homemade tuna salad or a veggie wrap with fresh ingredients, crisp vegetables, and flavorful sauces.

So, these are our favorites and they're just outside of Mirasol's entrance, so make sure you check out one of these or, is there a place you like to go just outside of Marsal? Leave a comment with your favorite Mirasol area restaurant.

The Fabulous Mirasol Country Club

Learn more about all the changes and renovations at Mirasol

The Latest Listings and Market Updates for Mirasol

Posted in Mirasol
June 20, 2018

Camp Mirasol Sports Complex

Camp MirasolIn the Mirasol Country Club has a variety of fun activities, lots of recreational facilities, and even a sports complex but did you know they have a camp? With nearly 400 kids and young adults living in Mirasol, the club has chosen to provide amenities and services for this unique population. In 2013, the club renovated the formally unused space into a state-of-the-art sports complex for members of all ages. This 2400 square-foot recreational building offers dozens of programs for the communities children and grandchildren including a multipurpose function space for activities, events, and summer camps. There's a comfortable lounge with television, video games, and a computer station.

Outside the building is a fantastic green space for sports and other activities and it's completely covered in hearty synthetic turf so there's no need for pesticides or other chemicals to keep the lawn green. The area is perfect for sports and kids as well as our respiratory systems.

In addition, the sports complex has a regulation-size basketball court and a fully equipped playground. Even if you have little ones, there's a forgiving "fall zone" to cushion any accidental falls. There's a gazebo, pickleball courts, bocce ball courts, and even a hard surface tennis court. The tennis court has been approved by the United States Tennis Association and its regulations for juniors offering more desirable conditions for tournaments.

The club's personal kids camp program with several different camps each year. Kids ages 4 – 12 are invited to join us for winter, spring, and summer camps. They include mornings of tennis, active games, swimming, lunch, more activities and games after lunch and kids fit program top by certified fitness instructors. There's field trips, giant waterslides, bouncy houses and much more. All of this is included in your membership with Mirasol Country Club.

If this isn't enough to bring you and your family to Mirasol, don't forget there's also plenty of stuff for the adults. Fantastic dining, fabulous golf, superior recreational facilities and much more. To learn more about the Mirasol country club, recent renovations, and of course, all the homes for sale, click on the links below or if you'd like a personal tour give me a call today.

The Fabulous Mirasol Country Club

Learn more about all the changes and renovations at Mirasol

The Latest Listings and Market Updates for Mirasol

Posted in Mirasol
June 11, 2018

New Office Building in Mirasol Town Square


New Office Building in Mirasol Town Square


A new three-story office building is going up as the final phase of the Mirasol Town Square in Palm Beach Gardens. This office building will be the seventh building at the property located near the PGA Boulevard exit of Florida's Turnpike. Built by John C Bills Properties, this 46,000 square-foot office at 11400 N. Jog Rd. will be asking $21 a square foot and is projected to be completed November 2018.

In addition, there are nearly 112,000 ft.² of offices under construction in the Palm Beach Garden area and with a vacant rate of just 7.3% and an asking rate of just over $29 a square foot, this will be a welcome addition.

Mirasol Town Square features condominiums and generates about $171,000 in annual revenues. Phase I and II was completed in 2012. There are currently 7 structures with 120,000 square feet of space in a two-story structure so this will be the tallest of all the buildings. 


More on Mirasol:

The Fabulous Mirasol Country Club

Learn more about all the changes and renovations at Mirasol

The Latest Listings and Market Updates for Mirasol

Posted in Mirasol