South Florida Real Estate Blog by Shari Orland, Realtor

Boynton Beach Homes for Sale: Surprising Pet-Friendliness Factor

 When it comes to features that differentiate some Boynton Beach homes for sale from other similar offerings, one that’s increasingly noteworthy out is pet-friendliness. Suitability for pets used to be thought of as a strictly second-tier consideration—but that day has passed. It may not rule the roost—but evidence is mounting that its importance is on the rise.

It’s an animal house when buying, selling and renovating,” according to a 2016 study from the National Association of Realtors®.This becomes apparent in the sacrifices pet owners are willing to make” when it comes to buying and selling their homes. The NAR has put a good deal of research into the subject—and for good reason. A more recent study last year found that 80% of home buyers own pets—and 87% of those say that their needs are important or very important in their home search process.

Owners planning to put up their own Boynton Beach homes for sale may be able to take advantage of this widening phenomenon. Especially if they are pet owners themselves, an emphasis on their property’s proven pet-welcoming features like a “fully fenced yard” or “invisible fencing” can be a magnet for pet owners. In bygone eras, doors once thought to have been compromised by cat portals are now often highlighted. More than a few carefully staged and superbly lit listing photos show tell-tale signs of pet inhabitants. You can see Tabitha or Ruff’s pet bed right there next to the roaring fireplace (and sometimes the star him- or herself can be seen snoozing therein). That shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone who watches...

What “Extra Step” will Help Sell Your Boca Raton House?To

Once you’ve decided it’s time to sell your Boca Raton house, you will have looked over the listings of neighboring properties and taken all the necessary steps to see that your own home stacks up well beside them. Before you go on the market, there’s one extra step that can make a sizeable difference in what happens next.

Now, if you have already recruited an experienced Boca Raton agent, this next step won’t be necessary. But if you are still in the pre-consultation stage, having already brightened and lightened and de-cluttered, etc., here’s the immediate extra step that will serve you well:

Don’t even think about anything connected with your plans to sell the house for a few days. Do anything else. Disconnect from real estate entirely. In other words, try to take a clean break from everything connected with selling your house.

Then, reenergized and with an open mind, imagine you are one of the house hunters who will soon be crossing your threshold as actual prospects will be doing before long. Pretend you have just come from another house showing. You may have set up another appointment, too, so you won’t dawdle (but don’t rush, either—give it, say, 20 minutes).

And put yourself in a slightly skeptical frame of mind. Assume a slightly critical mindset; many prospective buyers will be suspicious of the possibility of hidden flaws. It’s why minor blemishes can generate undue concern. These are the “hidden dissuaders.”

  • The object of this pretend showing is to identify such blemishes....

Is Spring Really the Best Time to List a Home in Boynton Beach?

For those who’ve been waiting to list their Boynton Beach home until this year’s spring selling season, the waiting is over. Not only is spring busting out all over, but there is a claim that we are fast approaching the absolute best moment to list a home!

The desire to list your house at the best possible time is a logical enough ambition, but one that runs into a practical snag. The “best” time would be the moment when the most motivated buyers happen to be actively looking for a home like yours. But for any given property, there’s no practical way to identify whether it already passed before you listed or will happen after you’ve sold. Since springtime’s peak real estate season usually brings out the greatest number of buyers, that makes it the conventional best guess.

But last month, Boynton Beach readers of Propertywire (“the premier global news service”) might have been persuaded to hold off for a while. If they read the article entitled “Homes sell fastest and with the biggest premium in May in the US,” they learned about the Zillow research showing that on average, the best time to list a home in the United States is during the first two weeks in May. It alleged that sellers may be able to earn “an extra boost” if they list at just the right time—and in many parts of the country, homes “sell for a premium of $1,600 and six days faster” if they list in the first half of May.

On the other hand, according to last week’s Realtor Magazine article “The Best Week to List a Home is Quickly Approaching,” the single best week to list is ...

Delray Beach New Home Market Shake-up on the Horizon?

 When it comes to industries, you’d have to place Delray Beach real estate into the “stolid” category. The rules are set and agreed-upon. Everything having to do with real estate is entirely “real”—the opposite of “imaginary.” Certainly not frivolous, fleeting, or mercurial.

Major changes don’t come about often or quickly. It is true that one facet of the way real estate business is conducted has undergone a noticeable change due to the web. But that is actually only a shift in how clients find and qualify properties they might be interested in. They still overwhelmingly rely on real estate professionals to take responsibility for the consequential details of buying and selling.

But wait!

A new technology suddenly presents the possibility of making a substantial difference when it comes to new homes—one that might come to pass pretty quickly. It promises to shave as much as 30% off the total cost of constructing new Delray Beach homes. If and when that gets real, it’s hard not to envision widespread repercussions .

The technology involved is 3-D printing—up until now, a technology that has been confined to a ‘gee whiz’ futuristic corner of the residential construction industry. But if Texas startup Icon, Inc. is to be believed, by the end of this year, it will be producing printers that can create up to 2,000 square foot bungalows in a matter of days. That’s 80% of today’s average-size home.

Their Vulcan II is a machine that can print concrete walls as wide as...

History Brings Character to Older Boca Raton Houses

If you have your sights set on a brand spanking new Boca Raton house, the romance of a home that’s witnessed the comings and goings of previous generations probably doesn’t call out to you. At least not nearly as powerfully as a front door lock that’s yet to be turned, a kitchen with nary a ding nor scratch—or a roof covered by a decades-long warranty with your name at the top.

On the other hand, if you are drawn to older houses, to you, the best ones have character that can’t be matched. They have substance in a way that only time can convey. To some extent, they’re all historic!

If you love older houses, a new home’s first-one-in advantages don’t beckon as much as the feeling of a home that’s stood tall through many decades. You’re well aware that its maintenance will be in your hands. You’re comfortable in taking up responsibilities that your predecessors have shouldered in the past. When an older Boca Raton house is in terrific condition, keeping it in top shape is a continuing source of pride—all the more so when it really is “historic.”

Now, about that word: historic. Whether or not an older house carries the official designation, most enthusiasts think of an older Boca Raton house in that light if it fits into one or more of these categories:

  • If a previous owner is a significant historical personage—or the home was known to have hosted such persons—it qualifies.
  • If it can be linked to a significant event in history, likewise.
  • If its construction techniques or characteristics are unique enough to be of historical...

Boynton Beach Home Sales Could Reflect National Turnaround

A couple of storylines have dominated national real estate news outlets for more than a year. Boynton Beach homeowners who are less industry-focused have been hearing the same thing from the national news media, too. Last week, they both staged a partial about-face.

The storylines are interconnected. The dominant one dealt with the national trend toward a weakening in the number of homes being sold. About a year ago, both new and existing home sales numbers began to falter. This wasn’t enough of a drop to cause genuine consternation—but it was persistent enough to generate headlines.

The reason that potential Boynton Beach home buyers and sellers weren’t overly concerned was partially due to the second storyline, which focused on the fact that fewer homes were being offered for sale. That seemed to be a reasonable explanation for the falloff in the number of closings, rather than an underlying loss of public confidence in the value of residential real estate. More evidence was the continued rise in prices paid.

Last week came word that, for the first time in a long while, a change of direction was in the wind. On a month-to-month basis, both trends reversed. According to the press release from the National Association of Realtors®, the Pending Home Sales Index for January registered “a strong rebound”—rising 4.6% above December’s levels.

“Homebuyers are now returning and taking advantage of lower interest rates,” according to the NAR’s Chief Economist. This was noteworthy—for months, Dr. Yun’s pronouncements had sounded considerably less optimistic.

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Now Delray Beach Households Can Be Monitored from Afar

Some new electronic gadgets have been gaining steam—some of which might be of interest to Delray Beach homeowners who find the strain of maintaining constant vigilance over all areas of the property can take a toll.

For any homeowner who has ever dealt with an all-but-unnoticed plumbing drip that suddenly turned into a flood, there is a new breed of wireless monitoring products that are easy to install and relatively inexpensive—especially when compared with wired security systems which require a subscription to an offsite monitoring center. These new wireless systems can also be unexpectedly versatile—capable of performing more than one monitoring task simultaneously.

One example is the Notion system. The basics are simple. A starter kit contains a central “bridge,” an inconspicuous box which is plugged into a centrally located wall outlet, the bridge connects into the household’s existing Wifi network. The kit includes three multi-purpose sensors—round, inch-high, 2-inch diameter plastic wafers that adhere to doors, windows, walls or the floor. Each one can sense water, temperature, the sound of an alarm, movement—or a combination. Powered by two AA batteries, they send wireless signals of what they sense to the bridge. 

The homeowner programs each sensor with limits which, if exceeded, cause the bridge to send alerts the owner’s smartphone and/or email account. For instance, if a door or window is opened at a time of day that’s not allowed—or a safe or liquor cabinet door is opened—the homeowner will be notified. If water is sensed under a distrusted water heater, or the temperature in a seldom-visited part of the house...

Moving into a New Boca Raton House? Warm it up!

It could hardly be a greater occasion—the move into a new Boca Raton house! Marking the moment in some unique way must be some sort of universal compulsion. It certainly stretches far beyond our shores (and back in time thousands of years).

Some Boca Raton new house owners mark the occasion by throwing a housewarming party—a tradition rooted in the days when every able-bodied villager would have been a ready volunteer in the dwelling’s construction. The proud new householder would be expected to host a celebratory feast in appreciation to their neighbors.

Today’s typical new homeowners are vastly more likely to be new arrivals to the neighborhood, so the warming of a new Boca Raton house is likely to be a considerably less crowded affair. Even now, though, after spotting moving van activity, some of the neighbors may stop by to introduce themselves. They’re likely to echo the past, bearing a housewarming gift as a welcoming gesture.

Today, that’s often a tin of cookies or a home-baked pie—but for a few of the more tradition-minded, it might be one of the ancient ones from a far-flung corner of the globe. If you are planning on moving into a new Boca Raton home anytime soon, don’t be surprised if you’re on the receiving end of one of these time-honored housewarming gifts:

  • Bread and salt. From Russia, when the first items brought into the home are a loaf of bread (banishing hunger) and salt (bringing wealth and hospitality), an abundant future is guaranteed.
  • Holy thread. In Thailand, tying a piece of thread around the wrists of family members assures...

Four Fixes the Best Boynton Beach Real Estate Agents Recommend

The topic of preventive maintenance seems particularly timely, given last week’s record-breaking polar vortex and the many tales of household plumbing disasters it spawned.

The best Boynton Beach real estate agents do more than just representing their selling clients in the marketing, negotiation, and documentation of their homes’ sale—they also roll up their sleeves to make the entire process less anxiety-producing. One of the ways the best Boynton Beach real estate agents keep the process on an even keel is to offer advice on heading off surprises—especially the havoc that a maintenance breakdown can cause when showings are imminent.

There are several areas that Boynton Beach households can be threatened by—and you don’t have to have your house on the market to benefit from preventing them. Last month, the National Association of Realtors pointed out a batch of home maintenance areas that need attention—and four of them, if neglected, could cause major headaches:

  • Water heater spill. Water heaters can suddenly cease to function—or even flood an area if corrosion is rampant. The preventive measure many Boynton Beach homeowners aren’t even aware of is to “flush” it. Just turn off the power or gas to the heater, open a hot water tap elsewhere for a few minutes to lower the temperature in the heater, then put a bucket under the water heaters drain valve and drain until no sandy stuff is in it. Be careful—the water might still be hot.
  • Test for leaks. Since even slow leaks can cause major damage behind walls, it's worthwhile to be sure none are going on. Read your...

One “Delray Beach Land for Sale” Detail That’s Make-or-Break

It might be the ultimate real estate daydream: finding a choice parcel of Delray Beach land for sale, figuring out the best way your house should be cited upon it—and ultimately building your own home on it. Whether it’s constructed to your own custom-specified floor plan or using a more budget-minded approach, finding the right piece of land comes first. If it’s priced within your budget, that’s all to the good—but before you write the check, no matter how appealing it might be, there could be one detail that might spoil the daydream.

It falls under the heading of the “perc.” It’s not about brewing the cup of coffee you envision enjoying as you take in the morning view through your kitchen window-to-be. It won’t be an issue if the parcel of Delray Beach land for sale is located where it can be served by our local sewer system. In that case, you and your contractor will choose a site for the house that will afford a trouble-free hookup. Perc is not involved.

But if the parcel is more remote, in order to build on it you must demonstrate how well it will support a septic system. To get a permit, the proposed septic area must pass a percolation test. And, as the saying goes, “no perc, no house.”

The test measures the drainage characteristics of the soil usually expressed in minutes per inch of drop-off. In general, sand and gravel drain the best, while high clay content or solid rock drain poorly. Most soils are a mixture—and individual site characteristics vary not only in soil composition but also by the depth of the water table, the steepness of the incline, its distance from open water, as well as a variety of other factors.

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