South Florida Real Estate Blog by Shari Orland, Realtor

Are Delray Beach Home Sales Part of a “Facebook Effect”?

experienced the kind of growth that’s been typical over the past couple of years, your Facebook friends will be more likely to buy a home themselves. Improbable as it sounds, Dr. Johannes Stroebel says that his research shows this as a measurable probability because “friends’ experiences…influence personal behavior” when it comes to their housing decisions.

The results of Dr. Stroebel’s study emerged from a panel discussion held this month. The conversation took place in Washington, DC, as part of the annual Realtors® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. Most of the headlines from that gathering centered around the midyear forecast by NAR Chief Economist L. Yun. He sounded the kind of optimistic note that will be music to local homeowners—particularly if they are planning to sell their own Delray Beach house anytime soon. After several years of wage growth that exceeds home price growth, the two are now aligning more rapidly than heretofore. The bottom line is that “home sales should be much stronger.” The continuation of low mortgage interest rates adds to that probability.

NAR optimism aside, the announced Facebook effect prompted further discussion. It was shown that renters whose Facebook friends experienced a 5% growth in their house prices over the past two years have a 3% greater chance of buying their own home within the next two years. The effect is more pronounced in “socially-connected counties,” where positive experiences “were even shown to increase the size of a home” that was purchased.

Whether or not you believe yourself to be sufficiently...

Boynton Beach Home-Selling Checklist for a Rainy Day

When you are getting ready to sell your house, there’s nothing like a sunny day to spur you into last-minute readying. The final curb appeal-enhancing projects, springtime yard and landscaping spiffing-up activities, window cleaning and the like are readily dispatched when the weather is balmy.

 But when it’s dreary outside (it does happen in Boynton Beach, unfortunately), there is at least one home selling activity that doesn’t call for fair weather. In fact, it doesn’t call for anything else either, save for a pen and paper (or the computer equivalent) and access to the household records. It’s a necessary part of any Boynton Beach home-selling, too—something that’s best dispensed with before moving day.

The rainy-day activity in question is Contact Sheet Preparation. When finished, it will comprise an invaluable resource to be presented to your home’s new owners—one that will be greatly appreciated by them. Depending on how much detail is included, its creation can occupy most of a rain-soaked afternoon.

At a minimum, the contact sheet should include:

  • Boynton Beach Community Emergency Phone numbers
  • Utility Companies
  • Household resource providers (plumbers, electricians, septic service, chimney sweeps, etc.)   

The most detailed contact sheets also can include “Once in a Blue Moon” details, which identify long-ago resources like the guy who fixed the garden shed lock or the company that web address for the company...

Your Boca Raton Real Estate Planning Can Pay Off Immediately!

Any Boca Raton home sale, like everything else, tends to go better when preparation has been carefully thought out—and then acted upon. For homeowners who suspect that they will be selling sooner or later, there are some planning steps that can be taken long ahead of time.

Some Boca Raton real estate planning is the long-range variety. The first thing the canniest new homeowners do is to take a look at the property with an eye to improving its landscape design, and plant trees. Even if they take a decade to mature, that’s an action that can pay huge dividends later.

There are other real estate planning actions that don’t take years to start bearing dividends. Take the example of household utilities. The issue here is the bills that begin to appear in the mailbox (or computer’s In-box) within a month of moving in. What might seem to be a background irritant at first may rear its ugly head with greater impact later, when a sale is impending. Particularly if and when energy prices escalate—a not-unlikely possibility.

Any Boca Raton real estate plan takes buyers’ concerns into account—and today, many prospective buyers are mindful of the real impact operating costs have on a family budget. They ask to see a year’s worth of utility bills before making an offer. Since those bills are a matter of record, it’s not an unreasonable request. But if the energy and water expenses are sky-high, they are bound to reflect in the size of the offer. If they’re off-putting enough, they can even result in the worst offer: none at all!

The takeaway is simple but important. Where utilities are concerned, the best real...

Future Points to Delray Beach Mortgage Rate Stability

When you are planning to sell your Delray Beach home, the latest interest rate gyrations can become a worrisome element in your planning. Last week’s news should provide a measure of anxiety relief.

Back a year or two ago, when almost all the credible financial voices were united in predicting that Delray Beach’s historically low mortgage interest rates would soon be moving back up into more familiar territory, the effect was to prod buyers to get busy. Delray Beach sellers took note, as well.

Everybody knew that the imminent rate rises could make all the difference between a doable monthly mortgage payment and a budget-breaker. Frequently cited were examples like the one pointing out the difference that a single point could make on a typical $350,000 mortgage payment: more than $200 a month. There was extra pressure on some home loan applicants whose incomes were deemed sufficient at the original rate: they might be declined if rates rose.

As is now amply evident, those interest rate worries turned out to have been surprisingly wide of the mark—or at least severely premature. Last week’s news provided renewed reason for Delray Beach home buyers and sellers to put aside their mortgage rate anxieties for the moment. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve reinforced their decision to hold the benchmark interest rate steady at the previously stated target range of 2.25% to 2.5%—which translates into a continuation of today’s temptingly low Delray Beach mortgage rates.

For Delray Beach mortgage rate watchers who remember that the March announcement included worries about a slowing economy, Wednesday’s pronouncement that economic...

Marketing Your Boynton Beach Home for Sale: the Memory Trick

One frequently underestimated aspect of effective real estate marketing is memorability.

If you will be selling your Boynton Beach home anytime soon, once you’ve prepared for its public rollout, marketing takes center stage. “Job One” will be exposing it to the galaxy of active prospects—that is, to the corps of qualified buyers who would be a good fit for your property. Secondarily, it means making your home memorable.

For the potential buyers who happen to be well-organized, efficient and energetic, the memorability factor isn’t vital. They’ve been combing the listings for Boynton Beach homes for sale with regularity in the hope of finding a property like yours. They’ll see that yours looks like a good match, and either make an appearance at your open house, schedule a showing through their buyers agent, or make contact online.

Buyers like those are increasingly common—but many other well-qualified prospects are not so well organized. They might be under less time pressure to find their new home, or they might be so busy with other obligations that their house-hunting moments are sporadic and rushed. For whatever reason, they are in danger of losing track of your listing—even if it was one that looked promising when they came across it. It’s also possible that after too much time spent staring at the screen, even the most motivated house hunters can go temporarily “house blind”—fail to remember one they should have noted.

That’s the point: a listing, (or ad, classified blurb, or flyer), in addition to being attractively illustrated and technically accurate, should also be constructed...

Wit and Wisdom that Harmonizes with Boca Raton Real Estate

If you’re a frequent visitor here, it will come as no surprise that those of us whose days are devoted to the Boca Raton real estate industry aren’t shy about championing the virtues of homeownership. We’re aided by more than a century’s worth of wit and wisdom directed to the merits of owning the place where you live.

America’s two most storied humorists contributed to the collection. There is Mark Twain’s “Buy land—they’re not making it anymore” and Will Rogers’ “Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.” Then there is Anthony Trollop, the classic English novelist’s wry “Land is about the only thing that can’t fly away.”

You can credit other real estate witticisms to more modern celebrities—like “The best time to buy a home is always five years ago.” (The late jazz great Ray Brown gets credit for that one).

The real estate-promoting commonplaces don’t just come from writers and entertainers, either. Take President Franklin Roosevelt’s “Real estate can’t be lost or stolen…managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.” Abraham Lincoln could have been the nation’s first sub-divider with his “I am in favor of cutting up the wild lands into parcels, so that every poor man may have a home.”

 Today’s Boca Raton real estate may be a far cry from Honest Abe’s “wild lands”—but the insight from America’s first billionaire, J. Paul Getty, is as apt today as it was when he described...

Add This to the Reasons to Own Your Delray Beach Home

Lately, the common sense advantages to homeownership have been joined by a newcomer—one that doesn’t immediately leap to mind. It comes at an interesting time, as more and more of the national discourse focuses on healthcare issues.

The newest reason why owning your own Delray Beach home should have a high priority? Why it’s for your health!

That might sound like a bit of a reach if the only source behind it was the National Association of Realtors®. They do in fact point to recent studies that find homeowners “generally happier and healthier than non-owners.” Doubters inclined to question the validity of such a generalization might be reassured by the fact that the health outcome findings held up after being “controlled for factors such as income and education levels.”

It turns out that real estate industry promoters aren’t alone in finding a good health connection with owning your own home. In connection with World Health Day, the Habitat for Humanity group put together a “Health and Homeownership” paper. It linked one common sense phenomenon—the better condition of owned homes with those of rented homes—with health outcomes “including respiratory conditions such as asthma, exposure to toxic substances, injuries and mental health.” All in all, they felt confident in reporting “better health outcomes for homeowners.”

I’m standing by to offer healthy measures of help and advice for all your Delray Beach real estate dealings. Just call!       

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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 TV—where it seems like...

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. You may know that a...

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 only a few days off!...