Boynton Beach

Simple Tips for Cutting Your Boynton Beach Utility Bills

It’s around this time of year that the bottom line on Boynton Beach utility bills tends to begin to grow larger once again. Power and water consumption can’t help but rise as we bid farewell to Boynton Beach’s mild springtime conditions. Gardens and lawns get thirsty now that the days are growing longer, and once deep summer heatwaves develop, household utility bills report what happens when air conditioners and sprinklers are called into action.

For Boynton Beach householders who’d prefer avoiding a budgetary shock when they open utility bills this July and August, it’s good to recall that some of the most effective expense-cutting activities are also the most straightforward. They are so simple and so obvious, that, paradoxically enough, they’re easy to overlook (at least that’s what the USEIA tells us). Here are some of the most effective cost-trimming actions—they also benefit the environment:

Energy:

  • Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs  
  • Shut down computers
  • Use power-miser power strips
  • Turn off the lights!!!
  • Use cold water (80°) in the laundry (except for synthetics and for sanitizing)
  • Eliminate “vampire” power (unplug idle electronics)
  • Run the washers (dish- and clothes-) only when fully loaded

Water:

  • Water outside only when the sun is low
  • Favor baths over showers
  • ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

...

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...

Boynton Beach Homeowners Needn’t Fear the Sound of a “Pop!”

There is one persuasive reason why Boynton Beach homeowners (and prospective homeowners) don’t hear much about the likelihood that a new “housing bubble” could be in the making.

For any Boynton Beach homeowner who’s had the comfort of watching their property’s value grow steadily for years, a mere mention of the words “housing bubble” can squelch the enthusiasm. Even though real estate is “real” in a way few investments can equal, there was the last decade’s property value nosedive. Momentarily, at least, it rained on residential real estate nearly everywhere.

“Housing bubble” was the derisive term that described the previous run-up in prices that subsequently “popped” when sellers could no longer find buyers. A large part of the chaos was due to the home loan industry’s inability to finance mortgages at the previous valuations. In fact, for a while, even well-heeled buyers could scarcely find financing at any valuation.

 In 2008, the bubble metaphor seemed especially apt because the “pop” came so abruptly. When things go south suddenly, it’s particularly unnerving. But today Boynton Beach homeowners can take comfort in at least one reason why today’s circumstances bear little resemblance to what happened ten years ago.

  The Mortgage Bankers’ Association charts something called the “MCAI.” It’s a reliable measure of the availability of home loans, measured on a scale from 1 to 1,000. The higher the number, the easier it is for applicants to obtain home loans. A chart shows how, in the three years leading up...

Homeowners Insurance Defensive Role in Nov. Firestorms

Last fall’s devastating California firestorms gripped the nation’s attention as flames engulfed whole communities, North and South. For Boynton Beach residents, the loss of life and wholesale destruction that played across our TV and laptop screens seemed otherworldly—almost unbelievable. Hundreds of thousands of residents displaced. Thousands of homes destroyed. In a year that brought an ample share of natural disasters (including Hurricanes Michael and Florence), to many Boynton Beach homeowners, this one was particularly distressing. It’s hard not to relate to our own homes and their irreplaceable contents—and to wonder if there isn’t anything wildfire-aware homeowners could have done to prevent such devastating losses.

In fact, at year’s end, The Wall Street Journal posted a video that explored a little-known service that exists to address that concern: private firefighters.

It turns out that some homeowners insurance companies who cover the mansions most exposed to wildfires contract with private companies to protect their investment. One such company is Capstone Fire & Safety Management. The Journal sent a reporter to ride along with a Capstone private firefighting unit as they visited Ventura County properties threatened in last November’s maelstrom. For the “pricey mansions” covered by their risk mitigation service, they assessed the oncoming danger and responded accordingly. That meant anything from simply checking in with homeowners to moving flammable objects away from structures. In extreme situations, they were prepared to spray fire-retardant foam on exposed areas.

In action, the service is limited in significant ways....

What One Boynton Beach Listing Detail Has to do with Hong Kong

Our Boynton Beach listings contain one figure that’s quite useful for apples-to-apples comparisons of the properties being offered. This one is quietly tucked away beneath the more prominent pieces of information. It doesn’t usually draw much attention, although it probably deserves more. And last week, it also happened to prove how fortunate home shoppers in Boynton Beach really are—especially compared to what their counterparts have to contend with in places like Hong Kong.

That point was evident in a feature on the CBS Overnight News TV show. It dealt with current real estate reality in the Chinese enclave of Hong Kong. The details were truly gasp-worthy—especially the one we were describing earlier. That one—the figure that doesn’t get much attention—is the cost per square foot. Most house hunters have in mind a price limit they will be willing to spend as well as a general idea of the amount of space they need—a square footage number. Those two factors help them zero in on the homes they’ll be interested in exploring further; it’s why those figures are up near the top of the listing.

But also useful is the cost per square foot. It can help online house hunters get a relative idea of how a slightly smaller home might stack up, price-wise, against a slightly larger one. If you also compare it with another figure, the average sale price per square foot in the surrounding community or zip code, you get another view of the offering. If the listed price per square foot is starkly higher than comparable properties, it might signal a home of much higher quality—or sellers who have an unrealistic idea of what their home is worth. Likewise, a considerably lower figure...