Boynton Beach

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...

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...

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...

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...

News for Boynton Beach House Hunters: Blessedly Calm

Last week ended with such horrendous news in California that it was a blessed relief how in at least one narrow slice of the news—one of interest to Boynton Beach house hunters, among others—there was blessedly very little worrisome to report. Against the grim reality of how November 2018 was beginning in other areas of the news, Boynton Beach house hunters could relax for a moment.

This quiet corner of the public space was in what for house-hunters is an area of key concern—the slice of the financial sector focused on home loan originators and the residential mortgage market. The news from that quarter was, in brief, not much news.

The Tuesday election had held a high likelihood of affecting credit markets, and thus, mortgage interest rates. It’s usually true, and The Mortgage News Daily thought that the quiet on Monday “suggests traders are waiting to see if other traders care about the election results.” As it turned out, at least by Wednesday, they didn’t.

The MND predicted “Probably One More Day of Waiting for any Election Impact,” but it turned out to be a longer wait than that. On Wednesday a Federal Reserve Board Statement was scheduled for release. Days like that are known in the industry as “Fed Days”—they usually move rates. But what resulted, according to Mortgage News, was only “movement…that looked small if viewed by anything less powerful than a microscope.”

And so it went. Boynton Beach mortgage rates remained in historically lower-than-average...

Surprising Perspective on Today’s Boynton Beach Mortgage Rates

Last Wednesday and Thursday’s stock market nosedive had analysts debating whether the Fed’s hike in interest rates was to blame. Since Boynton Beach mortgage rates are likely to also be affected, local selling-minded homeowners might well have begun to wonder whether we are headed into a less-than-favorable selling environment.

If so, would listing your home now make sense? Would holding out until lower Boynton Beach mortgage rates reappear be worth the wait? The benefit to potential buyers would be immediate: more affordable monthly payments for the same asking price.

Ultimately, the answer to that timing question will always be uncertain, but one clue can be found in the history of mortgage rates in recent decades. According to the Freddie Mac’s mortgage rate archive, that history leads to an unambiguous conclusion:

 30-YEAR MORTGAGE INTEREST RATE AVERAGES

2000s:  6.29%

1990s: 8.12%

1980s: 12.7%

1970s: 8.86%

Putting it all together, the previous 40 years produced average mortgage interest rates just shy of double digits: 9.9%, to be precise! Even after the latest Federal Reserve action, last week’s national 30-year rate “jump” was to only 4.9%. With Boynton Beach mortgage interest rates currently at less than half of what U.S. home buyers have been willing to pay in past eras, it turns out that we are still in the midst of a decidedly friendly environment for buyers—which makes it seller-friendly territory,...

Boynton Beach Real Estate Acronyms Include These Puzzlers

 

Buyers and sellers are more well-informed than ever before due to easy access to online Boynton Beach real estate sites (like mine—and BTW, thanks for stopping by!). Given the advent of constantly updated listing data and the abundance of accompanying commentary and analysis, it’s no surprise that the level of real estate sophistication is significantly higher than it was even just a few years ago. It also means that more members of the general public are likely to find themselves in the puzzling presence of some real estate alphabet soup that haunts realms formerly visited only by real estate and mortgage industry professionals.

True: it’s easy to query Google to decipher acronyms like “DHSC.” But then you’ll have to wade through red herrings like “Doctor of Health Sciences” and “Defense and Homeland Security Consortium”—or even Deployment Health Surveillance Capability (that’s from Munich, Germany, but it’s listed as a possibility). Real estate’s “DHSC” is short for Direct Home Selling Costs”—meaning the combined selling expenses (carrying costs, loss on sale, repairs and improvements, commission, closing costs, etc.) all lumped together in one succinct 4-letter package.

Here are some common real estate-related acronyms you may come across from time to time:

HUD/RESPA—The statement you get at the closing table which spells out all the monies paid out and received: short for “Housing and Urban Development/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.”

PMI—The kind of insurance borrowers pay for home loans of more than 80% of the property’s value: short for “Private Mortgage Insurance.”

TOM-When a listing is taken off the market because of illness, travel, repairs, etc.: “Temporarily Off Market.”

PITI—the four parts that make up monthly...