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...