BOCA RATON

To our friends and clients / COVID-19 (coronavirus) UPDATE

The steady stream of news and information about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has touched us all.  We will all need to adapt to this new reality and find ways to manage and minimize the impact during this time of uncertainty.

We are reaching out as we are here to help you as clients, friends, and future homeowners.  Whether you are a current client or looking to purchase a home, our team can and will provide assistance. For those of you who are unable to fly to South Florida. to look for properties or -for those of you who own homes we have services to provide.  Our Video technology, in real-time, can expedite making a home buying decision.  Feel free to contact us, we have vendors, contractors and help at our disposal if you are in need of assistance.

Contact us as the numbers below with any questions you may have.

Shari Orland,  (954) 245-7469

Alfredo Ruiz,  (561) 350-6923

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This Spring, Strong Signs Boost Boca Raton Seller Optimism

As the traditionally fast-moving spring real estate market nears, Boca Raton sellers who will be listing soon have multiple grounds for optimism—with the scarcity of available properties being the most widely publicized. Now it appears that the long-standing national shortage isn’t just continuing: it’s widening.

According to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors®, buyers in nine out of ten markets they tracked could find 8.5% fewer homes for sale than had been available just one year before. That was in addition to the host of sunny economic conditions (a “soaring stock market, good economy, and low interest rates”) that were further motivating prospective homebuyers. If the number of local listings echoes the national trend, Boca Raton sellers could expect an uptick in competition for this season’s properties.

That was the theme of last week’s lead article in Realtor Magazine. Home Price Hikes Widen Sellers’ Advantageforetold the effect constrained inventory is expected to have on this spring’s real estate activity. New research pointed in the same direction: median listing prices have been rising at the same time housing supplies and days-on-market decline. According to move.com, January patterns “set the stage for a competitive homebuying season.”

Although the principles of supply and demand would certainly lead to the same opinion, U.S. News & World Report gave a less ebullient reason to agree. In last month’s “Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2020,” they...

Long-Term Results Usually Tilt Toward Buying

Some of the reasons cited by advocates of renting over owning are the financial burdens homeownership entails.

  • “Maintenance and Repairs are On The Landlord,” boasts online site rentberry.com.
  • “Renting frees up money to save,” says onerent.co.

There are certainly circumstances that make renting Boca Raton properties a prudent choice—some are due to specific career, lifestyle, and financial circumstances—particularly when future matters are undecided. But although the “maintenance and repairs” argument sounds reasonable—it really doesn’t hold up when you consider that rental terms aren’t devised to result in a loss for the landlord. Any fairly priced rental or lease payment covers the cost of the property’s upkeep—with a reasonable percentage added for profit!

The “freeing up money to save” argument is probably literally true at the early stages of most Boca Raton home acquisitions. But the long-term reality is that Boca Raton homeownership builds equity—equity that translates into “savings” (albeit in a less liquid form). Those are savings that aren’t as readily available as cash in the bank, but that is actually a substantial pro-savings feature: the “enforced savings” attribute. The greater average net worth of homeowners over renters bears it out.

The most frequently cited reason for not buying is the difficulty of coming up with a down payment. If today’s robust economy truly does result...

It’s 2020—Paperwork May be at Risk!

In case you haven’t heard yet, you’d better watch out for 2020’s date-noting anomaly. This quirk was widely publicized on January 1, but for Boca Raton residents whose holiday focus was limited to Rose Parade floats and football games, it’s worth another mention.

As USA Today scolded, “Stop abbreviating 2020.” That is, if you (like most Boca Raton check writers) are accustomed to shortening the date by writing only the last two digits of the year (so you would have written “11-15-19” instead of “11-15-2019”), you’d better stop doing that; at least for the remainder of this year. According to legal authorities, the shorthand version could “cost you big.”  

The problem is that in 2020, a date written with just the “20” for the year can easily be altered by simply adding two digits. A check written in 2020 could, by appending “19,” appear to have been dated a year earlier. That creates an easy opportunity for fraud. As one example, a current purchase contract could be made to appear to be a year or two older, with the extra payments now long overdue. Even though you might find it unlikely that you could be victimized, ruling out the possibility is as easy as jotting down the two extra digits.

For anyone transacting Boca Raton home sale this year, that’s a particularly good idea. The paperwork that flows across the closing table is voluminous—and the importance of seeing that the dates are unassailably accurate goes without saying. However remote the chance that nefarious characters might one day take advantage of the...

High Offer? Best Offer? Are they always the Same?

It’s exactly what you were hoping for when you listed your Boca Raton house: multiple offers! They’ve just been submitted, and now you get to choose which offer is the best one. The highest dollar amount may look like the instant winner, but that first blush reaction should be put aside while all the included provisions are given thoughtful consideration.

If the top line amount offered is the only major difference, the decision can be an easy one—but that’s seldom the case. Your house sale’s net yield can be greatly affected by the offer details—considerations like these:

Timing–if the proposed closing date will arrive too soon OR too far in the future, accepting it may prove more costly than you’d think. It depends on the move-in date for your next home—especially if that’s up in the air. Gaps can be costly—especially if it winds up forcing you into a too-hasty (or too expensive) choice for your next home.

Cash or ??—“All-cash” offers sound appealing, but some cash offers aren’t as open-and-closed as the term implies—such as those funded by a loan that’s not contingent on the sale. If that offer is based on a line of credit, there might be less certainty than another based on cash in the bank. There is also something to be said for the hoops buyers have to jump through when a lender is enlisted—some of those protect the seller as well as the bank.

All those Contingencies—The standard contingencies (like inspection, financing, appraisal, or sale of the buyer’s property) most obviously stand...

It’s Not Halloween Yet—but Some Home Décor is Horrifying!

Boca Raton neighborhoods are already boasting their traditional pre-Halloween decorations. Like ‘mums and pumpkins, the appearance of mannequin goblins and ghosts is, after all, some of the first signs of autumn. Perhaps by way of getting into the spirit of the coming holiday, the editors of last Friday’s Realtor® Magazine dispensed with its list of “Horrifying Decorative Trends” as chosen by professional designers.

The survey results are, for the most part, amusing—unless your own Boca Raton décor happens to include any “horrifying” inclusions. In fact, you can argue that some (vertical blinds, inspirational quote art, wood paneling) may be considered less than current high style, but well short of horrifying.

Other of the décor items making Realtor’s list are less controversial—like artificial fruit (the illustration showed a slightly dusty grape cluster), wallpaper borders (illustrated by a tediously repetitious border featuring particularly busy sketches of Tuscan basketry), and—following a similar theme—eye-confounding bedroom ruffles and florals.

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What Gracious Touch Caps Boca Raton House Selling?

When you first begin thinking about house selling, most Boca Raton sellers are rightly focused on getting the property in top shape, establishing a solid relationship with their Boca Raton Realtor®, and making some key decisions (like what the optimal asking price should be). In other words, laying out a practical strategic house selling game plan.

About the last thing anyone thinks about is their relationship with the ultimate home buyers. It would be impossible, anyway; until the first offer is tendered, the buyer’s identity and personality are unknown. That might even remain true throughout the entire house selling process—particularly when the agents manage the communications for the many details in the buying and selling process.

But even when some thorny disputes need to be ironed out, by the time the keys are handed over it is in everyone’s best interest that the relationship end on a graceful note. After all, the new owners will be taking their own place in the Boca Raton community in which so many of your family’s relationships have flourished—and whether your new home is in Boca Raton or elsewhere, it can only be a plus when the final takeaway from your house selling transaction is a gracious one.

Leaving behind a welcome letter that’s more than a polite pleasantry can do that—especially if it’s a thoughtful one. Some ideas on that score:      

  • Share your family’s favorite Boca Raton restaurants and watering holes, local tradespeople (including quirks, when relevant), and details like your personal “best”...

Boca Raton Homeownership Boost from the Father of the 401(k)

 

Ever since its introduction in 1965, Americans by the millions have embraced the retirement vehicle known by its IRS handle, the “401(k).”  It hardly matters that few Boca Raton breadwinners know much about its relatively recent origins (much less, its family lineage)—but had they attended the Wall Street Journal’s recent “Future of Everything Festival,” they’d have been enlightened. The inventor of the 401(k) is Ted Benna—now known in financial circles as its father.

What the Father of the 401(k) had to say is encouraging for Boca Raton’s homeowners. Since his popular financial brainchild has massively changed the retirement picture far and wide (Japan’s retirement law is called the “Japanese 401(k).” His words have earned more than the usual amount of credence financial advisors receive.

He introduced his main point by referencing some of his more prosperous private sector clients. In his lengthy career, he noted that some of the most hugely successful people never bother to become successful at saving—yet some others “who don’t make big bucks” wind up with substantial savings—and comfortable retirements. Benna has a single explanation for these twist endings:

The key is learning early in life what you’re going to be.”

Even though that may sound somewhat obtuse, it translates into some specific advice aimed at younger adults. He advises that young people make a decision to put “at least 1% of their pay” into savings. Then, “Every time you get a pay increase,...

Boca Raton Homes for Sale Prospects—the Straight Scoop

 It never ceases to amaze: the way media news briefs can state a set of facts that, despite being literally accurate, leave listeners with a mistaken impression. For local homeowners making up their minds whether the timing is right for putting their own Boca Raton homes up for sale, this last week provided a fine example.

One newscast in particular would seem to be off-putting. It’s true that when measured against the same period a year earlier, the national home sales levels had been weak. That made the one news blip that came over the satellite radios in many Boca Raton autos all the more convincing. Listeners might have concluded that throughout the country, potential home buyers were staging a disappearing act. That kind of discouraging news could well put a damper on those contemplating putting up their own Boca Raton homes for sale.

The real estate item was the final one in Friday’s on-the-hour news, which repeated hourly. The announcer’s voice delivered the bad news in matter-of-fact tones: “New home sales tumbled last month, dropping almost thirteen percent. Higher prices combining with a limited inventory sidelined many would-be buyers.

When you’re thinking about selling your house, that’s hardly encouraging news—even if you’re aware that statistics can be interpreted seven ways from Sunday. The announcer’s rapid-fire delivery would have had all but the most careful listeners convinced that they faced a significantly difficult market—one that “sidelined many would-be buyers.” But the first word in the brief was critical: “New.” The “tumble”...