General

One Way Boca Raton Listing Language Motivates Prospects

The descriptive language that goes into every Boca Raton listing is aimed at framing the way prospective buyers relate to the property being offered. Between the headline photo and the actual number-laden listing detail (square footage, numbers of bedrooms and baths, etc.) comes a paragraph or two of descriptive text.

There’s little debate that a listing’s language can be decisive in motivating prospects to take the next step: calling the Realtor® for a showing appointment. As you’d guess, that means a lot of study has gone into what works and what doesn’t work in that descriptor. One result is many lists of “effective selling words” for use in real estate listings—but those can’t really address the whole picture of what motivates house hunters.

One of many creative approaches to crafting effective listing language is to take the salesman’s “objection” strategy—to view each sentence as an opportunity to put to rest a potential concern. Here are examples of that approach—the concerns, and some phraseology that addresses them:

Size. “Spacious” and “open” or “open floor plan” work well—as do “airy” and “sweeping.” “Huge” or “enormous” also work—but are only useful when they really do apply. “Walk-in closet” and “master suite” are other ways to project an image of roominess.

Location.Desirable” is stronger than “convenient,”—but where it’s appropriate, “prestigious” is better still. Specific details like “fabulous view” and “close to everything...

Why Didn’t Mortgage Rates Jump after Last Week’s News?

By last Friday, anyone planning Boca Raton real estate dealings would have been following the week’s developments on the mortgage interest rate front. Since Boca Raton’s mortgage interest rates are the most volatile factor influencing affordability, changes can have large consequences.

The key information source in that arena is the Mortgage News Daily, a must-read for industry insiders. As soon as Wednesday’s big news broke—the Federal Reserve’s decision to hike its benchmark interest rate—it made for interesting reading.

If the Fed’s morning announcement had most everyone expecting a quick move to higher Boca Raton mortgage rates, by noon MND readers would have been less certain. By Wednesday afternoon its lead headline was “Mortgage Rates Improve After Fed Announcement.” That seemingly illogical reaction was attributed not to the Fed’s decision, but to Fed Chair Powell’s follow-up press conference. Inflation drives up rates, and Powell expects inflation to remain within predicted limits.

By Thursday, analyst Matthew Graham’s column headlined “Mortgage Rates Lowest in More Than a Week.” He poo-pooed others’ doom-and-gloom headlines “floating around the web.” Why was his analysis believable when it ran counter to the majority view? “Easy!” he wrote; “I’m right and they’re wrong.” The reason had to do with “boring” technical details about when rates are sampled.

By week’s end, Graham looked to be correct—even if only for the moment. “RECAP: Month-End...

Waiting Periods for Derogatory Credit

Experiencing a damaging credit event such as a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy, does not mean you are out of the mortgage market forever.  Depending on the circumstances, there are wait times before a lender can approve you for a new mortgage. If you are experiencing extenuating circumstances, the wait time may be shorter. Extenuating circumstances are temporary events that are beyond a person's control, such as a job loss or death of a wage earner.  These events must be verified and documented and are subject to review by an underwriter.

Below are some general guidelines on how long you must wait before a lender can approve you for a loan.  When in doubt, check with an expert.  I can certainly guide you to the right individual. 

FANNIE MAE

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | 4 years from discharge or dismissal date
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy | 2 years from discharge date, 4 years from dismissal date
  • Foreclosure | 7 years from completion date
  • Short Sale (Deed-In-Lieu) | 4 years

FREDDIE MAC

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy | 4 years from discharge or dismissal date
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy | 2 years from discharge date, 4 years from dismissal date
  • ...

What are the Most Common Questions Homebuyers Ask?

A couple of years ago, the National Association of Realtors® sent out a compilation of answers to the most-often posed questions home buyers have for their agents. Delray Beach home buyers do sometimes come up with these. Here’s the NAR list, its answers—and a few brief observations:

  1. “How much can I afford?” The answer depends on your personal financial details, which are easy to determine—just search for “house affordability calculator.” Avoid the “ad” entries at the top of the screen; most of them make you surrender your personal info before they will display the answer.
  2. “Can I buy a home and sell mine simultaneously?” Yes, there are several ways to do this via offer contingencies. Alternatively, some sellers decide to rent while finding and securing a new home.
  3. “What do you think the seller will accept?” The NAR’s suggestion is “knocking 5% off the list price.” Since every situation is different, I think a more precise recommendation would be to take the seller’s profile and recent market comps into account (and don’t forget your agent’s input)!
  4. “Should I demand a home inspection?” Simply, ‘yes.’ When a property seems for all the world to have been perfectly maintained, it can be tempting to just speed past that inspection “technicality.” But don’t do it: the report your seasoned Delray Beach inspector produces will be well worth the cost and time invested. You might find yourself reviewing its details for years...

Simple Tips for Achieving a Bigger-Looking Kitchen

Probably because any “achievement” is something that’s honored and rewarded from kindergarten on, the word automatically triggers a positive reaction.

So for Delray Beach readers who happened upon last week’s Realty Times article about how to “achieve a bigger kitchen” without busting the family budget, the piece would have been worth a look. And in fact, author Brad Miller actually did offer up some creative approaches. Here are some wallet-friendly ideas for Delray Beach sellers looking to increase the value of their kitchen:

  • Go for a slimmer fridge (the tall, thin 28-inches hold a lot of food).
  • Ditch double sinks (a single large one takes up less space; actually makes washing large pans easier; allows more counter space).
  • Use a compact dishwasher (appropriate for condos—but we might question this one for the average Delray Beach family).
  • Remove some hardware (press-activated cabinet doors and drawers provide a less cluttered, expansive appearance).
  • Light the cabinets (eliminating shadows makes a kitchen “feel roomier”) There are a wide range of possibilities (glass-doored cabinets can even be handsomely lit from the inside).

The Realty Times layout included photos illustrating the bigger-looking kitchen ideas in action—and they really did look convincing.

...

How Much Does Inflation Affect Delray Beach Real Estate Wealth?

It’s been quite a while since inflation was a subject that cropped up regularly in the news—yet it’s never ceased being a major factor affecting Delray Beach real estate wealth. For younger Delray Beach homeowners who have never experienced rampant inflation, if it starts to build steam, it can get the public’s attention in a hurry.

Inflation is what happens when the value of money—what you can purchase with a dollar—shrinks. Normally, it does that at a snail’s pace, so we barely notice. Over the past decade, the annual inflation rate has been about 1 ?% per year. At that rate, a half-gallon of milk priced at $2.10 today would cost $2.14 a year from now. You’d never notice because other factors affect the price of milk more significantly.

Even so, for long-range planning purposes, Delray Beach householders thinking about retirement many years from now are wise to take inflation into account. More so if the rate of inflation begins to increase.

What does this have to do with Delray Beach real estate wealth? The government’s Freddie Mac, for one, points out real estate’s resistance to the corrosive effects of inflation. Unlike other monthly living expenses, the principal portion of each mortgage payment remains with the spender. If it were like some other forms of savings, that growing pile of equity could be a sitting duck for the ravages of inflation.

But residential real estate prices tend to rise to compensate for drops in the value of the dollar. The fact that this, like inflation, usually occurs at a barely noticeable pace doesn’t diminish its long-term impact. And when...

6 Clever Tips Lighten Boynton Beach Home Sales Prep

If you’ve been living in your Boynton Beach home for more than a few years, you know that there are some corners that don’t get regular cleaning attention because they’re (let’s be honest) too grungy to deal with. They’re beyond the scope of what anybody wants to face as a regular housekeeping chore.

If you’re beginning to consider listing your Boynton Beach place, you know you’ll have to get around to dealing with some long passed-over details. But that’s not something to look forward to. In fact, putting these messy details off is a leading cause of SREP—Serial Real Estate Procrastination!

Into the breach comes Houselogic. As part of their “Most Annoying Household Problems Solved” series, the NAR’s website Houselogic really outdid themselves this time. Here are six new tips I’d never seen before. A few are so clever they made me smile:

  1. Stove Burners. The fused layers of deeply incinerated debris (aka “that gunky mess”) encrusting the burners won’t come off by normal dish detergent soaking. Houselogic’s no-scrubbing solution: soak them one-by-one in a plastic bag containing ¼ cup of ammonia. Overnight, job done!
  2. Carpet Stains. For splotches set into the carpet, squirt one part vinegar to three parts water on the stain, lay a cotton cloth on top, then set your iron to the hottest steam setting and run it over the cloth for 10 seconds. If the stain isn’t dyed in, it will transfer up onto the cloth.
  3. Range Hood Vent Filters. Boil each in a large pan, slowly adding ½ cup of baking soda. It should take about 5 minutes on each half (they’re too big to do in one submersion). Be cautious about dumping the water, though: you don’t want the grease to clog your drain.
  4. Tub Grunge. This is an awkward (sometimes, backbreaking) job that’s solved...