South Florida Real Estate Blog by Alfredo Ruiz, Realtor

Boynton Beach, a Heads-Up: “Daylight Savings Time” is All Wrong!

On Sunday, the end of Boynton Beach daylight savings time will have us all regaining the hour we lent ourselves last spring. That’s a realistic way to look at what we’re actually doing when we set our clocks backward. We should enjoy the extra snoozing time—we’ve earned it, and get to keep hold of it until next March 8.

If you’re wondering why the “d,” “s,” and “t” aren’t capitalized in that opening sentence, it’s because of the prodding of the British qa.com educational site. When it comes to daylight savings, we might think of them as the grammar police (although they’d probably rather have that, “grammar constables”).

British grammarians frequently share their exasperation at the way their language is mistreated by the rest of the English-speaking world. “Daylight Savings Time” seems to present a ripe opportunity.  They open the critique by declaring that the phrase is technically incorrect, despite its universal use throughout Australia, Canada, and the U.S. They say that the plural “savings” only became popular because of its similarity to everyday phrases like “savings account.” They point out that even “the U.S. Government Publishing Office style guide” agrees. For the record, that title should be “Government Publishing Office Style Manual.” Take that, qa.com!

But qa.com also wants all of Boynton Beach to straighten out and fly right—to start saying, “Daylight Saving Time,” no matter how weird that sounds. And that’s not all....

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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Who Says Owning Your Own House “is the Best Investment”?

You don’t have to convince local homeowners about the wisdom of owning your own Boynton Beach house—but for a while a couple of years ago, that wasn’t universally agreed upon. There was a while there where financial analysts were pointing to the costs of maintenance, interest on mortgage payments, relatively low rental rates, and a bundle of other factors in an argument against owning your own house.

Those voices have been hard to find of late—the numbers make that case pretty hard to support. More common are the analyses like the one CNBC’s The Oracles published last week. The Oracles are “a mastermind group of the world’s leading entrepreneurs.” They assembled a list of 9 reasons that support their contention that owning your own house is a financially canny decision. Actually, their claim is stronger than that.

They say that real estate is still the best investment you can make today.

Some of the reasons are rooted in common sense—like “People will always need a place to live” (#8) and “You get six-figure tax breaks” (#5).

Reason #1 was a personal endorsement by TV’s Shark Tank judge Barbara Corcoran: “Buying real estate has made me rich!” Having reasoned that she needed a place to live “somewhere anyway,” she wound up parlaying a “few bucks” invested in “an itty-bitty” studio apartment into a 10-room penthouse on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

Other reasons elaborated on the long-term history of financial...

Downsizing Alone Doesn’t Guarantee Moving Success

 If “downsizing” figures large as a goal many Delray Beach homeowners are seriously considering, The Washington Post is now citing a newer phenomenon that many older home buyers are discovering: “smart sizing.” It’s a cute phrase that might sound like a real estate feature writer’s invention—but the details will probably ring true for some retirement-bound adults who plan to be moving from or to Delray Beach in the near future.

  The cut-to-the-chase definition for “smart sizing” is the recognition that retirees who automatically equate downsizing with affordability might not necessarily be accurate. Retirees usually need to transition to fixed income living, so affordability is a primary priority. But downsizing alone can overlook other needs—some of which can turn out to be equally important.

The Post recounts examples of home buyers whose presumptions in moving turned out to be wide of the mark. Most convincing is a statistic from active-adult communities, where home sizes average 1,500-1,800 square feet. A housing research firm reports that about 30% of those who move to age-restricted (55 or older) communities “move to a larger place within the community after they’ve lived there for a while.” Since they remain in those communities, apparently the only reason for moving again is over-estimating the degree of downsizing.

Other anecdotes deal with other preconceptions. One couple thought their ruling priority was in “not having three levels.” But after seeking one-level houses that would fit their needs, they wound up with a multi-story...

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”...