South Florida Real Estate Blog by Alfredo Ruiz, Realtor

After Selling Your House, 4 Steps to Make Moving a Snap

From your first thought that you might be selling your Boynton Beach house until the day you accept the offer, most of us avoid dwelling too long on one less-than-delightful consequence of a successful sale: the dreaded move!

There may be rare individuals who see moving as a valuable opportunity to improve their household’s organization. That’s actually true, but hard to bear in mind as you think about dealing with all those items we’ve shoved into the back of closets and drawers. Even if you’ll be remaining in Florida—or even here in Boynton Beach—a short distance usually isn’t enough to have us relishing the prospect of packing and moving. It’s a lot of backbreaking work, and even if you hire one of Boynton Beach’s thoroughly professional moving operations, you know you’ll still have to deal with a lot of unknowns. Where do things go in the new house? In fact, where the heck are they, now that everything is in cartons? (it’s the not-finding part that can drive anyone nuts).

But the pleasure of successfully selling your house needn’t be dampened by the dread of moving if you follow a few basics that are agreed upon by veterans of the moving experience. They’re easy to remember, too:

  1. Pack rooms one at a time, labelling boxes with the name of the room and number of the box: Master Bedroom 1,2,3, etc. Even if your new home has a different collection of rooms, the key to finding everything is by recalling where they always used to be.   
  2. Use your smartphone to take quick snapshots of what’s inside the numbered boxes.
  3. Make a “Me First” box with paper towels,...

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...

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...

Delray Beach Market and Tuesday’s House Values Report

When Delray Beach house values—or even only the public’s perception of house values—rise and fall at eye-popping rates, even homeowners who aren’t thinking of selling find it unsettling. The dislocations that resulted from the housing crisis of the last decade are hard to forget. Although some risk-tolerant investors made headway in that environment, the fallout for most was at best nerve-wracking.

That’s why last Tuesday’s National HPPI report may be comforting to Delray Beach homeowners, as well as to prospective buyers. The Home Price Perception Index is the distillation of data gathered by Quicken Loans. It covers 3,000-plus counties in all 50 states—so it’s national rather than local—but there is little reason to doubt that the gist of the trends it reports are echoed here. The Index tallies the values that homeowners ascribe to their own properties, then compares that figure with the number professional appraisers actually calculate (the one lenders use). The estimates are collected during the refinancing process; and as you might guess, the two numbers can differ. A lot!

Tuesday’s report showed a heartening alignment between the two estimates. In fact, the numbers are the closest they have been since February 2015: an overall difference of only a quarter of one percent!

Some Delray Beach observers view alignment of those two value estimates as a hallmark of a stable market—one where homeowners seeking to sell or refinance are less likely to be unpleasantly surprised when the bank appraiser weighs in. Since the average professionally appraised value also reported a 4.86% rise in house values year-over-year, it was good news on that front, as well.

Stability—in this...

Boynton Beach Home Loan Rates Likely to Stay Low—for the Moment

Last week, Boynton Beach residents who found themselves at any stage of preparing to buy or sell Boynton Beach homes had to have been motivated by what came out of Washington. Last Wednesday was the day the Federal Reserve officials were set to announce their new target for the benchmark federal funds rate. That’s the key trigger for future Boynton Beach home loan rates, which largely determine how attractive (or not) upcoming loan packages offers will be.

Since any rise in rates raises monthly payment amounts—even if the underlying size of the loan remains the same—potential buyers and sellers have reason to watch what the Fed does with varying degrees of apprehension. Lately, strong economic performance has made it increasingly likely that rate rises will be forthcoming—and in its announcement, phrases like, “the economy is growing at a strong pace” were included. Earlier pronouncements have strongly indicated that three or four target raises are likely this year. So far, there have been two.

The news was encouraging for those with homes currently on the market, or soon to list—as well as for those looking to buy. Not only did the Open Market Committee announce that the target rate would remain unchanged; they also indicated a raise would likely be forthcoming soon. In other words, Boynton Beach’s current historically low home loan rates won’t be nudged upward by the Fed, but only for the moment.

It’s the real estate equivalent of one of those “Hurry before the sale ends!” furniture ads on TV—or the weekly grocery store specials insert with an end-of-the-week expiration date.

Unlike either of those, buying or selling a home is such a major purchase that the Boynton Beach home loan rate is only one element of what makes a decision that will be seen as a fortuitous one over the years and decades to come. I hope you’ll call me to lay out Boynton Beach’s current offerings...

Top 8 Real Estate Questions: Some Have Answers!

Like almost everyone else in Delray Beach who spends time online, I often come across lists. Headlines that list the “Top 10” or “Top 5” of almost anything usually catch my eye—especially the ones with “real estate” in the title. I’ve trained myself to just glance at the items and move on if they don’t add to the day’s useful information.

Checking through the most recent crop of Delray Beach real estate lists yielded, “Top 10 Issues Affecting Real Estate,” “Top 8 Ideas for Real Estate Investing”, “5 Best Real Estate Investment Books”, etc.. This week there were a lot of lists of “Top Real Estate Questions”—which got me to thinking. What would a seriously thoughtful list of Real Estate Questions for Delray Beach consist of? I came up with my own top 8 list of real estate questions for Delray Beach residents:

  1. 1.      Do I intend to buy a home in 2018?
  2. 2.      Do I intend to sell a home in 2018:
  3. 3.      Do I intend to sell and buy a home in 2018?
  4. 4.      Will 2018 prove to be a better year to buy or sell a home than 2019 will be?
  5. 5.      Will Delray Beach homes be more expensive to buy if I wait?
  6. 6.      Will I have a harder time selling my Delray Beach home if I wait?
  7. 7.      Who is the best agent to help me sell my Delray Beach home?
  8. 8.      Who is the best agent to help me buy Delray Beach homes?

The first three questions are the most consequential. Delray Beach is now past the midpoint of 2018, so if you don’t already have...