South Florida Real Estate Blog by Alfredo Ruiz, Realtor

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.”...

Boynton Beach Homebuying Basics: What Some People Don’t Know

The government thinks that Americans are sorely lacking when it comes to key homebuying information. It’s hard to say whether that’s true of the Boynton Beach homebuying population—but Fannie Mae’s latest study explains some good reasons why it might be.

In Fannie’s recently issued publication, 3,600 respondents were ‘largely unsure’ or just plain wrong about current homebuying realities. This, despite the significance of homebuying as the most important purchase most people make. The overriding factor creating this illogical situation is the fact that it’s also a purchase seldom made. Homebuying is such an infrequent transaction most people don’t focus on data when it’s available.

Another contributing factor is “a fundamental lack of financial literacy across the country.”

The majority of those quizzed hadn’t a clue about credit score requirements. Even fewer were aware of debt-to-income ratio guidelines. Fewer than one in four were aware that low down payment programs exist at all (with almost none of them aware that the actual minimum down payment percentage is 3%).

 One bright spot was the fact that a powerful majority (91%) of the Americans questioned favor homeownership over renting. As any Boynton Beach schoolteacher will tell you, motivation is essential to learning. If 9 out of 10 of the 3,600 respondents who are in the dark about homebuying basics really do understand the personal benefits of homeownership, the motivation is already there.

In Boynton Beach, the simplest way to access all...

Will Restaurant Developments Impact Delray Beach Real Estate?

The rise of e-commerce has created a raft of cultural shifts that are ongoing and profound—Delray Beach real estate is certainly one of them. One ripple effect may be expected from an industry that touches us all: the restaurants. It’s a ripple that’s just beginning to be felt in some areas—but may ultimately touch Delray Beach real estate. According to the Wall Street Journal, “as e-commerce expands into food delivery, new bets are being made on real estate.”

How so?

Traditionally, except in the most heavily-populated urban areas, regular restauranteurs have put little to no emphasis on food delivery. Although more common in Manhattan, Chicago or San Francisco, in most places, offering a delivery option was at best a financially break-even proposition. But e-commerce has begun to change that.

As mobile apps and one-click delivery options have skyrocketed in popularity, the revenue potential has become ever clearer. But more than that, now a growing number of restaurants are seeing a new possibility. Why pay for an expensive street-facing retail space in a trendy neighborhood if you could avoid it? Couldn’t you operate your kitchen from a less expensive warehouse district? In other words, if the demand is great enough, why not go all-delivery? The economies are undeniable—especially since it involves dispensing with the payrolls of greeters, servers, and a good deal of associated support staff.

The phenomenon has yet to displace restaurants in a major way—and it certainly will never compete with the entertainment value that an evening out at a fine restaurant...

What’s Wrong with Selling Your Boca Raton Home Yourself?

The single inducement for selling your Boca Raton home yourself is responsible for most FSBOs (“For Sale by Owner” offerings, pronounced “Fizz-BOW”). It’s some bottom line arithmetic that seems at least worth considering—the attractive notion of avoiding paying commission dollars to a real estate brokerage. Real estate commissions in Florida are negotiated—usually 5%-6%. For a home that closes at $300,000, the idea is for a thrifty FSBO seller to pocket $15,000 to 18,000.

Actually, no—at least for most sellers.

Since 87% of buyers choose to hire a licensed Boca Raton Realtor® to represent their interests, that agent can be expected to require FSBO owners to agree to compensate them for their services. Since that one agent can wind up doing the work normally handled by two, that commission could be at least the customary split of 50%—in which case the FSBO owner actually “saves” only $7,500-$9,000.

Even so, there remains a hefty sum. So why do FSBOs account for only 7% of home sales? That top-heavy result is easier to understand when you consider the recent finding that “nine out of ten FSBOs end up hiring an agent themselves.” That’s pretty close to the latest NAR finding that 91% of all sellers were assisted by a real estate agent.

The bottom line reason is the bottom line itself: in 2017, even for the small number of FSBOs that did sell, the typical FSBO home closed for $200,000—contrasted with the $265,500 for agent-assisted homes. Many of those hoped-for “savings”...

Boomer Wave Inspires Boynton Beach Real Estate Investment Idea

From midway across the Pacific can an interesting commentary last week—one that noted an idea that mainland Boynton Beach investors might find worth mulling over. The article appeared in the HawaiiHomes section of Oahu’s Star-Advertiser. It profiled an investor couple who have decided to make a change in their real estate portfolio.

The investors (“Joyce” and “Reid”) are seniors themselves. They have “been reading about the demand for senior-friendly housing”— information bolstered by the fact that over 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the U.S. That AARP statistic is a little startling until you realize that there are 77 million American Boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964.

To Joyce and Reid, that fact—plus their having noticed how local senior-friendly housing prices were on the rise—convinced them that a portfolio change might be warranted. They ultimately decided to swap their current investment property—a two-story townhome—for a more centrally-located property. It’s walking-distance centrality, in addition to a single-story floor plan, made it decidedly senior-friendly.

The decision was fortified by other observations. In their area, some senior living communities were already experiencing waitlists. They reasoned that the senior-friendly rental was likely to command increasingly higher rents. And just in case in future years they found themselves unable to obtain suitable housing, they might eventually decide to move into their investment property themselves.

The demographic repercussions the Hawaiian landlords observed is one that Boynton Beach...