South Florida Real Estate Blog by Alfredo Ruiz, Realtor

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....

Friday’s Mortgage Rate News Extends Delray Beach’s Winning Streak

The Mortgage News Daily gives the home loan industry’s workaday professionals something to read with their first cup of coffee. It catches them up on the latest numbers from the previous day’s activity and provides a running commentary on the why’s and what next?’s for mortgage issuers.

Friday’s edition gave Delray Beach homeowners, soon-to-be homeowners, and those soon to be home sellers ample reason to head into the Labor Day weekend with renewed confidence in the current state of affairs. Friday’s lead headline in the MND provided the reason: “Mortgage Rates End Week Near Best Levels.”

The opening sentence began, “Mortgage rates caught a break…” and went on to explain that an array of underlying reasons continues to prevent home loan rates from rising. That extends a near-freeze in the low rates that has recently prevailed. Despite widespread expectations that home loan payments would rise throughout this year, rates have actually moved downward since April.

And lately?

Yawn.

Commentator Matthew Graham summarized the plight of journalists who cover the loan industry: “If You Like Boring,” his headline read, “You’re in Luck!”  “Mortgage rates didn’t move at all again today,” he groused. “If we broaden our definition of ‘sideways’ just a bit, we can legitimately fit most of 2018 into...

Does the “Perfect House” Checklist Match Your Own?

It has been largely unchallenged since its debut in 2014: the list of nine elements that make up the “perfect” house. Originally formulated for a Houselogic feature by builder John Riha, the nine features that comprise an “ideal” house make a more meaningful list than most similar compilations. It can serve a thought-provoking checklist for house hunters weighing today’s Boynton Beach offerings—if for no other reason than deciding which listed items are personal priorities. The nine (with a few of my parenthetical asides):

  1. Single level (unless there is a  killer view from a higher floor)
  2. Nine-Foot Ceilings (except in grand rooms)
  3. Southern Exposure
  4. Outdoor Living Spaces
  5. Maximized Insulation
  6. Separate Master Bedroom (understood to mean“suite”)
  7. Low-Maintenance Siding (for practicality, certainly—but aesthetically, maybe not)
  8. Great Storage (absolutely!)
  9. Ergonomic Touches

Author Riha cheated, though, by adding as a postscript an unnumbered 10th feature. It’s one that I agree with (and I bet most Boynton Beach house hunters will, too). The extra element for the perfect Boynton Beach house is an “intangible dimension—defined as the quirks that provide individuality and personality. They serve...

What can Delray Beach Real Estate Expect in 2019?

Delray Beach homeowners who had to decide whether or not to put their home on the market this year have had an easy time sizing up the real estate Big Picture. Across the country, prices have been rising steadily but moderately. Sales may be down, but that’s because too few properties are being offered. And the financing picture remains favorable.

Putting it all together, the prices news is good for sellers, the lack of inventory is less good news for buyers—while the low home loan rates is good news for both buyers and sellers. That combination may be a little muddled, but is certainly encouraging for sellers. The big question about the future is what’s likely to change in the coming year?

The single individual who is probably best situated to make the most educated guess about that is Dr. Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist and often-quoted soothsayer. He speaks in the guarded words that Chief Economists tend to favor, but at this summer’s end, his projections were more than usually sure-footed.

Long story short for the three trends that have defined the past few years’ markets:

  • Price increases at heated levels will self-limit: in 2019, expect price growth to moderate (in the sustainable neighborhood of 3.5%).
  • The years-long trend of seeing “too few” properties hitting the market should soften: in 2019, anticipate a rise in inventory.
  • Reversing the 2018 sales level slump, 2019 overall sales are projected rise by 2%....