South Florida Real Estate Blog by Alfredo Ruiz, Realtor

Monday’s Equinox Ends Summer—but the Fed Signals Heat

 

 

For astronomers and TV weather forecasters, this Monday marked a red-letter day. It now seems as if the same could be said for Boynton Beach’s market prospects.

In the wee hours, the Sun arrived at one of the two places in every year where its path across the sky crosses the celestial equator (the imaginary line above Earth’s equator). Of course, for Boynton Beach residents, the reality is that it’s pretty much a non-event. Weather-wise, the equinox is an abstraction. The change of seasons creeps slowly, day-by-day, Monday being no exception.

Still, at Tuesday’s dawn, the last day of Boynton Beach’s summer has passed. Whether you call it ‘autumn,’ ‘fall,’ ‘Indian Summer,’ or anything else, the new season is upon us.

And in Boynton Beach real estate terms, it brings new reason to suspect that this fall could be a busy one. One indicator came last week, as Reuters noted that U.S. home sales “unexpectedly rose to a 17-month high” in August.

More directly, last week’s second straight cut in the fed funds interest rate augurs well for Boynton Beach sellers and buyers alike. With lower Boynton Beach mortgage rates “continuing to encourage buyers off the sidelines” (Reuters), it wouldn’t be surprising if the market continues to heat up. Despite the Sun’s ducking down past the Equator, it looks to be a propitious time to buy or sell Boynton Beach homes. That makes it an equally propitious time to give me a call!  LOL  Alfredo...

Selling Your Delray Beach House — Vital Decluttering Word

When it comes to selling your Delray Beach house, the word that pops up in every discussion is the ubiquitous “decluttering.” Decluttering means exactly what it says: removing clutter in all its forms. Not just the debris that piles up in every Delray Beach household (old magazines, less-than-priceless dust-catchers, toys that have seen better days, etc.), but also some more prominent articles that overfill space.

But when it comes to taking real action in a decluttering campaign, there is another word whose value can’t be overemphasized. The reason that decluttering is something that needs to be discussed at all is that it can be painfully hard to execute. It means giving up something that has value, or at least used to have value—and which through familiarity has become comfortable to be around. You may not have used that set of TV dinner trays that halfway block the garage entrance door, but who says you won’t need them? Those bookends that are actually cut from a single geode may not have had any books between them for years…nor has the little table lamp been able to stand up straight without the coasters you hid beneath it years ago…but how can you just toss either of them? And if you put them out in a yard sale, who would ever buy them?

That is where the other word that’s connected with decluttering comes in. It’s an action word—one that energizes decluttering. It’s a word that you can place on a sign when you have a yard sale. In fact, you don’t even have to have a yard sale. Just set the clutter out on the front lawn with the word in big, bold letters.

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Boca Raton Homeownership Boost from the Father of the 401(k)

 

Ever since its introduction in 1965, Americans by the millions have embraced the retirement vehicle known by its IRS handle, the “401(k).”  It hardly matters that few Boca Raton breadwinners know much about its relatively recent origins (much less, its family lineage)—but had they attended the Wall Street Journal’s recent “Future of Everything Festival,” they’d have been enlightened. The inventor of the 401(k) is Ted Benna—now known in financial circles as its father.

What the Father of the 401(k) had to say is encouraging for Boca Raton’s homeowners. Since his popular financial brainchild has massively changed the retirement picture far and wide (Japan’s retirement law is called the “Japanese 401(k).” His words have earned more than the usual amount of credence financial advisors receive.

He introduced his main point by referencing some of his more prosperous private sector clients. In his lengthy career, he noted that some of the most hugely successful people never bother to become successful at saving—yet some others “who don’t make big bucks” wind up with substantial savings—and comfortable retirements. Benna has a single explanation for these twist endings:

The key is learning early in life what you’re going to be.”

Even though that may sound somewhat obtuse, it translates into some specific advice aimed at younger adults. He advises that young people make a decision to put “at least 1% of their pay” into savings. Then, “Every time you...

Uber Controversy Boils as Real Estate Sale Surfaces

 This summer’s Uber driver controversy came to a boil over one particularly notable real estate market item. Whether or not Boynton Beach residents have ever had occasion to use the web-based taxicab alternative, lately it’s been hard to avoid reading about the noisy dispute.  

The controversy has to do with the publicity generated by a group of Uber drivers in their campaign to embarrass company bigwigs into granting them higher wages. They’ve been arguing that since they own their own vehicles, pay for their maintenance, fuel, and taxes—and since they also pitch in all of the driving labor—it’s only reasonable they be proportionately compensated. They say that the Uber company itself supplies only the communications and organizational structure, so the relative split of what riders are charged is grossly unfair.

Uber management points out that there would be no fares without their contribution.

Since both points seem valid, the argument continues.

This summer, a real estate sale entered the picture just as each side was working hard to gain public sympathy. Uber management had been pulling all available public relations levers to portray itself as having the more reasonable position. Then company co-founder Garrett Camp decided to buy a house.

This in itself would probably not raise anybody’s hackles. Boynton Beach homeowners, for instance, rightly view their own homeownership as the time-honored cornerstone of community participation—certainly no cause...

For Delray Beach Neighborhoods, 4 Features Warrant Scrutiny

Every serious house hunter is aware that the Delray Beach neighborhood surrounding any house has a significant effect on its ultimate value. It follows that the future of a neighborhood will have a measurable impact the future value of the properties in it.

Part of the reason not much emphasis is given to this factor is the difficulty of gauging a neighborhood’s future prospects. That’s especially true for homebuyers who are new to the area. Yet there are ways to scrutinize neighborhood characteristics for indications that augur well…or which point to a future which might not be headed in the right direction. Here are four such factors:

  1. Incomes. Strong average household incomes are indicative of more than just the current bankrolls of the neighbors. Higher incomes are good bellwethers for households likely to maintain attractive landscaping—and to make future renovations to their properties.
  2. Home price histories. For properties currently listed in the same neighborhood, noting their online price histories can reveal more than just an upward trajectory—most homes in Delray Beach (indeed, almost everywhere in Florida) are now showing growth. The relative size of those price rises can reveal the most up-and-coming neighborhoods.
  3. Schools. Good schools attract the kind of family-oriented homeowners who tend to create attractive neighborhoods. There are two corollaries, too: first, the best schools are more likely to remain top-rated. Second, schools that are known to be rapidly improving are more likely to reward the properties in their area with better than average value appreciation....