Palm Beach County Real Estate and Community News

Jan. 21, 2017

Boca Raton- Booming Downtown

A Look Into Boca Raton's Booming Downtown And What The Future Has In Store

by Allison Fox Jan 2017

Downtown Boca Raton is home to signature cultural events, historic and modern architecture, open-air concerts, an art museum, more than 75 restaurants featuring cuisine from around the globe, and boutiques catering to savvy fashionistas.

"There is always a reason to come early and stay late," says Boca Raton Downtown Manager Ruby Childers. "Once people come, they don't want to leave."

And given the massive plans in the works for the coming years, people won't have to. Hoping to be a testament to the phrase, "Build it and they will come," the city has eight approved projects that are close to or already under construction.

The project - which will also include restaurants, boutiques, a spa, resort-style pool and more - is being developed under the direction of Penn-Florida Companies, a full-service owner and developer of high-profile real estate. "Via Mizner will be one of the premier mixed-use projects in the country, and the arrival of Mandarin Oriental will raise the bar for hospitality and contemporary living in South Florida," says Mark A. Gensheimer, president and owner of Penn-Florida Companies.

In addition to these high-profile builds, there are six approved projects that haven't yet broken ground. They include:

  • Via Mizner phases 2 and 3
  • Tower 155 condo with 170 units
  • University Village with 829 units
  • Fairway Commons Park Place with 398 units
  • Hyatt Place with 200 units

That's not even taking into account 25 other proposed projects - like Midtown at Boca Town Center, with 649 units, and Lofts at Boca Colonnade, with 322 units - still awaiting a final OK.

Childers is pleased with what she sees. "The downtown is becoming a more livable district with the new residential buildings and planned hotels," she says. "The majority of area businesses and residents are happy and eager to see our downtown grow into a more walkable and vibrant area for all to enjoy."

While a majority of the focus has been on the concrete creations and enhancements of downtown, in the City of Boca Raton's Strategic plan for 2016 to 2017, two of the top priorities for this fiscal year included a comprehensive waterfront plan and upgrades to Lake Wyman Park for greater usage of its parks and waterways, plus a conceptual master plan for the 20th Street area, which will focus on a college-centric student and family friendly area.

 

For more information on Boca Raton and surrounding areas, please call Michele Steele at 561-251-7252 or email at michele@michelesteele.com

Posted in Community News
Jan. 22, 2016

Royal Palm Polo – New Construction

New Construction homes at Royal Palm Polo are being built quickly to fill the demand! Fred Pfister, the VP of Toll Brothers, said that Royal Palm Polo is the “only brand new community in the city limits of Boca Raton.” If you’re into new, you’re into this.

According to Pfister, demand is strong with 1,800 people that have added their names to an interest list. Mike Larson of Weiss Research finds that luxury buyers are channeling their wealth into real estate.

Their first collection of new construction homes–The Signature Collection–is being built and has generated huge interest since 2014.

Toll Brothers is already slated to begin developing their second phase of homes–the Heritage Collection.

The SIGNATURE COLLECTION is the first phase of construction:

he Signature Collection at Royal Palm Polo features one- and two-story estate home designs. These homes offer unique architectural appointments, outstanding included features, and hundreds of options to personalize your home.A private residents’ clubhouse with a state-of-the-art fitness center, resort-style pool, and tennis courts is planned for this luxury community..

An exclusive gated community in the heart of Boca Raton featuring large, 90′ home sites.

Luxury features include Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, 24″ tiles in living area, optional elevator, swimming pool and spa, 3 or 4-car garage & more.

The Signature Collection offers designs ranging from 4,800 square feet to more than 7,000 square feet.

 

UPDATE JANUARY, 2016:

Toll expands offerings at Royal Palm Polo

Paul Owers, Contact Reporter Sun Sentinel

January 22, 2016

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers says it has launched a second series of home designs at the Royal Palm Polo development in Boca Raton.

The Heritage Collection offers single-family homes ranging from 3,500 square feet to more than 4,700 square feet. Buyers can choose from one- and two-story designs.

Royal Palm Polo is on Jog Road north of Clint Moore Road. Prices for the 245 homes start at about $1 million.

Toll Brothers, based in Horsham, Pa., bought the 121-acre site - former polo fields - from the Oxley family for $80 million. The city of Boca Raton annexed the land in 2013. Royal Palm is next to Azura, another luxury community by Toll Brothers.

CALL MICHELE STEELE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND FOR FLOOR PLANS OF THE LUXURY HOMES IN

ROYAL PALM POLO. 561-251-7252

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 26, 2015

New Trends for the Kitchen

Marble is popping up in kitchens everywhere. But is it right for your kitchen?

Written by Kara Tiernan,  January 7, 2015

Having a beautiful kitchen is every entertainer's dream, and the right-now material for a beautiful kitchen is marble.

Marble is popping up in kitchen renovations everywhere, and for good reason. A beautiful marble countertop or backsplash adds an element of luxury in a modern kitchen, and an elegant note in a rustic kitchen. The tones and textures of marble make for a statement that's both complementary and bold.

Whatever your style and space, there is a marble out there for you. But should you take the plunge? We've researched the pros and cons of this trending material so you can make the best decision for your kitchen upgrade.

Appearance

When you think of marble, you're probably thinking of the most commonly used types: Cararra and Calacatta. These classic marbles are the quintessential white, grey-veined marbles most commonly seen in kitchens and bathrooms. But marble doesn't just come in white and grey: there are many natural variations of colored marble, from emerald green Verde marbles to peachy-red Rosso marbles. Marble is also available in a variety of finishes, such as matte, high-gloss polish, or a leather finish common to darker stones.

Maintenance

The practical benefits of marble in the kitchen are vast, as the material is heat resistant, durable, and will not easily chip or dent. However, marble is one of the more porous materials out there, making it susceptible to staining and etching. A backsplash is generally located in a vulnerable area for spills and splashes, so it's necessarily to seal your marble backsplash or countertop with a penetrating sealant that will seep into the pores of the stone, adding a level of stain resistance. Danby marble, another white and grey marble that is quarried in Vermont, is the densest marble available, and therefore the most resistant to staining and etching.

Keep in mind that sealants will need to be reapplied over time to ensure optimal protection. To keep your marble fresh, be sure to clean spills as they happen with a mild soap or liquid dishwashing detergent, as abrasive pads and even all-purpose cleaners are generally too harsh to use on marble.

Cost

Depending on the retailer and quality of materials, the price of marble can vary considerably. Contractors usually have a list of preferred vendors, and materials can range anywhere from $10-$250 per square foot. The price of marble by the square foot is also influenced by availability, slab thickness, and taxes involved with importing the marble from wherever it is quarried. Installation costs, however, aren't any different than those for other materials.

Faux-marble laminate countertops have also gotten a lot of attention as the marble countertop trend has taken off. This material has the look of granite for a fraction of the cost, and is nearly as durable.

Countertop installations are one of the more simple home renovation DIYs, but before you try to save money on installation costs, think about all of the factors so you can protect your investment from expensive mistakes.

So there you have it: marble countertops are versatile, durable, and relatively easy to maintain. And although they are not the most inexpensive material, their quality certainly makes them worthy of an investment.

MORE QUESTIONS? CALL MICHELE STEELE 561-251-7252 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RECENT TRENDS IN DECORATING YOUR HOME.

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 26, 2015

New Construction Homes-Top Reasons To Hire A Realtor

Do I Need A Real Estate Agent To Buy New Construction?

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: THE ABOVE ARTICLE "DO I NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT TO BUY NEW CONSTRUCTION?" WAS PROVIDED BY THE KEITH HISCOCK SOLD TEAM, 2015.

One of the first decisions that must be made in the home buying process is whether to buy an existing home or build a new home.  If you decide that you would like to explore the new construction route, the next decision that needs to be made is whether or not you want a real estate agent.

In most situations, there are way more reasons why you should hire a real estate agent when buying new construction rather than attempting it without a real estate agent.  It's very important to know that when buying new construction and if you decide to hire a real estate agent that you and your realtor of choice are registered with the builder's representative before meeting with them.

Below are some of the most important reasons to hire a real estate agent when buying new construction.  Read on to find out why using a real estate agent can save you time, money, and frustration when buying new construction!

Provide Representation Because It Is Important

When buying new construction many buyers believe it's a good idea to not have a real estate agent and to use the builder representative.  The thought process behind this real estate myth is that it can save them money which is absolutely false.

What a buyer is doing by working with the builders representative is working with someone who is not representing them but instead is representing the builder.  The builder's representative is working in the best interest of the builder, not you–a buyer.  Having representation is critical whether buying new construction or an existing home.

It's important that when hiring a real estate agent to represent you in the purchase of a new construction home that you know to ask the right questions.  Having an experienced agent is important when buying an existing home but having a real estate agent who has experience with new construction is critical.

To help increase the chances you hire a real estate agent who has experience with new construction, it's important you know what questions to ask real estate agents.

Some of the questions to consider asking real estate agents when buying new construction include;

  • Are you familiar with the new construction process?
  • Do you have any lenders who specialize in new construction loans?
  • Why do I need you to buy new construction?

Negotiate On Buyers Behalf

Hiring A Real Estate Agent Can Help Prevent Getting Ripped Off When Buying New Construction

Buying new construction can get pretty expensive and in a hurry.  Most builders will advertise their base price of their new homes and in most cases; this price is for the basic "plain Jane" home.

One of the benefits of buying new construction is the ability to make it your own.  With the customization of a home comes an increase in the price.  Another reason to hire a real estate agent when buying new construction is their ability to negotiate on your behalf.

Most builders will have a list of prices for upgrades and changes to their floor plans.  A real estate agent who has experience with new construction can help negotiate the prices of these upgrades and changes to floor plans.

Contract Contingencies & Inspections

There are tons of reasons why having a home inspection is important when buying an existing home, but it's also very important to have a home inspection when buying new construction.  Many buyers who are purchasing new construction believe that since the home is brand new that they don't need an inspection.

Another reason to hire a real estate agent when buying new construction is the reality that they know what inspections to recommend to a buyer.  For example, if a new build has a septic system it would be advantageous and recommended to make the contract contingent on a septic inspection.  The last thing that a buyer wants to have happen when buying a new home is they move into the home and there is a serious issue with the plumbing because of a faulty septic system.

This is only one example of a real estate contract contingency that a real estate agent can suggest to a buyer when buying new construction.  It's highly recommended to perform various inspections on new construction before the closing occurs.

Make Recommendations On Improvements & Upgrades

Generally a buyer is given an allotment for things such as lighting fixtures, carpet choices, cabinetry, counter tops and other home features.  Real estate professionals know what home features today's buyers are looking for in a home.  One of the worst things that a buyer can do when building a home is spend lots of money on upgrades and improvements that may hurt the value of the home when the time comes to sell the home.

Hiring a real estate agent when buying new construction can help reduce the chance that a buyer spends money on a less than desirable upgrade or improvement.  An experienced real estate agent can help a buyer understand the cost of an upgrade versus the potential return on investment.

Most buyers do not think about the long term effect that home improvement projects can have on value of a home.  While the majority of buyers aren't thinking about already selling their home when buying it, a real estate agent can help a buyer stay aware of the effect an upgrade can have on the resale value.

Recommend A Quality Lender & Financing Options

Real Estate Professionals Can Provide Financing Recommendations For New Construction Loans

Another great reason to use a real estate agent when buying new construction is their ability to recommend a quality lender.  The financing for new build homes is much different than getting a mortgage for an existing home.

Financing for new construction is not offered by all lenders.  It's recommended that you try and utilize a local lender when buying a new build.  A real estate agent who has experience with new construction will be able to give a couple recommendations to lenders who offer new construction loans.

One of the major differences of new construction loans is that the lender will make periodic payments to the builder as progress is being made on the home.  These are sometimes referred to as "draws."  A buyer will make payments to the lender while the home is being built and upon completion the buyer will get a new mortgage.  The buyer's new mortgage will payoff the construction loan and becomes the financing the buyer will have for the life of their loan.

Keep The Transaction & Build On Schedule

Buying new construction is a pretty complex process.  There are many moving parts and it can be easy for the transaction and/or build to get off track.

Another excellent reason to hire a real estate agent when buying new construction is the ability an experienced agent will have to keep the transaction and/or build on track.  There are many reasons why real estate closings are delayed with existing homes and with new builds there are even more.

Depending on factors such as the size of a home, weather, and the builder, new homes can take a few months to a year to build.

Generally speaking you should expect a new home to be built in 12-14 weeks.  Below is an idea of what happens during the 12-14 week time frame.

Week 1 - Site Preparation - During the first week the area where the new home is being built is prepared for the build phase.  This includes the clearing of the lot, excavation, and leveling of the lot.

Week 2-5 - Foundation - During this 4 week process the bones of the new home are built.  This means the footers are installed, followed by the foundation, and last but not least the homes frame is built.

Week 6-8 - Mechanics & Interior - During the next 3 weeks the homes mechanics are put in place.  This generally means the homes HVAC is installed, electrical wiring is run, and the homes plumbing is put in place.  Once this is completed, the homes insulation and drywall is installed.

Week 9-11 - Flooring & Paint - Over the next 3 weeks, the homes flooring, doors, and cabinetry are installed.  At this time the interior of the home is painted as well.

Week 12-14 -  Fixtures, Appliances, Landscaping - The final 3 weeks is when the homes light fixtures, faucets, appliances, and landscaping is installed.

Week 14 - Final Walk Through - Once the home is completed, the buyer will do a final walk through in addition to the municipalities inspector with the builder prior to issuing the certificate of occupancy, also known as a C of O.

It's important to understand that the above timeline for new construction can vary.  As you can see there are many moving parts and stages of new construction.  It's a good idea to have an experience real estate agent when buying a new home so that everything stays on track for a smooth transaction and closing.

Final Thoughts

If you decide that you'd like to buy new construction, as you can see, there are lots of benefits to hiring an experience real estate agent.  It's recommended that you do not attempt it without representation.  Having a professional working on your behalf can go a long way and save you lots of time, money, and additional stress.

CALL MICHELE STEELE NOW–561-251-7252.  LET ME MAKE YOUR PURCHASE OF YOUR NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: THE ABOVE ARTICLE "DO I NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT TO BUY NEW CONSTRUCTION?" WAS PROVIDED BY THE KEITH HISCOCK SOLD TEAM.

Posted in Buying a Home
July 28, 2015

U.S. Real Estate Is a Good Deal

 

To the World, U.S. Real Estate Is a Good Deal

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, JULY 07, 2015

U.S. housing markets are the most affordable in the world, at least according to a recent study of more than 300 metro housing markets in nine countries conducted by the research group Demographia.

U.S. housing markets were found to be more affordable than Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, and China.

Researchers measured affordability by taking a look at median home prices and median household incomes. A market was rated “unaffordable” if it had a calculated value of higher than 3.0 and was “severely unaffordable” if above 5.1.

The U.S. markets analyzed showed a lot of variation — such as Detroit at the bottom with a 2.1 value while San Francisco had a 9.2 value. Still, the U.S. averaged 3.4 as a whole, making it more affordable than other countries.

Hong Kong, on the other hand, was the priciest and at a record high on the survey. The survey found that even if a household could direct all of its household income toward buying a home, it would still take 17 years before the household could afford to buy. To live on Hong Kong Island alone, a resident would pay about $900 in U.S. currency for just a 150-square-foot apartment. Hong Kong is the most densely populated places across the globe; it holds 6,845 people per square kilometer. New York, as comparison, hold 2,050.

Hong Kong also had the smallest homes in the study, with the average size of a new home at just 484 square feet.

The study found the following major markets were the most unaffordable:

1. Hong Kong

2. Vancouver

3. Sydney

4. San Francisco

5. San Jose

6. Melbourne

7. London

Source: “Think Housing Is Pricey in America? Be Glad You're Not in Hong Kong,” realtor.com® (June 26, 2015)

Posted in Real Estate News
July 28, 2015

So. Florida Lifestyle – Pool Maintenance

POOL MAINTENANCE

Must-Read Tips for Swimming Pool Maintenance

There is something so relaxing and rejuvenating about sitting by the swimming pool, sipping lemonade, reading a good book, or cooling off by swimming laps. Having a pool at home may make you feel like you're on vacation - but maintaining it may feel like work. Following these tips may take the guesswork out of maintaining your summer oasis without feeling like you're about to fail a chemistry test. There are chemicals involved with maintaining a swimming pool, so you should always follow your recommended pool chemical safety rules. A general rule of thumb is that you clean your pool weekly.

Skim and scrub: Remove any leaves and debris that may be floating on the top of your pool. Scrub the sides and bottom of the pool. You may want to invest in a robot vacuum that will scrub for you. Scrubbing is important because it may decrease and/or prevent algae build-up.

Pay attention to your filter: Your filter helps to remove impurities like leaves and dirt from the water. According to the Fresh Home editorial team, you should clean out your filter basket at least once a week. They also recommend that you clean out the filter's pipes once a month.

Test your chemical levels: Examine your pool's chemical levels at least once a week. Test the following levels: cyanuric acid, free chlorine, acidity/alkalinity, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Learn more at The Center for Disease Control (CDC) website. Don't worry, there won't be a test after your chemistry lesson!

Shock your swimming pool: When you shock your pool you raise the chlorine level for a short time frame to kill bacteria. According to the team at Fresh Home, "It's done by diluting three to five times the normal amount of chlorine or other chemical sanitizer with water, slowly pouring it into the pool's return line, letting it filter throughout the pool, and then slowly refilling the pool with water over time." Pool owners are advised to shock their pools at least once a week during the peak swimming season (AKA summertime.) But this number really depends on the number of people swimming in your pool and the weather. After a pool party or particularly long periods of rain or sunshine, you should think about giving your pool a shock.

Keep an eye on water levels: The water level of your pool will naturally fluctuate throughout the summer, but the last thing you want is an overflowing pool! Aim for a level that is halfway up the opening of your skimmer. If you notice your water level might be too low, use a garden hose to fill it up as much as necessary. And if it's getting too high, rent a waterproof pump to get rid of any excess water. Level pool, level mind!

There you have it! Pool maintenance doesn't have to be stressful - these tips from FRESH HOME may put you on the right track to having some good, clean fun this summer!

Posted in Real Estate News
July 27, 2015

Selling Your So. Florida Home–Do it Now!!

5 Reasons You Should Sell Now!

by The KCM Crew on July 27, 2015

As the temperature continues to rise, buyers are coming out ready to purchase their dream home. Here are five reasons that you should list your house for sale now.

1. Strong Buyer Demand

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are significantly more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any point in the last two years!

These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

The National Association of Realtors reported last week that housing supply has slipped to a 5.0-month supply. This is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don't wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. Home Prices Are Skyrocketing

Daren Blomquist, President of RealtyTrac, recently shared insights into why "2015 is a Great Year to Sell" by saying:

“So far in 2015, [sellers] are realizing the biggest gains in home price appreciation since 2007. In June, sellers sold for above estimated market value on average for the first time in nearly two years.”

One major factor driving prices up is the lack of inventory available for the amount of buyers in the market. Often buyers, who find a home that they would like to make an offer on, are met with the reality that they aren't the only ones interested.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now.

Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19.4% from now to 2019. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate near 4% right now.

Rates are projected to increase by a full percentage point over the next year according to Freddie Mac.

5. It's Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

If you would like more information on how much your house might be worth right now, just email Michele Steele at michele@michelesteele.com with your name, address and email.

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 5, 2015

New Construction Homes in Boca Raton and Delray Beach

New Construction Homes

Have you been thinking of buying a new construction home in Boca Raton, Delray Beach or the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County - Well, this is the time! Builders are feeling very confident right now and new home communities are springing up all over Boca Raton and Delray Beach. This is the first time in years that you have a variety of new construction communities to chose from. From the gorgeous condos of Akoya being developed on the grounds of Boca West Country Club to the luxury homes being constructed in Seven Bridges and Royal Palm Polo, Boca Raton will have a new home to meet your desires.

AKOYA AT BOCA WEST-2 luxury condo buildings rising nine stories high will have 120 private residences. Purchasers of Akoya homes will enjoy the services of a valet, front desk staff and concierge providing "white glove services", manned gate and Security Patrol. Adding to Boca West's premiere amenities will be Akoya's resort-style swimming pool, lavish Grand Room and 24-hour fitness center.

Boca West is a Platinum Club of America 5-Star Private Club, since 2013 recognized as a Distinguished Emerald Club by BoardRoom Magazine. Boca West offers 31 Har-Tru tennis courts, a world-class spa and aquatics center, salon and six restaurants. Fully stocked golf and tennis pro shops are featured. Boca West was named 2013 USTA Outstanding Facility. for more information on the homes for sale in Boca West, please visit www.luxurywaterfrontpropertiesfl.com.

SEVEN BRIDGES - GL Homes newest community of luxury homes is Seven Bridges on the border of Boca Raton and Delray Beach. Seven Bridges has a selection of 21 different floorplans ranging in size from 2,450 to over 7,506 air conditioned square feet with one- and two-story plans. The homes are being built with the finest features and upgrades. GL Homes is famous for their active community amenities. Seven Bridges will have an incredible lifestyle complex boasting a luxurious clubhouse with fitness, tennis, poolside bistro, gaming room, card salon, aqua lot, resort-style swimming pool, indoor sports center, shaded playground and much more.

ROYAL PALM POLO - will features 223 estate home sites - many with lake views. There are seven luxury home designs from which to choose. Amenities will include a private, staffed resident's clubhouse, tennis courts, resort-style swimming pool, and state-of-the-art fitness center. Royal Palm Polo will be an exclusive gated community in the heart of Boca Raton featuring large, 90′ home sites. RPP is located just minutes from Atlantic Ocean beaches, shopping, dining, and cultural and recreational attractions.

Some of the Boca Raton's best communities are seeing new home construction within their grounds too. Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club has mansions and spec homes being built on the golf course and waterfront and Standard Pacific is building luxury homes within the gates of The Oaks.

For more information on these new construction homes, please visit www.luxurywaterfrontpropertiesfl.com and search under New Construction or Call Michele Steele 561-251-7252. I would be happy to send you floor plans and more detailed information on the communities and the builders.

Posted in Buying a Home
July 5, 2015

Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Palm Beach County Lifestyle

Live in Palm Beach County – Staycation in Paradise

Instead of traveling to foreign lands this summer, think of spending gorgeous days at the beach, cocktails by the luxurious bars on the ocean and enjoying the five- star nightlife and shopping right around the corner.

Why not stay at one of the acclaimed hotels in Palm Beach County. There are specials and discounted packages for Florida residents at many of these selections. Here are just a few hotels ready to pamper you and make your dream get away extra special:

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

100 S. Ocean Blvd, Manalapan, FL

561-533-6000

Conde Nast Traveler named this resort one of the Top 10 Best Resorts in Florida. Along with the stately hotel and inviting beach, the hotel offers one of the finest spas around. They also have paddleboating, yoga on the beach, messages, meditation sessions and much more. Special rates are available for Florida residents during the summer.

Crane's Beach House Boutique Hotel and Luxury Villas

82 Gleason Street, Delray Beach, FL

561-271-1700

If you are looking for laid back luxury in a charming setting, take a look at Crane's Beach House in quaint Delray Beach. This hotel is named to TripAdvisor Hall of Fame. Crane's is located just one block from the ocean and around the corner from Delray Beach's Atlantic Avenue with its fine dining and lively bars. Crane's poolside Tiki Bar is a must see also. For a quiet getaway, stay in one of the recently renovated villas that include luxury kitchens and flat screen TV's. They are offering special packages as well as a discount for Florida residents.

The Seagate Hotel & Spa

1000 E. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL

561-665-4800

Location, Location, Location. This luxury boutique hotel is newer and sits right down the street from the ocean. Delray Beach's famous Atlantic Avenue is a happening mecca of restaurants, lively bars and great people watching! You can also enjoy a round of golf at the Seagate Country Club which has one of the best courses around Palm Beach County. Call for special prices from June 1 - September 30, 2015

PGA National Resort & Spa

400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

561-627-1800

Golfing anyone?? PGA National has 5 top golf courses for your enjoyment. After a round of golf, have dinner at the Ironwood Steak and Seafood restaurant and don't forget the daily happy hour at iBar. Of course, the resort also offers tennis courts, racquetball courts and luscious pools too. The resort offers unbelievable specials starting at $89.50/person/night. Prices vary so please call.

Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place

122 Soundings Ave, Jupiter, FL

561-273-6600

Harbourside Place is the new happening mecca in Jupiter. Walk the fine shops, hang out at the roof top pool or et in one their fabulous restaurants - Bravo! Cucina Italiana, BurgerFi, Too Bizaare amdn more. The Wyndham's own restaurant, deep blu seafood grille is excellent too. At nearly every turn, there is a view of the wide intracoastal and parade of boats. A short distqance away, you can see a show at the Maltz Theater and tour the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

Florida residents receive a 25% discount off rates. Please call for prices and packages.

The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

2800 S. Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach, FL

561-582-2800

This luxurious hotel is one of the most elegant in the country. Relax your day away at their Oceanside restaurants or eat in one of their fine restaurants.

Florida residents get a special rate and complimentary valet parking through September.

The Breakers, Palm Beach

1 S. County Road, Palm Beach, FL

561-655-6611

Have you dreamed of staying at the opulent and elegant Breakers but thought it was out of your budget? Now you can enjoy fine dining in one of their 8 restaurants, fitness classes, learning about the history of the hotel and magnificent ocean views at special summer rates for Floridians. Call for their specials and start enjoying the privileges of Floridian life!

DO YOU WISH TO OWN A HOME IN THIS WONDERFUL PARADISE.  IF YOU ARE THINKING OF BUYING A HOME IN DELRAY BEACH, BOCA RATON, JUPITER, BOYNTON BEACH OR ANYWHERE IN PALM BEACH COUNTY, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL MICHELE STEELE.    

WHY NOT LIVE WHERE OTHERS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE COME TO VACATION! 

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 26, 2015

WALK THROUGH FOR YOUR NEW HOME

Excerpts from article by Lori Ballen, KW realtor. 2014

A final walk through is different from all of the earlier viewings because it is the buyer's last chance to go through the house and make sure that it is in the condition that your contract specified. It allows to you make sure any requested repairs or changes have been made accordingly, and to make sure that the seller did not cause any additional damage when moving out.

Occasionally, a hasty seller or a reluctant tenant can damage the house while moving, leave a mess or leave behind some of their belongings that you don't want. You also need to make sure that any appliances or other items that you negotiated for have been left behind and not accidentally moved. The walk through is the best way to make sure that when buying your new home, that there are very few surprises lurking anywhere.

The walk through should occur close to the closing date, and preferably during daylight hours so that you can see everything in bright, natural light. Make sure that you also bring a flashlight for any tight spaces, closets, attics or basement areas. your real estate agent should be there with you and bring a copy of your contract to review as you look through all the details in your home.

This will help remind you of everything that you and the seller agreed upon while you drafted up the final contract. It's important because usually it has been weeks since you last saw the house and you may forget a few things. Once you do the final walk through and sign the final closing papers, you adopt every aspect of the home as-is and you can no longer hold the seller accountable.

What is the difference between a home inspection and a walk through?

A home inspection is done by a professional home inspector and will look for major structural issues like crumbling foundations, outdated wiring and plumbing, or roof issues. The inspector then forwards his report to the buyer's real estate agent or directly to the buyer. This can help the potential buyer to feel like they are making an informed decision before they make an investment in a new home. This way there are very few hidden defects that could be discovered after purchase.

This differs from a walk through because it's usually done way before any offers are made and usually delves deeper into the home than a buyer with little construction knowledge can. The walk through is a last minute check before your final purchase.

When is the best time to schedule my walk through?

Usually, you want to schedule your walk through as close to the final closing as you can so that you see your new home at the last minute as possible. That way you can lessen the chance of any damage occurring before you sign on the house. In the South Florida real estate market for example, it's most common to do a walk through between one day and a few hours before closing.

What can I expect?

Homes should be "broom clean" by closing. This means that the home will be swept up, but not really deep cleaned. Unfortunately, everyone has a different standard of what clean really means so try to stay focused on the contracted details of the house.

What if there is a problem?

Occasionally, a walk through will uncover issues that the seller needs to address or even items in the contract that the seller did not follow through on. This is unfortunate and requires you to decide whether the issue is worth disrupting your closing for. Sometimes it's better to concede than to change your closing dates and re-negotiate a contract if the issue is minor and you can deal with it by yourself.

When buying a home, you should always be comfortable with and sure of your investment before you sign anything.

Posted in Buying a Home