Pre Construction Homes in Palm Beach County, Boca Realtor, Buying Home

South Florida Real Estate Blog

Dawn & Peter Balzano

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Considering Selling? Find out why NOW is the time!

by Dawn & Peter Balzano
If you are considering selling for any reason this year and are having second thoughts...think again. Did you know that Palm Beach County is the third largest growing county in Florida following Orlando and Fort Myers? According to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach County is set to hit 1.5 million residents within the next year with a strong presence coming from the northeast sector of the US. The main reason for the migration from certain states has to do with the high taxes in states such as New York. 
 
As the graph below shows, Palm Beach County has had a steady and stable increase of closed sales with a sold median sales price for the past 5 years, with a decrease inventory year after year. 
What does that mean to you??? Whether you are down sizing or upsizing, call me, let's talk. Let me give you a free and accurate home valuation.  With my expertise in real estate in South Florida, I know I can help you get the most money for your home.  
 
Contact Dawn by call or texting today at 561-441-5346

Coming Soon! Multi Use Community in Delray Beach

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

As our last blog indicated, there are several different cities in Palm Beach County considering unique multi use developments. One of the latest to be discussed is in Delray Beach. A handful of developers are considering the development of a multi-use community in the area consisting of 50 acres off of Congress Avenue. The area would include the building for the original headquarters for Office Depot building and two other buildings.

  According to Key International, one of the said     developers, l the idea would be that the     community would house 759 residences: 524     rental apartments within multiple buildings, 123   condos within a cluster of four story buildings,   112 townhomes, in addition to 70,000 square feet   of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail   space (that will include restaurants).

The project, which has yet to be named and confirmed will be discussed in the fall by the City of Delray. It is worth mentioning, as it means more revitalization to Delray Beach. 

If you are interested in looking for a home in Delray Beach, I welcome you to do a home search on my website or better yet call or text me at 561-441-5346 to set up a specific search for you.

 

 

New Construction in Boca Raton!

by Dawn & Peter Balzano
 For those of you looking for New Construction in Boca Raton-- GOOD NEWS, there is another project that has popped up recently. GL Homes announced the grand opening of Lotus in Boca Raton. It is located just east of Lyons Road and one block north of Clint Moore Road (south of Altantic Avenue).  
 
This is the latest single family,all ages community for GL Homes with residences currently starting at $580's.  As with all GL communities, residents will have access to community pools, a full fitness center with a state of the art clubhouse. 
 
      image.png
      image.png
 
 
If you are interested in learning more about new construction in Palm Beach County, please let me know. I will be happy to give you additional information about other new construction areas.
 

You should never shop for new construction without a seasoned Realtor.  We can negotiate on your behalf, make sure you really understand the contract your signing and the additional closing costs the builder passes on to the purchaser. 

If ultimately you purchase a new construction, I will credit you back at closing 1% of my commission to offset closing cost expenses.  When you use a Realtor representing the builder, you could be at a disadvantage and you are just putting more money in the builder representatives pockets. 

 

Call or text me with any questions you may have regarding Palm Beach County Real Estate. 

 

West Palm Beach Information

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

I wanted to share the latest issue of the West Palm Beach Newsletter. It is a great way to get information about events going on in West Palm Beach. 

 

 

 

January 13, 2019

 
 
 

West Palm Beach 2019 General

Municipal Election Information Announced

 

The City of West Palm Beach will hold a General Municipal Election on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, and Run-off Election, if necessary, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to elect a Mayor and a City Commissioner for District 3. Qualifying ended at noon on January 8, 2019.

 

The following individuals have qualified for Mayor and Commission District 3 and their names will be placed on the ballot. The seats for District 2 and District 4 will not be on the ballot as the candidates were unopposed.

 

MAYOR:

  • Keith A. James
  • Priscilla Ann Taylor
  • Paula J. Ryan

DISTRICT 2:

  • Cory M. Neering (Incumbent)-Commissioner-elect

DISTRICT 3:

  • Christy Fox
  • Richard A. Ryles
  • Clint J. Fowlkes

DISTRICT 4:

  • Joseph A. Peduzzi-Commissioner-elect

The following referendum question will also be on the March 12, 2019 ballot:

 

“AUDIT COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP BY NON-RESIDENT OWNERS OR EMPLOYEES OF BUSINESSES WITHIN THE CITY

BALLOT QUESTION:

The City Commission appoints only City residents as audit committee at-large members. Shall the Charter of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, be amended to allow appointment of at-large members who are either City residents or employees or owners of businesses located in the City of West Palm Beach?
 
Yes                
No          “

 

Register to vote! Please visit the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections web page to learn more about voter registration and precinct locations:https://www.pbcelections.org/. To visit the City of West Palm Beach 2019 Election Calendar, please visit: http://wpb.org/wpb_website/media/City-Clerk/2019-ELECTION-CALENDAR_1.pdf. To visit the City of West Palm Beach City Clerk’s Office online, please visit: http://wpb.org/Departments/City-Clerk/Office-of-the-City-Clerk.

 

 

WPTV: Clematis Streetscape Set to Undergo Phase II in Downtown WPB

 

Click on the video to see John Favole's interview with Traffic Engineer Uyen Dang

 

Mayor Jeri Muoio to Deliver

2019 State of the City Address

TICKETS SELLING FAST!!!

Join us! In her final State of the City Address, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio will reflect on the City’s accomplishments and make several key announcements on priorities to keep West Palm Beach a vibrant, resilient, inclusive and safe world-class city. Mayor will deliver the address at the January Breakfast of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. Mayor's State of the City will be held at the PBC Convention Center on Thursday, January 24, 2019. For registration information, please visit: https://palmbeaches.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/25573 or Contact Dawn Marissa Kosiec: (561) 833-3711, x. 231;mkosiec@palmbeaches.org.

 

“Millennials Ruin Book Club” at the Mandel Public Library of WPB

New program is revamping traditional book club model to suit younger adults

 

 

 

According to recent headlines, millennials have either ruined or killed off a lot of things held dear by previous generations.  First breakfast cereal, the housing market, department stores, and even fabric softener, and now they are coming for the beloved book club!  “Millennials Ruin Book Club” is a new program being hosted by the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach that begins on Wednesday, January 16 at 6:30 PM at Subculture Coffee in downtown West Palm Beach.  

 

In this new book club, created by millennials for millennials there is no assigned book to read.  Not assigning reading is ideal for young working adults because they are busier than ever and might not have time to commit to reading a book a month, or want to read a book that doesn’t interest them.  With “Millennials Ruin Book Club”, participants can just share what they are reading or watching with like-minded individuals, and also get recommendations from other readers and librarians (the experts), thus enjoying the benefits of a traditional book club but in a more relaxed setting.  So, the book club is not really being ruined, just tailored to suit the desires and expectations of this audience, consequently making both the book club and the library relevant for millennials.

 

Why millennials?  According to Pew Research Center, millennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries, with 53% of millennials saying they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months, as of fall 2016.  The Center identifies millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996, making them ages 22 to 37 in 2018. TO CONTINUE READING, PLEASE VISIT: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/MILLENIALS-RUIN-BOOK-CLUB-AT-THE-MANDEL-PUBLIC-LIB.

 

Update:

City of WPB Homelessness Prevention Efforts

Vickers House South

 

Get the facts about the City's efforts to prevent homelessness! This fiscal year, the CIty has budgeted $4.25-million for homelessness prevention efforts, which include the operation of the two Vickers House locations which are one-stop service/outreach centers for the homeless and their families.

 

In the past three years, the CIty has invested significant additional resources to address homelessness. These resources offer a variety of services ranging from housting to support services and homeless prevention programs.

 

City efforts and programs have included:

  • Donating three duplexes and land for development of supportive housing for the homeless;
  • Funding a full-time peer homeless outreach team with a mental health component;
  • Operating the Vickers House which provides relocation assistance and many other services to the homeless;
  • Providing nearly $1.5 million dollars for the construction of two supportive housing projects targeted for the homeless that will produce 42 units of permanent housing;
  • Funding a Housing Stabilization Program that provides temporary rental assistance for those who are either homeless or in danger of becoming homeless;
  • Collaborating with the Homeless Coalition for the City-initiated Real Change Movement project (http://www.realchangemovementwpb.org)
  • Providing funding to Vita Nova to serve youths ages 18-24 who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless;
  • Working with our community partners including Lord’s Place, Gulfstream Goodwill, Adopt a Family, the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Community Services, Palm Beach County Housing and Economic Sustainability, Downtown Development Authority, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County Housing Authorities and many others to develop strategies to reduce homelessness;
  • Homeward Bound, a program offering individuals who have been chronically homeless in our city the opportunity to reunite with their families back home;
  • Funding and supporting the Frequent Users System Engagement (FUSE) initiative and a pilot program in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission and several other partner entities to provide housing and support service assistance to individuals exiting prison who have no housing options.

Currently, the City is working with the County and other partner agencies on additional strategies to reduce homelessness among veterans, the chronically homeless and other homeless populations.

For more information about the City's efforts, please visit: http://wpb.org/hcd.

 

 

 

Lectures are FREE, but space is limited.

Call the nature center to reserve your seat!

 

 

During the "Saving Nature, Healing Humans" lecture, join Benji Studt, Public Outreach Program Supervisor for PBC ERM on a virtual journey to explore the beauty and importance of our natural areas. A passionate conservationist and photographer, Benji will speak about the positive impacts that spending time in nature can have on mental health.

 

Saturday, January 26th: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Grassy Waters Preserve Nature Center

8264 Northlake Blvd.

West Palm Beach, FL 33412

Reservations required. Contact: (561) 804-4985.

 

 

 

 

 

WPB Quarterly Procurement Event

Join Us in February!
2-4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15, 2019

Mandel Public Library Auditorium
411 Clematis St.

 

You're invited to the City of West Palm Beach Quarterly Procurement event. Presenters will focus on the new Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program adopted by the City in December and Upcoming Business Opportunities, including the GES solicitation. Your participation is encouraged and appreciated!

 

The Procurement Department of the City of West Palm Beach is responsible for obtaining goods, services, and construction of the highest quality at the most reasonable cost through fair and open competition. We invite you to learn how to do business with the City of West Palm Beach, get MWBE Certified, and become acquainted with upcoming capital projects. Meet the potential prime vendors and the team responsible for purchasing goods, services and commodities at the City
of West Palm Beach.

 

Update: Lake Worth Lagoon Restoration Project of Tarpon Cove Islands

 

We wanted to share with our residents an update from PBC ERM about Tarpon Cove Islands. According to ERM, in partnership with the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), the Lake Worth Lagoon restoration project of Tarpon Cove Islands will see the construction and completion of the first and second island beginning in February. Dredged material from the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) maintenance project will be reused to enhance Tarpon Cove Islands. FIND will begin dredging in February and is anticipated to complete dredging in April, placing all material at Tarpon Cove.

 

According to ERM, the placement of material to create these intertidal islands will be conducted from barge and transported directly to Tarpon Cove from the segment of the ICW being dredged. Due to FIND dredging activities, placement may occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish the required maintenance of the ICW.

 

Benefits expected from the project, according to ERM: beneficial re-use of suitable lagoon substrate for the sustainability of Lake Worth Lagoon and a reduction in day-time bridge openings. For more information, please visit PBC ERM at http://discover.pbcgov.org/erm/Pages/default.aspx.

 

ROAD & DOCK CLOSURES UPDATE:

WEEK OF JANUARY 13, 2019

 

CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH CLOSURES

ENGINEERING

  • Spruce Ave. between 30th St. and 36th St. (through Friday, January 18, 2019): Sections of the east side of Spruce Ave. will be closed for curb, sidewalk and driveway replacement. Flaggers will assist motorists within the work zone. 
  • Spruce Ave. and 31st St. (through Friday, January 18, 2019):Intersection closed for drainage improvements.
  • Flagler Dr. sidewalk from south of Greenwood Dr. to Monroe Dr. (through January): East sidewalk near seawall closed for safety repairs. Flagler Dr. west side sidewalk between Greenwood Dr. and Monroe Dr. remains accessible.
  • Cumberland Dr. between Military Tr. and Village Blvd. (through January 2019): Reduced speeds on the eastbound and westbound lanes for a road beautification and safety project.Flaggers will assist motorists. 
  • Georgia Ave. between Dobbins St. and Nottingham Blvd.; Briggs St. between Garden Ave. and    Georgia Ave.; Dobbins St. between Garden Ave. and Georgia Ave. (until further notice): Local traffic only for road improvements.

EVENT CLOSURES

  • Supercar Sunday produced by SuperCar Week (Sunday, January 13, 2019, 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.). Road closures on N. Clematis St. between Narcissus St. and Flagler Dr., S. Clematis St. between Narcissus St. and Flagler Dr., Flagler Dr. between Banyan Blvd. and Lakeview Ave.
  • Clematis by Night (Thursday, January 17, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.): Road closure on North Clematis St. & South Clematis St. between Narcissus Ave. and Flagler Dr., Narcissus Ave. between Clematis St. and Banyan Blvd.
  • GreenMarket (Saturday, January 19, 2019, 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.):Road closures on North Clematis St. & South Clematis St. between Narcissus Ave. and Flagler Dr.; Narcissus Ave. between Banyan Blvd. and Clematis St.; Lantana Ave. between Banyan Blvd. and Clematis St.
  • 300 block of Clematis St. produced by Bill Jacobson (Saturday, January 19, 2019, 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.): Closed for West Palm Beach Antique Flea & Craft Market.

CLOSURES, REPAIRS FOR CURRIE PARK BOAT RAMPS

  • Full closure: All Currie Park boat ramps at 2400 Flagler Drive are closed for repairs. Reopening is expected in Spring 2019. Ramps will not be accessible during the construction period. Currie Park will remain open from sunrise to sunset

PRIVATE ROAD CLOSURES (CITYPLACE)

  • Rosemary Ave. between Okeechobee Blvd. and Hibiscus St. (through Friday, April 12, 2019): Full closure by CityPlace for CityPlace streetscape improvements. Access to all parking garages will be maintained. Pedestrian traffic will be unaffected.
  • Hibiscus St. between Rosemary Ave. and Quadrille Blvd. (through Saturday, February 23, 2019): Full closure by CityPlace for CityPlace streetscape improvements. Access to all parking garages from Quadrille Blvd. will be maintained. Pedestrian traffic will be unaffected. For more information: https://www.futureofcityplace.com/.

PALM BEACH COUNTY (PBC) ENGINEERING & PUBLIC WORKS CLOSURES IN CITY OF WPB

  • Australian Ave. from Banyan Blvd. to 10th St. (through January 18):Periodic lane closures with flaggers controlling traffic for pavement marking.
  • Australian Ave. and Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. (until further notice):Periodic lane closures for intersection improvements. 45th St. from Military Tr. to Metrocentre Blvd. & Northpoint Blvd. (until further notice): Periodic lane closures with flaggers controlling traffic for pavement marking.
  • Church St. and Old Okeechobee Rd. from Okeechobee Blvd. to N. Florida Mango Rd. (until further notice): Periodic lane closures for pavement marking. Flaggers will assist motorists in construction areas. 
  • Jog Rd. 905 feet south of Celebration Blvd. (until further notice):Periodic northbound right lane closures for FPL pole replacement.
  • Roebuck Rd. from Jog Rd. to Haverhill Rd. (until further notice):Periodic lane closures, alternating traffic with flaggers controlling traffic for road construction.
  • 45th St. west of Florida’s Turnpike, and Jog Rd. north of 45th St. (until further notice): Periodic southbound lane closures for FPL pole replacement.  Flaggers will assist motorists in construction areas.
  • Congress Ave. 600 ft. south of Presidential Wy. (until further notice): Periodic northbound and southbound lane closures for an FPL utility project.
  • For more information, contact PBC Engineering & Public Works: (561) 684-4000 or http://discover.pbcgov.org/.

FLORIDA DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION (FDOT) CLOSURES IN CITY OF WPB

  • Flagler Memorial Bridge between City of West Palm Beach and Town of Palm Beach (until further notice, Mondays only, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) will have the outside eastbound lane and the south sidewalk closed forhandrail replacement.
  • Military Tr. between 45th St. and Shiloh Dr(through Friday, March 8, 2019) will have one northbound lane closed, 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, for FPL maintenance operations.
  • For more information, contact FDOT: (866) 336-8435 orhttp://www.fdot.gov/

City of West Palm Beach Road and Dock Closure Updates are issued weekly by the City and may be viewed online at http://wpb.org/News-Video/Road-Closure-Updates.

 

ICYMI:

 

WPB 2019 Holiday Sanitation Schedule: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/CIT-OF-WEST-PALM-BEACH-2019-HOLIDAY-SANITATION-SCH

 

WPB 2019 Neighborhood Meetings Schedule: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/CITY-OF-WEST-PALM-BEACH-ANNOUNES-2019-NEIGHBORHOOD

 

HAVE A BUSINESS IN WPB? TAKE THE WPB ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SURVEY: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WPBEcoDev2019

 

MANDEL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF WEST PALM BEACH

January Highlights:  ALL FREE!

 

 

Lots of fun fitness classes for your New Year’s Resolutions – Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Belly Dancing, Full Body Workouts and more!

 

Jan. 4               Friday Night Jazz:  Susan Merritt & the Mandel All-Stars

Jan. 10             Introduction to Therapeutic Mindful Meditation, 4-week series

Jan. 12             Piano Concert Performance:  Catherine Lan & Tao Lin

Jan. 14             Career Online High School Orientation

Jan. 16             NEW PROGRAM!  Millennials Ruin Book Club

Jan. 19             Con Brio String Quartet Concert

 

Plus Winter Break activities for kids and teens, and Homework Centers reopen Jan. 8. To view the complete January calendar for the libary, please visit: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/MANDEL-PUBLIC-LIBRARY-EVENTS-FOR-JANUARY-2019

 

 
 
 

 

AS SEEN IN PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF

"THE INSIDER"

 

FREE APPS

Check WPB trolley routes, stops on the Trolley Tracker!

Sign up for WPB emergency alerts on Code Red!

Report a pothole in WPB, fix issues on SeeClickFix!

Pay for on/off-street parking from your mobile device with ParkMobile!

 

 

DOWNLOAD IT ON THE APP STORE:

 

 

GET IT ON GOOGLEPLAY: 

 

 

Popular City of West Palm Beach Links

 

City Events: http://wpb.org/Departments/Waterfront/Community-Events

 

West Palm Working Performance Dashboard:

http://westpalmbeach.clearpointstrategy.com/

 

Citywide Projects List Information Portal:

http://wpbgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html?appid=5d86c10d29764a7b808101c4ab8631b8

 

Capital Improvement Projects Database: http://gis.wpb.org/cipstorymap/

 

Sanitation Holiday Schedule: http://wpb.org/Departments/Public-Works/Sanitation/2018-Holiday-Schedule

 

City Commission, CRA Meetings, Agendas: http://wpb.org/Meetings-Events/City-Commission-Meeting-Agendas

 

City Job Opportunities: http://wpb.org/Departments/Human-Resources/Home/I-want-to-work-for-the-City-of-West-Palm-Beach

 

Utility Bill Payments: http://wpb.org/utilities/paying-your-utility-bill/

 

Road Closures Updates: http://wpb.org/News-Video/Road-Closure-Updates

 

WPB-TV Live: http://wpb.org/News-Video/Live-Video-Ch-18

 

WPB-TV on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WestPalmTV

 

Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach: http://wpb.org/Departments/Library/Overview

 

Grassy Waters Preserve of West Palm Beach: http://wpb.org/grassywaters/

 

Public Works Request for Service: http://wpb.org/Departments/Public-Works/Public-Works-Forms.

 

Volunteer Opportunities: http://wpb.org/volunteer

 

Vickers House of West Palm Beach: http://wpb.org/vickers

 

City Clerk: http://wpb.org/Departments/City-Clerk/Office-of-the-City-Clerk

 

Visiting West Palm Beach? Explore what we have to offer by visiting, here: https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/explore-cities/west-palm-beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the City of West Palm Beach Twitter family:

 

 

 

 

 

City news:

 

@WestPalmBch 

 

 

__________

 

 

 

Mayor Jeri Muoio:

 

@JMuoio

 

__________

 

 

 

Office of Sustainability:

 

@WPBgreen

 

 

__________

 

 

 

Office of Economic Development:

 

@WPBbusiness

 

 

__________

 

 

Mandel Public Library of WPB:

 

@myCityLibrary

 

 

__________

 

 

 

West Palm Beach Fire Rescue:

 

@WPBfire

 

__________

 

 

West Palm Beach Police:

 

@WestPalmPD

 

 

 

January 13, 2019

 
 
 

West Palm Beach 2019 General

Municipal Election Information Announced

 

The City of West Palm Beach will hold a General Municipal Election on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, and Run-off Election, if necessary, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to elect a Mayor and a City Commissioner for District 3. Qualifying ended at noon on January 8, 2019.

 

The following individuals have qualified for Mayor and Commission District 3 and their names will be placed on the ballot. The seats for District 2 and District 4 will not be on the ballot as the candidates were unopposed.

 

MAYOR:

  • Keith A. James
  • Priscilla Ann Taylor
  • Paula J. Ryan

DISTRICT 2:

  • Cory M. Neering (Incumbent)-Commissioner-elect

DISTRICT 3:

  • Christy Fox
  • Richard A. Ryles
  • Clint J. Fowlkes

DISTRICT 4:

  • Joseph A. Peduzzi-Commissioner-elect

The following referendum question will also be on the March 12, 2019 ballot:

 

“AUDIT COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP BY NON-RESIDENT OWNERS OR EMPLOYEES OF BUSINESSES WITHIN THE CITY

BALLOT QUESTION:

The City Commission appoints only City residents as audit committee at-large members. Shall the Charter of the City of West Palm Beach, Florida, be amended to allow appointment of at-large members who are either City residents or employees or owners of businesses located in the City of West Palm Beach?
 
Yes                
No          “

 

Register to vote! Please visit the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections web page to learn more about voter registration and precinct locations:https://www.pbcelections.org/. To visit the City of West Palm Beach 2019 Election Calendar, please visit: http://wpb.org/wpb_website/media/City-Clerk/2019-ELECTION-CALENDAR_1.pdf. To visit the City of West Palm Beach City Clerk’s Office online, please visit: http://wpb.org/Departments/City-Clerk/Office-of-the-City-Clerk.

 

 

WPTV: Clematis Streetscape Set to Undergo Phase II in Downtown WPB

 

Click on the video to see John Favole's interview with Traffic Engineer Uyen Dang

 

Mayor Jeri Muoio to Deliver

2019 State of the City Address

TICKETS SELLING FAST!!!

Join us! In her final State of the City Address, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio will reflect on the City’s accomplishments and make several key announcements on priorities to keep West Palm Beach a vibrant, resilient, inclusive and safe world-class city. Mayor will deliver the address at the January Breakfast of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. Mayor's State of the City will be held at the PBC Convention Center on Thursday, January 24, 2019. For registration information, please visit: https://palmbeaches.chambermaster.com/eventregistration/register/25573 or contact Marissa Kosiec: (561) 833-3711, x. 231;mkosiec@palmbeaches.org.

 

“Millennials Ruin Book Club” at the Mandel Public Library of WPB

New program is revamping traditional book club model to suit younger adults

 

 

 

According to recent headlines, millennials have either ruined or killed off a lot of things held dear by previous generations.  First breakfast cereal, the housing market, department stores, and even fabric softener, and now they are coming for the beloved book club!  “Millennials Ruin Book Club” is a new program being hosted by the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach that begins on Wednesday, January 16 at 6:30 PM at Subculture Coffee in downtown West Palm Beach.  

 

In this new book club, created by millennials for millennials there is no assigned book to read.  Not assigning reading is ideal for young working adults because they are busier than ever and might not have time to commit to reading a book a month, or want to read a book that doesn’t interest them.  With “Millennials Ruin Book Club”, participants can just share what they are reading or watching with like-minded individuals, and also get recommendations from other readers and librarians (the experts), thus enjoying the benefits of a traditional book club but in a more relaxed setting.  So, the book club is not really being ruined, just tailored to suit the desires and expectations of this audience, consequently making both the book club and the library relevant for millennials.

 

Why millennials?  According to Pew Research Center, millennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries, with 53% of millennials saying they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months, as of fall 2016.  The Center identifies millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996, making them ages 22 to 37 in 2018. TO CONTINUE READING, PLEASE VISIT: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/MILLENIALS-RUIN-BOOK-CLUB-AT-THE-MANDEL-PUBLIC-LIB.

 

Update:

City of WPB Homelessness Prevention Efforts

Vickers House South

 

Get the facts about the City's efforts to prevent homelessness! This fiscal year, the CIty has budgeted $4.25-million for homelessness prevention efforts, which include the operation of the two Vickers House locations which are one-stop service/outreach centers for the homeless and their families.

 

In the past three years, the CIty has invested significant additional resources to address homelessness. These resources offer a variety of services ranging from housting to support services and homeless prevention programs.

 

City efforts and programs have included:

  • Donating three duplexes and land for development of supportive housing for the homeless;
  • Funding a full-time peer homeless outreach team with a mental health component;
  • Operating the Vickers House which provides relocation assistance and many other services to the homeless;
  • Providing nearly $1.5 million dollars for the construction of two supportive housing projects targeted for the homeless that will produce 42 units of permanent housing;
  • Funding a Housing Stabilization Program that provides temporary rental assistance for those who are either homeless or in danger of becoming homeless;
  • Collaborating with the Homeless Coalition for the City-initiated Real Change Movement project (http://www.realchangemovementwpb.org)
  • Providing funding to Vita Nova to serve youths ages 18-24 who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless;
  • Working with our community partners including Lord’s Place, Gulfstream Goodwill, Adopt a Family, the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County Community Services, Palm Beach County Housing and Economic Sustainability, Downtown Development Authority, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County Housing Authorities and many others to develop strategies to reduce homelessness;
  • Homeward Bound, a program offering individuals who have been chronically homeless in our city the opportunity to reunite with their families back home;
  • Funding and supporting the Frequent Users System Engagement (FUSE) initiative and a pilot program in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission and several other partner entities to provide housing and support service assistance to individuals exiting prison who have no housing options.

Currently, the City is working with the County and other partner agencies on additional strategies to reduce homelessness among veterans, the chronically homeless and other homeless populations.

For more information about the City's efforts, please visit: http://wpb.org/hcd.

 

 

 

Lectures are FREE, but space is limited.

Call the nature center to reserve your seat!

 

 

During the "Saving Nature, Healing Humans" lecture, join Benji Studt, Public Outreach Program Supervisor for PBC ERM on a virtual journey to explore the beauty and importance of our natural areas. A passionate conservationist and photographer, Benji will speak about the positive impacts that spending time in nature can have on mental health.

 

Saturday, January 26th: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Grassy Waters Preserve Nature Center

8264 Northlake Blvd.

West Palm Beach, FL 33412

Reservations required. Contact: (561) 804-4985.

 

 

 

 

 

WPB Quarterly Procurement Event

Join Us in February!
2-4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 15, 2019

Mandel Public Library Auditorium
411 Clematis St.

 

You're invited to the City of West Palm Beach Quarterly Procurement event. Presenters will focus on the new Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program adopted by the City in December and Upcoming Business Opportunities, including the GES solicitation. Your participation is encouraged and appreciated!

 

The Procurement Department of the City of West Palm Beach is responsible for obtaining goods, services, and construction of the highest quality at the most reasonable cost through fair and open competition. We invite you to learn how to do business with the City of West Palm Beach, get MWBE Certified, and become acquainted with upcoming capital projects. Meet the potential prime vendors and the team responsible for purchasing goods, services and commodities at the City
of West Palm Beach.

 

Update: Lake Worth Lagoon Restoration Project of Tarpon Cove Islands

 

We wanted to share with our residents an update from PBC ERM about Tarpon Cove Islands. According to ERM, in partnership with the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), the Lake Worth Lagoon restoration project of Tarpon Cove Islands will see the construction and completion of the first and second island beginning in February. Dredged material from the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) maintenance project will be reused to enhance Tarpon Cove Islands. FIND will begin dredging in February and is anticipated to complete dredging in April, placing all material at Tarpon Cove.

 

According to ERM, the placement of material to create these intertidal islands will be conducted from barge and transported directly to Tarpon Cove from the segment of the ICW being dredged. Due to FIND dredging activities, placement may occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish the required maintenance of the ICW.

 

Benefits expected from the project, according to ERM: beneficial re-use of suitable lagoon substrate for the sustainability of Lake Worth Lagoon and a reduction in day-time bridge openings. For more information, please visit PBC ERM at http://discover.pbcgov.org/erm/Pages/default.aspx.

 

ROAD & DOCK CLOSURES UPDATE:

WEEK OF JANUARY 13, 2019

 

CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH CLOSURES

ENGINEERING

  • Spruce Ave. between 30th St. and 36th St. (through Friday, January 18, 2019): Sections of the east side of Spruce Ave. will be closed for curb, sidewalk and driveway replacement. Flaggers will assist motorists within the work zone. 
  • Spruce Ave. and 31st St. (through Friday, January 18, 2019):Intersection closed for drainage improvements.
  • Flagler Dr. sidewalk from south of Greenwood Dr. to Monroe Dr. (through January): East sidewalk near seawall closed for safety repairs. Flagler Dr. west side sidewalk between Greenwood Dr. and Monroe Dr. remains accessible.
  • Cumberland Dr. between Military Tr. and Village Blvd. (through January 2019): Reduced speeds on the eastbound and westbound lanes for a road beautification and safety project.Flaggers will assist motorists. 
  • Georgia Ave. between Dobbins St. and Nottingham Blvd.; Briggs St. between Garden Ave. and    Georgia Ave.; Dobbins St. between Garden Ave. and Georgia Ave. (until further notice): Local traffic only for road improvements.

EVENT CLOSURES

  • Supercar Sunday produced by SuperCar Week (Sunday, January 13, 2019, 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.). Road closures on N. Clematis St. between Narcissus St. and Flagler Dr., S. Clematis St. between Narcissus St. and Flagler Dr., Flagler Dr. between Banyan Blvd. and Lakeview Ave.
  • Clematis by Night (Thursday, January 17, 2019, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.): Road closure on North Clematis St. & South Clematis St. between Narcissus Ave. and Flagler Dr., Narcissus Ave. between Clematis St. and Banyan Blvd.
  • GreenMarket (Saturday, January 19, 2019, 6:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.):Road closures on North Clematis St. & South Clematis St. between Narcissus Ave. and Flagler Dr.; Narcissus Ave. between Banyan Blvd. and Clematis St.; Lantana Ave. between Banyan Blvd. and Clematis St.
  • 300 block of Clematis St. produced by Bill Jacobson (Saturday, January 19, 2019, 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.): Closed for West Palm Beach Antique Flea & Craft Market.

CLOSURES, REPAIRS FOR CURRIE PARK BOAT RAMPS

  • Full closure: All Currie Park boat ramps at 2400 Flagler Drive are closed for repairs. Reopening is expected in Spring 2019. Ramps will not be accessible during the construction period. Currie Park will remain open from sunrise to sunset

PRIVATE ROAD CLOSURES (CITYPLACE)

  • Rosemary Ave. between Okeechobee Blvd. and Hibiscus St. (through Friday, April 12, 2019): Full closure by CityPlace for CityPlace streetscape improvements. Access to all parking garages will be maintained. Pedestrian traffic will be unaffected.
  • Hibiscus St. between Rosemary Ave. and Quadrille Blvd. (through Saturday, February 23, 2019): Full closure by CityPlace for CityPlace streetscape improvements. Access to all parking garages from Quadrille Blvd. will be maintained. Pedestrian traffic will be unaffected. For more information: https://www.futureofcityplace.com/.

PALM BEACH COUNTY (PBC) ENGINEERING & PUBLIC WORKS CLOSURES IN CITY OF WPB

  • Australian Ave. from Banyan Blvd. to 10th St. (through January 18):Periodic lane closures with flaggers controlling traffic for pavement marking.
  • Australian Ave. and Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. (until further notice):Periodic lane closures for intersection improvements. 45th St. from Military Tr. to Metrocentre Blvd. & Northpoint Blvd. (until further notice): Periodic lane closures with flaggers controlling traffic for pavement marking.
  • Church St. and Old Okeechobee Rd. from Okeechobee Blvd. to N. Florida Mango Rd. (until further notice): Periodic lane closures for pavement marking. Flaggers will assist motorists in construction areas. 
  • Jog Rd. 905 feet south of Celebration Blvd. (until further notice):Periodic northbound right lane closures for FPL pole replacement.
  • Roebuck Rd. from Jog Rd. to Haverhill Rd. (until further notice):Periodic lane closures, alternating traffic with flaggers controlling traffic for road construction.
  • 45th St. west of Florida’s Turnpike, and Jog Rd. north of 45th St. (until further notice): Periodic southbound lane closures for FPL pole replacement.  Flaggers will assist motorists in construction areas.
  • Congress Ave. 600 ft. south of Presidential Wy. (until further notice): Periodic northbound and southbound lane closures for an FPL utility project.
  • For more information, contact PBC Engineering & Public Works: (561) 684-4000 or http://discover.pbcgov.org/.

FLORIDA DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION (FDOT) CLOSURES IN CITY OF WPB

  • Flagler Memorial Bridge between City of West Palm Beach and Town of Palm Beach (until further notice, Mondays only, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) will have the outside eastbound lane and the south sidewalk closed forhandrail replacement.
  • Military Tr. between 45th St. and Shiloh Dr(through Friday, March 8, 2019) will have one northbound lane closed, 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, for FPL maintenance operations.
  • For more information, contact FDOT: (866) 336-8435 orhttp://www.fdot.gov/

City of West Palm Beach Road and Dock Closure Updates are issued weekly by the City and may be viewed online at http://wpb.org/News-Video/Road-Closure-Updates.

 

ICYMI:

 

WPB 2019 Holiday Sanitation Schedule: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/CIT-OF-WEST-PALM-BEACH-2019-HOLIDAY-SANITATION-SCH

 

WPB 2019 Neighborhood Meetings Schedule: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/CITY-OF-WEST-PALM-BEACH-ANNOUNES-2019-NEIGHBORHOOD

 

HAVE A BUSINESS IN WPB? TAKE THE WPB ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SURVEY: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WPBEcoDev2019

 

MANDEL PUBLIC LIBRARY OF WEST PALM BEACH

January Highlights:  ALL FREE!

 

 

Lots of fun fitness classes for your New Year’s Resolutions – Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Belly Dancing, Full Body Workouts and more!

 

Jan. 4               Friday Night Jazz:  Susan Merritt & the Mandel All-Stars

Jan. 10             Introduction to Therapeutic Mindful Meditation, 4-week series

Jan. 12             Piano Concert Performance:  Catherine Lan & Tao Lin

Jan. 14             Career Online High School Orientation

Jan. 16             NEW PROGRAM!  Millennials Ruin Book Club

Jan. 19             Con Brio String Quartet Concert

 

Plus Winter Break activities for kids and teens, and Homework Centers reopen Jan. 8. To view the complete January calendar for the libary, please visit: http://www.wpb.org/News-Video/Archive-News/MANDEL-PUBLIC-LIBRARY-EVENTS-FOR-JANUARY-2019

 

 
 
 

 

AS SEEN IN PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF

"THE INSIDER"

 

FREE APPS

Check WPB trolley routes, stops on the Trolley Tracker!

Sign up for WPB emergency alerts on Code Red!

Report a pothole in WPB, fix issues on SeeClickFix!

Pay for on/off-street parking from your mobile device with ParkMobile!

 

 

DOWNLOAD IT ON THE APP STORE:

 

 

GET IT ON GOOGLEPLAY: 

 

 

Popular City of West Palm Beach Links

 

City Events: http://wpb.org/Departments/Waterfront/Community-Events

 

West Palm Working Performance Dashboard:

http://westpalmbeach.clearpointstrategy.com/

 

Citywide Projects List Information Portal:

http://wpbgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html?appid=5d86c10d29764a7b808101c4ab8631b8

 

Capital Improvement Projects Database: http://gis.wpb.org/cipstorymap/

 

Sanitation Holiday Schedule: http://wpb.org/Departments/Public-Works/Sanitation/2018-Holiday-Schedule

 

City Commission, CRA Meetings, Agendas: http://wpb.org/Meetings-Events/City-Commission-Meeting-Agendas

 

City Job Opportunities: http://wpb.org/Departments/Human-Resources/Home/I-want-to-work-for-the-City-of-West-Palm-Beach

 

Utility Bill Payments: http://wpb.org/utilities/paying-your-utility-bill/

 

Road Closures Updates: http://wpb.org/News-Video/Road-Closure-Updates

 

WPB-TV Live: http://wpb.org/News-Video/Live-Video-Ch-18

 

WPB-TV on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WestPalmTV

 

Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach: http://wpb.org/Departments/Library/Overview

 

Grassy Waters Preserve of West Palm Beach: http://wpb.org/grassywaters/

 

Public Works Request for Service: http://wpb.org/Departments/Public-Works/Public-Works-Forms.

 

Volunteer Opportunities: http://wpb.org/volunteer

 

Vickers House of West Palm Beach: http://wpb.org/vickers

 

City Clerk: http://wpb.org/Departments/City-Clerk/Office-of-the-City-Clerk

 

Visiting West Palm Beach? Explore what we have to offer by visiting, here: https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/explore-cities/west-palm-beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the City of West Palm Beach Twitter family:

 

 

 

 

 

City news:

 

@WestPalmBch 

 

 

__________

 

 

 

Mayor Jeri Muoio:

 

@JMuoio

 

__________

 

 

 

Office of Sustainability:

 

@WPBgreen

 

 

__________

 

 

 

Office of Economic Development:

 

@WPBbusiness

 

 

__________

 

 

Mandel Public Library of WPB:

 

@myCityLibrary

 

 

__________

 

 

 

West Palm Beach Fire Rescue:

 

@WPBfire

 

__________

 

 

West Palm Beach Police:

 

@WestPalmPD

Real Estate Prices, in the South Florida Region

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

Real estate prices have stabilized. It's been some time, but prices have settled out and dug in for steady growth. You can see this fact nearly everywhere, historical price movements can be checked. It's a positive thing anywhere, but that's better than the opposite. So it's a good time now to find a home. If you combine that with a good environment like the south Florida sun and real estate, you have the makings of a very good market.

 

The infrastructure is already there. There's been a lot of growth, we're adding civil structures and services, but the main infrastructure for further development has already been built. It's a strong and growing community, particularly for over 55, with room for more. That might not be true of areas out in the boonies, they can hit or miss. You can also be hit with major civic improvement taxes, in newer regions. Palm Beach county structure, like Boca Raton, Delray, and Boynton Beach has mainly been built already though, and other infrastructure. So the certain growth and paid for costs are a double advantage... Read more

 

 

Here are some of the recent Pre & New Construction Homes in Palm Beach County to hit the market, with links to properties and custom search. These are some of the builder recently completed homes, in Palm Beach County. K. Hovnanian's in Casa Del Mar, Valencia Bay in Boynton Beach, FL, and West Palm Beach's Wildfire Way.

Valencia Bay has multiple properties recently finished, Crested Butte is a recent addition there, and priced right. Downtown Delray has some new entries, such as the lately built properties on Fifth Ave there. Rounding it out for this week's blog post, is Lemongrass Lane in Wellington, FL.

If you'd like to use our customized IDX to search for new construction homes in Palm Beach County or South Florida, you can click on the following link for New Construction Listings idx.

Please also use our New and Pre Construction category page, for various current issues in newly built homes. Feel free to contact our office, to discuss or show you different areas and options in purchasing a brand new home.

 

Dawn Balzano​​
PA, Real Estate Agent, CDPE, MBF, CMHS, RE/MAX Realtor Hall of Fame Recipient
(561) 441-5346

 

Smart Home Technology Worth Considering

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

 

Flying cars still seem to be a few years away, but don’t let that stop you from having a futuristic home! Take a look at these pieces of Smart Home technology that come highly rated by the experts.

The Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat 

From the ecobee website: “When you place sensors in your favorite rooms, ecobee4 can read the temperature and detect occupancy. That’s how it ensures comfort in the rooms that matter.”

In addition to being smart about which rooms need attention, the ecobee4 has Amazon’s Alexa built into it, so you can tell it to order groceries, read the news, and more. If you’re tired of wasting energy on your entire home, all it takes is $249 to bring your thermostat into the future!

The Neato Botvac™ Connected Robot Vacuum 

This vacuum certainly isn’t cheap ($699 retail,) but it certainly looks and functions like the future of cleaning. Unlike most robot vacuums, the Botvac™ doesn’t go around aimlessly, it cleans in efficient patterns and returns to its docking station once its finished. Want to learn more about this amazing little guy? Visit the website here!

Amazon Cloud Cam Security Camera

This security camera from Amazon provides a 1080p live feed along with motion notifications and it only costs $120! It also includes a mobile app (of course) and isn’t a hassle to setup. Check out more on Amazon’s site!


What part of your home are you looking forward to bringing into the future?

10 Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch for in 2018

by Dawn & Peter Balzano
housing_2018

10 Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch for in 2018

The housing picture is likely to improve in 2018:

  • Home prices are expected to climb, but not as fast
  • More houses could be for sale toward the end of the year, giving home buyers a greater selection to choose from
  • Homeowners will have more equity to borrow from

Yet in other ways, 2018 might continue to be challenging, especially for home buyers. Mortgage rates are likely to rise, reducing affordability.

Here are 10 housing and mortgage trends to expect in 2018.

1. Home prices decelerate

Good news for first-time home buyers: Home-price appreciation is expected to cool down in 2018 after a torrid couple of years.

Home prices rose 6.3% in 2016, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. They’re on track to exceed 6% in 2017, too. But for next year, the median forecast among six industry and lender groups is for a 4.1% increase in existing home prices nationwide.

Why the slowdown? One factor is home construction. Economists expect the construction of single-family houses to rise sharply in 2018, based on building permit applications. The median estimate has single-family housing starts rising about 8% in 2018, to roughly 912,500 new houses.

2. More homes for sale

Home buyers are struggling to find houses for sale. The shortages are especially acute for the kinds of homes that first-time buyers tend to get. Among the reasons for the tight supply:

  • Many baby boomers are content to age in their homes instead of downsizing
  • Investors bought millions of homes after the housing bubble burst, and they’re making too much money as landlords to sell
  • Home builders make more profit from expensive houses than entry-level houses, so that’s what they’re constructing

But there’s some hope for 2018: Realtor.com predicts that the housing supply pinch will begin to ease late in the year.

“It looks like we could get to a point where we’re seeing growth in inventory sometime in the fall of 2018,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.

3. Home sales could rise

Resales of existing homes are expected to rise modestly in 2018. The median estimate is that existing home sales will rise 2.5%, to 5.6 million units.

Meanwhile, sales of new homes are expected to rise a median of 7%, to 653,500 newly built single-family houses.

According to Realtor.com, cities in the South will show the most sales growth in 2018. Hale says she expects 6% existing home sales growth, particularly in markets such as Dallas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. She says those places are not as “regulation constrained,” they have strong regional economies and developers have plenty of vacant land to build on.

4. Mortgage rates head up

Mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2018. CoreLogic, a data provider for the real estate industry, averaged six forecasts of mortgage rates, arriving at a consensus view that the 30-year fixed will average 4.7% in December 2018. In November 2017, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.07%.

“Not only are mortgage rates higher, but mortgage rates will be at the highest level since 2011,” Nothaft said at the Urban Institute symposium. “So we’re looking at an environment, going forward, where this era of cheap mortgage rates will largely be behind us.”

Interest rates are notoriously resistant to prediction, though. At the beginning of 2017, most people expected mortgage rates to rise steadily throughout the year. And they did rise — for a few weeks. The average 30-year fixed peaked in mid-March 2017 at 4.58%, according to NerdWallet’s daily survey. Then it declined, dipping slightly below 4% a few times in the summer, before moving upward slightly in the fall.

5. Affordability declines

If, as expected, home prices and mortgage rates go up in 2018, homes will be less affordable.

For example, if mortgage rates rise to 4.7% toward the end of 2018, and the median price of existing homes rises by 4.1%, then monthly mortgage payments for a typical house would rise substantially.

Copy_Rising_prices_and_rates_affect_affordability

But according to an Urban Institute analysis, middle-class families in much of the country still have some financial wiggle room if rates and prices rise in 2018. Most home buyers don’t appear to stretch to the limits of affordability, the Urban Institute wrote.

6. More equity, more HELOCs

As home values rise, homeowners gain equity. And banks expect millions of homeowners to borrow against that equity.

About 1.6 million homeowners are predicted to get new home equity lines of credit in 2018, a 16% increase over 2017, according to a recent TransUnion study. The credit bureau says 67% of homeowners have enough equity to get HELOCs, and 80% of those borrowers have high credit scores.

TransUnion forecasts that 10 million homeowners will get HELOCs from 2018 through 2022, double the number of new lines of credit in the five years before that.

7. Security headaches continue

Thieves are stealing down payments from home buyers by combining email hacking with wire fraud. And there’s no sign of it slowing.

Complaints of this type of wire fraud skyrocketed by 480% in 2016, according to the 2016 annual report (the latest available) from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Lenders and title companies say the problem worsened in 2017, and that they fend off this form of fraud constantly.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim: When you receive emailed instructions for wiring money, call your agent to verify. The email may be a fake, designed to trick you into wiring money into a thief’s account.

8. More options for people with credit issues

A few specialty lenders are focusing on nontraditional mortgages. For example, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions in Atlanta targets the borrower “who has had a life event, so they lost their house or had to file bankruptcy or things got really bad, but they’ve now got their feet back on the ground and they’re ready to buy their next house,” says Tom Hutchens, the lender’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Several lenders offer interest-only mortgages, and even loans with limited income documentation. These mortgages are dubbed “non-QM” because they don’t meet Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s plain-vanilla “qualified mortgage” rules. One prominent non-QM lender, Impac Mortgage Holdings, plans to begin securitizing these loans early in 2018.

9. Lenders embracing automation

Mortgage lenders continue to pour money into automating the loan-application process. The best-known example is Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. But Quicken isn’t the only lender that embraces automation. Some lenders, such as loanDepot, cook up their own automation in-house, while software providers such as Blend and Roostify help large and small banks to automate applications. Now a few lenders want to use automation to guide borrowers to loan products that best suit them.

10. Tax reform could affect buyers and owners

Lawmakers were still working on tax reform as this article was being written. Preliminary House and Senate versions limited the number of home sellers who would benefit from the home capital gains exclusion, and they treated the mortgage interest tax deduction differently. It’s too early to know how a final tax reform bill would affect home buyers and homeowners, but we will keep you posted.


 
 

The article 10 Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch for in 2018 originally appeared on NerdWallet.

5 Simple Ways to Add Value to Your Home

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

Many people think that in order to add value to your home, you must undergo a big remodel or add a major feature like a pool. However, it doesn’t have to be that hard! Here’s five easy ways to add value to your home.

Paint

Repainting parts of your home every once in awhile is a simple value adder, that is also fairly inexpensive. You don’t need to repaint everything; focus on the parts that a potential buyer would look at, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or bedrooms.

 

 

Outdoor Seating

Adding a quality seating area in the backyard adds value by giving your outdoor space a better look. Prospective buyers will like the fact that you have another area where they could host guests or spend time with their family.

 

Bathroom Upgrades

The bathroom is most likely going to be your least expensive room to upgrade, but could produce the most results. A more modern bathroom could go along way in convincing potential buyers that your home is the one for them.

 

Landscaping

You certainly don’t need to go overboard in terms of landscaping, if you do, it’ll get expensive fast! However, adding to or improving upon the plant life surrounding your home will give prospective buyers get a better first impression of your home and make the exterior of your home brighter and more appealing.

 

Store Effectively

No one wants to walk into a home that looks like it belongs to a hoarder. Decluttering your home will not only increase it’s value, but also make you feel more proud of your space while you’ll still living there. By the way, you know what makes storage and organization easier? Getting rid of some stuff you don’t need!

 

If you’re preparing your home because you’re thinking about selling, let’s talk!

Wonder About Your Credit Score?

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

Your credit score is a composite snapshot of your credit history. You want to make sure you pay your bills on time, keep outstanding debt levels to a reasonable amount for each account, and avoid closing accounts you've successfully paid-off and managed.

If you have less than perfect credit, there are still good loan programs out there for responsible borrowers. We have a list of preferred local lenders who can help you find the best financing programs for your specific needs.

Here are some great resources to learn more about credit scores, and to get a free credit score and report:

Contact us we can put you in touch with a variety of lenders to help you prepare for homeownership. 

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