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

South Florida Real Estate Blog

Dawn & Peter Balzano

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 34

A home has tons of amenities – which do you list first?

by The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Andrea Browne Ta

I found this article very interesting and thought that I would share it... 

NEW YORK – May 20, 2019 – Homeowners are sometimes hesitant to upgrade when it's time to sell. After all, you won't be living there much longer, and most home remodeling efforts only increase home values by 50%-80% of the average project's costs, according to Remodeling magazine's 2019 Cost vs. Value report. For example, the average cost of a mid-range bathroom remodel is $20,420. You'd recoup about $13,717 (67.2%) of that amount during a resale.

While you may not want to spend the extra cash, the cost of inaction can be far greater than the small loss you'll incur on any home-improvement projects.

"Making small upgrades over time serves a seller immensely," says Brian Lewis, a real estate broker with New York City-based realty firm Compass. These don't have to be break-the-bank alterations, either. Even merely keeping the color palette up-to-date will go a long way.

"Getting stuck in time with your home isn't a smart move and is rarely rewarded financially at sale time," he adds. In fact, it may cause your house to linger on the market longer. As a result, you'll likely have to pay ongoing mortgage, maintenance and staging costs.

To make the most of your remodeling budget, focus on features that most homebuyers really want to see.

Home features most coveted by today's buyers

Laundry room
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 91%
Cost to install: $1,000 to $5,000 for a small-scale project

More than anything else, homeowners want a room other than the guest bedroom to stack all the clean laundry in until it finally gets put away. A separate laundry room tops the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) list of most-wanted home features by buyers.

"Having a separate room [to use for things such as folding or ironing clothes] helps to keep the mess out of your living space … Potential buyers will see it as a huge benefit," says Paul Sullivan, founder and president of the Sullivan Company, a Newton, Mass., remodeling and custom-building firm.

If you don't have an existing laundry room and want to add one, the basement is usually the easiest (and cheapest) place to put it, Sullivan advises. The utility lines are already there, and in many cases the basement is unfinished, so you won't have to demolish anything first. Adding a laundry room in the basement can cost as little as $1,000, he says.

However, homeowners who prefer a laundry room or laundry closet (which fits just a washer and dryer) closer to the bedroom can expect installation to cost around $5,000, Sullivan notes. The cost of a full laundry room complete with a sink and storage cabinets could easily surpass $10,000, he says.

Energy efficiencies (appliances and windows)
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 89%
Cost to install: Varies by appliance

Would-be buyers looking to limit utility bills will likely be drawn to properties with energy efficiencies, such as Energy Star-qualified windows and appliances. "Buyers are most impressed with smart, energy-efficient choices that in no way limit their comfort, but in every way save them money in the long run," Compass's Lewis says. Sellers should be sure to play up these features in their home listings.

Energy-efficient windows can trim heating and cooling costs by 12%, while individual appliances, such as an Energy Star-certified washing machine ($528 to $1,800 at Home Depot), can save homeowners $45 a year or more on their utility bills. Replacing an existing clothes dryer with an energy-efficient version could save as much as $245 over the appliance's lifetime.

Energy Star-qualified windows have an invisible glass coating, vacuum-sealed spaces filled with inert gas between panes, sturdier weather stripping than regular windows and improved framing materials – all of which reduce undesirable heat gain and loss in the home. An Energy Star-certified dishwasher (ranging in price from $230 to $1,709 at Home Depot) uses soil sensors to assess how dirty your dishes are to minimize water use.

Patio
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 87%
Cost to install: $963 per 120 square feet for a concrete patio

It's important for homeowners not to neglect the backyard area when prepping for resale, says Mike McGrew, former treasurer of the National Association of Realtors and CEO of McGrew Real Estate, a Lawrence, Kansas-based realty firm. In today's housing market, outdoor living spaces have become the most coveted outdoor home feature.

"When most buyers see a house with a really nice backyard, they start to envision themselves sitting outdoors with friends having drinks," McGrew adds. Outdoor areas offer more living space without the cost of a large-scale home addition.

Thanks to the popularity of backyard renovation TV shows, such as HGTV's Going Yard, DIY Network's Yard Attack! And Bravo's Backyard Envy, buyers now envision everything from a traditional ground-level patio to an elevated deck to a backyard kitchen area.

Ceiling fan
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%
Cost to install: $466 per fixture with light kit and remote control

In addition to improving a home's aesthetic, energy-efficient ceiling fans (ranging in price from $69 to $1,300 at Lowe's) can also help lower cooling costs when used in conjunction with an air conditioner during the warmer months.

Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect that helps cool the people sitting in the room. Homeowners should be able to raise the thermostat level by four degrees without a reduction in comfort while the fan is in use, according to Energy.gov.

Energy.gov recommends that ceiling fans only be used in rooms with a ceiling height of at least eight feet. The fans work best at that height and when they're hanging 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling.

Garage storage space
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%
Cost to install: $2,025 - $2,363 for 380 square feet

Buyers with growing families need lots of storage space. Sellers should keep in mind that "streamlined living equates to more dollars in your pocket at sale time," Compass's Lewis says. Carving out some space in your garage to help keep clutter out of the main living area could help your bottom line. "Make sure the bonus space is easily accessible and wonderfully organized," he adds.

Unlike an attic or a backyard shed, the garage is accessible – generally, just a few steps away from the rest of the house – making it easier to transport items such as tools, patio chairs or boxes to and from other parts of the house.

The installation cost includes adding cabinetry and shelving, peg wall boards for tool storage, overhead lighting and additional electrical circuits.

Exterior lighting
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 85%
Cost to install: $65 per fixture

Illuminating a well-manicured lawn with exterior lighting can help grab potential buyers' attention before they even set foot in the front door. In fact, exterior lighting is the second most-wanted outdoor feature (patio was first), according to the NAHB. Options include spotlights, walkway lights and pendant lights.

Aesthetics aside, exterior lighting also serves as an added safety feature for your home, says Daniel Hurst, owner and general manager of Hurst Design-Build-Remodel, a Middleburg Heights, Ohio-based home remodeling company. Motion-sensor lights, for example, turn on automatically whenever there is movement outside your house.

Walk-in pantry
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 83%
Cost to install: Varies based on design

Home buyers with families know that the kitchen can quickly become overcrowded when there's not enough space to store the essentials (think: canned goods, condiments and food storage containers). That's why many are including a walk-in pantry on their must-have list for potential homes. In fact, it was the most-wanted kitchen feature among buyers polled in the NAHB's report.

Unlike reach-in closet pantries with sliding doors that offer limited space, walk-in versions allow homeowners to store larger quantities of non-perishable food items and other kitchen essentials just steps away from the food prep area, suggests Neil Parsons, project designer for Move or Improve, a Matawan, N.J.-based home design firm. This can be especially helpful for those who like to shop in bulk at warehouse clubs.

Walk-in pantries are typically 5 x 5 feet and have U-shaped open shelves or cabinets with a countertop. Make sure the pantry is situated somewhere that is cool and dry.

Hardwood floors
Percentage of buyers who want this feature: 83%
Cost to install: $999 per 120 square feet of red oak flooring

Hardwood flooring offers a cleaner look, is easier to maintain and is more durable than carpet, which needs to be replaced every eight to 10 years. "Hardwood can be refinished periodically and lasts a lifetime," Sullivan says.

Sellers on a budget may want to buy engineered wood flooring (which is a hardwood veneer wrapped around several layers of plywood, fiberboard and hardwood). The cost to install 120 square feet of engineered wood flooring is $858 – nearly 15% cheaper than pure hardwood flooring.

Walk-in closet (master bedroom)
Cost to install: Varies based on design

While walk-in closets aren't among the top demands of all homebuyers, they're quickly gaining in popularity among first- and second-time homebuyers, according to a 2018 NAHB survey that focused on new buyers. A walk-in closet in the master bedroom ranked among their top five features.

If you live in an older dwelling with a reach-in closet, you may want to consider revamping it, suggests Maria Zamora, a realtor associate with Realty Consultants Network in Addison, Tex. Couples generally want a closet with more space because they'll be sharing it. Singles desire the flexibility of being able to store their personal belongings – from clothes and shoes to jewelry and other accessories – in one place, while keeping them organized.

"Homes without a walk-in-closet in the master bedroom are more of a challenge to sell and will attract less buyers," Zamora adds.

If you live in an older home with less space, a full closet renovation in the master bedroom may not be practical. However, you still have options that will help make your property more appealing. Update an existing reach-in closet by installing an organization system complete with shelving units and hanging rods for clothes. You can purchase a prefabricated system from Ikea, which range in price from $155 to $2,077. Go the DIY route or have an Ikea professional install the unit for an additional fee.

You can also hire a consultant from a custom closet design firm, such as The Closet Factory, to come to your home and design an organization system that fits your space. The cost will vary based on your requirements.

If you're an empty-nester, you could even turn a nearby smaller room into a custom walk-in closet. Depending on the quality of the materials used (for example, solid wood shelving vs. wooden veneer shelving), this type of project could range in price from $1,000 to $6,500, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

Eat-in kitchen
Cost to install: $1,000 - $10,000

Eat-in kitchens are also a must-have among first- and second-time home buyers. They're especially attractive to families with children. It's a space where they can congregate in the morning for breakfast before the kids head off to school and parents to work, or in the evening for dinner so everyone can share highlights from their day.

Removing a non-load-bearing wall to create space for a small table and chairs in your kitchen is relatively inexpensive (as little as $1,000), but that price can quickly escalate if your demolition reveals plumbing, duct work and electrical wiring that needs to be removed, Move or Improve's Parsons says.

If you're on a tight budget and can't afford to knock out a wall to create more space for a table and chairs, consider adding a center island with room for bar stools, he suggests. You can purchase prefabricated kitchen islands with space for seating at Home Depot (starting at $540) and Lowe's (starting at $464).

Dining room
Cost to install: $1,000 - $6,000 to add ceiling fixtures or structural columns to open floor plan

In recent years, formal dining rooms (and closed floor plans) have taken a backseat to open floor concepts in today's home models. While open floor concepts help maximize space when entertaining, there are still home buyers who desire a separate dining area distinct from the kitchen. In fact, a separate dining room is among the top 10 essentials for first- and second-time home buyers in the NAHB survey.

"A meal in the dining room creates a sense of importance … It makes people feel special, whether it's for holiday gatherings or a quiet sit-down dinner with your family," says Shannon Lynch, a Realtor with Savvy + Co. Real Estate, a Charlotte, N.C.-based realty firm.

If your home has an open floor plan, there are still ways to create a dining space that's distinct and will attract buyers who desire such a feature. You can add an over-the-table lighting fixture or incorporate a tray ceiling to help define a particular area of the main living level – perhaps just off the kitchen. Another option: Install decorative columns instead of a solid wall. Adding the tray ceiling or decorative columns would skew on the higher end of installation costs and includes materials and labor, Parsons notes.

For those with older homes that have a closed floor plan, it may be time to reexamine your dining room. The cost of a small-scale remodel to a 190-square-foot space ranges in price from $5,832 to $6,804, according to HomeWyse.com. This includes installing new flooring, doors, switch plates, decorative hardware and recessed lighting.

Copyright © 2019 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Andrea Browne Taylor, online editor

 

Exterior Projects That Can Net You Cash

by D Balzano and NAR

This was a great way to review the cost of projects. Keep in mind this is a national average... If you want advice on how any of these exterior projects could affect the sale of your home, call me!

Features that Help You Sell Your Home Faster

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

This was an interesting and very informative that I found on Florida Realtor Magazine. I thought I would pass this along.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in selling your home, call or text me today. I specialize in preparing homes to sell. I not only sell in Palm Beach County, I live here. 

5 Great Apps for Homeowners

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

 

Technology is a wonderful thing and, as luck would have it, there’s a bunch of handy smartphone apps created specifically for homeowners! Here are five great ones…

 

 

  iScape

If you’ve got outdoor spaces that you’d like to improve, iScape is the app for you! This app uses your phone’s camera to allow you to drag and drop elements like trees, plants, fences, water features, etc. and visualize how it all fits together in your specific yard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY PLANT       

This app is a very simple solution to a very common problem. If you frequently forget to water your plants, use Happy Plant to serve as a smart reminder system! There’s also a cool feature which creates time-lapse videos of your plants surviving, thriving, and growing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HomeZada

This app is like six apps rolled into one! HomeZada helps homeowners with everything from managing remodel projects to keeping track of home-related financials and much more. As they put it, HomeZada is, “A personal finance solution that is a digital hub of all the important information about your largest financial asset – your home.”

 

 

Letgo      

We all have too much stuff, right? Whether it’s stuff we don’t need, stuff we haven’t used in years, or stuff we don’t even remember getting, the Letgo app is here to help. Simply snap a pic of something you no longer want/need, list it on Letgo, and you’re done!

 

 

 

  AroundMe

This app is endlessly helpful whether you’re new to the area or visiting somewhere you’ve never been. AroundMe basically gives you all the information you need about various businesses near you. A straightforward concept, but a very handy resource when you need it!

 

 

If you are interested to see what is for sale in Palm Beach County check out MY app on your phone. Just go to www.BalzanoTeam.com and happy home searching. 

 

Homebuying Options to Consider

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

Expand Your Homebuying Options With a Fixer-Upper Mortgage

It’s the lament of first-time homebuyers in just about every housing market: There aren’t enough entry-level homes available that are move-in ready.

One solution is to broaden the search to fixer-uppers. With a renovation mortgage, you can get one home loan that combines the purchase price with the cost of improvements.

Not enough affordable homes

Entry-level homes are scarce, whether new or used. Most gains in housing inventory have been in upscale homes, according to Realtor.com.

The decline in entry-level new construction is stark: 36 percent of homes built in 2000 had under 1,800 square feet; in 2017, 22 percent did, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

As for existing homes, resales of homes costing $100,000 to $250,000 were down 1.9 percent in October, compared with a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The demand is there: Even with the decline, homes in that price range accounted for 40.2 percent of sales.

Faced with a shortage of affordable homes, it makes sense to consider buying and fixing up dwellings that are outdated or in need of repair.

The two major types of renovation loans are the FHA 203(k) loan, insured by the Federal Housing Administration, and the HomeStyle loan, guaranteed by Fannie Mae. Both cover most home improvements, whether major or minor.

“Basically, every kind of repair that can be done to a property, we do it,” says Brad McMullen, vice president of renovation lending for PrimeLending, a national mortgage lender that emphasizes renovation loans.

» MORE: Find out how much house you can afford

Renovation loans open more doors

Both FHA 203(k) and HomeStyle can be used for structural and cosmetic renovations. With both loan types, renovation work may begin immediately after closing.

FHA’s 203(k) loan is for primary residences only. It requires a minimum credit score of 500 with a down payment of at least 10 percent; a credit score of 580 or higher allows a down payment of 3.5 percent. These loans can’t be used for work that the FHA deems a luxury, such as installing a swimming pool.

There are two types of 203(k) loans: limited and standard. The limited is for renovations costing $35,000 or less that don’t require major structural work. The standard is for projects upwards of $35,000 or involving major structural work.

A 203(k) standard loan requires a HUD consultant, who helps the homeowner solicit and analyze bids and oversees inspections of the work. Consultants are often contractors, architects or inspectors, McMullen says. HUD has a tool to search for consultants.

Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle loan may be used to buy and fix up a primary residence, second home or investment property. It requires a minimum credit score of 620. Minimum down payment is 3 percent or 5 percent, depending on whether the home is owner-occupied and the borrower is a first-time homebuyer or has a low to moderate income.

HomeStyle loans have few restrictions on improvements, other than that they “should be permanently affixed to the real property (either dwelling or land),” according to Fannie Mae guidelines. That means HomeStyle may pay for adding a swimming pool.

» MORE: Ins and outs of 203(k) and HomeStyle loans

Pitfalls to watch for

The most common problem is failing to get detailed cost estimates, McMullen says. To prevent cost overruns, make sure estimates are specific about materials, and include costs for inspections, permits and consultant fees (if applicable).

Another pitfall: over-improving the home. If every house on the block has one story and three bedrooms, it might be a bad idea to add a second story with two bedrooms. The home will no longer fit in with the neighborhood, and it will be difficult to get an accurate estimate of the home’s post-renovation value because of a lack of nearby comparable houses.

Getting started

After finding the house you want, choose a lender, decide on a loan type and hire a HUD consultant. Then, with the consultant’s guidance, get estimates from contractors. Your lender will need copies of the estimates.

The renovation work may begin immediately after you close the loan. When the improvements are complete, you’ll have your home the way you want it — sooner than you might have thought possible.


 

The article Expand Your Homebuying Options With a Fixer-Upper Mortgage originally appeared on NerdWallet.

January 2019 Housing Numbers for Palm Beach County

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

A recent article in the South Florida Business Journal describes the current market in South Florida as slowing down. "In Palm Beach County, single family home sales slumped 23.3% to 1, 103 while the median sales price increased 4.6% to $340,000, according to the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale. Cash deals fell 27%. Active listings grew 9%, so the supply of inventory increased to 5.6 months. That's a fairly balanced market." 


 

The way we see it, it is GOOD news if you price your home accordingly! Want to know how? Call or text me to schedule a valuation. 

2019 Colors of the Year

by Dawn & Peter Balzano

Each and every year, major paint companies declare their color of the year. If you’re thinking about a new coat of paint for your home as we get deeper into 2019, here are the colors of the year worth considering!

Blueprint by Behr

This is a versatile, but bold color choice for a variety of home painting projects. Here’s what Behr has to say about it, “An honest, approachable color that conjures up the blueprints builders rely on to bring architectural designs to life, Blueprint creates a space where you can build your own re-imagined life—where awareness of what we want to build for ourselves can transform into action.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metropolitan by Benjamin Moore  

Metropolitan isn’t going to blow your socks off, but it is incredibly useful in a variety of situations, especially if you tend to be more of a fan of neutral tones. If you’re a really big fan of this tone, you’re in luck! Benjamin Moore created a whole commercial for it:

https://youtu.be/5YPXCrJ3YNI

 

 

Living Coral by Pantone

To hear Pantone describe it, Living Coral is “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” One of the louder colors in this list, Living Coral could make a nice accent in bathrooms, for example.

 

 

Night Watch by PPG Paints 

 

Inspired by nature (and maybe Game of Thrones,) Night Watch is a “rich, luxurious, and classic shade of green.” PPG suggests you use it as an accent wall inside and/or a splash of color on doors or shutters on the exterior of your home.


There you have it! 2019 seems to have brought us a good variety of colors of the year, from wild to neutral. Which color of the year is most likely to make its way into your home?

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. 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 34