Real Estate Landings Blog

April 9, 2015

Celebrate Spring In Palm Beach, FL With These 4 Events!

We enjoy beautiful weather year-round here in the Palm Beach area of Florida, so while we’re not celebrating the melting of snow, we are celebrating the plethora of events and festivals taking place this month! To help you keep up, as your Palm Beach real estate agent, I’ve put together a list of the best events and activities coming up in the area. All you have to do is mark them in your calendar and then enjoy them!

1.  Delray Affair is Florida’s largest and biggest outdoor festival! This takes place April 10-12 in Delray Beach and includes full days of top artists and entertainers, art exhibitors, a car show and an array of food. It takes up 10 city blocks and side streets, so everyone in the family is sure to find something to enjoy, whether it be art, music or food. Friday and Saturday, the fest runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

2.  If you love beer, food, music and animals, Brew at the Zoo is the event for you! This takes place at the intimate Palm Beach Zoo. Over 20 craft breweries from all over the world, but with a special focus on South Florida, come together for this one event on April 11. Admission costs $35, which includes unlimited beer samples and a collectible mug. Food trucks will be there for you to enjoy, along with live music. Designated drive tickets are also available for $15! 

3.  Celebrate the rich, fertile soil of Belle Glade at the annual Black Gold Jubilee on April 18! The day begins with a 5K Walk/Run at 7:30 a.m., followed by all-day free children’s activities, rides and games. Adults can enjoy cook-offs, amazing food, arts and crafts booths, a car show, a volleyball tournament and country music. The whole family can enjoy the parade and fireworks. It’s a full day of activities! 

4.  There is nothing quite like SunFest, which returns to Downtown West Palm Beach on April 29! Five full days of fun include 50 national and local band performances on three main stages, three party barges, 100 arts and crafts tents, tons of food vendors and one outstanding fireworks display. This year’s music lineup includes Pixies, Lenny Kravitz, Hozier, Boston, Fallout Boy and so many more. Buy tickets! 

April is a happening month here in the Palm Beach area. Mark your calendars for these events coming up, so you don’t miss a minute of the fun.

Want to also achieve your real estate goals this April in the Palm Beach real estate market? Contact me, your Palm Beach real estate agent! Spring is a great season for buying a Palm Beach home, or for selling your Palm Beach home, or for both! When you are ready, I am ready to help!

Mary Hester
Real Estate Landings, LLC

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March 9, 2015

Stand Out As A Palm Beach, FL Home Seller This Spring!

Are you ready to sell your Palm Beach, FL area home this spring? The timing couldn’t be better! Home prices are predicted to accelerate again, and have already posted a month-over-month increase for the first time since August. Also, mortgage rates have begun to increase, so if you’re looking to move up to a bigger or better Palm Beach home, the sooner you do, the more money you’ll save!

However, this spring, competition among other Palm Beach home sellers is expected to increase as well. A lot of sellers come out of hibernation in the spring and summer! To help you gain an edge over other home sellers, as your Palm Beach real estate agent, I’ve summed up some tips here that U.S. News and World Report recently shared.

Here’s how to stand out from your competition and gain an edge in the Palm Beach real estate market this spring:

1.  Declutter. Before you do anything else, it makes sense to first remove all the clutter you can from you Palm Beach home. This means cleaning out your closets, cabinets, drawers, storage areas, garage and every room of your home. Potential Palm Beach homebuyers look everywhere! If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing or pair of shoes in the last six months, donate it. If you haven’t used a kitchen appliance within the last month, give it to someone who will. Host a yard sale and sell as much as you can, or sell items online. Donate or recycle the rest. Toss what is left. The less clutter you have, the more spacious and move-in-ready your home will appear. And it’s less you have to move after you sell!

2.  Spring clean. You don’t actually have to wait until spring officially begins to spring clean your home. Since we enjoy warm weather year-round here in the Palm Beach area, any time of year is a great time to clean your home! When selling, you want to deep clean every nook and cranny. Clean all the windows and window treatments. Give your walls a fresh coat of paint, to hide any scratches or stains, or just to brighten up the atmosphere. Clean the grout in your ceramic tile. Power wash your siding. Get carpeting professionally cleaned. Change your furnace filter. Tidy up your landscaping. Trim bushes and trees. Mow the lawn. Add some bright colors to your front entryway. Clean the address numbers and mailbox, and replace if needed.

3.  Accessorize. Once you declutter and clean your home, you want it to look like a model home. This means removing any personal photos or nostalgic items that other Palm Beach homebuyers might consider “out there.” Neutral colors and décor is the way to go, such as you would find in a hotel room or a new model home. However, one way to stand out is to accessorize and to use a color theme. Choose one bold color to accessorize with throughout one room, or throughout an open floor plan, such as coral, or royal blue, or even black and white. This could be throw pillows, curtains, flower vases, a throw rug, artwork, a bedspread and more.

For more tips, check out the U.S. News article. When ready to sell your Palm Beach home this spring, or sooner, contact me, your Palm Beach real estate agent! I am here to help you as soon as you’re ready!

Mary Hester
Real Estate Landings, LLC

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Feb. 9, 2015

4 Art Events Coming Up In Palm Beach, FL!

If there is one thing that the Palm Beach, FL area is not short of, it’s art and culture. To prove it, February is loaded with events that pay tribute to arts, crafts, music, nature and food. As your Palm Beach real estate agent, I’ve created a list here with dates and details. All you have to do is mark down the ones that sound interesting in your calendar, and then head out and enjoy!

Take advantage of living in the Palm Beach area, where we can enjoy the outdoor warmth and sunshine year-round. Mark these upcoming events in your calendar:

1.  Still need a Valentine’s Day gift for someone, or one for yourself? Visit the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show, which is taking place Feb. 13 to Feb. 17 at Palm Beach County Convention Center! Exhibitors from around the world come together for this annual event in the Palm Beach area, which is the largest of its kind, complete with private collectors, museum curators, interior designers and more. 

2.  Looking for something to do outdoors on Valentine’s Day? Head to the Everglades Day Festival at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, FL! The fest is free and open to people of all ages. It’s a full day of wildlife presentations, interactive games, guest speakers, exhibits, demonstrations, canoeing, music, food, hiking and more. 

3.  For some artsy fun, plan to attend ArtiGras from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16 at Abacoa Town Center in Jupiter! So much is jam-packed into these three days of family-friendly fun. From live music, to artists creating everything from oil paintings to pottery, sculptures and jewelry, there is something for every art enthusiast. There will be plenty of delicious food to enjoy, too! 

4.  If you haven’t had your fill of art yet, head to Downtown Lake Worth for the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival on Feb. 21 and 22! The streets become a canvas as crowds gather to watch local artists create masterpieces with chalk. These art creations will remain available to view until the next rainfall! Whether you want to watch or draw, admission and participation are free. 

Enjoy your artsy February! When you’re ready to accomplish the art of buying a Palm Beach home, or selling your Palm Beach home, contact me! As your Palm Beach real estate agent, I would love to help you accomplish your goals and dreams in the Palm Beach luxury real estate market

Mary Hester
Real Estate Landings, LLC

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Posted in Palm Beach Events
Jan. 24, 2015

Florida's Real Estate Market in Review 2014

Compliments of the Florida Association of Realtors® .......

 

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 23, 2015 – Florida's housing market wrapped up 2014 with more closed sales, more new listings and higher median prices compared to the year before, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

"In December and throughout 2014, we've seen positive signs that Florida's housing sector is on a steady, sustainable path," said 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. "Sales are moving at a steady, moderate pace and home prices are stabilizing. Florida's economy continues to grow, more jobs are being created and mortgage interest rates remain at historically low levels, which will help drive the state's housing market forward in 2015."

December 2014

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 22,414 in December, up 15.8 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

New listings of single-family homes for sale last month reached 24,840, up 2.9 percent year-to-year. Meanwhile, the statewide median sales price for existing single-family homes in December was $185,000, up 6.9 percent from the previous year.

December marked the 37th month in a row that statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhome-condo properties rose year-over-year.

Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 9,466 units sold statewide last month, up 11.3 percent compared to December 2013. Meanwhile, new listings of townhome-condos reached 12,438 last month, up 3.4 percent year-to-year. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties was $149,000, up 8.4 percent over the previous year. NAR reported that the national median existing condo price in November 2014 was $199,000.

"The December numbers are strongly positive for both the single-family and condo markets," said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. "We are seeing the steady and sustainable growth that has characterized the market the entire year continuing as the year ends. Of particular note is the inventory levels in the balanced market range: We're keeping a close eye on the lack of inventory in the lower price ranges, but by and large, the market is in very good shape."

Year-end 2014

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 244,543 in 2014, up 8.1 percent compared to the 2013 figure.

New listings for existing single-family homes rose 7.4 percent in 2014 compared to 2013. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2014 was $178,000, up 5.3 percent from the previous year.

Looking at Florida's year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 108,354 units sold statewide in 2014, down slightly (-1.2 percent) from 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in 2014 compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 58.2 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 50.7 percent.

New listings for townhouse-condos for the year increased 2.2 percent compared to a year ago. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in 2014 was $140,000, up 9.8 percent over the previous year.

At the end of 2014 and also for December 2014, inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.2-months' supply, while inventory for townhouse-condo properties was at a 5.9-months' supply, according to Florida Realtors.

"We close the books on 2014 on a very positive note," said Tuccillo. "The year marks the transition of the Florida real estate market from a rapid recovery to a path of steady growth. Virtually all the metrics for the market are moving in the right direction at levels that can be sustained."

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17 percent for 2014, up from the previous year's average of 3.98 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

To see the full statewide housing activity reports, go to Florida Realtors Media Centerand look under Latest Releases, or download the December 2014 and the Year End 2014 data report PDFs on Florida Realtors website.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Jan. 9, 2015

Improve Your Credit Score As A Palm Beach Homebuyer!

Are you ready to buy a Palm Beach home as a first-time homebuyer, or are you ready to move up to a more luxurious home in the Palm Beach real estate market? Now is the time to do it! Mortgage rates ended 2014 below 4 percent, but all major mortgage lenders are predicting rates to increase this year. The sooner you buy, the more you might save.

As a Palm Beach real estate agent, I’d like to suggest that one of the first steps you take to prepare for a Palm Beach home purchase is to improve your credit score. Higher credit scores tend to receive better mortgage loan options and rates. So even if you’re not ready to buy right this second, this is a step you can start right now!

Here are some tips from Credit.com on how you can improve your credit score this year:

1.  Check your credit report. You might already have a high credit score, in which case, you don’t have to improve it. It’s best to know what you’re beginning with.  It’s also important to review you report for errors, and then dispute them if you find any. You don’t want a mistakenly low score! You can receive one free credit report from each credit reporting agency per year.

2.  Lower your debt. This is an important one, because your debt-to-credit ratio is a huge factor in determining your credit score. Ideally, you want to pay off your credit card balance each time you use a card, and you want your debt no higher than 20 to 25 percent of your credit ratio. Find ways to lower your debt, such as selling things you no longer need, cooking and brewing your own coffee instead of eating out and purchasing coffee, and finding free events around Palm Beach for entertainment.

3.  Raise your limits. As contradicting as it might sound, having higher limits on your credit cards is a sign that you have good credit. Credit agencies look at that. if your levels are low, consider calling your credit card companies and seeing if you can get the limit lifted. This reduces your debt usage ratio. However, this doesn’t mean you should spend more so that you reach those limits!

4.  Pay on time. It is crucial to pay all of your bills on time. From your rent or mortgage payments, to your car, phone and insurance bills, paying bills on time accounts for about 35 percent of your score! Devise a planned schedule for sending out bills, or better yet, set up automatic bill payments so you don’t even have to think about it.

5.  Keep old cards around. Strangely, closing credit cards that you’ve had for a long time hurts your credit score. You’re better off keeping them open and not using them, or using them and paying them off each time you do.

When you’re ready to buy a Palm Beach home, contact me, your Palm Beach real estate agent! I am happy to answer questions and help you through the entire home-buying process.

Mary Hester
Real Estate Landings, LLC

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Dec. 8, 2014

Holiday Festivities This Month in Palm Beach, FL!

We don’t have snow in the Palm Beach, FL area this month, but we sure do have holiday cheer! With trees set up, lights ablaze, Christmas caroling, Santa Claus photos and gift wrapping, there is no question that the holiday season has arrived here in the Palm Beach area.

To help you make the most of the month, as your Palm Beach real estate agent, I’ve put together a list of the top events taking place this month. Whether you’re in the holiday spirit or not, you are sure to find an event or activity on this last that interests you!

1.  If you missed the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 6, head to Boynton Beach for their Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 12! At Boynton Beach Inlet, you can enjoy live music, kids’ activities, local business shopping and more. Settle down in Delray Beach, anywhere from Atlantic Avenue to downtown, for the viewing of the Holiday Boat Parade. Brightly decorated boats will line up and head south along the Intracoastal Waterway to C-15 canal in Delray Beach. It’s a sight not to miss! 

2.  Need a break from holiday stress? Participate in the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, taking place from Dec. 11 to Dec. 14! A multitude of activities take place at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach and all around the Palm Beach area during these days, with chef discussions, five-course dinners with wine pairings, cocktails and karaoke evenings, and so much more. We’ve got so many amazing chefs here in the area, take advantage!  

3.  Celebrate the holidays with the sea turtles on Dec. 20! Head to Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach for a Sea Turtle Holiday Celebration. It’s a free event that features family-friendly activities, including games, craft and presentations. A tropical Santa will come by to take photos with the kids, along with Fletch, the turtle mascot! While you’re there, why not adopt a turtle and make a difference this holiday season? This runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

4.  Wish you and your family could play in the snow for just one day? You can on Dec. 20 at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton for Piles of Smiles! Kids can play in man-made snow, ride on the Polar Ice Slide, ride bumper cars, partake in winter sport activities and make crafts. The whole family can enjoy the DJ music and enjoy an outdoor meal from one of the local food vendors. This takes place from 10 a.m .to 4 p.m.  

5.  Take a load off your feet on Sunday at the Waterfront on Dec. 21! This free family-friendly concert series takes place on the third Sunday of every month at the Meyer Amphitheatre along Flagler Drive on the Waterfront Commons in West Palm Beach. It features national and regional recording artists and is a wonderful free event for families to partake in. This month, it’ll be an Ahola Islanders Tropical Holiday Spectacular

Happy Holidays, Palm Beach! When ready to accomplish your real estate goals this month or in the new year, contact me, your Palm Beach real estate agent

Mary Hester
Real Estate Landings, LLC

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Dec. 5, 2014

This Sandpiper Cove Condo in Jupiter Wants You!

Posted in Jupiter
Nov. 10, 2014

Should You Sell Your Palm Beach Home Now, Or Wait?

As the holidays quickly approach us here in the Palm Beach, FL area, you might be wondering if now is the time to sell your Palm Beach home, or if you should wait until spring. As your Palm Beach real estate agent, I want to help you determine what will work best for you!

There will always be pros and cons when it comes to selling now, or waiting, but as it turns out, there are lots of reasons to sell now. Contrary to what many Palm Beach home sellers might think, selling in the fall and winter comes with a lot of perks. Here are a few:

  • Less competition. As I just stated, many Palm Beach homeowners believe that waiting until spring and summer to sell is ideal. Therefore, when you sell in the fall or winter, you have less competition from other sellers! This means that you could gain more interested buyers than you otherwise would, since they have fewer options in the Palm Beach real estate market. This could also mean more negotiating power in your hands.
  • Serious buyers. Just like Palm Beach home sellers wanting to wait until spring to sell, many Palm Beach homebuyers also want to wait until after the holiday season is over. That means that when you sell now, you will only deal with serious buyers who want to take advantage of low mortgage rates, or who need to relocate now for a job, a growing family, a senior relative or other personal reasons. It’s likely that you will sell your home faster to a serious buyer now than a wandering buyer come spring or summer.
  • Mortgage Rates. While mortgage rates have risen the past two weeks, they fell for many weeks previous to that, so they are still lingering around the 4 percent mark. If you want to sell your Palm Beach home so that you can move up to a bigger, more luxurious home in the Palm Beach real estate market, now is the time to do it! If you score a low mortgage rate, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars every month in interest.
  • Quick transactions. Because the Palm Beach real estate market is less crowded in the fall and winter, fewer transactions mean mortgage lenders have fewer loans to process, attorneys will have less closings to complete, and home inspectors have less homes to inspect. As the Palm Beach home seller, this means the entire closing process will go quicker for you! If you’re also buying a Palm Beach home, this will make that sale move quicker too, helping you avoid issues along the way.

As you can see, there are many positive reasons to sell your Palm Beach home now rather than waiting until spring or summer. We don’t have to worry about brutally cold temperatures here in the Palm Beach, FL area! Take advantage of the fall and winter seasons by contacting me, your Palm Beach real estate agent. I would love to help you out! 

Mary Hester
Real Estate Landings, LLC

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Oct. 14, 2014

Upcoming Events in Palm Beach, FL This Month!

Are you enjoying the month of October here in Palm Beach, FL? With Oktoberfest, Halloween and plenty of other events coming up, there are still numerous ways for you to enjoy yourself this month! As your Palm Beach real estate agent, I’d love to help fill you in on upcoming events and activities in the area.

  • Oktoberfest takes place in Palm Beach County this weekend, Oct. 17 through Oct. 19. This yearly celebration is held on ten acres of ground, under pavilions and a giant tent, making this one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the country! The American German Club of The Palm Beaches hosts the event, with traditional German food, music and entertainment. 
  • Jupiter Community Center is hosting a night of dancing that will especially interest the baby boomers of the Palm Beach area! Friday Night Dance Party will take place on Oct. 17 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. The dance only costs $5 per person to attend. DJ Jammin Jive will be spinning all of your favorite tunes from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. A beer and wine cash bar will be available, with proceeds benefiting autism organizations. 
  • Relax and unwind after a hard day’s work with Twilight Yoga at the Light! This takes place each Monday night on the back porch of the Lighthouse Museum. Bring a yoga mat and a flashlight, and enjoy a beautiful Palm Beach sunset while experiencing the serenity of yoga. All levels, including beginners, are welcomed. Donations are appreciated. Classes this month begin at 6:30 p.m. 
  • On Oct. 24, dress the kids up in their Halloween costumes and head to Jupiter Community Center for Kooky Halloween! This takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. and will include inflatable bounce houses, candy, music, prizes, games, a flashlight “egg haunt” and more. Bring your own bag to collect candy in! Refreshments will be available for purchase. 
  • Dress the kids in costume again on Oct. 25 and bring them to Jupiter Skate Park for a Halloween Skate Contest from 5 to 9 p.m.! This event is free, just show up to register prior to the event. Prizes will be awarded to the top three costumes in each age division, so get creative! 
  • Bring your dogs to Furry Friends Adoption & Clinic’s 1st Annual Fall Fest & Family Reunion on Oct. 25! This will take place at Palm Beach Gardens Moose Lodge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entertainment includes three live bands, working dog demonstrations, doggie yoga, face painting, arts and craft vendors and more. There will be a dog wash and a special photo at 2 p.m. for anyone who has adopted or fostered pets from Furry Friends. Admission is free!

Enjoy your month! When you’re ready to buy a Palm Beach luxury home, or ready to sell your Palm Beach home, contact me, your Palm Beach real estate agent! I would love to help you achieve your real estate goals this fall. 

Mary Hester
Real Estate Landings, LLC

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