Be Cautious About Renos Without Permits

March 19th, 2019

Steve Hollander – The Keyes Company
Realtor® Magazine

Some homeowners bypass the permit process when they remodel their home. They may find the process too expensive or cumbersome. Permitting fees can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars or more. Some homeowners may believe that if they go ahead with a kitchen or bath remodel without a permit, they’ll likely never get caught.

But failing to get a permit could be troublesome when they go to sell the home.

Most states require homeowners to fill out a disclosure statement when they go to sell. In that form, sellers are usually asked if they completed work to the home without a required permit. Lying about it can also backfire—the sellers could be sued later by the new homeowner for making false statements.

“You can personally become liable for work carried out without permits,” writes Bill Gassett, a real estate professional with RE/MAX, REALTORS® in New England, for RISMedia’s Housecall. “Maybe the finished basement built by the previous homeowner with the fancy kitchen that sold the home has to be ripped out, or you’ll have to pay a penalty.”

Also, if there’s any incident that was caused by the lack of permits, the homeowner may face a denial of their insurance claim. If their insurance company finds they didn’t have the required permit, they could deny the claim. Many of these denied insurance claims stem from incidents that involve remodeling projects around electricity, gas, or water that were done without the appropriate permits.

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Delinquent Dakota, Fund Fraud and “Honey Do”

March 18th, 2019

Steve Hollander – The Keyes Company
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

Housing Health

Serious mortgage delinquency rates declined in every state but North Dakota last year according to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights through December 2018. CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said, “Our latest home equity report found that the average homeowner saw a $9,700 increase in their equity during 2018. Rising equity reduces the chances of a foreclosure, helping to push the foreclosure rate down to its lowest level since at least 2000.”

Trend End

After weeks of trending downward, mortgage interest rates showed a slight uptick for the week ending March 7 according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The PMMS reported U.S. weekly averages for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage retreated to early February levels.

Abuse Accusations

A $52,000 steak and lobster dinner and $2,500 for a speech titled “Motivation by Chocolate” are just two disallowed expenses listed in a report released by federal Special Inspector General Christy Goldsmith Romero. Romero called out housing officials in several states for misusing taxpayer money, saying, “Flying around the country, staying at luxury hotels, attending conferences beachside and at other vacation destinations are not ‘must have’ costs for a local foreclosure prevention program.” President Obama established the $9.6-billion dollar Hardest Hit Fund® in 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in 17 states deeply impacted by the economic and housing market downturn.

Delayed D-I-Y

More than half of U.S. homeowners describe their homes as “a work in progress” according to Porch.com’s “America’s To-Do List” poll. The survey of 2,000 Americans found the average homeowner has nine repairs to make, and only 10% felt they were current with necessary repairs and maintenance. Painting topped the project list for 55% of respondents, followed by bathroom remodels and flooring.

Sources: CoreLogic, Freddie Mac, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), Porch.com

Jackie Doran

Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Licensed Loan Officer NMLS # 364090 11290 Legacy Ave., Suite 140
North Palm Beach, FL 33410
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
Website

© 2019 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. 1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender.

The Housing Market Will “Spring Forward” This Year!

March 15th, 2019

Steve Hollander – The Keyes Company
Keeping Current Matters

Just like our clocks this weekend, in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale has been holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that in 2018 the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes all fell in April, May, or June.

Those who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2019, meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate the opportunities in your market.

Things To Do This Weekend

March 14th, 2019

Steve Hollander – The Keyes Company

Clematis By Night – Thursdays
Clematis by Night is the place to be for great live music, a taste of mouth-watering foods and fun people all in the hip ambiance of an energized downtown waterfront. Centennial Square at the end of Clematis Street in Downtown West Palm Beach.
100 N Clematis St. – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Clematis By Night

St. Patrick’s Week at Paddy Mac’s – Now to Sunday
Fun now to Sunday with Live Music under the tent. Special menu.
10971 N. Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410  Paddy Mac’s

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival – Friday & Saturday
Let’s start the party early! Join us in celebrating with our out of town guests and participants in the Parade at the Friday night Pre-Party. Live Music. Saturday Enjoy amazing food, cold beer and cocktails, live music, entertainment, games, vendors and kids area!  The Festival at Delray Tennis Center is the perfect place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
201 West Atlantic Avenue – Delray Beach, FL 33444     St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

O’Shea’s St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival – Friday to Sunday
Irish eyes will be smiling in Downtown West Palm Beach all weekend long March 15-17 for the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Visitors are encouraged to wear green and get ready for a packed schedule of music, dancing, traditional Irish food, drinks…. and plenty of leprechaun sightings. The fun starts Friday evening with Guinness glass engraving and continues throughout the weekend with live Irish music, performances by the Aranmore School of Dance, bagpipers, street vendors, nine bars to keep the Irish whiskey and Guinness flowing, and live music from Gaelic Brew E O’Riordan straight from Ireland. Food specials include shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, and bangers and mash. Have kids? No problem! ‘PADDYpalooza’ kids zone with Rhythm and Hues West Palm Beach!
531 Clematis Street – West Palm Beach, FL 33401   St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival

Along the Road by The Highwaymen – Art Exhibit Now to April 11th
Artist McLendon, a key member of the Highwaymen who began his painting career in 1955. For 60 years, Floridians have embraced a legendary group of African American artists known as The Highwaymen. Selling their colorful works of art along the road, the Highwaymen developed a rapid style of painting that captured a romantic vision of Florida.
10500 N. Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410     The Highwaymen

Friday Night Live Outdoor Concerts – Now to May 31st
This free weekly concert series features a diverse lineup of local and regional bands from country, jazz to classic rock and everything in between. Join us in Centre Court at Downtown at the Gardens and start your weekend on the right note! Seating is provided.
11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410   Outdoor Concerts

West Palm Beach Green Market – Saturdays
The West Palm Beach GreenMarket is the area’s first and premier green market located on the scenic West Palm Beach Waterfront. You can shop more than 80 vendors featuring the freshest and most unique offerings including local produce, plants, exotic flowers, herbs, baked goods, gourmet foods, teas, coffee and much more.  Free parking in the Evernia Garage during Market hours.
Downtown West Palm Beach, Waterfront Commons  Green Market

St. Patrick’s Day Block Party – Sunday
3rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party at Abacoa! Kid’s train, rock climbing wall, tye dye shirts, face painting…super heroes! Food/drink specials, music and complimentary mini golf during the event!
1200 Town Center Drive – Jupiter, FL 33458      St. Patrick’s Day Block Party

Renaissance Festival – Now through March 24th
Travel back in time to the 16th Century at the 27th Annual Florida Renaissance Festival at Quiet Waters Park. Over 100 Artisans welling their wares, Over 100 Performers to entertain, Kid’s Kingdom, Entertainment, Food and Drynk fit for a King! It’s a Fun Family Event for all ages! See website for more details. Saturday & Sunday only.
401 S. Powerline Road – Deerfield Beach, FL 33442    Renaissance Festival

Downton Abbey The Exhibition – Now for a Limited Engagement
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, based on the beloved television show, transports you to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six-season run.
575 South Rosemary Avenue – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Downton Abbey The Exhibition

The Gardens GreenMarket – Sundays
At the Market, you can shop an abundance of just-picked, orchard-grown goods, a wide selection of seasonal vegetables and fruits, fragrant herbs, honey, homemade old-fashioned breads, pies, cheeses, sauces, handmade crafts and much, much more. This event is rain or shine.
10500 N. Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410   The Gardens GreenMarket

Spring Training Season – Now to Sunday, March 24th
FitTeam Ballpark of The Palm Beaches – 5444 Haverhill Road – West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Roger Dean Stadium – 4751 Main Street – Jupiter, FL 33458

First Data Field – 525 NW Peacock Blvd. – Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Palm Beach International Polo Season – Now to April 21st
The International Polo Club Palm Beach is the premier polo destination in the world, hosting the largest field of high-goal teams and the most prestigious polo tournaments in the United States. Polo enthusiasts descend upon Wellington, Fla., each winter season to enjoy their love of the sport in the most prominent and well‐equipped polo facility. Polo matches are open to the public, with a wide range of hospitality and guest seating that includes elegant grandstand viewing, field tailgating, stadium seating, field-side champagne brunch at The Pavilion, and exclusive sponsor boxes. Check calendar for events.
3667 120th Avenue South – Wellington, FL 33414   Palm Beach International Polo

Manatee Lagoon Tour – Now to May 31st
Join us on a walking tour of our visitor center and learn about manatee anatomy, physiology and the importance of GPS tracking devices, as well as the Lake Worth Lagoon. Meet at the manatee skeleton display at the entrance of the building. Recurring weekly on Tuesday through Saturdays. Check website for more details.
6000 N. Flagler Drive – West Palm Beach, FL 33407   Manatee Lagoon Tour

Mortgage 101 – The Basics

March 13th, 2019

Steve Hollander – The Keyes Company
Maria Furtado

Financing a home has changed over the past couple decades. Gone are the days when potential home buyers could simply “promise” to pay and have lenders bend over backwards to offer a home loan. After the mortgage meltdown of a decade ago, guidelines were created to ensure that the borrower can actually afford to buy the home. While these changes were for the protection of borrowers as much as lenders, home buyers, especially first time home buyers, might find the process confusing. Understanding the types of loans programs available and their respective approval process can take some of the mystery out of obtaining a home loan and help you prepare to buy your new home.

Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification

The first step in buying a home is to speak with a lender who can help you determine how large of a home loan you can qualify for and what type of loan program meets your needs. Once they have reviewed your information and determined your eligibility, they will issue you a letter you can use to prove to the seller that you are financial capable of buying the home.

These letters fall into two different categories and have some real differences:

1. Pre-Qualification Letter – This letter is issued after a basic look at your information. The lender will ask about your income, job history, debt and savings and then pull your credit report. Based on all the information, they determine your eligibility.

2. Pre-Approval Letter – A pre-approval letter is stronger, in this case the borrower’s information is submitted through an underwriting system where the buyer is actually approved, pending the identification of the home and appraisal.

Mortgage Options

Loan programs, interest rates, length, and structure can vary slightly from lender to lender. The most common types of mortgage loans are conventional, FHA, VA and Jumbo – each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

 · Conventional – A conventional loan is still the most common mortgage. Typically these loans last for 30 years and have equal monthly payments. While there are some programs with lower down payment requirements, a 20% down payment is still the most common and eliminates the PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) requirement of loans with less than 80% loan-to-value.

 · FHA – An FHA loan is guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and is designed to help first time home buyers enter the housing market. The down payment can be as low as 3.5% and can even be a gift from a family member. While borrowers will pay a PMI premium, FHA loans have less stringent credit, income and savings requirements which make them easier to obtain.

 · VA – Veterans Affairs offers a special loan program for military members and their qualifying spouses. These loans require no down payment and the borrower does not need to be a first time buyer. Closing costs are also strictly regulated by the program to help the buyer obtain their loan.

 · Jumbo Loans – Jumbo loans are very similar to conventional loans and are used when the loan amount is higher than the conforming value set by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. These loans tend to have higher interest rates and stricter guidelines.

Your lender will discuss your options based on your personal situation. Understanding the basics of home loans will help you be better prepared as you compare lender options and put you in the best position to find the right home loan program for your personal needs.

Home-Buying Checklist: Your Needs and Wants

March 12th, 2019

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Trulia Guides\Buy

Looking for a new home can often seem overwhelming, but we can help sort the details.

There are so many things to consider when buying a home that you can quickly get caught up in a million tiny details and lose track of what’s most important.

Remember key differences between wants and needs.

As with many situations in life, it’s important to separate your needs and your wants when looking for a home. Sure, it would be wonderful to find an amazing home that checks all of the boxes in both categories, but that is unrealistic. Even if you fall head over heels in love with a certain property, there will likely be at least a few things (even if they are minor) that you would change about the place if you could wave a magic wand and make it happen.

To help focus your search, it may be helpful to actually create a chart where you list your main Needs and Wants. By contrasting the two categories, you can identify the top priorities so you know where you can make compromises—and what items are non-negotiable.

Ideally, the perfect home for you would meet most or all of your Needs, along with many of your Wants. It’s even better if the items the property lacks are things that would be relatively easy to change or add.

Some of the basic features you will want to contemplate when evaluating homes:
  • Location:

    Everyone knows the old adage when it comes to real estate—it’s all about “location, location, location.” But there is no one perfect location that will be great for everyone. This is an individual decision. You may want a certain location because it is in your desired school district, or because it is close to your workplace. If you absolutely must focus on (or avoid) specific areas for important reasons, this would fall under your “needs” list. Finding the perfect neighborhood isn’t easy, but worth it!

  • Size:

    At the very least, you probably have an idea of how many bedrooms you will need to accommodate all of your household members. The bare minimum—both in total square footage and number of bedrooms or other spaces—your family would need in order to live comfortably would be your “needs.” Extras that would be nice to have to provide additional entertaining space or potential for expansion later would likely be considered “wants.” Don’t forget: the larger the home, the more expensive it will likely be to maintain.

  • Safety concerns:

    You may decide that living near a busy street is too risky with young children in the household. Family members with mobility issues or physical challenge might make a first-floor bedroom a must. Anything related to safety usually falls under the “needs” category.

  • Condition:

    You cannot change the location of a home, and even adjusting the size may be difficult or nearly impossible, depending on the layout of the home and the limitations of the property. But you can change the condition. The question of course is how much money, time, and effort are you willing to invest to accomplish that? A key factor will be determining whether the condition issues are cosmetic or structural. Things like undesirable paint colors or dull floors are easy to address, but a faulty electrical system isn’t quite such a simple fix. If you have skills in certain home repair or maintenance areas, you may be more comfortable buying a home that needs attention in those areas as opposed to other issues that would require you to hire a professional.

Know how to calculate when to move.

If your current home doesn’t meet enough of your needs and wants—or used to, but is no longer a good fit for your family’s present structure or demands—you may be considering making a change to a different home.

There’s no simple formula for determining when it might be too soon to sell your home. Ideally, you want to have at least some equity built up with your current home, but that will depend on a number of factors such as how much of the principal you still owe on the home and any changes to the local market that may impact the value of the home.

A good place to start is by evaluating your current loan and figuring out your remaining principal, and then comparing that with what you may realistically be able to get by selling your home. Your real estate agent will be able to help with that. Don’t forget to factor in the costs associated with selling a home and relocating to a new one.

You also should consult with your accountant or financial advisor about the tax implications of selling your home at a given point in time, particularly with regards to capital gains taxes.

Making a move to fix a bad choice is sometimes smart.

If you regret buying your current home, don’t be too quick to decide to move. Consider whether there are changes you can make to this home to make it more agreeable or comfortable. If there are deal-killers such as the location or the fact that it isn’t affordable within your budget, moving may be the smartest option. But avoid repeating your mistake—take care creating your Needs vs. Wants chart, and pay special attention to the things you ignored or overlooked when picking the home you are in now.

One major task that should come early in the home-buying journey is finding a good real estate agent, one whom you trust to guide your through the entire process. A real estate agent who gets to know your family’s goals and dreams for your new home can also help you narrow down your checklist and think about the things that are truly important to you.

Read more:

5 Big Reasons to Sell Your Home This Year (because it Could Get Tougher)

March 11th, 2019

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Realtor.com – by Rachel Stults

It’s no secret that life’s been pretty good to sellers for the past several years. Even if you had no need—or desire—to move, the housing landscape might have seriously tempted you to put your house on the market anyway. After all, it’s hard not to see visions of dollar signs when your neighbors are unloading their homes for tens of thousands over asking price.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. And you’ve probably heard that the white-hot housing market of years past is finally beginning to cool.

So if you haven’t listed your home before now, did you miss the boat? Absolutely not. But with each passing month, the experts say, you can expect the housing climate to shift a bit more in buyers’ favor.

“It’s definitely still a seller’s market in most of the country. But it’s not the same seller’s market that you saw in the last couple of years,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com®. “You might have to think about how your home compares to the competition that buyers are going to see when they’re shopping. And you might have to price a little bit more competitively, or think about other enticements to attract buyers.”

There’s still a chance to cash in for top dollar, though, if you move quickly. Here are the biggest reasons to sell ASAP in 2019.

1. You won’t be the only listing for long

The top reason sellers have been in the catbird seat for the past several years? Inventory. There simply weren’t enough homes on the market to keep up with buyer demand. And when a “For Sale” sign did go up, you can bet a bidding war would soon follow.

“You might have been the only listing in your neighborhood, and you could put your home up at a certain list price and you would likely see multiple offers at or above that list price,” Hale explains.

That tide is turning this year, Hale says. That’s because the number of homes for sale is finally increasing, albeit slowly. For now, buyers still outnumber inventory. But if you’re thinking about selling and don’t want to compete with your neighbors, it’ll pay off (literally) to list earlier rather than later. (This is particularly true in pricier markets, where inventory is increasing at a faster rate than more affordable areas.)

“It’s going to depend on what neighborhood you’re in, but we expect it to be more common this year that you won’t be the only listing,” Hale says.

2. You still stand to make a ‘handsome profit’

Home prices have been on a meteoric rise for the past seven years. In January 2012, the U.S. median home price was $154,700. Today, that figure has nearly doubled—to $289,300—and sellers have rejoiced.

Now comes a twist: 15% of all home listings saw price cuts in January, according to realtor.com data.

That might sound like bad news if you’re thinking of selling. But hear us out: Those moderating prices, combined with today’s mortgage rates (more on that below), mean increased buyer demand for your house.

Plus, it’s not that home prices aren’t still increasing—they’re just not increasing at the frenzied pace of previous years, which often featured multiple offers at or above asking price, Hale says. So even though you might have some more competition as a seller, things are still looking pretty sweet for you when it comes to cold, hard cash.

“Even if you don’t get an offer above your asking price, you’re probably still going to come away with a handsome profit from being a seller in 2019,” Hale says.

But again, it’ll pay to put your home on the market as soon as you can—before conditions change.

“Sellers who list their homes earlier in the year tend to get a higher sales price, often above list, and shorter days on market,” says Ali Wolf, director of economic research at Meyers Research.

3. There’s high demand for homes under $300K

There’s more good news if you own a home below the national median price of $289,300. Not only is that inventory increasing at a slower rate than its luxury counterparts, but there are more buyers shopping at those price points.

“If you’re a below-median-price seller, you will see a seller’s market that is as good as what you saw in previous years—maybe even better,” Hale says. “You might still see multiple offers coming in quickly, maybe even above asking price.”

4. Mortgage rates are at a new low

Something strange has been happening over the past few months. Experts predicted mortgage rates would rise—and at the end of 2018, they were indeed ticking upward as expected.

But since the start of the year, rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage (the most popular home loan) have been fallingsliding last week to a new 12-month low of 4.37%. And of course, those historically low mortgage rates mean you could have more buyers knocking on your door.

Plus, this temporary dip in rates creates an opportunity for trade-up buyers as well. After all, if you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance you’ll need to buy another one.

Bottom line: Now’s the time to hustle and get both transactions done.

“Sellers need to take advantage of low rates as much as buyers do,” Wolf says. “Sellers don’t want to get stuck in their homes when rates go up and the math no longer makes sense to move.”

5. Millennials are flooding the market

Historically speaking, people tend to buy their first home around age 30. And guess what? We’ve got a whole bunch of people turning 30 in the next two years—nearly 5 million, in fact, according to realtor.com data. So you can count on those millennials to be a driving force in the housing market.

“Millennials want to own a home as much as prior generations,” Wolf says. “We saw millennial shoppers scooping up homes in 2018—and 2019 will be no different.”

What’s more, Hale adds, is that you won’t just be seeing demand from first-time buyers. Older millennials in their middle to late 30s have already owned a home for a few years, and could be looking at now as a prime time to trade up.

“From a seller’s perspective, you’re going to have possibly more interested buyers,” Hale says. “So that’s motivation to put your house on the market.”

Read more:

Rachel Stults is a deputy editor at realtor.com and co-host of the realtor.com podcast “House Party.” She covers all things real estate, including buying, selling, home decor, renting, moving, and more. Contact her at rachel.stults@realtor.com.

5 Ways You’re Sabotaging the Sale of Your Home

March 8th, 2019

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Realtor.com – by Terri Williams

So you’ve finally decided to put your home on the market. You’ve planned your first open house, begun searching for new digs, and even made a mental packing list. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the offers to roll in, right?

Well, sellers, we don’t mean to freak you out, but we’ve got bad news: You just might be sabotaging your home sale. Obviously, that’s the last thing you’d want to do, but one wrong turn—or wrong decision—could hurt your chances of landing a buyer. And the most unsettling part? You probably have no idea you’re doing anything wrong.

Below are some of the ways you may be turning off buyers without even knowing it.

1. Bad color schemes

When your house is on the market, you want to make it appeal to as many people as possible. And while your kitchen painted in your favorite shade of neon green might be attractive to you, it could repel buyers.

“When a buyer comes into your home, you want them to imagine it as their future home. The more difficult it is, the less likely they are to buy,” says James McGrath, licensed real estate salesperson for Yoreevo in New York. “The more muted the decorations and color schemes, the broader the reach and the better off you are.”

2. Too much personal taste

It’s not just bold colors you should avoid; beware of showing off too much of your style—at least while your home is on the market. (Yes, we’re even talking about your beloved lion statues on the front porch.)

“Odd decorations divert buyers’ attention away from the home itself,” McGrath says. “I once saw a home with a stuffed peacock in the bedroom, and every buyer would go in and note the peacock, but not the bedroom itself.”

When in doubt, think neutral: Replace loud patterns with muted ones, and put eccentric decorations and personal knickknacks in storage before your next open house.

3. Bad odors

You might have become nose-blind to cigarette or pet odor, but savvy buyers will instantly pick up on funky smells—and that’s a sure way to drive them away.

If you smoke—or used to smoke—inside your home, know this: Residual nicotine can still be present in the drapes, furniture, carpets, and on walls and other objects long after you’ve put out the last cigarette, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And this isn’t a problem that can be solved with air freshener. You’ll need to either wash or dry-clean your fabrics, shampoo your carpets, and wash your walls. If washing the walls doesn’t work, you’ll need to repaint.

Pet urine on baseboards and in carpets and rugs is also problematic. Bleach, vinegar and water, or specially formulated cleaners can combat these smells. No matter what, expect to do a deep, deep clean before you list your home.

4. Not being flexible for showings

The real estate market moves quickly, so if you want to sell your home you need to cater to the potential buyers’ schedules.

“I get it, getting kicked out of your house for showings isn’t fun, but to maximize the activity on your home, you have to be accommodating to potential buyers,” says Jim Stevenson, a real estate agent at Realty ONE Group in Doylestown, PA.

If possible, require only a few hours’ notice before showings, he recommends.

“It’s so much easier for me and my buyers if we’re able to schedule a showing when it’s most convenient for us,” Stevenson says. “The sooner a buyer can see your house, the sooner they can make an offer, which lessens the chance of them finding something else.”

And remember: One thing buyers definitely shouldn’t see during a showing is you.

“When owners are home during a showing it adds a layer of uneasiness since buyers don’t really feel free in the space,” says Louisa Gillen, co-founder and principal broker at the Simple Real Estate Co. in New York. “They feel like a guest in someone’s home, and … you want them to feel like it’s their home.”

5. Disguising problem areas

In your quest to have a show-ready home, don’t cut corners. A fresh coat of paint might temporarily hide the appearance of mold, but it’ll likely crop up in the home inspection.

“Savvy buyers know to look for mold, which is a fungus that could be toxic,” says Tina Tyus, real estate broker at Town Square Realty in Birmingham, AL. “If they don’t find it, a home inspector will.”

Structural issues are another concern for buyers.

“Hairline cracks over doorways could be a sign of settling, but they could also be a sign of structural issues,” Tyus explains.

Instead of trying to hide these problem areas, be sure to address them before you put your house on the market—and be upfront with buyers if you decide to sell the home as is.

Bottom line: Don’t try to use paint, rugs, or fancy lighting to mask problems that a buyer will probably uncover.

Terri Williams is a journalist who has written for USA Today, Yahoo, the Economist, U.S. News and World Report, and the Houston Chronicle.

Read more:

Things To Do This Weekend

March 7th, 2019

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate

Clematis By Night – Thursdays
Clematis by Night is the place to be for great live music, a taste of mouth-watering foods and fun people all in the hip ambiance of an energized downtown waterfront. Centennial Square at the end of Clematis Street in Downtown West Palm Beach.
100 N Clematis St. – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Clematis By Night

Along the Road by The Highwaymen – Art Exhibit Now to April 11th
Artist McLendon, a key member of the Highwaymen who began his painting career in 1955, will be showcasing a visual presentation and formal talk at 7:30pm. Live music by Franklin Sings and light refreshments will be available. Must RSVP for Friday event.

For 60 years, Floridians have embraced a legendary group of African American artists known as The Highwaymen. Selling their colorful works of art along the road, the Highwaymen developed a rapid style of painting that captured a romantic vision of Florida.
10500 N. Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410     The Highwaymen

Friday Night Live Outdoor Concerts – Now to May 31st
This free weekly concert series features a diverse lineup of local and regional bands from country, jazz to classic rock and everything in between. Join us in Centre Court at Downtown at the Gardens and start your weekend on the right note! Seating is provided.
11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410   Outdoor Concerts

West Palm Beach Green Market – Saturdays
The West Palm Beach GreenMarket is the area’s first and premier green market located on the scenic West Palm Beach Waterfront. You can shop more than 80 vendors featuring the freshest and most unique offerings including local produce, plants, exotic flowers, herbs, baked goods, gourmet foods, teas, coffee and much more.  Free parking in the Evernia Garage during Market hours.
Downtown West Palm Beach, Waterfront Commons  Green Market

Dino Fest – Saturday
Hunt for dinosaur eggs, scale our rock-climbing wall, dig for fossils, get hands-on with paleontology labs, and learn about the quest for fossils with real paleontologists! Other activities include Face Painting, Animal Encounters and more. Dinosaurs were one of the most successful groups of vertebrate animals that ever existed, until 66 million years ago an extinction event wiped out not only the non-avian dinosaurs, but nearly 75% of all animal life on Earth. Join the adventure as Scott Williams, guides us through these formations and unveils recent paleontological discoveries.
4801 Dreher Trail North – West Palm Beach, FL 33405  Dino Fest at the S. Florida Science Center

RAINBOWpalooza – Saturday
RAINBOWpalooza is a Children’s Art & Music Festival for the whole family to enjoy together. Live art installations, bounce houses, crafts, music, entertainment, food, bubbles and more!
500 Clematis Street – West Palm Beach, FL 33401   RAINBOWpalooza

Family Movie Night – Saturday
Family movie night featuring ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, at Abacoa Community Park fields. Free outdoor movie series. Bring your own chairs and blankets, arrive early for good seats, and settle in for a family-friendly movie on a 2-story inflatable screen!  Also bring your appetite and support youth sports! JTAA’s Jupiter Mustangs will have hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, drinks and more available for purchase.
1501 W. Frederick Small Road – Jupiter, FL 33458     Jupiter Family Movie Night

Artfest by the Sea – Saturday & Sunday
The iconic artistic event known as ArtFest by the Sea returns with 300 national and international artists in a stunning showcase of art across all mediums. Over 300 artists representing 30 different states and dozens of diverse mediums, will line the oceanfront road. Sculpture, jewelry, woodwork, paintings, wearable art and more are displayed, gallery-style, for the enjoyment of art lovers, collectors, shoppers and pedestrians alike. This oceanfront, free, pet-friendly event features a fully vetted, juried selection of fine art along with a green market featuring live plants, delicious edibles, music, handmade soaps and more. Free parking & shuttles available at the FPL Lot at:
700 Universe Blvd., – Juno Beach, FL  33408    Artfest by the Sea at Juno Beach

Renaissance Festival – Now through March 24th
Travel back in time to the 16th Century at the 27th Annual Florida Renaissance Festival at Quiet Waters Park. Over 100 Artisans welling their wares, Over 100 Performers to entertain, Kid’s Kingdom, Entertainment, Food and Drynk fit for a King! It’s a Fun Family Event for all ages! See website for more details. Saturday & Sunday only.
401 S. Powerline Road – Deerfield Beach, FL 33442    Renaissance Festival

Downton Abbey The Exhibition – Now for a Limited Engagement
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, based on the beloved television show, transports you to post-Edwardian England, where the characters and the iconic house come to life. You’ll be immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six-season run.
575 South Rosemary Avenue – West Palm Beach, FL 33401  Downton Abbey The Exhibition

The Gardens GreenMarket – Sundays
At the Market, you can shop an abundance of just-picked, orchard-grown goods, a wide selection of seasonal vegetables and fruits, fragrant herbs, honey, homemade old-fashioned breads, pies, cheeses, sauces, handmade crafts and much, much more. This event is rain or shine.
10500 N. Military Trail – Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410   The Gardens GreenMarket

Spring Training Season – Now to Sunday, March 24th
FitTeam Ballpark of The Palm Beaches – 5444 Haverhill Road – West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Roger Dean Stadium – 4751 Main Street – Jupiter, FL 33458

First Data Field – 525 NW Peacock Blvd. – Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Palm Beach International Polo Season – Now to April 21st
The International Polo Club Palm Beach is the premier polo destination in the world, hosting the largest field of high-goal teams and the most prestigious polo tournaments in the United States. Polo enthusiasts descend upon Wellington, Fla., each winter season to enjoy their love of the sport in the most prominent and well‐equipped polo facility. Polo matches are open to the public, with a wide range of hospitality and guest seating that includes elegant grandstand viewing, field tailgating, stadium seating, field-side champagne brunch at The Pavilion, and exclusive sponsor boxes. Check calendar for events.
3667 120th Avenue South – Wellington, FL 33414   Palm Beach International Polo

Manatee Lagoon Tour – Now to May 31st
Join us on a walking tour of our visitor center and learn about manatee anatomy, physiology and the importance of GPS tracking devices, as well as the Lake Worth Lagoon. Meet at the manatee skeleton display at the entrance of the building. Recurring weekly on Tuesday through Saturdays. Check website for more details.
6000 N. Flagler Drive – West Palm Beach, FL 33407   Manatee Lagoon Tour

Appreciation Adjustments, Down Payment Denial and Monster Mortgages

March 6th, 2019

Steve Hollander – Hollander Real Estate
Jackie Doran – Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC

Price Perspective

Home appreciation is slowing, according to multiple entities. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index released this week showed a 4.7-percent annual gain in December, down from 5.1 percent from November. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest House Price Index (HPI) the same day and reported that home prices rose 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. Commenting on the numbers, FHFA Supervisory Economist William Doerner said, “House prices rose throughout 2018 but at a slower rate than in recent years. In the fourth quarter, house price appreciation hit one of the lowest levels in the past four years.”

Money Misconceptions

Consumers are confused about down payment requirements, according to the 2019 NerdWallet Home Buyer Report. NerdWallet’s survey of 2,029 adults found that 62% of respondents believed that buyers must put at least 20 percent down in order to purchase a home. In reality, the average down payment is 13%, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Still Dipping Downward

Mortgage interest rates trended downward for the third consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending February 21. Freddie analysts cite the latest numbers as positive indicators, saying, “Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, spring home sales should help the market begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.”

Massive Mortgages

If you don’t find it surprising that the multi-billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX would have five different California properties, the $61-million in mortgages Elon Musk took out to finance them – requiring $180-thousand in monthly payments – may be enough to induce sticker shock.

Jackie Doran

Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC
Licensed Loan Officer
NMLS # 364090
11290 Legacy Ave., Suite 140
North Palm Beach, FL 33410
Jackie.Doran@CapitalPartnersMtg.com
(561) 716-0448
Website
© 2019 Capital Partners Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. This communication does not constitute a commitment to lend or the guarantee of a specified interest rate. All loan programs and availability of cash proceeds are subject to credit, underwriting and property approval. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. 1515 N. University Drive, Suite 102D, Coral Springs, FL 33071. Corp NMLS# 1084639 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com). Equal Housing Lender.