Archive for January, 2011

BPO | What Is Your House Really Worth?

January 28th, 2011

With all the talk these days about foreclosures, short sales and distressed properties, some new terms are coming into usage. We hear phrases like ‘robo-signers’, ‘fuzzy title’, and the ‘BPO’. So what is a BPO and how is it different from an appraisal? What is your house really worth?

In a typical residential real estate transaction involving a lender, in order to ensure that the loan is protected by sufficient collateral (the house), a certified, residential appraiser is hired to conduct this appraisal. Before the financial meltdown, lenders would use local appraisers who knew the local market. Now, appraisals are farmed out to large companies and a property could be appraised by an out-of-town appraiser who may not be aware of trends in the local marketplace.

This appraiser would make an appointment, examine the house, take pictures, measure everything then return to their office where “comps” (comparable recent sales) would be pulled from the MLS records. Looking for properties that most nearly matched the subject property, the appraiser would then make adjustments to the value of the subject property, up or down, depending upon the relative difference between the properties.

For example, if a comp had a pool and the subject property doesn’t, the value of the subject would be adjusted to compensate for this. The idea is to eventually arrive at a specific dollar value that could be attached to the subject home. Then the lender would know how much money they could lend, say 80% of the value. These appraisals typically took a couple of days and cost a couple of hundred dollars.

Now, with the glut of distressed properties lenders need to process, they had to invent another way to value them…and quickly. What used to be called a ‘windshield appraisal’ is now called a BPO, or Broker’s Price Opinion. They are quick, fairly accurate, and cheap.

A professional real estate agent drives to a property, takes a look, then gives the lender a Price Opinion. Now the lender at least has a professional’s opinion of what the subject property is worth and can proceed with the paperwork. While a BPO may not give an exact value, it does provide the lender with a safety net of approximate value.

Jupiter Jubilee | Jupiter, Florida

January 25th, 2011

In 2002, the Town of Jupiter began an annual celebration called the Jupiter Jubilee. The idea sprang from the Town’s 75th birthday celebration in 2000 and is held annually on the first weekend in February.

The Jupiter Jubilee celebrates the fabulous lifestyle we enjoy here in our little gem of a town. Jupiter has long been a favorite wintering haven for affluent snowbirds, but in the last couple of decades has matured into a wonderful place to call home and raise a family. The Jubilee celebrates this.

We have ‘A’ rated schools, miles of beautiful and free beaches where dogs and kite boarders are welcome, extremely low crime rates, and plenty of great communities to call home. The Jubilee celebrates this.

Each year, the theme of the Jubilee highlights the unique assets in Jupiter and the natural wonders in and around our town. In the spirit of conservation, the Jubilee is a GREEN event, and vendors, exhibits and attendees are encouraged to recycle, re-use, and conserve.

Usually held outside on the green space between the Town Hall and the Community Center, the Jubilee showcases local vendors, restaurants, the Town of Jupiter municipal facilities, and of course, the police always show up with the K-9 Unit. People, especially kids, always seem to like the sight of a German shepherd tearing at the ultra-protected arm of its handler.

I like to go because I always see friends that I have known for years and may not see often. And there is always some vendor with a new and novel item for me to see.

This year’s event will be held February 5th from 11-5. If you are in town, plan to stop by and see what makes Jupiter such a special place to live.

16 Cayman Place | The Island at PGA National

January 19th, 2011

The finest of materials & craftsmanship were used in this state-of-the-art Downsview renovation at 16 Cayman Place in The Island at PGA National. A spacious driveway leads to an inviting Fiberglas door. Volume cathedral ceilings, plantation shutters, and walnut floors set the scene for this open living-dining room. Technology & design create the ultimate kitchen. Boshe, Sub-Zero and double freezers are used, along with the finest in cabinetry. Openness with plantation shutters, 20-inch porcelain stone flooring, and overlooking the pool & Preserve. Transitional feels in the master with tray ceilings, 2 walk-ins, and white marble bath highlighted by Italian Bisazza glass. 3 guest suites with bath using limestone brick walls. The outdoor living is serene with loggia, pool, and views of the Preserve.

Juno Beach Oceanfront Living | Juno Homes For Sale

January 16th, 2011

Juno Beach is a quiet pocket of homes and condos situated along the Atlantic Ocean where the city meets the beach. Located south of Jupiter and north of North Palm Beach, Juno Beach is also the buffer between Palm Beach Gardens and the ocean.

What lifestyles are available in Juno Beach?

Single family homes are available in Juno Isles. This small collection of homes sits between US1 and Ellison Wilson Road and the oversize lots are on the waterfront if you so desire.  Waterfront homes in Juno Isles have ocean access via a community boat lift that will lift your personal boat over a salinity dam so you can continue to the Intracoastal Waterway and from there access the ocean either through the Jupiter Inlet or the Lake Worth Inlet. These homes are classic Florida, ranch-style homes with single-story floorplans.

Also in this area are a couple of condominium developments like Oak Harbour, named for the large live oaks which populate the area and located between US1 and Ellison Wilson Road. North of Oak Harbour, a few streets wind down the hill away from Ellison Wilson Road to the Intracoastal where the older homes are giving way to new waterfront estates. At the southern end of Ellison Wilson where Juno Beach meets Palm Beach Gardens and North Palm Beach are waterfront restaurants like Seasons 52 and Panama Hattie’s. Across the water are The River House and The Waterway Café.

But the main attraction in Juno Beach is the oceanfront living in condos along the ocean. These buildings sit directly on the ocean, and except for Singer Island, these buildings are the only ones right on the ocean until you reach Ocean Trail on the Jupiter Inlet to the north. Many of the condos in Juno Beach were built in the 1970’s and building continued right up through the 1990’s. Almost all price points and building styles are represented here, but they all share one thing, they look right out to sea and over some of the widest beaches in the area. The Loggerhead Marine Life Center is located in Juno Beach and monthly volunteers scour the beach for debris so the beach is very clean.

If you love walking the beach at dawn and are looking for a condo right on the ocean in a quiet town, Juno Beach is the place to start. Juno Beach Oceanfront Living is where the fun is!

106 Woodsmuir Court | Preston at PGA National | Palm Beach Gardens Homes For Sale

January 15th, 2011

106 Woodsmuir Court in Preston at PGA National is a gorgeous, remodeled 4-bedroom home with a southern exposure situated on nearly ½ acre. A beautiful approach with plentiful parking. A pretty walkway with French oor foyer opens to Jerusalem stone floors and volume ceilings. Comfortable dining room has molding and buffet. The kitchen is a chef’s delight with top-of-the-line appliances, cabinetry, island, double oven, multiple dishwashers, plus extras. The family room with wet bar has beautiful views. The master is oversized with sensational bath utilizing marble & mosaic. The 2nd bath is handicap equipped. 3 guest suites have remodeled baths. A 2010 roof and 2005 A/C’s provide peace of mind. Huge paver patio, infrared grill, & waterfall pool highlight the outdoors, all with private golf course & set-back treed views. One of the finest of Palm Beach Gardens homes for sale.