Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DESIGN-OMICS: MAKE EVERY DOLLAR COUNT



Thursday, August 19th at 2 pm, hear and see the Robb & Stucky Design Team educate us about:

  • Which design elements give your d├ęcor the most “bang for the buck”
  • How to prioritize your choices to get as much impact as possible from each item on your list
  • The dramatic effect of lighting
  • Proper space planning
  • The visual power of a “wow “ furniture accent.

Here is an opportunity to learn from “the pros.” This seminar will be held upstairs in the Boca Raton store in Mizner Park.  Reservations are requested as space is limited.  Please call 561-862-5597 to reserve.

Friday, July 23, 2010

FAU OPEN AIR 30,000-SEAT OWLS STADIUM
BACK ON TRACK

Florida Atlantic’s Board of Trustees have unanimously approved a plan for funding a new football stadium, the largest sports venue to be in Palm Beach County, and the State University’s Board of Governors is expected to give final approval in September with construction planned to start later that month. 

A loan of $44.6MM is expected from Regions Bank and application has been made for acceptance as a Build America Bond, for which the federal government pays 35% of the interest payments, as part of last year’s stimulus bill.  The loan will be paid off with stadium revenue, student athletic fees, sale of naming rights, fund raising and at least $1MM in funds each year from playing away games. 

While the lender cannot seize the property or go after the university to collect on the loan, it can take the operating revenue of FAU Finance Corp, a direct-support organization formed by the university, that is assuming the debt. After seven years, Regions Bank would have the right to call for full payment of the loans but FAU could reduce the outstanding debt on the stadium to $30MM in seven years and then perhaps refinance it as a bond. 

Total cost is $63.5MM, the balance after the loan coming from FAU and its fundraising foundation.   The construction project would employ 200 people and generate about 1000 jobs overall during the construction process.

Also included will be a team store, 1076 premium club seats, 4448 priority club seats, 16 air-conditioned boxes and 2 0 luxury suites for lease.  With palm trees at both southern ends zones the phrase used for scoring will be “Between the Palms.”
NAR REPORTS EXISTING HOME SALES WERE UP 15% IN JUNE IN FLORIDA

It’s nice to hear good news. 
·        For 22 consecutive months sales activity has increased in the year to year comparison
·        Statewide sales in June were up 7.7% over May
·        Statewide existing-home median price of $143,400 was 2.1% higher than May’s $140,400
·        This is the 4th month in a row that statewide existing-home median price has increased over previous month
·        16 metropolitan statistical areas showed higher sales for existing condos, many for 24 consecutive months.  
·        Condo price median was $181,300 in May nationally; Florida existing condo median sales price in June was $95,000.  In June 2009 it was $112,800, a 16% decrease.

None of us would disagree with National Association of Realtors (NAR) Economist Lawrence Yun, who said that as the employment rolls rise, so will home sales.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ANTIQUE RUGS – AN ACCESSORY YOU MAY WANT IN YOUR HOME

Unique antique rugs can add personality, character, versatility, style and interest to your home decor.  An antique is described as an item that is at least 80-100 years old, decorative and collectible.  The owner appreciates its age, beauty, rarity, warmth and. While rugs can be the most expensive decorative item in a home, antique carpets can be less expensive than brand new rugs.  You can purchase them at auction, often getting a wonderful buy. Rugs can also be displayed as wall hangings.

Traditional style carpets usually have intricate patterns and come in a wide array of colors from the jewel tones to light and airy, giving a real and elegant look. 

Tabriz rugs are Persian and sometimes have medallion designs and allover patterns that are precisely drawn and executed with care and of a high quality, therefore long -lasting. 

Kashan rugs include some of the best classical silk Persian rugs also with medallion and overall designs, in all colors.

Knorassan/Mashad rugs are available in similar formats but often have a softer, more decorative coloration.  Their weaving technique makes them durable.

Modern design tends to be simpler in taste and style, sometimes minimalist with subtle colors and an abstract look, e.g. arts and crafts or art deco.  Moroccan rugs can have simple tribal geometric or abstract patterns and add a sophisticated look to modern furniture and can have dynamic colors.  Architect Frank Lloyd Wright used Moroccan rugs in the homes he designed. 

Monday, July 19, 2010



The Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards conducted a survey in early July with a statistically representative sample of more than 1000 households and found:
·        66% believe the economy will hold steady or improve over the next 6 months
·        83% believe their own personal finances will get better or at least hold their own
·        most consumers are hoping for gradual improvements in home sales and real estate as well as other major sectors of the economy

Their report also discusses the use of financial planners and it has stayed relatively stable for the last two years.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Major USTA National Championship Tournament at The Polo Club in Boca Raton



July 18 marks the 22nd year that The Polo Club of Boca Raton will host the USTA Girls' 12 Clay Court Championships. The competition has produced such tennis greats at Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati.

Championed by Tennis Director, Jean Mills, The Polo Club will host 128 of the top-ranked female tennis players ages 12 and younger from across the United States. This years' top seeded player is
Sofia Kenin from Pembroke Pines, FL.

The Polo Club does more than just provide the facility. Its membership is the source of countless volunteers needed to help run the tournament; it hosts the opening ceremonies and extends its staff and facilities to assure complete coverage of the tournament's needs.

The Polo Club, at one time the residence of tennis greats such as Stephanie Graff and Chris Everett, prides itself as one of the finest tennis facilities in Southeast Florida, and has been host to big-name tennis events, such as the Andy Roddick Charity Event, Virginia Slims, Pro Celebrity and the ITF.

Friday, July 16, 2010

HOME APPRAISALS


A GOOD START when you are putting your property on the market would be to get an appraisal.  Then you know the market value, and can price it for sale accordingly and mention in the listing information that appraisal is available to see.  Here are some hints on how to prepare for an appraisal.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


REPORT SAYS ALLOWING PETS IN CONDOS HAS POSITIVE RAMIFICATION ON PRICES


California enacted a law effective January 2001 that permits each owner in common interest developments, such as condos and mobile home parks, to keep at least one pet, subject to reasonable rules of the homeowners' association. Efforts are under way in Florida to adopt similar legislation, led by a group called Citizens for Pets in Condos.  On their site you can sign a petition to allow pets in condos.  Their Mission Statement: Citizens for Pets in Condos, Inc. educates the public on the health benefits of animal companionship and about responsible pet ownership in order to increase acceptance of companion animals in common interest ownership communities.  We believe that association rules should concentrate on irresponsible pet owners, allowing a win-win situation for responsible animal guardians and animals who would otherwise be needlessly euthanized. 

The idea is that pets generally provide emotional support for homeowners.  A recent report co-authored by
Charles Carter, Ph.D., specialist in real estate analysis with many years of experience as a professor, real estate lawyer and appraiser and Tim Allen, professor and director of the Real Estate Center at the College of Charleston, which found allowing pets in condos has a positive effect on condominium prices in the South Florida condo market.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

NEW SECURE COMMUNITIES PROGRAM ID’S CRIMINAL ALIENS IN FLORIDA TO REMOVE THEM FROM THE US
US Immigration/Customs (ICE) and Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement (FDLE) are using new fingerprinting method to identify legal and illegal criminal aliens and to remove them from the United States.  A “criminal alien” is defined as an alien convicted of a crime.  Fingerprints are used that are taken when these criminals entered prison and when they entered the US.  This enables local law enforcement partners to know as much as possible about the people in their custody by quickly and accurate identification.

The new SECURE COMMUNITIES program now checks fingerprints against both FBI criminal history records and a biometrics-based ID system maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.  The purpose of the program is to modernized identifying and removing the most dangerous criminal aliens from the US.  The Program has been activated statewide in Florida and is now being used in 392 jurisdictions in 23 states. It should be available nationwide by 2013. 

ICE is notified thru the fingerprinting process and places a priority on removing aliens convicted of the most serious Level 1 offenses first, for committing violent crimes such as major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping.  The use of biometric technology has greatly improved the ID method.  Using this program, criminal aliens are not released back into our communities when they complete their sentences.

Since October 2008, 22,200 criminal aliens convicted of Level 1 crimes as described above have been removed from the United States, 1800 of them from Florida, and more than 22,200 criminal aliens convicted of Level 2 and 3 crimes have been removed, including burglary and serious property crimes which are the highest amount of crimes committed by aliens. 

Congress provided the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with funding in FY 2008 to “improve and modernize efforts to identify aliens convicted of a crime, sentenced to imprisonment, and who may be deportable, and remove them from the United States once they are judged deportable.”

Friday, July 02, 2010

HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT AND FLOOD INSURANCE EXTENSION PASSED BY SENATE AND HOUSE and SIGNED BY OBAMA


HR5623, extending mandatory closing date to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit has extended closing deadline to September 30, 2010 for contracts signed by April 30, 2010.  National Association of Realtors estimates more than 14,000 closings will benefit.

The National Flood Insurance Program has been extended to September 30, 2010, retroactive to May 31, 2010.