Friday, December 28, 2012


• Home prices could jump almost 10% in 2013 (J.P. Morgan)

• S&P/Case-Shiller home price index shows biggest year-over-year increase since spike caused by expired tax credit

• Existing home sales for November rose 5.9% over October, 14.5% higher than in November 2011 (National Association of Realtors)

• 2012 Housing starts are 23% higher than 2011 and 2013 predicted to usher in a 21% gain over 2012 (National Association of Home Builders).

• Inventories are low and demand is rising – 22% below last year’s levels of traditional listings and distress properties (National Association of Home Builders)

• Positive consistent reports are out on housing starts, permits, prices, new-home sales and builder confidence in recent months indicating a gradual but steady housing recovery is underway across most of the nation (National Association of Home Builders)

• Existing home sales are at the highest level since November 2009

• Foreclosures and short sales accounted for about 22% of November sales, down from 24% in October and 29% in November 2011

• Builder confidence has posted gains for 8 consecutive months and is now at 47; the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index has not been above 50 since April 2006

• Rental market has greatly enlarged due to demand and more than 31% of today’s renters plan to buy a home in the next two years, a 9-point increase from 22% in January 2011 (Trulia’s American Dream survey)

Saturday, December 01, 2012


10. Texas (tie) — warm weather and solid economy
10. California (tie) — good weather and high life expectancy
9. South Dakota — low crime rate and high life expectancy
7. New Mexico (tie) — good weather
7. Florida (tie) — good weather
6. Colorado — high life expectancy
5. Virginia — good economy
4. Arizona — good weather and high life expectancy
3. Utah  — good economy
2. Idaho — low crime rate and good economy
1. Hawaii — great weather and high life expectancy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


PICTURE THIS:  You pull your boat up to the soon-to-be-built Waterfront Promenade at the Bridge Hotel in Boca Raton, and dine in the popular WaterColors Restaurant.  There will be a 270 ft wraparound seawall and dock; construction beings this week. 

This is the initial phase of the Bridge Hotel’s major “reinvention” redevelopment plan.  Next there will be new hospitality and dining concepts introduced, further expansion of waterfront amenities and guestrooms, restaurants and public spaces will be undergoing extensive renovations.  Goal is to position the property as a luxury boutique hotel with four-star status.

During construction, WaterColors new menu will be served in Carmen’s which boasts sweeping penthouse-level panoramic views of Lake Boca, Intracoastal and Atlantic Ocean.  Every guestroom at The Bridge Hotel has panoramic water views.  Location is 999 East Camino Real at A1A’s south end of the bridge.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Here is a link to an article that explains the dilemma and highlights three studies about it... and asks if Florida can really count on this government funding in light of our national deficit:

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Zillow analysts state that foreclosure home buyers in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade counties could only expect a 2.9% savings in September compared to available homes NOT sold at a distressed price.  Discounts are shrinking on distressed properties.

Zillow further states that same time last year the discount was 6.8%, and in August 2008, the peak foreclosure month in South Florida: 22.7%.  If investors can’t purchase a property they can fix up and sell at a profit, they have no incentive to buy.  For buyers who want to buy, rent the property out and sell later at a profit, it is harder and harder to find a property that meets the profit criteria.

Home buyers getting a mortgage may find the distressed properties don’t appraise to the list price.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Things to Do at Daggerwing
Nature Center in November

Daggerwing Nature Center is operated by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and is located in South County Regional Park at 11200 Park Access Road, off Cain Boulevard between Glades Road and Yamato Road, in western Boca Raton.

The following activities are planned at Daggerwing Nature Center during November.

Daily at 3:15-3:30 pm
Families, all ages, free (reservations not required)
3:15 pm is feeding time. Listen to a short talk about a specific animal and then watch while they are fed.
Wednesday – alligator; Thursday – snake; Friday – skunk; Saturday – alligator
Friday, Nov. 2, 10:30-11:15 am
Ages 2-5, $4 per child (reservations required)
Introduce your little ones to Mother Nature. Learn all about turtles through books, activities, nature walks, and crafts. During this class, get up-close and personal with several different types of live turtles.
Saturday, Nov. 3, 1-1:45 pm
Families and all ages, $3 per person (reservations required)
Come and meet some live green tree and pig frogs. Find out why frogs are as important to the environment as an indicator species, and what we can do to help their wild populations.
Saturday, Nov. 10, 10:30-11:15 am
Ages 5-10, $4 per child (reservations not required)
Make some festive, fun, fall crafts that will make great decorations for Thanksgiving.
Friday, Nov. 16, 10:30-11:15 am
Ages 2-5, $4 per child (reservations required)
Introduce your little ones to Mother Nature. Learn all about turkeys through books, activities, nature walks, and crafts, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2-3 pm
Ages 8-12, $4 per child (reservations required)
Come to Daggerwing and find out what is living in our ponds. We will go “dip-netting” and look at our findings using magnifying glasses and microscopes. Wear water shoes or shoes that can get wet/dirty.

 All programs are by reservation only, unless otherwise stated. Call (561) 629-8760 or visit the nature center to make program reservations. Fees (if applicable) are due the day of the program by cash or check only.  All participants are required to sign a program participation form for every program. If you are more than 5 minutes late to a program you have made a reservation for, your spot will be given to a person on the waiting list.

Monday, October 15, 2012

All Aboard Florida’s proposed 230-mile $1BB commuter rail line would go from Miami to Ft Lauderdale to West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, according to the Orlando Sentinel.   Service will be running at 2014 – with no risk to taxpayers.  Travel time from Miami to Orlando is estimated to be three hours with day long service from early morning to evening.

Anticipated are 6,000 construction jobs for Floridians and 400 jobs to operate the rail service.   Workers will also be needed to build station houses at some stops.  Amenities will include Wi-Fi internet service, gourmet meals, reserved business and coach class seating and easy-on, easy-off baggage compartments.

Annual anticipated travelers: 50MM.  It is estimated to take 3MM cars off the road whose drivers will use the rails instead, resulting in less congestion on I95..  There will be access to major international airports, seaports and existing commuter and rail systems including Metrorail and SunRail.

Bids are due by 12-7-012, then review of costs by FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) follows, and winners will be chosen by 12-18-2012.  Interested companies must attend a mandatory meeting on 11-13-2012 at FDOT headquarters in DeLand.

All Aboard Florida is a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, based in Coral Gables, a privately owned, operated and maintained passenger rail service.  It is one of Florida’s largest full-service commercial real estate and infrastructure companies. 
This will be a solution for millions of Floridians and tourists, for both business and pleasure trips.  Expectation is to include 200 miles of existing tracks from Miami to Cocoa and a new 40-mile rail line from Cocoa to Orlando International Airport is to be built.

Friday, September 28, 2012

PETS IN CONDOS - Fair Housing Act covers emotional support animal

FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS: AVENTURA, Fla. – Sept. 28, 2012 – The Fair Housing Act does more than protect homeowners or renters who use a support-services animal – it also protects residents who need an animal for emotional support.   While the definition of an emotional support animal goes beyond “I love him,” the Fair Housing Act covers residents or potential residents who rely on an emotional support animal.

The issue raises questions from landlords and homeowner associations. An existing rule on pets, for example – such as an additional pet deposit – doesn’t apply to support animals under The Fair Housing Act.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced yesterday they reached a Conciliation Agreement with Point Three East Condominium Association in Aventura, Fla., over the issue. The condo association allegedly refused to allow a resident to keep an emotional support animal, even though the resident provided medical documentation attesting to her need for the accommodation. HUD also found that some of the board members who denied the resident’s request had, or previously had, animals in their units.

Under the agreement, Point East Three Condominium Association will allow the resident to keep her emotional support animal and pay her $18,000. In addition, the condominium association will enact a reasonable accommodation policy and obtain fair housing training for all its board members.

“Condo associations are not exempt from adherence to the Fair Housing Act,” said Carlos Osegueda, HUD’s Region IV director for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Their policies and practices cannot discriminate against persons with disabilities, and HUD will continue to take action anytime we find that they do.”

For more information on emotional support animals protected by The Fair Housing Act, visit the American Bar Association website.

People who believe they are victims of housing discrimination can contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or 1 (800) 927-9275 (TTY).

Friday, September 21, 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012


Census Bureau data released this week shows that Florida ranks 2nd worst in percentage of working-age population without health insurance.  29.8% of Floridians lack health insurance.    

Seniors: call  (561-638-9818) for information on Medicare Advantage zero premium plans with no or low co-pay for doctor visit.  Enrollment period for these plans is Oct 15 – Dec 7 – if you are turning 65 or getting a Medicare Supplement you can enroll any time – with Advantage, for guaranteed enrollment,  your application must be received between three months before and three months after the month of your birth.