Boca Raton Real Estate Blog

Is An HOA Neighborhood Right For Me? | Boca Raton HOA Homes

When we think of Boca Raton, one of the first things that pop into our heads is palm trees, beach, the ritzy lifestyle of the rich, and many gated communities. While these are common tropes, they're not necessarily wrong! Boca Raton is arguably one of the most expensive places in the nation to live, but for every gated community, there's a suburban alternative that's more affordable for the family. 

If you look between the playgrounds of the rich, you'll find suburban neighborhoods that are picturesque paintings of safety, uniformity, and tranquility. There are many misconceptions about HOA; while they are not exactly for everyone, we are going to list some of the reasons why a Boca HOA may be for you. 

Property Value Increases

property value increasing

Yes, sometimes an HOA's strict rules and regulations are tough, but did you know that there is a reason for it? Pressure washing those driveways once a month will contribute to a long-term effect. One of the reasons why so many Homeowners’ Associations apply these rules is for the property value of your home. 

Proper care and attention to the exterior details of your home and yard will certainly attract home buyers. Upholding these rules will also prevent future maintenance on your home, further keeping you from expensive costs and stressful situations. Upkeep on your home can sometimes be stressful, but if you are planning on selling your Boca home, you can guarantee you will receive top-dollar for your home!

Amenities Are Always Available...

Find the Right Real Estate Broker: 4 Essential Traits to Look For

4 essential traits of a real estate broker

The market is red hot right now! We can’t blame you if you’re looking to sell and move on to greener (and cheaper) pastures. Nowadays, it seems like there are more Boca Raton realtors than actual houses on the market. You certainly have the pick of the litter. In a city where our local realty looks good and our brokers even better, it may be hard to find the right one for you. Here are 4 essential traits to look for when choosing a real estate broker.

Efficient Communication

communication graphic | bright megaphone graphic overlaying dark background

Do they reply to your e-mails within one business day? Do they use full sentences and proper punctuation? Some of us have taken these skills for granted, so it comes as a shock when the person you’re looking to entrust with closing the sale on your home writes at an 8th-grade level. Aside from a baseline of literacy, is the broker you’re speaking to transparent, or do they dance around the subject? Do you have a sense that they don’t have your best interests at heart? Seek out opinions from your friends, a simple referral can weed out the shysters. With transactions the size of your home, overcommunication from your realtor is much better than one who disappears for days at home.

Adequate Experience

lightbulb image with "experience" written inside with gold text...

The Best Italian Fine Dining In Boca Raton

italian fine dining in boca

Casa D'Angelo

burrata salad

Casa D'Angelo  is the flagship brainchild of renowned Chef Angelo Elia's restaurant group, which also includes Angelo Elia's Bakery Bar, and Angelo's Pizza Bar & Tapas. Casa D'Angelo features locations in Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale, bringing an old-world flavor to our modern Boca home. Casa D'Angelo's dedication to quality and carefully sourced ingredients begins with the chef's upbringing in Salerno, learning from his mother while watching his father, the local butcher. Enjoy a truly authentic tour of Italy's most spectacular flavors and curated wines at Casa D'Angelo.

Trattoria Romana

fine raw italian food

Through its flavors and decor, Trattoria Romana brings a truly rustic Italian aesthetic to your dining experience. Trattoria Romana opened its doors in 1993, and has been here to stay as one of Boca Raton's longest-running Italian fine dining establishments. Their prices are surprisingly accommodating considering the quality of the cuisine they provide, with their antipasti bar in particular lending to a wonderful atmosphere for group gatherings and birthdays. Like the romanesque atmosphere they've crafted for their guests, their menu is a fine dining crash course on classic Italian fare.

Frank & Dino's

fine italian food...

Boca Raton Pets on the Move | Moving Your Pet

guide to moving pets

Anyone who has moved knows how exhausting, stressful, and chaotic things can become. With the South Florida population on the rise, hundreds of people are moving into the area by the minute. If you are a Boca Raton native, then you've probably seen how busy the streets are becoming, excluding rush hour!

Pop-up condos, apartments, and multi-million-dollar homes are now inhabited by people out of state. South Florida has become a haven for people around the country, and the influx of people shows it! 

However, with the influx of people, comes the influx of their four-legged companions. Moving is already a tedious task none of us want to be a part of--but what about our pets? Pets feel the pinch, too, and stressing a pet out can be just as detrimental to them as it is to us. We will be discussing some key tips on how to move without upsetting Fido. Moving is difficult for all parties involved, but keeping your pets relaxed can be one of the best ways to avoid unnecessary problems. 

Reduce the Action

bustling people

We all know pets can be annoyed by a multitude of noises and sounds. Involving your pet in the process itself could easily irritate your four-legged friend--leading to your pet becoming scared or acting out. A common mistake most homeowners make is allowing their pets to roam freely among the chaos. It's important to make sure your animal is comfortable but placing your pet in a carrier or empty room will keep him/her out of the action. It's a stressful situation, but a barking dog certainly will not help in any way, shape, or form. 

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Best Steak In Boca Raton | Finest Steakhouses In Boca

the best steakhouses in boca raton

Perhaps no trio says "fine dining" quite like steak, lobster, and red wine. In Boca Raton, where so many of the finer things in life are cultivated, we're blessed to host some of the finest dining and entertainment options anywhere in the world. When you think date night, corporate dinner, swanky party, or simply a night of decadent living, look no further than our very own Caesar Parisi's Top 5 Steakhouses in Boca Raton.

NY PRIME

steak on wood fire slab

New York Prime is one of the most prestigious steakhouses in Boca Raton. Its classy upper-class vibe welcomes the diner to the ultimate in red meat and red wine. This timeliness combination is cultivated to the fullest extent, with USDA Prime-only beef flanked by superb seafood offerings and the classic sides expected at a high-end steakhouse. NY Prime is currently promoting their Stags' Leap Wine Dinner this upcoming September 19th. 

ABE & LOUIE'S

grilled ribeye

This swanky location in the Glades Plaza is an offshoot of the legendary Boston flagship restaurant. Their prime-aged midwestern...

Tips To Stand Out On LinkedIn

tips to stand out on linkedin

The job market is red hot, and so is South Florida's booming real estate industry! Millions of Americans are putting in their 2 weeks’ notice and moving on to greener pastures, leaving their lightly used green pasture for you to move into. You should always keep your LinkedIn profile up to date, not simply for a job search, but to make the right impression on any new connections you encounter in your professional life. There are some best practices for how to set yourself apart from the crowd on LinkedIn!

Use a Good Photo

camera lens

You might be thinking, “How can I market myself on LinkedIn,” as you look at yourself in the mirror one morning, followed by “Damn, I look good.” You flash yourself a smile as your confidence grows and then…you walk away. Wait! Come back! The answer was staring you right in the face. Put your best face out there and use a professional photo. Profiles with one, and we cannot stress this enough, up to 25 times more likely to be viewed than those without one. This is one of the most overlooked LinkedIn tips out there. “Smile at the world and the world smiles back,” goes the old adage. You could also say, “Smile at the world and the world clicks connect.”

Skill Me Up

skill plate

There is a certain baseline of modesty out there. We understand, most of us are mild-mannered...

In Ground Swimming Pools In Boca Raton | A Quick Guide

building your boca pool

We are very lucky to have miles and miles of public beaches here in Boca Raton. Many of us spend every weekend soaking up the rays and swimming with friends and family. However, there are the annoyances of going to the beach like faraway bathrooms, burning the soles of your feet on hot sand, and a general lack of privacy. That’s why many Boca residents enjoy the added luxury of an in-ground pool in their backyards. With all the comforts of your home only steps away, a restful staycation is always within literal reach. Do you have a big patch of grass that looks like it could be your next private grotto? Here are 4 things to consider when buying a pool in Boca Raton!

The Price

red price tag

We might as well get this out of the way as soon as possible! You may think you can afford a pool, but exactly what kind of pool will it be? You have more to choose from than a simple concrete hole in the ground. On top of the purchase price, you’ll have to factor in the ongoing costs of maintaining your pool, lest your private lagoon turns into the community swamp. Swimming pool builders will be quick to point out that you can choose from fiberglass ($$$$$), concrete ($$$), or vinyl liner ($$). Don’t forget, you’ll also have to take into account the cost of rebuilding your landscape around it!

The Role Of Inclement Weather

hurricane force winds

For a myriad of reasons, severe weather in Florida can heavily impact your...

5 Back To School Tips To Start The Year Right | Boca Raton Schools

back to school tips

It’s that time of year again. Your kids are dreading, counting the days. You’re probably counting the days, too, but ready to rock and roll! The first day of school is right around the corner. We hope you enjoyed the warm weather, the summer vacations, and family time, but we think that you’re ready to get your kids out of the living room and back in the classroom for a new school year. Here are 5 tips for your family to start the school year right!

Never Stop Preparing

prepared written on blackboard

The new school year may seem ages away to a kid in June, but September arrives faster than they realize. One of the most important yet overlooked ways to start the school year right is to keep children academically engaged throughout the summer. Leisure and idle time can dull the skills and cloud knowledge that your children have been absorbing for the past 9 months. It’s extremely important to maintain some form of learning to keep their minds fresh and continue their education even in the summer months. Trips to museums and the reading list certainly help, as does structure. Maybe nothing so draconian as tests and pop quizzes, but flashcards and light practice of math and language will keep your children sharp and ready to start the year off without the pains of getting acclimated to learning again.

Mandate Homework Time

homework time

With so much to do outside in our beautiful Boca...

The Best Schools In Boca For Special Needs Students | Special Needs Schools Near Me

top special needs schools in boca | blog header image

South Florida is one of the nation’s most diverse regions and Boca Raton is a key example of the patchwork of the great state of Florida. People from all walks of life find a home in Boca Raton. If you are considering a move to Boca Raton for your family and a member of your family possesses special needs, please consider the following institutions in town and the surrounding area.

Unicorn Village Academy (Ages 13 to 22)

unicorn village academy shield logoServing ages 13 to 22, Unicorn Village Academy provides a complete education for those with special needs in Boca Raton, with a focus on whole-life skills from the scholastic to the professional. It is a stand-out among Boca Raton special needs schools, as it is the sole institution in the city to serve its students beyond the age of 18. Trained faculty provide individual-specific academic instruction to students in tandem with vocational training as students work towards their high school diploma. At the age of 17, students may become eligible to participate in UVA’s post-secondary work program, which encompasses a full year of internship opportunities in partnership with the Boca West Country Club.

Lighthouse Point Academy (3rd Grade to 12th Grade)

north broward prep logo...

South Florida Mosquito Madness | 4 Ways to Beat the Bite

4 ways to fight back against mosquitos

Nothing says summer more than exotic cocktails, sunsets on the beach, and the smell of smoked meats in every backyard. Summer is ultimately one of the reasons so many natives love our state. The closest thing before the Caribbean, South Florida is a nice introduction into the island vibe mentality. With tourism more in the fall/winter season, the roads, beaches, and avenues aren't jam-packed, letting the natives have some time to enjoy. Where summer is--the heat is sure to follow, and as every resident knows, the heat can be absolutely unbearable. The rainy season can rear its ugly season, and within an instant, the rain pours down--only to become sunny again minutes later!

South Florida is indeed a tropical paradise, but not all paradises come without troubles, too. You're grilling out in the backyard during dusk; the smell is lovely, the beer is flowing, and the atmosphere is ideal. Things go as planned and your soiree is an instant success...except for one thing: mosquitoes. Yes, the one thing most of us absolutely detest more than any insect that exists on this earth. South Florida natives know that mosquitoes are absolute killjoys during the summer season, and a lot of natives refuse to go outside because of it. With that being said, not all is completely lost! There is a multitude of ways you can experience the best of the summer season, without being bitten to death! These simple tips will reduce your bites and stay safe.

Eliminate Standing Water

standing water
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The Ultimate Guide To Boca Raton Colleges And Universities

the ultimate guide to colleges & universities

South Florida may not have the prestigious history of centuries' old universities lining the northeast, nor the Pacific Coast technical institutions pacing the ascension of Silicon Valley, but South Florida is an enormous market attracting some of the best minds in the world to our local economy. From Miami to Palm Beach, numerous educational institutions show massive influence growth as their numbers rise and funding pours in. Whether looking to relocate to Boca Raton or as an existing resident, our exhaustive list of Boca Raton Colleges & Universities is here. 

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic Universities

Palm Beach County's best-known public university, FAU was founded in 1961 but vaulted to national prominence with the growth of its campus and the ascension of its athletics program to relevance. As of 2018, its enrollment has grown to over 30,000 students representing over 140 countries. The earmark year of 2004 marked FAU's transition into a more traditional university, with an increase in admissions stringency, research funding, and the addition of an on-campus stadium. For a prominent, constantly growing university experience, look no further to FAU.

Lynn University

Lynn University

Lynn University is a private university...

4 Wild Growing Plants To Enjoy In Boca | Boca Wild Edible Plant Guide

4 wild and edible plants growing in boca

[ It's always important to do proper research if you are unsure of any fruits and plants you come across. With any of the aforementioned, they are to be eaten at your own risk. Always make sure to thoroughly rinse your fruits or plants before consuming them. ]

The suburban sprawl that is Boca grows every day. Condos are appearing overnight, and it is not stopping from there. Boca Raton is becoming more of a concrete jungle with each, passing day. The construction that litters the sides of major highways is indicative of the large influx of people moving in. With hip college communities nestling next to natural areas--it's hard to imagine how any native wildlife can flourish outside the cemented streets. On the contrary, the floral diversity allows many natives to obtain delicious, edible, and HEALTHY plants to munch on. 

You've been on many nature trails here in South Florida and always wondered if those delicious-looking fruits hanging from trees are edible--well, you're about to find out. Here are 4 examples of some tasty, edible, wild treats you can find here in Boca. 

Seagrape

seagrapes

Go to any beach here in Boca and you'll most likely find this dotted along A1A. You may have found yourself perusing the fruits this shrub produces and wondered many times if it is, in fact, edible. Well, you're...

Namaste! Bliss Out At These 4 Boca Raton Yoga Studios

boca raton yoga studios

In just a few short years, Yoga has gone from a fringe activity that we'd commonly associate with... ahem... new-age types, and is now a facet of everyday life for millions of Americans. Among many things, the Boca Raton community vibe is sustained by people who work hard, play hard, and take care of their bodies. For some, yoga is a way of life. For others, an essential way to break up a busy week. Whatever your reason for coming to Boca Raton, bliss out at one of these 4 (among many) great Boca Raton yoga studios.

Yoga Joint Central Boca

yoga lotus pose

The Brainchild of founder Paige Held, the yoga joint brand has now expanded to 6 locations, with an additional 2 sets to open this year. The yoga joint is a hot yoga studio featuring their signature vinyasa flow, yin/restore, and high-intensity fit classes focusing on core strength and cardiovascular endurance. all under the purifying infrared lighting that makes so many moments at YJ as photogenic as they are healing.

Keshava Radha Yoga Inc.

yoga pose on sunny beach...

5 Ideas To Turn Your Boca Home Patio Into An Oasis | Boca Patio Decor

patio decor ideas

Even with the incredible heat outside, our backyards remain a central part of our Boca Raton home. In south Florida, our backyards are often the expression of tropical luxury living, with incredible attention invested into our gazebos, planters, swimming pools, and everything in between. looking to spice up your backyard? check out these 5 suggestions below! 

Add in a swinging chair

swinging chair

A swinging chair is such a strong South Florida vibe, with everything from basket chairs to tire swings, hammocks, and recliners adorning our illustrious backyards. Swinging chairs allow you the freedom to enjoy the breeze and colorful flora while taking in a good book or sipping your favorite cocktail. 

Build your own glass terrarium or plant an herb wall

living wall

Florida is blessed to be home to some of the most incredible plants and animal life found anywhere in the united states. Vines, ferns, and trees grow wild, and quickly - thanks to our subtropical clime. Succulent gardens, large terrariums, or even a high-end biophilic plant design wall are options to add nature's most beautiful gifts into our backyard scene.

...

5 Resilient Summer Plants To Landscape Your Boca Home

5 resilient midsummer plants

The sun is hot and the temperature is rising. If you’re a Boca Raton native, then you’ve probably had your fair share of intense heat. The months of late July and August are no stranger to those conditions. Floridians, by nature, are a resilient bunch—but what about our gardens? The proverbial thorn in the side for any gardener with a green thumb is watching those roses and peonies wilt. There is nothing more demoralizing than seeing your hard work perish.

Luckily, there are an array of different shrubs, flowers, and fauna sure to sustain even in the hottest conditions. Midsummer may be scorching us all right now, but these plants will surprise even the most skeptical gardener.

Gerbera Daisy

gerbera daisy

You’ve probably seen these cheerful flowers littered in the many Publix’s floral departments. There’s a reason for it, though, and here’s why. These beauties have a lifespan of up to a week or more in a vase. Have you ever wondered why they are a common ‘filler’ in a boutique arrangement? Well, their beauty is a given, but the fact that these daisies can withstand intense conditions is a favorite among most. Trimming away wilted gerberas is recommended—as trimming promotes new buds to grow faster.

Sunflowers

sunflower patch

Ah, the most well-known flower next to the rose. These flowers are commonly associated with the sun due to their...

Avoid These Very Common Home Buying Misconceptions | Home Buying In Boca Raton

home buying misconceptions

It's Cheaper To Rent Than own

for rent sign in front of house

In 2006, prior to the real estate collapse 2 years later, home buying peaked and has dwindled ever since. Remaining effects of 2008, the mass migration of young people to major urban centers, and many Baby Boomers aging out of their home are a few examples of why. With a higher demand on rent, rental costs are skyrocketing. In 2015 alone, rental prices nationwide rose 4.6%. When considering the tax implications of a mortgage and nearly comparable prices of rent - why not pay what's often even less to own your Boca Raton home?

You need to make a 20% down payment

20% down payment

You technically don't need to reach this mark, with some mortgages beginning at as low as a 3% down payment. However, 20% is ideal and without that magic number, you may be forced to take out private mortgage insurance. With good enough credit and a history of on-time payments, you may be able to avoid reaching 20% to sign...

5 Signs Your Buyer Leads Are Ready to Buy A New Home

5 signs your buyer is ready to sign

If you’re a real estate professional, odds are that you’re pretty good with people. You can empathize, lead small talk to the sale at hand, identify subtle clues on a buyer’s face that can help you isolate problem areas for them during a showing, etc. You could be everything short of a mind-reader and all outside indicators are blinking green: you have a buyer that is ready to buy a new house! Well, apologies for the psychics out there, but everyone is capable of self-deception. Your buyer may be picturing their triumphant move to new digs, but they very well may be seeing their own situation through rose-colored glasses. Putting aside the benefit of the doubt, here are 5 cold hard signs that your buyer leads are ready to purchase a new house.

Good Credit and Financial Solvency

good credit score

This seems pretty boilerplate, no? Well, it tends to be something that a buyer lead may try to obscure or downplay. Do they have a good credit score? How is their debt to income ratio (DTI)? Bad, but they’ve been making on-time monthly payments on their $25,000 credit-card statement? Your buyer leads may have formulated a plan to pay for their $3500/month principle plus HOA plus property taxes, but this is where a simple accounting course (available at reasonable rates at your local community college) can come in handy when vetting your buyer leads. Verify their employment and banks statements along with the aforementioned DTI to give yourself the clearest picture of your buyer lead’s financial picture and see if this house is made...

5 Flowers To Wow The Neighbors | Best Flowers for your Boca Garden

boca raton flowers to plant

Florida is a tropical paradise. The sun, the palm trees, the beach, and the islander vibe allow many Boca natives the chance to experience the perfect staycation. While some of us enjoy going out and retreating to the beach for some R & R, others are comfortable enjoying relaxing at home. And what's not to enjoy? With many yards adorned with flowers and plants that are native to many countries in the Caribbean and Central/South America--it's no surprise that many of us take up the wonderful art of home gardening. Many folks with a green thumb understand the difficulties of growing plants and flowers in these tumultuous conditions. From the intense humidity and sun--to the constant thunderstorms that roll in from the west, gardens can take a beating, but these 5 flowers can improve your Boca garden. 

Lantana

lantana flower

No, not the road located in Lake Worth, but a beautiful perennial of the verbena family. These shrubs can grow up to a maximum of 6 feet tall and make any garden pop. The array of colors these flowers produce ranges from reds, oranges, blues, and even multi-colored variants as the flower matures. Aside from its hardy exterior and favor of hot, humid climates, Lantana attracts a multitude of butterfly and bird varieties, making it popular for anyone here in Boca forming a butterfly garden. Fun fact: while being a nuisance in Australia and prompting some gardeners to remove it altogether, its removal can have negative impacts. Lantana's absence decreases biodiversity in certain bird populations that...

Realtor Hacks | 5 Ways To Maximize Your Time

real estate time saving hacks

The market has never been more competitive. We certainly chase quality leads and commissions, but the most valuable commodity of all tends to be overlooked: time. With a constant undersupply of properties and an oversupply of real estate professionals, only the leanest and meanest will be able to call this work a full-time career. There are no half-measures and managing your day-to-day is paramount as all industries demand higher productivity each year. It’s time to hack your routine with these 5 tips to maximize your time as a real estate agent.

Set Appropriate Boundaries

setting professional boundaries

Want to go all-in for the first few years to build your reputation? Do it! Is it your priority to raise your family? Set your schedule to make sure you are available for them consistently. This is easier said than done, but regardless if you’re a fresh-faced agent with a newly minted license or a seasoned pro with a family, setting clear boundaries between your work and home life will stave off resentment for your work and eventual burnout.

No Distractions

distraction free work environment

It’s been proven that lots of little distractions that take you away from your work rob you of your momentum. Just like a car that has to stop for gas, it takes time to reaccelerate to its...

5 Venomous and Predatory Wild Animals In Boca Raton

dangerous animals in boca raton

Florida has a semi-comical reputation as the "Australia of America" mostly due to its numerous venomous and predatory animals. the flora and fauna of Florida have adapted to our subtropical environs, providing a backdrop for both prehistoric and invasive species. While these animals are something to be wary of encountering, by no means should we live in fear of these incredible creatures. A healthy respect and a basic body of knowledge will go a long way in keeping our Boca Raton environment clean and preparing you for the potential of an encounter. Remember, these animals largely want nothing to do with you, and it's their environment we call home. Here are 5 predatory and venomous creatures that call Boca Raton home.

Cottonmouth

venomous cottonmouth snake

Also known as the Water Moccasin, this aquatic dwelling pit viper can be found largely in muddy flats, lakefronts, puddles, and moist woodland. Given their name for their distinctively white mouths, these are among the most commonly encountered venomous snakes in Florida. While bites are infrequent and rarely deadly, these snakes should not be taken lightly, especially after heavy rains and flooding.

Portuguese Man o' War

man o'war jellyfish washed up on shore

The Portuguese Man O' War or "blue bottle" is...