Weekend Getaways Close to Home

Sometimes, a weekend away is just what you need. How great would it be if you didn’t have to go too far to enjoy that perfect holiday atmosphere for a couple of days? Luckily, Florida offers a fantastic selection of great weekend getaways for its residents. This means that you can reach your holiday destination with a short drive and enjoy a few days away and come back home fully relaxed.

Naples

Naples sits on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida and is highly popular as a high-end holiday destination. Famous for its shopping, sophisticated culture and extravagant dining, Naples is often sought out by those who are willing to splurge. However, if you are on a budget, Naples also offers a range of affordable accommodation options with great attractions and plenty of activities for the whole family. Third Street South and Fifth Avenue in historic downtown Naples is one of the most popular spots for shopping, art galleries, home décor shops and clothing boutiques. A meal with a view of the Gulf is a perfect end to a day in Naples and there are plenty of options to choose from.

Clearwater

If you are looking for the perfect beach getaway, Clearwater is the ideal pick. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the state, Clearwater is all about relaxation and beach-side fun. You can enjoy a fishing trip, lay down on the beach with a great book, get pampered at one of the many spas or enjoy the white beaches while enjoying a stunning view. With accommodation options ranging from world-class luxury establishments all the way to affordable inns, there is something for everyone at Clearwater.

Key West

If you plan on getting away from it all, be sure to consider the beautiful island city of Key West. From heart-pumping activities such as sailing, snorkeling and diving to watching a beautiful sunset while strolling down a quiet street, Key West is the perfect holiday destination for a quick getaway. Duval Street in particular stands out as a popular tourist spot in Key West with its many cafes, bars and local shops. The island also offers unique architectural attractions, a chance to peek in to the life of Ernest Hemingway and a selection of humorous headstones at the Key West City Cemetery.

St. Augustine

Considered to be the oldest city in the Nation, St. Augustine is a fantastic holiday destination with much to offer. Aside from the many beach activities, the city of St. Augustine offers exciting helicopter rides, wild animal reserves, living museums and plenty of historic attractions to enjoy. The city boasts over 400 years of history and was founded back in 1565. Whether you are a history buff or not, the city offers a chance to get lost in the narrow lanes, marvel at the historic artifacts in the many museums and to revel in the glory of land marks such as the “Fountain of Youth” or Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the United States.

The beautiful cities of Florida make it an amazing place to live year round or visit for half of the year. If you’re hearing the beaches and warm weather call you, Frankel Realty can assist you find the perfect home. Call us on (561) 427-2154 and our realtors will be happy to show you exclusive listings.

Tips For Moving Into Your New Home With Pets

Moving itself is quite a stressful task. If you have pets, there is no doubt that they too will share some of the stress and have various adverse reactions as a result. When it comes to moving with pets, you have to pay special attention to making sure that they are completely safe from physical harm while also doing everything you can to prevent mental strain. Frankel Realty, a pioneer in the Florida real estate scene has put together step-by-step guide to moving with pets.

Step 1 – Research the regulations and obtain a health certificate

Whether you have cats, dogs, birds or exotic animals, the very first step would be to make sure that they are in perfect health for the move. In the case of small kittens, puppies and other newborn pets, it is always advised that you wait until they are old enough to move. As for regulations, these are especially important if you are moving with an exotic pet such as reptiles, amphibians and various types of birds. If you are moving long distance or between states finding out the regulations is very important to avoid various problems.

Step 2 – Prepare your pets for moving

For dogs and cats, you will need to obtain kennels or carriers. These are readily available for purchase and for rent. You can always ask your movers if they can recommend a place or if they actually provide them to make the task easier. Be sure to ensure that the carriers have plenty of ventilation and enough space for your animal to stand or sit in comfort. You can always take a friendly dog or a well-behaved cat on a ride in your car but if they are especially fussy, the carriers are an absolute necessity. As for birds, amphibians and reptiles, you can use their cages for the purpose.

Step 3 – Keep your pets away from stress

On the day of your move, there will be a great deal of energy and in most cases, chaos and loud noises in your house. This can be especially stressful for cats, dogs, birds and most other animals. You will need to keep them separated so that they can be relaxed for the move. This is extremely important as stress can cause your pets to become agitated and difficult to handle. Birds, cats and some reptiles may even get violent if they are exposed to a stressful environment. Place them in a quiet room and make plans to keep the move as quiet and stress free as possible. It is very important to understand that high levels of stress can cause mental strain and in extreme cases, permanent distress in animals.

Step 4 – Transfer your pet into their natural habitat immediately

While dogs, birds and some cats might enjoy a ride in your car, other animals may not like the sudden change of environment. In the case of amphibians and reptiles, it is best to get to your destination as fast as possible and to transfer them into their habitats immediately. Of course, you will need to make arrangements to have their new home set up when you arrive.

Kitchen Trends: Ideas for Redecorating

Whether you plan to sell your home, if you have bought a new home or if you simply want a new look for your kitchen, the latest trends are the best source of inspiration. If you’ve got plans to redecorate and upgrade your kitchen, be sure to give some thoughts to these new trends to help create a modern look.

Shelves instead of cabinets

The open kitchen concept has caught fire over the past few years and the latest addition to the trend is to have fewer upper cabinets. Shelves are a great idea to open up a space and to keep the contents visible as well as easily accessible. This is a great idea for smaller spaces as cupboards tend to fill up a space and make it appear cramped.

Sconce lighting

Drawing inspiration from age-old lighting, sconce lighting is one of the latest trends for this year as well as the next year. Sconce lighting fixtures are often adjustable and allow users to direct the light wherever they need. They come in a variety of different metals, colors and finishes to fit in with a range

Stylish backsplashes

With more opened up walls (thanks to the absence of wall cupboards), there is plenty of room to make the backsplashes a little more stylish. Gone are the days of boring old tiles. Natural materials such as limestone, marble and even stone are in the spotlight to create beautiful backsplashes that can even be styled up to create a bold statement.

Anything but chrome

The stainless-steel and chrome look is no longer in style. With rustic designs and vintage inspirations, aged gold, brass and simple black hardware have taken the center stage. If you are thinking of upgrading the hood, faucets and other fixtures, stay away from high gloss chrome and look for aged metals and solid blacks for a more up-to-date look. These work wonders with a range of different classic styles as well as many of the new trends.

Built in cabinets

If you are not a big fan of shelves, you can always opt for built-in cabinets for a beautiful, versatile and up-to-date design. These cabinets are built to sit on the counters as opposed to the ‘floating in the air’ look that was the standard for so many years. With added height, you will have extra storage space and can even add a few decorative elements.

Go for natural materials and finishes

Something we have seen in most interior design trends for the whole house is a greater prominence for natural materials and natural finishes. As for kitchens, exposed beams, wooden planks and stone counters are quite popular nowadays. In addition, recycled items and re-purposed elements are also highly recommended by many top-tier interior designers. The DIY look is very much in and adds a homely touch.

Practical Tips to Decorate a Small Home Office

Whether you work from home or work on certain parts of your job at home, a home office is definitely a great addition to your home. If you have an extra room or some space that you can use, you can easily transform it into a functional home office with everything you need. Here are some great tips on how you can decorate a home office easily with a minimal investment:

Choose the right space

A home office doesn’t necessarily have to be a room. A portion of a room or space can be easily transformed into an office space with minimal effort. For instance, a part of your TV room or library, a portion of your living room or any other unused yet comfortable part of your home can be transformed to great results. Working in a home office is a bit difficult when compared to an actual office. There are many distractions and they will need to be avoided in order to get your work done on time. Be sure to choose a space that won’t distract you. If you can’t spare an entire room, be sure to pick a place that can be separated with a partition wall, curtains or a panel to keep the work space separate and private.

Pick the right furniture

When it comes to decorating a home office you don’t have to splurge on specialized office furniture. You can easily save a lot by picking dual purpose pieces that will work great on small spaces. Look for a desk with storage and compact DIY shelves to easily transform a small nook into an office.

Choose the right color scheme

Home is a place for relaxation. If your home office is also reflecting the same atmosphere, it is highly unlikely that you would get much done. Instead, look for vibrant and stimulating colors to make the space a little different from the rest of the house. The likes of bright greens, yellows, reds and oranges make great office colors that look great while also providing brain stimulation.

Provide adequate storage

Storage is a must to make sure that the contents of your home office does not spill out into the rest of your house. As mentioned earlier, picking furniture that can double up as storage will come in handy if you don’t have enough space. If you do have space, be sure to fit plenty of cupboards and shelves to hold all your important files.

Leave room for a notice board

A notice board is a great way to organize everything. While you can definitely do this on your computer or smartphone, it is widely accepted that having your daily list where you can easily see it is a great way to maintain your focus. If your office space is not too spacious, you can place a notice board that can be pushed out of the way when it is not in use.

Disadvantages of Selling Home For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

Selling your home is a detailed process. In almost all cases, the assistance of a qualified real estate professional is necessary to make a successful sale. The decision to sell on your own is most often motivated by saving the money spent on commissions. However, many real estate experts state that attempting to sell a property on your own can actually end up costing you more than what you are trying to save.

Do you know the market?

For starters, without the input of a qualified real estate agent, you won’t have the necessary information to set up a decent price for your home. In the end, a home sellers motivation to sell, you just might end up setting a lower sales price. According to the NAR, the average FSBO sales price was $174,900 in 2012. The average price of a real estate represented house was at $215,000 in the same year. There are many reasons behind this price difference. For starters, buyers’ agents don’t really like to approach FSBO properties. Since another agent is not involved, the transaction is considered to carry more liability on the buyer’s end. Another reason for the lower price is the fact that home owners don’t always have the necessary knowledge or experience to set the right price with regard to the current market condition and the neighborhood. However, a real estate agent would know how to set a price based on the market condition and by comparing the prices of other properties in the neighborhood.

You may miss out on helpful hints and guidance

Real estate agents will have plenty of information to offer sellers. From tips on improving the value of their homes all the way to negotiation, sellers will be given access to valuable insight into the industry as well as valuable assistance. A property represented by an agent is most likely to be viewed as a more ‘legitimate’ or ‘genuine’ offer in the eyes of a buyer or a buyer’s agent. Real estate contracts are lengthy and complicated. Without proper assistance, the buyer will be burdened with most of the heavy work. Without being double checked by the seller’s agent, a lot can go wrong and most buyers are not keen to be involved.

Needless to say, a seller’s agent will assist the seller with the entire process. Starting from the valuation, improvements and pricing all the way to home staging, photography and advertising. Without the help of an agent, the seller will have to go through the whole process and spend a great deal of time and energy on the sale.
Here, at Frankel Realty, we provide assistance to buyers and sellers alike. If you intend to sell your property and want to keep the process simple and stress-free, we are the right people. Call Frankel on (561) 427-2154.

Tips On How To Find Good Tenant

If you own a investment property that you intend to rent, finding just the right tenant is the most important thing. The right tenant will keep your mind at ease by taking great care of your property and making payments on time. However, it is important for the property owner to learn about the qualities that make a good tenant before they hand over the keys. 

Start with advertising

Your property falls into a specific housing category and the tenants it attracts will also be of a certain type. When it comes to advertising a rental, you have to market your property to the right audience to attract the right type of tenants. For instance, if you intend on renting out a waterfront property, you will need to market to people who are most likely to rent it. Simply posting a notice on the public bulletin board won’t get you any calls from the right type of tenants. Instead, look for a rentals site and enter your property details in the luxury section to attract the right visitors.

Do the necessary research

Once you have received applications from hopeful tenants, the next step is to pick the right one. This is where your research skills will come in handy. In your application, you will need to ask the right questions and to check the answers that are provided. Asking for references is a must when it comes to renting homes. Be sure to ask for a reference from their former and current landlords to gain some critical insight into your potential tenants. Unhappy landlords will be quick to point out any problems with their tenants. It is important to ask for a few references as disagreements between the renter and the landlord may cause the landlord to provide a bad recommendation. Some landlords even recommend visiting tenants’ current residencies to assess just how well they maintain their properties. Since an application can’t reveal much information about that, a visit will give you an idea on how they are likely to care for your own property.

It’s not all about the money

A great tenant won’t always be the highest bidder. If you solely look into receiving the rent check on time, you will overlook various problems that the tenants may cause you. For instance, a New York landlord described his experience where he took in two young women because they offered to pay a higher amount. During their stay, they had hosted loud parties and threw cigarettes out the window into the courtyard. Not only did the tenants cause problems with cleaning up but it also caused a rift between the renter and his neighbors. He then rented his property to a young family at a lower rent and had no problems afterwards.

Aside from getting your rent on time, you will have to make sure that you look into tenants with consideration to keeping your property clean, the right attitude to get along with the neighbors and flexibility to adhere to the norms of your neighborhood.

Palm Beach Nightlife: Entertainment on Clematis Street

Clematis Street is considered to be the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach. Starting from Flagler Drive on the Intracoastal, Clematis Street is the place to experience the best nightlife options that Palm Beach has to offer. The 500 block street boasts a selection of interesting boutiques, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and live music along with historical landmarks. Clematis Street is famous for Clematis by Night event held on every Thursday night. The long running event is a great option for residents and visitors to enjoy great live music, good food and drinks. As for the other days of the week, there are plenty of great options.

Monarchy Nightclub

Out of the many nightclubs on Clematis Street, Monarchy is the most popular. The club features a sophisticated mix of House music and features a plush interior, decorated with royalty in mind. The interior also features a disco ball and huge portraits on the walls along with chandeliers. It sets an atmosphere of grandeur and offers an additional VIP section that is roped off.

Palm Sugar

Palm Sugar features some of the best Asian food downtown has to offer. The menu consists of Asian comfort food and street-style tapas platters. If you have a hankering for Vietnamese pho, Japanese udon soup or Thai-issan style flank steak for dinner, Palm Sugar is the place to visit. The restaurant also features a great selection of signature cocktails made with sake, beer and martinis. One of the most popular features of Palm Sugar is the dessert bar where an impressive selection of delicious Asian treats are served.

Respectable Street Café

Respectable Street Café has been open since the 80’s and is now considered a landmark in downtown West Palm Beach. The interior offers a rather dark atmosphere with a black and white dance floor. Patrons can find booths to sit down and enjoy some drinks. On some nights, Respectable Street Café features local bands and offer special drinks on a regular basis.

Wine Dive

If you are on the lookout for some great wines, then Wine Dive is the place to be. The establishment features a fantastic selection of great wines and a casual atmosphere that doesn’t require patrons to dress up. The restaurant offers a range of American tapas along with a range of signature dishes to tease your taste buds. Some of the most popular options include the slow-roasted pork belly and the fried chicken for two. The restaurant also features a great selection of dessert of which the cinnamon Schnapps ice cream, topped with candied bacon comes highly recommended.

Community Housing for Seniors

Different people have different plans for retirement. If you are approaching 65 and would like to live independently and peacefully, a community lifestyle might be the ideal choice. Many people confuse community living with elders’ homes. In reality, over 65 communities are specially designed neighborhoods that provide independent housing and a chance to engage with a community in the same age group. These communities are peaceful, quiet and provide plenty of opportunity for those over 65 to socialize with others in the same age.

You have housing choices

Retirement communities come in various types. While some are typically geared towards community activities, there are a variety of other options that are less focused on community activities. Nevertheless, there are ways for seniors to live out their retirement in peace while having easy access to all necessary amenities and company in the same age group.

Communities offer different types of homes to suit individual retirees or couples. Studio apartments, one bedroom homes or two bedroom homes are among the most common living arrangements in average retirement communities. However, for those with larger retirement accounts, there are luxurious and exclusive retirement communities that offer spacious villas amid exquisite surroundings. It is possible to choose to either buy a property or to rent it depending on your financial situation. Options range from modest and affordable, all the way to luxurious and extravagant.

A one-stop living community

What’s really great about these communities is the lifestyle and amenities. While the services and amenities may vary, they are geared towards making life more comfortable for seniors. The most typical services include housekeeping, gardening and linen services. Additionally, meal plans may also be selected according to dietary needs. Some of the perks of community living are facilities for relaxation such as outdoor parks, comfortable walking trails and swimming pools. Access to on-site gyms, spas and sporting facilities are also close by. Specialized medical care is often within easy reach from community locations. For instance, if a resident requires ongoing care or special treatment sessions, the community will assist in the finding of the right professionals for the job. In some communities, they may have their own nurses, physical therapists and caregivers.
As mentioned earlier, opportunities for socializing are abundant. For instance, book clubs, parties and various late-learning classes may be arranged in some communities. Organized senior-friendly sporting events and a range of recreational facilities help residents enjoy the company of others. Ease of access to these gatherings and facilities makes participation easier.

Enjoying retirement

Community retirement homes are a great way for seniors to enjoy life after 65. The calming environment, relaxing atmosphere, and comfortable living space are worth the time and money spent on a retirement community property. The great amenities, group activities and support given in these communities are perfect to keep seniors active, healthy and on the go! If you’re looking for a property in a luxurious community, Frankel Realty has exclusive offerings to show you. Call us on (561) 427-2154 today.

Decorating Your Home with Feng Shui

The phrase Feng Shui means ‘wind and water’. It is a science and an art that has been in practice in China for thousands of years. Mastering the principles of Feng Shui takes years of study as well as practical experience. For someone who is just starting Feng Shui in their home, it’s all about keeping things organized and functional as well as having an open mind and listening to your intuition.

For starters, you will have to understand that changing the furniture layout of your home will be a considerable change – bringing about new cycles and patterns. In addition to a change in the way a room looks, it will also create a change in the way people use the room and also cause a shift in the energy flow. For beginners, it’s all about experimentation. You will have to choose what’s most pleasing for you and your family and go with it. Anything that causes a visual or energy disruption will have to be changed.

According to Feng Shui, doors and windows are considered to be the portals to let energy into the house. The decoration process starts by revamping your entry way. De-cluttering is a must in Feng Shui. Since your entryway is the first thing that people will see when they enter your home, it will need to be free of any clutter such as coats, shoes and umbrella. You need to think about promoting positive energy and to add natural finishes, plenty of light and create a soothing atmosphere.

When it comes to arranging your living room, be sure that there is a minimum of two comfortable chairs along with a sofa. These should be arranged in a half circle in order to promote discussions. Your stereo and TV are best left hidden. You can purchase an armoire to hide them when they are not in use. Make sure that the TV is not the focal point in your living room as it will not promote good communication.

An open kitchen is highly recommended in Feng Shui. Install waist height cupboards and open shelves. Once again, clutter is your worst enemy. Be sure to clean the shelves regularly so that they don’t get cluttered with unused items. As for the dining room, a great view can never go wrong. The space or room should be airy, light with plenty of space. If you have table décor, make sure to keep them short and small as not to crowd the table and obstruct diners’ from seeing each other.

Bedrooms should be all about rest and relaxation. Remove any electronics such as TVs and computers and keep things symmetrical. Add two pillows and two lamps on the sides of the bed. As for bathrooms, take inspiration from nature. Include elements such as plants that are earth based and use brightly colored towels to help balance the space.

The Palm Beach Nightlife Series: Waterfront Dining

Palm Beach is famous for amazing views, beautiful homes and sunny weather. As evening falls, Palm Beach offers a whole world of entertainment opportunities including drinks, dinner and places to hang out for a few hours. Palm Beach is a boat owner’s paradise, full of fantastic waterfront dining establishments that can be accessed directly with your boat. Here are some of our favorite picks.

Seasons 52

Dock your boat at Seasons 52 and enjoy a unique dining experience. With amazing seasonal menus that offer plenty of choices for those who are watching their weight as well as those who seek flavor, Seasons 52 is a guilt-free option for anyone on the lookout for an amazing dining experience. The restaurant is decorated with stone, earth tones and wood to create a sophisticated atmosphere and presents an impressive wine list. This is a great restaurant to enjoy a meal and a stunning view of the Intracoastal.

Waterway Café

For residents and visitors to Florida, a meal overlooking the Intracoastal Waterways is a must. The Waterway Café is a great place to enjoy a meal with a view that is easily accessible with your own boat. Waterway Café offers outdoor and indoor seating. You can enjoy a selection of great dishes such as salads, grilled sandwiches as well as daily specials. The meatball sandwich is considered to be a favorite among patrons.

The River House

Opened back in the 80’s, The River House is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. Featuring a remarkable selection of hand cut steaks and various types of fresh fish, The River House also offers a bar full of great drinks and a progressive wine list. This beautifully designed restaurant is rather expensive in comparison to more casual establishments but features a fantastic outdoor tiki bar that is famous for its festive atmosphere. This is a fantastic spot for boating enthusiasts to dock their boats and to enjoy a fantastic meal.

E.R. Bradley’s Saloon

E.R. Bradley’s Saloon sits in the highly popular entertainment part of West Palm Beach. The large, mostly open air restaurant pulls in diners in a variety of ages as well as families who come looking for a great meal and friendly ambience. E.R. Bradley’s Saloon offers a highly popular Sunday brunch and a chance to dine with air conditioning during the summer months. The reasonably priced menu features Caribbean and Mexican bar food such as quesadillas, burgers, sandwiches along with steaks and chicken. In comparison to most high end establishments, the E.R. Bradley Saloon is more of a place to dock your boat and to enjoy a drink with a view.

Panama Hattie’s

Panama Hattie’s is all about the atmosphere. Featuring a lovely bar on a boat friendly wooden deck that also doubles up as the main dining area, the restaurant’s décor is rather playful and full of color. Featuring specials such as stone crabs and lobster, Panama Hattie’s is a great spot for good seafood and a chance to lounge in the sun. A perfect spot for those who come in search for a drink and delicious bar friendly food, this restaurant is a place to enjoy a lovely meal with a lovely view.

Frankel Realty Group follows the letter and spirit of the Equal Housing Act, and is a member of the Northern Palm Beach County Board of Realtors, the Florida Multiple Listing Service, and National Board of Realtors.  Thomas Frankel is Broker of Record.   Frankel Realty Group and all of its affiliated agents are licensed as either brokers or salespersons by the Florida Real Estate Commission.  Copyright © 2013 Frankel Realty Group, All Rights Reserved. The name Frankel Realty Group and its logo and design are trademarks of Frankel Enterprises or its affiliates.

 

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