Fun Activities for Kids in South Florida

For families with children, living in Palm Beach gives easy access to some exciting fun and educational activities for children of all ages.

Teach them about the great outdoors

The area provides a lot of natural vibrant plant and animal life. The McCarthy Wildlife sanctuary is one of the many places children can be immersed in natural surroundings. With over 170 animals, this is a fantastic opportunity for kids to get in touch with amazing animals who have been given a home in this sanctuary. Kids are given a chance to look at tigers, lynxes, owls, eagles and quite a few species of snakes, as well as to take hikes and learn about the animals.

Golfing for children

If you come from a family of golf enthusiasts, there’s no reason for your kids to not enjoy the fun. Putt’n Around is a great place for the children to have a great time and for adults to have a good time as well. Comprised of two 18-hole golf courses Putt’n Around provides a chance for kids to enjoy two different layouts: the Ocean and the Everglades. The landscapes are designed with plants and flowers that thrive in the tropical weather.

Intellectual and creative stimulation

The Children’s Museum of Boca Raton is one of the premier destinations for educating children in an engaging and enjoyable way. This museum is made up a few historic buildings and is designed to mimic the look of a university campus. The campus presents educational exhibits that teach arts, history, and the humanities along with sciences.

Help them explore artistic expression

For those with children with a love for the performance arts, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Conservatory is a fantastic choice. Regardless of age, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre is a professional conservatory for students to engage in workshops, interact with nationally known Broadway performers and directors as well as to meet agents. The conservatory offers classes in various forms of dance including ballet, tap, hip hop and jazz as well as courses in play writing, audition techniques, theatrical singing and guitar. Students will be given a chance to be trained by professional instructors and to take part in productions to put their skills to the test.

Discover science

If your child is within the 5-12 age group, and has an interest in science, the Children’s Science Explorium will present them with an exciting educational experience. This museum is dedicated to providing entertaining education about the world of science. The Children’s Science Explorium presents interactive exhibits and hands on experiences to help stimulate imagination and to help develop critical thinking from an early age.

Fun in the sun

After a long day of educational activities, let your kids loose at the Rapids Water Park. This is a fantastic place for whole families to enjoy rides, exciting water activities as well as to relax in a swimming pool. The Water Park also features accommodation if you wish to prolong your stay.

South Florida has many activities kids can enjoy. If you have young children and you’re thinking about finding the perfect area to raise your growing family, contact us at Frankel Realty. We will understand your needs and help you find your dream home, in a location that’s right for you. Call us on (561) 427 2154 today.

Relocating to Luxurious South Florida

South Florida is considered to be one of the most desirable places to live in the US. The fantastic weather, the beaches and the laid-back summer-vacation atmosphere can make anyone want the South Florida lifestyle. Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach and Jupiter are among the most sought after residential areas in South Florida and there are a few important facts to consider before relocating.

Weather factors

For starters, many hopeful residents are tempted by Florida’s beautiful weather. Something most of them don’t prepare for is the high heat and humidity. While the seasonal changes are not apparent since autumn and winter are very mild in comparison to the northern states, the levels of humidity will remain high all through the year to make even the small changes rather apparent. Although the state is referred to as the ‘Sunshine State’, Florida experiences frequent thunderstorms during the summer and is also prone to hurricanes. The heat can get quite intense in July and August and may not be comfortable for those who are accustomed to colder climates. It is advised that you spend some time in Florida during the hot summer to help make a decision.

A home for any budget

The cost of living in South Florida is comparatively reasonable. There are plenty of prices to suit various price ranges and unless you are going for a luxurious property, rent is also quite reasonable. Of course, many properties come with great views and access to beaches and various waterfront activities. Florida is famed for tax benefits as the state does not impose an income tax. Your social security income and most pensions are exempt from taxes.

The South Florida lifestyle

If you are seeking a relaxed lifestyle, South Florida is the perfect choice. The beautiful surroundings and fun activities will make residents feel as though they are on a permanent vacation. The state boasts vivid wild life and an extra hour of daily sunshine. In fact, catching a sunset will be a regular possibility while also providing you a chance to enjoy picture perfect weekends. Whether you are a couple, retired or a family with children, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy. From exclusive golf courses, lovely restaurants, cruise ports all the way to biking trails and fun sporting events, there is a lot to enjoy in South Florida. The state is also home to Sea World, MGM Studios and Walt Disney World. The only drawback of having such a wide selection of attractions and great activities is the crowd. You will have to be prepared for standing in long lines and heavy traffic.

What You Need to Know about Selling Short

Selling short refers to selling a property for less than the amount that the current owner owes their mortgage company. As for buying a property that is a short sale, the process is different when compared to buying a property that is owned by the bank, a real-estate owned property (REO) or a foreclosed property. While the terms may sound like jargon and the process, rather complicated, it is important for those who are shopping for homes to understand terms such as ‘selling short’ in order to successfully navigate today’s real estate market.

From a buyer’s perspective, a short sale is a good thing. It’s also a good thing for a seller because they are able to avoid a full foreclosure that will affect their credit rating in a negative manner. In a short sale, the damage can be considerably minimized if the homeowner is able to persuade their lender to report the debt as “paid in full” to the credit bureau.

Selling short fetches proceeds that are less than the amount that the homeowner owes in mortgage costs as well as the cost of selling. For a short sale to go forward until the closing stage, everyone who is involved and owed money will have to agree to accept an amount less than the amount that they are owed. In some cases, those who are owed may not receive any money at all. This makes short sales complex transactions that move rather slowly and often don’t make it to the closing stage.

According to a statement issued by the U.S. Treasury, the new version of the ‘Making Home Affordable’ plan offers $1000 to lenders if they allow a property to sell short when the owners are not qualified for loan modification due to owing too much money because of their property. Furthermore, a new extension for the government’s house rescue plan was introduced and this makes things easier for buyers to purchase a short sale property.

For house hunters, it is extremely important to identify a short sale when they see one. In many short sale situations, sellers have already fallen behind on mortgage payments due to employment issues or ill health. As mentioned earlier, the process is long and will require a great deal of effort from the buyer’s end. Needless to say, short sales are not something a buyer would want to handle without the assistance of a qualified real estate professional. Your chosen real estate agent will have to fully comprehend the territory, negotiation process and to be familiar with similar sales to help you close the deal faster.

The condition of the property at the time of sale is very important. Since a short sale is the result of financial hardship on the seller’s end, the possibility of the property not being maintained properly due to the lack of funds, is quite high. It is recommended that the buyer obtain a full inspection of the home before committing to buy.

A Guide for Single Female Homebuyers

Homebuyers come in all shapes and sizes and when it comes to buying a home as a single woman, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. According to a 2009 report put together by the State of the Nation’s Housing, women currently have a greater and more powerful presence in the housing market due to social and economic trends. The number of households that are led by single women saw an increase of about 10 million between the years 1980 and 2000.

As of now, the percentage of homes owned by single women is greater than that of single men and about 21% of all new home purchases are done by single women. Needless to say, the requirements of a single woman in comparison to a family, a couple or even a single man may be different. So when choosing the right property there are some things to pay attention to.

Set up a budget and stick to it

Buying your own home is a sign of independence and a great step towards a successful future. However, it is very important to stay within your range of affordability. This doesn’t mean simply being able to afford the mortgage rate but also accounting for certain situations such as losing a job, becoming ill or just about anything that may have an effect on your income. Since you are single, you are literally on your own when it comes to finances. Therefore, be sure to set a budget that is well within your financial ability.

Safety and security is a must

A single woman will have to think about her safety and the security of her property. Therefore, choosing a safe neighborhood and picking a home that will guard your belongings is an absolute must. Consider looking into the crime rate of any neighborhood that you are interested in. A condo will be considerably more secure when compared to a house.

Don’t forget about house maintenance

When you live alone, you will have to maintain your house on your own. Unless you are financially capable of hiring a staff, you will have to consider purchasing a property that is easy to maintain. A large yard with countless trees to trim, and a house that requires extensive maintenance can be a hassle if you lead a busy lifestyle. Be sure to look for a property that’s easy to manage on your own.

Think about the future

A home is an investment. As a single woman, you may face situations where you have to move or change your lifestyle. Choose a home that has the possibility of a good return is a good way to have some assurance on your future. Another thing to consider is whether you are planning to get married and perhaps have children. Small things such as a spare bedroom may help you transition to the family life without having to move.

Staying Active and Healthy in Jupiter: Places to Exercise

Jupiter is a great place to live. For those with a love for fitness and a healthy lifestyle, Jupiter is full of fantastic opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle amid beautiful surroundings.  Aside from easy access to fantastic walking and biking trails and beach activities, Jupiter is also home to a wide range of gyms and fitness centers that offer various fitness programs to help residents stay in shape.

Relax with yoga

For those who seek the serene relaxation of yoga, Jupiter offers a great selection of yoga classes in some of the most well-known establishments in the neighborhood. Establishments such as Hot Yoga, Phoenix Rising, Jupiter Farms Yoga and Jennifer Avrel Yoga are popular for great yoga classes to suit various needs and levels. The establishments offer classes that range from intensive sessions for those with plenty of experience, all the way to beginners’ classes. If you are interested in learning traditional yoga in a relaxing atmosphere, you can try Kula Yoga Shala or Guru in You, which allows the option for private sessions.

Dance your way to fitness

Whether it’s Zumba, Latin dancing, belly dancing or even pole dancing, Jupiter offers plenty of great places to enjoy a fantastic dancing session with top-notch instructors. Dance Crush, Imperial Belly Dance Theatre and Pixie Fitness offer great opportunities to stay in shape while also learning great new moves.  Latin dancing, in particular, is quite popular in Jupiter and places such as Dance Zone and Salsaholics offer lessons at different levels and even to children.

Staying fit with martial arts

Martial arts are a great way to stay fit regardless of age. Whether you are an adult or have a family with kids, martial arts classes can provide some great activities to keep the whole family strong, fit and healthy. Symmetry Martial Arts, Harmony Martial Arts Center and Purple Dragon all offer martial arts classes for adults and children. You can even try boxing at Jupiter Boxing Club and Title Boxing Club.

Local gyms

Jupiter is also home to a selection of great gyms to help you stay active and healthy. With fitness programs such as Zumba, Pilates and Crossfit, you have a wide selection of gyms to suit your specific needs. The likes of Crossfit Palm Beach, Jupiter Fitness Center, Orangetheory Fitness and Golds Gym are great places to get in touch with professional trainers and high quality equipment. Revolutions Cycling Studios is a great place for spinning enthusiasts. If you are looking for something more challenging and intensive, you can try Hard Exercise Works that lives up to its name by presenting excellent boot camp workouts.

Homeowners’ Insurance and Coverage

Homeowners’ insurance is a protective measure that will pay for damages to your property, cover your legal responsibility, and liability as well as any injuries and property damage to you, your family or others. The damage caused by household pets is often included in the coverage. A standard homeowners’ insurance policy provides 4 types of coverage that are considered essential.

Coverage for the structure of your home

This particular part of the policy will pay for any repairs if your home is damaged or destroyed by any of the disasters that are listed in your policy. Disasters such as fire, hail, hurricanes and lightning are commonly listed in these policies and it is very important to consider the weather in your area and its history of natural disasters when choosing coverage. In most cases, standard homeowners’ insurance policies cover structures such as garages, gazebos or tool sheds.

Coverage on your belongings

Personal items such as clothes, furniture and other belongings are covered by your homeowners’ policy from theft, fire and any other disaster listed in the policy. Most insurance companies offer about 50 – 70% of the amount for which the structure of your home is insured. It is recommended that you conduct a home inventory to make sure that the amount you receive is adequate to cover any possible losses.

Liability protection coverage

Any property damage or injuries that are caused by you or your family members will be covered by liability protection coverage. This coverage will also pay for any damage caused by your pets. This means that if your children or your pets damage a particularly expensive vase in your neighbor’s house, it will be covered by the liability protection coverage. However, this does not mean that any damages to your own properties will be covered. Aside for the cost of the damage, the liability portion will also pay the legal charges in any lawsuit up to the policy limits.

Additional living expenses

This portion of your policy will pay for any additional costs of living that you may have to face should have to live away from your home. If your home is destroyed or damaged from a disaster listed in your policy, the insurance company will pay for hotel bills, meals from restaurants as well as other expenses that are above your regular expenses. However, this coverage has limits and it is normal for some policies to have time limitations.
A standard homeowners’ insurance also covers any trees or plants in your garden. Generally, you will be offered about 5% of the insurance amount on the house all the way up to $500 for each item. The disasters include theft, vandalism, riot, explosions and even falling aircrafts, but do not include wind damage and disease.

Places To Shop In Palm Beach

Palm Beach, famed for its stunning million dollar homes and perfect summer vacation weather, is also a fantastic shopping destination. From the latest trends and looks straight from the runway all the way to unique antiques, Palm Beach offers you an unbeatable shopping experience. Here are some of the top upscale shopping destinations in Palm Beach for you to get your hands on designer goods.

The Palm Beach Gardens Mall

The Gardens Mall is a two story, upscale shopping mall where over 160 specialty shops can be found. Featuring stores such Stuart Weitzman, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Michael Kors, the Palm Beach Gardens Mall is one of the most popular and favorite upscale shopping destinations in Florida. This large shopping center is ideal for those who want high-end luxury products as well as specialty items that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. Boasting 2 Starbucks coffee shops and a selection of restaurants The Gardens Mall is perfect to spend a day of shopping for absolutely anything you would need.

Worth Avenue

When it comes to discussing upscale shopping in Palm Beach, Worth Avenue must be noted for a variety of reasons. For starters, in 2013, Worth Avenue made it to the top three of the “most iconic streets in America.” The Avenue is four blocks from Lake Worth all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. A shopping spree on Worth Avenue is one of the most significant retail experiences you can enjoy in Palm Beach. You will be able to shop at a wide range of high-end designer outlets at Worth Avenue. The likes of Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Hermès, Chanel, Gucci and Ralph Lauren as well as Tiffany & Co. are all offered for those with a love luxurious designer products. At the Eastern end of Worth Avenue, an open-air mall known as 150 Worth offers a selection of upscale stores.

CityPlace

CityPlace is not just a shopping mall but actually an upscale lifestyle center that is located in downtown West Palm Beach. Located along South Rosemary Avenue, CityPlace features a selection of excellent high-end retail outlets and restaurants as well as apartments for rent, condos and office spaces. Popular destination in CityPlace include Muvico Parisian 20, LA Fitness, Publix and Macy’s. The shopping center is designed to reflect West European, Mediterranean and Venetian architecture and is now one of the most iconic landmarks in Palm Beach. For those who seek to indulge in luxury branded items and to simply spend a day full of shopping, excitement and even a bit of relaxation, CityPlace is fully equipped to offer you all that you need. From shopping all the way to a bowling alley, the shopping center offers something for everyone. When you feel like taking a break, you can always head on to The Cheesecake Factory, Sloan’s Ice Cream, Panera Bread or Starbucks.

If living in West Palm Beach is something you would like to consider, call Frankel Realty on (561) 427-2154 to speak to one of our qualified representatives.

Furniture Trending for Fall 2014

Are you decorating or re-decorating your home? Then you need to get in touch with the latest furniture trends to make sure that your space is beautiful, up to date and functional.

Outdoor-type furniture for the indoors

Wickerwork, lattice work, aged metals and heavy wooden furniture are in this season. This doesn’t exclusively mean pieces of furniture that can pass up for garden furniture but also applies for items that appear to have been left outside. Faded wood and aged metals have a rustic appeal that will work great with other classic pieces to create a unique design. Look for pieces made with outdoorsy materials but are designed for indoor comfort for the best results.

Glamorous pieces will steal the show

High backed upholstered chairs, polished surfaces and shiny neutrals create a glamorous look. For 2014, pieces of furniture that spell glamour and lavishness will be ideal to make a bold design statement. While the trend is not exactly something completely new, the styles and the shapes of pieces along with the prints and colors have seen some considerable change.

 

Custom, recycled and up-cycled items are in

Adding pieces that are completely unique into your interiors will make the design stand out. While professional customized items may be exceptionally expensive, a special statement piece or a bold accent will be worth the price. If you don’t feel like splurging, you can always look at pieces that have been crafted from unconventional recycled items such as wooden pellets and wine barrels.

Ethnic pieces are a favorite for 2014

Ethnic prints, ethnic designs and ethnic shapes are all very popular this fall. If you are to walk into a furniture store, you are bound to find at least a few pieces that depict different cultures and ethnicities. These pieces will often work as style statements. The perfect chair, table or cupboard can be mixed and matched easily with the rest of your décor to create a unique look with a dash of ethnic elegance.

Metallic fabrics are perfect for a design statement

Metallic leather upholstery and metallic cushions are ideal to create an almost avant garde look in just about any room. The key is to not go overboard and to choose your pieces with care. A few metallic cushions or a single metallic leather ottoman would work great in a small space. For larger spaces, you can experiment with more pieces without the fear of overcrowding.

Eco–friendly furniture is great in many ways

Furniture made from recycled or up-cycled materials are affordable and beautiful while being friendly to the environment. Additionally, you can look for pieces made from industrial timber that have been made into everyday items.

Multi-functional pieces work in all types of rooms

Multi-functional pieces are ideal for small spaces. Coffee tables that double up as dinner tables, ottomans with hidden storage space and sofa beds are a great way to add a unique dash of elegance to your space while saving space at the same time. Getting several uses out of the price of one piece is only the cherry on top!

Palm Beach Nightlife: Top 5 Lounges and Bars

Palm Beach is a much loved residential destination with so much to offer its residents. From beautiful homes, elite company and beautiful weather, all the way to family friendly activities and great places to grab some food and drinks, Palm Beach is rich with great entertainment opportunities. Here, we have listed the top 5 upscale lounges and bars in Palm Beach.

Buccan

Buccan is a beautiful restaurant with a constantly evolving menu. Named after a type of wooden grill from the Caribbean, the restaurant is a great place to sit back and enjoy a delicious meal. The restaurant is separated in to six areas where diners can enjoy a drink on the bar, enjoy the intimacy of dining in an alcove or to simply chill out on comfortable sofas. The spicy pork tacos, burrata salad and southern fried chicken come highly recommended. You can wash it all down with a glass of Buccan T, an alcoholic iced tea.

City Place

While not exactly a bar or a lounge, City Place is actually an upscale shopping center with plenty of places to buy what you need and to enjoy a fantastic meal. The strikingly unique architecture of City Place and the many great shopping venues make it a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. After a long day of shopping and lounging in one or a few of the many cafes, you can enjoy a fantastic drink at one of bars to end your perfect day in style.

Ta-boo

Ta-boo is a chic establishment with a beautifully decorated interior and classic casual dining atmosphere. Opened in 1941, this lovely bistro has been long considered one of the must visit destinations in Palm Beach. In fact, some say that the ‘bloody Mary’ was actually invented here. If you are looking for a great place to relax at happy hour after work, then Ta-boo is the perfect option. Sit back, enjoy the piano music with a glass of wine and be sure to order the lamb.

Cucina Dell’ Arte

Cucina Dell’ Arte is a highly popular trattoria in Palm Beach and offers a traditional Italian cuisine and a great wine list. Decorated with saffron colored stucco walls and an exhibition kitchen, Cucina Dell’ Arte transforms into a trendy and hip bar that attracts happy young patrons in the evening hours. The establishment is famed for great house-baked pizza, grilled fish and a divine assortment of pasta dishes. Needless to say, the wine list offers enough variety to make sure that just about any dish is properly accompanied.

The Leopard Lounge

The much loved Leopard Lounge features sophisticated décor and a menu featuring some of the most adored signature dishes. The Leopard Lounge bar is one of the most popular nighttime destinations for locals and regular visitors. The recently refurbished space features excellent musical entertainment to go well with your drinks. If you want to mingle with the hip crowd of Palm Beach, head on to the Leopard Lounge and enjoy a cocktail made from your favorite ingredients and sit back to enjoy a wonderful evening.

How to Conserve Energy in Your Home

More and more people are on the lookout for ways to conserve energy in their homes. Cutting down energy consumption is a great way to cut down utility costs as well as to do your part to assist global energy conservation. However, not all home energy conservation methods are economical or practical for every home. Below are a few of the best home energy conservation options for you to choose as per your needs and financial ability.

Be careful with the lights

This is one of the simplest methods of conserving energy in your home as well as your workplace. Start by only using natural light during the daytime by opening shades and curtains and resorting to electrical lights only when it’s absolutely necessary. You can always choose lamps to cast light directly where it is needed for activities such as writing and reading at night.

Choose the right appliances

Nowadays, low-energy consuming and environmentally friendly appliances are readily available. Televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines that tend to get used very often come in energy conserving models that are just as friendly to your budget. The next time you are shopping or a new appliance, look for the “Energy Star” sticker.

Change your light bulbs

Traditional light bulbs consume a lot of energy and may end up significantly raising your monthly bill. Instead, opt for LED bulbs for low energy consumption and a lower electricity bill.

Maintain your home with care

A large chunk of your energy bill is made up of cooling and heating. If your home is not insulated properly, these costs will be higher. Be sure to check your home for broken windows, furnace filter damage and any cracks and weak spots. Any places where air can escape will cause your heating or cooling systems to work harder by consuming more energy.

Use heating and cooling only when necessary

Whether you live in a cool climate or a warm one, every single day is not going to be equally hot or cold. This means that you will need to pay attention to the weather and to decide whether to turn on heat or the air conditioner. Whenever possible, try and work with natural ventilation.

Limit your water consumption

Little things such as turning off the tap when you are brushing your teeth can make a considerable difference. As for long showers, they too tend to be expensive in the long run. Invest in an alarm to time your showers to save money and time. In addition, it is very important to regularly check for leaks as a few drops can add up at the end of the month.

Maintain your car & reduce how much you drive

If the weather is great and you only have a short distance to go, taking out your bicycle or simply walking can help conserve energy while also providing exercise. When it comes to your vehicle, always check that the tires are properly inflated and get your oil changed as per the manufacturer’s specifications so that it runs efficiently.

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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