Summer gets a bad rap in South Florida. Sure, it’s hot and humid, but here in Palm Beach County, there is plenty to love and enjoy.
- Fewer people! The seasonal folks scurry back north and many South Floridians go vacation elsewhere. That leaves less crowded highways, less busy restaurants and emptier beaches for the rest of us.
- Lower prices! With smaller crowds, you find lower prices. Restaurants offer deals. Museums and theaters offer discounts. Summer residents in South Florida benefit the most.
- Slower pace! Fewer people and hotter weather combined with the casual atmosphere of South Florida means less hurry and less worry. Do errands or have fun in the mornings or evenings, and chill in the middle of the day. It’s the tropics, enjoy the pace.
- Air conditioning! Of course, modern conveniences have made long summers more tolerable with air conditioned everything! Summers up north are far more difficult because many places are not cool inside. In South Florida, you never have to be out in the sun for long unless you want to be.
- Turtle Nesting Season! Something unique to our part of the world is a chance to encounter the magnificent sea turtles who return to our shores each summer to lay their eggs. Participate in a night-time turtle walk to see nature at work. From Hobe Sound Nature Center to John D. MacArthur Park down to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, you have a choice of locations.
- Shakespeare by the Sea! This summer, this organization is putting on Love Labor’s Lost. Enjoy an evening picnic and some classic theater by the ocean.
Summer heat and humidity are here in South Florida long before the official start of summer. That’s no reason to hide indoors the whole season! Sure, it is hot – just bring a hat and some water, and set your sights on adventure! Here are four excellent suggestions for outdoor fun:
- Palm Beach Zoo: If you haven’t been here lately, our local zoo has made many great improvements. The trees keep the walks shady, and the interactive exhibits and learning centers keep the kids of all ages entertained. Bring a bathing suit for the kids and let them splash their troubles away in the big central fountain while you sit in the shade. On Summit Blvd., near Dreher Park in West Palm Beach.
- Water Parks: Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation department maintains two water parks: Calypso Bay in Royal Palm Beach and Coconut Cove in Boca Raton. Enjoy your property taxes at work as well as a big wet cool down at either park. This is a terrific adventure with smaller kids who might not be ready for the big Orlando parks, and is way cheaper than the big parks!
- Croquet Club, or as it is officially known: The Charles P. Steuber National Croquet Center: You can try out croquet with up to 2 free lessons at 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays. If you want to play a few games, the cost is $30 daily rate which includes all equipment. At Florida Mango and Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach.
- And of course, there are always our beautiful beaches. From Stuart to Miami, you have your pick of beaches with piers, those that allow dogs, some that are less crowded, and ones with good picnic areas. In summer, you have longer daylight hours to enjoy the beaches in the evening as the temperature starts to drop.
Everyone has one. Everyone wants a strong one. Those with poor ones suffer. But few understand the mystery behind how it is figured: a credit score.
Your credit score is determined by:
- Payment history – Paying bills on time is the best way to improve your score or keep your score strong.
- Credit history – The longer you have had accounts, the better. Time is the factor that will give your credit score a little boost.
- New Accounts – Be wary of opening too many accounts, especially all at once. You could appear reckless. Each new account requires a hard inquiry into your credit history and too many of those are harmful.
- Credit utilization ratio – While opening a lot of new accounts is damaging, closing a bunch down can also have a detrimental effect. This ratio refers to how much you owe vs. how much credit you have available. Shoot for 30 percent or less to keep your credit score healthy. If you want to close some unused credit cards, try to pay any of your debt down at the same time so this ratio doesn’t get out of whack.
A great credit score is more than something to be proud of. Good financial habits lead to a good credit score which then saves you money when you try to borrow money. When you are applying for a mortgage, your excellent credit will get you a fabulous rate, a good score will get you a good rate, and a bad credit score could make it difficult to borrow the money you need.
Real estate is a good investment even in times of slow growth. Of course, the economic downturn a decade ago saw many Americans shy away from home ownership. How much can change in a decade.
This is a great time to snap up a home. Real estate website trulia.com has stated that, all across the country, the costs of home ownership is cheaper than renting. And, lucky you, South Florida is one of the best values!
The start of this year shows that buyers are finally on board. Per the Wall Street Journal, the number of buyers outpaced renters in the first quarter of 2017. Americans are eager to buy homes again. If you have been feeling cautious or your kids have been holding back before buying their first home, this is the time to start looking.
And if you are looking to sell your home, consider this your alert: the buyers are back!
Why home ownership is a better choice
Buying a home gives you equity in an asset that will appreciate over time. Home ownership protects you against rising rents. And it can give you a valuable tax deduction, in addition to pride of ownership! In the short run, closing costs and other fees associated with purchasing a home can dent your savings. But in the long run, the savings from home ownership will far outstrip continuing to rent.
Contact the Scherer Team to find the right home for you or to make your home available for all those ready buyers out there!