South Florida doesn’t look like other places: It’s green all the time. the land is flat and the roads are mostly straight. The architecture here also reflects the different climate and temperate of our area. Here are a few architectural details and features that you will often find in South Florida homes:
Bright or pastel paint colors. Like the Caribbean islands, our architecture is competing with flowers and year-round greenery, so the exteriors of houses tend to be painted more lively shades than up north.
Large windows and sliding glass doors. Windows in Florida homes let the sunshine in, and in the winter, allow cross breezes to keep the house temperate.
Concrete building materials. Old Florida homes of early settlers were made from wood. Over the years, residents realized hurricanes, termites and wood rot made wood less desirable. Now homes are almost always made of concrete block, often covered in stucco.
Big screened patios. Residents of Florida live much of their lives in the backyard around the pool.
Big attached garages. Without an attic or a basement like northern homes, Floridians need a place to put all their stuff!
Open layout and tile floors. Most people in Florida have moved here in the past few decades, so housing designs tend to be modern. Open layouts and tile floors also allow homes to stay cooler.
Cabana bathrooms. Easy access from the backyard pool is a priority in South Florida.
Coat closets and mud rooms are rare. Who needs them!
Storm shutters instead of decorative wooden shutters. After the series of storms in 2005 and 2006, accordion storm shutters became considered less of an eyesore and more of a desirable feature on South Florida homes.
Tile roofs. South Florida homes are heavily influenced by Mediterranean architecture, which comes from an equally warm climate. Many Florida homes have the S-tile roofs that are common in Italy and Spain.
It is summer in South Florida and your energy bills are rising as fast as the thermometer. Save money and energy by paying attention to the following:
Curtains and blinds. Drawing the curtains and closing the blinds is the quickest and easiest way to save on energy in Florida. Block the sun’s rays from getting in your house and you’ve quickly and easily reduced your energy usage. The cost of quality blinds and drapes can pay for themselves with the savings on energy bills. Take note especially of windows facing east in the morning and west in the afternoon.
Fans. Ceiling and box fans can be used when you are home as they are designed to move the cooler air and make it feel more comfortable for the people in the house. They don’t actually lower the temperature of the house.
Thermostat. When you are not home, bump the thermostat up a couple degrees. If you are not going to work, consider going out and spending time at the library or a movie theater to cool off without spending energy to keep your house cool.
Oven. Eat cooler in the hottest months with salads, crockpot meals or grilled food. You save double energy by not using your oven and not adding heat for the air conditioner to combat.
Landscaping. This is a long-range solution, yet still one worth working on. Over the years, you can beautify your yard as well as use trees and shrubs to shade your house, lowering your utility usage and bills.
Keller Williams and I are both always looking for ways to make your house hunting and selling experience smoother. Now you can download my new Keller Williams Real Estate Search app to your phone or tablet. This GPS-powered app will ease your searches and keep vital real estate info right at your fingertips – literally!
Try out the Team Scherer real estate app. Here are a few ways it can make your life easier.
Find Open Houses. You can plan a whole day of Open House tours after narrowing down your choices by price range and geographic region.
Browse our Keller Williams listings with photos and details of houses for sale and for rent in your chosen area. Keep up to date on changing listings, including prices.
Quickly and easily contact your Realtor. My new app lets you send a text, send an email, or call me at the touch of a button!
Draw a circle on a map right on the screen to limit the area you want to search.
Click on points of interest near homes you are considering.
Sign up for an account, then you can share listings you find with your family and friends through text or even on Facebook!
Best of all the app is FREE! Click here to find the appropriate download for your device. It is available for Apple or Android products.
Try it out and let me know how well it works for you.
You can learn more about the app from this video on the Scherer Team website.
The long lazy days of summer are a good time to hit up an art museum. Show visiting relatives the cultural highlights of our area, expose the kids to fun education, or just enjoy a cool stroll through the galleries on your own. Palm Beach County offers you plenty of opportunities for art in air-conditioned comfort. Check these out:
The big daddy of art locally is the Norton Art Museum in downtown West Palm Beach. Currently undergoing renovations, the museum is not charging admission. This summer you can learn about artists’ handwritten letters on loan from the Smithsonian in addition to the parts of the permanent collection that are available for viewing.
Further south, the Boca Raton Museum of Art offers everything from glassworks to line drawings to photography in various current and upcoming exhibitions.
The beautiful Flagler Museum in Palm Beach is a wonderful example of early 20th century living for the ultrarich. Always on display are furniture and art of the Flagler family. Plus this summer also includes a special exhibition of art featuring the flying heroes of World War I.
The Morikami Museum and Gardens in Delray Beach is not to be missed. The gardens provide frequent shade for an enjoyable summer stroll. The most recent exhibit just closed, so check for what is next in the gallery.
The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach offers art, music, drama and literature. You can explore the botanical gardens and the sculpture garden as well as exhibits and classes indoors.
Keep in mind that most museums are closed on Mondays. Check museum calendars for when exhibits are opening and closing.