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In October 2017, Americans purchased homes at the fastest pace in a decade- a 6.2% monthly increase nationally, and a 16% monthly increase in Palm Beach County, according to the Florida Realtors Association.

Why are people buying?

One contributing factor could be the result of the national interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages continuing to drop. Last week mortgage rates dropped from 3.95% to 3.92% in comparison to 4.03% in 2016 (National Association of Realtors). Historically, lower mortgage rates have helped drive home sales and those looking to refinance the market.

A healthy job market and low national unemployment rate of 4.1% could also be driving people to purchase homes. Palm Beach County currently has a strong economy with areas

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The Florida home of the Scripps Research Institute is located at 130 Scripps Way, Jupiter on the campus of South Florida's Florida Atlantic University Honors College. The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest, private, non-profit research organization It is a non-profit biomedical research and education facility.   The main institute is headquartered in San Diego, California.  The Scripps Institute in home to over 3,000 scientists, technicians, graduate students and administrative staff and other staff making it one of the largest non-profit biomedical research institutes in the world.

Scripps Florida focus on basic biomedical research and drug discovery. Researchers using the latest cutting-edge technologies, focus on

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A summary of July 2017 existing home sales in South Florida  indicates sales data showing that housing market activity this July fell from last month, but improved from last year. 

Sales of homes on the market slipped to their lowest level of the year in July 2017. As the conversant undercurrents of "lean supply and enthusiastic demand lingers. It continues to strain the housing market, although it reached 5.44 million,” according to Association of Realtors  The Association of Realtors also noted “that it was down 1.3% from a downwardly-revised June pace. While July’s pace was 2.1% higher than a year ago, it was the lowest since last August”. 

NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun stated in July, that “homes are selling fast, strong demand meant

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President Donald J. Trump proclaimed June 2017 as National Homeownership Month. The President stated, During National Homeownership Month, “We recognize the many benefits of homeownership to our families, our communities, and our Nation.  For generations of Americans, owning a home has been an essential element in achieving the American Dream.  Homeownership is often the foundation of security and prosperity for families and communities and an enduring symbol of American freedom.  This month, we recommit to ensuring that hard-working Americans enjoy a fair chance at becoming homeowners.”

It is a time to encourage the American Dream of owning a home.  Homeownership is an unsurpassed investment an individual can make to build their personal wealth.

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A jumbled, jam-packed closet will stress you out every time you get dressed.  It’s important to constantly manage your closet so that you only keep the things you love.  Instead of having a ton of things you don’t like or won’t wear.  Having less in your closet means having more, because when you only have good-quality pieces that you know how to put together you will always have something to wear. Decluttering can be daunting.

If you are trying to sell your house, an organized closet, not one overstuffed with junk, is important. If you have a home in Jupiter may be time to bring out caftans and beach cover-ups and store the wintry weather clothing days.  Although if you live in Palm Beach County you know we only get a handful of sweater days

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Have you ever been up close and personal with a long legged pink bird?  If not, the opportunity exists at the Palm Beach Zoo.  The impressive Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society,1301 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405 has made the opportunity to feed flamingos a reality!

Each afternoon the 'Flamingo Experience' at the Palm Beach Zoo offers clientele an intimate encounter for just $35 a person.  A maximum of eight guests are escorted into a sequestered feeding area where the Chilean Flamingos come out to meet their fans. Touching the elegant birds is not encouraged, but the flamingos can touch you with their nares. Obviously, they don't have hands so they check out the everything with their mouths.

The flamingo snack/meal is on the menu

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Jupiter Island mansion sold for a drastically reduced price after nearly four years on the market.  International icon, Céline Dion, has finally found the perfect buyer for her multimillion-dollar home.  After trying to sell her Florida estate for $72.5 million for years it will now finally close for $38.5 million.

Dion and her husband, René Angélil, built the stunning oceanfront mansion in 2010.  Sadly, Angélil, died of cancer last year.

A Canadian real estate broker helped sell the property, along with a real estate broker in Florida. The identify the new owner has not been disclosed but said the American buyer wanted the property as a vacation home. The $38.5 million transaction finalized last week.

For more information on other homes

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When I grew up, Saturday entailed us mowing and weeding.  Not quite my American dream, or that of my brothers as young teens, but we had a lush green lawn and it was every suburbanites dream. To some, a lawn is the crowning glory of their South Florida home. Yet to others it is a tremendous hit on their checkbook.

Everyone loves the appearance of an impeccable lawn.  Don’t you enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass and the feel of it under bare feet.  The cost to maintain it, mowing, edger’s, mowers, aerators, chemicals and fertilizers.  This is the bare minimum to achieve a beautiful lawn or hiring a lawn service.

Lawn service can be a tremendous hit on the checkbook. Studies show that well maintained landscaping can add 15% to the value of a home. 

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Gardens are beautiful and butterflies seemingly bring the garden to “life” with fluttery movement from plant to plant. South Florida is a great area to have a butterfly garden. Butterfly gardens come in all shapes and sizes. It can begin in a single pot or a plot of land. It is possible to add a few plants to a couple of beds or a window box or transform an existing garden.

A garden full of butterflies requires a good mix of butterfly nectar and select plants so that butterflies will not only be attracted to your shrubbery for a drink, but they will also lay eggs. This provides a place for the entire butterfly life cycle to ensue.

The butterfly life cycle includes various stages: eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis and finally, butterflies. All the

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When staging your Palm Beach County home for sale, your furniture placement will be adjusted to invite buyers into the property and allow them to walk freely in the room and then pass to the next.  It may not be the layout you prefer or use, but it is to facilitate the sale of your house.

 Ideally, a home stager can be your ace in the hole to sell quickly. The home stager will suggest to you what stays and goes, what to put away and what needs to be upgraded.  According to the National Association of Realtors, home stagers start with an “evaluation in which they’ll review your home from curbside to back fence offering a list of instructions and suggested enhancements, changes and upgrades for you to get done.”

The goal of staging is to showcase

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