Living East of Federal for South of $1Million

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Happy Wednesday everyone!
This week I’m back to share three neighborhoods that will give you total access to the East Boca lifestyle, without the East Boca price tag. Downtown Boca is getting revitalized, no doubt about it –  there’s new construction everywhere you look – new luxury rental buildings and hotels in and around Mizner/ Royal Palm speak to that, and to support this influx of people there are new businesses, shops and restaurants opening weekly.
While new construction is everywhere, there are still some great deals to be had. The key with these neighborhoods is that you’re buying based on LOCATION. These are hot areas where the greatest reward is to be had long-term.

First up is: Boca Villas/ East of Mizner Park
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Located north of Palmetto Park Road and East of Mizner Park this neighborhood, formerly filled with old-Florida style “granny” homes are knock-downs waiting to happen. Developers have steadily been buying up these old homes to build spec and custom homes in Mediterranean and West Indies styles.
A brand new home in this neighborhood will start at about $1.2M, and homes on the intracoastal to the East are mega mansions (like $10M+). Even with its proximity to Mizner Park, this neighborhood is really livable, walkable and pleasantly quiet while still having total access to everything that downtown Boca has to offer.
  • East of Mizner Park/ North of Palmetto Park Road
  • Prices for a brand new home start at about $1.2M
  • Older homes start at about $500K
  • 5-10 minute walk to Mizner Park
Some tips for buying in a transitional East Boca neighborhood:
1. Look at lot size – the larger the lot, the greater the possibilities to renovate or knock down.
2. Is the property already plumbed for gas? Gas lines are run street by street in many of these East Boca neighborhoods, and while it’s possible to get natural gas installed, it can be quite costly, especially if it needs to be run from another street. (Tip: If you’re planning on doing a major renovation or knock down and your property does not have gas – a propane tank buried deep below ground is a popular and cost-effective option.)
3. Order a soil density test. If you DO plan to knock down the existing home or do any major renovations down the road, make sure to order a soil test in addition to your home inspections. Closer to the ocean, the soil is less dense, so you’ll need to find out if the property will need pilings to support the larger home you intend to build. The soil density test itself is not cheap, but if pilings are needed, they’ll cost around $50,000 so it’s worth it to know in advance!
4. Look at what new homes on similar lots are selling for. When choosing a transitional neighborhood, you sometimes have to see it for what it WILL be, rather than what it is. Purchasing a property in the entry price point of a neighborhood where there’s a lot of upward mobility (i.e. new homes on comparable lots selling for considerably more) is desirable because as long as you renovate or upgrade appropriately, your investment is protected.

My next pick is just across the bridge from Boca Villas: Boca Riviera 

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Nestled between A1A and Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton is the Boca Riviera neighborhood. It abuts the affluent and popular Sun & Surf community where homes start at about $1 Million (and go up from there). Public beach access is just a short walk or bike ride away and you truly get that “sleepy beach town” feel, while being mere minutes away from downtown. Homes on the water start at well over $1 Million, but under there are older Florida style homes as well as some historic bungalows.
  • Between A1A and the intracoastal North of Palmetto Park Road
  • Prices for a brand new home start at about $1.3M
  • Older homes start at about $600K
  • 5-10 minute walk to the beach/ 15 minute bike ride to Mizner 
  • Public beach access with pavilions at Palmetto Park Road

     Slightly further South from Boca Rivera is the neighborhood of: Spanish River Land Co. 

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A short distance from the Boca Raton Beach Club and swanky One Thousand Ocean at the Boca Resort is the Spanish River Land Co/ Spanish River Land Estates neighborhood. Homes on the water in this neighborhood easily start at $4 Million and can top $9 Million. Neighborhoods like this one are particularly interesting because there’s a range of homes for sale not on the water in a variety of price points.
Typically in South Florida you see homes on the intracoastal in the million-dollar range, but landlocked properties across the street often sell for far, far, far less. That’s true in this case too, but instead of $2 Million and $300,000, it’s $7 Million on the water and $2 Million not on the water. Not too shabby. Here are some neighborhood stats:
  • Between A1A and the intracoastal South of Camino Real
  • Prices for a brand new home (not on the water) start at about $1.9M
  • Homes start at about $700K
  • 5-10 minute walk to the beach
It’s so exciting to see so many new things coming to Boca Raton!
If you’re looking to make Boca your home, or are considering a move, call me! I’d love to work with you! (561) 789-7084

Margaret Schaffer, aka Modern Boca Real Estate Mom, is an active Realtor with The Samantha DeBianchi Team (as seen on Million Dollar Listing: Miami) living, working and raising two little ones in beautiful Boca Raton! Margaret@DeBianchiRealEstate.com

MBMom & Musikgarten: Halloween Album 2014

A HUGE thank you to Bloomingdale’s Boca Raton for hosting our Special Halloween Edition of “MBMom & Musikgarten!”


We had a fantastic class in costume taught by Musikgarten by the Beach’s Diana Rush, a beautiful breakfast spread and even a fun Halloween parade through the Bloomingdale’s Children’s Department.

Check out this adorable parade video:

And how about all of our awesome MBMoms & #bocakids in costume?

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#dailybabyavery made a pretty cute Tinkerbell if I do say so myself!


Why hello soccer star Mason!


I knew Peter Pan would show up!


Mommy is this Prince Charming’s lucky lady!



The class in action!




Meet the lucky winner(s) of our Costume Contest! 

Once again, special thanks to my “MBMom & Musikgarten” partner Diana Rush!


And of course, thank you to Jen and Kelli-Ann from Bloomingdale’s for organizing the beautiful space and spread.

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Our November “MBMom & Musikgarten” date will be announced soon! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for the event invitation!

HELP!!! I Need a Boca Babysitter!


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I need to find a Boca babysitter.

I hear those six words often from first time moms and moms new to the Boca Raton/South Florida area, but mostly I hear them from parents who are in some sort of childcare bind and a qualified sitter is their only hope for having  some parental freedom!

Conveniently, there is a company based in Delray Beach, KCC Sitter Source, whose mission is to provide top level childcare to parents/guardians while benefiting the lives of children and youth.

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I was excited to speak with their founder Meagan Killinger, a former school teacher turned CEO and founder, to ask her (as a first time mom myself) my burning sitter questions.

I was pretty confident that things had changed since I used to babysit back in high school!

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I first asked her why she decided to start her business. She told MBMom that day in and day out as a teacher, she would greet her students and then send them on their way; many went on to empty homes due to families working late hours, others stayed over friends’ houses or were placed in the care of a nearby relative.

“Even the most dedicated parents can’t be available every moment of their children’s lives to help them learn and grow and that’s what Sitter Source is here to do; assist adults while benefiting the lives of children.”

So true. Read on to find out what steps you can take to find the best babysitter for your family MBMoms…

I’m a first time mom and have never had a babysitter besides family members. How should I go about finding a go-to sitter for my family? 

Leaving your baby or toddler with a sitter for the first time is always harder on the parents than it is on the child. Preparing yourself, your baby and the sitter will help to provide a smooth transition and a nurturing, pleasant experience for all.

You want a Boca babysitter that has experience, credentials, a background check, is CPR/First aid certified, and who comes highly recommended. Sarah, the nice girl who lives next door, for all you know is just that and only that. You want to use an agency that can provide more than just the sitter you need. You want to use an agency that provides sitters who bring along peace of mind, safety and security.

Is there a “going rate” for sitters these days? I used to get paid $5 an hour in the late 90’s…how have times changed?

Current average hourly rates range from $15.00 to $25.00 an hour.

The rate varies from family to family based on the number of children . An emergency, or back up sitter, will also be a little higher than your usual on-call sitter. The only reason it should go any more then $25.00 an hour, is if the family or organization has more than 5 children; in which case you would want to consider 2 sitters with the average hourly rate starting at $30.00 an hour and going up from there again based on number of children.

How does Sitter Source help make connecting with a sitter easier and safer? 

Simple and convenient…here’s how it works.

First, contact us :


Monday – Sunday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM:
(561) 251-2533

After 7:00 PM:
(561) 251-1083

An office professional will gather all your family information, needs and wants and then an agent will match you with a sitter who exceeds your expectations.

The sitters bio will be emailed to you and then the sitter will contact you to confirm job details.

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What is the #1 question you advise clients to ask when searching for a sitter?

I advise all of my clients to set up an initial meeting with the assigned sitter prior to the date of the first job. This helps break the “stranger danger” relationship.

It also allows the sitter and the family to break the ice and get to know one another on a personal level.

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Sitter Source recommends and endorses all their care providers. They make the entire process safe and convenient by only providing clients with babysitters that have verifiable, good references who are warm, sensitive and alert to the needs of children.

Their extensive application and interview process allows Sitter Source, and families, to carefully view the babysitters child care experience, education and work history, personal lifestyle, and child care philosophy.

  • First Aid and CPR Certification
  • Child care references
  • FBI background check
  • Drug free
  • American Red Cross certified
  • Continuing Education Classes
  • Extensive training
  • Certified teachers on staff
  • Certified assistants to children with special needs and disabilities on staff
  • Male and Female sitters available

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YES! I can finally enjoy a night out on the Boca town with both #modernbocadad AND my parents (aka my family sitters) for once!

To start the process of finding your own fabulous sitter, contact Sitter Source…and tell them Modern Boca Mom sent you. 🙂

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by KCC Sitter Source, LLC. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

KCC Sitter Source, LLC is a childcare agency that places certified babysitters for families, hotel guests, events and organizations in south Florida. A business created to assist adults while benefitting the lives of children.

Their sitters are American Red Cross certified, CPR/First Aid certified, have completed FBI background checks and undergo extensive supervised training and continuing education classes. Each and every sitter has a passion for positively influencing the lives of children. KCC provides exceptionally qualified part-time and on call sitters and full-time or part-time mother’s/father’s helpers to locals and visitors in the South Florida region.

Escape to the Wyndham Boca Raton…


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This must be the week for major Modern Boca Mom announcements because in addition to the launch of #grandviewmoms (revealed yesterday), we will be taking you through one of Boca’s BEST hotel and restaurant properties for a hip yet affordable staycation– a local, community destination for tired parents to escape to for an afternoon, a night or a weekend…this winter and beyond!

Let’s escape to the Wyndham Boca Raton, shall we?


Just arriving on property makes me feel like I can exhale…and it’s so close to everything!

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In fact, I love this hotel so much, I decided to get married there. Yep, that’s me and #modernbocadad circa 2011!

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Don’t even get me started on how awesome their NEW meeting space is. I love the stylish and elegant event center– it’s a perfect venue for any special occasion (hint, hint: the holidays are coming)!

Gotta love renovations…

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Speaking of renovations, I’m very excited because the Wyndham Boca Raton is also in the process of renovating all of their guest rooms. Check out these future beauties:

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I just want to crawl into that cozy bed…

But, I realized I’m absolutely famished! Good thing that the hugely-popular and highly acclaimed Farmer’s Table is just a short walk across the hotel’s courtyard…

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And if I feel like I need to focus my energy the next day, I know I can always work out at the hotel’s fitness room or take a class at Yoga Journey which is conveniently located on property.


MBMom Fun Fact: The Wyndham Boca Raton is a community hotel MBMoms! You don’t have to be a guest to eat at Farmer’s Table, have a refreshing drink at TrendTea or take a class at Yoga Journey. Stop by often. You are always welcome. 

Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? So escape with MBMom and learn all about what this Boca gem has to offer parents who are in need of a major recharge!

  • We’ll be covering dinner at Farmer’s Table.
  • We’ll be spending some time on the scene at the Wyndham Boca Raton pool and their tea lounge TrendTea.
  • We’ll even show you firsthand the fitness options available at the hotel for local residents and guests alike.

It’s an exciting time to be a MBMom. Just don’t forget to escape every once in awhile…

Sponsored: This post was sponsored by the Wyndham Boca Raton. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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