Central Florida Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 18, 2017

Celebration's Octoberfest and Fall Festival

With fall in full swing and Halloween just around the corner, the fun in Celebration is really gearing up!  While the Celebration Town Center hosts events all year long, there’s something special about the events of this coming weekend. 

On Friday, October 20th the weekend fun kicks off at 5:00 PM with Celebration’s annual Octoberfest.  This family-friendly event is celebrated in the old-world German tradition featuring the sounds of Dan Witucki & Heimatland Musikanten.  The entertaining (and sometimes comical) live, interactive show will have you singing along and giving it your best to yodel like a pro!  Come hungry and sample some traditional Octoberfest foods and brews. Don your lederhosen, arrive early, and stay late!  But not too late, because you’ll want to get up early on Saturday as the fun in Celebration continues.

Head back over on Saturday for a full day of fun at Celebration’s Fall Festival.  Make sure you and your little ones are wearing your Halloween best to get the most out of the day. Arrive at 11:00 when the event starts to make sure you have time to enjoy all the fun!  The day is just jam packed with family fun including pony rides, bounce houses, arts and crafts, face painting, costume contests, pumpkin decorating, a petting zoo, a mechanical bull, DJ Joe Magic, Food Trucks, and two performances of high energy Celtic music by Off Kilter. 

Each day ends with Celebration’s own falling leaves on Market Street.  Leaves fall twice each evening at 7:00 PM and again at 9:00 PM. 

If all this action isn’t really your thing, there are still plenty of options in town for you to enjoy. Take advantage of the beautiful walking trails that wind throughout the community of Celebration.  Or, relax on one of the many rocking chairs with views of the sparkling lake.  Don’t forget the amazing dining and shopping options in town too!

As with all events in Celebration, parking and admission are free! 

After you’ve visited Celebration for the first time, you’ll be guaranteed to fall in love with the quintessential town.  Your mind will immediately start wondering what it would be like to live here.  Visit my website to learn more about the lovely town and view available properties.  Then, give me a call or drop me an email to discuss how we make you and your family Celebration’s newest residence! Info@TonyDavidsHomes.com | 407-922-9011

Posted in Community News
Oct. 13, 2017

Why Get a Home Inspection?

Inspecting the physical condition of a house is an important part of the home-buying process. Most buyers make the home purchase contingent on the satisfactory result of the home inspection.  A   professional inspector will carefully comb through the house inspecting all major house systems from top to bottom.  The inspection will include the roof, plumbing, electrical and heating systems, foundation, and drainage along with many other less critical aspects of the structure.  

Depending on the location, size, age and type of home an inspection will take (on average) two to four hours to complete at a cost of $250.00 and up.  Larger homes with multiple structures on the property will take longer and have higher inspection costs, as will homes with swimming pools.

Accompanying the inspector during the home examination is a great opportunity for the buyer to learn about various functions of the home and gather some great maintenance tips for later on down the line.

The buyer will receive a detailed report of the inspection results.  It’s wise to go over the report with the inspector and ask questions to fully understand any major issues that are noted.

In addition to the general inspection, hire a licensed structural pest control inspector, who will create a special pest report on the property identifying any infestation by wood-boring insects such as termites and flying beetles.  This type of inspection will also reveal evidence of wood rot or fungal conditions.

With an inspection contingency in your contract, if the inspections bring problems to light, you have the opportunity to negotiate with the seller for repair work or perhaps a lower price for the home. If negotiations such as these are not possible, the contingency protects you from having to move forward on the purchase of a home that may have more problems than you are ready to take on.

At TonyDavidsHomes, we’ve can provide you with excellent resources for home inspections.  If you’re in the market for a new home, give me a call or email me today and we can discuss the process and how I will work on your behalf to make your purchase seamless!

407-922-9011 | Info@TonyDavidsHomes.com

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 4, 2017

Keeping a Pulse on the Real Estate Market

Various factors have an impact on the real estate market and if you’re looking to buy or sell, keeping in touch with current market conditions is important.

Six months ago, the mismatch between the type of inventory of homes for sale and the demand of buyers in the US was causing the formation of two markets.

In the starter and trade-up homes categories, there were significantly more buyers than there were homes for sale, causing a seller’s market.  In the premium, or luxury home category, the opposite was true as there was a surplus of these homes compared to the buyers that were out searching for their dream homes, therefore creating a buyer’s market.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market is at a 4.2-month supply. Inventory is currently 6.5% lower than this time last year, marking the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases.

Looking at the latest report from Trulia, we can see that not much has changed, and in fact, recent natural disasters across the country have made inventory conditions even more dire.

Trulia’s market mismatch score measures the search interest of buyers against the category of homes that are available on the market. For example: “if 60% of buyers are searching for starter homes but only 40% of listings are starter homes, [the] market mismatch score for starter homes would be 20.”

The results of their latest analysis are detailed in the chart below.

Nationally, buyers searching for starter and trade-up homes and are coming up short. 

Premium homebuyers, on the other hand, have the best chance of less competition and more inventory of listings in their price range with a 14.7 point surplus, which is creating more of a buyer’s market.

If you are thinking about buying OR selling in Central Florida this Fall, give me a call or send me an email to discuss your scenario. 407-922-9011 | info@TonyDavidsHomes.com.

 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 2, 2017

Simple Fall Decorating Tips

The change of season is always a good excuse to freshen up the look around your home. Fall offers many opportunities to add simple touches that will warm the atmosphere and make you think of hay rides and hot spiced apple cider.

There’s no need to go crazy.  Adding a few simple items to three key areas can give you just the change you’re looking for.

You can easily add some fall flair to your dining room table with a splash of orange.  Orange napkins with a few coordinating pumpkins and candles will do the trick.  If you want a more rustic look, add some burlap or other naturally colored, textured elements.

A focal point of many living rooms is the fireplace.  Dressing up your mantle for the season is the perfect way to cozy up the atmosphere for the fall.  Add fall-colored blooms, pine cones, or candles to the mantel.  Drape natural and seasonal garlands along the mantel to add to the affect. Add additional warmth to the room with a few cozy throws and pillows.  Mixed textures will provide the most impact.

Kitchens tend to be the primary gathering space for families and it’s another great place to add a touch of fall.  You’ll want to add a few accents in the right places ensuring that they are not diminishing the functionality of the space. Natural elements are a welcome touch.  Add pine cones, gourds, and small pumpkins to a wooden bowl or a basket on the center island. Add a fall wreath to your pantry door.  For a particularly celebratory look, display copper mugs or vintage glassware.

 

Focusing on a few key areas where your family and friends tend to gather will make your home feel welcoming and warm in the cooler days ahead.

Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 1, 2017

Celebration’s October Events – Mark Your Calendars!

Celebration is a popular destination all year round.  The gorgeous town offers fine dining, shopping, peaceful walking trails, and special events throughout the year.  October is jam packed with fall events guaranteed to be fun for everyone. Here’s the lowdown on what’s happening and when.

October 7th – Celebration’s Porch and Yard Sale

Need stuff?  Then head over to Celebration for this huge community sale and be prepared to be amazed!  This community wide event is sure to turn up that treasure you’ve been searching for! Traffic builds as the day progresses, so plan to arrive early.

October 12th – Nightmare Before Christmas

Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, and insect repellant and find your perfect spot on the great lawn at Lakeside Park.  Enjoy this fun and timely Tim Burton film under the beautiful October stars! Showtime is 7:30 sharp.

October 13th – Food Truck Friday

Calling all foodies! Enjoy the sights and sounds of DJ Joe Magic along with the culinary delights of many of Central Florida’s most popular food trucks.  The event runs from 5:00 to 9:00 PM.

October 20th – 21st – Octoberfest

On October 20th and 21st, Celebration Town Center transforms before your very eyes as the falling leaves of the season drop on Market Street in the Fall festival known as Oktoberfest. Listen for the rustling of leaves, relax by the lakeside and rock your troubles away, and enjoy the live music with family and friends in this one-of-a-kind themed extravaganza. Leaves fall daily at 7, 8, and 9 PM.

October 21st – Fall Festival

Held annually in picturesque Lakeside Park, this festival is arguably the most fun event of the month. Mark your calendar and come to enjoy the ‘crisp’ autumn air at the annual Fall Festival. Events begin at 11:00 AM and include a bird show, costume contest, live performances, pumpkin decorating, petting zoo, bounce houses, face painting, and lots of great food and drink! 

October 31st – Trick or Treat!

You’d be hard pressed to find a better place than Celebration to bring the little one’s trick-or-treating.  Beyond the door-to-door candy collecting, homeowners go over the top to decorate and transform the town in the true spirit of this fun family holiday.   

Come visit our town and get a glimpse into why we love to live here!

 

If you, or anyone you know, are interested in learning more about living in Celebration give me a call at 407-922-9011.  I’d be honored to show you around.

Posted in Community News
Sept. 22, 2017

Celebration's Island Village - Coming Soon!

The anticipation has been building for years and in recent months agreements were reached that will allow construction to begin on one Celebration’s final communities, Island Village.  Like the existing villages in Celebration, Island Village will offer an abundance of amenities for a family friendly environment and will be comprised of approximately 1300 homes.  Celebration, when completely developed will consist of approximately 8,065 residents.  This addition of Island Village will bring Celebration up to approximately 90% of that number.

At the end of 2016 The Celebration Company (TCC) came to an agreement with Osceola County Schools regarding where to locate a new school to accommodate up to 1000 new students from Island Village.  Originally the plan called for a new school to be constructed in downtown Celebration, but residents found strong objection to this for several reasons.  The plan was to build the new school on existing athletic fields which would diminish activity for Celebration’s youth.  In addition, Celebration prides itself in being a “walkable” community and a school in downtown Celebration would not be within walking distance of Island Village.  A task special task force was created by the Celebration Residential Owners Association to find a solution that would work for everyone.  The new plan outlines the construction of a new K-5 school within Island Village to accommodate students from the newest part of the community.  Scheduled to open in the 2019-2020 school year, this school will be a wonderful addition to Celebration!

Island Village will be developed on 370 acres south of World Drive and will include all of the amenities currently enjoyed by Celebration residents in the existing villages including green space, pocket parks, and community swimming pools.  In addition, there is 1000 square foot commercial district being built at the World Drive interchange that will include a large grocery store and several new restaurants!

Building of infrastructure may begin as early as December 2017.

Sound interesting?  Contact me today for more information! 407-922-9011 or email info@TonyDavidsHomes.com

Sept. 20, 2017

Thinking of Selling Your Home?

You might have been thinking about selling you house for some time, but feel daunted by the task.  I won’t lie to you, there’s a lot involved in preparing your home to list and sell.  Some people prefer a solo ride on this journey.  But when it comes to selling your house, having a professional and trusted listing agent puts you on the path to success.

Why use a listing agent?  There are many reasons, some more obvious than others.  The most obvious reason is, well…listing agents have done this before.  Practice makes perfect and I’ve learned a lot over the years.  I’m here to give you open, honest, professional advice.  As your listing agent, I can’t do it all though.  I do need your help.  An open, honest relationship between a seller and listing agent can go a long way and it’s important to understand that I’m here to help, even if the advice your given isn’t what you were expecting.

To prepare your home for listing we need to de-personalize it.  While your home may be beautifully decorated, it may have too many personal touches and your buyers might not be able to see past them.  I like to use the “less is more” philosophy.  If you’re going to be moving anyway, it makes sense to start packing up and putting some of your personal belongings in storage.  The goal is to have potential buyers walk into your home and be able to envision how their belongings will look in the home.  If your home is cluttered, the home may appear smaller and cramped leaving a negative impression.

Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money.  That holds true when selling your house.  Wear and tear creeps up on you, and many sellers don’t even notice the scratches in their trim, the marks on their walls, or their dirty walkways.  That’s where I come in.  My eyes are trained to see things as potential buyers will.  I may ask you to freshen up your paint, power wash your walkways, or replace some trim to make your home stand out above the others.

How you price your home initially will make a big difference for you.  If you overprice your home, buyers may not catch that, but their agents will!  If your home is overpriced buyer’s agents may actually use the price of your home as a comparison to sell their buyers another home.

It may sound like common sense to say that when your home is on the market, you’ll need to keep it nice and clean.  Buyers really do notice if a kitchen or bathroom is dirty.  So, if you are going to list your home, plan to take a few extra minutes each day before you leave for work to make sure the home is looking great.  Showing requests come in at all hours, and it’s not uncommon to have an hour or less notice to show your home.  Trust me, those few extra minutes in the morning will pay off!

 

If you’re thinking of selling, give me a call.  I’d love to explain the entire process to you from listing, to negotiation, to sold! In the meantime, visit my homepage to learn the value of your home.  Just go to the “How Much Is Your Home Worth” box in the right side column and fill in the information for a free, instant home valuation!

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 6, 2017

What Is Your Home Worth?

To say the least, we’ve come a long way baby!

The latest edition of CoreLogic’s Home Price Index shows that nationally, home prices have appreciated 6.7% over the last year and 0.9% month-over-month. The release of the report included this headline, “National Home Prices Now 50% Above March 2011 Bottom”

This is great news for homeowners, especially those who experienced loss in home values during the recession.  The market has stabilized significantly since 2011.

Home equity has become prominent once again as nearly 79% of homeowners with a mortgage in the US now have significant equity in their homes (significant equity is defined as over 20%), according to the latest Equity Report. If asked, would you know how much your home value has appreciated?  Surprisingly few people do know that answer.

Home appreciation varies regionally with homeowners in Denver, CO leading the way with 8.7% appreciation over the last year. Owners in Washington and Utah have experienced a 3% increase in values since the start of this year! Florida, where home values were hit hard during the recession has seen a healthy return of appreciation and equity.

Nationally, CoreLogic forecasts that home values will increase another 5.0% by this time next year.

Bill Banfield, VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans, recently explained the importance of knowing the conditions in your area,

“With home values constantly changing, and the rates of change varying across the country, this is one more way to show how important it is for homeowners to stay aware of their local housing market.”

Bottom Line

Do you know what your home is worth? Have you stayed put because you are nervous you won't have enough equity to buy your dream home? At TonyDavidsHomes we have the tools you need to obtain your up-to-date home value. Visit the tool bar on the right side of our website's home page at TonyDavidsHomes.com to check the current value of your home. If you have questions about your home value, give me a call at 407-922-9011.

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 1, 2017

It's Time to Gut Your Gutters!

Today we turned the calendar page once again, and here we are in September.  Where did the summer go?  Along with the change of seasons we start to think of seasonal projects.  And gutters come to mind.

Cleaning your gutters is a task many people dread, but if you appropriately manage your gutters in the spring and fall then it won’t be too bad. What’s the best way to clean your gutters you wonder? Let us walk you through some steps to make gutter cleaning a little more fun.

1.  When was the last time you cleaned your gutters? If the answer is never, this first time could be rough. Making a schedule to clean your gutters twice a year (fall and spring) can ensure that your home doesn’t experience unnecessary water damage. Damaged or over crowded gutters can lead to leaks in your home interior, exterior and foundation. 

2. Check the weather. The best time to clean the gutters is when you can let them appropriately dry for a day or two after you clean. If your forecast says sun, then it’s time for some gutter cleaning fun.

3. Pump up the jams. Cleaning gutters is more fun with music. Pick your favorite and make sure the playlist is at least a couple of hours long.

4. Keep it safe. Do NOT clean your gutters from the roof. This may seem tempting and interesting, but it’s just dangerous and risky. Use a ladder to clean the gutters. Secure your tools and a bucket for debris to the ladder with wires or rope. Make sure your ladder is secured. Never use the top three rungs of the ladder.

5. Get it going. Start by using a trowel and digging out the gunk in the downspout. Get out as much as you can.

6. Clean it. Once you cannot remove any more leaves with your trusty trowel, break out the house and power wash any additional clogs away. Once the water runs out clear and flows regularly you have officially removed your clog.

7. Get extreme. If water doesn’t do the trick you may want to try a long hook to be able to reach in and properly clear the debris. Your local hardware store may recommend specific devices for this situation such as poles, special hose attachments or even gutter cleaning robots (ß that’s not a joke, they are pretty neat).

8. Check your alignment. If you have any standing water remaining when you flush the pipe out, then the slope of your gutter might be off. Gutters should incline at least ¼ inch every ten feet towards the downspout.

9. Check it, all of it. Check to see if your gutters are loose or missing parts from the wear and tear. Make any necessary adjustments. If you haven’t already, consider installing a screen or net over your downspout so that larger leaves don’t get stuck in the drainpipe.

9. You did it! It wasn’t that bad, was it? I bet you even feel a wee bit satisfied from a job well done.

 

Remember, if you aren’t positive you can do it yourself, something looks dangerous, or you just plain old don’t want to do it, it is always ok to call a professional. A professional knows exactly how to take care of your gutter cleaning, maintenance and repairs. 

Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 7, 2017

It's Getting Hot In Here!

This August as temperatures rise the last thing you want to do is crank up the oven to bake a casserole. While summer isn’t over quite yet, the end of your days slaving away in front of the oven can be. With a bit of creativity, you can find some great ways to escape the heat of the kitchen. Don’t dread the remaining weeks of summer; enjoy it to the max with these fresh ideas.

Cooking Without Heat

There are a lot of great dishes you can make without needing a single degree of heat.

·       Cold Soups and Smoothies – Bust out your blender. The possibilities are endless.

·       Salads – Summertime is the ideal time to enjoy fresh produce. Keep in mind that vegetable and fruit salads are both a great option for picnic style dinners.

·       Sandwiches – Not just PB&J, get creative. Have a sandwich off with your family to see who can create the best masterpiece.

·        Raw Dishes – Raw cooking isn’t just for health nuts, it’s also for people who don’t want to sweat in front of a stove for hours on end. Raw cooking is cool, nutritious and delicious. Check out The Raw Food Kitchen for ideas.

Grill Master

If you are going to cook, do it outside so the heat doesn’t fill your home.

·        Meats – Chicken, pork, turkey, burgers. Get your grill on.

·        Vegetables – We all know grilled corn, but have you tried grilled bell peppers or grilled Portobello mushrooms?

·        Fruit – Once you have tried grilled pineapple you’ll never doubt that fruit can be grilled again. Grilled watermelon, peaches and coconut are particularly delicious as well.

Keep it Cool for Dessert

Everyone loves dessert. Homemade frozen desserts are perfect for hot summer days.

·        Popsicles – These tasty frozen treats come in all sorts of shapes and flavors and are exceptionally low cost to you and your family. You can even make them with an ice cube tray and some toothpicks!

·        Root Beer Floats – I don’t really think I need to say anything else. You are already on board.  

·        Kick the Can – Kick the can ice cream has many benefits. Firstly, it allows you to custom make your own ice cream flavors. Get crazy and try something new. Second, it really wears the kids out when they have to kick a can around for an hour for the ice cream to be ready. No kids? Good, you’re about to earn that ice cream with a workout. Third, it’s ice cream.

·        Frozen Grapes – Looking for the least effort dessert possible? Throw some red grapes into the freezer and eat them after dinner as a tasty snack.

Get Out!

Once in a while you just need to treat your family to an evening out and let someone else do the cooking. Take the family out once a week or plan to do a group dinner with neighbors so you take turns cooking and get a day off from the sweltering kitchen.

Beat the summer heat by being a step ahead of it. With proper meal planning and creative thinking you can spend less time sweating in the kitchen and more time with your family eating delicious summer picnics.

Bon appétit, it’s not too hot to eat!