Archives for February 2014

5 Essential Real Estate Rules for Homebuyers

These 5 essential real estate rules for homebuyers are a good guideline to follow if you are thinking of purchasing a home.

1. Don’t make an offer without getting pre-qualified or better yet, pre-approvedGetting pre-qualified basically means you’ve spoken to a lender, given them some information regarding your income, debts, and assets and they give you an overall picture of how much mortgage you can afford. It’s fairly simple and can be done over the phone or on the internet and there is no fee. It does not include an analysis of  your credit report or your ability to purchase a home. Getting pre-approved is the next step, and it tends to be much more involved. You’ll complete an official mortgage application (and usually pay an application fee), and then supply the lender with the necessary documentation to perform an extensive check on your financial background and current credit rating. We submit all purchase offers with proof of pre-qualification/pre-approval and require the same for our listings.

2. Hire a Realtor®: Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make and as a Buyer it costs you nothing. Our fees are paid by the Seller of the home you are purchasing. We have the expertise to negotiate on your behalf, execute contracts, help to identify any potential problems and walk you through every step towards closing.

3. Put down earnest money: Generally around 1% of the sales price for our market, it shows the Seller you are a serious home buyer.

4. Sell yourself: Sometimes in a competitive market, writing a heartfelt letter to the Seller about how much you love the home helps to tip the scales in your favor.

5. Tour the home in person: The internet is a tremendous tool in today’s real estate market but pictures, videos and 360 online tours just cannot compare to seeing the home in person.



The Fresh Market in the Red Willow Plaza, Winter Springs now open

Hey Winter Springs/Casselberry/Oviedo folks! The Fresh Market in the Red Willow Plaza, on the corner of Tuskawilla and Red Bug Road, is officially open. We can certainly  vouch for their ribeye steaks and fresh produce. Our dinner tonight was delicious!

The Fresh Market is a chain of gourmet super markets originating is South Carolina. It’s one of my favorites and is wonderful for my weekly dinner splurges. Where else can you pick up a gallon of milk, along with bleu cheese stuffed olives from their olive bar, a pound of fresh coffee beans from their extensive selections, goat cheese and cherries ice cream, and fresh flowers?

10 Hardcore Home Staging Tactics for Sellers

Getting your home prepared to sell can be a daunting task, but implementing even some of these 10 hardcore home staging tactics can not only get your home sold quicker, it can help get your home sold for top dollar!

1. Check out the competition and see what’s out there.

2. Create a staging plan, just like a pro would.

3.  Get (and follow) professional advice. We can help you or recommend a professional stager.

4.  Eliminate the excess and eliminate items you haven’t used. You’ll be glad you did come moving day!

5.  Pre-pack personal items. Decluttering and depersonalizing are essential. You want potential home buyers to envision your home as their own.

6.  Clear off counter space. Less is more!

7.  Clean inside and out, including garages, side yards and outdoor spaces.

8.  Dive into trim and details early. Touch up trim, baseboards, fix loose knobs or pulls, ensure locks are working, replace or clean up outdoor accents or mailboxes.

9.  Shoot sample photos. Gives you an idea of what your home looks like to potential buyers.

10.  Be brutally honest with yourself. We know it’s not easy! 

10 hardcore staging tactics

5th Annual Orlando Chili Cook-off 2014 – Feb. 8th starting at noon

We are excited to be the guests of RP Funding at the 5th Annual Chili Cook-off this year. Come join us and enjoy free chili samples while they last, live music, a fun kids zone and free parking at Orlando Fashion Square Mall. Tickets are still available.

Proceeds benefit the Special Olympics Florida.


South + York, Winter Springs Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

South + York, Winter Springs, is holding their Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, February 26th from 5:30pm-7:30pm. This is Winter Springs Towne Center’s newest farm to table bistro.

There will be live music, door prizes and complimentary hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Chef Edgar Cruz. What a great opportunity to sample Chef Cruz’s culinary talents and support one of Winter Springs newest businesses!

South + York

2014 Real Estate Market:’s predictions

What do the experts think the 2014 real estate market is going to look like?

In a nutshell:

  • Dodd-Frank lending changes: tight requirements for borrowers seeking qualified mortgages.
  • Interest rates are most likely to go up and surpass 5%.2014 Real Estate Market
  • Expect turnarounds in a lot of cities: Detroit, Santa Barbara and Reno top the lists.
  • Home affordability expected to decline: it dropped to it’s lowest in 5 years in 2013.
  • Don’t count on finding a foreclosure: fewer homeowners are losing their homes as the economy improves.
  • It may be a good time to buy a second home: Florida and Nevada are still seeing higher inventory and listing prices well below the national average.
  • Prices will increase at a less rapid pace than past years: forecasts put the increases between 3%-5%.

What do you think?