Thursday, September 30, 2021

Could a Government Shutdown Affect Your Home Purchase?

With the deadline for congress to reach an agreement upon us, how could a government shutdown affect your upcoming home closing? We are hopeful that like in past years, a last minute extension will be passed to keep vital government services in operation, but it's important to be aware of what agencies would be impacted if it's not. This article from Floridarealtors.org provides an overview of what could be affected during a government shutdown.

https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2021/09/without-action-government-shutdown-could-start-tomorrow


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

No Pool? No Problem!

It's mid July and it's hot. Jumping in the pool with the family would be a great way to cool off and have some fun. But wait, you don't have a pool! No worries, you just need the newest marketplace app that connects pool owners with would-be swimmers. Think VRBO or Airbnb for your pool! 

The concept is simple, pool owners or "hosts" can list their backyard oasis for rent by the hour and renters or "guests" can select a date and timeframe they would like to use the pool. Prices typically range from $15 to $60 per hour and usually include a limit on the number of guests. 

The Swimply app was launched in 2018, but saw tremendous growth and popularity during the pandemic and now boasts over 15,000 pools nationwide. So whether you're a pool owner looking to make some extra money, or a swimmer looking for a pool, this app might be just what you need this summer!


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Are You Ready For Hurricane Season?

It's hard to believe, but the 2021 hurricane season is nearly here! Hurricanes are one of the few natural disasters that give us a small window of opportunity to prepare for their arrival, and get out of their path if needed. Instead of waiting until a storm is bearing down, take some time now to make sure that your home and family are prepared in the event that a hurricane is headed your way.

Know Your Zone:

Do you live in a mandatory evacuation zone? Do you know if your home is located in a flood zone? Knowing this information can help you make educated decisions about what your family's plan should be during a hurricane. Check out the Floridadisaster.org link to their Know Your Zone map for updated information on flood and evacuation zones. 

https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/know-your-zone-know-your-home/

Have a Pet Plan:

If you are a pet owner, having a plan for your pets in the event you have to evacuate is important. Many evacuation shelters do not allow pets so make arrangements in advance for somewhere to go that will allow you and your fur babies stay should you have to leave. Include your pet supplies in your disaster supply kit and make sure you have any medications that your pet needs.

Make a Disaster Supply Kit:

Having supplies ready before a storm is coming is just smart. We've all seen (and probably stood in) long grocery store lines when it looks like you're in the path of a hurricane. Having a disaster supply kit ready in advance can cut your last minute supply runs down to a minimum, and using a checklist like the one shown here can make putting your kit together easy.

Do You Need Flood Insurance:

Did you know that flood damage is the most common and damaging natural disaster in the U.S.? And where there is rain, there can be floods! So do you need flood insurance? Most insurance policies do not cover flood damage, so if you haven't added a specific flood policy, chances are good that you don't have coverage. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider and ask about flood insurance coverage and visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at  https://www.floodsmart.gov/ for more information about insurance options and risk level maps.

Whether you live next to the water or miles inland, knowing your zone, being prepared and having a plan could possibly save your life! June 1st will be here before you know it, don't wait to be ready!







Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Will Supply Catch Up With Demand?

We've posted many times over the past year about low inventory levels in the U.S. housing market, but exactly how big of a shortage is there of available homes for sale? After crunching the numbers for the first time, Freddie Mac released their recent analysis and estimates that the U.S. housing market would need to add 13.8 million single-family homes in order to meet the current demand. That's a 52% increase in the nation's home shortage in just three years. 

Builders are racing to catch up and new residential construction saw an increase of over 19% in home starts, just since February. But with interest rates remaining historically low and more first time buyers in the market than ever before, catching up may be hard to do!

So what if you're a buyer trying to navigate this tight sellers market? Be prepared! Working with your lender ahead of time and being ready to make an offer with your agent when the right home pops up is key! With more and more multiple offer situations happening, there's no time to "sleep on it" anymore!

If you're thinking about buying or selling a home, give us call, we'd love to help!

Sources: 
www.floridarealtors.org
www.businessinsider.com

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Women's History Month

As we celebrate Women's History Month, I find myself reflecting on the incredible achievements that women have made in our society. Brilliant authors, scientists, educators, politicians, and so on. But what I often forget is that even though we work in an industry that is made up so heavily of women, it wasn't always that way. 

As early as the late 1700's, women had been a part of the real estate industry, but their roles were always clerical in nature. It wasn't until the latter part of the 1800's that women slowly began emerging as sales agents and brokers. As the industry continued to grow, more and more women were finding success as Realtors®. But even with this continued success, and over 3000 female brokers working nationally, the first woman didn't become a member of the National Association of Realtors® until 1910. 

So today we recognize Corrine Simpson, a broker from Seattle, Washington who boldly stepped forward back in 1910 and in doing so helped pave the way for the over 900,000 female Realtors® that now make up 64% of the membership of the National Association of Realtors®.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Survey Says....Kitchen Storage!

The people have spoken! Well, the people that were polled in the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study have spoken that is. And what do the people want? They want more kitchen storage.

With families spending so much more time in their homes, finding storage solutions while using the same layout and square footage has become a priority for many of us. The Houzz study found that in addition to refacing and replacing cabinets, nearly half of homeowners that were in the midst of kitchen renovations were also adding to or upgrading their pantry space. 

Though storage was definitely the priority in this year's study, a few other emerging trends were noted as well. 

  • Bold Kitchen Island Colors - With shades of blue and gray being the top choices, 41% of remodelers chose to make their kitchen islands standout.
  • On-Trend Cabinets - White doors and a simple Shaker style are still the top trend in cabinetry.
  • Added Specialty Built-ins - Spice racks, drawer dividers and pull-out racks, OH MY!
  • Add the Island - I can't imagine a kitchen without one, but apparently there are!
  • Flooring - Tile has knocked wood and wood laminate into second place as the go-to kitchen flooring choice this year. This may be a trend to watch!
  • Neutral Walls - Gray, beige and white are still the top kitchen colors, but bold pops of color are here to stay too.
  • High Tech Appliances and Faucets - If the budget allows for it, there is a gadget for everyone! 

If planting a For Sale sign in your yard and house hunting for the perfect kitchen isn't an option right now, have no fear, you can still make the kitchen you have work for you! Be creative, do your research and hire an expert when needed! Have fun!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

New Year, Even Lower Interest Rates!


The new year is here, but the story on mortgage interest rates is a familiar one! As we pass through the first full week of January, Freddie Mac reported that average 30-year fixed mortgage rates have dipped to a jaw dropping 2.65%, nearly a full percent lower than this time last year. With the shortage of available home inventory, many buyers jumping into the housing market hoping to take advantage of the low rates are finding fewer homes to choose from and prices that aren't dropping.

So what is the future of real estate with so many Gen X and Millennial buyers entering the market? Check out this article shared by FloridaRealtors.org and get the scoop! 

https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2021/01/future-real-estate-lots-gen-x-millennial-buyers

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Great Christmas Debate {Well, one of them anyway!}

Which do you prefer, white or colored Christmas lights? It’s one of the greatest debates that the Christmas season brings, and it’s been a holiday topic of conversation since the invention of multi-colored lights in 1882. But despite the ever-changing styles and trends, most people have a very clear preference of one over the other, and they are usually happy to tell you which one it is!

Our job is not to say that one is better than the other, but statistically speaking, white lights have the hands down majority of sales. Georgia’s Christmas Light’s Etc. reported that a whopping 70% of the lights they sell are white. So in an effort to keep the peace between our multi-colored and white light lovers, we’ve put together a list of why we like each option to help everyone keep an  open mind when decorating for Christmas.

Why we like white lights:

  • They coordinate with any d├ęcor and theme.
  • They highlight the greenery and ornaments.
  • They are simple and allow for other decorations to stand out.
  • They create a unified look.

Why we like multi-color lights:

  • They are vibrant and immediately draw the eye.
  • They create a fun and festive feel.
  • They fill spaces with color so fewer ornaments are needed.
  • They remind us of the Griswalds. 

Which ever option your family chooses for their holiday decorating, we hope that the twinkling lights bring happiness and fun to your home this Christmas! 

Monday, November 30, 2020

The Newest Must-Have Feature...Good Neighbors

With people spending more time at home than ever before, their must-have lists for buying a home are looking a little different these days! Driveway get togethers and back yard movie nights are filling the gaps that live events once occupied making the importance of the neighborhoods we live in much more significant. 

Check out this article from FloridaRealtors.org and find out more about why the newest must-have feature for home buyers is becoming good neighbors.

https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2020/11/latest-must-have-buyer-demand-friendly-neighbors

Friday, October 16, 2020

30 YEAR MORTGAGE RATES SET A NEW RECORD!

For the tenth time this year, U.S. long-term mortgage rates have set a new low record! Average 30-year mortgages dropped from 2.87% to 2.81%, nearly a point lower than the rates this same time last year. For more information on these record setting rates, check out this article shared on FloridaRealtors.org.

https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2020/10/30-year-mortgage-rates-hit-another-record-low-281

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Watch Out For Insurance Scams and Red Flags!

Hurricane Sally blew through the Gulf Coast leaving a huge mess to clean up in her wake. Anyone who has lived through just one of these storms knows that there is an extreme timeliness to documenting damage and alerting insurance companies, but be mindful that with the storms often come the sharks hoping to take another bite out of your post storm misfortune. 

How Can You Protect Yourself?

The best way to protect yourself is to stay educated on the process, document everything and follow your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. Here are a few more suggestions to help you stay sharp during the stressful clean-up and repair process.
  1. Alert your insurance carriers about damage immediately after storm.
  2. Take photos and videos of EVERYTHING. The more documentation that you have, the better.
  3. Make only absolutely necessary emergency repairs yourself and save the receipts for the materials used. Anything more than this could be excluded by the insurance company.
  4. Correspondence should be in writing (email/text) whenever possible. This creates a dated trail of interactions. 
  5. Take notes of verbal conversations including, dates, times, names, etc...
  6. NEVER give anyone your original documents. Make copies that can be shared, snap a picture with your phone and share it or scan the document to a PDF to be shared. 
  7. Use caution if asked to sign an “assignment of benefits” or AOB. This gives insurance rights to third-party vendors. 
  8. Stay local when looking for repair quotes and contractors, and take the extra time to check their BBB rating read reviews. 
  9. If it sounds to good to be true, chances are that it is!





Could a Government Shutdown Affect Your Home Purchase?

With the deadline for congress to reach an agreement upon us, how could a government shutdown affect your upcoming home closing? We are hope...