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Home Sites at Amelia Island’s Crane Island Development Going Fast

AMELIA ISLAND, FL – The master planned community of Crane Island, located on Florida’s Amelia Island, has confirmed reservations for 27 lots, which is more than half of the available inventory in Phase I. Sales for the 169-acre community – with approximately 100 acres set aside for preservation – began Jan. 11. Phase I includes 48 lots, with a total of 110 home sites in all, starting from $300,000.
 
“In less than 40 days, we’ve seen incredible interest and intent for this community,” stated Crane Island Developer Jack B. Healan, Jr. “The location, access to resort-like amenities, exceptional homebuilder offerings and our dedication to preserving this natural setting have made Crane Island a highly sought after home site in Northeast Florida.”
 
The first new development on Amelia Island with deep-water access to the Intracoastal Waterway in 15 years, Crane Island is also the island’s last waterfront land available for new home construction with boat access.
 
Developed by long-time Amelia Island resident Jack B. Healan, Jr., Crane Island is designed as a low-impact development with minimal disturbance to the natural environment. The developers aim to create a small, but vibrant neighborhood that is surrounded by an extensive waterfront park.  The development will also include a private clubhouse, day dock, pool and walking paths. In addition, residents will have the opportunity for exclusive membership at Amelia Island Club, which includes privileges at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation for world class golf, spa, dining, tennis, beach service and more.  Builders for the development include Rutenberg Homes, Pineapple Corporation and Lendy Homes. 
 
The Crane Island Sales Team expects to break ground this summer on Phase I. For more information about Crane Island, visit the Sales Office Gallery (960185 Gateway Blvd., Suite 109, Fernandina Beach, FL), online at www.CraneIsland.com or call 904-432-8390.

Crane Island Now Open for Sales on Florida’s Amelia Island

Amelia Island, FL – Crane Island has officially begun sales for its 72-acre master planned community, located on northeast Florida’s Amelia Island – consistently rated among the top island destinations in North America. With panoramic coastal views, The Range at Crane Island is first new development on Amelia Island with deep-water access to the Intracoastal Waterway in 15 years. It is also the island’s last waterfront land available for new home construction with boat access, making Crane Island a rare opportunity to own part of Amelia’s enviable island lifestyle. The gated community will include 110 homesites starting from $300,000.
 
“Crane Island offers a magnificent natural setting and is ideally situated at the heart of Amelia Island, making it arguably one of the most desirable properties available on the Eastern seaboard today,” said Vann Simmons, Director of Sales for Crane Island. “Here you can enjoy the benefits of your investment while living in one of the world’s top vacation destinations.”
 
Developed by long-time Amelia Island residents Saad Wallan and Jack B. Healan, Jr., Crane Island is designed as a low-impact development with minimal disturbance to the natural environment. Graced by spectacular old-growth trees and undisturbed lands, Crane Island offers homesites with stunning views of water, protected marshes and a manicured park. The developers aim to create a small, but vibrant neighborhood that is surrounded by an extensive waterfront park. “It’s the perfect locale for socializing, relaxing, and creating memories to last a lifetime,” said Healan. “And with quick access to the Intracoastal Waterway and Nassau Sound, it’s ideal for enjoying life on the water.”
 
The development will also include a private clubhouse, day dock, pool and walking paths. In addition, residents will have the opportunity for exclusive membership at Amelia Island Club, which includes privileges at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation for world class golf, spa, dining, tennis, beach service and more.
 
Crane Island features beautiful wooded lots for custom homes, as well as a limited number of builder residences. Builders for the development will include Rutenberg Homes, Pineapple Corporation and Lendy Homes. 
 
Crane Island Sales Team expects final sales to close by the end of summer with new home builds to begin this fall. For more information about Crane Island or real estate opportunities, visit www.CraneIsland.com or call 904-432-8390.
 

Property Appraiser to Estimate Hurricane Damage

Nassau County, FL – Property Appraiser Mike Hickox, along with his field staff, began inspecting properties damaged by Hurricane Matthew immediately after the storm passed. “We are tracking structural damage throughout the county to estimate how much was adversely affected from the Hurricane,” said Hickox. “It’s hard to estimate the actual effect on value at this time, but we anticipate the properties most affected are on the Island and low lying areas in close proximity to the Island.” According to reports from the Emergency Operation Center (EOC), over 700 properties were damaged from the storm. The Property Appraiser will now begin locating those properties and monitoring their repairs to determine if they warrant a value reduction for 2017 based on the severity of the damage.

The market value is estimated based on the condition of the property as of January 1st of each year. Properties damaged from Hurricane Matthew could possibly see a reduction in their 2017 value based on the severity of the destruction if repairs are not completed by January 1st. The Property Appraiser and his staff will make every effort to locate and inspect each property, but those wishing to make the office aware of their damage may do so by calling 491-7300.

Four Changes Reshaping the Real Estate Industry

Four Changes Reshaping the Real Estate IndustryIn the last 30 years, we’ve seen how commercial real estate slowly changes. The industry has transformed into an institutional asset class with global portfolios belonging to top-tier company owners and venture capitalists. A few decades ago institutional investors didn’t believe that investing in real estate was profitable enough. However, an increase in global commercial real estate and new investment structures has made them change their minds. At this point, real estate has 10% of institutional investing portfolios, with profit range of $6.7 trillion. And yet, we haven’t seen much evolution in trading strategies.

A lot of people have already embraced technology. Some are quite familiar with mobility, cloud computing, and big data. CRE (commercial real estate) on the other hand, is still using 20-year old technology and old-fashioned platforms to store information. The good news is, everything’s changing; slowly but steady. Older systems are crashing and new CRE tech enterprises are starting to make people understand that there is a lot of benefit in tech-oriented real estate. In 2015, about $90 million were put into technology-oriented commercial real estate companies. Regarding upcoming changes realtors, buyers and sellers should know about, we should mention the following:

1. Increased competition
A brand new level of rivalry and competition is altering the way people recruit, fundraise and invest in CRE. A huge capital influx caused by volatility and low interest rate has triggered an increase in demand. Prices for CRE properties are reaching historical levels, thus making competition become fiercer than ever. There is a lot of buzz happening in fundraising as well. Investors are only looking for firms that render the best yields, not to mention that limited partners are focusing more on visibility and more advanced tools. We’re currently witnessing a talent war, and as commercial real estate keeps growing in complexity the new generation of real estate leaders will be compelled to develop a new set of skills in order to attain success and compete in the modern work environment.

2. Increased demand for access to real time data
Analytics and data are currently going through a budge in expectations. Even though commercial real estate has always been driven by hard data, it’s somehow unattainable to assess and aggregate that information at a scale from spreadsheet and ERP systems. Crafting detailed portfolio insight demands teams of skilled analysts and hours of gathered data aggregation. Brokerages and commercial owners must find a way to harness market data and real time portfolio to succeed. The best way they can get leverage is performing more efficient operations, reducing portfolio risk and making better decisions.

3. Increased mobility
Commercial real estate is an industry ruled by mobile. Leasing agents are used to spending over half of their time doing work out in the field. However, some of them don’t have mobile support pre-installed for their business. Industry experts are starting to ask themselves why CRE doesn’t have dedicated mobile technology, particularly since additional industries are enjoying tech support for many years now. To see mobile tools aimed at brokers, buyers and owners, one must have a closer look at the residential real estate sector. Why is CRE still deprived of advanced technology, and when we will see more than enterprises active in this domain? Fortunately, in the past two years we’ve seen some notable changes happening. A wave of apps targeting commercial real estate has emerged, thus enabling CRE professionals to run their business remotely.

4. Tech consumerization
As advanced technology is becoming an important part of our daily existence, it’s safe to assume that apps can make our lives easier. Whether crafted for a business or a consumer, there is no doubt that difficult software that takes months to implement will vanish. Software that is sensible is no longer an exception, but a necessity. Current commercial real estate software platforms were created over 20 years ago, and that’s pretty obvious. They just can’t live up to the expectations of the consumer; CRE needs to understand that new technological tools are better, and that they can deliver simplicity and elegant user experiences.

There’s no doubt about it – the real estate industry is changing, and thanks to advanced technology we’ll probably see a lot of new innovations piling up in the next 5 years or so.

Author Bio: William Taylor is the writer of this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. He also writes for a site http://www.propertyturkey.com/ offering property for sale in Turkey.

Property Taxes and the Rollback Rate

Apply for Homestead Exemption before March 1, 2014Article by: Mike Hickox, Nassau County Property Appraiser

For the past four years, real estate values have experienced a steady increase and we have seen an improvement in overall market conditions. As the economy improves, the inventory of existing homes for sale has been reduced and values have steadily increased. The increase in value does not necessarily translate to an increase in your property tax. The increase in taxes is a direct result of the decision of the taxing authority.

The market value of a property is determined by one of three approaches to value. The most common being the sales comparison approach. This approach compares a piece of property to other properties with similar characteristics that have been recently sold on the open market. Once we determine the value of a property based on current market conditions, we then apply any applicable caps and exemptions to determine the property’s taxable value. It’s important to note that we do not determine the market value of a property. Previous sales determine the market value. We reflect what is happening in the real estate market only after it takes place.

There’s a common misconception that property values drive up ad-valorem taxation. This couldn’t be farther from the truth as both items, while similar in nature, have a very different meaning.

The Property Appraiser’s Office certifies the preliminary tax roll every year to each taxing authority. It is the taxing authorities (i.e. County, School Board, City, Water Management, etc.) who levy their millage (tax-rate) based on their financial needs. Using the scenario that property values increase, the taxing authority has one of three options.

1. Maintain the same tax-rate as the prior year and bring in additional revenue.
2. Increase the tax-rate and bring in more revenue.
3. Opt to use the Rollback rate and maintain the same revenue as the prior year.

The Rollback rate calls for a change, typically a decrease, in the tax rate to fund the same level of service as the prior year’s budget. This in fact prevents a tax increase for property owners, even though your property’s taxable value may have increased. Taxing Authorities, like the County, are calculating rates based on aggregate changes in taxable value. The change to the taxable value of an individual property could be different for each owner.

Always remember – it’s the Property Appraiser’s job to appraise your property to a fair market value each year. If you feel your property is not assessed correctly, call us, we are more than happy to discuss it with you. However, if you feel your taxes are too high, call your Commissioners. I’m certain they will be happy to discuss their tax rate with you.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Property Appraiser. It truly is an honor and privilege.

How to select a manager for your residential property

Are you an investor interested in acquiring residential property, but don’t have time in your busy schedule to manage all of it yourself? Are you a landlord who needs some help in managing affairs dealing with your tenants? The solution is to find a property manager – someone who will solely take care of all the affairs dealing with your estate and give you more time to deal with other projects. The property manager will also increase and even sustain the value of the investments you have in real estate. Once you have a property manager, the issue of searching for and appropriately placing eligible tenants will no longer be yours to worry about, the property manager will deal with this business to your satisfaction. Finding the right person to take care of your valued investment is very important; here are some tips to consider.

1. Hire someone experienced.
It is important that you do your research on different property managers and even have a meeting with some, so that you can evaluate the level of expertise. Asking how many years the property manager has managed residential properties can give you an idea of how qualified the manager is to handle the task at hand.

2. Find a manager that is knowledgeable about the local market.
A manager that knows the local market well will be able to bring in clients that live in the surrounding areas. Since he knows the local people, he is able to introduce your property in a way that will meet the needs of the potential tenants.

3. Select a manager that has a reliable system.
All the dealings of the property need to be recorded. A good manager should have a program that will safely record and save all the records that deal with the estate. The program should also be able to monitor all the businesses that surround the property, which will give you a sense of security since you can easily retrieve the records if need be.

4. Make sure the manager has accounting skills.
Apart from attracting clients, the manager should be well equipped as far as accounting skills are concerned. Find a manager that is well trained in matters relating to finance and economy, so as to make sure that the financial data in your property is dealt with in the highest form of professionalism and integrity.

5. The property manager should have good customer service.
Your tenants will not only remain on your property because it offers them living conditions that are impeccable, but the customer service also plays a big role. The property manager should be able to relate with your tenants in a way that shows respect and concern for the tenants’ experience in the premises.

6. The property manager should be great in marketing.
To make sure that your property will not be occupied by a tenant who destroys facilities and equipment, the property manager should be able to run background checks on the tenant. The manager also has the right to ask for renter history to make sure that all the tenants on your property are qualified and will give you no trouble at all.

Contributed by Thomas Sujain

Nassau County Property Values Projected to Increase

Nassau County, FL – The Nassau County Property Appraiser’s Office released this week the 2016 estimated preliminary values showing an increase for most taxing authorities.

According to Property Appraiser Mike Hickox, this value increase continues to be a steady trend for Nassau County, reflecting the rebound of the local real estate market.

New construction added over $149 million to the county wide value, bringing the total market value for Nassau County to over $10.8 billion, up almost 4% from the previous year. The market value includes all property before any exemptions, classifications, or capped assessments.

Hickox presented the 2016 estimated values to the taxing authorities on May 31st so they can begin their budget process. They will use the values to help determine their tax rate for the property owners in Nassau County.

Taxable values have increased as well; however, property owners are protected by the Save Our Homes amendment which caps the amount the assessed value can increase. “Homestead properties can increase no more than 3%, or the consumer price index (CPI), whichever is lower,” said Hickox. “Based on the CPI used for 2016, previously homesteaded properties will increase no more than 0.7%.” Non-homesteaded properties are capped at 10%.

In 2016, Nassau County’s taxable value is estimated to be about $7.1 billion, up over 5% compared to last year.

The City of Fernandina is projected to see an increase of over 4%, bringing their taxable value to almost 1.8 billion.

The Town of Callahan is estimated to have an increase in their taxable value to over $75 million, up by over 4 percent from last year.

The Town of Hilliard is expected to see a slight taxable increase of less than 1 percent, bringing their taxable value to $78 million.

The official preliminary tax roll is expected to be released to the taxing authorities and the Department of Revenue by July 1st. Property owners are encouraged to visit the property appraisers website, www.nassauflpa.com, to view their values in mid-July.

For more information, please contact the Property Appraiser’s Office at (904) 491-7300.

DIY Home Staging

DIY Home StagingLiving on Amelia Island, you would think potential buyers would be clamoring for available properties. While we are fortunate to live in such a highly coveted area, competition in the real estate market is still tough. “Buyers make their decisions in exactly eight seconds,” says Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, a real estate firm. “After that, they’ve either fallen in love or are just honoring an appointment.” In this market, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make your home TRULY stand out with these DIY home staging strategies that will make your home look clean, modern, and welcoming to potential buyers.

Keep Walls Clean and Neutral
While you may love bold colors, potential homebuyers can have a hard time picturing themselves in a home that is overly stylized. A fresh coat of neutral paint is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to give your home a fresh look. If your walls are already a neutral color, make sure they are free of smudges or handprints. Remove family photos and bold artwork to provide prospective buyers with a blank slate where they can imagine their own belongings fitting into the room. If the neutral colors feel drab to you, you can always add a burst of color with fresh flowers.

Upgrade Old Hardware and Any Items that Date Your Home
Brass hardware on kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures and chain-like fireplace screens can seriously date your home. Upgrade hardware to something that is simple and modern, stainless steel is typically a good choice. If you have a glass shower door, consider removing it as it only serve to make the bathroom look smaller and closed off. Instead, install a light-colored shower curtain close to the ceiling to make the room appear taller and maximize square footage.

modernize-kitchen-cropStain or Paint Kitchen Cabinets Instead of Replacing Them
If your kitchen cabinets are in good shape, but have a cherry or pine finish that looks very 90’s, simply paint your cabinets white. It will make your kitchen look fresh and spacious and save you the cost of brand new cabinets that may not be of the same taste as potential homebuyers. If your cabinet doors are not in great shape, you can also consider painting cabinets white and either removing doors altogether for an open look or adding inexpensive, but stylish plexiglass doors for a more modern design.

Get Rid of Clutter
If your home looks too “lived-in” it may make potential homebuyers feel like they are intruding on your space. You want buyers to take the time to linger in your home so that they can begin to imagine themselves living there. Keep laundry out of site. Remove stacks of magazines. Keep kitchen counters free of groceries and any unnecessary gadgets. If you have built in bookshelves, try not to overload them with objects. A few strategically placed items (thinks plants, vases, and simple candles) are all you really need when it comes to decorating.

Provide Plenty of Natural Light
No one wants to move into a gloomy home. Keep blinds and curtains wide open and make sure that windows are sparkling clean to maximize natural light. If you have a room that tends to be dark, add plenty of lamps to make the space feel much warmer. Be mindful that many homebuyers are conducting the bulk of their searches online these days, so remember to keep the outside of your home well illuminated, too in case prospective buyers drive by your home after work in the evening hours.

modernize-mindful-of-scent-cropNever Underestimate the Value of Curb Appeal
With so many listings on the market, you need to make sure that the exterior of your home catches a buyer’s eye. Rusted gutters, cracks in your driveway, and a barren lawn can make a potential buyer think that your home has been neglected. Start out by pressure washing to make walkways and driveways look new. Paint gutters and downspouts and make sure that they are firmly adhered to your home. Conceal eyesores like large electrical boxes that are connected to your home by painting them to match the exterior of your home. Update your address numbers and mailbox. Also, even if you don’t have a lot of green space (or the budget to invest in professional landscaping) make sure that grass is freshly mowed and consider a small container garden to highlight natural elements and add a pop of color.

Finally, Be Mindful of Scent
There is a reason that there are always fresh baked cookies or brownies at an open house – because they smell delicious! It’s really difficult to determine what your own home smells like, especially while you’re still living there. Your best bet is to make sure that your home is freshly cleaned and that you’ve allowed plenty of fresh air in before potential buyers visit. If you have pets though consider replacing any carpet (remember neutral colors) that may be trapping pet smells as well as allergens that could affect home buyers visiting your home. Also, be cautious about overdoing it with scented candles or air fresheners, as the strong smell can be overpowering for your visitors.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

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Amelia Oaks, A New Neighborhood in Fernandina Beach

Amelia Oaks, A New Neighborhood in Fernandina BeachLocated on one of Florida’s premier island resort locations, Amelia Oaks is a new, exclusive and gated community of single family homes being built on Amelia Island, Florida. With just a short walk to the beach, dining, or shopping, your new neighborhood borders the Egan’s Creek Greenway Conservation, permitting you to enjoy some of the best scenery Florida has to offer.

Amelia Island boasts 13 miles of white sandy beaches, distinctive restaurants, excellent schools, a plethora of music and art festivals, 117 holes of world-class golf, fishing, kayaking, boating, maritime forests, marshlands and fascinating shopping.

Your private entrance to the Egan’s Creek Greenway invites you to explore over 300 protected acres of networked trails for walking or bicycling. Bring your camera to capture natural vegetation and wildlife including a variety of birds, bobcats, alligators, river otter, deer, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and more.

With her natural deep water access, this small barrier island is rich in colorful history. Fort Clinch, on the north end of the island, sits at the entrance of the St. Marys River, a location often occupied by a variety of military troops since 1736. A critical shipping port, Amelia Island has been under the rule of eight different flags and her international heritage left some not so glamorous tales of intriguing battles, unsavory characters, buried treasure, and of course, Pirates. Downtown Fernandina Beach is a seaside Victorian village architecturally famous for the pre-20th century homes built in the Silk Stocking district, an area found in the National Register of Historic Places.

Amelia Oaks is designed to be a private enclave combining the best of traditional Florida with the latest in building technology in just 40 ENERGY STAR Certified Homes built to standards well above most other homes on the market today.

Select a creek side lot on the Greenway, a parkside lot along the internal park and ponds, or a lot that abuts the Greenway. Then, customize one of four base models to make it your own 2-story, coastal style home with a natural gas fireplace, front and rear covered porches, private back yards, an elevator option, and much more. You’ll find the best standards are included in the homes of this close-knit community such as granite counters, stainless steel appliances, hardwoord floors, and cement board siding.

The Amelia Oaks community, located off of Sadler Road in Fernandina Beach, includes a club house, swimming pool, and plenty of greenspace. There are two beautiful ponds home to beneficial wildlife including turtles, fish and visiting birds. You will find ample off street parking for entertaining, and your tastefully designed landscape is professionally maintained.

amelia-oaks-team-new-homes-amelia-islandMeet the Team
John Hawley, the builder, has over 43 years of experience, including extensive education, in all phases of development and building construction. His experience includes residential and commercial properties, land purchases, governmental approvals, and financing.

The Massey family has been involved in coastal Florida real estate projects for over 20 years. Joe Massey knows the real estate process, from beginning to end, inside and out. His lovely wife, Kathy, is an expert at helping you reach your real estate goals. She truly works for YOU in a professional and confidential manner.

Daughter Kasey Massey Moteiro has been surrounded by the real estate business since she was a kid, and when she graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a Bachelors Degree in Management & Entrepreneurship in 2013, it was only natural for her to join the family business.

Michael Smith has been an embedded member of the Amelia Island community for nearly a decade. His vast knowledge of the area will help you connect within the community. Michael currently serves as a board member of Rendezvous Film, Music and Gaming Festival; Arts Alive Nassau; and the Big Brother/Big Sister Program.

Need more information? Please give any one of them a call at (904) 610-5008 and see what Island Living in the Tradition of Old Florida is all about.

Pictured L to R: Michael Smith, Kathy Massey, John Hawley, Kasey Moteiro, and Jim Drotos (not pictured is Joe Massey)

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The Current State of Real Estate

The Current State of Real EstateYou may have heard on your local TV news that the housing market in the country is picking up. Supporting that conclusion is the number of for-sale signs that have been sprouting in the neighborhoods around you, many with a home warranty offer. Zillow, the well-known real-estate website, offers some hard numbers on the current state of real estate.

It reveals that, as of April 2015, the median home value in the USA is $178,400, which is an increase of 3.9 percent over the past year. Values are predicted to go up by 2.6 percent in the coming year. These numbers relate to the values of all homes in the country, whether they are on the market or are not for sale.

Helping to push up prices is the median rent list price of $1,529 per month, or $1.12 per square foot. Rents across the country have been increasing in fits and spurts since a low of $1,210 on December 2010. At the current rental costs, it takes only 1.8 years before buying a home gives a greater financial advantage than renting.

Zillow also reveals that the median sale price of a home in the USA is $206,936, which equals $124 per square foot. This is an increase over the April 2014 median of about $173,000. (The website had no data on the median list price.)

When compared to other industries the housing market is doing quite well (car loans have seen a rise in missed payments recently.) The USA market is considered quite healthy with only 16.9 percent of homes having negative equity and 6.3 percent of homeowners being delinquent on their mortgages. The rate of foreclosures per 10,000 is 3.0. A home spends an average of 116 days on Zillow before being sold.

Sellers
CNN reports that for sellers, the top five cities with the fastest moving housing markets are all located in California. San Francisco ranks first, even though its median asking price of $1,099,000 is one of the highest in the nation. Only 26 percent of homes here remain on sale after two months as of April 2015. This is very similar to the April 2014 amount of 28 percent. Helping to support the fast sales and high prices is the low amount of construction because of stringent building regulations and hilly topography.

The other top cities and their percentages for sale after two months include San Jose and Oakland with 30 percent each, San Diego with 33 percent and Orange County with 41 percent.

For sellers competing in these hot markets, pricing the home correctly based on current comps can be the key to a fast sale. Staging a home to look spacious and modern is almost a necessity to stand out from among the competition. A housing warranty can remove any doubts from a buyers’ mind about potential defects in the property they are about to purchase.

Buyers
For buyers the best housing markets have homes staying for sale longer, allowing for more bargaining and price cuts. CNN reports that the top five markets for those looking for a home are Philadelphia, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Providence, Rhode Island. In these cities, homes typically sell for 4 percent less than the average list price and stay on the market for 43 days longer than in the top sellers markets. These cities usually have growth slowdowns and don’t experience booms in jobs for energy and technology.

Relying on the services of their own real estate agent can give buyers the advantage. A home inspection is a necessary contingent to ensure that a potential purchase is not hiding a costly repair. Requesting a housing warranty that is paid for by the seller can cover any problems that may appear after closing.

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Choosing the Right Doors for Your Home

Choosing the Right Doors for Your HomeWhen you are outfitting your home with all the things it needs, one of the most overlooked elements are the doors. People often underestimate just how important it is to pick out the right doors for their homes. When you are choosing doors, there are many aspects you must consider in order to make sure that they are right for your home. To help you out, here is a smart guide to choosing the perfect doors for your house.

Take Care of Your Doors
If you take good care of your doors, they will last a lifetime. Make sure that you do take care of your doors well. They are one of the few things that is not covered by home warranties. If you treat them well and avoid using them roughly, your doors will look beautiful and stay undamaged for as long as you own your home.

Door Styles
The first thing that you have to think about when you are selecting the doors for your home is what kind of door style fits your needs and wants. Some people like French doors, which are two-piece doors that open down the middle. These can be perfect for areas where you know that you will want to move big items in and out of the adjoining rooms. Dutch doors divide horizontally rather than vertically, which is an old-fashioned look that can add a lot of style to a room.

Some people like gliding and sliding barn doors. They are certainly stylish and functional, but you need to make sure that you always select sliding doors that come from high-quality manufacturers. Anyone who has lived in a home with sliding doors that go off the tracks frequently is well aware how important it is to choose sliding doors of the highest quality to avoid frustrations later on.

Door Materials
Just as there are many different kinds of door styles, there are lots of different door materials that you have to choose from. Many people still like to go with traditional wood doors, but there are so many different types of wood that doors are made from. Many people like doors made from pine, ash and mahogany that are elegant and sturdy. For those looking for an even more stylish wood, going with a high-end option like cherry or oak adds an undeniable feeling of luxury to a door.

Of course, there are lower end woods that you can go with as well. Some people like to use alder wood, which give a causal feeling to a door. There are also doors made from particle board. They will be much less expensive than doors made from solid, more expensive woods, but particle board doors resist warping and are more fire-resistant than traditional wood doors.

Some people choose to use other materials for the doors in their homes. Aluminum doors are inexpensive, but they do not offer as much durability or energy-efficiency as other materials. Steel doors are a sturdy option that offer great protection, but they are also easily dented.

Accessories
You also have to think about the accessories that you choose for you doors. If your doors have windows, you should consider going with windows made from Low-E glass. It offers a high level of energy-efficiency and durability. The knockers, hinges and other hardware are also important.

When you are picking out the hardware, make sure that you choose styles that fit in with your home’s design scheme. Many people these days are choosing to use barn door hardware, which offers an old-fashioned charm that fits in with a wide range of designs. Both your hardware and the doors themselves must be chosen with care to ensure that they fit in well with the look of your home.

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South Florida Home Sales Prices Up While Foreclosures Rate Dropped

South Florida Home Sales Prices Up While Foreclosures Rate DroppedThe average home sales price and the number of houses sold in South Florida had risen significantly year-after-year as per the data collected by groups of local realtors.

Here are the statistics:
• In counties like Miami-Dade, single family sales rose by 14.1% in February 2015 in comparison to February 2014. The same was up by almost 2% while compared to January 2015.
• Condo sales grew by 1.3% year-over-year while the same grew by more than 10% compared to January 2015.
• Inventory also grew year-over-over. Number of single family houses on market in Miami-Dade rose by 3.5%; it rose from 6113 active listings in 2014 to 6330 in February 2015.
• Condo inventory grew by 12% growing from 10,723 listings to 12,023.
• The situation is same in Broward County too. Single family home sales were up by more than 6% year-over-year while condo sales grew by 1.3%.
• Overall single family home listings rose by 1.2% and the condo listings were up by more than 6% while compared to last year.
• Overall real estate market in South Florida has been developing stably from the time it started tanking during recession. Single family home sales grew by more than 18% year-over-year while condo sales grew by almost 7.5%.
• Average prices also improved locally. In Miami-Dade, average single family home sales prices augmented to over $245,000 which showed about a 7.7% growth from 2014’s figure. On the other hand, average condo sales prices rose to almost $188,000, up by more or less 6.7%.
• In the mean time, cash sales were down from 2014’s figure, falling from 62% of all transactions in February’14 to 59% of all transactions in February 2015.
• Overseas homebuyers who have been playing an important role in Miami’s real estate recovery and growth are eager to pay in cash. A strong dollar and dipping foreign currencies have undermined the capacity of the foreigners to purchase real estate in Miami. Nationwide, almost 26% of all sales were cash deals in last month which reflected the significance of foreign money to Miami’s recent real estate growth.

Florida foreclosures rate dropped
Foreclosure rate for homes in Florida dropped by almost half in January, 2015 in comparison to the same time of 2014. And that is a prominent sign that Florida’s real estate market has picked up from the disastrous shock of nationwide recession as well as financial crisis.

Here are those statistics:
• Florida foreclosed homes figure fell to 3.8% in January 2015 down from about 6.3% in January 2014.
• Overall foreclosure inventory continues to decline in all the states over last 12 months. Florida significantly saw a decline of about 50% year-after-year.
• The rate of foreclosed homes in Florida ranked third after New Jersey and New York.
• Florida saw almost 111,320 foreclosures in 2014. About 9% home foreclosures are supposed to be in severe delinquency. That means they are 3 months or even more past due as revealed by a survey report by a renowned real estate company. While nationwide, the rate of foreclosure fell to 1.3% down from 2%.

The above discussion shows Florida’s overall real estate growth. Its pleasant weather and low cost of living are most important criteria behind this growth.

Author Bio:
Alex Brain is a real estate marketing specialist in Florida. If you have enjoyed this article on real estate, visit the author’s website at http://agentace.com. Agentace helps you find the best real estate agents in your area.

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Enhance Your Backyard With a New Deck or Patio

Enhance Your Backyard With a New Deck or PatioMany homeowners have the desire to improve their home so that they can enjoy spending time more comfortably in their backyard. In many homes, the property was constructed originally with a basic concrete patio slab that is rather small in size and nondescript. While this area may provide you with a space to put a few lawn chairs, it may not give you the full outdoor living experience that you are dreaming about for your home. Because of this, you may be dreaming about adding a new deck or an upgraded patio to your backyard. As you make your decision about which option to consider installing, there are a few points to keep in mind.

The Different Features You Can Add to Your Outdoor Living Area
Both decks and patios can be as gorgeous and elaborate as you would like. However, if you plan to add special features to your outdoor living area, you may determine that one is more feasible than another. For example, if you want to install an outdoor kitchen, you may enjoy a concrete or paved area more fully. This is because a masonry surface may be resistant to fire and may be more durable to holding and using items like a large grill, an outdoor refrigerator or other items. If you plan to include these on your patio, consider if they are covered under your home protection plan before you install them.

The Elevation of Your Yard
Both concrete patios and wood or synthetic materials can be used for decks, but it can be more expensive to pour concrete. More than that, if you have a steep grade to your yard, your cost for a concrete patio may be even more significant due to the increased amount of concrete that will be required. If you have a level surface to work with, you may consider either option. However, a more affordable option for a basic patio or deck on a level surface will be a wood deck.

The Maintenance Factor
When you invest in a new deck or patio, you may want to have ample time to relax and enjoy it, and you may not want to spend all of your time maintaining and repairing it. The type of material that you choose to use for a deck or patio will play a key role in your repair and maintenance efforts and cost over the years. A wood deck may require the most upkeep, and it may need to be stained every year in order to keep it looking great and preventing it from splintering due to exposure to the elements. A vinyl or synthetic wood material may be a better option if you prefer the look of wood. With vinyl, concrete and stone materials used for a deck or patio, you can essentially expect the majority of the maintenance work to include power washing the surface from time to time.

The Style
A final point to consider as you determine whether to construct a deck or patio for your home is the style. Decks and patios both can be rather basic or elaborate. Both use natural materials or materials that mimic natural materials. However, with concrete, you may be able use decorative concrete, staining and other techniques to have greater flexibility with the final look.

While it may seem like a difficult decision on the surface, your decision about whether to install a deck or patio may be easier than you might think. After you have reviewed and considered these points, you may be able to make a better decision about your outdoor living project.

AUTHOR BIO: David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about real estate tips, home maintenance and DIY home repair.

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How to Rent Your Property Quickly in a Modern World

How to Rent Your Property Quickly in a Modern WorldThe modern world is characterized with high levels investment in real estate; probably for being the safest, easiest and return assured investment option. This has even been made easier with the growth of real estate industry, which apart from building the own property and selling or renting out, they also seek to connect those who are selling or renting out their property with the consumers.

What this means is that if you’re new in the industry as a property owners and seeks to rent it out, you should warm up a very stiff competition from like-minded individuals and real estate firms. Nevertheless, with these tips below you should be able to rent out your property quickly in a modern world.

How to rent your property quickly in a modern world
• Location: The location of your property plays a big role in determining how fast you find a renter. For instance, if your property is situated somewhere along the street that experience a lot of traffic, you’re bound to receive a lot of calls or visits from interested parties. However, if it’s situated at a dead end, the opposite is true. You’ll be lucky to see a few cars drive every day. The more your property is exposed to people, the better your chances of renting it out quickly.

• Make it attractive: Prepare your property to rent the same way you’d prepare a property to sell in. Renters equally value the same benefits or amenities that buyers seek. Thus, make your rental property inviting. This involves making repairs that you’ve been ignoring, painting the walls, removing unnecessary clutter, thoroughly cleaning the carpets, and ensuring the lawn and flowers are trimmed, and cleaning the balcony and pavements.

Advertise your property: According to various researches, most property buyers start their search online. The same applies for renters. Post the property on community specific websites such as national websites and Craigslist and on the local newspaper’s website. Use social media accounts to market your property. The more people know about your property, the higher your chances of getting a renter quickly.

• Screen potential candidates: Apart from simply finding a renter fast for your property, you’ll want to find a good tenant. To achieve this, you’ll need to check three basic areas: the client’s criminal record, credit history and past tenant behavior. To do this effectively and able to protect your assets, consider hiring a property management firm or, on the other hand, hire an objective third-party to help you with that.

have-an-open-house• Have an open house: Having an open house day will enable potential renters to view your property without the pressure or tension that comes with meeting you individually. Advertise the open day in your local newspapers, local newspapers’ websites and your website. Have your Realtor promote the open house day on his company’s website.

• Set competitive rates: Ultimately, the monthly rent charge will play a huge role in determining how fast you rent out your property. Before deciding on the monthly rent charge, conduct a little research to find out the rent charged on comparable rents within your community. The best way to do this is through the internet. Does your monthly rent include utilities and pool or lawn maintenance? If not, does it include a washer or dryer and kitchen appliances? Put all these factors into consideration, and then set a competitive monthly fee.

• Rent with fairness: Every potential renter that you come across must be treated with utmost respect. In addition, there are laws that protect renters in case they feel the property owner is treating them unfairly. For instance, the Federal Fair Housing Act. It identifies 7 protected classes: sex, religion, race, national origin, ancestry, disability, and familial status. Good relationship with your clients will paint a good picture of you to the other people or community, thereby helping you find a renter quickly.

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How to Rent Your Property Quickly in a Modern World

Hilton Head Plantation is A Wonderful Place To Live

Hilton Head Plantation is A Wonderful Place To LiveContributed by: Charles Sampson

Hilton Head Plantation is one of many premiere residential communities in Hilton Head Island, SC. Covering almost 4,000 acres, this is the community in which you see the very best parts of Island existence. This local community isn’t one factor to any or all people but provides multitude of property possibilities from smaller-sized vacation houses to larger, full-time homes.

One of the biggest plantations around Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Plantation covers the vast majority of the Northern tip. There is an exceptional security gate at every entrance so residents always feel safe and secure. If you are within the gates, you’ll discover miles of pristine natural land, biking and jogging trails, two nature conservancies, plus much more.

Hilton Head Island Was Named in The Top Ten Best Golf Islands in The World!

You’ll discover multiple golf options to consider which means you will definitely find a course that meets your level of skill.

The 4- 18 hole golf courses include…
• The Country Club of Hilton Head
• The Oyster Reef Golf Club
• Bear Creek
• Dolphin Head Golf Club

Homes in Hilton Head Plantation
There’s something about the feel of the houses in Hilton Head Plantation. With such beautiful land, you will find golf, lagoons, wooded areas, marsh and deep water home sites offering outstanding views and sights.

Home sizes vary from low maintenance patio style houses up to estate sized homes with stunning water and marsh views. While a lot of the community consists of single family houses, you will find a small quantity of villa style properties as well as an independent living facility that provides an alternative choice to home ownership for seniors.

Wonderful Hilton Head Plantation Amenities For Residents To Enjoy:
• Biking and Walking Pathways
• Boating and Marina
• Dining at the Old Fort Pub Restaurant
• Dolphin Head Entertainment Area
• Kayaking, Paddle Boarding and Canoeing
• Boating
• Nature Conservatories
• Planned Activities for owners
• Plantation Clubhouse
• Spring Lake Pool
• Seabrook Farm Resident Gardens
• Skull Creek Marina
• Social Clubs of all types
• Spring Lake Pavilion
• Spring Lake Entertainment Area and play grounds
• Spring Lake Tennis Facility with HAR-TRU courts
• Surrey Lane Ball Field (baseball and soccer)

Along with everything offered within the Plantation, there’s Main Street area right outside of the front main gate. There, you will find shopping, dining, night life, great ice-cream shops, boutiques, and so much more!

With the Fire station right outside of the front gate, Hilton Head Plantation can handle any emergency within minutes. The medical facilities are literally minutes away with the most professional staff one can find anywhere. It just puts everyone at ease knowing there is medical help right there if you ever needed it.

If you are interested in learning more about how wonderful Hilton Head Plantation and its incredible lifestyle, call the expert himself, Charles Sampson. Charles Sampson has lived in Hilton Head Island since 1972 and is the foremost authority on living in Hilton Head Plantation. “The benefits and serenity never ceases to amaze me,” says Sampson. This is why I continually say to anyone looking for a house, condo, villa with a serene lifestyle, “Come For A Visit and Stay For A Lifetime.”

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