We finally got to check out The Soda Fountain in beautiful College Park! The new shop with the old-timey feel has a lot of menu items including ice cream, milk shakes, sundaes, ice cream floats and craft sodas.  Stop in and make it a family affair by sharing “The Zoo” -  5 scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge, caramel and peanut butter sauces, chopped peaunts, and lots of cherries.

CP_Soda3

Can you believe it is already almost April?!  This year has flown by so far.  In the real estate business we will start to look at the first quarter and compare the activity to last year.  Are we headed in the right direction?

It seems that we are.  I recently did a presentation for the Mills 50 mainstreet district about the top reasons that we are headed in the right direction.  I left one thing out from the 5 factors that I discussed.  Heavy competition!
I haven’t put an offer in on a house in Orlando this year where there weren’t multiple offers.  That is huge!  Multiple offers means that the seller has the negotiating power.  I touched on the low inventory in my recent presentation to Mills 50 which is largely the cause behind increasing prices; but bidding drives prices up further.
auction
No one has really mentioned that it is truly a sellers market in Orlando now.  Unless the listing is greatly overpriced or there is a functional issue, homes are selling very quickly and often times with multiple offers.  In many cases buyers are offering above listing price to ensure they get the house and are the winning bid.
This is a huge change from a few years ago.  For the buyers who wanted to “wait” until the prices hit bottom.  Sorry to tell you it’s too late.  The lowest median price was actually in around January and February of 2011.  When the market shifts it seems to happen in the blink of an eye and you cannot time it perfectly.  However, the market is still ripe with opportunities for buyers!   Don’t delay while the interest rates are still at historically low rates.  The average interest rate last month was 3.21%!!
Looking to find a home in Downtown Orlando, College Park, or Winter Park?  Search all the listings at ThinkDowntownHomes.com
Image Credit:  “Getting in the Mix” from Everystock via Creative Commons License

frontwindow_hammeredlambI tried to post this last week after I visited the new bar in Ivanhoe Village last week; but I got busy with selling homes.  The blog takes the back seat sometimes.

The new hot spot in Ivanhoe Village is called The Hammered Lamb.  They had a soft opening early last week and then officially opened the doors on Friday.  The location is perfect with beautiful views of  Lake Ivanhoe from the large outdoor patio bar.  Inside there are video games, tons of TVs, plenty of spots to sit and chat or listen to the awesome 90′s set-list.  It’s a relaxed neighborhood bar vibe that is just right for the area.

They will be serving light dishes in the future but for now it’s a great place to have a drink and enjoy the Florida weather on the outdoor patio.

Thinking of moving to the area?  Search nearby homes for sale in Lake Highland, Colonialtown North Eola Heights, and College Park or call me to learn more about Downtown Orlando real estate at 407-494-2820.

 

Image Credit:  from window from Hammered Lamb instagram

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  As many of you know Small Business Saturday is this weekend across the country.  These local businesses are what make our neighborhoods and communities such a great place to live.  If you’re out and about this weekend remember to shop local Orlando!  Here are a few websites to find locations of small businesses in the Orlando area with plenty of places to shop or dine this Saturday.

Winter Park 

Winter Park – Park Ave.

Winter Park – Hannibal Square 

College Park 

College Park – Edgewater Dr. and surrounding 

Another College Park directory for small businesses

Downtown Orlando neighborhoods

Downtown Orlando shopping - Central Business District

South Eola District  - Area South of Lake Eola

Thornton Park – Washington Ave.

Mills 50 District - Near where Mills Ave and Hwy 50 intersect

The Milk District – Robinson St near Bumby and Primrose

Ivanhoe Village – Orange Ave through Loch Haven Park area

Downtown South (SODO) area 

Audubon Park – Corrine Dr. (the photo is an image of a favorite shop of mine – Dear Prudence)

Baldwin Park 

Baldwin Park Village Center

 

What are your favorite local Orlando shops?

P.S. Please feel free to send me more suggestions for Orlando shopping and dining!

Sorry I have been out of commission for a while!  I took an unexpected trip to the emergency room when my significant other came down with a terrible virus.  He is doing well now after a blood transfusion and some meds – thank goodness!  It is nice to be back to a normal routine…well as normal as the real estate industry can be.

Recently I wrote an article for our Orlando real estate e-newsletter about 5 ways to Add Real Value.  One of the top improvements is a kitchen remodel.   A minor kitchen remodel can provide a great return on your investment.  As I have said before, kitchens and bathrooms sell homes!   So I found this great article about strategies for a smooth kitchen remodel – enjoy!

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Contact us today about improving your home to sell quickly!  Selling Downtown Orlando,
Winter Park, and College Park!
ThinkLiveBe Property Team
Kathryn Stelljes PA – Listing Specialist
1-800-859-5714 ext. 0
info@ThinkLiveBe.com

It’s been pretty steamy outside lately and its just going to keep getting hotter!  We won’t find some relief here in Downtown Orlando until about October, except for the afternoon rains.  This kind of weather makes you want to head to the pool or find some way to cool off before you melt away!  Well I have the perfect solution for these hot summer days in Orlando…soft serve ice cream mixed with Italian ice!

At Twisted Bliss in College Park Florida, they have a name for soft serve ice cream twisted with Italian ice.  They call it Gelati.  I call it delicious.  It’s a perfect spot to stop and cool off this summer.  Their outdoor seating area offers brightly colored benches to sit and enjoy your tasty treat and the beautiful Florida weather.

What other favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt, or gelato places do you love?

We hope that if you have considered selling or buying a home in Orlando you have either used our services or would consider doing so in the future!  The reason I bring it up is that sometimes I see a seller list with a company or agent that is not from the local area.

My assumption is that they think they are saving money in some way by listing with this agent or company or perhaps it is a relative and they feel obligated to use that person.  However, real estate is a very local industry.  We are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in the Orlando real estate market but I would not try to sell a home in Tampa because I don’t know the market conditions in that area.  You may think you are saving a few dollars but in the end you will likely lose money for two main reasons.

  1.  An agent that is experienced in the local market understands what sells, why it sells and can help you determine an appropriate listing price to obtain you the highest offer in today’s market.
  2. An agent that is experienced in the local market will provide more exposure to your home through their local connections and marketing channels – again earning you the highest offer.

Your home is your biggest asset and that kind of decision deserves a local’s perspective.  Don’t list with your friend or family member because you feel guilty – list with someone that knows your area.  We eat, play, work, and live in Downtown Orlando, College Park, and Winter Park and we know how to sell our neighbors homes.

For more info on listing your home contact us today.

Our housing market in Orlando is changing.  As the number of homes for sale has declined over the last few months, the market has become quite competitive.  Especially in highly desirable neighborhoods like Downtown Orlando, College Park, and Winter Park.  If you are looking for a home for sale in Downtown Orlando under $250,000 – so is everyone else!  Well that’s how it seems anyways.

Homes under that $250,000 mark are typically just the right size and location for a first time buyer and that is one of the major groups buying a home in this market.  So how can you ensure your success when bidding against other home buyer and get there first?

  1. Ask your agent if their website is mobile.  If you are out driving around and see a home that looks interesting you want to be able to check out their site and get the details ASAP.  Or at least make sure you can text your agent for a quick response.  Keep in mind all of those other sites may not have the most up to date listings and/or all of them.  See my previous blog about this!
  2. Once you find a home offer a fair price for the home.  There’s no more “low balling” going on in today’s market.  You must move quickly and offer something fair and reasonable to market value or a little higher even.  Most agents can do a quick market analysis just using their cell phone and looking at recent sales in the neighborhood within our mobile multiple listing service site.
  3. Use electronic means to sign your offer.  We use electronic signatures to ensure we get things done quickly (and save a lot of paper in the meantime!).  If your agent doesn’t offer electronic signatures there is an app that will allow you to sign electronically on your own.  It’s called Docusign Ink and it’s FREE!  Super easy to use.

Basically, electronic and digital technology is the driving force in this industry.  If you want to get a an offer accepted doing things on your phone or tablet device just might mean you get your offer in first – but always and most importantly make a solid offer or you will get outbid.

Why not avoid the Black Friday hype and stimulate the local economy? Small business Saturday is a great way. Small business owners are your neighbors. They employ people in your neighborhood. Your local stores carry or create unique products the people on your list will love. You’ll receive personal attention and no shipping fees.

Check out your local Main Street districts for lists of small businesses in your area.  Mills 50 is right around the corner from Downtown and full of great places to find a truly unique gift this holiday season – try a gift card to one of the many locally owned delicious restaurants, frame some artwork at the local frame shop on Mills, or find some gifts from around the world at one of the international shops.  Try Audubon Park for some yummy holiday cupcakes, custom jewelry at the Bead Lounge, or to find the perfect gift for a garden lover at Palmer’s.  Thornton Park isn’t a “Main Street” district but be sure to stop through there for a custom t-shirt from Mother Falcon, cute accessories from one of the boutiques, or how about a hot sauce gift set from Tijuana Flats for someone who enjoys things spicy!  Or try Ivanhoe village for the antique lover – just stop in any one of the vintage or antique shops on Orange Avenue for a one of a kind gift!

Why not avoid the crowds, the hype, racing around and check out your favorite small business Saturday?

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