The holidays are right around the corner, for most that means spending time with family and friends, for some it means spending time shopping for the best deals. Believe me, we aren’t judging, because we too partake in some of the craziness that is Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and every other extra special super discount shopping day. But another thing we do is Shop Small, and you should too.

A few years ago American Express started the Shop Small campaign where it promoted shopping only at local businesses rather than big box stores on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The campaign has continued to grow and it is pretty amazing the impact that shopping local can have on your community. Check out this infographic:

Small-business-circular

Pretty awesome!  And it isn’t just about shopping local and spending your money, it’s about becoming a part of something. There are other ways to get involved, like organizing an event to help celebrate small businesses in your neighborhood.  Getting your friends and family together to spend the day out and about getting to know your local business owners. Continually posting on social media sites promising to Shop Small on November 29th because we all know if one of your friends is shopping local then the rest will too!

American Express has made it really simple for both the consumer and the business owner.  Consumers, follow this link, put in your address and it will give a list of all local businesses in your area that are promoting Shop Small.  Business owners, follow this link to promote your business.

There are so many great places scattered around Orlando to Shop Small.  We suggest Park Ave CDsDear Prudence  and East End Market in Audobon Park.  Cloak and Dapper in Ivanhoe Village.   Maybe Colonial Photo & Hobby or City Oasis in Mills50.  How about Paper Gallery & Gingersnap Station in College Park.  And Zou Zou Boutique in Thornton Park.  We haven’t even gotten started on places to eat yet! Just to name a few we love,   P is for Pie, brunch at The Hammered Lamb,  Hawkers, Benjamin French Bakery.  We could go on for days, but I think you get the point.  The places to Shop Small are endless, be part of the movement!

Tell us, where are you going to Shop Small?

 

We have no affiliation with American Express, we just really feel that the Shop Small movement is something everyone needs to be a part of!

Smokey bars, raspy voices and the taste of liquor on your lips are all components of the jazz music era.  Though the start of jazz is debatable, some say in the late 1800’s and others say in in the 1910’s, it will always be synonymous with rebellion and youth thanks to The Roaring Twenties.  Whenever and whoever first started playing jazz definitely got it right, it has carried through the ages and stood the test of time.  You hear it’s influence in modern music, from rock to hip hop to folk.  Everyone, at one point or another, has enjoyed jazz music whether they know it or not.

One of the best ways to listen to jazz music is live, you can feel the energy flowing through the crowd, you can’t help but tap your fingers along with the beat.  And that is why College Park Jazzfest is, year after year, one of the most anticipated events in the downtown area.  Last year there were over 10,000 people in attendance, and this year even more are expected!  3 stages, local restaurants,  retail and food vendors will line Edgewater Drive on October 25th from 6-11pm.  Admission is a minimum $5 donation, and a portion of your donation helps support teams, schools and non profit organizations within College Park!

Tickets are available upon arrival or in advance at select College Park establishments:

The Beauty Spot

Gallery On The Edge

The Soda Fountain

Infusion Tea

Old Florida!

 

 

Interested in buying or selling in the College Park area?  Give us a call, we’d love to be your agent!

October makes for a busy month in Orlando, between the weather and the things to do we don’t plan on spending any of our off time indoors!  There is so much to do…almost too much, so as to not overwhelm you we’ve listed a few of our favorites.  Enjoy!

 

Come Out With Pride

October 6th – October 12th, main event on October 11th

Various Locations

 

Thornton Park Wine & Art Walk

October 9th

Glass Pick Up at McMillen Law Firm on E. Central

 

Jazz ‘N Blues Stroll

October 11th

Leu Gardens

 

Pedalpalooza

October 11th

Ivanhoe Village & Downtown South

 

Winter Park Autumn Art Festival

October 11th and 12th

Central Park in Downtown Winter Park

 

Taste of Thornton Park

October 16th

Intersection of Washington and Hyer, around the fountain

 

Music on Mills

October 18th

Various Venues on Mills Ave.

 

College Park JazzFest

October 25th

Along  Edgewater Drive

 

Vegfest

October 25th

Orlando Festival Park

 

 

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!

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