*Image from cityoforlando.net

*Image from cityoforlando.net

It’s that time of year again when we bust out the Popsicles and american flags! 4th of July is one of the funnest holidays and there’s a lot going on around town this year.

Lake Eola has it’s annual Fireworks at the Fountain event which is always sure to impress. The event starts at 4pm with performances throughout the night from Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. There will be food and beverage vendors as well as a childrens area. The firework display starts at 9:10pm, get there early to get a good spot!

Winter Park will be having their festive day time event the Olde Fashioned 4th of July Celebration. There will be live music by the Bach Festival Brass Band and the Bach festival Choir. Good news –  free hotdogs, water and watermelon while supplies last! There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides and childrens activities complete with inflatables!

Worried you won’t see enough fireworks on the 4th? Well you’re in luck! Baldwin park is having their 4th celebration on the 5th of July at Harbor Park. The Baldwin Park Rotary holds The Baldwin Park Independence Day Bash every year either before or after the actual holiday. The event is free to attend and will feature live music, a food & beer garden, and fireworks over Lake Baldwin after dark.

Have a happy and safe 4th, Orlando!

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New in town and super unique! Extract in Winter Park has a super cool location that is all outdoors in a courtyard setting. The specialties here are juice and tapas with a vast menu including some nice adult beverages. On certain occasions (Sunday Brunch), Extract offers a special 3 course meal option with an unlimited drink special.  The tapas menu includes a variety of meat and vegan options and are all fresh dishes. Do try the Ahi Tacos and one of the pita pizzas, extract uses a lot of interesting flavor combinations!

The staff is extremely friendly and will answer all your questions and make suggestions. Bonus! – while you’re relaxing at Extract you can play giant jenga and cornhole, very fun environment!

Extract is located at 400 W. New England Ave

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Been to 4 Rivers? If you have and you loved it, like most do, then you absolutely must check out The Coop! The Coop is the newest restaurant from John Rivers. The focus is on serving up that delicious southern comfort food. The food is made from scratch daily and features passed-down recipes that utilize seasonal ingredients. The menu includes an array of fried chicken options, meatloaf, oxtail stew, fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs, chicken pot pie, delicious deserts….you get it, the list goes on and on!  The Coop has been a hit since opening a couple weeks ago, make sure to stop in soon! Located at 610 W Morse Blvd, plan your visit strategically to avoid the line! 

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Farm-to-table is all the rage and there’s a super cool joint in Winter Park serving up local deliciousness. B&B Junction crafts specialty burgers using high quality local food. B&B works with local farms to use organic produce, grass-fed hormone and antibiotic free beef, free-range all natural antibiotic hormone free poultry, fresh seafood and naturally raised pork. They also bake all their own breads and buns! There’s a lot of  great sides to choose from (the sweet potatoe fries and fried pickles are just way too good), an assortment of desserts (the gluten free chocolate cake is right on the money) and craft beers to pair with your burger.

B&B is located in Winter Park on Fairbanks and Formosa and  has a super relaxed environment. The staff is incredibly friendly & welcoming. Read more about their philosophy on food!

 

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Hey foodies! This one’s for you.  Winter Park will be holding it’s annual Taste of Winter Park this Wednesday, April 16th. Get your all inclusive ticket and enjoy unlimited samples from 40 of Central Florida’s top chefs, bakers, caterers and confectioners for an exciting night at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market.

The event will have live entertainment as well as raffle prizes. don’t miss out!

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One of the coolest things that happens in Orlando every year is the Florida Film Festival . Now in it’s 23rd year, FFF is an Oscar-qualifying festival that spans over 10 days with 170 movie selections, fabulous parties and celebrity mingling across multiple venues. The festival kicks off April 4th and ends on the 13th. The Orlando Weekly featured some of the most anticipated films, parties and forums that will be taking place. Be sure to purchase tickets soon!

*Image take from floridafilmfestival.com

front, postcard, McRae Spring 2014Don’t miss out on one of Winter Park’s hidden art gems. The McRae Studios house some of Orlando’s finest talent in the visual arts. Tucked away in a warehouse by the railroad tracks, the studio has 22 different artists working in a variety of medium.

McRae will be having an open studio tour on Saturday, March 29th from 6-9pm. This is a great chance to  check out the artists studios, and see new work as well works in progress. We went to the last open house in December and it’s truly a great time. The event is free and artists are available for questions and conversations (there’s also refreshments!)

imgresIt’s that time of year when we celebrate the Irish! Orlando has a lot going on all weekend, so put on some green and take your pick!  And if you’re in the market for a home stop by our open house near Downtown Orlando…before you head out for some fun!

Wall St. Plaza St. Patrick’s Day Block Parties – Starts Saturday March 15th at 5pm

Yes you read that correctly, Wall St. will have a party on Saturday, Sunday AND Monday. Everything kicks off Saturday at 5pm with the “St. Practice Day” block party, wake up and do it again with a Sunday Funday at 3pm, or wait until Monday where the party starts at noon! There will be live music and green drinks, so get your party pants ready!

Fiddler’s Green – Saturday, Sunday & Monday

This place doesn’t mess around! Celebrate in Winter Park all weekend from Saturday March 15th  –  Monday March 17th. Entertainment includes Irish Dancers, Bagpipers and all kinds of live music. You can also get your nom’ on with some of that delicious irish fare that Fiddler’s Green is known for.

Otown 6th Annual St. Patrick’s Sunday Funday Scoot – Sunday March 16 at 1pm

Kick of your Sunday with some food on Don Jefe’s then scoot on over to Finn Henry’s, Saddle Up and Lizzie McCormick’s. The scoot is $10 and includes a complimentery drink at each location. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can also purchase a green “Otown Happy Hour” shirt for $10.

HOPE’s Sham Rock n’ Run – Saturday March 15th at 7am

This family friendly event is a charitable fun run and race that will provide much-needed additional funds for HOPE’s programs and services. HOPE’s mission is to prevent and reduce homelessness in Central Florida and Orlando by equipping individuals and families to become self sufficient through Housing, Outreach, Prevention, and Education. Get fun with this one! Dress up and paint your face green.

What are your weekend plans?

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.
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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

As we head into the Spring, there are more and more outdoor events in the Orlando and Winter Park area.  This weekend is no exception!  Whether you are looking for something to spruce up your exterior or interior there is a place for you this weekend.

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If you want to get your front yard ready for spring, stop by the Leu Gardens annual plant sale this weekend near Audubon Park.  I have personally purchased many things and it is a great way to spend a spring day!  Bring a cart if you plan on buying anything so you can transport the plant back to you car.
Saturday, March 16 & Sunday March 17
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
If you are in the mood to change things up in your house, stop by the Annual Winter Park sidewalk Art Festival.  “The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals, consistently rated among the top shows by Sunshine Artist and American Style magazines.”  Each year more than 350,000 visitors enjoy the show.  It’s a great place to find some inspiration for an interior space.
Friday, March 15th, 9 AM to 6 PM
Saturday, March 16th, 9 AM to 6 PM
Sunday, March 17th, 9 AM to 5 PM
Do you have any weekend plans?
Image credit:  personal
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