Who Says There’s Nothing To Do In Orlando – Uncomfortable Brunch

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I love brunch, and I love movies.  So why am I just learning about this “Best Kept Secret” according to Orlando Weekly – Uncomfortable Brunch at Will’s Pub??  The concept is pretty novel.  You go to brunch at Will’s Pub and while you dine, you watch a provocative movie.  As described on their website, “This concept seemed funny to us. Juxtapose a lovely social activity like brunch with an objectively antisocial activity like viewing historically significant, but unsettling, cinema.”  Then when it’s done playing you are challenged to engage in dialogue with fellow diners about what you thought of the movie.  They host a different movie every month, so they’re sure to have something you would be interested in.

This Sunday, January 8th, Uncomfortable Brunch will be bringing Requiem for a Dream to Will’s Pub.  The movie stars:

requiemEllen Burstyn was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.  The movie is a twisted web of addiction following a mother and son on two separate paths of drug abuse leaving them hollow shells of their former selves.  I remember watching this movie in my 20’s and I will tell you it leaves you feeling sad and indeed uncomfortable with the challenges and deep wells of delusion the characters go through.  Robert Ebert gave the movie a 3.5/4 stars when it first hit the scene in 2000.

I hope you’ll join the conversation at Uncomfortable Brunch this Sunday!  I know I will be heading to the Uncomfortable Brunch very soon!

Image Credit: Uncomfortable Brunch & Flixster.com

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Go Local Wednesday – Taste of Yucatan

I love hearing about new places, and I have to see after reading the review at Orlando Weekly of Taste of Yucatan, this new restaurant is on my short list of “must try’s.”  Mexican food in the US is sometimes only identified as tacos and burritos, but the Yucatán evolved in isolation from the rest of the country until recent decades, and its cuisine is an amalgam of native, European, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern flavors and techniques.

According to the restaurant review, you can try a medley of different things for very reasonable prices.  Making it perfect for penny conscious!

Have you been yet?  We’d love to hear your review.

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Image Credit: OrlandoWeekly.com

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5 Reasons Buyers Will Be Buying in 2017 and Why You Should Be Selling!

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As we enter 2017, we are hopeful the market will remain strong.  There are many reasons to buy…and…actually many reasons to sell too. 

  1. Higher Interest Rates are imminent.  Many people believe interest rates will be rising in 2017.  As the rates go up, buyers will lose buying power.  Savvy buyers who want to own a home know this and are going to move towards buying sooner rather than later this year.
  2. Low Inventory.  There are still record lows in the number of homes for sale.  Less competition always means it’s a better time to be a seller.  You have more leverage in negotiations as a seller when the buyer doesn’t have any other options in the area.
  3. Possibly higher down payments in the future.  As we move into a new administration and congress, some industry leaders feel the GOP leadership may move to make larger down payments a requirement for financing.  This poses a problem because nearly 35% of home buyers are first time buyers who generally finance 96% of the purchase price.  That’s a large pool of buyers that would not longer be in the market if the requirements change.
  4. Tax refund helps first time buyers buy homes.  Many first time home buyers use their tax refunds or a portion of them to make their home purchase.  As these buyers begin to receive their funds, the “first time” buyer price range could heat up a bit.
  5. Median prices are stagnant.  In Orlando, the median price reached a peak in 2016 in June at $207,000.  It then got stuck around $205,000 for 3-4 months.  In November it declined to $200,000.  It would seem the prices are maxing out in the Orlando area.  If you’re expecting to hold onto your property for another year and earn a lot more money, it doesn’t seem realistic.  But waiting could cost you a large pool of buyers which is more detrimental to the sale of your home. 

As a buyer, the interest rates are going to be your friend earlier in the year as opposed to later.  And if you’re a first time buyer, the unknown of potential legislation to raise down payments is enough to get moving now!  Start searching for property now.

As a seller, when the buyers are buying you want to be selling!  As you can see there are factors that could price some buyers out of the market in the future.  It’s better to sell when demand is high and supply is low as we are experiencing now.  That will allow you to maximize your home value and sell quickly.   So if you need or want to sell in the next year now is probably the best time to do it. 

Call us to learn about how we can help at 407-494-2820 or visit ThinkLiveBe.com

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Monday Market Report – Flatlining Prices May Mean We’re in for a Shift in 2017

Many people are asking me what I think 2017 will bring for the real estate market.  I wrote a post last week breaking down a recent article from the chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors.  I hope you’ll take a moment to read it.  But what I know is that right now in the Downtown Orlando area the market under $350,000 is still strong for sellers and tight for buyers. 

The inventory in Orlando has remained low for 8 months in a row in what we would consider a “seller’s market”.  On the flip side, the prices have flatlined.  In the last three months the median price in Orlando has been stuck at $205,000!   If you want or need to sell your home, now is the time to get it done. 

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Prices have remained between $203-207k since May!  That lack of increase month to month indicates we may have maxed out what the market will bear.  All it takes is just a bit more inventory to shift the market.  

As the election results came in, interest rates rose.  They are expected to continue to rise.  That will only further erode affordability in the Central Florida region, pricing many buyers out of the market.  If you want to maximize your sales price, you may want to get things going sooner rather than later. 

Of course real estate is local and some Central Florida regions and price points are already experiencing a bit of a shift into a buyer’s market.  Each house and case is unique, so contact us to see if you’re in a seller or buyer’s market and if it makes sense to make a move.

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Who Says There’s Nothing to do in Orlando? – Jingle Eve 2016!

Holiday season is upon us!  The Annual Jingle Eve Festival and Boat Parade starts at 5pm thru 10PM tomorrow November 19th!  Merchants will be open throughout the district for some holiday shopping, dining, and drinking!  There will be a tree lighting, carolers, a Santa village, pedi cabs to get you around.  And of course they will light the “Happy Holidays” sign overlooking Lake Ivanhoe.

For a little adult fun, join the wine stroll.  From 5pm-10pm sip & stroll through the 14 participating locations within Ivanhoe Village.  Each spot features a wine tasting curated by Tim’s Wine Market.

Jingle Eve is a FREE event, the wine stroll is $25.  Get your tickets here for the wine stroll.

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Go Local Wednesdays – Small Business Saturday Mills50

We are entering shopping season as Thanksgiving approaches.  Every year American Express sponsors Small Business Saturday to highlight the small business across America and encourage you to shop local.  This year the Mills50 Main Street will be have 14 business participate.  Visit a store and you will receive a raffle ticket to be entered to win an awesome Mills50 gift basket with prizes from each location!   It is the place to shop this holiday season. 

The participating businesses are listed below.  Each location has included a gift or gift certificate in the raffle gift basket.  Get out, shop local, eat local, and enter to win!

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Monday Market Report – The Real Estate Market under the Trump Administration

Leading up to election day many people were asking me how I thought the election would
impact real estate.  Obviously no one has a crystal ball, but I had read enough articles from various publications to know that one candidate was expected to elicit more steady results.  It was expected that Hillary Clinton would bring more of the same and thus we could expect the market to continue on the same path.  Donald Trump’s candidacy provided more unknowns and could rock the market as we all saw the stock market do on election night.

 washington-whitehouse-388698-oAs we head into 2017, we know little about what the next president will do in terms of housing because it was largely an ignored topic throughout the election.  Here is a link to the entire Forbes Article in which the National Association of Realtors chief economists explains the potential outcomes and pros/cons.  I encourage anyone interesting in buying or selling in the near future to read this article and peruse my notes below.

The below comments are my interpretation of this information and key take aways if you are thinking of buying or selling in the near future.

 1. “There will no doubt be a short-term stimulus to the economy.”
It is expected that congress and the president-elect will opt for tax cuts and specific government spending that could boost the economy in the first part of 2017.  It is expected that inflation will go higher and that would lead to higher interest rates.  From there it depends on how manageable the growth is and a short term boost will create a larger budget deficit and force rates even higher.

  • Takeaway: Interest Rates will be higher in 2017.  Either somewhat or a lot is the unknown piece of the puzzle.  If you are thinking of waiting until the new year to buy, you may want to get started now before the rates adjust and potentially price you out of the house you want. 

2.  “Changes to Dodd-Frank financial regulation will occur in some form.”
It is thought that lifting some regulation for small banks is a good idea.  They may be able to provide financing for construction which would loosen the housing shortage we are currently experiencing. Dodd-Frank is at its core a consumer protection act.  It is meant to keep large financial institutions from doing whatever they want.  If we see regulation loosening for the large financial institutions, that could be a hint that history will repeat itself.

  • Takeaway:  If this Act is dismantled, consumers will no longer have the same protections in the financial industry.  This includes mortgages, credit cards, and retirement and insurance investments.  A huge change to banking regulations could lead us right back to another taxpayer bailout if banks are left to their own devices.  

3.  “There could be less regulatory land-use and zoning burden for home construction, and thereby lower the cost of building.”
This could make new homes more affordable than existing homes.  This is in general a great thing.  Home affordability is an important thing in a strong real estate market. 

  • Takeaway:  New home construction could become a more affordable option and more available for purchase.  Great news for developers and builders.  If you have a home to sell in an area where new construction makes up your competition, you may want to sell sooner rather than later.

4.  “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may not survive.”
If this happens, mortgages will be much more expensive with 30-year fixed rate products disappearing from the market place.

  • Takeaway: This is not good for home ownership and could reduce the pool of people able to buy in a big way.  That might be positive for those with rental properties, but a negative if you need to sell your home.

5.  “Homeowners in flood zones and who suffer through natural disasters may get much less relief from the government.”
It may seem like an easy way to cut the budget to allow for tax cuts.   If this happens, the cost will fall to the homeowner leaving many helpless.

  • Takeaway:  If you live in an area prone to flooding or hurricane damage, you may want to revisit your insurance policies and make sure you’re protected.  And create a plan for this.

6.  “There will be active discussions on tax reform.” 
Congress and the administration could look to trim the mortgage interest deduction, reduce the property tax deduction, and cut of exemptions on capital gains from the sale of a home. 

  • Takeaway: These are some of the major tax advantages for being a homeowner.  If you are planning to sell your home in the near future you may consider sooner rather than later.  If the capital gains exemptions are reduced or eliminated that would have a large impact on your net proceeds at closing!

If you are considering buying or selling, call us today.  Everyone’s life is unique and every market is local.  Let us be your local advisor and see if now is the right time to make a move.  Reach me at 407-494-2820 or Kathryn@ThinkLiveBe.com

*Image credit:  Photo by foxypar4 on Everystock via Creative Commons
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