Saint Cloud, FL Real Estate News

By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
  As you all know, the Flat Jack got top secret video of Active Rain Birthday Bash in Orlando Florida in Orlando was a huge success. About twenty five Active Rainer attended the bash. Cyndee has some great moments posted. Remember his cute little motivation piece  I'm going to sell me a house!!!!   It is a catchy little tune.  Well Broker Bryant got a singing telegram about 5:30 at the celebration.Broker Bryant: "Hello TutasTown Realty"...(Party noises going strong in the background)"I wrote me an offer for a house today..I wrote me an offer for a house today..while you rainers were partying away..I wrote me an offer for a house today!"  Try as I did to make it Orlando, my lock and loaded buyers had to come first. If you read  Rainers & Rainbows a serious buyer, is money in the bank. Th...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
A short time I wrote a blog titled Remember That Thing called a Starter Home?  It was also featured in the local newspaper. The other day I got a referal from one of our Active Rainer Victor Henry. Victor is Mortgage Broker in St. Cloud, and an all around nice guy. He does blog much, but is an amazing networker. He had a lovely couple he pre-approved who were looking for a home. He said very nice things about me, and one afternoon I got a call from them. They were very serious about a house. They have 30 days until their rate lock expires, and during the conversation, we became comfortable with each other. For two years they have locked out of the market due to the high cost of homes. At first they thought their loan amount, would not be "good enough"- well as it turns out, with the cur...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
Expect the Unexpected. You never know when life is going to throw you a curve.Buying a Home From a Kid's Perspective  Collen Kulkowski wrote about kids perspective in home shopping.  When the sonogram came back there was a deafening silence in the room. Nervous and apprehensive I asked.."What is the problem?" The technician fiddled a little while longer, and nervously I asked "can I see the baby?" She paused a moment, and replied "Yes, them me zoom in on them"  "THEM?"  I shrieked. Not possible. "On the contrary-you are are having twins!" she said with a giggle.  Oh you must be joking I thought. There had been a history of twins anywhere I asked my 95 year old grandmother, who was shocked to say the least. But there they are! That was a decade ago...and the first thing I thought was at ...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
 Call me a little strange, but I think the current reduction in prices is a wonderful way to introduce first time home-buyers  back into the Housing Market. Having lived through 16% interest, housing price rises and falls, market gains and losses, lowest interest rates in modern history, and now the "adjustment". I see the possibility here for consumers to gain some weight in the housing market. As inventory rises, and prices decline, the consumers may feel more empowered and less starved as their ability to purchase property is fed by marcket changes. Sellers on the contrary have been slow to accept, the Buyer's Marketand reluctant to reduce prices in hopes of achieving what could be perceived as unrealistic profits given the current market conditions. In other words they are trimming ...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
Unrealistic Seller, in A Buyers Market?  Greg White ponders the endless question, when it an offer good enough?John Steinbeck once said "No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself."  In a declining market sellers are often frustrated. However, the emotional bond one creates when faced with the possibility of selling ones home can trigger unrealistic expectations. The conflict of desire and want clash constantly. An old proverb states "Discontents arise from our desires oftener than from our wants."  The seller desires a sale. The monetary want is the cause of the discontent.  As professional Realtors are trained to listen to a sellers objectives. They are trained to listen to a buyers desires. They are hired to match the buy...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
 What child doesn't dream of having a horse someday? But as urban sprawl creeps into the countryside, there are fewer and fewer places where it is possible to own and board your own horse. Bay Lake Ranch in Osceola County happens to be one them. Lots range from an acre+. Two acres are required to have a horse. Homes range in price from mid $300's and up. It;s close proximity to the airport (30 minutes) Disney (35 Minutes) and Orlando (40 minutes) as well as the beaches of Melbourne (40 minutes) attract many nature lovers, and horse owners. From star gazing, to grazing lovated in eastern Osceola County, St. Cloud this hidden equestrian friendly community is a gem!If you have ever dreamed of having your own horse, or just love looking at them, this is a great place to live. As the area ex...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
A lot can be said for having the option of the cultural events and activities offered in Orlando, without the headaches of the traffic. It is for that reason, that so many people and young families have discovered the peaceful town of St. Cloud. In the shadow if Disney, Universal, and Sea World, it is a short drive away to the east. Sheltered for many years as a retirement area for Veterans dating back to the Civil War Era, St. Cloud has gorwn and become enormously attractive to younger families. Conversions of many bungalows provide opportunities and alternatives to apartments, town homes, and condo living. The starter homes have recently become more affordable once again. It is possible to find a 2 bedroom one bath for under $150,000 with a small yard. This is attractive for families ...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
One of the amazing benefits to exploring St. Cloud, Florida as your next lace to live is the absolutely gorgeous Lakefront. East Lake Toho is known for clear, cool water, a wonderful place to fish, boat, or play. The newly refurbished Lakefront Area in downtown St. Cloud, includes a Marina, and Crabby Bill's Restaurant.  A new family friendly Interactive Water Park is just steps from the Marina. The beautiful sandy beach area, provides the area residents with a wonderful place to cook out, read, relax, and enjoy time by the water without having to travel to the beaches. Beaches are 40 minutes west. Disney is 30 minutes to the east, and the turnpike is less than 10 miles away. Summertime is everyday in St. Cloud. The living is easy!  If you or anyne you know would like more information o...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
  Is your Realtor Hot or Not? What is the "it factor" in selecting a Realtor?  It could be enthusiasm, it could be a good track record, it could be a personality factor.  Are they telling you what they want to hear, or are they telling you what the market statistics reveal?  Sellers who need to sell, need a true picture of what is happening locally. Large Company or smaller company?  Both can and will advertise the house. Don't under estimate the little guy. Larger companies are great, so are the smaller ones. Sellers can save costs, by not having to pay administrative fees and other charges. Ask for a net proceeds statement. Knowing what you will need to pay at closing can be a deciding factor.What factors influence home sales? Taxes are a driving force of course.  Migration out of sta...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
For Rent. You see the signs everywhere. Frustrated home sellers looking to produce income to offset mortgage payments have gone towards renting in record numbers. Prices of rentals have continued to escalate, not from demand but from cost of ownership of the rental units, rising property taxes, insurance, and maintaince. Would be buyers often are in a waiting pattern. They are buying time, hoping to find the bottom of the market. Some are just fearful of buying and have the property diminish in value over the next several months or years. But, is renting a wise decision?There is a cost attached to renting. Granted there is less maintaince and repairs usually fall on the landlord, as well as upkeep of the grounds. That is factored into the rental price. While being a landlord is great fo...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
What is selling?From 5/1/07  to 5/31/072 bedroom  440 units were sold.   Median Price was 153,500 3 bedroom 1641 units were sold. Median Price was $216,5004 bedroom  1163 units sold.        Median Price was $322,000Days on Market:0-30      407 units31-60    589 units61-90    670 units91-120  573 units121+   1565 unitsFinancing:According to NAR444    Cash2930  Conventional95     FHA47     VA170   Assumption118  Other  In the $200-249,000 price range consumers are buying mostly three bedroom homes (509)  compared to 178 four bedroom units sold during the same period. In the $300-399,000 price range more four bedroom homes sold 289 compared to 167.In the $400-499,999 price range  49 three bedroom units sold, 130 four bedroom units sold$500,000 and above 45 three bedroom units sold and 236 ...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
Can you imagine paying taxes on "Income" You never actually had?  What?  That's Right. Loan Forgivenessby a lender may not be exactly what most homeowners, already troubled with late fees, delinquencies, foreclosures,short sales, or deed in lieu of foreclosure. A homeowner, who experiences a major life change, medical bills, unexpected loss of job, or death of a loved one. Suddenly he is unable to make mortgage payments. He contacts his lender, works out a deal and in some cases (short sale) or other arrangement whereby the bank forgives part of the debt. Done right?  Not exactly.The lender will report the forgiven portion of the debt  1099-C form. The IRS can calculate taxes against the homeowner as "Ordinary Income" the following year. Say a short sale creates a $40,000 deficiency. Th...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
 It is simple, it is easy and anyone can do it. The five simple secrets to making people want to work with you are:1) Likeability- The "it" factor. Warm smile, commanding presence, not initimadating2) Knowledge- keep informed on whats going on in your area.3) Marketing- Clever eye catching out of the box postcards and promotions4) Track Record- Your previous successful sales5) Honesty- Be honest with your customer. He may NOT be able to sell if his price for example is too high.It really is that simple.
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By Carmen Offutt
(La Rosa Realty)
Brand new Community in Saint Cloud, if peace and quite is what you are looking without having to fight the heavy traffic, then you just found it. Homes are between 1800 sq ft to 3000 sq ft.  some homes include a 3car garage.  Located about 1/2 mile from the new Northbound-only turnpike exit and a few minutes from 192.Within a short driving distance you can also find several restaurants, shopping stores, hair and nail salon, gas stations and many other businesses.  Here is a list of some of them and the approximate distance from Keystone Pointe:Winn-Dixie                               less than 1 mileCool Blue Burrito                        less than 1 milePublix                                      4 milesWalmart                                   4 milesSubway                           ...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
What is selling? As an expert in Osceola County, Florida the trend for young families and single professionals seems to be leaning towards the purchase of Town Homes, Town Houses, compact communities, whatever you prefer to call them. They are also an affordable alternative to existing single family homes ranging from the mid $200,000 to $300,000. In Osceola County it appears that in addition to the need for more affordable housing, there is also a desire not to have to spend as much free time doing home maintenance. Cutting the lawn, for example. Most Town Home complexes of which there are many, Battaglia in St. Cloud, Turtle Creek in St. Cloud, and DRHorton in Harmony, are good examples of communities thriving in slow economic times. As a leader in St. Cloud Real Estate,  a noticeable...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
  Rising gas prices  will no doubt have an impact on the slumping Real Estate Market. As gas prices creep upwards in some states like Florida, Colorado over $4.00 a gallon for regular, Realtors Nationwide report a drop in the attendence of Open Houses.  In a climate of already sagging sales, rising gas prices will inevitably have an affect.  Compounded with the steady rise in reported foreclosures, the market recovery will take longer than most experts first may have predicted.  What can sellers do?  Evaluate the need to sell. Take into consideration when selling a realistic time frame of a year. Home Owners looking to bail out quickly to avoid foreclosure need to be talking with the banks BEFORE payments are late. Gas prices are jumping at record levels. One Hess gas station was sellin...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
 Recently a retired college professor  who has owned his house for over 30 years wanted to place it on the market in upstate New York.  He determined the price should be $350,000. The problem was, his house would not appraise at anywhere near that. He interviewed several Realtors from the area. All came to the same conclusion. The house would need significant and extensive work to achieve that price. Disgusted, he phoned me. I convinced him to shop his area. See what is out there, and is being offered for $349,900. The following day he called me back. In a deep serious tone, he softly spoke. "I was unaware that granite counters are being used in kitchens. I see numerous recessed lighting fixtures are also being used. (70's track lighting was what he had) I also noted large ceramic tile,...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
We have all heard of Ready, Willing and able, but the three C's with regard to Sellers are: Commitment. Competitive               AND CompromiseIn order to achieve a successful result. The problem is 2 out of 3 would not get it done. Too often we hear how frustrated Realtors are with clients, who have high expectations, and are unrealistic or unaware of how the market has changed. As experts, they call upon us to give a realistic assessment of what a property could command given present market conditions, the condition of the house, and what is comparable.As experts, sometimes we are the bearers of bad news. The sellers think their property has higher value than it does. Or they are unrealistic about what they need to get for it. Or they have over extended themselves and have a financia...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
 Perhaps the biggest adjustment in moving to Florida was getting used to the school schedule. As a lifelong New Yorker, the norm was September to June. After arriving here, we experienced something called Tracks where huge gaps were created in the school calendar to share classrooms. Must have looked great on paper, but in realty, tracks did not work. One track or another would rotate off for several weeks (3 at a time) and another track would use that class room. Not the best solution for overcrowde4d schools. Fortunately they finally did away with that concept-thank goodness and added portables. The school calendar ran from Early August through May. Still an adjustment from the conventional. Usually the first week of August. Made the summer seem a little weird. This year in Osceola Co...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
 Many Realtors will tell you they are all about making dreams come true. And while that is in part what they hope to accomplish not all succeed. My favorite letter from a client, arrived a few weeks ago. Seems when they originally listed their house for sale over a year ago their then agent told them "to go ahead, buy that motorhome and start planning the trip of a lifetime."  They followed her suggestion. She was sure the house would sell fast. After 4 months a contract came in. The sellers quit their jobs, began packing and were dreaming of wide open spaces. The deal died.Part Two:  A few months later another contract came in. "No problem" said the agent "we will close this deal for sure, start packing!"  Once again they did, quit their jobs, sold off unneccesary items, called for the...
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