Winter Haven, FL Real Estate News

By Kevin Sandridge, Winter Haven Mortgage Broker
(Signature Home Funding)
When is the last time you, as a loan originator, stopped to realize how much trust a Realtor who refers their trusting client to you is placing in you?  First, they're in a precarious position.  In many cases - their client has yet to gain pre-approval for a loan, so there's the "Are they going to qualify?" question in play.  Second, they are, in many cases, giving a good bit of control over to you as they wait for the loan to make it through to closing. I got to thinking about this after reading a blog post by Sean Purcell on the Bloodhoundblog entitled Before They Get It, Make Sure They Get It.  Mr. Purcell breaks the real estate transaction into two phases: The Dark Ages and The Age of Enlightenment (hey, where'd the Renaissance go?).  He likens the discovery phase Realtors go throug...
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By Kevin Sandridge, Winter Haven Mortgage Broker
(Signature Home Funding)
Attention Realtors:  What You Don't Know About DPAs is Costing You Easy Sales   Are your listings sitting on the market too long? Are your advertising costs climbing because inventory isn't moving? Are you spending too much time & money promoting homes that aren't selling? Educating your buyers about Downpayment Assistance Programs WILL turbo-charge your bottom line, but you may have less than 60 Days to implement them!  Join me and Mr. John Lamberg, Florida Area Manager at Nehemiah Corporation of America, for this exclusive look into DPA programs.  Together, we'll help you understand how you can use them to increase sales, lower advertising costs and bring stability to your business.     Be On This Call or Miss Out on the Following Take Aways: What you don't know about DPA and how it's...
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By Kevin Sandridge, Winter Haven Mortgage Broker
(Signature Home Funding)
I'm in Butler, PA for the next couple of days on business and had the opportunity to sample Straub's All Grain Beer. I make it a habit of trying out local brews when on trips outside of Florida - and this one's a fine example of natural, handcrafted lager goodness out of St. Mary's, PA that dates back all the way to 1872. Straub uses the words "Honestly Fresh" to relay that the beer is in good drinking condition - but more importantly - that it contains no sugar, no salt, and no preservatives. As someone who reads food labels to cut down on products that have too many artificial ingredients and especially high fructose corn syrup (not that they put this in beer - thank gravy!), I really appreciate Straub's commitment to freshness. As I was "taste testing" my first ever Straub Premium in...
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By Kevin Sandridge, Winter Haven Mortgage Broker
(Signature Home Funding)
If you're finding it difficult to keep up with everything that's going on with H.R. 3221 - join the club!  I attended the conference call and must admit that I've been scouring the blogosphere trying to get all the colors on my H.R. 3221 Rubik's Cube to match.  Easier said than done. Thankfully, we have access to a few folks out there who have done a fine job of summing up the various aspect of this legislation.  General Summary Info The kind people over at the National Association of Realtors have provided a very handy and succinct break down of the general issues at hand with H.R. 3221. Information provided in this post includes several helpful Realtor.org PDF files covering the following:  2009 FHA and GSE Loan Limit Estimates FHA Reform First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Information (I...
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By Kevin Sandridge, Winter Haven Mortgage Broker
(Signature Home Funding)
Breaking News!   Hi folks.  I received an update from my company that this afternoon - August 4, 2008 - at 2:30 pm Eastern, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be hosting a teleconference for members of the industry to discuss FHA Modernization and related changes in H.R. 3221, the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008." For approximately one hour, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions directly of HUD officials. The call-in information is as follows:Toll- Free Number for Participants - 1-866-359-7482Conference ID# - 58972822Be sure to join the call early as there are limited lines.
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By Kevin Sandridge, Winter Haven Mortgage Broker
(Signature Home Funding)
I was browsing through the HomeGain Real Estate Blog recently and came across an interesting "Winning Agent Call" article entitled Home Staging: The Key to Moving Properties.  In it, Karen Breen Elia of Re/Max Exclusive Properties states that many of today's agents are realizing that home staging is the key to moving properties - especially in areas where inventories... and competition are high.  One of the  most interesting points made in the interview deals with Karen's need to consistently convince her clients to agree to the costs involved with home staging, put their own personal design tastes aside, and let her do her job.  I think we've all been in the position of having to work a bit to gain a customer's trust in us, and we should have to work a little for that.  On my side of t...
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By Kevin Sandridge, Winter Haven Mortgage Broker
(Signature Home Funding)
Today’s real estate prospects know more about the housing market than ever before. In fact, thanks to the Internet, there’s a good chance that most of the information many Realtors provide in FREE consultations has already been digested - leaving your unique expertise left for you to prove. Like no other time before, prospects today are distrustful until they see results and above all – they just don’t want to be sold. They are pinched for time and have little patience for anything that comes across like old hat hard sell advertising. For this reason, we must find ways to interact with leads and prospects without selling them. Their attitudes about us are being shaped from word one, and much of what they think we are all about has been filtered through to them from TV, web, and print s...
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By CRF Communities
(CRF Communities)
“I LOVE the life after 55!” This seems to be the catch phrase here amongst retirees in Central Florida. The reasons for loving retirement seem to cover a lot of areas, including waking up at anytime, not answering to anybody, and most importantly, taking up new hobbies. Hobbies are so important for active adults; good for brain stimulation and blow flow. And, aside from the physical benefits of hobbies, I have realized that they tend to bring out the hidden talents in people. Recently, I observed some of my friends at Lake Ashton’s clubhouse, and I noticed that some of the hobbies they have taken up have brought out their natural gifts. Active adults that used to work as accountants are finding that they are exceptional bingo players. Others that used to work in Hospitality Management a...
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More and more, active adults over the age of 55 are finding travel and adventure an essential part of retirement in Central Florida. To celebrate their longer and fuller lives, Baby Boomers are just looking to have fun more than anything! And now, with senior discounts and senior-specific lines, cruises have become the preferred way to travel after retirement.   A recent article on Travour.com states this about senior cruises, “These types of cruises are designed keeping in mind the age of its guests and their choices and likings. The most important thing in these cruises is the comfort level. The beds and seating arrangement are highly comfortable and cozy. The cabins have a warm ambience and are spacious enough to make sure that guests have a safe journey.”   With several Florida reti...
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By CRF Communities
(CRF Communities)
Realtors Take Advantage of CRF Communities’ 2008 5% Commission Promotion CRF Communities is the leader in retirement communities in the Central Florida area. A more recent promotion was intended to motivate one group of people, in particular. Instead of benefiting the new home’s buyer or seller, this incentive was intended for the man behind the scenes - the realtor. Vienna Square, one of CRF Communities’ premier retirement communities, is offering realtors a 2% commission increase for every single family homes that they sell. Normally, Vienna Square offers 3% of the sale to the realtors, but as of the promotion’s start date in June, a 5% commission is granted to any realtor that brings a new, happy homebuyer into this community. Realtors receive 5% on all contacts ...
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Looking for information in books, periodicals, newspapers, and websites can be a research nightmare! CRF Communities now has an online library: a one-stop shop for finding information on active adult lifestyles, senior health and fitness, and real estate in Central Florida.  Using the computer to find all that you want to know is nothing new for the Baby Boomer generation who are online almost as much as their grandkids; the Internet keeps Boomers connected to family and friends and gives them the ability to do all their research from home. CRF Communities has a database of articles to chose from with just a click of the mouse. This database includes a list of ways to search the following: Real Estate, Manufactured Homes, Motor Coach Homes, Motor Coach Pads, and Villas, Gated Homes, fit...
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"Our residents compare Lake Ashton to a cruise ship on land!" says Tricia Adams, director of activities and community relations at Lake Ashton, one of CRF Communities’ luxury retirement communities . Lake Ashton residents can cultivate life-long passions and hobbies here; others are here to re-invent themselves by learning new skills and trying new experiences. Whether it’s golf or bowling, tennis or boating, choosing a retirement community  like Lake Ashton puts you at the front door of a menu of amenities to fill your days and fulfill those aspirations you have waited a lifetime to enjoy.  Hone your swing on two 18-hole golf courses Practice for that 300 game of bowling with just a short trip in the golf cart Fish on Lake Ashton's 400-plus-acrelake filled with bass and pan fish – the ...
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Lake Ashton, a CRF Community, Press Release May 20, 2008           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Jon Lawson, Marketing Manager                                     Lake Ashton Community                                         Telephone: (863) 324-8664                                                      jlawson@lakesashton.com www.lakeashton.com                                                                New Homes Sales Top 1050 at Lake Ashton, a Central Florida Retirement Adult Active Community   Lake Ashton, one of the premiere active adult communities in Central Florida, continues to attract active adults looking for a retirement community that keeps them healthy and connected. Most of these active adults have been looking specifically to reside in one of Lake Ashton’s new homes for sale...
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By KATERINA VILLA-GARCIA
(RE/MAX Premier Group)
Esta casa fue construida hace 2 anos, en Winter Haven, 2 habitaciones mas oficina que puede ser usada como una tercer habitacion, 2 banos, y garage para 1 auto, cocina remodelada, banos remodelados, piso de losa en las areas principales y alfonbra en las habitacones, Para mas infomacion llamar a Katerina Villa-Garcia la 813-476-1059 o envie su correo electronico a katerinarealtor@hotmail.com si desea ver fotos o video de esta propiedad visite www.katerinavilla-garcia.com
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By Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time
(Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC)
 Hi folks. Earlier today I was preparing my listing presentation for an appointment tomorrow morning. It reminded me of why I LOVE working expired listing. First, if you solicit expired listings everyday you will get appointments. In fact, you'll get a bunch of them. And that's a good thing as I get to spend a lot of time researching the MLS and practicing my presentation. And secondly, expired listings are challenging. The reason the listing has expired is almost always pricing. I don't care how good the REALTOR® was if they didn't price the property properly...it will expire. Then I get to step in.Getting Sellers to price properly can be a big challenge. Fortunately, it's the part of my job I enjoy the must. It's a real good feeling when you can get the Seller to "see the light". Sur...
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By Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time
(Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC)
Hi folks. Have you ever worked with builders that offered to pay your commission, or a portion of it, at time of contract? I have. In fact quite a few builders were offering that during the boom and still are. My policy was always NOT to accept it until the deal closed. My main reason for doing this was, that if I was working with the buyer, I didn't feel it was fair to get paid until I had completed my job, which was to get them to closing on their new home. My second reason was because in the fine print, the commission agreement, most likely states that the commission is not due until closing and if the transaction didn't close you would actually have to give the commission back. Well I don't know about you but my commissions don't normally just sit around in my bank account. I spend ...
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By Linda Reynolds, Bradenton Real Estate
(Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds)
Here is my photo album for Cypress Gardens that I posted a while back on. Cypress Gardens is a great place to go and spend the day. I found out you really cannot cover the whole park in one day. If you live in Florida you might want to think about getting the season pass. Enjoy my slide show, as I travel around the area I will be compiling more slideshows of things to do in Florida. Make video montages at www.OneTrueMedia.com
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By Linda Reynolds, Bradenton Real Estate
(Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds)
I had an unexpected surprise on Memorial Day weekend, a friend of mine suggested we go to Cypress Gardens.  Ah yes Cypress Gardens, the one that closed due to lack of attendance and then reopened with an amusement park.  Yes, just what Florida needed, another amusement park.  Well I thought I'd give it a try, so I said OK let's go, at least I will take my camera and get a few shots of the gardens.Well to my surprise, I had a great time.  There is so much to do there you can't get it all done in one day.  That surprised me, I figured see some gardens, a water ski show and then come home.  Boy was I wrong!First we went through the zoo, I saw one of the biggest pythons I have ever seen in my life!  Boy was I glad we had glass between us.  It was big enough to eat a human!  Then we saw Tarz...
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By Netta Blackwood, REO/BPO Expert
(La Rosa Realty)
Local residents of Florence Villa were the first to see the plans for the future of avenue T. streetscaping project.  City officials is hoping to start working on this project by summer.The streetscaping project calls for landscaping of exotic shrubs, benches, pedestrian lighting and textured crosswalks.  Phase II (will begin at First Street North and run along Avenue T west to U.S. 17) of this project is expected to cost $590,357 with $95,200 going towards designs by URS of Tampa.  Phase IV (which will begin at Avenue T and continue north on Lucerne Park Road through the intersection of Avenue Y Northeast) is expected to cost $565,640 with $62,600 going towards design.  Phase III will run up First street North from Lake Silver to Avenue T is currently being skipped for now because coun...
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By Netta Blackwood, REO/BPO Expert
(La Rosa Realty)
Permits are currently on hold for developers in Winter Haven according to recent reports.  Before developers can build high-end condominiums on 10 acres located between lakes Howard and May, they need to have an approved construction date.The proposed condo development will be named Latimore Landings.  The plans call for 82 units in the first phase.  This phase will also include a boat marina.As for the second phase, it will include another building.  Though developer does not have confirmed plans for the second unit, it can accommodate as much as 190 units.The starting price of these units will range from $300Ks for a 2,000 to 3,600 square feet.  While the penthouse units will sell for as much as $2 million.The location for this undertaking is expected to be the city's Public Works yar...
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