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Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people stay for awhile, and give us a deeper understanding of what is truly important in this life. They touch our souls. We gain strength from the footprints they have left on our hearts and we will never be the same. -this is believed to be taken from a poem by Flavia Weedn (18 comments)
Be Cautious this Holiday Season in Buying Gift Cards from Retailers - 11/29/08 05:48 PM
If you are considering the purchase of gift cards this holiday, you may want to stop and think twice. We have seen more and more companies closing their doors and going out of business. The prognosis is that more retailers and restaurants will be going out of business due to the strain of the economy. If this happens, then what happens to your unredeemed gift cards? Right now, your gift cards becomes void, when the company goes belly up! There are currently no government regulations on how defunct companies must handle unredeemed gift cards. So, a gift card to a loved (21 comments)
Are Current and Past Landlords An "Accurate" Source of Info for Tenant Screening Purposes? - 11/29/08 01:51 PM
In screening perspective tenants for rental properties, do you call current or previous landlords for references? Often times it can prove to be an exercise in futility. On the other hand, sometimes it can open a pandora's box of information. Current and previous landlords don't always provide a "true" picture of the tenant. I typically don't do rentals on other's properties. I take care of my own. As a landlord, when I receive a call for a reference on a current or previous tenant, after I have asked for written authorization from my tenant to release information, I am careful to (44 comments)
Beautiful Gleason Park Here in Indian Harbour Beach Florida - 11/29/08 12:34 PM
I recently spent the afternoon at Gleason Park in Indian Harbour Beach FLorida. The park is located at South Patrick Drive and Yacht Club Boulevard. It is situated on a full 27 acres. It has a competiton size swimming pool, volleyball, shuffleboard, 2 playgrounds and exercise trails.
But, remember no swimming or fishing in the lake...
We were up at 4:15 AM and out of the house by 5:00 AM. We were standing in line at Staples by 5:30 AM and we were about #50 in line - not too bad! A handful of people had camped out in front of the store the night before. They were there to buy an HP Laptop with printer for $399. It was a $300 savings. My 13 year old daughter reminded my that she could sure "use" one of those laptops. And, I reminded her that she already had a computer. My sister, Jean. who was visiting (25 comments)
Today is the Day to STOP and Reflect on All That is Important In Our Lives - 11/27/08 07:56 AM
Yesterday, I finished the last of my Thanksgiving shopping. Wal Mart was packed. The aisles were crowded and buyers were hurrying to gather their purchases. Checkout lines were backed up. I heard from more than one person comment that the store was a mad house. Traffic was backed up. What a hectic time of year… Having 15 people coming to dinner today, I know the feeling. Rush, rush, hurry, hurry and did I remember to buy everything I needed? Thanksgiving is a time of giving, and sharing and a time to love one another. We must stop and take (4 comments)
Creative Sales or Just Down Right Deception? - 11/26/08 09:54 AM
This morning, I got a knock at my door. I work out of my home office. When I'm home alone, I never open the door for anyone. I peep through the blinds, "Hi, how have you been?" The stranger says. I've never seen this man before in my life. "So, good to see you again," he continues. I try to take a closer look, without opening the door. "Yes, can I help you?" I ask through my locked door. He's holding up a little pamphlet, but far enough away so I can't really see what it it. "Your neighbor, right next (46 comments)
Homes during the holidays are some of the most beautiful homes I've ever seen. What a wonderful time of year! Homes for sale are decked to the hilt with festive trees, ornaments and family keepsakes. Expensive gifts are purchased and placed under the tree and often the home is filled with loving family members. So, it's very common for home sellers to ask if they should take their home off the market over the holidays. I have mixed feelings on this. I think it must be looked at on a case by case basis. And, I believe there are so (21 comments)
Brochure Boxes Outside Homes for Sale - Do they Keep Buyers From Seeing the Inside of A Property? - 11/24/08 10:14 AM
I once read an article that indicated that 50% of buyers call an agent from the for sale sign in the yard. Are those stats still correct today? So, are you using brochure boxes/home information tubes outside of your listings? Some of those calls are going to the clients buyer's agent. Does it depend on the listing? The area? The price range? As a SELLER, would you like to see your agent use them? Over the years I have heard varying views on this question. I. personally, do not use home information tubes outside of my listings. I do not (32 comments)
I got a call the other day from a man that indicated he was "good friends" with my seller over on 12345 Main St. here in Melbourne Florida. He indicated that he had looked at my seller, 'Bob's' house for the second time in a week and he wanted to buy it. I smelled skunk. RED FLAG #1 - I have known my seller for years. And he's very conscientious. Why was this 'buyer' calling me and Bob hadn't called to tell me this ahead of time? Not like Bob, at all! AND, I know I had not made any (30 comments)
Let's face it, we all live our lives based on our own perceptions and experiences. And, that is OUR reality! But, for some, is that TRULY the reality of what is going on in the world today? Not necessarily. But, maybe that's EXACTLY the way they like it! Some don't really want to see, hear or feel the reality of the real world. And that's how they live their entire lives - numb, unfeeling - with no sense of what is going on in or around them. That's how they choose to live their lives ANd, that is certainly their (18 comments)
For single family residential units: There were 561 new listings. This is a decrease of 27.61% from October 2007 of 775 new listings. Year to date there were 7516 new listings.
There were 226 sold listings. This is a 1.80% increase from October 2007 of 222 sold listings. Year to date there are 2672 listings sold.
The average sale price was $192,766. This is a 9.17 decrease from October 2007 of $212,226.
Average days on the market were 138. This is (9 comments)
The Current Book that I'm reading... - 11/20/08 08:19 AM
Rich Mielke and Nancy Larson both tagged me yesterday for this MeMe. They are both active bloggers here on Active Rain and I love to read what they have to say in their posts.
Here is the way it works: 1. Grab the nearest book. 2. Open the book to page 56. 3. Find the fifth sentence. 4. Post the text of the next two to five sentences. 5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book or the intellectual one. Pick the Closest. 6. Tag five people to do the same *The one book that this can not (15 comments)
Florida Ranks #1 in International Homebuyers - 11/19/08 11:39 AM
According to the National Association of Realtors Florida still leads the nation in the number of foreign homebuyers it attracts. From May 2007 to May 2008 one in four international buyers made their puchase here in Florida, just over 25%. California ranked 2nd and Arizona ranked third. These buyers are coming from Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, India and Germany. They have been attracted by the declining market many areas of Florida have been faced with. Studies have shown that 43% of foreign buyers buy with cash, compared to approximately 7% of Americans. 55% of homes bought by foreigners are (5 comments)
Due to Tropical Storm Fay in August of this year Brevard County School students here in Florida missed 4 days of school. It was determined that these days must be made up. 2 of the make up days were put on the calendar for December 22 and December 23, 2008! Parents, students and teachers were up in arms about this decision. Many had already made their holiday plans, months ahead of the decision to make these days up on these dates. Many had already purchased tickets to go out of town or out of the state, to spend the Christmas (0 comments)
In one week we will celebrate Thanksgiving. It came so quickly this year, in just the blink of an eye. Time just got away from me.
It's at this time of year we must truly take a moment out of our busy lives and take time to reflect. We have so much to be thankful for.
My sister, Jean and her husband, Charley will be coming in from Ft Walton Beach to visit us here in Melbourne Florida. They are arriving Sunday to spend the week with us. I love my sister dearly, She always tells me that (17 comments)
Millionaires Pinch Pennies, Too! How do You Think They Got That Way? - 11/18/08 12:32 PM
This article began by writing about how to save money in these tight economic times, And, I realized that pinching pennies and being a millionaire are interrelated topics. I have known people that lived through the Great Depression. They remember it well. These people learned to pinch pennies. And many have become people of wealth, that live modestly. When I write this list, I reminds me of things my grandparents used to do. They bring their styrofoam coffee cups home from fast food restaurants to use and reuse them. They wear the same pair of shoes for years. They don't wear (71 comments)
City of Melbourne Florida Improving Our Drinking Water - 11/17/08 09:51 AM
The City of Melbourne Florida is working on an $835,000 program to improve our the quality of our drinking water. 2000 miles of underground water lines will be flushed out. The goal is to remove any unnecesary sediment in the lines. Old iron and steel lines will be removed where necessary. The city is also looking for areas in which water flow is being restricted, so they can fix them. Since the cleanout the city has found that the iron content has decreased by 400%. Turbidity has decreased by 60% and chlorine levels have increased by 10%.
Lower Tax Bills on Short Sales and Bank Foreclosures? Probably Not! - 11/17/08 08:39 AM
I recently read an article regarding taxes on short sale and bank foreclosure properties. I found it interesting, as the last several buyers that I have worked with have purchased homes that were either bank owned or getting ready to be bank owned. New owners hope that their new home will be assessed based on the new lower price they purchase the property for at time of sale. But, we are hearing that may not be the case in Florida. There are many things taken into consideration when assessed values are calculated. In Florida the tax assessors office compares prices of (14 comments)
What if There Were No Tomorrows? - 11/16/08 09:10 AM
Days come and go and life seems to fly by. We go through our day to day motions, but do you know where you are going? Are you headed in the right direction? Are you on the right path? Or did you lose your way and get side tracked? Maybe you didn't even know you lost your way... Yesterday we celebrated the coming of the new year and it feels like tomorrow will be Christmas. How do we get here? Where is here? Do you even know where you are? Are you where you're supposed to be? Sometimes I feel that (27 comments)
The City of Melbourne Dancers performed their tap, ballet and hip hop routines.
This is one of my favorite events to attend because my girls, Sam and Stef have been dancing at the festival for many years. Tonight, they performed their new hip hop dance and a sit down tap routine (you think tap dancing is hard standing up, try it while sitting down!)
We had a great time playing games, seeing and spending time (9 comments)
How Much Time Do you Spend Re educating Your Clients, Due to The Media's Opinions? - 11/15/08 09:31 AM
"What luck for rulers, that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler (scary thought) So often, clients come to us as Real Estate professionals, "parroting" what they heard a friend tell them, or something they read in a newspaper or saw on TV. Our country is media driven. Whether we like it or not. But, many people believe what they hear. And often times the media has a very heavy slant on their stories. Often the information provided is just NOT accurate. "The human mind prefers to be spoon fed with the thoughts of others, but deprived of such nourishment (30 comments)
Investors - Single Family or Multi Family Properties? - 11/14/08 11:18 AM
Investors always ask what kind of property they should buy. Many start the business thinking that a multi unit building is their best bet. My recommendation to them is to start with a single family house. I do not invest in small multi family complexes. I prefer single family houses for rental units. I have had many investors that have experienced the best and worst of both types of properties.
I find that single family properties are easier to buy, sell, rent, own and manage than multi family units. Single family units typically: (the following comparison is single family vs. (19 comments)
I Was Lost Without It... - 11/13/08 01:00 PM
Tuesday was a busy day. I had appointments in the morning, and was showing houses in the afternoon. The day flew. At 6:00 PM I settled into my home office to catch up on paperwork. I realized I hadn't gotten any phone calls that afternoon. That's unusual. I pulled out my cell phone and nothing! It was turned off! What? I never turn off my phone! Uh-oh, not good, I pushed the on switch. Nothing! I wondered how long it had been off. Uh-oh. What time did my last call come in? I thought. Hmmm. I turned it off, and tried (22 comments)
Shuttle Endeavour Scheduled Liftoff - 11/13/08 10:47 AM
Kennedy Space Center has begun the countdown clock to the shuttle Endeavour liftoff on November 14, 2008 at 7:55 PM. This is one a just a few manned, night launches. There will be 7 astronauts on board. It will be a 15 day mission to the International Space Station. If the mission is a success, if will double the number of astronauts the station will ba able to hold in the future. If you have never had the opportunity to see one of these it is well worth it. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Living here in Melbourne (8 comments)
First Time Homebuyers Are Scooping Up Great Deals Today! - 11/12/08 08:18 PM
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors the number of first time homebuyers in the market today has increased since 2007. They are scooping up deals on low priced houses in real estate markets with inventory that is plentiful. Attractive interest rates are also a large factor in their decision to purchase a home. The median age of a first time home buyer is 30 years old. The median priced home they bought was $165,000. First time home buyers are great candidates for home purchases because they don't have to wait to sell another home before they can (10 comments)
Foreclosed Homes Are Creating An Eyesore - 11/11/08 07:12 PM
There are currently over 300 empty homes here in Melbourne Florida, due to foreclosure. Some of these are causing real headaches for Code Enforcement officials. Overgrown yards, unsecure muck filled pools, and rodents are becoming a real issue on some. The number of complaints on these homes has quadrupled in the past couple of years. Officials are trying to track down the banks/owners of these properties to try to rectify the situations. Some lawns are becoming so overgrown that the city is posting a warning and is then is mowing the grass and charging the owners. The city is trying (11 comments)
Are You Utilizing Your Time? This Little Guy Sure Is... - 11/11/08 11:04 AM
This little guy caught my eye yesterday, as I finished showing houses. I was mesmerized by how busy he was. He was picking up nuts and burying them in various locations. He had a plan and performed it, with each nut he found. His focus on the tasks at hand was incredible! I imagine that by the end of the day he was absolutely exhausted, but very content with the monumental work he had accomplished this day! This little guy stayed so focused on his daily tasks that it took him nearly ten minutes to recognize that he was being watched... (29 comments)
Have We Hit the Bottom with Gas Prices Yet? I Sure Hope Not! - 11/10/08 04:02 PM
Well, as many of you know, I have had my eye on gas prices for quite some time now (as so many others have too). I love to see that they have still been going down and I hope that they continue on the decline. Here's what I have found in Melbourne Florida over only a three week period of time! I took this picture today at 3:00 PM at my favorite station, close to my home. Today is November 10, 2008>
At 4:00 today I drove back by and the price had gone down. What's interesting about this (28 comments)
Brevard's Best Youth Entertainment - 11/09/08 05:42 PM
Brevard's Best is a group of talented girls ranging in age from 7 to 16 years old. They travel throughout Brevard County performing their singing and dancing routines at Nursing Homes, Alzheimers Center, Libraries and Community Events. Each girl in the group, individually earns anywhere from 50 to 100 community service hours a year. This afternoon Brevard's Best performed at Century Oaks Elder Care Facility on Stack Boulevard in West Melbourne Florida. Brevard's Best is a nonprofit organization co sponsored by the City of Melbourne Leisure Services Department.
Yesterday, my teenage daughters and I were at the mall here in Melbourne Florida. Our favorite store to stop by is the pet store. We love to see the new puppy in the window. Every one of them tugs at our heart strings. As we were admiring this little American Bulldog, having an adventurous dream, a store employee asked if we needed help. My quick response was, "No thank you, we're just looking." Each time we go to the store, we find ourselves 'just looking'. I thought of the current real estate market. Now, more than ever, savvy buyers are (31 comments)
Agent Bonuses - Do You Offer Them? Do They Help Sell a Home More Quickly? - 11/07/08 11:38 AM
I received it by email this morning...$50,000 bonus to the agent that brings a buyer and closes before Nov. 30. Hmmm, Well, I'll admit, it caught my eye immediately. I glanced over the email, closed it and deleted it. Another overpriced listing, I thought. Did I dismiss it so quickly because it came by email and I had 65 other emails in my mailbox to get through, on a busy day? Right now, I can't remember the address of that property. Would I have responded to it differently had I been looking through the MLS and working with a buyer in (37 comments)
Landlords and Property Managers - Do You Collect Last Month's Rent Upfront? Be Careful if You Do! - 11/06/08 09:44 AM
I see rentals advertised all over town. Move in with first, last, and security deposit. Hmmm. That's a lot of money. How many people can afford to do this? But, does the landlord understand what they're really asking for? Not always. As a landlord for nearly 13 years I have always required first month's rent and a security deposit from tenant's moving in. The security deposit is typically about $150 to $200 more than the rent amount. So, for $800 rent, the deposit is usually $1000. Many landlords require first month's rent, last month's rent and a security deposit for move (27 comments)
On Monday, I took my leisurely stroll out to my mailbox. Looked at the beautiful Fall colors, smelled the beautiful fresh, crisp Fall air. What a gorgeous day, HOWEVER I remembered that the day was quickly coming... right around the corner... anyday now... hopefully not today... maybe I don't have to get the mail today... maybe I can wait till tomorrow, I thought. I slowly approached the box, grasped the handle, bent down, slowly pulled it open, peeked in... and there they were...several of them ...Brevard County 2008 Tax Bills...ugh! Makes me cringe! Should I close the box and (9 comments)
I made a vow when the election really gained momentum that I would not discuss politics here on my blog. And, I haven't. This is not a blog about politics. We have been bombarded with politics at every turn. You can get it in the newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, billboards, in the mailbox and calls coming in to the home phone! For over a year we have been eating, sleeping and drinking political candidates. We haven't been able to get away from it no matter how hard we try. Now, I'm not saying that it's not important to be informed. (22 comments)
I was so tickled the other day, because I was able to fill up my van for just under $45.00. It cost nearly $70.00 for a fill up back when prices were over $3.50 a gallon.
Here are the prices at the same station on October 26, 2008>
And here are prices over on the beachside in Melbourne Beach Florida on October 17, 2008>
I hope that gasoline continues on the downward trend. (32 comments)
'I Could Have Bought that House 20 Years Ago, for Dirt Cheap, Compared to Today's Prices...' NOW is then! - 11/03/08 04:43 PM
Don't we always hear the old saying that... Hindsight is 20/20? Hindsight allows us the experience of seeing things crystal clearly, since they've already happened! We can always look back at what happened in the past. Simple concept, right? Why isn't our vision as clear in predicting or seeing the future? Simple again, because it hasn't happened yet. And, often times we fear the unknown. But, doesn't looking back into the past, often help us to SEE things in the future? I mean, if we really want to, that is. For some, maybe they don't want to see what is (18 comments)
Kobelco in Calhoun, Georgia built this excavator. This machine is going to a dealer in Iowa. Additional decals will be added, and it is believed that they will add the slogan “Digging for A Cure”. It will look similar to the machine in the last two pictures.
The excavator will be used as a rental and 10% of all rental fees will go to the Susan G, Komen Breast Cancer Cure Foundation.
Thanks Phil Shores at Kobelco for passing the info along and allowing me permission to post it (14 comments)
In these tougher economic times we are hearing that people are having more difficulty in meeting their monthly obligations. This includes rent payments, mortgage payments, credit card payments, utility bills and more. Many are losing their jobs and unable to keep up with their mounting payments. We are hearing that utility companies are also feeling the ripple effects of this economic crunch. Some renters and owners have previously moved into homes in which they had NOT previously been required to pay a deposit to have the utilities turned on, or they were required to pay a minimal deposit. This is typically due to (10 comments)
Everyone Loves A Deal, And They Love Knowing They're Getting A Deal! - 11/01/08 02:09 PM
Today is the community garage sale in our neighborhood here in Melbourne Florida. It brings out many early birds that love to get those great deals you can't find anywhere else. Who can resist digging through someone else's junk? Don't they say, that one man's junk is another man's treasure? Our streets are filled with bargain hunters. I love to find a great deal at a thrift store or a garage sale. And I have to admit, my absolute favorite price tag is FREE! Although, I seldom find the time to get out to garage sales. Years ago, my husband and (11 comments)
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