florida: Another MLS Expansion into Southwest Florida - flat fee listing service expands - 03/26/08 01:47 AM
I have stated many times just how powerful the MLS has become as a marketing tool.  The MLS is used by all Realtors in a local area to locate properties for their customers.  The MLS powers major websites like Realtor.com, Florida Living Network, Cyberhomes, Google Base, Yahoo, the local newspaper's sites, and hundreds of others.  The Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service which our firm is a member of is expanding some more.  5 Realtor Associations in Southwest Florida have joined the Mid Florida MLS. 
The Venice association came online March 1.  The Englewood association is coming online next week.  The 3 others are … (0 comments)

florida: MLS listing service expansion - announcement - 01/08/08 08:25 AM
We have expanded our flat fee MLS listing service yet again.  With the additions of Alachua County (metro Gainesville area), Citrus County (Inverness/Crystal River), and Nassau County (just north of Jax) that gives us a total of 22 Florida counties that we can list properties in the local MLS for you. 
The counties we now service are: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Citrus, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lake, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, East & Central Pasco, Palm Beach, Polk, Seminole, Saint Lucie, Sumter, and Volusia (West, Daytona, and New Smyrna).
I expect even more counties to be added as 2008 progresses. So stay tuned. 
(Copyright © 2008. … (0 comments)

florida: Atlantic hurricane statistics for 2007 - Florida spared this year - 11/28/07 11:29 AM
The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on Friday 11/30/2007.  So how did the forecasters do.  It is pretty interesting to see what the supposed professional forecasters came up with versus what really happened. Below are the numbers for the last few years.  The most noted forecasters are Dr. Gray at Colorado State University (CSU) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the National Hurricane Center.  I am using the statistics that these forecasters put out in May of each year just prior to the June 1st beginning of each season.
               # of Named Storms               # of Hurricanes                # of Major Hurricanes
CSU                   … (5 comments)

florida: Properties available for sale in Central Florida - 11/23/07 09:03 AM
Here are some featured properties that we have for sale.  Some are full service listings and some are flat fee listings. All properties that we have for sale can be viewed on our property site.  If you want to show any of these or see inside, feel free to give me a call.
1.  522 Midland Avenue, Apopka, FL 32703. 3 bed/2 bath w/ huge 4-car garage and workshop/possible mother-in-law apartment on double lot in downtown Apopka. MLS# O4779977 . PRICED TO SELL. *** SOLD VIA LEASE OPTION ***
2.  1341 Lyndale Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32789.  Brand new in 2007 4 bed/3 bath executive … (2 comments)

florida: New ActiveRain group - 11/21/07 05:45 AM
Attention all Florida real estate investors, landlords, and people thinking about investing. 
We have started a new ActiveRain group specifically geared for you.  Florida Real Estate Investors .  This is a place where like minded investors and Realtors can share ideas and creative concepts.  With the market as slow as it is right now, we all need to be a little creative in how we do things.  There are many good deals out there to be purchased by investors.  I hope this new group will help us to learn many new techniques as well as some new spins on some old … (2 comments)

florida: One more new listing -- OFF MARKET, RENTED - 11/13/07 11:33 AM
Just listed this one on Monday. I am co-brokering this property with another broker.  If you want to show it or see inside, let me know.
1814 Grasmere Drive, Apopka, Florida 32703. 3 bed/2 bath/2-car garage block house.  Move-in condition, clean clean clean.  Great location with easy access to shopping, restaurants, 429 expressway, and major highways.  This is an estate sale, so a good deal might be possible. Located at the end of a cul-de-sac.
MLS# o4812585 .   


florida: Seminole County Florida property taxes - 11/12/07 03:14 AM
Tomorrow I have my first ever hearing before the Seminole County value adjustment board.  I am contesting the assessed value of one of my rental properties. 
I have contested values in the past in Orange County, Florida and have been successful many times.  In Orange County I have always been able to work it out with the property appraiser's office prior to a hearing.  I did contest one of my Orange County rentals this year and was able to get the value reduced by almost $21,000.  This is a follow up from a prior blog, Central Florida property taxes, when I contested the … (0 comments)

florida: Local investment club spotlight - Lighthouse Landlords Association - 11/10/07 10:09 AM
The Lighthouse, an Association of Landlords was founded in 2005 as a non-profit trade association to assist landlords in their real estate investing activities.  The group has a monthly meeting on the 2nd Monday of every month at the RDV Sportsplex in Maitland, Florida. At the monthly meeting landlords and landlords-to-be get to meet and network with each other and discuss various ideas regarding the current real estate market, dealing with tenants and rental properties, and other real estate related topics.  Most months there is a speaker that speaks for about an hour regarding a specific area of real estate. 
I am in charge of the legislative issues and get … (0 comments)

florida: October 2007 MLS Statistics for Orange & Seminole County Florida - 11/09/07 02:02 AM
The latest MLS statistics for Orange & Seminole County Florida are out for the month ending October 2007.  Here is a direct link to the statistics.
The inventory statistics continue to show a flattening off trend. Inventory has continued to hover around 26,000 listings now for the 5th month in a row.  This is a good sign.  Just about everybody that bought during the run-up of 2004 and 2005 that wanted to sell has either sold, rented, or made some sort of decision regarding their property by now.  Of course they also might also be in foreclosure right now :-(  .
Closed … (2 comments)

florida: Providing community information to customers - 11/03/07 02:43 AM
Customers are always asking what school district a house is in?  What are the crime rates for this neighborhood?  Are there any sexual predators nearby?  What is the makeup of the neighborhood?  Can I add a garage on to the back of this house?
I learned many years ago in GRI class that we as Realtors should not be the source of the information, but rather the "source of the source."  Realtors should tell them where to look up the information for themselves.  That way they can do their own research and it relieves Realtors from liability and the chance of mis-information.
I took the liberty … (2 comments)

florida: Expansion of Mid Florida MLS - 11/01/07 02:44 AM
I have stated before just how powerful a marketing tool the local MLS has become.  The Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service which our firm is a member of is expanding some more.  5 Realtor Associations in Southwest Florida are joining in with Mid Florida MLS in 2008. 
This is certainly good news for everyone involved and allows firms like ours to expand our MLS flat fee listing service to these other counties without the ridiculous overhead of fees to these small Realtor boards. 
Here is a link to the E-newsletter regarding this expansion.  You can note that the Realtor association leaders in Venice … (6 comments)

florida: Florida property tax cut passed - 10/30/07 03:27 AM
The Florida legislature approved a property tax deal yesterday on the final day of the special session.  The changes will now be put on the ballot in January for voters to decide on.
I have not read through the proposal in detail, but it does appear to have some positive changes in it.  The highlights of the proposal are:
A doubled homestead exemption from $25,000 to $50,000.Making the Save Our Homes tax savings portable if you sell your home and buy another.A 10% cap on annual tax increases for non-homestead and commercial properties.A $25,000 exemption on personal property taxes for businesses and landlords.I am glad … (4 comments)

florida: What to look for with a flat fee MLS broker - 10/27/07 04:05 AM
Flat fee MLS, discount MLS, MLS-only listing, whatever you want to call it, it is the process for consumers to list their property into the local MLS and the related internet sites like Realtor.com for a few hundred dollars with the consumer doing the bulk of the work.  This sort of listing also offers the buyer's agent a commission of 2-3% or more if they procure a buyer for the property. I wrote a detailed explanation about this in a previous blog entitled A word about flat fee MLS listings .
This blog is a follow up article.  I want to describe things to look for in … (5 comments)

florida: The Florida lifestyle - 10/21/07 06:43 AM
Anybody that knows me, knows that I love to go out and have fun.  Living in Florida, we are so fortunate to have so many recreational activities available to us 365 days a year.  We have great sports teams, tons of theme parks, lots of lakes and rivers, a beautiful beach within a hour of almost anyone, and on and on.  That is one reason why so many people have moved to Florida for years.
We just got back from a 3-day cruise to the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral.  A quick hour drive from my home, gone on Thursday afternoon back on … (5 comments)

florida: New properties for sale this week -- OFF MARKET - 10/17/07 03:29 AM
We have 2 new listings for sale this week.  If you have any interest in any of these, please feel free to contact me.  In addition to these we also are constantly getting wholesale properties (foreclosures, fixer-uppers, short sales, etc.), but they tend to go pretty quick so check out our website www.sdrhouses.com/properties.html or join our hot property email list.
Realtors and buyers, call us today and we will schedule you a private showing or write up your offer.  Sellers are motivated.

florida: September MLS Statistics Orange & Seminole County Florida - 10/11/07 07:38 AM
The latest MLS market statistics are out for the month ending September 2007.
The inventory of listings appears to be flattening off.  The number of homes on the market has been hovering around 25-26,000 ever since late Spring.  This is a good indication that the Orlando market is close to bottoming out.  Again, by bottoming out I don't many it is recovering and everything is rosy again.  Bottoming out to me means that inventory levels flatten off and the market gradually starts working itself back to a state of normalcy.
The somewhat frightening (even jaw dropping numbers) are (1) the New Contracts (properties that went sale … (0 comments)

florida: Property tax update - 10/06/07 03:55 AM
This is just a quick update on what is happening with the legislature.  The Governor has called yet a 4th special session for the legislature to address the property tax amendment that was thrown out by a Florida judge recently.
I haven't seen a date printed yet, but it is scheduled some time before the end of October. 
Now would be a great time to bombard your legislators and the Governor with phone calls, faxes, emails, and personal visits regarding this important issue.  There is power in numbers.  If you aren't sure who your state representative and senator are you can go … (1 comments)

florida: Florida legislature in session to enact budget cuts - 10/05/07 09:08 AM
The Florida legislature began a special session this week to cut $1.1 billion out of the state's budget.  This may sound like a huge cut, but considering that the current 2007 budget is some $73 billion it is really only a 1.5% reduction.  Big deal.
The Florida economy has slowed way down because Florida's real #1 industry GROWTH has screeched to a halt. (Tourism while touted as the #1 industry is really the #2 industry - growth being an industry just sounds really bad when a politician talks about it.)  The real estate developers and Realtors cannot get their properties moved for many reasons - problems … (2 comments)

florida: More of our property tax dollars going to a good cause - 10/03/07 08:06 AM
Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary has decided to buy elephant guns for his force.  14 have been purchased so far and 49 total are going to be acquired at $1660 a piece according to the Orlando Sentinel article . 
I am trying to think of how many theme parks have giant animals that are located in Orange County.  I can only come up with 2.  Sea World has some polar bears (I don't think any killer whales are going to be rampaging the streets).  Animal Kingdom has a bunch of animals, but they are on Disney property which is in the incorporated City … (3 comments)

florida: Tips on selling in a buyer's market - 09/27/07 01:12 PM
I originally posted this article on our company website in July 2007. 
According to the Mid-Florida Regional MLS statistics, in month ending June 2007 in Orange & Seminole Counties there was only 1 sale for about every 18 properties on the market (1,431 sales closed vs. 25,923 listing inventory), so in order to sell you need to make your house stand out in a big way. These are general suggestions for helping to sell your property: 1. Price it right - below market value preferably. We typically recommend 5-10% under the other active listings nearby. For condominiums, townhouses, properties in outlying … (4 comments)

Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) Rainmaker large

Rob Arnold

Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Altamonte Springs, FL

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Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.

Address: Apopka, FL, Longwood, FL, Winter Springs, FL, Casselberry, FL, Orlando, FL, Deltona, FL, Debary, FL, , Altamonte Springs, FL, 32714

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***Sign up for our email hot property list & newsletter*** We Buy Houses Florida.com (TM) We Buy Sinkhole .com I Buy Houses Orlando .com My thoughts on the real estate industry, real estate investing, rental properties, mortgages, listing houses in the MLS, government and legislative issues affecting real estate brokers and investors. Serving metro Orlando & most of Florida. Rob Arnold - ABR, CPL, CRB, GRI, PHP - Managing real estate broker, Notary Public Disclaimer: This blog is for educational, entertainment, and yes blatant advertising purposes. Read it at your own risk and enjoyment :-) It is not meant to be construed as legal or financial advice. These are my personal views and opinions only. Regarding any properties advertised on this blog site - all information is deemed reliable but is not warranted nor guaranteed - price, terms, and availability are subject to change without notice. Copyright © 2007-2013. Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




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