Want to boost curb appeal? Start in the yard!

April 8, 2020

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It’s finally springtime! And with it comes warm weather, singing birds and, for many of us, a damaged post-winter lawn to deal with. Now is the perfect time to bring your yard out of hibernation and boost your home’s curb appeal dramatically.

 

Curb appeal isn’t just for home sellers! Whether you are planning to sell your home or not, getting your lawn in shape now prevents current problems from getting worse and helps to avoid future issues.

 

In addition to the basics like keeping your grass under control and trimming the hedges regularly, here are a few projects that will make your lawn beautiful and healthy again.

 

Tackle those weeds!  Nothing damages a home’s curb appeal quite like a yard overtaken by weeds. Once you get rid of them and take steps to prevent future weeds, you have taken a huge step in the right direction!

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Using safety measures and technology to stay open for business

April 1, 2020

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While COVID-19 may have temporarily changed how we shop for homes, we as Realtors are following suit with our own precautions as well as innovative ways to connect you with the home of your dreams!

 

In addition to following CDC recommendations on hand washing and using hand sanitizer, we are maintaining safe social distancing. Like most people, I have also eliminated unnecessary trips from my day, focusing only on the office, grocery and drug store as needed.

 

When it comes to business, an agent’s top priority is ensuring customer safety. Some of the ways I am striving to ensure the real estate process remains safe include the following:

  • When showing a home to buyers, I let them follow me in their car instead of riding together as we would traditionally.
  • At home showings, I have made a practice of wiping the lockbox, key and door handles before and after each and every opening. I ask my customers not to touch anything in the house. I follow these practices when I meet appraisers and inspectors as well.
  • My title company partners are only allowing signers at the closing table.
  • While the Davidson Realty offices are closed, access is available by appointment only. If you would like to meet me at the office, I would be happy to set up an appointment.

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Knock out your springtime home maintenance before it gets too hot!

March 17, 2020

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Posted by in News

Spring officially starts on Thursday and now is the perfect time in Northeast Florida to take assessment and make sure your home is ready for the hotter months. Once daily temperatures hit the 90s and above, and hurricane season starts (June 1), you will want to have it all done.

 

This might not seem like much fun but waiting can ensure your current small issues will turn into big (expensive) problems later. Here is a simple checklist to make sure your home’s exterior is warm-weather-ready from top to bottom.

 

Start from the top

  • Roof – Inspect your roof for missing, loose or damaged shingles and leaks as well as chimney damage. You can either climb onto the roof yourself or stand across the street with a pair of binoculars and inspect each shingle. You may get funny looks doing the latter, but it’s much safer! If you see any issues, call a roofer to fix them right away.
  • Gutters – Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Make sure downspouts face away from the house and don’t collect rainwater at the bottom, which attracts mosquitos.

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Top 3 mistakes sellers make (and how to avoid them)

March 3, 2020

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There is so much advice floating around about avoiding mistakes as a buyer that it’s easy to overlook the pitfalls and potential blunders of selling. There are a few that stand out to me as some of the most common mistakes that sellers fall into. Here they are, as well as ways you can avoid them.

 

Avoiding repairs and instead offering credit to buyers.

If your home needs repairs, upgrades or just some TLC before anyone will take notice, it can be easy to say, “Gosh, I’d rather just take less money, and they can worry about it after the house is theirs.” This can be a big mistake! The simple fact is that while you may not have the time to deal with it, neither do your buyers. “Time is money” may sound cliché but it certainly applies to everyone.

 

The effect is that potential buyers will likely bring extremely low offers. Instead, I often recommend to sellers to invest in the repairs and get the work done before you list your home to sell. Not only will your home sell more quickly, you are much more likely to benefit financially from the sale. There is nothing buyers love more than a turn-key home!

 

Ignoring initial offers.

It can be tempting to overlook the first offers that come in, but not taking these seriously can be another colossal misstep. While the first offer might not blow your socks off, potential first offers are often very motivated. Perhaps they are in a rush. Maybe they fell in love with your kitchen. It could be your home is near their aging parent’s home. You never know!

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Moving to Florida? What you need to know about CDD fees

February 19, 2020

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Many people to who move to the Sunshine State are taken aback when they are introduced to CDD (Community Development District) Fees. What are they and how are they different than HOA fees?

 

First, it’s helpful to know why CDDs exist. These fees were created and are used primarily in Florida to shift the burden of planning, building and maintaining roads, utility lines, water/sewer systems, conservation areas, and other conveniences in new communities away from local governments.

 

The many costs of installing infrastructure are financed by the community’s developer through tax-free municipal bonds that are issued when the community is built. These bonds also pay for amenities like clubhouses, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, yoga lawns, dog parks, you name it!

 

Then the cost of the bond is passed onto homeowners who purchase a home in one of these communities. They pay the costs over a span of time—generally 15 to 30 years—through property taxes each year. If you have a mortgage, it’s amortized into your payment.

 

I know what you might be thinking: “But wait, that sounds a little like an HOA!” Believe it or not, there are differences between CDD fees and HOA fees.

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