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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The Northeast Florida February 2020 Market Stats Show the Same Positive Trends.

March 25, 2020

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As I write this letter, there is a lot of uncertainty and concern over the Coronavirus. I do not pretend to know the impact we will see on the real estate market or the economy, but I know God is in control and I will take one day at a time.

 

I can tell you the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats report for February 2020 shows the same trends I have been repeating every month. Pending sales, closed sales, median and average sales prices are up and inventory of homes available is down. These are all very positive trends.

 

From the NEFAR report, “The recently released January ShowingTime Showing Index saw a 20.2 percent year-over-year increase in showing traffic nationwide. All regions of the country were up double digits from the year before. As showing activity is a leading indicator for future home sales, the 2020 housing market is off to a strong start, though it will be important to watch the spread of COVID-19 and its potential impacts to the overall economy in the coming months.”

 

There were 2,743 contracts written and pending sales were up 10.3% month-over-month and year-to-date. There were 2,201 closings which is up 4.1% for the month and 6.7% for the year.

 

The median sales price is $239,700 which is up 6.6% over last February and the average sales price is $287,068 which is up 12.2% for the same period.

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Fed Rate vs Mortgage Rates……what gives?

March 23, 2020

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Posted by in News

Ah yes! This has been a popular topic since the Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cut to a range of 0% to .25%.

 

Coming off March 9 mortgage rates that were at historic lows to—not even four days later—being about a full percentage point higher, the Fed again cut the rates on March 15. This is what’s going to send mortgage rates to guaranteed rock bottom lows, right?

 

In the words of famed football coach and broadcaster Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”

 

The Fed Funds Rate deals more directly with short-term rate items like credit cards, savings rates and bank-to-bank short-term loans. You may see a credit card APR go down (YES!), but generally, the Fed rate is not a consumer lending rate.

 

Although the mortgage rates have a tendency to mirror the direction of the Fed Funds Rate, it is never a direct correlation.  Remember, the Fed Funds Rate is for short-term rates and mortgages are not short-term.

 

So, what IS going to happen? 

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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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