What You Should Know About Selling Your House with Pets

Pets & Your Home - blog (1)

We loves pets here at The Sparrow but we know having pets can be tricky if you want to protect the investment you’ve made, you’re looking to rent a pet-friendly house, or you’re trying to sell your home. We’ve collected our best advice we can give to sellers, home owners, or renters with pets to make a sale or move out run smoothly. These preventative measures can save time and hassle further down the road.

Keep It Clean!

First and foremost, the best thing you can do to improve your chances of selling a home is to keep it clean and free of pet odors. Some of these suggestions are also handy for renters who would like their deposit back, and home owners who want to keep their house ship-shape.

Carpets and Walls
– When cleaning the carpets, ask for or use a cleanser with Pet Enzyme.
– Try to clean up accidents as soon as they happen.
– Be sure to patch, or paint any scratches or chew marks on baseboards or walls.

Daily Maintenance (especially important if you’re selling and want to be show ready at all times)
– Sweep up hair, dirt and dust from the floor and baseboards.
– Remove pet waste from the yard.
– Wipe nose prints and paw marks from windows and sliding doors.

When a Showing is Scheduled
– Remove pet beds and food dishes.
– Consider leaving a pet with family or a kennel during the first few weeks of busy showings.
– Take the pet on a walk, or make sure they are in a crate and out of the way during a showing. Continue reading

Thinking About Selling Your Home?

should we sell- - blogWith last week’s good news regarding the surge in Orlando real estate market, you might be considering selling your home, and you’re not alone. According to Florida Realtors, a recent Fannie Mae survey showed that, “homeowners are becoming more upbeat about potentially selling their home.” 52% of the Americans surveyed believed selling their home now would be profitable, the highest percentage recorded since the National Housing survey began. Florida Realtors also reported that in June “[Florida] statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes…was $203,500, up 10 percent from the previous year.”

There are a few factors contributing to this positive mood Continue reading

Market Update: Sales Record in June

Market Update - blogThe real estate market in our area has a head of steam, and keeps moving. June sales were a record 3500 homes sold in our MLS in a month, and a 21% increase over last year.

Ironically, a lot of people perceive the opposite is true, because a lot of “perception” is based on emotion rather than facts. The interest rates have wiggled up above 4%, but that has not slowed things down. Foreclosures and foreclosure filings are down, inventory is down (3.5 months in June—a strong sellers market).

Looking at the law of supply and demand, we should see an above average appreciation for the next year, probably something like the 7% we have seen in the last 12 months.

View all of the statistics from Orlando Regional Realtor Association here.

New Listing: 5/4 Equestrian Home in Chuluota, FL

This Chuluota home is listed at $735,000. It is 3913 sq ft, with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. It’s in an equestrian, upscale, quiet, gated neighborhood on secluded 5 acre lot on Lake Pickett, a 900 acre spring-fed lake with no public access and two water ski courses.

Click here to see the full listing on the MLS.

When the Floods Come, Will Your House Sink or Swim?

Flood Info - blogAccording to SunSentinel Florida properties make up 37 percent of flood insurance policies nationwide. Flood risk is a common concern among Central Florida home buyers and owners for a good reason, FEMA estimates that the average flood insurance policy costs about $700 per year. Policy rates in moderate-to-low risk areas are about half of the average.

So how important is flood insurance when purchasing a home?

For homes with the high-risk designation, there is a 25% chance during the course of a 30 year mortgage that the home will be flooded. High-risk homes with federally regulated or insured lender mortgages are legally required to purchase a flood insurance policy. It is highly recommended that moderate-to-low risk homes opt for flood insurance, although it is not legally required. Moderate-to-low areas claim a third of all U.S. disaster relief money every year.

What is the flood risk for a home in Central Florida?

The most likely risk scenario for a flood in Central Florida is a tropical storm or hurricane (or even a heavy rain). This is especially likely for storms that hang over the state for a few days. The ground cannot absorb the large amount of water and drainage becomes sluggish. The other scenario encountered in Central Florida is floods caused by new developments. As Metro Orlando grows, new homes and roads are built, meaning there is less ground for rain to accumulate. This type of flood might happen over a few hours.

Click here to see FEMA’s Flood Map of Central Florida. Once in the portal, select your area and click the view map on the left.

How can flood map changes affect rates?  Continue reading

The 8 Best Moving Tips Ever

3 best moving tips (1)

Did you know that 45% of all moves occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day? As the selling market and summer season ramps up in Central Florida we’ve collected our best advice to make moving easier.

#1 – Start Throwing Away Today

Our father-in-law gave us this advice on our wedding day 33 years ago. It is important even if you don’t have a move on the horizon. Here are some great resources to help you start throwing away today:

How to recycle just about anything: http://greatist.com/health/how-to-recycle-anything

How to get rid of your stuff: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/get-rid-of-stuff-5-tricks-for-making-the-task-easier-210690

#2 – Nuts & Bolts

When unscrewing hardware from furniture, collect it in a Ziploc bag and tape it to the furniture. This saves time and lost nuts and bolts.

#3 – Invest in Packing Materials

Purchasing boxes and a good packing tape can keep your stuff safe and make it easier to stack and move. Also, most packing supply places offer packs of blank newspaper that keep your breakables clean.

Continue reading

May Real Estate Market Full Speed Ahead

Market Update - blog

The Orlando Housing Market report for May 2015 is promising. It states “Orlando’s housing market is riding its traditional summertime wave of home sales — fueled in part by both low interest rates and more inventory — and posted positive numbers for the month of May.” The real estate market in our area continues full speed ahead. The median price is up 10% from a year ago, and all the other statistics strongly indicate the sellers’ market continues. For those who like all the statistics, you can find the graphs and charts here. Here are a few screen grabs from the report.

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7 Unique Homes Just Sold in Seminole County

7 Unique Homes Just SoldCurious about the Seminole County homes sold in the last month? We rounded up 7 unique single family homes purchased in May or early June. Oviedo ends up taking most of the titles for this month, but there are a few from around Sanford and Lake Mary.

Priciest Home – $1.85 Million | Mathers Cove, Oviedo

This expansive home overlooks Bear Gully Lake. It boasts a private boathouse, private gated entrance, coffered ceilings, walnut floors, and commercial grade kitchen appliances. It also wins best infinity pool!

Historical Home – Built in 1887 | Historic District, Sanford

Situated in Sanford’s Historic District, this historical gem is completely renovated on the inside, and features a wraparound porch and entrance turret. It sold for $299,000.

Tiniest Home – 792 Square Feet |Downtown Sanford

Right down the street from the historical home is Sanford’s tiniest sale this month. It sold for $92,000, and has charming details like a spiral staircase and claw-foot tub.

Greenest Home – Energy Star Certified | Winter Springs Village, Winter Springs

Going green means saving green, and this home is a great example with a high efficiency HVAC; programmable thermostat; vinyl, double-paned, tinted windows; spray foam insulated walls and attic; and energy star appliances.

Most Bedrooms – 7 Bed / 3.5 Bath | Live Oak Reserve, Oviedo
Not much information was provided about this home, but we do know it has 7 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and a 3 car garage. It sold for $470,000.

Most Acreage – Over 7 Acres | Horseshoe Farms, Oviedo

Described by realtor Samuel Winer as an “equestrian lover’s dream” this estate has 7.83 acres to be exact, and sold for $545,000. It sits in the Horseshoe Farms neighborhood of Oviedo.

Smart Investment – $113,000 for a 3/2 | Egrets Landing, Lake Mary

The savvy buyers of this bank-owned home got a fantastic deal! It has a brand new interior, and is part of the gated community of Egrets Landing in Lake Mary.

Cell Phones, Schools, & Real Estate Values

Cell Phones, Schools & Real Estate Values

The two best predictors of future real estate value and appreciation a home are
(1) the quality of schools nearby, and
(2) the rent that home will receive if it were a rental.

Is that tried and true formula changing?

How’s my cell phone coverage here? People regularly hold up their cell phone in the middle of a home they are looking at to see if they get good coverage. Root metrics surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults and found that 76 percent ranked mobile services as important. By comparison, 60 percent identified good schools as important.

U.S. adults in all age groups ranked mobile phone service higher than schools. Continue reading

Finding the History of Your Central Florida Home

Finding the History of Your Central Florida HomeCentral Florida started expanding at the turn of last century, and since then its growth has exploded! Even if your home was built after 1980, every neighborhood and its residents have an interesting past to uncover. You may want to contribute to some of the groups who collect stories and histories from the Orlando-Metro area. We gathered together some resources to help you learn more about your Central Florida home.

The best place to begin your search is with the building and property records of your home. County history centers and local courthouses maintain building permits, real estate listings, photographs, maps, neighborhood plans (Sanborn maps), artifacts, exhibits, and official public records. Also these organizations record histories capturing the lives and tales of the residents and leaders in Central Florida. Your mid-Florida Realtor can also view the transaction history of your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Continue reading