The Sparrow Really Cares…Really.

Our three-part passion is (1) to care attentively for your home or property; (2) to enhance your home’s value and appreciation; (3) to maximize your annual investment income.

Searching for a Brand New Abode or a Lovable Lemon?

choosing the right home - blogIn February of this year the Wall Street Journal reported that Orlando fell on the list of “metro areas with the most fixer uppers listed for sale.” Often purchasing a fixer upper saves money, but there are ways to tell if it’s right for you. We’ve gathered the profiles of four types of homes to search for that run the gambit from “huge time and money investment” to “brand, spanking new.” There may be some options that surprise you.


1front (2)The Lovable Lemon Dwelling

“If you can’t be handsome, be handy.” – The Red Green Show

This is one of our favorite quotes and it totally applies to searching for a home that needs some care! The first sign of a lovable lemon is in the listing description with phrases like “as-is.” When viewing this home buyers may think “I can picture a more open layout,” or “the bathroom shower is disgusting.” It is important to keep certain repairs in mind. Large projects like the roof, foundation, or framing can be expensive.

The Lovable Lemon Dwelling is right for you if:

– You love taking on a project (even Ikea furniture or assembling children’s toys).
– You’re handy, or you’re willing to learn to be handy (houzz.com has some great tutorials).
– You have an eye for design.
– You want to save money on your initial purchase of a home.
– You’ll be able to fund projects overtime.
– You have time on weekends and holidays.
– You’re patient.


1exteriorfrontThe Cosmetic Makeover Crib

“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” – Conrad Hall

Not quite full remodel, not quite move-in ready, these homes can be deceivingly simple to fix up without a lot of time and money. They generally have good bones, like a newer roof and appliances, pleasant layout, and attractive cabinets and vanities. What throws buyers off of these homes are visual elements like the carpets, wallpaper, or fixtures. Cosmetic fixes are easy and cost-effective to change, they just require a little imagination.

The the Cosmetic Makeover Crib is perfect if: […]

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?  […]