Finding the Right Pro: What a Handyman Can and Can’t Do

When it comes to which projects a handyman is capable of, it is difficult to give a definitive answer as not all handymen are created equal

 

A Handyman is the best professional to hire, if you are either:

1. Looking for a professional to perform one or more odd jobs around your home.
This includes projects such as, shelf hanging, window repair or cabinet hardware installation.

2. You already have materials for your project.
For example, if you are installing new flooring in your home, you may find that specific flooring contractors will have vendors that they work with for supplies. In this case, you may be better off hiring a good handyman to do the install if you have already purchased the materials. This is the case for door/window replacement as well.

 

What projects shouldn’t a Handyman do?

-Electrical

-Plumbing

-HVAC

In most states, these types of projects require specific licenses. If the professional does not hold the correct licensing, their work may not be covered by their contracting insurance nor your home insurance.

 

If you have a larger project, do you need a General Contractor?

If you have a project that isn’t particularly small or specialist and you are unsure if a general contractor or handyman would be the best fit, consider the cost of the project. Bruce Morse from Remodel Seattle suggests that “if your project is projected to cost under $10,000 then a handyman will be the best fit”.

 

Does your Handyman need a license?

This is on a state-by-state basis but generally a handyman will not require a license if the project is under $1,000. If your project costs more than this, check their license information against your state requirements. You can do this online by searching for “contractors board” in your state or by calling Porch’s Homeowner Support Team on (855) 494-5972.

Once you’ve decided what kind of professional is going to be best for your project.

Lake Nona Town Center New Hotel Announced

Tavistock announced this latest addition to the list of business coming to the Town Center; a new 215-room hotel designed by architect giant Arquitectonica, that will feature “a sleek exterior, grand mo-tor court entrance, sophisticated lobby, ballroom for 200, plus a vibrant rooftop pool and lounge with private event capabilities” ().
The rooms will each feature efficient workplace stations, ergonomic seating and integrated linear lighting, as well as spacious rooms and bathrooms; perfect for business professionals staying in the hotel, or those traveling with families.
The hotel will have over 6,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,200-square-foot ballroom, executive boardroom and two smaller meeting rooms. The ground floor retail will be situated next to The Lawn, a common area in the Town Center.
The 24-hour hotel gym will feature high tech equipment from Lake Nona partner Technogym, which previously partnered with Lake Nona to craft the first seamlessly connected fitness ecosystem in the U.S.

HOAR SELECTED AS CONTRACTOR FOR NEXT PHASE OF LAKE NONA TOWN CENTER

, Fla.; August 7, 2017 – Tavistock Development Company, a diversified real estate firm owned by Group, announced today that Hoar Construction has been selected as the Pre Construction Program Manager and Master General Contractor for the next phase of development of the  Town Center which will include a thoughtful collection of more than one million square feet of retail, restaurant, , office, and hospitality uses.

Developed by Tavistock Development Company, with Steiner + Associates serving as the exclusive retail planning, leasing and development services partner, Hoar Construction plans to break ground on the next phase of construction in the Fall with anticipated completion in 2020. Hoar Construction brings the experience of having previously completed several projects with Steiner + Associates.

“Our team is eager to be a part of this transformative project and to help bring the retail and entertainment portion of the Lake Nona development to life,” said Michael Parks, Florida Division vice president of Hoar Construction. “We have a long history working with partners like Tavistock and Steiner + Associates to create world-class developments, and we are excited to be part of this team.”

Lake Nona Town Center is a 100-acre, 3.8 million square foot mixed-use experiential magnet and regional destination nestled within the large-scale Lake Nona master-planned community. Lake Nona Town Center fronts SR-417, Orlando’s eastern beltway, and is located adjacent to Orlando International Airport and its new multi-model transportation hub and international terminal.

Site plan for next phase of the Lake Nona Town Center

Lake Nona Town Center has already successfully opened and leased 85,000 square feet of class-A office, a dual branded Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott hotel, 16,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a multi-level parking structure that doubles as public art adorned with colorful dichroic glass, lighting and a ‘Code Wall’ and is attached to a six-story digital art monument called ‘The Beacon.’

Local favorites Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine and Chorma Modern Bar + Kitchen – named Best New Restaurant 2017 by Orlando Magazine have thrived in the space – adding to the unique culture and atmosphere.

Tavistock and Steiner are currently in negotiations with several theatres and are close to finalizing plans for a brewery, comedy club and live performance venue, bowling concept and several additional restaurants and retailers. At full build out, Lake Nona Town Center will include more than 80 specialty retailers, anchors, junior anchors, and restaurants.

One of the most successful master-planned communities in the nation with more than 10 million square feet of current and planned residential and commercial development, Lake Nona’s corporate pipeline includes major regional projects including KPMG’s $400-million training and innovation center and the newly announced Amazon high-tech fulfillment center, both of which continue to position Lake Nona as one of the fastest-growing communities in America and a significant job creator for both the region and the state.

Existing-Home Sales Retreat 1.8 Percent in June

Existing-Home Sales Retreat 1.8 Percent in June

WASHINGTON (July 24, 2017) — Existing-home sales slipped in June as low supply kept selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

Total existing-home sales1, https://www.nar.realtor/topics/existing-home-sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June from 5.62 million in May. Despite last month’s decline, June’s sales pace is 0.7 percent above a year ago, but is the second lowest of 2017 (February, 5.47 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the previous three-month lull in contract activity translated to a pullback in existing sales in June. “Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” he said. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

Added Yun, “The good news is that sales are still running slightly above last year’s pace despite these persistent market challenges.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in June was $263,800, up 6.5 percent from June 2016 ($247,600). Last month’s median sales price surpasses May as the new peak and is the 64th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory3 at the end of June declined 0.5 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available , and is now 7.1 percent lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 25 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in June, which is down from 33 percent both in May and a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 20164 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

“It’s shaping up to be another year of below average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy that continues to create jobs,” said Yun. “Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers’ dreams of owning a home this year.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate(link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined for the third consecutive month, dipping to 3.90 percent in June from 4.01 percent in May. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 28 days in June, which is up from 27 days in May but down from 34 days a year ago. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 102 days in June, while foreclosures sold in 57 days and non-distressed homes took 27 days. Fifty-four percent of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in June were Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 23 days; Salt Lake City, Utah, 26 days; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 27 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 29 days; and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., at 30 days.

“Prospective buyers who postponed their home search this spring because of limited inventory may have better luck as the summer winds down,” said President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. “The pool of buyers this time of year typically begins to shrink as households with children have likely closed on a home before school starts. Inventory remains extremely tight, but patience may pay off in coming months for those looking to buy.”

All-cash sales were 18 percent of transactions in June, down from 22 percent both in May and a year ago, and the lowest since June 2009 (13 percent). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in June, down from 16 percent in May and unchanged from a year ago. Fifty-six percent of investors paid in cash in June.

Distressed sales5 – foreclosures and short sales – were 4 percent of sales in June, down from both May (5 percent) and a year ago (6 percent) and matching last September as the lowest share since NAR began tracking in October 2008. Three percent of June sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales dipped 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in June from 4.98 million in May, but are still 0.6 percent above the 4.85 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $266,200 in June, up 6.6 percent from June 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 units in June (unchanged from May), and are 1.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $245,900 in June, which is 6.5 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

June existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 760,000, but are still 1.3 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $296,300, which is 4.1 percent above June 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.32 million in June (unchanged from June 2016). The median price in the Midwest was $213,000, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South decreased 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.23 million (unchanged from a year ago). The median price in the South was $231,300, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million in June, but remain 2.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $378,100, up 7.4 percent from June 2016.

State OKs new 100-bed UCF Lake Nona

The University of Central Florida and HCA Healthcare will start building a new 100-bed teaching hospital adjacent ‘s 50-acre College of Medicine campus in southeast Orlando’s Lake Nona community within 18 months. The campus currently has two facilities for classrooms and research.

The state’s Agency for Health Care Administration this week gave final approval for a hospital that’s expected to open for patients by the end of 2020.

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state’s 12 public universities, approved the public/private hospital in March after the state had given the facility preliminary approval. That approval allows UCF to grow the hospital to up to 500 beds without further approval from that board. The planned new hospital will:

  • Train third- and fourth-year medical students from Day One.
  • Allow the UCF medical school to expand its clinical research mission. The university-based teaching hospital is expected to help lure more grants to fund research.
  • Provide more opportunities for medical residency programs.
  • Be a living-learning lab for training medical, nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy and social work students in teamwork skills and communication.

Building the new hospital also will bring opportunities for designers, builders and vendors, as well as new permanent, high-wage jobs.

Nashville-based HCA’s North Florida Division will contribute $175 million to build and begin operating the hospital, called UCF Lake Nona Medical Center. UCF will provide the land and its academic brand. No state dollars will be used to build the facility. “Together with our partners at HCA, we look forward to strengthening our community’s health, training more doctors and powering economic growth through research,” said UCF President John C. Hitt in a prepared statement.

He has described building the hospital as one of the university’s most important decisions of this decade.

A hospital to advance teaching and clinical research programs has been a UCF priority since the university opened its medical school in 2009. “This hospital and its research mission are part of the economic impact we promised the community when the medical school was built,” said Dr. Deborah German, founding dean of the College of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs, in a prepared statement. (See the photo gallery for a look inside the medical school.) “In the United States and around the world, the best health systems have an academic component at their heart and the best medical schools have teaching hospitals. UCF Lake Nona Medical Center will help Central Florida become a national, then global health care destination that will benefit all of our partners and our community

Central Florida home sales up 8.8% in May

More and townhomes/condos sold and the median sale price increased in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area in May when compared to the year-ago period, according to the latest housing data released by Realtors. In May, 3,428 homes and 983 townhomes/condos sold in metro Orlando. The number of homes sold was up 8.8 percent from May 2016, while the number of townhomes/condos sold rose 17.6%.

Along with an increase in units sold in the Central Florida area, median sales prices also were up. Last month, the median home sale price in the area grew 7 percent to $240,788 and the median townhome/condo sale price increased 12.1 percent to $150,000.

These year over year increases are no surprise to President of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, Bruce Elliott. “Orlando has strong job growth and a great quality of life that makes this area a great place to live. There have been a lot of third-party sources, from Forbes magazine to WalletHub, showing a variety of different statistics about how good Orlando is.”

Along with higher numbers in metro Orlando, the state also saw an increase in the number of homes and townhomes/condos sold in last month when compared to May 2016.

“Closed sales of existing homes in the Sunshine State not only rebounded from a relatively flat April, they positively surged to record highs in May of 2017,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor. “To be more specific, May’s sale totals of 27,850 existing single-family homes and 11,538 existing condos and townhomes were the most ever recorded [by Florida Realtors] for a single month in either property type category. In both cases, these totals were also markedly higher than the very strong number of sales racked up in May of 2016.”

The median sale prices also rose when compared to last year. Last month, the median sale price for a home in Florida grew 7.7 percent to $239,000 and the median sale price for a townhome/condo rose 8.1 percent to $178,000 when compared to the year-ago period.

Sunbridge is a new, 24,000-acre master-planned community

Sunbridge is a new, 24,000-acre master-planned community in Central Florida
from Development Company that will include a diverse range of
neighborhoods, employment centers and commercial districts. Currently in
planning, the community is anticipated to begin construction in 2018.
Vision
A community focused on preservation and innovation, with diverse residential
neighborhoods and employment centers with miles of connected trails and
surrounded by thousands of acres of preserved conservation network.
Sunbridge will feature vibrant employment centers throughout the community
focused on innovation as an economic driver with a talent pool of residents that
attracts leading companies, bright minds, and innovative ideas.
With a philosophy rooted in responsible, long-term sustainable development,
conservation will play a central role in Tavistock’s development.
While still in the early planning stages, Sunbridge will incorporate best practices
and place-making principles from across Tavistock’s award-winning portfolio,
highlighted by the Lake Nona community, which ranks among the top-10, bestselling,
master-designed communities in America and was heralded
in Fortune magazine as “the future of cities.”
Size
Sunbridge spans 24,000 acres in both Orange and Osceola County.
• Total actual acreage: 23,898 acres
• Orange County acreage: 4,787 acres
• Osceola County acreage: 19,111 acres
Location
Sunbridge is located in the southeast quadrant of Central Florida in both Orange
and Osceola County. The region is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas
in the state. Sunbridge is in close proximity to key economic drivers like Orlando
International Airport, Port Canaveral, ICAMR, Lake Nona and the
University of Central Florida. Multi-modal transportation runs throughout the
development, including State Road 528 with future plans to accommodate
growth. A key element of the proposed road system includes a new north south
arterial roadway that will provide a new regional mobility corridor between
Orange and Osceola County.
2
Development Timeline
• Planning is currently underway with both Orange and Osceola County.
• On March 21, 2016, the developer filed a comprehensive plan amendment
with Orange County to begin the first phase of development.
• Construction is anticipated to begin in 2018.
• The development is a long-term project.
Proposed Development Program
The first phase of development in Orange County would include:
• 5,720
• 1,650 multi-family units
• 9 million square feet of commercial space
o 5,470,000 sf Office
o 2,900,000 sf Industrial
o 880,000 sf Retail
• 490 hotel rooms
Conservation
Nearly 13,000 acres will comprise preserved conservation space that includes
preserved wetlands and upland buffers.
• Total actual conservation acreage: 12,845 acres
• Orange County preserved acreage: 1,692 acres
• Osceola County preserved acreage: 11,153 acres
• Additionally, the development features: 1,100 acres of lakes
Ownership
Sunbridge is an independent development of the Tavistock Development
Company. Tavistock has a development agreement with landowner Suburban
Land Reserve (“SLR”) to serve as the master developer of the 24,000-acre
project. SLR is a national land investment company with holdings in various
regions of the U.S.

AMAZON SELECTS LAKE NONA FOR HIGH-TECH FULFILLMENT CENTER

Amazon today announced plans to open a new fulfillment center in Orlando, Fla. When the site opens in 2018, Amazon will create 1,500 new full-time jobs with benefits and opportunities to engage with Amazon Robotics in a highly technological workplace.

“We are excited to join the Orlando community, creating more than 1,500 full-time jobs at our new fulfillment center,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations. “We very much appreciate the state and local elected leaders who have supported Amazon’s arrival in Orlando and we look forward to bringing more jobs and investment to the state in the coming months.”

Amazon employees at the more than 850,000 square-foot fulfillment center located at Lake Nona will pick, pack and ship small items to customers like books, electronics or consumer goods.

The project is located at the intersection of Boggy Creek Road and Jeff Fuqua Boulevard just south of Orlando International Airport.

“We are bullish on attracting well-respected, global brands like KPMG and Amazon to Lake Nona,” said Jim Zboril, President of Development Company. “Lake Nona has positioned itself nationwide as an ideal location, offering a collaborative approach, innovative amenities, and infrastructure. We have a strong business development team that is out there every day competing against some of the nation’s top metropolitan markets. Lake Nona’s neo-urban location coupled with our innovative vision creates a compelling backdrop for companies looking for that next great place to call home.”

Since Tavistock’s initial acquisition of Lake Nona years ago, Tavistock has continued to partner with government to fast track the development of key infrastructure projects in Southeast Orlando/Orange County, from the construction of the Lake Nona Blvd/SR 417 interchange to the major expansion of Narcoossee Road, regional parks and more. In early 2017, Tavistock Development Company advanced plans with Orange County to expand Boggy Creek Road to accommodate this project. Tavistock Development Company will oversee the construction of these improvements.

Infrastructure work and roadway improvements (widen Boggy Creek from 2-4 lanes), which Tavistock Development is overseeing, already began last week.

“We have always said that Lake Nona is a long-term project for us – a marathon and not a sprint,” Zboril said. “Every step of our development is carefully contemplated and thoughtfully designed for the future – the future of cities perhaps. We are creating the ideal place that inspires human potential through innovative collaboration. This bold vision drives everything that we do, every day. We are tenacious.”

Home prices on the rise in metro Orlando

House . Real Estate Sign in Front of a House.

If you want to buy a home in metro Orlando, be prepared to spend more, according to a new Zillow report on affordability.

“Home values have soared in recent years, sending the national median as high as it’s ever been and forcing home buyers to pay more – even though their incomes do not always keep up,” Zillow’s Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said. “While low mortgage interest rates have helped keep the typically valued U.S. home affordable by historical standards, the real prices on actually available to buy is hurting affordability in many areas.”

In metro Orlando, the median list price of homes on the market was $259,900 in first-quarter 2017, which means mortgage payments would take up 23 percent of the area’s median income, compared with the 20.4 percent required between 1985-2000.

It’s also more than the 18.2 percent of the area’s median income currently required for mortgage payments for a median valued home (many of which are not for sale). Orlando’s median home value was $203,500 for first-quarter 2017, according to the report.

The median list price for a U.S. home in the first quarter was $246,900 – well above the $197,100 median home value, according to Zillow

Further, mortgage affordability in Orlando is forecast to reach between 20.7 percent to 25.6 percent of the median income, depending on if the mortgage interest rate rises to between 5 percent to 7 percent.

To see the full report, click here. (And see the slideshow for a look inside the mansion once owned by former NBA star Horace Grant, which now is back on the market.)

Kyle Swenson is a general assignment reporter.