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What to Consider in a Remodel

The kitchen should reflect your lifestyle. It should accommodate your cooking needs, provide the type of space you need for dining and offer plenty of storage. Its décor should complement your home’s architecture and set the tone for gatherings that happen there. A lot of factors play into kitchen design, but the first step before choosing appliances or visiting a cabinet showroom is to set some goals for your space.
Start by reflecting on why you’re remodeling and what you really need to get out of it. A kitchen remodel is not an easy task, so why are you doing it? Download and complete the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire and Kitchen Goals Worksheet. Your answers to these questions will help you create a remodeling checklist and budget.
When Deborah Pierce, principal, Pierce Lamb Architects, West Newton, Mass, works with clients, she works through an organic process that involves addressing each of these key variables:
  • Size of the space
  • Orientation of sunlight
  • Connection of kitchen to adjacent rooms
  • Homeowner’s lifestyle
  • Budget
  • Condition of the building

Kitchen Remodeling Considerations

As you start planning your remodel, consider these factors:
Size (Square Footage). “Every inch of space is important, especially in a small kitchen,” Pierce emphasizes. The size of your kitchen will dictate the layout: Is there room for an island? Does space allow for a prep sink? Where can you squeeze in extra storage?
Will you knock out a wall or extend the kitchen by adding on to your home? How much space can you conceivably add to your kitchen layout? These are questions to consider with a kitchen designer or architect, who can help you devise a solid plan.
Existing Layout. Don’t feel married to your kitchen’s existing footprint. “Windows and doors are seldom in the place you want them,” Pierce says. “They might be on the wrong wall, or in the wrong place entirely.” If you must maintain the windows/doors of your kitchen, you may be locked in to your layout—but there are always ways to modify. For instance, you can add a peninsula to an L-shaped kitchen and create a horseshoe layout that offers more counter space and efficiency. Learn about different kitchen layouts.
As you consider kitchen layout, take time to think about what you like about your current kitchen:
  • How do you move in the space?
  • Does the workflow accommodate your cooking routine?
  • Can you easily move from the range to the sink?
  • How effective is your kitchen when more than one person is cooking?
These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself as you begin to plan your kitchen remodel. To see a complete list of questions you’ll need to consider, download the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire.
Infrastructure. Depending on the age of your kitchen, you might confront electrical or plumbing concerns as you remodel. Work with an architect-engineer team to ensure that the “guts” of your kitchen can accommodate the technology (appliances, lighting, etc.) you will install.
“In an older house, you may find yourself with sagging floors that need to be addressed or crooked walls that need to be straightened out,” Pierce says, pointing to a couple of budget busters that many homeowners do not plan for. “Keep an open mind at the start of the process,” she continues. “Understand your needs, but recognize the variables that a designer or builder might need to deal with during the process.”
Lifestyle. How will you use the kitchen? What type of cook are you? How do you entertain? Answer the questions in the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire as you prioritize features for your new kitchen. Peterson likes to keep the conversation general when first identifying kitchen likes/dislikes, “identifying problems rather than solutions, and wishes rather than details,” she says. “This is because the design will evolve as all variables are considered, and locking on to a specific feature at the start may solve one problem but preclude a better design that solves five other problems.”
For example, choosing professional appliances that take up 80 percent of the space may not allow enough room for cabinetry storage or area to expand a window to let more light into the kitchen.
Budget. For a more detailed discussion, visit our Budgeting Your Project section. As Roberta Bauer-Kravette, LEED AP, AKBD and director of Nieuw Amsterdam Kitchens in New York, N.Y., says, “The fastest way to go over your budget is to change your mind on materials and finishes.”
Decide where to save and where to splurge. Set a realistic budget, figuring between 6 and 10 percent of your home value for a complete kitchen remodel. Brad Burgin, Burgin Construction Inc. in North Tustin, Calif., says his clients that spend about 10 percent of their overall home value realize a return on their investment at resale. View and download our budget worksheet to help you decide where to spend your budget.

Mortgage rates again fall lower

U.S. mortgage rates again ticked down this week, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 3.94 percent for the week ending June 1, down from 3.95 percent the previous week.

Favorable mortgage rates aided U.S. home sales, and the booming refinance market.

“In a short week following Memorial Day, the 10-year Treasury yield fell 4 basis points,” said Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “The 30-year mortgage rate remained relatively flat, falling 1 basis point to 3.94 percent and once again hitting a new 2017 low.”

The historic low for 30-year rates was 3.31 percent in November 2012.

Here on the local front, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 7.5 percent in March 2017 in the Orlando metro area compared with March 2016, according to CoreLogic.

4 High-Return Updates for the Home

The Latest in Home Design Trends

  • Whether you’re a prospective seller or a longtime homeowner, revamping your space may be on your to-do list. Before you begin, preview these design trends and learn how to make them your own.

    Quick Decorating Touches

    • Add the latest color. From deep emerald to the lime hue of Greenery (the

    Pantone Color of the Year), verdant shades are instant hits. To incorporate the trend, sprinkle in a few eye-catching accessories or splurge on a plush, room-filling rug.

  • Bring in bronze and brass. These of-the-moment metallics look luxurious, but they have economical price tags and complement a variety of colors and styles. Spruce up your kitchen cabinets with brass handles or use bronze light fixtures to warm up a room.
  • Toy with texture. Whether you’re drawn to fabric wallpaper, a decorative wall hanging or a collection of well-placed throw pillows, texture is an easy way to make a space more inviting. And don’t shy away from mixed materials like leather and wool.

Trendy Upgrades

  • Enrich your entryway. You have only one chance to make a first impression. For a small investment, you can transform your home’s entrance with an artisan-crafted credenza or an oversized mirror that amplifies the natural light.
  • Update your countertops. Laminate options fashioned from recycled granite or glass are easy on the wallet and the environment. Want to go all out? Lighter shades in quartz, marble and wood are popular upgrades in today’s kitchens.
  • Establish a shedquarters. Whether you work from home, want a relaxing retreat or host houseguests regularly, a separate on-site structure aptly dubbed a “shedquarters” may be a worthy addition.

From a quick, low-budget change to a well-planned build-out, homeowners have several options when it comes to implementing the latest home design trends.

Luxury Market

 

DUAL MASTER BEDROOMS A RECENT LUXURY TREND

KEVIN COSTNER LISTS $60M CALIFORNIA HOME

You’ve heard of his-and-hers towels, but what about his-and-hers bedrooms? With more couples retreating to separate beds, dual master bedrooms have become a rising trend in high-end home design.
When you imagine celebrity home listings, you usually think of sprawling, multistory estates — the epitome of design. But Kevin Costner’s beachfront home in California is all about the land.
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Knowledge is confidence when buying and selling real estate!
ALLYN AND PAM MAYCUMBER
KELLER WILLIAMS // Luxury Sales
EMAIL allyn@maycumber.com
PHONE (407) 467-3862 // MOBILE (407)251-1314
ADDRESS 9161 Narcoossee Road STE 107 , FL 32827

Flash Back on Orlando Real Estate Market!

Are you ready for a real estate “flash back” from now to 10 years ago? Here are some interesting facts for you take in and contact Allyn and Pam Maycumber of Keller Williams Realty Advantage III for a detailed FREE market analysis of your home today.
 

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales took off in March 2017 to their highest pace in over 10 years, and severe supply shortages resulted in the typical home coming off the market significantly faster than in February and a year ago. Only the West saw a decline in sales activity in March.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family , townhouses, condominiums and co-ops, ascended 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March from a downward revised 5.47 million in February. March’s sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago and surpasses January as the strongest month of sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says existing sales roared back in March and were led by hefty gains in the Northeast and Midwest. “The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” he said. “Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $236,400, up 6.8 percent from March 2016 ($221,400). March’s price increase marks the 61st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of March increased 5.8 percent to 1.83 million existing homes available , but is still 6.6 percent lower than a year ago (1.96 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 22 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace (unchanged from February).

Lawrence Yun also noted, “Bolstered by strong consumer confidence and underlying demand, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions despite the fact that buying a home has gotten more expensive over the past year.”

Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days in March, which is down significantly from 45 days in February and 47 days a year ago. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 90 days in March, while foreclosures sold in 52 days and non-distressed homes took 32 days (shortest since NAR began tracking in May 2011). Forty-eight percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

“Last month’s swift price gains and the remarkably short time a home was on the market are directly the result of the home building industry’s struggle to meet the dire need for more new homes,” said Yun. “A growing pool of all types of buyers is competing for the lackluster amount of existing homes on the market. Until we see significant and sustained multi-month increases in housing starts, prices will continue to far outpace incomes and put pressure on those trying to buy.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose for the fifth straight month in March to 4.20 percent from 4.17 percent in February. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in March, which is unchanged from February and up from 30 percent a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2016 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

All-cash sales were 23 percent of transactions in March, down from 27 percent in February and 25 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15 percent of homes in March, down from 17 percent in February but up from 14 percent a year ago. Sixty-three percent of investors paid in cash in March.

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – were 6 percent of sales in March, down from 7 percent in February and 8 percent a year ago. Five percent of March sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in March (18 percent in February), while short sales were discounted 14 percent (17 percent in February).

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales climbed 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million in March from 4.87 million in February, and are now 6.1 percent above the 4.79 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $237,800 in March, up 6.6 percent from March 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 5.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units in March, and are now 5.0 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $224,700 in March, which is 8.0 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

March existing-home sales in the Northeast surged 10.1 percent to an annual rate of 760,000, and are now 4.1 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $260,800, which is 2.8 percent above March 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales jumped 9.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.31 million in March, and are now 3.1 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $183,000, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South in March rose 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 2.42 million, and are now 8.5 percent above March 2016. The median price in the South was $210,600, up 8.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West decreased 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.22 million in March, but are still 5.2 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $347,500, up 8.0 percent from March 2016.

Once again, if you would like a detailed analysis of your specific neighborhood then contact us www.WeKnowNona.com and www.WeKnowOrlando.com – call at 407-251-1314. Whether you are buying or selling it is imperative to have all the facts at your disposal to make an informed decision. Our homes are typically one of our greatest assets in our portfolio.

Home Sales Spiked in March…and Sold Fast

Inside the Release, by on April 21, 2017

An abnormally warm winter, strong consumer confidence and robust underlying demand ended up being the perfect formula to push existing-home sales in March to their highest pace in over 10 years.

More notably, despite the fact that supply is extremely tight and buying a home has gotten more expensive, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions.

In addition to the 4.4 percent leap in sales last month, equally impressive was the fact that typically sold 11 days faster than in February and 13 days quicker than a year ago. There’s no question that buyers are struggling to find an affordable home to buy, and when they do, they have to act very fast just to have a chance.

To reiterate what NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said during this morning’s press conference: “sales will go as far as inventory does.”

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Construction to start on Lake Nona’s first age-restricted community

Lake Nona’s owner has a project in the works that will bring a new residential option to the growing southeast Orlando community.

Development Co. LLC is planning a new 216-unit active adult community called The Gatherings at Lake Nona. The community would be built on 9.7 acres about one mile east of the VA Medical Center in Lake Nona off Laureate Boulevard.

The community also will include a pool, a 4,400-square-foot clubhouse, shuffleboard, standalone garages and a 218-space surface parking lot. Tavistock Development filed for an environmental resource permit on Aug. 1, and has submitted specific parcel master plan documents to the city of Orlando.

Beazer USA appears to be the builder of the project, according to documents. Donald W. McIntosh Associates Inc. is the project engineer/surveyor; Aecom Inc. is handling ecological sciences work; Broad and Cassel is the legal counsel; and GAI Consultants is handling landscape, irrigation and hardscape.

This project is poised to create new construction and vendor opportunities for local firms, and will bring a new residential market to Lake Nona that already boasts more than 11,000 residents in its single-family homes and multifamily complexes.

Florida’s Housing Market Continues to Show Rising Prices in Feb. 2017

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s housing market continued to report a tight supply of   and rising median prices in February, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide remained relatively flat last month, totaling 18,033, down only 0.5 percent compared to February 2016.

“Florida’s economy is growing, with more jobs being created,” said 2017 Top Awarded Allyn Maycumber with Keller Williams Advantage in Lake Nona. “And a growing economy boosts the state’s housing sector as well. However, many local markets are reporting low inventory of for-sale homes at a time of increasing buyer demand. For sellers, it’s a good time to list their homes, as they continue to get more of their original asking price at the closing table. In February, sellers of existing single-family homes received 95.8 percent (median percentage) of their original listing price, while those selling townhouse-condo properties received 94.7 percent.

“In these kinds of market conditions, serious home buyers must be prepared to act fast, and work closely with a local Realtor to find the right home for their needs and their budget.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $225,000, up 12.5 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in February was $167,500, up 11.7 percent over the year-ago figure. February marked the 63rd month in a row that statewide median prices for both sectors rose year-over-year. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in January 2016 was $230,400, up 7.3 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $217,400. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in January was $489,580; in Massachusetts, it was $330,000; in Maryland, it was $261,868; and in New York, it was $250,000.

Looking at Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 7,949 last month, up 4.1 percent compared to February 2016. Closed sales data reflected fewer short sales and cash-only sales last month: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 39.6 percent while short sales for single-family homes also dropped 39.6 percent. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“Florida’s market for existing single-family homes in February continued to perform in line with what we’ve seen over the past year and a half,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “Due primarily to fewer distressed properties on the market, sales of single-family homes edged down. However, non-distressed sales of single-family homes were up almost 10 percent year-over-year, showing that the traditional market – as opposed to the niche distressed market – is healthy and continues to grow.

“Meanwhile, Florida’s condo and townhouse sales are off to very good start in 2017. Coming off a 6.2 percent year-over-year increase in January, condo and townhouse sales rose 4.1 percent year-over-year in February. For perspective, the last time statewide condo and townhouse sales rose on a year-over-year basis for two consecutive months was in August and September of 2015.”

For the second consecutive month, inventory remained at a tight 4.2-months’ supply in February for single-family homes, and was at a 6.4-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.17 percent in February 2016, up significantly from the 3.66 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

Home prices rise as listings disappear

Scant listings of houses for sale in the core Orlando home prices rise by 2.6 percent during the one-month period of February, according to a new report by Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

The midpoint sale price in February for an area that includes mostly Orange and Seminole counties was $205,000, which was up about 11 percent from a year earlier.

Despite limited options for buyers, rising prices and interest rates edging up, association members closed 2,423 sales in February. Sales were up 10 percent from a month earlier and basically flat from a year ago.

“We are headed into peak home-buying season with high demand but significantly fewer on the market compared to last year,” said Orlando association President Bruce Elliott, an with Regal R.E. Professionals LLC.

Central Florida’s job and population growth has been depleting the available listings, even as the appetite for rentals has grown in recent years.

One Orlando-area real estate agent said he listed a three-bedroom, one-bath house without central heat/air in the west Winter Park area for $219,000. Immediately, he said, seven investors offered cash with the hope of tearing it down to make way for new townhomes.

During February, Osceola had the greatest increase in sales among Central counties with 10 percent growth from a year ago. Orange County also had an increase in sales during the 12-month period while Lake and Seminole counties both experienced declines.

Orlando’s housing market wades further into 2017 with markedly fewer houses listed . Listings in February were down 21 percent from a year earlier and the area had a 3.5-month supply — about a month less than February 2015.

Overall for the area in February, houses sold within 69 days of hitting the market — almost two weeks faster than sales a year ago.

Looking ahead, families may be in trouble as orlando home prices rise because association members reported 5,849 pending sales. That is an increase of 8 percent from a year ago and 14 percent from a month ago. Orlando’s pipeline of pending sales in February had about 400 more houses and condos than it did last February.

Elliott said current market conditions make it particularly conducive to sell for owners who have been contemplating getting into the market. And for buyers, he added, getting professional help structuring offers is especially key leading into the most active sales season of the year.

Will Florida remain the ‘Beach of Quebec? As long as it’s freezing in Canada

Mention the words “Quebec”, and Florida Real Estate in the same sentence and the chances are you envision a mile-long stretch of Hollywood Beach packed with swim-suited bodies. Winter visitors who are more likely to read Le Courrier de Floride or Montreal Gazette than the Miami Herald, eating les crêpes and la poutine instead of hot dogs or empanadas. And diners singing along with Céline Dion instead of Gloria Estefan. Bienvenue! Welcome to Flori-bec!

For more than 50 years, French-speaking Canadians from Quebec have flocked to Hollywood Beach and Hallandale for winter warmth, feeling comfortable there culturally and linguistically. But while these somewhat-cartoonish images carry some truth, many of these visitors have moved elsewhere in South Florida as currencies fluctuate and market trends shift.

As a real estate professional with a 30-year presence in South Florida real estate market combined with my French background, I always found the French-Canadian connection to South Florida intriguing. I would like to share my experiences and observations with the growth and evolution of Miami’s Quebecois “snowbird” homebuyers.

Before winter, they relocate to their Miami and Fort Lauderdale homes and live up to six months here, drawn by Miami’s tropical weather, resort lifestyle and world-class shopping. More than a million Canadians over 55 years old have adopted the “snowbird” lifestyle. At the same time, there are expected to be well over 4 million Canadian tourists — snowbird and non-snowbird alike — this year in Florida, including about 1.2 million Quebecois.

ACCORDING TO THE 2016 PROFILE OF INTERNATIONAL HOME BUYERS OF MIAMI ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS MEMBERS, CANADIANS CONTINUE TO SEARCH FOR MIAMI-AREA REAL ESTATE.

According to the 2016 Profile of International Home Buyers of Miami Association of Realtors Members, Canadians continue to search for Orlando real estate. In fact, Canada had the fifth-most web searches for Florida real estate in November 2016. That ranking came on the heels of its first-place finish in September.

More numbers to show the impact that Canadian consumers have: Canada is the fourth-most represented country among buyers of South Florida real estate from other countries. Buyers from the U.S.’ northern neighbor registered 6 percent of all South Florida international sales last year. And perhaps most important: Among all international buyers, Canadians spend the most cash on South Florida real estate. About 81 percent of Canadian buyers paid all-cash for South Florida real estate in 2016. Argentina (78 percent), Colombia (71 percent), Venezuela (71 percent) and Brazil (65 percent) trailed Canada in cash sales.

Do Canadians, especially French-Canadians, still prefer Broward over other parts of Florida in the winter? That’s debatable. Besides Hallandale, Hollywood Beach and elsewhere in Orlando, many live in North Miami Beach and Miami-Dade. There’s also a significant Canadian presence south of Palm Beach in Boynton Beach, Lake Worth and Delray Beach. Some Canadians have chosen to move in and around Naples, where the beaches are also attractive to buyers.

Also, depending on their budget, some of these snowbirds like to vary their destinations by flying to the Caribbean from South Florida. Norwegian Airlines has competitive direct flights between Fort Lauderdale and Guadeloupe, for instance. Canadians also travel to Mexico and Cuba during the winter.

Over the past year, market observers have noted that there have been fewer francophone Quebecois in the Sunshine State than in previous years — especially in 2010, when the U.S. was pulling out of its recession — and that they are visiting for shorter periods, because the exchange rate has tilted in favor of the States. As of Friday (March 17), a huard, as the Quebecois call a Canadian dollar, was worth 0.7480 U.S.

AMONG ALL INTERNATIONAL BUYERS, CANADIANS SPEND THE MOST CASH ON FLORIDA REAL ESTATE.

Yet it’s unlikely that the long lines of license plates bearing a blue fleur-de-lys and “Je me souviens” — “I remember,” a reference to Quebec’s historical memory — will go away anytime soon.

Daniel Veilleux, president of Desjardins Bank, whose headquarters are in Hallandale Beach, sees the number of bank transactions with visitors as an indication of how many Canadians are in Florida.

“At the bank branch level for the last three months of the year, we see a decrease of about 6 percent compared to the same period last year,” Veilleux said. “On the other hand, statistics showing the level of financing and the demand for the last three years is maintained from year to year.

“I am therefore not too concerned about our performance, despite the increase in exchange rates over the last two years.”

Also, a unique real estate cycle may develop as older Canadian retirees find they can no longer afford to spend six months away from home — and their health insurance — and decide to sell their South Florida . New buying opportunities will open up for a younger generation ofCanadians at south florida beach Canadians looking for a home in the sun.

In addition, the immigration changes and fears may limit visits and investors from other parts of the world, but the relative ease with which Canadians can cross the border will make the Quebecois even more important to all the sectors of the South Florida economy catering to foreign investors and visitors.

AS A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL WITH A 30-YEAR PRESENCE IN FLORIDA REAL ESTATE MARKET COMBINED WITH MY  BACKGROUND, I ALWAYS FOUND THE FRENCH-CANADIAN CONNECTION TO SOUTH FLORIDA INTRIGUING.

Therefore, we can’t afford to ignore the Quebecois. They are a force to be reckoned with. Whatever minimal impact the strong dollar and the realities of a changed immigration situation have, the power of the sun and the sand and warm ocean are far more powerful. That balance will continue unabated in 2017 as it has for over 50 years.