Buying and Selling Homes in Parkland Florida in 2019.  Here are our thoughts on home buying and selling in Mira Lago, Heron Bay, Grand Cypress Estates, The Landings, Parkland Golf & Country Club, Cascata, Watercrest and more.

 

 

Oct. 6, 2019

Heron Bay Parkland FL: Interesting Facts You Should Know Before Moving

Did you know that over 900 people move to Florida each day?

What exactly is it that's drawing people to the Sunshine State (other than the sunshine, of course)? Well, there are plenty of amenities and beautiful destinations that Florida residents have access to.

Not everyone wants to live in big cities like Miami though. There's plenty of other options available for those looking for a more relaxed lifestyle!

Heron Bay, Parkland, FL is the perfect place to check out if you want to live in a smaller neighborhood. If you want to learn more about this wonderful community, check out our collection of interesting facts below!

Small Community Living

Heron Bay is a small gated community in Parkland. It has two entrances with 24-hour security, and there are homes for everyone: townhouses, condos, or more luxurious estate properties. The homes in Heron Bay, Parkland, FL start around $320,000.

The median age of homeowners is mid-30's, so it's the perfect place to plant roots if you're a young professional. The schools within the district, such as Heron Heights Elementary and Stoneman Douglas High School, are top tier, so potential parents can rest assured knowing their children will be receiving excellent educations.

Close to All Parkland Destinations

Heron Bay residents are close to all the exciting locations Parkland has to offer. If you're looking for a bite to eat, you can head over to Little Havana Bar & Grill or Angelo Elia Pizza Bar Tapas!

Just to the south of Heron Bay is the Sawgrass Nature Center. If you're interested in nature and native animals, you'll love being just a stone skip away! Heron Bay residents who are art enthusiasts may also enjoy going to the Coral Springs Art Museum, just to the southeast of the community.

Ice hockey fans will be thrilled to find the Florida Panthers IceDen is also just south of Heron Bay!

For shopping, Heron Bay community members won't have to travel very far either! Shopping centers like The Shoppes at Heron Lakes, Brookside Square, and Sawgrass Center are all just a quick drive away!

Golf is King in Heron Bay, Parkland, FL

If you're a golfing aficionado, Heron Bay is the perfect place to start your search for a home. Heron Bay is home to the Heron Bay Golf Club. The course is suitable for both amateur and pro golfers, so you won't have to worry about your skill level to enjoy it.

Players praise the course's beauty and the upkeep. They offer both daily play fees or club memberships, which allow for unlimited play. The course is currently closed for the season, but keep an eye out for its reopening!

If you're hungry after a round, you can always pop by The Grille or Link's Restaurant for something to eat afterward!

Southern Amenities

Heron Bay residents benefit from an assortment of amenities. Homeowners who enjoy the perks of a country club would like living in Heron Bay because they can access the same amenities without having to join an external club.

There's something for just about everyone in Heron Bay. The amenities are split up between the southern and northern sides of the community.

On the southern end of the Heron Bay community is The Commons. The Commons operates as a recreational facility for residents.

Spend an afternoon by their pool or in the jacuzzi. The southern pool is paired with a tiki-style bar.

You can work on those muscles any day of the year in their indoor racquetball and basketball courts! The Commons also has a fitness center, as well as twelve tennis courts. Two tennis professionals are on the grounds every day to help residents out with their swing!

You'll also find a meeting room and a party room with a catering kitchen. If you're big on hosting events or private parties, these are the perfect spots to do it.

Northern Amenities

On the northern side is Plaza del Lago. Plaza del Lago features a heated pool with a kid's spray park, along with a waterfall with a terraced background.

There's also a grill area near the pool, so you can enjoy a nice swim and then relax in some of their poolside chairs with a burger on a sunny summer day. If you're looking for some extra relaxation, check out the saunas. If you want to rest indoors, the library is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Also in Plaza del Lago are banquet ballrooms. There's a catering kitchen available here as well, and the ballrooms can accommodate up to 250 guests!

For those looking to break a sweat, there's an assortment of workout facilities available. Basketball courts, a fitness center, and an aerobics studio are all in Plaza del Lago. The aerobics studio even holds weekly classes, so no need to worry if you're not an expert.

Weather in Heron Bay

Florida weather is often what draws out-of-state residents to communities like Heron Bay.

In Heron Bay, you can expect to get around 248 sunny days a year! That's quite a lot of sunshine. They have an average of 0 inches of snow, so if you're looking to escape harsh winters, then this is the place to be.

The low in January is 57°, so you won't have to break out a jacket too often here either. You will get about 60 inches of rain each year, so you will want to have some rain boots on hand for those wetter days.

Life in Heron Bay

Heron Bay community residents get to experience the best that Florida has to offer. Beautiful landscapes, an abundance of amenities just outside their door, and easy access to other exciting places in the neighboring Parkland communities!

If you are looking for a more laid back lifestyle, finding your next dream home in Heron Bay, Parkland, FL might be the perfect next step for you.

Intrigued? Check out more about moving to the Sunshine State here!

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 4, 2019

Why Now Is the Best Time to Sell a House

The past five years have seen an excess of 5 million homes being listed and sold every single year.

While the market saw some unpredictable swings, the last five years have shown a consistent price growth.

Further, the U.S economy is stronger after a 3% growth. This was fueled by increased spending, significantly supported by higher household wealth, wage growth, and tax cuts.

While it’s still a seller’s market, it’s not at the same point as it has been the past couple of years. Things are slowing down and the prospects aren’t as high as they have been.

Nonetheless, you have the opportunity to make a good sale - if you act now. With that being said, here is why now is the best time to sell a house.

1. Listings are About to Hit an All-Time High

Inventory has placed sellers at an advantage in the past few years.

There were not enough homes in the market to keep up with demand. This meant that each house that got listed drew a crowd of buyers, placing sellers in a perfect position.

There would be one or two listings in an entire neighborhood, and the result would be numerous bids within no time.

A homeowner could list their home at a certain price, and get numerous offers matching their quote or even higher.

This is soon taking a turn; the market is gradually increasing their inventory. Right now, buyers still exceed inventory, but the situation is leveling out.

If you are thinking of selling, waiting until the market equalizes itself out will disadvantage you.

Once it does, your listing will be competing with numerous others. The bids you receive will also be significantly lower.

2. Now Is The Best Time to Sell a House as More People Can Afford It

House prices have been on a steady rise and have almost doubled over the past seven years.

At the start of this year; however, home prices took a significant slash. This is not all bad news. Lower prices, coupled with favorable mortgage rates mean more buyers can afford a house.

While your house might have to compete with others, you are still unlikely to lack a buyer offering a good deal. You might not get an offer above asking price, but you will sell well.

Again, now is when the iron is hot.

3. Homes Under $300,000 Are Highly Sought After

Sellers of homes under the median price range of $291,000 are in luck. The inventory for more luxurious listings is increasing at a higher rate than the average-priced properties.

More buyers are also attracted to the median priced listings.

If you are selling below the $291,000 mark, you will still enjoy the same vibrant seller’s market that has been enjoyed over the last couple of years.

Find out the value of your home before taking the leap.

4. Millennials Are Buying in Droves

The average age for most first time home buyers is 33. According to experts, this is a time when most people have put in a few years into a career, and most have a stable income.

As one approaches retirement, later on, home equity becomes more important to one's financial health.

This is especially true if you need to refinance to enhance retirement savings. America has millions of people turning 30-33 in the next two years who are expected to drive the house buying market.

Aside from new buyers, older millennials will also be back in the market for a trade up as well. This is more good news for sellers.

5. Low Mortgage Rates

The start of 2019 saw a dip in the fixed 30-year mortgage facilities. These are anticipated to remain significantly low for the few coming months, before rising gradually in 2020.

This makes them more affordable to the masses. Affordability means more buyers for each listing.

This works for the seller as well as they look to trade up. If you are looking for the lowest interest rate possible on your next home, sell sooner rather than later.

6. You Have High Equity

This goes for home buyers who acquired their homes during, or slightly after the recession. These homeowners have benefitted from low interest rates and lower home prices.

If you acquired your home during this period, your home equity has significantly risen over this period with each mortgage payment and home renovation.

The higher your home equity, the more you gain from a sale, and the more you get as a down payment for your next home.

The higher your down payment, the easier it will be to pay off the mortgage. Similarly, a higher down payment means you look favorable to lenders, and you get a lower interest rate.

Ultimately, selling now means better terms for your next property.

7. Because It's Best to Buy This Year

Your sale will be accompanied by a new home purchase as well and buying now is advantageous.

For one, the increasing inventory means there are more houses now. You get your pick of location, size, and even price.

If you are going larger, luxurious homes have fewer buyers, meaning you get your pick and have some room for negotiation.

The home equity you have accumulated, coupled with the low mortgage rates, also work in your favor if you are in the market for a new home now.

The Window Will Close Soon

If you have sold a home before, you know the process can get a bit frustrating. Getting low offers, few and far between or attracting no offers can indeed put a limp in your plans.

If expert advice is anything to go by, today is not only the best time to sell a house; it's also the best time to buy your next house.

McKenna Realtors have 40 year’s experience. We know what is right and what is not when it comes to buying and selling. If you are looking for the best Florida real estate agents, look no further.

Click this link to get a market report and talk to us for any help you might need.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 12, 2019

MOVING TO THE SUNSHINE STATE: YOUR GUIDE TO BUYING IN FLORIDA

 

Around 1,000 people a day move to the state of Florida. If you’re one of those people who is considering making a move to the Sunshine State, you might not be sure where to start your journey.

Relocating to Florida and purchasing a house doesn’t have to be a complicated process.

Here’s everything you need to know about buying a house in Florida.

Find the Right Florida Real Estate Agent

Finding the right realtor for your specific needs is incredibly important.

A good realtor will be able to help and guide you through every step of the home buying process from the initial search to closing the deal. They should be able to answer any of your concerns and questions and provide helpful tips on how to proceed.

This will take this possibly tricky and confusing process and make it smooth and understandable.

It’s best to find an agent who specializes and who is an expert in your local real estate market like this helpful realtor. This way, they’ll better understand and have knowledge of the local market and be able to find you the perfect home for you and our family.

Florida is a large state with many different areas and communities, so this finding a local real estate agent is crucial to find precisely what you’re looking for.

Financing Your Mortgage

Before you start working with your agent to find potential homes in Florida for you, consider getting a mortgage pre-approval if you aren’t paying in full with cash.

Having a pre-approval for your mortgage will increase your chances of actually being a valid contender for the home you want. Without approval, the seller will have no way of knowing if you can afford the house and go through with the sale.

An approval happens when your lender goes through and analyzes your financial situation thoroughly. This means they’ll look at your debt-to-income ratio and will check your credit score.

You also have the chance to get a pre-qualification. A pre-qualification is different than a pre-approval because the pre-qualification is an estimation of the amount of house you can afford based off of your family’s income and other possible financial commitments.

This will help you get a better idea of which areas and communities in Florida will work best for you.

Consider a Deed Protected Community

Florida is a state that has many deed protected communities. These communities are run by an active homeowner’s association that creates rules and regulations for the properties within.

This might be the perfect fit for you and your family. You’ll find that these communities usually have amenities like dog parks, community centers, pools, and planned community activities.

Some communities even offer security like gates, call boxes, or security guards.

Most homeowner’s associations will require a monthly fee. This will most likely go to help fund things like maintenance for all community areas.

Deciding if this type of living is for you will help you narrow down your home search.

Your Home Search

Your real estate agent will have access to all the MLS listings in your area. MLS stands for the Multiple Listings Service.

The MLS will have all active listings for the area you’re looking to move to.

Sit down with your real estate agent and compile a list of criteria with the specific wants and needs for your new home. This can be things like having a large backyard, a pool, proximity to the beach, or being in the school district that you want.

Make sure to note any lifestyle preferences that could affect the type of house your real estate agent might show you. This way, you aren’t wasting time viewing homes that don’t work for you and your family.

Another aspect of your search when moving houses will be your budget. You’ll find that maybe the dream neighborhood that you want to live in might not exactly fit within your budget.

This is when it’s best to listen to your realtor’s expertise of your area. They’ll be able to help you find an alternative location for you to look in.

Your agent will be able to set up showings by coordinating with the listing agent. You can also opt to go to public open houses of houses you would like to see.

If there isn’t any way that you can make it physically to the state of Florida to make showings, don’t worry. Here’s when having a knowledgeable and trustworthy real estate agent is extremely helpful.

Talk to your agent about going through the homes themselves and reporting back to you with all the relevant information and specs on the house. You can work with them to decide which house works best for you that way.

Your realtor will also be able to help you negotiating an offer, writing up the contracts, and closing on the home.

Think About Insurance When Buying a House in Florida

Florida is a state where there’s a chance you might experience different natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding while living here.

You’ll need to take into account these things when going to purchase a home in Florida. The house should be strong enough to endure the hurricane force winds that come with the storm.

The age of the home will often determine how up-to-code the build was.

You can also prepare in advance of any storms by investing in quality insurance monthly. Make sure to factor in the amount of money you’ll need every month for your mortgage and decide how much you can afford for disaster insurance.

One tip is to get in contact with a local insurance provider in your area. They’ll be able to help you get a better understanding of what each of your perspective homes will need as far as insurance coverage goes.

You can then compare the homes and make the best decision for you.

A Unique Market

As you can see, there are a few unique aspects when it comes to buying a house in Florida. You now know that finding the right local realtor with a good level of knowledge and expertise from the beginning of your search will help you navigate any of your concerns as they arise.

Posted in Market Updates
July 10, 2019

7 Reasons Why Houses For Sale In Parkland Florida Are In Demand

Thinking about making a move in the near future? If you aren't already a Florida resident, then you don't know what you're missing out on. Living in Florida is like taking a permanent vacation.

But living in Parkland, Florida is even better. Parkland, Florida is located in Broward county in Southeast Florida. It sits right at the top of the breathtaking Florida Everglades! 

With it being such a beautiful area, houses for sale in Parkland Florida are in demand. Everyone is making their way to the Parkland real estate market, but why? There's more to this area than its scenery. 

Continue reading below for 7 reasons why houses for sale in Parkland, Florida are in such high demand!

1. Crime Is 69% Lower Than the U.S. Average

When making a move, whether you're relocating your family or just yourself, you want to find a place where everyone is safe. The last thing you want to do is pack up all of your stuff and move somewhere where there's a high crime rate. This is why it's essential to do your homework about the neighborhood before making your move. 

Not only is the crime rate here much lower than the U.S. average, but it's also 71% lower than the Florida average. This means that your chances of being a victim here are 1 in 117! It's a pretty low risk compared to other U.S. cities. 

If you're looking for a safe and welcoming neighborhood, then Parkland has your name written all over it!

2. Household Income Is 132% Higher Than the U.S. Average

If you're relocating for a job, then you yourself won't have to worry about finding a stable income once arriving at your new home. However, if you're moving with anyone else, including children, you'll need to think about them as well. And if you're not moving for a job, then you need to be sure that you have something lined up before moving. 

The unemployment rate in Parkland is only 2.6%, which is lower than the U.S. average. The household income is 132% higher than the U.S. average and 162% higher than the rest of Florida. With that being said, is there really a question of why more people are wanting to move here? 

Given all of this information, you can most likely tell that the poverty rate is low here. If you were thinking about it, you wouldn't be wrong. The poverty rate here is 3%, which is 77% lower than the U.S. average!

3. HS Graduation Rate Is 15% Higher Than the U.S. Average 

For those that have children or are planning on having children, this is a statistic to take into serious consideration. The high school graduation rate here is 15% higher than the U.S. average. And the school test scores here are 56% higher than the U.S. average. 

These numbers might play into why the unemployment rate is so low. Successful students equal successful employees and eventually employers! With so many students graduating, it also helps lower the amount of crime in the area. 

Think about it, if more kids are in school completing their education, then they're less likely to be out on the streets committing crimes. This is why Parkland is a wonderful place to move your family to. 

4. Rated #4 Best Suburb to Raise a Family 

Speaking of families, Parkland, Florida was rated #4 best suburb to raise a family within the Miami area. Now, what information or factors are brought together to earn Parkland the #4 spot? There are a lot of things that are taken into consideration including reviews from locals, school and neighborhood data, diversity, grades, and more. 

In this neighborhood, you'll find plenty of local coffee shops and nearby parks. The schools here are above average and most people own their homes. 

5. The Weather and Climate Are Amazing 

If you're moving to Parkland from another city in Florida, then you won't have to be as persuaded in regards to the weather. However, if you're not a current Florida resident, then you might be more interested in learning about the expected weather here.

As briefly mentioned before, moving to Florida is like planning a permanent vacation. The weather here is always gorgeous. Even during the winter months, you won't get much colder than around 40°. This is a blessing for those who live up north and are looking to make a move towards somewhere more tropical.

You'll never have to worry about getting snowed in, cleaning snow off your car and driveway, or suffering hail damage to your vehicles. 

6. Home Appreciation Is up 7.3% 

Now is the perfect time to buy in Parkland, Florida, because home appreciation is up 7.3%. With the home appreciation up this year, we only expect it to rise throughout the following years. Even if you aren't looking to buy a house to flip and sell, you still want to purchase a home that's going to be a good investment for you in the end. 

This is a main factor in why houses for sale here are in such high demand. Buyers know that purchasing a house here is a good investment. 

7. Friendly Environment with a Diverse Culture 

When all is said and done, you want a home located in a friendly environment. Parkland, Florida offers you just that. The energy in this city is like nothing else. 

You'll experience a relaxed atmosphere with residents who have had quite a bit of experience learning how to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle. The culture in Parkland is a diverse one, which is great for raising your children. If you speak another language other than English, you'll most likely find someone who speaks your language as well here in Parkland. 

Check Out These Houses for Sale in Parkland Florida!

After reading all of these wonderful reasons why houses for sale in Parkland Florida are in such high demand, we hope you're now ready to make your move! Choosing to move to Parkland means you'll experience a lower crime rate, a higher household income and graduation rate, and an amazing place to raise a family.

Click here to begin your search for your new home in Parkland, Florida!

Posted in Market Updates
June 6, 2019

Preparing for the Expenses of Selling a Home

You may think that only buyers incur costs in acquiring a new house, but sellers also have costs to meet. On average, it’ll cost you approximately 10% of the home price while selling your house. While some of the expenses are optional, some others you'll not be able to do without.

Here’s a list of some of the costs you’ll incur as the house seller. 

1. Real Estate Agent Commission

It’s almost impossible to sell your house without going through a realtor. These are the people who understand the real estate industry dynamics. They know when it’s the right time for selling your house, and how much you’re likely to fetch in each season. 

Real estate agents charge a commission ranging from 5 to 6% of the selling price. You only pay the amount once the deal is closed. The agent’s commission is probably the most significant cost you'll incur when selling your house.  

The charges are negotiable, and with most agents, you might be lucky enough to pay less than the 5%. Others charge a flat rate for their services, and it'd help if you could shop around and compare different prices.

If you want to avoid these costs, you can offer your home for sale as for-sale-by-owner (FSBO). With this option, you’ll assume all the agents of a real estate agent. Be prepared to show the place to potential buyers and negotiate prices. You’ll also hire a lawyer for the contract and take care of the title transfer. 

2. Taxes and Neighborhood Fees

When selling your house, you’ll owe a prorated share of property taxes. The amount could be close to nil if you just recently paid your taxes. It could also add up to a significant amount if the due date is approaching. 

Depending on your state, you may be charged a local transfer tax, which caters for the title transfer. This amount is usually between 0.01% and 2% of the selling price. Besides, there are also capital gains taxes if you make a profit of more than $250,000 in selling your house. 

Prepare to pay prorated membership fees if you belong to a homeowners association. 

3. Home Repair Costs

When selling your house you'll likely need to do a few repairs and renovation. Enhancing the curb appeal of the house may attract a higher value. Some repair costs include 

  • Repainting both the interior and exterior
  • Fixing any broken windows or doors 
  • Replacement of stained carpeting
  • Repairing damaged floors
  • Fixing light fixtures

Other costs that don't have anything to do with repair are water and HVAC costs. If you move out of your house before you can sell it, you'll need to keep paying the utility bills. A home without conditioning, lighting, or water can be tough to sell.

Your current bills will give you an idea of how much you’ll incur each month until you sell the house. 

5. Staging Costs

After listing your house for sale, it may take a long while before you can get it off the market. One way to increase the chances of selling it faster is to stage it. Staging is the process of improving the house’s appeal by arranging furniture in a way that attracts the interest of a buyer. 

By staging, a buyer gets an idea of how they can arrange their one furniture. It makes the house feel homely and welcoming. It's always a good idea to hire a professional stager to help with de-cluttering, organizing, and decorating the home.

A professional stager will cost you a few thousand dollars for their services. You can reduce the cost by having a plan done for you and doing the actual work by yourself. You may also provide your own furniture if it’s still in good condition. 

6. Landscaping Costs

In addition to staging your house, you also need to do some touches on the exterior. Lawn care and landscaping are equally essential. Having a freshly trimmed live fence and mowed yard improves the curb appeal. 

A potential buyer will start making their purchasing decision as soon as they step into your compound. Ensure you’re giving them an excellent first impression. To save on money, you can do the landscaping by yourself. 

7. Mortgage Payoff

If your house is still under mortgage, there are other costs you'll have to meet. Assuming you're unable to clear the pending mortgage amount from your pocket part of the house proceeds will go into this. You'll receive what's left all fees and costs have been deducted.

Factor in the prepayment penalty. This is charged for paying off the mortgage before schedule. The penalty is usually 2 to 4% of the original mortgage amount. 

8. Buyer’s Home Warranty

home warranty is different from homeowners insurance. The latter covers structural aspects of the home like damages caused by fire or natural disasters. Home warranties, on the other hand, cover repair and replacement costs for appliances, plumbing, and heat systems. 

You’ll need to buy a warranty for the buyer so that they know they’re not meeting any repair costs. Alternatively, you could offer to pay for a year of warranty coverage after closing the deal. This will cost you between $300 and $600. 

It’s not a requirement but acts as a perk to your buyers.

9. Moving Costs

After a successful deal in selling your house, it's time to move if you haven't done so already. You can hire a moving company to help with packing and transportation. For this, you'll need a budget.

Selling Your House Costs Money

If you’re considering selling your house, there are costs you need to factor in. You might not have thought about them upfront, but it’s good that you plan around them. They’ll significantly affect how much money you end up with after the sale. 

The most significant cost you’ll incur is the commission payable to the real estate agent. They charge between 5 and 6 % of the selling price. Others charge a flat rate that’s within the market rate. 

Other costs are staging costs, house renovation, utility bills, mortgage, and buyer’s warranty. Once you’re done selling your house, you have to move, and this will also cost you. All these figures could amount to a lot of money, and it's, therefore, essential to plan adequately.

Are you looking to sell your house? Contact us today to find out how our team can help you.

Posted in Market Updates
May 23, 2019

Sell Fast! 8 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

No one wants their home to languish on the market for months without any interest from buyers. You want to sell your home fast! It’s all about curb appeal.

Curb appeal refers to the way a home looks from the street—the place most buyers first see your home.

Whether your home only needs a little help or some major improvements, here are 8 things you can do to enhance the curb appeal of your home. Your efforts may even boost the value of your home.

Don’t Let the Grass Grow

One of the first things prospective buyers notice is the front lawn. Long grass is a big turn off because it not only makes the outside of a home look unkempt, it makes the buyer wonder if the inside receives the same level of care.

Mow your grass regularly and cut it to the length suggested for your variety of turfgrass. Keep your grass watered so that you prevent brown spots.

Lawn care is a major component of drawing attention to your home. If you don’t have time for it or live in an area where it’s difficult to grow grass, consider alternatives to a lush green lawn. Rocks, extended plant beds, or artificial turf make good options.

Rake and Pull

During the warmer months, don’t let weeds take over your lawn. They not only look ugly, but weeds can also choke out the grass you’ve worked so hard to grow.

We know pulling weeds is tedious. If you don’t have time to pull every single weed, at least keep the driveway and walkway edges clear of unruly weeds. Keeping these areas weeded, overall, helps the yard look crisp and clean.

Even if you aren’t concerned about a perfectly manicured lawn, when you’re selling your home, tidiness is a selling point.

Beyond pulling weeds, you’ll want to keep the lawn free of leaves and debris from your trees. Raking leaves when they drop in the fall also sets your yard up for health in the spring. Since spring is a popular time to list a home for sale, you’ll have done your part to inspire a lush healthy yard when the high selling season arrives.

Enhance Your Flower Beds

When you plant seasonal flowers, they take time and lots of TLC before they fill in flower beds.

You can help your flowerbed look full and lush by installing container gardens. Fill flowerpots with brightly colored flowers like petunias, begonias, and impatiens. Place the containers in the bare areas and wake up lackluster flower beds.

Vary the containers by size and style. Plant wildflowers and ornamental grasses to add charm and contrast.

For an explosion of color, bougainvillea looks stunning against a fence, growing over an arbor, or against the side of your home. Bougainvillea blooms almost year-round.

Research perennials that thrive in Florida. A ready-made garden is often an excellent selling point, especially if the buyer knows they’ll enjoy blooms year-round.

The Front Door

Revive the front of your home and create curb appeal by painting the front door.

The paint won’t break your budget and it’s a great DYI project. Go bold or bright but be sure you hold paint swatches up against the door before you buy the paint. This ensures the color you’ve chosen enhances the other colors of your home.

If you’re not ready to paint the front door, why not install eye-catching hardware? New handles, doorknobs, and hinges all add a punch to your front door. Look for a unique and interesting door knocker to add an extra touch of character.

Driveway TLC

The driveway is a prominent feature buyers notice when they approach your home. If you have a blacktop driveway, make it look new by sealing it. Pressure wash a concrete drive to get rid of oil stains.

Consider installing pavers for an immediate curb appeal boost. You can find pavers in a wide range of colors and designs. Paver driveways are relatively low maintenance and can last 30-40 years.

If you’re planning on a complete driveway overhaul, think about stamping. Stamping involves imprinting fresh concrete with patterns that look like brick, flagstone, or slate.

If you’re working with a tighter budget, a textured finish adds an extra flair to plain concrete. Both the broom finish and exposed aggregate dress up a concrete driveway.

Clean Your Gutters

Nothing ruins curb appeal like leaves and debris sticking out of the gutters. Clean your gutters inside and out. Afterward, check for rust spots or other issues that make your home look neglected.

If it’s in your budget, replace your old gutter systems with snap-fit vinyl gutters. These gutters don’t require painting and are easy to clean.

If you want to create a high-quality look to your gutter system, consider installing copper systems. They do cost more but they provide a high-end look to the exterior of your home.

Freshen Up the Exterior

If you plan well enough in advance, you can give your home a fresh coat of exterior paint. Peeling paint and faded colors age a home.

For homes with vinyl siding, pressure washing dirt and grime is an instant facelift. If you have a stucco exterior, remove mold and other stains. You can also paint stucco but make sure you deal with any cracks before applying paint.

A fresh coat of paint is the makeover any buyer will notice and a clean exterior is an excellent selling point.

The Appeal of Windows

The well-kept lawn and the fresh paint job all entice prospective home buyers. Windows also add to your home’s allure.

Sparkling clean windows look great both on the outside and inside. Well-maintained windows also help your home’s exterior look good. If you have glass that’s pitted due to weathering, replace it.

Check for peeling paint on window frames and sand if necessary. Look for splattered paint on the glass from the last time you painted the trim. Sand sills, if needed and give them a fresh, smooth coat of paint.

What do Buyers Think of Your Curb Appeal?

Improving just a few things on the outside of your home can be one big factor in bringing the right buyer. Step into your buyer’s shoes for a minute and walk to the end of your driveway. Look at your home through the buyer’s eyes.

Not impressed with the appearance of your home? Try a few of our tips to improve curb appeal. Our team can also help you determine which things should take priority.

If you’re ready to get your home on the market, we’re here to help you start the listing process. Contact us today.

 

Posted in Market Updates
March 6, 2019

Florida Bound: 7 Important Things to Know Before Moving to Florida

moving to florida

Are you thinking of moving to Florida? In addition to copious amounts of sunshine, oranges, and happiness, you'll also enjoy low taxes and a low cost of living. 

There's a reason that cities in Florida rank as the #1 family vacation destination the #2 best nightlife scene in America. 

If you're considering becoming one of the 21.6 million Floridians living down south, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we're breaking down the seven must-know things you should be aware of before making the move. 

Whether you're moving there to spend your golden years in the golden sunshine or eager to soak up the culture in Little Havana, you'll want to keep reading. 

Grab your sunglasses and a glass of orange juice; we're getting started.

7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Florida

Before you pack your bags and head down to the sunshine state, let's go over some basic things you need to know. 

1. There's A Lot to Do Here 

If you're a golfer, you'll be happy to hear that Florida has the most golf courses than any other state--over 1,250 courses! It's time to grab your clubs and practice your swing. 

Do you like to gamble? If so, Florida just became your new heaven. There are many different gambling options that are legal here. Good luck!

You didn't think we were going to forget to mention Disney World, did you? Florida is, of course, the home to the Disney Empire, which stretches over 47 square miles of land. 

If you've got kids, grandkids, or are a big kid yourself, you'll want to take advantage of living in the same state as Disney World. Plus, it makes a good bribe to get people to visit you.   

2. It's Not All Beaches

Each town in Florida is very different, offering everything from culture, food, activities, and environment. The vibe in Miami is certainly a lot different than that of The Villages.

There's a lot of variety to Florida. From canals, swamps, and lush forest, there's more than just beaches. Take a trip through St. Augustine, America's oldest city or spend time watching the Daytona 500.

But if you did come here for beaches, we've got plenty of those too. 

3. Beware of Tourists

The curse of living in such an incredible state with dreamy weather and picture-perfect beaches is that people are going to want to share it with you.

After all, you're making the move for likely the same reasons they want to visit. You can't blame them. 

Thankfully you won't find yourself fighting off tourists in every city in Florida. You'll find them in the likely areas: Orlando, Miami, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona. 

Spring breakers flock to Florida in February, March, and April so you'll want to prepare for that if you're in popular locations like Panama City Beach or South Beach. 

4. And Politicians

You should know that Florida is a swing state so your vote carries a lot of weight. Expect a lot of political ads, billboards, and campaigns everywhere you look when it's election time. 

With 4.4 million Republicans and 4.6 million Democrats, it's a close call. But what makes this state a swing state is the 3 million registered independents, which politicians fight for.  

5. Look Out For Nature

Hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, sinkholes, alligators...Florida's got them all. 

If you're making a permanent move to Florida, you'll want to brush up on your hurricane and tornado preparedness skills. Always keep emergency supplies readily available and keep in mind the best places to take shelter, should an emergency occur. 

Once in a while on the news, you'll hear a story about how a family found an alligator in their pool. It's not uncommon when you share the state with over one million of these scaley guys. 

Alligators will often ignore humans unless they become frightened. If you're bitten make a lot of noise and poke the eyes.

Sinkholes are making the news more and more these days in Florida but if you're not from the area, you've likely never heard of such a thing. 

A sinkhole occurs when water erodes bedrock causing the surface of the earth to collapse in on itself, leaving a gaping hole. This is most common in places with large amounts of limestone, like Florida. 

6. The Taxes are Low and Cost of Living is Cheap

Florida has the 2nd lowest taxes per capita, after Alaska. The Governor, Rick Scott, boasts that they've cut taxes 55 times!

This doesn't necessarily mean your taxes will be low (it's a result of many factors) but it's likely. 

The cost of living in Florida is also generally lower than most states, especially if you stick to cities like Kissimmee, Palm Coast, and Cape Coral. 

7. Not Everyone Is Old...But A Lot of People Are

You've no doubt heard that Florida is the home for old people, after all, senior citizens do make up one-third of the population. Maybe you're a seasoned American yourself and looking to make the great migration. 

The critical thing to know is, it's all about where you settle. Making Panama City Beach your home will be a very different experience to Ocala, for example.

Research and find your ideal environment first, then set up camp. We recommend you visit the area in every season before you move anywhere.

Still not convinced you want to move to Florida? Here are eight more reasons

Looking to Make the Move? We Can Help

If you're moving to Florida and looking for the perfect place, let us help.

At McKenna Realtors, we've spent the last 30 years eagerly helping people like you find their dream home in southern Florida.

Take a look at our gorgeous homes and let's make you an official Floridian. 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 12, 2019

Finding That Dream Home: 8 Reasons You Should Move to Florida

Are you contemplating packing up and moving? You aren't the only one. The average American moves more than 11 times during the course of their life.

People move for all sorts of reasons--new job opportunities, better cost of living, or simply for a change of scenery. 

Are you thinking about making a move to Florida? Check out these 8 reasons why it is a good idea.

1. There's a Wildlife Scene

Alligators and the Everglades get a lot of attention in Florida. In fact, anyone with only a casual knowledge of Florida may not be able to tell you what other wildlife is plentiful in the area.

But there's far more to the wildlife scene in Florida than just alligators. 

The state is home to very diverse ecosystems full of life. Keep your eyes peeled for Florida panthers, black bears, manatees, skunks, many species of bats, otters, dolphins and much more.

2. The Beaches

Beaches are abundant in Florida. It almost doesn't matter where you live, you'll have easy access to at least one, if not several, beaches. In addition to all that ocean wrapping around the state, there are 4,308 square miles of rivers and lakes to explore in the interior.

Enjoy spending some time in the sun on your day off. You can simply relax and work on your tan, or have fun joining in on the numerous water activities that are available. 

3. The Jungles and Swamps

Just like there's more to the wildlife than alligators, there's more to Florida's nature scene than just the beach. When you (eventually) get tired of lounging on the beach and gallivanting in the waves, be sure to check out the interior. 

Of course, the most famous place to start is in the Everglades. Take a tour through the park for your chance to see alligators, pythons, iguanas, and many more animals.

The park itself is a testament to the diversity of nature in Florida. Inside you'll find not only see the famous estuaries but also prairies and forests. If you move close to the park it warrants more than one visit!

4. Theme Parks Galore

Of course, you're probably well aware that Disney World is in Florida. Even if you don't move close to the famous park, take a weekend trip to go and enjoy the magic. 

But Disney World isn't the only fabulous theme park in Florida. Orlando also boasts fun places like Legoland, Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, and Wet N Wild. If you end up moving closer to Tampa, be sure to check out Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. 

These are only a drop in the bucket. There is a myriad of other theme parks scattered throughout the state. You'll never have an excuse to say that you don't have anything to do on a given weekend! 

5. The History

If you're looking for a calmer sort of adventure, take some time to tour some historical sites. The state boasts the oldest city in America, St. Augustine. The Spanish first established the settlement back in 1565. 

Entrepreneurs in St. Augustine have capitalized on the cities long and rich history. You'll find entertaining ghost tours on every corner in this historic spot. Needless to say, it is well worth your time to take a trip to St. Augustine.

Due to its geographical position, Florida has a long and colorful history of the highly romanticized pirate's life. Though being an actual pirate wasn't a comfortable life, joining in on the pirate festivals sure is a great way to have fun. So, dust off your eye patch, find a pet parrot, practice your "arrgh!" and head out to look for hidden treasure. 

6. Sports

Are you a sports lover? Florida offers plenty of excitement in that department as well. 

Spring is the time for baseball in Florida. You can check out the Grapefruit League baseball teams as they train. The best part is, the games are relatively affordable so you can enjoy quality sports without paying top dollar.

Baseball isn't your thing? That's okay, there's also plenty of football action in Florida. Choose your favorite team from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Miami Dolphins.

If fast cars are more your speed, Florida has something for you too. The famous Daytona 500 is a state staple and something you should check out regardless of if you are a car racing fan or not. You might just become one after moving to Florida.

7. Diversity

Florida's position has made it a uniquely diverse section of the country. Is it your dream to learn Spanish? Living in Florida will give you lots of opportunities to practice. In some parts of South Florida billboards and store signs are written in Spanish and the cashiers will even speak to you in Spanish.

Latin American cultures aren't the only ones you'll find in Florida. Other Caribbean cultures like Jamaica and Haiti are a strong presence in Florida. Plus, people move to Florida from all over the United States, bringing with them their own cultures and diverse ideas.  

8. Delicious Eats

With all these different cultures mixing together, you can bet the food in Florida is pretty amazing. Enjoy a Cuban sandwich for lunch and have a spicy Jamaican dish for dinner. Or go for a "Floribbean" dish, the resulting mix of flavors coming together from a variety of cultures.

We can't mention food in Florida with mentioning the seafood. Fresh seafood abounds in the state and they certainly know how to make it delicious. Go on an adventure one day and search out a seafood place in a little beach town to discover the amazingness that is true Floridian seafood.

Ready to Move to Florida?

Has this list piqued your interest? Maybe it has sealed the deal and you've decided that it's time to move to Florida.

You're going to need a place to live once you get there so check out these amazing options!

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates