February 2015 Alachua County Community Events

By Michelle Schibuola

So much to do, so little time! If you’re looking to unwind a little, this is the last weekend of the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, so get out and enjoy this beautiful weather. If you’re considering a kitchen remodel, be sure not to miss the Tour of Kitchens where you can get some great ideas for your new kitchen renovation.

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2014 Gainesville-Alachua County Annual Review

By Perry McDonald

I hope this extended analysis provides you with information that will both educate and prepare you to make the best real estate decisions possible in 2015. The data presented in this report were accumulated from the GACAR MLS and FloridaRealtors.org through 12/31/14. Some of these statements are forward-looking and actual results may differ materially.

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The Importance of an Open House

By Michelle Schibuola

Many sellers ask if having an open house is important to selling a home. While it’s not the most vital component, it certainly gives you the opportunity for more visibility. Having your Realtor® host an open house is all about the exposure it’s going to receive. When a potential buyer walks in the front door of your home, it’s already passed some litmus test in terms of location, price and features. The open house is attracting a captive audience with real buyers coming directly to you with one purpose is mind, finding the home that is right for them.

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Is a Mini Bubble in the Making?

By Guest Blogger

By: Henry Rabell
Sr. VP with Bosshardt Realty Services, LLC

It was a remarkable rebound year for most new home builders. A perfect storm of low interest rates, competitive labor costs, fewer short sales and foreclosures combined with the lack of desirable inventory to spawn the new construction, home sales bonanza of 2014. This mini boom was underpinned by subdivision lot prices. It appears that, in many cases, such lots were purchased by savvy builders at a fraction of their original purchased price via foreclosure sales, or by developers simply cutting their losses on their original capital investment. This mix of factors catalyzed the new home sales resurrection. Builders were able to use the money saved from discounted lot prices and apply it toward enhanced home features. In turn, these bells and whistles, along with prices that rivaled older, less efficient used homes, motivated home buyers. Think about it: The benefits of a new home which includes granite counter tops, crown molding, energy savings components, a modern kitchen and space designs, plus new, unblemished carpet versus the costs associated with updating a used home in need of an eventual roof, AC unit replacement or deferred maintenance issues (often left over by the previous home owner)—and the new home became the undisputed, relative bargain.

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Be a part of Gainesville's Largest Open House Event: The Bosshardt Blitz

By Michelle Schibuola

The Bosshardt Blitz is back! For over a decade the Blitz has been the largest, most successful open house event in Gainesville. If you’ve been considering putting your home on the market there is no better time than now. The Blitz provides a great opportunity to have a high volume of active buyer’s tour your home in only two hours!

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5 Residential Real Estate Predictions for 2015

By Michelle Schibuola

It’s a new year and the housing market is definitely looking up. What exactly does that mean for real estate in 2015?

Mortgage Rates Will Increase
Have you thought about refinancing and still haven’t pulled the trigger for one reason or another? Now is the time as interest rates are predicted to increase.
Although rates will remain reasonable, they could rise as much as a point. Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and creep up to 5 percent by the end of 2015 due to an improving economy. “The one-year adjustable rate will likely rise less if much at all, and accordingly, we are likely to see a shift into more adjustable and hybrid mortgages over fixed,” said Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com Chief Economist.

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Drotos Ryals Group: Year in Review 2014

By Michael Ryals

Wow, what a year! Our team certainly had a busy and productive 2014, although this does not hold true throughout all asset classes and market sectors. The local commercial real estate (CRE) market has absolutely turned the corner and is on the upswing in both number of deals as well as pricing, depending on factors such as asset, asset class, and location. A year ago, this report used the words “slowly emerging” when describing the marketplace. Six months ago, the message was “recovery is the theme of the day”. Now our feeling is “hold on for the ride”. The general consumer seems to agree and understands that now is a good time to get back into real estate. Prices have bottomed and started to trend back up (albeit slowly and reasonably). Interest rates are still at all-time lows and sellers remain anxious to get deals done.

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January 2015 Alachua County Community Events

By Michelle Schibuola

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Gainesville has a wide variety of events taking place this month. Be sure not to miss the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra at the Phillips Center or the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire at the end of January.

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My New Year’s Resolution: Reduce My Smartphone Usage

By Michelle Schibuola

The New Year is creeping up and many are thinking about their New Year’s Resolution. Do you make resolutions…and keep them? I’m not one that typically does, nor do I even give it a second thought. However, this year I’m considering one I think many could benefit from. It’s as simple as reducing the amount of time I spend on my iPhone. It seems as though it should be a simple task to achieve but everyday life revolves around that little 3×5 box that is always ringing, chirping and notifying me that I’m needed.

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My Four Guilty Pleasures: Christmas Cookie Recipes

By Michelle Schibuola

Are you still tweaking your holiday cookie list trying to select the best possible cookies to make for Christmas or holiday party? Let me simplify your search. I’m not much of a baker or any type of cook for that matter, but at Christmastime I become Buddy Valastro, the Pillsbury Dough Boy, the Keebler Elves or whoever your favorite baker is. I feel as though it’s my obligation to share four of the greatest, out-of-this-world, cookie recipes for you to enjoy with your family and friends for years to come. So put on your apron and chef’s hat and get baking. You’ll begin to notice a trend with my cookies, can you figure out what it is?

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