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June 11th, 2019 10:02 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

Summer is here, school is out and many are now heading for their planned vacations in other areas of the state or country.  But with the popular and widespread use of social media, it is really important to have a fun, but safe summer vacation.

Everyone loves to update their friends and family on social media, advertising ahead of time that they are leaving town and then they “check in” at their favorite vacation spot once they get there.  But truly it is much safer to post all those fun photos after you get back home.  And here is why:

Residential burglaries are at their peak during vacation months, as criminals look for such indications from social media that the homeowners will be out of town.  Sometimes even the teen children or their friends will post where you are, or are going, and that is enough for burglars to take advantage of the situation. 

When you get to your destination, research and note which public safety agencies (police, fire, and EMS) you might need in an emergency.  Be aware of your surroundings at all times and don’t carry large amounts of cash.

Criminals live everywhere, and are always on the lookout for non-suspecting strangers who are in town for a visit.  If your trip includes a day at an amusement park or the wilderness, take pictures of your family members with what they are wearing, and have a safety plan in place of where to meet in case you get separated.

Most of all, have a great time this summer on vacation and go home with nothing but happy memories! 

Written by Barbara Doeringer

Note:   Parts of this blog were taken from a newspaper article written by Polk County Sheriff, Grady Judd

 


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June 4th, 2019 10:59 AM

ADVENTHEALTH – HEART OF FLORIDA

 

Barbara’s Blog:

AdventHealth, one of the premier faith-based health systems in the United States, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase 193-bed Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Davenport from affiliates of Community Health Systems. This agreement also includes the hospitals’ related businesses, physician clinic operations and outpatient services. 

The President of AdventHealth is looking forward to offering the whole-person and top quality care they are noted for to Polk County residents.  AdventHealth is well-respected for their work to sustain and enhance medical services and this will be a great benefit to both patients and the community.

The transaction is expected to be complete in late third quarter of this year.  In the meantime, AdventHealth and affiliates of Community Health Systems, Inc. are committed to working together through the due diligence and transition process.

It should also be mentioned that in the past, Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center was noted to have a terrible reputation and was rated a “D” in comparison to other medical facilities and hospitals in the Central Florida region.  However, even before this transition takes place, they have now been rated an “A” and are much improved in their patient services and operations. 

I was personally well cared for less than a year ago for a total hip replacement and could not fault any of the personnel, who gave me constant attention and support. I was very pleased with my accommodations and treatment, and would not  hesitate to return.  It is wonderful that our community has a quality medical facility just one mile away!

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 

 

 


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May 28th, 2019 11:24 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

There is still so much happening in the Four Corners area, it is getting harder to keep up with it all.  Here are just some of the latest developments:

Spectrum + at Reunion Resort will be a contemporary resort living community of 296 luxury vacation residences with one or two-story floor plans and 3 to 5 bedrooms beginning from the $370’s.  The resort will offer 54 holes of championship golf, a private clubhouse with fitness center, quick market, playground and swimming pool, in addition to a 5-acre water park.  All Reunion residents have access to any of the public resort areas or restaurants already operating on property. 

Margaritaville Resort on Hwy. 192 continues to grow with their new villa residences and many new shops and restaurants already open for business.  Now, on June 5th, the massive new water park, H20 Live opens to not only resort guests, but also the public, offering single day tickets as well as annual passes. 

Another pizza place will be open in the near future near the intersection of Ronald Reagan Pkwy and Hwy. 27.  Little Caesars Pizza will be one of the latest additions to the Four Corners area.  It is scheduled to open early summer.

Posner Village is fast underway for a soft opening of several stores by late August or early September.  Signs are already up for Home Goods, Marshalls, Burlington, Under Five, and Starbucks.  Others are also on the “list” to take spaces in the newly built structures adjacent to Ernie Caldwell Blvd.  The parking lot is even looking good with new trees, landscaping, and beautiful entrance roads. 

Finally, Disney World is working diligently to unwrap their new Skyliner Gondolas.  Currently they are testing the 55 themed gondolas that are ready to go, which will feature graphics and characters from classic Disney films and/or attractions.  The Disney Skyliner will connect Disney’s new Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios and it is scheduled to be in full operation by this fall.

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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May 21st, 2019 8:15 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

This will not be a very interesting blog for men, but I am personally tired of so many obsessive “fad diets” and the struggle to keep off weight as we get older, I felt compelled to write this:

In the beginning, eating was meant to be one of life’s simple pleasures.  But then Eve took a bite out of an apple (so much for low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber theory) and women have been at war with food ever since.

However, food is not our enemy.  If we’re alive, we’re supposed to love to eat.  Food is the source of vital fuel our bodies convert to energy in order to survive.  Not wanting to eat – as in anorexia or illness – is a signal that something is seriously wrong.  We shouldn’t fight our hunger, but respect it and respond to it with nutritious food that appeals to all our senses.  In truth, women are afraid that if we throw out all the diets and eat when we’re hungry, we’ll never stop and end up in the “Guiness Book of World Records!”

Actually, the more we starve ourselves, the more weight we eventually gain, and then we end up hating ourselves.  So, the only way to stop this cycle of self-loathing is to stop dieting and use our common sense. Healthy choices are very important but eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, sleep when tired, and get in harmony with your body through regular exercise.  Every woman has a weight that’s ideal for her as opposed to an ideal weight.  This is the weight at which you feel the most comfortable, have the most energy, can stay healthy and feel good about how you look. 

Forget size and abandon the scale.  Instead of weighing yourself, let your favorite clothes tell you how you are doing.  Achieve your perfect weight through the power of love.  Self-love is the only weight-loss aid you will ever truly need, because it’s the only one that works for good!

So, yes, eat that chocolate cake . . . . just balance it with some fresh fruit and veggies, and choose wisely to accommodate what your body needs.  You will be much happier this way.  I know I am!

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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May 14th, 2019 11:15 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

Under the Foreign Investment and Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA), a buyer who purchases U.S. real estate from foreign sellers is required to withhold and pay to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a percentage of the gross sales price at closing. This amount (now 15% of the sales price) is not the tax itself.  It is a deposit to be applied against the sellers’ actual tax bill when they file a federal income tax return.  Once the sellers file their return, they typically receive a refund if the deposit is more than the tax liability owed to the IRS. 

Sellers who want to avoid having their funds withheld at closing may want to consider having the buyers sign an exemption affidavit.  A sale is exempt from FIRPTA withholding if the sales price is under $300,000 and the property will be used by the buyers as a personal residence for at least 50% of the time for each of the two 12-month periods immediately following the closing.  Days during which the property is vacant are not counted in determining whether the property is used primarily as a residence.  Also, the property does not have to be the buyer’s principal residence; a vacation home is a permitted use.

It is highly recommended that all foreign sellers retain experienced CPA firms, or foreign seller tax advisors who understand the unique rules and processes for claiming withheld funds and obtaining the appropriate tax refunds from the IRS.

Sophisticated international sellers who worked with an attorney to put their U.S. properties into entities (such as LLCs, corporations and trusts) when closing the  purchase of properties were able to avoid withholding entirely. 

Also, non-foreign sellers and sellers who are international but have permanent resident status in the United States are exempt from FIRPTA withholding. 

There can be a lot of confusion with a sale from a foreign owner, so it is best to always have a professional tax advisor involved to have all the questions answered. 

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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May 7th, 2019 10:14 AM

CHANGING GLOBAL TRENDS

Barbara’s Blog:

While Florida remains a favored destination for international buyers, there are many currency fluctuations and political situations happening around the world this year, and these global and regional trends will affect foreign buyers’ investment decisions.  The cultures and laws in individual countries will determine whether buyers want to invest in any foreign regions.

Here are just some of the international challenges:

  • A strong U.S. dollar is making Florida properties more expensive for many foreign buyers.
  • Brexit and turmoil in the European Union are impacting prospects from the UK, Scandinavia, France, Germany and other European countries.
  • Tighter U.S. immigration policy requirements may dampen the enthusiasm of some second-home buyers.
  • The Chinese government has imposed more restrictions on moving currency out of the country.

But despite these issues, Florida continues to offer one of the world’s most appealing lifestyles, highly competitive home prices, favorable tax benefits and the security that U.S. real estate assets offer for financial portfolios.  As with any going trends, “this, too, shall pass” and we will once again see an influx of European and Canadian buyers, as well as investors from other areas. 

Several economic real estate predictions for 2020 are that home prices will begin to decline, as more new construction inventory hits the market and the housing supply will once again be larger than the demand.  Everything goes in cycles, and next year just might be a buyer’s market again. 

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 

 

 

 

 


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April 30th, 2019 11:15 AM
Barbara's Blog:

If you are thinking of upgrading your home before you sell, here are some of the features that a percentage of buyers want most, according to the Florida Realtor Magazine:

92% want a laundry room
86% want ceiling fans in most or all rooms
81% want garage storage with shelving units
80% want an eat-in kitchen space
80% want a large or walk-in pantry
90% want Energy Star appliances and windows
83% want a full bath on a main level
82% want hardwood flooring
90% want exterior lighting
86% want an outdoor patio or screened lanai area

While some of these "wants" cannot be changed in an existing home, many others can be.  Keeping up with some of the latest "upgrades" will make your home more competitive with any other resale or new construction homes.  The money you put into your home will usually not be returned dollar for dollar; but it will increase the opportunity for a fast sale at a good price.  

Written by Barbara Doeringer



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April 16th, 2019 8:07 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

An 87-acre luxury mixed-use vacation village is in the works near Walt Disney World featuring five gleaming towers, shops, restaurants and resort amenities.

Orlando-based Magic Development LLC will start work on infrastructure in July on the first phase of its massive development called Magic Place, which will involve a 25-story, 251-unit resort tower, along with 40,000 square feet of retail space and a 20,000 square-foot office building on U.S. Highway 192 east of State Road 429.

That’s the first piece of the overall development that at buildout will include 250,000 square feet of retail and a total of 1,850 units that will be a mix of residential, condo and fractional units as well as nightly rental hotel rooms.

Magic Place is the third piece of Magic Development’s new vacation village on Black Lake Road, south of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.  The first project was what is now called Magic Village 1, a 180-unit short-term rental townhome development which is nearly 60 % completed and on pace to sell out by year’s end.  Infrastructure work was started earlier this year on Magic Village 2, which is another 194 short-term rental townhome units and a 68-unit fractional condo building called The Reserve.  Both Magic Village projects are built on a resort-like property, which includes a clubhouse, pools, a restaurant and more.

All of this construction continues to change the face of the “Four Corners” area and with Margaritaville and other booming developments nearby, it will soon be a tourist’s dream and perhaps a resident’s nightmare!

But don’t forget about The Retreat at Regal Palms, located on Sand Mine Road, off U.S. Highway 27.  These 2 bedroom/2 bath fully furnished condos will beat the price of any other new developments in the works so close to Disney.  Be sure to check it out at www.theretreatatregalpalms.com and contact me for details!  I am one of the sales agents for this project and would love to assist you.

BarbaraFlaHomes@aol.com or 407-491-3816

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 


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April 9th, 2019 9:47 AM

VACATION HOME TIPS

Barbara’s Blog:

There is so much construction going on in our area and a tremendous amount of choices for purchasing a second or “vacation” home.  Here are some “tips” on what to think about before deciding on a property or location:

  • Consider how you will use the home. Will it just be for family and friends, or do you plan to rent it as well? How many times will you personally use it per year?
  • Evaluate locations. Are there enough amenities and attractions to keep you (and renters) coming back year after year?
  • Talk to the locals. What do they love about the area? What is changing? What is it like during the off season?
  • Study local laws. If you plan to rent the home, local rules may restrict rental periods or cap the number of days you can rent each year.
  • Calculate costs. Along with mortgage, insurance, property taxes and association or amenities fees, plan for wear and tear. A good rule of thumb is to budget 1.5% of home’s value on repairs annually. And if you plan to rent, add the cost of a property manager.
  • Talk to an accountant. This person can advise you on such issues as the tax implications of rental income and changes in federal tax laws that could impact deductions.
  • Test before you buy. Once you have settled on a location, rent in this area every season so you can gauge busy and slow times.
  • WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED REALTOR. Pick someone who knows the community and who can recommend the other experts you will want to consult.
  • Take your time. Don’t let the excitement of one great vacation push you into an impulse decision to buy. Many have gone through “buyer’s remorse” after doing this and sometimes it may be too late.

Ask me for details on some of the best new developments and communities that would be ideal for vacation homes and short-term rentals. 

BarbaraFlaHomes@aol.com;  Cell # 407-491-3816

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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April 2nd, 2019 8:18 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

Dallas-based Studio Movie Grill is officially open at Sunset Walk at Margaritaville Resort Orlando!  This new theater marks the brand’s third location in Florida, and will add 12 new screens to their already 321 in operation across nine states.

Located at 3204 Margaritaville Blvd., near U.S. Hwy. 192, this 40,000 sq. ft. theater will feature 1,100 luxury lounge chairs and recliners.  The recliners will have a built-in tabletop and a “push for service’ call button for guests to order from the full-full service bar and American grill menu right from their seats.  Every Studio Movie Grill theater offers reserved seating both online and at the box office.   

Movie-goers at Studio Movie Grill can enjoy more than just the latest releases; the Sunset Walk location will also feature a modern full-service bar, lounge and outdoor patio area, where guests can take in the made-to-order menu and premium craft cocktails, including a private brand of Patron tequila made especially for the theater chain. 

In addition to this movie theater, there will be many retail stores and restaurants, all open to the public, added to the entrance into the Margaritaville Resort.  Currently, the Margaritaville Hotel is open and in operation, offering Jimmy Buffet fans fantastic and unique accommodations. 

Much is happening in the Davenport/Disney area with massive growth and changes still to come.

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 


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