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November 12th, 2018 7:14 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

A correction from last week’s blog:   One of the retail chains mentioned that will be located at Posner Park addition is NOT “Trader Joe’s”, but will be “Joe’s Car Wash.”  Sorry about the misinformation!

Any time a home goes under contract, what follows within days is a home inspection for both the protection of the buyer and sellerTo be prepared as a seller will help to ward off any unexpected surprises, give time to fix anything prior to the inspection, and also assure that the buyer will go forward with the contract.  Here are some tips on how to prepare before the inspection is scheduled:

  • If the home is empty, leave utilities on and pilot lights lit.
  • Make sure electrical sockets, light fixtures, switches and fans work.
  • Confirm smoke and carbon monoxide detectors operate.
  • Check that faucets and toilets run properly and don’t leak.
  • Clean the stove and oven so they won’t smoke and set off an alarm when tested.
  • Verify doors and windows open and close and all hardware works.
  • Clear obstructions around a furnace, water heater and attic access.
  • Leave keys for outbuildings, exterior electrical boxes, or irrigation systems.
  • Remove brush and debris from exterior inspection points.
  • Gather documentation for renovations or repairs that have been made.
  • Remove or crate pets.
  • Plan to be away for a minimum of three hours.
  • Consider having the home pre-inspected so you can fix any problems before the official inspection.

Many contracts have fallen through due to an unsatisfactory home inspection and every buyer legally has the right to cancel during the inspection period.  So, to be prepared is critical to a smooth transaction and successful closing. 

Written by Barbara Doeringer

Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Allen Doeringer on November 12th, 2018 7:14 AMLeave a Comment

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November 6th, 2018 3:15 PM

Barbara’s Blog:

Last week I wrote about all the latest commercial and residential construction happening in the Davenport area, and this week there are reports of even more communities and retail growth.

Plans are being submitted for a 42-acre, mixed-use development one mile south of Posner Park on US Hwy 27 South.   The new development will be called “Shoppes at Citrus Ridge” and will have 75,000 square feet of retail space along with 300 townhomes separated by retention ponds.  Likely to be included in this new construction will be a fitness chain who is close to signing a contract.  Also reported will be both a casual restaurant and fast-food chain to be built. 

Initial construction is set to begin this coming April, 2019.  Site work on the residential side will be developed first before commercial buildings begin to appear later in 2019.  The total development cost will be upwards of $30 million.  We can only hope that these new “shoppes” will not remain vacant for very long, like the ones at Posner Park.

Speaking of Posner Park, there is now a sign at that construction site stating it is the “future home of Trader Joe’s?” Other unconfirmed plans for this project possibly include a Burlington, Beall’s Outlet, and Rack Room Shoes.  This is in addition to the row of previously mentioned retail stores that are in the works as well (Marshalls, Home Goods, Party City, Tuesday Morning, Five Below . . . . .)   hopefully to be completed by the middle of 2019.  By next year’s holiday season, we may have many more choices for shopping and dining!!

This site plan leaves room for more future development, including additional retail, five 1-acre out parcels, up to 2,000 residential units, a hotel and office space.  Polk County is also planning on building a bus station nearby. 

New in dining, the grand opening of “Culver’s” was held last week to a very excited crowd and is doing quite well.  They are located in front of Lowe’s near Haines City and it is a must to stop and experience their butter burgers, Wisconsin cheese curds and fresh frozen custard!  They have a very nice variety of food choices, so be sure to check out their menu online. 

Davenport continues to be a fast-growing area and with still so much vacant land along Hwy. 27, the growth will continue for a good while. This has been an area waiting to explode for a long time and it seems the explosion has happened!

Written by Barbara Doeringer


Posted in:Local
Posted by Allen Doeringer on November 6th, 2018 3:15 PMLeave a Comment

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October 30th, 2018 2:10 PM

Barbara’s Blog:

It seems we are in a Davenport “growth spurt” going full speed ahead, with no end in sight!  There are so many new developments and communities under construction, with new ones planned almost every week.  Here are just a few that have been announced:

A new 182 home development is coming to Davenport right next to Horizons Elementary School.  Amenities are still in the design phase.  This is in addition to the new neighborhoods Lennar is currently constructing a few blocks away. 

Recently it was announced that the city of Davenport may be rezoning nearly 120 acres on U.S. 17-92 to clear the way for a new 457 lot subdivision.  The final vote will take place November 5th.    Eleven parcels of land are to be developed on the south side of Davenport Blvd. and to the west of the train tracks.  Approvals now call for more than 1,000 new single-family and townhouse lots.  Floor plan requirements are to be from 1,250 to 2,000 sq. ft. and each house must have an attached garage. 

Another subdivision is on the way along Hwy. 27 where a 73 acre development will clear the way for 188 homes, which will sit behind the Four Corners and Pines  West subdivisions.  Permits are expected to be completed by February or March of 2019 with construction to shortly follow. 

Expansion is coming to the I-4/Champion’s Gate interchange again.  Encore, the master developer of the Reunion Resort area, is looking to develop the northeast vacant land along the frontage of I-4.  Plans are to include an Orlando Health hospital and five commercial sites that front C.R. 532 would be available for restaurants, with Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse expressing an interest.  Additionally, up to 276 home sites would be built in the future.  This  new development would connect with a condo resort currently being built with 288 short-term rental units. 

Even inside of Ridgewood Lakes Community, 11+ acres are pending a sale, zoned for residential and approved for 150+ units! 

There is a LOT more going on in the area, even at Posner Park (I-4 and Hwy. 27) and with this tremendous growth will come even more traffic congestion.  We need to PUSH for shops and restaurants to be included in this massive growth spurt!

Written by Barbara Doeringer


Posted in:Local
Posted by Allen Doeringer on October 30th, 2018 2:10 PMLeave a Comment

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October 23rd, 2018 3:41 PM

Barbara’s Blog:

In today’s world, everything we do online requires a password.  They are designed to keep us safe from identity theft if used properly.  But too often we choose the easiest route by using birthdays, family names, phone numbers, etc. which are easier to remember, but also the easiest for hackers to target.

 Instead, use phrases to create your most secure passwords and never use the same password twice.  You can use the number 3 for the letter “E” or the $ (dollar sign) instead of an “S.” And there are many other ways you can be creative.  Most importantly, put all your passwords into a special booklet or private notebook and never store them all online or on a cell phone. 

Here are some other important tips for cyber security and protecting against identity theft:

  • Never click on a link you did not expect to receive or open an attachment that you know nothing about.
  • Use anti-virus software to protect your computer and make sure it is always active and up to date.
  • Never accept a “friend” on Facebook that you do not know and if you are already “friends” with someone, never accept a second request from the same person.
  • Only shop online on secure sites. Look for the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol on the website address.
  • Ignore pop-ups that can contain malicious software and make you vulnerable to hidden viruses.
  • Be wary of public WI-FI, as most hotspots are unsecure, which leaves you at risk of having your information shared with anyone.
  • Don’t store your credit card details on websites. Mass data breaches of online retailers do happen.
  • Be careful of auction sites. Use a credit card on PayPal so if you have an issue with a seller you have some added protection.
  • Lock down your Facebook account. Facebook regularly updates its timeline and privacy settings, so it’s wise to monitor your profile.
  • Think before you “tweet” and share information. Social media is a prime target for criminals to gather personal data.

These are just a few of the technical solutions that can help prevent being hacked or scammed.  Hackers prey on gullibility so be smart and be proactive in creating passwords, which is the most powerful defense you can have.

Written by Barbara Doeringer


Posted in:General
Posted by Allen Doeringer on October 23rd, 2018 3:41 PMLeave a Comment

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October 16th, 2018 10:41 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

The majority of home buyers start their searches online, so it is essential that a home listed for sale stand out in the listing photos.  This does not mean that a professional photographer is needed, as most realtors have the technology to capture exceptional photos.  But it is important to make sure the home looks  bright, spacious, fresh and uncluttered. 

Brighten:  Before photos are taken, create as much light as possible.  Turn on all interior lights, open drapes and blinds, and light candles to create warm ambiance.

Freshen and Clean:  Re-paint surfaces that show stains, scuffs or damage.  Thoroughly clean house, top to bottom.

Declutter Outside:  Hide empty planters, hoses, trash cans, games, pet houses, etc.  Close garage doors and remove cars from the driveway or in front of the home.

Declutter Inside:  To make the home look spacious, decrease the amount of furniture in each room and carefully group what’s left.  Clear kitchen and bathroom countertops; thin the number of objects on other surfaces in various rooms; trim back books and knick-knacks.  Reduce the contents of closets so they appear only half full and look larger.

De-Personalize:  Put away magazines, newspapers, and family photographs.  Hide evidence of pets.  Remove calendars, bulletin boards and any seasonal decorations.  Clear photos and magnets from the refrigerator doors. 

Accessorize:  Add “pop” to each room with fresh flowers, attractive vases, colorful afghans, new towels, or any accent pieces.  Outside, replace dead plants and add  bright-colored flowers in pots. 

A “first impression” is critical when selling a home and every effort should  be made to have the home “show ready” before putting it on the market.  Buyers look for a home in good condition that is move-in ready.

Written by Barbara Doeringer


Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Allen Doeringer on October 16th, 2018 10:41 AMLeave a Comment

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October 9th, 2018 2:01 PM

Barbara’s Blog:

By spring of next year, there will be a new system that will move guests around the Disney parks and resorts in addition to the current monorails, boats and buses.  The Disney Skyliner will give a bird’s eye view while transporting guests from EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Boardwalk, The Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, both North and South sides. 

This new system will stretch across three miles, connecting Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the not yet built Disney’s Riviera Resort with Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The gondolas, each offering 8 seats, will have Disney characters on them, will be electric-powered, and able to withstand winds of up to 35 miles per hour.   Because the entire system is grounded, the Skyliner will be able to stay in operation, even during an electrical storm. 

Disney’s Riviera Resort, which will be on the Skyliner route, will be a Disney Vacation Club Resort, the 15th DVC on property.  It will be located between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, have 300 rooms and a rooftop restaurant, and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. 

This Skyliner system will include several stations, which will be creative and exciting as only Disney can provide.  The station at EPCOT will be reminiscent of structures from the early 1700s; Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will have the feeling of an open-air village.  At Hollywood Studios the station will be located close to the entrance and gel well with the current entrance and bus stations.  All other details are remaining secret for now. 

A visit to any of the Disney parks right now will show an abundance of construction.  But, by the end of 2019, many new attractions, resorts and transportation systems will be in place to add to the anticipation of a Disney day trip or vacation.  Progress is continuous with Disney as “the mouse” never sleeps!

Written by Barbara Doeringer

Posted in:Local
Posted by Allen Doeringer on October 9th, 2018 2:01 PMLeave a Comment

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October 1st, 2018 9:54 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

Mortgage fraud climbed 12.4% in the second quarter of 2018, and about one out of every 109 mortgage applications has been found to contain false or misleading information, according to real estate data firm CoreLogic.

 Because home prices are rising and demand is strong, most mortgage fraud in this type of market is motivated by bona fide borrowers trying to qualify for a mortgage.   Undisclosed real estate liabilities, credit repair, questionable down payment sources, and income falsification are the most likely misrepresentations.  Fraud is most common in conforming mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of 80% or less.  Overall, the states with the highest incidences of mortgage fraud are New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

CoreLogic identifies the following as the most common types of mortgage fraud:

Income fraud:  An applicant misrepresents the existence, continuance, source or amount of their income.

Occupancy fraud:  An applicant deliberately misstates the intended use of a property as a primary or secondary residence or an investment.

Transaction fraud:  The applicant misrepresents the nature of the transaction, such as an undisclosed agreement between parties, falsified down payments, non-arm’s-length sale, or use of a straw buyer.

Property fraud:  An applicant intentionally misrepresents information about the property or its value. 

Undisclosed real estate debt:  An applicant fails to disclose additional real estate debt or previous foreclosures.

Identity fraud:  An applicant alters their identity or credit history, or uses a false identity.

Any kind of misrepresentation or fraud when applying for a mortgage is a very serious criminal offense and can have a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, up to $1,000,000 in fines or a combination of the two.  Never take the chance of offering any kind of false or misleading information when applying for a mortgage! 

Written by Barbara Doeringer


Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Allen Doeringer on October 1st, 2018 9:54 AMLeave a Comment

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September 25th, 2018 10:42 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

Everywhere you look in the Davenport area there is construction . . . . for residential home communities, commercial buildings, and YES at Posner Park! 

It is exciting to FINALLY see all the dirt being moved and progress being made on the right side of Posner Shopping Plaza, where more stores were promised over two years ago.  We are going to see future results with the proposed stores of Party City, Tuesday Morning, ULTA, Home Goods, Marshalls, and several othersThe grounds are also being prepared for more commercial expansion, yet to be determined. 

In the area of Taco Bell, there has been a new access road paved from Hwy. 27 and another building is going up, yet to be announced. 

There was recently a grand opening in Davenport for the community of Bella Verano, where new homes are priced from the mid $200s, with both ranch and two-story options.  The builders are “Seasons” by Richmond American and offer 2 to 6 bedrooms, up to 2,800 sq. ft.  The community has natural gas access and is located minutes from US-27.

Polk County’s first all-solar home community is coming!  North Ridge Estates on the north side of North road will have 79 lots.  The south side of North road will be the community by Richmond American homes (Bella Verano).  Both subdivisions are said to be targeting first-time home buyers along with empty-nesters with all models based-priced below $270k. 

Haines City commissioners also approved another Lennar community, Estates at Lake Hammock, which will open next spring or summer. 

The new Waterstar Orlando development will be positioned across from the massive Margaritaville Resort on Hwy. 192 near the 429 toll road.  It will feature 50 acres, 6 full service restaurants, a 150 room hotel, 300 residential units in two towers, 162,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and 45,000 sq. ft. of entertainment.  Groundbreaking is expected in mid-2019.  

A new 550 home resort called Lake Charles Resort will be located off Masse  Road just west of the Heart of Florida Hospital south of I-4.  D.R. Horton is under a purchase contract to acquire the 186 acre development from a previous investor.  Originally intended to be short-term vacation rentals, D.R. Horton plans for the community to be strictly residential based. 

This is just SOME of the construction frenzy going on in the Four Corners area.  Expansion is rapidly increasing, but so is the traffic.  We will need more restaurants and amenities here very soon to keep the traffic off  I-4.  However, this will bring more traffic to Hwy. 27.  Such is progress!

Written by Barbara Doeringer


Posted in:Local
Posted by Allen Doeringer on September 25th, 2018 10:42 AMLeave a Comment

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September 17th, 2018 11:28 AM


Barbara’s Blog:

With home prices rising, not everyone can afford to pay cash for a new or existing home, so mortgage lenders are critical in successfully closing a transaction.  Whether a first-time homebuyer, or a seasoned homeowner, mortgage packages have drastically changed over the years with new laws, regulations and disclosures adding to the confusion of what information is required from a borrower.  Here is a list of questions to ask your lender so that you can be pro-active in creating a smooth transition into your new home. 

  1. What are the most popular mortgages offered and why?
  2. What fees are included in a loan and what fees will be due at closing?
  3. Are the rates, terms, fees and closing costs negotiable?
  4. Are discounts offered for inspections or setting up automatic payments?
  5. Is private mortgage insurance required? If so, how much and for how long?
  6. What are the escrow requirements?
  7. What would be included in the mortgage payment? (homeowners insurance, property taxes, etc.)
  8. Who will service this loan?
  9. How long will the rate be locked in?
  10. How long will the loan approval process take?
  11. How long will it take to close the loan?
  12. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying the loan?

There will be many more questions you will have, but this list will give some good answers as to the process involved and will avoid some unpleasant surprises.

Written by Barbara Doeringer



Posted in:Real Estate
Posted by Allen Doeringer on September 17th, 2018 11:28 AMLeave a Comment

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August 28th, 2018 9:49 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

The following was written by Lucille Rosetti, author of the upcoming book, “Life After Death:  A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved.”    I decided to include this article in my Blog because we live in a community where the loss of a spouse is common, and the loss of any family member can be a life-changing experience.  I hope these ideas will help guide those who need emotional healing and the courage to move on.

Lucille Rosetti writes:  “It’s pretty common, after the loss of a loved one, to feel like you don’t know what to do.  Your daily routine seems on one hand mundane, and on the other hand bizarre.  People, places and things you used to love now remind you of something painful.  It’s a truly trying time.  Many find that a move can give them the fresh start they need to begin to heal. 

Why Move?  Will a change of scenery make you happier?  Will it make you better able to cope with your loss?  Will it help you begin to move on?  There are no definite answers.  Some suggest that moving is not the answer for pain, loss and depression.  Others suggest that it’s precisely the remedy.  Will it work for you?  That’s part of the journey – self-discovery.

Start by Downsizing  Once you’ve decided to get a fresh start by moving, think about where you want to live, take time to research these areas, and consider what your new home will look like and what you will want to take with you.  You want to rid yourself of excess physical baggage, by unloading unnecessary possessions.  Take a self-inventory of what you really need or what you are holding onto for no reason. 

Loved One’s Possessions  You will have to make some tough choices about what physical memories of your lost love one you will take with you.  The best tip is to think about  memories/sentimentality vs. usefulness.  You may want some photographs, some jewelry, a favorite blanket or coffee mug.  Choose what will be enough to make you feel closer without taking too much, just because the items were important to them. 

Get Help With the Move  In an emotionally-fragile state, you may want to self-isolate and do everything yourself.  You may overestimate how strong you are and underestimate how much help you will actually need to execute the move.  Do not make the mistake of refusing help.  If you don’t want to burden friends and family, there are moving and packing services that are affordable and incredibly efficient. 

Moving away from the scene of your pain and loss is not a silver bullet cure.  It may not even be part of the cure, in the end.  But there are certainly benefits of a change of scenery, lifestyle, and routine in the face of loss.  It could just be one decision on a long path to recovery – but it may be an  important one.”


Posted in:Personal
Posted by Allen Doeringer on August 28th, 2018 9:49 AMLeave a Comment

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