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August 13th, 2019 10:36 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

How many times have we used this phrase, “it is what it is.”  But do we truly accept what this says?  There have been so many changes in the Four Corners area this past year, some exciting and some disappointing but in everything, acceptance of what we cannot control is the key.  Being able to adjust and go forward is the challenge.

There is new construction here everywhere:  new home communities, commercial and warehouse development, retail and restaurant establishments, gas stations and storage facilities.  New schools and parks are springing up, as well as additional medical facilities. There have been changes in demographics, flow of traffic, and crowds at attractions and theme parks.  Growth is exploding!

Closer to home, there have been changes in our own neighborhoods with losing family or friends and adjusting to the new life styles that aging ultimately brings. We have seen many people move on and now have new faces in our community, along with new talents and experiences to share. 

As they say in life, “nothing ever stays the same; change is inevitable.” Having resided in this area for 20 years, we have seen tremendous change!  But we have also accepted the fact that “it is what it is.”  Exciting times are ahead with new developments and adventures.  We must accept what is.

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 


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August 6th, 2019 10:20 AM


?Barbara's Blog:

There seems to be many misconceptions with both sellers and buyers concerning the home inspections that are done on homes under contract.  The following is a list of facts that sometimes confuse both:

  • The inspection is pass/fail. Home Inspectors do not determine whether a house passes or fails. They evaluate the condition of a home and report on defects. It is totally up to the buyer(s) to decide whether to move forward with the purchase of the house.
  • Home Inspectors determine if a house is up to code. Inspectors are looking for defects that could affect the safety of your family or the value of your home. Code inspections, on the other hand, look for compliance with certain building standards. Just because something is not up to code, does not inherently make it a home inspection defect.
  • The seller will repair every defect the home inspector finds. While the inspector’s report can be used as a negotiating tool, sellers are not obligated to make any repairs if your agent is using an AS-IS contract. If negotiating over repairs, focus on issues that could be costly to fix.
  • New construction homes don’t have to be inspected. New construction homes can have serious defects that could be costly to repair. Problems occur when a builder cuts corners, manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed or workers simply make mistakes.
  • Home Inspectors determine the value of a house. The focus of the home inspection is the condition of the home; an appraiser determines a fair market value.
  • Home Inspectors check for termites. In Florida, termite inspections have to be performed by a pest control company.

Every home under contract for purchase should have a home inspection done.  This assures the buyer(s) that they will not face immediate and costly repairs upon taking occupancy. 

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 


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July 30th, 2019 10:06 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

One of the most popular contracts used by Florida Realtors is the Florida Bar “AS IS” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase.  As the name implies, the seller is selling the property “as is,” which means there are no repair obligations for the seller.  While nothing prevents the parties from renegotiating the terms of an existing contract, it is important to understand the nuances and risks in doing so to facilitate a smooth transaction.

First, there is no obligation on the part of the seller to make any repairs nor to respond to any request for repairs.  This should always be communicated to a buyer up front as it is important to have a plan in place should the seller say “no” to the request or simply ignore it.  Following the dates on the contract is imperative because the buyer’s right to cancel for any reason at the buyer’s discretion is gone once the inspection period ends.  If the buyer is approaching the end of the inspection period and has not heard back from the seller, the buyer must decide to either stay in the deal and potentially take the property as is or cancel before the inspection period ends.

So many sellers become upset when a contract is cancelled during this inspection period, but they must also be educated that this is a buyer’s right on the AS IS contract.  Even though a contract is signed and executed, it can be null and void if a buyer chooses to do so during this time frame.  So, it is wise to have the inspection period for as few days as possible so that a home is not off the market for long if indeed the contract is cancelled.   

On a positive note, when a contract is cancelled due to repairs needed, it does give the seller time to correct any problems that may arise a second time with another buyer. 

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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July 23rd, 2019 10:11 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

Real estate experts are still saying that there is a housing shortage and give several reasons for why inventory has been shrinking:

 

  • New-Home construction fails to keep pace. Housing starts have been constrained since the last recession due to shortages of land, labor and materials. Housing starts are way behind the annual average.
  • The housing stock is aging. As homes age, they will either need to be remodeled to remain in the pipeline or torn down and replaced. If not, inventories will lessen over time. Over 50% of owner-occupied homes in the U.S. were built before 1980.
  • There has been a demographic shift. Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest U.S. adult population, and they’re starting to buy homes, with less seniors looking to purchase.
  • Homeowner tenure has grown. Homeowners are staying put longer and the average tenure of homeowners who sell is now 8.3 years, a record high.
  • Homes have been turned into rentals. During the housing crisis, investors snatched up single-family homes in foreclosure and converted them to rentals. This has now eliminated many homes from being available to purchase.

Housing inventory will continue to shift as the real estate market changes.  Lots of new construction is evident in the Davenport area, but resale homes continue to be less available as in the past. 

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 


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July 16th, 2019 9:07 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

Virgin Train USA recently partnered with Brightline to manage and build high-speed rail in select locations nationwide.  Staff have already completed high-speed rail stations in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami.  Phase Two of the project in Florida is a link between West Palm Beach and Orlando, with a stop at Fort Pierce.

Phase Three would link Orlando with Tampa, but staff are considering high-speed rail options in other locations and it is likely that a link would be built between Los Angeles and Las Vegas before high-speed rail would link Orlando and Tampa.

Once Phase Three does become a reality, though, the addition of a stop in Polk County is a distinct possibility.  Staff are considering stops near the attractions and International Drive in Orlando as well as in Lakeland. 

Virgin Train USA’s high-speed rail operations currently run 16 trains per day, seven days per week, nearly on the hour and ridership is growing in Florida.  In June, Virgin Train USA staff helped break ground at a rail hub being built at Orlando International Airport, where high-speed rail, commuter rail and light rail service will get a new station, possibly by 2022.

Virgin Train USA staff place a high priority on customer service, with beer, wine and food available during trips and they plan to reinvent train travel in the United States.   They are focused on building profitable lines linking specific regions, not a nationwide network but it will take time to complete all the plans already in motion. 

High-speed rail is desperately needed in Florida to alleviate all the traffic congestion on the major interstate and toll roads, as the state continues to grow in population!

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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July 9th, 2019 9:40 AM

A GARDEN OF DREAMS

Barbara’s Blog:

For those who remember the old Baseball City Complex (Boardwalk and Baseball) that was located in the current Posner Park Plaza, it was once an abandoned field that looked like time had passed it by.  But this open field became one man’s dream of a bustling and exciting future.  It was the late Victor Posner who looked out at the Baseball City Complex and envisioned a turn-of-the-century European Garden City, with sparkling fountains, lush landscaping, majestic palm trees and pedestrian plazas dotted with terra cotta pots full of tropical flowers. 

It all sounded quite grand and is a far cry from what we have there today.  These plans were originally drawn up prior to Posner’s death and proposed in 2003, right after the sudden drop in tourism due to September 11th, and the real estate market crash of 2007-2008.  During the groundbreaking ceremony, it was revealed that the dreams also included Posner Park becoming a downtown to northeast Polk County and the “grand entrance” gateway to this region, like you see when entering Orlando. 

This project was going to be one of the highest-quality developments on the I-4 corridor between Orlando and Tampa and was projected to put Polk County on the map in terms of tourism.  But even in the best of plans, circumstances change and adjustments must be made.  Today, we are grateful that we have many retail shops and restaurants and are in the process of expanding a section of “Posner Village” to include even more commercial and retail venues.  It has been a very long time in coming and is much needed to accommodate the expanding demographics of the area. 

But how glorious it would have been had Posner’s dreams become a reality!  Envision the tree-lined boulevards, high-end boutiques and restaurants, hotels, entertainment and cultural venues, public parks, and a core plaza with fountains that would create the concept of a 100-year-old European Garden city. . .  it would indeed have been a garden of dreams!

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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July 3rd, 2019 9:33 AM

Barbara's Blog:

Mature trees towering over a yard may draw buyers, but failing to inspect the health and location of those trees could bring future headaches and costs.  The same goes for inspecting a home’s irrigation system, outdoor kitchens or fireplaces, retaining walls, pools, patios or decks. 

A lot of home inspectors don’t focus on the landscape or exterior of the home, but landscapes are a huge issue financially for a home owner and structurally for the house.  There are a number of potential problems that can be present: oversaturation of soil; tree branches hanging over a home that can damage roofs and allow pests access; broken or misaligned sprinklers that can lead to dry rot or termites; inefficient rain gutters that cause drainage problems; and lawn slopes that drain toward the house rather than away, setting the scene for flooding issues. 

 Recently, more home inspectors are becoming aware of these issues and are now routinely including an outdoor review as part of an inspection package.  In some extreme circumstances, landscape specialists may still be needed for a more thorough investigation.  Costs vary depending on the service needed, from $75 to $450.  But buyers would benefit from learning upfront that the needed removal of a large tree could cost upwards of $1,500. 

Most homes are free of any landscape issues, but if mature trees or landscaping are of any concern to a buyer, then a home inspector should be asked to include an outdoor review in his inspection package.   

Written by Barbara Doeringer

 

 


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Posted by Allen Doeringer on July 3rd, 2019 9:33 AMLeave a Comment

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June 25th, 2019 8:14 AM

Barbara’s Blog:

It was once said that “compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity.”  It is not possible to get through the day without agreeing to at least one compromise.  There are little compromises, like with children and family, and then there are big compromises, like in working conditions or with management of our homes and lives. 

Compromises are the art of the bottom line, whether they are in our personal lives, or involved in financial transactions such as real estate.  Knowing just how far you can bend is the first step in making valid agreements, but it isn’t always easy. Here are some questions to ask in the situation:  What must you have from this situation? What do you absolutely need? If you need it, you must have it.  It’s non-negotiable.  But if you don’t need it to survive, then it really is not a need . . .”it” is a want. Unfortunately, the “wants” are the driving force of compromise in any negotiation or sales contract.  We all “want” which is why we bargain.

Keep in mind that one person’s want might be another’s legitimate need. The best compromises in any situation cover all your needs while satisfying a few of your wants.  If you are absolutely uncomfortable with the decision, then don’t agree to it. But always try to see the other person’s point of view.  Any sales transaction involves some give and take.

Most importantly, be flexible, trust your instincts, and pay attention to gut feelings.  The “gut” is there not only to aid in digestion, but to serve as a reliable aid in discerning what is best for you.  And never compromise yourself, because YOU are all you’ve got!  With some positive compromises, both sides to any transaction will come away satisfied and content, knowing that “some needs” and “some wants” were adequately met. 

Written by Barbara Doeringer


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Posted by Allen Doeringer on June 25th, 2019 8:14 AMLeave a Comment

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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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Posted by Allen Doeringer on June 11th, 2019 10:02 AMLeave a Comment

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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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