Thursday, December 31, 2015

Disney's Golden Oak is Attracting Year Round Residents


Inside  the entrance to Walt Disney World, near the Fort Wilderness Campground, is a guard house and gate that marks the entrance to a little known housing community on Disney World property.  

That’s right a community of luxury homes are being built just three miles from the Magic Kingdom theme park. Golden Oak is a community of around 400 homes. Some fully finished and some still under construction. The land was the site of a former Disney golf course.  

Different from the town of Celebration that was developed by Disney engineers in the ‘90’s, this development requires homeowners to drive well onto the Disney World property to access the front gate to this private housing community.  

The community was originally marketed to wealthy world travelers as vacation resort community, but lately it has been catching the eye of those who intend to live in these luxury homes year round. Families that originally intended to purchase a Golden Oak home as a vacation residence are now finding themselves as permanent Disney dwellers.  

Disney opened sales to homes in Golden Oak in 2010 and the first home owners moved in around a year after. Disney has sold over 115 lots in an impressive rate of about two or three homes a month. Over one tenth of the homes in Golden Oak have been completed.   The smallest home in Golden Oak is currently a spacious 3,110 square feet and the largest home in Golden Oak is still under construction. This home is planned to be a palatial 14,642 square feet including seven bedrooms and eleven bathrooms. Sticker prices are just as high as the square footage in these homes ranging from $1.8 million to $5.8 million.  

There are strict guidelines that the seven luxury builders selected by Disney must follow for Golden Oak, but owners have more freedom with the interior design choices for their newly constructed homes, including Disney-Themed d├ęcor. Some home owners are Disney fanatics and it reflects with the entire interior of the home decorated in Disney style while other home owners just love the neighborhood and go for a more subtle interior design. One bedroom in a Golden Oak home is decorated to the nines with a “Frozen” movie theme including glowing ice crystal chandelier and glass encased Elsa dress. Other homes simply sport hidden Mickeys in the architecture.  

Community amenities of course are abundant in this Disney neighborhood. They include a community clubhouse known as Summerhouse offering a party venue with available Disney party planners, restaurant, fitness center, courtyard with fountains and garden, swimming pool, cocktail lounge, concierge service and more. Of course residents have annual membership passes to the Disney World Resort Parks and private shuttle services to the main gates. All of these amenities come with an annual fee of $15,000.  

Though Golden Oak may seem like a playground for the who’s who’s or top tier of bread winners in the world, the residents say of their neighbors it is a group of hard working and down to earth people who realize they are just fortunate to have what they do. It ‘s a good group of people making Golden Oak an even more desirable place to live. There is no comparison of success just a genuine interest in getting to know each other as people.  

The best way to get more information on purchasing a home in Golden Oak is to contact a local buyer’s agent experienced in luxury real estate.  




Wednesday, December 2, 2015

3 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Many people postpone selling their home during the holidays until after the first of the year. Even if they really should be selling now, they feel that there are no buyers out there and people are just not purchasing homes this time of year. Of course it all depends on where you are located in the country as well. I have clients in Florida that say that this is their busiest time of the year. Florida temperatures are in the 70s, perfect for browsing open houses and finding that perfect property. However, most of the country is facing cold spells and maybe even snow. Should those sellers put off listing their home simply because they feel that they won't get any buyers?




It all comes down to necessity. Do you really need to sell? Many people must sell due to job relocation, foreclosure, short sale or family status. They simply do not have the choice to wait until the first of the year. For the very same reason, buyers are still out there. They need to purchase a home and preferably would probably like to get in before the end of the year or before Christmas.

These are the type of buyers that sellers really need to appeal to. It's not impossible to sell during the holidays but it does take a little bit of finesse. Here are three reasons you should consider selling during the holidays, especially if you have to.

#1. Homes are much more cozy during the winter season. You might have the fire going, cinnamon scented candles burning, Christmas decorations around the house or maybe just a little accent here are there that adds a "hominess" that you might not find other times of the year.

#2. Buyers are motivated. As we mentioned before, the same reason that sellers need to sell is the same reason that buyers need to purchase and they're probably wanting to do it quickly. You'll typically find short closings, not a lot of negotiations, and a fast sale for the price you're looking for. There's not a lot of negotiations because there just isn't enough time. Buyers and sellers want to get things wrapped up as quickly as possible.

#3. Full asking price. Now, while this is not always the case, many sellers can get their full asking price because they've had a smart listing agent the prices it correctly from the beginning and a good buyers agent that knows the time is of the essence. There may not be a lot of negotiating and a simple counter and counter offer is sometimes all it takes to seal the deal. You might find yourself getting a full price offer this time of year.

Selling during the holidays is not always fun but it doesn't mean that it's impossible and can be used to your advantage. Feel free to browse any of my clients that specialize in listing homes, selling properties and doing a great job of it, especially during the holidays.






Image by Five Furlong Flickr

Monday, October 26, 2015

Best US Town for Firefighters? Riverside California

I recently read an article in MSN money about the best place to live and the worst place to live for firefighters in this country. Riverside California, located in the County of Riverside just outside of Los Angeles between LA and Palm Springs has been listed as one of the best places to buy a home and to live large for firefighters. The median income for a firefighter is about $107,000,  that's about $78,000 more than the average worker. Residents of Riverside typically spend about 26% of their income on housing, making it extremely affordable based on the term "affordable housing" where homeowners should spend less than 30% of their income on housing.  Due to this income, nearly every firefighter can afford home prices high as $653,000, the majority of homes on the market.

The average listing price for a home in Riverside is currently $411,000 with a median sales price of $325,000. This makes it very easy to afford a home for those that live in Riverside, especially for firefighters. Sales prices have jumped nearly 5% over the last year.

 Inventory has gone up due to new construction, making more subdivisions, neighborhoods and suburbs affordable to a wide range of new homebuyers. The median house sizes about 1850 ft.² and the median days on the market is about 50. The median list price is gone up about 3% to $360,000, up from $349,900 one year ago.

 In the townhouse and condominium market, the median days on the market is about 49 with a median list price of $215,000, up 2% over last year. Total inventory has also increased by 51% over one year ago due to new construction and  new project developments.

Riverside also has excellent schools with the majority of elementary schools rating 7 and above. Middle school ratings offer a wide range from 10 to 3 and highschools are primarily 6, 7 and 9, especially for Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

For more information on real estate in Riverside California contact the expert and professional home buyer assistance of Tina Droessler with Ronald Christopher & Associates.
Don Graham Flickr
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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Can You Sell a Home with a Lien

A frequently asked question of people needing to sell their home “as-is” is “Can I sell my home if it has a lien on it?”The answer may surprise some people but the answer is yes. The selling situation does become more complicated but selling a home with a lien is possible.  

If a home is being sold with a lien in most cases a closing attorney acting on behalf of the home seller will pay the lien in entirety from the proceeds of the sell before the title can be transferred and an official sale completed. If a home owner cannot afford to pay a lien out of pocket this is an option Usually sellers will account for the price of the lien and add it into the asking price of the home. This strategy is not always fruitful as the home could end up appraising for less and limit the type of buyer that would be approved for a loan on the property.  

Three steps to selling a home with a lien 
  1. Do Research 
With every single home sale it is important to know the value of your home. Fair market value determines what buyers are willing to pay and what banks are willing to lend. There are numerous different online tools to help you determine what your home is truly worth. Be sure to use more than one source to help you determine the fair market value of your home. There are many different variables that go into deciding home value including what comparable properties in the neighborhood are selling for , location,and the amenities in the home. Once you have a good idea of what your home is worth you can move to step two.  


  1. Set a Listing Price Including Liens and Fees 
There are costs to selling a home. If you sell traditionally there are agent fees in addition to other selling fees of closing costs and any repair costs you have negotiated with the buyer. You will need to lower your expectations of how much money you will make off the home when there is a lien. To keep the listing price reasonable you will need to consider paying the liens and fees on the home with profit from the sale.  

  1. Contact a Cash Home Buyer 
Look into selling your home to a cash home buyer who buys properties “as-is.” This can be a cheaper route when selling a home with a lien because you will not be charged for realtors commission. A cash home buyer will ask you about the financial situation of the home and take into consideration your unique selling requirements and make the fairest offer possible with no obligation to accept. When selling as is there is also no requirement to fix the home or give money toward repair and the close of the home is a quicker process.  


Gahanna Ohio Home Prices

 At any given time there are roughly 100-180 listings throughout Gahanna from commercial properties, condominiums and town homes, multi family and single-family homes. The lowest priced homes are typically about $75,000 whereas the highest priced home is about $550,000. Condominiums range from $75,000 to about $250,000 and multi family homes range from $150,000 to about $250,000. (These are the approximate averages for home prices in 2015).

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day Events on Long Island NY 2015

Labor day is a National Holiday made to recognize the hard working Americans that take part in keeping the economy of this country running. Most years Labor Day is a last long weekend before school begins. This year Labor Day is a bit later than usual and some kids have already headed back to school, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do on Long Island to celebrate.

Here is a list of Labor Day festivities on Long Island:

Runs, Walks, and Hikes- there is still time to get outdoors before the weather drastically turns. Here are some ways to celebrate while enjoying your active lifestyle

Sunset Breach Hike

Fire Island National Seashore Watch Hill Visitor Center
Friday Sept 4th 6-8:30PM
Enjoy a free hike guided by the park ranger

Hike Through History
Fire Island National Seashore Fire Island Lighthouse
Sat Sept 5th 3-4:30 PM
Learn about the history of Fire Island and the lighthouse on this free guided hike

Long Beach Labor Day McAvoy Run
Riverside Boulevard Beach, Riverside Boulevard, Long Beach
Cost is $20, $25 on Race Day
Monday, September 7th at 8 AM
A 5-mile race held on Riverside Boulevard in Long Beach. All ages are welcome.

Car Shows-who doesn’t love a great Long Island Car Show?

New York AutoFest Midsummer Night’s Dream Cruise
Ransom Beach
Friday Sept 4th 5:30-9pm
Free for spectators
$5 vehicle entry fee
Proceeds benefit Pets for Vets and Flags for Classrooms. This is a family friendly event.

Bellmore Train Station Car Show
Bellmore LIRR Train Station
Free admission
Friday Sep 4th 6-11PM
Take a look at all the cool hotrods, antique cars and custom cars.

Long Island Custom Cars and Collectibles Show and Swap Meet
MacArthur Airport
Adults $7 Children under 12 free
Sunday Sept 6th 8am-5pm
All types of cars from vintage to exotic on display and for sale. Trophies will be awarded

Concerts- round out the summer concerts by taking in a live show

Concert in the Park – The Hambones
Coe Hall at Planting Fields Arboretum
Free Event
Saturday, Sept 5th at 5:30 PM
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s classic album, Blood on the Tracks, bring  a chair, blanket and outdoor picnic.


The Brooklyn Bridge
Suffolk Theatre
Tickets in advance $49
Saturday, Sept 5th at 8 PM
Popular music group of the 60s and 70s perform hits like “16 Candles,”“Welcome Me Love,” “Step By Step,” “Runaround Sue,” “The Wanderer,” “Unchained Melody,” Doors, bar, and dinner open at 6:30 PM. Show at 8 PM.

Live Music at Martha Clara Vineyards
Martha Clara Vineyards
Free Event
Saturday, Sept 5th 2-5 PM
Enjoy a great time of live music with the beautiful surroundings of thisNorth Fork, Long Island vineyard

Southbound for Sound of Summer Concert Series
Strong’s Water Club & Marina
Free Event
Saturday, Sept 5th 4- 8 PM
The band Southbound has an eclectic mix of music to perform.

Paul Mahos & Jeff Allegue
Martha Clara Vineyards
Free Event
Sunday, Sept 6th 1- 4 PM
Half of the group New Life Crisis, Paul Mahos & Jeff Allegue will put on an acoustic show, playing their versions of favorite hits.

Steeldrumania
Martha Clara Vineyards
Free Event
Monday, Sept 7th 1 - 4 PM
Steel drum music by Steeldrumania

Bernadette Peters
Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Ticket Prices Start at $150
Saturday, Sept 5th 8 PM
Tony, Grammy, Golden Globe and Drama Desk awards winner Bernadette Peters will perform  a mix of  numbers and show tunes.

Spin Doctors
Guild Hall of East Hampton
Tickets start at $40, $38 for Members
Saturday, Sept 5th 8PM
Spin Doctors performs pop/rock and blues songs.

Fairs and Festivals- last but certainly not least don’t forget to check out these events

Westbury Market Fair
The NYCB Theatre Parking Lot, 960 Brush Hollow Road, Westbury, NY 11590
Free Event
Saturday, Sept 5th - Sunday, Sept 6th 8 AM - 4 PM
 Family friendly outdoor shopping with over 150 vendors and food trucks.

The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival: with Aziz Ansari & Amy Schumer
Jones Beach
Tickets start at $56
Friday, September 4th at 5:15 PM
Comedy performed by Aziz Ansari with special guest star Amy Schumer, other comedians include: Anthony Jeselnik, Ashley Barnhill, Bridget Everett, Dave Attell, Donnell Rawlings, Jay Pharoah, Jeff Ross, Jim Norton, John Mulaney, Michael Che, Nick Kroll, Nick Thune, Nikki Glaser, Rachel Feinstein, Rory Scovel, Sebastian Maniscalco, Tim Minchin, T.J. Miller, and Todd Barry

7th Annual Westhampton Festival of Arts
The Great Lawn of St. Marks Church
Free Event
Saturday, Sept 5th - Sunday, Sept 6th 10 AM - 6 PM
National and international artists will display original artwork at one of America’s Top 50 fine art events.
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Flying Trapeze & Aerial Arts Show
Long Beach Boardwalk
Free Event
Saturday, Sept 5th 8 PM
Free trapeze show sponsored by I.FLY Trapeze School

For more information on living on Long Island and Long Island real estate please browse our website or contact us at anytime.

*For a list with more Labor Day events look here