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