Thursday, November 19, 2009

Real estate update & then some

Okay, the $8000 First Time Homebuyer tax credit has been extended and the $6500 "move up" buyer tax credit has been implemented. They both expire on June 30, 2010. Your contract to purchase a home has to be written by April 30, 2010 and closing by June 30. There are some additional guideline changes, home prices included increased, and some income level increases, so be sure to check with your tax professional when planning to take advantage of this incentive.

The $6500 tax credit is good for any present homeowner who has purchased and lived in their existing home for 5 of the last 8 years. You do not have to be buying a more expensive or larger home to take advantage. It is the government's desire to stimulate the other portion of the housing market, instead of just first time buyers. You could actually be moving down. This is a benefit for seniors because if you've been concerned about not getting an increased amount of money for your home, here's $6500 to help you.

On another note, I've learned that Moe's doesn't give senior discounts. The management where I've been patronizing was misinformed. They do give military discounts though. Still, I'll probably be patronizing Atlanta Bread Company (Market Sq. area) more often because of this. Plus ABC has wi-fi which I happen to be using right now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

$8000 tax credit extension

Here's a link with some information about the possible extension of the $8K tax credit for first time homebuyers and the proposed $6500 credit for some move up buyers.

What Impact Will Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension Have on Housing Industry? | RISMedia

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

55 Now

Okay, the day has passed. I am now a bonafide senior. Went to #1 Stir Fry, ordered my lunch, asked if they had senior discounts. Nope. Should have gone to Moe's. Guess I'll go tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Identity Theft

There's a website out there to help gauge your probability of being a victim of identity theft. It's and it is a free service. You do not have to give your social security number, but it does ask some questions to help determine your likelihood of being a target.

I've checked it. Don't know how accurate it is, but it's worth a try to see if someone could be using, or wanting to use your name.

Who Will You Patronize?

I visited the Kerry Forest Red Elephant and have now confirmed that neither restaurant give senior discounts. I'm told that Another Broken Egg at the Killearn Lakes entrance is giving senior discounts for those 50 and over.

Guess where I'm going for my meals? I wish Broken Egg was open today, but alas they are not open on Monday's. I'll have to go another day this week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another strike out for senior discount

Harry's Restaurant downtown in Kelman Plaza doesn't give seniors discounts. Last Wednesday evening celebrating a friend's birthday though was worth it simply because of the fantastic weather, good friends and good food.

Monday, October 5, 2009

3158 Huttersfield Circle

Reduced price on this 3 bed, 2 bath home in Huntington Woods. Sellers have 3 small children and have outgrown this home. Let's make a deal before the $8,000 tax credit is gone! Check out the listing here:

Friday, October 2, 2009

October Already

Unbelievable weather now. Yes, it's October and that's normally a fabulous month in Tallahassee with cooler evenings and warm days. The sky's seems bluer than any other time of year. Okay, maybe I'm a little prejudice since it's my birthday month, or because Halloween is probably my favorite (do I call it holiday?).
Any case, it's busy already. Those first time homebuyers are wanting to make the November deadline, so they are now out in force. I'm getting offers on some of my "affordable" properties and showing my fence sitting buyers properties.
Wonder if that means December will be a down month, normally it starts the incline toward the next year. It will be interesting to see the trends.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Busy Fall

Why does it seem with the start of Florida State Football that life gets busier than in the summertime? There are definitely more fundraising events that occur in the fall. I'm attending Ability 1st's fundraiser at Goodwood this Thursday night and on the 16th of October is WHOO HOO Elder Care Services Oktoberfest Event. It will be held again at Goodwood. I always enjoy this one because I get to see folks I've not seen in a year and enjoy good food and good beer. Tickets went up this year to $50, but it's worth it for a great cause. Want to join me? I hope so. See you there on Friday, October 16 at 6 pm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

White Squirrel

On my bike ride through Killearn Estates this afternoon I saw my first white squirrel! No this isn't like a mixed drink with 3 ounces of good brandy, this was a real white squirrel. No hallucinations here. My home state of Tennessee, we had a town, Gibson, TN that was the "home of the white squirrel". I've seen some of the large black squirrels on the plantations here in Tallahassee, but no white ones. Now I don't know if this was an anamoly, such as an albino, or a real white one, but I did see it, here in the heart of Killearn Estates.

Made my ride. Then again, riding is always worth the effort, but still...don't see a white squirrel everyday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday 5% Off at New Leaf

Seniors who shop at New Leaf Market on Apalachee Parkway receive 5% off their purchases on Tuesdays. You do not have to be a member of the co-op to get this discount. Just go shop there on Tuesdays.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

August Sales Up

When people ask me about the real estate market, I tell them the local stats. The media has been saying Florida sales have been up from last year's sales for several months, but that's not been happening in Tallahassee. While our peak month of sales in 08 was in June, this year we peaked in July, a good sign, but still no sales above last years. Then in August, we did exceed last years sales, not by much, but home sales in Leon County were up, another good sign. I knew it and had been telling others of such. Then I read in yesterday's real estate section of the paper of just such. It's nice to have that confirmation. I just wish I'd taken the time to write the article. Real estate is local. If you want to know what is really going on in your city, ask your local Realtor!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Listing, House on Market

1100 Victory Garden Drive off the Apalache Parkway for sale for $145,000. It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 car garage home, 1230 square feet of living space. Home has been remodeled with laminate, tile and carpet flooring, all new appliances, quiet belt driven garage door opener, with keyless entry. With new doors, new windows, new baths, fireplace and architectural shingle roof, new paint in and out, the home calls for new owners. Nice back deck and fenced back yard with a $1000 landscaping allowance. Open house on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009 from 2-4 pm.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Oh my, eaten too much lately. No search for lunch with discount for seniors today. I'll be fasting with fruit only today.

Since I'm on the food subject, and always like to help keep other safe, here's a couple of websites for the mature individual.

Be safe today and forever.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another day in search of discounted lunch

Today was Qdoba Mexican food. I didn't think they gave senior discounts, and they don't, because they use the Qdoba card. Everytime you purchase a meal from them, you accumulate points and with a certain number of points, the meal is free.

Googling Tallahassee Senior Discounts gets loads of information mostly about Tallahassee. Googling senior discounts brings up a website that will provide information nationwide on businesses that give discounts. You have to pay to be a member.

The benefit to you, blogger, is that I will publish what I learn from businesses and provide the list free to you. So keep watching my blogsite.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No senior discount here

Lunch at Food Glorious Food today and when I inquired about senior discounts, I'm told they don't give them. So far, that's 1 out of 4 restaurants that provide a discount. Now I know Sonny's does too. In fact, they give you a card and a 25% savings. Go Sonny's!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Countdown to 55

Day 2 out in the community, doing business, asking about senior discounts and I learn that Red Elephant (at least the midtown one on Thomasville at Betton) does NOT, that's correct does NOT offer senior discounts. Tsk, tsk.
I've decided that once I turn 55, next month, that I will keep a tab to determine how much money I save during the year using senior discounts. While we all want to save a dollar, I don't recommend doing so and receiving discounted services, quality or value so sometimes as they say "you get what you pay for".
Write in if you are aware of any businesses in town that give these discounts and maintains quality and service. Until my next visit to a business...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Turning 55

Having lunch with a friend yesterday at Atlanta Bread Company (the good one on Market Street) I inquired if they had senior discounts. I'm not 55 yet, but I turn it next month and I'm looking forward to finding out who gives discounts and who doesn't.

My lunch friend is older than me, but never asks. She doesn't want people to know she's that old. Well I've been gray headed so long now, people have given me senior discounts without my asking. I imagine to most of the high school and some college kids working at restaurants, we all look ancient.

I'd had lunch Friday at Moe's and inquired if they had discounts, to which I was told they did, 10% to seniors.

So my assignment that I choose to take this month prior to turning 55 will be to ask every business I visit if they give senior discounts, whether they are roofers, house cleaners, or restaurants. I'll report and provide a list, once compiled for interested parties. Perhaps it will encourage others who do not provide them to start.

By the way the ABC (Atlanta Bread Co.) on Market Street doesn't give discounts, but says they are going to start. I'll let you know! They did say the one at Governors Sq. Blvd. does, but they don't get my business anyway. If you go, ask for it.

In fact, if you'd like to help me out, and I would appreciate it, let me know who you know that gives discounts and the amounts if you know.

Thanks and have a great day and remember, ask for those discounts!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Florida Alliance for Safe Homes

With us still in the middle of the hurricane season, if you've not prepared your home and family, there's still time. You can visit any number of websites to assist in your planning, one of which is This website has information on not only hurricane preparations, but other possible storm related possibilities such as lightning strikes, tornados, pet safety and more.

Be safe, be prepared.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All brick home for sale in northwest

You'll want to come see this one quick! This 3 bedroom, 2 bath, all brick home near campus, downtown and shopping is on a large corner lot with mature landscaping. Home has hardwood floors, spacious living room with picture windows, newer paint, a one car carpot and a fenced back yard. With 1300 square feet of living space, there's room for you and yours. Call today about this one!!!

Real Estate Agent Turned Witch

It's a sign of our times for real estate!! Real estate agent in England decides to be the witch of Wookey Hole.

From The Times
July 29, 2009
New Witch of Wookey Hole: estate agent beats 300 rivals to the job

Carole Bohanan will be known as Carla Calamity, the Witch of Wookey Hole. As Carole Bohanan is happy to acknowledge, it is a big step up in her career. From now on the estate agent from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, will be known as Carla Calamity, the Witch of Wookey Hole.
Miss Calamity, who admits to being several hundred years old — it would be impolite to ask how many — beat 300 other witches to the most coverted job in covendom.
Wookey Hole, a cave attraction near Wells owned by the Cottle family, advertised for a witch after the incumbent announced her intention to move. More than 3,124 people requested application forms, 278 “volunteered” their mother-in-law and 23 church groups sent in letters of complaint. Inquiries came from 401 male witches and one London banker.
Miss Calamity, who wore sparkly stilettos and described herself as a “glamorous witch”, will now give up her job selling homes and instead greet visitors to the limestone cave complex. She said that the £50,000 a year pro rata salary was only appropriate for the best witch in the business. -->
“I am on top of the moon. This is a natural step up from my current job. You need witchy skills to sell houses at the moment.”
The original witch of Wookey Hole was an old woman who lived in the caves with only a goat for company. According to legend the she was turned to stone with a splash of holy water after a monk from Glastonbury came to investigate complaints that she was casting spells on farm animals.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Busy week with seniors and senior agencies

I've had a busy week connecting with senior service agencies and the folks who patronize them and volunteer with them. On Wednesday, I participated in Big Wheels Deliver Meals for Elder Care Services. They were nice enough to partner me with Marjorie Turnbull, ex legislator and philanthropist, with whom I enjoyed delivering meals and sharing time.

On Thursday at lunch, Elder Care Services conducted their volunteer recognition. Almost 500 volunteers and supporters were on hand. Fellow Realtor Ben Trexler with Linda Dix Realty won their prestigious Frances Clay Award for his volunteering with the Meals on Wheels program and going extra to support the seniors he delivers meals to.

Thursday night was the Senior Expo at the Senior Center. Over 70 exhibitors were there to inform the older population of their services with prizes and giveaways. It's a great way to let the community know who and what businesses are out there serving seniors. The expo continued on into Friday from 9 until 12:30 at the Senior Center.

This is a group of people and services I'm pleased to be connected with, serving a population that is growing in our community who not only need our help and services but also give of themselves to help others.

Like Marjorie Turnbull said during our meal delivery time on Wednesday, Tallahassee is a very caring community and I too am proud to be a part of it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5249 Water Valley Drive

5249 Water Valley Drive

One of my properties for sale. Great price on the water. One of the very lowest in the subdivision. Call me today for a showing at Angie Goodman, Keller Williams Realty, 850-321-4666.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Enjoy a Good Laugh

Portion of an Ellen DeGeneres show a while back. Well worth a few laughs to help your day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home Sale Statistics for Tallahassee's First Quarter

Real estate is local. Here's the numbers for Tallahassee (all of Leon County) home sales for 2008 and 2009 thus far.

Jan. 08 - 148 Jan. 09 - 92
Feb. 08 - 179 Feb. 09 - 100
March 08 - 230 March 09 - 139

Obviously home sales are down for the 2009 year as compared to last year. Still the number of homes sales for the year hasn't reached the peak months yet. With the $8000 tax credit incentive, perhaps the first time homebuyers will push Tallahassee back up to increased sales.

Real Estate Sales by Month in Tallahassee

I did statistics for 2007 and 2008 and of course thus far for 2009 on the number of homes sold (closed) by month in each year. I wanted to show the cycle to help sellers recognize when to place their homes for sale. Yes, there will be more homes available during this period, but most get sold during it too. While 2007 peaked in July with substantial homes sold in August too, 2008 peaked in June and then dropped abruptly. With the $8000 tax incentive for first time homebuyers, hopefully 2009 will continue strong sales (as strong as they will be this year) through August also.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Update on Tallahassee Real Estate

I've checked the stats for closed homes, townhomes, mobile homes and condos in Leon County for January and February of 2009 and compared them to those for the same period in 2008. While the Florida Association of Realtors says homes sales for the state are up this period as compared to last year, that is not the case, sadly, for Leon County. Our numbers show these sales for this period to be almost half of what they were last year.

I feel this is probably due to concern about the economy and job market, yet there are some buyers out there that just seem do not want to make a decision. Is it because there are too many properties to choose from and they are afraid they'll miss that "perfect" house? Are they just afraid of getting into debt?

Whatever the reason, interest rates are great. Yes mortgage guidelines are strict, but those with good credit can buy. Home prices are also very good and we may not see values like these for decades to come.

If you are interested in buying a home, haven't owned one in at least 3 years, then attend my First Time Homebuyer Class being held on Saturday, March 21, at 10:00 a.m. at the Keller Williams Realty office. Just call me at 850-321-4666 to register. Take a positive step toward home ownership and proven wealth building.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Investor Update on Fannie Mae Loans

This info was sent to me by our in house lender, Carolyn Haley with Fairway Mortgage. If you are interested investment property and need a loan, call her and then call me to find the property. In fact, I have a new listing at 1854 Rodeo Ct. in Frontier Estates, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1 car garage around 1000 sq. feet, split bedroom plan, cathedral ceiling, built in 1992. Everything original except garage door (I think) for a spectacular price of $100,000! Anyway here's the info from Carolyn.

Effective 3/1/2009

Fannie Mae is modifying this policy to allow investor and second home borrowers to own five to ten financed properties if they meet certain eligibility and underwriting and delivery requirements.

Fannie Mae’s current policy limits the number of one- to four-unit financed properties in which the borrower may have an individual or joint ownership interest to four financed properties when the mortgage being delivered to Fannie Mae is secured by an investment property or second home.

Carolynn Haley
Mortgage Loan Originator
(850) 556-0705 (cellular)
(866) 201-4664 (e-fax)
(850) 701-2663 (office)
Fairway Independent Mortgage Company

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Boost Your Brain Power

AARP published 50 ways to boost your noodle. One of those ways was to redecorate your home!!!! Yeah baby! Redecorate and redesign your environment from ideas such as planting flowers in front of your home, redecorate your kitchen, rearrange your drawers and closets (don't we all need to do that-get more organized) to changing the candles in your living room to different scented ones. Supposedly this alters motor pathways in the brain and encourage new cell growth.

If you are planning to sell your home, these things are necessary anyway. Plus, it will make your home look more spacious when you get rid of the clutter and when buyers look in your closets they'll see how organized you are and think if they buy your house, they can be organized too.

Now go redecorate!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

January 09 real estate stats

I'd like to say things are picking up. I'd like to say that, but January 09 stats on sold single family homes in Leon County, Tallahassee, are 69 as compared to 111 for January 08. There does seem to be increased activity, but buyers are still looking longer, trying to find that house that works for the money. They typically are shopping longer now. If their rental lease is up in a few months, they are looking now, instead of waiting until it's time to move.

Some sellers are also recognizing if they want to sell, it must be priced right. This having room for negotiation isn't really required if the price if lower than any of the competition and if it's not lower than the competition, they are not getting offers.

So sellers, don't price on the high side, price on the low side and get a price close to your asking one.

Monday, January 19, 2009

State of the Tallahassee Real Estate

I wrote a recent newsletter to my sphere giving information about the 2008 state of Tallahassee real estate and projections for 2009. In this past Sunday's paper, a competitive real estate office had a surprisingly similar article in the real estate section.

I'm in no way suggesting plagiarism, I'm delighted to see what I wrote confirmed by other Realtors in the area.

In a quick synposis, this is what I said: Tallahassee sales of single family homes, townhomes and condos were lower in 2008 than any year for the past 5 years. Sales may have been lower than 2003, but I didn't go back that far. Still there were over 2500 sales in 2008.

Expectations for 2009 are that these resales will be slightly higher in 2009, but new construction is not expected to gain for the year.

Mortgage rates couldn't be better, local banks are lending and there are some fabulous buys out there, many sellers are willing to negotiate.

Of the sales for 2008 and 1500 Realtors with the Tallahassee Board, only 1000 brokered a transaction during the year. Of those 1000, with the help of repeat customers and customer referrals (the bulk of my business) I finished the year in the top 20% of sales. Thank you all very much for your referrals and business.

Wish to know more about Tallahassee's real estate market or want information about foreclosures or short sales, check out my website at

Friday, January 16, 2009

Are You In?

The web has changed our world. While I'm still adjusting to websites, even taking a recent on line class to creat web pages-what fun, I'm still quite the novice at all this electronic gadgetry overtaking our world. I've never been one to "chat" on line with friends, but feel the necessity for business and for staying on top of some of this that I be in on some of the social networks. Plus, since over 80% of people check properties on line before ever calling a Realtor, a web presence for real estate is a necessity.

Are you 'linked in'? How about a presence on facebook, or twitter, or activerain? I heard of something new the other day, haven't checked it yet, called 'stumbled upon'

While you don't have to be IN, it's to our advantage to at least be a little versed with the web. I understand that Costco and was it Walmart? when they opened on Mahan were only taking applications on line. Now AARP is going to on line registration and soon payment for their Safe Driving Classes.

No, most of us don't like change, but learning is good and can be very fun. Stay young, stay in touch, learn something new and get in the 21st century-get IN on some of the social networks or at least learn something about the web.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Who's Buying Real Estate in Florida

Florida Association of Realtors released information recently on 2008 findings for buyers. Here's a few of the statistics collected on profiles for the Florida buyer.

First-time home buyers accounted for 43 percent of recent home purchases. The median age of home buyers was 43 years old. Among first-time buyers, the median age was 32. Fifty-eight percent of home buyers were married couples, 18 percent single females, 13 percent single males, and 9 percent were unmarried couples. Forty-eight percent of first-time home buyers were between 25 and 34 years old. The primary reason for the recent home purchase was a desire to own a home for 60 percent of first-time buyers.

And perhaps most important for obtaining and helping buyers is this statistic:Forty-six percent of home buyers reported using social networking Web sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster. Among home buyers aged 18 to 24, 85 percent reported using social networking sites, and 50 percent reported using them every day or nearly every day.

The Web is used. Real estate agents have to be part of that electronic media.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Killearn Acres Home New on Market for Sale

I'm conducting an open house this Sunday, 1-11-09 from 2 to 4 p.m. at 3241 Gallant Fox Trail in Killearn Acres. This home is ready for buyers wanting to move right in, with refrigerator/icemaker, washer and dryer included in the sale. The home has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage with split bedroom plan, open floor plan, eat-in kitchen, fireplace, screened back porch and large yard with privacy fence. The master bed and bath are both spacious with double vanity sinks, all bedrooms have walk in closets. Home has cathedral ceilings, hardiboard exterior and 1312 square feet, built in 1996. Come see at the open house or view pictures at my website at