Condo vs single family home

Often times when prospective buyers first reach out to me its because they have seen something that has caught their eye. It may be because the price is so great or the property is so beautiful. In most cases, they do not purchase the original home that they first contacted me about. So I am often called upon to give guidance in terms of what type of dwelling unit would best suit their needs.

This is where the condo vs single family home discussion always comes up. Since obviously we are based in Central Florida, specifically Celebration, we have lots of part-time and vacation residents as well as full-timer’s. For those who only spend part of their time here, they are often partial to a condominium for the maintenance free ease. Condos are great for being able to be left part of the year. There is no yard to maintain, painting and power washing are taken care of by the association, and your utilities are usually very low.

What people don’t often realize when they first look at the purchase price is that there are other costs associated with owning a condo that factor largely into the monthly carrying costs – the condo fees. These fees vary greatly by community, but most are a large amount of the monthly carrying costs for owning the unit. They also factor greatly into how much you can afford to buy. For example, a recent client of mine was approved to purchase a condo up to $150,000. That condo had a monthly maintenance fee of $375. If he purchased a single family home, which does not have a condo fee, he was approved for up to $220,000. Those fees greatly impact the affordability of a particular property and make up a large portion of your monthly payment.

So when considering a particular property, you have to take into account more than the purchase price. There is insurance, homeowners association fees, monthly condo fees, and various other costs. It is important to get all of this information for your Realtor prior to making a decision of what type of dwelling unit best suits your need.  You will be better equipped to compare properties when you have all of the associated costs.

A nectar professional would be happy to assist you with all of your real estate questions.

Showcase of Citrus

With an orange slice in our logo, how can we not feature one of the best aspects of living in Central Florida – picking your own citrus fruit! We have had the opportunity take advantage of this family fun activity several times over the years. The kids love it, and the smell of orange blossom is wonderful.

Showcase of Citrus in Clermont, FL is where we have spent several weekend afternoons pulling our wagon around gathering different varieties of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines. Showcase of Citrus has been family owned and operated for 4 generations.  It is only about a 20 minute drive from where we are in Celebration, FL. There are so many fun things to check out while you’re there.  Not only can you pick citrus fruit, you can sample and purchase jams and jellies from the country store, and fish from the dock on their lake. Bring your own fishing pole or they will be happy to lend you one.

You can check the grove’s website for their hours of operation, to order fruit sent directly to you, to to see what is in season. Click here for more information.

Happy Picking!

Orlando Area Rainy Day Activities

Since today is one of the rainiest days here in a quite a while, I thought it made sense to highlight some of the fun indoor activities here in Orlando. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Disney Quest – This arcade-style attraction features 5 floors of gaming fun and innovation. There are 3-D encounters, virtual reality experiences, and classic video games. Some of the highlights are the Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for Buccaneer Gold, Virtual Jungle Cruise, CyberSpace Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters. So much to do in one place!

2. Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando – This is not your average resort. With a 4.5 acre glass covered atrium, the Gaylord Palms bring Florida’s natural wonders to life. There is a replica of a Spanish fortress to explore, a “Gator Springs” are with live alligators, sting rays, Everglages environment with live game fish, a Key West Lagoon and much more. So much interactive fun along with plenty of cute shops and tasty restaurants.

3. Orlando Science Center – With 4 floors of exciting exhibits, there is so much to do and see. One of their current exhibits features Bob the Builder, which is great for the pre-school aged children. The Science Center offers lots of movies on their giant screen as well at live programming that changes weekly. They are also currently hosting their NASA speaker series where onlookers can hear firsthand from people who worked on space vehicles and shuttles. For the full exhibit schedule, click here.

Don’t let the rain hold up your fun!

California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Orlando

As a resident of the area, it is often my pleasure to take advantage of all of the wonderful restaurants that Disney has provided through its parks or resorts. Even though I’m not on vacation, that doesn’t mean that I can’t eat like I am.

Even before we moved to Central Florida, specifically Celebration, one of our favorite restaurants has been the California Grill. It has an awesome location on the top floor of the Contemporary Resort right next to the Magic Kingdom. From the windows and the observation deck, you can see right into the Magic Kingdom, watch the nightly fireworks, and see miles of the surrounding area.

The menu is changed nightly and offers gourmet cuisine in the California Fusion style. The wine list is extensive and the wait staff is fully prepared to suggest something based on your dining choices and personal preferences. The menu offers something for everyone; with world class sushi, brick oven flatbreads, an oak-fired beef filet, and Sonoma goat cheese ravioli just to name a few. No matter what you get, you will not disappointed.  Be sure to make reservations in advance though as this on-stage dining room fills up quickly.

For information on the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, click here. Or better yet, if you would like to own a little of Walt Disney Resort, check out what Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort has to offer.

Sea World Camp

With so many different things to do in the Summer here in Central Florida, it is pretty hard to chose how one is going to spend the next couple months of balmy days. Usually the pool starts taking precedence at this time of year, but even that gets boring after a while. So many people look at Summer Camps as a way to stimulate their kids while they are out of school.

One camp that I have heard great things about is the Sea World Adventure Camp located at Sea World Orlando. They have a variety of options available depending on the age of your child. They start at Pre-school age and go all the way up through Grade 12. There are day camps as well as resident and sleepover camps. They cover a vast array of water based instruction and activities. For example, the pre-schoolers will do the “Seafari” where they will explore penguins, manatees, sting rays, and small sharks. They get to do up-close animal encounters, fun activities, and take a home a craft. For older children, they have more extensive topics like Marine Biology 101 where they will conduct experiments and do hands-on animal study.

The resident and sleepover camps offer kids a chance to see what a career working with animals would be like and they get behind-the-scence glimpses into animal care and training.  If you have an annual pass to the parks, make sure to mention it when booking your camp.  You get a great discount!

There are several different topics and schedules to chose from, so check the camp website for more information here.

New Record Sale in NYC

The real estate market in Central Florida has certainly seen some great leaps forward this past year, and an article posted by the NY Times last week proved that the turnaround is all over the place.

As someone who obviously follows the real estate market, I am always interested to see what things sell for in other parts of the country or even the world. Well a mystery buyer just agreed to pay over $90 million, yes million, for a new penthouse duplex at One57. Extell Development, the builder of this exclusive Midtown property which features a Park Hyatt on the lower floors, said that the buyer wished to remain anonymous at this time. This unit is almost 11,000 square feet and takes up the 89th and 90th floors of the building. Of course, the $90 million price tag is astounding, but when you break it down, it’s even more incredible. The buyer is paying over $13,000 per square foot.

Although this sale is clearly unique, the real estate market as a whole is constantly improving. The NAR reported last month that the median home price increased 10.1% from April 2011. This is great news for the stability of the market.

So whether your home is worth $100,000 or $100 million, your value is looking up!

When you’re ready to make a move, contact a nectar professional..

Gaylord Palms Partners with Shrek & Dreamworks

The Gaylord Palms Resort just a few miles away (from Celebration, FL) has partnered with Dreamworks to offer Summer Fun with Shrek & Friends. You can vacation with your favorite Dreamworks characters select weekends from May 26-August 26 this Summer. You can become an honorary ogre at ShrekFeast, hang out with some wild animals at the Madagascar Crack-a-Lackin’ Pool Party at the all-new Cypress Spring Family Fun Water Park, or enjoy any of the many other Dreamworks-insprired surprises that will be offered for the entire family.

The Gaylord Palms Resort is a wonderful vacation spot just a few miles from Disney that features the gorgeous Relache Spa and state-of-the-art convention facilities. Now they will also be renowned for offering kid-friendly entertainment during their busy Summer season. It is a great place to stay if you want fabulous accommodations close to the parks but with a little more quiet than staying right on property.

For more information on Summer Fun with Shrek & Friends, click here.

Disney’s Star Wars Weekend

For all of those sic-fi lovers out there, it’s Star Wars Weekend’s time of year again at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort here in Orlando. Star Wars Weekends take place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the following weekends: May 18th-20th, May 25th-27th, June 1st-3rd, and June 8th-10th 2012.

Star Wars weekends is Disney’s giant Star Wars festival that showcases the movies through a featured parade and other special activities and attractions. There will be stormtroopers at the entrance, Star Wars music playing in the parks, and the new Jedi Training Academy which features Darth Vader and teaches children how to use a light saber. You can also enjoy the Hyperspace Hoopla where characters have a funny dance party every night at 7:45pm in front of Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat.

Click here to get more information and guides on this event. May the force be with you!

Nectar Real Estate Now on Pinterest

Nectar Real Estate has joined the Pinterest community. Pinterest is a great platform for sharing and organizing ideas about real estate, homes, decorating, products, and even events. Browsing pinboards is a wonderful way for people to visualize the lifestyle and local events going on here in Central Florida. We have been pinning real estate around the world, decorating tips and projects, local community events, products we love, and things that inspire us. We have also enabled our website to allow you to pin properties directly from it, so if you find a particular property pin-worthy, you can add it to one of your boards.

You can follow us on Pinterest here. Happy Pinning!

Florida International Beer Festival

One of this weekend’s prime events is the 19th Annual Florida International Beer Festival. Located in downtown Orlando at Heritage Square Park, the festival will feature over 100 different brews from around the world paired with food from local eateries. The festival will also include lots of live entertainment and local bands. The event takes place tomorrow, May 19, from 4pm-8pm.

Advance general admission tickets can be purchased at Chico’s Dirty Tacos and Tequila, Harp & Celt Restaurant and Irish Pub, Petty’s Meats, Mellow Mushroom and Friendly Confines Sports Restaurant. Tickets at the gate are $35.

For more information, click here.