Dining: Spotlight on Artist Point

One of our favorite things to do is go out to eat out ,and being so close to Disney, there are just too many options to name. One of our ultimate favorites though is the upscale eatery at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Artist Point.

This has long been a favorite destination of ours. We love the lodge-style architecture and the view of the waterfall and Bay Lake from the windows surrounding the dining room. There are also gorgeous murals painted on the walls and ceilings.  It is a very peaceful, elegant dining experience.  Of course you can have all of the ambience in the world, but what counts is the food.

The food choices are all from the specific Northwest and change seasonally.  They offer wonderful seafood and game choices as well as vegetarian options. They also have an extensive wine list that showcases over 130 wines from wineries in the Pacific Northwest Region.   Artist Point at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge



Here’s what I had:

Wine – Sylvan Ridge Muscat

Appetizer – Kettle Steamed Penn Cove Mussels

Dinner – Grilled Center Cut Filet

Dessert – (Yes, I still managed to fit in dessert.) Artist Point Cobbler

To see all of the yummy options there, check out the Current Artist Point Menu .

Next you want to try out a new restaurant, call and make a reservation at Artist Point.  You will not be disappointed!


Gray Is Here To Stay

Gray is everywhere! From upholstery to counter tops, this color have become a trend with some serious staying power. I see it in many of the new home models that have been staged by decorators, and gray furniture has become increasing popular in home magazines. Since I am often asked about paint colors for resale, I try to keep up Dark Gray CouchSoft Gray Sofa & LoveseatGray Accent PiilowsGray Paint ChoicesSherwin Williams GrayGray BathroomGray Kitchen Cabinetson the trends, and all I can say is GRAY is the “go-to” choice right now. It is both perfectly neutral and wonderfully modern. If you are looking to make a change, check out these options.

Celebration Commercial Space

Home Business District
Home Business District

504celebration2Celebration, FL has so much to offer, but one thing that is always in short supply is Commercial Space. If you are looking to move a business here, you probably already know that rental spaces downtown usually have a waiting list a mile long. Then even if you can get one, the rental amount is VERY expensive and there are lots of additional fees.

A great solution is to find a house, yes a house, in the Home Business District of Celebration’s Main Village. This is an area of the Main Village situated on a select part of Celebration Avenue and Front Street. There are only a few homes in this area, so one does not come up for sale too often. Right now there is one home/building for sale right on Celebration Avenue.  It has great frontage for drivers and walkers as they come into town and plenty of private and street parking.

504 Celebration Avenue – 3300 Sq Ft Heated

This property was a former showcase model built for Disney’s Celebration Company and has lots to offer including gorgeous upgrades, lots of space, and the ability and live and work in one area. There is private parking for up to 8 cars that was added in 2007. The property can be used for medical, financial, dental office space, etc. Plus it can also be used for residential purposes. You can have your business and live in the home at the same time making it not only a great place to live and work but also a great investment. Since opportunities to own commercial space in Celebration rarely come on the market, you can be sure that you have something special with this property.

For more information or to schedule a time to see this property, please feel free to call or email me any time at 321-697-8230 or jana@homesbynectar.com.

When Is a House Less Expensive Than a Condo?

The majority of people make the broad-spectrum assumption that a condominium is almost always less expensive than a single family home in the same neighborhood. This is a rather short-sighted assumption as it takes only one factor in to account – the purchase price.  There are many other expenses to consider.

Buyers seem to live and breathe their budget, and who can blame them. Purchasing a property is typically the largest financial transaction any person will make in their lifetime. Buyers usually know what they are comfortable with spending as the purchase price; however, that purchase price is only one factor in a larger equation.

Here is a great example that will let us compare 2 properties and the “real” cost of owning them.

Property #1:
1221 Stonecutter Drive #7214 Celebration, FL 34747 – listed for $287,950
3 bedroom 3 bathroom (1854 square feet) condominium located on the 2nd floor of an elevator building in Celebration.  It also includes a 1 car garage.

Property #2:
1020 Nash Drive – listed at $374,900
3 bedroom 2 & 1/2 bathroom single family home in Celebration with a first floor master bedroom and 2 car garage.

Mortgage Payment (P&I)     Celebration HOA     Condo Fee     Lawn Maint.     Taxes                     Total Monthly Costs

Property #1    $1180.93                                   $75.67                         $579.33         $0                        $303.67                  $2139.60

Property #2    $1537.52                                   $96.75                         $0                   $85                      $399.50                  $2118.77

At first glance, you would assume that the property with the almost $90,000 lower list price would obviously be less expensive to own, but that is not the case.  So in this instance, the property with the higher purchase price is actually less expensive on a monthly basis.  Without having the large condo fee, the potential buyer has much more monthly budget that could be put towards their purchasing power instead of condo fees.  Plus a single family home is typically a better long term investment.  The condo fees can scare off potential buyers down the road or make the property too expensive for their budget.  It is important to assess monthly budgets and carrying costs as well as the purchase price.  This is where our expertise can help you.1221stonecutter1020nash

If you are in the market to buy, please contact us so we can help you get the most value for your budget.

*Monthly payment were determined by assuming an interest rate of 4.6% with a 20% down payment at the list price.  Taxes were based on the 2012 taxes listed in public records.

How Can a U.S. Property’s Value Be Determined by Someone in India???

Bloomberg News posted an article the other day that really struck a chord with me. First off no one ever likes to here that jobs for potential American workers are being moved to another country, but I also thought about the absurdity of the change referenced in the article.

Th article states that 4 Bank of America insiders have reported that appraisal review will now be completed by a review center in Bangalore, India. Yes, INDIA. We all know that many call centers have been outsourced to India, but this change of venue really floored me. The premise, of course, is to lower Bank of America’s costs throughout the mortgage process.

That is all fine and well if the savings are passed along to borrowers, but will they be? Plus, and here is my #1 problem with this, how can people who are unfamiliar with U.S. homes and the housing market here correctly assess the accuracy of these appraisals? Unless you are familiar with the market in a particular area and understand the appraisal process, you can not be expected to accurately assess the validity of the comparable sales chosen by the appraiser to use or whether or not the property is located in an upward-swinging market. There are so many factors that have to be taken into account, and not they are proposing that the reviewers merely assess these appraisals with a checklist form.  With prices in many areas on the rise and comparable sales sometimes hard to find, I think this policy change could throw a monkey wrench in Bank of America’s plan to rebuild its share of the U.S. mortgage market. For every loan that gets denied due to appraisal review, Bank of America loses thousands of dollars in paid wages for man hours spent working on that file, and of course that also means no revenue from the interest of that loan.

It looks like I will be continuing my practice of referring clients to mortgage brokers instead of large faceless lenders.