Why is Real Estate a Good Investment?

 

What makes real estate “the best investment on Earth” according to Louis Glickman? There are dozens of ways to invest, from the stock market to bonds and mutual fund, even gold. While everyone’s investment situation is unique, real estate is one investment that has stood the test of time and is what many agree to be a wise investment for your money. Here are just a few reasons why real estate is such a smart investment.

 

  • Consistency is key

A smart real estate purchase provides consistent, steady growth and increases in value over time. According to Investopedia, real estate provided an average return of 8.6% from 1978-2004. Not only that, you can do things to increase your return by adding value to your property. Buy an empty lot and build a beautiful home or renovate a run-down home on a great piece of land and watch your money multiply. There are so many ways to increase the value of your property; it’s just up to you. Like fortunebuilders.com points out, your own actions generally control your net earnings in real estate. The same can’t be said about the stock market.

 

  • Tangible vs. Intangible

With real estate you have a certain amount of control over your investment. You can physically go to the property, see the house and pick up the dirt in your own two hands. With other investments, such as the stock market, you never see anything tangible, nor do you have very much control over it. If your stock is doing poorly, what can you do? Nothing, except cross your fingers and hope it rebounds. With real estate you not only have the tangible asset right there in front of you, you have control over it. If your property isn’t selling you can put some money in to it, finally install those granite countertops buyers are asking for, and put it back on the market. If dealing with tenants is eating up too much of your time, you can find a reputable property manager to handle tenants and any issues that arise, sparing your valuable time. Real estate allows you to be in the driver’s seat, unlike many other investments where you are a passive observer.

FL life real estate

  • Make your money work for you

The saying goes that landlords make money in their sleep. It’s not just a nice thought, its true! While there are expenses when it comes to owning and renting out a property, when done right the rewards can far outweigh the negatives. Just look at the tax benefits. According to Turbo Tax, if you rent out your second home for 14 days or less over one year, your rental income is tax-free! That’s money right in your pocket just for giving up two weeks or less at your second home. And there are no limits. If you rent out your Daytona Beach condo during the Daytona 500 and make triple what a normal week would bring it, you still get to keep all that money, tax-free. Not to mention you get to enjoy your beach condo the rest of the year!

 

While everyone should do their own research before jumping into any investment, real estate is a clearly an option that shouldn’t be overlooked. If I can assist you with finding a Florida investment property or vacation home, please contact me at sarah@sarahcaudill.com.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Venetian Bay

Located just 8 miles from the heart of New Smyrna, you will find a majestic fountain paired with grand arches marking the entrance to Venetian Bay, one of the premier neighborhood communities of New Smyrna Beach. Venetian Bay offers miles of charming homes and townhouses, a quaint town center and amenities that make Florida life so attractive. This week we are taking a closer look at Venetian Bay, and why it could be a good fit for you and your family.

 

1) What does home look like to you?

When you think about your ideal neighborhood, what comes to mind? Do miles of biking trails, lush landscaping, charming homes, golf courses and pools sound about right? Venetian Bay offers all of these amenities and more, making it an inviting place to call home.

Town center1

Venetian Bay Town Center

The town center of Venetian Bay provides a fitness center, Venetian Bay Methodist Church and local restaurants for residents to enjoy without leaving the neighborhood. When residents do feel like venturing out, one of the best beaches in Florida is waiting just a couple of miles away, complete with dolphin sightings and some of the best waves and wide sandy beaches around.

If school zones are a big factor in your decision, Venetian Bay is zoned for Chisholm Elementary, Samsula Academy, Sacred Heart School, New Smyrna Middle School, New Smyrna High School and St. Barnabas Episcopal Private School. In addition, Volusia County has plans to build a new elementary school in Venetian Bay on 20 acres recently purchased.

 

2) Dust off those golf clubs

Venetian Bay’s golf course is the stuff legends are made of. The 18-hole Championship  course was designed by Clifton, Ezell and Clifton and is specifically designed to accommodate the newest of golfers to the pro golfers looking for a challenge. Venetian Bay Golf Club also offers golf lessons for those looking to develop their talents or golfers looking to refine their technique. After a long day of golf, be sure to stop by Champions Grill and enjoy one of their classic burgers followed by a slice of traditional key lime pie.

 

3) Completed communities

Venetian Bay offers 6 completed communities, all slightly different enough to satisfy an array of preferences. Parkside Townhomes offer the luxury of maintence-free living with exterior, landscape and irrigation maintenance provided and its own community pool and recreation area.

Parkside pool.jpg

Parkside pool

Marisol and Maribella feature 3 and 4 bedroom estate style homes, perfect for growing families. Tuscany Reserve homes give residents extra peace of mind as every home, built by The Johnson Group, has a safe room included designed to meet, or exceed, FEMA requirements.

Tuscany Reserve homes feature lakefront and preserve locations, while offering the security of a gated entrance. St. Regis offers French country design with slate tile roofs while Venetian Villas feature one and two-story floor plans. Tuscany Square condominiums are located in the town center of Venetian Bay and exude a Mediterranean atmosphere, complete with fountains and barrel tile roofs.

 

4) New homes

Venetian Bay is home to 8 new communities, so if a brand new home is on your wish list, look no further. Portofino Club Homes range from 1,800 to 2,400 sq ft and feature amenities such as solid wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granites counter tops. Portofino Reserve homes offer stunning golf course views and top of the line amenities, such as paver driveways, to match.

Portofino Reserve

Portofino Reserve model home

Portofino Estates homes boast above code construction with a 10-year structural warranty in a gated community complete with water and golf course views. Lakes and preserves surround Arbor Lakes, making it a tranquil escape but still within walking distance to the town center. Savannah Pointe offers one and two-story homes from 1,500 to 3,000 sq ft located with preserve and waterfront views.

Savannah Pointe includes the luxury of maintenance-free living and walking distance to the town center. Lakes of Verano homes include 2-3 bedroom floor plans, with many energy smart features, gourmet kitchens and a two-year warranty of Holiday Builders Coverage. The Estates at Verano is a 191 lot community featuring quaint cottage homes and coach homes with 7 models to choose from. Savona North and South is a community of KB homes close enough to walk to the town center and in the mid 200’s.

 

Please visit my website, sarahcaudill.com, to view homes currently available in Venetian Bay. If I can answer any question you have about Venetian Bay or other neighborhoods don’t hesitate to contact me at sarah@sarahcaudill.com.

-Sarah

sarah@sarahcaudill.com

How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

Scott and Sue decided to move to the tropical warmth of the Florida coast after years of living in Massachusetts. They decided to purchase a home before making the move, so they knew they had to find just the right real estate agent to help them with the process. After a few failed meetings with different agents, Scott and Sue contacted Sarah and Tim Caudill, a husband and wife real estate team in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Sarah and Tim helped them secure their dream home and today Scott and Sue are happily settled and living the Florida life in their dream home. Here are some of Scott and Sue’s top tips for picking a real estate agent!

  • Finding the right agent doesn’t just happen.

There are hundreds of real estate agents vying for your business, so how do you pick one? Scott and Sue thoroughly researched agents and read dozens of reviews on Zillow to find the agent that best fit them. While reading reviews, don’t just skim the page and tally up how many stars they have- really read through each review to get a good idea of what that agent is like to work with. Do they have multiple reviews highlighting how responsive and available they were? Finding an agent who is readily available and responds quickly is imperative in a home search.

“We called some agents and they wouldn’t even return our call,” Scott explained. One of the things that made Tim and Sarah stand out was their responsiveness, said Scott.

While looking at an agent’s Zillow reviews and profile, don’t be mesmerized by dozens of listings. Do you want to hire an agent who has 30 listings and multiple buyers all vying for their time and attention? Pick an agent with listings, but not so many listings that you will get lost in the crowd.

Finish your research by calling them up try to get to know them. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, especially about their knowledge of the area or if they have sold many homes like the one you are looking for.

Finally, after talking with an agent but before declaring that you have found the one, check their license. Real estate agents must participate in continuing education in order to keep their license current and active. Check out your local Department of Business and Professional Regulation website and search under real estate licensees. Make sure their license says current and active. If their license is current and inactive or null and void, slowly step away!

Pro tip: Residents of Florida can download the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s app to look up licensees. Search DBPR Florida in the app store and download it to keep it at your fingertips!

  •  You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Negotiating one of the largest investments you probably ever make isn’t for the faint of heart and shouldn’t be left to an amateur. A good agent has hundreds of negotiations under their belt and understands the best approach to take. Talk to your potential agent and ask them how they handle negotiations. Getting an agent skilled in negotiations can often mean the difference between purchasing the home of your dreams or watching the deal fall apart.

In addition to negotiation, a good agent will be your ally and help you navigate through the sea of paperwork that will be waiting for you once your offer is accepted. Questions will undoubtedly arise, so make sure you find a agent who is skilled in follow-up and thorough communication.

“Tim and Sarah always had the answers or got back to us right away about the paperwork,” said Scott. They really knew how to handle the paperwork and that just made the process easy, said Sue.

sarahcauill blog

  • It’s not just about the money.

Are you a client or a commission? An agent who loves their job will stand out- their energy, enthusiasm, dedication and integrity will make it crystal clear that it is not just about a commission for them. Additionally, a good agent will be honest with you and tell you the truth- even when you don’t want to hear it or when it could cost them a sale. The right agent will never push you to make an offer on a home you aren’t sure about or push you too far out of your budget.

“Tim and Sarah never pressured us to buy. You could tell that a sale didn’t matter to them- they just wanted to make sure we were happy. We even went to a few houses and they would say no, this isn’t a good deal for you and we wouldn’t even go in.,” said Scott, who appreciated their honesty.

There is a lot to consider when picking an agent. Follow these tips and don’t let the process intimidate you- the right agent will be with you every step of the way!

Happy house hunting!

 

 

5 Reasons Why Minorca Is Your Next Dream Beach Condo

The condo community of Minorca, located on the north end of the New Smyrna Beach, is a private oasis that instantly transports guests to their own private Mediterranean island the second they step foot on the property. While Minorca is just one of the hundreds of condo communities New Smyrna Beach has to offer, we think Minorca offers amenities that help make New Smyrna Beach one of the best beach communities in the world. Let’s dive in and explore why Minorca might be your next dream condo.

Minorca balcony view edited

1) Location, location, location

Minorca is perfectly located between three major waterways; the Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Inlet and the intercostal waterway. This location gives residents the unique opportunity to enjoy all three without ever leaving the north end of the island. Residents can dock and enjoy their boat on the intercostal waterway across the street from Minorca, fish in the inlet next to Minorca or ride the waves on the beach directly in front of Minorca.

Minorca from the sky

The inlet side of Minorca resides next to Smyrna Dunes Park. The park boasts 73 acres of land on the New Smyrna Beach peninsula and holds a treasure trove of wildlife, pristine beach, and two miles of elevated walkways. Dolphins, manatees and fish of all kind can be seen in the water, and fishing is allowed throughout the park. Smyrna Dunes Park is also one of the only dog-friendly beaches in New Smyrna, so Fido can enjoy the beach alongside you (just be sure to keep Fido leashed).

When it’s time to recharge with a good meal, a peaceful 2-mile stroll down the road will take you to the charming area of New Smyrna Beach known as Flagler Avenue. Flagler Ave is filled with quaint shopping, a foodie’s dream of restaurants and several art galleries. Indulge in some of the best pizza in New Smyrna at Third Wave Café and Wine bar and then stop by for a sweet treat at Beachside Candy Co. After that, follow your ears and you will be sure to find a local artists playing at one of the many local Flagler Ave restaurants.

2) Did you say amenities?

At Minorca, there is no shortage of amenities. The property offers several heated pools, a spa and sauna, fitness center, tennis courts, a clubhouse with a pool table and library, under-building parking, a beachside pavilion and 2 gated beach walk-overs, to name a few. Each unit also provides residents with breath taking views from a private balcony. There are seven buildings on the property, with the newest building completed in 2006 and offering the comfort of modern and updated units (310 units on the property to be exact).

3) Views for days

The views at Minorca are one-of-a-kind. Each private balcony provides an oasis to enjoy the unobstructed view of the sunrise or the sunset, as well as the calming sight of the Atlantic Ocean. Views of the famous Ponce Inlet Lighthouse can also be seen, enriching the history and charm of the area. The sprawling 65-acre community means that your view is of the landscape and scenery- not a parking lot.

Minorca from the balcony edited

4) Peace of mind

There is nothing like the secure feeling of a gated community. Minorca takes security seriously, and every visitor must be approved by a resident of Minorca to enter. The gatehouse entry is staffed 24/7 with a security guard and the property is regularly patrolled throughout the day and night. In addition, management is on-site, providing residents stress-free ownership.

5) Family-friendly

Located only one hour from Orlando, Minorca offers the luxury of beachside living while only a short drive to the mecca of amusement parks. Whether entertaining your own kids, grandkids, or looking for adventure yourself, Orlando offers a full range of entertainment for all ages. With Disney World, Universal Studios, and  Sea World all just a quick drive away, its hard not to see Minorca as the ultimate combination of beachside relaxation and family fun.

 

2015 Sales $6.537 Million

I am very honored to have helped so many families buy and sell property in Volusia County during 2015! Thank you for putting your trust in me!  I am looking forward to a great 2016!!

About Sarah Caudill, MBA

 www.SarahCaudill.com – Sarah Caudill epitomizes professionalism, commitment, and integrity in every detail of your real estate transaction.  Sarah is a Florida native who understands our unique market.  When selecting a real estate agent in New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, Edgewater, Ponce Inlet, and Port Orange, strong knowledge of the community, strong negotiation skills, and a commitment to providing excellent service are all crucial elements.  Sarah helps both buyers and sellers meet their real estate objectives. Sarah will work tirelessly on your behalf to make your next home buying or home selling experience a pleasant and successful one.

New Smyrna Beach Acreage Homes

Have you been looking for acreage in Florida?  New Smyrna Beach has some outstanding opportunities for buyers looking to purchase acreage and live close to the beach.

Here are 50 homes with at least 2.5 acres in New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding areas:  CLICK HERE

Here is vacant land with at least 2.5 acres in New Smyrna Beach and the surrounding areas:  CLICK HERE

We are seeing a common thread in buyers that are recognizing the highest and best quality properties as irreplaceable and those that are priced at fair market value are receiving the majority of the activity.  However, the homes and land with substantial challenges or properties that are perceived as being overpriced are not garnering much attention.

How long will it take to sell my home in New Smyrna Beach FL?

Views from Ebb Tide - www.sarahcaudill.com

Views from Ebb Tide – http://www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach Realtor

One of the first questions that sellers typically ask me is “How long will it take for my home to sell?”  This is not a simple question to answer.  There are many factors that go into selling your property.  Homes can sell the week they are listed and others take longer for that right buyer to come along.  Consider the following elements below when estimating how long it will take to sell your New Smyrna Beach home.

1. The Market –  

The most significant factor impacting the length of time it will take for your home to sell is the current condition of the housing market.  If the housing market is strong, your home will sell more quickly than when the housing market is performing poorly.  The good news is, the housing market in New Smyrna Beach is performing well as our inventory is low and demand is high in our city.

2. Interest Rates – 

Interest rates fluctuate daily.  When interest rates are high, buyers will be more hesitant to apply for a new loan.  When they are low, buyers are more likely to shop for a new house and apply for a mortgage.  Buyers can spend more on a home when interest rates are low.  This may bring additional buyers into the price range of your home.

3. Competition – 

Your home may take longer to sell if there is lots of competition in your neighborhood.  For example, if a buyer has made up their mind to buy a home under $275,000 in Venetian Bay and your home is one of three listed in that price range in Venetian Bay, buyers will more than likely consider your home.  However, if there are many homes in the same price range with similar features and amenities, buyers may not be as interested in your home.

4. Marketing – 

If buyers are not aware that your home is on the market, they will not come look at your home.  To sell your home quickly, it must be marketed effectively.  To be sure that your home has the best exposure, you need to find a New Smyrna Beach Realtor that is an expert on this area and who will invest their own money to advertise your property to the right buyers.

Visit my website at http://www.sarahcaudill.com to learn more about me and read my testimonials from buyers and sellers who have worked with me.  Contact me today to learn more about listing your home for sale.

How to Create the Perfect Pro-Style Kitchen

Pro-Style Kitchen | New Smyrna Beach | www.sarahcaudill.com

Pro-Style Kitchen | New Smyrna Beach | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

All homeowners who cook need a beautiful kitchen that provides them with the tools to efficiently and effectively prepare meals.  Having top level appliances, the correct layout, the right counter surfaces, deep sinks, and plenty of storage is essential.  In the real estate world we use terms like “gourmet kitchen” to describe a kitchen that has easy to maintain surfaces and an abundant amount of storage that a “chef” would incorporate in their kitchen.  These professional tools will make your kitchen a realm of “culinary magic”.

1.  Lighting – Having the right lighting in your kitchen is important.  The best kitchens have adequate lighting in the food prep areas and modern pendent lighting over the kitchen eating areas.  Recessed lighting is popular as it effectively brightens your entire kitchen.

2.  Kitchen Layout – Homeowners that enjoy cooking and being involved with friends and family prefer open kitchen layouts.  Kitchen layouts that flow into family and entertainment areas are chosen.  Having multiple food prep areas allow for multiple “chefs” in the house.  Consider a kitchen island or dual sinks.

3.  Counter Surfaces – If you plan on spending time in the kitchen, it is essential to invest in surfaces that will not scratch if cut on, not be stained easily, and not be burned if a hot pan or bowl of hot food is placed on them.  Durable surfaces such as granite and quartz that will withstand the normal wear of cooking are typically chosen for kitchen counter surfaces.

4.  Appliances – Professional level appliances provide added features that make it worth the extra money.  For example, professional-grade refrigerators often allow the owner to keep multiple temperatures for separate food storage compartments to keep food the freshest.  Stainless steel appliances and appliances that are hidden with matching cabinet doors are still popular.

To receive information about how much your kitchen contributes to the overall value of your home please contact me HERE.

5 Things You Should Do Before You Move Into Your New House

1.  Change out the Locks – The first thing you should do after leaving the closing table at the Title Company and receiving the keys is to change the locks of your new home.  You do not know who all has had keys to the home in the past and you want to ensure that you are the sole person with access to your home.  It is very inexpensive to change out the locks yourself or call a locksmith.

2.  Have your A/C Ducts Cleaned Out – Next, you should hire a duct cleaning service to clean out the ducts of your home.  It costs about $400 and will drastically improve the air quality in your new home.

3.  Clean the Carpets – Prior to moving in your furniture and personal belongings, you should steam clean the carpeted areas within your new home.  You have two options to have this work done.  It costs about $50 per day to rent a steam cleaner and do the work yourself or you can hire a professional carpet cleaner for about $50 per room.

4.  Pest Control – Ask a local pest control company to come out and treat the home for unwanted guests including roaches, ants, and spiders.  Depending on your location you might also want the home treated for mice and termites.

5.  Familiarize Yourself with the Location of the Main Water Valve and the Circuit Breaker Box – Make sure to test and ensure all of the switches in the breaker box are labeled appropriately.  It is important to know which switches control the different areas of your new house.  Also, it is good to know where the main water valve shut off is.  You always want to be prepared with that knowledge in case of a plumbing emergency situation.

For more information on important things to do when purchasing your new home, click here 

History of New Smyrna Beach

Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scottish physician and friend of James Grant, recruited 1,300 settlers from Europe and brought them to New Smyrna in 1768 after receiving a grant of land from Britain.  Dr. Andrew Turnbull recruited these settlers mostly from Minorca, an island off of Spain but also recruited from Italy and Greece.  His efforts to establish a colony this large were the first of this magnitude in all of North America.  Dr. Turnbull’s plans were for these settlers to produce rum and grow indigo, hemp, cotton, rice, corn, and sugarcane.

The colony was unsuccessful in New Smyrna due to Indian raids, insect causing disease, and poor management by Turnbull.  About 600 survived this settlement attempt and left in 1777, for St. Augustine where they stayed.

In 1784, the Spanish took the East portion of Florida from the British until the United States in 1819, acquired the area from Spain.  In 1821, the United States established the Territory of Florida.

New Smyrna was incorporated in 1887, with a population of 150.  New Smyrna’s economy grew tremendously with Henry Flagler bringing the East Coast Railway in 1892.  Tourism, Citrus industry, and commercial fishing expanded within the area.

In the 1920’s there was a real estate boom in New Smyrna on and around Canal Street and Faulkner.  Today, we have about 800 buildings that remain from New Smyrna’s historic era. The city annexed the beachside community of Coronado beach in 1947 and the city was renamed to “New Smyrna Beach”.

Today New Smyrna Beach is a vibrant beach town that attracts tourists from all over the world and has just over 20,000 permanent residents.

New Smyrna Beach Municipal Marina www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach Municipal Marina http://www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach Historic Home

New Smyrna Beach Historic Home

New Smyrna Beach Historic Home along Riverside Drive

New Smyrna Beach Historic Home along Riverside Drive