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Featured Community

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Featured Properties

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Home Valuation

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Starting in February of 2019 Lakewood National, a new Arnold Palmer designed course in Lakewood Ranch, Florida will host the Tour.

The Web.Com Tour is PGA Tour level play and a stepping stone to the PGA Tour. Players who are hoping for their PGA Tour card or players who didn’t qualify to stay on the PGA Tour due to shortage of FedEx Points play the Tour.

The Suncoast Classic is the first US event of the 2019 schedule. Players will be competing for a purse valued at $550,000. The event will be held February 14th to 17th with practice rounds and a pro-am beginning February 11th, 2019.

Lakewood National is a new bundled golf community with upscale resort style amenities. The new community boasts a gorgeous zero entry lagoon style pool and lap pool, tennis, pickleball, fitness, spa and tiki bar with casual dining. A dining room clubhouse is scheduled to be built in 2019. The first 18 hole course opened in 2017 to rave reviews. A second 18 hole course is under construction. The monthly fee for membership for each home is only Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) per month.

Lennar, the largest home construction company in the United States, is building and offering new Terrace Condo’s, Veranda Condo’s, Coach Homes, Single Family Executive Homes and Estate Homes from $180,000’s to the $800,000’s. There is a price point to meet every budget and a Golf Membership is included with every home.

Lakewood Ranch is the 2nd fastest growing Master Planned Community in the USA. There is a hometown feel about Lakewood Ranch. Multiple shopping districts, open spaces, varied neighborhoods for every price point great schools, access to shopping, restaurants, sporting events, theatre and beaches all contribute to the overall success of Lakewood Ranch.

For information about floorplans, pricing and costs to own a home in Lakewood National please fill out the form on the Lakewood National page and we will get back to you promptly. (Click Here)

Previously, we've talked about ways to refresh a golf home's landscape. Now, we'll take a look at the backyard and features which help to increase resale value. What you should know about your golf property's resale potential is that even though it's in a great community, it should offer as much as possible. If you want to sell it for the biggest return on investment and sell faster, you should do what you can to make it more attractive. And, some key backyard features will help you to sell at a higher price.

Backyard Features that Decrease a Golf Home’s Resale Value

Now, before we get into things that increase a house's resale value, let's take a quick look at what hurts resale value. That's right, there are some common features which can act as impediments to selling a home. And, at the worst, to actually hurt its resale value. First on the list is the ubiquitous swimming pool. These are very common here in the Sunshine State and quite a few buyers welcome such an amenity. However, not all buyers like the idea of purchasing a home with a pool. For instance, elderly couples, as well as couples with small children. To these individuals, a pool represents a safety risk.

Did you know something as simple as landscaping can add value to your home? It’s true. An attractive home with a well-maintained yard is appealing to potential buyers. Landscaping goes beyond just plants and shrubs to hardscaping, which includes water features, decks, patios and other man-made improvements to your outdoor space. Not all hardscaping is worth the investment, but there are some to consider if you’d like to raise your home’s resale value. --U.S. News and World Report

Another thing golf home buyers generally object to is too much concrete. More buyers prefer as much green space as possible. Then, there are fruit trees. Yes, fruit trees. Okay, so these provide delicious snacks. But, fruit trees are notorious for being pest havens. Plus, fruit trees are quite messy, which makes them less-than-desirable. Finally, excessive lawn ornamentation. While a little is fine, too much looks like clutter and turns off buyers big time. (Along the same line is excessive landscaping or intricate landscaping, which buyers generally regard as a maintenance headache and too large an extra expense.)

Backyard Features that Increase Golf Home Resale Value

Since we've looked at the things which decrease the resale value of a golf home property, it's time to delve into the backyard features which pay off. Now, you don't necessarily need all of these, but having a few will help to sell your golf home quicker and for more money. Here are the top backyard features that help to increase a golf home's resale value:

  • Plenty of trees. This one might be obvious but it's definitely worth mentioning. Trees do a lot to boost the natural beauty of practically any home. For maximum effect, trees between three and eight years old offer the biggest benefit. Also, three to five trees strike a good balance, generally speaking.
  • Entertainment space. Buyers really, really like outdoor entertainment space. Particularly with a whole lot of seating and comfortable seating, at that. Also, other amenities which make outdoor entertainment a cinch to pull off.
  • A kids’ backyard playset. There's also a need to market to young couples with children. (But, this isn't always the case.) However, a kids' backyard playset is great for the online listing appeal. Of course, this won't appeal to all buyers, but it will be a key factor for couples with young kids.
  • Lighting everywhere. This one appeals to just about every type of buyer. Light is key because it allows you to use the outdoor space regardless of the time of day. Also, it's very helpful when you're grilling out and serving food. Strategically placed lighting does a whole lot to impress buyers and set a property apart from its competition.
  • Outdoor kitchen. Now, this is where it gets serious. Buyers typically adore having an outdoor kitchen. Not only because of its function, but also its style. And, it's a great way to entertain and keep the house traffic to a minimum. Plus, it's a great way to spend an afternoon with a full-blown pool party.
  • A water feature. A waterfall, Koi pond, and other water features do a lot to increase the appeal of a backyard. They bring more aesthetics to the space and are great source of relaxation. (But, water features can also be a turn off to buyers as they might regard them as too much maintenance. Or, as an extra expense that's unnecessary.)

If you are considering selling golf home, contact me for more advice about what to expect with the process. Plus, get help to navigate the entire process from beginning to end.

Bad contractor stories abound in the news. Victims who fall prey to a bad contractor largely tell the same story--they thought they were getting a good deal by an experienced individual or team. Instead, all they got was the bad contractor blues, having to hire someone else to clean up what the bad contractor left behind.

From the most simple home improvement project to entire remodels or new construction, being taken by a bad contractor certainly is emotionally and monetarily devastating. Unfortunately, it's a risk many consumers take but don't even have to--just a little due-diligence and they would have found a tried-and-true professional who really delivered.

The Toll of Hiring a Bad Contractor

It's not just about broken promises. Like missing deadlines, though some who've hired a bad contractor wish that would be all they had to deal with. Hiring a bad contractor can certainly mean a lot more. There's not only missing deadlines, it can mean leaving a job unfinished and not having proper permits. Or, a complex, nerve-racking, entangled lawsuit.

In an ideal world, hiring a contractor would be easy. You’d just choose the first name that popped up on Google, get an affordable quote, and have a stunning new kitchen remodel or garage renovation in no time. Unfortunately, this is the real world, where things don’t always go according to plan. While most contractors do good work in exchange for a fair asking price, not all of them can be trusted. And it only takes one brush with a bad apple to put you out thousands of dollars. -- Better Business

Homeowners handing over the reins to bad contractors could be on the hook for hefty fees and penalties if the work was done without the right permits. Or, having to completely redo what was done, because it contained shoddy materials and/or substandard work. In some cases, it can come down to being extorted, the contractor threatening to file a lien if payment isn't made, regardless of the quality of work. And, even if the homeowner is in the right, it means paying a boatload in legal fees to an attorney.

Bad Contractor Warning Signs

If you need to find a quality contractor, you really can't be too cautious or prepared. After all, it's your home and your money on the line. For those who want to be in the know, here's the most telling signs of a bad contractor to look for:

  1. No license and/or lack of coverage. States regulate this trade and part of that licensing is demonstrating competency. It also requires certain insurance and/or bonding to practice legally. So, be sure to ask for official documentation and don't shy away. A good contractor will readily provide ample proof. Conversely, someone with something to hide will dodge or make excuses.
  2. Really low bid. Everyone likes to find a good deal but the old adage of about being "too good to be true" certainly applies to spotting a bad contractor. Materials and labor will vary somewhat from bid to bid, but there won't be a huge disparity.
  3. Lack of or insufficient references. No references is a big red flag. And someone who only gives vague references or provides references that can't be checked might be a bad contractor.
  4. Inclination to avoid getting permits. Okay, so no one relishes having to deal with bureaucracies, but bad contractors will go out of their way to keep from pulling permits. It can mean the company isn't licensed and insured or might be operating on a shoestring budget. The bad news is the homeowner will be liable for any work done without permits.
  5. Skipping written contracts. Legitimate contractors are big on written contracts because they are true professionals and want a guarantee the homeowner will pay as agreed. It's also the root word to "contractor", which is "contract."
  6. Big deposit requests. Big deposit requests are a big red flag of a bad contractor. The industry standard averages about 30 to 33 percent. A bad contractor might demand much more upfront and that could mean a rob Peter to pay Paul scenario--using payments from one customer to buy materials for another customer's job.
  7. Excess materials. A bad contractor is surely an incompetent contractor if ordering more than the job requires. The question if not incompetent then becomes why. Perhaps to get a discount and spread those excesses over several jobs.

Of course, other signs of a bad contractor is someone using scare tactics and/or being late or absent. Or, they don’t have a readily available local business location. (Although most contractors work out of their vehicles but maintain a professional office.)

If you are considering renovating your golf home to sell, contact me for more advice about what to expect with the process. Plus, get help to navigate the entire process from beginning to end.

Whether you plan on staying in your golf home for a while or are considering selling, you probably care about its curb appeal. The first encounter anyone who visits is the front yard, complete with all its colors and features. It sets the tone and theme, not only for the exterior, but also, the interior, expecting that what looks great outside only to get better. Conversely, it's also one of the single biggest turn-offs for buyers. They form an impression about a property within just 7 to 10 seconds. Which, can easily be negative, if the home is lacking in its landscaping.

The trick is finding the right balance, incorporating the right style. And, doing so in a way that's completely complementary to the home itself, without making it clash, and/or, turning it into a maintenance nightmare. We all want to take pride in our homes, and, that starts with the front yard. One understated fact is that the front yard generally loses-out to the back, precisely because of its lack of privacy. Also, it's the location with the least outdoor living space.

Don’t Make these Curb Appeal Mistakes

Because homeowners tend to put more emphasis and effort into their backyards, they do so at the expense of the front. Function likewise plays a very large role, since most entertaining and outdoor living occurs in the backyard. When the disparity is noticed, too many people rush to make a fix, but that leads to several mistakes -- chief among them is neglect. The paint begins to fade, the plants begin to crowd together. Plus, there's little to no defined space.

There are dozens of small, inexpensive home improvements that you can do to your house to add instant curb appeal. Adding curb appeal to your house not only makes it easier to sell, but it also gives your house that nice and finished look in which you can take pride in. When deciding on how to add instant curb appeal to your house, make sure your consider what your house currently looks like and what will look best with it. Also, consider how much time you have to put into your home improvement project and what your budget is. --DIY Network

Boundaries, such as hedges can easily overgrow, making them look unkempt and shabby. Dull mulch, once brimming with bright color, now looks more like compacted compost. A mailbox that's dirty and grimy, set out in front of a yard, with a sidewalk partially overrun by weeds. Sadly topping it all off is outdated fixtures, which sabotage style and scream owner apathy. These don't bode well, so it's time for a change.

Great Front Yard Improvements

To make curb appeal pop, you can opt to reverse the things listed above. A new coat of exterior paint, some refreshing of mulch and plants, creating space between features to avoid crowding, and replacing old, dated fixtures for new ones. In addition to these, you can do one or more of the following to improve your home's curb appeal:

  • Install a small picket fence, or, add fence edging. The charm of a small, picket fence is something that's a great addition. You don't have to be resigned to wood, instead, opt for vinyl, which looks wonderful, is very durable, and easy to clean. Another idea is to install fence edging in front of hedges. Both create a visual boundary and add style.
  • Add more, strategically placed, outdoor lighting. This is actually one of the highest wants on buyers' wish lists. There's just something about the look of illuminated plants and trees, plus, it provides more security to the home. Don't go overboard with outdoor lighting, or it will look awkward.
  • Inspect downspouts and gutters. Both of these can be big time eyesores, especially when in a state of disrepair. A regular cleaning and replacement of damaged sections is always recommended. It not only improves the look of the exterior, but also, helps to protect your home from water damage and pest infestation.
  • Define borders and spread mulch. Sometimes, yard grass creeps into garden beds, it will look sloppy and unkempt. Draw a line that conforms with the curve and angles of your home, then, chip away the grass line. Fill that small trench line with colorful mulch to create a defined border for good measure.
  • Hang a new front door. A new steel front door might not seem exciting but it certainly performs well, bring a return of 98 percent on investment. It provides extra security and serves as the focal point.

Just like a new front door, which has a great return on investment, if you install a new garage door, you'll not only get a solid ROI at resale, you'll also add a whole new dimension to your curb appeal. All of this, not to mention, better function, improved safety, and a very nice accent for curb appeal.

If you’re considering selling your golf home, you’ll want to sell the sizzle and not the steak, which is taking a marketing cliché and turning into a useful bit of advice. Plain and simple, those who will be most interested in your property are looking for just that; and, according to real estate experts, the majority aren’t looking to buy a primary residence. What they want is a vacation home, most likely to escape to during the summer months.

So, if that’s the largest part of the pool, you’ll have to market your property in a way that highlights not only its location, but its creature comforts. Think of it this way...there are many types of properties on the market at any given time...from single family homes to condos to townhomes. The difference between each one is not only the structure, but the legal ownership. People have choices, and buyers will base their decision on which fits their wants and needs.

What this means is your property won’t be the only active listing. That fact alone makes it a necessity that you’re selling the sizzle, not the steak. You see, buyers will tour at least a few other residences, and it’s up to you to make yours stand out above the rest; hence, the “sizzle”. That being said, what do you have to do in order to make your property irresistible? Well, it isn’t simple, but it’s not rocket science, either.

Marketing to a Broad Pool of Buyers

Some buyers will want the home to be their primary residence, but as stated, it will be a small percentage. The people you are trying to appeal to want a vacation property, a second home as a dedicated spot to escape to whenever they can. That ought to be your mission, to create an oasis that’s got what it takes to make the decision for them.

“Vacation rental properties are a $24 billion business in the U.S., the equivalent of more than 20 percent of all hotel room revenue, according to a study this year by PhoCusWright, a Sherman, Conn.-based market research firm. Considering that a high percentage of foreclosures across the country has been on vacation and second homes, those beleaguered owners may find a life raft of sorts through offseason rentals.”

To that end, consider marketing it as a vacation rental. In other words, an income generator that can also serve as a second home. The trick is to strike a balance between an income property and a vacation home. You want potential buyers to see it as both so it has the most to offer. If you pigeonhole it as one or the other, you effectively and substantially shrink your pool of interested parties. So, how is it you market your golf house as both a vacation home and as an investment property? Let’s look at some helpful tips.

Selling a Golf House as a Vacation Home

First and foremost, you’ve got to make the home visible the world over. Marketing to just a domestic group of buyers limits your reach to international buyers. The majority of potential foreign buyers will come from this hemisphere: our neighbors in the Great White North, and those south of the border. This isn’t to say to put your all your eggs into the international market.

Here’s some useful strategies:

  • Make it worth the visit. It’s no secret that practically every real estate transaction starts on the internet; and, the vast majority of buyers (both foreign and domestic) find their home on Do yourself a huge favor and hire a listing agent so your home appears on that site. Go a step future and also list it on and as well.
  • Provide easy conversions. Don’t just list the square footage, list the square meters also. In addition, have a translate feature ready to click for those who don’t read English as their primary language. Another suggestion is to have a toll-free number listed with the property description.
  • Go for mass appeal. No matter their current location, people want certain things out of a property. So, be sure the dock is in great shape. Spruce up the approach to the home with a decorative items. Horseshoes and volleyball also make it more appealing; and, a barbecue will help to seal the deal.
  • Maximize the view. Take down or cinch away any curtains on the windows. If anything is blocking the outside view, put it somewhere else or get rid of it.
  • Clean it up inside and out. A fresh coat of interior and exterior paint is always a good idea. Stage the furniture to maximize walking space and empty out the closets.
  • Do the math for them. Before anyone steps foot in your property, do a bit of research and make up a rental income projection sheet. For those who want to rent it out for part or all of the year, be sure to show it to them.

If you are considering selling your golf home, contact me for more advice about what to expect with the process. And, how to effectively market it to fetch the best ROI.

Owning a lakefront property is the dream of many, wishing to be able to sit on a porch swing, gently rocking back and forth watching the sun rise or set in the distance, with the light beaming across the waves. Memories are waiting to be made, while enjoying all that nature has to offer.

Of course, waterfront property differs from landlocked residences; and, in more ways than one. Everyone knows that lakefront property is more expensive because of high demand and limited space. Many decades ago, it was valued mostly for its functionality, being able to accommodate trade vessels. While that’s still the case in some areas, most waterfront property is now residential, but, it certainly comes at a premium price for such a natural amenity.

Though price is a big factor when considering buying lakefront, it shouldn’t be the only thing to think twice about. Having a waterfront property means special circumstances. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few considerations.

Things to Consider about Waterfront Property

Since price is always the make or break decision maker, we’ll start there. Financing for a lakefront home depends on the home; and, the lake itself. So, it’s best to find out as early as possible if there will be any problems with financing the house. Speak with your bank or mortgage broker far in advance of looking at any waterfront properties.

Once you are certain about your financing options, it’s time to revisit your decision to buy a waterfront home. Which brings into play the amount of playtime you plan to spend on your lakefront property. This will either justify the purchase or reveal that perhaps short term renting is the way to go.

“Scenic lakes have lured families to their shores for generations to fish, boat and swim. Once at the lake, people discover more – like the fun of seeing a line of ducklings paddling toward the shore or the sight of a beautiful blue heron wading through shallow waters. When you buy lakefront property, you assume part of the responsibility of caring for the lake. Your actions on the land as well as in the water affect the health of the lake and everyone’s enjoyment of it. If you are thinking about buying lakefront property, a little time invested in learning about lakefront living will pay back sizable dividends in matching your expectations to reality.” --United States Environmental Protection Agency

Unfortunately, it’s not only financing and the time you’ll spend in the house, but how you’ll go about purchasing it. This is where an experienced agent or broker comes in--ask yourself, do you have an experienced waterfront property agent to work with? If the answer is no, find one who is, because there are simply too many things which could otherwise go overlooked--such circumstances could cost you dearly.

Speaking of cost, the home might look nice and the location might be great, but what isn’t conspicuous? What is hiding from plain sight? Ask the selling agent if there is any damage or structural weakness before making an offer.

Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Lakefront Home in a Golf Community

Even though you might have all the information needed above, the list of questions continues. Be sure to get clear cut answers so you know precisely where you stand when you are the owner.

  • Who manages the lake? What you’re really asking is who manages things like weed control, wildlife control, insect control, and the general management of the lake. You don’t want to buy a beautiful property only to find it’s a mosquito magnet. (Or, that it's an alligator habitat that's simply off-limits to residents out of an abundance of safety.)
  • What is the shoreline like? Lake shorelines range greatly in composition: from mucky mud, to murky, tangled grass, to rocky. This might not seem important, but it could well prove problematic after a rainstorm. Basically, you should know its regular state and any known issues.
  • Does the water level fluctuate? You’ll definitely want to know because it could present a danger to your land or even your home. The answer could also mean having to secure a high level of insurance or face certain water-related restrictions.
  • Ask about what you own. This includes not only the shoreline, but the dock (if applicable) and the property boundaries. If you do own some of the shoreline, you need to understand any riparian water rights, if these are indeed part of the ownership.

If you are considering purchasing a lakefront home, then contact us for a free consultation. We can speak with you about the differences in owning waterfront property and assist you in finding the perfect waterfront house that fits all your needs and is within you budget. We're experts at golf home properties, so we know how to best guide you through the buying process.

When you sell your golf home, it's easy to get caught-up in the excitement of the sale and the prospect of finding a great new home. It's during this time, most transitioning homeowners are focused nearly solely on finding and buying their new property, with their old home a fond memory. However, what might otherwise be a fond memory could well become a nightmare reality that revisits itself without warning, or, at least it seems.

There are many facets to selling real estate, and of course, these go way beyond just marketing one property, complete with hosting open houses, and securing financing for the new place. The unenviable task of moving will be a necessary part of the whole process. What's not obvious by its lack of attention is the home you've just sold. That residence is still yours, despite having accepted a purchase offer. Until the closing is completed and ownership transferred, you are responsible for it, a kind of fiduciary duty to the buyer.

Because you will be the responsible party should something break, the property suffering from natural forces, or be vandalized. Such a precarious condition may well be the cause of much stress and financial hardship if something does happen and that's why you have to take steps to ensure that the home is safe until the buyer takes legal possession.

Things to Do before You Move Out

With the warm season well under way and summer fast approaching here in beautiful Sarasota, there's no better time to refresh your landscape and reinvent your outdoor living space. It's time to host cookouts and pool parties, to spend evenings entertaining and laughing around the fire pit, and to wow your family and friends with wonderful features that make your backyard the envy of everyone who sees it. The good thing about landscaping is it doesn't have to cost a lot of money and no matter the amount of space you have to work with, it's enough to really transform it into a beautiful space.

When to Update Your Outdoor Space

You want to buy a lakeside golf home and have an idea of what you want the interior to look like but aren't exactly sure what best fits into a lake theme. When you begin your search, you ought to be prepared for decorating it. The good news about this kind of theme is one that's easy to create and can be very inexpensive because you'll find that the "less is more" approach will bring the best results.

The trick is to incorporate and accentuate the peaceful view that's right outside the windows as much as possible. You can achieve this with some materials you'll find on your own property and with a little imagination and crafts, you'll have a great interior decor to enjoy. To get started, borrow a few ideas from magazines, social media, and from other homeowners. You'll find this allows you to create something unique because you'll come-up with some of your own creative ideas.

Don't Make these Home Decorating Mistakes

If you're considering selling your golf home, there's a lot to think about. First and foremost is where you'll live next. And, what type of property you'd most like. Of course, there will also be things like your must-haves and wish list items.

Selling a golf home (much like any other type of property) means having to create and follow an actionable plan. For instance, you'll need to stage your home to present it in the best possible way. The reason for home staging is to not only make it look it's best but also, to help buyers. That's right. Statistically, only 1 out of 10 people can imagine a space in a different way than they see it. And, it only takes between 7 and 10 seconds for people to form a first impression. So, you've got to strike the right chord.

What is a Pre-Listing Inspection?

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Fine Properties logo

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Dennis Boyle, The Golf Home Pro



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