Around Central Florida, Our Community, Special Programs

First Responders Special Program!

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Hello friends!

I hope you are having an amazing day!

I wanted to share an exclusive new program I am launching that helps the brave men and women known as “First Responders” get into a home of their dreams. The First Responders Appreciation Program saves them $1,000 cash at closing and gets them a free 1-year home warranty! It’s the least I can do to thank them for everything they do.

Who is eligible?

If you have a friend or relative who is looking for a home, and works for the police, is a firefighter, government law enforcement, EMT, nurse or doctor, then let them know we have a specialty program just for them.

What should they do first?

If they have questions, you know I am always here to help. They can call or text my cell at 407-620-6221 or email me directly at nydia@zenlivingrealty.com.

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Around Central Florida, Our Community

Our Community Matters

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Since 2009, I’ve had the honor to actively collaborating at several first time home buyer education seminars sponsored by the “Housing and Neighborhood Development Services of Central Florida, Inc. (HANDS)”. HANDS is a private not-for-profit housing corporation serving our local community since 1989 and whose mission is to provide and increase the supply of affordable housing opportunities for the residents of Central Florida.

Some of the services that HANDS of Central Florida offers include:

  • Household Credit and Budget Analysis for Renters or Homeowners
  • Foreclosure Prevention
  • Reverse Mortgage counseling and information
  • Tenant/Landlord counseling for renters
  • City and County Down Payment Assistance Education

And  most of these services are free of charge!

After 10 years of involvement, I have been officially appointed as a new member of the Board of Directors for HANDS of Central Florida. This is my way of giving back some of the opportunities Life (or the Universe) has giving me and for that I am very grateful! As one of my favorite spiritual teachers once said: “It is in giving that we receive” (San Francis of Assisi).

Looking forward to a great 2019! Cheers!

To learn more about HANDS or register for a seminar, visit their website at: HANDS of Central Florida Website

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En Español

¿Cuál es el rol del agente de bienes raíces?

 

 

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Muchas personas me preguntan frecuentemente cuáles son las ventajas de utilizar a un agente de bienes raíces para la compra o venta de su hogar. El rol de un agente es representar tus intereses creando una comunicación efectiva y persuasiva a la hora de negociar la compra o venta de propiedad. Aquí les dejo una breve lista de algunas de las funciones y ventajas de utilizar a tu propio agente. Un profesional de bienes raíces tiene como propósito:

• Proteger y velar por tus intereses – “su abogado personal y mucho más económico”

• Coordinar citas

• Mostrar casas

• Proveer data, acceso al MLS (“Múltiple Listing Service”) ó Servicio de listados múltiples (activas, pendientes, vendidas, impuestos de propiedad y Asociaciones “HOA”)

• Investigar si la propiedad tiene algún gravámen o “lien”

• Preparar un análisis de mercado que refleje el precio justo del mercado

• Negociar el mejor precio

• Preparar el contrato

• Incluir todos los anejos o “adendas” al contrato que apliquen bajo las leyes de la Florida.

• Asegurar que se cumplan con los términos estipulados en el contrato

• Orientar durante el proceso del cierre

*** COMPRADORES: por si no lo sabían ¡¡¡La comisión proviene del vendedor!!! ***

Para más información visita nuestra página de internet: Zen Living Realty Website

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Why Zen Living Realty

Why Zen Living Realty?!?!

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Happy 2019!

I am very excited to share some great news with you! For the last 6 months, I have been working on rebranding my company which included a name change from Goodwill Realty to Zen Living Realty!

The word Zen means: calm, relxed, harmonious and unstressed. As for me, being “Zen” is the journey that I have consciously chosen at this inflection point of my life. This intention comes after experiencing and coming through several ‘downs’ in my life. As I reflect on my goals and what I am passionate about and what I really want, I realize that everyone, one way or the other, struggles in their own way. However, it is in every struggle or challenge that every one of us has an opportunity to grow and become a better version of ourselves. My opportunity is to help and represent the best interest of every client that comes my way with passion and integrity! I am more energized, joyful and healthier than ever before and I want to share all my knowledge and experience with you and the people you care about.

Real estate remains a great investment and I am happy to show you our newest website that has a lot of tools to help you find your new home, sell your current home or buy an investment property.

Please visit my new website: Zen Living Website!

Real Estate also can be stressful and intimidating at times for you may not know who to trust. My goal at Zen Living Realty is for you and your family to have a professional, easy, relaxed and Zen experience when either finding the perfect home or negotiating the sale of your current property.

At http://www.ZenLivingRealty.com you can search the newest listings, access market reports for areas near your home or anywhere in Florida. Just choose an address and the report will show what’s listed, what’s sold and more! Look around the site there are lots of other articles, blogs and information to help you with all your real estate needs.

2019 brings new opportunities and unlimited potential for you and your family. I wish you the most incredible year yet! If buying or selling a home (or investment property) is in your 2019 plans, I would be honored to help you find the perfect home for you.

Respectfully,

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For Buyers, Real Estate

The Incredible Joy of Owning Your Home

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If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that’s a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, contact me today and I will make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

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For Buyers, For Sellers, Real Estate

The Catch You Shouldn’t Fall For

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With the growth of online tools, companies are quickly building products to serve the real estate community. After all, it’s a lucrative industry, home buying and selling will always be a thing – even if it does slow down, and companies around the world are diving in to make as much money off consumers as possible.

What are they selling? The ease. The ease of buying or selling a home online. The catch? You actually don’t benefit from these online quick-sale services. In fact, you could find yourself out of tens-of-thousands in cost difference. If you’re in the market to buy or sell, and are considering foregoing a real estate agent for an online service, be sure you read the fine print. You’ll often times find that you aren’t benefiting at all. Will they buy your home upfront to resale, so you don’t have to worry about the headache? Sure, but you may have been able to get $50,000 more for your house using a Realtor. Can you see and purchase your dream home through said services and “save” on agent commissions? Sure, but you’ll probably be overpaying for the home anyway.

The real estate industry is heavily regulated for licensed professionals to ensure the consumer is always getting the best representation for the best savings. These online services don’t require regulation and licensing, therefore, they can get away with fine print “scams.”

Be sure you do your research. A Realtor is there to make YOU the most money. Quick online services are focused on making their business the most money – not focused on how much you can sell your home for or how much you can save when you buy. Licensed professionals exist for a reason, be sure you don’t lose more than you can afford to by using a gimmicky online service that dubs buying and selling an “easy” process. Any good agent will make the process easy, minus general lending issues that may arise.

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Real Estate, Zen Tips

Using Baking Soda In Your Laundry Room

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That orange box of baking soda tucked away in your fridge or kitchen cabinet can also be an inexpensive, and earth-friendly, solution for your laundry needs. It’s safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers and is one of the best products available to reduce your dependence on chemicals. Let’s take a look into the top 5 ways baking soda can be used in your laundry room:

1. Reduce and Remove Laundry Odor
The body odors found on our clothing and linens are caused by different types of bacteria. These bacteria are removed when the detergent’s molecules break them up and flush them away from the clothing. Less expensive detergents generally don’t have strong enough enzymes to remove all of the bacteria, so baking soda will be a great boost to your detergent’s bacteria fighting power. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to each laundry load to make your detergent work more effectively.

2. Boost Bleach Performance
Bleach is often used to removed odors and stains from our laundry; however, if the water is to acidic, bleach doesn’t do it’s job as effectively. Just as it boosts detergent performance, baking powder can also help how effectively your bleach works. Which equates to less use of bleach and it’s negative impact on our environment.

3. Use As A Natural Fabric Softener
Baking soda is great for regulating your water’s pH level in your washer. It does this by making sure the rinse water is not too acidic or full of alkaline. 1/2 cup of baking soda to each rinse cycle with balance the mineral deposits in the water and keep them off of your clothes. It’s the minerals that make your clothing feel stiff, baking soda is a shield for your clothes from these minerals.

4. Great For Cleaning Irons
Baking soda is a gentle and earth-friendly abrasive. The face plate of an iron is notorious for building up starch and scorch deposits. To remove this build-up, mix a paste of water and baking soda and rub the paste over the face of the cool iron with a white cloth. Gently wipe the build-up away. You can finish with a wipe of white vinegar with a fresh towel.

5. Controls Water Suds
If you accidentally use regular laundry detergent on a washing machine that requires HE detergent, you’ll get a mess of suds. They might be fun to look at, but they are a pain to clean up. If you make this mistake, just grab a box of baking soda and sprinkle it directly on the suds to break them down. The baking soda is good at absorbing the moisture and will make clean-up much easier.

 

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For Buyers

Why Rent If You Can Buy

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Don’t wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost, as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment, if you can move into a home a pay a monthly rate that is the same, and get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard?

There is also a fear that a home can keep you “stuck” or “rooted” to one place, without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn’t easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to selling is going to be far more beneficial, than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place.

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2000/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you’d be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage, if the home was yours. Then you wouldn’t be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you’d be paying a reasonable rate, and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, you might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into.

 

For Buyers, For Investors, For Sellers

Mistakes To Avoid On Your First Buy/Selling

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If this the first time you’re considering buying a home, or selling your first purchase, there are a lot of possible challenges you can end up facing. Having the right agent can ensure you’re able to get through these challenges, but since some of the issues are universal, let’s review some mistakes you want to avoid making.

1. THE RIGHT PRICE

Pricing a property is a science of it’s own. There are a lot of components and factors, so many small details, that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Although there are a lot of sites with estimates, namely Zillow, the technology uses on online sites to determine property values are simply not accurate. Zillow even states that their numbers can be inaccurate up to a whopping 20%. Without a background as a real estate professional, it’s virtually impossible for a consumer to be able to know the proper components needed to price a home. When you’re purchasing a home, you’re want to find a deal, can lead to stubbornness about what you’re willing to pay and what you think a home is worth. But what you WANT it to be worth is the complete opposite of what it should sell for. If you’re a first time seller, you may want to sell your home for as much as you can squeeze out of it, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations, and ultimately lead to an overpriced home that never sells. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what a home’s value should be. Instead, partner with a real estate agent that truly is working for your best interest, and let them provide you the tools to support home values, so you can place an offer, or price your home, at a number that makes sense.

2. REFUSING TO NEGOTIATE

If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, hard-set on what you want without exception, you’re more than likely going to cause a lot of grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you have to have an open mind about negotiations. They are a common practice within the industry, with buyers wanting to spend less and sellers wanting to net more. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you’ll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. Having a great agent will help you ensure you make negotiations that are reasonable to lead both parties to the closing table, without compromising you.

3. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Although we all have an idea in our mind what our dream home should be, sometimes the market, and your budget, don’t fit realistically into check marking everything off of your list. Find an agent that helps you look for the most important needs in your dream house, but keep an open mind to a home that fits most of your needs, but not necessarily all of them. Having too many expectations within a home can become stressful and result in never finding a home that really matches your needs. If a home has the major components you are seeking, get creative and see if the other things you want can be added down the road. Have a certain number of non-negotiable items, like bedroom/bathroom count, but then have a list of “wants.”

4. YOU’RE NOT ALONE, DON’T GO IT ALONE

Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as ever. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From legal terms, to finding homes that aren’t even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs un-experienced buyers and sellers may not think about, which can lead to losing value on your home or never finding the right one. Avoid the stress of “learning the hard way” and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you’re happy with the outcome.

 

Real Estate, Zen Tips

Using Paint to Enhance the Size of a Room

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Paint colors can drastically affect the feeling of a room. It can make it enjoyable to be in, or leave you feeling uncomfortable. It can alter the perception of the room’s shape and size and add to, or take away from, the atmosphere you’re trying to portray in your space. The paint you use in your house can make or break its aesthetics.

COLOR TIPS

Dark Colors:

+ Adds coziness to a room.
+ Used to make a large room feel smaller.
+ Advances the color in the room.

Light Colors:

+ Used to make small rooms feel bigger.
+ Recedes the color in a room.
+ Light colors help a space feel more airy.

Lighter colors tend to recede, which makes it appear farther away, therefore making the room feel bigger. Darker colors tend to advance, which makes them seem closer, in turn making the room feel smaller. You can use colors to completely modify the size of a room by perception. You can use this concept to minimize unattractive features in your house or highlight focal points.

If your room is too large and doesn’t make the space feel cozy, you can paint your ceiling a darker color than the walls, to help them feel a little lower. Conversely, if your ceilings are too low and makes you feel claustrophibix, you can paint them a lighter shade to help them feel higher.