Lakeland, FL Real Estate News

By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Fear is a Powerful Force when Buying a Home in Lakeland Florida In one of my previous blogs, I have written about setting priorities when it comes to home buying here in Lakeland, Florida. I have been working with a young family looking for a home. I've shown them numerous homes that were within their price range and style; recognizing that it would be an opportune time to buy. Buying a home is not my decision to make and I will pressure nobody to buy any particular home at any price I show; however, I'm here to counsel my buyers about pricing, location and the potential ability the property may or may not have. Still, the young family is torn in their decision to buy a home and have yet to make a serious offer. Buyers search endless hours on the internet for their dream home at a barga...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Florida - Lake Mirror Classic Car Show 2008 If you have been strolling through downtown Lakeland's First Friday where cars are on display, you will be in for a big surprise at the annual Mercedes-Benz Lake Mirror Classic.  Lakeland expects an estimated 35,000 people wandering around Lake Mirror for the three day event which is considered as one of the best shows in the Southeast. This three-day charity event raises money for Lakeland's non-profit group, such as the Junior Achievement of Polk County and the Boy Scouts of America. In it's 9th year, the event has raised more than $175,000.00 The honorary chairman for this year's Festival is the legendary NASCAR's Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, who was the series champion in 1983 including victories at Daytona 500 and Winston Cup dur...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Blog Action Day – Poverty Affects People in Your Own Back Yard   Poverty is not only in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan... It's happening right here in our own back yard America - The Land of the Free, the land with endless opportunities, living the American Dream.....     Growing up in Germany in the 70's with six brothers and one sister, mom was working in a brewery and dad was a heavy equipment operator putting asphalt on the road. We had a roof over our head, food on the table and hand-me-down clothes to wear. Money was always tight with dad working only in spring, summer and fall. I never knew our financial dilemma when I was growing up, my parents never talked about money in front of me and my siblings. Poverty was in our family, I just did not notice...
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By Randall Schrader
(Competitive Insurance of Dundee)
With the cost of virtually everything on the rise, and many of our seniors are on a fixed income, something has to give!  There is a government insured program that could be the answer, it's called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM.  Here's how it works; Seniors 62 and older can qualify for a certain loan amount.  The proceeds will be used to pay closing costs and pay off any existing mortgages or liens effectively erasing this payment(s).  The remainder is distributed to the senior in the form of a monthly check, home equity line, lump sum or in any combination.  Their home pays them! There are no monthly payments and the loan doesn't need to be repaid until the senior leaves the home.  At this time, the loan is repaid and the excess equity goes directly to the senior or the se...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Florida Homes New on Market - Weekly Update for 10/05/08 Hi fellow readers, there are currently 2,386 homes for sale in Lakeland, Florida, which did not change from last week's update. The average sales price is $223,945 and the average size of a home is 1,862 square foot, which calculates to $120.27 per square foot.   The average listing price for this week's new homes on market in Lakeland is $198,639 with average square feet of 1,789. Altogether, there were 79 homes newly listed with area Realtors®. The lowest priced home that came on market in Lakeland is $33,000. The highest priced home, a 1989 pool home is being offered at $845,000 and is located in the LAKE IN THE WOODS Subdivision. There are 5 manufactured homes listed with an average price of $117,000, 2 condominium un...
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By Gate Arty, Lakeland Florida Real Estate
(Gate Arty & the Group - Keller Williams Realty)
Ghost & goblins will be appearing early this year on Pine Street in historic Downtown Lakeland. On October 24th, Keller Williams Realty will be hosting a FREE Halloween extravaganza  with spook-tacular festivities for the entire family.  Dress in your costumes for trick-or-treating in the Downtown shops between 5 pm to 7 pm. There will be music, pony rides, face painting, carnival snacks, "jump houses" & a costume contest! There will be a Kids Zone with games, but the centerpiece of the event will be the Spooky Haunted House. Warning: This will not be for the faint at heart! Word is that the scariest monsters are already awaiting your arrival in the dark alleys of Pine Street! All donations received will go to benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs. See you there!  Don't forget to visit Central...
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By Gate Arty, Lakeland Florida Real Estate
(Gate Arty & the Group - Keller Williams Realty)
Common Ground Park is currently under construction adjacent to the Beerman Tennis Courts in Veterans Park on Edgewood Drive. The park is also directly across from Cleveland Heights Golf Course and a short walk from Lake Hollingsworth. Common Ground Park will be Lakeland's first "inclusive play experience." The playground will have both traditional & nontraditional play areas designed for children of varying abilities & disabilities. It is estimated that there are approximately 15,000 special needs children in Polk County, so this is a welcome addition to the area's numerous beautiful parks & facilities. The project has received many grants, fundraising donations, & contributions. Most notable thus far have been these contributions: $200,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environme...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Looking for Rentals in Lakeland Florida - Do your homework before you sign? It is not a surprise anymore when I drive with my clients looking at homes that have For Sale and For Rent signs placed in the yard for the same house.  Typically, when an owner put up a For Rent sign and he gets a call, the caller will have to go through multiple steps to qualify before signing a lease agreement. Verification of Employment Credit Check Background Check Personal References There are people, who simply can't buy a home at this time, but need a place to live.  With plenty of unsold homes that owners throw into the pool of Lakeland rental homes on the market because they can't make their mortgage payments anymore. Prospective tenants could be victimized, end up losing a lot of their hard earned mon...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Finally some Good News! Lakeland Florida Real Estate Market Report - September 2008 Hi folks! In recent weeks, we have been watching all kinds of news regarding the financial disaster on Wall Street, the credit market, the never-ending presidential election and on and on..... I want to share some good news in the housing market here in Lakeland, Florida, especially if you are a Seller and waiting for your home to be sold. Although the month of August was not very encouraging for Lakeland home sales, the start of fall in the month of September and the rise in home sales was quite positive.  The 154 homes sold in September not only increased by 16% from the previous month, it also increased by 12% from the previous year. While the average sold price decreased by 14% from September 2007; t...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Florida Homes New on Market Report 09/28-10/04 Hi fellow readers, there are currently 2,386 homes for sale in Lakeland, Florida. The average sales price is $226,141 and the average size of a home is 1,869 square foot, which calculates to $121 per square foot.   The average listing price for this week's new homes on market in Lakeland is $208,465 with average square feet of 1,746. Altogether, there were 89 homes newly listed with area Realtors®, an increase by almost 17% from the previous week. The lowest priced home that came on market in Lakeland is $29,900. The highest priced home new on market is a 2006 Rutenberg luxury lakefront residence offered at 2,100,000.00 and is located in the HIGHLANDS-BY-THE-LAKE Subdivision on Banana Lake. There are 6 manufactured homes listed wit...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Florida – First Friday’s Theme is Art Walk The Downtown Lakeland Partnership prides itself of hosting and organizing First Friday.  This monthly celebration offers a different theme each month. This family celebration of the "Dog Days of Summer" and "Back to School" were great success.     This month First Friday theme in Lakeland is "Art Walk". I'm always impressed of what Lakeland has to offer with the art exhibits. I've visited  various exhibits, such as the memorable Butterfly Exhibit in Munn Park and the Swan exhibit throughout Lakeland, which was well received within this community and I'm anxious to see another great art exhibit featuring sculptures. You be able to vote for your favorite sculptures displayed along Lemon Street Promenade.  An opening reception for "Oncolo...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Florida Homes New on Market - Weekly Update for 9/21/08 Hi fellow readers, there are currently 2,369 homes for sale in Lakeland, Florida. The average sales price is $229,252 and the average size of a home is 1,871 square foot, which calculates to $122, 53 per square foot.   The average listing price for this week's new homes on market in Lakeland is $244,924 with average square feet of 1,999. Last week, there were 74 homes newly listed with area Realtors®. The lowest priced home that came on market is $21,000 and the highest priced home new on market is listed for 2,550,000.00 which is a newly built home by Duane McQuillen Construction located in the Crescent Woods Subdivision in South Lakeland. There are 4 manufactured homes listed with an average price of $64,600, 5 condomini...
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By Gate Arty, Lakeland Florida Real Estate
(Gate Arty & the Group - Keller Williams Realty)
If you would like to do some sight-seeing in Lakeland & but want something with a bit more pace than the Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Lakeland? I have just the thing for you! How about combining a sight-seeing tour with the fun of zipping around on a SEGWAY scooter? Now we're talking! "We have such a beautiful city," says Luna. "Segway tours will be a big draw for folks from all over the state who are looking to ride Segways and take tours. "It takes about five minutes to get the hang of it. I've had all ages on Segways, from 16 to 85," Says Dave Holzapfel owner of Segway of Central Florida. The cost is $48 per person. Riders must be at least 16 years of age & at least 100 pounds. There are Historic tours, lake tours, & much more. Contact Segway of Central Florida for additional in...
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By Gate Arty, Lakeland Florida Real Estate
(Gate Arty & the Group - Keller Williams Realty)
Interested in learning more about Historic Downtown Lakeland? Historic Lakeland, Inc. & the Downtown Lakeland Partnership offer FREE monthly Historic Walking Tours. Each tour is limited to approximately 30 people, so sign up early! Each month offers a different tour. Tours begin at Munn Park beneath "the arch." See you there! To sign up click HERE. Don't forget to visit Central Florida's premier real estate website at www.GateArty.com for all your real estate needs!
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By Gate Arty, Lakeland Florida Real Estate
(Gate Arty & the Group - Keller Williams Realty)
October's First Friday event in historic Downtown Lakeland occurs 10/03/2008. This month's theme is "ART WALK." There will be an art show, "Oncology on Canvas," featuring artists from all over the world. The featured artists are cancer patients, their families, & health care providers. Attendees can vote for their favorite sculptures along the Lemon Street Promenade, and there will be an opportunity to showcase your own artistic talents on a community canvas along Kentucky Avenue. Don't miss shows & performances in Munn Park, the classic car show along Tennessee Avenue, and the many shops that stay open late for the event. In conjunction with the event, art galleries in Downtown Lakeland will host art receptions. Don't forget to visit Central Florida's premier real estate website at www...
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By Randall Schrader
(Competitive Insurance of Dundee)
A Reverse Mortgage allows seniors to borrow against the equity in their home and receive a lump sum or monthly payments.  The process is very easy to qualify for relative to a conventional mortgage and may well be the smartest way to catch up with mounting expenses. Proceeds from reverse mortgages can be used to: pay for home repairs and improvements, cost-saving energy improvements, and improvements to make life around the house easier - like a wheelchair ramp or an easier to use bathing area. The proceeds may also be used to pay for in-home health care, so a nursing home is no longer the only option.  High interest credit cards and car loan can be paid in full. How about a wheelchair accessible van?  Or perhaps a modification to an existing vehicle to accommodate an electric scooter. ...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
CS/HB 643 Florida Foreclosure Fraud - Protecting Homeowners in Lakeland Florida  First of all, I am not an attorney and therefore this blog is for your information only. If you are facing foreclosure, it is important that you seek an attorney, who specializes in foreclosure.   What is Foreclosure? Foreclosure is an action by the lender to take back your property. If you have been served with a foreclosure complaint, in the State of Florida you and/or your attorney have 20 days to respond to this notice. It is critical that you hire an attorney, who specializes in foreclosure.  You still have the right to fight foreclosure, however hiring an attorney is essential. There are steps you can take when you cannot make or have already fallen behind on your mortgage payments.   Contact your len...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
ALDI Grand Opening in Lakeland Florida, Shopping Groceries - German Style Driving north on Highway 98, located next to the restaurant Golden Corral I'm sure you noticed- there is a new kid in town. ALDI - Are you wondering where the name originated? AL=Albrecht DI=Discount. Here is a little history of the retail store ALDI for you. Brothers Theodore and Karl Albrecht took over their mother's modest store at the end of WWII, creating ALDI what is thought to be the original discount store in Germany. Since 1975, ALDI South expanded to the United States with over 800 stores currently open and now we have the pleasure to welcome ALDI to Lakeland, Florida on September 25, 2008. A typical ALDI store in northern part of Germany Are you ready to shop German Style? I remember when I grew up in G...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Florida Homes New on Market – Weekly Update   Hi fellow readers, there are currently 2,347 homes listed for sale in Lakeland, Florida. The average sales price is $228,346 and the average size of a home is 1,865 square foot, which calculates to $122, 44 per square foot. The average listing price for this week’s new homes is $240,400 with average square foot of 1,825. Last week, there were 69 homes newly listed with area Realtors®. The lowest priced home that came on market is $30,000 and the highest priced home new on market is listed for 2,900,000.00 which is a property of 27 acres formerly used as a working horse ranch; a three parcel tract that consists of two single family homes. There was also 1 Duplex listed for $70,000, 5 manufactured homes listed with an average price of...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Florida Farmers' Market - Soap for the Soul   Yeah....the month of August has passed and I was happy to see local merchants back at the Farmer's Market this past Saturday morning downtown Lakeland. As I made my way around visiting various vendors and their products and produce, one merchant stood out for me - Jane Gavin's Soap for the Soul I love handmade soap, especially because of its natural aroma, made with only 100% food grade oils, all vegetable and no animal fats or detergents. The soaps contain only pure essential oils and/or skin fragrance oil; custom blended and crafted in small batches to assure high quality using the cold process method.  Ingredients such as Rice Brain Oil - High in vitamins A and E. Used for years in Japan for skin care. Improves your skin's supple...
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