Kerry Veach, Owner/Broker RE/MAX Souther Realty - Destin Florida homes for sale, Destin Florida real estate

Posts Tagged ‘northwest florida homes’

Florida’s Economy Continues Upward Trend

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The economy in Florida is continuing to show signs of improvement.  Though these improvements may not be felt by each individual homeowner in the sunshine state just yet, they are a promising indication of what the future holds.

Since December 2010, Florida has created 156,800 private sector jobs and has experienced positive annual job growth.  If you disect the data further, you will see that this growth has been positive for 12 of the last 15 consecutive months.   Specifically, job postings showed a sharp increase in September 2012 of 15.1 percent – or 35,277 jobs.

Improvements in the private sector’s job market are not the only indication of an economic rebound.  Net in-migration for Florida state is up to an estimated 134,500 this year from 68,000 in 2011.  As a result, demand for homes in Northwest Florida are driving up home values.

Aware of these real estate trends, developers are beginning to build again and banks are beginning to lend again.  A local example of this bolstered developer confidence is reflected in the recent contracting of Peacock’s Point – a gated subdivision with waterfront lots situated along Choctawhatchee Bay and Joe’s Bayou.

“The housing and construction industry is vital to helping Florida’s economy continue to rebound while providing employment to the thousands of workers who are seeking a job,” said Governor Rick Scott. “Seeing these positive indicators across the state shows that people are feeling more confident in buying or building a home.”

All of these components are creating a domino effect where the end result is a boost in the Florida economy.

If you would like to buy a home in Northwest Florida or sell a home in Northwest Florida, contact Kerry Veach.  Kerry is a Northwest Florida Realtor and Real Estate Broker with 22 years of experience assisting thousands in the exciting process of buying and/or selling a home.   He is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame, the RE/MAX Platinum Club, and the RE/MAX® 100% CLUB.  In 2011, he earned the RE/Max Lifetime Achievement Award.  With over 1,000 closings and thousands of satisfied clients, it’s no wonder that 95% of Kerry’s business comes from referrals.

“Plug and Play” Solar Energy Systems for Homeowners

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Northwest Florida homeowners may soon have a relatively easy and affordable means of using solar energy to power their Northwest Florida homes.

Plug-and-play photovoltaic (solar systems) systems, known as PV systems, will simplify the process of purchasing, installing, and implementing solar energy systems.  Doing so will make these systems easier to operate, more affordable, and more effective – and save homeowners a lot of money.  These systems are already being used in the computer and automotive industries, so it’s only a matter of time before the technology segues into residential home use.

“Providing families and businesses with new choices to use American energy resources that can save them money is an important part of President Obama’s all-of-the above energy strategy,” said Secretary Chu “The Department’s announcement today supporting plug-and-play solar energy technologies will help make it easier and cheaper for consumers to adopt clean, affordable solar energy, while supporting U.S. manufacturing leadership in the next generation of clean energy technologies and diversifying America’s energy portfolio.”

This “all-of-the-above energy strategy” incorporates the Energy Department’s five-year SunShot Initiative to make solar energy affordable and effective.  PV solar energy systems will be part of this initiative, receiving a $5 million dollar investment this year.  A portion of this investment will go towards developing two PV prototypes through partnerships with various industry innovators and universities.  One of the primary objectives will be to reduce non-hardware, or “soft costs”, which currently amount to more than half of the total cost of present residential systems.

Make sure you check the Veach View Blog frequently to get more energy (and money) saving tips.  And as always, if you or anyone you know is interested in buying a home in Northwest Florida, or selling a home in Northwest Florida, contact Kerry Veach online or by calling 1.800.879.0309. With over 1,000 closings, 20+ years of experience and a full-time real estate team, it’s no surprise that 95% of Kerry’s business comes from referrals.

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Celebrate Earth Day 2012 by Going Green

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, 2012.  And what better way is there for us to show our appreciation then by getting our Northwest Florida homes in “green” working order?

Not all “green” installations are practical, much less affordable.  Things like solar panels and geothermal systems take a lot of work, and usually a pretty deep pocket.  For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of practical ways Northwest Florida homeowners can go “green.”

Update Your Light Bulbs

I don’t think it gets much easier than this.  Compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s) and LED’s conserve energy and save money.  If you haven’t already made this simple switch, you will need to within the next year.  Under the CLEAN Energy Act, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs began being phased out in January 2012.  Next on the list are 70-watt bulbs, then 60-watt bulbs…you get the picture.

Energy Star Products

Energy efficient appliances save money, electricity, and water which reduces your household’s total greenhouse emissions.  Many products offer tax rebates as well.  Next time you’re out shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star label on anything you buy.

Reuse Your Rain Water

So here’s an idea:  instead of letting all that rain water run off your gutters and into a big mud puddle on the ground, install an affordable rain barrel.  This will catch and store water from your gutters so you can use it later to water your lawn, garden, etc.  Conserve, conserve!

Greywater

If you like the idea of reusing your rain water, you’ll probably be a fan of this one as well:  Greywater Recycling.  Greywater is water that comes from your sink and laundry, but is not contaminated by waste.  By installing a greywater recycling system, you can take the water from your morning shower and have it filtered for use in your toilet or lawn.  Talk about saving a lot of water!

Make sure you check the Veach View Blog frequently to get more energy (and money) saving tips.  And as always, if you or anyone you know is interested in buying a home in Northwest Florida, or selling a home in Northwest Florida, contact Kerry Veach online or by calling 1.800.879.0309. With over 1,000 closings, 20+ years of experience and a full-time real estate team, it’s no surprise that 95% of Kerry’s business comes from referrals.

 

 

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Increasing Rents and Low Home Prices Attract Investors

Friday, March 30th, 2012


Northwest Florida homes have a lot of desirable qualities, one of which is location along white sandy beaches and cool ocean waters. With this location comes ample opportunity to rent a home to vacationers escaping to the south, or people who wish to relocate to a warmer climate. Either way, rentals rates are on the rise for both groups.

2011 saw a 64.5% increase in investment property home sales from the year before – that’s 12.3 million units sold in 2011, versus 749,000 in 2010.

“Investors have been swooping into the market to take advantage of bargain home prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Rising rental income easily beats cash sitting in banks.”

Foreclosures have largely contributed to this boost in second-home purchases. In fact, half of the above mentioned investment home sales from 2011 were distressed properties. Many investors are attracted to the long-term rental income, versus the short-term profits from a flipped home. This is good logic since the national rental average is expected to increase by 5%-10% each year.

Renting has always been more expensive than buying due to the tax benefits, but now it is becoming even more so. As inflation looms in the distance, we can expect to begin seeing cost of living increases across the board, and housing expenses will be no exception.

If you would like to begin your home search, or are thinking about selling your home in Northwest Florida, contact Kerry Veach online or call 1.800.879.0309. Kerry’s experienced team has closed more than 1000 transactions and specializes in providing their clients with the highest quality service possible.

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Financing for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Installations

Friday, March 16th, 2012

If you’re one of the many Northwest Florida homeowners who have considered energy efficient upgrades, Green Asset Finance might be able to help you.  This Florida based consulting firm has developed a new loan program offering financing for EERE (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) products.  This program extends to both contractors and residents.  There is no maximum loan amount or hidden fees, and rates are competitive with flexible terms.

The best form of renewable energy that we have in Florida is solar energy.  You can use this energy to generate electricity, heat water in your home or pool, and light your home both indoors and outdoors.

Another great renewable energy source is wind energy.  You can generate your own electricity if you live on at least one acre of land that has ample wind resource using a small wind electric system.  You could even use a small wind turbine for pumping water.

If you are looking for simpler products, you should consider energy efficient home appliances.  These include clothes washers and dryers, computers, dishwashers, home audio equipment, refrigerators and freezers, room air conditioners, televisions, DVD players, and water heaters.  When you’re shopping for appliances, make sure you look for the ENERGY STAR label.  These products must adhere to strict guidelines established by the US Department of Energy and US Environmental Protection Agency.

If you’re not sure which direction to go and would appreciate the assistance of a professional, you can have a home energy assessment conducted.  This will determine how much energy your home consumes, and what changes can be made to improve your home’s energy efficiency.  The auditor will do a thorough inspection of each room, the exterior, and an examination of past utility bills.  Your local government agency or weatherization center should be able to provide a list of professional energy auditors.

The Destin, Florida area provides a great deal of “green” opportunity.  Whether you are interested in buying or selling your home here, contact Kerry Veach – Northwest Florida’s Real Estate Specialist.

2012 Brings Good News for Florida Real Estate

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Florida was one of the worst-hit states when the housing market plummeted.  Foreclosures and short sales became far more common than regular sales, and the rental market became busier than the resale market.  There’s no doubt that the Florida real estate market is due for some relief, and 2012 might be the year we get it.

“Our state is in a mini-recovery,” said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo at the state association’s 2012 Real Estate and Economic Forecast Conference in Orlando. “Sales are trending up, listing inventories are falling, the supply of lender-related properties has stabilized, and we are seeing multiple offers on homes in some local markets.”

Another chief economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun, agrees that the sharp drop in home inventory indicates that demand is increasing and home prices are stabilizing.

And why shouldn’t it?  Florida is, after all, the “sunshine state.”  In addition to appealing to retirees and investors, Florida’s real estate market has also received tremendous support from international buyers.

Can this upward home value trend continue?  Many real estate brokers think so, and are open new offices to support the projected increase in home sales volume.  The dropping unemployment rate and improving job market is another subtle sign that better days may be here to stay.  Combine this with continuously low interest rates, and you get favorable conditions for the Florida real estate market.

If you would like to take advantage of low home prices and interest rates while there are still here, begin your home search now with Kerry Veach.  With over 1,000 successful closings and a full time real estate team, Veach has proven himself to be the northwest Florida real estate expert.

DIY Energy Efficient Home Improvements

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Upgrading your Northwest Florida home to be more “green” doesn’t have to take a lot of time, or money.  In fact, there are several relatively quick and inexpensive fixes that you can do yourself.  Here’s a short list of minor modifications that you can do in a single weekend.

  • Replace Your Shower head

This should take you about 15 minutes, and cost $10-$60 per showerhead.  When you’re shower head shopping, make sure you look for the WasterSense label, which could save over 2300 gallons a year!

  • Replace Your Faucet Aerator

Overlooked and under appreciated, this small metal piece can save you big bucks.  By purchasing a low-flow aerator, you’ll maintain adequate water pressure, but use less than half as much water.  In fact, this simple upgrade could conserve about 500 gallons of water a year!  A single aerator should cost about $2-10 and take five minutes to install.

  • Water Efficient Toilet

This one is for the handier individual who is on a first-name basis with the employees at the local Home Depot.  Again, look for the WaterSense label and save an average of $90/year on your water bill.

  • Florescent Light Bulbs

There’s a good chance you’ve already switched from standard bulbs to compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs, but just in case, I’m including it on the list.  Energy Star bulbs use 75% less electricity and can last 10 times longer!

  • Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat usually has only a few wires involved, but if you’re unsure, call a professional.  The job should take about 30 minutes, but the thermostat could cost anywhere from $25-250, depending on which one you get.  This upgrade is an automatic way to reduce/increase heating and cooling throughout the day, adding up to about $180/year in savings.

  • Stop Chimney Drafts

Did you know that even with the damper closed, you’re probably losing air through your chimney flue?  Plugging the flue with a chimney balloon, such as the Draftstopper, will cost you about $55 and 15 minutes.

  • Drain Sediment from the Water Heater

After a while, minerals and tiny rocks build up in the bottom of your tank.  To ensure that your water heater is working properly and lasts as long as possible, attach a hose to the bottom faucet and drain the water into a bucket or outside.  Do this until the water begins running clear and sediment free (about 15 minutes).  Here’s a tip:  If your water heater sounds like a coffee pot, it’s time to drain.

  • Replace Hoses

This applies to the washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser, etc.  Check the hoses once a year for cracking, rusting, bulging, fraying, and leaking.

  • Add Insulating Window Treatments

Thermal window coverings more than double the insulating value of a double paned, low-emittance window.

 

Now that your home is more energy efficient, you can sit back and save money.  While you’re at it, contact Kerry Veach if you or anyone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate in Northwest Florida.

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