How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Your Home or Condo Hardwood Floors

Wooden Floors

Beautiful hardwood floors are common in Daytona Beach area homes and condos. There’s a hard way and an easy way to clean hardwood floors. You can spend good money on specialized products, but an old standby from your pantry can work wonders.

Plain white vinegar used properly will clean you hardwood floors without worries about harsh chemicals on your floor or in the air. Vinegar won’t harm your children or pets either.

I found a nice article that describes the process of cleaning your hardwood floors. It’s written by a Brit, so enjoy the color (colour) of the language. Oh and 150ml is about 5 ounces and 4.5litres is just under 1 gallon and a quart (4.2 gallons). Enjoy the article.

Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

Graham Baylis

Now that you have your beautiful hardwood flooring laid and settled, you need to know how to care for it.  Natural wood is very easy to care for and will last a very long time if looked after properly.  You do not need to spend hours cleaning and polishing your hardwood floor, a short time every few days or weekly will be enough.  There are many commercial products on the market for cleaning and caring for your wooden floor, however, there is a very effective old fashioned remedy which is cheap and easy and very natural.  It is distilled vinegar, the clear one which most of us have in our larders anyway. [Read more…]

September 2009 Sales of Daytona Beach Homes Up 58.7%

Sales of Daytona Beach Homes Up 58.7%

Sales of Daytona Beach homes and condos in September were up 58.7% over last September. Needless to say that’s is a huge increase.

Sales under $200,000 accounted for 72.4% of all sales and sales under $300,000 accounted of 88.6%. No homes were sold over $1,000,000. The 370 homes and condos sold in September fell just short of July’s sales of 375 properties that was the highest in over three years.

Month to month, September sales were 10.4% higher than the 335 sales recorded in August.

What Do The Sales Numbers Say?

The numbers tell us one simple thing about the Daytona Beach real estate market – more people believe that homes and condos are at price right. The numbers don’t tell us anything about reaching a price bottom or whether prices will go up or down. It was recently reported in USA Today that people are finding bargains in the Daytona Beach area and that’s true. It’s hard to believe some of the deals we’re seeing.

Is Now The Right Time to Buy?

Buying or investing in a home is a decision that only you can make. There are no guarantees, but patient buyers will find great deals. Foreclosures and short sales are keeping prices down, but eventually that will runs its course and pressure will begin to mount for prices to rise again. If you are ready to explore the market and discuss options, give me a call at 386-566-7503.

Reported sales are from the Daytona Beach MLS.

Daytona Beach Real Estate Price Drops Could Cost You Big Money

Mortgage Rates are a Game Changer for Daytona Beach Real Estate

Mortgage rates are at the lowest rate in history as recorded by Freddie Mac. A 30 year fixed rate mortgage sits at 5.14% with points of 0.8 as of today. The Freddie Mac survey began in 1971 and this is the lowest ever.

So now we have a race. With mortgage rates dropping the cost of borrowing lowers the monthly payments for a Daytona Beach condo or home. This makes the real cost of owning much less than two months ago, but the question is, how long will this last. Prices are still dropping, interest rates are dropping. How long will this last.

If you are looking to time your purchase of a home or condo in Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Port Orange or the surrounding area at the bottom, low mortgage rates complicate the picture. Here’s why:

$200,000 mortgage at 5.14% = $1,090.82 monthly payments
$180,000 mortgage at 6.5% =$1,137.72 monthly payments

That’s right, if mortgage rates rise and prices fall, you could end up paying more every month for your home or condo.

Waiting for prices to drop could cost you Big Money

It seems unreal, but we believe that this is a big opportunity. Mortgage rates will not stay low for long. They are so low right now because of the state of the economy and the lack of lending. The government is spending a lot of money that will need to be paid back later and we see inflation coming when the economy starts growing again. The government is printing money for these bailouts. Committed and proposed stimulus money is double the current national budget. To supply this money the government will need to borrow or print more money. Either scenario creates inflationary pressure. It’s just a matter of time.

Please Consider Acting Now

If you are a buyer who will finance your purchase, and you are in a position to do so in the short-term, record low mortgage rates have created a limited opportunity for you. Taking advantage of these great rates will give you protection against prices falling.

Please consider this information carefully. I don’t want to see people missing what many are considering a once in a lifetime opportunity. At a minimum, check back here regularly and at my Daytona Beach real estate main site. We will keep you up to date on what’s happening.

How is Your Homes Curb Appeal?

Curb Appeal for Daytona Beach Home Seller’s

Your home is for sale in the tough Daytona Beach real estate market. Does it matter how your home looks? You betcha!

Buyers expect any home they visit or DRIVE BY to be well maintained. If it’s not, they immediately reduce the value of the home in their mind.

Yes, buyers drive by your home for sale. If your home is attactive from the outside, they may be interested at looking at the inside. In many buyer’s mind, poor condition means low price.

So what do you do?

With over 6,000 Daytona Beach Homes and Condos for sale, the competition is fierce. You need to make sure that all the items on this list are covered:

  • Well maintained grass and landscaping
  • No weeds
  • Drive clean with no stains
  • Paint is not fading, chipping or peeling
  • Brick facing is not stained, chipping or broken
  • Mailbox is attractive
  • Roof is clear of leaves and branches
  • No junk in the yard or driveway
  • Front Door is clean, not dirty, stained or rusted
  • Porches and patios are clean and free of junk

If your condo or home is older and just not that attractive, you need to make sure the basics are taken care of in order to get the best price. If you own a luxury home, you need to make people sing out WOW!

It’s not easy selling a home or condo in Daytona Beach. To get the best possible price for your property when it sells, you need to follow this simple advice.

Check out additional tips for staging your Daytona Beach home.

October 2008 Daytona Beach Homes Monthly Sales Video Report

Daytona Beach Homes Monthly Video Market Report

We just completed the monthly video on Daytona Beach real estate sales and market conditions. In the video, we cover sales numbers with breakdowns by prices sold and by month, median prices, average prices and much more for homes and condos. This is our third monthly report and we will publish the report for November about this time next month. Find out what’s hot in the market and what’s not. Enjoy.

You can find a text version of this report at Daytona Beach Real Estate Sales October Report.

We also publish weekly reports and long term trends. You can find these reports at Daytona Beach Real Estate Market Reports.

If you have any questions, call Lynn at 386-566-7503 or 888-519-9579.

October 2008 Daytona Beach Real Estate Sales Report Published

Daytona Beach Real Estate Report Published for October 2008

Sales and Prices Fall

The full monthly report can be found at Daytona Beach Real Estate Monthly Sales Report that we just published at

Sales of Daytona Beach Homes and Condos fell 3.9% in October while both median and average prices dropped.

Sales from the Daytona Beach MLS fell from 233 properties in September to 224 properties in October. This is not a big drop, but is the third consecutive month of declining sales since the big month of July when 301 properties were sold. We are definitely feeling the affects of the slowing economy and tight mortgage money, but a significant number of people are still buying properties at great prices.

Medians prices dropped from $167,500 to $157,950 while the average price dropped $220,233 in September to $208,100 in October. Two factors are influenced these numbers:

  1. An increase in the percentage of homes and condos sold under $200,000
  2. A decrease in homes sold over one million dollars from five to one

The median price is the half point, with 1/2 of sales under $157,950 and 1/2 over that number. Sales under $100,000 rose by 5.9% of total sales for October causing a drop in the median number. Sales of homes over $1,000,000 drops the average price of homes.

We have been contending that prices in the high priced segments of the market have been falling faster than the under $200,000 price segment. It’s hard to tell because while 154 homes sold under $200,000, only 33 homes sold above $300,000. So there’s not much of a market at the higher prices.

The lower priced market is pretty stable with unit sales over the past two months dropping only a little over 8% while the overall market has dropped over 25%.

For a look at prices and trends for 2007 and 2008, check out Daytona Beach Real Estate Market Trends.

The report covers areas including Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Ponce Inlet, Holly Hill, and South Daytona.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the market, give me a call at 386-566-7503 or 888-519-9579.

Selling Daytona Beach Homes – Why Not Move Up?

Selling Daytona Beach Homes – Why Not Move Up?

What if you could move up to the home or condo of your dreams for much much less than you ever thought possible?

Here’s what one of my clients did:

  • Bought a home in a secure, gated community, for $250,000 that gave her nearly 500 sq. ft. of living space, an enclosed pool with a fantastic pool deck, a double lot on a lake, and $60,000 in lush landscaping that the previous owner had installed. She bought it as a short sale, so she paid $160,000 less than the previous owner.
  • Sold her existing home that she bought in 2004 at a price about 6% over what she bought it for
  • Moved up in home size, luxury and style

We just created a page on called Daytona Beach Homes – Advanced Buying Strategy where we tell the whole story and how you can do it too.

The strategy takes advantage of the current market for Daytona Beach condos and homes. Basically, you can move up to a larger, newer, more luxurious, better located home for very little money.

You can take advantage of this strategy in the Ormond Beach Real Estate market, or Daytona, Port Orange, Ponce Inlet or anywhere else in Florida or the country.

There are certain segments of the Daytona Beach Homes market where this works best and we talk about that on the advanced buying strategy page. You can view the strategy or give me a call at 386-566-7503 to get the story in more detail.

Daytona Beach Real Estate Sellers – Consider Lease Purchase

Is Lease Purchase Right For Selling Your Daytona Beach Home?

You need to sell or your property is sitting vacant. What can you do?

The situation for selling your home is bleak. There are over 6,000 homes and condos for sale in Daytona Beach according to the MLS and less than 300 per month are selling. Foreclosure and short sales are forcing down market prices. To top it off, buyers who want to buy, can’t qualify for the current very tight mortgage requirements. What can you do?

If your home is not in financial distress and you need to sell, or at least cover most of the costs, then you should consider lease and purchase options.

Three Lease / Option Scenarios

There are three basic scenarios you could employ:

  1. Straight Option
  2. Lease Option
  3. Lease Purchase

Straight option and lease option allow the buyer to decide, at the end of the term of the agreement, if they will exercise the option as listed. Lease purchase is a sale. The buyer must buy the property at the end of the term.

The options allow the buyer to walk away, while the lease purchase does not. Check out the Lease Options page at for a great description of each scenario.

Protect Yourself

Whether your buying of selling Daytona Beach real estate through lease / options, you need to protect yourself by having an attorney draft or review the agreement. Option and purchase terms, such as the amount of option money up front and the amount that goes toward the purchase price, are between the buyer and the seller. However, the terms need to be legally binding and that where the lawyer comes in.

Home Sellers Due Diligence

If you are selling using lease option, you must qualify the buyer to your satisfaction. Getting a credit check, references and proof of income must be considered. You must satisfy yourself that the buyer can make the payments. The upfront money can mitigate risk to some extent, but you still need to be sure they can pay.

Sellers of Daytona Beach homes and condos have creative options to work with buyers who need to build a down payment, or re-establish their credit scores. It requires accepting the current market and deciding to employ some creative options. If you need more information to help you decide on these options, give me a call at 386-566-7503.

Daytona Beach Real Estate Sales Stable Despite Economic News

Daytona Beach Home Sales Remain Stable

Despite the seemingly endless flow of bad economic news, Daytona Beach real estate sales, remain stable when compared against last month.

Through the first 20 days of this month, 154 homes and condos were sold in the Daytona Beach MLS, versus 157 in August. We just posted our weekly market report for Daytona Beach at We see consistency in sales despite failures such as Lehman and loans to troubled companies like AIG.

Congress and the President are hashing out a rescue bill for the mortgage lenders to get bad mortgage loan portfolios off their books. This means the government will buy the bad loans and hope to get the money back later. If this happens, it will help, but how much is another story.

Just a few weeks ago, the government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was supposed to drop mortgage rates to about 5.5%. Well, the rates did drop from about 6.3% to 5.7%, but as of today, the rate is back up near 6.0%. This goes to show that we don’t really know what will happen with any government action until after the fact. Any predictions we see or hear are to be politely dismissed with – We’ll See!

Meanwhile, people in the Daytona Beach homes and condos market are buying at a pretty stable rate. They are able to get loans and close deals. I don’t discount the serious nature of the economic environment, but when only bad news is highlighted, both sides of the story is not being told. It’s bad for many, but not as bad as it seems if you watch an hour of CNN. Newpapers and TV News do not dictate markets, they dictate panic and they’re doing a great job.

Prices are low, but the important point to realize is that the Federal Government is willing to spend $700 billion in an attempt to keep home prices from going lower. If you are considering the purchase of a home in the near future, please, watch mortgage rates and prices very closely. You can do that here with our frequent reports and at my main site

Back From The Big Apple – New York is Still Hopping

My Short New York Vacation is Over

We took a few days for a short vacation in New York City and now it’s back to selling real estate in Daytona Beach. I wasn’t completely cut off from clients and staff, but I managed only a few hours each day on the phone.

From what we could see, the New York restaurant, show and club scene are not experiencing any economic problems. We tried to eat at the Manhattan Ocean Club, but weren’t able to get a reservation at a decent time. Shows likes Jersey Boys are commanding $140.00 and up for a ticket (too much) and the streets are crowded with New Yorkers and tourists.

There were a lot of foreign tourists taking advantage of the strong Euro. You can walk blocks hearing no English. The streets are crowded and the city is vibrant. The city is still clean and safe and there was a big police presence in the Time Square Area. We love the city and have spent a lot of time there. My husband worked in New York for seven years and I miss the city and the pace and energy.

We did have a great meal at Palm Too and found out that they have a restaurant in Orlando on Universal Blvd. We saw 39 Steps on Broadway that was very interesting and good. Four actors play 150 parts in a really fast paced show. We also went to a taping of three shows for “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.” That was very interesting, but long. We started at 10:15 and got out of there at 3:45. Still it was a fun way to spend a day.

Three nights go quickly and we got back into town about 5:30. I’ll be out tomorrow showing houses and condos. I’m happy to be back to Daytona Beach, but part of me is still in New York.