Seminole County Today

Seminole County is located just northeast of Orlando and is home to approximately 455,000 residents. Interstate 4 runs in a north-south direction through the western region of the county, and this Interstate connects Orlando with Daytona Beach. Because of the location of this busy road, the western region of the county is heavily populated and well-developed. In fact, in this area, you will find cities like Sanford, Altamonte Springs, Longwood and Lake Mary. The eastern region of the county is notably rather rural, but this may soon change. Rapid development from the Interstate and the Orlando metro area is creeping eastward and is threatening to take over the last two rural areas in the county.

The History of Geneva

Geneva is a small community located in the northeastern region of the county. It has seen increased growth due to the rural lifestyle and the many lakes that provide scenic home views. Locally known as the “Geneva bubble”, the well water drawn from the aquifer deep below the earth is highly touted as some of the best in the state. It is also home to the two Econlockhatchee Rivers as well as the Little-Big Econ State Forest. Fewer than 3,000 residents live in this quiet and naturally beautiful area despite the fact that it is within a commutable distance to Orlando. One of the most substantial and well-known in the area is the Geneva School House. This building was originally constructed in 1924 to educate Kindergarten through 12th grade students, but it later evolved to only providing elementary education. The structure that is currently standing today is slowly being renovated, and it replaced a log cabin school that was built in 1874. It remains the only elementary school serving this entire area of the county.

The History of Chuluota

Chuluota is a much smaller area than Geneva, and it is located in the eastern region of the county south of Geneva. This community is home to approximately 2,500 residents, and it has already seen moderate growth with new housing development in the last 15 years. This is a traditionally rural community that has had an economy centered around agriculture since the first white settlers arrived around the Civil War period. Residents are concerned that new development will change the quiet, relaxed way of life that they love.

What the Development Means for Local Residents

Both Geneva and Chuluota offer current residents a very peaceful living experience that is removed from the stress and chaos of the big city. Many residents enjoy being away from crowded, busy roads and having privacy from their neighbors. They love seeing natural views rather than urban and suburban development all around them. However, as many as 4,000 new homes are projected to be built just south of the county line close to Chuluota, and many additional homes in new developments are sprouting up just east of the county line. This rapid development is approaching Chuluota and Geneva from all directions, and it is threatening to enclose and take over the rural areas that mean so much to the local residents. In 2004, residents voted to restrict development to one home for every five acres. While this slows down development in the area, it does not prevent the increasingly-populated areas nearby from creating more pass-through traffic. There are also concerns about how the development will impact environmentally-sensitive natural areas and the supply of fresh water from the local aquifer.

How Taintsville Tackled Urban Sprawl

Taintsville was once an unnamed rural area located between Oviedo and Chuluota. Residents here struggled to describe to others where they lived, and it was even challenging to receive shipped packages. Nearby development also threatened to take over the region and change the residents’ way of life. These residents took action by creating their own 700-acre town. By doing so, they have protected a small rural area that is now increasingly surrounded by residential and commercial real estate development.

The growth in this popular Florida county is undeniable, and it is expected to continue at a rapid pace going forward. With many areas closer to Orlando already densely populated, it makes sense that new real estate development would creep into the last few remaining rural areas in Seminole County though it saddens us. If you are looking for a rural way of life reasonably close to the big city, now may be the time to act. Contact us today to learn about rural real estate available in eastern Seminole County.

It’s an exciting time when buyer’s are ready to purchase a home, but many times they forget to consider the costs beyond just the down payment. Closing costs can be scary because of the unknown. So we want to help clarify the unknown for you.

Typical closing costs for a buyer are: Continue reading “Typical Closing Costs When Buying a Home”

Orlando median home continues upward trend with 10 percent increase in February

Orlando’s median home price rose 10 percent in February when compared to February of last year while sales held steady with a 1 percent increase, reports the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association. Inventory declined by nearly 9 percent compared to this time last year.

The overall median price of Orlando homes (all types combined) sold in February is $228,000, which is 10.4 percent above the February 2017 median price of $206,500 and 1.3 percent above the January 2018 median price of $225,000.

Year-over-year increases in median price have been recorded for the past 80 consecutive months; as of February 2018, the overall median price is 97.4 percent higher than it was back in July 2011.

The median price for single-family homes that changed hands in February increased 11.3 percent over February 2017 and is now $249,250. The median price for condos increased 22.2 percent to $120,950.

The Orlando housing affordability index for February is 133.18 percent, down from 140.10 last month. (An affordability index of 99 percent means that buyers earning the state-reported median income are 1 percent short of the income necessary to purchase a median-priced home. Conversely, an affordability index that is over 100 means that median-income earners make more than is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home.)

The first-time homebuyers affordability index decreased to 94.71 percent, from 99.62 percent last month.

Sales and Inventory

Sales of single-family homes (1,886) in February 2018 decreased by 1.0 percent compared to February 2017, while condo sales (316) decreased 7.3 percent.

Sales of distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) reached only 139 in February and is 41.4 percent less than the 237 distressed sales in February 2017. Distressed sales made up 5.6 percent of all Orlando-area transactions last month.

The overall inventory of homes that were available for purchase in February (7,706) represents a decrease of 8.9 percent when compared to February 2017, and a 1.3 percent increase compared to last month. There were 4.3 percent fewer single-family homes and 25.1 percent fewer condos.

“As we head into peak homebuying season, those buyers who are best prepared to deal with the challenges of low inventory are in the better position to secure a home” explains ORRA President Lou Nimkoff, Brio Real Estate Services. “Buyers should be ready to move quickly on a home they want by, for example, having a mortgage pre-approval letter in hand and having pre-determined with their REALTOR® which concessions and contingencies they are willing and able to eliminate from their purchase offers.”

Current inventory combined with the current pace of sales created a 3.09-month supply of homes in Orlando for February. There was a 3.41-month supply in February 2017 and a 3.38-month supply last month.

Ready to make a move to Central Florida? Call the experts and we’ll help you find the perfect place! Until then, take this fun quiz we created to see the most compatible city to your lifestyle.

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iHeart Realty by Waypointe Realty is a fun, engaging show that brings you real estate news through authentic, clear messaging, giving you what you need to know about today’s real estate market, home design tips and tricks, and events happening around town with your hosts, Jenelle Ferrer and Hilda Hernandez.

4 reasons why you should stage your home when selling & the 6 rooms in your home that you should be focused on! Continue reading “Why Stage Your Home and the Best Rooms to Stage”

Real Estate & Flood Zones

Natural disasters can happen anywhere. Among the most devastating effects of these disasters is the flooding. Entire homes may be smashed, but even an inch or two of water creeping into a structure can cause shockingly extensive damage. If you’re thinking about buying a home, then it’s vital for you to understand flood zones. Continue reading “How Flood Zones Affect Real Estate”