Go Outside and Enjoy!

One of the big reasons that we love living and working in Palm Coast is because we enjoy the natural beauty that the area offers. Springtime is when we fall in love with Florida all over again as we are drawn to the outdoors once the days begin to get longer and the temperatures warm up. We’re captivated by the expansive blues skies, the oak tree canopies, hiking and biking trails, golf courses, and boating and fishing in local waters.

The Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway beckon us to enjoy the great outdoors in our boat. With numerous boat ramps in Flagler County, outdoor enthusiasts can start out from points all over the county and enjoy kayaking, canoeing, or boating (including fishing) to their hearts content. The City of Palm Coast has a brochure outlining 26 recreational areas in the county plus the State Parks. http://docs.palmcoastgov.com/residents/trek-it-out/trek-it-out.pdf

If you’re a fan of golfing, you’re in luck! We have many beautiful and world class golf courses if fun on the fairways is your preference. There are also many golf course homes to be found if you want to walk to the clubhouse from your home.

You may remember a blog from November we did, "Enjoy the Great Outdoors Year Round in Flagler County". Well, I guess we’re a little obsessed with being outside and who can blame us? It’s just part of living the Florida lifestyle. At RE/MAX Flagstaff our dedicated REALTORS® are driven to serve you and are committed to success. Please let us know how we can assist you with your real estate needs. Call us at (386) 246-8585.


Captain Jimmy Millhollin at the helm.

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Transforming Your Yard into a Native Plant Landscape

Taking care of a turf grass yard can be an exercise in futility. We need to use a lot of water and a lot of potentially harmful fertilizers (think of the run off and harm to wildlife) to get the grass to grow and look beautiful and once the long warm weather season is upon us. Then, it’s a constant routine of mowing, weed eating, and blowing to keep our landscape looking good. Even if we are not doing the work ourselves and have a landscape company doing the maintenance, it’s still constant upkeep. In terms of money and time, it can seem wasteful.

Florida Statute 373.185 says, ““Florida-friendly landscaping” means quality landscapes that conserve water, protect the environment, are adaptable to local conditions, and are drought tolerant. The principles of such landscaping include planting the right plant in the right place, efficient watering, appropriate fertilization, mulching, attraction of wildlife, responsible management of yard pests, recycling yard waste, reduction of stormwater runoff, and waterfront protection. Additional components include practices such as landscape planning and design, soil analysis, the appropriate use of solid waste compost, minimizing the use of irrigation, and proper maintenance.”

Our Florida Legislature has deemed that using Florida-friendly landscaping and other water use and pollution prevention measures to conserve or protect the state's water resources serves a compelling public interest and that the participation of homeowners' associations and local governments is essential to the state's efforts in water conservation and water quality protection and restoration. A local government ordinance, a deed restriction, or covenant may not prohibit the property owner from implementing a Florida-friendly landscape.


This is great news for Floridians who are interested in eliminating turf grass from their landscapes and adding attractive native plants which will attract wildlife and make the maintenance and upkeep so much easier. You can implement this yourself or consult with one of many Master Gardeners for advice and a referral to someone who can do the work for you. Once it’s done, you’ll be very happy with the appearance of your yard. If you are in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, you may need to submit a plan for approval before you start your project.

In Flagler County, contact the UF IFAS Extension Office for advice. http://www.flaglercounty.org/index.aspx?nid=339 Meanwhile, take a look at this video showing what the possibilities are for your yard.


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Real Estate Market is Great in 2016!

The real estate market is great these days whether you’re looking to buy or sell. With an average of 67 days on the market, if you’re ready to sell your house and put it on the market, you might want to start packing!

If you’re ready to buy or sell, our team of REALTORS® will help you every step of the way. If you’re selling our team knows the score on how to get your home ready for the market. If you’re buying we can help with getting your financing together, finding the home that’s right for you, helping you get through your closing, and getting settled into your new digs.

The supply of homes is a little short at 4.9 months of inventory. Economists say that a six month supply of homes indicates a more stable economy, with demand equalling available homes for sale. However, our inventory shortage is due to consumer demand for homes and the construction industry not being able to keep up with the demand in Florida.

Last year, RE/MAX sales were up 6.1% year over year and the median sales price was up 5.3% year over year. That’s not without rhyme or reason. Our agents are the best in the business and with more real estate sold worldwide by RE/MAX, it’s certainly an advantage for the consumer to have this kind to real estate power behind them. Whether measuring closed transactions, agent productivity, brand name awareness, agent education, or a number of other metrics, RE/MAX comes out on top, and just like the hot air balloon, we are still rising to the occasion to take care of your real estate needs.

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Join the RE/MAX Flagstaff Team!

At RE/MAX Flagstaff we are always looking for real estate agents to join our team of dedicated professionals. Our entrepreneur based business model along with RE/MAX education and support attracts agents who are in business for themselves, but they are never “alone” in business.

There’s a reason that RE/MAX sells more real estate than any agency worldwide. We have name recognition and with over 100,000 agents worldwide creating a powerful reputation, just add your talent and dedication to the mix and the sky is literally the limit. The imagery of the hot air balloon logo is no accident. Our training is second to none and we can get you off to the right start even if you’re new to real estate. It does take motivation and commitment, but at RE/MAX Flagstaff you’ll be well equipped to take on the world of real estate.

Many people are hesitant to make changes in their lives because the fear of change is greater than the state of discomfort that they may feel with their current situation. If you’re looking to make a change, consider joining our team of highly trained REALTORS®.

With a clear purpose, RE/MAX agents guide their clients toward the best results. Their talent and vision, combined with many brand advantages, help them discover the success they always envisioned.

Call us today at (386) 246-8585 to get started on your new career with our team!

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Preparing Your Home For Sale


Too many people procrastinate selling their home as prepping for the sale and impending move can be overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Follow these words of advice from RE/MAX and before you know it, your house will have sold and you’ll be off to your next chapter in life. Our agents can also offer you additional advice on getting your home ready to sell.


Buyers see the outside of your home first and curb appeal is very important since it conveys the first impression.


Clear any clutter and keep lawn decorations to a minimum.

Mow your lawn and trim shrubs.

Add bushes and/or colorful flowers.

Sweep sidewalks, porch, and driveway.

Remove or update any dated or personalized fixtures.

Put all toys away.

Fix damaged gutters, shutters, siding or roof shingles.

Add a tasteful welcome mat to the front door.

Clean all windows inside and out.


Clean everything! Check for cobwebs on ceilings, dust on baseboards – everything.

De-clutter. Then de-clutter again. Rent a storage locker if you need to. This is very important for increasing your home's appeal.


Add a fresh coat of paint to the walls.

Remove family photos and excessive wall decorations.

Remove personal items, such as DVD collections and trophies.

Replace worn carpets, and shampoo carpets that are dirty but still in good shape.

Polish wood floors.

Add fresh flowers or plants, but don't overdo it.

Maximize your home's natural light by opening blinds and shades.

Do a smell check and address any odors.

Pet owners: Take Fido or Fluffy with you while your home is being shown.

Homeowners, it’s also best for you to leave while your home is being shown.


At RE/MAX Flagstaff our dedicated REALTORS® are driven to serve you and committed to success. Please let us know how we can assist you with your real estate needs. Call us at (386) 246-8585.



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Florida Ranks Number One

Florida is officially the most desirable place to live! According to a Harris Poll, Florida is at the top of the list among all states touting sunshine and waterfront property as the most prevailing factors. 

And, why not? As any newcomer from the north can tell you, shoveling sunshine sure beats shoveling snow! 

Florida’s real estate led the nation’s rebound with a 12.4% increase in single-family home prices! Real estate inventory is small right now with a slightly more than four-month supply of homes for sale as of October 2015. Economists generally consider a six-month supply a balanced market. First-time buyer programs abound, the economy is strengthening, most loans are at a fixed rate, and at the crux of the matter is that the construction industry is not able to keep pace with the increased demand for housing. 

Ahead in 2016 experts are predicting that Florida’s real estate market will remain strong and home sales should increase 8-10 percent over 2015, as well as home prices increasing by about 5 percent. 

At RE/MAX Flagstaff our dedicated REALTORS® are driven to serve you and committed to success. Please let us know how we can assist you with your real estate needs. Call us at (386) 246-8585.




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Marineland: 75 Years and Counting!

Marineland of Florida lies on the northeastern edge of Flagler County and just celebrated its 75th anniversary. Created originally as an innovative oceanarium to film marine life, Marineland was the brainchild of W. Douglas Burden, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Sherman Pratt, and Ilya Andreyevich Tolstoy (grandson of Leo Tolstoy). In 1938, Marineland opened with its main attraction, a bottlenose dolphin and 20,000 tourists created congestion on Highway A1A to visit this new entertainment venue. 

In its heyday, Marineland enjoyed 900,000 visitors per year and there were hotels, restaurants, and lounges to accommodate the masses. Those who ventured to see the dolphins, electric eels, small whales, exhibits, and the ever popular dolphin show were not disappointed. There were even two films that had scenes at Marineland, Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and Revenge of the Creature (1955). When Disney World opened, attendance peaked, but once Sea World opened Marineland’s attendance declined drastically and was eventually sold several times. Challenged by high maintenance costs, the once successful park fell into disrepair and financial ruin. In 2003, all but the original buildings were torn down. The park closed for two years in 2004 (hence 75th anniversary vs 77th) for renovations. 

Marineland is currently owned by a subsidiary of The Georgia Aquarium and is currently Marineland Dolphin Adventure and offers educational programs and visitors may also swim with dolphins. Accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and a member of The International Marine Animals Trainers’ Association, Marineland Dolphin Adventures has a bright future in education and again as a sought-after attraction. 







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Enjoy the Great Outdoors Year Round in Flagler County!

One of the best things about living in Flagler County is the ability to spend time outdoors year round. In fact, winter is a great time to explore the wide open spaces in Florida! With more than fifteen city parks, twenty-one county parks, and four Florida State Parks to choose from—with a vast array of activities—there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

If you like bird watching, the St Joe Walkway, Palm Coast Linear Park, Haw Creek Preserve at Russell Landing, Bulow Creek State Park, Washington Oaks Garden State Park, and Princess Place Preserve are designated as Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trails. 

If you’re interested in history, the Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park offers the ruins of an old plantation, slave cabins, and sugar mill with walking trails, as well as a boat ramp with a canoe/kayak trail. Want to swim? The Belle Terre Park & Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool offer a heated outdoor aquatic facility as well as tennis courts, racquetball, athletic fields, gazebos, a playground, and more. Fishing, kayaking, or canoeing are also readily available at a number of parks as well. Palm Coast also has the Palm Coast Tennis Center and the Palm Harbor Golf Club. 

And, then there are the beaches! While the water might be too chilly for all but a few, winter is still a great time for beachcombing, surfing, and even getting some sun. 

So many choices of things to do, the big dilemma is what to do first? 

Parks in Palm Coast http://docs.palmcoastgov.com/departments/recreation/facilities-guide.pdf

Flagler County Parks http://www.flaglercounty.org/index.aspx?NID=168

Florida State Parks https://www.floridastateparks.org


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Driven to Serve our Community and You!

One of the keys to our success at RE/MAX Flagstaff has been our passion for serving our community. Our combined experience in the Navy led us down the path of serving others and we continue these efforts in Flagler County today.


Whether we’re sponsoring The Fur Ball for Flagler Cats big fundraiser, collecting toys for Toys for Tots, supporting Christmas Comes True, or helping Habitat for Humanity, we’re following our hearts to do good in the world. This desire to serve is a perfect with with the way we run RE/MAX Flagstaff.


Our team of Realtors® shares in our values of serving our community and our customers with the enthusiasm you would expect. At RE/MAX Flagstaff our team can handle every aspect of real estate and delivers outstanding service that is second to none.


Our involvement in the community and in our business is driven by the desire to always do our best and to do it right the first time. We both find that the earnestness that we bring to our business is directly linked to our service in our community and our service to our customers.


We’re driven to serve you and committed to success, plain and simple. Please let us know how we can assist you with your real estate needs. Call us at (386) 246-8585.







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Why the Hot Air Balloon?


Ever wonder why RE/MAX uses the hot air balloon for our logo? 

When RE/MAX was founded back in 1973, Dave and Gail Linger built a steadily growing foundation of realtors who believed in hard work and resolve. Their network continued to grow outside of it’s roots in Colorado, becoming an international business model in just a few short years. By 1978, the RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon made it’s maiden voyage at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and it’s been going up, up, up ever since! A year later, the balloon became the official logo of RE/MAX and has become synonymous with educated, knowledgeable, and helpful Realtors®. 

Market share continued to rise and the balloon was again symbolic of RE/MAX’s growth. Growing from 2 agents in 1973, to 5,000 in 1984, 25,000 in 1989 and today we have more than 100,000 agents in more than 100 countries across the globe. We literally sell more real estate than any other company worldwide! 

It’s certainly an advantage for the consumer to have this kind to real estate power behind them. Whether measuring closed transactions, agent productivity, brand name awareness, agent education, or a number of other metrics, RE/MAX comes out on top, and just like the hot air balloon, we are still rising to the occasion to take care of your real estate needs. 

We have the resources to help you with all of your real estate needs. Our staff of highly trained Realtors® can help you buy or sell homes and properties in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, Bunnell, St Augustine, Jacksonville, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach and surrounding communities. Let us provide you with outstanding professional service available in the real estate industry

If you are looking for help buying, selling, or if you want to join an outstanding team, you want RE/MAX Flagstaff. 


Click here for balloon facts! 


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Celebrating Five Years!

What an amazing five years it has been. We've been delighted and challenged to build our brokerage during the depths of the recession but we have succeeded and we are thriving!

What's the secret? Our amazing team is the biggest reason we have grown and flourished during a severe down-turn in the market! As the leaders of the brokerage we have made a point of assembling a team of professionals that we believe are the very best in town. We encourage our sales associates to look at each other as part of a team and to act with cooperation and synergy in building our company to be the best.

Our name, RE/MAX Flagstaff, refers to the flagstaff or pole, that holds our country's flag up and supports our great democracy. So we have made it our mission to hold up and support our team and our vision for that team from the smallest to the greatest. We all succeed and we all succeed together. That's the synergy of working for the best for our buyers, our sellers, and our community.

Now, after five years, the real estate industry is well into recovering. Home prices are rising, inventory is shrinking, days on the market are down from a high of 274 days to 45 days or less. Homeowners are showing confidence and enthusiasm for upgrades and for moving up. Fewer homes are underwater and REO inventory is shrinking.

We are so happy to be a part of this turn-around and to see the success our team is having. We are proud of each and every team member and inspired by the effort they have put into their education, their efforts for their clients, and the way they each give back to the community.

As business people, we can say with utter sincerity, that we couldn't have done it without them. Thank you, each and every one!


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5 Reasons to Buy a Home in Palm Coast

5 Reasons YOU Should Live in Palm Coast.

Florida has always enjoyed an influx of residents from other states, especially the Northeast and Midwest. But sometimes, those new residents aren’t happy. They discover that Miami is really hot, or Orlando is great for vacation but nowhere near the ocean. Finally, in frustration they move back or try another state. But Northeast Florida offers a different welcome to new residents and you can see them on our beaches and golf courses with big smiles!

  1. Our weather is the best Florida has to offer. Thanks to the Gulf Stream few hurricanes hit the area from just below Palm Coast to just above St. Augustine. They go on up the coast or circle around Florida heading for the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, we are measurably cooler than Tampa, Orlando, the Keys or Miami and being on the coast we have the breeze off the Atlantic to keep us that way.
  2. Which leads us to outdoor sports and activities. We enjoy them every month of the year and are near major centers for our favorite weekend exercises. Biking, hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, tennis, golf, fishing and softball are played regularly and enthusiastically by happy residents.
  3. Who doesn’t love the ocean? Even if you are not fond of the sandy beach, the sight of the sunrising over the Atlantic and a right whale and her calf drifting by will warm your heart. And if you enjoy boating we have Palm Coast’s canals and the Waterway to keep you out on your craft and happy all day long.
  4. Economics are a key decision making factor in moving to the area. The state of Florida does not have an income tax, has low corporate taxes, and Flagler County enjoys low sales tax. Couple that with affordable home prices and property taxes and your balance sheet will be in favor of a move!
  5. Last but not least, the team at RE/MAX Flagstaff is ready to help you make a successful relocation and experienced enough to make it seem like the best purchase and closing you’ve ever had. What are you waiting for? Call 386-246-8585 today and ask to see a Palm Coast home!

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Mortgage Lending is Full of Options


What’s new in the housing market? Well, for one thing there is a greater diversity of mortgage instruments now available. Let’s look at the way this has played out over the last few years.

After the recession, there was a lag in lending where mortgage bankers, previously too lenient, had now swung in the opposite direction and did not seem to want to lend to anyone. As the housing bubble has faded into the background and home values have rebounded, lenders have begun to have confidence in their collateral once again. And buyers are beginning to believe again that a house is more than a home – it’s a good investment now.

So loans are closing, both conventional and FHA, and interest rates are still attractively low. In addition, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise their targets for affordable housing so low-income borrowers have some options. The USDA is still making 0% down loans in communities with a population of less than 5,000. And, banks are beginning to announce that the “no-interest” mortgage is making a comeback, although it will be re-worked into a less toxic instrument. All of this results in borrower’s having more options than ever before.

And these changes are coming at a time when housing prices are still in an attractive range and sellers are still willing to sell.

So if you are a potential buyer who has held off trying to get pre-approved, now may be the time to gather your paystubs and bank balances and talk to your local mortgage loan originator. There are many loan programs available, lots of structuring options, and plenty of homes to look at. Now is the time!



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Home Buyers Come in All Shapes and Sizes!

Who Are Today's Home Buyers?

What does today's modern family look like? Increasingly, it may be a Mom, Dad and one or more adult children. Or, it may be a young couple with a single parent sharing the home and the expenses. The traditional American family still exists but there are more variations than were common in decades past. Another very common variation includes couples who are willing to sign up for a 30-year mortgage before they say, "I do," to each other.

In the post-war era all the way through the 1970's there was a life stage associated with traditional home ownership:

1. Go to college or a trade school

2. Get a job

3. Get married

4. Buy a house

Now those steps are less clear. Many adults go back to school for 2nd degrees or advanced degrees even later in life. Many adults are waiting until their late twenties and early thirties to get married. Many are considering home-ownership at an earlier age or participating in some manner in their parent's home ownership. Some juggle multiple jobs and others are work-from-home entrepreneurs or telecommuters.

What does that mean to a sales associate showing a home?

• Listen carefully to fully understand the needs of the home buyer. If they juggle multiple jobs they probably want a turn-key solution. If they work from home they have to be very happy with the home they purchase. If they are a mixed-generation family, separate living areas may be key.

• Pre-qualification is more important than ever. Multiple people with mixed income streams require more attention from a lender. Educating the home buyer to understand the value of having the lending in place before even looking is critical.

• Make sure everyone involved is on board as much as possible throughout the home-buying process. Maybe you're working with a young couple; they love the house on 123 Happy Life Lane. They look at it a second time and then they say, "Well, we won't know until Mother looks at it, too." Suddenly you meet Mother who has some game-changing opinions. The sooner you can meet and talk to all of the players the better your chance of finding this family the right home.

The good news is that more people are enthusiastic about home ownership at all life stages than ever before!




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Building a Successful Team


What does it take to assemble the best team of real estate professionals? The first thing is to have an open mind. Innovators and high-achievers are not always conventional people. They come in all shapes, sizes, and mindsets but they all want to be part of a team that can provide support, motivation, education, and common goals.

Synergy is important. A team needs leaders, but it also needs people who play a supportive role.  A team needs ambitious people but part of their achievements should be lifting up their teammates.  All parts of the team add value and that’s what creates the win-win situation.

A team needs ongoing training. Everyone has specialized skills but not everyone knows everything. Having regular training opportunities means that the team grows in expertise and knowledge. This builds strength and increases over all sales.

As the team builds, the expertise and experience the firm can offer grows along with it. More expertise and experience results in more success and a successful team is an energized and effective team.

Is this the type of scenario you could see yourself being a part of? Would you like to tap in to the strong record of success and synergy already developed by RE/MAX Flagstaff? We would love to talk with you about your goals and vision for the future. Why don’t you give us a call today and let’s explore the possibilities!

Jimmy Millhollin 386-931-0487

Annette Gardinal 386-931-0485


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Is This Another Bubble? Or is the Market Hot!?

Is Northeast Florida a hot market or a housing bubble?

According to recent reports by the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, home sales in Northeast Florida for June were up almost 13% over May 2015. June 2015’s total sales were higher than even May 2006. This has a few people worrying that there is a bubble, but most economic forecasters feel confident that sales levels are simply bounding back after years of being flat. Institutional investors who bought property when the market was very low are still in a holding position and renting properties to tenants rather than beginning to divest themselves of real estate.

Are you on the fence about selling your home? If you waited through the difficult years and are finally beginning to see that you’ll get your money out of it, this may be the moment for you. If, on the other hand, you are still close on what you owe vs. what your home is worth, it may be a good strategy to hold a little longer. Property seems strong and interest rates have not adjusted themselves upwards.

If you are a potential buyer and haven’t committed to purchasing a home at this time, this may be your best chance. Property values are still slowly rising and banks have continued to keep the mortgage rates at an unusually low historical level. Now, it’s just a matter of deciding which house, or style of home, you are interested in purchasing.

We can help you with that. Whether it is a townhome or a single family dwelling, has a dock or overlooks a golf course, there is a home in Palm Coast for you and your family. Let us know what your vision is for your life and we’ll help you achieve it.

Call the team at RE/MAX Flagstaff to work with professionals dedicated to making your next home purchase the best purchase of your life! Call us at 386-246-8585 to talk to a sales associate today!


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Your New Home, Will You Buy or Build?

You’re ready to live the Florida lifestyle and you’ve identified Palm Coast as the perfect place to live. Now you can’t decide – should you buy an existing home or should you buy a building lot and pick out a builder? There are pro’s and con’s for each.

Existing Home – This is the most popular decision, perhaps because it is the easiest. There are plenty of homes to choose from and there’s no question what the home will look like on that lot. It’s there, you can see it, you love it, hate it, or are indifferent. You get the advantage of someone else’s efforts and you can start with mature landscaping, an established lawn, and shade trees. Your Realtor® can help you pick out the perfect house with a golf course location, or a few blocks from the beach, or a pool home. A month later the title company can be handing you the keys and it’s all yours!

Built Just For You – This can be a great decision for the person who wants it his or her way from top to bottom. Your Realtor® can let you know about building lots that are on the market and show you the neighborhoods that fit your preferred lifestyle. Once you have chosen a lot, the process is similar to the closing process on a home. Note that you cannot do anything to the lot until it is legally in your possession. Have you found a builder you want to use? If not, the period while you wait to close can be a good time to interview builders. Choose someone legally licensed, bonded and insured. Ask to see and talk to other homeowners who have used that builder.

Now you’re ready to make decisions. Your lot will dictate some choices due to setback requirements and other parameters imposed by government or deed restriction. But all the finishes, colors, layout and equipment are matters you can decide on. Patience is going to be the most important attribute you can have because building frequently runs into delays and you will need to be comfortable with that. Finally, the house is finished and you’ll get your Certificate of Occupancy allowing you to move in!

No matter which way you go, you’ll end up with a home in Flagler County that will make you smile for years. Ready to get started? Call RE/MAX Flagstaff at 386246-8585!



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Everybody Wins!

This is a rare moment in time. Throughout the history of the US Real Estate Market there have been mainly two distinct types of market. Then, during the recession that began in 2007 a third type of market was born:


  • Buyer's Market
  • Seller's Market
  • Very Poor Market


A buyer's market exists when housing prices are "soft" and lending is easy. This means that home prices are lower than they could be, interest rates are down and lenders are looking for buyers. In this market the seller who holds out for a certain price has little chance of getting it – there are just too many homes on the market that a buyer can choose instead.

In a seller's market inventory is down. Each house sells quickly with multiple offers and often for a good bit more than the seller asked for. The buyer who really wants to get in to home ownership will need excellent credit and a willingness to negotiate aggressively to beat out other buyers.

After the housing market started to slide in 2007 foreclosures and short sales started to come on the market. But banks were cautious about lending and tightened their standards. Borrowers who once could have qualified for a mortgage found themselves declined. As housing values slipped, sellers found themselves owing more on their mortgage than their house was now worth. Interest rates went down but no one could qualify for the loan so it did not help.

Now we have a fourth type of market that is very rare. We call it the "Everybody Wins" market. How could that happen? Mostly through market correction. As home values have held steady, banks have become more willing to loan. As homes have sold, inventory has decreased. As a result of having less inventory on the market, home prices are steadily coming back up. Sellers can afford to sell their homes. Buyers can qualify for a mortgage and buy a home they don't have to bid frantically on. Lenders are loaning on homes that are holding their value.

What else do you need in a market like this? A good broker! Come to RE/MAX Flagstaff and see what a wonderful experience you will have selling or buying your home. Experience, professionalism, caring, and education come together to take you through the process to a successful outcome!



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How Do People Choose a Real Estate Agent?

When a person is thinking of selling their home or looking to buy a home they generally go through a licensed real estate agent or broker. If they are like most of us they may have one or more in their family, one or more that they know through a networking group, and a few whose names are familiar because of advertising. But how do they decide?

What makes an individual choose one agent over another? Many real estate agents would tell you that certifications in certain areas of real estate expertise play a big role. They may tell you that they are a specialist in this or that and have the letters behind their name to prove it. They might be wrong. A recent survey found that 1% of people responding said that they chose their agent based on professional designations. Knowledge of the neighborhood counted far higher with 13% of people feeling that was important. 15% stated that they chose someone they knew, either a friend or family member. So what were the biggest factors in choosing a professional?

Three important factors combined to equal 54% of factors that counted when selecting an agent or broker. Those can be broken down as:

23% - Agent is trustworthy and honest

23% - Agent has a good reputation

8% - Agent has a caring personality

All three of those factors can be boiled down to integrity and commitment to the needs of their buyer or seller. Think about that, how you are perceived as a person is more important than family ties, knowledge of the market, or designations. Another important factor? 4% said the reputation of the agent’s firm made a difference. That’s in that same thought process. Trust. Honesty. Reputation. Caring.

What else makes a difference? Communication and accessibility. 7% chose an agent that responded in a timely manner to them. 4% prefer an agent willing to communicate via mobile technology.

Here at RE/MAX Flagstaff we’ve built a reputation based on trust, honesty, and commitment to our country, to our firm, to our buyers and sellers. You will see us at community events, supporting local not-for-profits, taking leadership roles in service clubs, the Board of Realtors®, and the Chamber of Commerce. If you are interested in buying or selling a home, please call the team of RE/MAX Flagstaff at 386-246-8585.


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What New Home Buyers Need to Know

So you've been renting for a while and now you are thinking about taking the big step into home ownership. But it's a big commitment and one of the largest purchases you will ever make. Let's break the process and the factors down into bite-size pieces so you can prepare for the journey to owning your own home.


1) What are you looking for and where are you looking for it? As you have heard, location is the most important factor in home value. It is also one of the most important factors in home livability. You won't be happy if you don't like your neighbors, how far the house is from your job, and the quality of schools in the area for your children. So take a good look around and let your Realtor know your preferences. Then, give some thought to single-family home vs. condominium, single-story vs two-story, gated community vs open community. Narrowing down your choices based on the lifestyle you are looking for means you will be happier in the new home once you're living there.

2) Get your finances in order. If you have never applied for a mortgage you may find it a difficult process. There is a lot to it. A capable lender can walk you through the process and explain the ins and outs. You want to have this portion out of the way before you look at houses. Many a buyer has found the home of their dreams and then lost it when the financing fell through. Getting pre-approved helps you prepare an offer with confidence.

3) Find a Realtor to help you look for homes. Why do you need one? Many sellers do not want to deal directly with buyers. They don't want to show people through their home and listen to "Oh, I like this, and I hate that." The Realtor will help you negotiate with the seller without giving away how much you love the home. The Realtor can then help make sure everything goes smoothly through the closing.

4) Be prepared to be reasonable. You may find your dream house, but you also may find your dream house disguised with ugly carpet or a paint color you don't like. The sellers decorated the house to their own tastes, you will do the same. If you find the best house in your location with an amazing floorplan and a view of that golf course you love do not walk away because they planted azaleas. You can rip them right out as soon as the home is yours.

5) Understand the "hidden" costs. Many first time homebuyers have never faced their own maintenance costs. They are used to calling the landlord when something goes wrong. Additionally, your monthly expenses may be higher than just the mortgage. If you purchased a PUD or a Condo you will have HOA monthly fees as well. There will be costs associated with the move and costs associated with getting the house just the way you like it. Do not spend all your cash prior to closing.

Best tip we can give you? Get a RE/MAX Flagstaff Buyer's Broker to help you through the process. The team of professionals, the brand training, and the commitment to excellence will all work in your favor when you buy your first house. Are you  ready to buy? Give us a call at 386-246-8585


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