“Go Green, Live Rich”

” Go Green, Live Rich”

by David Bach describes his “50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth & Get Rich Trying.” The book provides many ideas that make you say, “hmmm, that makes sense!” But the idea we  have come to a “tipping or turning point”, I believe is “false!” The sky is not falling and we can all, through education, learn how to live smarter and for less money out of pocket. One of my favorite lines in the book is “GOING GREEN IS ABOUT OUR KIDS, OUR FAMILIES, OUR LIVES.” Whether you believe in the “GREEN” movement, or not. How bad could it be if we could all learn use less, like water! Do you know how many gallons per minute your current shower head uses? You can look on the threaded part of faucet for GPM. Federal regulations recently mandated all faucets by 2.5 GPM or less. A 5 minute shower at 2.5 GPM would use approx. 7-8 gallons of water depending on the water pressure. If you use older shower head(say 4 GPM) you could be using between 20-25 gallons of water per 5 minute shower. Imagine filling up 20 one gallon jugs and placing them in our bathroom, thats a lot of water. We waste 2-3 gallons leaving the water running while brushing our teeth. Aerators can also be installed on all faucets to reduce water usage as well. Can you guess how many gallons of water your toilet uses every time you flush? I’m not going to answer that one(for now), and hope to hear your guesstimates. The worst abuse(my own personal opinion) of water usage is all to “Grow a Greener Lawn or Prettier Plant” and Mr. Bach’s book states up to 7 BILLION, yes 7,000,000,000, gallons of water a year is used on landscape irrigation and accounts for a third of all residential water usage.

In conclusion, water is cheap(many times less than a penny a gallon) and Americans take it for granted, and waste a lot of it. Note: 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water and only 1% is available for human use. We all worry about saving gas because we see the direct result every time we fill up. If you pay for city or community water, by the gallon, it could be possible to use up to 35% less water by making some fairly simple changes in your home. If we all are using less water or any resources, it just makes sense because we can see potential savings. Until next time.

What Does GREEN Mean to You?

WHAT DOES GREEN MEAN TO YOU? When I was growing up in the 70’s & 80’s(we will leave the dates in a range to protect my age,LOL), “GREEN” was simply a color and nothing more. We used the term to describe grass, trees or our favorite color. Then we started seeing the ,ever famous, green recycling logo. NOW, everyone has a different thought when they here the word “GREEN”.  Every day Americans are told to live “GREEN” without a clear path or reason to do so. HOW ABOUT TO SAVE $$! Are you aware that simply changing your incandescent light bulbs to “CFL’s” homeowners could save you $297 per year. Incandescent bulbs cost $400 per year to operate compared to $100 per year for “CFL’s” and only $20 per year with LED bulbs. This calculation is based on the cost of replacing bulbs and savings over the life span of the bulb. Ahh! What is the life span of these bulb? I think we all know the incandescents burn out at least once per year, “CFL” bulbs last on average 5 years and it could be possible to never change an “LED” bulb. Unfortunately, the cost of LED bulbs is still a bit high for most to make the transition. Lighting and other appliances consist of approximately 26% of your electric bill. Take the first step to “Going GREEN”, but most importantly, “Save Some $$MONEY$$!” No matter how you feel about the “GREEN” movement, if we can all do little things to help use less energy, less water(water will be discussed in my upcoming blog post) and less garbage in landfills we are helping the Earth and future generations learn to live a different way of life.  Thats what “GREEN” means to me! Please share what “GREEN” means to you.

“Love People & Use Things – Not, Love Things & Use People” Author Unknown

State of Florida & Ocala March Update on Existing Home & Condo Sales

STATE OF FLORIDA MARKET

Across the state of Florida existing home and condo sales rose in the month of March. Sales on homes increased 12% last month with a total of 18,522 homes sold statewide compared to March 2010 sales of 16,540 according to housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Statewide sales of condos last month rose a whooping 24% compared to last year at this same time.

THATS THE GOOD NEWS!! How about sales price & values?

Florida’s median(means 1/2 sold for more & 1/2 sold for less) sales has decreased 7% from the same time last year with existing homes at $126,300: March median sales price in 2010 was $136,000. The National Association of Realtors® notes that sales of foreclosures and other distressed properties continue to pull sales prices down and distort the median price because they sell at discounted prices compared to traditional homes.

HOW DO WE COMPARE NATIONALLY?

According to NAR, median home sales for existing single-family homes in Feb. 2011 was $157,000, down 4.2% from a year ago. California median sales was $271,320, Massachusetts was $270,000, New York was $245,000 and Maryland was $208,258.  NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says,” Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by unnecessarily tight credit.” NAR also believes a strengthening economy will continue to bolster the housing sector.

LOCAL MARKET

According to OMCAR 2011 Monthly Sales Trend Indicator for the Ocala Market area, our sales have increased 9% with a total of 373 existing residential home sales for the month of March compared to 342 in the same month for prior 2010. Homes priced between $1-50k comprised of 24% of the sales with the next closest at %13.67, being homes priced between $70-80k. CASH IS KING, right now and YTD(Year to Date) totals accounts for 60% of all sales with conventional sales around 20% and FHA at 10%. Condo sales for the month of March increased 43% from the same time last year, but sales are still very slow with ONLY 10 March sales in 2011 and  7 in 2010. Looking at current 2011 YTD sales from Jan.-March sales compared to same time frame in 2010 sales have increased 76%.

MY THOUGHTS? (Which will not buy you a cup of coffee! LOL!)

Interest rates have remained at all time lows and homes prices are at approximately 2001-2002 values. What does this mean for home buyers? Monthly payments in many cases can be lower than the cost to rent. Also, there are many great programs available to help home buyers including the SHIP, NSP & Rural Development Programs. We are still seeing prices on the decline, but the numbers show the gap is closing. Last year we may have seen a downward adjustment of 1% for each month on the value of a property and this year maybe 1/2% is more in line. Either way it is a great time to buy and start building for your future. Americans need to think of their homes as a place for security, stability and neighborhood friendships! What does this mean for sellers? There are always challenges in a changing market and offering something special or unique may be the key. Are you in a position to offer seller financing or paying some of the buyers closing cost? If you are thinking of selling or simply would like to know the current value of your property, please contact me for a “FREE Comparable Market Analysis.”

Thank you so very much for taking your time to read my blog. Please let others know and share my thoughts. Information is power! I want to provide you with the real estate information you need to be informed.

Welcome to Duke’s New Website & Blog

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WOW, what a process to revamp and create a new website. PC House Productions handled the design and creation of my new logo and website, but the time it takes to create new content, input all of my properties and add all of the features is very time consuming. Oh well, enough about my trails and tribulations with the new site.

Why did I create a new website and, more importantly, start blogging? Simple, to better inform and connect with my customers, friends and family. It is my goal too provide a fun and informative place to find information about anything and everything the Ocala/Marion County area has to offer. I know, I know, this seems like a lofty goal, but I can only accomplish it with “your” help. Please subscribe to my blog, today, and tell me what information you would like reported. How about local market updates, subdivision information, community events, building and zoning issues, or maybe you want to know about local events and happenings? Sign up today and receive a “FREE Market Analysis” on your home.