Functional Spaces at Home

10 Ways to Make a Room More Functional

  1. Maximize vertical space
    Take advantage of wall height by adding tall bookcases, cabinets or shelves, or by hanging hooks for jackets in the hallway, separate office or study, add a desk in a corner of a bedroom or living room, preferably under a window to take advantage of the natural light and to keep your back turned from distractions like the TV and bed.
  2. Keep traffic paths clear
    Avoid bumping into furniture by creating an efficient layout. Make direct paths to commonly used zones and leave enough space to manoeuvre around each piece of furniture. 
  3. Control clutter
    Get rid of items you no longer need or use, deal with paperwork as it comes in, file important items in labelled folders or boxes, and return everything to its original place when you’re done with it.
  4. Add storage
    Store like items – such as cleaning products or bathroom supplies – in labelled boxes or plastic bins. For particularly unkempt areas, purchase storage options like an over-the-door rack to get shoes off the floor, or a closet-size second shelving unit to stash seasonal clothing.
  5. Create a nook
    If you don’t have the luxury of a separate office or study, add a desk in a corner of a bedroom or living room, preferably under a window to take advantage of the natural light and to keep your back turned from distractions like the TV and bed. 
  6. Use a room for what it’s intended
    Keep the children’s toys in their bedrooms or playroom and out of the living room, do paperwork or homework in a home office or den – not the dining room – and move all of your craft or woodworking projects out of the kitchen and down into the basement or crafts room.
  7. Store items in the rooms in which they’re used
    Keep table linens in the dining room, books and magazines in the den, dish towels in the kitchen, and detergent in the laundry room.
  8. Purchase double-duty furnishings
    Select pieces that are versatile, such as a coffee table with a shelf for magazines and books, a lighting for reading, eating or writing, and for setting the mood.
  9. Have multiple table surfaces
    Rather than having to get out of your chair every time you want a sip of coffee, make sure that there are enough surfaces within arm’s reach of living room seating to hold items such as drinks, books, table lamps and reading glasses.
  10. Purchase efficient lighting
    Ensure that your space has table lamps, floor lamps and other lighting for reading, eating or writing, and for setting the mood.

Thanks for reading!

Questions To Ask When Buying Homeowners Insurance

For many homebuyers, property insurance is a detail, a box to be checked off on the way to closing. But details are important and missteps can be expensive. Purchasing insurance may not be as fun as choosing new furniture and paint colors, but it’s a critical part of the homebuying process. Your homeowners insurance policy is a financial safety net in case of a disaster, so you’ll want to ask a few important questions to make sure you have the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

What’s the dwelling coverage per square foot?

Imagine that a fire burned your house to the ground and your policy didn’t pay out enough to rebuild it. That could happen if your dwelling coverage – the part of your policy that covers the structure of your home – is too low.

To prevent this, don’t simply accept the initial dwelling coverage amount an insurance company recommends. “Insurance companies use replacement cost calculators, but they’re not 100% accurate by any means,” says Ryan Andrew, president of The Andrew Agency, an independent insurance agency serving Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

For a more accurate estimate, ask your insurer to send someone to your house for a replacement evaluation, suggests Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders, a nonprofit that advocates for insurance consumers. You can also ask a local builder who specializes in new construction to estimate your home’s rebuilding cost per square foot.

Once you’ve chosen an appropriate dwelling limit, consider adding extended replacement cost coverage to your policy. With this coverage, your insurer will pay 10% to 50% more than your dwelling coverage amount to help you rebuild. This could save you thousands of dollars if building prices spike for unforeseen reasons such as a lumber shortage or high demand after a disaster.

A typically pricier option, guaranteed replacement cost coverage, will pay to rebuild your home regardless of expense.

Do I have multiple deductibles?

Homeowners may not realize that on some policies, higher deductibles may apply for claims due to wind, hail, named storms or other disasters.

For example, say a hurricane causes wind damage to your roof. Your insurance policy might have a wind deductible worth 5% of your dwelling coverage rather than the $1,000 deductible that applies to most other claims, Andrew says. So if your house were covered for $250,000, you’d have to pay for the first $12,500 of damage before your insurer paid anything.

Getting quotes from multiple insurers may help you reduce or eliminate these high deductibles.

What isn’t covered?

You might be unpleasantly surprised by your policy’s exclusions. “Flood insurance, which is excluded on almost all homeowners policies, is definitely a big one,” Andrew says, adding that this is especially important for homeowners with finished basements.

Even houses that aren’t near a body of water could experience flooding during heavy downpours, Andrew says, and a standard homeowners policy is unlikely to cover any damage.

You can buy flood insurance through companies that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The program’s average flood claim payout was $52,000 in 2019.

Andrew also suggests adding water backup coverage to your policy. This pays for damage due to water backing up into your house from sewer lines, sump pumps or other water lines.

Another common coverage gap involves keeping up with current building laws. “If you have to make improvements when you’re repairing or replacing (your home) because the codes have changed since your house was built, a typical policy will exclude that,” Bach says. Though this can be particularly expensive for older homes, “even a house that was built five years ago is out of code,” Andrew says.

Both Bach and Andrew recommend adding ordinance or law coverage to your policy to handle these expenses.

How can I save?

While having the right coverage is generally more important than paying the bare minimum, there are discounts to make your policy more affordable. Andrew suggests buying your car, homeowners and other insurance through the same company to take advantage of bundling discounts, which can save you 20% or more.

“The best way to bring down the price without sacrificing coverage is to raise your deductible,” Bach says. Being willing to pay for smaller repairs yourself rather than filing claims will help keep your premiums low.

If you’re confused about coverage and discounts, reach out to an insurance agent to talk through your options. “Take a little extra time to understand what it is that you’re purchasing,” Andrew says. “For most people a house is the most expensive asset they have.”

Borders Ocala National Forests

24985 NE 188th Lane, Fort McCoy

Hard to find .89 acre property bordering the Ocala National Forests. Located minutes to Lake Delancy Campground day use area and short drive too off road trails for Jeeps, Side-by-Sides and 4 wheelers. Salt Springs Campground and Run are 10 minutes away and St. Johns River is close by as well. The mobile home was built in 1972 and does need work but there are good bones there to work with. Home is 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 732 living square feet with 10’x33′ addition on the front. Home and addition show signs of roof leak and seller said no leaks at this time. Garage is 36’x28′ enclosed with two garage doors and includes power panel, with a 18’x19′ carport attached. Lot size has plenty of room for RV or 5th wheel with two entrances.     

Located in the heart of the Ocala National Forest w/ beautiful Salt Springs swim area, boat launch and short ride to Lake George and the St. Johns River. Salt Springs is also home to miles and miles of ATV/SxS, Horseback and hiking trails. Great fishing year round in the many lakes, rivers and forest ponds, and don’t forget about the excellent hunting too. Close to local shopping including grocery store, Dollar General, hardware, gas station, great restaurants, entertainment and more. Only short 30 minute drive to Ocala or Palatka for all your needs.

 

Location, Location!

Only 20 minute drive to Ocala and 30 minute drive to Gainesville.

1700 NE 162nd Street Citra, FL 32113

LIST PRICE $92,900 

Citra Highlands is paved road subdivision located in NE Marion County with easy, close access to 301/441. This 2001 Manufactured home is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with 1188 living square feet.  As you arrive you will notice oversized .38 acre fenced lot with double entry gates, home has metal roof, landscape and 18’x21′ metal workshop. The home is warm and inviting with lots of custom upgrades and built-ins maximizing the space with additional storage and features. Living room has cathedral ceilings which carry over into cozy kitchen(all appliances are included) with eat-in-dining area and inside laundry area just off kitchen. Main bedroom is spacious in size, with carpet, ceiling fan and large windows for natural light. Main bath has double sinks, extra storage and shower has been updated with tile surround and wood accents. Both guest bedrooms are nicely sized and guest bathroom includes tub/shower combo. Outside rear door is concrete paved area with shade screen and overlooks above ground pool, small pond and aquaponic garden, run by solar panels. There is also additional shade cover used for vehicle parking and privacy fenced area for all your supplies and personal items to be hidden and tucked away.

Citra, Florida is known as the home of the pineapple orange, (originally called the Hickory orange) a name coined in 1883 for an orange (fruit) with an aroma reminiscent of the pineapple. Citra has two buildings on the National Register of Historic Places: The Citra Methodist Episcopal Church and the Armstrong House. It is home to a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant research facility. Some funs things to do include visiting Animal Rescue Sanctuary or stop by The Orange Shop for fresh squeezed Florida Orange Juice or some cool merchandise. Skunkie Acres offers horse back riding and every local loves visiting Crones Cradle Conserve with great outdoor gardens and country store full of local homemade foods and stuff. Located just short drive to Ocala or Gainesville, don’t miss this great property surrounded by horse country. 

Schedule Your Private Showing Today!

Call, Text or Email

352-572-1739 or Info@Search352Homes.com

 

March Newsletter

It is officially March and the start to a new month!

In the March issue of our newsletter you will find events this month, featured listings, market predictions for 2021, and how to follow us on social media.

Click the attachment to check it out!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any of your real estate needs.

March Newsletter

Duke Rountree
Rountree Realty Corp.
Broker / Owner
Call / Text 352-572-1739
Info@Search352Homes.com
Search352Homes.com

Home Design Trends

There are plenty of reasons to look forward to 2021, especially when it comes to the home. After a year that guided many of us to spend more time at home, the new year is an opportunity to bring comfort and creativity to our living spaces. From calming room ideas to stylish (and smart) approaches to home office design, we are predicting 5 of the biggest interior design trends for 2021.

Grandmillennial Grandeur

“Grandmillennial” (modern takes on granny chic) style might be a surprising trend on the surface (it’s the exact opposite of sleek, modern minimalism) – but it actually fits in well with what we’re currently craving in our homes. Cozy details a la grandma’s house, pretty florals, and elegance definitely have a place in the 2021 design landscape.

Plenty of Plants

It seems like 2020 was the year that many of us went back to the basics (hello, green thumbs) and chances are that these primal habits will continue to grow in 2021 – especially when it comes to indoor plants. Incorporating house plants into your decor can help refresh your air and brighten your mood.

Multi-Functional Spaces

This past year has made many of us rethink how we use our rooms. When spending more time at home, it makes less sense to dedicate whole rooms to just one purpose – especially in smaller spaces. With this is mind, we’re betting that we’ll see creative storage and design solutions to help dining room, living rooms, and bedrooms double up as home offices and workspaces. 

Walls on the Wild Side

When it come to interior design trends, we tend to focus a lot on what’s between our walls, but what about what’s on the walls themselves? While paint is always popular, textured, bold, and unusual finishes like floral wallpaper fabric upholstery or even a living wall can add a fresh feel to our spaces in the year to come.

Earthy Tones

You’ve probably picked up on one of the overarching themes for home decor in the year to come: a return to nature and earthy inspiration. This feeling extends to color trends, as warm, comforting color palettes (think wine reds, golden yellows, and sage greens) take precedence. 

February Newsletter

It is officially February and the start to a new month!

In the February issue of our newsletter you will find events this month, featured listings, and market predictions for 2021.

Click the attachment to check it out!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any of your real estate needs.

February Newsletter

Quiet Country Living

12001 NE 135th Street Fort Mc Coy, FL 32134  ASKING PRICE $519,000

Entrance to the property is gated and 11+ acres of serenity greets you when driving up the private driveway to the gravel parking area in front of the home.  This is a country style 2017 custom built home with 2,710 square feet of living space, with a covered front porch including cathedral solid wood beams and 2×6″ tongue and groove ceiling.  Rocking chairs are included to enjoy the sunrise and sunset.  This home has an open floor plan, 10′ ceilings, recessed lights and lots of space for entertaining with friends and family, or just a quiet night alone. Kitchen cabinets are custom Shaker (plywood) with leathered granite countertops and a large center island with sink (all appliances are included in the sale). Living room has custom built-in bookcases and lots of windows providing tons of natural light. Main bedroom is spacious in size with full length walk-in closet and an additional storage closet. Main bathroom is huge with granite double sinks in the custom cabinets and large shower with glass enclosure and multiple shower heads/controls. Guest bedrooms are cozy in size and second bath has custom cabinets, granite tops and tiled tub/shower.  The hallway leads to a 16’x24’ bonus (play) room with mini split unit and built-in bookshelves.  Adjacent  from playroom is an  awesome home office with lots of storage, built-in safe and additional mini split unit. Laundry room is just off the kitchen and includes custom cabinets, leathered granite, washer & dryer, folding table, storage closet and a cove for your stand up freezer. Double french doors in the living room lead to 12’x24′ screened back porch with views of nature including deer, turkey, squirrels and more. The home has hardi-board siding, 2″x6″ exterior framed walls with most interior walls insulated for extra comfort and sound. 

For the outdoor person(s) there is a beautiful fire pit area with brick pavers and accent lighting. The 24’x48′ pole barn includes a metal roof and in the center is a 12’x24′ storage/workshop area with power and water in place (even a TV with Satellite hookup for relaxing (watching the game or a cooking show while you grill). Also, an additional 12’x24′ pole barn, a custom chicken coop and additional fenced area for whatever you desire. 50 amp service is close by for an RV hookup.

This home really has it all and you don’t want to miss the great location and, more important, the peace and quiet of the surroundings.

Located minutes to downtown Fort McCoy with grocery store, doctor office, pharmacy, hardware, gas station, pizza delivery and more. Close to Silver Springs which is great for kayaking, boating and outdoor activities. Ocala is just another 20 minutes away with Walmart, Lowes, Bealls, Outback and many more of your favorite shopping and  restaurants. Gainesville(Home of Florida Gators) is only 50 minutes to downtown. If you’re a fisherman, hunter or simply love hiking, canoeing or kayaking you are in luck! Minutes to Ocklawaha River, Rodman Reservoir boat ramp, Ocala National Forest and many natural springs(Salt Springs, Silver Glen Springs, Juniper Springs), horseback and walking trails, and off road vehicle trails awaits your explorations. One of a kind property and location! Ready for new owners! 

Listing Price: $519,000

Acreage: 11.66+/-

3 Bedrooms /2 Bathrooms

2710 Living Square Feet

24’x48′ Pole Barn

12’x24′ Pole Barn 

 

 

What’s Ahead for Real Estate?

In 2020, the housing market seemed continually flush with buyers as sellers became ever more scarce. Buyers, enticed by record-low mortgage rates, sought out new homes in droves, creating a rapid-pace market for real estate agents across the country.

More than 1,000 HomeLight agents recently surveyed by the referral platform expressed optimism about a hot market in the year ahead but noted that low inventory, and other factors, will continue to be a struggle.

Between Nov. 9-23, 2020, HomeLight conducted its Q4 survey via an online poll of its top affiliated agents across the U.S. who were selected based on performance data like transactions and reviews, which the company uses to select agents for buyers and sellers who use the platform. Here’s what those agents had to report.

Factors impacting the market in 2021

In November, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that inventory was down 22 percent year over year. Twenty percent of HomeLight agents surveyed said that low inventory would likely make the greatest impact on the market in 2021, as mortgage rates continue to dip even further.

However, 50 percent of agents surveyed stated that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines could change the inventory problem for the better, noting it might give sellers the confidence they need to enter the market again, especially if more businesses ease restrictions.

As more companies continue to adopt or solidify remote work options for employees in the wake of the pandemic, top HomeLight agents said in the survey that such maneuvers will continue to impact migration trends into 2021.

Across all HomeLight agents surveyed, 14.5 percent said working-from-home trends would have the greatest impact on the market in the new year, while nearly 20 percent of HomeLight agents on the West Coast and about 16 percent of agents in the Northeast stated the same. In the South Central region, however, only about 8 percent of HomeLight agents said remote work would impact real estate the most in 2021.

Top HomeLight agents also feel that the start of the Biden administration’s term in office may provide a boost to real estate with its housing proposals. A 55 percent majority of HomeLight agents expressed their support for Biden’s $15,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, and 11 percent of surveyed agents noted that finding an affordable home will be the biggest hurdle for buyers in 2021.

Home renovation trends

As clients continue to stay at home well into 2021, HomeLight agents noted that they’re thinking about upgrading their home environment, including their kitchen, bath and outdoor spaces.

In the kitchen, most agents say their clients want a kitchen island upgrade most (64 percent of agents), followed by a walk-in pantry (62 percent) and ample cabinet or drawer storage (57 percent). Meanwhile, in the bathroom, most agents say their clients want to upgrade to a double vanity sink (65 percent), followed by a rainshower head (39 percent) or dual shower head (37 percent).

Outside, clients are craving fire pits (54 percent of agents said said this is a client’s priority outdoor amenity), privacy from hedges or a fence (48 percent of agents say this is a client priority), and a full outdoor kitchen (46 percent of agents say is a priority).

HomeLight agents also found that potential buyers are expressing clear distaste for specific outdated home features like carpet in the bathroom (72.6 percent), popcorn ceilings (65.9 percent) and shag carpeting (62 percent). 

However, homeowners who have sought to make upgrades in recent months have faced significant supply shortages and rising prices as a result of the pandemic. Lumber prices have skyrocketed by 150 percent since mid-April 2020, according to the National Association of Homebuilders. Fifty-three percent of HomeLight agents surveyed also reported labor shortages in their market, 51 percent noted appliance shortages, and 30 percent said there have been shortages of windows and doors.

In light of increased client urges to work on their homes during quarantine, 51 percent of HomeLight agents said homeowners should refrain from personalizing home materials too much, 38 percent of agents warned against using up savings during national uncertainty, and 36 percent said homeowners should be wary of paying a premium during this time for materials or labor.

Impact of business closures

The commerce options in a neighborhood often have a significant impact on the area’s attractiveness and home values. But the pandemic has thrown many businesses into a state of uncertainty with 163,735 total U.S. businesses having closed temporarily or permanently as of August 2020, according to Yelp’s Local Economic Impact Report. About 19,590 restaurant closures that have happened since the start of the pandemic are likely permanent ones.

Nearly half of HomeLight agents surveyed said that business closures have redirected interest from once-bustling neighborhoods elsewhere, like suburbs, exurbs or smaller cities. In particular, 49 percent of agents surveyed said that restaurant closures have had the most negative effect on neighborhood demand.

The rise of second homes

As homeowners have sought to find ways to keep life at home interesting, many are turning to second homes, and likewise, transitioning vacation homes into work-from-home properties.

A whopping 81 percent of HomeLight agents surveyed said they’ve seen an increased interest in second homes in their market. Furthermore, 41 percent have seen a rise in clients selling their primary residence and living in their secondary residence full time.

With remote work becoming the new norm, 49.6 percent of survey respondents said the primary factor driving demand for second homes is the ability to work in a warmer climate. But not far behind that factor are the ability to own a second home while traveling is a less safe option (49.4 percent) and the ability to latch on to low mortgage rates (47.5 percent).

Buyers shopping for second homes now are mostly looking for warm weather, affordability and the potential to earn rental income.

The future is endless for real estate. Rountree Realty is always happy to go over any part of the process and answer any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We thank you for your continuous support.

January Newsletter

It is officially January and the start to a new year! 

In the January issue of our monthly newsletter you will find events during this month, featured listings, and market predictions.

Click the attachment below to check it out.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any of your real estate needs.

January Newsletter