Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Palm Coast, FL Neighborhoods"

When I moved to Palm Coast, a few weeks before 9-11, I thought it was odd that people lived in "The F's" or "The W's" or "The R's."  Who thought that up?  Those guys in the back room at AT&T had to be smokin' something.  Don't even get me going on the "We don't need no stinkin' sidewalks" travesty.  I would joke and say, "I thought The C Section was for Obstetricians only."  Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. 

Well, the past nine years have flown by and the real estate scene has sure changed, hasn't it?  Here's what's bothering me today... It's the old "My neighborhood is better than yours" thing.  A client of mine, to whom I sold a house two years ago, emailed me to call  me out for selling them a home in "a less desirable part of town."  They had been there over two years... and never thought that... until someone else voiced an off-the-cuff opinion.  It makes me crazy when people say you should stay away from one section of town or the other.  I guess human nature is alive and well.  It's no secret that crime is up... all over the country.  This economy creates desperate situations for many. 

A call to the Sheriff's office revealed what I thought - that crime is spread around fairly evenly.  Also, not surprisingly, high priced areas in gated communities experience less crime.  Welcome to the world as it is.  If you think that your area is getting labeled unfairly, call the Sheriff's office and ask hard questions.  Get the facts.  If something needs to be done, exert your rights as a tax paying citizen of Flagler County.  Peace, out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Eating Out in Flagler County, FL"

How about you?  Do you love to eat out?  We sure do!  Understand that we make our living as Real Estate Sales Professionals, so the past couple of years has been more "fish sandwiches and buffalo wings," than "filet mignon and lobster bisque."  However, there's just something very nice about the social benefits of a meal at a great eatery, not to mention "no cooking and no dishes."

 Well, I picked up the Daytona Beach News Journal "Flagler County Section" this morning and read a dining review of a Flagler Beach restaurant... "Blue at the Topaz"... which happens to be our favorite local place, when we "fancy up."  It was a great review and accurately rated it as terrific.  However, (and it's a big however) the article started out with this stomach punch:  

"In her never-ending and... too often futile quest to find good food in Flagler County,... Blue at Topaz was like a breath of fresh air for News-Journal staff writer Kari Cobham."

Wow!  Them's fightin' words!  Is Ms. Cobham trying to elevate the "Nouvelle Victuals" in Volusia (Hooter's Girls vs. Wing House Girls) as superior to Flagler?  Is she sayin' Blue at the Topaz is "all we got?"  Now, I'll admit that we are not an urban melting pot of haute cuisine, however, Flagler County has some great places to eat - from "family to fancy."

So, what are your favorite places to eat in Flagler County?  What do you like and why?  You can post your comment just below this post (you know... where it says "comment"... sorry - just had to do that) OR go to my "Frank Zedar" page on Facebook and vote for your favorite!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Palm Coast, FL - Salt Water Canals - Sales Update"

Back in 1999, I'd never heard of Palm Coast, FL, but was in Flagler Beach for a wedding.  The canals of Palm Coast caught my eye.  Back then, they were a bargain.  I moved here in 2001, at the beginning of the real estate explosion.  I got a bargain on a house on a canal, the week after 9-11.  These canals are really a very unique part of the Palm Coast aura.  Well, as circumstances would have it, they are again a bargain in 2010!

Here is a synopsis of recent activity, over the past 6 months:
  • 81 Salt Water Canal homes currently "For Sale"
  • "Asking" prices between $185,000 - $849,000
  • Median asking price is $372,000
  • 8 short sales
  • 0 lender owned foreclosures
  • Average "Days on the Market" = 202 (and counting)
  • Longest time on market = 1,054 days (2.9 years)... dreaming of better times:-)
Now for "Sold and Closed" over this six month period:
  • 35 Sold
  • Sold between $170,000 - $536,000
  • Median sale price is $250,000
  • Average "Days on the Market" = 209
  • 22 "Normal" sales
  • 9 short sales
  • 4 foreclosures
Now for vacant salt water canal building lots:
  • 56 for sale
  • between $89,000 - $395,000
  • 10 have Sold
  • between $95,000 - $214,000
If you are interested in selling or purchasing a Salt Water Canal home or lot in Palm Coast, FL... contact me for a confidential consultation.  I've been at this real estate profession for 23 years.  I'm really good at what I do... and I can help you get what you want.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"New Kid in Town - The Palm Coast Observer"

Well, I strolled out to get the paper this morning in my bathrobe - freshly brewed Starbucks French Roast in hand (after living in Europe for a few years, you'd pass on the Maxwell House too) - and there were three!  The Daytona Beach News Journal, The Penny Saver, and a newcomer - "The Palm Coast Observer."

My first impression was, "Hmmm,very nice!"  Now we've had our share of local rags that didn't make it.  Mainly because of "print media over-kill" when the economy was cookin', coupled with inane content and poor print and paper quality.  

According to the publisher, John Walsh:  "We are proud to present The Palm Coast Observer.  Modeled after its award-winning sister papers in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, The Palm Coast Observer is dedicated to serving as the leading and most trusted source of local news and information for Palm Coast and Flagler County. 
Our mission is to deliver the area's most relevant and comprehensive news, information and features affecting Palm Coast and Flagler County residents, their neighborhoods and the community at large.
From backyard birthday parties to grade-school award ceremonies, from high school sports, to church socials and the County Commission and City Council - if it happens in Palm Coast, residents will know where to turn - to The Palm Coast Observer." 

Only time, of course, will tell if this tall order is met.  But this paper has a good "look and feel."  And although the trend in news is away from print and drifting to the internet, I'm thinking that the Palm Coast demographic still likes to "read the paper."  I personally liked "Cop's Corner" (a local police blotter), "Community Calendar" and "Real Estate Transactions" (an area where we are dissed by the Volusia oriented DBNJ).  I'm hoping they can pull it off.  With time and maturation, this paper could develop into the "real deal" for Palm Coast.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Palm Coast, FL, is a Hibernating Grizzly!"

(02/03/2010 - Palm Coast, FL)

Real Estate is not dead... it merely sleeps!  

Remember 2003-2005?  Palm Coast, FL was the biggest city (OK, biggest small city) in Flagler County - "The Fastest Growing County in America!"  We were flying high and getting plenty of national face time.

Investors were swarming and money was flying.  Magnificent towers at the beach rose from the sand and condos sold for $$Millions.  Ginn was God.  Hammock Dunes.  Island Estates.  Yacht Haven.  The Sanctuary.  Surf Club.  Salt Water Canals.  Intracoastal Waterway.  Beach Front Lots.  Tidelands.  Palm Coast Resort.  Canopy Walk.  Grand Haven.  The Polo Club.  The Reserve.  Equestrian Estates.  Just to name a few...We were full of ourselves, to be sure.

 I'll never forget our office sales meeting at RE/MAX Oceanside in December, 2005.  We all looked at each other like squirrels running back and forth in front of oncoming cars.  Something was amiss and we just knew it wasn't going to be good.  Boy, were we right!  But guess what?  Markets go up... and markets go down.  Some are bumps in the road  and some are monsters.  We've been down for four full years now... and although we still have a foreclosure mess, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  (I know what you're thinking.  Very funny.  No, it is NOT a train) 

There is very good news out on the horizon.  That is because Palm Coast, FL is like a hibernating grizzly bear.  Like the bear, we put on as much fat as we could for years.  It's what is sustaining us through this mess.  When it's time to wake up - and that is coming sooner than we think - we will be hungry, rested, and ready for action!  There is a tremendous force building of pent up demand for this area.   "Up North" is still a rust belt, is cold, and is covered with ice and snow.  Florida (specifically Palm Coast, FL), on the other hand, is still warm, tropical, and surrounded by beaches.  I can ride my motorcycle in February.  Try that up in "Joisy."

We have over 800 houses for sale, priced under $199,000.  They'll be coming.  We don't know exactly when, but they'll be here. 

Why read "Palm Coast Unplugged?"

"Palm Coast Unplugged" gives a "backstage pass" to locally focused Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, and Ormond Beach, Florida... Real Estate and other useful information:
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