Can you afford to wait to buy a home?

If you’ve been considering purchasing a new home, putting off that decision any further could cost you. Here are a couple of key reasons that you should consider buying a home sooner rather than later:

Housing prices are healthy and growing. In fact, in 2017, prices increased 6.15 percent on average in the United States according to the S&P Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, and they’re expected to continue on that trajectory. At this rate, a $200,000 home could cost you $212,300 next year and $225,356 in just two years.

Interest rates are still low. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage as of December 2017 was 3.94 percent. If you had a $200,000 mortgage at this rate, your payment would be $948 a month. However, the Federal Reserve may raise rates in the near future. At 8.90 percent, which is the historical average interest rate, your payment would be $1,595. That’s a potential increase of $647 a month!

Need help finding the perfect home, negotiating and handling all the paperwork? Call us at 321-287-3913. 

How to Make your Home smell like Christmas

Nothing beats the smell of Christmas -those nostalgic scents that remind us of the holiday season and the excitement of our childhood years. So let’s get started

1. Make a simmering pot before visitors arrive  

1. 1 First, pick a selection of your favorite festive smells, such as cinnamon sticks, oranges, cloves, star anise, and vanilla pods and even freshly cut pine trimming from your tree for a warming fragrant scent.
1.2 Bring a pan of water to the boil and add in your selection. After a few minutes, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and leave on the stove.
1.3 Check every 30 minutes or so and top up the water as needed to prevent the pan drying out. 

2. Place a few drops of vanilla extract on your HVAC filters. 

When the air in your home circulates through your central air system, the lovely scent of vanilla will fill your rooms. Yum!


3. Collect pinecones and spray them with cinnamon oil.

Spray pinecones with cinnamon oil and place around your home for the holidays

Kleinworth & Co. 

Make your own scented pinecones by collecting a few that may be around your home. Spray with cinnamon oil until damp. Leave in a ziplock bag until the pinecones have completely soaked up the mixture or place in the oven for a few minutes.  Leave a few around your home to make it smell heavenly.

4. Discreetly clip Febreze car fresheners to your curtains or air vents. 

Try clipping Febreze holiday scented car fresheners such as Pumpkin Bliss to your curtains or air vents to leave a lasting scent in every room.

5. Place tea lights in a bowl of coffee beans.

Place vanilla scented tea lights in a bowl of coffee beans to make your home smell like a coffee shop.


The heat from the tealights will warm the coffee beans thus creating a beautiful aroma that smells like vanilla coffee.


6. Fill pouches with clippings from a fir tree. 

Take clippings from your christmas tree to freshen your home.

Cook Quilt Make and Bake

Place the pouches in places around your home such as in your bedroom dresser and closets to leave a refreshing scent. You can get the full tutorial here!



7. Rub your lightbulbs with vanilla extract. 

While your light bulb is off and cooled, rub it with a small amount of vanilla extract or peppermint oil. When you turn on the lights the scent will warm and the aroma will softly fill the room.

8. Make your own mason jar oil candle. 

Make your own mason jar candles to make your home smell like christmas!

Baby Food Steps

Craft your own mason jar candles with ingredients such as pine cones, pine needles, cranberries and cinnamon sticks. This homemade concoction would also make for a wonderful holiday gift for family and friends! Get the full tutorial here.

9. Place a few drops of your favorite scent inside your toilet paper roll. 

Dump a Day

I would prefer to use cinnamon or peppermint oil to fragrance the toilet paper roll. Either way, this is genius!

10. Make your own air and furniture fresheners using baking soda and essential oils. 

Instead of lavender, use cinnamon or peppermint oil to make your home smell like the holidays!

View from the Fridge

For a holiday scent, I would opt to use cinnamon, peppermint or pine oil to make these simple air fresheners. You can simply sprinkle over your furniture and carpet floors to absorb smells or leave in the mixture in a mini mason jar and place in each room of the house. The full tutorial on this awesome project can be found here.

Christmas Home Decor – How to make a Burlap Bow in 7 easy steps

Check this awesome Tutorial written by Sarah, from the Website Mommy Suite. It is piece of cake!

All you will need to make this bow is a roll of wired burlap ribbon and a hot glue gun.



Step 1: Cut 4 pieces of ribbon. The first 2 pieces are the same size and they will be the longest (18″). The next piece is a few inches smaller than the first two (15″). The last piece is the smallest (4″) and will be used as the middle to keep your bow together.


Step 2: Create two circles using one of the longer (18″) pieces and the medium (15″) piece of ribbon. Use a little hot glue to keep the circles together.



Step 3: Place the small circle on top of the large circle. Glue them together in the middle.




Step 4: Accordion fold the bow in the middle to create the dimples of the bow




Step 5: Take your shortest 4-inch piece of ribbon and create a “tri-fold”. Add the tail to the bottom of the bow and make sure you have the same amount of ribbon on each side.



Wrap the short piece around the whole shape of your bow and the tail. Add hot glue to keep it together.




Step 6: Cut the tail by cutting a triangle out of the bottom of each end or folding it in half and cutting as shown above.




Step 7: Fluff the bow so it is not flat and adjust the ribbon to make the dimples even on either side.

I will be using this bow on my spring wreath. Please subscribe below for an e-mail notification when that post (and all future posts) go live on the blog. I hope this tutorial was helpful!


Enjoy a nice Christmas at your home, nicely decorated!

15 reasons why you should sell your home with us:

  1. We have been selling homes for over 15 years;
  2. We truly care about our community. Brenda Kolbrich has been awarded Citizen of the Year for East Orlando and served Avalon Park’s HOA for 8 years;
  3. We have several awards on client satisfaction; 
  4. We have over 7 million in sales per year and multiple awards on sales;
  5. We are affiliated with Keller-Williams, one of the largest real estate organizations in the world, with over 140 offices. They will oversee all the process, looking at all aspects (law, commercial, etc.) to guarantee a smooth transaction;
  6. We will professionally evaluate your home based on past and current data of the market and let you decide on the price;
  7. We already have a database of national and international buyers and investors looking for homes. As soon as you list with us, we will send them an e-mail, showing your home. We will even contact some of them by phone;
  8. We will door-knock your neighborhood. We know that at least 50% of the houses get sold to people living in the same neighborhood so we will let them know your house just came to market by handing-in professionally-made flyers;
  9. We will host Open Houses for clients and other Brokers for people to come and check your home almost every weekend;
  10. We will take professional pictures of home to enhance the positive aspects of your home;
  11. We will use our Marketing savvy and tools to get your home top-tier exposure. We will list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and most well-known websites (such as and Zillow), social media (Facebook, Instagram an even YouTube);
  12. We will handle volumes of paperwork for you. One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today’s purchase agreements run ten pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands;
  13. We will take the spam out of your property showings and visits. We will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie-loos and try to induce serious buyers to write an offer immediately;
  14. We will use our negotiation skills. We negotiate well, not only because we are skilled and have been doing it for years, but because we are not the buyer or the seller, so can remove ourselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction;
  15. We will assist you even after the closing. Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to us can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing.

Flood Zone Classifications

When buying a house, it is very important to look at the Flood Zone. Here’s the list of codes to help you:

Zone C, Zone X –      Areas determined to be outside 500-year floodplain determined to be outside the 1% and 0.2% annual chance floodplains.

Zone B, Zone X500 –  Areas of a 500-year flood; areas of a 100-year flood with average depths of less than 1 foot or with drainage areas less than 1 square mile; and areas protected by levees from a 100-year flood.  An area inundated by 0.2% annual chance flooding.

Zone A – An area inundated by 1% annual chance flooding, for which no BFEs have been determined.

Zone AE – An area inundated by 1% annual chance flooding, for which BFEs have been determined.

Zone AH – An area inundated by 1% annual chance flooding (usually an area of ponding), for which BFEs have been determined; flood depths range from 1 to 3 feet.

Zone AO – An area inundated by 1% annual chance flooding (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain), for which average depths have been determined; flood depths range from 1 to 3 feet.

Zone AR – An area inundated by flooding, for which BFEs or average depths have been determined.  This is an area that was previously, and will again, be protected from the 1% annual chance flood by a Federal flood protection system whose restoration is Federally funded and underway

Zone A1-A30 –   An area inundated by 1% annual chance flooding, for which BFEs have been determined.

Area Not Included (ANI),(N) – An area that is located within a community or county that is not mapped on any published FIRM.

Zone D – An area of undetermined but possible flood hazards.

Undescribed (UNDES) – Area of Undesignated Flood Hazard.  A body of open water, such as a pond, lake, ocean, etc., located within a community’s jurisdictional limits, that has no defined flood hazard.

Zone VE – An area inundated by 1% annual chance flooding with velocity hazard (wave action); BFEs have been determined.

Zone V(1-30) – Costal flood with velocity hazard (wave action); BFEs have not been determined.

FWIC – An area where the floodway is contained within the channel banks and the channel is too narrow to show to scale.  An arbitrary channel width of  3 meters is shown. BFEs are not shown in this area, although they may be reflected on the corresponding profile. (Floodway Contained in Channel)

100IC – An area where the 1% annual chance flooding is contained within the channel banks and the channel is too narrow to show to scale.  An arbitrary channel width of  3 meters is shown. BFEs are not shown in this area, although they may be reflected on the corresponding profile.  (1% Annual Chance Flood Discharge Contained in Channel)

500IC – An area where the 0.2% annual chance flooding is contained within the channel banks and the channel is too narrow to show to scale.  An arbitrary channel width of  3 meters is shown. ( 2% Annual Chance Flood Discharge Contained in channel)


Florida’s Real Estate Market Overview – Sep 2017

According to Zillow, one of the most popular Real Estate websites, the median home value in Florida is $212,100. Florida home values have gone up 8.7% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 3.2% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Florida is $158. The median price of homes currently listed in Florida is $283,990 while the median price of homes that sold is $211,252. The median rent price in Florida is $1,775.

Below, the graphic shows that average home prices have been going up:

What is still keeping pressure on Home Values is the low Inventory 

Home shoppers will continue to have few homes to choose from as we enter the last few months of the year – there are 12 percent fewer homes on the market than a year ago.

Tight inventory and strong demand are the two key factors driving up home values: When supply is low and demand is high, prices rise. Nationwide, there are 12 percent fewer homes to choose from than a year ago.


Low mortgage interest rates are contributing to high demand in part by keeping home-buying affordable even as prices rise.

Unlike with rents, the share of income needed to afford a typical mortgage nationwide is currently much lower than it was historically, thanks in large part to low mortgage rates that keep monthly costs low. Mortgage rates[i] on Zillow ended the month of September at 3.70 percent, the lowest month-ending rate since May 2017. Mortgage rates hit a high of 3.72 percent in the last few days of the month[ii] with the month low at 3.56 percent[iii].