Monday, December 18, 2006

There's positive news about the real estate market in 2007: Analysts note that interest rates will remain at historically low levels, homebuyers will see more opportunities and, nationwide, home prices will trend upward or remain stable in 2007.
Read the full story:

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rates Fall for Fifth Consecutive WeekThe average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 6.14 percent, its lowest point since Jan. 26 of this year, according to Freddie Mac.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Here is a intersting article I found. Some of the site are very useful, but cannot take the place of a knowledgable & professionally prepared comparative market analysis. Read on. - Chad

You might have heard this piece of wisdom: A man with one clock always knows what time it is. A man with two clocks is never sure. The old saw applies to the rapidly expanding number of sites that estimate your home's value. First came Zillow ( and its "Zestimates," which launched with a splash earlier this year. Realtors and consumer advocates gripe that Zillow's estimates are inaccurate and confusing. Now comes CyberHomes (, the Zillow-like site just launched by title insurance giant Fidelity National Information Services. Both sites make it nearly effortless to look up home values. So, The Palm Beach Post ran some homes currently listed for sale and compared the prices to the valuations offered by Zillow, CyberHomes and county property appraisers' sites. The results? The numbers are all over the place, with CyberHomes offering especially optimistic values. CyberHomes was above the asking price for four homes looked at. The lesson? Don't take these tools too seriously.

Copyright © 2006 The Palm Beach Post, Fla. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News. courtesty & credit to above & planetrealtor.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Today’s homebuyers and sellers increasingly access information on real estate Web sites to become better educated about the housing market. A recent NAR survey found that 77 percent of buyers used the Internet to search for a home in 2005, compared to only 2 percent of buyers a decade earlier.
Read the full story:

Friday, October 27, 2006

At least one expert is advising Florida's snowbirds to make it official:
Declare legal residence in Florida and spend less time up north. In doing so, says Allan R. Lipman, an attorney licensed to practice law in both New York and Florida, snowbirds will save money in property taxes, courtesy of Florida's Save Our Homes (SOH) property tax cap -- a protection that does not exist in other states.
credit to

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Four ways to foster a fast sale in a slow market
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Oct. 10, 2006 -- A tougher housing market means that real estate practitioners must take every opportunity to get their listings noticed. Here are some ways that sellers can work with their practitioners to foster a faster sale:

• Exposure, exposure, exposure. Sure, it may inconvenient to have buyers visit the home at unpredictable times. But limiting the times at which buyers can view the house may mean that they’ll look at other homes instead. “More showings equals greater interest equals greater likelihood for more money,” says David Martz, an associate with Re/Max Valley Properties near San Jose, Calif.

• Lookers come; sellers go. Sellers should leave the house when buyers arrive. Having the sellers around can make buyers uncomfortable. “Their very presence can be contrary to the merchandising experience,” says John Dozier, owner of Cupertino Properties.

• Competitive commissions. Make sure the commission being offered to the buyer's agent is competitive, even if the seller’s agent is offering to take a smaller than usual commission. Otherwise, buyers' agents could focus on other homes first.

• No surprises. Don’t forget to mention things that could make a buyer or a buyer’s agent feel disappointed the first time they see the property: a bad roof, a foundation that needs major repairs. Disclose these flaws in the listing notes as well as the legal disclosures so buyer’s agents can prepare their clients before showing them the property.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Despite a cooling housing market, real estate investment funds are up about 22.16 percent so far this year, and are on track to top the market for the seventh straight year, according to Lipper Inc.
Read the full story:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Super-Luxury Homes,

This is quite the article, Residential listing prices are making history, for the first tim ever prices have gone over $100 million dollars, thats $100,000,000.00 for a house!!!

Check out this article.
Quality Isaac Construction built home features: stone & hardy board exterior, maple cabinets, 10’ ceilings, crown molding, stone fireplace with gas logs, pecan hardwood floors, his/her wi closets, oversize Jacuzzi, rain head, 3020 sq ft under roof, 2’’ plantation blinds & more.

Over 10 acres of beautiful land has a fish pond, part planted pine & grass pasture land. 32X36 Pole barn, 12x14 shed, 2nd septic for RV hookup, large oaks, pecan trees, paved circle drive….

Call for your personal tour today.
Pending home sales are up, a sign that a stabilization is taking place in the housing market, according to NAR. The index, based on contracts signed in August, rose 4.3 percent to a level of 110.1 from a reading of 105.6 in July, but it's 14.1 percent lower than August 2005.
Read the full story:

Friday, September 29, 2006


Have you checked out lately? Its still really just in the beta stage & runs a little slow, but there are some quite useful tools on there for finding home values, mapping software, etc.

The market analysis is very broad & not specific information or adjustment for advantages that your home may have. Feel free to email with any questions or if you would like additional market analysis done on your property.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Shaq Takes Jump Shot into Real EstateBasketball star Shaquille O'Neal has started a real estate development company that already has bought more than $50 million in properties.good."Source: Bloomberg News (09/20/2006)
Rates on 30-year mortgages fell this week to 6.40 percent, its lowest level in six months, according to Freddie Mac's weekly nationwide survey. Rates hit a four-year high of 6.80 percent on July 20, but investors' inflation fears have subsided, easing the pressure on mortgage rates.
Read the full story:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It won't be much, but Florida homeowners -- especially those in counties with higher damage from sinkholes -- soon could see a dip in their skyrocketing homeowners insurance costs.
Read the full story:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mortgage Rates Decline to 5-Month LowLast week’s better-than-expected reading on the Consumer Price Index helped to push mortgage rates down to a five-month low, according to’s weekly mortgage survey of large lenders.
The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 6.48 percent, the lowest since March 29, while the average 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, popular for refinancing, dropped by a similar amount to 6.19 percent

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Home warranties can be a very useful tool for avoiding alot of hassles with all the mechanical items in a house. The company, Old Republic would be an excellent choice. I have been very impressed with their service, website, account executives, etc.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A good home in good condition in a good neighborhood offered at a fair price will still sell in a reasonable amount of time, experts say.
But in today's market, some owners want to offer a little extra incentive to help their home sell as quickly as possible. Here are some
• Pay homeowners' association fees for up to two years.
• Pay the buyer's home insurance for up to a year.
• Offer a bonus to the buyer's agent.
• Buy down the mortgage rate by a percentage point or two to lower the buyer's monthly payment.
• Pay closing costs.
• Replace all the appliances with new ones

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Excellent location in desirable neighborhood on a great lot. Home features a spacious master bath with large garden tub, large wi closet, gas log fireplace, back porch wired for cable, & much more. All stainless steel appliances included! Also wired for a well.

New listing in Lake City, Florida. Beautiful home for sale.
Location! Location! Quiet & quality neighborhood, very close to schools, town, shops, & hospital.

This home features: Quality bathroom tile in large master bath, open floorplan, tall vaulted ceilings, accents, large back screened-in porch, back yard patio & more. Call for a personal tour today.
News reports focus on the large property insurers that are canceling policies and cutting back on coverage, but some small insurers see Florida as an opportunity for growth. Since the start of 2005, 24 new insurance companies have entered the state and opened their doors for business.
Read the full story:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A drop-off in buyer demand and rising home inventories has made marketing a home more difficult., The Wall Street Journal's guide to property, offers tips:
1. Size up the playing field. Study your local market and investigate other homes' listing prices compared to what buyers are actually paying.
2. Price competitively. Price a residence just below what the market will bear. If a home is overpriced, a buyer will dismiss it and move on to the next one.
3. Do your legwork. Use aggressive marketing.
4. Don't delay. Point out to a seller that even if an offer isn’t all he had hoped, taking it instead of waiting for a better deal can save money in the long run.
5. Negotiate. Recommend that sellers offer concessions to potential buyers, such as making minor fixes. Small expenditures speed a sale and, ultimately, preserve price gains.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Renting Can Cost 7 Times More Than OwningOwning a home makes financial sense for a lot of current renters, but many are reluctant to take those first steps. Here's how to help them move forward.Read more >

Friday, July 07, 2006

6 Simple Ideas for Beautifying a House(July 3, 2006) -- When potential buyers look at a half-dozen similar homes, chances are the one they will buy is the one they consider the “prettiest one,” says Mark Nash, real estate professional and author of "1001 Tips for Buying & Selling a Home."Here are a half-dozen tips for making sure that your customer’s home is the prettiest.

  • Strip away the window coverings – especially heavy drapes – and replace them with simple shades, then have the windows cleaned by a pro.
  • Update lighting fixtures. Replace stodgy chandeliers and ceiling fixtures with something contemporary.
  • Remove all the old wallpaper. Some home buyers won’t consider a property if there is wallpaper on the walls.
  • Get rid of ratty furniture and rent new pieces if necessary.
  • Neutralize kids’ rooms – remove the evidence that the child is a boy or a girl.
  • Get rid of all of the family pictures.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here is some interesting data from the North Florida MLS service regarding the 1st 1/2 of 2006 vs first 1/2 of 2005.

1-1 thru 6-30 2005/2006 – Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 13 Columbia County

Single family residential

2005 – 296 units, 125 dom. 146,402 avg. sale, 135,000 median sale – 43,334,865 volume

2006 – 274 units, 115 dom. 191,602 avg. sale, 176,000 median sale – 52,498,831 volume

Mobile homes

2005 – 111 units, 121 dom. 75,783 avg. sale, 65,000 median sale – 8,411,901 volume

2006 – 95 units, 123 dom. 91,103 avg. sale, 85,000 median sale – 8,654,787 volume

Residential lots

2005 – 193 units, 377 dom. 60,585 avg. sale, 31,500 median sale – 11,692,932 volume

2006 – 76 units, 180 dom. 78,574 avg. sale, 60,000 median sale – 5,971,650 volume


2005 – 160 units, 133 dom. 81,664 avg. sale – 13,066,262 volume

2006 – 110 units, 109 dom. 143,213 avg. sale – 15,753,474 volume

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Florida's housing sector in May continued to adjust to changing market conditions, including a greater inventory of homes available for sale in many areas. A total of 18,680 existing single-family homes sold statewide last month, a decrease of 24 percent from a year earlier, according to FAR. Meanwhile, the statewide existing-home median price rose 11 percent to $256,400.
Read the full story:

Monday, June 19, 2006

Commercial Market a 'Bright Spot' in Economy(June 13, 2006) -- Healthy demand for space is driving commercial real estate markets with solid fundamentals and strong investment activity, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' latest Commercial Real Estate Outlook
Landscaping Improvements Pay Off Big(June 12, 2006) -- Money spent sprucing up the yard with trees, shrubs, lighting, and patios is well spent — especially when it comes time to sell the home, a new study says

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A new survey say "Working with a Realtor pays off"

a new report released reports that people going it alone selling their own house as a FSBO average $210,000 verses the average house sold with the assistance of a Realtor is $255,000. Thats a difference of $45,000!!!!
Here are some other very interesting facts:

87% of homebuyers in Florida used a real estate professional in 2005.

15% found their home online.

The median household income of homebuyers in Florida was $73,200

First time Florida homebuyers accounted for 22 percent of home purchased in the state in 2005, & they had a median income of $49,400

64% of recent Florida homebuyers ranked neighborhood quality as the most important factor influencing the location of thier home purchase.

85% of Florida homebuyers financed thier home purchase, and 18% financed the entire purchase price

Best regards,
Chad Stewart, Sales Associate
tel: 386-755-0808 / fax: 386-755-0805 / CELL: 386-867-1782
426 SW Commerce Dr. / Suite 130 / Lake City, FL 32025
TOLL FREE 877-871-0808 / DIRECT : 386-487-1463

Monday, June 05, 2006

New Home Sales Skyrocket in AprilThe fastest sales pace this year was recorded this past April. The Commerce Department reported last week new single family home sales increased 4.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.198 million units, the highest rate since last December. Economists had previously forecast a decline in sales for April and said the decrease did not occur because the government had lowered sales activity tremendously in past months. Economists also noted the remaining number of unsold homes on the market for this month was the highest on record which they predict will lower prices in the future. The national median price of a home sold in April was $238,500, a small increase of 0.9 percent since April of 2005. Sales were up in all areas of the country except for the Midwest where sales fell 1.1 percent. The Northeast showed an increase of 8.2 percent, followed by the South with 7.8 percent and two percent in the West.
This story is the complete property & credit to

Friday, May 26, 2006

Trulia launches in Florida.

Trulia (, the Real Estate Search Engine that lets you perform customized residential real estate searches, today announced that it has expanded its coverage to include Florida. Trulia dramatically simplifies and enhances the process of real estate search by offering users a single destination that searches multiple brokerage websites and integrates valuable historical information and mapping into many property listings. Check it out and tell all your friends!

Feel free to call or email Chad Stewart, real estate agent & Realtor with Westfield Realty Group in Lake City with any comments or questions.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I have recently started a real estate update service. This will automatically keep you up to date about MLS activity & new listings & real estate activity in Lake City, Columbia County & the surrounding areas.

These are new homes that are listed, price changes, or other updates with homes for sale, land, acreage, residential lots & commercial real estate activity in this area. For further information contact Chad Stewart with Westfield Realty Group.

Residential lots updates.

Homes in the $129,000 to $199,999 price range.

Homes in the $200,000 to $299,999 price range.

Homes in the $300,000 to $399,999 price range.

Homes in the $400,000 and above price range.

Commercial properties in Lake City, Florida updates.
One of our local schools here in Lake City, Columiba County florida has been recongnized as one of the top 10 schools in the state...

Check out this article, courtesy of

Melrose claims honors among FCAT improvers
Melrose Park Elementary School has been recognized as one of the top 10 schools in the state for students making improvements on the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.The listing is composed of schools that had the highest increase in the percent of students scoring 3.5 and above on the 2006 FCAT writing over the previous year.According to Department of Education reports, Melrose Park tied for No. 7 in the state with Apalachicola Bay Charter School for the honor.

Click here for article - Registration required.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Things are looking up for the commercial real estate market. According to NAR, the expanding economy is pulling commercial real estate along with it, creating strong demand for space as institutional investors return to the market.
Read the full story:

Friday, May 12, 2006

Housing Takes Breather, But Strong Year Still ExpectedThe housing market is settling but should experience its third-best year in 2006, with job creation and a growing economy offsetting some of the effects of rising interest rates, NAR reports.
Homebuyers categorized as belonging to Generation X or Generation Y are outspending the baby boomers in their first home purchase, and spending a larger part of their salaries on housing costs, according to a recent survey conducted by Century 21 Real Estate.
Read the full story:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Proposal to share costs approved
By LINDA YOUNG lyoung@lakecityreporter.comWednesday, May 3, 2006 10:45 PM EDT
More people will soon have city water and success with repairing leaky sewer pipes means the city can continue to issue wastewater permits.The Lake City City Utility Committee gave thumbs up to a proposal to share costs for installing water lines to areas that want city water. Committee members heard a report on the progress that public works crews made on eliminating infiltration of stormwater into the city sewer system.

Click Here for full story.
Workshop unveils Ellisville plans
By TONY BRITT tbritt@lakecityreporter.comWednesday, May 3, 2006 10:44 PM EDT
The Columbia County Board of Commissioners has taken its first major step into establishing a utility in Ellisville, at the intersection of Interstate 75 and U.S. 441, and there is a chance the City of Lake City could be involved in the project.Board members met with Eutaw Utilities Inc. representatives, the consulting firm the board hired to conduct a utility study, Wednesday for a Commissioners' workshop where they discussed two options that would make the utility a reality.
Click for full story.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Here are some great site related to Real Estate & blogging.

Thanks for reading my blog. If you enjoy what you are reading here. Send me a message.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Upscale residential lot listed for sale in Star Lake, Lake City FL for only $79,900
Sales of new homes soared in March by the largest amount in 13 years, reflecting a rebound from bad weather in February. But the median price of the homes sold last month actually declined, providing evidence that the nation's five-year housing boom is slowing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Statistically, a leveling off of the housing market is apparent. However, a number of unknowns exist, such as the future direction of long-term interest rates, and even the experts have trouble predicting what will happen next.
Read the full story:
March housing starts dropped 7.8 percent below February's revised estimate, and building permits -- an indicator of future activity -- fell 5.5 percent, the Census Bureau reported today. Economists had predicted a smaller decline.
Read the full story:

Monday, April 03, 2006

Have you ever wondered just how many people are actually going to see your online home for sale listing?

Chances are, not too many unless you are listed on Even the most popular for sale by owner listing website, is far, far outranked by

When you list a house with Chad Stewart , you always get your listing on with preferred status & extra features even more than many others on Plus you also get a listing on

Friday, March 31, 2006

WHOA!!! That is some high rent.
.... Read on below ......
Retail Rents Hit New Record in ManhattanManhattan's retail rents are soaring higher than ever with a new record asking price of $1200/square-foot at one prime spot on Madison Ave. The wraparound street frontage on the prime corner at 600 Madison Ave. and 58th St. is makes the property so pricey. Asking rents in the area already range between $700 and $1000/sf. But getting more than $1000 would be brand new territory. Newmark Knight Frank Retail is representing Lawrence Rubin Co. in the lease deal for 600 Madison. At $1,200 per sf for about 12,000 sf of ground floor space, the annual rent would total almost $15 million per year.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

If you are looking for great homes & great service in Denver, CO, Contact Jim Parker with Remax.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Prime Rate:

Effective Date

The base rate on corporate loans posted by at least 75% of the nation's 30 largest banks.

7.75 %
Columbia County's growth in Top 100
By TONY BRITT tbritt@lakecityreporter.comTuesday, March 28, 2006 10:49 PM EST

Money Magazine has named Columbia County as one of the 100 fastest growing counties in the nation, based on the rate of population gains from the latest Census Bureau statistics.
Click here for full story. Registration or account required.
According to a report released in the magazine last week, Columbia County was listed as the No. 98 fastest growing county in the United States.Flagler County was listed as the No. 1 fastest growing county on the list, which also included 13 other Florida counties.Population information on the list was based on information from the nation's 3,141 counties, which listed Columbia County as having a population of 64,040 people

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Useful site for pre-qualifying for a home, estimateing monthly payments, & findout what house price range you can afford.

Also visit

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Housing expenses should be under 29% according to FHA guidelines & 41% of long term debt.
Over a 1,000 people a day are moving to Florida! WOW !!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Top 10 Fastest Growing Counties in U.S.Florida's Flagler County, located on the Atlantic coast north of Daytona Beach, ranks as the fastest-growing U.S. county for the second year in a row, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday.
New Lake Front house just listed for sale in Lake City, Florida.

Per Property Appraiser records, its approximatley 3951 sq ft heated & cooled, & 6198 under roof. Incredibly gorgeous Lake Front property. Beautiful back yard. 2 story home has large covered decks, screen porches, built in BBQ, separate apartment.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

All together now: The three major consumer credit reporting agencies announced Tuesday that they have created a new credit score aimed at simplifying the loan process for both lenders and borrowers.
Read the full story:

Sunday, March 05, 2006

2 rentable residential units in Lake Ctiy for only $120,000. Located in the middle of Lake City, FL near a Lake & a few blocks from the VA medical center. There is a 2 bdrm & 1 bath unit & also a 1 bdrm with 1 bath unit. Both have kitchen & family room. Contact Chad Stewart at Westfield Realty Group 386-487-1463.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Home Inspections....
Today, 85 percent of homebuyers schedule a home inspection compared to a mere 5 percent in the 1980s. But with a cost of $150 to $600, some homebuyers opt to inspect a home themselves. A few free or low-cost services can help.
Read the full story:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Colorful creationsPaint With the Click of a MouseWhen you or your customers are pondering which color of paint would look best, head to one of these free Web sites.REVIEWED BY KELLY QUIGLEYVirtual painting roundup:
Sherman-Williams Paint Visualizer
Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer
Behr ColorSmart

Friday, February 10, 2006

Expedia Founder Launches Property Valuation Site( February 8, 2006) --

Richard Barton, the creator of online travel company Expedia, is introducing a beta version of a real estate information Web site that gives consumers free home valuations and neighborhood data.The Web site,, uses tax records, sales histories, and prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood to calculate a home value estimate — or “Zestimate,” as it’s referred to on the site. More than 60 million homes are currently included in the Web site’s database, but that’s just the beginning, says Barton, who sold in 2003 after revolutionizing the travel business. "Consumers will make better decisions and become smarter," he says. "People want to be empowered with information so they can take control of what is scary and difficult and fraught with frustrations."Seattle-based Zillow doesn’t provide sales listing information on its Web site, at least for now.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Florida County Map - Click to Enlarge.

Columbia County Home Sales increased from 558 in 2004 to 590 in 2005. The average price increased from $132,056 in 2004 to $163,113 in 2005. Including land, mobile homes, residential & commercial, there was $190 million in total sales in 2005, up from $122 million in 2004.

Info from reading the Lake City Reporter,

Friday, January 20, 2006

New Site for Luxury Properties LaunchesLeading Real Estate Companies of the World, a network of 650 independent property firms, has launched a Web site that aims to give luxury brokers more exposure.
More Home Buyers and Sellers Use Internet, PractitionersTechnology is transforming how Americans buy and sell homes in unexpected ways, and sellers using real estate practitioners sold their homes for 16 percent more than unrepresented sellers, according to new research released Jan. 17 by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Commercial real estate remains scarce in southern Florida
SOUTH FLORIDA -- Jan. 19, 2006 -- Office and industrial space will remain scarce across South Florida this year, leading to higher rental rates and giving landlords even more leverage than they have now, two leading real estate brokers say.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Setting the Stage to Sell Your Small House(January 9, 2006)

-- Home stager Barbara Cooper-Corcoran believes small homes should be staged to increase the chances of a quick sale.

She estimates that staged homes command $15,000 to $20,000 more than they would have without the makeover. According to Cooper-Corcoran, homeowners should use neutral colors for carpeting and walls to make rooms look more spacious. Getting rid of clutter and keeping a small amount of furniture in the home can also be useful. Cooper-Corcoran also recommends replacing door handles, cabinet hardware, and bathroom faucets to jazz up the place without spending too much money.

Former NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ® President Dorcas Helfant, who says small homes are in high demand among first-time buyers due to soaring prices, suggests adding a second bathroom if interior space is available. Source: Chicago Tribune (01/06/06); Martin, Ellen James

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Monday, January 09, 2006

• Need arises for more rental units in Lake City
In a rapidly growing town where rentals are in high demand, people are beginning to search for solutions. Many renters and property owners say that as Lake City develops, more apartments need to be built.“Lake City is growing so fast that we've got to (build more rental units),” said Al Milton, member of the Columbia County Builders' Association.Some local landlords and builders say there may not be many new rental units being built because the city is “at capacity” on its sewage system.

All credit to