Monday, December 21, 2009

Columbia County FL School Zone Maps

Columbia County School Zone Maps!! Nice. Been looking for this. :)
You can check out the maps to find out what school your future home is located in here in Lake City, FL. Columbia County, FL School Zone....

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Natonal Property Values Chart

This is pretty interesting, if you draw a average trend line from prior decades, it still equals a slow average value increase. These charts really show the abnormality of the recent boom & then crase...

Short sales: Playing by the new rules
The U.S. Treasury hopes to speed transactions under new rules, but details count. Realtors should understand the process. Read more.

Click here to view the file with all the details... lots of pages...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

New Mapping Links - Lake City FL Real Estate Maps

Here are a few more of my mapping & data integration test today..

Check out the bing map here...!1791

More Geocoding on some higher priced ranged homes in Lake City, FL area...

More Google mappping options for real estate by Chad Stewart...,-82.65976&spn=0.208321,0.301094&z=12&msid=104192750246703441241.000479fd0a1c26b45d8b0

Here are some great houses!!

Nice listings of Lake City FL properties on Google...

Mapping & Data Tools

There are some very cool tools for exporting your listings to google maps, google base, msn maps etc...

If you want to get all your listings, or even several hundred listings from your MLS on the maps & web for all to see., check out these steps.. (extensive knowlege of excel, tab delimited text files, google earth, general data management required)

First export all your data files, etc into an excel file & save as a tab delimted.

Using this website at

It will automatically add a latitude & longitute to each listing... you can then save as a KML Google Earth file, or save as a webpage like this..

Then in Google maps you can import the KML file to create a cool page with all your listings mapped..

or save as another rss feed, webpage,etc...

View Lake City FL Homes & Real Estate in a larger map

Friday, December 04, 2009

Good Florida overview--website
Take a look at the affordability is off the charts at 166.

This means the average buyer has 166% of the necessary income to buy a median priced home.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Obama signs bill: Buyer tax credit extended
It's now law: Buyers get 5 more months to sign a contract, 7 more months to close; Fla. downpayment aid program extended; some move-up buyers get $6,500. Read more.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Realtors roll up sleeves to move property???
It takes a lot more work - home repairs, forms, time and money - to go from a listing to a closing these days. Read more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

From JAX business - Jacksonville Port Expansion

This is great news for the Lake City, FL area... As you may know, the port in Jacksonville has experience growth & could be experiencing even more... The Panama Canal is expanding as well allowing larger ships to come thru from Asia & other area...

Click for news story link.. all credit ito JaxBizJrn

Lake City, Florida is primed area for distrubution & light manufacturing growth for many reasons... 1st the obvisous connection to the article above... When frieght comes into Jax to get to most of Florida, will load onto trucks & then onto the Interstates..

Well Lake City, FL sits at the intersection of 2 major interstates, I-10 running East West from Jacksonville, to Tallahassee, to Pensacola, and I-75 running down from Atlanta, GA thru Ocala and all the way thru Tampa to Naples...

2nd Lake City is a quality of life destination. The landscape, the people, the springs with fresh water & more make Columbia County a inviting place to live.

The size of our community is just the right size that we are aggressively looking for development opportunity to grow our town effectively.

Contact me, Chad Stewart at Westfield Realty for industrial, commercial, large land tracts & information on this area...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Foreclosures slow as courts get bogged down
The process extends the pain for homeowners, banks and courts; Miami-Dade alone has 135,000 in the pipeline. Read more.
Fewer short sales come up short
While obstacles remain, real estate agents say banks are more willing to negotiate prices upfront. Read more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Didn't really loose in housing free fall

From Florida Association of Realtors...

"You didn’t really lose in housing free fall..... ORLANDO – Aug. 11, 2009 – Stan Smith has some news for longtime homeowners having a pity party over falling house prices in Central Florida: New research shows that current home values are just about where they would have been if the real-estate bubble had never inflated and burst.

A long-term view of the market reveals that, even though prices rose and fell dramatically in recent years, they appear to have settled back into historic patterns, according to an analysis by Smith, a University of Central Florida finance professor."

Blogged by Chad Stewart - Westfield Realty Group in Lake City, FL

Monday, August 10, 2009

Foreclosures Short Sales - from Lake City FL

Foreclosure bargains are disappearing...Some houses go under contract less than 90 minutes after they're put on the market, says the founder of

Here in Lake City, FL similar case as well....

41 home listings in Columbia county, Lake City FL are Bank, Foreclosure, or Short Sales,
That is out of 433 total home listings... Only 10% of the listings...

164 homes sold this year in the county...
58 of those were Bank owned, Foreclosures, or Short Sales...
Again roughly 30% of the market is this...


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

$8,000 tax credit for downpayment

They came out with the $8,000 tax credit that you can use for a downpayment, however the program is limited to SHIP qualifications only.

Contact me for more info, otherwise contact the local SHIP office.However, the $8,000 as a tax credit, not tax deduction, but a real tax credit has a much broader qualification range, first time home buyer, not owned a home in the last 3 years, and some income limitations, otherwise yea, get $8,000 credit. Now thats nice..

My website with all my contact info is Check it out or contact me with any questions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Basics: 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit
Bringing the Dream of Homeownership Within Reach:

As part of its plan to stimulate the U.S. housing market and address the economic challenges facing our nation, Congress has passed legislation that grants a tax credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers.
Here is more information about how the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit can help prospective home buyers become part of the American dream.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

All credit goes to Early Bird News for these...
Citizens insurance approves rate changes
Florida's largest property insurer approved a 10% rate hike for many customers, but a 10% rate decrease for some. Read more.
Appeals court upholds 'Save Our Homes'
Alabama residents had filed a suit alleging that it discriminates against property owners who aren't full-time residents. Read more.
Lawsuit filed against growth management bill
Local governments asked a circuit court to reject the law, saying it's an unfunded mandate that Florida law bans. Read more.
Your home's worth: Who can tell these days?
Should home value calculations consider nearby distressed property? Appraisers, real-estate agents and owners disagree. Read more.
Poll: Would-be homebuyers still cautious. More than half say they're not prepared to jump into the market, with a fear of job loss their No. 1 reason. Read more.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

From Florida Assoc of Realtors... Tips & Info sites for home loans...

• Good primer on different types of mortgage borrowing.

• Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: Offers dozens of mortgage borrowing tips over five pages.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Study: Housing Market in Lake City, FL

This is an article that was published in the Lake City Reporter yesterday. Written by Jeff M. Hardison.. & all credit goes to him & the Lake City Reporter...
This explains how the trend of more sale & activity but lower prices is still moving up north in Florida, still reaching into the Lake City, FL area. Here is the article.

Statewide numbers for Realtor sales of single-family existing homes looked good in May of 2009, according to the North Florida Forecaster newsletter. The newsletter is a publication of the Lake City Board of Realtors. People who are in the house-buying mode as end users will find Lake City to be a good market now, said Lake City Board of Realtors Executive Vice President Dan Gherna.

A trend of property prices being drastically reduced is moving northward, Gherna said, as reflected by Ocala showing a 1 percent increase in the number of Realtor sales of single-family existing homes in May 2009 over May 2008.

In Ocala, there was a 22 percent decrease in median prices of homes sold in May of 2008 compared with May of 2009 — dropping from $143,100 to $111,600.

“It’s encouraging to see Ocala’s results,” he said.Gherna said the Lake City-Live Oak market reflects low sales from May in comparison with the same month in 2008.“The bad markets are Gainesville, Lake City and Tallahassee,” he said.Gherna said a 13 percent reduced median sales price from $150,000 in May of 2008 to $130,000 in May of 2009 for the Lake City-Live Oak market is not significant enough to expect a dramatic increase in sales.

The Lake City-Live Oak market showed a 22 percent decrease in the number of sales, dropping from 41 houses sold in May of 2008 to 32 homes sold in May of 2009, Gherna said.

“Our distress property sales were only 30 percent,” he said. This compares to South Florida, where they are upwards of 80 percent.”

The Fort Myers-Cape Coral market showed the most significant positive sales increase by going up 72 percent when comparing figures from May 2008 and May 2009. There were 823 houses sold in that market in May of 2008 and that jumped to 1,417 houses sold in May of 2009.The median price of houses in Fort Myers-Cape Coral dropped by 58 percent, from $212,400 in May of 2008 to $88,500 in May of 2009.“In Fort Myers and Cape Coral,” Gherna said, “it looks like a war zone. There are new subdivisions where people are not mowing and windows are broken. Banks see these homes as a liability.”

Gainesville, Tallahassee, Lake City-Live Oak and Sarasota-Bradenton markets are the only double-digit negative Realtor sales figures for May of 2009 compared with May of 2008.Of the 21 markets reviewed by a survey of Multiple Listing Services sales levels from Florida’s Realtors, only Panama City showed a single digit 7 percent drop in median prices from $190,000 in May of 2008 to $167,500 in May of 2008. All other areas dropped prices from 58 percent to 10 percent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Youtube, Old campsites, & Real Estate

Chad Stewart is now on Youtube as well... Check out videos & home tours & keep checking back.... If you are a Realtor & are not yet using Youtube or many of these online marketing & networking sites, you might as well get started. You need to keep your listing exposed to absolutly as many people as you possibly can.

Here is my Youtube channel if you want to check it out.

You can even post the videos right in your blog like this... Check out some of these "homes" ... You definetly want to make sure you have an agent on the ground to check out sites, so you don't end up buying a place like this not knowing what you are getting into... wow, quite the place to drive thru....

Chad Stewart - Westfield Realty is on Twitter

Follow me on Twitter

South Florida market looking better Threats still exist, however, says NAR Economist Lawrence Yun, who spoke at Miami's International Real Estate Congress. Read more

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Short Sale & Foreclosure Report for Lake City, FL

Lake City, FL is definitely experiencing more short sales, foreclosures, & over REO or Bank owned properties & home sales than even just 1 year ago. Although we still do not seem to be even close to south Florida in terms of a REO dominated market to the levels of a 80-90% range. Locally we are at about 30% of our home sale business is Foreclosures & Short Sales.

152 residential properties sold YTD Jan thru June 13th 2009 in my north FL county (Columbia Count) "rural FL" 49 of those were REO, Foreclosure, Shortsales or approximatly 30% of the Market. Median sales price for all 152 sales YTD was $114,450 or about 80% of original list price for 2009 YTD.

Last Year, 2008 YTD thru 6-13-2008, by comparison there were 186 sales YTD with only maybe 15 or so REO,Foreclosure, or Short Sales being only about 8% of the market. Median sales price for these were $145,000. Selling at 89% of original list price.

Information pulled by Chad Stewart with Westfield Realty Group out of the Lake City North FL MLS. Lake City FL Board of Realtors.

Chad Stewart - Real Estate Blogger author.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Homebuyers credit!!! :)

Governor signs $8K homebuyer credit into law
On July 1, first-time Florida buyers who quality for the federal $8,000 tax credit can use it toward a downpayment. Read more.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lake City, FL Real Estate Sale

Home sold in Eastside Village. Only on the Market for 4 days!! But really only 1 business day. Wow. This goes to show price it right & still you can sell quickly in Lake City, FL. This was not a short sale or foreclosure.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Big Improvement to First-Time Buyer Tax Credit
Under a new FHA rule, lenders can allow first-time home buyers to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment. Otherwise, buyers wouldn't get the money until they receive their tax return.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Florida Real Estate Market.


A monthly UF survey finds an increase in confidence for the Florida real estate market. "Positive responses ... lead us to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel," says Timothy Becker, director of UF's Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. According to Becker, many respondents believe that government stimulus efforts are working.

Read the full story:
Latest Listing & Youtube Video Test.
Maple Ln for $99,900. Lake City, FL Real Estate.

Short Sales & Foreclosures,

This article has important things to keep in mind when dealing with sellers that wish to walk the path of a short sale, foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tax Credit

Limited time to partake in the $8000 tax credit!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Florida Real Estate Market

Here is some great news..., yes buyers get in there & start making your move. Well priced properties are selling quick. - Chad Stewart - Lake City, FL

Housing Predictor - which monitors over 250 residential property markets nationwide - says Florida appears to be emerging from the realty slump before any other state, including California. The Sunshine State is seeing population growth, and single-family home and condominium sales have been on the rise for more than six months. Foreclosures and short sales presently account for approximately 67 percent of all sales and often are not included in real estate agents' tallies. Additionally, banks in many Florida housing markets are cranking out more home loans, and sellers finance almost 20 percent of all sales.
Source: First??? (04/21/09) © Copyright 2009 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Despite a changing market, many real estate professionals say open houses still effectively showcase a home. "Anything you can do helps," says Trudy Severa, a sales associate in Reston, Va. "It's a numbers game, and there is no way to know the residual effects [that an open house can have]."Read the full story:

Monday, April 06, 2009

Renters who have never missed a payment sometimes find themselves on the street because a landlord lost their house to foreclosure. But for $25 per year, a new program, RealtyTrac Renter Alerts, will monitor the home and inform renters about any foreclosure activity.Read the full story:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Look at this. NAR housing affordability index at 173. This is the best index since they started keeping records.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

There are signs that the housing market is starting to look healthier as many people realize it's a good time to buy a home. One of the best reasons: Uncle Sam is there to help first-time buyers, who are entitled to a maximum $8,000 tax credit on the purchase of their home.Read the full story:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Florida's existing home sales rose 24 percent in January, making it the fifth month in a row that sales activity increased year-to-year, according to the latest housing data from FAR. Florida Realtors also reported a 13 percent gain in statewide sales of existing condos last month. NAR reported that nationwide sales of existing homes - all housing types - fell 5.3 percent last month; at the same time, inventories fell to a two-year low.Read the full story:

Monday, February 16, 2009

The current version of the economic stimulus contains a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers only, though it does not have to be paid back if the house is owned for three years or more. The amount is far less than the $15,000 initially expected, and analysts say it will provide only a modest boost to the U.S. housing market.Read the full story:

Friday, February 13, 2009

"The Day the Market got better"

I was working hard in my office on new listings on Feb 9th, 2009, when my phone range.

...It was a investment prospect I had last talked to in August of 2007!!!! He was interested in making a purchase again after not have done anything in the past.., well should we say long time...
...A short time before that a land seller called that had not relisted his property, he was now ready to "do something"
...While getting my oil change, the attendant say my real estate name tage & said "I want to buy a home now!"
...a before that I had a development prospect interested again in developing a new retail center...He had been waiting things out for 9 months to a year.

It felt like that on Feb 9th, there was a surge of new activity, especially these "out of the blue" calls of people ready to get things moving again.

So I have officially labled Feb 9th as the day I reached the bottom of the market in terms of activity levels, no where left but up from here... Really throughout he start of the year, buyer, seller, prospect activity has really picked up, and I think it picked up even more in Feb of 2009.
I actually got pretty excited, I love the real estate business (even in a softer market) so I get really excited to see some activity levels coming back again.

So I am officially labeling Feb 9th, 2009 the day the market got better.

Thats all for now..I'm off to market another property, get that happy buyer & happy seller together for a wonderful deal.
Has anybody else had one of these "moments"?? I would love to hear about it. Leave me a comment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The commercial real estate industry applauded the government's move to include commercial mortgages in a key lending program Tuesday, but experts said the plan's lack of details is disconcerting.Read the full story:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Many potential buyers think they won't qualify for a mortgage, and that they must have a substantial downpayment first. But some Realtors are using that information to their advantage, hosting "Why Rent Events" that instruct shoppers on how to buy a home right now.Read the full story:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Here are some things to watch for when shopping for homes or land online... I have designed my website to be automatically updated dailey with accurate information, but still contacting a Realtor directly is the best way to get best info.
Thanks. Have a great day.

Home shopping alone - without the help of a professional even when online - can become a huge handicap for home buyers. Here are four reasons:

• Late information. Shoppers who limit themselves to only looking at real estate Web sites will overlook some very good properties, possibly one that is perfect for them, and they won't get up-to-the minute information.
• Fake listings. Web operators sometimes try to collect page views with fake listings to pump up their advertising returns, and that wastes the time of real home shoppers. It's also frustrating for shoppers to find an interesting home that's not available.
Questionable information. Home value Web sites only go so far. Sites like and put prices out there that may or may not be an accurate reflection of neighborhood or housing value. Working with a professional means the buyer gets the benefit of a broader range of knowledgeable resources.
• Process help. Once a home shopper has found a property, working with a pro means they'll follow the right path to close the deal. For anyone except experienced investors, going it totally alone can be risky.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Don't believe everything you read, says NAR. As part of a housing story, a number of media outlets say buyers now need a 20 percent downpayment to get into a home, which is not true. FHA mortgages, for example, require only a 3.5 percent downpayment.Read the full story:

Monday, January 05, 2009

Consumer confidence among Floridians rose five points to 67 in December, reflecting optimism about new presidential leadership in 2009, a University of Florida study finds. Housing prices continue to fall, although some areas of Florida appear to have turned the corner and may benefit from the spring real estate season, says Chris McCarty, director of UF's Survey Research Center.Read the full story:

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Home Affordibility

Wow!! the National Association of Realtors just released the affordibility index for November 2008, it has reached 142...

On this index the higher the number the more affordable it is to buy a home based on interest rates, median home prices, and median income ...

This truly is one of the best times to purchase a home even in the past 20 to 30 years!!!

Great rates, Great prices, things are looking good for 2009.