Tallahassee Real Estate News

NOAA / National Climactic Data CenterIn the aftermath of Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, Floridians are assessing the impact and thinking about what may still come before November 30th.  

Early on the morning of Friday September 2, Hermine came ashore south of Tallahassee with winds near 90 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane.  Throughout Tallahassee, residents experienced power outages, with some going six days without power.  City and county officials are looking at infrastructure upgrades, tree removal and communications improvements as they review the city and county’s response to the storm.  Homeowners with and without damage are also considering ways to better prepare for future storms.  Take a look around your yard and home now to identify some of the ways you can be sure that your home will be ready the next time around. 

First, Look Up

Trees:  Tallahassee is proud of its beautiful canopy of oaks, pines, magnolias and other majestic trees.  However, having trees towering over a house, along roads and next to power lines can cause trouble in storms with high winds and heavy rain.  Homeowners should invite a certified arborist to inventory the trees on their property, identify those that are healthy, as well as any that are in need to care.  They can also provide advice as to the best ways to prune and maintain the trees.

Gutters:  Be sure to check gutters each year to ensure that they are secured to the roof properly, and clear them out before storms so that they do their jobs, diverting water coming off of the roof away from the foundation and into appropriate parts of your yard.

Roofs:  Windstorm mitigation inspection not only gives you information on the stability of your current roof in a high wind event, it can save you money on your homeowner’s insurance.  Use this Wind Insurance Savings Calculator   provided by the Florida Division of Emergency Management to learn more.   The Florida Division of Emergency Management Hurricane Retrofit Guide is part of a comprehensive website dedicated to helping property owners assess vulnerabilities, create a risk management plan and implement that plan.  Visit this excellent resource for other ideas on ways to weather-proof your home for Florida weather here.  

Now, Look Down

Irrigation systems:  While many systems have rain shut-off valves, these are not able to sense whether the ground is still saturated a few days after a major storm.  After a hurricane, turn off the irrigation system to allow the yard to return to normal saturation levels for healthy lawns and other landscaping plants.

Yard drainage:  The City of Tallahassee’s Think About Personal Pollution (TAPP) program works year round to educate people on how to protect one of our most precious resources, our water supply.  The TAPP Guide to a Water-Friendly Yard provides concrete suggestions for ways that homeowners can address storm water run-off, from mulching beds to creating rain gardens that improve the look of the landscape and prepare it for heavy rains that Florida weather brings.  You can download the guide here

Protect Your Family and Your Home

In real estate, one of the most frequently asked questions is “What is my house worth?”  Beyond the monetary value, our homes are the places we feel safe and that we depend on to keep us safe in severe weather events, such as hurricanes.  Help maintain the value of your home by taking steps to make it the safest place possible, come rain or wind.

Other Resources:

The Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist – Easy to understand guide to preparing your family for a storm. View here
Statistics on Hermine from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are also available online here
Posted by June Smith on October 18th, 2016 4:49 PM
Privacy abounds at this lovely Lakeshore Estates Pool Home. 

We are hosting an open house Sunday August 7 from 2 PM to 4 PM.  View the court yard entrance, spacious backyard with screen porch and pool area. Inside you will find an owner suite with full bathroom and the upgraded kitchen with granite counter tops and a gas range.

View the full listing information and more photos online at Quest Real Estate's website or click here

Posted in:General and tagged: Open House
Posted by June Smith on August 6th, 2016 5:13 PM

Changes to Tallahassee’s Bradfordville Area Increase Eating, Shopping and Commuting Options for Residents.

Bradfordville, located on Tallahassee’s Northeast edge, has long been recognized as an area of town with rural and suburban charm, canopy roads, beautiful homes and excellent schools.  The strong attraction for growing families has been always the excellent school district.  Subdivisions such as Ox Bottom, Summerbrooke, Killearn Lakes, Golden Eagle, McBride Estates and Bull Run offer home buyers a wide selection of homes for the First Time Buyers, Growing Families upsizing and for downsizing retirees. 

Bannerman Crossings

Now the amenities have increased with the new development Bannerman Crossing Shopping Center.  New Leaf Market, a trusted organic and local food co-op that operated a store on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee since 1989, opened a second store in April 2016.  In addition to natural and organic groceries, the new store will offer sushi, smoothies and salad bars. 

Other businesses that will open in Bannerman Crossings in 2016 reportedly include restaurants and bars, including Italian, Japanese and Mexican food offerings.  Also located in the development will be an outdoor pavilion for outdoor events, including televised major sporting events, and musical performances.  The Old Bradfordville School House / Community Center is now featured in a park.

In addition to typical retail and entertainment space, the development also houses a children’s fun center and a Walk-in Urgent Care facility operated by Capital Regional Medical Care and has professional office space available.

Bannerman Road

Traffic congestion during rush hours has been greatly improved by the added lanes and traffic circles and an additional cross road between Bannerman and Kinhega Roads.

Orchard Pond Parkway

Just a few weeks ago, a new transportation artery opened across the top of Lake Jackson, that connects Northeast Tallahassee to Northwest Tallahassee.  The new road brings the airport, some state offices and other offices located on Hartsfield Road closer.  It will also hopefully cut down on congestion on Meridian and Thomasville Roads. 

Tallahassee's Northeast side continues to develop and offer new options for residents and businesses alike. 

Posted by June Smith on June 3rd, 2016 1:38 AM
Add another stop to your tour of homes Sunday May 15, 2016.

This spacious split floor plan home located in NW Tallahassee will be open for viewing from 2 PM to 4 PM.

This home features a kitchen island and breakfast bar, family room with fireplace, dining area and informal dining space off the kitchen, indoor laundry/utilities room, a superbly built 12x30 ft. covered/screened porch.

For photos and more information, click here.

Posted in:Open House
Posted by June Smith on May 14th, 2016 10:53 AM

Popular wisdom says that the winter holiday season (November through January) creates a lull in the housing market. Experience, however, indicates that this is a myth. There are several reasons the holiday season is attractive to sellers:

  1. Buyers looking now are serious. Likely, they are motivated by financial and family imperatives, including mortgage rates, tax benefits, and new employment opportunities. If they have children, moving over the holidays eases the transition to a new school. This year, the mortgage rate remains below 4%, creating motivation to find a home and close the deal. Sellers should view these end of year urgencies as opportunities.
  2. The limited supply of homes for sale, may mean that sellers will receive a higher purchase offer than expected. It may also mean that homes will sell quicker. In October 2015, the average time on the market for residential real estate was 57 days, with about 1/3 of the homes selling in less than a month (National Association of Realtors).
  3. The holidays create a positive home-oriented feeling.  Festive lights, holiday decorations and judicious use of holiday scents from candles, fresh foliage and baking can help a home "show better."  HGTV’s photo gallery offers sellers some easy to implement advice.
  4. Flexible hours during the holiday season leave more time for home showings.  Many home buyers have extra time off during the holiday season so they have more time to look for their new home online, at open houses, and at viewings.  Sellers can take advantage of the increased opportunities for traffic through their home.
  5. Fewer closings means that it is easier to schedule the professionals who provide lenders, appraisals, home inspections and movers.  Take advantage of the relative calmness of the season to smoothly and efficiently close the transaction.  For Sellers who are ready to close, the winter holiday season affords conveniences not available at other times of the year.

Quest Real Estate Services is here to help you reach your real estate goals this holiday season.  Call us for a no-obligation home consultation or just to learn how we can help you.  We are available at (850) 559-2178 or june.realtor@gmail.com.

Posted by June Smith on December 10th, 2015 9:28 AM

In recent weeks, two national surveys have illustrated ways that Tallahassee’s famous higher education institutions bring value to Tallahassee.  When thinking about why you may want to buy a first home in Tallahassee, upgrade to a larger home, or even invest in a retirement property here, consider the amazing economic and real estate market benefits that local colleges and universities bring to Tallahassee.

A Great Place to Settle Down

Tallahassee has been ranked as the 11th most educated city by the WalletHub.com, a personal finance resource website. The study, “2015’s Most and Least Educated Cities” used data from the US Census, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, GreatSchools.org and US News & World Report to compare education levels, the quality of education and household incomes to rank 150 metropolitan areas in the United States. The study finds that communities with highly educated workforces have vibrant economies. Certainly, Tallahassee capitalizes on the success of its higher education industry beyond the confines of the college gates. For example, the Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI) has been innovating change, including instituting cultural festivals, environmental initiatives and business development projects, since 2007.

A Great Place to Retire

These same attributes make Tallahassee a great place to retire. In the September/October 2015 issue of Where to Retire magazine, Tallahassee is named as one of the eight great football towns for retirees. As the study discusses, in college towns, football creates a sense of community and provides entertainment for all ages. Active retirees can enjoy football, as well as the restaurants, continuing education environment and cultural activities that Tallahassee's vibrant college community has to offer. When the FSU Seminoles or FAMU Rattlers are not playing, Tallahassee residents can enjoy other entertainment and educational opportunities offered by the colleges and universities in the area, including:

A Great Real Estate Investment

As students move back to campus this week, the energy and excitement these institutions bring to Tallahassee is evident. As I have said, and many other real estate professionals say, location is everything. Tallahassee’s universities and colleges, including FSU, FAMU, TCC and satellite campuses of Flagler and St. Leo, provide much more than simply education to our community. They bring economic stability and wealth that make Tallahassee a great place to live, work and retire. The desirability of the Tallahassee market means that real estate here is worth the investment.

Posted in:General and tagged: Tallahassee
Posted by June Smith on August 24th, 2015 11:45 PM

dreamstime_xs_1452046The selling price of real estate is always a moving target.  At times the market may whizz up and down like a roller coaster.   At whatever speed, it is always headed up or down except when a level period suspends us only long enough to take a deep breath.

Do you know the current fair selling value of your property and how long it will last?  Be careful about pricing and marketing your home without counsel of a knowledgeable Realtor in your market.  Ask your Realtor to:

  • Conduct a comparative market analysis on your property;
  • Recommend a price range for your property;
  • Estimate the "window of opportunity" for selling at the best price.

To price higher than your Realtor’s recommended price range may cause your property to remain on the market beyond the window of opportunity.  You may realize a much lower selling price or not sell as a result.

Look Around

A “window of opportunity” to Sellers can be identified by Realtors with good knowledge, experience and skill, who analyze all relevant market statistics and trends to estimate a property’s best selling price and how long those conditions will hold.  Realtors must always stay alert to many factors affecting your real estate market such as changes of supply and demand and fluctuating interest rates.

We are experiencing a fairly good balance of supply and demand right now.  Because of strong buyer activity, optimistic Sellers are placing their homes on the market.   The increased inventory and buying power of low interest rates and more relaxed lending policies create a “window of opportunity” to Buyers

Look Up

Credible market indicators show our current Tallahassee real estate market is leveling and slowly trending upward.  Interest rates are fluctuating but remaining low right now. In addition to being favorable for Sellers and buyers, this is a “Window of Opportunity” for homeowners.  It could be very profitable for Homeowners to place items such as landscape, remodeling, removal of PMI (mortgage insurance) and refinancing to a 15 year mortgage and/or lower rate at the top of  your “to do list”.

Take Action

With careful study, there is a “Window of Opportunity” to be found in every market.   A good real estate strategy requires planning “windows of opportunity” to ride out all the ups and downs of the real estate market roller coaster.  Realtors must be on their toes to provide good insights to the real estate market for investors, sellers and buyers.  You should regularly consult with a Realtor who pays careful attention to statistics and indicators of where and how quickly the market is changing so that your window of opportunity doesn’t pass before taking action.

Discover the current value of your property.  Quest Real Estate Services of Florida provides complimentary "Comparative Market Analysis" (CMA).  Learn more here.

Look and Discover with related articles.

Posted by June Smith on July 31st, 2015 1:30 PM
Does your home have curb appeal?  Does it really matter?  The quick answer is yes. As buyers walk up to a home they are already sizing up the property.  They are wondering: 

  • Is the home being well maintained? 
  • How can the home be enjoyed? 
  • Is this a high maintenance property? 
  • Is this a good investment? 
Focus on maintaining the landscaping and outside of your home to ensure positive answers to these questions.  Don't lose the interest of potential buyers before they have even walked through the door!

The Front Porch

Curb appeal often begins with the front door.  First focus on the basic structure.  Is the paint or varnish on the door in need of a touch-up?  Do you have a storm-door with torn mesh or dusty windows?  Is the doormat new?  Then consider updates.  If you are in the mood for enhancing the entry way, you can gain inspiration from online resources such as Pinterest.  Tallahassee homes have fabulous front porches, verandas, and walk-ways.  Use plantings, clean edging and interesting pottery to welcome potential home buyers to your property.

The Lawn

Now that summer is in full swing, lawns provide lush carpets of green that set off many Tallahassee homes.  An established lawn should look good all summer assuming adequate light, water and regular care.  Worried about your lawn?  Don’t overlook your local garden center.  They will have ideas for turf varieties that grow well in Leon County, and can suggest the most suitable varieties for the specific sun and water realities of your site.   Not only will local experts be able to recommend the best plants, they will also be able to help identify and solve pest or soil issues.  Also be sure ask them about the recommended mowing level for your lawn.

Beyond the lawn, consider other landscaping plants, including trees, shrubs and flowers.  If you are feeling adventurous, take a look at free resources online and around Tallahassee.  The US National Arboretum publishes guides to plants that are outstanding in their categories.  Don’t forget the locally written blog “Ms. Grow-It-All” full of tips that are specific to Tallahassee gardens!  Finally, whether you have questions about your lawn or other plants, a local Tallahassee garden center will be able to guide you, including Native Nurseries, Tallahassee Nurseries, Esposito Lawn & Garden Center and Heinz Nurseries.

The Backyard Oasis

Easy to maintain outdoor living spaces are also selling points in locations such as Tallahassee.  Fire pits, screened porches, paved patios and even water-features provide retreats for homeowners.  Explore online DIY sites such as HGTV’s garden pages or discuss possibilities with a local design firm.

A home is, for most people, one of the biggest investments they will make. Now that summer is here in Tallahassee, with hot, muggy days, rain most afternoons and spectacular plant growth as a result, home owners have a golden opportunity to improve the value of their home.  Whether you are selling your home now, looking for ways to increase the value of your investment, or simply enjoy spending time working in the garden, devoting some outdoor time to caring for the landscaping around your home will benefit you in many ways.

Contact us if you have questions about making your home more appealing to buyers or explore our redesigned website.  Summer is a good time for many types of renovations- including electronic ones!

Posted by June Smith on June 29th, 2015 6:37 AM

Even before looking at homes, buyers look at neighborhoods. Think about your own neighborhood. What makes it unique? The style of the houses? History? Parks? Social events? Each neighborhood has a character of its own. In fact, part of the value of a property comes from where it’s located!

The Contest for Neighborhood of the Year

On May 8, 2015,  Leon County, the City of Tallahassee and the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) are offering Tallahassee neighborhoods the opportunity to spotlight their successes, accomplishments, and style in the annual Neighborhood of the Year contest. ThAwards will be presented in three categories: Small Neighborhoods (200 or fewer homes); Large Neighborhoods (more than 200 homes); and Unincorporated Area (outside of the city limits).  Neighborhoods are judged on the following criteria:

  • Neighborhood Qualities
  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors
  • Neighborhood Enhancements
  • Communication
  • Above and Beyond
The winning The winning neighborhoods will receive a sign that they can display at the neighborhood entrance. Just as important, however, these neighborhoods will receive community-wide recognition for their outstanding qualities. Tallahassee and Leon County have a rich diversity of urban, suburban, equestrian, conservation, and historic neighborhoods that have received this award in the past few years.

Recent Winners Include:

All Saints District – This urban setting offers an eclectic, friendly and artistic mix of upscale residential properties and vibrant commercial spaces, including some of the most exciting food and entertainment option in Tallahassee.

Avondale – This east side neighborhood is located off Buck Lake Road. Residents enjoy neighborhood gatherings under flowering trees, such as dogwoods, azaleas and crepe myrtles.

Callen – This community in southern Leon County is close to Tallahassee’s universities, including the FSU-FAMU College of Engineering, and outdoor venues such as Seminole Golf Club.

Killearn Lakes Plantation – Located in northeast Tallahassee, Killearn Lakes has six named lakes as well as parks that offer residents many opportunities to enjoy nature. The community also hosts annual events, including a children’s fishing contest, Easter egg hunt, and a fall festival.

Lafayette Oaks - Lafayette Oaks is a neighborhood steeped in history and community. It sits on the land that was originally part of the Lafayette Land Grant, has a neighborhood pool, and frequently hosts get-togethers for residents.

Levy Park – This neighborhood’s residents span many professions, interests and ages. Walking distance to mid-town’s restaurants, shops, and of course Lake Ella, this fostering and nurturing community welcomes new neighbors.

Los Robles - Florida's rich history is evident in the Spanish influenced architecture of the homes in this centrally located neighborhood.  The winding streets, mature oaks, and convenient access to parks, restaurants and shops makes Los Robles a desirable place to live.

Waverly Hills – This mature and highly desirable neighborhood is nestled among stately oaks, pines and magnolias. It sits in close proximity to Tallahassee shopping, dining, and some of the area’s best schools.

Weems Plantation - Located near Tom Brown Park, this Tallahassee neighborhood is surrounded by conservation property. The homeowners association hosts events throughout the year, including a summer pizza party for children and a fall Oktoberfest.

Woodland Drives - Woodland Drives is rich in Tallahassee history – past, present and future. Moments from the State Capitol and the revitalized Lafayette Street, it also includes the site of Hernando de Soto’s winter encampment in 1539.

Woodgate - Founded in 1970, Woodgate boasts its own day-long festival! Woodgate Day features a parade of neighbors, games, food and more.

Think Location

Both sellers and buyers should be familiar with the neighborhoods in their area and the various amenities available to homeowners Remember that neighborhood is more than a state of mind when it comes to real estate; it is also a searchable feature! Neighborhood names appear as options on online search engines such as Zillow, Trulia, and MLS listings, and, because of this, your home will be associated with a neighborhood “brand.” and the value of the home will be determined, in part, by the quality of its neighborhood. Remember the first rule of real estate: location! location! location!


Posted by on May 22nd, 2015 11:48 AM