REALTORS® Support RPAC

RPACRPAC stands for REALTORS® Political Action Committee, being non-partisan it benefits REALTORS® and homeowners alike by protecting the rights and liberties of both. We need a voice in government or we will be forgotten and taxed every time money is needed in the state budget, it’s always the middle class with that bullseye on its back. RPAC is committed to defending and fighting for legislation that will protect the rights of property owners and Real Estate agents. This is the main reason RPAC means so much to me, especially now that taxes are on my mind, I consider the 10% yearly assessment limit currently in place for 2nd homes and business property here in the state of Florida. Did you know the 10%  limited is going to expire in January of 2018? Without this limit on property assessments homeowners and business owners could and would see a constant yearly  increase in their property tax. With the help of RPAC we can continue to keep property assessments in check and make the yearly limit a part of our Florida Constitution so it can never expire! And then my friends we just continue selling 2nd homes to our customers. Please support RPAC and remember RPAC is always supporting you.

 

Wow 32 years ago I became a Realtor

32 Years ago, I became a REALTOR®, joined a local office in my home town and completed their company training. The years have flown by as I traveled the road of life and went back into Real Estate after my husband passed away in 2009. I proudly landed here at Deltona Realty after living almost 25 years here in my adopted home town, beautiful St Augustine Florida. The Real Estate market has seen many changes over the years, keeping up with these changes is both challenging and exciting. foxnlazo
I sure have learned a lot since 1984 and continue to learn, every transaction and every day in itself is a valuable learning experience. Today I ride the super Internet highway and like most of you I live in digital heaven twenty four seven, however I still work in the  land of reality where face to face contact and the, my word is my bond attitude, drives my day .
Real Estate laws, continuing education and contracts are constantly changing but meeting clients, showing property,negotiating offers and having successful closings still remains the same. Another important thing that hasn’t changed is, Word of Mouth Advertising, it’s the best advertising anyone in business can have and I am blessed to have this valuable asset that money just can’t buy. I am humbled with each referral and customer testimonial I receive. I am never to busy for your referrals. If you need a REALTOR® put me to work for you and receive the professionalism you expect and deserve. LogoNDeltonaRealty

CDD Fees

What is a CDD fee?
Community District Development fee

This is the second time I’ve blogged about CDD fees, a cost as a buyer you may run into while searching for a new home.

QuestionMrkCDD fees should not be confused with homeowner association dues. CDD fees are levied in addition to homeowner’s association dues and will be part of your tax bill.

A developer will acquire low-cost financing by issuing tax-exempt bonds, with low interest rates, which is then passed on to the home-owner for a specific term, for example 10, 20 or 30 years. This financing is used for but not limited to the developments infrastructure, sewer, roads and parks. Many communities here in the World Golf Village of St Augustine, Florida have CDD fees, however when this fee is present the Homeowners Association dues are usually very low. Consider the amenities that are provided in these communities and you won’t see CDD fees as a determent when buying property. For example if a CDD fee is $2500 a year we can break that down to $208 per month, where can you have a family fitness center membership with pools, playgrounds, sport fields and more for such a low monthly payment.

Remember working with a REALTOR® is the best way to stay informed with anything real estate related, and not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®.

Contact me for more information on CDD and Homeowner Association fees and put me to work for you, while buying or selling Real Estate.

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Tips for Purchasing a New Computer

With Christmas right around the corner are you ready for a new computer?

In my opinion and I’m not an expert, computers are not made to be repaired they are made to be replaced. With the constant ongoing rapid change in technology and the speed in which a computer can perform a new system may be on your wish list. First let’s consider what we need when purchasing a new computer and what comes to mind is we need more and more memory, more speed, and more hard drive space so we can get at least 3 to 4 years out of this new system before major changes force us back to the market place once again.
I can’t remember how many computers I’ve had in the past, I would really have to sit down with a paper and pen, start thinking and writing things down. Oh heck what am I saying, I don’t need paper and pen, I can use my computer to help me remember the number. My backups go back pretty far too, so far that some are on floppy disks, I guess whatever info is on those floppies is no longer important, perhaps it’s time for them to self-destruct.

shopping computerWhat to look for in a new computer; first decide which type of system is best for your particular situation, you can choose from an Ultrabook, a laptop or desktop. An Ultrabook is a new term for a laptop that’s thin, powerful and sleek with the main focus being portability. By Intel standards these laptops must run via low-powered Intel processors and boast a battery life of at least five hours and interestingly enough they must come on after hibernation in less than eight seconds. Sounds good, however you have to check for ports, there may not be as many as you would like and there may not be a VGA port. If you require heavy graphics or like computer gaming an Ultrabook may not be for you.

Look for processor speed and power and remember the faster the better, this isn’t a place to compromise, so go for the gusto.

Get enough hard drive space especially if you like to store a lot of photos and or videos, Once again more is always better and of course you will get a bigger hard drive in a desktop then a laptop. However if you need portability a desktop may not be a good option and you can always move files to a portable hard drive when needed.

Consider getting the most memory for your money I wouldn’t personally consider anything less than 8GB of Ram, once again the more power the faster everything will work together.
Extra ports come in real handy so look for HMDI, USB and VGA, you might not need it today but you’ll be sorry tomorrow if you don’t have multiple ports.

Most of the new computers unless you choose an Apple product will be running Windows 8, this is a whole tech tip in itself and perhaps next time we can discuss more about Windows 8. If you’re use to XP then Windows 7 may be a good choice for you since the start menu is there and the familiarity will be more comfortable. Windows 8 will have a learning curve since its app based and many people feel there is too much emphasis on the touch screen interface. This version of Windows hides important commands behind invisible controls tucked into corners called charms and hot corners, but once you begin using them it will become second nature and you might learn love it. Startup and shutdown is much faster with Windows 8 and virus protection is built into the operating system so you don’t’ have to purchase an anti-virus suite, plus a multiple monitor feature is supported without the need to purchase extra software. File backup tools are better so if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty you might just end up liking Windows 8 since you can use more than one app at the same time. windows8blue
(Windows 8 Photo compliments of PC World.com.)

Now of course Windows 10 is already in Beta and in case you’re wondering they skipped the number 9 entirely. Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference next April will most likely announce the release date of Windows 10. I know it’s not easy keeping up, but that’s the fun of technology it’s always changing keeping us on our toes after all exercising the mind and learning is the key to good health and happiness. So live long and compute my friend!

Protecting Yourself on the Internet

EyeComputerBig Brother is watching you and more importantly so are the Internet Hackers. If the big boys like Bank of America, Target and Home Depot, just to name a few can have their financial information stolen in mass quantities then what about you and me? How can we protect ourselves from cyber-attack?

Well I’m glad you asked! Think of it as a war, it’s the hackers against you and the strategy that you employ can make or break this destructive battle. There are several ways you can protect your information and privacy on-line. First and foremost be aware of what you’re putting out there for everyone to see.

Let’s start with your email, you should have at least two email accounts, one for your banking, billing and credit card sites and one for miscellaneous info like newsletters, social media and the like.

Never ever give anyone your password, and remember legitimate banking sites will never ask for your password and if you get an informational or alerting email, never log into the site using the clickable link provided in your email. Open your browser and go to the site as you normally would which is much safer! Once on the site you can check your messages and alerts.

Guard your username and change your passwords often. For example if a hacker can get into your email they will have a clear pathway towards your banking accounts by simply pressing forgot password and answering a few questions that you’ve most likely already provided the answers to.

Are you wondering how you provided those answers? Wonder no more my friend and just take a look at your online profiles; for example are you on Facebook, do you have your maiden name and high school listed, perhaps your hometown, your kids name, etc. Yes indeed these simple profiles that make it easy for old and new friends and colleagues to connect also make it easy for hackers to answer your internet security questions.
The same goes for all the other social media sites like LinkedIn, Google and many others. There is one way to combat this that can baffle any hacker and that’s to answer those security questions on your billing and banking sites with answers that have nothing what-so-ever to do with the question.
For example:
Question: what is the name of the high school you attended
Answer: pizzapie
Question: what city were you born in
Answer: pizzapie
Question: what is the name of your first pet
Answer: pizzapie
Are you following me? Make your answers something only you will know and that make no sense at all to anyone else. Remember you can always change the answer to your security questions at any time. In fact this is a good time!

Another tip would be to never use the same password for everything, don’t make it easy for hackers to get your information.
For Example if you go to http://www.realtor.com you can use part of the site as your password: hugmerealtor9295lover
http://www.worldgolfvillagehomesearch.com
password: hugmevillagesearch9295lover
Simply changing the four digit number every two months or so will make it harder for hackers and hopefully they will consider you too much trouble to bother with and go on to the next victim.

Always remember you are never alone in the dark with your keyboard, there are peering eyes over your shoulder alone in the dark with their own dang keyboard looking to score your hard earned money.

Most of us can’t beat hackers at their own game, however you can outsmart them every step of the way by minimizing the information you put out there for the public to see and keeping passwords and user names secure.
Good luck and safe surfing on the World Wide Web!

Time to Get Organized

Are you still telling yourself that one of these days “I’m going to get organized?” I know just what you mean with so much going on, seller appointments, showings to schedule, customers to call, contracts to negotiate there’s never enough time in the day.

I am here to help you organize the one thing that is in your hand all day long, and that’s your IPhone, lets clean it up!

Is your phone cluttered with icon’s on page after page, is your background picture so busy you can hardly see the names of all your apps? A cleaned up phone can save you valuable time and keep you from searching for that app you need.

Let’s start at the beginning, always a good place to start with, and that would be your background picture. It should be a solid color, I found that I didn’tIPhone like the colors in the ready-made backgrounds provided so one day I pointed my IPhone at the ocean and now my background is subtle and my icons are more prominent, using a clear blue sky works well also.

Notice the first page of my IPhone you can clearly see everything, including the folders I have created.

You can see that on the task bar I keep my favorite icons, I only have three there because I leave a space for when I decide to move an icon, it’s a lot easier to move an icon to that line then to try and move it to another page. If you do this moving icons and creating folders will be quick and easy.

This is the last and most important step towards cleaning up that phone. Create folders so that everything is easily accessible and yes organized. For example if you use social media on your phone you have several apps that you can put in one place.

folderIphone Let’s Begin: hold down your Facebook icon till all your icons begin to shake and have an X showing in the left hand corners.

If your Facebook icon and your LinkedIn icon for example are not on the same page then put your Facebook icon on the bottom taskbar, go to the page where your LinkedIn icon is and place the Facebook icon directly on top of your LinkedIn icon and a folder will automatically create, this is also your opportunity to name this folder, I named mine Social. Now that your folder is created you can drag more icons in there. When you open a folder you can see its contents, no more looking for an app. Look how nice and neat that looks! To close a folder just hit your home button.

As you collect more social media apps you can put them in this folder, there is no limit since you can have many pages in one folder.

You just continue this process to create folders reducing the number of pages on your phone and find everything in a flash. This photo shows another folder I created I named utilities with more than one page of icons as indicated by the two dots at the bottom of the folder, this shows this particular folder has two pages. Notice how nice and neat it looks with a clean background. Remember neatness counts! I also have folders for news, county info, documents, etc. You can be creative and neat at the same time.

I hope this tech tip helps you get a smooth operating IPhone since you’ll be using this each and every day. If you’re wondering how I took pictures of what’s showing on my phone at any given time, I’ll tell ya.

Simultaneously (at the same time) hold down both the end button and the hiphonebuttonome button, release and you have taken a screen shot. Go to your Photo’s and it will be there ready to text and or email as a photo.

This is also useful if you want to take photos of a short conversation in message or even a game level. Anything you can see on your IPhone you can save as a photo.

Be organized and carry on.

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