Dovecote – Orlando’s Newest Neighborhood Brassier

July 26th, 2016

Marlene and I checked out new Devote in the Bank of America building in downtown Orlando. It was the restaurants first Saturday and we started off a little rough, we had a reservation at 6:15, they were very diligent in reminding us via phone 3 times about the reservation, upon arrival they asked if we wanted to sit at the bar.  We said no prefer a table.  Other came in and were seated while we waited for a table.  Once seated our waitress Nicole greeted us and it was all good from there.   Chris the Sommelier suggested a great Risling and Pinot Rinor. We order a very fresh Firsse Lettuce salad with shaved fennel, rhubarb, hazelnuts, madrus curry vinaigrette and an excellent cheese board.

Our main course was a very delicate veal dish and a strip sirloin with fritter fires, the veal and sirloin have to say one of the most tender we have tasted.

We ordered the Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse for desert, it was a little to rich for us, but thick and bittersweet as it stated.

Baristas prepare artisanal coffees and offer freshly prepared pastry. The raw bar was not open this night but we are sure it will be on par with the rest of the menu.

DoveCote’s extensive wine/champagne, beer, and cocktail program is meticulously prepared and served to enhance our guests experience while complementing this comfort cuisine.

We highly recommend going to Dovecote we will be back.Dovecote-logo

 

Time has come! Market to Table resturant in Winter Garden

July 22nd, 2016

July 1st, 2016 marks the day central Florida gets a new “casual upscale” restaurant in downtown Winter Garden “Market to Table”. Scheduled to open in mid September Chef Ryan and his staff will offer culinary delights for all tastes. I will keep you updated on the build out and menus as the opening draws closer. www.market2table.com

Check in with us for more details! #Staytuned

6 fabulous itineraries for your next Orlando date night!

July 21st, 2016

One of the greatest things about living in Orlando is that there’s never a shortage of ways to spend your time. There’s always a new restaurant to try, a new neighborhood to explore, craft beer to sample, and endless events to attend. Yet despite the plethora of options that await us in the City Beautiful, planning a night out can feel overwhelming when it comes down to choosing a restaurant or activity.

I’ve compiled a list of activity and food pairings to make planning an Orlando date night a breeze. Choose one (or all) of these six pairings for your next day or night out:

1. For the Sport Fanatics

Orlando Sporting Event + Hot Dogs at Frank & Steins
We’re lucky to have a variety of sports to choose from here in Orlando (hockey, basketball, soccer, arena football) and there’s usually something going on no matter what time of year or day of the week. Orlando City soccer games are scheduled now through October, the Orlando Magic are back in October, and hockey season begins in November for the Orlando Solar Bears.

If you’re attending an event at the Amway Center, great food waits a 10-minute walk away on the corner of Church St. and S Magnolia Ave. Home to a menu of 300+ beers and a wide variety of hot dogs, Frank & Steins is the ideal place to fuel up before game time. Don’t miss the giant soft pretzel with queso or the Bacon Mac Frank – a hot dog loaded with bacon mac and cheese and sriracha sauces.

2. For the Social Butterflies

Sunday Yoga in the Park + Brunch at Dexter’s of Thornton Park
Sundays in Lake Eola Park are all about community. Every Sunday at 11am, yogis from all over gather in the northeast corner (by Panera) of Lake Eola Park for Yoga in Lake Eola Park. All you need to bring is a mat, water, and $5 to enjoy the practice, which is suitable for yoga enthusiasts of all levels.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Thornton Park in search of brunch. Tucked away on E Washington Street you’ll find Dexter’s, an American restaurant serving up brunch favorites like flavored mimosas, omelets, and eggs benedict alongside more unique offerings, such as the Ultimate Breakfast Cuban Sandwich. Work off the carbs and champagne afterwards with a stroll through the farmers market, which takes place each Sunday from 10am – 4pm.

3. For the Local Tourists

The Orlando Eye + Burgers at Shake Shack
Orlando’s attractions aren’t just for tourists; they’re fun for locals, too. Many attractions, including the Orlando Eye, offer a resident discount making this a budget friendly date night. Tickets are $18 when you book online in advance. True, you’ll have to go through the traditional tourist activities like having a souvenir photo taken and watching an intro video, but the view from above is totally worth it, especially at sunset.

After your flight, make your way to the beloved Shake Shack (also located at I Drive 360) for burgers, shakes, and fries. If it’s cool enough outside, the outdoor seating area offers a great view of the Orlando Eye lit up at night or framed by sunny skies during the day.

4. For Culture-Loving & Foodies

Orlando Museum of Art + Tacos & a Mini Bar Crawl in Mills 50
The Orlando Museum of Art offers couples the chance to squeeze in a little culture on date night. The museum is home to a collection of Contemporary, American, and African art and details on the current exhibitions can be found at the OMoA website. (Hours: Tues-Fri: 10am to 4pm; Sat-Sun: noon to 4pm)

After your visit to the OMoA, make your way down to Black Rooster Taqueria (about a 15-minute walk or short drive), a small taco joint adorned with Day of the Dead decor and a hip urban vibe. Kick things off with some fresh, made-to-order guacamole while you’re waiting for your tacos. I recommend the achiote pork, but mix and match to your heart’s content.

After tacos, begin your mini bar crawl at The Guesthouse, which is conveniently located right next door. They’re known for their craft cocktails like the Tom Collins and Moscow Mule and happy hour lasts from 5-8pm. Continue on to BART (bar + gallery + arcade) to enjoy vintage arcade games, local art on the walls, and a varied craft brew menu.

5. For Movie Buffs on a Budget

Date Night Movie at Harry P. Leu Gardens + Food Trucks & BYOB
On the first Friday of most months, Leu Gardens hosts outdoor movie night in the garden for $6 (or free if you’re a member). The best part? You can bring your own dinner basket and alcohol OR you grab a bite at the on-site.

The next movie is Shop Around the Corner, showing on August 5th. Food truck Curbie’s Sidewalk Cafe and Peak Season Pops (they have the best artisanal ice pops!) will both be on site. While the movie doesn’t begin until 8:30, make sure you arrive early to stake out a spot – the garden area fills up quickly. Leu Gardens opens at 6pm on movie nights. Parking is free.

6. For the Sweet-Toothed

Winter Park Stroll + Kilwin’s Ice Cream
Winter Park is the perfect location for satisfying your sweet tooth. The calories don’t count if you can walk while you eat, right? Park Ave. is an easily walkable hub for shopping, dining, architecture and weekend wandering. It is also home to a great sweet spot: Kilwin’s Ice Cream.

Kilwin’s is known for their ice cream and fudge, and if you have a chance to try the limited time Double Peanut Butter Pie ice cream they’re offering right now, I highly recommend it. You may be lucky enough to catch them making a fresh batch of fudge or waffle cones when you visit.

Ice cream in hand, wander through Central Park or hop on a scenic boat tour of the Winter Park chain of lakes for $14. If you want to make a day of it, stick around to try one of the area’s many restaurants such as Prato, Cocina 214, or The Parkview to name a few.

 

 

 

 

 

Buying a home with a VA Mortgage in Orlando

July 20th, 2016

The Freelove Team knows how to work with Veterans in obtaining a VA mortgage and a new home. George is a USMC Veteran and during his time as a home builder sold hundreds of homes to veterans using their VA eligibility. George is currently President of VAREP (Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals) helping military veterans purchase a home. George works with lenders who know the in and outs of using a VA mortgage. It really is no different than any other type of loan, actually much better. Give George a call and he will discuss the best way to proceed to buy a home using your VA eligibility. 407-408-5167

5 tips to buying a house

July 19th, 2016

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

Relocating to the big city

July 19th, 2016

Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.

Preparing to sell

July 19th, 2016

Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.

Dealing with Financing

July 19th, 2016

As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar signs so that you can take down that “for sale” sign on your new home.

Get pre-approved. Sub-primes may be history, but you’ll probably still be shown homes you can’t actually afford. By getting pre-approved as a buyer, you can save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford. You can also put yourself in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Unlike pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history. By doing a thorough analysis of your actual spending power, you’ll be less likely to get in over your head.

Choose your mortgage carefully. Used to be the emphasis when it came to mortgages was on paying them off as soon as possible. Today, the debt the average person will accumulate due to credit cards, student loans, etc. means it’s better to opt for the 30-year mortgage instead of the 15-year. This way, you have a lower monthly payment, with the option of paying an additional principal when money is good. Additionally, when picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points (a portion of the interest that you pay at closing) in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you plan to stay in the house for a long time—and given the current real estate market, you should—taking the points will save you money.

Do your homework before bidding. Before you make an offer on a home, do some research on the sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood with sites like Zillow. Consider especially sales of similar homes in the last three months. For instance, if homes have recently sold for 5 percent less than the asking price, your opening bid should probably be about 8 to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

We have a new Agent on the team- Rosie Papagiannakis

July 6th, 2016

Rosie Papagiannakis, Realtor®, CRS ®

Certified Residential Specialist

Top Producer at Keller Williams

Over 9 years of Experience

14 + Designations

7 Memberships

ORRA– GOLD KEY

Over 8 Awards

Multi-Lingual in German & Greek

321-356-7952

rpapagiannakis@yahoo.com

 

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Winter Garden- New homes

July 5th, 2016

Oakland Park – Village Homes

From the $ 349s
1934-3075 sq. ft.7bf1ac82-1dcb-42e4-94e1-4adbae0ecb24
Winter Garden

In Oakland Park, you’ll find our Village Series homes on manageable, 50’ homesites!

If you are intetsed in Winter Garden new construction or any new construction let us know, we can set up an appointment for you to view the model home

407-408-5167

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