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So this questions comes up often when families are considering selling their home and the Realtor has presented them with what he or she considers is the value of their home.  Conversations goes something like this. 


Tell me Jim how can that be since my neighbor on this same block has sold their home for $170 per sq ft.  and we are much bigger than them.

That is always the key to the answer, the smaller the home the bigger the impact on price per square foot. 

 And here is why.  Everyone in the same subdivision has approximately the same price for the lot(yes I know some paid premiums’ for their lot that is on the Water/Golf course/no rear neighbor).  But that can be adjusted for in a Market Analysis.  What most folks do not realize is size of the house works in reverse on calculating  price per square foot.

 i.e.  two homes  one 1,400 sq ft   the other 2,100 sq ft.  Lots in this neighborhood have a value of $50,000.


1st home Price per sq ft for that land is $35.71  while 2nd home is 23.80. That is a big difference when comparing what is a fare price for the home.

Give us a call 407-718-0984 if you have questions.

Posted in:General and tagged: appraisalmarketanalysis
Posted by Jim Ruddy on May 7th, 2019 8:59 AMLeave a Comment

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We have a number of refrigerators and more important is the fact that we have a great appliance repairman that not only fixes / saves them but he also shares info to help you from being in the same position again next year. 

So he saved me from replacing a 2010 very expensive refrigerator by vacuuming the cat hair that had clogged up my coils.  He said it is the number one killer of your compressor

as the coolant can not cool down and compressor just keeps running until it overheats and breaks down.  So do your self a favor and vacuum your coils.  They are located at the bottom of the refrigerator and you can access them from the bottom front grill. Enjoy your day.

Posted in:General
Posted by Jim Ruddy on March 1st, 2019 10:21 AMLeave a Comment

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Tonight the County presented their plan to create a special tax district for the next 15 years. It would impact about 450 homes near the old course.  It is developed to pay for the clean up that is required by the State to allow this land to be a park.  Still much more to be done but it does seem that we as homeowners will be asked to share in this project.  It seems that it may be as low as $93 a year for 15 years but that is not guaranteed at this point.  The number will be fixed before we vote on it some time in May 2018. There is also another price tier for homes on the course of $185 a year.  As they will have the greatest up lift in home value across the 98 acres of green space in our community.

All in all I think it is a good thing to do.  We need 65% of the families to agree so it will not go easy but as they said ONCE THE LAND IS GONE. IT'S GONE.  Better a place for our children's children to play than a place for a developer to make millions.  I served as this Clubs President back in 1998/1999 and we nearly went to a waiting list because our membership was so full.  It did not happen and now we are left with land to be developed into what we want or what developers want. The good news is we get to vote.... Vote Yes

Posted in:community and tagged: save Rolling HillsRHGC
Posted by Jim Ruddy on March 2nd, 2018 2:06 PMLeave a Comment

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October 12th, 2017 4:49 PM

We represent many properties as Realtors and we learn something from each and I normally would not blog about a sale experience, yet saying that here I go. We had a lovely home on 5 acres in Orlando Florida.  What made this special was the Bamboo.  When Maggie and I first drove down the long entry way we were struck by the Forest of Bamboo. The sellers had strong ties in the University community and actually served many years in Japan. The home layout had an Asian feel to it but again what drew us back was the forest.  We knew people would love the privacy and the home but how do you handle Bamboo?  It will overtake your property so I heard.  Yet this family has maintained their forest with the following simple commitment.

To reduce your Bamboo crop, you must cut the bunch you want to remove down to ground level and maintain that cutback for 3 years.  At that time the root system will die and it will not bread again.

That’s our input and would appreciate comments positive or negative.  The goal of any blog is to share knowledge. We have done that. 

Posted by Jim Ruddy on October 12th, 2017 4:49 PMLeave a Comment

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September 3rd, 2017 3:59 PM

So we heard about Homestead and the need to file for it, but what is this portability thing?

This is another part of what our State Government provided to assist our Senior population. It was found that we could tax our Seniors out of the home they have lived in for the past 40 years.  So Homestead was instituted. They realized that they also had issues with Seniors when they tried to downsize or move to follow Grandbabies.  They lost their homestead tax savings. So they implemented Portability to allow you to bring the tax savings you enjoyed to your next home.  It is a complex formula but all the County web sites have an application that you can input your information and they will provide you with the savings.  Or you can just call or email them and they may do it for you.  They did it for us here in Seminole County.  It reduced our Tax assessment by $16,000.  Be careful, that is not your savings it is what your tax is computed from.


So just remember if you sell your home and purchase another anywhere in Florida you need to file for Homestead and request portability. Portability has to be requested within two years after the purchase of your new home. Its your money, why not keep it.


Link at Seminole County for more info.  There number is




Posted in:taxes and tagged: real estate tax
Posted by Jim Ruddy on September 3rd, 2017 3:59 PMLeave a Comment

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May 15th, 2017 7:39 AM

So you have been successful in finding or selling your home. Congratulations now the hard work begins. You need to move your stuff out or into this home (depending on being the seller or buyer) either way both of you need to find a mover.  If you are blessed with friends with pickup trucks you can stop reading at this point.  If on the other hand you are like most of us you need to secure a team to move your stuff. This is not easy, our family has a page on our web site where we refer contractors and other specialists to our clients.  We do not attempt to refer movers.  They are in a class all by themselves.  What we can do is provide you with some interesting reading about what to do and not do when looking for a mover.  Do your homework. The 4 hours you put into this will save you big $$$ and time on the back end if you do not.  Also remember in Florida the day of closing the buyer owns the home.  That means seller needs to be out the day before and the house is clean and ready for a walk through by the buyer. We have seen closings stopped at this point because the sellers thought it would be nice to leave some furniture or paint cans and other bags of unknown stuff in the garage. Or they decided to take all the window coverings. Don’t let this happen to you, it can become expensive.

Posted in:Home purchase and tagged: move your home
Posted by Jim Ruddy on May 15th, 2017 7:39 AMLeave a Comment

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Rates have gone up and they will again.  We have been in a very unique area for the last 8 years and I'm not talking politics.  The economy was not moving so the Fed had to suppress interest rates but that is not the case anymore.  2016 was a great year in Real Estate and 2017 looks to be better. Home values are rising. So do not delay now is the time to reach out to a Realtor(hope it is me) and get to work on that dream home.  You do not want to be part of the families in June 2017 saying why did we not buy 4 months earlier.  Remember closings take up to 45 days and your home search could exceed 60 days.  So now is the time to start call me tomorrow.

Posted by Jim Ruddy on December 21st, 2016 9:39 PMLeave a Comment

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December 16th, 2016 10:22 AM
Well, many will argue about government in our lives but this event is why we need it. From 1926 to 2014 Rolling Hills Golf Club severed the people of Central Florida. It was then sold to a company with the intent to develop it.  In 2016 Seminole County started to negotiate with the developers and came to an agreement in November to purchase the land for $3,950,000 to develop a large park. The only stipulation was approval by the State to move $1.5 Million from the Jetty Park project over to Rolling Hills that occurred here in December of 2016. So over the next 3 years, we should see the transition of this area into a wonderful park to serve our neighborhood.  Maggie and I had an aerial photo shoot for one of our listings and I thought it would be nice for all of us to have access to that picture (I added the hole numbers).  We have served and loved this place for so many years.  Thank you again Seminole County for saving this area. 

Details of the County plan

Posted in:General
Posted by Jim Ruddy on December 16th, 2016 10:22 AMLeave a Comment

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Rolling Hills has this situation in about 70% of the homes. So, when we are selling or buying, know that these are tests your lender will require.

FHA loans require bacteriological water test if the property is vacant, yet I have seen this request when the home is still lived in. So I would recommend you have this test done. Also, when the survey is being done they must show the well and the septic on the survey and the distance between the two.  Surveyors do not normally do this so you must request it up front. Also septic inspectors normally do not flag the drain field so you must also request that up front otherwise the surveyor will not be able to measure the distance. 

VA loans require the bacteriological test and a chemical water test.  They also may require a septic test if the Appraiser notes a concern.  We always request our buyers have that test or sign a waiver if they do not want to do it.  Failed Septic can be a very expensive repair.  Not uncommon to see the Seller request to pay for the pump out $300 approximate, since it is their waste.  Then the buyer pays for the inspection of the tank and drain field (should be flagged). Make sure the drain field test is done before they pump out the tank.

So what is the minimum distances allowed by FHA between private well and other sources of pollution?  The Septic Tank 50’, Drain Field 50’, 100’ for new construction.

The Well has to be 10’ from the property line, the Well has to be 15’ from any chemically poisoned soil; i.e. concrete slab.

So where do you get these tests and who does it?  You do it yourself, should be shortly after you list the home. If you are the buyer it should be done within 5 days after you come to agreement on purchase price. Make sure your inspection period allows for this test as the results will not be known until 10 days after you submit it to the Lab, you need the containers from Flowers Chemical Laboratories in Altamonte Springs  407-339-5984.  You can see a copy of the report by clicking on the link below.


Posted in:things to do and tagged: drinking water wells
Posted by Jim Ruddy on November 22nd, 2016 11:08 AMLeave a Comment

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October 25th, 2016 12:20 PM
It was a please to sit in and watch our county government at work today. We had over 100 people attend the Commissioners Meeting this morning and on that agenda was the vote to authorize the Chairman to execute the contract for Sale and Purchase the land known as Rolling Hills Golf Course.  They informed us that the sale price would be $3,950,000 and that the appraisal came in at $6 Million. So a good deal for all involved.  They have over 250 days to complete the sale(State has to approve a move of $1.5 Million from the Jette Park project to this project). Once that is approved we should be good to go.  Want to thank all the folks that supported the Save Rolling Hills initiative and our County Commissioners who all supported this.

Posted in:General and tagged: save Rolling Hills
Posted by Jim Ruddy on October 25th, 2016 12:20 PMLeave a Comment

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