Enjoy the Great Outdoors Year Round in Flagler County!

One of the best things about living in Flagler County is the ability to spend time outdoors year round. In fact, winter is a great time to explore the wide open spaces in Florida! With more than fifteen city parks, twenty-one county parks, and four Florida State Parks to choose from—with a vast array of activities—there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

If you like bird watching, the St Joe Walkway, Palm Coast Linear Park, Haw Creek Preserve at Russell Landing, Bulow Creek State Park, Washington Oaks Garden State Park, and Princess Place Preserve are designated as Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trails. 

If you’re interested in history, the Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park offers the ruins of an old plantation, slave cabins, and sugar mill with walking trails, as well as a boat ramp with a canoe/kayak trail. Want to swim? The Belle Terre Park & Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool offer a heated outdoor aquatic facility as well as tennis courts, racquetball, athletic fields, gazebos, a playground, and more. Fishing, kayaking, or canoeing are also readily available at a number of parks as well. Palm Coast also has the Palm Coast Tennis Center and the Palm Harbor Golf Club. 

And, then there are the beaches! While the water might be too chilly for all but a few, winter is still a great time for beachcombing, surfing, and even getting some sun. 

So many choices of things to do, the big dilemma is what to do first? 

Parks in Palm Coast http://docs.palmcoastgov.com/departments/recreation/facilities-guide.pdf

Flagler County Parks http://www.flaglercounty.org/index.aspx?NID=168

Florida State Parks https://www.floridastateparks.org


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First Time Buyers - Are There Opportunities?

Absolutely! Mortgage rates are at historic lows, holding steady at under 4% which makes a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage produce an affordable monthly payment even with mortgage insurance.

But, aren’t lending guidelines stricter than ever and down payments higher? In late 2013 and early 2014 that was certainly the case. But lending guidelines have eased as banks have seen housing prices rebound and employment rates return to higher levels. And that’s not all the good news.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that they are officially rolling out programs for mortgages with a down payment of only 3%. In 2013, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stopped buying loans with a 3% down payment due to the housing slump but in 2015 that will change for the better.

The difference is that there will be better criteria on who can get these loans. The mortgages are available to first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners who want to refinance. Borrowers will have to have a credit score of over 620, buy private mortgage insurance, receive home ownership counseling and thoroughly document source of income and stability. That’s not unreasonable.

Clear lending guidelines are an important part of keeping the mortgage loan industry stable and the housing prices strong.

So look to 2015 to be the year that millennials leave their parents and purchase their very first home. We think that’s great news and there are plenty of starter homes in Palm Coast that are just perfect for a young couple or professional person to move into an ownership position.

At RE/MAX Flagstaff we have agents just waiting to work with buyers and guide them through the process of buying their new home. Whether they are looking for a single-family 3 bedroom 2 bath in a suburban neighborhood, or a maintenance-free condominium, we have plenty of listings to show them and information that can make the journey less frustrating. Let’s get started! Call 386-246-8585 when you are ready!



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How is the Housing Market in Flagler County Doing?

Current homeowners and people considering investing in a home in Flagler County want to know – is Flagler County doing as well as the rest of the nation in the housing turnaround.

We have good news for them – Flagler County is doing better! There are many factors that affect the current housing market in different areas of the country:

  • How far did the prices fall?
  • When did the prices recover?
  • What is the level of homeowner satisfaction?
  • What are other factors that affect the market?

This is what we have experienced here. In 2008 the housing market began to fall and fell faster in Flagler County than it did in neighboring St. Johns County. That might seem like a negative indicator but it did not turn out that way. When Flagler County began to recover, other counties in Florida were still losing value.

It was a struggle for home buyers to get financing, but the homes were selling out of foreclosures, short sales and from traditional sellers. Slowly, banks eased residential lending, and more houses sold and the price continued to rise.

Because we are in NE Florida, homeowner satisfaction is high. We’ve had no adverse weather events while the rest of the country has experienced early and brutal snow storms and even, so called, Frankenstorms.

This has resulted in many northern states showing low homeowner satisfaction in surveys. Some show that as high a percentage as 49% would move if given the opportunity. Where would they move? Many would move to Florida. Who does that benefit? Yes, it benefits us in Flagler County. We have a beautiful coastline, mild winters, and friendly, happy residents.

And that’s what makes all the difference! Our home prices are continuing to rise at a sustainable rate and our citizens are continuing to love living here.


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