Team Zen welcomes you to our magnificent space where our intention is to connect, inspire and share our  "Mindful Approach To Your Real Estate Needs".

We will be sharing the best ZEN home tips, market updates & news, local events information and some of our best case studies. This blog is all about YOU! We believe in abundance and prosperity for all and our wish is to help and serve our community as if we are serving our own family members. Information and knowledge is power and we want to empower YOU!

 



Team ZEN proudly sponsored the 6th Annual It's Just Yoga Event! Check out our new event video below...

Sept. 3, 2020

Homebuyer Demand Is Far Above Last Year’s Pace

 

Homebuying has been on the rise over the past few months, with record-breaking sales powering through the market in June and July. Buyers are actively purchasing homes, and the momentum is continuing into the fall. It is, however, becoming harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. If you’ve been thinking about selling your house, the coming weeks might just be the timing you’ve been waiting for.

 

According to the Pending Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

 

“Pending home sales in July achieved another month of positive contract activity, marking three consecutive months of growth.

 

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, rose 5.9% to 122.1 in July. Year-over-year, contract signings rose 15.5%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.”

 

This means that for the past several months, buyers have signed an increasing number of contracts to purchase homes – well above where the market was at this time last year. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR notes:

 

“We are witnessing a true V-shaped sales recovery as homebuyers continue their strong return to the housing market…Home sellers are seeing their homes go under contract in record time, with nine new contracts for every 10 new listings.”

 

Below is a graph that shows the impressive recovery of homes sales compared to previous years. The deep blue v marks the slowdown from this spring that turned into an exponential jump in sales that followed through the summer, skyrocketing above years past:

Homebuyer Demand Is Far Above Last Year’s Pace | Simplifying The Market

 

What Does This Mean for Sellers?

If you were thinking about putting your house on the market in the spring but decided to wait due to the health crisis, it may be time to make your move. Buyers are in the market right now. With so few homes available to purchase, homeowners today are experiencing more bidding wars, creating an optimal time to sell.

 

Is This Trend Going to Continue?

As CNBC notes, there are no signs of slowing buyer demand this fall:

 

“The usual summer slowdown in the housing market is not happening this year. Buyers continue to show strong demand, spurred by the new stay-at-home world of the coronavirus and by record-low mortgage rates.”

 

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, concurred:

 

“In a typical year in the housing market, buyer interest begins to wane before seller interest causing the usual seasonal slowdown as we move into the fall. Due to a delayed spring season and low mortgage rates, we could see buyer interest extend longer than usual into the typically quieter fall. Whether this means more home sales will depend on whether sellers participate or decide to stay on the sidelines.”

 

As Hale mentioned, homeowners who are willing to sell their houses right now will play a big role in whether the trend continues. The market needs more homes to satisfy ongoing buyer demand. Maybe it’s time to leverage your equity and move up while eager home shoppers are ready to purchase a house just like yours.

 

Bottom Line

If your current home doesn’t meet your family’s changing needs, let’s connect to help you sell your house and make the move you’ve been waiting for all year.

 

Questions about your local market? Curious about how much is your home worth in today's market? Contact us for a free ZEN consultation!

 

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ZenLivingRealty.com 
Call/Text: 
407-800-2717 │ info@zenlivingrealty.com 
1235 Mount Vernon St. Orlando, FL 32803

 

Posted in Market Updates
July 30, 2020

7 Tips to Reducing “Garden Overwhelm”

 

“Weeding is an inevitable part of gardening that I actually enjoy. There’s something about clearing away those unwanted weeds that is meditative and satisfying.”

How often do you get “Garden Overwhelm”? In the South Eastern US and especially in the rainy mid-summer months, gardening can seem like a never-ending job.

And this year more than most years, we are also experiencing more weather extremes, which creates even more overwhelm. This can make you feel like “throwing in the trowel.”

I have 7 tips to continue to enjoy your garden, keep it productive, and not kill yourself.

Here are the seven tips:

1. Make a list of what needs to be done. Keep in mind that it can change based on the weather. I use a blank garden journal to keep a record. This way, you have a garden history book on what is working (or not) to produce a healthy garden while pinpointing what needs to be done more urgently.

2. Remember it is progress, not perfection in the garden. Give yourself credit for what gets done each time you work. You will always see something that needs to be done later.

3. Leave some parts of your garden, wild and messy. Knowing those areas are habitat for pollinators, birds, frogs, and other beneficial garden mates.

4. Focus on the areas that get the most traffic, such as beds around your front door and edging around beds and adding thick layers of mulch. I love pine needles these days. They look great and are less expensive than bark. They also reduce future Weeding and keep your plants moist in our hot climate.

5. If watering is too time-consuming for you, try adding some type of drip irrigation system to keep your plants adequately watered.

6. Know when you to reduce the size of your working garden if it’s not enjoyable anymore. There are many ways to make your garden easier to maintain.

7. Keep your soil healthy, so your plants grow and naturally shade out weeds.

Let me know your most significant “Garden Overwhelm,” and I will help you come up with a plan to tackle it.


Written by Rey Perez | About Rey | mindfulrealtors.com | rey.perez@zenlivingrealty.com 

Credits:

A Way to Garden’s Margaret Roach, the gardening columnist, author, and podcast host. Margaret was a senior publishing executive before leaving the corporate life in 2007 to become an organic gardening advocate. And dedicate more time to gardening on her two-acre property in upstate New York. She never looked back.

 

Posted in Zen Tips
July 4, 2020

The Top 5 Consignment Shops in Orlando

 

 

Why is that one tiny tool is responsible for putting all of IKEA's furniture together? And how is it that they don't expect you to lose it while moving? Sometimes that prepackaged convenience isn't, well, convenient. Instead of getting cookie-cutter furniture, explore local consignment shops to discover vintage and unique finds. Not only will you be adding a one-of-a-kind piece to your home, but you'll also be lowering your carbon footprint by keeping an item out of a landfill. Check out some of our favorite consignment shops in Orlando.

 

1618 Something Different

A self-proclaimed funky retailer, 1618 Something Different offers a wide range of vintage furniture, including chairs, couches, and more. The inventory changes frequently, so keep an eye out for a piece that fits your style!

 

"Love this store. The inventory rotates pretty often. Great stuff at reasonable prices… Also, they carry a lot of small, decorative items which most furniture stores don't." - Avid Antiquer, Google Reviews

 

Adjectives

With locations in Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, and Winter Garden, Adjectives is a great place to buy vintage furniture and antiques and new and unique home decor. From dinner tables to sofas to lamps, you're sure to find something that fits your style.

 

"Great antique market! Several different booths from local vendors so prices and variety of things you will find here should continue to vary." - Steven Golab, Google Reviews

 

 

All the Right Stuff Consignment Furniture

From Ethan Allen to Thomasville, All the Right Stuff Consignment Furniture offers a range of gently used, upscale furniture. Located on Edgewater Drive, All the Right Stuff has been in business since 1998. Their facility is roughly 5,000 square feet, and they have an inventory worth the space! Check out their  Facebook for their newest offerings. 

 

"Fantastic place!! Highly recommend checking it out!" - Sandra Velasquez, Google Reviews

 

A T Furniture & Antiques

You're sure to find a piece that fits your style in A T Furniture & Antique's 20,000 square foot showroom. Their services include quality new, used, and antique furniture sales. A family-owned operation, they have been in business since 1975 and also offer refinishing, stripping, and repairs. 

 

"These are the nicest people and very professional. They have been in the same location for over 35 years and have a wide array of quality furniture and many other things. They also offer repairing and refinishing. Great place!!" - Hardy Hudson, Google Reviews

 

 

Top Drawer Consignments

Shop Top Drawer Consignment's inventory from the comfort of your own home! Add sparkle with a chandelier or store your clothes with style in a century chest. Keep an eye on their prices — they often mark when items are going on sale.

 

"This place is by far the BEST consignment shop I have ever had the pleasure of shopping. The selection here is always incredibly diverse. The quality of merchandise you are going to find here will blow you away! We have made some amazing finds here, and always feel like we are treasure hunting whenever we walk through their doors. To top it off, the building itself is adorable!" - Robby Burroughs, Google Reviews

 

Shopping at a consignment shop adds personality to your home, giving it a unique voice among a sea of cookie-cutter furniture. Whether you're looking for a new home or selling your current one, Zen Living Realty can help. Because we develop a relationship with each client during the Orlando realty process, we can help you decide exactly where that antique sewing table should go. Give us a call at (407) 800-2717 to speak with one of our TEAM ZEN members or visit our website to start your VIP home search. 

 

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Call/Text: 
407-800-2717 │ info@zenlivingrealty.com 
1235 Mount Vernon St. Orlando, FL 32803

Posted in Zen Tips
June 24, 2020

How to Save by Getting Rid of the Excess

white wooden cabinet near table inside room

 

If you're getting ready to move, whether you are trying to sell your home or you've already purchased a new one, one of the first things that tend to cause stress in the process is the fear of packing all of your stuff. Whether you've been in your current space for a few months or several years, you've probably accumulated plenty of things you use and love and even more items you haven't touched since you brought them home. Now is the perfect time to purge those items and start fresh in your new home with intentional decor and less clutter. Here are some of the things you'll save when you let go:

SAVE TIME

Instead of waiting until you're ready to move, start sorting through your items now. Sell, donate, or trash the things that you've decided don't have a place in your future home. When you're ready to pack up for your move, you'll save so much time because you'll have less to pack (and unpack). 

SAVE MONEY

Maybe some of the stuff you're considering letting go of is worth something. If that is the case, consider having a garage sale or selling your clothes to resale boutiques. Donate or dispose of whatever you don't sell. Not only can you make money, but you can save money by moving less stuff. You may be able to fit what you love into a smaller moving truck if you get rid of those items that have gone unused for years! 

SAVE ENERGY

Sometimes items can take up a great deal of emotional energy. It is often in our nature to cling to things that may have meant something in our past, but have no place in our future. Get rid of that baggage and create an intentional environment with positive energy in your new home. 

SAVE SPACE

Instead of taking the clutter from your current place into your new home, save space by getting rid of it now. Open spaces in your new home will bring you peace of mind and joy. At Zen Living Realty, our goal is to make real estate easy and safe for you! We will be sharing next a list of the top 5 consignment shops in Orlando for your convenience. Stay tuned for our next blog post!

If you've done all this saving and you're ready to save even more on a new home, give us a call 407-800-2717!

 

Posted in Zen Tips
June 3, 2020

How Gardening Can Help Improve Your Mood and Mental Health

I recently read an article* about a study that was done on the health benefits of gardening.  It reported the many benefits of gardening and how it creates high levels of meaningfulness, especially vegetable gardening! It also found it creates a feeling of emotional wellbeing and gardeners are just as happy doing it solo as with a buddy.  I could not agree more.

I find that gardening for me is also a great form of:

  • practicing mindfulness
  • practicing patience
  • Practicing faith

 When I work in my garden, I become very present and focused on what I am doing. It calms my mind and gives me a great workout as I weed, transplant, cutback and pay close attention at my garden’s health.  These are all the basic skills of mindfulness.

As the article I read states, planting veggies especially from seed is the most rewarding gardening experience.  This is where patience comes into play.  With vegetables, you must plant them, wait for them to come up, and nurture them with good organic materials and soil to keep them healthy, so they produce bountiful crops.

Also, there is no rushing them to grow and so it forces me to have faith in the process of nature.

As a real estate professional and avid gardener, I think that new communities and even established ones should incorporate into the home landscapes as well as common areas more opportunities for people to garden.  I believe the benefits are proven and I think creating an area with some raised dirt and a trowel is cheaper to build than a new rec center or clubhouse that many times go largely unused.

I hope you enjoyed my first of a series of gardening thoughts and ideas. I like to think that I am a garden coach of sorts and would love to connect with folks to discuss gardening as well as their real estate needs. I also plan on writing more about my garden experiences moving forward and including them in our ZEN Blog.

*Source:    https://www.fastcompany.com/90504125/princeton-researchers-discover-that-home-gardening-is-basically-the-answer-to-societys-ills

 

 

Rey has lived in the Orlando/Central Florida area since 1989. He has been actively involved in the real estate market since 1994 successfully buying, renovating, and selling homes in the area. In today's digital world, buyers and sellers are looking for more than someone to find and or sell a home. They are looking for someone that can expertly and mindfully guide them through the process. Rey brings a strong understanding of the residential market, expert negotiating skills and a customer-first philosophy to help each customer navigate through the steps involved in making one of the most important life and investment decisions a smooth and rewarding experience for all parties involved in each real estate transaction. Rey is a graduate of The University of Florida and holds various real estate certifications and continues to make time for ongoing training to be on top of his profession. Rey also is a certified yoga instructor and brings those philosophies into his life and career. Rey’s hobbies include gardening, yoga, and travel.

Specialties: 

Buyer's Agent │Listing Agent │Multigenerational Homes │Global Relocation │Consulting

Contact Realtor® Rey:
Call/Text: 407-443-6666 │Email: rey@zenlivingrealty.com 
│www.mindfulrealtors.com

Posted in Zen Tips
May 15, 2020

Rental Properties: Are They Worth It?

 

It’s only a hassle if you’re not in control. There are a lot of ways to do investment property wrong, but here are the ways to do it right so that it’s an asset, not a nuisance.

 Be picky about the property. While you don’t need to purchase anything high-end, always choose something you could live in with no problem. The neighborhood is decent. The roof doesn’t leak. There are no mold or pest issues.

If you’re not handy, find someone that is to help you out. Houses need maintenance. Taking care of your property is part of the business of ownership.

Buy extended warranties on the appliances. If something goes wrong, you can get them repaired or replaced instead of having to buy new ones.

Take charge of the pool care, landscaping, pest control and other services. Your tenants will be happier, and your property will be better for it.

Have a strong rental contract or lease agreement. Get expert advice so that you’re in compliance with all tenant laws, but don’t leave yourself open to fishy situations.

Hire a management service if you aren’t able to handle the day-to-day personally. Remember, rental property isn’t mobile, so if your career moves you across the state or across the country, you don’t want to have to sell the rental before you can move. At Zen Living Realty we only partner with the best professionals in the industry. We can help you connect the dots.

Owning a rental property is a long term investment. You won’t make your money back in the first year, or even the first several. It’s a long term investment. Don’t plan to live solely on the money unless you can invest in several rental units. But if you do it right, you’ll have a reliable source of passive income that will see you through your retirement years. Eventually, you’ll be able to exit your day job and live on the overage.

 Spend time with a real estate professional experienced in buying investment properties. Let them know your long term goals and how you envision your rental property business. They can help you find properties, management services, contractors for repairs and even recommend a pool guy.

 If you're looking to buy an investment home, we suggest you contact one of our agents or visit our website to chat, search for homes or schedule a virtual consultation. We can help you analyze the income potential of any homes and determine what sales price would make most sense to maximize your return on investment!

Posted in Zen Tips
April 28, 2020

What You Need to Know About the Orlando Real Estate Market



The one question our Zen customers are always asking is "How's the market?” For the last few years, the answer has been, Great! Orlando and Central Florida — as well as many other areas in the nation — have experienced a steady increase in home values. This increase has been driven by low unemployment and a low home inventory, creating a very positive scenario mainly for sellers with homes selling relatively fast at a very good market price and in some cases, under multiple offers.

But, what about the buyers? This doesn’t always paint a great picture because low inventory creates many challenges when it comes to finding a dream home. Negotiating repairs or even trying to get any seller concessions toward closing costs can become difficult. On the bright side for buyers, interest rates have reached record lows. For those whose goals have been to buy and hold on to long term investment properties, the panorama has been even better with higher market rents allowing for more return on their investments, in some cases.

The question has been shifted now to: “How's the market been affected by COVID-19?” — and even more frequently asked—What's going to happen to the market after COVID-19?

The honest answer to both questions, is that nobody really knows for sure. However, as experts in the Real Estate Market, we analyze the data and study the consumer behavior of our own relatives, friends, and past customers to come to our own conclusions.

So here's what you need to know about the Orlando real estate market:

  1. According to the Orlando Realtors Association (ORRA), the median price is $253,600, which represents an 8% increase from last year.
  2. Inventory is down by 10% and sales are up by 2%.
  3. ORRA President Reese Stewart, points out that we will have to wait another month to see solid evidence of the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Orlando's home sales statistics. "Because of the amount of time it traditionally takes a home to move through the transaction process (an average of 37 days, as of March 2020), the properties that closed in March most likely went under contract sometime in February, before the stock market declines and stay-at-home orders".

We agree with Mr. Stewart's statement. However, when talking to experts in the stock market we have a more positive outlook and believe that the market may be softening a bit within the next few months, but this would potentially create a better scenario for buyers as long as interest rates remain low.

If we start seeing more tenants defaulting on their rents due income loss, we may see some sellers entering the market and increasing the home inventory, much needed for a balanced market. Also, some of the renters that have steady income may be more eager to buy their first home rather than keep paying higher rents towards someone else's mortgage.

To sum it up, we believe there will be opportunities for both sides and that people — perhaps now more than ever — appreciate and value having a home! Staying at home these days, is literally a life saver. I don't know you, but I rather be home in a place I love and appreciate than being stuck in a space that does not bring me joy. If that is the case, please call your Team ZEN and as your local trusted real estate experts we can discuss your best options and mindfully execute a smart plan for you that will include a ZEN experience when working with us!


Stay home. Stay safe.

 

Did you find this blog post helpful? If so, whom could share it with?

 

Posted in Market Updates
April 20, 2020

What is Mindfulness?

 

    One of the greatest teachers of mindfulness and meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh, describes mindfulness as the ability to dwell in the here and now. He explains that this does not mean you never think about the past or plan responsibly for the future. "The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. You can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment."

    But what means to be grounded? Well, according to the dictionary the word grounded is an adjective and means "to be well balance and sensible". In my personal experience, a simple 10-20 min daily mindfulness or meditation can rapidly increase your focus and even your mood. To ground yourself here are a few ideas known to be very effective in achieving this ZEN state of mind:

  • Yoga: Moving your body through different poses and using your breath can be extremely beneficial for your health. 

  • Meditation: Also known as mindfulness, means to become the "observer" rather than the participant, this practice can not only relax your mind but also create space for insights and inner intuitive wisdom. 

  • Gardening: Gardening can be very grounding, specially if you walk barefoot on the grass, this is known for energizing your body and mind. Realtor® Rey shares here how to plan beautiful sunflowers.
     
  • Meditational walks/run/bike rides: Walking with the intention of clearing your mind can offer a "digital detox", a moment to just appreciate nature (if outdoors), or simply take a break from the computer or other work related tasks that can add on stress and worries about planning our future or wanting to control every minute of our days.

  • Washing dishes or doing any home chores: Yes, you are reading it right! Washing dishes and noticing how the water feels on our hands can be in itself a way of being mindful. 

    "MINDFULNESS REQUIRES THAT WE NOT OVER-IDENTIFY WITH THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS SO THAT WE ARE CAUGHT UP AND SWEPT AWAY BY NEGATIVITY" Brené Brown

    Zen Living Realty's slogan "A Mindful Approach To Your Real Estate Needs" results in more ease while achieving your desired results. Our intention is to be present and our goal is to serve mindfully our local community and those who chose to partner with us throughout the real estate process.

     Ready for your Zen real estate experience?  Wherever you are in the buying or selling process, call us for a no-obligation consultation. We are generous with our enthusiasm and market experience. During Corvid-19, to protect the health and safety of our team and you we exercise safe-distancing practices. Call us today at (407) 800-2717. 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Zen Tips
April 13, 2020

Gardening Tips to Help Your Yard And Your Mind

 

In times of corona-virus we have no choice but to re invent ourselves. Though millions of households at the beginning of the year already had their own gardens started, there should be no surprise that the numbers are on the rise. With everything going on in the world, the idea of not having to leave the comfort of your home for sustenance is quite appealing. Not only is gardening a great way to source your own food, but it is also an excellent way to pass the time if you feel like you have a bit extra on your hands at the moment. If you have never gardened before, doing a little research ahead of time can make all the difference in how well your garden succeeds. Here are a few tips to help you get started!


Start Inside


Though temperatures are on the rise, evenings may still be chilly depending on where you live. Starting your vegetable growth indoors will protect them from any potential freezing. Growing your seedlings indoors also gives them the opportunity to get a little stronger before facing the harsh conditions that can arise outside.


Choose The Best Location

 

Before preparing your garden, you will want to find out what spot of your yard is best for your beds. You will likely want a spot where there is direct sun for at least 8 hours a day, as this is the norm for many vegetables.

 

Install Raised Beds

 

Once you’ve found the best location and your seedlings are growing, you will want to prepare your garden for transfer. Using raised beds allows for a deep soil stack for further root growth and can just making planting easier. It can even prevent unwanted critters from stealing your vegetables!

 

Add Pollinating Attractions & Bug Repellent

 

Bugs aren’t always bad. Having those around who will pollinate your flowering veggies can be extremely beneficial, so it is always helpful to plant flowers that attract pollinators. At the same time, planting herbs like mint and lavender will repel bad bugs and even rabbits and other animals.

  

Consider An Irrigation System


Properly watering is a key part of having a plentiful garden. While you may be home now for those morning and evening waterings, it might be a little hard to keep up with once you are back at work if you have to leave during the day. Investing in a drip irrigation system can save you time and money, as it slowly soaks your plants without over-watering them.

 

Meditate While Gardening

 

Meditation can be simply a 5-10 min. appreciation for your home garden and nature. To bring your awareness to the present moment, perhaps leaving your phone or any electronic devices away from you for a few minutes and take some time to breath in all the things you want and breath out anything that doesn’t serve you.

 

As a Special bonus we are including a short video in which Realtor® Rey explains how to easily grow beautiful sunflowers in your garden or in a pot this summer. We hope you enjoy it and please stay healthy and safe!

 

 

Posted in Zen Tips
April 6, 2020

6 Fun At-Home Activities

 

Team ZEN just wanted to send this email to see how you’re doing and share a few activities. As we all practice social distancing, we find ourselves spending more time at home and with our families. I wanted to share with you a few fun ideas that you can do while at home. Whether it’s finding things for your kids to do while you work or a fun activity to do at night, these activities will have everyone smiling.

 


Take out a classic board game for a family game night. Monopoly, Candy Land, and Chutes and Ladders are all fun.


Lights. Camera. Action. We all have cameras and the ability to edit videos on our phones. Put your creative hat on and make your own movie with your family playing starring roles.

 



Use cardboard or blankets to build forts throughout your home. Use your forts to have a family campout inside.



It’s important to stay connected during this tough time. Schedule video calls with friends and family.

 

 

If it’s safe, go outside for a walk or play in your backyard. If it’s nice, get outside or open a window for some fresh air.



Use pictures of family members or characters to create a fun scavenger hunt.

 

We hope that these ideas and tips will help bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones. We would love to hear what you’re doing to keep your family busy while you’re at home. Please be safe, be healthy and please reach out to anyone you trust if you start feeling a bit depress or sad. These feelings are very common but just know you are not alone. Team Zen is sending you positive vibes and loving thoughts!

 

 

Posted in Zen Tips