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Earth Day Highlands Hammock State Park

by Maureen Cool

Celebrate Earth Day on April 1st with a visit to the Highlands Hammock State Park. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn how different government agencies are working to take care of the Earth. The event will be held from 10AM to 3PM.

Visitors can enjoy guided nature walks and various exhibits while the kids will have various activities to interest them, including an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt. Any child who completes the scavenger hunt will receive a pair of binoculars. Talks will be held at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM where everyone can have a chance to learn about Florida’s history. Guests only pay the park entry fee of $4.00 for a single occupant vehicle or $6 for vehicles with up to eight people. To find out more, you can visit the Highlands County website.

When: Saturday, April 1, 2017, 10AM – 3PM

Where: Highlands Hammock State Park, 5931 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33872

Image courtesy teadrinker/pixabay.com

Just Listed - 1063 Rebel Ave., Lake Placid $249,900

by Maureen Cool

Beautiful 4 Bed 2.5 Bath Custom Home!

Sebring Real Estate

Welcome to 1063 Rebel Ave in Highlands Park Estates just east of US 27 and convenient downtown Lake Placid.  This beautiful custom home has gracious cover front porch that greets you as you enter the home.  Entering the home through a beautiful beveled glass door with transom and sidelights, you step into a large open hallway with the living room to the right and dining room to the left. Features include lots of arched detail, high tray ceilings and columns.

The gourmet kitchen features granite-like counter tops, tiled back splash, solid wood cabinetry and stainless appliances. The spacious family room opens to screened lanai. With a split floor plan the large master suite has French doors opening to the screened lanai.  

The Master bathroom boosts a corner soak tub, dual sink vanity and glass enclosed walk in shower. Three spacious secondary bedrooms include one with French doors which is perfect for a home office. In addition to guest/hall bathroom home features a powder room. The home has attractive tiled flooring throughout. The home also included a detached garage which is plumbed.  This room can be converted to man cave or apartment.

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Just Listed - 4528 Westminster Rd, Sebring $149,900

by Maureen Cool

Spacous 4 Bed 2 Bath Home Located in Harder Hall Neighborhood!

Sebring Real Estate

Welcome to 4528 Westminster Rd located in the much desired Harder Hall neighborhood.  This home is much bigger than it looks with over 2,000 LSF under air.  The home greets you with an open feel when entering with a spacious living room/dining room combination.  The dining room flows nicely to the family room.  The home features four bedrooms and two bathrooms. 

The master bedroom has a private bathroom with step in shower.  The hall/guest bathroom is a good setup for family members getting ready in the morning.  The shower and toilet space is separated from the vanity area with by a door. 

The kitchen has a pass-through window with a bar on the family room side.  The garage was converted to the fourth bedroom or bonus room.  A door opens from the family room to a patio for grilling and entertainment.

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Four Ways Your Home Can Reduce Your Tax Obligation

by Maureen Cool

Owning a home comes with a variety of benefits, and the ability to reduce your overall tax debt is among them.  State and federal governments offer many tax incentives to homeowners, and your accountant will certainly be able to help you determine which ones you qualify for, but here are four of the most common home-ownership-related deductions you can use to reduce your tax debt.

Interest Payments

Deducting the interest you pay on your home mortgage is one of the oldest and most-commonly used methods to save money on your taxes. This method is especially effective during the early years – as most loan payment schedules are structured to be more interest heavy in the early years. You can deduct the interest payments on both your primary residence and secondary residence if your total loan amount is less than one million dollars and you itemize.

Mortgage Points

For tax purposes, mortgage points are a form of prepaid interest, and as such, can be deducted in full during the same year in which they were purchased. So, if you bought a home in 2016 and purchased points, you can deduct that entire amount on your 2016 tax return.

Points purchased when refinancing work differently. These points are deducted over the life of the loan. So, if you refinanced to a 30-year fixed, you can deduct 1/30th of your points each year for 30 years.

Property Tax

Property tax is tax deductible, but many people neglect to take this deduction because they rarely pay their property tax directly – it’s normally paid out of an escrow account. You can find the amount you paid in property tax by reviewing your annual statement sent to you by your lender each year.

Home Improvements

Home improvements are also tax deductible, but there is a caveat: The home improvements must add value to the home – routine maintenance does not qualify. So, if you have made or plan to make, capital improvements to your home like adding a deck, installing a new roof or redoing the kitchen, make sure to save your receipts; you’re going to need them come tax time.

These are just four areas that people normally can deduct from their taxes with little to no problems. There are more, but they can be a bit more complex and, normally, require the assistance of a tax professional to deduct correctly.

Photo courtesy of Sal Falko at Flickr.com.

Seminole Spirit 5K Run/Walk

by Maureen Cool

Participate in a fun 5K run or walk with Highlands Seminole Club on March 25th for a good cause. The proceeds from the event go to benefit the club’s scholarship funds. You can wear your favorite college colors and you might even win for having the best school spirit.

The race begins at 8:00 AM at Highlands Hammock State Park. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors, enjoy some exercise and support a good cause. To find out more or to purchase tickets, see the Facebook page for the event.

When: Saturday, March 25, 2017, 8:00 AM

Where: Highlands Hammock State Park

Image courtesy skeeze/pixabay.com

How to Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal

by Maureen Cool

Want to improve your home’s curb appeal?  Please remove the sofa, and any other interior furniture for that matter, from your front and back yard (this of course, does not include furniture exclusively designed for exterior use.)  Your home’s curb appeal is absolutely crucial in the sale and marketing of your home.  The property surrounding your home should resonate the awareness of this angle in marketability.  As the saying goes, “the first impression is the last impression”.  This philosophy should be viewed as high priority and is absolutely applicable in the marketing and sale of your home.  For those that may not be completely familiar with the aspect of curb appeal, it refers to any exterior aspect of your house, and the property that accompanies it.

Home buyers will initiate their home search on the internet.  Here, they will examine multiple houses, distinguishing each by the attached pictures.  In many cases, multiple photos of each house are offered, including interior and exterior images.  Typically, though, the first picture advertised is that of your home from a distance.  Therefore, it is imperative that great curb appeal is accentuated.  The importance of curb appeal boils down to the fact that the maintenance of the exterior of your home is indicative of the maintenance of the interior.  People immediately develop a conception that if the outside has not been maintained, than neither has the inside.  A judgment has already been formed, before even stepping foot inside, and perhaps even reducing your home to merely a drive-by.

Curb appeal, as mentioned before, includes the exterior facets of the home.  Some examples include, but are not limited to:  the lawn, flower beds, walkways, exterior lighting, ornamental accents, and the actual house itself (siding, brick, front door, windows, shutters, etc.).  All need to be in showcase condition.  The lawn for instance, needs to be nicely manicured, while the flower beds should be weeded, and the shutters should all be hung level.  You want the buyers to pull into the drive with an “oh my goodness, it’s so welcoming” feel. 

You want your house to stand out among the rest in person, online, or wherever else it may be marketed.  Right?  Well, to achieve this, attention from the buyers must be grabbed right off the bat.  This requires the incorporation of simple things, such as the use of color and utilization of accent solar lighting.  Colorful free standing flower urns, a colorful front door, or a variety of color in your flower beds (all within reason of course), are great ways to get the attention of the prospective buyer.  Consider incorporating landscape solar lighting accentuating focal points of your front yard.  Perhaps the walkway, or beds, or trees, or the use of spotlights illuminating the whole house.  Remember, people will drive by at night. 

The increased value of your home is an additional benefit to having great curb appeal.  The appraised value will be higher for a home with beautiful landscaping than that of one with little, to no, landscaping.  Pleasing curb appeal not only entices the buyer, but it also directly effects the value.  For every cosmetic fix, or upgrade, or even cleaning you attend to on your exterior, money is put into your wallet.

With so many home choices on the market today, your curb appeal could win over a homebuyer.  Be proud of your yard.  After all, it is a direct representation of the love you have had for your home.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and/or help you determine the value of your home.
 

Maureen Cool, CRS
RE/MAX Realty Plus

www.TheCoolTeam.com
Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

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Maureen Cool  is your ultimate real estate resource for Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy shadowfirehearts/pixabay.com

12 Hours of Sebring

by Maureen Cool

The annual 12 Hours of Sebring will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Events begin at 8:00 AM with the warm-up with the race starting at 10:40 AM.

Gates open on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 and remain open for 24 hours a day until the race is finished. Special races and qualifying events will take place on the days preceding the big 12-hour race. Some of the races you can see include the Continental Challenge, the Porsche GT3 Cup and the Prototype Challenge. For more information on this event, see the International Sebring Raceway website.

When: Saturday, March 18, 2017 8:00 AM

Where: Sebring International Raceway, 113 Midway Drive, Sebring, FL 33870

Image courtesy Alex Archambault/flickr.com

How to Buy a Home in Any Market

by Maureen Cool

Every day it seems that something happens to affect the real estate market. Mortgage interest rates are currently on the rise. Home prices are going up in many areas. Inventories of homes for sale are low, so available properties are scarce.

Consumers may not know how to buy a home under today’s conditions. Fortunately, best practices don’t change. Whether it’s a buyer’s market, seller’s market, or something in between, these tips will help you buy a home in any market.

  • Don’t to get too emotional about the process of buying a home. It’s easy to lose your cool if the property you love is sold before you get a chance to look at it, or if someone outbids you for your dream house. Remember that there are always more properties out there, and that you will find one that is right for you.
  • Don’t try to time the market. Purchasing a home is a long-term investment. You are going to live in this house for several years. Don’t rush to buy because you think prices are going up, or put off buying because you think prices are falling.
  • Do make your best offer. A lowball offer on a property simply wastes the seller’s time, and your own. If you are serious about buying the house, put your best foot forward and make an offer that reflects the value of the home and the neighborhood.
  • Do work with a good Realtor®. A knowledgeable real estate professional can help you get a good house at a fair price, instead of overpaying for a home you don’t like, or not finding a property at all. Your Realtor® knows the market and can help you find the best options in your price range. They’ll also help you structure your offer to make it attractive to the seller.

In this real estate market, home buyers could use a helping hand. Contact me today for an appointment to discuss the property you’re looking for. I can guide you through the buying process and help you end up with your dream home.Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home.

Maureen Cool, CRS
RE/MAX Realty Plus

www.TheCoolTeam.com
Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Let’s Connect!

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Google+
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Maureen Cool is your ultimate real estate resource for Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy Michelle Meiklejohn, FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A temporary exhibit is showing at the South Florida Sate College Museum of Florida Art and Culture. The exhibit focuses on the Seminole Indians and will be available to see on March 11.

The artist, Muffy Clark, uses a process called batik. The technique uses media that is dye-resistant and a wax on cloth. The artist creates simple figures with vivid colors to provide a modern interpretation on the historic people who lived in South Florida, mainly the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes. Also showing at this time are dolls the Seminole tribe have made since the 1940s. To find out more, you can visit the college website.

When: March 11, 2017

Where: South Florida State College

Image courtesy Timeship/pixabay.com

Inspiration for Design

by Maureen Cool

If you’re just moving into a new home or would like to brighten the home you’re already living in, a little inspiration can go a long way to making your living space fantastic.  The resources available, from magazines to television networks, to help showcase the best in design are numerous. Perhaps overwhelmingly so! To get right to the heart of the matter, here’s a list of some of the best websites offering decorating and design advice.

HGTV.com
The television network offers a companion website that gives you quick access to a broad variety of ideas. You can browse their huge article database by room, and even color. Like pink? How about 188 options. Prefer an Eclectic style? HGTV.com offers 1,189 ideas.

Home Designing
This website brings you design concepts from around the world. Want to see design ideas for an Umbrian villa? Or see the perfect home for cat lovers? Home Designing has intriguing ideas and beautiful photography.

House Beautiful
The companion website to the magazine offers tips from top designers, delightful weekly tips, and suggestions for more than 100 color palettes. In addition, they actively cultivate posts from top design blogs from around the country!

Better Homes and Gardens
The BH&G magazine has been helping amateur designers with ideas for decades.  And they’ve brought their expertise to the web with this well-organized site. Articles such as 38 Blank Wall Solutions and 25 Weekend Home Decorating Projects can keep you busy sprucing up your home for months!

Apartment Therapy
The title says Apartment, but let me assure you, this site is full of wonderful ideas that are perfect for a smaller home.  There are some truly fantastic suggestions available here for working with small space, green living and general decorating projects. In addition, their sister site, theKitchn, focuses exclusively on life in the kitchen, from design to delicious recipes.

The bottom line is that everything you can do to make your home more functional and beautiful will pay off every day. And the value added to resale value should not be overlooked. If you get to the point that you’re ready to move on, contact me and let me help you get the most from your investment.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, help you determine the value of your home or help you find your dream home.
 

Maureen Cool, CRS
RE/MAX Realty Plus

www.TheCoolTeam.com
Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Let’s Connect!

Facebook
Google+
Pinterest

Maureen Cool is your ultimate real estate resource for Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

image courtesy of John Woodcock/hgtv.com

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Photo of Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS Real Estate
Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS
RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South
Sebring FL 33870
863-873-7243
Fax: 863-385-5897

Maureen Cool * RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South, Sebring, Florida 33870
Office: 863-385-0077 X215
Direct: 863-873-7243
Fax: 863-385-5897

 
           


 

Maureen Cool of RE/MAX Realty Plus offers real estate services to buyers, sellers, relocation's in the Highlands County real estate area.

Including Polk County, Hardee County, Okeechobee County, Desota County and Glades County.


Whether you are looking for luxury, investment, second home, commercial, bank owned, foreclosures properties Maureen Cool and The Cool Team are your real estate professionals for the entire Central Florida area.
 

Maureen Cool is your Luxury Home Expert in Highlands County. 
She can assist you with your Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid real estate needs. 

 

 

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