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What’s Lighting Up The Daytona Sky?

The talk has been flying around town as to what has been lighting up the Daytona night sky along the Halifax River. It’s not a bird, or a plane, but the dazzling purple hue of the lights shining from one of Daytona Beach’s exclusive residences, Marina Grande. Here’s your chance to step through the doors of Marina Grande and see why residents here are all aglow.

Marina Grande offers a waterfront lifestyle second to none at prices that will leave you speechless. Residents are enjoying the resort-style pools and amenities with friends and family. Ping-pong, foosball, darts-pick your pleasure. Host a family movie night following a day at the beach, or stay in shape at the modern fitness center. A 28-slip private marina makes it easy to enjoy great fishing and boating on the Halifax River.

When it comes to choosing their waterfront home, residents of Marina Grande are treated to a wide array of floor plans. European cabinetry and granite countertops complement the modern motif. Elegant master baths, marble showers, and countertops, along with Vita jetted bathtubs create a luxury experience in the bathroom. Floor to ceiling glass doors show off the spectacular views of the Atlantic and the Halifax River. Nine-foot ceilings and expansive private terraces add to the appeal.

Marina Grande is also minutes away from Daytona’s newest dining and entertainment venues. Residents can be at ONE Daytona, LPGA International, or the beach within a matter of minutes. But what really has prospective homebuyers talking is the extraordinary pricing available on the remaining inventory. Starting at 1,822 sq. feet and priced from the $200s up to the $600s – there is no other comparable waterfront offering in the State of Florida.

Request a fact sheet today to see why Marina Grande Daytona is an unbelievable deal. Decorated models are open daily for tours. 

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The Differences Between Coops & Condos

What You Need to Know About Condos

Condominiums are buildings or complexes that house a multitude of families with shared grounds, services, and amenities. Condos are individually assessed real estate properties that will be taxed separately from the other units by the city. While condo owners don’t have to worry about the building’s mortgage, the condo association that manages the building will determine the budget for the building and its grounds, charging each unit for a monthly “common charge.” Although a condo’s monthly cost might be lower than a similar coop might be lower, the initial purchase price will be significantly higher.

What You Need to Know About Coops

What is known as a “coop,” or a cooperative, is a corporation that owns a building. If you own a “coop,” you own stock in the corporation, and thereby have propriety rights to a specific unit in the building. How many shares in the stock you own will determine the size of your unit, the floor of your unit, and certain amenities or view. Any monthly maintenance fees are based on the percentage of shares you own to the total number of shares in the building.

When you own a coop, your monthly maintenance payment covers your share of three types of expenses:

  1. Covers your share of any basic operating costs or upkeep, such as heat, water, electricity, etc. This also covers your share of any building maintenance staff, the superintendent, management, and other building employees. Liability and other insurance for the building is also covered here.
  2. You pay your share of real estate taxes on the entire building.
  3. The last expense is either your share of the building’s mortgage, or a refinance or equity loan.

Although the list of expenses may sound like a lot of things that you’ll need to cover, the purchase price of shares in a coop will generally be lower than the price of an equal condo unit.

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What You Need to Know About Rent to Own Condos

Why People Choose the Rent-to-Own Option

The two most common reasons that people choose the rent-to-own option are:

  1. They have poor credit
  2. They don’t have the finances for a mortgage now, but will likely have it in the near future.

It’s important to remember that usually you have to be able to qualify for a traditional mortgage within a few years of moving in. If you don’t have the ability to put down the mortgage, you may lose all of the extra money you’ve been putting in.

How do Rent-to-Own Condo Arrangements Work?

All of the rent-to-own condo agreements are going to be different, each state will have its own requirements and regulations. However, a typical rental-purchase agreement will involve the renter/buyer having the option to purchase the property after a set period of time. This time period is, on average, 3 to 4 years. This will be achieved by an option payment, which is typically a one-time payment to the seller offering the buyer the option to purchase the condo at the end of the period. On average the option price is typically 3% of the total purchase price. Usually the option price will be 2.5% to 7%, which is substantially less than the 20% down payment of most mortgages.

How do Rental Payments Work for Rent-to-Own Condos?

The renter/buyer agrees to pay the full amount of rent during the lease, but a percentage of the rent will be applied towards the purchase price. This percentage, which is on average 25% of the rent, will become the rent credit.

When are Rent-to-Own Condos a Good Idea?

Rent-to-own condos are a great option for those who are recovering from bad credit or for those who aren’t ready to make the down payment on a mortgage. Rental-purchase agreements give the potential homeowners a chance to build up a good credit history and some additional time to save money.

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How to Avoid These 3 Costly Condo Buyer Mistakes

It’s important to do your homework when you’re buying real estate. Learn how to avoid these 3 costly condo buyer mistakes by researching and working with a good agent.

1. Offering the Wrong Amount

Depending on the situation, buyers can offer too much on a condo, or too little and lose the sale. Some buyers pay too much because:

  • Buyer offers too much because they went off emotion. Buyers tend to pay too much when they fall in love with a condo and gets attached too quickly.
  • Buyer fails to notice important differences after using the wrong comps when deriving a price. Differences in layouts, views, and other details can make a big difference in price.
  • Buyer offers too much thinking there’s a competition

Some buyers will offer too little and regret it later. They might offer too little because:

  • Buyer uses the wrong comp when deriving a price, but the condo might really be worth the difference.
  • Buyer thinks they should always offer a certain amount below the list price.
  • Buyer makes an insultingly low offer and the seller might refuse to work with them again.

Make sure you do your homework and check with your agent before making an offer on the condo you want.

2. Not Learning What is Important to the Seller

You would think that the price is always the most important term when it comes to a sale, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes the seller might need a quick settlement. They might be moving or closing on a new home. Ask the seller, or have your agent ask. Having a good agent will be helpful because they’ll know the right questions to ask to help you with your sale.

3. Failing to Get Pre-Approved for Financing

Getting pre-approved will save you a lot of hassle in the future. If you aren’t pre-approved, it could hurt you when you go to make an offer. A lot of sellers won’t respond to offers that don’t come with a pre-approval letter. This will put you at a disadvantage if you are competing against other buyers.

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5 Fantastic Features to Look for in Your First Condo

When you’re looking for your first condo, there are a lot of different amenity choices. Depending on your needs and your budget, there are quite a few to choose from. We’ve rounded up a list of 5 fantastic features to look for in your first condo.

1. In-Suite Laundry

Doing laundry outside of your own home can be a serious hassle. It’s much better to have an in-suite washer and dryer than having to worry about having enough change or if there will be enough washers open. We understand how much of a hassle it can be, so MG on the Halifax has in-suite washers and dryers available for your convenience.

2. Walk-In Closets

When you’re done with the laundry, having a nice walk-in closet to easily put away your clothes is a great amenity. Walk-in closets are great for storing your belongings and allow you to easily see your outfits.

3. Secure Parking

No one wants to worry about the security of their vehicle. It’s important to find a condo that has secure parking so you feel safe walking to and from your vehicle. It’s even better if condos offer covered or underground parking to protect you and your vehicle from the elements.

4. Terrace or Balcony

Having an outdoor space such as a terrace or a balcony gives you the perfect place to entertain guests or relax. It’s nice to have somewhere to enjoy the warm weather, grill your dinner, or just relax in the fresh air. It’s not quite a necessity, but it definitely makes a big difference.

 

5. Luxury Amenities

Luxury amenities don’t come standard with most condos. MG on the Halifax offers top of the line amenities like an 18 seat THX certified movie theater, 2 gorgeous swimming pools, a marina, banquet space, his and hers steam saunas, and meticulously manicured grounds. You won’t find luxury amenities just anywhere, so be sure to check what special amenities each condos have.

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Indoor Gardening for Your Condo

Living in a beautiful condo such as the Marina Grande, you might not have the outdoor space to grow a garden. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your love for gardening indoors! As long as you have a little space and a little time, you can relish in the benefits of indoor gardening.

Light

Indoor plants need light to thrive. Depending on your setup, you can use the natural light from your windows or a grow light to help your plants get the light they need. It’s important to get the right plants for the amount of light you can provide. Be sure to check the tag that comes with the plants for the light amount needed. If you’re using a grow light, make sure you have a bulb that emits the same wavelengths as the sun to promote photosynthesis, as regular lightbulbs won’t work.

Temperature

It’s important to know what temperature your plants need to survive. 65-75°F is best for most plants. Plants that are too hot will be weak and small, where plants that are too cool will have yellow leaves that fall off.

Growing Medium

Potted plants need a specific planting medium. Look for a mix that is good for indoor plants that will remain loose and drain well. The medium also needs to have enough nutrients and moisture. This is just as important to a plant’s growth as light.

Hydroponics

If you’re looking to try something new, fun, and equally rewarding, you should look into hydroponics! Basically, hydroponics is gardening without the soil, providing the nutrients directly to the roots using water. Hydroponics results in faster plant growth and uses smaller containers.

Watering

Always use room-temperature water and water your plants when the soil closer to the edge of the pot is dry. Make sure that your plants can drain correctly since plants that soak in water are much more likely to get root rot.

Plants

Choose plants based on your personal interests, experience, and what space and light you can provide. There are so many different plants available to indoor gardening, and depending on your creativity and dedication, your options are pretty limitless. Succulents, herbs, and Impatiens are a great place to start!

Balcony Gardening

Don’t want your plants taking up space indoors? Look into the available amenities your condo offers, such as turning your connected terrace into an outdoor oasis with small potted palm trees. Just be sure to check with any condo bylaws for rules or regulations against planting on a terrace or balcony. Marina Grande on the Halifax allows plants on your outdoor terrace, but there is a size limit.

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Condo Insurance 101

Are you interested in finding out about if condo insurance is right for you? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to  finding the best insurance policy. Lets talk about what condominium insurance is, what it covers, what it costs, and more.

What is Condo Insurance?

Condo insurance exclusively covers the interior of your condo unit. Insurance for an individual unit is called an HO-6 policy. This is a specific policy that will provide you with a range of coverage. Generally an HO-6 policy will cover things like interior walls, appliances, personal property, legal fees due to a lawsuit, and liability claims due to a person’s injury or property damage. An HO-6 will also cover loss of use in the case your unit is considered unlivable due to fire or storm damage. Anything outside of your specific unit is typically the responsibility of your condo association.  The best way to think of it is in terms of who owns what.

How Much Does Condo Insurance Cost?

The average cost of condominium insurance can range from $100 to $400 a year, depending on a number of factors. Generally, the cost of your insurance depends on the amount of coverage you select and the value of your personal property. It’s a good idea to find the best deals on insurance by using websites that allow you to build, customize, and bundle insurance policies online. You can also get discounts by having your condo insurance under the same provider as your auto insurance.

How Much Condo Insurance Do I Need?

Finally, how much insurance you need depends entirely on your unit and the cost of your possessions. You can figure out a rough estimate by calculating how much it’d take to replace your personal items in the event of a fire or burglary. Connect with an insurance agent to ensure you’re getting the right coverage.

 

 

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The Best Devices for Smart Condos

Technology has improved leaps and bounds over just the last decade, and now you can use technology to make your home work for you. With gadgets like automated light systems, thermostats that can cool off your condo before you get home, and intuitive control systems, your devices are now connected to the internet. This means that they can communicate with you, send you information, and take your commands. If you’re looking for tech that will turn your condo into a “smart home,” we’ve rounded up a few of the most useful and creative gadgets out on the market.


Amazon Echo

179.99 on Amazon

“Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask.

Echo has seven microphones and beam forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with 360° immersive sound. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).”


Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit

59.95 on Amazon

“The Click & Grow Smart Garden takes the unpredictability out of indoor gardening, so you get more fresh herbs, fruits or flowers with zero effort. Using a Smart Garden is simple. Just insert the plant capsules, fill the water tank, and plug it in. Then, relax! Our specially developed Smart Soil and built-in sensors make sure plants get the optimal configuration of water, oxygen, and nutrients so your plants thrive with zero effort. This innovative technology will help your plants grow faster and more nutritious. No pesticides, plant hormones, or any other harmful substances.”


Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

$114.30 on Amazon

“Nest Protect has been redesigned from the inside out. It has an industrial-grade smoke sensor, can be hushed from your phone, tests itself automatically, and lasts up to 10 years. And just like the original Nest Protect, it also tells you what’s wrong and can even alert your phone.”


Petnet SmartFeeder

$119.99 on Amazon

“We believe the best nutrition for your pet is personalized. Petnet will help you make intelligent decisions when it comes to your pet’s food — bringing you joy while keeping your pets healthy and happy. The SmartFeeder will help you manage feeding times, portion sizes, proper ingredients, and have your pet’s food delivered right to your doorstep.”


Neato Botvac 

$624.30 on Amazon

“Fully-featured, Botvac Connected is the smartest, most powerful, versatile solution for automatically clean floors, everyday. With dual cleaning modes and a wide cleaning path, Botvac Connected efficiently cleans room-to-room, recharges automatically and resumes cleaning until the entire floor is clean. Works on all floor types. Use the Neato app to clean your floors anytime, from anywhere. Great for homes with pets and allergies.

Also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant so you can voice control your robot.”


 

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Volusia County’s Top Beachfront Bars

For sun, sand, and sea complemented by beachfront watering holes that brim with good times, Volusia County has everything travelers are looking for from a seaside vacation. When spending time in Volusia, be sure to pay a visit to the following beachfront bars and restaurants that are revered for their ambience, food, and sunset drink specials!

The Beach Bucket

Beloved by locals, The Beach Bucket is the perfect venue for listening to the waves crash while enjoying a meal and drinks any time of day. Revered for its omelettes, The Beach Bucket is a popular breakfast destination, but their drink specials and fish baskets lure hungry locals and vacationers alike to its setting. Watch the surfers perfect their skills while enjoying blackened mahi and a tasty Bahama Mama.

JB’s Fish Camp

Located on the Canaveral National Seashore, JB’s Fish Camp is a seafood hot spot that attracts nature lovers who come to gaze out at the sea for sightings of dolphins, manatees, and seabirds. A family-friendly destination, JB’s Fish Camp features fresh catches and specialties of the house like crab cakes, bay scallops, combination seafood platters, and even blackened alligator. Be sure to pop in for happy hour to enjoy a sunset along with a glass of house wine and a slice of key lime pie.

Salt Life Food Shack

Enjoy attractive sea views at Salt Life Food Shack while dining on terrific eats like Bahamian conch chowder, sushi rolls, or the fresh catch of the day. Salt Life Food Shack is a popular destination for its Sushi Tuesdays and Oyster and Margarita Madness on Thursday. Be sure to try the Grilled Parmesan Garlic Oysters.

The Mai Tai Bar

Situated in the Ocean Walk Shoppes, The Mai Tai Bar has a first-rate view of the band shell and the expansive Atlantic Ocean beyond it. Naturally, they are known for their delicious mai tai cocktails, but their happy hours brim with all kinds of drink specials. The bar’s gorgeous views are frequently accompanied by live music, so if you’re looking for a lively beach bar atmosphere, keep the Mai Tai Bar in mind.

Crabby Joes & Sunglow Pier

The beach setting at Crabby Joes & Sunglow Pier is the stuff of postcards. Saunter out along the pier and pop in to Crabby Joes to dine on blue lump crab cakes, blackened red snapper, or a platter filled with sweet chili teriyaki wings. Relaxed whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this restaurant won’t disappoint you with its tasty drinks and deliciously fresh fare.

The Breakers Restaurant

With its casual ambience, The Breakers Restaurant will delight your taste buds. After a stroll on the beach, step in to sample their popular corn nuggets or flavorful taco salads. No matter where you sit, you’re likely to feel a refreshing sea breeze. The Breakers is the ideal beachside eatery to enjoy a burger wearing your most comfy beachwear.

For fun in the sun with great food and drink, be sure to check out these bars and restaurants. Volusia is known for its relaxed beach atmosphere and exciting nightlife. You won’t be disappointed with your travels there.

 

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Top 8 Blogs for Condo Owners

Whether you’re ready to finance, decorate, or even sell your condo, it’s conducive to have plenty of information at your fingertips. There are plenty of great blogs out there to help you find the information you need now, or could use in the future, when it comes to the complexity of owning your own condo. We rounded up a few of our favorites for you to look through or save for future reference.

Top 8 Blogs for Condo Owners

1.  Condo Association

A blog that deals with an array of different condo-living issues, especially financial related tips. Plenty of information on lending, insurance, and general condo-living information.

2. Condo Owner

Condo Owner is a blog geared towards resort condominiums, but there’s information for all condos available. Just a few of the issues Condo Owner touches on are banking, buying and selling, insurance, legality, and maintenance.

3. Condo & HOA Smart 

Provides important information against scams and risks for those looking to buy homes in condominium and homeowners associations. They have essential information for condo buyers, real estate agents, and board members.

4. Condo Law Guru

A blog run by an attorney, Beth Grimm, who is very familiar with condo and HOA legal issues. She breaks down the laws in layman’s terms and helps those who need information regarding condominium associations. As a result, Beth Grimm has already covered a plethora of issues you might run into or want to know more about.

5. Houzz

Perfect for finding decorating ideas for your condo! They feature photos of inspirational living spaces with a product directory, so you know which items to buy to replicate your favorite look. Most of all, they have a quite a collection of condo eye-candy.

6. CondoBlog

A great resource for city guides, tips, advice, market trends, and much more. They offer a lot of unique information about condo-living news.

7. My First Condo

Has a ton of information for first-time condo owners. Find resources for getting started, buying your first condo, mortgage, renovating, and co-ops, and more.

8. Evercondo Blog

A community blog that includes “tips, interviews, and trending topics on the ins and outs of condo living and management.” Find information about all sorts of issues like budgets, avoiding issues, property management.