Real Estate Blog

My wife is English. She decided after almost 15 years to get her US citizenship. First we had to go to New Orleans. Next we had to appear in Atlanta. Having lived in Denver for a good part of our lives, being in the "big" city was just normal for us. Heck, Jill had even lived in London and Paris at one point. But, on this last trip to Atlanta a sudden realization befell us. Simply put, we were done. Done with the insane traffic. Done with the clutter. Done with the noise. Done with the pollution. Done with the crowds. Done with life at 75 mph.

As we topped the Foley Expressway Bridge by The Wharf I said to Jill, "Honey, you're back on the island." She teared up and said "I've never lived anywhere else that gave me such a sense of peace as Orange

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Okay, so I won't bore you with all of the specifics, but here are some high-level things that will look differently next time you buy or sell a home (primary or secondary).

  • The ubiquitous HUD-1 form that has been used for years which shows both sides of the transaction is out, the new Closing Disclosure ("CD") showing only one side of the transaction is in 
  • The CD is prepared by your lender (not the title company) and you must receive it 3 days before scheduled closing (not 1 day like before)
  • Because the CD contains confidential personal information, your lender cannot share it with your agent
  • The information needed to prepare the CD must be provided to the lender 10 to 14 days prior to closing and is typically compiled by the title company
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In case you missed it,, the top travel Website in the world awarded Orange Beach, Alabama, it's prestigious 2015 Traveler's Choice Award as "Top Destinations on the Rise -- United States."

TripAdvisor stated "A great family beach vacation spot, the Alabama Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer wonderful dining experiences, dolphin siting cruises, championship golf courses, fishing charters and nature hikes. Choose from national hotel and motel chains, camping or a variety of beach houses for your stay. There are numerous options for nightlife, from family entertainment to rocking roadhouses, enjoy your pick of plays, free concerts, dancing or just listening to any number of musical stylings at a local hot spot." You can find the link here:

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Most of us dream of having that special place to escape to with our families. But, who can afford to carry a second home? Actually, if you are selective, you can. It takes a down payment, true. The trick, though, is not to just cash flow the cost of a vacation home, but to earn a return on the amount of your down payment as well as sheltering your rental income so that it does not impact your taxes. Is that even possible? Yes, absolutely! Does it work for every property? No! Absolutely not. You have to be selective and choose those properties with a solid and proven rental history. You also have to be smart about it and not use the place yourself to such an extent that you defeat your financial plan. Working with people that know the different complexes

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Have you ever had a "pinch me" moment? For my wife and me, these have become weekly occurrences. Why should that matter to you? Because, we have lived in and visited many places around the globe, our most recent home being in Costa Rica. As great a reputation as Costa Rica has, it doesn't hold a candle to Orange Beach, Alabama as a place to call home. Orange Beach is a quite town. A friendly town. It is a cost-effective town with great services and low taxes. Let me give you a concrete example. Our community health facility is $75 per person per year for residents. The facility rivals what we used to pay $30 a month per person to attend in Denver. The golf membership for residents is only $125 per person per year, all you can play (carts are extra). The

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Get Ready Folks!  October 8-11th will be the upcoming National Shrimp Festival located in beautiful Gulf Shores Alabama.  If you've never been to this annual event, you should definitely make plans to visit Gulf Shores for this spectacular weekend.  Food, Crafts and Music will fill the streets of Gulf Shores Alabama.  The Seafood is my favorite part of this event.  You will find anything your palate desires and don't forget to try the Cajon Pistols!  No way to explain that delicious delectable!

Don't miss Dr. Zarr and the Funk Monsters on Friday evening.  You can "get down" to the 80's disco band that will have you rocking all night long.  

This festival will be held on the beautiful beach in Gulf Shores so it just doesn't get any better than this.

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If you are considering buying or selling, you should have confidence in today’s market.  As we approach the middle of 2015, the residential real estate market is on track for its best year since 2006 according to  In the past 12 months, over 3 million jobs have been created across the county.  With this job growth comes an increased demand for homes and with mortgage lending becoming easier to obtain with historically low interest rates..  Homes are selling quickly too.  The median age of inventory in May nationwide was 66 days on the market which is 8 days faster than the previous year.  If you are ready to buy or sell, contact our team at Realty 1st  877-504-9716.  We currently have over 15K registered buyers and sellers on our website. 

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What is Gumbo Key? 

Via the Facebook page, Gumbo Key is described as:

Gumbo Key is a tropical, mythical place that appears from time to time. The floating musical venue is a place for friends

and family to meld together in our Gulf Coastal waters while soaking up the fine sounds of Live Southern bands.

When will Gumbo Key appear?
The first appearance will be Saturday, June 21, which happens to be The Summer Solstice and the first day of Summer 2015. 

Where will Gumbo Key appear? 
Gumbo Key can move with the breeze. The year's approximate GPS position is: 
30° 16' 57.39" N
87° 32' 50.23" W
It's east of Bird and west of Ono Islands

What time does the party start? 
We're shooting for High Noon and will pull up anchor by 5 o'clock somewhere. 

How do I

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TripAdvisor reviews are in for the month of April and Gulf Shores was ranked among the top 13 "hidden gems" in the country for its pristine beaches and kid friendly atmosphere.  Click the link for the full story.

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