Setting your sights on the right site

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Solar orientation. “My parents were looking at a lot on a pond in Florida,” said Hirsch. “I told them if they bought on the other side of the pond, they could have the sun at their backs while they sat on their porch, instead of glare from the pond.”

Solar orientation varies by climate, he added. “In a warm climate, you want your living area in the shade. In a cold climate, you welcome the sun,” Hirsch said.
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Smart ways to come up with down-payment cash

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Although cheaper prices and record-low mortgage rates have made homebuying increasingly attractive, tight lending standards continue to keep consumers on the sidelines. And while a beefed-up FICO score and documentation requirements may have slowed the process, it’s the pile of cash needed to secure financing that prevents many would-be buyers from becoming homeowners.
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Home sales surge in Volusia, dip slightly in Flagler

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Home sales in May jumped more than 19 percent in Volusia County compared with a year ago, while sales dipped 3 percent in Flagler County.
Both, area Realtors say, are signs the local housing market has heated up.

Carole Keller, sales manager for Weichert Realtors Hallmark Properties in Palm Coast, said the slight decline in Flagler County is the result of the shrinking inventory of available existing homes, which in May declined 36.5 percent, and overall price increases.
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Orlando home prices up 37% since start of 2012

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Orlando-area home-resale prices have risen more in the past 12 months than they would typically increase during five years of steady appreciation.

Existing-home prices in the core Orlando market during May hit a median of $148,000 — up 23 percent from a year ago and up 3.1 percent from just a month earlier, according to a report released Monday by the Orlando Regional Realtors Association.
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Upward trend for building permit activity continues for second quarter in row

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After falling sharply in the fourth quarter of last year, residential and commercial building permit activity in Volusia County has risen for two consecutive quarters.

Rick Michael, director of Volusia County’s Division of Economic Development, said the increase in residential activity for two quarters in a row suggests the downturn in the fourth quarter of last year may have been a bottoming out of the area’s housing market, which has been in a slump since early 2006.
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More building permits issued in Sarasota and Manatee counties

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SOUTHWEST FLORIDA – Building permits rose again during August in both Sarasota and Manatee counties, another sign the growing recovery in new home construction continued.

The number of permits for new buildings issued in the two counties rose 16 percent compared with August 2011. The estimated value of the newly permitted homes was $51 million, an 8 percent increase compared with the same month last year.
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