Brent's Blog / / Theme Park News, Orlando News, Real Estate News

Exciting news for thrill seekers out of SeaWorld Orlando today "Something is stirring beneath the surface at SeaWorld Orlando, preparing to rise from the ocean depths and soar to thrilling new heights. Get ready for the frenzy of SeaWorld’s new 200-foot-tall coaster. In 2016, this thriller will take its place atop the food chain as Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest coaster. More details on the new addition will surface in late-May. SeaWorld is a one-of-a-kind them park with a variety of attractions including awe-inspiring animal encounters, thrilling rides and spectacular shows. Follow #nothingfaster as the frenzy starts."
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on April 24th, 2015 2:18 PM

April 14, 2015

Up to Three Percent Closing Cost Assistance Available Upon Completion of Online Education Course

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced the HomePath®Ready Buyerprogram, qualifying first-time homebuyers to receive up to three percent of the purchase price in closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a HomePath property, upon completion of an online homebuyer education course.  On a $150,000 home, this could result in up to $4,500 in savings for the buyer.  In addition, Fannie Mae will reimburse the $75 cost of the homebuyer education course at the time of closing.

"Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming process," said Jay Ryan, Vice President of REO Sales, Fannie Mae. "We developed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to provide first-time homebuyers with the knowledge to make informed decisions as they navigate the complexities of the home buying process. Closing cost assistance provides a cushion many first-time buyers need to more confidently face the financial responsibilities of homeownership."

Fannie Mae has partnered with Framework®, a nonprofit created by the Housing Partnership Network and the Minnesota Homeownership Center, to offer homebuyers a homeownership education course that covers both the complexities of home buying and the responsibilities of owning a home. The course contains nine, thirty-minute sessions and is entirely online.

To be eligible for the closing cost assistance and the reimbursement of the training cost:

  • Buyers must complete the full online HomePath Ready Buyer training course on and receive the Certificate of Completion.
  • The buyer must be a first-time homebuyer (did not own a property in the past three years) with plans to reside in the property as their primary residence. Auction, pool and investor sales are not eligible.
  • The request for closing cost assistance must be made at the initial offer, submitted on or after April 14, 2015. 

Those interested in becoming a homeowner are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible. The course must be completed before submitting an offer to qualify. For more information on the course and to sign up, visit

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on April 15th, 2015 3:45 PM
Orlando Becomes First Destination To Surpass 60 Million Visitors,
Sets New Record For U.S. Tourism

ORLANDO, Fla., (April 9, 2015) - Visit Orlando, the destination's official tourism association, today announced that more than 62 million people visited Orlando in 2014. The announcement marks a new all-time record for the U.S. travel industry, solidifying Orlando's position as the most visited destination in the nation. Visitation grew five percent from 2013 as visitors from around the world came to experience all that is new across the ever-expanding destination.

"This historic milestone is the latest testament to Orlando's leadership in tourism," said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. "It's a tribute to the steadfast commitment and continued investment by our tourism community, the special brand of service that greets our visitors and the global marketing and sales efforts of our Visit Orlando team and member companies."

A record 32 million room nights were sold in Orlando in 2014, resulting in bed tax collections topping $200 million for the first time in Orange County, Fla., home to the Central Florida tourism district.

"The impact of tourism on our community is remarkable, and in fact, the travel and tourism industry is the largest generator of jobs and economic impact for our region," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. "In addition to delighting visitors and families from around the world, our travel and hospitality industry helps to support a great quality of life for Orlando's residents, including our amazing new performing arts center and outstanding sports venues."

To meet the needs of a growing number of visitors, Orange County has made investments in infrastructure, including investing in an important expansion and renovation of the nationally recognized Orange County Convention Center.

"Passing the 60 million annual visitors mark is a significant achievement for Orlando and the U.S. travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion for the U.S. economy each year," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "Thanks to the close partnership among members of Orlando's tourism community and strong leadership by public officials and Visit Orlando, this popular destination known around the world is well positioned to continue setting records in tourism."

In 2014, Walt Disney World Resort completed New Fantasyland, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort opened. Visitors to Orlando in 2015 will experience the first full year of these exciting expansions that opened in 2014 and be the first to see several new attractions, including I-Drive 360, featuring a trio of new attractions from Merlin Entertainments, as well as a multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs.

In recent years, the Orlando experience has also become more diverse, attracting an increasingly wide range of visitors. Foodies find a surprisingly sophisticated culinary destination, recognized with more "Best of the South" chef nominations by the prestigious James Beard Foundation than any city in Florida for three straight years. Luxury travelers are drawn to the five-star service at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando that opened six months ago, as well as the Ritz-Carlton Orlando and Waldorf Astoria Orlando.

Visitors are also discovering exciting new venues in which to enjoy the arts and professional sports, like the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts and the Major League Soccer stadium coming to Downtown Orlando in 2016.

About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, with representation in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area's leading industry.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on April 9th, 2015 10:16 AM
Lennar is closing out NEW construction on Vacation Homes in Paradise Palms & has chosen Global to sell the last remaining units!!

One of the most successful short-term rental communities in the Orlando area.

Offering HUGE incentives on the last few homes available.

Please contact:
Brent Ferry, REALTOR
Global Real Estate Services, Inc.

This is your last opportunity to get a new home at Paradise Palms at a heavily discounted price.

The best time to get into a rental community is at the beginning or end of construction!!
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on April 2nd, 2015 11:52 AM

Florida was home to the nation's fastest growing metro area from 2013 to 2014, according to new U.S. Census Bureau metropolitan statistical area, micropolitan statistical area and county population estimates released today.

The Villages, located to the west of the Orlando metro area, grew by 5.4 percent between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, to reach a population of about 114,000. State population estimates released in December revealed that Florida had become the nation's third most populous state. Today's estimates show Florida's growth to reach this milestone was propelled by numerous metro areas and counties within the state.

Florida contained seven of the nation's top 50 numerically gaining metro areas between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, and these areas accounted for more than three-quarters of the state's population gain over the period:

  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (with a one-year gain of about 66,000).
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (about 50,000).
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (about 41,000).
  • Jacksonville (about 23,000).
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers (about 18,000).
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (about 16,000).
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven (about 11,000).

In addition, eight counties within these metro areas were among 50 counties nationwide that gained the most population between 2013 and 2014. Collectively, these counties accounted for more than half of the state's population gain over the period:

  • All three counties in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area: Broward (with a population gain of about 24,000 over the period), Palm Beach (about 22,000) and Miami-Dade (about 21,000).
  • Two counties in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area: Orange (about 26,000) and Osceola (about 11,000).
  • One county in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area: Hillsborough (about 22,000).
  • The single counties that comprise the Cape Coral-Fort Myers and Lakeland-Winter Haven metro areas: Lee (18,000) and Polk (11,000), respectively.

Furthermore, six metro areas in Florida were among the 20 fastest-growing in the nation between 2013 and 2014. In addition to The Villages, they were Cape Coral-Fort Myers (sixth), Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island (10th), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (16th), North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (18th) and Panama City (19th).

"Florida's ascension, revealed when the 2014 state population estimates were released last December, was a significant demographic milestone for our country," Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. "These county and metro area estimates provide a more detailed picture of how this happened, showing growth in areas such as central and southern Florida."

Migration to Florida from other states and abroad was heavy enough to overcome the fact that in about half the state's counties, there were more deaths than births over the 2013 to 2014 period.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on March 26th, 2015 3:19 PM
WASHINGTON — Mar 26, 2015, 3:22 AM ET
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on March 26th, 2015 1:24 PM
TORONTO, Canada – March 9, 2015 – As Canadians head south for spring break to escape the winter chill, U.S. housing affordability remains good despite a stronger U.S. dollar, according to a new outlook released from Toronto, Canada-based BMO Private Bank.

The bank tells its clients that U.S. prices are expected to continue an upward trend in Florida, along with Arizona and other popular Canadians vacation property areas.

"U.S. housing is inexpensive when viewed through the lens of international real estate," says Jack Ablin, chief investment officer with BMO. "Residential real estate in Florida and Arizona is roughly two-to-three times median incomes. That is about half the valuation of many of America's trading partners."

Overall, U.S. house prices have increased 19 percent in the past two years, BMO says – but they're only about halfway back to their 2006 peak.

The median home price in Florida is $169,400. In comparison, the median home price for major centers in Canada is roughly $230,192 when converted to U.S. currency.

Traditional Canadian Winter destinations remain affordable. Compared to their peaks, prices in Tampa, Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas have yet to retrace half of their losses.

Sal Guatieri, senior economist, BMO Capital Markets, notes that all the regions, except Miami, were considered highly affordable in 2014 when comparing median prices with median family income; Miami was considered modestly affordable.

"With the American economy and employment gaining strength, home sales and prices should continue to rise," says Guatieri. "We expect prices to increase about 4 percent this year, and we look for the U.S. greenback to strengthen modestly further against the Canadian dollar in 2015 before weakening next year."

Florida continues to be a hotspot with Canadians – the largest foreign buyers of Florida housing. More than 500,000 Canadians currently own real estate in Florida. Popular areas include Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, Orlando-Kissimmee, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beach, Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Naples-Marco Island.

Jerry Bevers, regional mortgage manager of BMO Harris Bank in Florida and Arizona, advises that those interested in purchasing U.S. properties should consider financing the new purchase with a financial institution in the U.S. – preferably a Canadian-based bank with branches south of the border. "The process of purchasing a home and acquiring a mortgage in the U.S. is quite different than in Canada."

BMO offers the following tips for Canadians buyers:

  • Consider how much time you'll spend south of the border.
  • Consider how many months of the year you'll live there, so that your purchase reflects your lifestyle.
  • As of June 30, 2014, travelers were required to swipe passports both when they enter and when they depart each country. Canada and the U.S. will share the information. If you exceed 183 days in the U.S. in a year, you become subject to U.S. tax laws.
  • What states and neighborhoods fit your needs?
  • Since you are responsible for property maintenance, consider how easily you can access your property from your Canadian home throughout the purchasing process and after acquisition.
  • Consider flights, airlines, travel time and commuting costs.
  • It's important to understand the differences in mortgage financing and how interest is charged in the U.S.
  • Understand the impact of penalties and withholding taxes if you decide to sell your home in the U.S.
  • Do you understand the status of the property? For instance, is it labeled as short sale or on foreclosure? The status of the property can have a variety of implications. Be sure to consult an expert before making any buying decisions.
  • Is the purchase for investment or lifestyle? This affects where you buy and how you hold the property. Understand the options and what benefits you in the long run.
  • If your purchase is for income purposes, keep in mind that renting a property means added responsibility. Research the possibilities of increased utility usage, property management needs and the area's vacancy rate.

© 2015 Florida Realtors®

Let Global help you with your Orlando-Kissimmee area purchase and property management needs. Contact me today to start exploring the wonderful investment opportunities near Walt Disney World which you can use as a vacation home and/or rental investment.

Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on March 10th, 2015 2:17 PM
Orlando City SC plays its inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) game at home against New York City FC tonight at 5 PM. Over 60,000 fans are expected for the match which is being played at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Don't have a ticket? The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and broadcast worldwide in over 30 languages in over 100 countries.
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on March 8th, 2015 9:03 AM
Play ball! It's opening day for the Atlanta Braves as they return for their 18th Spring Training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. Braves vs. Mets right now at Champion Stadium. Take yourself out to a ballgame. The team will play 18 home games between now and April 4th.
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on March 4th, 2015 1:05 PM
A new set of townhome lots have been released in the exciting Storey Lake Resort in Kissimmee. A new home interior package has also been announced featuring stream lined contemporary cabinets, upgraded hardware, 12" x 24" tile floors, a beautiful backsplash, and more. The upgrade package as well as a private, heated pool is included in the price.

Storey Lake is Lennar's newest vacation home community conveniently located at the southeast corner of 535 and Osceola Parkway just minutes from Disney.

The townhomes are approved for short term rental. Get one year free Property Management when you buy through me.

Here is the availability and updated pricing.

86, 89 - Sabal Palm - $274,990 + $2,000 home site premium
87, 88 - Beach Palm - $279,990 + $2,000 home site premium
85 - Royale Palm - $294,990 + $5,000 home site premium

Please follow Storey Lake on Facebook for the latest updates including lot releases, photos, and more. You can also find more information on my website at
Posted in:General
Posted by Brent Ferry on February 25th, 2015 3:51 PM


My Favorite Blogs:

Sites That Link to This Blog: