Heron Bay – New Listing is The Best of Florida Living…

Who do you know that wants the best that Florida living has to offer? Today we feature an exquisite Ground Floor Coach Home that is new to the market and is ideally suited for a small family or for Empty Nesters.  View Home Tour.

With Heron Bay’s resort style amenities and active lifestyle, the community offers many programs and activities for children and families.   It also offers many well organized daytime and night time events on an ongoing basis for adults of multiple interests and generations.

From ice cream socials for the family, card groups or book clubs, Family Fun Days on the holidays or themed party nights at the Plaza del Lago Clubhouse – living in Heron Bay is what community is all about.

There is a wide range of fitness group classes, including Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Kickboxing and more as well as a fully equipped state of the art fitness facility open from 5am -10pm on weekdays and from 7am -10pm on weekends to accommodate everyone.  Jogging trails wind throughout the community with sloping hills and lush landscaping.  Tennis, Golf, Basketball and Racquet Ball are all offered right within the community.

Heron Bay is located within close proximity to the finest shops, restaurants and entertainment available and is known for its all A-Rated Schools .  Nestled on the border of Coral Springs and Parkland, the community enjoys the full gamut of options in both cities, and is close to major highways and thoroughfares, making it easy to go north to Boca Raton and beyond or south to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami Beach as desired.

If you or anyone you know is thinking of a new home, consider this beautiful new listing in Heron Bay ~ the best of Florida Living.  Click on the link below to view :

skd273191sdc Exquisite Ground Floor Coach Home at Cypress Pointe in Heron Bay


Lifestyle Living Begins at Heron Bay in Parkland…

heron-bay-entranceOne of the best things about the Heron Bay lifestyle is the amazing amenities the community offers to its residents.  With its two resort style clubhouses, multiple swimming pools, jogging trails, bike paths, on site spa services, saunas, playgrounds, resident events and parties, Heron Bay is truly all about lifestyle living.

One of my personal favorite things is the fact that the community really focuses on facilitating a fit and healthy lifestyle for all ages.  Heron Bay is home to several tennis courts and offers tennis lessons and leagues, a golf club, basketball courts, and two state of the art fitness facilities offering full gymnasiums, personal training and group classes, all of which are included in your monthly Association fees or at a nominal additional charge.

A quick look at the Community Events Calendar will often show that an event is booked for Health and Fitness Presentations, providing the residents with great, relevant and up to date information on how to ensure our families are eating healthily, exercising and maintaining ourselves in order to live our best lives.

If you are into true lifestyle living for the entire family, and especially if you are a fitness buff like myself, this community is the one for you.  Check back here often to see more features on some of the amenities, classes, interviews with the trainers and on the great info I learn from attending a presentation or two…


Parkland, FL Real Estate Update

With all the news about Parkland’s A-Rated Schools, the great family lifestyle and the way property values are holding their own, Parkland Real Estate continues to sell very well and June was no exception.  Here is the Sales Activity for June 2011, broken down by Subdivision.

Parkland Stats Jun 11

32 homes sold in Parkland last month.  Of the 32, 9 homes were Short Sales and 5 were Foreclosures.  3 homes  had neither pool nor lake, 13 had a pool only, 4 had a lake only and 12 had both a pool and a lake lot.

19 homes went under contract in June, of which 4 were short sales and 2 were foreclosures.  9 of these homes had pools only, 4 had lakefront property only with no pool, and 3 had both.  3 of them had no pool or lake.

The activity clearly shows that homes that are priced right are selling and selling quickly.  In addition, it is evident from the statistics that a pool is a very important feature to prospective Buyers, more so than lakefront properties, in fact.

Homes in move-in condition, already upgraded and that offer good value for the price are also selling faster than their competition.

There are currently 158 homes available for sale in the Parkland area.  Click here to use our complimentary, user-friendly Property Search to see what is available at the moment.

Here is this week’s Featured Property, which was listed for sale last month in Waters’ Edge, for $449,000.00.

Want more information on this beautiful 4 Bedroom with 3 bathroom Home?  Just click here for more property details.

Parkland on a whole is selling very well.  However, it is really important to work with a local expert in the area who is knowledgable about the specifics of the Parkland Real Estate Market.  That’s a topic we will delve into further later this week.

Parkland Today is a project by Nicola Riettie dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Parkland, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Parkland, Florida by reading about our fair city at this Blog regularly. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Parkland real estate market reports, our favorite Parkland photos and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea!  After all, this site is just for you.

You can subscribe to our email newsletter by visiting here  and fill out the form – just type NEWSLETTER in the comments section.  

Parkland, FL – All ‘A’s!!!

Have you heard the latest news?

Parkland Schools Receive A Rating

According to the most recent FCAT ratings, the elementary and middle schools located in Parkland have received an A Rating. This means that Heron Heights Elementary School, Riverglades Elementary School, Park Trails Elementary School and Westglades Middle School have all earned the highest grade of ‘A’ from the Florida Department of Education in the 2010/11 school accountability results under the state’s A+ Plan.

School grade calculations are based on student performance as measured by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in reading, mathematics, science and writing.

This honor is just another example of how why Parkland is such a great place to live and how  important Parkland holds its children’s future. The A grades are even more important since they follow Forbes Magazine’s designation of the City of Parkland as the no. 1 Top Education Town where the median home price falls between $400k – $600k.

A huge shout out to to all our educators and school volunteers!

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Happy Fourth of July!  We are really looking forward to the holiday and are sure you are too!  What do you have planned for Independence Day this year?  

There are a lot of great, fun, family-events to consider in Broward County this year, starting with Parkland‘s own Red, White and Blue Bicycle Parade held at Terramar Park, 6575 NW 76th Drive on Monday July 4, 2011 from 9:00am-11:00am.

Bring your bike decorated in patriotic colors and parade around the park while the judges’ award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. This event is open to residents of all ages who want to show their patriotic sprit.

Evolution Martial Arts will showcase a karate/martial arts demonstration. Broward Sheriff’s Office will also have a bike course set up to test the children on bike safety and the Coral Springs/Parkland Fire Truck will be displaying their famous green fire truck! This is a FREE event open to all Parkland residents.

Watch the Fireworks at The City of Coral Springs‘ Annual Independence Day celebration, which takes place from 6-9 p.m. at Mullins Park, located at  10150 NW 29th St. in Coral Springs.

There will be entertainment, with food and refreshments available for purchase. Fireworks display starts promptly at 9 p.m. The event is free but there is a parking fee of $3.

Another great option is Fireworks at The Beach on Pompano Beach.  The Fireworks Extravaganza will begin promptly at 9 p.m. on the city’s main public beach, north and south of the fishing pier by Atlantic Boulevard. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. 

Thinking of heading to Fort Lauderdale?   The city’s centennial events commemorate the Wade-In 50th anniversary. This historic event led to the integration of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Celebration begins 9 a.m. at Eula Johnson house, 1100 NW Sixth St., followed by a state historic marker unveiling at 11 a.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Call 954-828-4755 to reserve a seat on the free Sun Trolley.

The “Fourth of July Spectacular” on the beach will have a DJ, beach games and the American Legion Patriotic Orchestra performing. Brass Evolution will also take the stage. Festivities start at 12:30 p.m. The half-hour fireworks presentation blasts off 9 p.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard.

In Hallandale Beach, the kids will have a blast with a bounce house, arts and crafts, pony rides, music and balloon animals from 4-8 p.m. at The Village at Gulfstream Park. Their Fireworks show is at 9 p.m. over Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, 501 S. Federal Highway.

The Independence Day weekend on Hollywood Beach will feature nightly musical performances at the theater (Johnson Street and Broadwalk) from 7:30-9 p.m. Caribbean Music Farm is scheduled to play tonight, upbeat jazz by Phil Fest & Friends on Saturday and classic rock ‘n’ by White Noise on Sunday. Then on July 4th, country music group Rodeo Clowns will be followed by Galo’s tribute to Santana (6-10 p.m.). Twenty minutes of fireworks will light up the sky over the Atlantic Ocean at 9 p.m. Park at a downtown parking garage and ride the free express bus to Hollywood Beach. Normal downtown parking rates apply.

If you are planning a family BBQ at home to celebrate, why not try  one of our personal favorite menus:

  • Rosemary Porterhouse Steaks with Olive Mayo
  • Red Potato Salad
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob
  • Watermelon Sorbet
(Click here for the Rosemary Porterhouse Steaks with Olive Mayo Recipe.)

Set up your patio and backyard for the party and add some flair to your table by adding a red, white, and blue crepe paper streamer around the edges. Apply double-stick tape to the edge of the table, pinch the crepe paper to create pleats, and place it on the tape. You also can run a stitch line through the crepe paper to create extra pleats.

Here’s a little bit of July 4th Trivia for you:  Did you know that the first real July 4th party was held at the White House in 1801?

Whatever you decide to do this Independence Day, we hope you have a wonderful time.  Don’t forget to give thanks for the troops fighting for our freedom and safety and for our many blessings.  

God Bless America!!! 

Gourmet Truck Expo Event in Boca Raton, FL


Have you heard about the latest Gourmet Food Truck Craze?  Recent Events in Ft. Lauderdale and Sunrise were huge successes, and now we have one nearby, in Boca Raton!  

The Sun Sentinel will be hosting a Gourmet Food Truck Expo Event this Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 from 5:30pm-10pm at the  Boca Center, located at 5250 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33486.  

Bring your appetite and join us for fun, family entertainment and yes – lots of food.

Experience the gourmet food truck craze and enjoy 30+ vendors. There’s something to satisfy everyone’s palette.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket and food sales will benefit the Sun Sentinel’s Children’s Fund.

Get your VIP Ticket here.  There will be an additional cost for food. 

Hot Home Trends…

The hottest new Home Design Trends reflect the transition from the McMansion Era to simpler spaces that have the ideal flow, layout and design for utility and enjoyment of a home.  Take a look at the hottest new trends:

Trend #1: Convertible Spaces

Forget “museum rooms” we use twice a year (dining rooms and living rooms) and embrace convertible spaces that change with our whims. Foldaway walls turn a private study into an easy-flow party space. Walls can consist of fancy, glass panels ($600 to $1,600 per linear ft., depending on the system); or they can be simple vinyl-covered accordions ($1,230 for 7 ft. by 10 ft.). PortablePartions.com sells walls on wheels ($775 for approximately 7 ft. by 7 ft.). A Murphy bed pulls down from an armoire-looking wall unit and turns any room into a guest room. Prices, including installation and cabinetry, range from $2,000 (twin with main cabinet) to more than $5,000 (California king with main and side units). Just search online for sellers. And don’t forget area rugs that easily define, and redefine, open spaces.

Trend #2: A laundry room of your own…

Humankind advanced when the laundry room arose from the basement to a louvered closet on the second floor where clothes live. Now, we’re taking another step forward by granting washday a room of its own. If you’re thinking of remodeling, turn a mudroom or extra bedroom into a dedicated laundry room big enough to house the washer and dryer, hang hand-washables, and store bulk boxes of detergent. Look for spaces that already have plumbing hookups or are adjacent to rooms with running water to save on plumbing costs.

Trend #3: Souped-up kitchens

Although houses are trending smaller, kitchens are getting bigger, according to the American Institute of Architects’ Home

Design Trends Survey. Kitchen remodels open the space, perhaps incorporating lonely dining rooms, and feature recycling centers, large pantries, and recharging stations. Oversized and high-priced commercial appliances—did we ever fire up six burners at once?—are yielding to family-sized, mid-range models that recover at least one cabinet for storage. Since the entire family now helps prepare dinner (in your dreams), double prep sinks have evolved into dual-prep islands with lots of counter space and pull-out drawers.

Trend #4: Energy diets

We’re wrestling with an energy disorder: We’re binging on electronics—cell phones, iPads, Blackberries, laptops–then crash dieting by installing LED fixtures and turning the thermostat to 68 degrees. Are we ahead of the energy game? Only the energy monitors and meters know for sure. These new tracking devices can gauge electricity usage of individual electronics ($20 to $30) or monitor whole house energy ($100 to $250). The TED 5000 Energy Monitor ($240) supplies real-time feedback that you can view remotely and graph by the second, minute, hour, day, and month.

Trend #5: Love that storage

As we bow to the new god of declutter, storage has become the holy grail. We’re not talking about more baskets we can trip over in the night; we’re imagining and discovering built-in storage in unlikely spaces–under stairs, over doors, beneath floors. Under-appreciated nooks that once displayed antique desks are growing into built-ins for books and collections. Slap on some doors, and you can hide office supplies and buckets of Legos. Giant master suites, with floor space to land a 747, are being divided to conquer clutter with more walk-in closets.

Trend #6: Home offices come out of the closet

Flexible work schedules, mobile communications, and entrepreneurial zeal are relocating us from the office downtown to home. Laptops and wireless connections let us telecommute from anywhere in the house, but we still want a dedicated space (preferably with a door) for files, supplies, and printers. Spare bedrooms are becoming home offices and family room niches are morphing into working nooks. After a weekend of de-cluttering, basements and attics are reborn as work centers.

Staging a home for sale can also greatly benefit from these tips and styles.  Buyers like to see how they can use the space to best suit their needs.  For more information on how to use these trends for Home Staging, give us a call at (702) 538.2294…

Some Content Originally Written By Lisa Kaplan Gordon – a HouseLogic contributor and homebuilder.

Parkland Real Estate All Summer Long…

The summer real estate cycle is heating up

Alice Cooper summed up real estate’s yearly seasonal shift with just four words: “Schools out for summer!” His hit song rings true each year as the kids pack up their bags, say goodbye to their friends and put their summer gear on.

For parents getting ready to make a move to another suburb, city, or state, it means the “For Sale” signs go up and the hunt starts for the next home. Not surprisingly, 60% of all moves in America take place in the summer. It’s a seasonal shift that has been around as long as school has been in. Here are some points to consider when buying or selling your home during the summer months.


The nicer weather brings buyers out of hibernation and into your spring-cleaned home. As a seller, know that the summer cycle typically causes an increase in inventory creating more competition in the market. It’s likely though, that more people will be looking at your house, making it easier to negotiate on price. Buyers who want to move in before the new school year starts may forego any unnecessary haggling for a move that fits within their time frame.

On the other hand, don’t be too optimistic about price – the market today is still facing rough waters – and a higher price, not to mention more options, will probably put you at the low end of the buying list. This could leave you waiting for a buyer on into the winter months, when homes typically sell for less. And if you’re one of the many who are selling and buying all before school starts, pricing your home correctly so that it sells quickly is crucial.


Buying during the summer months, as we know, has it plusses: it’s an excellent time to pack the kids up and relocate while school’s out and the weather is nice, there’s more inventory on the market and you can use your income tax return toward your down payment.

If it’s in the cards for you, there could be some benefits to waiting – late summer opens up a window of leverage for buyers who are working with slow moving family homes. Ultimately the family wants to move quickly before school starts (maybe you do too) which means getting to the table fast could cut down on time spent haggling over price. Buyers remember: it takes time to close on a home, so start looking in the spring months when more “For Sale” signs start to peek up out of the ground.

There are many important issues that come into play when deciding to buy or sell your home. As a real estate agent it’s my job to provide expertise on the unique shifts and help you either sell your current home or find one that fits your family’s needs. If you’re looking to move out-of-state, I have an excellent network of agents I hold within high regard who will take great care of you and your family while you search for a home. Give me a call or send me an email anytime.

Is This The Right Time to Buy?

Two questions we Realtors get asked all the time are:

1.     How is the market?

2.    Do you think prices have bottomed out yet?  (Loosely translated, this means “Is this the right time to buy?”)

First, let’s assess the market …

Today’s latest statistics from the Florida Association of Realtors show that home prices declined in April across Broward and Palm Beach counties while a recent surge in sales continued.  This shows that prices have come down significantly enough that a strong percentage of Buyers are now moving forward to buy.

Broward’s median price for existing homes was $177,000, down 2% from a year ago. However, Broward home sales inched up 2% from last April. County condo sales rose 8% last month, when 1,645 units changed hands.

This means that although prices are at an all-time low, at the same time,  there is an increased demand for homes, more so in some areas than others.  This is a good indicator that there may be a decrease in the number of homes available for sale in the coming months, which could cause escalating home prices.

Within the Industry, we are seeing a great increase in the number of Foreign Buyers, many of whom are willing to pay cash for the property for investment.  This will only further impact the Home Buyer looking for their long-term home, as the demand from Foreign Buyers directly affects availability and prices.

We do know that the Foreclosure Market is still uncertain, but when you combine today’s low property values with mortgage rates that are at a historic low, we really have to start to weigh all the options.

There is always the possibility that the foreclosure market could release more properties into the mix, further affecting property values; but the experts in the Mortgage Industry keep warning that interest rates cannot and will not stay where they are, and many are predicting rapidly rising interest rates within the year.  Waiting for lower property values could cost you a really comfortable, affordable interest rate.  You really do have to weigh one factor against the other.

As we say in Real Estate, the most important feature of a property to consider is Location, Location, Location.  Properties offering Buyers the best lifestyle choices are leading the market right now, as today’s Buyer is more concerned with quality of life than the size of the home.  Home Builders are seeing this shift first-hand and the era of the McMansion is definitely over.

For example, condos offering close proximity to the Beach, Restaurants and Shops that are also close to business districts are in demand as many seek to live and play close enough to work that travel time is minimal and lifestyle options are varied.

Buyers are looking for the best home in the best area that offers them the best lifestyle for their families and themselves.  Affordability is a huge factor for today’s buyer – value for money that allows them to live comfortably, without being house-rich and cash-poor. Homes in move-in ready condition in areas offering the best life has to offer are most in demand, which is an important consideration if you’re thinking about buying, as higher demand always means more competition for available homes.

That being said, there is no question that in Broward County, many HomeBuyers are looking for the best school districts.   Forbes Magazine has released their annual review of where will your housing dollars go the furthest in getting your kids a great education. The City of Parkland landed 8th overall across the country – and 1st in the category of towns with homes costing between $400,000 to $599,999.

The market in Parkland is doing very well – with property values where they are, buyers are snapping up the deals on great properties in an excellent school district at low interest rates. 

So if you are looking for a long-term, quality lifestyle for your family, take advantage of this historic time in our local Real Estate Market where price and interest rates offer you long-term stability for an exceptional lifestyle and take a look at Parkland, where the vision of the city is:

 “The City of Parkland is a beautiful and green, upscale residential community with small scale commercial villages. Our hometown feeling and excellent neighborhood schools help to make us family friendly. Our residents enjoy an active lifestyle through first class leisure and cultural amenities, and easy movement through our streets and multi-use trails.”  (www.cityofparkland.org) 

Parkland, FL – Our Hometown…

Cinco De Mayo in Parkland and Other Great Things To Do This Weekend…

This Thursday is Cinco de Mayo!  Get out your dancing shoes and get ready for Margaritas!!!!  Many of us celebrate this annual event without really knowing what this Mexican Holiday is all about.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates a battle that Mexico won in 1862 against the French who were trying to take over the country.  The French later returned and managed to take over rule until 1867 when Mexico finally achieved Independence.  Therefore, Cinco de Mayo continues to be a day that marks the Mexican battle cry for Independence and sovereignty and is celebrated each year with song, dance and food to remain focused on regaining the country and retaining their heritage.

Its a holiday celebration that always holds significance for me since it’s also my birthday, so it always feels like a huge party for me (smile).

Here’s a link to some great Cinco de Mayo Events out and about in our town…  We LOVE Cantina Laredo at Gulfstream Park ourselves!    But if you prefer to stay closer to home and have a great social night with friends, check out Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera for Happy Hour!    Enjoy 2-For-1 on all drinks under $15 and select $6 appetizers!  (Held every Monday–Saturday from 5pm to 7pm in The Lounge).

Or stop by Laura’s Ultimate Pilates Studio for a Wine Tasting Event at 5:30pm. There will be Wine-Tasting, a Pilates Demonstration, Food, Desserts and more!

Laura’s Ultimate Pilates is located within the Publix Parkland Commons Shopping Center next to Renaissance Day Spa.

Another personal favorite of ours is Scarfone’s Coal Fired Pizza, located in the Waterways Shoppes at Heron Bay.

If you do decide to stay in, add a little Mexican decor and try some of these awesome Mexican Recipes to celebrate at home in style!

Whatever you decide to do this Cinco de Mayo or over the weekend, have a great time Parklanders…