Hestia Masthead
 January 29, 2010
Picture of the Week 
 Courtesy Masterpiece Design Group
If the recessionary times taught us anything, it showed us our home can be a cozy, safe haven. Designer Christy Scanlon tells us how to evoke that sense of peace in our homes throughout 2010. 
See story below.
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The Numbers and New Video Say it All 
ORRAWhen all is said and done in the housing market for 2009 in the Orlando area, it appears the resale industry is rebounding. Realtors sold 60% more homes than they did in 2008, bringing total annual sales to 23,705 -- a return to pre-housing boom days:  In 2002, 21,356 homes were sold in the area; 24,251 in 2003. In fact, if you remove the years with the lowest sales  (2008 recession influenced) and the highest (2005 boom influenced) in the past eight years, area sales are essentially back to a normal pace. 
To tout the positive news, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA) has unveiled a new manner in which to deliver its housing market statistics: YouTube. ORRA is creating the monthly videos with the hope more people will get a better understanding of what is going on in today's Orlando housing market.  
Courtesy of ORRAHow Long Will it Take to Sell Your Home?
Since it appears the tide may be turning in Orlando's resale housing market, many people who have been waiting to sell may be ready to take the plunge. But how long will it take?
According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, by December 31, 2009, homes were spending an average of 91 days on the market before selling. At year-end 2008 it was taking almost three weeks longer -- 107 days -- to move a home. And in 2007, 113 days was the average. ORRA Chairman Kathleen Gallagher McIver says the length of time a home is on the market really depends on the home and the listing price.
"If it's priced right and in good shape, it's selling in a matter of ten days," she says.
She notes another thing sellers have going for them is the inventory of homes for sale is down 31% from 2008. As of December 31, 2009, there were 15,549 homes on the market in the Orlando area, the lowest level since March 2006.
TranquilityThis Year, Color Your Home in Tranquility
It's a new year, and it's time to think about doing a little redecorating. Christy Scanlon, COO, of Masterpiece Design Group in Winter Park, Fla., has provided us some tips on color trends, and what's in and what's out for 2010.
 Christy Scanlon
  • Dark colors - Matte black and dark Indigo Blue.  Adding these dramatic colors to your walls will create an unexpected, yet cozy feel.  Make sure your room is well lit and pair it with glossy neutrals -- even white -- in your furnishings and accessories.  White as a contrast evokes the feeling of innocence and hope.  It also gives you a neutral base so you can change the look of a room by simply adding a different color accent pillow or area rug at a very low cost.
  • Soothing - Turquoise is the most popular color this year. It is inspired by nature and is a color that will help us escape the everyday turmoil of the current economy.
  • Invigorating - Golden yellow as an accent.  Designers are using a version of yellow that has more of a muted undertone.  Great when mixed with the new, very popular neutral grey.
  • Majestic - Purple is one of the best colors for 2010.  Both the lighter lilac and the darker eggplant will be very popular.  It gives the sense of wealth and success. 
Bedroom by Masterpiece"Above all, we want our home to be our refuge from these still tough economic times," Scanlon says. "It has to evoke reassurance and tranquility.  Although the accents are bold, the underlying palette is very comforting."
Scanlon notes that natural looks are still a very popular trend for 2010.  She says the mix of new textures will be very significant and will be added to more furniture items like headboards and seating.  "Going green is still the way to go," she believes. "The good thing is, it is becoming a bit more affordable, now that the market is saturated with more competition."
Want to know what's out for 2010? Read more.
Builders Come and Builders Go
In the past 20 years, 84 builders have come along and then disappeared from the Central Florida landscape, includingHome Construction Deluca, Engle and Orleans Homes who all stopped building in Orlando in 2009, according to a recent report released by Charles Wayne Consulting (CWC). By the end of 2010, more builders may have moved on, but CWC notes newcomers are always ready to take their place, citing Century, Mattamy and Surrey Homes as newcomers to the Orlando area. CWC tallied 75 production builders still active in the area. 
While some builders found it hard to stay afloat last year, there are those who have held their own during the recession. Ashton Woods Homes, for example, sold 198 new homes in seven Orlando communities in 2009, which was an increase of more
than 11% over 2008.
CWC President Jim Lewis says competition in the industry  has always been to the homebuyer's advantage in Central Florida.
"What is great for consumers is tough for builders," he says. "You stay on your toes or get knocked on your heels -- or worse." 
MetalOn the Green
Going GreenHere's some good news on the environmental front for the health of our families and homes: A recent survey shows 90% of us have incorporated some sort of "greenness" into our lives, and we are willing to pay more for green products. The survey by Burst Media conducted in late 2009 shows "aspirational green consumers" are most willing to pay more for food and household products considered green, such as produce (66.6%), juices and other bottled drinks (61.1%), household cleaners (59.2%), laundry detergents (58.7%), and packaged food (58.2%). While only 8.8% of those surveyed consider themselves to be 100% green, that's still a pretty good percentage considering just a few years ago some naysayers considered "going green" a fad. 
The Last Word
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
- Calvin Coolidge, U.S. President 1872-1933
The Hestia Report, a name derived from the Greek goddess of the hearth and home, is created and distributed by Kevin Fritz, President, Fritz Communications, LLC 


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