Hestia Masthead
August 27, 2010
Picture of the Week 

Photo by Get Active Orlando

Photo courtesy Get Active Orlando

 Got a bike you don't use or need? Then donate it to Get Active Orlando for its Adult Bike Giveaway, one of the only such programs in the country. It's all in the name of fitness. And being nice.
See story below. ________________
Our Sponsors

Investorlando Realty

Investorlando Realty is a newly formed brokerage model in Longwood, Fla., founded by

Lenny Layland, a longtime Orlando real estate broker. The new brokerage is unique in that its focal point is on helping people make money investing in Orlando-area real estate.

Our specialty is the rental, management and leasing of Single Family Homes, Townhomes and Condominiums, serving the needs of homeowners and residential tenants in metropolitan Orlando, Fla., since 1983.
 All American Management
Sun Insurance Services
Real estate is not the only buyer's market today: Consumers shopping for homeowners insurance are also at an advantage.
Jim Brandt, president of
Sun Insurance Services,
has more than 30 years experience in personal
lines insurance. He serves on the board of the Independent Insurance Agents Central Florida and is a guest lecturer on insurance at the University of Central Florida.
Sun Insurance Services
NWC Construction   
NWC is a Florida State Certified General Contractor with more than a decade of building experience, offering residential and commercial construction services throughout Central Florida. Nathan Cross serves as the President and one of the first area builders to receive his designation as a Certified Green Professional (CGP) by NAHB.

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 The Hestia Report is published every two weeks.

Welcome to the end of August edition of The Hestia Report. Labor Day is next weekend, so get out and enjoy one of your last summer flings for '10. And thanks again for all your support.
The Return of the Extended Family

photo by photoxpress

Say goodbye to the generation gap. The distance between age groups has shrunk to a new low, at least when living under the same roof.

The reasons cited for the trend are the increased number of immigrants in the U.S., the rising average age of marriages, and as of late, unemployment and foreclosures.


Pew Research reports this type of living situation has been on the rise since 1980, and that between 2000 and 2009, the number of such households went up 33%.

Renters: Treat 'Em Like Family

photo by photoxpress

Whether it's fallout from the housing market crash or simply that there isn't enough money to go around, a new survey that shows more than 25 percent of renters have no plans to buy a home means property managers must treat tenants as long-term assets as opposed to transitory income.

Gene Bennett, founder/president of All American Management in Longwood, Fla., says in response to this new shift in behavior, companies like his must adapt by re-examining the way they market to and retain tenants.

"With long-term commitments, it makes good business sense to offer added incentives to clients," Bennett explains. He says it also behooves property managers to beef up customer service since long-term renters offer more positive, stable cash flow.

The aforementioned survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Trulia, a website service for people looking to buy homes, found 27 percent of renters never plan to buy a home, and two-thirds of those who do plan to purchase one will wait more than two years. When asked what could influence them to buy a home in the next year, the top three responses were the ability to save for a downpayment (47 percent), getting a new job (28 percent), and low or lower interest rates (27 percent).

The survey's results seem to mirror what is happening in America's home-flipping market as well. With even less buyers for homes, according to the National Association of Realtors, only 4 percent of transactions this summer were for homes owned less than a year.


photo by Pulte Homes

Now We're Cookin'
After a short hiatus, homes at Del Webb Orlando in Davenport, Fla., are once again coming out of the ground, and the builder is doing its part to allow homeowners to practice a greener and cleaner lifestyle.
Del Webbwhich offers active adult communities for ages 55-plus throughout the United States, is building its homes with natural gas, which allows residents to conserve energy, save money, and be part of the green movement. 


Sean Strickler, vice president of sales and marketing for the Central Florida Division of Del Webb, estimates each home's energy bills are reduced 25% by using natural gas for cooking and heating. He says many buyers are also ex-northerners who are used to cooking with gas, and it gives them piece of mind if bad weather causes power to go out.


"We are the only neighborhood doing this that I know of," says Strickler, adding that 100 of the 850 planned homes have been finished thus far. 

Pat Spalding at Central Florida Gas, suppliers for the Del Webb neighborhood, says natural gas produces no solid waste and leaves a very small carbon footprint.
Samsung Scores Big With Washers and Dryers
The next time you shop for a washer and dryer, put the brand Samsung on your list of must-sees. According to Marketing Charts, Samsung placed first

photo by Samsung

photo by Samsung
in customer satisfaction for both washers and dryers in a J.D. Power and Associates Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study.
Customer satisfaction levels were based on ease of use; features (such as the number of settings available and capacity); performance and reliability (including energy efficiency, noise level and how well the appliance functions); styling and feel; warranty; and price.

Samsung received a score of 832 out of 1,000; the industry average was 770. Rounding out the list of those brands scoring above 770 are: Kenmore Elite (817), Electrolux (816), LG (811),  Maytag Epic (802), Whirlpool Duet (779), Fisher & Paykel (778), and GE Profile (773).

PopUPOn the Green - Literally 

President Barack Obama practiced what he preaches during his stay on Martha's Vineyard this past week.

Vineyard Golf Club's First Hole - photo VCG
Photo by Vineyard Golf Club

The green advocate and   Commander in Chief played his vacation golf at the Vineyard Golf Club, a traditional links-style private golf course located in Edgartown, Mass., which is known as one of the most environmentally sensitive golf courses in the United States.


Not only are the greens green at this toney New England golf course, the entire grounds are green, even the occasional weed or brown spot.  The course has embraced the world of green and healthy living by being pesticide free; only bio-stimulants and composted fertilizers are used to care for the grounds. 

OldBikeMy Word: Donate Your Old Bike 

photo by photoxpress

photo by photoxpress
Do you have a bike  that is gathering dust in the garage, or one that has fallen into

disrepair? Whatever the history, Get Active Orlando (GAO) would like to help you offer your old bike a new future. 


Get Active Orlando's Adult Bicycle Giveaway Program is one of only a few programs around the country that distribute bicycles to adults. 

Donated bikes are distributed through the Orange County Health Department to adults who use them for recreation, exercise, and transportation.

To learn more about the bike donation, visit the GAO website. To arrange for your donation, call (407) 616-2554 or email

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 


Have some news we could use? Interested in sponsorships? Contact Kevin at 321.662.8191.