Hestia Masthead
May 13, 2011

Picture of the Week  

Courtesy Home Port

First came PopUP homes. Now the same artistic minds at House Port have come up with designs in a box, aptly named PopUP Designs.


See story below.  



Our Sponsors

Longwood Village Inn

Circa 1885


Experience the charm of an office suite at the historic Longwood Village Inn. Now offering 3 months free rent. Call or e-mail today for details.  


 Godbold Construction designs & builds additions & renovations for custom homes and larger commercial projects. Godbold Construction's approach is to build an affordable, quality product in a timely manner while providing exceptional personal service.





Godbold Construction 


Join Our Mailing List 

The Hestia Report is published bi-monthly.




Welcome to the Friday the 13th edition of The Hestia Report. I hope the only kind of luck you have had so far today was of the good kind. Enjoy today's stories and don't forget to check out our sponsors on the left. Have a spectacular weekend!
Denouncing Fiserv's "Worst" List


Photo by Kevin FritzA report released by Fiserv this week proclaiming Orlando as "the worst" housing market in the country has come under fire. In its report, the information management company forecasted that housing prices in Orlando will drop 19% from $155,000 to $110,050 by year end. However, as Jim Lewis of Charles Wayne Consulting (CWC) points out, that would be a 29% decrease. "So, which is it?" he asks. Lewis calls the proclamation by Fiserv "nonsense."


CWC, which is an Orlando-area based housing research company, begs to differ with the Fiserv report, noting Orlando's housing market is in reality doing quite well:


  • Available inventory is at its lowest level since 2005.
  • Prices have only dropped 6% since last March.  
  • 28,994 existing homes have sold in the past 12 months.
  • 4,800 new homes have been built and sold in the past 12 months.

Fiserv, which also fed unemployment figures into its findings, should actually look at employment, adds Lewis. CWC reports 25,400 more people have jobs in the Orlando MSA than a year ago.


Orlando Regional Realtor Association Chairman of the Board Mike McGraw argues that home prices are on the rebound, not on a downward spiral.


"Following double-digit drops in 2008 and 2009, Orlando home prices are showing signs of stabilizing," states McGraw. "The median sales price of a home in Orlando rose by 2.94% in 2010.  During the first quarter of 2011, the median price rose by 8.5%."


Lenny Layland, broker/owner of Investorlando Realty in Longwood,, Fla., finds the conclusions made in the Fiserv report hard to believe. 


"This is a growing sunbelt market that is a desirable place to live, work and visit," he says. "Prices seem to have overcorrected to levels below construction cost with many homes cheaper to buy than rent, which make this a market of opportunity -- not the worst market in the country."

Courtesy House Port

PopupNew Pop-UP Designs from the

Pop-UP Home People


Want a new look for your home, but don't know where to start? 


Hally Thacher, well-known artist and president of House Port, creators of the PopUP Home (See Hestia Report, June 18, 2010), announces PopUP Design Kits, a series of custom-made interior and exterior decors that can be applied to any home.


Martha Bodman, a Malibu-based interior designer, led the design team that created an entire look for each PopUP Design Kit -- from bed linens to wall color.


Each kit -- such as the Mediterranean (above left) and the Coastal (above) -- includes furnishing layouts reflecting thoughtful placement by Bodman for maximum comfort and aesthetic flow within the living space. To simply achieve the look, kits include a list of items selected by Bodman that specify purchasing details such as item and model numbers, dimensions, color specifications, prices and links to each retail outlet. 


For homeowners interested in exclusive interior and exterior designs, customized PopUP design kits are also available at an additional cost.  

National Open House Set For June


The Realtor Nationwide Open House Weekend, sponsored by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is set for June 4-5, offering the chance for prospective homebuyers to see thousands of homes from coast to coast.National Open House Weekend


NAR says the event will give Realtors the opportunity to bring buyers and sellers together and help them connect with local residents. Realtors will also answer questions about the local housing market, the home buying and selling process, and educate the public on the value of owning a home by providing guidance and insight into the social and financial benefits of homeownership. 


According to NAR and the Pew Research Center, eight in 10 adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make.

On the Green 

Green Homes, Now Green Schools

 Green Ribbon SChool

The U.S. Department of Education has announced the Green Ribbon Schools program, which will recognize schools that take strides in greening their curricula, buildings, school grounds and overall building operations, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. 


The Green Ribbon School awards will be given to schools that best exemplify America's transition to a sustainable economy, from graduating environmentally literate students to effectively managing their carbon footprint. The first winners will be honored on Earth Day 2012.


The program will help cash-strapped schools save money and prepare students for 21st-century jobs. Dubbed as a win-win for all parties, the idea is to cut expenses while using the schools as learning labs for students.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that smarter energy management in schools, which spent between $6-$8 billion in 2000 on energy, could reduce energy consumption by as much as 25% and cut school energy costs nationally by more than $1 billion a year.

easterMy Word

Happy Mother's Day


On Mother's Day morning, 2011, a man on our quiet neighborhood street took his own life on his back patio. A chilling morning for many to say the least, but a more devastating one for his mom, to be sure. Photoxpress


Reasons are not important, nor how it all went down. The reality is the lives of his survivors were changed forever in a single instant.  


Since Sunday, two things have weighed on my mind that should be food for thought for all of us. 


First, more of us need to watch closely for depression in our fellow man before it is too late. According to WebMD,

more than 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder.


And second, guns do kill people. In 2007, 34,598 people killed themselves, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of them used a firearm.

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.