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Seminole County Wednesdays are Early Release Days

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

 

Every Wednesday in Seminole County the children in the public schools are let out an hour early. This has been this way since I was in high school, starting back in 1998 and I'm still not sure when this policy began.

WChalk Boardednesday afternoons are the designated days for teachers to plan, organize themselves, have meetings and do grading. An extra hour every week so that they have just a little more time, rather than staying up late on the weekends grading papers or preparing their curriculum. As we expect our students to do well in the school system, the teachers need that extra hour to make sure that things are running well on their end as well.

The students love Wednesdays, because it means that there is just a little less lecture time, a little more time to go play with friends or relax.

The parents, may not be as thrilled about Early Release Wednesdays since it means that they have to make arrangements for pick up and/or supervision for the children.

 

 

Contact Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here.

Seminole County Launches an Online Portal for Parents: Skyward

by Petur Sigurdsson, Broker and Erna Sigurdsson, Real

 

The Internet is becoming a big part of our every day lives and the Seminole County school system now offers an online portal for parents to check on their children's progress. This was not available in my time, I graduated from Lake Mary High School in 2002, but now that my twin girls have started at Winter Springs Elementary I found out that I can check on their grades and attendance by logging on to my parent portal that the school has offered.
 


At the orientation before the kids start school, the school gives you information about logging in and they create an account for you. Then you can log in and see their attendance records and every 9 weeks you can see how they did for the quarter.
 


It is a very easy system to use and gives kids the no excuse for not showing you their report card, if they somehow lose it, the dog ate it or whatnot you can always check on their grades through your portal.

 

The Application for the Skyward Portal system is available online, if you have not recieved access or information about how to apply, all you need to do is fill this application out and bring it in to your schools front office.

The website to access Family Access will be:
http://family.scps.us

The following information is what the Seminole County Public Schools released regarding the new system:

Skyward Portal Login Screen"Seminole County Public Schools are pleased to announce the start of a phased implementation in August 2011 of Family Access by Skyward, Inc. Family Access is a secure Internet based website that will allow you to easily keep track of your Academic History, Activities, Message Center, Student Demographics with Emergency Contact and Student Addresses. Student Schedules will be available for Middle and High School Students. Graduation Requirements will be available for High School Students. Student Grades, Assignments and Notes, and Attendance will become available at the first progress reporting period."

Parents will be able to access Skyward starting September 15th, 2011.

Contact Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here.

Lake Mary High School 2011 Football Schedule

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

 

It's football season again. As a Lake Mary High School graduate and having been a band geek for all four years of high school I wanted to share the football schedule for this years Football season. Make sure if you attend the game to watch the Marching Rams during the half time show for their great show stopping tunes.

Lake Mary High School Football

2011 Varsity Football Schedule

DATE OPPONENT PLACE TIME

August 19
Red/Gray Game
Home
6 p.m.
Changed to August 24
Spruce Creek--Kick Off Classic
Home
6:30 p.m.
September 2
Winter Park
Home
7:30 p.m.
September 9
Winter Springs
Home
7:30 p.m.
September 16
Ocoee
Home
7 p.m.
September 23
Hagerty
Hagerty
7:30 p.m.
September 30
Lake Howell
Lake Howell
7:30 p.m.
October 6
(Thursday)
Lyman (Homecoming)
Home
7:30 p.m.
October 14
Open
   
October 21
University (Orange City)
Deltona
7 p.m.
October 28
Lake Brantley
Lake Brantley
7:30 p.m.
November 4
Seminole
Home
7:30 p.m.
November 11
Oviedo
Oviedo
7:30 p.m.

Lake Mary Rams

2011 Junior Varsity Football Schedule

August 31
Seminole
Seminole
7 p.m.
September 7
Winter Springs
Winter Springs
7 p.m.
September 14
Hagerty
Home
7 p.m.
September 21
Lake Howell
Home
7 p.m.
September 28
Lyman
Lyman
7 p.m.
October 4
Oviedo
Home
7 p.m.
October 12
Lake Brantley
Home
7 p.m.
October 19
Seminole
Seminole
7 p.m.

Lake Mary High Football Huddle

2011 Freshmen Football Schedule

August 31
Seminole
Seminole
5:30 p.m.
September 7
Winter Springs
Winter Springs
5:30 p.m.
September 14
Hagerty
Home
5:30 p.m.
September 21
Lake Howell
Home
5:30 p.m.
September. 28
Lyman
Lyman
5:30 p.m.
October 4
Oviedo
Home
5:30 p.m.
October 12
Lake Brantley
Home
5:30 p.m.
October 19
Seminole
Seminole
5:30 p.m.

 

How to buy a home after bankruptcy or foreclosure

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

How to buy a home after bankruptcy or foreclosure

Buying a Home After Foreclosure Going through a foreclosure or a bankruptcy is difficult process and is emotionally tolling. It takes time to recover from those and people who have gone through that have doubts about when and if they can buy a home again.


The good news is that you can buy a home again after going through that process. The bad news is that it takes time, persistence and will. It is possible to get back on the horse and become a homeowner again, by making a financial plan and stick to it. It doesn’t happen overnight, it is a good idea to see a qualified credit counselor or a financial planner to get the best advice for your situation to set a plan and goals to stick to.


Check periodically to see what’s in your credit report, www.annualcreditreport.com is the official site to view what is being reported at the three credit reporting agencies. If there is anything there that shouldn’t be there or is being reported incorrectly then you need to work on fixing it now, rather than later when it starts to affect your ability to obtain credit.


Keep some available credit open. Once you pay off a credit card, do not close that account. Part of what goes into your credit score is how much of your available credit you are using. If you start closing accounts as soon as you pay off the charge, then you could be hurting your credit.


Save regularly, by putting a little bit into savings every month, you are proving that you can plan and stick to it and it shows that you are planning ahead for the future. You can also use the savings that you accumulate towards a down payment on a home.

Cash Is King

Cash is King. An old phrase, but still valid today. If you have the cash to buy a home, then you do not need a mortgage and therefore don’t have to worry about your credit and financial history.


Generally it takes years to be able to buy a home after a foreclosure or a bankruptcy. If you were able to do a short sale on your home and avoid a foreclosure, most often, it is about two years until you can buy a home again.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Back to School Safety

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

My twin girls Laura and Kathryn are about to start their first day of school on Monday. It is a very exciting time for us, I feel like they have grown up way too quickly and I'm wondering where all that time went. It seems like only yesterday that they were newborns relying on me for their every need, now they are ready to start going to school and learn with a class full of other students.

School SafetyIt prompted me to find out information about safety issues and preparing myself for this big step. I wanted to share with you a few good articles I found about school safety and also remind you that this weekend is the tax free holiday, from August 12th through the 14th.

Article form SafeKids.org "Protect Kids as They Head Back to School"

Here are some simple reminders for drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in the residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving

Reminder for your kids:

  • They should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
  • Make sure they always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them

http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-spotlight/back-to-school-safety/ 

Then for the Tax-Free Holiday which usually spurs retailers to offer sales and incentives for shoppers to take advantage of the tax holiday and save money.


What the 2011 Florida Legislature passed is that: No sales tax shall be collected on the sale of clothing, wallets, or bags, including handbags, backpacks, fanny packs, and diaper bags, but excluding briefcases, suitcases, and other garment bags, having a sales price of $75 or less, or on sales of certain school supplies having a sales price of $15
or less for the period beginning 12:01 a.m. on August 12, 2011, and ending at 11:59 p.m. on August 14, 2011.


“Clothing” means any article of wearing apparel, including all footwear (except skis, swim fins, roller blades, and skates), intended to be worn on
or about the human body. However, “clothing” does not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, or sporting equipment.


“School supplies” means pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook filler paper, legal pads, binders, lunch boxes, construction paper,
markers, folders, poster board, composition books, poster paper, scissors, cellophane tape, glue, paste, rulers, computer disks, protractors, compasses,
and calculators.

For the complete list on Tax free status on items during this tax free holiday visit: http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/tips/pdf/tip11a01-03_list.pdf 

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

VA Loan Myths

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

Our US Soldiers have fought hard to defend our country and the VA Loan program is out there to help them with purchasing a home. We encourage Veterans to take advantage of this program and not to be discouraged by myths that are out there about the program. A VA Loan is a guaranteed loan by the US Government, which guarantees 25% of the loan and NO Downpayment is required.

Common myths about the VA Loan:

VA Loans Myth: Interest rates are higher on VA Loans

Fact: Interest rates are very competitive and you can choose any lender to work with.

Myth: VA Loans take too long to process *Government Red Tape*

Fact: VA uses an electronic system to verify qualifications and responds within a reasonable time frame. They are also very good at communicating with Veterans and if you work with a Realtor, the Realtor can help you through the process.

 

Myth: VA Appraisals take too long.

Fact: The VA has strict time standards for appraisers to complete their work and turn in the appraisal.

Myth: VA Loans are *not* assumable.

Fact: VA Loans are assumable.

Myth: You can not buy a home using a VA Loan with a person outside of your household.

Fact: You can buy a home with a VA Loan with people other than your spouse, parent or children, but your VA Loan guarantee will only apply to your portion of the loan, therefore if you buy it with one other person, the VA Loan will be 50%.

If you have questions about VA Loans and purchasing or selling a home with a VA Loan in the Central Florida area, feel free to contact us with your specific situation.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Moving Checklist - Seminole County

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

We understand that moving is a very complex process, because there are many things to think about when you move we have made a simple checklist with links to help you make the process a little easier on you for your move to Seminole County, Florida.

Seminole County Crossbridge

 

When you buy a home ask us about The Viking Team, Realty "House Warming Party".

"There is no place like home" -Judy Garland (The Wizard of Oz)

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Neighborhood Profile: Longwood Plantation, FL

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

Longwood Plantation, FL

Longwood Plantation

A quiet subdivision located off of Ronald Reagan Blvd in Longwood, FL. This neighborhood was built by Centex Homes in 1997-1999, there are 94 homes in the neighborhood, with a neighborhood dock to East Lake, there is a playground area that is appropriate for children 6 to 12 years old that also serves as a gathering area for events such as the Easter Egg hunt, HOA BBQ's and the monthly movie nights.

Longwood Plantation, FL map

The homes built in this neighborhood are either one story or two story homes, ranging from 1,687 sq. ft. homes to 3,524 sq. ft. homes which are anywhere from 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms to 6 bedrooms with 4 bathrooms, built with block and stucco with shingle roofs, all the homes in the neighborhood were built in the same time period with one builder which means all the homes are in the same style. There are 3 streets in Longwood Plantation, those are Freeman Street, Balogh Place and Kaiser Lane. Longwood Plantation was an actual Plantation before and the building at the entrance of the neighborhood that now serves as the legal aid office used to be where the Plantation owners home used to sit.

Longwood Plantation PlaygroundLongwood Plantation has several events that happen throughout the year, during the holiday season the neighborhood gets together and puts up luminaries that light up the sidewalks and people go for a walk to meet the neighbors and some neighbors offer egg nog and apple cider for their neighbors. At Easter the HOA puts on an Easter Egg hunt at the playground and every so often there is a community garage sale where those who wish to participate can have a garage sale with their neighbors.

Please visit the Longwood Plantation HOA web-site for the most up to date information about the neighborhood.

If you are interested in Buying a Longwood Home, fill in the form and we will e-mail you Longwood, FL listings as soon as they enter the market.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Buying a home is a personal decision

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

I hear people frequently now a days talking about the fact that they bought their home a few years ago during the housing boom and now they owe more on it than it is worth. This is the message that first time home buyers are hearing. Buyers are afraid that the same thing will happen to them when they buy a house.

For Sale Sign Central Florida Homes for saleDuring the housing bubble when the homes would come on the market and have several offers on it in one day, no one was predicting the kind of backlash this would have on the market. It was the time to buy and that was everyones focus. The mortgage companies laxed their standards, allowing more people to buy a home and many people that should not have been allowed to buy were buying homes that they could not afford.

Now that we have gone through a recession, banks have failed because of the mortgage crisis, people are struggling with their mortgage payments and homeowners are finding it hard to swallow that the beautiful home that they bought a few years ago is now under water on the mortgage, we need to step back and think of the long term. Your home is not just a monetary investment, it is an investment in your family and for the long term. There needs to be a shift in thinking, people need to start thinking of their homes as their homes again and stop focusing on how much they have lost in equity, if this truly is a long term investment the equity will build up again.

If you are a buyer and you are working with a team of professionals, then you will be able to find the home that you want and within your budget. Try to find out why you really want to buy. Is it to build equity, because you want your kids to be growing up in a stable environment, because you are tired of giving your landlord a big rent check every month or some other reason. Once you have figured out the why, then work on the how. When you are ready to start looking for homes, you can sign up for a daily e-mail alert of Homes for Sale with up to date information on the latest Real estate listings fitting your search criteria. 

Central Florida Home BuyersErna Sigurdsson offers a Free Home Buyer Seminar for Central Florida buyers, this is a no-obligation, no-cost educational seminar perfect for buyers looking to buy within a year and even for those looking to buy sometime in the future, but need guidance about how to build your credit towards a home purchase.

 

 

 

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Neat things in our backyard - Einstein Academy

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

Einstein Academy, Longwood FloridaA few years ago, a local business opened up just down the street from where I live. It was actually just what I had been looking for. In 2008, when so many businesses were cutting back, shutting their doors and going out of business, this brand new daycare opened up. Having had problems with daycare centers in the past, I was immediately impressed when I walk in the door on my parent visit and find that there are no carpets. As a parent with asthmatic twin daughters who had been born prematurely, this was the perfect place for them. I was further assured by how knowledgeable the staff was, how the owners had many years experience as educators before starting their own child care, the way they saw it should be.

The economy was doing poorly at the time, however it was a great business model, in an environment that supports business growth, this great business has not only become a great local Longwood business, but has grown to three locations in just a few years.

Infant room at Longwood Daycare

Their open floor layout, child-centric design, use of colors and plenty of educational activities, this child care center continues to attract parents to a new kind of a child care. The kind where everyone involved matters and is taken into consideration. Not only are the children valued and encouraged to grow, but the employees are treated well, which translates into better care received by the children as well as great communication between staff and parents.

Longwood Classroom

If you are looking for the best and an affordable child care center in Longwood, I highly recommend Einstein Academy. Tell them that you were referred by The Viking Team and you will have your registration fee waived and 50% off one week child care dues after 4 weeks.

Einstein Academy is located at 1030 N Ronald Reagan Bl # 1160, Longwood, FL 32750. Phone number is 407-647-6000

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14