Love Is In The Air In Tallahassee

A select few of the most ambitious and organized people out there already have the flowers ordered and reservations set.  The rest of us are performing our bi-annual (anniversary) or even tri-annual (anniversary, birthday) hustle to find a romantic, last-minute plan to show our special someone that we care. 

Here’s an idea: Take that special someone to Tallahassee’s Opening Nights Performing Arts Series. It has a ton of great events scheduled in February, including world class singer Smokey Robinson and the up and coming bluegrass duo Mandolin Orange. 

7 Days of Opening Nights, this showcase of premier acts has entertained the Tallahassee community for decades

Originally known as 7 Days of Opening Nights, this showcase of premier acts has entertained the Tallahassee community for decades.  Past performers include B.B. King, Steve Martin, and Tony Bennett, just to name a few. 

The program brings a mix of options in entertainment to Tallahassee. The lineup includes performances in spoken word, visual arts, film, dance,  and much more.

A highlight on the schedule for the “Season of Love” is Opening Nights’ collaboration with the Florida State University School of Theatre to bring Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” to the stage in Tallahassee.  This is the perfect opportunity to bring the kids along and enjoy a live performance of the tale as old as time. 

Opening Nights are a great compliment to a box of chocolates and flowers and if sure to please your loved ones.

State Parks Near Tallahassee

There are over 50 state parks in Florida that offer camping for tents, campers and RVs. Some of our state’s most beautiful natural treasures can be found in these parks.

State Parks Near Tallahassee

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park is located on the very east end of St. George Island. Miles of undeveloped beaches provide some of the most spectacular views and scenery in the state.

The park offers ample opportunity for sunbathing, swimming, boating, fishing and much more. If you intend to wet a line while visiting the park you can
expect to catch a variety of fish.

Flounder, Redfish, Sea Trout, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel and Whiting can be caught off the beach or in the bay. If you plan to stay for the night the campground offers 60 campsites with water, electric, and two bathhouses.

If you’d rather go the primitive route, two more primitive campsites can be accessed by a 2.5 mile trail.

Florida Caverns State Park located just down the road in Marianna is one of the most unique natural treasures in the country, not just the Sunshine State. This amazing park offers majestic springs, rivers, campgrounds, and much more for all ages to enjoy.

Some of the highest elevations in the state make Torreya State Park one of Florida’s most unique and scenic places. The park is named for an extremely rare species of tree that only grows along the bluffs of the Apalachicola River.

This park is popular for camping, hiking and bird-watching. Over 100 species of birds have been spotted in the park over the years. The park’s high plateaus, steep bluffs and deep ravines provide a challenging hiking terrain.

As you can see, your options for wonderful camping opportunities is endless. Thankfully, you really don’t have to travel very far to take full advantage of the natural beauty of our state.

So get out there and explore! I promise you’ll love what you find.

The 5 Top Home Buyer Turn-Offs of 2018

Selling a home in today’s market can be a bit frustrating. There’s all sorts of home staging and property preparation advice out there, and some of it seems daunting or impossible to follow unless you already live in a haute home or have a serious bankroll set aside to whip your place into shape.

You can’t turn a rancher into a Victorian – so don’t bother trying. But you do have more control than you may realize over how desirable your listing looks to potential buyers. In order to know what turns a buyer on you need to know what turns a buyer off.

Here are 6 big-time turn-offs that make buyers cringe at the thought of purchasing your home.

1. Cluttered, dirty and/or “fragrant” houses

You already know this one. Every seller does. Yet, even in 2018, the era of Houzz and HGTV, buyers across America walk into homes that would make your mother cringe every single day. The people who come to see your home are making one of the biggest decisions they’ll ever make. Cluttered countertops, neglected toilet seats and unattended litter boxes not only invite the viewer to turn up their nose, they practically compel a buyer to walk away.

Luckily, you have all the control in the world over how your house looks to your would be buyer. Some sellers find it helpful to think not about de-cluttering, but about pre-packing. Everything that is not part of the home’s decor or furnishing and that is not a must for your daily functioning should be boxed up, and neatly packed away in the garage or a storage unit. You’ll have to pack it all up anyway when your home sells, and doing it in advance just makes it more likely the place will sell, stat!

Also, no matter how long it takes for your home to get an offer, do not show it without it being completely and totally tidied up: no laundry or dishes piled up, countertops freshly wiped down, mail and paperwork put away and smelly dogs or litter boxes cleaned and/or out of the house. Get every family member on board, kids/cats/canines included, and create a morning or evening cleaning ritual to minimize mad, pre-showing dashes.

2. Overpricing. Buying a house in today’s market is hard work!

On top of all the research and analysis about the market, buyers have to work overtime to separate the real estate wheat from the chaff, get educated about short sales and foreclosures and often put in many, many offers before they get even a single one accepted. The last thing they want to add to their task list is trying to argue a seller out of unreasonable expectations or pricing.

When buyers see a home whose seller is clearly clueless about their home’s value and has priced it sky-high, many won’t even bother looking at it. If they do love it, they’ll wait for it to sit on the market for a while, hoping the market will “educate you” into desperation, priming the pump for a later, lowball offer.

Ultimately, you decide what to ask for your home. But you deprive yourself of the professional counsel and expertise you’re paying for if you fail to listen to your agent’s advice and insights on the subject of listing price. They will point you to other properties that have sold in your area with similar features and use that data to help you understand the right price range for your home. Worried about setting the price too low? Get buyer’s brokers’ feedback with an advance broker’s open house, and work with your agent on an advance plan for bringing the price down if you get no showings or buyer interest.

3. Deceptive listing descriptions or pictures.

 Here’s the deal: you will never trick someone into buying your home. If listing pics are photo-edited within an inch of their lives, buyers will learn this information at some point. If your neighborhood is described as funky and vibrant, because the house is under the train tracks and you live in between a wrecking yard and a biker bar, buyers will inevitably figure this out.

And misrepresentation alone is enough to turn otherwise interested buyers off. In cases where the buyer feels misled, whether or not that was your intention, they can’t help but wonder: If they can’t trust you to be honest about this, how can they trust you to be honest about everything else?

Buyers rely on sellers to be upfront and honest – so be both. If your home has features or aspects that most buyers will see as negative, your home’s listing probably shouldn’t lead with them. But neither should you go out of your way to slant or skew or spin the facts which will become instantly obvious to anyone who visits your home. And in any event, your pricing should account for all of your home’s features, pros and cons.

4. New, bad, home improvements.

Many a buyer has walked into a house that has clearly been remodeled and upgraded in anticipation of the sale, only to have their heart sink with the further realization that the brand-spanking-new kitchen features a countertop made, not of Carerra marble, but brand-new, pink tiles with a kitty cat in the middle of each one. Or the pristine, just-installed floors feature carpet in a creamy shade of blue – the buyer’s least favorite color.

New home improvements that run counter to a buyer’s aesthetics are a big turn-off. In today’s era of frugality, buyers just can’t cotton to ripping out expensive, brand new, perfectly functioning things just on the basis of style – especially since they’ll feel like they paid for these things in the price of the home.

Check in with a local broker or agent before you make a big investment in a pre-sale remodel. They can give you a reality check about the likely return on your investment, and help you prioritize about which projects to do (or not). Instead of spending $40,000 on a new, less-than-attractive kitchen, they might encourage you to update appliances, have the cabinets painted and spend a few grand on your curb appeal. Many times, they will also help you do the work of selecting neutral finishes that will work for the largest possible range of buyer tastes.

5. Bad photos or no photos at all.

Some of the listing photos that make it online are shockingly bad. They have dumpsters parked in front of the house, piles of laundry all over the “hardwood” floors touted in the listing description, and once, even the family dog doing his or her business in the lovely green front yard. Listing pictures that have put your home in anything but its best, accurate light are a very quick way to ensure that you turn off a huge number of buyers from even coming to see your house!

The only bigger buyer turn-off than these bizarre listing pics are listings that have no photos at all; most buyers on today’s market see a listing with no pictures and click right on past it, without giving the place a second glance.

Before your home is on the market, ask your listing agent-to-be to see the online marketing for their current listings, to get a feel for how they operate. After your home is on the market, don’t neglect to check top listing sites to be sure that the pics for your home’s listing represent your home well. If not, ask your agent to grab some new shots and get them online (and say pretty please, pretty please!).

The Winter Festival, A Celebration Of Lights, Music & The Arts

This community festival marks the start of the holiday celebration through the lighting of trees in the Chain of Parks throughout downtown Tallahassee.  The downtown parks will be filled with live entertainment, seasonal food, and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Chain of Parks throughout downtown Tallahassee

The festival starts at 3:00 pm on December 3rd and features multiple platforms of entertainment at several locations all over downtown; from Candy Cane Lane in McCarty Park, to art displays and a variety of exhibits in Ponce de Leon Park and down Park Avenue, children’s activities in Kleman Plaza, and multiple food vendors on Park Avenue, Adams Street, and College Avenue. 

The highlight of the Winter Festival starts once the sun goes down, as Bloxham Park at Monroe Street is illuminated during the annual Lighting Ceremony. Once the square is completely lit, the Jingle Bell Run begins.   

Hundreds of runners of all ages experience downtown in the peak of the holiday spirit. After the run is completed, the Festival culminates with the Nighttime Holiday Parade. Starting at the corner of Monroe and Tennessee Street and finishing on Madison Street, the parade marks the official start of the holiday season in Tallahassee as Santa Claus comes to town.  

Get your application to volunteer to be a part of the Winter Festival and Jingle Bell Run 5K.  The event is free for all ages and is made possible by the generosity of local sponsors.

In Tallahassee, Sports Are For Everyone

Perhaps it’s due to being a well-known college town, or perhaps there is just something in the southern air, but it seems like “Tallahassee and team sports” go together like “pork and beans.”  

Chances are right now you can look to the left or right of you and speak to someone who played a major sport in high school and/or college.  Some athletes are lucky enough to go on to professional careers and many past and present pro players started their love of sports in Tallahassee recreational leagues as children. 

In Tallahassee, Sports Are For Everyone

As an adult, your excitement about playing these sports doesn’t have to end just because you’re no longer in school or didn’t get picked in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. 

In my career, I am often met with surprised faces when I mention that I play for a recreational co-ed softball league. Many people, especially those new to the area, do not realize there is an option to join a sports team in Tallahassee, though they may have always wanted to play a sport to keep up with exercise or because they miss the thrill of getting the big “W.” 

 The Tallahassee Parks & Recreation has many different options to choose from if you’re looking to get that team victory fix. From recreational to competitive, tennis to volleyball, there isn’t much you can’t do. 

My passion is Friday night co-ed softball. This is a sport that I am able to do with my husband, to stay fit and have bonding experiences. 

We play in the “rec league” which isn’t as much pressure to perform, but we still have a good group of athletes who love to have fun and play the game. Friday night games do not compete with his men’s league games, nor my daughter’s fast-pitch games during the week, and with the playground on site and the fact that it’s a weekend, we don’t have to worry about getting a sitter. 

If you have been considering playing a team sport, but don’t know where to start or how to get hooked up with a team, there is a “pick-up” list you can add your name to where the team coaches can contact you if they are low on players.  There is also a Facebook group called “Tallahassee Slowpitch Softball” you can join and put your feelers out there to see if anyone could use a new player. 

Or just head down to Tom Brown Park on any given evening during the season with your gear and someone will be willing to pick you up for a game!

For more information about how to join or start your own team, check out the Parks & Rec link on Talgov.com.  To see how the Joe Manausa Real Estate team is sizing up, come check us out on Friday nights at Tom Brown Park!

Guess Who’s Coming To Tallahassee In December

The holidays in Tallahassee are thought of as a time for family, shopping and decorating the house for the winter celebrations.  Guess what else you have to look forward to this holiday season?

That’s right, almost 3 weeks of your kids being out of school!  Luckily, The Pavilion and The Centre of Tallahassee have lined up some exciting events for kids and even more exciting events for adults during the break.

Kicking off the holiday cheer is everyone’s favorite – pictures with Santa! Gone are the days of waiting in line at the Governor’s Square Mall just to get a shot of your little one screaming in Kris Kringle’s face.  

Now you have almost an entire month to capture that moment as Santa will be located at the Belk Department Store from November 25th - December 23rd.

Now you have almost an entire month to capture that moment as Santa will be located at the Belk Department Store from November 25th – December 23rd.  

If you’re like me, you haven’t traveled up North much in your life, and you may have never even seen snow or a real ice rink (except when the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks were in town – throwback to the Tally-natives!). 

For the second year in a row, we have the ability to strap on the blades from November 25th – December 30th at The Pavilion.  So go get your “Death Drop” perfected and you’ll be a regular Scott Hamilton.

Be sure to get your tickets to see Jennifer Nettles on her Christmas tour on December 9th at The Pavilion.  One-half of the country duo, Sugarland, Jennifer is a seasoned artist with an angelic voice.  

She will be singing all of the classic Christmas hits you know and love. This is sure to be a magical night for the whole family to enjoy. 

Last (but certainly not least), go to your closet right now and find the box on the shelf that you’ve pushed to the very back corner and pull our your bad 90’s fashion mistakes that you couldn’t bring yourself to throw away. 

The “I Love the 90’s Tour” is coming to town!  Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella headline on December 10th for a night of awesome bands that will be sure to bring your 90’s dance moves rushing back to you. Running Man & Reebok, anyone?  

Young MC, Tone Loc, Coolio, Color Me Bad, Kid-N-Play … Tickets start at $35 each. Leave the kids at home, folks, because it doesn’t get much better than this!

So as you’re sitting in your post-Thanksgiving-feast turkey coma, trying to find the will to button your pants and drive out to the first Black Friday sales, just remember you have plenty of options to keep the excitement alive in the last month of 2016. 

And most importantly, Leon County Schools start back on January 4th. :o)

Tallahassee Trivia: One Fast Turkey

How to Win: Be the first to post the correct answer to the Joe Manausa Real Estate Facebook Page

Turkey Trot Racer surprised Tallahassee

This Month’s PrizeA free carpet cleaning from Jay Main and Main Cleaning Solutions. Have a Main-tastic day!

The Question: In 1996 which 41 year old Turkey Trot Racer surprised Tallahassee by getting the 2nd-fastest EVER 10K time, and the highest age-graded performance over any distance in the event’s history?

Blueberry Pickin’ In Tallahassee’s Backyard

Established in 2012, Blue Sky Farm was once a plot of raw land, overgrown with weeds and brush. The new purveyors of Blue Sky Farm have now turned this land into a lovely, bustling blueberry farm with over 350 blueberry bushes and more than eight varieties of berries.

Every Saturday morning from 8:00am to 12:30pm in the month of June, Blue Sky Farm is open to the public for hand picking of their delicious berries. You can take your berries home for $4 per pound and if you pick six pounds, the price drops to $3.50 per pound.

Brightwell, TifBlue, Bluebell, Windsor, Climax, True Blue, Titan, and Ochelochnee are all the various Rabbiteye blueberries you can pick at the farm.

Not only are blueberries yummy to eat, but they are considered by many health professionals to be a “super food” rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins. Blueberries have been known to help maintain healthy bones, lower blood pressure, manage diabetes, ward off heart disease, prevent cancer, improve mental health, improve digestion, and even wrinkle prevention.

So if you’re looking for something fun to do this Saturday, hop in the car and head out to 1180 Ashville Highway in Monticello, FL.  Remember to bring sunscreen, water, and close toe shoes.

Happy Pickin’!

First Fridays In September

On the first Friday of every month from 6pm-9pm you can support local artists and businesses in the Railroad Square Art Park while enjoying live music and performances.

The park is open for anyone to roam for free, not to mention dog-friendly, so it’s definitely worth stopping by. Don’t worry— there’s so much variety you can find something for everyone.

Railroad Square Tallahassee Florida

As you probably guessed the Railroad Square Art Park is home to an array of artists and art galleries. As you’re making your rounds you can hop between galleries, where there’s a wide range of possibilities: several mediums of both 2D and 3D art, interpretive performances, and even interactive
galleries.

Along your walk you can enjoy a variety of live music of diverse genres performed by local artists, almost always accompanied by dancing.
Whether you’re looking to treat yourself, find a gift for someone, or just browse, there are a number of stores you can endlessly peruse.

You can find herbal and spiritual items, furniture, antiques, vintage clothing, comics, custom printing, camp gear, pottery, crystals, and the list goes on! Or if you’re more in the mood for an activity, there’s also a rock climbing gym and theater group, as well as opportunities for yoga, meditation, and martial arts.

Railroad Square itself is home to a handful of food and beverage options such as Black Dog CaféProof Brewing Company, and The Crum Box
 Gastgarden
—but if that’s not enough for you, plenty of food trucks gather in the center of the square to provide even more choices!

Every First Friday is unique, so even if you’ve been before you should consider checking it out again. The galleries are constantly being updated and you never know what sort of performance you might run into; belly dancers, tap dancers, quartet singers, poetry readers, and bikers are all fair game, just to name a few!

Now is the time to mark your calendar for the first Friday of every month, and be sure to make it out to Railroad Square!