Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Aug 21

Location, Location, Location on Chain of Lakes in Winter Haven!

By Brittany Graham | Uncategorized

Ready for fun in the Florida sun?

Imagine waking up every morning, walking out onto your back porch to have a cup of coffee by the pool and watching the water over the canal. Sound like a dream? Then your dream home is ready for you!
Situated on a canal off Lake Eloise, 1220 Cypress Point East in Winter Haven is your ticket to fun in the Florida sun year round!

This 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home boasts 3200+ square feet of space, perfect for the entire family. Exit from the large family room onto your screened-in pool deck. The pool, which was resurfaced in 2015, is heated and maintenance is made easy by the screen coverage. Spend less time scooping leaves and debris out of your pool and more time floating on the water!

Speaking of water, it's no doubt that this home's best feature is the location! The canal is ready for you to build your custom dock. Keep your boat, kayak, or jet ski just steps from your back door. Jump on and go for an afternoon spin around Lake Eloise or explore the entire Chain of Lakes from your backyard!

With so much fun outside, you may never want to come indoors, but just in case your next birthday pool party gets rained out, there is plenty of room for entertaining inside this lovely home as well! The large family spaces, open layout, and beautiful double-sided fireplace create several areas to customize for your friends and family. Host your next football party, family reunion, or Sunday brunch in your gorgeous new home on the canal!

Call the Home Connection Group today at 863-602-8605 to schedule a showing to view this special home!

May 26

Lakeland Life: Memorial Day Weekend 2017

By Brittany Graham | Uncategorized

Happy Memorial Day weekend! As the unofficial kick off to the summer, this weekend is full of cookouts, beach trips, and family fun for everyone! We do not, however, want to lose track of what this weekend commemorates: the memory of the military service members killed in action. Let's all take some time this weekend, amidst the sunshine and barbecues, to take a few moments to express our gratitude for those killed in defense of our country. We would not have the opportunities and freedom we have today without their sacrifice.

Here are a few things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Lakeland and central Florida:

memorial day lakeland indie flea popup

Indie Flea Pop Up at 801 E. Main

While you're out and about tomorrow night, stop by 801 E. Main in Lakeland for the Indie Flea Pop Up event! From 5-9, you can stop by and browse a maker's fair. Vendors selling handmade and vintage crafts and goods will be set up in the awesome space! Grab a cold brew coffee or 801 E. Main's summertime signature drink, a watermelon Fresca, and a beignet and enjoy the Indie Flea fair!

memorial day lakeland siesta beach

Enjoy the best beach in the USA!

Celebrate the start of summer in true Florida style - head to the beach! In fact, you can go to the BEST beach in the USA! Dr. Stephen Leatherman, Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at FIU, has been ranking beaches for nearly 30 years. This year, he put Siesta Beach just southwest of Sarasota in the #1 spot on his list, edging out beaches in California, Hawaii, and US territories. Siesta Beach's fine quartz sand, convenient development, and family environment gave it the boost from runner-up last year to first place this year. Have you been to this awesome Florida beach yet?

memorial day lakeland calvary baptist vienam

Pay your respects at Calvary Baptist

Attend the annual Memorial Day service at Calvary Baptist starting at 10:45. Every year, the church honors the service and commitment of military veterans. This year, they are specifically honoring three fallen service members, two from Vietnam and one from Afghanistan. Vietnam veteran Ret. Army Col. Al Cartwright will be the guest speaker for the day.

May 17

Becky Lane, Graduate, REALTOR Institute

By Brittany Graham | Uncategorized

Becky Lane, REALTOR
Graduate, Realtor Institute

A big “Congratulations” to Becky Lane for recently completing the coursework to earn the Graduate, Realtor Institute designation. Available to all members of the National Association of Realtors, this program involves more than 60 hours of continuing education coursework. In Becky’s case, this additional coursework included specialized education on topics like contract law, professional standards, risk reduction, and marketing.

This advanced designation represents both Becky’s investment in her professional career and in her clients. She has taken the time to learn as much as possible about current real estate concerns, both on a local level and from a national market perspective. By doing so, Becky is prepared to anticipate and meet challenging situations for her clients, help them navigate an increasingly complex real estate market, and serve her clients and community at a much higher level.

From the entire Premier Realty Network family, we would like to say CONGRATULATIONS to Becky Lane for her accomplishment!

View Of Downtown Lakeland from Lake Mirror
May 13

Search for Waterfront Property in Central Florida

By Brittany Graham | Buying a Home , Uncategorized

One of the best things about living in Central Florida is the abundance of waterfront property! Whether it’s a peaceful lake or beachside, you can’t skip a stone without finding a home on the water! (See what we did there?) We know it’s daunting to find a property to begin with, much less when you want something specific, so we created this hot sheet to help!

Use our site to search for home listings in Central Florida situation on waterfront property. These listings are updated continuously, so you’ll always have the latest info. When you’re ready, let us know and we can help get the ball rolling on your beautiful new home on the water!

May 09

Mother’s Day: Fun things to do in Lakeland!

By Brittany Graham | Lakeland Life , Uncategorized

Spending time with this weekend with a wonderful woman? We’ve got a big list of fun things you can do can do this Mother’s Day in Lakeland with your mother, mother in law, or any other great woman in your life! One of the best things about living in Lakeland is the abundance of community activities open to the public. Treat the women in your life this weekend for Mother’s Day to say a big “thank you!”

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Mar 17

Home Staging Infographic!

By Becky Lane | Uncategorized

Happy Friday everyone! Hope everyone is having an excellent end to the week and is excited for the holiday weekend! I know I am!

I found a great infographic on Pinterest a couple days ago and have to share it – it’s all about the numbers of staging. I know, I know – you all know about staging and how much it can help when selling your home, but this info really spells it out in numbers. I think the most interesting take-away is that homes that are staged sell 79% faster than homes that aren’t staged!

Coming up soon, we’ll talk about ways that you can “faux stage” your home without having to pay someone a couple thousand dollars to do it. What do you think? What are your favorite ways to stage prior to selling? If you have questions about ways you can show off your home’s assets prior to listings, don’t hesitate to ask me!



Nov 09

SHOWSTOPPER of a home close to EVERYTHING!

By Becky Lane | Uncategorized

We might be biased, but we’re pretty sure this is one of the best homes on the market in Lakeland right now. This G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. showstopper of a home is the definition of Central Florida suburban living at its finest. The 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom property in Hampton Hills South is currently listed for $223,500 and won’t be on the market long.

The open floor plan welcomes you from the foyer and you know this house is going to be great!

The flow between the kitchen and living room create seamless living space. The warm, neutral finishes unify the space and create character beyond what you’d expect in a suburb. The penninsula counter in the kitchen is the perfect serving space for your Thanksgiving appetizers and the large island makes meal-prep a breeze! The granite counter tops, stainless appliances, and cabinet pantry make you actually *want* to cook dinner every night ?

The warm and inviting master suite feels peaceful and serene – the perfect place to relax after a long day! The suite has separate large walk-in closets for plenty of storage and trey ceilings that add to the airy feeling.

Without a doubt, one of the best features of the home is the master bathroom. The granite and tile continue into this beautiful space, with a dual-height double vanity, large soaker tub, and separate shower.

Seriously, we know we say “it won’t be on the market long” for all our properties (and we’re almost always right!) but we really mean it for this one! Call us today to schedule a showing (863-606-8161) or check out the listing page for more info!

View Of Downtown Lakeland from Lake Mirror
Dec 19

Closing Costs Explained

By Becky Lane | Uncategorized

One question I frequently get asked by buyers is “What the heck are they charging me more money for at closing??” Briefly, these fees are usually between 2-5% of the amount of the mortgage and are primarily fees that your lender is charged by someone else that they so graciously pass on to you. To break it down and explain some of the costs that aren’t always clear, closing costs consist of:

  • Loan origination fee – the fee the lender charges you for processing the loan paperwork
  • Title fees – fee that’s paid to research the title of a home to make sure there are no unknown liens against it, and the fee that provides insurance to the lender in case something unknown comes up after closing
  • Inspection, appraisal, and property survey fees
  • Fee for running your credit report
  • Recording fee – paid to the county for recording new legal information about a property
  • Underwriting fee – paid to the underwriter by the lender for evaluating the strength and risk of the mortgage application


So what can you expect to pay? Well, the best thing to do is to ask for a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) from your lender. This will outline what you can expect in closing costs, and, in some states, your lender can only deviate a certain percentage of the closing costs determined in the GFE.

Once your mortgage is approved by the underwriters and your closing date is set, your lender will give you a copy of your HUD statement within 24 hours of closing. This shows all the fees and costs associated with your mortgage, including the exact amount of the closing costs and the amount of money you will need to bring to closing. You can compare this to your GFE to make sure the HUD costs are legally within the range of what the lender can charge you.

Hopefully, this helps you figure out exactly what you’re getting charged for, and de-mystifies some of the real estate jargon that so often accompanies these kinds of fees!

**I am not a lawyer and this does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should consult a real estate attorney.

View Of Downtown Lakeland from Lake Mirror
May 13

Credit Counts

By Becky Lane | Uncategorized

Before we get started on the home buying process series of posts, I wanted to address something we haven’t talked about yet – your credit score. Bear with me here, this is a long post. (The TL:DR version is make sure your credit score is accurate and high for the best interest rates.) Your credit score, in case the hundreds of commercials and companies haven’t convinced you, is extremely important. Mortgage lenders use your credit score not as a way to determine if you could afford the monthly payment on a loan, but as a measure of how stable you are financially i.e. how likely you are to default on the loan. And if you have a terrible credit score? Forget it. Even with a substantial down payment (greater than 10%), a high annual income, and significant assets, a lender will probably not even consider you without a credit rating of at least 650. Most companies want to see credit scores above 700, but even in the 700-750 range, you likely be paying higher interest rates than someone who has a 760.

That’s the part that frustrates most buyers – is 760 really that different than 740? No, not really. It probably doesn’t even reflect a different risk to the company – it just puts you into a different bracket on the spreadsheet, and that’s usually how your rates are figured out.

So what negatively affects your credit? Here are some things you should avoid in the year or so before applying for a home loan:

–          Not paying your bills on time. This is a big one. You shouldn’t have any late payments on any accounts in at least the year before applying for a mortgage.

–          Debt to credit ratio. This is confusing to some people – it’s a measure of how much debt you have to how much available credit you have. Let’s say two people each have $10,000 of available credit, but one person has $3000 in debt and the other has $7000 in debt. The second person has a higher debt to credit ratio, which could negatively affect their score moreso than the first person.

–          What kinds of accounts you have. This one can be a little confusing too. Having too many open credit cards can definitely hurt your score, but have a mix of installment loans (student loans, car loans, etc) and a couple rolling credit accounts (credit cards, usually) can actually help your credit score.

–          Recent credit inquiries. As crazy as it sounds, when companies check your credit, it actually hurts your score. It’s best to avoid these credit inquiries (e.g. getting credit for a car, furniture, etc) in the year before applying for a mortgage. This is another one that mortgage companies use as a measure of how financially stable you are – if you’re taking out lots of credit, they may not see you as a financially stable person.

This is why it’s important to make sure you have excellent credit before applying, and the best way to do that is to know exactly what’s on your credit report. The government requires that you get one completely free credit report per year, which you can do at You should make sure that all of the information on your report is accurate, and dispute any inaccurate information. You can dispute anything that doesn’t look right to improve your score as much as possible.

If you have any additional questions, the Federal Reserve is a good resource, as is the Consumer Information section of the Federal Trade Commission website. Hope this helps clear up any questions you might have!

*Full disclosure: I’m not a financial adviser or an attorney, and this is not intended as individual financial or legal advice. This is intended as a summary of information from legitimate sources and is intended only as general information to a wide audience.

View Of Downtown Lakeland from Lake Mirror
Feb 13

Fun projects for your garden!

By Becky Lane | Uncategorized

Since there was such a positive response to my last post where we discussed seed starting and a cool idea for growing herbs, I thought I’d do another post on a couple awesome ideas I’ve seen on Pinterest. I haven’t tried these, so they don’t have the Becky seal of approval, but they look like fun projects around the yard to get started on for the spring/summer. Anything to give me an excuse to get outside and soak up some sun for a while ?

If you’re already thinking, “But Becky, the soil in my yard would never grow veggies” I hear ya! The soil in my yard is mostly sand, and Carl and I are doing pretty good just to grow grass in it. That’s why I’m thinking of building a couple of these:

We get great sun exposure in most of our yard, so I think having a raised bed filled with soil would allow me to actually grow stuff in the ground rather than just in pots. I found a great set of instructions here that details exactly what materials to use and how to assemble them. I’ve also seen this kind of raised bed made with concrete retaining wall blocks if you want something a little easier to put together, but more permanent.

Here is a really cool idea I found on for use in a small space:

This looks like a really cost effective (read: cheap) way to grow veggies or flowers in a small space and keep away common garden pests. I’d love to have a place to put a hanging planter outside my porch. One issue with a hanging system like this is that you would need to plant shallow-rooted veggies or flowers. Off the top of my head, I think lettuce, herbs, strawberries, or short-stemmed flowers would all work really well. In the tutorial, they leave the PVC plain, but I would probably paint my a bright color for some outside eye-candy ?

Hope these ideas inspire you to start planning some fun outside projects for this summer!