The Pros and Cons of Owner Financing

When people buy a home, they are most likely to finance it with a mortgage. However, lending guidelines can be incredibly strict, and some buyers won’t be able to qualify.

This leads certain prospective home buyers to look for an alternative means of buying property. One of these alternatives is owner financing. Essentially, this is an agreement between the seller and the buyer of the property in which the seller finances the purchase.

Defining Owner Financing

The home buying process is a complicated one, and it can be especially stressful for someone who is a first-time home buyer.

A home is a large purchase. Accordingly, financing the purchase of real estate is a matter of necessity. When a buyer cannot get approval for a mortgage, they may try to arrange for owner financing. This involves the purchase being financed directly through the home’s seller. The result is that a bank or mortgage lender is not involved in the transaction.

How Does It Work?

Owner financing works differently than a conventional mortgage. The buyer doesn’t receive funds to buy a home from the seller. Instead, the seller must extend credit to the home buyer to cover the purchase price. The buyer typically is required to make a down payment. The balance of the extended credit is paid off by the buyer in regular payments.


At the time the seller and the buyer enter into the agreement, the buyer is asked to sign a promissory note to the seller. The promissory note contains all of the particulars pertaining to the agreement. These particulars, which are called terms, may include items such as the interest rate, the schedule of payments and what the consequences will be if the buyer defaults.


It is fairly common for the current owner, or seller, to retain the title to the house until the buyer has paid off their obligation.

While mortgages frequently extend for 15 or 30 years, owner financing agreements tend to be shorter in duration. As an example, the repayment schedule may be amortized over a typical 30-year period so that the monthly payments stay low and accessible. After about five or ten years, a balloon payment is due. The concept behind this schedule is that after that five or ten year period, the buyer will either have acquired enough equity or improved their financial circumstances enough to qualify for a traditional mortgage.


Owner financing can be a great arrangement for both parties, but it also carries risks for each. It is always wise for the buyer and the seller to meet with experienced real estate lawyers who can represent them and help to create an agreement that is fair, legal and equitable.

Pros and Cons for Buyers

While owner financing can be a fantastic solution for home buyers it is not without risks. Here is a closer look at pros and cons for the buyer.

Pros for Buyers:

  • The closing process is faster: Because there is no involvement from a legal department, an underwriter and a loan officer, the closing process tends to be streamlined.
  • Closing is less expensive: Without appraisal costs and bank fees, the buyer gets to keep some money in their pocket.
  • Options for down payments: Owner financing does not come with required minimum down payments like mortgages frequently do.
  • Available to those who cannot qualify for traditional financing: When a buyer cannot secure a mortgage, owner financing still can put home ownership within reach.

Cons for Buyers:

  • Increased interest rate: Typically, the interest rate for an owner financing arrangement is higher than that charged on a traditional mortgage.
  • The seller’s willingness is imperative: There can be no owner financing if the seller is not on board. Some sellers simply are not willing to take the risk.
  • Balloon payments: It’s common in owner financing agreements for a large payment to be due approximately five or ten years after the agreement is finalized. If the buyer cannot secure a mortgage by the time the balloon payment is due, they may lose all of the payments they have made and the house.
  • Due on sale clause: It is relatively common for a mortgage to have a due on sale clause that requires the seller to pay back their debt as soon as the house is sold. Accordingly, if the current owner has a mortgage on the property, they may not be in a position to offer owner financing.

Pros and Cons for Sellers

Home sellers are equal partners in the owner financing agreement. Accordingly, they may be subject to certain risks and benefits.

Pros for Sellers

  • A promising investment: It is possible for the owner to earn a better return on money raised from selling their home than they would if they invested the money elsewhere.
  • Lump sum opportunity: The owner may be able to sell the promissory note to an investor, which provides the owner with an immediate lump sum payment.
  • Selling the home “as is”: Banks and mortgage companies frequently require certain repairs to a property before it can be financed. This requirement is not included in an owner financing agreement.
  • Keep the title: Should the buyer default, the owner can retain the down payment, any payments that were made and the home itself.
  • Making a quicker sale: This can be a great option if the seller needs to make a fast sale.

Cons for Sellers:

  • The Dodd-Frank Act: This federal law placed new rules on owner financing that may affect the ability to require balloon payments. Moreover, some of these transactions must now involve a loan originator. It is advisable to consult with a real estate attorney before striking a deal.
  • Cost of repairs: If the owner ever has to take back the property, then they are responsible for paying for any maintenance and repairs that may be needed.
  • Default by the buyer: It is a possibility that the buyer will stop making payments. If they do and they don’t vacate the premises, you may have to begin the foreclosure process.

Let the Waypointe Group Help You Explore the Possibilities

If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of home ownership, which may include owner financing, get in touch with the Waypointe Group. Our expert Realtors can help you find the right circumstances that may ensure that you achieve your dream of home ownership.

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Reality of Selling in Today’s Market | What seller’s need to know

The Current Real Estate Market

Selling in this market is a little unusual. A lot of sellers are still hoping, or are in the mentality of where we were last year, where they list their home and it’s going to fly off with multiple offers and getting top dollar for their home. That’s not quite where we are anymore. In fact, a shift started happening around end of May- June of 2022, where we started seeing things drastically slow down. Obviously, the Feds raising the interest rates had a huge, huge effect on the way that buyers were pursuing homes.


We saw buyers take a sideline, but sellers still need to realize that the pool of buyers is a lot smaller than it was before. They are a little more weary, and don’t want to spend as much. So they’re seeing that if they wait, maybe these prices are going to go down.


Well, as a result of so many doing that, we have seen prices drop a little bit and we’ve seen days on the market increase.

It’s still a seller’s market, but it’s a little ironic because it’s kind of a buyers market as well. I’ll explain why. Typically a seller’s market, in order to stay a seller’s market, inventory months of supply has to be between 1-3 months. We are there. We are still at about a two months supply. 


Now, once it hits between 5-7  months, that’s where it’s a neutral market. And then after seven months and beyond, it becomes a buyer’s market, where homes are staying on the market a lot longer. And we’re talking months. We’re seeing right now 30 to 45 days in some areas as the average days on the market. 


The last couple years, what we experienced was an unusual market. I don’t even know if we can call that a seller’s market. That was pandemonium. That was absolute madness with homes flying off the market above asking within hours of going live. What we can say is that it is a seller’s market.


Inventory numbers are very low, so there are not a lot of options for buyers. There are opportunities, but not a lot of options. So if buyers really want to buy, they can. There’s enough inventory for them to make a decision and not a lot of competition necessarily the way it was last year. But it still gives sellers a little bit of leverage because inventory numbers are low.


Now, they can price it whatever they want, but that’s not what buyers are paying. The houses that are flying off, even in today’s market, are the ones priced a little bit below market value and that is why they get multiple offers.


Market value is a tricky phrase. You hear that thrown out all the time. What is market value?

Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay for a house. The end.

It’s not what a seller thinks their home is worth. It’s not what an agent thinks they should list the house for. It’s not even what an appraiser thinks the home is worth.


It is what a buyer is willing to pay. Which is why last year our market value/ property values all skyrocketed. Why? Because the seller wanted a number. The agent listed a number and then buyers said no, we’re willing to pay even more than that. And another buyer would say I’m going to pay more than that. That’s how that continued increasing prices and why it became a little bit like the wild, wild west of offers. That is not normal.


Never seen that before and I don’t think we’re going to see that again.

But what we do see is that people are constantly moving into Florida. Florida is not experiencing a lot of the same shifts that other markets are because we still have a lot of people coming in and wanting to live here. We also have an affordability problem and we have a housing crisis. We do not have sufficient homes for everybody that’s moving in.


We have so many people moving in on a daily rate in Florida that we cannot actually handle. So we are seeing that we have housing crisis. Rents are so high in our area in fact, some people are shocked when they hear that it’s comparable almost to Miami and to other metropolitan markets. But this area has become a place where people want to move and raise families and grow and have their careers.


Even if they can work remotely, they’d rather be in Florida, right?


Those drastic shifts that people thought were going to happen still haven’t really happened here in Florida because we have an amazing state that people want to live in. We have great weather, which a lot of people love. We do see a lot of northerners coming back or coming here because especially during this time, because they’re sick of the cold; they’re sick of winter.


So those are the considerations that people are looking at when they’re making a move. So with all of that, sellers have to be realistic about what they price their home if they want to sell.


Yes, there’s low inventory, yes, there are buyers, but the pool of buyers is much smaller than it was before.


We have seen that sellers either are not realistic or they’re just not in a rush. They have equity in their homes and even if the market goes down, they still have equity because all home values went up significantly over the last few years


So people have equity. Even if the market drops a little bit, it hasn’t dropped to where we were pre-pandemic numbers. As a result, sellers are realizing they don’t have to move, so they’re going to sit right here on overpriced homes. And there are others that do have more of an urgency and motivation to sell and that’s where you’re going to find opportunity.

Is there opportunity? 100%.

You have to work with professional advisors like myself and my team that can help guide you through the process, help connect you with mortgage professionals and lenders that can help you get that 2-1 buy down that can help you get the best interest rates out there on the market right now and help facilitate a plan if it’s in the next month, or three to six months. We can help facilitate your homeownership goals and selling your home. So give us a call if you have any questions.

How to find a good realtor

Are you looking for a Realtor in Oviedo?

If you are hoping to buy or sell a house, then the answer likely is, "Yes."

The local real estate market can move with lightning-fast speed, which means that it’s crucial to find an experienced and reputable Oviedo Realtor. Whether you are buying, selling or doing both, you need a Realtor who can simplify complicated processes and is an expert in the local market.

More than three million real estate agents currently are licensed in the U.S. The majority of these possess reasonable competency, but when you are in the market for your dream home, you want to feel the confidence that comes from knowing that you are working with a seasoned professional who has only your best interests at heart.

It is experience like this that can help you sort through the critical details so that your experience with buying or selling property goes as smoothly as possible. When you work with an Oviedo Realtor from Waypointe Real Estate Group, you can rest assured that you are in good hands.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider as you search for an Oviedo Realtor.

Experience Matters

Before you can select an agent who’s right for you, it pays to know how long they’ve been in business. A brand-new Realtor who just got their license likely is not going to be as knowledgeable and well connected as a Realtor who has been in the industry for a decade or more.

Be certain to ask any Realtors that you interview whether they work on a full- or part-time basis too. Ideally, you want someone for whom real estate is a full-time career as well as a passion. A part-time real estate agent may be distracted by other priorities and unable to meet your needs when time is of the essence.

Ask a prospective Oviedo Realtor up front what hours they are available for showings and answering questions. It’s further sensible to ask what their preferred methods of communication are so that you can ensure that you are comfortable with this choice.

Review Recent Sales

Spend some time conducting a detailed review of the agent’s website as well as their social media accounts. These tools make it easy to see recent sales as well as current listings that the agent is handling. When interviewing a Realtor, ask to see a list of recent transactions. This reveals the types of properties with which they have experience and the areas in which they frequently work.

If the properties are similar to what you’re looking for, you can feel confident that this agent is right for you.

Look for Reviews and Testimonials

An experienced Oviedo Realtor likely has collected glowing testimonials that they’ll share with prospective clients. Take a few minutes to browse online for reviews as well. Don’t be too disturbed if you stumble across one or two slightly negative reviews. After all, it’s impossible to perfectly please every client. However, if you are predominantly seeing negative reviews, then it’s probably wise to steer clear of that agent.

Location, Location, Location

You want the Realtor that you work with to be a local expert. Typically, this means that they live in the same town to which you’re hoping to move. Why is a local expert so critical to success?

Mainly, it’s because they’re familiar with the subtle nuances that affect the local market. It also can be imperative for your agent to have a local office and home address. Scheduling a last-minute showing can be complicated when your Realtor lives an hour or more away from Oviedo.

Another thing to look for in an Oviedo Realtor is how active they are in the community. Taking on leadership roles in the community indicates an agent who will not only sell you a home but also convince you that Oviedo is a fantastic place to live. Look for a Realtor who is involved in the local school district, various charities and is perhaps even helping others to develop local businesses.

Realtors who are involved in their communities are far more knowledgeable and dedicated than those that are not. If you really want to know what it’s like to live in Oviedo, then ask a Realtor who also takes on a leadership role in the city.

Find a Personality That Fits

Glowing reviews and an excellent track record are not necessarily everything that you need to know about a prospective real estate agent. If your personality clashes with the Realtor’s, then you are probably going to have a difficult working relationship.

That’s why it’s a good idea to meet in person and interview a prospective Realtor before you sign a contract with them. At Waypointe, we believe in having one-on-one interviews with all of our clients before we start working. This gives prospective clients a genuine opportunity to evaluate us and the services we offer. At the same time, an in-person interview helps our agents identify the client’s needs so that we can ensure that we can exceed their expectations.

We think it’s important for home buyers to keep in mind that this can be a long and complicated process. That means that it’s important to work with a Realtor that you like and get along with. When things get stressful, it’s definitely helpful to have a positive, supportive relationship to rely on.

Be Clear About Your Contract

Once a client and an agent have decided to work together, their understanding is formalized in a written contract. Some of the terms of your contract may be negotiable. The real estate professionals at Waypointe want our clients to have a clear understanding of all the terms of their contract, so we encourage a complete review before the document is signed. We are happy to answer any questions that might arise during the review.

Some of the terms of a typical contract may include an exclusivity agreement that lasts for three months for a buyer, but most listing agreements for sellers include a six-month commitment. Agent fees commonly are either five or six percent for sellers. Buyers usually do not pay any fees out of pocket. Instead, such fees generally are paid by the seller, with the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent splitting the fees.

Be certain to ask your Realtor any questions you may have about the contract, requesting that they clarify any terms that seem out of the ordinary. It might even make sense to have an attorney review the contract before you sign.

Any Realtor who refuses to give you sufficient time to review and ask questions about a contract probably should be avoided.

Make an Appointment with Waypointe Real Estate Group

If you are looking for an Oviedo Realtor who is an expert in the local market and is highly involved in the community, then you have come to the right place. At Waypointe, we always put the needs of our clients first.

Contact us today to speak with one of our dedicated professionals. An in-person interview provides an excellent opportunity for us to get to know each other. Make an appointment today to start looking for your new home in Oviedo tomorrow.

Best Homes to See Christmas Lights in and Around Oviedo (UPDATED 2022)

It’s the time of year again and if you’re like us, there’s nothing like Christmas lights to get us even more excited about this time of year! Thanks to our great Oviedo group on Facebook, neighbors have compiled a great list of homes in the Oviedo and surrounding areas to check out this year. Here are some of our favorites:

Oviedo, Winter Springs and Chuluota


🎄 Neely Street in Oviedo (Alafaya Woods)

🎄 1055 Brielle Ave (Alafaya Woods)

🎄 1012 Beckstrom Dr. (Alafaya Woods)

🎄 1010 Beckstrom Dr. (Alafaya Woods)

🎄 1039 Gore Drive, Oviedo – features a Santa letter box so leave your address and Santa will write back (Alafaya Woods)

🎄 1003 McKinnon Drive, Oviedo (Alafaya Woods)

🎄 1046 McKinnon Drive , Oviedo (Alafaya Woods)

🎄 2812 Pewter Mist Ct., Oviedo – Hilo Family Lights

🎄 726 & 749 S Lake Claire Cir, Oviedo

🎄 1009 Cutoff Branch Ct., Oviedo

🎄 285 Carrigan Avenue, Oviedo

🎄 680 Neile Court, Oviedo (Geneva Drive)

🎄 290 Crystal Circle, Oviedo (right off Geneva Drive)

🎄 517 Oak Street, Oviedo (tune to 90.1FM for music)

🎄 2816 Ashton Terrace, Oviedo (South of W. Chapman off Aloma) 

🎄Lowery Drive and Moore Drive, Oviedo (off 434 and Carrigan Ave)- several neighbors have lights

🎄 1020 Lantania Place Oviedo (Palm Valley has several homes lit up)

🎄 Carnaby Drive in Carillon Westhampton (2 houses with programed light show and 2 houses Grinch themed)

🎄 2754 Running Springs Loop, Oviedo (Isles of Little Creek) – Hot chocolate packets and candy canes are available. If you want your child to have a letter sent to them from Santa, deposit the letters in the North Pole mailbox and Santa will return it by Christmas.

🎄 805 Wellington Ave (Bentley Woods – near Oviedo H.S.)

🎄 1018 Corbin Ct, Oviedo (Near Oviedo H.S.)

🎄 Horseman Drive in Kingsbridge East


🎄 Bivona Christmas Light Show – 1601 North Wind Ct. Winter Springs – 6:00-11pm until New Year’s. Tune in to 91.3 FM

🎄 NEW Central Winds Park – Winter Wonderland of Lights 2022, Winter Springs – ONLY Dec. 9-11th from 7-9pm 

🎄 1601 N Wind Ct, Winter Springs

🎄 1209 Wolverine Trail, Winter Springs

🎄 1212 Andes Dr, Winter Springs, beginning 11/28 hours are 7-10 PM

🎄 681 Oswego Court, Winter Springs – All homemade wood decorations unlike any other home


🎄 Kilowatt Christmas Lights – Home is still under construction so NO lights this year, but they will be back at a NEW location for 2023.

🎄 274 Clearview Road, Chuluota (Tree Monkeys Christmas lights Spectacular. Christmas Eve – cookies and cocoa with Santa’s elves too!)

🎄 1200 Enderby Court, Chuluota

🎄 1164 Groveland Drive, Chuluota


Christmas lights in Oviedo - Waypointe Realty
Christmas lights in Oviedo - Alafaya Woods

Nearby Oviedo: Casselberry, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs and Sanford

🎄 Oak Vista Lane in the Garden Lake Estate Subdivision of Winter Springs at the corner of Dodd and Dike Rd. Nearly the whole street is lit up – 6-9 PM

🎄 Fye’s Crazy Christmas House, 407 Eagle Circle, Casselberry (Times are Sunday – Thursday 5:30pm-9pm and Friday- Saturday 5:30pm-10pm – weather permitting) – their neighbors are selling hot cocoa 🙂 

🎄 Johanessen Lights, 7849 Georgeann Street, Winter Park – featured on Great Christmas Light Fight 2016. December 6- January 2, 6-9pm

🎄 7324 Blue Jacket Place W., Winter Park (located near Aloma and Goldenrod in the Woodcrest Subdivision)

🎄 3681 Oak Vista Lane, Winter Park

🎄 518 Dew Drop Cove Court, Casselberry

🎄 387 Brittany Circle, Casselberry

🎄 780 Diane Circle, Casselberry

🎄 239 Lake Ellen Drive, Casselberry

🎄 337 Kimi Court, Casselberry

🎄11 Winding Ridge Road, Casselberry- Has a light show set to music

🎄 Lemonwood Court, Altamonte Springs (whole block is decorated)

🎄 Cranes Roost Park, Crane’s Roost Park (decorations around lake and park)

🎄 Downtown Historic Sanford (beautiful homes with lights every night)

🎄 4241 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando – Cross Family Lights – Staple for many years around Central FL. 

Christmas lights in Oviedo
Christmas lights in Chuluota - Tree Monkeys
11 winding ridge rd casselberry fl 32707

5 Reasons Oviedo Is The Best Place To Live In Central Florida

When most people think of Central Florida, they immediately envision the perfect vacation spot. Numerous beaches are just a short drive away, and so is the excitement of Orlando’s famous theme parks. Fewer people realize that this also can be an incredible place to live.

Oviedo Florida, in particular, is garnering all sorts of well-deserved praise from nationally recognized publications and the people who call it home. There are many reasons for this, including the friendly neighbors, economic opportunities, natural beauty and the chance to raise kids in a place where children and teens tend to thrive.

It isn’t easy to define all of the reasons why Oviedo is the best place to live in Central Florida, but here are five that are high on the list. Any one of them might be a sufficient encouragement to call Oviedo home. When all of them are combined, it becomes difficult to think of a reason to not consider relocating to this charming spot in Central Florida.

Oviedo Florida is a great place to raise kids, and the secret is out. One of the main reasons why children and teens thrive in the region is the outstanding schools. They are in the well-respected Seminole County school district.

In 2019, declared Seminole County the fourth best school district in the state. Only St. Johns, Sarasota County and Okaloosa School Districts ranked higher in the listing of all 67 statewide districts. The findings gave Seminole an A+ in diversity, an A in academics, an A in college readiness and an A- in administration. The district also was awarded a B+ for health and safety, a B for teachers and a B- for resources and facilities.

Newsweek also has heaped praise on the city’s schools. In 2013, the publication found that 90 percent of the district’s graduates were college ready. Back in 2003, Newsweek also stated that the district boasted five high schools that were among the top four percent in the country.

Elementary and middle school students further have the benefit of being able to choose to attend charter or magnet schools instead of the public school which they are zoned to attend. Similarly, high school students have the option of applying to specialized programs and magnet schools.

2020-seminole county schools rankings

Some people claim that living in Florida is like being able to enjoy summertime all year long. The climate, combined with the region’s stunning natural beauty, makes the region the ideal spot to enjoy outdoor recreation.

Oviedo and Seminole County make this even easier by maintaining a wealth of parks and trails. The city manages a variety of public facilities that are aimed at keeping residents active and making it possible to enjoy outdoor spaces. At the gym and aquatic facility, families take advantage of a fully equipped fitness room, basketball courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and an indoor rock climbing wall. The splash zone and playground promise hours of fun for youngsters.


Other city facilities include a sports complex with several fields and a playground. The various city parks further feature playgrounds, sports fields and courts and lakes stocked with fish.


Residents also make the most of the region’s many trails. Bear Creek Nature Trail may be in the midst of suburban development, but it nonetheless provides an easy escape to the wilderness. Big Tree Park is the place to go if you want to stand in awe of towering cypress trees. The Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area features a beautiful, three-mile hike while Flagler Trail South has a pathway that explores an historic railroad route.


Little Big Econ State Forest is a local treasure, including trails for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. People who want to paddle the waters or fish in the streams are always welcome, and there are many attractive campsites.


The Black Hammock Wilderness Area is another well-loved natural preserve. It offers a wonderful trail through dense native vegetation that is a joy for the whole family. The Lake Jesup East Tract is another popular trail choice. At just two miles in length, the whole family can easily appreciate this wilderness trek.


Another favorite outdoor recreation spot in the area is managed by Seminole County. The Econ River Wilderness Area features a three-mile trail that rambles through a variety of landscapes. Visitors can expect to see all sorts of wildlife. Cycling, horseback riding and fishing also are popular here.

Check our our blog on must do parks in Oviedo.

kayaking the Econ riverlittle big econ barr st trailheadDeer in Black Hammock

Oviedo Florida boasts an incredibly involved community of friends and neighbors. This up-and-coming city is perfect for growing families that are interested in living in a place where diversity is valued and the economy is strong.

The city currently has an approximate population of 37,545. With the median age of residents being 35, this is a relatively young community. Median household income is $82,402 across the city, and the rate of home ownership is 77.8 percent, which is quite an improvement over the national average of 63.6 percent. Oviedo also is favored by having a fabulous location. Commuters can reach downtown Orlando by car with about a 30-minute drive.

Events in and around Oviedo

One of the things that makes Oviedo such an attractive place to live is the events that enliven the local calendar. The festivals begin in January with the Scottish Highland Games and continue in March with the street festival known as Taste of Oviedo in which the public gets to sample the best of the local restaurants. Other favorite events include Central Florida’s BBQ Blowout, the Winter Springs Festival of the Arts, a craft fair known as Great Day in the Country and a Jazz and Wine Festival. Local families also enjoy Movies in the Park and a selection of holiday events.

  • January: Scottish Highland Games
  • March: The Taste of Oviedo Festival
  • October: Winter Springs Festival of the Arts
  • November: Great Day in the Country
  • and many more events in and around Oviedo

While many of Oviedo’s residents commute to Orlando for work, there are others who stay closer to home. They have good reason for doing so because the city is known as one that is on the rise economically. Relocate America named the city a Top 100 City to Live In while Family Circle called it one of the best towns for families. Business leaders like that Oviedo is located along Seminole Way, the state’s newest high-tech corridor. As such, industries such as digital media, simulation and medical sciences are thriving here. Oviedo’s leaders are committed to responsible, sustainable growth, which means that many entrepreneurs may settle here with a view to providing much-needed goods and services.


People and publications are increasingly recognizing Oviedo Florida as an excellent place to live thanks to the strength of its community. A WalletHub survey concluded that Oviedo was one of the best places to live in Central Florida based on quality of life, economics and education. The HowMoneyWalks website named Oviedo one of the best places in the nation to raise kids thanks to the quality of its schools, the favorable tax structure, the high incomes, the affordable homes and the attractive climate. Relocate America also called Oviedo one of the best places to live in America.

One of the things that really makes Oviedo stand out from other similarly sized cities is its healthy housing market. Neighborhoods like Lake Charm, Alafaya Trail/Carrigan Avenue, Emerald Green Circle/E. Mitchell Hammock Road and Old Lockwood Road/Fawn Run have seen steadily rising property values since 2000.


Homes in Oviedo are overwhelmingly single-family dwellings. Nearly 86 percent of homes in the city fit this description with a further 6.6 percent of homes being apartment complexes. Most homes in the region are fairly new. Almost 70 percent of dwellings were constructed between 1970 and 1999. A further 27 percent have been built since the year 2000. Within the city, the majority of the homes have at least three bedrooms with four bedrooms being second.


In the past year, property values in Oviedo have increased about 5.8 percent. Predictions indicate a further rise of 7.2 percent in the coming year. Home ownership in the city is a sound investment over the long term.

Oviedo residential home values over the last 10 years and forecast for the next year

Another fantastic reason to live in Oviedo Florida is its unique spot on the map. The city is centrally located and well connected by Florida’s highway system. This makes it easy to get almost anywhere in the state without much difficulty.


Commuters love how easy it is to get to work in Orlando. The 417 can quickly be reached from just about anywhere in Oviedo. Taking this highway makes getting to Orlando a cinch. Oviedo’s spot on the map also is ideal for those who are employed in college education or who are seeking a degree. The University of Central Florida is just a 20-minute drive away.


If you need to get almost anywhere within the state of Florida, then you’ll appreciate the city’s proximity to I-95. From nearly any location in Oviedo, it is a less than 30-minute ride to one of I-95’s on ramps.


Oviedo also occupies an ideal location on the map because of its proximity to amazing recreation. A variety of beaches can be reached within about 30 minutes, and the excitement of Orlando’s theme parks can be discovered in less than a one-hour drive.


Living in Oviedo is like a dream come true for many families. A low crime rate, excellent city facilities and an involved community are just a few reasons why people love to call this Central Florida city home.

Oviedo proximity to everything map

Looking to Relocate to Oviedo?

What Solar Panel Companies Don’t Want You To Know!

Here's why you should think twice before getting solar panels

Table of Contents

The idea that we can gain power through solar is fantastic. We promote solar power and think it is something we should look forward to what future technologies can offer, but the current infrastructure is not conducive for long term solar growth and is creating greater waste, especially when it comes to home solar systems. Let’s dig deeper.


This article is intended to educate an otherwise uneducated population that assumes the best of solar panels and the very insistent and persuasive sales people pushing this product. 


We’re going to look at this from a real estate, roofing, insurance, title, appraiser and lending professional perspective as well as discuss some very serious issues that consumers may be unaware of.

Real Estate Perspective

As a real estate professional in the industry for almost two decades, I saw the transition of solar panel systems becoming an affordable option for homeowners and a very slow adoption to residential sales.

From 2012 – 2015, we saw the cost of residential solar systems becoming cost-effective for the average American household. In 2015, more residential solar power was installed in the U.S. in over 18 months than in all the cumulative history prior to this.

Since that time, we have seen a tremendous growth of solar panel installments and an even greater number of sales people door knocking trying to convince homeowners that it’s a good idea.

Community solar panels

Let’s look at what this means for a homeowner when it’s time to sell.

  1. First of all, there are several things to consider if you’re thinking about installing solar. How long are you going to live in your home? The break-even point may not even be worth the hassle, insurance and other costs involved when you look at the big picture and not the monthly fee people get caught up with.
    For example, how does saving $50-100 per month on your electric bill make up for spending more than double that on a monthly solar payment? Financially, the numbers don’t make sense.
    If you plan on being in the home over a decade, I don’t recommend it because it takes an average of 9-12 years just to break even. But please consider this from a solar panel installation company. If solar can save you an average of $26K on electricity costs over 20 years but the system costs you over $30K and most people don’t live in a home past 8 years, can you explain how this makes financial sense?
  2. Those contracts are NOT written favorably for the homeowner. We’ve seen sellers stuck in their contract where they’ve either had to pay off the solar panels ($30K-70K – depending on the square footage) before selling or splitting with the buyers. Either way, this is a tremendous percentage of their equity out the window on a system that most people don’t pay off and see the break even point.
  3. Solar panels become liens on your property that MUST be transferred to another buyer and may disqualify a buyer that could have afforded your home because of the additional debt of the panels. When solar panels are present, lenders now have to make sure the debt to income ratio isn’t too high or financing will not be approved.
    “If you’re not buying your solar panels with cash, the manufacturer may place a lien or Uniform Commercial Code filing on your property to make sure you keep paying for them. Unfortunately, when you go to refinance or sell the property, it’s generally trouble to have any kind of lien on your home.” (Source: Rocket Mortgage)
  4. Appraisers are NOT adding the value of solar panels into an appraisal to compensate for the debt incurred, yet you are still paying taxes on the newly assessed value of your home after permits have been closed.
  5. If solar panels are leased, the leasing company has to approve the transfer and do a credit check. Selling a home can be complex enough without having to add this headache of yet another approval.
  6. Resale value with solar panels is not as exciting as homeowners may hope. As of now, the majority of home buyers appreciate that a home may have them (unless they understand the insurance nightmares we’ll discuss later), but they won’t add value to it when considering making an offer on a home.

Did You Know?

The absolute best solar panels are only up to 33% efficient with the best inverter and completely brand new. Check out this article on the “best solar panel systems” and none go above 24.69% – please let that sink in for a second.  (Source: Solar Reviews)

Just why?

New homes are built energy efficient already and do not need solar panels, but unfortunately some developments have required solar panels to be obtained by the homeowner so there is no choice in the matter except a heavy added price tag, especially if damage to the roof incurs and a replacement needs to happen (more on that soon).

Here’s a sad story shared by a Realtor and like this one, there are hundreds more:

Solar panel issue with seller

There are so many other improvements to a home that can make a HUGE impact in your value, but this one has more expenses and risks that may not be worth it.

Roofing Perspective

Let’s start with the fact that roofing companies love solar panels because it means a new roof. However, when you ask a roofing professional their honest opinion, it paints a different story for consumers. Let’s begin with two simple questions:

  1. Why are solar systems harmful for a roof? “Holes in the roof can lead to leaks forming over time. With the presence of unexpected moisture, the possibility of water damage and mold growth becomes very real. On that note, damage to shingles and roof tiles from drilling or hammering during solar panel installation is almost guaranteed.” (Source: Solar Stack)
  2. What does it take to install panels? “Roof-mounted panels require workers to drill holes in your roof to install the platforms where the solar panels rest. The sizes of the holes depend on your roof’s foundation and material. These holes hold the fasteners which attach the solar panels to your roof. Like how roof construction normally works, solar panel installation requires workers to use flashing. Flashing is plastic or metal sheets that fit underneath the tiles or shingles of your roof. Workers then seal the flashing and the area around the fasteners to prevent the holes from allowing water to leak into your home.” (Source: Solar Alliance)

Because of the way the panels need to be installed, insurance companies have stopped the coverage of these panels and require a special coverage provided by the solar panel companies or an add-on from the insurance carrier.

Here are some concerns directly from a roofing professional:

1. Solar panel companies are not staying in business long enough to outlast their manufacturer’s warranty. This should be highly concerning for homeowners thinking about getting systems installed.

2. Solar cells dying after 15 years long with the converter not being able to convert the energy captured

3. Solar panel representatives sell you on the idea that energy prices will increase (which most likely they will), but they also don’t tell you that you won’t make your money back in the first 10 to 15 years. They initially sell you the idea that you’ll make your money back between the first 5 and 10 years but that doesn’t actually happen.

4. The tax credits aren’t enough to justify the savings you’re being sold.

5. If your roof is too old they can’t install the solar panels, so you end up having to pay for a new roof as well. Most companies will put the roof into the loan of the solar panels, thus incurring additional debt.

6. When you put solar panels on the roof, wherever there’s a solar panel it voids the roofing warranty of the shingles on that slope.

7. After solar panels die, they end up going to the landfill and they become hazardous waste due to the materials they are manufactured out of. So there are pictures of “solar panel graveyards”all across the United States.

Ironic how something that is supposed to be environmentally sound, is actually creating toxic waste.

Insurance Perspective:

Insurance is not anti-clean energy, it’s just not good business to provide coverage. Why? Claims costs are the drivers behind the issues of insurance companies not wanting to adopt solar PV arrays.

It’s often not just as simple as taking them off and putting them back on when the roof needs replacements. The costs of replacing the roof with solar is tens of thousands for insurance companies:

  • Roof replacement from where solar was
  • Solar panels themselves
  • Storage fees (typically about 3 months and averages $5k just to STORE the panels)
  • Moving fees to the storage facilities while roof is getting replaced
  • Misc. fees

Insurance companies caught on rather quickly that this was an immediate liability for them to cover the roof where the solar panels are on. If they do, there is a premium.

Insurance is available but coverage limitations may vary from company to company. Importantly, don’t assume ALL insurance companies will take a home with solar. 

Oviedo solar panels

Here Are Some Things You Need to Know:

“If you have roof-mounted solar panels, the coverage on your homeowners policy may pay to repair or replace them if they’re damaged by a covered peril. Some insurers may not cover wind or hail damage to roof-mounted solar panels.” (Source: Progressive)

If the roof needs to be replaced, how does that affect the panels?

“If you run into a roofing issue, and need to replace the roof post-installation, there will be labor costs associated with taking the panels off your roof and putting them back on. Unfortunately, it’s hard to give specifics on the costs associated with this labor, as it can vary greatly. Installers will have different rates for their labor, and the cost can also vary based on the size of the system, how many panels will need to be removed, and whether you need a place to store the equipment. If mounting hardware also needs to be removed in order to replace your roof, this will add onto the cost. On average, residential installations tend to cost somewhere between $1,500 to $6,000 to remove and reinstall. (This is not inclusive of the cost required to replace your actual roof.)” (Source: Energy Usage)

People always want to know if solar panels will be covered in their policy. Because each insurance company is different, they have a variety of reasons they may or may not cover solar panels. Essentially, the cost of having solar panels is a huge risk and cost for insurance companies.

Let’s take a look at how particular insurance companies can be with solar.

Frontline Insurance

Frontline, for example, will accept solar panels (as long as they are not net metered). Those familiar with the inner workings of solar panels know that ALMOST ALL systems are net metered, meaning owners can sell back energy to the power company (not that they get much from this).

Florida Family Insurance

Florida Family will accept up to 20 solar panels on homes over 2000 sqft as long as it is no more than 50% of the roof area. Under 2000 sqft, it is limited to 10 panels.

Florida Peninsula Insurance

Florida Peninsula accepts solar systems up to Tier 1. What is a Tier 1 system? Up to 10kW, which is often the “magic number” in these systems.

American Traditions Insurance

American Traditions accepts solar panels and you can BUY BACK coverage for hurricane protection, which in Central Florida can cost typically between $450 for a $20,000 solar system.

AAA Insurance

AAA Auto Club is removing their coverage.

Many Others

Many companies cover solar but specifically exclude WIND, HAIL, or HURRICANE damage to such systems (Author note: Then what in the world do they cover??? Those are the main reasons people in Florida need new roofs).

Title Perspective

It’s important to understand how solar systems affect title:

  1. Most UCC-1 (Uniform Commercial Code-1 statement is a legal notice filed by creditors as a way to publicly declare their rights to potentially obtain the personal properties of debtors who default on loans) are effective 5 years after they are recorded
  2. It can be continued  – A “Continuation statement” must be filed 6 months before the expiration of the 5 years.
  3. UCC-1 is terminated with a UCC-3 “Termination Statement” at the time of the sale. 
  4. If the UCC-1 is not terminated, the UCC-1 will take priority over the buyer’s mortgage, and the interest conveyed to the buyer in their deed. 
  5. The solar system can be repossessed. 

Tips for homeowners with solar panels when looking to sell your home:

  1. Obtain a list of the Lease and disclose the Solar System in the MLS
  2. Review the lease to determine whether it is assignable or must be paid off at the time of the sale
    • Side tip: If you are planning on getting a solar system installed, request that these provisions be left out of the lease. 
  3. Know the balance owned, and factor it into the listing price. 
  4. If the system is paid off, gather proof. Title company will request this information. Having this ready prevents delays.\

From Appraiser Perspective:

Here is what’s important from an appraiser’s viewpoint. It’s important to know if the panels are owned outright or being financed. If owned outright without financing, then they are given more value. If they’re owned, the appraiser considers how big the solar unit is.


For example, is it just for the pool or the entire home. The contributory value of solar systems (owned) varies greatly on subdivision, location, total living area of improvement and age. 

If the solar system is being financed, the appraiser should know whether the panels can be repossessed if the loan goes into default. If they can be, then no value should be given in an appraisal.


Leased packages are NOT included in valuation per FHA, FNMA, and VA. 

If there are panels that are being financed and they are not fixed to the real estate, then they should not be given value either. 

The most challenging part of Solar, is to find comparable sales to support market value that includes similar systems. It would be helpful to find comps with similar panels if possible so that there is no need for a separate adjustment. 


Fortunately, it’s becoming more prevalent, but still not common enough in this area to always be able to find good comparable sales. 


FNMA 1004 Form does have a line-item on the grid for Energy Efficiency which is the line item adjustment typically made for this type of improvement. 

Remember, the benefit of a Solar System is to reduce the Cost of power over the long haul, the contributory value today is NOT cost to purchase and install. (Author note: Did you hear that??? It’s not the value of what you paid for it, it’s the potential long term savings which so far does not come close to the cost involved).

From a Mortgage Lenders Perspective:

Lenders need to be made aware of any additional liens or mortgages on a property that would be required to be taken over by a borrower as it affects their financing ability. 


When a home is encumbered with a solar system that needs to be transferred to a buyer for the remaining balance of the loan, it can take their debt to income ratio out of the range approved by the lender. 

For current homeowners, we have seen clients that had a mortgage that was affordable, but after installing a solar panel system, their taxes increased due to reassessment which in turn affected their monthly mortgage because taxes are included in escrow. Several clients are on the verge of losing their homes because they’ve seen a significant increase in their monthly payment. 

A local Oviedo lender shared that they had clients in Oviedo who can no longer afford their mortgages as a direct result of solar panel installations.

 “One lady purchased solar panels for her home and unfortunately due to a recent divorce, her husband had her file bankruptcy. In addition, due to the solar panels, her property was reassessed and with the panels and taxes, her monthly payment went from $1700 to $3000 monthly. She's unable to refinance as a result of the bankruptcy so she’s in a bind. We’ve had 4 clients this month come in with similar issues of being unable to pay their mortgages as a direct result of solar panels.”

Tips when considering buying a home with solar panels

When it comes to protecting buyers looking at properties with solar panels, here are some really important items to consider:

  1. Prior to viewing a home with solar panels, ask if they are leased or owned
  2. If the solar system is leased, ask the seller for a copy of the lease: Does the lease require payment upon sale of the home? Is the lease assumable by the buyer?
  3. Does the buyer qualify for the assumption? Remember, buyers CANNOT be forced to assume the lease. Seller may need to pay it off if the purchase contract requires marketable title to be delivered to the buyer. 
  4. Ask about assumption fees. (Author note: There is a transfer fee that we’ve seen in the thousands of dollars that solar panel companies charge just to transfer from one homeowner to another). 
  5. Ask seller to disclose (in writing) how much remains to be paid.
  6. If there are payments and fees owed on the Solar System, buyers should take this into consideration.
  7. Ask about warranties that can be transferred to the buyer.
  8. Commercial clients – “no right to sunlight in Florida”. You may need a solar easement so that the solar system remains operational. 

There are several risks and negatives for getting solar panels in this stage of the technology. Here’s another risk to consider: fires. Design flaws, component defects, and faulty installation generally cause solar rooftop fires. As with all electrical systems, these problems can cause arcs between conductors or to the ground, as well as hot spots, which can ignite nearby flammable material.

Here’s a post from a fellow realtor that experienced this and hundreds of comments of others that have had similar experiences in their towns or with clients:

Solar panel fire

Final thoughts:

If you want to get solar panels, don’t do it for financial savings, but more for back up electricity if power goes out or because you want to support solar power growth.


I believe we need to create a tax incentive for solar systems instead of reassessing taxes which in turn penalizes  homeowners thus increasing their taxes.


Ideally seeing tax incentives for homeowners would be the best route, since we all know the electric companies are not truly giving credit back for energy savings. That’s become its own complication for solar panel owners.


At this point, we need to get better technology that will not create hazardous toxic, non-biodegradable waste in order for this to not be a self-defeating move in what should be a positive direction. We need to create better technology with less of a footprint on the environment which is ultimately why we all want solar in the first place.


Then, we need to figure out a way for the construction of the panels not to cause further waste by needing to replace perfectly good roofs just to install. 


At this point in time, it is a decision homeowners should intensely research before they allow a solar panel representative to come in with their very appealing pitch on “electric savings” for your household. 


This article may not be a fan favorite, especially for those that are already committed to a solar system on their home, but we think it’s incredibly important to educate homeowners on all the areas this decision can affect: resale, liens, debt, insurance, title conveyance and safety.

What you can do

Contact your Governor and State Legislatures to make changes to protect homeowners while still trying to promote sustainable and affordable solar power. 

In Florida, you can visit the Governor’s office here.



For more questions on the real estate market in Central Florida or to SELL or BUY in Orlando, Oviedo or surrounding areas, contact us at 407.801.9914.

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How to Overcome the Inventory Crisis

How to Overcome the Inventory Crisis?

Inventory has not increased and prices are on the rise. What does this year look like and what can agents do to stay in the game?

Before we jump into how to overcome where we are in real estate as agents, we need to understand some basic economic principles and how that affects us today.


Four Real Estate Cycles


Let’s start with the four real estate cycles and what they are.

The first is recovery. This is a tricky phase to identify as this phase takes place after a recession and most people are so burnt out on the effects of the recession to even see recovery on the horizon. This is the best time to buy real estate on the onset. We saw this around 2011-2013.


The second phase is expansion. This is where the general economy is improving, job growth is strong and there is an increased demand for space and housing. The expansion phase is when the general public will start regaining their confidence in the economy. This market is where renters and homebuyers will start generating demand again. While the market is on an upswing, it’s advantageous to invest your efforts into developing or redeveloping properties that cater to the current market’s taste and sell for more than market value.


Then we move into hyper supply as the third phase. This is where developers and investors get into a frenzy during the expansion phase to ensure that supply meets a growing demand. Eventually it hits a tipping point where supply begins to exceed demand, either from too much inventory on the market or because of a sudden shift in the economy or worldwide that causes fear and stops the demand. This is a great time to us the buy and hold strategy so that you have properties in stock when it’s an ideal time to sell again.


The fourth phase is recession. This is one that we’re all too familiar with whether or not you were in real estate during this time. The market crashing in the 2000’s was a combination of the perfect storm, which left the entire nation struggling for many years following. In the case of the 2000’s, subprime loans, an oversupply of inventory, inflated prices and lots of fraud and greed. If you want to understand it in more detail, check out the movie The Big Short. Typically during this phase, supply exceeds demand by a large margin and property owners see high vacancy rates in their rentals. This is a great opportunity to purchase distressed properties and wait until the market recovers to sell.


These four cycles typically represent a 7 year period where the market corrects itself.


However, since the recession in 2008, we have not seen this.


We saw the recession from 2008-2010 where there was a significant number of foreclosures, short sales and vacancies. Then from 2011-2013 we saw recovery and prices steadily increase. We saw expansion start around 2014 and continue through 2019 which is quite a long period for this phase but then we saw hyper supply hit in 2020 during the pandemic. It’s been going for almost two years straight with the largest equity and price increase seen from 2021 until now.


Homeowners have averaged a $67K gain in equity just during the pandemic ($300K in San Francisco, but that’s not our market so we don’t need to talk about that ridiculousness). People have seen higher ROI’s in buying and selling during the pandemic than in any other possible investment.

We haven’t seen a correction.


So people naturally think, there’s going to be another bubble popping. I agree that something has to give but let’s look at facts and…



Why this isn’t a bubble like 2008:


1. Low inventory
2. Cash – higher downpayments and paying appraisal gaps or removing appraisal contingencies
3. Tight restrictions on lending

Just when I think we may have experienced a slow down, 2020 happened and working remotely changed everything. Feeling “mishoused” became a real thing. This is when people had the right house until the pandemic happened and then everything felt too close for comfort so they no longer “fit” in their homes. Working environments at home and schooling from home made homes feel very tight and people wanted more space. We saw so many “move-up’ buyers that were looking for more space. Pool sales and installs and outdoor activities and remodels skyrocketed. People had to figure out what to do with their space while they were stuck at home and make it comfortable. If they couldn’t afford to move, then they were remodeling.

Florida saw a massive increase in relocations from other states, especially New York (which is typical for retirees but now we were seeing younger and younger families moving from NY earlier than normal) and California. In droves they were moving to Florida. I’ve heard it said and have experienced this in Orlando, but Florida is the new California – I hate that reference but we have the beaches, great weather, low taxes, incentives for small business, and freedoms that many other states do not and did not see during the pandemic that caused a huge exodus from states into ours.

This didn’t help our already low inventory crisis. I remember complaining about low inventory in 2011 and it has only continued decreasing monthly.



What a healthy market can sustain:



Months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace. Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months’ supply tends to push prices up more rapidly.

A healthy real estate market is a 6 month supply.

Where are we right now: According to the Florida Realtors monthly stats, we are at a 1.0-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 1.2-months’ supply.

Why has it not corrected itself? For the same reason this isn’t a bubble. We don’t have sufficient inventory for all those looking to relocate, stop renting or selling to buy a home.

According to Fortune:
Why is the inventory situation getting worse? It starts with demand, which isn’t letting up. We’re still amid the five-year window (between 2019 and 2023) when every millennial born in the generation’s five largest birth years (between 1989 and 1993) will hit the all-important first-time homebuying age of 30. Homebuilders, who cut back on building after the 2008 financial crisis, simply weren’t ready for this demographic wave that was looming even before the pandemic struck. To make matters worse, homebuilders are now struggling to even fulfill contracts on time as the overwhelmed global supply chain continues to create delays and shortages for everything from garage doors and windows to framing lumber.

There’s another reason inventory is shrinking again: Spiking mortgage rates. Back in December, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was at 3.11%. As of Friday, that rate has spiked to 3.85%. In theory, higher rates should cool the market over time. However, this sudden move up in mortgage rates, Bachman says, has corresponded in a short-term uptick in “buyer urgency.” Home shoppers, she says, are rushing to buy now before rates go even higher. Of course, that’s only taking more inventory off the market.



When can we anticipate a correction?


When it will correct – 3-5 catching up with housing and construction. Then we’ll see the inventory finally level to where the expansion phase is and will catch up with the housing shortage. Shortly after that is when I think we should see a balanced market.

Additionally, keep an eye out for interest rates rising and how that affects your buyers from purchasing a home. It will only become more costly over time.


Now what?

So what do you need to do now to make sure you still have a real estate career by the end of this year during this inventory shortage never seen before?



I have 4 simple but career changing ways:

1. This market is aggressive. We need to know what opportunities are available for our buyers. We have rent-to-own programs that we utilize as well as cash offers to help get our buyers the homes they want and compete against cash as cash because we all know FHA and VA don’t stand a chance but conventional

2. Work for your buyers (we know those are in abundance compared to sellers) by finding sellers. Be creative. We’ve contacted Expireds, FSBO’s and sent letters to homeowners of homes that match what our buyers are looking for. Door knocking. For sellers, eXp offers several programs that help set us apart from the rest in terms of listing presentations (Curbio, Express Offers, America’s Home Warranty)

3. Be the real estate expert in your market. Miami/Orlando is huge. You have to make sure you’re not trying to compete with everyone, you want to create a niche and expertise that people will find you. Mayor of your town.

4. Partner with a team or network that will train you on how to submit competitive offers and WIN! (discuss our weekly huddles) Getting ideas and discussing best practices – what has worked, what hasn’t. Feed off the energy and gain training to propel you through the next week
Joining eXp has given us access to tools and trainings we would otherwise have to pay thousands for. Here, it’s part of the culture. It’s what we do for one another since it’s an agent owned brokerage.
– Luxury caravan
– Team Building Mastery training
– Weekly accountability
– Referral system
– Support

For more questions on the real estate market in Central Florida or to SELL or BUY in Orlando, Oviedo or surrounding areas, contact us at 407.801.9914.

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UPDATED Top Gyms in Oviedo and Winter Springs

Top Gyms in Oviedo and Winter Springs

Working out can feel like a burden if it’s been a while. Many people will wait to make it their new year’s resolution before they set foot in a gym for all of 3 weeks. But really, 80% of people who joined a gym in the beginning of the year quit within 5 months. Why wait for the new year? The best time to start is actually NOW

I love working out, if it’s the right workout. So I decided to test out different gyms all around Oviedo and some in Winter Springs and bring you my favorites, the pros and cons and then rate them on cleanliness, class offerings, hours open, customer service, caloric burn (intensity), cost and amenities.
Before I start with my top choices for gyms in Oviedo/Winter Springs, let me begin with a few caveats to keep in mind as you hear my assessment of the gyms I’ve chosen from my experience:
✅ Competitive

I’m competitive by nature and love aggressive, intense workouts with high intensity and training 

✅Bore Easily

I get bored easily and not a fan of monotony, especially in a workout.

✅ Disciplined

I program my schedule and discipline myself to go to the gym every workday and sometimes Saturday as well

✅ Need Motivation

I have zero motivation in big box gyms and can do a great job staring at weights not knowing what workout to do and then when I do, just sandbag it and walk out with little satisfaction.

✅ Experienced

I’ve tried every workout you can imagine over the last two decades (from hot yoga, to rock climbing, contact boxing to Zumba) so finding something engaging and motivating can be a challenge for me. As a result, I have high expectations in a gym and workout.

✅ Looking for Change

This list is for the Oviedo/Winter Springs resident that is looking for a change, possibly has plateaued or just wants to know what’s out there that’s different from the same ol’ thing.

👉 Now, research has shown that when a gym is more than 15 minutes away, the consistency of attendance declines. Already as it is, consistency in a gym is low among members. To see good results at any of these gyms, please commit to at least 6 months. It takes time to develop strength and burn fat so be patient. That’s why it’s important to find a gym you connect with that motivates you and helps you reach your fitness goals. 

In this list you’ll note that I did not include big box gyms like the Zoo, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness. Everyone pretty much knows what they offer and the cost, but if you’re like me and need motivation to see results, the gyms below are worthy of your time.  

⭐️Our Top Picks…

#1 BioFit Performance 

Price: $129+ (4 packages ranging from $129-499 per month) 


Pros: If I had to sum up my idea of a perfect workout experience, this is it. This is a family owned business that opened up during the COVID pandemic and has been successful due to their innovative science-based fitness model. You start with a Fit 3D assessment and a bio mechanic assessment to see where you are and where you need to be. They provide nutritional guidance, semi-private and private training along with unlimited classes in Conditioning (HITT style/ cardio/strength) and Durability (mobility/yoga). After your workout, you can unwind in the recovery room that offers a cold and hot jacuzzi’s and an infra-red sauna. In a nutshell, their goal is to give accessibility to all the amenities and resources a professional athlete does at the fraction of the price. 


Cons: Price may be a deterrent for most. Distance is a little farther from most Oviedo residents as it is located on the SW part of Oviedo.


Add’l info: High energy workouts as well as mobility classes, Fit 3D assessment and a bio mechanic assessment. Option for customized nutritional plan by a nutritionist, massage therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. There is also a registered nurse on staff as well. Bathrooms have showers, towels and extra amenities. They also offer a wonderful smoothie bar and outdoor seating next to the Cross Seminole Trail. 



BioFit Oviedo
#2 F45 Training

Price: $159 unlimited (no contracts)


Pros: This is a franchise new to Oviedo and Winter Springs. It involves stations and interval training that keeps you engaged the whole time. The HIIT workouts are excellent and never the same. The named workouts reflect the pods and timing of the workouts, keeping you on your toes. They offer cardio, resistance, and recovery.

The facilities are very clean, and they offer towels and water.  One of my favorite things is the fact that the workout is 45 minutes (hence the Functional 45 name). Another bonus is the location in the heart of Oviedo on Mitchell Hammock near Alafaya Trail.


Cons: Price, but they do offer class packs of 8 if you don’t want to do the unlimited. 


Add’l info: You can connect your heart rate monitor and track it during the workout. They also have great competitions to stay connected to the F45 community and extracurricular activities like kickball tournaments and running groups (Tuskawilla)   

🩺❤️ Heart rate monitor tracking throughout workout



F45 Tuskawilla
#3 Orange Theory Oviedo 

Price:  $159 (Unlimited classes)


Pros: Unlimited assessments throughout the month to track your progress. High energy cardio and strength training. High energy music and coaching that is motivating and keeps you on track where ever you are physically. Showers and filtered water. They offer water bottles for $1. Follow up email with workout results, calorie burn, and tracking your progress. Class times offered. 


Cons: Cost can be a deterrent for many. You better like to row and run on a treadmill.


Add’l info: Unlimited package is $159 per month but they have different plans available. You have to buy a heart monitor but they let you use one if you don’t have it for your first class. This is the longest I have ever been on a treadmill (which I hate) but I stayed motivated and focused. Felt great at the end.

🩺❤️ Heart rate monitor tracking throughout workout



#4 Riverside Fitness

Price: $39.95 (unlimited gym use and classes) – No contract

Pros: No contracts or initiation fees. Only $45 per month for unlimited classes and open gym. Class options include Les Mills classes, Core, Combat and yoga. Classes are well organized with a timer and offers a great full body workout. The members are all really nice and welcoming. Trainer goes around to make sure you’re doing the work out correctly. The yoga class was good. Sign-up is easy online and gets you connected with their MindBody app to register for classes. 


Cons: There are not a lot of class times, but the ones that are are convenient for most people’s schedules. Not really easy to connect immediately with staff, but owner is wonderful. Not high energy classes overall, but good workout.

Add’l info: The open floor gym and the classes offered are in different buildings in the same shopping center. Showers are in the main gym facility. Great prices and definitely something to consider if you’re in it you live in the east part of Oviedo. No childcare but was really cool to see two young kids joining their parents through the circuit. They modified workouts but they got to do it with their parents. Owner, Wayne, has started the Oviedo community garden and loves to help bring health to the city.


Riverside Fitness Oviedo
RIverside Fitness
#5 Crossfit Tough As Nails

Price: Unlimited options = $100 (Student), $125 (First responders & teachers), $145 (regular option)  



Pros: If your competitive in nature this is a great work out for you. Classes are offered several times throughout the day for the WOD (workout of the day). Trainers care about technique and form. Very encouraging environment and supportive in teamwork. Aggressive workouts but can be tailored to your strength and ability. Showers available. 



Cons: If you don’t pay attention to the trainers, you can get very injured in the workout. The goal at Crossfit is to continue lifting and beating your personal record, so if you don’t want to lift heavy, this may not be the place for you.



Add’l info: This CF box offers MMA and Jiu Jitsu training. They focus on competition if that’s your goal. Every year they encourage the members to sign up for the Crossfit Open which is very encouraging for new and experienced members. If you’re looking to build muscle in a competitive atmosphere this is definitely a great option. They offer teachers and first responders discounts on memberships. 




#6 Pure Barre

Price: $129 Unlimited



Pros: Who would think that such small movements could make you so sore? This workout is not at all like my #1-5 choices but if I had to veer from my HIIT workouts, it would be here. I was a member of Breaking Barre for a year but I actually preferred Pure Barre. The service, the staff, the ambiance, the studio, I liked it all much better. It’s also located in Oviedo on the Park which makes it a great location from most of Oviedo.    The workouts are surprisingly challenging and while I’ll stay with my HIIT regiment, this is a great alternative as it is a total body workout.

Great for those with injuries or post pregnancy as you don’t place a lot of stress on your joints but you’re building your muscle. 


Cons: The only one for me is the lack of cardio and high intensity, but you’ll get intensity in a different way here. 


Add’l info: Great options for class times and very responsive staff.  


Pure Barre Oviedo
#7 Elite Boxing Fitness Center


Price: $99+ (based on different training packages)  

Pros: Great atmosphere and family feel. Amazing work out. The most authentic boxing experience you’re going to have in Oviedo hands-down. This is definitely not your boxing class experience that you would get at a big box gym. This is a contact boxing gym so make sure to buy mouthguard and headgear. They’ll teach you the right technique and great training. Offer kids classes.


Cons: No showers. Website is hard to navigate to find any information so it’s best to give him a call to find out the class times. Not a workout for everyone. 


Add’l info: Definitely not for the faint of heart. Very aggressive and intense. Water fountain, but no filtered water. I got punched in the face and left with a bruise. Didn’t like it but loved the intensity. Dorian is the owner and main trainer at this gym and he loves what he does. Definitely a lot of passion and the members love training here.



Elite Boxing Oviedo
#8 Title Boxing

Price: $69+ (based on different packages)  


Pros: This place had very friendly staff, good hype-up music, showers, High-intensity cardio workout. Good central location in Oviedo off of Alafaya. They offer a section of free weights to do on your own. 


Cons: Insufficient classes in the early AM. One year contractual commitment and then month-to-month thereafter. Doing boxing and kickboxing over time may become redundant if you want more of a variety. 


Add’l info: This is a boxing/kickboxing gym. Need to buy gloves and wristbands. They have a water fountain but make sure to bring your own water bottle or you may be waiting in line after every round to catch a sip.



Title One Oviedo
#9 Rise N Grind Oviedo (Boxing)

Price: $150 unlimited, $30 drop-in rate, $25 drop-in rate for youth 


Pros: This is a HIIT boxing studio that offers an intimate setting for those that don’t like larger gyms. Class sizes are small and great for early risers. Classes are one hour long. The owner is very committed to the members and their fitness goals. 


Cons: Take the name seriously because there are only morning classes and they are extremely limited with only one time most days, two times Tuesday and Thursday and no Wednesday class (at least for now). You’ll have to buy your gear (gloves, wraps).

Because it’s not an automated scheduled clock like many gyms on this list, the class may start late and end late so if you like to stick to a tight schedule, this may not be the best option.


Add’l info: They offer youth classes and do outreach opportunities and classes for youth in the community. The offer kids camp and after school camps just check their schedule. Follow their social media! It’s inspiring! 



Rise N Grind Oviedo Boxing
#10 Breakthrough Fitness

Price: $100+ (based on different training packages)  


Pros: They offer some classes and you can take it with or without the class trainer. Really great customer service from the staff. Delicious shakes are made on the spot and sold at the gym. Staff really cares about your fitness journey. 


Cons: If you didn’t care for the workouts on the first three days, your motivation for returning to do the same workout later that week may wane. No showers or filtered water. 


Add’l info: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday schedule is the same as Thursday, Friday, Saturday. AMRAP (As many reps as possible) workouts and high interval intensity training is the norm. Drinking fountain is provided. Intensity was not as high in the workouts as I would have liked. 



Breakthrough Fitness Oviedo
#11 Row House Oviedo

Price: Starting at $79 introductory rate  


Pros: Good location in Oviedo (Sprouts shopping center off Alafaya Trail). Responsive team and great energy in the class. Coach was very motivating and challenged the entire “row crew” to push further. They teach good posture and proper technique for rowing.


Cons: Very limited class schedule (2 classes a day) for the time being and only 30-45 minute workouts. You really need to love rowing for this to be your main workout because they have classes where all you do is row the whole class, which may be great for some, not for me.


Add’l info: They offer lockers, water fountain, sanitizing of the stations after the workout. 



Row House Oviedo
#12 Club Pilates

Price: $199 + $59 sign-up fee + 3 month commitment


Pros:  Pilates is a great stretching  workout in general and this gym includes a reformer, TRX and a few other items they use in workouts. The strength aspect will mostly be your own body resistance. They offer several different types of workouts within the Pilates umbrella that gives you a little bit of everything.

This is a great workout for those injured or recovering from injuries as they are not high intensity and can help rebuild muscle slowly. 


Cons: It’s a franchise and everything has a fee. They’re one of the last gyms I’ve seen that actually charges a sign up fee AND require a membership contract. You do have the option of dropping in a class for $30. I forgot my grip socks for my “free trial” so I had to pay $17 for grip socks! I’m still frustrated about this because it turned out to be the most expensive “free trial” I’ve ever done.  You can really do this barefoot but they require grip socks. 

I’ve done Club Pilates a few times and didn’t really break a sweat. I also don’t get the higher heart rate where you burn those calories, so this workout wasn’t for me. 


Add’l info: They offer a wide variety of class times great for any schedule. Once they have your information, their follow-up is consistent.



Club Pilates Oviedo
Honorable Mention

YMCA Oviedo 

Beautiful facility with pool, childcare area, open gym, and classes. Great for the whole family with affordable prices. But again, if you are looking for results and need guidance and motivation this probably isn’t the best fit. 

Website: YMCA Oviedo

I personally have not seen good results in big box gyms because of my need for motivation, but if you do this could be a really good alternative. 

Let’s Wrap This Up…



I’ve broken up these reviews based on my assessment. Some of the things that matter to me may not necessarily matter to you which is why I want to give you all the options. Whichever gym you choose, just make sure you love the style and feel of the gym so that you maintain consistency. 


Remember that beyond 15 minutes from your house you are less likely to commit to a gym and I want to make sure consistency is there. Don’t try a gym for a month and give up. Whichever one you choose make a commitment to be there for at least six months to a year in order to really see a difference. I recommend changing up the gym after a year and a half or when you start plateauing.


I’ve chosen my way to workout and stay in shape, what’s yours? Find a way to stay in shape and feel great this year!

7 Things Buyers Need To Know in This Market

It's a difficult market for home buyers, but...

Here are 7 things you should know when buying in this market to help you set the stage for what is going on right now:

  1. You may have to submit 6-10 offers in this market before you get one accepted because of the demand and low inventory. Be patient with your agents!
  2. You may find out it’s pending on Zillow or before your agent tells you. It’s not their fault, they just haven’t received a response from the listing agent because the listing agent was slammed with offers. It doesn’t excuse it on the listing agents part, but understand if they’ve received more than 10 offers, they’re weeding through a lot of information and didn’t get back to your agent before trying to stop showing requests so they just switched it to pending.
  3. You’re competing against cash offers and big hedge fund investment companies. You’ll need to submit a true highest and best, not full price. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fly in this market for highly desirable homes. I’m truly sorry buyers.
  4. Offerpad and OpenDoor have a large percentage of the inventory in Central Florida and they are consistently overpriced by tens of thousands. Most of the time they don’t want to budge on pricing which is why they’ve been on the market so long. They also don’t disclose anything about the property that would be of value to a buyer. Buyer’s just do your due diligence if you pursue one of these as you would any other home.
  5. This is not the time to look for a dream home. This is time to find a realistic purchase that you can redesign later. Just get into a home before rates go up because pricing will not crash.
  6. Be realistic with your expectations. In other words, don’t have as many or you won’t be able to find a house.
  7. Don’t give up, but you will need tough skin. Don’t get married to any one property just in case it doesn’t end up working out.

Unlike any market

This is a market I’ve never seen before ever. As a real estate professional, I’ve seen prices soaring, inventory high, market crash, foreclosures and short sales in abundance, a balanced buyer and sellers market, a buyers market, and then a sellers market with rapidly shrinking inventory…but this by far is the lowest inventory I’ve ever experienced.


In 5 counties in Central Florida, we have under 1500 homes for sale. That’s insane. But even so, we continue to get our buyers under contract and into homes.

It’s possible, but please make sure to pay attention to the 7 things a buyer needs to know in this market to succeed.

For more questions on the real estate market in Central Florida or to SELL or BUY in Orlando, Oviedo or surrounding areas, contact us at 407.801.9914.

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What is driving up real estate prices

What is happening in real estate


Back in July I spoke of something really serious that has only worsened the real estate market since then and has gone completely understated…hedge funds are buying out homes in droves. They are outbidding actual home owners left and right with cash offers above asking.

Who is buying up all the inventory?


BlackRock is the world’s largest asset managers. Already owning more than $34 billion in real estate, their goal is to become one of the largest landlords and they are well on their way.


According to a NY Times article, BlackRock is buying every single-family house they can find, paying 20-50% above asking price and outbidding normal home buyers. Wall Street’s latest real estate acquisitions have ballooned to roughly $60 billion, representing hundreds of thousands of properties. It’s no wonder home buyers in this market are up against as many as 70 offers on a property and don’t stand a chance against cash offers almost $100K above asking as we’ve seen in homes in the Orlando area.


More than 1/2 of the countries properties are owned by institutional investors.


In the great recession, we saw over 6 million homeowners lose their home. While many have since purchased a property, large hedge funds like BlackRock took advantage of the opportunity and started sweeping up real estate. Almost two decades later, we have a new generation trying to make their splash in real estate with homeownership only to be pushed out during another type of crisis: inventory.


There are so many factors that are affecting low inventory, but the largest is the shortage of laborers and supplies which has in turn affected construction and new inventory which is a necessity in growing markets.

The Effect of Low Inventory


The effect of low inventory has created a wild west of sorts for sellers and buyers where sellers are definitely capitalizing on their earnings to an extent that has created buyer fatigue, frustration and really not even being able to keep up with the increase in prices.


FEDs have announced an interest rate hike (or two or four), but that doesn’t help solve any problem. In fact, it just worsens the situation for buyers because it will just continue to drive up the expense of purchasing a home.

What We Do

One incredibly helpful thing we do on the listing side and I’ve seen it done for me on the buyers side, is real estate professionals working together to help actual home buyers get into homes instead of companies. 

How? Leverage the offers we receive and give the home buyers a chance at competing to see if they can win. It still gives the seller the earnings they want while allowing the home buyers the ability to compete with large cash offers.

Not every agent does this, but those that want to give home ownership a fighting chance, try.

For more questions on the real estate market in Central Florida or to SELL or BUY in Orlando, Oviedo or surrounding areas, contact us at 407.801.9914.

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