Real Estate Information Archive


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Uncle Nick's N.Y. Style Bagels, Subs and Deli, best bagels in South Lakeland

Where:  6955 Old Hwy. 37, Lakeland FL 33811
Hours:   Monday to Friday 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
What:    Bagels with spreads, breakfast, salads, soups, sandwiches "Gweech", burgers, daily specials, dinner items and desserts.
Cost:    Various menu items range from $1.10 to $9.95

Phone: (863) 333-4917
FaceBook Page:




Specializing in New York style bagels and deli sandwiches in South Lakeland

They opened for business in September and did a great job remodeling and building up anticipation from all the neighboring folks. It is always exciting when a new food eatery opens in our area and this one has a unique flare. Who doesn't love N.Y. style bagels and spreads?

Uncle Nick's is the only game near Imperialakes open on Sundays for breakfast and lunch which will give the neighboring community a nice option. You can follow them on facebook and like their business page   and see some wonderful photos of menu items they have.  For the full story about Uncle Nick's, just visit their company website and read how they put their concept together.



The interior of the restaurant is clean and fresh with bright lighting and plenty of table seating. You can also relax outside on the patio with friends and enjoy the breeze and the sound of the fountain. We are just getting into the fall weather and this weekend would be a great time to check out the food fare at Uncle Nick's.

Go ahead, walk inside and see if someone asks you if you "want a fresh one"?


Lisa Castanet


Are you looking to Buy or Sell a Home in the Lakeland and Mulberry area?

Today's Home Buyers

by Lisa Castanet

Courtesy of the Florida Association of Realtors

For those of you who LOVE statistical breakdowns, here are some interesting facts breaking down today's home buyers.  This is according the National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report for 2015.

















































Take a look at the data breaking down today's home buyers which shows 68% of first-time home buyers are under the age of 34.  The majority of whom believe that buying a home is a good investment. 

When purchasing a home, you can get the best deals if you have saved money for a down payment.  However, the most common reasons buyers had trouble saving for a down payment is credit card debt followed by student loans and car loans.

Fifty percent of buyers are purchasing in suburbs or subdivisions and the typical home search takes ten weeks. Also, the trend for beginning the search for buying a home shows the internet remains dominant versus print media, newspapers or driving around town.

Some interesting data about today's home buyers we hope you will enjoy. When you are ready to start your search, give us a call for professional consultation on what steps you should take to prepare for your home purchase.


The High Cost of Waiting to Buy

by Lisa Castanet

Courtesy of Florida Association of Realtors

Want to know what the High Cost of Waiting to Buy a home is in the Lakeland area?  With mortgage rates and housing prices expected to increase soon, renters who delay buying a home could end up spending considerably more, according to research by




































Here is a breakdown for Florida's top markets showing the penalty for waiting just one year (shown in light green) and the penalty for waiting three years (shown in dark green). To develop the estimates Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, compared the cost of buying with a 20% down payment, to renting if renters invested the difference between their rental payment and a mortgage payment and earned a 5% annual return.

You can see the high cost of waiting to buy a home in the Lakeland FL area in the above photo shows that if buyers wait one year to purchase a home they could lose $18,366 and if buyers wait up to three years to purchase a home they could lose a whopping $52,704!

The news typically coming out of the Federal Reserve System has been suggesting we could see interest rate hikes any time.  Although, thus far we have not seen that but why wait to investigate purchasing a home with interest rates as low as they currently are?  Do you worry about the high cost of waiting to buy a home in Polk County, Lakeland, Mulberry, Bartow, Auburndale or Winter Haven Florida?


48 Ways to Speed a House Sale

by Lisa Castanet

Courtesy Florida Association of Realtors

Here are the 48 Ways to Speed a House Sale





































1.  Have a Realtor, interior decorator or professional organizer walk through your home to evaluate what needs to be updated, repaired or removed.


2.  Patch damaged walls

3.  Replace cracked floor tiles

4.  Oil squeaky doors

5.  Fix sticky windows

6.  Fix leaky faucets and toilets

7.  Re-caulk tubs and sinks

8.  Replace broken windows and screens


9.   Replace cabinet knobs and pulls

10. Update lighting fixtures, if needed

11. Update blinds, if needed

12. Replace faucets and shower heads, if needed


13. Paint the interior in neutral colors

14. Paint exterior doors and window trim 

15. Paint shutters

16. Repaint exterior , if needed


17. Take down heavy window treatments that block light

18. Wash all windows

19. Increase the wattage of light bulbs

20. Replace dark lamp shades


21. Remove family photos

22. Store knickknacks


23. Thin out the books on your shelves

24. Empty kitchen counters

25. Place out-of-season clothing in storage

26. Rent a storage unit to store unneeded items


27. Organize pantry

28. Organize closets

29. Organize basement

30. Organize garage and shed


31. Clean all interior surfaces

32. Wash windows and doors

33. Air out and clean in cabinets and under sinks

34. Power wash exterior of house and sidewalks

35. Clean outdoor furniture

36. Clean porch lights of cobwebs and debris

Hide Signs Of Pets

37. Remove pet smells

38. Hide pet food and bowls

39. Take pets for a walk during showings or send them to day care during open houses

Stage Inside

40. Reduce the amount of furniture in each room

41. Organize furniture to create seating areas and give each part of the home a purpose

42. Place cut flowers around home during showings

Prune and Landscape

43. Remove dead plants

44. Prune or replace overgrown shrubs

45. Fill open spots with seasonal flowers

46. Add fresh mulch to beds

Stage Outside

47. Make sure front porch/entryway is clean and inviting

48. Use outdoor furniture to create inviting spaces

First Time Home Buyers To-Do List

by Lisa Castanet

Courtesy of the Florida Association of Realtors

Here is a first-time home buyers to-do list for you. You can plan and prepare for your new home search. It is so important to get organized and understand what you can expect when you embarque on shopping for a home to purchase.


Market Trends for Polk County in August 2015

by Lisa Castanet

Real estate market data for Central Florida provided by Lisa Castanet of Native Palm Properties

Polk County Home Prices

I was taking a look at the current market data for Polk County. I think the news is very positive in 2015 compared to five years ago.  The volume of closed sales for August 2015 compared to August 2010 has increased by 110 sales. The average price has also increase by $22,719. since 2010 which is very good news. Our current market inventory has greatly declined and I would highly recommend that now is the time to place your home on the market for sale.  If you would like to request a copy of the August 2015 summary report, just call us or email me at  For specific zip code market conditions, you should see our market trend reports for Lakeland, Mulberry, Auburndale, Bartow and Winter Haven.

If you are interested in how much current inventory is on the market in Polk County or specific cities you can find that information by clicking on the links provided above. The average days on market for single family homes in Polk County is currently 85 days.  Year over year in August 2015 the average sales price increased by 10.6%. This is very good news for homeowners. 

Have you noticed that the volume of short sales has also greatly decreased and the REO or bank-owned inventory levels are way down from 2014?.  We have our theory about both. I believe that the banks made the decision to slow down on approving short shale transactions and focus on the foreclosure route for distressed property owners. Since approximately 2013, we have seen banks move away from handling the majority of their own REO inventory to having their various asset management companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac take charge of selling off their assets. This happened after the controversial "Robo Signing" settlement in 2012.  From about 2012 through 2014 the REO inventory on market and sales volume was extremely high.  This caused values to come down a bit and that is the exact opposite objective of these institutions whose goal was to stabilize communities and improve home values.  However, we have seen a trend since early 2015 to correct this by slow releasing bank owned properties on the market and now have seen the local home market values improve.

Lakeland Real Estate Report Summary

The following information covers zip codes: 33801, 33803, 33809, 33810, 33811, 33812 and 33813.

The average sales price in August for single family homes in Lakeland is $171,805.

The number of sold transactions for fair market type (an owner selling directly to a buyer) was 193 and the number of REO (bank owned homes) sold was 50.

The average days on market in August was 66 days for single family homes which is slightly lower than Polk County overall.


Winter Haven Real Estate Report Summary

The following information covers zip codes: 33880, 33881 and 33884.

The average sales price in November for single family homes in Winter Haven is $125,437.

The number of sold transactions for fair market type (an owner selling directly to a buyer) was 107 and the number of REO (bank owned homes) sold was 40.

The average days on market in November was 83 days for single family homes which is quite a bit higher than Polk County overall.

Find Homes for Sale in Polk County

Visit my website to search for homes in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Auburndale, Bartow and Mulberry or to be notified when homes come on the market.

To find out what your home is worth in the current market click here or call our office at 863-647-1679.

Our new Mitel VOIP phone system

by Lisa Castanet

Recently, Native Palm Properties (NPP) installed a new telephone system using Mitel Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), specifically tailored to the needs of our customers and real estate brokerage services. The new software and hardware equipment will enable NPP to route our increased volume of calls directly to the person the caller wants to reach. Because NPP offers several residential services, such as sales, rentals, and property management; its new Customer Service System will save callers repetitive explanations before reaching the right person. We apologize for any difficulties you may have experienced during this transition period. It seems any time new systems are installed like our new Mitel Voice Over Internet Protocaol (VOIP), there are glitches.

For our customers, following is a chart of options and phone extension numbers to help when calling our office. We also welcome your suggestions on how to improve our service to you.

Options Keys after the “Main Greeting”:

Press 1:  for Agent On Duty for homes for sale, listing your home for sale, and/or property   management.

Press 2:  for Rental Coordinator (Alley Soldano) for vacation, corporate, and annual rentals.                   Press 3:  for Office Manager, Accounting (Crisytal Hall).

Press 4:  for Maintenance requests, during business or after hours, for any rental property.

Press 8:  for General Mailbox. Return call will be made by the appropriate person.


Phone Extension Numbers can be dialed anytime during the “Main Greeting”:

1003 – Lisa Castanet, Broker/Owner

1005 – Deane Hart, Broker Associate

1002 – Valerie Castanet, Realtor

1004 – Michael Hall, Realtor

1001 – Crisytal Hall, Office Manager

1006 – Homes For Sale, Agent On Duty.

1007 – Alley Soldano, Rental Coordinator.

1010 – Maintenance Requests

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

Photo of Native Palm Team Real Estate
Native Palm Team
Native Palm Properties
5925 Imperial Pkwy, Suite #111
Mulberry FL 33860
Fax: (863)701-8309