RE/MAX by the Bay
Cell: 251.591.2411
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Janet English, ABR, CDPE, CNHS
Office: (251) 621-2588
Toll-free: 1-800-625-8330
Fax: (251) 625-3328
Cell: (251) 591-2411
Email Janet

RE/MAX By The Bay
6483 Van Buren St.
Daphne, AL 36526

My Daphne, Spanish Fort & Fairhope Real Estate Blog

Fortified roofs save homeowners money, grief

Tue, Oct 18th 2016 2:05 pm by Janet English Homeowner insurance


Of all the things one might replace on an existing home, a roof would be last on the list of costly updates that make you want to bask in its wondrous pattern, or admire its fine color. Really, a new roof is nice, but, at that cost, I could pay for three vacations.

Still, something has crept into the roofing industry since 2009 that is increasingly making homeowners take a second look at the old roof. It’s the Fortified roof that saves homeowners money and grief.

A little background: After Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, coastal homeowners were choking on bloated insurance rates, so various industry and government folk set out to see what could be done about it.

Building standards were...

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Will Spanish Fort school zones change?

Thu, Jan 22nd 2015 11:16 am by Janet English Baldwin County Schools

Will Spanish Fort school zones change?
No. That was the unequivocal answer from Baldwin County School Superintendent Robbie Owen at the Jan. 20 Spanish Fort Education Summit at the Spanish Fort High School gym.

Baldwin School Superintendent Robbie OwenCurrently, the Spanish Fort school feeder pattern encompasses four neighborhoods in the Daphne, Ala., city limits, as well as unincorporated areas of Spanish Fort in neighborhoods north on Hwy. 225. Some of these areas north of the city limits have Bay Minette telephone exchanges, as well as mailing addresses.
Parents have recently voiced concerns that as enrollment swells and the portable classroom count grows that the school zone will be redrawn to funnel students who are not li...

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Homeowner Insurance 2014 update for Spanish Fort, Daphne, Fairhope and Baldwin County

Wed, May 14th 2014 3:50 pm by Janet English Homeowner insurance

Give me 2 minutes of your time and I may save you money -- or heartache.

I saved $1,100 on my homeowner’s insurance. Interested?

I also incurred more financial risk should catastrophe strike. That’s what I learned when I talked to two of my favorite go-to guys who sell insurance in Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort … and beyond.

But first, let’s talk about my last insurance carrier, Wilshire. The policy was written by a Mobile insurance company in 2011 for $2,556. When my renewal notice arrived in April, the cost was $3,499, roughly a $1,000 increase in 3 years. When I called the local office about the increase, let’s just say their explanation was unacceptable.

Enter Glen Gorowsky, a...

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Spanish Fort get second grocery ... and the crowd goes wild!

Mon, Feb 24th 2014 4:45 pm by Janet English Spanish Fort AL Real Estate

Rouses, a Lousiana-based grocery, opened its Spanish Fort location on Feb. 22 to a packed house.

Many residents of Spanish Fort had been forced to shop in Daphne or at the Publix near the Eastern Shore Centre since Bruno's closed its doors in November at the Hwy. 225 & 31 intersection.

Throughout the weekend, Rouses parking lot was full to overflowing as Eastern Shore residents streamed in to see what the newcomer grocery to Baldwin County would offer. They found plenty of the usual, but many offerings with a decidedly Louisiana twist, from hot French bread, to steamed crawfish to ready-made gumbo or shrimp & corn chowder.

Just having milk and bananas nearby was a nice thing, too.

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Spanish Fort Fire rating improves and so do insurance rates

Mon, Feb 24th 2014 4:26 pm by Janet English Spanish Fort AL Real Estate

Spanish Fort Fire Rescue has improved to a Class 3 ISO Rating.

This apparently applies to homeowners within a 5-mile radius of the station, according to independent insurance agent Glen Gorowsky.

Homeowners may receive a reduction in insurance rates, but to be sure that the change is noted, homeowners should contact their insurers.

One Spanish Fort resident reported that her rate dropped $315 annually

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When you need a quick break from it all, try Bayfront Park in Daphne, AL

Thu, Sep 20th 2012 2:34 pm by Janet English Parks in Daphne Alabama

Bayfront Park pavilion overlooks Mobile Bay and is accessible by taking U.S. Hwy. 98 South to Scenic 98, then taking an immediate right on Bayfront Drive (or Bel Air).  This is the perfect location for watching a pretty sunset or spending an afternoon fishing. Bayfront Park is also home to the Richard Scardamalia Pavilion, which can be rented for wedding celebrations and the like. Bay front also has several nature trails and that lead to two boardwalks with bench sitting. This is one park where you need to keep your dog on a leash as alligators can be spotted when in season.

Bayfront Park pier

Bayfront Park Pavilion

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Comparing Baldwin County schools by test scores

Fri, Mar 30th 2012 7:20 pm by Janet English Baldwin County Schools

You can't judge a school system just by its test scores, but it sure is a good place to start.

So check out the Alabama State Department of Education's Accountability Reporting System.

Pick the school you'd like to research and then you'll have an option of choosing from 4 Alabama test reports, including the High School Graduation Exam, and the Stanford Achievement Test.

If you want to get my take on the school system from a veteran parent, just give me a call at 251 591-2411  --- Janet

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Village Pointe Park a stroll through a timeless forest to the beach

Mon, Jan 30th 2012 1:21 pm by Janet English Parks in Daphne Alabama

Perhaps there's no better way to view Daphne's history and beauty than a brisk walk through Village Pointe Park Preserve, off Scenic 98.

Evidence of Indians, Spanish, French and English settlers has been found in the park, and while you won't see historic replicas of these forebears, you will see the land they were attracted by.Village Pointe Park in Daphne, AL

Rich with native trees, streams, tidal pools and wetlands, Village Pointe can be explored on foot or bike. Walk the dog or grab your fishing pool or towel because at the end you'll find a fishing pier and beach with panoramic views of Mobile Bay.

A brisk 20 minute walk past cypress knee swamps, deep forests to your final destination. Stop midway to view the Jac...

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Cheryl's Cafe & Market: A lunchtime institution

Mon, Jan 30th 2012 12:33 pm by Janet English Restaurants in Spanish Fort AL

If the Eastern Shore is where Mayberry meets Maguaritaville, then Cheryl's Cafe is pure Mayberry, where regulars are greeted by name and non-regulars are soon to find something so addictive on the menu that they join the following.Cheryl's cafe in Spanish Fort, AL

Unauspcious at the end of a small strip of shops at U.S. 98 and Hwy. 31 in Spanish Fort, Cheryl's offers a a variety of fresh sandwiches and sides, as well as a heartier host of specials that change each day. Get there too late and you may watch as your favorite is wiped off the board.

What it all comes down to is that Cheryl is a very good cook, who has compiled a few secrets that simply enhance a standard dish.

So here are some of my favorites from the pri...

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Mortgage rates fall to historic lows

Thu, Oct 6th 2011 2:41 pm by Janet English Explaining real estate

Freddie Mac announced Thursday that 30-year fixed mortgage rates fell below 4% for the first time ever. The new rate - just 3.94% - is lower than the rate in the 1950s, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. For buyers looking at homes in Daphne, Fairhope and Spanish Fort, you'll find the 15-year fixed rate in the lower 3% range locally.

For example, Mary Brabner, loan originator for Region's Mortgage in Daphne, AL, says her 30-year fixed rate is 3.875% today. This is for over buyers with credit scores over 740, with 20% down on a purchase. A 15-year rate is 3.25%, Brabner said. Dean Watson of WestStar Mortgage, also in Daphne, AL, says rates may be higher for those whose...

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What is a short sale?

Wed, Oct 5th 2011 1:40 pm by Janet English Explaining real estate

What is a short sale?
A short sale is the sale of a home or property for less than what is owed on the property. The seller must have also experienced some sort of “distress” and must sell. (Example, the seller of a home in Daphne AL owes $250,000 and the house value has fallen and it’s only worth $200,000. So there is an immediate $50,000 shortfall plus closing costs). It does not necessarily mean that the property is heading into foreclosure.  

Why is it sometimes called a potential short sale?
That’s because it is ultimately up to the seller’s lender to approve the sale. After all, it’s the lender who is taking the major financial hit here.
What qualifies as a distress for a seller?

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VA funding fee changes Oct 1, 2011

Wed, Oct 5th 2011 1:30 pm by Janet English Financing

Veterans closing mortgage loans after Oct. 1, 2011 will find that the funding fee has been reduced on VA loans.

Here's the new structure:

VA funding fee chart


VA loans may not always be the best choice for financing, so be sure to do your research.




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How to do a lease purchase and why you shouldn't

Tue, Aug 30th 2011 3:43 pm by Janet English Explaining real estate

"Would your sellers consider a lease purchase?" two separate agents have asked me in the last two days on two separate listings.

And each time, I've explained the pros and cons of such an arrangement to my sellers. Both sellers passed and here's why.

First, the Wikepedia Definition: "A lease purchase contract is a shortened name for lease with option to purchase contract. It is a form of real estate purchase which combines elements of a traditional rental agreement with an exclusive option of right of first refusal to later purchase a home."

The initial challenge of a lease purchase is to make sure everyone knows what they are talking about, even the agents. Often, the buyer is thin...

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