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Grew-up in Ormond; Now, Grown-Up in Daytona


“Grew-up in Ormond; Now, Grown-Up in Daytona”
By: Michelle Rutkowski, Health/Fitness/Wellness Coach


Someone once asked me, “why do you live in Daytona Beach, and is it a good area to raise a child”? Well, here is my story and some of my opinions. 

I grew up in the Ormond Beach area (Ormond by the sea and the mainland side of Ormond). I remember my school days, summer camps, sports & recreational activities, quick weekend get-a-ways, and the awesome beach days. My neighborhood where I lived most of my adolescent years was full of other kids my age, we swam together, played at the playground, and spent most of our days outdoors. I remember going to the local re-center for holiday activities/parties, lock-ins, gymnastics and other sports. I lived close to my elementary and junior high school, and knew my neighbors well. 

Now, as an adult, with a family of my own; I look for these same things for my toddler, and what she will have available to her while growing up, and things to do before she starts school. 

We currently live in Daytona Beach. We live in the house my husband grew up in, and the neighborhood reminds me of my old one in Ormond. People who live there have lived there for years, OR, they are like us and are 2-3rd generation of family living there. We are close to shopping, highways, parks, beach, and highways. The only negative thing I have about our neighborhood, is the recent increase in crime (car and home break ins), but, we are seeing it slow down, with the help of the police department, and neighborhood watch. 

When my daughter was born, I met some other new moms while out and about, we started to hang out, have play dates, and added more moms along the way; our kids have all basically grown up together the past 4 years, and I love how close they all are. Also, being involved in other mom/child groups that we found in the area, helped with meeting other moms; we were involved in J.E.L.L.O in Ormond, and MOPS (Mothers of preschoolers) in Daytona and Port Orange. There are many resources in the area for new moms. 

There are many free things to take advantage of in the area, as well as inexpensive things too, and of course, the awesome beach. We take advantage of the libraries, and the free programs they offer, free day at the museum, splash parks, playgrounds, and enjoy other things that are still nearby, with a short car drive. Being in Daytona, we are just a 15 minute drive to things in Ormond and Port Orange, and, Orlando is a quick, easy drive for fun weekend get-a-ways too. 

My daughter is not school aged yet, but, she does attend preschool part-time, and we researched many schools before she started, and absolutely LOVE the staff, teachers and parents of the school we chose. Having many highly recommended ones in the area was great, and being able to talk to other moms on facebook (VCM page) helped too. 

We are starting to look at school options for Kindergarten, and there are many in the area to look at (public, private, charter, virtual, and even homeschool co-op groups); I am glad I have another year to look in to this, and feel the area has many great options for all. 

We are looking to move sometime in the future, and will definitely be staying in the same general area (just something bigger). 

I enjoyed growing up in Ormond, and Daytona has been great to me since I moved back. 

Michelle Rutkowski
Mom to Caylyn (4)
Wife to Dan Rutkowski (DDR Roofing LLC)
Team Beachbody Health/Fitness Coach (

Disclosure: Some posts may contain links that compensate me. Please read the disclosure.

Q&A: Buying a Home in the Greater Daytona Beach Area - Real Estate Corner


“Greater Daytona Beach Area” Real Estate Corner

Q & A, Answers by Brenda Benz


-         I am not familiar with the Daytona Beach and Volusia County area.  How can I find the right neighborhood for my family?

Your Lifestyle and Family Needs will set the path toward your new home - Specific Areas and Neighborhoods may suit your needs perfectly.  Research school zones if needed and that will help your Realtor know the best neighborhoods within your school zone of choice | Once you decide on the Mainland or on the Beachside, your Realtor can select properties that suit your Florida lifestyle and your family’s needs | Price Ranges and your Desire or Willingness to live in a Homeowners Association Community will guide your Realtor toward available choices | Work with a Realtor who offers AREA KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE, to guide you every step of the way in finding the “Right” Florida home for you.


-         Are there any Lender Bond programs for First Time Homebuyers? 

Yes, there is a Bond Program currently available to Buyers who qualify, offering $7,500 toward down payment or closing cost assistance.  Call or email Brenda today for details on this program.


-         Are there any special Heroes discounts or programs available for those in the Military, Teachers, Firefighters, Medical Workers and Safety Patrol Officers?

There are a number of programs offering discounts. However, locally in the Volusia County area, Brenda Benz offers a Heroes Program, giving 25% of her sales commission to Buyers who qualify.  This to be applied toward Buyers Closing Costs and pre paids.  For Sellers, a discounted commission will apply.  Contact Brenda Benz today! (No other discounts are applicable)


-         Is there any time of the year that is better to buy a home? 

No....Your right time is according to your own timeline based on YOUR financial and personal needs.


-         What are Home BUYER costs/expenses?  

Lender Costs (Your Loan officer can give you a breakdown of your costs/expenses with a Good Faith Estimate) | Escrow Deposit – Amount to be collected and within the timelines shown on your contract, normally within 3 days and will be placed into an escrow account | Home Inspections can be paid prior to, or at the time of service  | Appraisal – A lender cost normally paid directly to the lender | Survey – If the Seller does not have a current survey on file, a survey will be ordered; payable prior to survey being performed or shown as an expense to you on the HUD at closing | Wind Mitigation Inspection can be performed prior to closing to help you in reducing your insurance premium.  It can save you hundreds of dollars yearly. 


-         What are Home SELLER costs/expenses? 

Real Estate Commission as shown on your Listing Agreement | Prorated Taxes for the days/months you have lived in the house for the current year | Mortgage Pay-off, if applicable  | Title Insurance  | Documentary Stamps  | Title Company Fees | Recording Fees  | Outstanding Liens/Judgments/Utility Bills, etc.  if applicable.  I will personally create a Seller’s Net Sheet which

Will show you an approximate $$ that you will net.  |


-         If I am getting financing, should I talk to a lender before I start to look for my Florida home? 

YES! Getting preapproved is very important for the following reasons:  A Pre-approval letter shows that you can buy a house and gives you peace of mind in doing so | A Pre-approval letter helps define your search on the price range you should look within | You’ll have more leverage in negotiations, as Sellers are more likely to negotiate with a Pre-approved buyer than one that is not.  It will also help you in a multiple offer situation | A Pre-approval letter is better than getting prequalified.   Please contact me for preferred lenders of choice.


-         Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home? 

The Seller pays the Real Estate commission.  Therefore, it costs you NOTHING to work with a licensed Realtor.


-         What is a Short Sale?

A short sale occurs when a property is sold at a price lower than the amount that the homeowner owes on their mortgage, and the homeowner's mortgage lender(s) agrees to the "short" payoff.  A short sale contract is contingent upon 3rd party/Lender approval.


-         How can I find out what area schools have the best school rating and how can I search for a home in our school zone of choice?

Click HERE to view the 2014 Volusia County School Ratings.  Click HERE to Search a specific address for the assigned school zones.  Select the City and then type in the address. 

I welcome your emails with additional questions to be sent to: or please don’t hesitate to communicate with me 7 days a week.  Tell Me:  Volusia County Moms sent you!



Disclosure: Some posts may contain links that compensate me. Please read the disclosure.