Tampa Real Estate Blog

How To Find A Good Real Estate Agent In Tampa

Even in a lovely city like Tampa, choosing your perfect home means taking many things into consideration. The area has to be to your liking, a good price is obvious, and the property should be in good condition.

But, how can you know you are getting the best possible option?

The right real estate agent in Tampa can help.

Your agent knows the Bay area market like the back of their hand. They can find you the gem you want in Seminole Heights or a beautiful home tucked away in Wesley Chapel.

No matter what your buying or selling goals are, there are a few rules of thumb to follow when choosing an agent.

Here are the seven steps to hiring your next real estate agent in Tampa.

1. Understand the Basics

Your real estate agent can technically be a broker or realtor as well.

What's the difference?

A real estate agent is someone with a license to sell property. The license takes about 100 hours of coursework and a state exam to acquire.

A broker goes a step further in their work and studies. They are licensed to sell property and have real estate agents work under them.

Realtors, though, are at the top of the food chain.

A realtor belongs to the National Association of Realtors and abides by their Code of Ethics. This code contains 17 articles which hold participating professionals to a higher standard in conducting business.

Narrowing down your search for a real estate agent in Tampa can be a much smoother, trustworthy process if you search for a realtor first.

2. Do Online Research

Speaking of narrowing things down, online tools can be of great help.

Skip the Google search and jump on a trusted industry site. These websites can help you look for professionals based in their area, their number of...

What To Know About Buying New Homes In Tampa FL

It's exciting to buy a new construction home because, well, everything is new! New appliances, a new roof, and you get the be the first to own it. What's not to love?

While buying new homes in Tampa FL can be a great decision for a home buyer, there are a few things you need to know before you sign on the dotted line. Keep reading to make sure you get the most from your new dream home.

Make Sure You Like Where the New Homes in Tampa FL are Located

If you're looking for new homes in Tampa FL, make sure you like the community where it's located before you buy. Perhaps the new community looks amazing and it's even gated. But will that really matter if the surrounding neighborhood is riddled with crime?

Also, make sure you understand the layout of the new community. You don't want to end up buying a home with a great view only to have a new home blocking that view within a few years, or even worse, having your living room looking directly into their bathroom.

If you can, talk to people who already live in the community. See what they like and don't like about living there. Also, just because a neighborhood is considered up and coming doesn't mean it won't take quite awhile for it to change from scary to sophisticated.

The Model Home Won't Be an Exact Replica of Your New Home

New homes in Tampa FL can look beautiful and full of possibilities when you tour the model home. That's because it's designed to make them look as amazing as possible. Check out the model home and you might be surprised to discover there are no doors.

That's because the lack of doors gives the space a feeling of openness. That open feeling may not happen with actual doors on all the rooms. You might also notice that they use smaller-scale furniture to give the viewer a sense of a...

Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A House In Tampa

Looking to buy a home in Tampa, FL, but not sure whether you're ready to hit the market?

First things first, congratulations! Buying a home is a huge investment, and a big step toward living the American Dream.

But why Tampa?

Even though the region has experienced its own share of real estate challenges, things are looking up well. In 2016, the market grew by a staggering 15 percent, and prices are forecast to increase by at least 5 percent through 2018. Increasing house prices is a solid indicator of a hot market.

As you set your sights on buying a house in Tampa, we're sharing the top mistakes you must avoid:

Entering the Market without a Real Estate Agent

Look, even if you have bought and sold a couple of houses before, you shouldn't make the mistake of buying a house in Tampa without the input of a competent real estate agent.

Sure, your previous real estate transactions might have gone down well, but every market, and every new buying process, is different.

You never know when a scam lies in wait.

As such, the first thing you need to do is hire a real estate agent, especially one who specializes in the Tampa. The fact that the agent will charge a commission may be off-putting, but there is no need to risk your hard earned money.

Many prospective buyers have lost thousands of dollars trying to act by themselves. Don't be like them.

Losing Focus of the House You Want

We all know how it happens.

You view a couple of houses, and you meet one or two that sweep you off your feet. The kitchens look spectacular, and the backyard? Let's not even talk about the swimming pool.

Subconsciously, you start imagining yourself in either of those awesome pieces of real estate art. And in the process, you lose focus of the features you wanted...

4 Ways Technology Is Improving Real Estate

4 Ways Technology Is Improving Real Estate

Virtual Reality Used In Real Estate BrokerageReal estate has always been one of the fastest growing industries. Nowadays, with all the technological advancements, the commercial real estate is about to undergo certain changes. As a matter of fact, technology is already affecting how various businesses operate today. A good example of this is the internet and the way it has brought everyone together online, including businesses.

Real estate is no different, as agencies are starting to see and experience the benefits of operating in the digital world. There are other new technologies that can greatly benefit the real estate industry, and will immensely help out both real estate agents and people looking to buy or rent a property. Here are a few ways technology is improving real estate.

Reaching a wider audience

The internet has greatly improved communication between people. Nowadays, businesses leverage online platforms, such as social media and networks to reach audiences all over the world. Real estate agencies no longer have to focus on the local market or on managing properties in their vicinity. Instead, they can expand their business to cover a wider area and attract customers from around the globe. Also, meeting with clients face-to-face is a thing of the past, since there are many ways to communicate with people online.

That means that real estate agents no longer have to schedule appointments to answer important questions their clients may have. Today, a simple email or a video call will...

Top Tips for Buying Mansions for Sale in Tampa

Buying Mansions for Sale in Tampa, Florida

There's a reason the old realtor saying "location, location, location" is a cliche - because it's true! The other saying "home is where the heart is" comes in to play as well.

If you're a city girl, would you be at home in the country? Not likely! If you need to breathe fresh mountain air, is living next to a beach going to do it for you? Probably not.

"Location, location, location" couldn't be more relevant than when talking about mansions for sale in Tampa.

When you're in the market for a luxury home, where it's situated is key. But why is Tampa your perfect destination?

Tampa: Beautiful and Booming!

When people think of bustling cities in Florida, no doubt Miami is the first thing that pops into their minds. But actually, this makes Tampa even more appealing.

While everyone is rushing to Miami, Tampa remains a hidden "urban gem". The greater Tampa area has it all - gorgeous beaches, a renovated urban scene, and incredible real estate.

The thing is, others are starting to notice it, too. Tampa's real estate rank keeps climbing so it won't be long before this hidden gem is discovered!

If you want to get in on the ground floor of purchasing any mansions for sale in Tampa, you need our seven essential tips. Keep reading!

1) Do Your Homework

The first step towards buying a luxury home is to always do your research. It might sound...

A Complete Guide to Buying Luxury Homes in Tampa

Luxury Homes in Tampa

Buying a luxury home may be the biggest investment you make in your lifetime. Making sure you make a purchase that is smart and financially responsible will give you peace of mind as you move into your new home.

From penthouses to homes with sweeping views of the water, options for luxury homes in Tampa vary widely. Not all luxury homes are priced over a million, you can purchase an incredibly luxury home for anywhere from 200k to 800k in Tampa.

There are many things to consider when choosing your luxury property. What are the amenities for your specific property? Does it have direct water access? Would you prefer a Tampa country home in a more secluded area?

We've done the high-end home research for you and have created the ultimate guide to buying the perfect home in Tampa:

1. Get Familiar With the Process

It is important to become search-savvy in your quest for a new home. The more the home costs, the more specifics a buyer probably wants. Being able to sift through hundreds of homes in a timely manner will save you both time and money. 

Eliminate the homes with the things you know you don't want or need by making your search specific. Not all luxury homes will be listed on your everyday home buyer sites or MLS. Be prepared to expand your search.

Consider a fantastic realtor or broker who specializes in your area and in luxury homes...

7 Tips For Buying Real Estate in Pinellas County

Real Estate In Pinellas County

If you like it when math doesn't add up, try this: the County of Pinellas in Florida is only 38 miles long and considered the state's second smallest country, yet it has 4,242 acres of landscape, 4,521 miles of roads, 35 miles of beaches, 588 miles of coast, 43 golf courses, 2,865 shuffleboard courts, and over 40,000 businesses.

With all that space, there is plenty of real estate in Pinellas County to be had.

Whether you want to buy near a beach, forest, or something in between, read these tips before you pack your bags.

1. Rising Tides

No, we're not talking about the cost of real estate in Pinellas County, but actual water.

Long-time Florida residents will have a wealth of knowledge for newcomers about flood insurance but there's one thing to know: you need it.

No, it's not necessarily required, and in many cases, homeowners can be surprised that they don't automatically have it in place, especially after a storm.

Don't be that person.

Instead, be like the Boy Scouts, and be prepared. Find out if your home is in a high-risk area, which could qualify you for National Flood Insurance. (The good news is, if you're not high risk, you may actually qualify for a lower-cost flood insurance policy offered by the federal government.) 

The idea is, get a policy to protect the real estate in Pinellas County...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Potential homebuyers are always cautioned to be aware of mortgage lending standards and the difficulty they might face when trying to obtain a mortgage. Credit availability is expanding, making it easier to get a mortgage now than it was a year ago. The market is still tight however, and homebuyers should be prepared to shop around until they find a lender who is offering something that will meet the needs of their family.

Mortgage lending companies have high standards so it is important to make sure you and anyone else who will be included on the mortgage have their credit in check. The mortgage market is strict because lenders do not want to be put in a situation where they are forced to repurchase loans that are not paid on. They also do not want to end up in a litigation situation due to loan issues.

What Has Happened to the Number of Mortgages?

Due to the strict nature and requirements of the lending companies, the number of mortgages given out has significantly dropped. A report by the Housing Financial Policy Center at the Urban Institute showed that about 6.3 million fewer mortgages were given out between 2009 and 2015. The reasons behind this statistic are strict regulations and policies. These mortgages would have been granted if the lending standards where more reasonable.

Mortgage companies rely on calculations to determine if a home buyer will become delinquent on their payment. They will not give you a loan if you are too much of a risk for them. Credit history has a huge impact on this decision since lenders can see how often you pay back your debts. The history they receive is extensive. This view into your financial past causes lenders to take less risk when lending to you for your mortgage.

The...

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you enter the home buying market. Friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances will give you their opinions if you are a first time home buyer. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, they are not fully aware of what is happening in the housing market.

It is important for you to be prepared and have your own questions ready. No matter what other opinions you are getting, you are the one buying the home and your comfort level will help make your final decision. Here are three important questions to ask before you purchase a home.

1. Why am I Buying a Home?

Regardless of the finances, it is important to think about what made you want to buy a home in the first place. Usually the reasons don’t have to do with money. Instead, home buyers are focused on how the house will impact their family in the future. A study done by the Joint Center for House Studies at Harvard found there are four reasons people buy a home. Those reasons include schools for your children, a safe environment, more room for your family to grow, and control of your own space.

These factors are the most common reasons people look to buy a new home. When you ask yourself why you are looking to purchase a home, do any of those factors come up? Spend time with your spouse or family members who are involved in this decision and determine why you want a home in the first place. Creating this list will help when searching for a home and can help your real estate agent find the best home for your needs.

2. What is the Trend with Home Values?

Our current economy and housing market is strong. That means home values and mortgage rates...

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

There has been some discussion recently on home prices in relation to mortgage rates. Some believe if there is a rapid rise of mortgage rates, home prices should decrease. Logically it makes the most sense for the price of the house to drop when interest rates are rising, but this is not always the case.

This theory of home prices decreasing is typically discussed by future home buyers. As a buyer you would like to think if you are paying higher rates on your mortgage, you should be able to see a decrease in cost somewhere else. Unfortunately, these rates are rising because the economy is in better shape. As the economy succeeds, incomes rise, rates go up, as well as the price of the home.

A recent study by the John Burns Real Estate Consulting found mortgage rates have very little impact on the cost of the home. The housing market and price increases are affected by things like job growth in the area and rising wages. Coincidentally, these same factors are causing the rise in the mortgage rates since people can afford to take out more.

Bottom Line

As the economy progresses and strengthens, mortgage rates and home prices will fluctuate. It is a misconception as rates increase, home prices will decrease. Advances in the economy have shown that rates and home prices are more likely to increase together.

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