Tampa Real Estate Blog

A Homeowner’s Guide to Remodeling & Restoring an Old Home

Dealing with home renovations can be a large inconvenience, but it pays larger dividends.

Dealing with home renovations can be a large inconvenience, but it pays larger dividends. After long months of construction, noise, and constant activity, homeowners can finally sit back and reap the rewards of their dream house. Restoring and renovating your home can be an extensive process and, unless you are a contractor by trade or natural handyman, you will likely require guidance along the way. Read below to learn more about remodeling and restoring your old home!

Research and Development

The first thing to do when remodeling and restoring an old home is research. It helps to have a general idea of what tools, appliances, or other materials you will need throughout the process. You also need to research area contractors for jobs you cannot complete yourself. In today’s digital age, this process can easily be streamlined and completed in an efficient manner. Before Google, you would’ve had to venture from store to store to seek out deals! Now, these are often available in many different places, and you could easily find great deals if you look hard enough.

Determine a Budget

An important part of the research process is determining your budget. The renovation process can be costly, and you must meticulously outline your spending and financials beforehand. If you use contractors, architects, or any other outside help, make sure to get written estimates before any work is completed. Simply put, failing to properly budget is a recipe for disaster. Running over budget along the way will make...

5 Easy Home Upgrades

means it’s time to get started on those summer home improvement projects, which can range from very small updates to the interior of your home to major renovation projects, such as remodeling a bathroom or replacing your home’s exterior siding. The weather is starting to get nicer, the sun is shining brighter, and the days are longer, which means summer is right around the corner. For many homeowners, this means it’s time to get started on those summer home improvement projects, which can range from very small updates to the interior of your home to major renovation projects, such as remodeling a bathroom or replacing your home’s exterior siding.

When it comes to making updates to your home in preparation for the summer, large and costly renovations aren’t necessary. You can still make a huge impact by making minor changes to your home that are simple and don’t cost a ton of money. Here are five easy home updates you can make this summer:

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Home Maintenance To Do In Each Season

Follow these home maintenance tips to keep your home in good condition through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.Owning a house is a lot of work. And unlike renting, you can’t call the maintenance man when something needs to be fixed. Therefore it's important to do regular upkeep on your house to keep it in good condition. If you’re new to home ownership or need a few pointers on how to maintain your house, just keep reading.

As tedious as it might be, there is seasonal maintenance that your house needs to get it through the upcoming months. It’ll require some effort on your part, but it’ll ensure that you don’t run into any issues down the line. Moreover, you should enlist the help of a professional for jobs that you can’t do yourself.

Spring

The Spring comes after a long winter and will need a bit of repair to get things back to normal.

Clean The Exterior

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the interior of your home. After a long winter, your house might have collected dirt and grime that can damage the paint. Depending on the condition of the exterior, you may or may not need a pressure washer. If there are any hard to clean areas, spot cleaning them with detergent should do the trick.

Plumbing

The Spring is a good time to check the plumbing. Check the pipes for leaks and look under the sinks to make sure there are no issues. Your walls will also show signs of leaks as well; stains and discolorations throughout the house are usually an indication that there’s a problem.

Summer

The summer months are all about fun and upkeep on your house should be relatively easy during this time of the year.

Reverse The Ceiling Fans

You want a nice, steady flow of air coming...

How To Select The Best Offer For Your House

How To Select The Best Offer for Your Home

Our current seller’s market has been a result of low housing inventory compared to the number of homebuyers searching for houses. Often, home sellers end up with a multiple offer situation when placing their home on the market. It seems like knowing which offer to accept would be an easy decision. While choosing the highest offer seems obvious, it may not always be the best choice. Below, I’ve outlined other important factors when it comes to accepting an offer from a homebuyer.

Pre-Qualified And Pre-Approved Homebuyers

Most offers will include a letter from a financial institution indicating that a homebuyer is either pre-approved or pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. While people often use these terms interchangeably, there is a significant difference between the two.

Once a homebuyer discusses their financial situation with a mortgage lender, they can be issued a pre-qualification letter,  which is an estimate of the loan amount a buyer will qualify for. At this point, the mortgage lender has not verified the accuracy of the provided information. A mortgage lender might produce a correct estimate for a homebuyer who is very knowledgable about their financial profile. However, home sellers should be aware that a lender has not yet verified income, assets, debt, or cash available for a down payment. In other words, a pre-qualification letter does not provide much confidence that the buyer will be able to close...

Sell Your Home In 3 Easy Steps

There are 3 important steps to remember when selling your home.

As you begin thinking about all the details involved with selling your home, you may start to feel overwhelmed. There are so many factors to think about - when you should put your house on the market, how to pack everything up while you're still living in the home, what to do about showings when you have children (or pets) at home. The list just keeps going.

Fortunately, I've paired it down to the three most important steps on which you should focus. While I cannot promise everything else will go smoothly, I am positive that if you follow these instructions, your home will sell fast and for top dollar.

1. Determine Why You Want To Move

Before putting your home on the market, it’s important to know why you really want to move. As you start to think about selling your house, you’ll probably have multiple ideas about the advantages or disadvantages that are involved in that process. In the end, some sellers realize that they are not really motivated to move, which can prevent the home selling process from being successful.

You also want to ensure that all parties involved in selling the home are in agreement when it comes to the list of reasons to move. When co-owners don’t agree about the end goal, there are sure to be some road bumps along the way. For example, it’s important to make sure that your expectations for the selling price are in line with current market values. If they don't match...

Home Updates That Can Make a Big Difference

Painted floor project to update a home.

We all crave a home that could be found in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens–one that boasts the perfect balance of comfort and state-of-the-art additions. But realistically speaking, our busy schedules and the high cost of such a project may deter us from treating our homes to a much-deserved facelift. Fortunately, updating your home doesn’t need to be painful. By making a few modest updates, you can make a noteworthy difference.

Simple as Adding a Fresh Coat of Paint

You would be surprised by what a fresh coat of paint can achieve. For those feeling adventurous, it can sometimes be exciting to reward your home with new paint colors–head-to-toe, inside and out. However, that is a commitment not all can manage. If this is the case, try just painting your front door or shutters. Warm colors such as yellow and red are found to be much more inviting than their cooler counterparts. If you want to focus on the interior, painting an accent wall draws attention to an area of a room that may have an aspect worth showing off, such as a fireplace or unique molding. Accent walls also tend to open up a room and offer the opportunity to rearrange furniture around your room’s new focal point. If your house offers the option, painting the back of recessed wall niches or even built-in bookshelves creates an interesting visual appeal on a smaller scale.

Floors also endure their fair share of bumps and bruises, whether they are hardwood, laminate or tile. If your floor can handle it, it is worth considering a coat of paint and a nice finish. For those wanting a more design-oriented floor, try painting a chessboard or a hexagon pattern onto the wood. Though more unconventional, if done with a steady hand, such a floor would be...

When Something Goes Wrong: 5 Common Moving Day Problems and How to Manage Them

Manage Moving Day ProblemsNo matter how organized you are, there’s always a chance something unexpected could derail your carefully-crafted plans for moving day. Anticipating and creating a plan for managing unexpected problems will help you overcome any challenges you may encounter.

To help you navigate any unforeseen complications, we’ve created a list of 7 of the most common moving day problems, along with our tips for keeping your move on track:

1. Illness

The best way to manage illness is to avoid getting sick in the first place. If you come down with a slight case of the sniffles or a minor cold, you can most likely progress with your move as scheduled. For more serious illnesses, you may need to reschedule.

If you notice yourself starting to feel under the weather in the days leading up to your move, there are a few things you can do to limit the impact:

  • Try to get lots of rest and fluids.
  • Stock up on tissues, cough drops, and any other supplies you might need, including cleaning supplies so you can prevent others from getting sick.
  • Schedule a doctor’s appointment for a diagnosis and a prescription, if necessary.
  • Get help from friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with letting someone else take the lead on your move if your brain is fogged up on cold medication.

If your kids get sick, enlist the help of family, friends, or a trusted neighbor to watch over them. If no one is available, set up a comfortable spot out of the way where they will have access to everything they need, and where you can keep an eye on them while you continue packing.

2. Injury

Avoiding injury is easy if you take a few steps to keep yourself and your helpers safe while you move:

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Hidden Costs of Moving: 11 Unexpected Costs to Include in your Moving Budget

Moving According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an interstate move is approximately $4,300. That’s no small chunk of change.

Whether you decide to hire movers or rent a truck and move yourself, budgeting for your upcoming move—local or long distance—can help you plan accordingly and take steps to reduce the costs as much as possible. But between accounting for the cost of movers, packing supplies, and other costs—not to mention the inevitable confusion of actually packing up your house—it’s easy to forget about some of the common hidden costs of moving.

To help you plan for any unexpected costs, we’ve put together a list of 11 of the most commonly-missed hidden costs of moving:

11 UNEXPECTED COSTS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR MOVING BUDGET 

1. Your Movers

If you solicited quotes from multiple moving companies for your upcoming relocation, you probably have a good idea of how much your moving service will cost. But the way your movers are compensated can impact how much you end up paying:

  • If you’re paying movers by the hour, they may not move as quickly as you’d like, which can increase your bill. 
  • If you’re paying movers a flat fee, they may rush through your job so they can get to their next customer. This increases the risk of loss or damage.

Hiring the company that provides you with the cheapest quote may save you money up front, but it can lead to increased costs that you may not have predicted, such as the costs of repairing or replacing stuff that got broken by poorly qualified movers or movers who rushed through your job.

2. Fine...

Does My Garden Add Value to My Home?

garden home

If you are an avid gardener, or if you are thinking about embarking on a gardening campaign at your residence, you may wonder whether a garden adds value to your home. As is the case with many things in life, the answer to the question of whether or not your garden adds value to your home is not a simple "yes" or "no."

The Garden that Detracts

Before we dive into an examination of how a garden can add value to your home, a discussion of how a garden can detract from a residence is important. There are some common mistakes that even the best intentioned homeowners make when it comes to gardening on their properties.

Perhaps the most common mistake a homeowner makes when it comes to gardening is overdoing. In other words, a homeowner litters the property with a myriad of flower beds and assorted plants, all lacking a sense of cohesion and organization. This can prove to a particular problem when a homeowner wants to sell. This type of garden menagerie can lower the value of a property, and sometimes rather significantly so. In the end, the property looks like something that would be a major headache -- and expense -- to maintain (or eliminate, depending on the goals objectives of a person who might be interested in purchasing the residence).

Even gardening done at a residence in proper proportions must be well-tended. Another of the common mistakes a homeowner makes is failing to properly tend to and care for gardens on the premises. A poorly tended garden not only looks bad, but it sends a loud message that a homeowner is not diligent in caring for the premises. The combination of these two factors can knock down the value of residential property.

The Proper Garden and the Value of Your Home

Understanding that a garden can detract from the premises, can lower a property's value, a more...

5 Technological Innovations in the Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry is an ever-changing field that is constantly evolving. Over the last couple of years, new technologies have emerged, which have had major impacts on the entire real estate industry.

When it comes to the purchasing process in particular, potential homebuyers and agents have an abundance of technological innovations at their fingertips that help to make transactions as seamless and effortless as possible.

Additionally, real estate companies can now deliver more insightful information to the investment community faster than ever before, thus allowing investors to make better purchasing decisions.

The ease technology has brought to the real estate industry has given all who are dealing in real estate a competitive edge.

Below are 5 technological innovations that are revolutionizing the market and creating a significant impact on this industry and real estate professionals, investors, buyers, and sellers.

Let's get started!

Virtual Reality

Imagine yourself standing in the middle of a property that doesn't even exist and you are looking right and left, up and down. Yes! Virtual reality has actually made such a thing possible. Virtual reality in real estate is making the entire purchasing process much more efficient than it used to be. By using VR technology, potential home buyers get to see the actual view from the balcony of their own future property and digitally tour properties from anywhere in the world.

With VR technology, because seeing is believing, virtual reality tours are one of the real estate technologies that improve the overall purchasing process.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality and virtual reality go hand in hand actually. If virtual reality allows potential homebuyers a more personal experience by offering buyers panoramic experiences that better reflect a home’s living space, augmented reality comes in handy when trying to visualize what an empty space would look like....

How To Sell Your Home Quickly & For Top Dollar

Home For SaleThere are many reasons why you may need to sell your home quickly. An unexpected job offer may mean a new life and new location. Maybe you’re getting married and merging lives and homes. Perhaps you’ve inherited a house that is going to be a financial burden if you don’t sell fast. It could be that the market is hot and you know it’s the right time to get a high offer and sell.

Whatever your reasons, selling your home quickly will save you time, money and a lot of the stress that comes with this big life decision. Below are 11 tips to help you get your home sold quickly.

Keep an Eye on the Market

Check local real estate blogs and monitor industry trends. Are certain neighborhoods selling like crazy? Did schools re-zone recently, changing the demand for a particular location? Knowing what’s going on with the market can help you determine the best time to sell.

According to Time Magazine, 60% of those who move, do so in the summer. The grass is green and natural light is flooding through your windows making everything look cheerful and presentable. It’s a time for new beginnings, and armed with tax refunds; buyers are poised to spend.

If this situation sounds familiar to you, now is the perfect time to declutter and get your home ready for a quick sale. Moving in the spring and summer is a lot easier than dealing with moving on a cold and rainy Tampa day.

Make the Right First Impression

When you’re getting ready to sell, think about what attracted you to the home in the first place and capitalize on it. Your home should stand out and have instant curb appeal. Simple and inexpensive changes like painting your front door or investing in professional landscaping will immediately up the ante according to experts at HGTV. An uncluttered...

10 Tips for Buying a Waterfront Home in Tampa

10 Tips for Buying a Waterfront Home in Tampa

Are you looking to purchase a waterfront home in Tampa?

If the answer is yes, you're making a great investment! The Tampa housing market is booming right now and it's a great time to be a buyer.

Buying waterfront property in Tampa is an even better idea, and there are tons of beautiful areas to choose from. In case you didn't know, Tampa is home to Florida's largest port and estuary in the state.

This means that there's plenty of Waterfront property to go around!

If this is your first time buying in the Tampa area or you're new to purchasing a waterfront home, this is some information you need to know before making an offer.

Here are our ten tips to read before you start looking for your dream waterfront home in Tampa, or anywhere else in the world:

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A Complete Guide to Buying 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?

A Complete Guide to Buying Luxury Homes in Tampa

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

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7 Tips for Buying 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.

7 great tips for buying real estate in Pinellas County, Florida

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How Hiring A Realtor Can Make Buying A Home Easier

Did you know to qualify for a mortgage loan, your debt has to be below 43% of your gross monthly income?

This is just one of the many tedious facts to take into account when searching for a new home.

You can make the buying process so much easier by seeking guidance from a qualified professional to help you learn the rules.

Let's take a look at reasons why working with a realtor can make buying a home a breeze.

How Hiring A Realtor Can Make Buying A Home Easier

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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 years of experience, and even...

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 larger space.

Also, don't...