Tampa Real Estate Blog

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...

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.

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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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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 in your ideal...

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 suffice. Moreover,...

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 little boring at...

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 in Tampa. Make sure...

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 that you've gone to...

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 Effect on the Economy...