Explore Tampa, FL
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 0
When you are looking into renting a home, please do your due diligence and make sure that the home isn't in foreclosure.   There are scam artists that look for homes that a foreclosure has been filed on with an out of town home owner.  Then these scam artists pose as the home owner, run an ad, possibly even hire a real estate agent to fill the home with a tenant.  The tenant then moves in after paying first and last month's rent as well as possibly a security deposit.  Then comes the notice that the home is now owned by the bank and the tenant must move out. You can go the the property appraiser's website to verify who owns the property and the county clerk's website to check to see if the home is in foreclosure.  Make sure you are dealing with the actual home owner. Again, make sure yo...
By Nibal Elsaadi
(SI Real Estate Tampa)
Comments 0
All year long we have been watching the real estate market heat up in Florida. There are many reasons why we are seeing a different resurgence this year!   A few of the key catalysts are: the Florida Legislature, interest rates and PMI insurance reductions. Each of these played a high valued role in the 2015 housing market. Combining all three, we can see housing is more affordable and there are a lot more people looking for housing!  Florida Governor Rick Scott is very enthusiastic about the housing market citing this past month as another remarkable one for the state. He is particularly proud of his tax cuts, saying “our work to cut taxes and create a business friendly environment is creating jobs and attracting more families to Florida because there are so many opportunities for succ...
By Mary Diaz, Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker
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How to Select the Best Offer for Your South Tampa Home for Sale Receiving multiple offers from buyers for your home for sale in South Tampa area is a good thing. However, the challenge lies in choosing which purchase offer is the best. Read on for some tips that every seller on how to select the best among multiple offers: 1. Determine your prioritiesBeing clear with your priorities early on will help you select the best offer for your South Tampa area real estate for sale. Identify what items are negotiable and non-negotiable when it comes to the sale of your property. You may need to wait for some time if you have a definite price in mind. If you want to sell your home the soonest time possible, you might need to accept the first offer that comes your way. 2.   Analyze every offerBefo...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 0
Florida is still the top destination for International Buyers.In 2014, the five countries that accounted for 51% of all purchases by international buyers were China, Canada, Mexico, India & the United Kingdom.International buyers tend to purchase more expensive real estate with the average purchase price being $499,600.  Chinese buyers typically purchased the most expensive properties at an average of $831,800.While Florida remains the top destination for international buyers, California comes in second, Texas third, and Arizona fourth.The majority of international purchases (55%) were made with all cash, compared to about 25% of all cash purchases made by domestic buyers.Thinking about selling your house, townhome, condo, or land?  I would love to hear from you.Call me on my cell phone...
By Mary Diaz, Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker
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5 Negotiation Tips Palma Ceia South Tampa Home Buyers Need to Know Buying a Palma Ceia home for sale is one of the most expensive transaction you are likely to make. As such, it is extremely important to do it right in order to get the best price. Here are some negotiating tips that will help you get the home you have been dreaming of. 1. Be prepared to move fastWhen you see a property that you really like, you have to move fast. When South Tampa homes for sale in Palma Ceia go on the market, they go very quickly. Keep in mind that your first offer should be a good offer, especially in a competitive market. If you take your time or take too many chances, you may lose the opportunity. 2. Be a cash buyerYou will in stronger position to negotiate if you are financially organized. That mean...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 2
When you are trying to narrow down your favorites, it's a great idea to confirm whether or not the home is in a flood zone that requires flood insurance.  Flood insurance can get very pricey, and there is a lot of talk on the news and from insurance companies about flood insurance increasing each year.Your Tampa Realtor can pull a flood map off the MLS and provide it to you when you're looking at homes.If you are under contract on your new home, it's a great idea to start getting quotes asap.  Once you have selected the policy and company, ask the insurance company about the benefits of binding your insurance coverage.If there is a storm brewing and you haven't bound your coverage, your closing could be delayed as your mortgage company will require your insurance to be in place.Here's a...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 0
Homes that smell nice and have good curb appeal entice picky buyers to keep looking at your property and not just close the door before seeing the entire home.Often a repugnant smell, whether a strong dog or cat smell, cigarette smell, or a smell of "moisture" will quickllllly turn off buyers and send them running away.Here are few other ideas to spruce your house up and encourage a thorough look and possibly an offer -*A new mail box, house numbers, door bell and possibly a door knocker -- some of the first things a vistor sees.*Green up your grass with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, Home Depot or Lowes Garden Department for an economical fix.*Mulch and edge your flowerbeds, again Home Depot or Lowes. You won't have to spend a fortune for a drastic improvement.*Update that bathroom faucet...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 1
Under the inspection repair and maintenance section of your home purchase contract, a seller has some limited responsibilities to the buyer to warrant certain items and/or systems in the home. While your agent may be representing you as a buyer, they are in no way qualified to determine the condition on these items and/or systems. As the buyer, you need to do your due diligence during the time alotted in your contract.For that reason, I strongly recommend to all of my customers buying property to employ the services of a professional Licensed Home Inspector to make these determinations.In my experience as a Realtor, the home inspector that you hire will always find something in the home that you are purchasing.  It could be a small issue or a big one. It's just wise for you to know what...
By Mary Diaz, Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker
Comments 0
Why Selling a Vacant South Tampa Maryland Manor Home Is a Big Mistake With so many South Tampa homes in Maryland Manor on the market, you really have to give your property a nice packaging and market it well in order to catch buyer’s attention. Otherwise, your real estate property might sit in the market for several months. In addition to that, most buyers begin their search online. If they see an empty home, buyers will click away to the next one. Here are four reasons why vacant homes don’t sell easily.  1. Buyers find it hard to visualizeWith an empty home, buyers of South Tampa Maryland Manor real estate for sale will have difficulty imagining how furniture will fit in an empty space. If they are unsure, most buyers decide not to buy. It is important to help buyers visualize how muc...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 2
I always encourage my customers preparing for a move to cut back on their possessions to improve a home's staging. If a house is listed with the clutter remaining in the home, the potential buyers automatically think there isn't enough room, not enough storage in the home. Closets should be neat and tidy - with a clear floor, not piled up suitcases, etc.So where do you put your items - your sports equipment, your suitcases, holiday decorations, extra furniture...those items that are difficult to part with? Self-storage is a popular solution for many homeowner space problems. Do you rent a storage space, or a pod, or sell your items? That's a very individual decision.Here's our experience when we were about to build our home in Wesley Chapel. Before we got moving on the home, we found so...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 1
Once the price and terms are negotiated and you're under contract for the purchase of your new home, one of the next steps is your mortgage person will order an appraisal to determine that the home is worth at least the contract sales price. We Realtors breathe a lot easier once the appraisal comes back, as appraisals are so subjective.  If the appraisal comes in lower than the contract price, your lender will inform you, the buyer, that the value came in less that the sales price. The lender cannot loan you more than what the appraiser says that it's worth. Here are three very real options -  1 - The seller could lower the sales price to the amount of the appraisal;  2 - The buyer and seller can meet somewhere in the middle and the buyer could bring more money to the title company on t...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 0
Earlier this year, one of my buyers was so excited to close on their bank owned home.  The appraisal actually came in $20,000 above contract place.  I am so excited that they got instant equity. We moved quickly on their purchase of this home that was in an area they had been looking at for quite some time.  As soon as their mortgage letter was received, we immediately went to that home.  We made an offer $100 over list price and there had been multiple offers coming in at the same time.  The buyers put down $1000 earnest money deposit. The bank picked our offer.  The buyers were happy with the home inspection.  So happy for Ryan and Amanda..If you don’t like waiting for months for a response to your offer to purchase, Bank Owned Properties may be the way for you to purchase a home at a...
By Mary Diaz, Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker
Comments 0
How to Tell If You Are Ready to Buy Sunset Park Home in South Tampa There may be many reasons to buy a Sunset Park home for sale in South Tampa, but how do you know if you are ready? If you want to know whether you are ready for the American Dream of homeownership, read on and check if you have or are already doing the following:  1. You have been savingIf you have extra money saved up, then you may be ready to buy South Tampa homes for sale in Sunset Park. Normally you need at least 20% cash down payment ready if you plan to buy a home and your savings will come in handy. The bigger down payment you are able to make, the smaller your monthly payments will be. You will also pay a lower amount in interest over the lifetime of your mortgage. If you already have money saved for a down paym...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 0
   When you apply for a home loan, the buyer is asked if they are going to be living in the home.  Lenders want to know if the borrower is intending to actually live in the home that they are buying (primary residence) or whether it's an investment property or second home.  If the home isn't a primary residence, the borrower's chance of default tends to be higher.     Investment properties or second homes require a higher percentage down.  Owner occupied homes require a lower amount down, and you get a better interest rate.   Please let me know how I can help you in your home search in Tampa Bay Florida.   Loving my profession - helping others find the home of their dream - their just right home for them :)   My cell phone number is 813-624-3332 - would love to hear from you.Warmly,Step...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 4
Cute as they are, pets while the home is being shown can be a real distraction and can be a deterrent to those looking to buy the property.  Cat and dog hair and odors can be a real problem to those especially that have allergies; smells can make the home seem older, dirty and can immediately put into the buyer's mind that the carpet needs to be replaced. Now what else needs to be done to the home...?  Buyers are looking for a deal and move in ready does not include carpet replacement.  While out showing properties I've had buyers high tail it out of the home with just one whiff of the pet smell. Most buyers just can't get that smell out of their mind and are turned off by the smell thinking that it will just always be there.  Recently I was showing a home that had 3 beautiful cats ther...
By Stephanie LeFew, Making Real Estate Easy for You-It's all about You
(Coldwell Banker, Tampa FL)
Comments 2
When considering Do-it-yourself projects, it can be so exciting, creating a better home environment and all the satisfaction that you will feel with each step of the project.  When you step back and take it all in - your completed masterpiece - there's nothing better. Enjoying living in your home each day even more, and increasing the value and of the home and its saleability when you decide to sell one day.Please try to look thru the eyes of the potential buyer of your house when you do sell. When it comes time to sell, if the buyers are turned off with the quality of the work done, it may be the reason that your house doesn't sell, unless you're willing to take quite a bit less for the sales price. No one wants that to happen.Some projects are worth the costs of hiring a contractor, i...
By Mary Diaz, Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker
Comments 1
Top 5 Steps to Make the Move to Your South Tampa Home Easy for Your Children Once you have bought the perfect property among the many homes for sale in South Tampa, your next step will include preparations for moving. Since many kids thrive in familiarity and routine, they might feel overwhelmed with the major change that is about to take place.  Here are some steps you can take to ease the transition for your children. 1. Research the new neighborhoodYour kids will have an easier transition to your new South Tampa home if you will try to learn as much as possible about the new neighborhood. Make sure to share what you find with your kids. You may also encourage your children to do their own research. You may get a copy of some local magazines and a weekend edition of the local paper. T...
By Mary Diaz, Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker
Comments 1
How to Avoid Seller's Remorse When Selling Real Estate in South Tampa You've probably heard of the term "buyer’s remorse," which happens when a homebuyer regrets his or her decision of buying a property right after settling in due to different reasons, but did you know that there's also such a thing as "seller's remorse?"This usually happens when sellers are not yet prepared to part with their homes in South Tampa or if they feel that it might be a bad decision to put their property on the market.  Here are five tips to help sellers of homes for sale in South Tampa area avoid seller’s remorse: 1. Research the marketIf you are seriously considering selling your home, it's best if you have information about the local market conditions. Knowing the different types of housing markets and th...
By Homes For Heroes
(Affiliates nationwide for Hero Rewards)
Comments 0
I am a Broker Associate with Engel & Volkers, serving South Tampa and the Tampa Bay region. I am licensed in Florida and Virginia.  Prior to moving to Tampa Bay, I lived in the Metropolitan Washington DC area, where I successfully negotiated and closed Multi-million dollar transactions in Fairfax County, one of the most influential counties in the U.S.  I believe in continually educating myself to better service my clients and learn from top producers around the country. I have earned one of the highest designations in Real Estate, the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). A CRS Realtor® is your assurance that you are working with one of the top professionals in the business. Approximately 3% of all Realtors® have earned the CRS designation.  I have also earned the Certified Luxury Ho...
By Mary Diaz, Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker
Comments 0
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Your Palma Ceia Home for Sale Painting your home is a huge project, but it can certainly help in attracting buyers looking for Palma Ceia homes for sale in South Tampa. Keep in mind that the paint job is the first impression people will have of your home so it better look good. To get the best results, check out the common painting mistakes you ought to avoid. 1. Not having the right toolsWorking with the wrong tools will not only make the task more time consuming, it can also lead to sloppy paint job. If you want your property to stand out from the other homes for sale in Palma Ceia South Tampa, take an inventory first before you start the project. Make sure you have the right brushes, scrapers, caulk, and other materials needed.  2. Breathing the wron...

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