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  • 3 Tips for Selling a Small Kitchen

    Many buyers find the kitchen to be one of the most important spaces.  But the kitchen can be one of the trickiest rooms to stage, especially when the space is small.

    If your house is lacking in kitchen space, it’s important to make it look as appealing as possible.

    1. Remove all clutter and appliances from the countertops, leaving only only one or two decorative items. This will make the space appear cleaner and larger.

    2. Make sure the kitchen is getting plenty of light. Dark spaces appear smaller, so to open up the space make sure any windows are allowing maximum light through. If that’s not possible, add appealing forms of artificial lighting to do the trick.

    3. If the cabinets have seen better days, consider painting them white. White reflects light and helps make a space feel much bigger and open.

    Need help selling?  We know what we are doing!  Call us at 813 503 5318 to discuss how we can help get the maximum dollar for you.

  • New Florida Homeowners Flood Insurance Law put on hold

    The Florida home flood insurance bill that I blogged about recently (Click here ) that was going to lead to drastically higher insurance rates for Hillsborough and Pinellas county residents looks to be put on hold with this latest press release.

    The general opinion being that now is not the time to monkey with the system as the Florida market continues to improve.  Stability and expectation is very important to a steady and upward recovery.


  • Flood Insurance and Florida Homes

    As you may have heard about recently, major flood insurance rates are coming down the line for all of Florida.  If all regulations are approved, this could cause a realignment of rates as great as $8k per year on some homes.  There will be no grandfathered clauses included.  Over the next 5 years all residents will have the new rates phased in.  This will put a serious hamper on waterfront home pricing that are below base flood elevation (BFE).

    My expectation is home pricing on those below the BFE will become about $30k cheaper to account for the $8k annual insurance increase.

    On the bright side of this coin however.  Those that are at or above BFE will see their rates drop which will increase the value of those homes by about $15k to $20k.  This can be guesstimated by dividing the annual insurance cost by 12 months and estimating that every $60 drop in monthly payment allows for a $10k greater purchase price on a monthly payment basis.

    The lesson here is to wait if you are buying below base flood elevation and buy now if you looking at or above BFE.

    Further legal action may be taken to delay rate hikes.  Stay tuned.

    Feel free to contact me to discuss Tampa Real Estate further






  • Developers look at Tampa for another new high rise project

    TBBJ Reports that the Novare Group, the company that brought Skypoint and Element to Tampa, is working on bringing a new high rise design to Tampa called SkyHouse.  Potential sites appear to be located in the Channelside District of Tampa.

    Novare Group sees Tampa as the perfect market to bring the feel and amenities that SkyHouse has to local, young, upwardly mobile buyers.

  • Home Inventory Rising

    Recent Data is pointing to a slight shift.  However first, lets talk about a baseline.

    -Hardest hit areas in Real Estate are bouncing back at the largest growth rates.

    -Home inventory is still less than this time last year.

    With that mentioned,  home inventory is increasing at a faster than usual rate.  Could we be entering the slight sales dip I and others have predicted in the Real Estate recovery?

    It has been mentioned that there could be a second bubble coming in the Real Estate market.  There will be a slow down in Buyer demand and as prices increase a short term glut of homes for sale available, lessening urgency, not to mention the increasing interest rates providing a cooling effect to home sales per quarter.

    Partially true.

    I don’t believe there will be a second bubble.  For one main reason.  The first one was caused by over leveraging and mortgages.  This time most of the transactions are by investors and hedge funds that have been all CASH trades.  No bubble possible.

    To the second half, as Buyers become aware that the market is changing, the slight addition of interest rates rising, this will settle the market down for a short period.  Profit fever will also need to wash over the Sellers that have been stuck in their homes for the last 7 years, giddy that they can finally sell, and temper the overall inventory to keep the market on the upward trend.

    And if you think rising interest rates will completely kill the recovery, I would say you were wrong.  Buyers buy because of lifestyle changes, not interest rates.  It affects how expensive of a home will be purchased, NOT IF they purchase.  This will level sale prices as well, less so the sale itself.

    Long story short, the dip won’t last long, maybe 6-8 months tops.  So be ready to act and take advantage of the seemingly over expired chance of getting the last of the good deals of the “Great Recession”, 813 503 5318

  • Home Builders Not Building- On Purpose

    Arizona State University has released a report that suggests that home builders are not building, on purpose.  The report suggests that builders are intentionally holding back to help accelerate price increases by keeping supply low and new homes in high demand.   Building at a rate well under what healthy buyer absorption should be able to handle.

    Builders however like to point at labor shortages, tighter underwriting standards and the rise of lot prices causing the build restrictions.

    While builders do have valid points, I tend to believe they are putting to much emphasis on the above reasons and there is in FACT intentional restriction.  It doesn’t take much to imagine that the builders have created a level of construction they are comfortable with and would like to maintain.  No sense in growing and then having to retract again.  With the icing being confident price increases along the way.

    See report link below.


  • Mortgage Rates Volatility Explained

    Over the last few days, we have seen unprecedented volatility in mortgage rates. In general, mortgage rates follow the long-term (10-year) US government bond rates, but they also vary based on investor demand for mortgage-backed securities. So when long-term bond rates move, the mortgage rates can move either more or less than the government interest rates, depending on demand for mortgage-backed bonds.

    Because the Federal Bank has been buying both US bonds and mortgage-backed bonds ($85 Billion per month) , the rates on those have been artificially low for quite a while. In a recent speech Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that they would eventually stop buying these bonds. That would mean that at some point in the near future a huge buyer (US Government) would leave the market and rates would have to rise to attract other buyers for those bonds.

    The result was that no one wanted to be the last person to get only today’s low rates on their bond investment so most everyone stopped buying mortgage-backed bonds almost immediately. Worse yet, some bond owners were forced to sell because of margin calls and for other technical reasons. To attract someone to buy those bonds, interest rates had to move up now, instead of waiting until the Fed actually stopped buying.

    We don’t know how long this volatility will last but usually it doesn’t take too long for a market to find its equilibrium. Odds are that rates will go up and down and settle somewhere higher than they were a couple of weeks ago.

    In Summary, prices are rebounding from the lowest they have ever been and rates are creeping up from the lowest they have ever been.  If there truly truly truly was ever a time to buy, its now!


  • Skypoint Condo in Tampa Prices Rise

    List prices for NON penthouse units have broken the $400k mark.

    If you are interested in buying in Skypoint, you need to call or email me!  I have 13 units that are available for sale that are NOT on the MLS!


  • Courthouse Foreclosure Auction Scams- Under Arrest

    Feds crack down on Courthouse Foreclosure Auction Scams.

    The linked article makes special mention of mostly California and Alabama area arrests due to the high volume of foreclosures.  The perps would agree as a group to only have one bidder on a specific property and then afterwards have a private auction amongst themselves to purchase the property.  The savings would be split up amongst the private bidders. New comers to the auction would either be folded in or harassed to the point of not coming back.

    I have attended these type of auctions here in the Tampa Courthouse foreclosure auctions.  I can attest that there was more than likely something similar happening.  However I can not prove this at all.  I recently attended an auction and I tell you what!  The exact same people were in attendance as there was from almost one full year ago.  Day in and day out two times a day at the courthouse this group would bid on properties.  They would huddle together before the beginning of the auction and then disperse around the room at the beginning of the auction.

    I have always felt this was a non ideal place to buy properties.  I much prefer NPN purchases.  Safer in certain aspects and generally much better return.  Email me at  if you’d like to learn more or discuss.

  • RTT Realty Closes $2.1 Million Medical Center Today

    More information to follow as details may be authorized for release.