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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Resources for statistics in Metro Tampa housing market

I found a new website that I thought was worth taking a look at if you are searching for a home in the Tampa Bay Area.

The site has Days on Market, Average Sales Prices, and How long your home will take to sell. They also have other statistics as well.

The only negative is that you only get a very broad search area. As we know statistics change based on your specific neighborhood.

Over all if you are looking at the big picture I thought it had some useful information.

About Altos ResearchAltos Research LLC pioneered real-time real estate market research. Founded in 2005, the company's information products serve investors, derivatives traders, and thousands of real estate professionals.

Because real estate market data is traditionally obscure and highly latent, Altos built the Real-Time Market Intelligence(TM) platform to monitor dozens of housing market metrics as they are right now in local markets across the country.

The company publishes analytical reports and data feeds each week for thousands of zip codes including all 20 S&P/Case Shiller markets summarized in this report. More information about Altos Research is located at http://www.altosresearch.com/.

For a market profile for the Tampa Bay Real Estate Market visit http://www.altosresearch.com/research/FL/TAMPA

For a more detailed buyer or seller market analysis we are happy to provide you the information based on your specific neighborhood. Click Here

Rae Catanese Shatto & Michelle Jordan
Prudential Tropical Realty

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Savvy Woman: Questions to Ask Before Buying A Home with a Friend-Tampa Fl

Savvy Woman: Questions to Ask Before Buying A Home with a Friend
The answers to these six questions can make or break your decision.
By Tara-Nicholle Nelson Published: 11/01/2007

1) What is your Vision of Home?Ask anyone you're considering teaming up with for a house purchase to write a Vision of Home and fill out the Wants & Needs Checklist. Discuss the differences and similarities between theirs and yours. Especially discuss what you want your living space to be like, physically speaking -- everything from location, to the type of building, to the architectural style, to cute/old/charming vs. cool/new/modern. EVERYTHING. And make sure you know each other's must-haves and deal-breakers.

2) Will you be sharing a single family home or buying a multi-family home? Said differently, will you be living together or will you each get your own unit?Are you really committed to making a roommate-type relationship work over a long-term period of time, or do you each want your own private residence (complete with your own kitchens, bathrooms, and front doors - which you can close and lock if you need to be alone!).

3) Do you prefer to make decisions slowly and deliberately after lots of investigation or do you prefer to trust your intuition and act when you "feel" it is right?Nothing is more frustrating than for one person to be ready to buy the third or fourth property they see, when the other person has no intentions of buying anything until they've seen at least 40 or 50 properties. Get clear up front on how you both envision your house hunting process, so you are not unpleasantly surprised when you find the place of your dreams and your pal is not ready to buy, or when your buddy pressures you to buy a place way before you are ready. If you are a more intuitive buyer and your co-buyer is more deliberate, then you might want to have them do a lot of Open House looky-loo-ing before you go out and get serious about looking with your Realtor and vice versa. If you are a significantly slower decision maker than your friend, consider going out to lots of Open Houses to build up your comfort level with the commitment involved in actually buying before you, your co-buyer and your Realtor begin the formal house hunt.

4) Do you have a Realtor or mortgage lender?If either of you has a Realtor or lender, you should calendar a meeting with all buyers and all professionals to give every buyer a chance to meet and question the professionals, and choose with whom they would like to work.

5) Have you been pre-approved for a mortgage? If so, for what purchase price were you pre-approved and on what terms?The good faith estimate will show all this information. At the beginning stages of your discussion, you can roughly combine your approval amounts to get a general sense for

(a) how much you can spend on your home together, and

(b) what the monthly payment on that amount will be.

Nine times out of ten, though, you will need to jointly qualify as co-borrowers on a single mortgage in order to purchase a property held in TIC or Joint Tenancy. You should do so as soon as possible to uncover and iron out any potential glitches before you get too deep into the house hunting process.

6) What is your career situation (i.e., stability, earnings, future plans, etc.)? I know this seems strange, but you really do need and want to know where the money for your friend's share of the mortgage payments is going to come from, and how stable that source of funds is. You actually should find out how much she (or they) makes. I've literally had best friends get deep into the homebuying process prior to realizing that they each assumed the other made way more money than she actually did!

This information empowers you to do a reality check on the amount for which you collectively have been pre-approved. It is impossible to plan to spend almost every cent of your income on a mortgage -- and it might raise a red (read: preventive) flag if you realize that your friend is planning to do so.!

To start your Real Estate Search visit www.TampaBayDwellings.com or contact Rae Catanese-Prudential Tropical Realty-813-784-7744.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lennar Homes unloads 8,300 residential lots

Tampa Bay Business Journal - by Michael Hinman

Metro Development Group is getting a hold of nearly 4,000 acres of land in seven counties after completing its largest land purchase in company history.

Metro, based in Tampa, is buying nearly 4,900 home sites in Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk and Sarasota counties as well as 3,400 other home sites in Lee, DeSoto and Brevard counties from Miami-based Lennar Homes.

The purchase - which was completed on Friday for undisclosed terms - was part of "long-range acquisition strategies developed" by the company, said Rob Ahrens, spokesman for Metro Development. The deal increases Metro's land inventory by nearly 40 percent, and brings the company's total land holdings to 30,000 home sites.

"We have tremendous confidence in Florida and the resiliency of the state's residential real estate market," said Ahrens in a release. "We know that current concerns about homebuilding will be resolved in the coming months, and when they are, we plan to be a major player in providing finished home sites to builders who will need them."

The purchases include 3,905 home sites covering 1,700 acres at Epperson Ranch in Pasco County, 530 home sites on 140 acres at Waterleaf in Hillsborough County, 393 home sites on 94 acres at Leomas Landing in Polk County, and 98 home sites on 41 acres in Sarasota County.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Buyers Market picking up due to low interest rates- Tampa, Fl

Beautiful Seminole Heights Bungalow

Lowest Rates in 25 Months

We couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving treat than the one we got on Monday: the lowest 30-year fixed-rate in over two years. That's right. For those of you who have been patiently waiting, here's your chance to save anywhere from $5,000 to $7,500 or even more on the mortgage financing you've been looking for. Do not miss this great opportunity to cash in on the lowest rates since October 2005.

Here's why you should act now:
Monday saw the lowest 30-year fixed interest rate in over two years. However, each time this interest rate reached previous low points, both last year and earlier this year, it began increasing and didn't stop, climbing over 0.50% in the months that followed!

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac tightened guidelines, announcing new Loan-Level Price Adjustments. In the first quarter of 2008, most borrowers who have good credit, but have FICO scores below 680, will now be forced either to pay more points at closing or incur a higher interest rate.

The amount that a borrower could be forced to pay, even if they've never been late on a payment, could be as much as 2.00% in points or an interest rate that's 1.00% higher than the going rate.

On a $250,000 home loan, a borrower could have to pay up to $5,000 in order to receive normal market rates! Borrowers choosing the higher interest rate, under the worse case scenario, would stand to lose over $7,500 in just the first three years of the loan.

Choosing to wait could cost you money both in the form of higher market rates and points. This could well be the greatest holiday present you could treat yourself to this year, but only if you act fast!

For Real Estate questions contact
Prudential Tropical Realty
Rae Catanese, Realtor at 813-784-7744 or email us.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

How to make informed decisions when buying a home-Tampa, Fl

Gaylord: Know Your MarketNAR President

Richard Gaylord says consumers need to understand what’s going on in their own area. “There is no such thing as a national housing market – it doesn’t perform like the equities markets,” he says. “What’s really important for consumers is to make informed decisions based on individual needs, desires, and timelines in a given area.

Most people plan to stay in a home for 10 years, and for buyers with a long-term view, housing is an excellent investment.”Typical sellers purchased their home six years ago, with the median price in the third quarter of 2001 at $159,100.

Despite the dip in the national median price over the past year, the median increase in value for home sellers who bought six years ago is 38.8 percent. “Nearly every market is showing positive long-term gains, with a home equity accumulation of $61,700 over the past six years for a typical U.S. home owner,” Gaylord says.

Even in most of the places that are undergoing a large price decline, like Tampa, Florida, a long-term increases are quite respectable, he says. For example, the Sarasota area of Florida is showing a median rise in home value of $112,000 over the typical holding period, and ranks well above norm for overall gains.”

To find a Realtor in your area who can provide you with a detailed comparable market analysis contact us or visit http://www.tampabaydwellings.com/

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Homes sales continue to fall. Now IS the time to start your Real Estate Search

Single-family home sales continue to fall - Tampa Bay Business Journal:
Thinking of buying a home in the Tampa Bay area or beaches? Now is the time to take advantage of the lowest prices.

read more digg story

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

North Carolina Mountain Developments attract buyers from Florida

View from The Pavilion at The Preserve at Eagle Crest, Lake Glenville North Carolina

Carolina Plateau Group of Cashiers, NC will be representing two home developments at the upcoming Log & Timber Home Show
Friday, Sat. & Sunday Nov. 16-18th
at the Tampa Convention Center

Our developments are in the most desireable high elevation areas of Western North Carolina at 4,000 ft.

The Preserve at Eagle Crest, above Lake Glenville provides long range views of the Balsam Mountains as well as tranquil Lake Glenville.
There will be a show incentive of 20% off lot pricing for the first 15 lot contracts

Lake View Lot-The Preserve at Eagle Crest

The Divide at Bald Rock in the Cashiers, NC area boasts long range mountain views of Chimney Top, Whiteside Mountain and the Panthertown National Forest.

View from Bald Rock Community

Lots range in size from 1 to over 4 acres and start in the 170's up to 600K.

The first 10 buyers that register on our site will receive free admission to the show.


for more information and directions to the show.

Hope to see you there!

We are at booth #608,
The Carolina Plateau Group
For Further Information Call 888-277-2006 x2

Want to find out why more Floridians
move to Western North Carolina?
Home and Land Sales,
Statistics, and Trends

Visit our North Carolina Real Estate Blog

The Carolina Plateau Group is hiring a
Development Site Manager in North Carolina.
Inquire Confidentially to
Rae Catanese Shatto
For Further Information Call 888-277-2006 x2

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Home prices falling at record pace in August-Best Time To Buy

Home prices falling at record pace in August
Down 4.4% over the past year in 20 major cities, Case-Shiller says
Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last Update: 11:29 AM ET Oct 30, 2007

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The 13-month-long decline in home prices in 20 major U.S. cities accelerated in August, with prices dropping a record 0.7% in the month, according to the Case-Shiller price index released Tuesday by Standard & Poor's Corp.
Prices were down 4.4% in the past year, the fastest decline in the seven-year history of the 20-city index. In the original 10-city index, prices have fallen 5% in the past year, the biggest decline since 1991.

"The fall in home prices is showing no real signs of a slowdown or turnaround," said Robert Shiller, co-creator of the index and chief economist for MacroMarkets, in a release.
Read more.
"With supply overhang growing and mortgage financing tougher to obtain, home prices are going to soften considerably further in the quarters ahead," wrote Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist for MFR Inc.
The last time prices fell so much, it took more than eight years for home prices to return to their peak level.

In a separate report, the Conference Board said consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in two years in October, with consumers more pessimistic about job growth and less inclined to buy homes or major appliances.
See full story.

The Case-Shiller index, which tracks multiple sales of the same homes, is considered by many observers to be the best gauge of national and metropolitan-area real-estate values.
Falling prices make it more difficult for homeowners to tap the equity in their homes or refinance their mortgages. Millions of homeowners who took out adjustable-rate loans in 2005 and 2006 face sharply higher mortgage payments this year and next, with foreclosures having already soared as the result of payment resets.

The biggest declines are the Rust Belt and in the former boom towns along the coasts. Prices are up in the Pacific Northwest and in areas of the South, but they're rising at a slower pace.
Prices could fall much further. In a separate report, analysts at Goldman Sachs figured that prices in California are about 35% to 40% overvalued, compared with past relationships between home prices and income growth. The median sales price of a home in California was $589,000 in August, Goldman said, but should be around $375,000, they said.

In the Case-Shiller index, fifteen of the 20 cities tracked in the index have seen prices fall in the past year, led by Tampa, Fla., with a 10.1% decline, followed by Detroit with a 9.3% loss. Indeed, eight of the 20 cities recorded their largest-ever year-over-year price declines in August.

Detroit had held the top spot for price declines among the 20 cities in previous months. A year ago, prices in Tampa had been rising at an annual rate of 14.3%.

Prices were up in five cities, led by Seattle with a 5.7% increase and Charlotte, N.C., with 5.6%. After adjusting for inflation of 2.4% in the past year, real prices were up in just three of 20 cities.
Here are the year-over-year nominal price changes for the 20 cities covered by the index:
Tampa, down 10.1%; Detroit, down 9.3%: San Diego, down 8.3%; Phoenix, down 8%; Miami, down 7.8%; Las Vegas, down 7.6%; Washington, D.C., down 7.2%; Los Angeles, down 5.7%; San Francisco, down 4.2%; Cleveland, down 4.1%; Minneapolis, down 4%; New York, down 3.8%; Boston, down 3.6%; Chicago, down 1.3%; Denver, down 0.4%; Dallas, up 0.5%; Atlanta, up 0.8%; Portland, Ore., up 2.8%; Charlotte, up 5.6%; and Seattle, up 5.7%.

Rex Nutting is Washington bureau chief of MarketWatch.

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Friday, October 26, 2007


Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 2:41 PM EDT
New Port Tampa Bay land put on market
Tampa Bay Business Journal - by
Michael Hinman

Colliers Arnold Commercial Real Estate Services has confirmed it will handle the potential sale or alternative capital structure for the 52-acre site pegged for New Port Tampa Bay.

Ed Oelschlaeger, president of New Port developer EcoGroup Inc., told the Tampa Bay Business Journal last week that as part of the company's regrouping to move the 1,250-unit project forward sometime in 2008, he was exploring the options of bringing in a partner or selling the property outright.

"We're trying to recapitalize New Port, and part of that effort is to sell the project," Oelschlaeger said. "It's possible that EcoGroup would not be involved going forward under some circumstances, but we should be here under most circumstances."

While New Port was planning just less than 1,300 residences, Colliers Arnold said the property already is zoned for 1,750 residences and 240,000 square feet of commercial use near the intersection of Gandy and Westshore boulevards in Tampa.

"The vision for the site is extremely exciting, and we're confident it will be developed to its fullest potential as a waterfront community," said John F. Gerlach, a broker with Colliers Arnold, in a release. "We are committed to helping EcoGroup find exactly the right party who will take this property to its highest and best use in the years ahead."

Deposits for units have already been refunded, and Oelschlaeger said new ideas are being put together that could possibly keep most of the project intact, except with lower price points and smaller construction phases.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Foreclosures Skyrocket-Article reveals where most foreclosures are in Tampa, Fl

Tampa Palms Townhome
I have been hesistant on posting articles related to foreclosures in the Tampa Bay area, however I found this article and thought it had enough info worth while. If you are looking to purchase foreclosures in the area check out these statistics. It may help you decide where the best places are to purchase your next property.

Foreclosures Skyrocket-
from the Tampa Tribune

Carriage Pointe is just one example of what's playing out in hundreds of neighborhoods throughout Florida and the Bay area.

The Sunshine State's foreclosure rate of one filing for every 248 households is second only to Nevada. In Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, the number of foreclosure filings through September was 19,226, up nearly 131 percent compared with the same period last year, according to RealtyTrac, a California company that tracks foreclosures. That's up from 9,476 in 2005, the first year the company began its reporting.

Just last month, there were 4,365 filings in the three counties, and lenders took the keys back from 502 homeowners, RealtyTrac said.

The Tampa Tribune set out to find pockets of the Bay area that are feeling the foreclosure pinch more than others. The Tribune interviewed experts and homeowners, and analyzed public records and data provided by RealtyTrac and ForeclosuresDaily.com, a local company that sends researchers to courthouses daily.

The data show no neighborhood or price range is immune. Those in default are a mix of investors and people who bought primary residences. Neighborhoods with clusters of foreclosures were typically popular with speculators who purchased multiple homes. Many bought beyond their means with adjustable-rate and interest-only mortgages that fueled the 2005 real estate boom in Florida.

The idea was to sell or refinance before the low teaser rate went up. Now that the real estate market has slowed, that's no longer an option for many. Homes are sitting on the market for months, and prices are dropping.

The Bay area real estate market is expected to stabilize over the next two years, but experts say the neighborhoods where foreclosure rates are highest could suffer much longer.

"Those neighborhoods will have sharper drops in prices because you'll see more aggressive pricing to move homes," said Mike Larson, a real estate analyst with Weiss Research in Jupiter. "And when there are a lot of renters, prices could drop because renters don't typically take as good of care of the home as homeowners do."

RealtyTrac's data show the ZIP codes with the most foreclosure activity were in Port Richey, New Port Richey, Wesley Chapel and Riverview. The areas tended to be more densely populated and, in most cases, had intense residential growth.

But out of 145 ZIP codes in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, the one for Port Richey in Pasco topped the list with 716 filings, RealtyTrac data show. As retirees have moved out in recent years, first-time homeowners have moved in, often using nontraditional financing. The area also was a hot spot among investors looking for rental property.

In Pasco, foreclosures in New Port Richey and Wesley Chapel, where hundreds of new homes were built during the boom, have risen dramatically in the past year, too.

In Hillsborough, ZIP codes with new subdivisions were hardest hit. The Riverview ZIP code had 573 filings, more than any other in the county. But it was followed closely by an area north of Ybor City and the Sulphur Springs area in Tampa, which had 528 and 538 filings, respectively.
Hillsborough and Pasco had ZIP codes with the highest total foreclosures, but Pinellas also has been susceptible. Some areas, such as neighborhoods in south St. Petersburg, have had a lot of foreclosures because of high investor activity.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Encouraging outlook for Bay Area real estate-Tampa, Fl

Encouraging outlook for Bay Area real estate

Last Edited: Thursday, 04 Oct 2007, 6:44 PM EDT
Created: Thursday, 04 Oct 2007, 6:44 PM EDT

Is Florida's depressed real estate market on the verge of a turnaround?

ST. PETERSBURG - The National Association of Realtors senior economist has encouraging outlooks for the Tampa Bay market.
"Certainly I feel very comfortable saying 2008 will be better than 2007 in terms of sales and prices," said Dr. Lawrence Yun.

Yun calls Florida "ground zero" in the current national real estate correction.
"I don't even use the word 'price correction' because there is minimal price decline," he adds.
The economist thinks there is a lot of pent-up demand in the local market from buyers waiting for more significant price drops. But rising rents are prompting some of them to start shopping. Sellers are also lowering their expectations. Florida also continues to capture 26% of foreigners buying homes in U.S. and will continue to attract northern retirees.

"Long term, baby boomers, huge population on the verge of retirement and we know where they want to go," Yun said.

New home construction starts in Florida are down 70% from the peak in 2005.
"[It's] actually a positive for the local market stabilization, because you don't want to add inventory to the current situation."

But property taxes and insurance continue to be a drag on the local real estate market. 79% of home buyers say they have postponed or cancelled deals because of insurance costs and availability. 62% of home sellers say the same issues motivated their decision to sell.
Yun thinks the local real estate market is poised for recovery despite taxes and insurance problems, and says resolving those issues will strengthen the rebound.

Call us for a detailed market analysis on your neighborhood, or contact us via email

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Urban Tour Of Homes-Downtown Tampa

Luxury living meets urban life-style in this "One of a kind" two story corner penthouse loft featuring: 750 sq ft wrap around roof-top terrace

Discover what Urban Living is all about!
For one day only, 12 of the hottest developments in downtown Tampa will be open to the public!

Take a personal tour through some of the Bay Area's most exclusive new residences and find out why so many people are deciding to call downtown "Home."

the Urban Tour of Homes
Saturday, October 13th, 2007 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Victory Lofts Penthouse
101 12th Street

To receive a current list of lofts and condos in Channelside or Downtown Tampa, send us an email. or call 813-784-7744

Rae Catanese, Realtor-Prudential Tropical Realty

Now is the time to buy.

Prices have come down on many lofts and condos for less than what sellers paid 3 years ago!

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Housing Trends-Best Places For Real Estate Deals

This was on Forbes.com today and thought it was a very encouraging article for the Tampa area.

Towers of Channelside

Home sales have sunk to their lowest levels since 2001. Investors are jumping ship, foreclosures are mounting and lenders are exercising caution.

Still, there are areas of the county where it makes sense for some to buy. That's because, in a market slump, sellers eager to unload their homes often accept less money from buyers. New construction also slows. Both bode well for those hoping to score a deal--if the market in which they are buying is expected to experience increased sales.

To find such places, we paired with Moody's Economy.com to research current home sales patterns and sales projections in the country's 40 biggest real estate markets. Based on models that estimated 2008 housing inventory, sales rates and turnover, we arrived at a list of markets that are experiencing price stalls or declines, but where over the coming year are expected to provide deals for buyers.

Tampa and Miami--are expecting to see significant pickups in sales activity, according to Moody's, and therefore become better buyers' markets because of a relatively lower risk.

But economists caution that while over the next year the dust may settle in these 10 spots, buyers should be prepared for future swings. This is especially true in the case of riskier markets like Orlando and Las Vegas, where the expected increase in sales volume and housing turnover doesn't necessarily mean that the price trough is imminent.

"Housing market activity revives when house prices decline sufficiently to restore housing affordability and entice buyers to step up and make a purchase," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "Some markets are already approaching those price points, in many others prices will have to decline much more to get to that point."

If you are in the market to purchase a home please feel free to contact us or visit http://www.tampabaydwellings.com/ to search listings in all of Tampa Bay.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Housing: Buy, Sell or Hold? It's Your Call Alone

Housing: Buy, Sell or Hold? It's Your Call Alone
By Diana Olick
CNBC Real Estate Reporter
27 Sep 2007 03:47 PM ET

There’s been a lot of talk in the last few days about what you should do if you’re looking to play the real estate market today.
Jim Cramer said on the "Today" Show Wednesday, “Don’t you buy now. Don’t you dare buy a home now. You will lose money.”

I don’t think it’s politically prudent for me to say what I think of those comments, especially since he has an hour show that makes lots of money, and I’m just a day-laborer with a housing beat, but suffice it to say, there are other opinions, and then there are facts.

Let’s talk about value for a moment, because that’s fundamentally what any consumer is looking for. Prices on a nationwide basis are falling, down further for new homes than existing homes, but down nonetheless. That’s on a nationwide average. Market to market there are certainly cities where prices are in the midst of a free-fall, like San Diego, Detroit, and Tampa, while others are still rising, like Portland, OR and Seattle, and still others are improving in their declines, like Boston and Chicago.

If you’re looking to buy a new home, happy days for buyers are here. Builders are offering every incentive in the book, and your dollar is going farther than ever before. Will prices continue to come down? Probably a bit, but they’re already off their highs, and base sticker price doesn’t mean much anymore. You can negotiate everything including the kitchen sink.
On existing homes, you have to look at your market. I live in a very nice section of Washington, DC, where sales really and truly slowed over the spring and summer, but are picking up this month. I think sellers have dropped prices, and now may be a great time to buy before prices start skooching back up again. Is this the case in Miami? Hell no! If you’re looking to buy an existing condo in Miami, wait a few months and you’ll get a better deal.

All I’m trying to say is don’t be a generalist. I’ve said it a hundred times, and now I’ll say it 101. All real estate is local, and while there are overreaching factors affecting everything, like the mortgage issue, some markets are responding differently than others. For sellers, overall, not a great time, but homes are selling, in fact, more than 5.5 million of them this year. And not everyone is losing money on them either. Remember, home price appreciation during the boom was positively historic, which means that even if the price comes down a bit, it may still be well above what it was five years ago (again, not everywhere, but in most places).

Am I bullish on housing? No. But the plain fact is that while people didn’t need the latest .com technology, people do need a roof over their heads. Demand is still there, it’s just in a holding pattern. Do your homework, listen to the facts reported, and you decide what’s the best course of action. Your call.

For a local accurate Tampa Housing Report use a Realtor Visit our website or email us

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Selling (or Buying) a home in today's Real Estate Market...Tampa, Fl

Beautiful Downtown Tampa Click Here to view more about the photographer

Selling or Buying a home in today's Tampa Real Estate Market............
what you need to know!

I know the Real Estate Market looks bleak right now.
Sellers are thinking: "I will never be able to sell my home" and buyers are thinking: "I will never be able to get a loan in this market". In this case, it could be perception is your reality.

Despite the constant barrage of negative Real Estate news, keep your head up. Look at it in a more positive light. After 14 years experience in Real Estate, I have seen all the ups and downs of the market and still succeeded in helping my clients buy or sell without losing. I make it a win - win situation.

Here's some positive information: Mortgage applications are up!

The thought that homes aren't selling is just not true. So take heart, you will be able to sell your home. You will need to understand that you have to price it right. You CAN NOT say "let put it on the market for XYZ and if we don't get a lot of interest, we can lower the price". This is the kiss of death

Like most Realtors, I want to list your home! That's what I'm here for and that's how I get paid. BUT, I have had to turn down a listing or two because the sellers had unreal expectations. Make sure you find a Realtor who will tell it to you straight, lumps and all.

Anyone can be a yes man and that is robbing you of precious time and money! Lets move on to buyers. YES, you can get financed. Just because lenders have tightened there belts on loans doesn't mean you can get one! Like I mentioned earlier, Mortgage applications are up and the rates have been slashed. Now is the time to buy a home!
Sellers are competing for your business.

You no longer have to settle. Regardless of all the negative information floating around, there is always a silver lining. In this case, seller can sell and buyers can buy. Don't let the reports frighten you from your dream of owning a home or upgrading to a bigger home.I have to reiterate... find an experienced Realtor who will shoot straight.

Call or e mail me and I will tell you what your home is worth, how much we should list it for AND what improvements (if any) need to be made in order to make your home shine!

Don't listen to the Realtor who says "I've done this and I've done that", things are different in the market now, you need to hear "I will do this and I will do that". Find a Realtor who's been in the business longer than a few years. Most new Realtors have not had experience in a down market.

Realtors: Rae Catanese Shatto and Michelle Jordan, Prudential Tropical Realty, South Tampa View our website at http://www.tampabaydwellings.com/

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Kenneth D. Cornelius
Area Manager
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

Your question- Why are appraisers looking at listings-When they are talking about listings - this means you can buy the same model or unit in the same area or building for a price that is equal to the appraised value of the subject property-- this needs more detail

In an open market a house will only sell for as high as its demand price
this is true for an appraisal too

Condo for sale - 3 bed 2 bath built in 2004 and is 2000 sqft on the 7th floor is listed for 300K

the subject is the same model on the 3rd floor it will appraise at 300k or likely less- because of the lower floor
(Question does the buyer know about the condo on the 7th floor- probably not)
Does this transaction have well informed buyers and sellers? if it is a condo it does not........this is why we are having problems in our Fl condo market with appraisals - Realtors are not showing buyers all the units for sale in the building but appraisers see all of them

From a buyers/consumers point of view why would I pay more for a home that is exactly the same as a listing with a lower price - you wouldn't

Listing are driving the market price....... 2 years ago properties were increasing in value- people were overpaying and there were bidding wars for homes ...... the appraisals were going up beyond the list price so the sold comps were driving the market......... life was good

now you have 10 sales/comps all the same house no differences -same area
310K sold in June
308K sold in June
306K sold in July
306K sold in July
305K sold in July
305K sold in Aug
305K sold in Sept
302K sold in Sept
301K sold in Aug
300K sold in Sept

15 listings same model between 310 to 295 and they are going to sell below the list price in a buyers market, but the 295 will sell first

this is the type of DATA appraiser are looking at

2 years ago you would appraise the house 307K to 310K prices were stable or going up
Now if you can buy the same home for 295 why would you not

An appraiser brings this appraisal in at 303K because of the last couple months sales/comps HMC asks why is the not worth 310K appraisers are looking at listings and next month it could be apprised at 300K....... remember the 295 Listing

This is the start of a declining market 310K to 300K is only a 3 % adjustment over 3 months (not a big deal just an adjustment period) but IF this is continuing to happen for each quarter and you will have a declining market

Appraiser has to consider what a buyer would pay for this home in an open market with well informed buyers and sellers thus listings must be looked at in today's market

this was long but there is no easy way to explain this

Jeff Huffman
Area Appraisal Manager

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lower Fed Rate Means Opportunities on the Rise

Lower Fed Rate Means Opportunities on the Rise

For the first time in more than four years, the Federal Reserve cut its Fed Funds Rate, which directly impacts millions of American borrowers. And while this important decision has many implications, there’s still some debate among experts about what this means to the economy as a whole.

The Federal Reserve meets again in six weeks, and no one is certain how market volatility and inflation concerns will affect their future policy and decision-making. Bottom line: Take advantage of this opportunity while you still can. Call me right away.

If you’re looking to capture a lower interest rate for refinancing or buying a home, this could be your best opportunity to do so. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, while this rate cut might help to improve your situation, now is the time to refinance into a fixed-rate loan.

If you have a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or credit cards tied to the Prime Rate, the Fed’s cut in the Fed Funds Rate just put a little money in your pocket.

Borrowers waiting for a lower fixed-rate mortgage may be waiting for a long time. The chart below clearly shows how Fed Funds Rate cuts do not translate into cuts in fixed-rate mortgages. In January 2001, the Fed Funds Rate was at 6% and 30-year fixed rates averaged 7.03%. By December 2001, following 4.25% in cuts throughout the year, home loan rates were actually up to 7.07%.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Making sense out of the Superexemtion Tax Amendment-Tampa, Fl

Seller Opens House For Superexemption Rally
Published: Sep 18, 2007

TAMPA - Since Veronica Greco put her North Hyde Park bungalow on the market, she has held three open houses - with barely a peep from potential buyers or agents.

"Maybe five people came," she said. "At the one this past Saturday, nobody showed up."
What a difference a political campaign makes. More than 50 people, including wall-to-wall real estate agents and Gov. Charlie Crist, packed Greco's small living room Friday. Most came to promote a constitutional amendment that would allow homeowners to take a homestead superexemption - which the real estate industry hopes will kick-start a sluggish market.

Greco's fruitless efforts to downsize to a condo were a prime part of their pitch.
She said the Florida Association of Realtors e-mailed her, asking to use her home f
or the news conference after they took a survey of homes for sale in the area, looking for one that had been owned for a while and near the sales-price range: "I thought it was somebody playing a mean joke."

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, leads "Yes on 1 - Save Our Homes Now," a group pushing for passage of the Jan. 29 ballot amendment. The group unfurled its banner across Greco's living room.

"This is an opportunity for homebuyers, future homebuyers and those who live in their homes like Miss Greco, who, of course, has this home for sale, but she's locked in because she can't find anyone who can afford the taxes on this home," Fasano said.
Greco's property tax bill last year was $671. It's been shielded from big increases for more than a decade by another constitutional amendment, Save Our Homes, that limits increases in assessed value to a maximum of 3 percent per year.

But the Save Our Homes protection resets once a home is sold. The new owner's tax bill is based on an updated assessment tied to market value. Greco's asking price for her home: $234,900. If sold and assessed at that value, taxes would be more than $4,000. "That's almost $400 a month additional expenses," Greco said after the news conference. Prospective buyers told her "they can't afford to get the mortgage, because they can't qualify for that amount of money."

Nancy Riley, president of the Florida Association of Realtors, said the constitutional amendment would save Greco's homebuy
er far more than the current $25,000 exemption for owner-occupied homes.

"Under the new super homestead, they would get an exemption of over $155,000 and pay taxes on less than $80,000," Riley said. "This is a buyers' market and with this super homestead exemption, it becomes better than ever for our first-time homebuyers and those who want desperately to move."

It's Superexemption Or Save Our Homes
But there's a catch. Those who choose to get the homestead superexemption would give up the protection of the Save Our Homes amendment. So although more of a home's value is tax-exempt, its assessed value would increase with market values.
If the amendment passes, homeowners would have a choice: Save Our Homes protection or superexemption. Not both.

The unpredictability of such a change has local governments concerned, said John Thomas, director of policy and political affairs for the Florida League of Cities.
"It's still very much an unknown," Thomas said. "I would challenge anyone to tell me what the fiscal impact is going to be - not just for each individual homeowner but each individual unit of government or city or for our state generally. How many people are going to choose homestead [superexemption] versus Save Our Homes?"

Polls Show Tax Break May Not Happen
Recent polls have shown that the number of voters who support the amendment may not be enough to make the superexemption a reality. It takes a 60 percent vote to change the state constitution, but the polls show support is slightly less than that - 57 or 58 percent. Most who are wary are longtime homeowners who plan to stay in their homes. They've run the calculations and found they're better off with the Save Our Homes protection.

Crist said the plan is one that can make everybody happy: "That's the beauty of what the Legislature did. You can have Save Our Homes [or] you can have a super tax exemption on your property taxes … I think we have a duty to talk more about what good this will do for the people of Florida. I'm going to work like crazy to make sure people know: they have the power to cut their property taxes yet again."

As for Greco, she hopes the amendment will make it easier for someone to buy her bungalow so she can move into a maintenance-free condo. For the short term, however, the 59-year-old won the gratitude of more than a dozen local Realtors.

"Thank you," one told her as he left her house. "If I find a buyer for your house, I'll bring him for sure."

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Friday, September 14, 2007

August 2007 Tampa Bay area home sales

August numbers out for Tampa Bay area home sales
Times business reporter James Thorner

Ahead of the release dates of the national and state real estate groups, house and condo sales for Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties for the month that just ended are now public, courtesy of the Pinellas Realtors Organization.

The news is mixed, though it's more glum than giddy.
The good news is that Tampa Bay area inventory - the number of homes for sale on the market - is the lowest it's been this year.

The bad news is that sales in August were off big time over sales in August 2006. Only Pasco County showed a sales increase (and that's just month to month) from July to August of this year.

Total sales for August 2007 in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties were 2,374. Listings totalled 40,896.

Now is a great time to buy! Call us at 813-784-7744 to receive a list of homes, or visit our website at http://www.tampabaydwellings.com/ to search all homes in the Tampa Bay Area.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Things to know before you sell a home in today's Real Estate Market-Tampa,Fl

Key Tips for Selling your Home

Home values will stay stagnant or potentially decrease.

Qualified borrowers are looking for deals.

Fewer borrowers are qualifying for home loans.

Rising foreclosures tend to negatively affect home values.

Increased “days on the market” (DOMs) increases the likelihood that buyers will aggressively negotiate prices down.

Continued stress in the financial markets will affect consumer confidence.

Loans may take longer to close.

Appraisals are becoming more difficult to obtain.

Properties should be funded before contract contingencies are removed.

It’s critical to encourage to price homes to sell -- and sell quickly -- decreasing the need for price reductions.

If you are considering putting your home on the market and would like to speak with a
Real Estate Agent, please call Michelle Jordan 813-695-5677, Realtor-Prudential Tropical Realtly

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New director to help Riverwalk raise funds

New director to help Riverwalk raise funds
By JANET ZINK, Times Staff WriterPublished September 5, 2007

TAMPA - The Riverwalk, one of Mayor Pam Iorio's top priorities, now has some full-time fundraising help.

The not-for-profit Friends of the Riverwalk last week hired Alex Petrilak as its executive director.

Petrilak, 53, will head a $24-million capital campaign to support construction of the 2.2-mile linear park along the Hillsborough River through downtown Tampa.

Iorio hopes to cover the rest of the construction costs, about $16-million, with taxpayer dollars from local, state and federal sources.

Petrilak, president of the consulting firm Marketing Systems Management Inc., formerly worked as director of real estate and international trade for the Tampa Port Authority. In that role, he helped promote the Channelside retail and entertainment complex.

He'll earn $110,000 a year in his new post. His salary is being paid by the private Friends of the Riverwalk group, not with public money. "The biggest challenge will be to get the private sector to step up," he said. "The pitch is already in place. It's an economic development opportunity, community-building opportunity and will create jobs."

Petrilak said he comes into the job about one-third of the way towards his goal. Developers of The Heights just north of downtown have pledged to build one mile of the Riverwalk, a contribution worth nearly $4-million.

Cash donors include Sandy MacKinnon, CEO of Yale Industrial Trucks, who has committed $250,000; and SunTrust Bank, which has promised $250,000.
Petrilak said one of his first steps to promote the Riverwalk will be to plan events at segments that have been completed, such as performances on a mobile stage or outdoor movies, to show that the park will be a destination for bay area residents and tourists.

"We're open for business" he said.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Overnight real estate rates hit flat spot

Overnight real estate rates hit flat spot

30-year fixed rate at 6.17%; 10-year Treasury yield at 4.64%

Friday, August 24, 2007Inman News

Long-term mortgage interest rates were mostly unchanged Thursday, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yield dipped to 4.64 percent.

The 30-year fixed-rate average held at 6.17 percent, and the 15-year fixed rate edged up to 5.79 percent.

The 1-year adjustable gained to 5.57 percent.

The 30-year Treasury bond yield was down to 4.94 percent.

Rates and bonds are current as of 7:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Mortgage rate figures are according to Bankrate.com, which publishes nightly averages based on its survey of 4,000 banks in 50 states. Points on these mortgages range from zero to 3.5.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Survey reveals 49% of consumers say right now is the time to buy!

Tampa Bay Business Journal - August 17, 2007
Michael Hinman
Staff Writer

More than half of the homeowners in the Tampa Bay region feel that this is as good a time as any to buy a new home, but getting them to buy is a different story.

Sales for existing homes continue to decline as much as 35 percent in the area while median prices are dropping just 6 percent according to the Florida Association of Realtors. However, a new survey from Attorney's Title Insurance Fund says many potential buyers are waiting to see how the currently volatile market will play out.

"I've had a couple of people tell me that they are going to wait to see what happens next year," said Rae Catanese, a Real Estate Agent with Prudential Tropical Realty in South Tampa. "With as many homes that are on the market right now, I think there has just been too much bad publicity lately about the market and people are scared of the unknown."

Harris Interactive conducted the housing survey on behalf of the Insurance Fund in June, asking more than 1,400 homeowners in Florida their thoughts on the current housing market.

Some 49 percent in the Tampa area said right now is a good time to buy a house or condominium compared to 42 percent last year. However, just 25 percent of those respondents said they intend to buy a home themselves in the next two years.

A January report by the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors said available inventory in the area had doubled since the beginning of 2006 and that an increased inventory played into lower prices.

Buyers waiting for larger drops may be missing an opportunity. Lawrence Yun, a senior economist with the National Association of Realtors, said new construction has been drastically reduced, causing existing home median prices to actually rise nearly 2 percent nationwide by early next year.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Slade at Channelside Becomes a True Reality-Tampa, Fl

The Slade at Channelside Becomes a True Reality – Secures Major Financing
Cobalt Development Group secures $66 million in financing for The Slade condominium in Tampa. Construction to begin immediately.

Source: Americas Media GroupAug 16, 2007

The Slade at Channelside
PRLog.Org) – (Miami, FL) August 15, 2007- The Slade at Channelside in Tampa took a significant step towards becoming a true reality with Cobalt Development Group securing major financing for the pre-construction condominium development.

Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to further finance The Slade by committing over $66 million in funding for the project. The Slade recently surpassed the 60 percent sales mark paving the way for the approval of the loan, and the early preparation of the build site. “This in my opinion is a monumental achievement. It is a milestone that speaks for itself and communicates the realities of our project,” said Juan Porro, President of Cobalt Development Group. “The reality is that our project's attributes are very well balanced with great pricing, a terrific design, an attractive location, and a strong positioning in one of the least saturated metropolitan markets in the country,” he continued.

To commemorate construction commencement a groundbreaking event is slated for September 25, 2007.

About The Slade – The Slade’s location in Channelside is among the most desirable locations in Tampa Bay. This pedestrian friendly neighborhood features a trolley connecting the area to the local culture such as the aquarium, museums, theatres, restaurants and nightlife.

In addition it is close to Tampa’s central business district. Centrally located, The Slade is 30 minutes from the beach and 45 minutes to Disney World.

Amenities include:

• State of the art 280-unit condominium development

Eight stories with units ranging in size from 780 to 1,539-square-feet with nine foot ceilings, large walk-in closets, floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, windows that exceed hurricane code standards

• Each kitchen designed with granite countertops, Italian cabinetry, GE-Profile stainless-steel appliances including a convection oven, and built-in wine cooler

• Bathrooms with European-style fixtures, and marble vanity tops • Separate salt and fresh water pools, yoga and steam rooms, a club room, fiber optics throughout each unit, and a smart technology system

The Slade provides Tampa with a fresh residential concept that blends urban convenience with affordable luxury in an attractive and up-and-coming area.

Looking for condos for sale in Channelside? We can help!
Call or email us.

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Buy Retirement Home Now, Move in Later-Tampa, Fl

Daily Real Estate News August 13, 2007

Buy Retirement Home Now, Move in Later

With prices in many areas at a low ebb like the Tampa Real Estate Market, it might make good financial sense for Baby Boomers to buy their retirement homes now, even if they're still years away from actually moving.

They can find renters who will pay the bills until they're ready to live there.

Here’s some advice for people who are considering this strategy:

Shop carefully. It's best to buy a home that can be rented for a rate that, after tax considerations, will cover the mortgage, real estate taxes, and insurance.

Study up on housing trends. Ask the local or state planning department for demographic and economic data. The information can reveal facts that will influence whether or not to buy. For example, big companies going out of business or military base closings can be bad news.

Don’t forget maintenance. Consider who’ll take care of the house in the owner’s absence. Property managers charge 6 percent to 15 percent of the monthly rent. Family members may be willing to do the job for free, but they could be ill equipped to do the job if the don't have any experience.

Consider financing. Boomers with sufficient equity in their current homes can tap it to either buy their retirement home outright or secure a much lower mortgage rate compared with a loan at the rate often offered to buyers of investment property.

Source: The Washington Post, Belly L. Kass, Esq. (08/11/07)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The BEST way to determine Tampa Real Estate Values

Hi Everyone,

Here is the most accurate information when determining what your home is worth, statistics on the Tampa Real Estate Market, and what other homes are selling and listed for in your neighborhood.

Our local Tampa Board of Realtors offers Real Estate agents tools to help buyers and sellers determine local market conditions.

For those of you that use Zillow, you may find that the property values often don't make sense based on your particular area or home. These days listing your home for a higher or lower price based on information that isn't as reliable as the MLS may cost you time and money.

Our Real Estate reports are produced on a quarterly basis and provide comprehensive information on the state of the market in the Tampa Bay Area.

You may recieve a current report by emailing us.

Looking to buy or sell? Let us show you how we can help you!

Search Tampa Homes for Sale
Prudential Tropical Realty

813-784-7744 or email

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Update on the Slade at Channelside-Tampa, Fl

The Slade is now 60% sold in less than one year!

The Groundbreaking celebration will take place next month. Invitation to follow

How did we achieve these numbers in such a challenging market?
Timing, Location, and Value!

Buyers lock in a preconstruction price and close in 2009!

The Slade provides an amazing, all inclusive residence with dazzling amenities at a competitive price point ($300s to $500s).

Please contact Michelle Jordan at 813-695-5677 for more information on reserving your condo at The Slade in Channelside.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Best Places to Buy a Home-Tampa, Fl- Forbes Magazine

The Tampa Bay area ranks #1! Based on a report by Forbes magazine online issue, Tampa Bay is the best place in the country to buy a home. Forbes notes that the Tampa Bay area is in a V-shape recovery – an area that the market undergoes a freefall, but recovers quickly. The top markets for housing are:

Tampa -Click here to search Tampa Homes for Sale
Kansas City
San Diego
New York City
Atlanta -Click here to search Atlanta Homes for Sale

This report may explain why Saturday, July 21st Urban Home Tour was so well attended with many realtors reporting record number of people coming to see what downtown living is all about.

Seeing is Believing
Out with the old to make way for the new. Most reports in the “Seeing is Believing” section focus on projects already underway.
But what about future projects? This week, let’s take a look at what will soon be demolished to make way for future growth in downtown:

Tampa Museum of Art:
Officials report that the current building will close in December with all the artwork being relocated for safe keeping to Orlando. The building will begin to be demolished in January. The site will be brought down to grade and used to expand Curtis Hixon Park, which will undergo a complete renovation of its own.

The Slade:
Another condominium project is preparing its site in the Channel District. With a location book ended by 12th Street and Meridian Avenue, The Slade site is clearing away old warehouses that once dominated the entire Channel District. Construction of the new building is not yet set.

U.S. Post Office:
Located at 900 N. Florida Avenue, this post office location will move in November to 400 N. Tampa Street in order for the Florida Avenue location to be demolished. The building is being torn down to make way for a new parking facility and amenities deck for The Flordan Hotel, which is undergoing a full historic renovation.

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