Looking for a LOFT or Condo in Tampa Bay, Fl?

VISIT OUR NEW SITE The Tampa Real Estate Insider

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Historic Fed Move Cuts Both Ways for Borrowers-Tampa, Fl

Historic Fed Move Cuts Both Ways for Borrowers

Hot on the heels of its surprise inter-session rate cut of 75 basis points last week, the Federal Reserve cut key interest rates again, the fifth straight cut since September 2007. In its statement last week, the Fed said it had decided to cut the federal funds rate "in view of a weakening of the economic outlook and increasing downside risks to growth." In other words, economic data suggests the US is on the brink of recession, and the Fed is acting accordingly.

Who benefits from this cut?If you have a loan that is directly tied to the Prime Rate, you will see an immediate benefit. Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and variable rate charge cards are the types of loans that will have an interest rate reduction on their next statement.

What does this mean for long-term rates? Long-term mortgage rates, the lowest we've experienced in years, could actually increase after today's cut, based on historical performance and recent trends.

So if you're waiting for long-term rates to fall further, don't count on it. Your best chance to lock in the lowest rates since 2005 is now. Getting your application in process now will allow you to capture a great rate before it's too late.

Thinking about buying or selling real estate in the Tampa Bay Area? Have a Real Estate question?
Feel free to
email or call us 813-784-7744
Rae Catanese and Michelle Jordan

Search MLS
Prudential Tropical Realty

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Outcome of Amendment 1-Tampa, Florida

(Bay News 9) -- Florida voters have given a thumbs up to Amendment 1.
About 65 percent of voters voted yes on the amendment. The measure required of super majority of 60 percent to pass.

The property-tax cutting constitutional amendment will double the homestead exemption for primary homes except on school taxes and provide an average tax savings of $240 a year.
It will also deliver smaller reductions for businesses, second homes and other non-homestead properties.

Plus, it will let primary homeowners take their Save Our Homes tax benefits when they move. Gov. Charlie Crist pushed for the proposal.

Latest numbers from the
election results page
Click the drop down box in the upper right
Choose your location
Click on the race(s) you're following on the left

Amendment 1 is projected to cost local governments more than $9 billion over five years. That includes a $1.5 billion reduction for schools.

See also:
Statistics on Housing Market
Housing Market News-Tampa, Fl
Looking to Buy?

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Update on Why you should Vote Yes on Tax Amendment 1

I think this is a very important issue and wanted to make sure everyone is aware and informed of what Voting Yes on 1 on January 29th, will do to benefit our economy and the Real Estate Market in Florida.

Please pass on and get the word out!

Jan 21, 2008 – Florida Association of Realtors
Should you vote for the property-tax amendment? YES

By John Sebree
Florida Association of Realtors

For 92 years, Florida Realtors have enabled millions of people to realize the American dream of homeownership. In those 92 years, the housing industry has become Florida's 24/7 economic engine, contributing more than $108 billion, or 20 percent of Florida's gross state product.
The immediate property tax cuts that will result from the passage of Amendment 1 on Jan. 29 would go a long way toward revitalizing Florida's economy and keeping the American dream alive.

Here's how:

1) Thousands of Floridians who can't afford to buy up or down will finally be able to move, thanks to a provision in Amendment 1 called "portability." Homeowners will be allowed to take up to $500,000 of accrued Save Our Homes benefits to a new home. In Palm Beach County alone, portability could save taxpayers $2,145, according to the Office of the Majority Whip, state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale. In Martin County, it would be $2,114, and in St. Lucie $1,261.47

The transactions resulting from portability would generate documentary stamp tax income for much-needed affordable housing throughout the state. The moves also would pump millions into local economies for goods (furniture, appliances, draperies, carpeting) and services (appraisals, home inspections, pest control, painting, electrical work, landscaping). In the first year after their purchase, home buyers typically spend nearly $9,000 for property improvements, furnishings and appliances, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

There's a trickle-down effect from these purchases, too, as these companies maintain offices, pay employees and independent contractors, buy cars and trucks for their businesses, use phones, computers and other business tools and much more.

2) The average homeowner in Palm Beach County would save $274 in property taxes immediately by the increase in the homestead exemption to $50,000 for almost all properties. That's $274 per property owner going toward local retailers and service providers, not local governments that should already be flush with cash from the rapidly rising property values of the past several years. Martin County homeowners would save about $215, while St. Lucie homeowners would save $331.

Local governments have a spending problem. While saying that they are "living within their means" or even "lowering property taxes," they've been collecting and spending millions more in new tax dollars. Firefighters and police officers were protecting our communities before the property tax surge and they'll be here to protect our communities without your savings from Amendment 1. In these economic times, all of us must tighten our belts.

3) Small business owners benefit from Amendment 1 as well. The amendment includes a $25,000 exemption on the tangible personal property tax paid on computers and office equipment. The state estimates that about 1 million businesses would save about $500 a year. Do the math: That's an additional $50 million to channel into the state economy at a time when it's sorely needed.

4) Second and vacation homes would become more attractive to out-of-state buyers who might otherwise take their dollars to Georgia, North Carolina or some other state. Amendment 1 caps property-tax assessments on non-homestead property at 10''percent. Current owners of commercial buildings, rental properties and second homes have seen their property taxes spike in recent years, particularly those located in high-value markets. Amendment 1 would protect these owners from unpredictable tax increases year-to-year, and free up millions for other commodities and services.

Florida's economy is in trouble. State economists estimate a deficit in the budget of $2 billion. Amendment 1 has the ability to produce $9.2 billion in savings over the next five years - again, money that could generate more, sustainable economic activity and taxes statewide.
Cut your taxes. Save the dream. Vote Yes on Amendment 1.

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

What Mortgage Rates mean to you when buying a home

Fed Surprises with Deepest Cut since 1984

The Federal Reserve surprised everyone Tuesday with an emergency intersession rate cut of .75%, the deepest cut in the Fed Funds Rate since 1984. The Fed Governors are acting in direct response to recent reports that the country is on the brink of recession.

If you have credit cards, auto loans, HELOCs, or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, the Fed's decision to cut this key interest rate is great news. For long-term mortgage rates however, this could signal the beginning of the end for the lowest 30-year home loan rate borrowers have experienced since 2005.

Let's look at the impact of a few recent Fed Funds Rate cuts and the corresponding impact to home loan rates to see what this could mean for you:

Fed Funds Rate Cut vs Impact to Home Loan Rates
January to June 2001
Down 2.25%
Rose 0.10%

October to December 2001
Down 0.75%
Rose 0.45%

May to August 2003
Down 0.25%
Rose 0.78%

Rates are predicted to be cut again when the Federal Reserve meets at the end of this month. Many believe Tuesday's action was taken because of a dramatic downturn in the stock market, where the Dow dropped 464 points, the worst single day drop since September 11, 2001. Since the Fed's announcement, the Dow has recovered much of those losses but volatility is likely to remain a consistent theme throughout the week.

If you are waiting for long-term mortgage rates to fall further from here, don't count on it. Your best chance to lock in the lowest mortgage rates since 2005 is now. Getting your application in process will allow you to capture a rate near all time lows and, with many experts predicting home values could continue to decline, waiting could kill your chance to capture a great rate if your home doesn't appraise.

This is an unprecedented market and things are moving fast. Regardless of your current mortgage.

In light of these market movements please give us a call if you are thinking of buying a home in the Tampa Bay area.

Rae Catanese, P.A.
Prudential Tropical Realty

Search for homes here

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, January 21, 2008

Why Buy a Florida Home Now? Large Inventories Offer Options, Say Florida Realtors(R)

Florida's real estate market has started a new year with the largest selection of homes and condominiums available for buyers in more than a decade. But factor in a continuing inflow of new residents to Florida and that means inventory levels are likely to decline in 2008.

"Buyers have a lot of choices throughout the state," said Nancy Riley,
a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Pinellas County
and the 2007 president of the Florida Association of Realtors(R) (FAR).
"It's a great time to buy because there is large inventory."
While statewide inventory figures are not available, more than 125,000
homes are listed for sale in Florida's three largest markets, creating
ideal conditions for buyers, according to Riley.

In South Florida, Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell
(EWM) in Coral Gables, says there are approximately 80,000 homes and condos
for sale in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, compared with 64,000 a year
ago, and just 25,000 in late 2005. "South Florida is still growing in
population -- a clear sign that we will have more buyers in the future,"
said Shuffield. "We expect the inventory level to fall in 2008 as more
people make their homes here."

In the Tampa Bay market (Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties)
there were roughly 29,000 homes for sale in late 2007, up from 25,500 in
December 2006. "Buyers have a great selection of homes to choose from and a
once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to get a great value," said Cynthia
Fazzini, sales associate with Coldwell Banker's Palm Harbor office, who
compiled the regional sales figures.

More than 26,300 homes are for sale in the greater Orlando area,
compared with 21,300 a year ago, according to MLS figures provided by Randy
Martin, broker-associate with RE/MAX 200 Realty in Winter Park. "There are
plenty of choices out there as sellers are becoming realistic in their
expectations," Martin says.

While inventory levels are high in most Florida markets, the number of
for-sale homes is expected to begin to decline in 2008. Economist Hank
Fishkind, president of Fishkind & Associates in Orlando, expects Florida to
grow by about 265,000 new residents and add 130,000 new jobs in 2008.
At roughly 2.2 people per household, that would create demand for
roughly 135,000 new homes, helping to soak up excess inventory in many

Meanwhile, the production of new homes in Florida is expected to remain
flat. Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness
(IEC) at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, expects about
116,000 starts in 2008 compared with 117,000 home starts in 2007.
However, the decline will be much sharper in some markets, such as Lee
County (Naples), where Fishkind is projecting about 5,000 new home starts
compared with 30,000 in the peak year of 2005.

Across the country, National Association of Realtors(R) (NAR) Chief
Economist Lawrence Yun forecasts in NAR's latest outlook that housing
starts will fall to 1.09 million in 2008, from 1.36 million in 2007 and
1.80 million in 2006. "A cutback in housing construction is a positive sign
for the market,"
he said, "because it will help lower inventory and firm up
home prices."

The Florida Association of Realtors (FAR), the voice for real estate in
Florida, provides programs, services, continuing education, research and
legislative representation to its 150,000 members in 67
boards/associations. FAR's Media Center Web site is available at

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of five articles focusing
on the advantages Florida's residential real estate market currently offers
to buyers.
SOURCE Florida Association of Realtors

Contact us for all your Real Estate needs!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Best Mortgage Rates allow Buyers to take advantage of homeownership

Mortgage Rates Down to the Low Levels

Continuing declines in mortgage rates -- down to the lowest levels we've seen in nearly two years -- should be brightening the outlook for anyone interested in buying or selling real estate.

Equally important: Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has strongly hinted that the Fed will lower short-term rates by at least a half percentage point at the end of January, and might lower rates again at its next meeting if needed.

read more

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, January 14, 2008

When is a good time to buy Real Estate-Tampa, Fl

When is a good time to invest in Real Estate?

By: Rae Catanese, Realtor

Hyde Park Place-Condo

I was speaking with a friend of mine about the Real Estate Market in the Tampa Bay are, I wanted to give her the best advice in my opinion as a Real Estate Agent.

Through our website, we are able to track what people are searching for when they go online. Over the past couple months we've seen an increase in people wanting to know when the Real Estate Market is going to change, and the big question "when is the right time to buy"?

Right now sellers do not have their homes on the market unless they are in a situation where they really need to sell. At first, about a year and a half ago when our market started declining if sellers couldn't sell then they just decided to rent. Because of all the condo conversions in our area there were plenty of renters to go around. Now finding a renter who can cover the mortgage has become a struggle as well due to a surplus of rentals.

Most of the media and talk on the street says that the market won't rebound until late 2008 and maybe even 2009 in some areas.

These are the reasons I feel now is the BEST time to purchase.

1. If you can find a seller who purchased 4-5 years ago minimum chances are they have some equity in there home and can be more flexible with their price. They may have it on the market for 250,00 for instance but if they are in a situation that cannot be changed; such as divorce, relocation for a job, they need the money etc. they are going to be more likely to take a much lower price, let's say between 200-225K.

2. If the home is vacant that's even better! Now there's no income AND they want to sell. Sellers are very motivated NOW because they are hearing the same news as everyone else, and they know it may take another year to sell if they keep their price the same and aren't the lowest price in their neighborhood.

3. If you wait until people start hearing the market is rebounding then sellers will think they can hold out to get a better deal, stop dropping their prices and become less motivated. Or even worse, people who really don't have to sell as urgently will start putting their homes on the market creating even more inventory which is something our market does not need.

These are the trends that we as Real Estate Agents are seeing in our market. What buyers may not realize is that sellers who have had their home on the market for a year, don't want to wait or cannot afford to wait another year until things pick up.

Buyers who wait much longer are going to find that everyone who also has been waiting will now become their competition. Interest rates are the lowest they have been right now. When things start rebounding they could go back up again which is also something to keep in mind.

Benefits of using a Realtor
As Realtors we have access to how long a property has been on the market, the amount of price reductions they have had since they listed the property and if the home is vacant. This knowledge is critical in getting a good deal and taking advantage of the buyer's market that we are in.

If you are looking to purchase a home and have been on the fence, I would encourage people to take a look now and see what type of deals sellers are willing to make.

If you are thinking of buying a home anywhere in the Tampa Bay Area please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Rae Catanese, Realtor
Prudential Tropical Realty

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!
Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

Thursday, January 10, 2008

MacDill stands tall for $809M facelift-Tampa. FL

TAMPA -- In one of the largest overall construction projects at MacDill Air Force Base since it officially became a military installation just before World War II, the U.S. Department of Defense is building nearly 1 million square feet of facilities and residential units that represent more than $800 million in improvements.

The upgrades include new facilities for
U.S. Central Command, Special Operations Command and the base's joint intelligence center for $320 million, moving much of its operations out of older buildings and trailers, and into more centralized facilities.
Out with the old

"We're upgrading older buildings, and we're building new facilities to increase our mission capabilities," said Robert Moore, a deputy civil engineer with the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron.

read full story

see also:
homes for rent near MacDill AFB

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

Tuesday, January 08, 2008



On January 29th, you will have the opportunity to lower your property taxes by voting Yes on 1. With the passage of Amendment 1, Floridians will gain the freedom to purchase a new home without huge tax penalties, and rental home owners, second home owners and businesses will benefit by limited future tax increases.

The time has come to lower property taxes. Property taxes in Florida have more than doubled in the past six years and local government budgets are growing faster than our residents' ability to pay for them. In the past three years property taxes have increased 42% and they continue to grow at a rate three times as fast as our population and inflation. This tax cut is fair, simple and guaranteed by law.

The time to re-ignite Florida's economy is now and you are urged to vote Yes on 1 on January 29th. Whether you post a sign in your yard or window, write a letter to your local newspaper, forward emails about Yes on 1 to a friend, or just talk to a family member about this important tax cut, you should get involved today. Visit http://www.yeson1florida.com/to learn how you can lower your property taxes.

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, January 07, 2008

Statistics show more people are leaving Florida

The Atlas migration study mirror findings recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The agency says Florida slipped from the fourth fastest growing state in the country, to the 19th. It also had growth below the overall average in the south.
Statistics show more people are leaving Florida

Like our site? Subscribe for updates via email.

Enter your Email

Preview Powered by FeedBlitz

For more information regarding Homes for Sale, Real Estate, and Land and Lots for sale in the Western North Carolina Area mailto:info@carolinapg.com or call toll-free
888-277-2006 x2

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Tax Increase Prevention Actjust passed by Congress

Homeowners whose mortgage lenders allow them to walk away from their debt got a big break from the new Tax Increase Prevention Actjust passed by Congress. Under the old law, debt forgiveness was considered taxable income in many cases - pretty painful stuff when the reason you couldn't pay your mortgage was because you didn't have the cash.

Read Full Story

By Helen Huntley, Times Personal Finance EditorPublished January 6, 2008

To receive more articles like this one subscribe to our Blog!

Enter your Email Address

Powered by FeedBlitz