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Monday, June 30, 2008

More Good News for buyers-Tampa Real Estate Market Update

Earlier this year Dave Ramsey, financial author and Radio Talk Show host, was on CNN Larry King Live touting what a great buy Tampa Bay housing is right now. He was on The CBS Morning Show this week again commenting on the real estate market from Nashville Tenn. He said “There is no longer a national real estate market. We are made up of local real estate markets which may be completely different.” He further said, "If I was in Tampa, Florida and I am a buyer this is a great time to buy!”

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 Realtors.

Search MLS
Prudential Tropical Realty

Saturday, June 28, 2008

How Many Foreclosures? How Many Homes on the Market? Tampa, Fl

How's the Real Estate Market in Tampa, Fl? That's a question I am often asked by clients looking to relocate to our wonderful Bay area. The facts are revealed in this article that was published in The Tampa Tribune. It is hard to believe that The Tampa Bay area is number two in the nation for foreclosures. Yes, now is the time to buy!

Where Business Is Booming
The region's real estate market has been among the hardest-hit in the nation. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area had 4,773 foreclosure filings in May alone, or one in every 271 households. That was up 15 percent from April and 29 percent from the same month last year. Nationally, the foreclosure rate is one in 483 households.

Along with the construction of homes, the foreclosure spike is contributing to a housing glut that has depressed prices. The median sales price in the area was $176,100 in May, down 16 percent from $209,300 a year earlier.

The Greater Tampa Association of Realtors says there is a 15-month inventory of homes on the market in this area, compared with one to two months in 2004-05. One key to a housing turnaround would involve removing a big chunk of the 19,800 listings on the local market.

Economists report that new housing starts are down, which can bring alarming headlines but is good news for the bloated Bay area market. A reduction in the number of foreclosed homes on the market would also provide a shot in the arm.

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 Realtors.

Search MLS
Prudential Tropical Realty

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What makes a neighborhood desirable? Tampa, Fl

Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stumble home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car—or you don't own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors.

What is Walk Score? We help people find houses and apartments in walkable neighborhoods. Walk Score shows you a map of what's nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. Living in a walkable neighborhood is good for the environment and good for your health.

What makes a neighborhood walkable?
Walkable communities tend to have the following characteristics:

A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernible center, whether it's a shopping district, a main street, or a public space.

Density: The neighborhood is dense enough for local businesses to flourish and for public transportation to be cost effective.

Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other.

Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play.

Accessibility: The neighborhood is accessible to everyone and has wheelchair access, plenty of benches with shade, sidewalks on all streets, etc.

Well connected, speed controlled streets: Streets form a connected grid that improves traffic by providing many routes to any destination. Streets are narrow to control speed, and shaded by trees to protect pedestrians.

Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back.

Close schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that most residents can walk from their homes.

You can go to the Walk Score site directly to find out information about any neighborhood. Just type in an address and go.

Hyde Park Village-Tampa, Fl

Some of our neighborhoods in Tampa that are popular and have these characteristics are:

To receive a list of homes, condos or townhomes for sale in these popular neighborhoods you may search MLS listings here,
or send us an email with your request.

Feel free to email or call us 813-784-7744
Rae Catanese and Michelle Jordan

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tampa Florida's Best Neighborhoods

It seems that everyone wants to know how to find the best neighborhood in the Tampa Bay area.
The website for the City of Tampa has many useful resources, which I've provided a list below.
Keep in mind this is only for the actual City Limits of Tampa.
I will be posting a similar report on Hillsborough County
which will include areas like
Westchase, and Citrus Park.

Here's a link I posted a while back on The BEST neighborhoods in Tampa so feel free to check it out.

Recently, I went back to the website for The City of Tampa and did some searching around. You really need to navigate the site because there is so much information.

For instance, the following information was listed under city "characteristics".

Not a link I would normally click on to find out where the schools and libraries are.

Hope this will help you find your perfect neighborhood.

Lawn Watering Days
Places of Interest
Public Libraries
Public Schools
Street Cleaning

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

Monday, June 16, 2008

How to sell your home faster-Tampa, Fl

I found an article from one of our Real Estate Industry magazines we receive. It instantly reminded me of a listing appointment we went on last week in the Westchase area.

This was of course before I read this article. The concept and buyer's mindset was our top conversation.

The sellers want to move to a different city and they orginally had their home on the market last year for about 10 months. They've decided to give the buyer's market another shot using the techniques listed below.

Realty Times Article
June 13, 2008

Sell Faster When You Understand The Buyers Mindset

by Phoebe Chongchua

When most sellers list their home for sale the first thing they think about is how much will I get and that is usually followed by how soon will I get the money. It's certainly understandable that those two concerns are, most often, top of mind. After all, you're likely selling your home to buy another one or invest the money in something else.

But, if as a seller, you can get into the buyer's mindset, the sale of your home can come faster and for more money. Understanding the way buyers think involves seeing things not from your perspective but from your potential buyer's mindset. It can sound easy but actually it's often harder to do than most sellers think. The psychology of buying is driven by emotional experiences, money, and timing. With that in mind, sellers can help create optimal circumstances that literally help walk the buyer through the process and completion of the sale of your home.

It starts with a feeling. When you meet someone for the first time, you form a first impression based on a feeling. That's exactly what happens when buyers set foot into your home. Work with an experienced agent to learn exactly what kind of impression your home is giving off. If it's a small home, make sure it's not overfilled and cluttered.

"Pick up all the loose clutter that's floating around. Throw out old magazines. People like to see things that are streamlined or clean or fresh looking. There's nothing worse than walking into a place and seeing a stack of magazines all over the place or an unmade bed," says Benny Landman, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Del Mar.

Go the extra step and take care of items that might have been overlooked for quite some time. "Steam clean the carpets, the upholstery, the furniture, if that's what's needed. Have the windows cleaned, light fixtures cleaned. Make it feel clean when you walk in," says Landman.
Go back to basics. You may love your turquoise carpet but do you really think buyers will? Getting inside the buyers mind will help you answer these questions. You can also pick up home d├ęcor magazines and see what appeals to the masses. You don't have to change everything in your home, but going back to basics in a few areas will help buyers see how your home can become their home.

"As soon as buyers see a really loud red, orange or lemon-green color they automatically think about re-doing," says Landman. That, of course, means the buyers are already beginning to calculate the amount of money they need to take off of the sale price in order to get the home in the condition they would like it.

If instead you stick with neutral colors such as painting the walls off-white, light beige or Navajo white, you have a better chance in preserving the sale price.

Repair anything that looks torn, worn or broken If you walked into a retail store and saw a garment that you liked but it was torn or missing buttons, chances are you'd search for another one or ask for a discount if that were the only one of its kind.

That's what buyers will do with your home when they spot torn screens, garage doors that don't open, or broken light fixtures that are hanging out of the wall. Buyers, if at first they don't get completely turned off and walk away from the sale, will first begin to think that there is more damage to the home than what they're able to see and then they start to calculate the cost of repairing those damages. But Landman says buyers often exaggerate the amount of money needed to fix the repairs.

"I know in today's market people are looking desperately to find out what's wrong with a home so that they can lower the price," says Landman. "I just did a deal last week in Solana Beach and the house was in really bad repair. It had been lived in by the same person for 30-years without anything done. The buyers came back toward the end of the transaction and said they wanted $100,000 off because they didn't know what was going on behind the walls and they could see there was mold, cracked slab, and deferred maintenance," explains Landman.

The buyers were afraid that when they opened up the walls there would be even more repairs needed. That's how they justified their significant deduction in the price.
In this case, Landman, says "The sellers gave it to them but that's a real exception to the rule." He adds, however, that if sellers don't take the time to fix up their homes before putting them on the market, then sellers can expect to see offers anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 lower than the asking price just because of cosmetic issues.

"In the buyers' minds, they come up with some kind of incredible price to fix repairs. In their mind, they go way overboard and eventually it affects the bottom line price for the seller," says Landman.

Tell your neighbors when you list your home for sale "The other thing that most people don't do, and it's a big one, is notify the neighbors that the home is going to be put on the market. There's a high percentage of friends, relatives, and neighbors who buy in the same area," explains Landman.

Don't miss an opportunity to get the word out about your home being listed for sale. It only makes sense to let your neighbors know. Landman says by doing this your neighbors can sometimes become great facilitators and supporters of the sale.

"The other thing is that if you notify the neighbors, if they do run into people who are thinking about buying your home, they're going to say you're a nice person because you're not trying to hide anything. You're trying to get a sale but you're also letting the neighbors know that you are for sale," says Landman.

Stage your home before you put it on the market "If it's vacant stage it. If you're going to do this, you might as well do 100 percent instead of 90 percent," says Landman.
Landman says furnish the entire home even down to placing flowers in rooms to create a warm and cozy environment.

Most people are visual buyers. If the home doesn't look clean, spotless, and repaired then the buyer thinks what's behind the walls, how much more money do I have to put into this home," says Landman.

Remember understanding the psychology of the buyer's mindset can help you sell faster and for the price you really want.

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 Realtors.

Search MLS
Prudential Tropical Realty

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Channel District Condo Developer To Turn Units Over To Bank

The Place at Channelside in Tampa sells at Auction.....read story
It's been a long road for those who have purchased condos in Channelside. Since we have been posting articles relating to downtown Tampa; I thought everyone would want to hear what's happening in the Channelside District.

Keep in mind that Downtown Tampa is a different market even though they are very close in proximity. If you haven't read the report on growth and statistics for Downtown Tampa you
may read it here.

Channel District Condo Developer To Turn Units Over To Bank
By SHANNON BEHNKEN The Tampa Tribune
Published: June 3, 2008

TAMPA - Facing foreclosure, the developers of the Ventana condominiums in the Channel District have agreed to hand the keys to the project's lender and walk way, according to documents filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

Ventana, completed early last year, has 85 units, but the developer has sold only 41 units, county property records show. None of the six retail condominiums have sold.

Ventana Tampa LLC, a company run by local developer Bill Ware, agreed to turn the building over to Mercantile Bank, according to a partial mortgage release filed in county court May 28. Ventana is located on Kennedy Boulevard at the corner of Channelside Drive.

Court records show that Mercantile loaned the developer $31.8 million to build the condominium. The lender filed a notice to foreclose in March.
Ware did not return a call for comment today.

The developer of Ventana sold 38 units in 2007 for a median sales price of $455,000, and three units in 2008 for a median price of $480,000, county records show.

Ventana is not the only Tampa condominium that is struggling. Three others in the Channel District have filed for bankruptcy reorganization this year. They include:
Towers of Channelside LLC, the builder of Towers of Channelside, filed for bankruptcy protection in January after Wachovia cut off the company's credit.

Key Developers, the developers of The Place at Channelside, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

Tampa Condo 2 LLC, the developers of the proposed 472-unit Tampa Condo II, filed to reorganize under bankruptcy in March. The company is a subsidiary of Daytona Beach-based Amon Investments LLC.

The developers of these projects have something else in common: weak sales. The developers have said buyers signed contracts to purchase before the buildings were constructed but some didn't follow through after the real estate market softened.

For questions about investment opportunities for bankrupt developments
in Tampa and Channelside
please contact
Rae Catanese at 813-784-7744

Find this article at: http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jun/03/channel-district-condo-developer-turn-units-over-b/

See also
Downtown Tampa Condos and Lofts for sale