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Jackie Colson-Miller

Jackie Colson-Miller, CIPS
Direct - (813)629-5757
Homeward Real Estate
3401 Henderson Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609
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Archive for August, 2007

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Deed Restrictions are Proof That Rules Can Rarely Be Broken

Filed under: Buyers, Florida Real Estate, Real Estate News, Relocation, Tampa

Deed restrictions in a local adults only community are being Tri_kechallenged in Court in a Pinellas County case involving a couple who has their 3 year old granddaughter living with them. This case tugs at the heartstrings of the community, as the childs mother is a drug addict and the grandparents have taken over the care of the child for the past 2 years.

They live in an over 55 community which precludes any resident under the age of 18 from living there. The grandparents have been unable to sell their home and the case is headed to court.

Many subdivisions have deed restrictions which are intended to protect the rights and property of all the homeowners. Buyers often fail to read all of the restrictions in a particular community and then find, upon moving in, that they really dont like the rules . No_rulesCommunities often have restrictions regarding pets, vehicles, guests, yard signs, flags, mailboxes, paint colors, roofing tiles, fencing and more. While the contract for a resale condominium in Florida has a 3 day right of recision to review the condominium documents, the resale of a home in a deed restriction has no such provision. That contingency would have to be added to the contract.

Buyers should review the deed restrictions in any community they are considering and never assume that rules were made to be broken. I have sold many units in a Bayshore condominium with a 25 lb. weight limit for pets. Many a puppy has grown into a large dog who later needed to find a new home, when he weighed in at 60 lbs!

Outside of deed-restricted communities there are still zoning laws that govern what you can, or cant, do on your property. Cities often limit Jag_uarthe number of residents per bedroom and the number of domestic animals per household. A jaguar, and its owners, recently moved out of the Hyde Park neighborhood in South Tampa, after neighbors repeatedly complained to the City. Imagine showing a house with a caged Jaguar!! Aside from being rather unsettling, the place smelled like a zoo!

The grandchild case is getting plenty of press, because the issue is very emotionalbut emotions rarely decide cases involving deed restrictions. One exception to the rule opens the door for anotherand another.and another. What do you think?


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What’s New On The Tampa Real Estate Market?

Filed under: MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, Real Estate News, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market

NewlistingAre you thinking about buying a new home in Tampa, or moving to Tampa? Do you want to know whats new on the Real Estate Market in Tampa, or anywhere in the U.S.?

You can receive daily listings via email right here. Its easy! Every time a house is listed that fits your criteria, you will receive an email. You can change your criteria at any time.

If you need help with zip codes, or neighborhoods, please contact me!

Try itnew listings by email!


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A Look at “The 4 Hour Work Week”…Can You Work it into YOUR Life?

Filed under: 4 Hour Work Week, Books to Read, Real Estate News

Today, well take a little break from the buying real estate in Tampa discussions.

I have been reading the best-selling book, The 4 Hour Work Week , 4 hourby Tim Ferris. It is a unique perspective on downsizing the time you spend working every week. I highly recommend it, simply because it encourages you to think outside the box . Regardless of your career, the book offers many ideas about how to eliminate many of the unnecessary tasks that we perform throughout the day, and goes far beyond the typical time management books.

One of the best ideas, in my opinion, is the one week media fast . Eliminating newspapers, television news, etc. from your life for 5 days. Try it! It is amazing how much reading the news takes from your day. Im not suggesting that you hide under a rock! You will gather the most important news of the day from conversations with people. In Reality, most of what you read, or watch, is not critical to your life, or your business. HINT: set up google alerts for specific topics, such as Tampa Real Estate and you will receive an email when any story posts on the internet, on that topic! Its a great way to filter out all of the unnecessary news, and focus on what is pertinent to your business.

An attorney friend in Washington D.C., has been reading the book, as a result of my encouragement, and we have been sharing ideas about how to implement the techniques into each of our lives, and business practices. When he balked at the media fast and, due to his securities law practice, insisted that he must read the newspapers for the latest in financial news every day, I told him about the availability of alerts from the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, which I receive every day. He also insisted that men should read the sports page and stay current on the latest scores, so I think well have to move him into the next chapter!

E-mail is becoming the standard in communication these days and is especially helpful in a real estate transaction. The written communication between the parties can be printed and placed in the file for future reference. It has been my preferred method of communication with clients for many years. However, the constant checking of email is very time-consuming, the author calls it a timewaster . The solution? He suggests reading your email twice each day. In the Real Estate business, that may not work, so I have committed to check my email three to four times each day. My email responder asks someone to call me, if the matter is urgent, however.

Between the media fast and the email limits , I have eliminated some major time-wasters from my day and have become more productive in the process.

I encourage you to read The 4 Hour Work Week Ill be chatting about it again next Tuesday.

Now, its back to all of the issues surrounding buying real estate in Tampa, Florida and in International locations.

Are you looking for the perfect waterfront condo in Tampa, or Panama? A little bungalow in South Tampa? Something in Westpark Village in Westchase…. Contact me!


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Yes Virginia, There Are Mortgages Available!

Filed under: Buyers, Florida Real Estate, mortgage news, Real Estate News, Real Estate Trends, Tampa Real Estate Market

Are you buying real estate in Tampa, Florida, or anywhere in the U.S.? In the past few weeks, the demise of several mortgage companies and the restructuring of others, has real estate buyers wondering, Can I MortimageStill get a mortgage? .
The AnswerYESConventional loans under $417,000 are readily available, especially to those buyers with credit scores of 680 and higher.
Jumbo loans, those above $417,000, experienced an increase in the interest rate recently. Stated income loans, those requiring no documentation, and other similar mortgage products are the types of loans that will be increasingly hard to obtain, especially for the self-employed person, and are undergoing tougher scrutiny in the underwriting process.

The Bottom Line? If you have a good credit score, verifiable income, a debt-to-income ratio within certain limits, and the house appraises for the purchase price, or higher, you should be able to get financing.

The best source of a reputable lender is always an experience real estate agent. If you are buying a home in Tampa, please contact me for the a lender who best suits your needs.

If you enjoyed this article, you should also read…Choosing the Right Day for Closing!


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The Florida Association of Realtors meets in Orlando this Week

Filed under: Florida Real Estate, MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market, Where is Jackie Now?

Florida Realtors are meeting in Orlando this week for our annual conference. These events are a great opportunity to discover the latest in Legal and Regulatory Issues, Contracts, Insurance and Marketing.

I will be joining other International Property Specialists from around the state for many educational and networking events.

If you have any questions about Real Estate-related issues in Florida, or are interested in buying Real Estate in Tampa, Florida, or a foreign country, or are moving to another state, I can find the perfect Real Estate agent for you anywhere in the world, through my vast network, so please contact me.

I will be back in the office on Monday.


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Your Library is a Window into Your Heart and Soul…Read “The 4-HOUR Workweek” With Me!

Filed under: 4 Hour Work Week, Books to Read, Real Estate News

I am a voracious readera speed reader. Since I was a little girl, I have absolutely DEVOURED books! I love the Library Thing widget, an idea that I gleaned from blog guru Jeff Turner. I can post all of the books that I have recently read and comment on them. You can click on the Library Thing widget on the left sidebar, and have a look for yourself. You can tell so much about one’s personality and interests from their library.

A friend once referred to me as The Empress of Organization . I think what he really meant, was that I am the Empress of Juggling ! Either way, I enjoy books about visualization, efficiency and basically How to do anything better along with travel books of all kinds. Not included in my list are the zillions of cookbooks that I ownthats another story, for another day!

4 hourTops on my list right now is the best-seller, The 4 Hour Work Week , by Tim Ferris. I have been dragging it around with me, and touting it, since the day it arrived from Amazon. Ironically, another agent in the office bought it on the same day, but has yet to get into it. I think hes waiting for me to blog about itso here we go!

Real Estate is clearly not one of those industries where you could seriously only work 4 hours each week, but the book really offers some great ideas to streamline your operations, no matter what your field.

My copy is now filled with post-its , notes, and scribbling. Ive dog-eared many of the pages, as I incorporate the ideas into my personal and professional lives. You have to push to get through the first 30 pages, or so, to get to the meat but this book really takes you outside the box .I already have an attorney friend in Washington DC working through it with me, to see how he can implement some of the strategies into his life, and his practice. It really opens your mind to many possibilites. I would love to have some Sizzle Readers strategize along with me, so here is the challenge.

Starting next Tuesday, August 27, I am going to spend every Tuesday blogging about how to incorporate The 4 Hour Workweek into your life. Lets make this loads of funget reading! I want lots of commentary about how it could work for you, too!

This week, I am practicing the Five Day Media Fast no TV news, no newspapers, no internet junk, no peeking at Fox newsjust one of the many ways to keep the junk out of your life. Its working! Don’t worry…people tell you the latest news all day long, you won’t miss a thing. I know all about the interest rate cut, Hurricane Dean in Mexico, and local road closings…all in conversations, and short bursts of news on the radio.

So, buy the book today and lets chat about it every Tuesdayright here on The Real Estate Sizzle. I guarantee it will give you plenty to think about and it might even change your life .

If you want to receive new articles on the Real Estate Sizzle via email, you can do that here.

Buying Real Estate in Tampa, or anywhere in the World? Contact me here!


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Floridians Want Other Taxes to Reduce Their Property Taxes

Filed under: Property Taxes in Florida, Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate

In a Recent Poll on the Real Estate Sizzle, Florida Voters indicated they are willing to pay other taxes, in order to reduce their property tax bill. Heres what they said.

What Taxes Would you Favor in order to Reduce Property Tax?
Cigarettes 22% (23 votes)
Alcohol 13% (14 votes)
Hotel Taxes 12% (13 votes)
Gambling 23% (24 votes)
State Income Tax 3% (3 votes)
None of the Above 3% (3 votes)
Increase Sales Tax 16% (17 votes)
Other 8% (8 votes)
Total voters for this poll: 97! Florida voters are speaking up! Is the Florida Legislature listening???Did you know that Florida is ranked 45th in the US for Cigarette Taxes??? What do you think about THAT tidbit of information???

Watch for my upcoming article on the Florida Property Tax Reform issue Why You Should Vote NO for the Proposed Property Tax Amendment!

Visit the Real Estate Sizzle often, for the latest information about buying real estate in Tampa, Florida and around the World. And, as always, leave me YOUR comments in the area below!

If you enjoy my polls and reading the articles on The Real Estate Sizzle…please vote for my blog here!


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It’s Back to School Today in Tampa! Moms…Watch those Speed Limits!

Filed under: Fun and Frolic, Real Estate News

SpeedingBack to that early morning routine today, as the children head back to schoola jubilant day for Mothers everywhere! As I drove my own children to school today, they reminded me of the year I was just a little too happy about that first day of school!

I had loaded the three, freshly-uniformed, towheads into the Volvo, cranked up the music, and was happily humming along as I drove across the peninsula to school. The sounds of a siren soon eclipsed that of Sheryl Crow, as the cruiser turned on its lights and motioned for me to pull over. Volvos cant speed I thought to myself, as the kids broke into a chorus of Mommys getting a ticket .

I rolled down my window, and, the very handsome, young officer, peeked into the car at my now silent brood. I smiled sweetly, and said, Its the first day of school and Im just a little too happy, I guess He smirked”I have a policy against ticketing mothers with their children in the car, but you were doing 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, so please slow it down YessirI smirked right back at him! Thank youThat is a nice policy , I replied. PhewNo need to turn on the tears!

The kids starting singing something about a ticket againbut I turned up Sheryl Crows, All I Want to Do and dropped them off in the carpool lane as I sang Have a wonderful daylove you see you later aah, the memories!

This mornings ride was far less dramatic, but infinitely more enjoyable , since the Volvo has been replaced by a zippy, little convertible. It was a picturesque morning for a top down drive, andthankfully, nary a cruiser in sight!

Happy Back To School to Mothers everywhere! Its a crank up the music kind of day!

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Downsizing Your Space and Your Lifestyle…Is it The Path to Happiness?

Filed under: Sizzle Snacks, Things to Ponder

Americans are upsizing everything! Bigger homes, bigger cars, bigger TV screens are looming everywhere. How big is the closetbuyers ask. Only 3 Bathrooms? My children cant possibly share!

The bigger is better phenomenon doesnt seem to be ending anytime soon. McMansions are replacing aging 40′s ranch-style homes. Rising gas prices dont seem to affect the number of Suburban on the road!

What is the cost to all of this space? Have Americans become so Houseused to having 1000+ square feet per person, that we have forgotten how to interact with each other? Have we forgotten how to have conversation, and are watching television on three separate big screens in three separate rooms? Has the dining room and the family meal, been replaced by microwaved food in front of the television set, or Taco Bell in the back of the Suburban on the run to soccer practice.

Has anyone stopped to consider that the decrease in family values may be correlated with the supersizing of our homes and our lifestyles? Is there any correlation between square footage and happiness? I suspect there is, but it would not be that “increased square footage” leads to “increased happiness”.

This “supersized” lifestyle is unique to the U.S. In Europe, and other countries around the world, homes are smaller, televisions are inconsequential, bathrooms are fewer, cars are fuel-efficient and conversations are plentiful. Those countries have less crime, longer lifespans and healthier lives. What have we done to ourselves? And, what can we learn from their “downsized” lives?

In a unique lifestyle, Claire Wolfe, lives in a cabin totaling 309 square feetHow is that for efficiency? Read her story and reflect on how supersizing has affected your life

I know that my next “home” will be something smaller and very “low maintenance”…nothing more challenging than changing a light bulb!

Just more food for thought on The Real Estate Sizzle. I like to keep your minds churning

What do you thinkleave me a comment!

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy

You Are Known by The Company You Keep

Don’t forget…leave me your thoughts in the comment area below…

And, if you enjoy reading the Real Estate Sizzle, vote for me here.

If you are “downsizing”, “upsizing” while buying real estate in Tampa, Florida, or anywhere in the world, I can help.


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Hillsborough County Schools Start Earlier than Expected…Mark Your Calendars.

Filed under: Real Estate News, Tampa Schools, Topics

Pen_cilHillsborough County Schools resume classes next Monday, August

20th. The original start date was Thursday, August 24th, so schools have been busy making phone calls to all of the students, to inform them of the earlier start date.

Here is the updated school calendar for the 2007 2008 school year.

Do you enjoy reading the “Sizzle”…vote for me!


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