The Real Estate Sizzle

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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 October, 2007

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Haunted Houses…What Should An Agent Disclose?

Filed under: Buyers, Disclosure, Florida Real Estate, Florida Real Estate Law, Real Estate News

In Florida, Realtors are required to disclose anything that materially affects the property . When I list a home in Tampa, I ask Sellers to complete, and sign, a very thorough questionnaire about everything from survey and drainage issues, plumbing, electrical, roof, zoningeverything material to the property. Realtors are not required to ask about things like burglaries, crime in the neighborhood, or sexual predators in the neighborhood. That information is available through various websites and local law enforcement agencies.

What about disclosing a death on the property? A Murder? A Suicide? Or, a lingering spirit? Does it make a difference if it is an evil spirit, or a friendly ghost? How many people would knowingly buy, or rent, a haunted house?

I lived in a haunted house when I was a senior in college. Needless to say, my landlord did not disclose that to me, or my roommates, Hauntedhousethough it was well-documented by the previous tenants, who couldnt wait to tease us about the ghost, not long after we moved in! Footsteps on the stairs, doors that opened by themselvesplenty of things that went bump in the night! I think even the police knew the house was haunted, because after three visits to find the burglar , they stopped responding! One day, our furnace broke down, and the repairman asked me, How are you getting along with Mrs. Walsh? Give me the story, I insisted. As it turns out, the landlords mother had died in the house and vowed that she would never leave! Shes still here , I said.

From then on, we got along just fine with Mrs. Walsh. We talked to her, told her to stop scaring us from time to time, and one day, she scared off a real burglar and prevented a break-in. While its nice to reminisce about the experience, the real issue is about disclosure!

Sometimes what is required by law , and what is the right thing to do , are two separate issues. When in doubt, always do the right thing, for the buyer, or the tenant. Disclose the haunted house issueand be nice to the ghost!

Searching for a house in Tampa? Would you live in a Haunted House???


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Paperless Real Estate Transactions…The Future is NOW…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE.

The paperwork involved in a Real Estate Transaction is incredible and trying to get documents signed by parties all over the world can be a challenge.

This month, I have moved all of my listing and closing transactions to an online transaction management system with a local Title Company, in an effort to maintain constant communication with all parties and facilitate the movement of documents around the world!

This is how it works:

With a new listing, I inform the Seller about the online transaction manager. I send the Seller information, and address of the property, to the Transaction Management System. A file is created and all parties Mortimagereceive an email notification about how the system works, along with an ID and password. The Title Company begins the title search,and uploads the tax bill, property appraisers printout, HOA documents and anything else related to the file. I upload contracts, addendums and add notes to all the parties. Each document and note is password-protected and can only be viewed by the parties it is assigned to. For instance, I can add a Buyers agent to the transaction, but I would assign only the rights to view the contract and related addendums, but not the notes to my client.

I can create my own list of required documents for each file. On my short sale transactions, the sellers send me all of their financial information, which is uploaded to the file. Access to those files is granted to the seller and the lender, but not the other parties.

Listing paperwork, contracts and addendums are all sent via email and uploaded to the file. Every day I log into the site and make notes on each file regarding price changes, conversations with the client, other agent, lender, documents that I need, etc., and I read what the Title agent has posted in the file. I can upload the latest CMA when I need a price change! An email is sent to the clients reminding them to check the file for the latest updated information and they are notified by email whenever a document is posted. It is wonderful! I can also email documents to my phone, or upload files to my phone, as well.

When a property closes, all the closing documents can be loaded onto a CD!

After just one week online, the response has been tremendousone client said This is really cool I agree. Try it!

Contact me to buy, or sell YOUR next homein Tampa, or anywhere in the World.

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate.

 


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Trump Tower Tampa…If It’s Anything Like Trump World Tower… You Should Pass!

Filed under: Florida Condominiums, International Real Estate, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate, Where is Jackie Now?

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE.

Trump Tower Tampa, a project that has been on-again, off-again for several years, is promised to be a Trump Signature Building . What, exactly, does that mean? Limestone flooring? Miele appliances? ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ Baths in the Master? What does Trump consider signature work?

Inquiring minds took that question to New York City to have a look at one of the Trump properties. I recently visited Trump World Tower, located near the U.N. Plaza. Completed in 2001, the building is nearly new and the finishes should be very nice. I was sorely disappointed. Along for the tour, were several other International Real Estate Specialists from Connecticut, Denver and South Carolina. The disdain for the building was unanimous! We rolled our eyes at each other as the sales rep pointed out the lovely IMG_0120features!

I visited three resale units, ranging in price from 3 Million to over 6 Million. The finishes were the same in all of the units, regardless of the floor, or the size of the apartment.

The bleached oak herringbone flooring was horrible! I was expecting Brazilian Cherry Low grade baseboards, small closets, low ceilings and a small closed-in kitchen with high-gloss, white mica cabinets and GE Monogram appliancesnary a Miele or Viking in sightfor SIX MILLION DOLLARS???? For 6M, I want a kitchen that sings to me!

The building DOES have a ground floor fitness center and pool, which I could only describe as dingy However, Derek Jeter lives there and, as the rep was quick to point out, she sat next to Glenn Close at the bar and recently spotted Brad Pitt there, too. WOW. That must be worth 6 Million, dont you think?

OkayI will give the building one complimentIt has great views!

So, my advice to the buyers at Trump Tower Tampa…read the fine print in that contract…

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 

 

 

 

 


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Davis Islands Today…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Blog, Davis Islands Real Estate, Real Estate News, South Tampa, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE.

Davis Islands is a neighborhood in South Tampa. It is, literally, several connected islands, and it is a popular community surrounded by water. The downtown area is filled with shops and restaurants, including my favorite, Chez Bryce. You must try it, and be sure to tell Bryce I sent you!

I have written about Davis Islands many times on the Real Estate Sizzle and my articles are often featured on www.DavisIslandsToday.com. It is a nice, local blog about whats happening on Davis Islands, so I am happy to encourage some readership.

You can read some of my previous articles about Davis Islands:

Davis Islands Restaurant Goes Provencal

Davis IslandsA Favorite Neighborhood in South Tampa

Interested in homes on Davis Islands? Contact me!


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Property Taxes in Tampa…Tampa Real Estate Market Update

Filed under: Buyers, MLS Listings in Tampa, Property Taxes in Florida, Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate Market

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE.

When someone is moving to Tampa, and they are looking at MLS listings online, they will see a huge difference in property tax bills on several different homes, in the same price range. It IS confusing!

 

I think there should be a disclaimer in every MLS listing, Property Taxes Are Reassessed After A Change in Ownership That would be the easiest thing for all homebuyers to understand. Since current appraised value, and tax bill, on the home, are based on the current owners purchase price, plus an annual increase of no more than 3%, they have absolutely NO RELEVANCE to the future tax bill. The current tax system has been hotly debated and is up for revision, but for right now, buyers need to understand the current tax bill will not be their tax bill.

 

You can estimate future taxes on any property at the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser website.

 

You can also read some of my previous articles on property taxes and property tax reform in Florida:

 

Florida Judge Tosses the Tax Reform Amendment

 

Why I am Voting No on the Florida Property Tax Amendment

 

Florida Property Tax Issues on The Real Estate Sizzle get Statewide Attention

 

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 


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Waterfront Home Sales in Tampa…Tampa Real Estate Market Update

Filed under: Celebrity Homes inTampa, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Real Estate News, Relocation, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market, Waterfront Homes in Tampa

 

 

 

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE WaterfrontISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE.Despite the Buyers Market in Tampa, Waterfront home sales are still brisk. There are 550 active waterfront homes on the market, ranging in price from the low 200s to 6.2 million! This home is priced at $6,199,900.

In 2006, from January to October, 451 waterfront homes in Tampa were sold. To date in 2007, there have been 351 waterfront home sales.

There are many waterfront choices available, from small canal-front homes to luxury homes on the open bay!

Listing courtesy of IDX and ERA Gulf Coastall MLS brokers represented.

 

Searching for the perfect waterfront home in Tampa? I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Harbour Island, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 


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The Real Estate Sizzle is a “ghostwriter” …Tampa Real Estate Blog

Filed under: Real Estate News

If you have been reading the Real Estate Sizzle for one day, or many months, I expect you can tell that I really enjoy writing it! The real estate “blogosphere”, as we call the many blogs on the internet, is a fairly tight-knit group of Real Estate Agents who write blogs and read the other blogs that we enjoy. You can find my favorite blogs on the bottom of the right sidebar.

The most-read Real Estate blogs are filled with great information about home-buying, mortgages, real estate trends and about life in the city about which they are written. Bloggers are often asked to be “guest authors” on other blogs, so when my blogger-friend, Mary Pope-Handy, asked me to write about my adventures on her Haunted Real Estate Blog, I was thrilled. Enjoy the story, which brings back many memories….I will never knowingly sell anyone a haunted house…unless they really want one!


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Short Sales in Tampa..The Numbers are on The Rise..Tampa Real Estate Market News

Filed under: MLS Listings in Tampa, Real Estate News, Short Sale, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE.

I have been working on a number of short sales this weeksituations where the property will sell for less than the mortgage amount and the lender agrees to forgive the difference between the sale price and the loan amount. It is far more complicated than a normal real estate transaction and the seller must prove hardship the inability to continue to pay the mortgage and the lack of assets available.

There are several common factors among these sellers:

-They have good credit scores and have not yet missed a mortgage payment. They are trying very hard to preserve their credit as much as possible. That excellent credit allowed them to get the no doc and no income verification loans that are now a problem in the current market.

-They have adjustable loans that have just adjusted, or are about to adjust to a payment they can no longer afford.

-They purchased new construction during 2005. Their property taxes are no longer based on vacant land and have increased.

-There is new construction still available in those neighborhoods and the developers are selling the same product for far less than the sellers paid, so Tampa neighborhoods with new construction are more likely to have a high inventory of short sales.

In a nutshell, they are in a financial bind, and a short sale may be a better option than foreclosure. A short sale involves plenty of paperwork and diligence on the part of the seller and the agent, because the lender must agree to the short sale vs. foreclosure. Given that a typical foreclosure can cost a lender up to $60,000, many lenders are willing to allow a short sale. The process from offer to closing may take up to 90 days.

Two words to remember in a short sale situation.PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE.

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 

 

 


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What to Look For In a “Green” House…Homeowners Helping the Environment

Filed under: Florida Real Estate, Green houses, Real Estate News, Real Estate Trends, Tampa Real Estate

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE.

Today is Blog Action Day bloggers around the world will be writing about ways to help the environmentthe Real Estate Sizzle is proud to be a part of it.

Green housing and eco-friendly materials are becoming a large part of the housing industry. Commercial Developers are also using green materials to attract higher rent prices and eliminate sick buildings .

Natural materials, such a wood and stone as flooring materials, instead of carpeting are becoming the norm in the green movement. Natural stone countertops, low flow toilets and higher efficiency windows, along with air conditioning systems with a higher SEER rating are just a few of the ways homeowners can help the environment.

Aside from using natural materials in construction, homeowners can also help the environment by limiting the use of chemicals, pesticides and other non-organic substances in their homes.

You can read more about natural ways to enhance your home, garden and your well-being, in some of my previous articles:

Natural Pest Control

Where to Buy Organic Products in Tampa

If you are interested in buying a green house in Tampa, contact me!


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Finding the Perfect House is Like Finding the Perfect Pair of Shoes!

Filed under: Buyers, Real Estate News, Real Estate Trends, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market

I was shoe shopping one day last week and, in the midst of trying on the 50th pair of shoes, I sank into the cushy chair and lamented the fact that the perfect shoe simply does not exist. There are stylish shoes, beautiful shoes, and comfortable shoes, but they are generally Shoesmutually exclusive. To find the stylish shoe that perfectly fits your foot, and is COMFORTABLE, is nearly impossible. So, how long do you look for the perfect shoe, before you settle into one that fits better than the rest and looks good, too. That scenario, and the feeling of frustration, reminded me of the conversation that I have with buyers, when they are looking for the perfect house in Tampa.

The


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