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 December, 2007

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The “Best” News in Tampa Real Estate in 2007!…Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Home in Tampa

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

The Real Estate Sizzle came to life in 2007 and quickly became one of the top-rated real estate blogs in the country…and at the top of the Tampa Real Estate sites.   Have a look at the “Best of The Real Estate Sizzle in 2007”…the “most-read” articles this year.

Florida Property Tax Reform is THE hot topic of the year! Several articles were in my “Top 10” list:

Florida Property Tax Issues on The Real Estate Sizzle Get Statewide Attention …one of my highest “daily” readerships…everyone loves a little controversy!

The Latest News on Property Tax Reform in Florida

Readers are searching for plenty of information regarding legal issues Tamparealestate2008related to Tampa Real Estate:

Ten Changes to The Florida Real Estate Contract

Haunted Houses…What Should An Agent Disclose in
Tampa Real Estate.

Readers are also looking for the best neighborhoods in Tampa and…great places to eat in Tampa!

Plenty of readers are looking for some International Real Estate…Vienna, Austria and some of the the Best Places to Live Around the World!

Many thanks to my readers, and clients, for a VERY busy 2007.  Let me know what you would like to read  about Tampa Real Estate, International Real Estate, or Great Places to visit in Tampa…and around the World.   I am working on some great articles, and some new polls,  for the New Year, on the Real Estate Sizzle! 

Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2008!


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Moving to Tampa? Expect “Cool” Weather in the Winter!…Tampa Real Estate News and More!

Filed under: Real Estate News

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.

Tampa is finally experiencing some cooler temperatures for the first time this fall, with our overnight lows dipping into the 40s! It is a Tamparealestatefireplacewelcome change from the humidity that lasted much too long. Though we never experience a White Christmas Its nice to pull out the turtlenecks and jackets in the winter months.

Buyers often joke about the number of fireplaces they see when they are looking for a home! I tell them, one year after moving to Tampa, anything below 70 degrees will feel chilly ! Today, our temperature is 60 degrees and last night was in the 40sI turned the heat on and my daughter headed to school with tights under her corduroys! Its a little nippy for us!

One of the biggest misconceptions about the weather in Florida, is that it is hot, or warm, all-year round! Florida is a very large state, geographically, driving from the panhandle to Key West would be a distance of over 800 miles so the weather in the northern part of the state is very different from South Florida! Tourists who head to beaches in the Tampa Bay areaClearwater Beach or St. Pete Beach, during the holidays, are often met with some chilly temperatures!

Tampa sits in the West/Central part of the State of Florida and we do experience SOME freezing temperatures, overnight, during the winter months! Normally, the weather from November to February is really variable, with daytime temperatures anywhere from 60 degrees to over 80 degrees. Most locals dont go to the beach in the winter! Though, our ocean temperatures in the winter, are probably warmer than Maine in the summer!

If you want to be assured of Beach Weather wait until Marchor head to Miami, or enjoy the Tampa Bay Area as the locals do, and find some non-beach-related activities to enjoy! Need some ideas? Send me an e-mail!

Looking for Real Estate in Tampa? 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,Sunset Beach, Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Dunedin, contact me!

 


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Searching For A Home in Tampa…Use A Local Real Estate Agent

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

When you are searching for a home in Tampa, or anywhere in the World, or considering a relocation to Tampa, you are likely to start your search online through Homes.com, Trulia, GoogleBase or any one of the many online home search sources. The latest statistics show that over 80% of all home buyers begin their search online. Most of them ULTIMATELY find a local real estate agent, but the initial hunt is hit or miss because of the wide variation in the information available on the various home search sites.

What many homebuyers dont realize isThe only up-to-date, accurate listing information is ONLY available through the Multiple Listing Service, and can be accessed ONLY by a real estate agent, or through an agents website which contains an IDX search.a Tamparealestatecooperative agreement among Real Estate Brokers to share their information. Only through a Real Estate agent, and their Multiple Listing Service, will you find all of the current listings available in a particular area. The other sites will have SOME of the information but will also contain outdated information.listings that are under contract , or sold , because those sites are not a direct feed from the MLS.

Real Estate agents also have the ability to do a very extensive, and very specific search for certain criteria, such as a downstairs Master Bedroom , or a Bungalow style home, or a corner lot. Virtually every item in the listing can be searched to narrow the list of criteria for a specific buyer.

If you would like to search for very specific criteria, or neighborhoods, for your Tampa Home Search, contact me. If you would like to search the local MLS, through my site, you can search for homes in Tampa here.

DothanHomeSearch, is a fellow real estate blog, in Alabama, posted a great article about this recently!


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Selling Your Home in Tampa? Capture the Holiday Shoppers!…Tampa Real Estate Market News

Filed under: Real Estate News, Tampa

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.

Sellers often want to keep their homes off the market during the holidays. They dont like the inconvenience of showings, or they think their home is not likely to sell in December.

TamparealestatexmasThe truth is, many people MUST buy in December, either to qualify for the Homestead Exemption, which lowers their property tax bill, or because they are moving to Tampa and must start a new job in January. Homes look great while decorated for the Holidays, so Sellers who KEEP their homes on the market are MORE likely to have serious buyers during that time.

Fellow Keller Williams agent, Matt Fetick, wrote a nice article about why you should sell your home during the holidays!

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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Foreign Investors Are Lurking in Tampa!…Tampa Real Estate News and More!

Filed under: Florida Beachfront property, Florida Real Estate, Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate, Waterfront Homes in Tampa

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.

With the rising value of the EURO against the dollar, and the drop in Real Estate prices locally, its no wonder the European Investors are Clearwaterbeachlying in wait for the best real estate bargains in decades!

Nearly 25% of my readers on The Real Estate Sizzle live outside the United States! They are looking for information on all matters related to Real Estate in Tampa and Beachfront Condos in Floridalooking for the best location at the best price.

As a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), I am specially trained to assist foreigners with property purchases in the U.S., including assistance with estate and tax issues for foreigners. There are unique tax issues for foreign buyers, so you should not proceed with a purchase in the U.S. without advice from a specialist. I have a comprehensive guide for Foreign Investors, in several languages, that is available to my International Clients.

Prices along Clearwater Beach, Redington Beach, St. Pete Beach and Sunset Beach are at record lows. If you are looking for a beachfront condominium, or property anywhere in Florida, I can send you a list of what is available in any price range, including foreclosuresjust contact me! Let me know what price range, property type and area you are interested in!

I can help with your move to the beaches, or 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, Beach Condos in Florida, Clearwater, St. Pete, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 


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“Queen of Sheba” Ethiopian Restaurant Opens in South Tampa!…Tampa Real Estate News and More!

Filed under: Restaurants in Tampa, South Tampa

Moving to Tampa means experiencing all of our unique restaurants!

A welcome addition to the culinary scene in Tampa is the new Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant, located at 3636 Henderson Boulevard. Nestled in a bright, cozy spot in South Tampa, the flavors are authentic and the owner, Sable, will welcome you to this unique dining experience.

I love Ethiopian food and it has been too long since we could enjoy it in Tampa. Novices should try the Mesob platter, with a little bit of everything ranging from mild to spicy, all very flavorful and fresh. While you COULD ask for utensils, Ethiopian food is eaten with a crepe-like bread, Injera. Looking for mild flavors? Try the Doro Alicha, a flavorful chicken dish, or the Atakilt, mildly spiced green beans, carrot and potato. Vegetarians are happy with the variety of lentil and vegetable offerings.

Looking to spice it up a little? Doro Wat, a spicy chicken, or Beef Tibs will do the trick!

Dont miss an amazing meal at The Queen of Sheba and tell Sable I sent you!

Open for Lunch and Dinner…call me and I’ll meet you for lunch(it’s just down the street!)

Check it out on Urban Spoon! Queen of Sheba on Urbanspoon

Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant, 3636 Henderson Blvd, Tampa (next to Don Banks Music)


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How To Get Homeowner’s Insurance in Florida…as Painlessly as Possible!…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Florida Real Estate, Insurance, Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate

The Latest News in Tampa Real Estate, Florida Real Estate and Real Estate Issues around the worldevery day

Ever since Hurricane Andrew hit the Miami area many years ago, obtaining Homeowners Insurance in Tampa has become a challenge for many homeowners, especially those who live in older homes. How can a homeowner figure out the ins and outs of the insurance puzzle?

Most insurance companies are looking for verification that the home is in good condition in Four Major areas. They might ask you for a Four Point Inspection form. It may sound ominous, but it is form designed by the Joint Underwriting Association that is filled out by a Home Inspector and covers:

1. Electrical

The insurance company will want verification that the electrical panel and wiring is updated . Many older homes with knob and tube wiring will not pass the inspection and the wiring will need to be replaced. Historic neighborhoods like Hyde Park and Seminole Heights have seen their share of this issue. Depending on the size of the home, replacing the wiring can cost over $20,000, so if you are buying an older home in Tampa, you should include the replacement of any knob and tube wiring in the contract.

2. Heating and Air Conditioning

Once again, the insurance company is concerned with the proper functioning and safety of the equipment.

3. Plumbing

The plumbing should be updated and operating properly. They may ask about the main lines which connect to the sewer, as older homes may ultimately have lines that collapse and need replacement.

4. Roof

This is the biggie the roof must have at least 5 years of useful life for most companies to insure it. What can you do if the roof needs replacement, in order to get insurance? Some companies will allow monies for roof replacement to be held in escrow with the agreement that the roof is completed soon after closing. Others will require a new roof prior to closing, which is sometimes an issue with roofers work schedules. I have always been able to get new roof issues to work out, so a little diligence on the part of your Real Estate agent goes a long way.

Start the Insurance process early in the contract stage, so you are not scrambling for coverage at the last minute.

**One important thing to note in Hurricane Seasonall insurance underwriting is suspended whenever there is a storm in the box an area off the coast which covers hundreds of miles. So, even if a storm is not expected to hit the WEST coast of Florida, you will not be able to get insurance until the storm passesthis can delay a closing and wreak havoc on all parties**

For more tips on Insurance issues, or buying a home in Tampa, please contact me!

You might also enjoy my other articles on Insurance Issues…


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“I’ll Take The Filet With My Legroom”…Tampa Real Estate News and More

Filed under: Real Estate News, Things to Ponder, Travel

If you are buying a house in Tampa, or anywhere in the world, chances are good that you will need to board an airplane. Lets talk about how the Real Estate Industry is still focused on customer service, while many industries have lost sight of “the happy client”.

The Real Estate Industry seems to be one of the few which has INCREASED its level of customer service over the past 10 years! Since I started selling real estate in 1994, I have seen major changes in the industryall of which have led to a more educated, more tech-savvy, more consumer-oriented Real Estate Agent. From cell phones to online listings to internet advertising to online transactionsconsumers and sellers have become accustomed to better customer service, more comprehensive marketing plans and a faster response time, than ever before. Discount Real Estate brokers are losing ground to full-service, customer-oriented Real Estate Brokerages. Customers want service from the Real Estate Industry, but we seem to be an anomaly in the service industry across the nation.

Contrast the level of response and service offered by a Professional Real Estate Agent, with that of other Tamparealestatetravelindustries, most notably the airline industry, over the past 10 years? When was the last time you called a customer service number and was able to speak to a live person, other than a voicemail system that leads you through a series of orders to press 1 for this, or press 2 for thatuntil, ultimately, none of them apply and you hang up in frustration. I have learned to press O with abandon, until someone, who might speak English, appears on the line!

The Airline Industry is the perfect example of how corporate efficiency and competitive pricing have translated into WORSE customer service over the years. Compared to Airline Travel of years gone by, what has changed? Checking in?? Do It Yourself Kiosks are becoming the norm. Planes have been reconfigured to cram more passengers into the same amount of space. Seats are smaller and rows are closer together. Most airlines have stopped serving meals in all but Business, or First Class, sections. Flights are overbooked, so purchasing a ticket doesnt really mean you get to board the plane! They often board the passengers and THEN inform them of a flight delay, so the disgruntled masses are trapped and cannot make other flight arrangements. Lost luggage statistics are staggering. These practices are widespread among all airlines. If such practices occurred in the Real Estate Industry, one might lose a license over a practice called price fixing . But, at the very least, you would definitely lose clients over poor customer service. Ive become accustomed to wrangling some last minute upgrades, bulkhead seats and navigating Seat Guru, just to get a little comfort on a long flight, but why is that necessary? I just want “a little filet with my legroom”...take me back to the air travel of the 70′s, please! Why are travelers treated worse, and worse, with each passing year?

Why have Americans accepted being abandoned, starved, and herded like cattle, in order to travel by air? Have we become so used to poor customer service that saving $30.00, or $50.00, or even $100.00, on an airline ticket is more important that having a little leg room, a little nourishment and a polite employee check our bags and insure that the trip is a positive experience. Have we become so numb to being treated badly, that we accept it as the new norm in the travel industry. When you dine in a Restaurant and receive poor service, do you continue to patronize that establishment? When a store clerk is rude, or a pizza is delivered cold and with the wrong toppings, how quickly would you choose to recommend them?? While the local establishments, and local Real Estate agents, depend on a high level of customer service to keep their clientele, the airline industry has taken a different stance Take it, or leave it If you want to fly from here to there you are stuck with the poor service in the industry.

I challenge even ONE of the airlines, to step up to the plate, and provide its customers with old fashioned customer serviceOR, at least ,my kind of customer servicebigger seats, more leg room, live, polite employees and a meal with a smile, where a paid ticket is guaranteed a seat on the flight I will pay more for the return of the “old days”, and so will many travelersairlines just never seem to give us the option!

As you can imagine, many of my articles are borne of my real-life experiencesafter a flight-delay and a near-miss connection, during my sprint from Terminal D to Terminal A (avoid Atlanta at all costs) and no time for a quick biteI am still waiting on my lost luggage, which has been entrusted to a courier service, who cant find my office building on one of the busiest streets in South Tampa! There IS a better wayWho wants to start an airline? Warren BuffettWhere are You???

What do YOU think? Would you pay more for better airline service? Don’t you want ” a little filet with your legroom?”

If you would like a client-centered level of customer service in the Real Estate Industry, 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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More Opposition to the Florida Property Tax Proposal…Tampa Real Estate News…

Filed under: Property Taxes in Florida, Real Estate News

The latest news on all issues affecting the Tampa Real Estate Market…

The League of Women Voters has publicly announced its opposition to the Proposed Change in the Florida Property Tax System. You can read the press release and form your own opinion.

I have written many articles about my opposition to the proposed amendment, which goes to the Florida voters on January 29. You can read more of my thoughts on the issue in my previous post and, dont forget to vote in my straw poll.

Interesting that the women are speaking out54% of the voters in the presidential election next year will be women, so I hope they will take the time to educate themselves on the candidates, the issues, and the inequities in the tax system before heading to the polls.

There WILL be tax reform in Florida…the voters will demand it. This is the best “buyer’s market” in years. For help buying Real Estate in Tampa, or anywhere in the world, contact me.


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Selling Your Home in Tampa…Be Realistic…Listen to the Local Market

Filed under: Real Estate News, 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.

 

In the Tampa Real Estate Market, some neighborhoods have 5 to 6 months of inventory, while others have 5 to 6 YEARS of inventory, especially those areas that are filled with new construction. The homes that ARE selling, in a reasonable amount of time, are priced Arbor_greene5right and show well. The very first properties to sell will be the BARGAINSthose homes that are priced BELOW the competition.

Some sellers are experiencing a serious state of denial and are unwilling to listen to what the market is saying. They are looking to point a finger at someone, or something, other than the law of supply and demand .

One of my fellow Real Estate bloggers, Phil Hoover, in Boise, Idaho, has written a great article about the grief that sellers are experiencing in this market.

The best source of information about the Tampa Real Estate Market, is a local real estate agent. If you would like information about the market time in your neighborhood, or need advice about selling your home, please contact me.

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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