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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 February, 2008

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Did You Buy A Home In Florida in 2007? File for Property Tax Benefits By March 1

Filed under: Real Estate News

The Latest News on Tampa Real Estate, Florida Real Estate and International Real Estate, every day on The Real Estate Sizzle.

If you moved from a primary residence with a Homestead Exemption, in Florida, in 2007 and purchased another home in Florida, prior to January 1, 2008, you must file for Property Tax Benefits By March 1st.

You can read about the requirements for obtaining your Property Tax benefits and hurry to get your paperwork in before the March 1, filing deadline.

 If you need help finding the perfect home in any area, I can assist you with any areas, 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, Hunter’s Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Westshore Yacht Club, St. Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate…contact me!


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The Five Little Words Home Sellers Should NEVER Say…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Sellers, Tampa Real Estate Market

When a homeowner lists their home for sale in Tampa, or anywhere in the world, they generally express one of several phrases to the listing agent:

1. I am relocating to another city, so price it to sell quickly or

2. I am starting to look for a new house in Tampa; price it in line with the other homes in the neighborhood, so it will sell in a reasonable amount of time orthose five little words that Sellers should NEVER say

3. I am not in a hurry! They will often use the words, I need to get X dollars , or Ill wait for my price , or one of any number of things that clearly expresses an unrealistic expectation of a final selling price for their home. Those words are the kiss of death .

Those unmotivated sellers , in this buyers market, will be one of Bellamythe last homes to sell in a market filled with inventory that is priced right, or priced below market value, in order to sell quickly. The longer a home sits on the market, the lower the ultimate sales price will be.

Savvy real estate agents should not list properties with sellers who are not willing to price their properties according to current market value, or agree to follow the sales trends and make price reductions accordingly. In the words of Kelly Clarkson Just Walk Away .

The Real Estate market in Tampa is showing signs of recovery. An increasing number of buyers are looking for homes and many International Buyers are taking advantage of the exchange rate of the Euro vs. the Dollar and are heading to Florida to buy the bargains available in the market. Homes that are well-priced will be the first to sell!

If you are selling YOUR home in the Tampa Bay Area, or on the Clearwater, or Gulf Beaches, and would like to be IN the market, instead of ON the marketcontact me today!

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, Westshore Yacht Club, St. Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!


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How To Sell Your Home in A Buyer’s Market…Tampa Real Estate Market News

Filed under: How to, Real Estate News, Sellers, Tampa Real Estate Market

In the Tampa real estate market, we are experiencing the first buyers market in nearly a decade. For some sellers, this is their first experience selling in a buyers market. What can you do to position your home in Tampa to sell in a reasonable amount of time?

1. Spruce it up!

Many homeowners dont see the flaws in their own home. Ask your agent, and several others, to objectively look at your yard and the exterior of your home. Curb appeal is critical, so paint the exterior, make any rotted wood or roof repairs and plant some flowers to make the home inviting. Homes with neutral colors inside are also more appealing. Clean out the clutter, too. Make sure the closets are neat. Rent a local storage space, if you need to.
2. Get a Home Inspection

Hire a Professional Home Inspector to check for any defects and make the necessary repairs prior to listing your home. YouNewlisting can provide potential buyers with the inspection report and the list of repairs.

3. Check for Open Permits

The latest version of the Florida Real Estate contract(FAR 9) calls for Sellers to verify that all work on their home was done with proper permits and that all permits have been closed. Failure to do this in a timely manner can cause the cancellation of your contract, so be prepared and get the information in advance. You can find more information in my previous article on the FAR-9 contract.

4. Neutralize it!

Buyers need to imagine themselves living in your home, so remove as many of your personal touches as possible. A Gator room is appealing to a Gator, but probably not to a Seminole. The same goes for any religious items, political items or suggestive photos. When I was shopping for my first home in Tampa, many years ago, there was a home with a large photograph of the owner in her bridal lingerie . UGH! It was something that should have been removed before they put their home on the market.

5. Remove your PetsPu_g

A dog, or cat, that bothers the buyers when they try to look at your home will send them runnning! Make plans for your pets to be caged, or out of the house, so the buyers have plenty of time to look without being disturbed.

Sk_unk6. Get Rid of Any Odors

I wrote a great article about the many ways to get odors out of your home. Dogs and Smokers are tough to cover up, but you need to make your home sweet-smelling.

7. Price It Right

Pricing your home right is the key in this market. Buyers are looking at the recent sales in each neighborhood and they want to pay the lowest price, not the highest price per square foot. If you want to have more traffic than the competition, price it 5 10% below them.

8. Be Flexible

A buyers market means low offers. Dont be insulted. Be Patient and make a reasonable counter-offer. If they are serious about buying your house, you should be able to work it out.

9. Be Willing to Pay Some Closing Costs

Lenders are being more stringent with loan qualifications in this market. Your willingness to pay some of the buyers closing costs will increase the number of buyers who are willing to consider your home.


Hire an agent with experience in a buyers market! That would be someone who has worked full-time in Real Estate for more than 10 years! Ask the right questions. Over 80% of all buyers are shopping for homes on the Internet, so be sure your agent is tech savvy and not depending on newspaper advertising, or open houses, to sell your home. Be willing to put your home on a lockbox , if that is what your agent recommends. Once you hire a professional, you must be willing to listen to their advice.

For advice on selling YOUR home in a buyer’s market, or a FREE Market Analysis, please contact me.

If you enjoy reading The Real Estate Sizzle and would like to subscribe via email, click here.

If you are looking for a house in Tampa, South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Riverview, New Tampa, Westchase, Odessa, or any of the Tampa suburubs…or manybe a condo on Clearwater Beach, I can help!

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Best Places to Eat in Tampa…

Filed under: Fun and Frolic, Real Estate News, Restaurants in Tampa, Things to do in Tampa

After buying a home in Tampa, you need to find all of the best places to eat! On The Real Estate Sizzle, we do lots of polling about our Reader’s “Favorite” Places to eat. Here are some of the recent winners:

The Best Steakhouse
The Best Sushi
The Best Pizza

If you enjoyed this article, you might like Great Places to Eat in Tampa.

If you would like to learn more about Tampa’s Neighborhoods, or you are considering a move to the Tampa area and would like more information about the “Best Places” for YOU to live in Tampa, please contact me.

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Moving to Tampa? Will You Need Flood Insurance?

Filed under: Flood Insurance, Flood Zones in Tampa, Florida Real Estate, Insurance, Real Estate News, South Tampa

The Latest News on Moving to Tampa, Living in Tampa, or Buying Real Estate anywhere in the World…every day on The Real Estate Sizzle…

One of the first questions every Homebuyer asks me, when they are moving to Tampa, is Do I Need Flood Insurance? The answer: YES. While a mortgage company may Bayshore_floodonly REQUIRE a homeowner to carry flood insurance in certain flood zones, , here are some facts every homeowner should know. Just a glimpse of flooded Bayshore Boulevard tells the story

1.One in Four flood claims, are in a low -moderate risk zone! Chances are good that nearly 25% of those homeowners did not have flood insurance because it was not REQUIRED by their lenders.

2. A car can be swept away by just 2 feet of water!

3. Flash floods occur in all 50 states! I am sure you recall the flash floods that have occurred in the U.K. and various parts of the U.S…areas that are NOT flood zones.

4. Homeowners Insurance generally will not cover rising water . That coverage requires a separate flood insurance policy.

5. You must add contents coverage to a flood insurance policy, if you want your belongings to be covered.

6. Premiums in low-risk areas are very reasonable, but damage from a flood is costlydo you want to take that chance?

7. It takes 30 days for insurance to take effect, so do not wait until a storm is coming to call your insurance agent.

For more infomation on Flood Insurance, visit

If you enjoyed this article, you may want to read my series on Hurricane Preparedness:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

If you are buying a condominium, most of your insurance on the building is generally covered under your Monthly Maintenance Fees.

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Channelside, 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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How to Keep Your Home and Yard Free of Unwanted Pests!

Filed under: How to

If you are moving to Florida, or buying a home in Tampa, chances are good that you will encounter some “pests” in your home, and your yard.

As a child, I spent my summers at my grandparents’ lakefront cottage in the Berkshires. The woods are filled with creepy, crawly thingssnakes, mice, ticksEEEWW. I hate them! Living in Florida, you can add roaches to the mix! I try to eliminate the use of pesticides, in my diet and around my home, but that doesnt mean I have to live with pests here are a few natural ways to keep the critters away

SnakesMoth crystals are a natural deterrent. Spread them around your yard frequently. Planting marigolds and basil around the yard is supposed to help, as well.

AntsSprinkle cream of tartar and crushed red pepper to keep them away.Rodent

RoachesBoric acid and Bay leaves will keep them away. Boric acid is toxic to pets, so be careful. Baking soda is a good substitute.

RodentsDryer Sheets placed in the attic or around any openings will keep them out! If you have a cottage that sits vacant for several months, be sure to place some dryer sheets around before you close it up for the season.

TickTicksYes, there are ticks in Florida. And, if you have purchased bags of mulch, you are likely to have added some ticks to your yard, because ticks love to breed in mulch! Tobacco Dust is an effective pesticide, which you may be able to find in some of the Cigar Factories in Ybor City, as is baking soda. Lyme Disease, and other tick-borne diseases are very serious and sometimes hard to detect (take it from a Lyme survivor)a tick problem is serious, so you may need to treat your yard with Diazanon, if the natural methods dont work.

If you have other natural ideas for Pest Control, please post them in the comments section below!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, or anywhere in the World. For the latest listings in the Tampa area, condos on Clearwater Beach, or a villa in Italy, just contact me.

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Killer Views and Close to Downtown Tampa? Bayshore Boulevard!

Filed under: Best Places in Tampa, Places to Live, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate

If you are looking for a palace in the sky , and fabulous water views, in Tampa, the obvious choice is one of the buildings on Bayshore Boulevard. Busy professionals, empty nesters and frequent travelers, often prefer to live a low maintenance lifestyle in one of the high-rise buildings on Bayshore Boulevard. Just 5 minutes to Downtown and 15 Bayshoreviewsminutes to the airport, it is a great locationwith amazing views!

Step out onto the Bayshore in the morning, for a stroll on the longest contiguous sidewalk in the world! You can walk, or bike, right into downtown Tampa, or over the bridge to Davis Islands.

The Luxury Market is still brisk in Tampa! There are currently only 18 units over 1.0 Million, available in the several buildings on Bayshore. In that price range, 5 units have sold in the past six months, and two others are currently under contract.

If you are moving to Tampa, or considering moving to a condo on Bayshore, contact me to see what building best suits YOUR lifestyle!

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Happy Valentines Day…Make it Special!

Filed under: Real Estate News

Happy Valentines Day! This is my favorite holidayforget Turkey on Thanksgiving, or Fireworks on the 4th of July, I like the one day in the year that is all about heartsand flowers, of course!

My children awoke to heart-shaped waffles on love adorned plates for breakfast, and later they will be feasting on heart-shaped brownies! They roll their eyes at me, every year, about all the love stuff on this day, but its all part of the fun!

Children learn what they live, so I am hoping to pass on many loving traditions to my children, that will survive for generations.

Send some heart-felt wishes to all the special people in your lives todayit just might make their day! Thanks to the secret admirer for the lovely arrangement of rosesthat made MY day!

You COULD also buy your sweetheart a new home in Tampa, or anywhere in the Worldas a surprise! Let me know if I can help!

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Enjoy Life in Tampa Bay at Westshore Yacht Club

Filed under: Buyers, Florida Real Estate, Real Estate News, Relocation, South Tampa, Tampa, Where is Jackie Now?

If you are moving to Tampa, or checking out the latest news on the Tampa Real Estate Market, one of the newest developments in South Tampa is Westshore Yacht Club, a gated community which fronts on Tampa Bay. Buyers can Wyc-1choose from Townhomes, Condominiums and Single Family Homes, starting in the 300’s and has a variety of housing styles from Mediterranean to Traditional. The condominium units in the Castillo Towers have front to back views of the bay and downtown Tampa with prices starting in the 500’s. Yac_ht

The neighborhood is just 10 miles from the airport or downtown and an easy drive across the bay to downtown St. Petersburg. A waterfront community, Westshore Yacht Club has 149 floating concrete docks, so it is definitely a boaters paradise.

The Bay Club, call it a country club on the bay features a dining room, billiard room, cigar patio, fitness room, mens and ladies spas, pool, outdoor and indoor barswhat a place! It recently opened…with rave reviews!

Westshore Yacht Club is the perfect lifestyle!

For more information on Westshore Yacht Club, give me a call at (813)629 5757 or send me an email [email protected]

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Cheval…A Golf Community in Tampa

Filed under: Golf Course Communities in Tampa, Real Estate News, Relocation, Tampa Neighborhoods

Another article in my series on Golf Course Communities.

Cheval is a gated, upscale deed-restricted community located 15 miles north of downtown Tampa. Easily accessible from the Veterans Expressway, and surrounded by acres of conservation areas, the community offers security and privacy, along with a variety of activities, Tampa_5including golf and tennis.

Cheval is home to two of the most desirable golf courses in the area, The Cheval Golf and Country Club and the Tournament Players Club, TPC, which is home to the Outback Steakhouse Pro-am tournament every year.

Chev_1Home prices in Cheval range from the 400s in Cheval East, to the 1 2 Million range in Cheval West. Many homes sit on conservation lots, ponds, or have golf course views.

For more information about Cheval, or any other golf course community in Tampa, please contact me.

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