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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, 2008

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“We’re In The Cone”…”It’s In The Box”…How a Hurricane Track Affects Your Tampa Real Estate Closing

Filed under: Real Estate News

A little lesson about “Boxes”, “Cones” and other “Hurricane Lingo” that can affect closing on your home in Tampa, or anywhere in the State of Florida.

GustavtrackTampa was lucky last week, as Tropical Storm Fay zig-zagged her way across the State of Florida, dumping over 20 inches of rain in some areas, we barely got a sprinkle! While parts of the State are still flooded, yet another storm, Hurricane Gustav is already aiming for the Gulf of Mexico.

Why is that important to anyone buying a home in Tampa, or anywhere in Florida, over the next week, or so? If you overheard any Real Estate agents chatting over lunch today, the conversation might have gone something like this….Realtor A: ”What’s going on with Gustav?”… Realtor B:  “It should be in the “Box” later today.  Realtor C:  “Are we in the “Cone”?  Realtor A: “Not at this point, but we need to watch it, because we are on the East Side of the “Cone” right now and that is not good.  Cone? Box?  What, on earth, does all of that mean to the homebuyer coming from out of State where “hail” is the worst natural disaster they have ever seen!

Look at the illustration to the right.  This is a tracking map of the 5-day projected path, as “predicted” as of 2 pm Wednesday, from NOAA.  For the first time, this shows the West Coast of Florida is now in the “Cone”.  Any area in the Cone may be affected by the storm, so Floridians need to keep an eye on it.  Any one closing on a home in Florida, during the next few days, who has not yet secured homeowner’s insurance is likely not going to be able to.

WHY? All insurance binding is suspended when a storm is in the “Box” (see below), the “boxed area in the Atlantic and Gulf regions, and when the “Cone” shows that any part of the State of Florida may be Hurricaneboxaffected.

So, even if you are closing on a home in Tampa, and the storm is expected to only brush through Miami, you will not be able to get insurance and your closing will be delayed.

Additionally, Flood Insurance does NOT go into effect until 30 days after the policy is written. 

So, there you have it…the “Boxes” and “Cones” of Hurricane Season mean…get your insurance policy as soon as you are under contract!

Need help finding the perfect home in Tampa, Clearwater, or any neighborhood in the Tampa Bay area?  Contact me today!


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Is a “Pool Home” More Desirable in the Tampa Real Estate Market?

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, Luxury Homes in Tampa, MLS Listings in Tampa, Tampa Real Estate Market

Tampa summers are HOT and HUMID and enjoying a refreshing drink, while relaxing by the  pool, in your backyard, is a great way to cool off after a long, hot day!  I always counsel buyers to choose a “pool home” over a “non-pool home”, for resale value!

Recent sales in the Tampa Real Estate Market show the “value” of a “pool” increases with the value of the home.  You can see the percentage of homes sold in 2008, with, and without pools in various price ranges.

      Price range            Homes Sold            Percentage of “Pool Homes”

     $350–500K                 3351                         63%

     $501–750K                 1543                         72%

     Over 750K                 1212                         82%

You can see, as the price for a Single Family Home in the Tampa Real Estate Market climbs, so does the desire for a pool!

Isn’t this a FABUTampapoolLOUS pool?  The asking price for this home in an exclusive, gated subdivision in Tampa? Over 20 Million! 

For information on Luxury Homes in Tampa, or pool homes in any Tampa neighborhood, contact me today!

For more information about the Tampa Real Estate market, Tampa Neighborhoods, including Culbreath Isles. South Tampa, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Channelside, 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 contact me!

Listing Photo courtesy of MLS idx


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Will The Choice For Vice President Decide Your Vote? Tampa Real Estate News and More!

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, Moving to Tampa, Real Estate News, Schools in Tampa, Tampa Real Estate, Things to Ponder

Let’s take a little break from the Tampa Real Estate Market today! I love politics and this is definitely the most interesting political year in my lifetime! The Vice Presidential candidates are about to be announced and there has been much speculation about whether, or not, the VP choices will affect the election results. With an estimated 14% of the voters still “undecided”, I think the VP choice will make a difference. And, of course, I have an opinion about “who” would make the best Vice Presidential choice, politically and strategically.

Let’s take a poll…Do you think the choice for Vice President will influence your vote? You can leave me a comment, too!

<a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/871249/” >Will The Choice for Vice President Decide Your Vote in the Presidential Election?</a> <br /> <span style=”font-size:9px;”> (<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”> surveys</a>)</span>

Moving to Tampa? Need help finding the best Neighborhood in Tampa? Contact me today!


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When a Storm is Approaching Tampa, Do You Need to Evacuate? Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, Flood Zones in Tampa, Gated Communities in Tampa, Golf Course Communities in Tampa, Hunter\'s Green Homes, Hyde Park Real Estate, Jackie Colson-Miller, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Markets and Shoppng, MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, Moving to Tampa, Relocation, Tampa Real Estate Agent, Tampa Real Estate Market, Waterfront Homes in Tampa

One of the most important questions for homebuyers in the Tampa Real Estate Market is:  “Will I need to Evacuate if a Hurricane is approaching?”

Areas that are in close proximity to the water, are the first to be evacuated.  South Tampa, including Davis Islands, includes many areas that are Flood Zone “A”, which is a mandatory evacuation zone. The threat of storm surge is greatest in those low-lying areas.

You can check the Hillsborough County (Tampa Area) Evacuation map here!

For storm tracking, visit MY favorite site!

For more information on the Tampa Real Estate Market, Tampa Neighborhoods, or moving to Tampa, please contact me today!

Are you looking for assistance in choosing the best neighborhood in Tampa for your lifestyle? 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 Estate contact me!

 


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Do You Need Flood Insurance in the Tampa Real Estate Market?

Filed under: Tampa Real Estate

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…

We are in Hurricane Season in Florida. Tropical Storm Fay whipped through the state without much damage, but a Category 2, 3, or 4 Hurricane, like Charley in 2004, can cause MAJOR damage and flooding. Though Tampa has not been hit by a MAJOR storm in many years, we still need to prepare when a storm heads into the Gulf of Mexico. 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, where my office is located, 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! Look at the tragedy of the flooding in Iowa and other midwestern states recently. Many of them had no insurance because the risk of flooding was very low.

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 FloodSmart.gov.

For information on the Tampa Real Estate Market, or any neighborhood in Tampa, please call me at 813.629.5757 or send me an email!


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Orders to MacDill Air Force Base? Find the Best Neighborhoods in the Tampa Real Estate Market

Filed under: Best Places in Tampa, Buyers, CDD in Tampa, Cheval Homes, Davis Islands Real Estate, Gated Communities in Tampa, Golf Course Communities in Tampa, Hunter\'s Green Homes, Hyde Park Real Estate, MacDill AFB, Moving to Tampa, South Tampa, Tampa Home Search, Tampa MLS Listings, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate Market

The Latest News on the Tampa Real Estate Market, every day, on The Real Estate Sizzle!

Tampa is home to MacDill Air Force Base, which includes Central Command, Centcom, as well as SoCom.  The entire Tampa Bay area is filled with military families from all branches, as well as civilians who are employed as military consultants.

This summer,  I have been busy relocating several military families into the Tampa area. In the Tampa Real Estate Market, there are many neighborhood choices for military families.

Their  questions are always the same…Where are the best school districts in Tampa and…Which neighborhoods are affordable, and convenient, to MacDill Air Force Base?

 Families with children are often on a budget and need a combination Boxes_moveof larger homes, good school districts and reasonable prices. Most families dont want to commute more than 30 40 minutes to get to MacDill AFB, so that narrows their focus to Westchase, New Tampa or the Brandon, Valrico, Riverview areas. For those with smaller families, singles, or couples, they may want to live close to the base in South Tampa. Housing prices are higher, but offer many options with condos, townhomes and single-family homes in historic neighborhoods. Living in South Tampa keeps them close to the base, as well as downtown Tampa, and just minutes to the airport, and the neighborhoods include some of the top-rated schools in the U.S.

 Check on the Tampa Neighborhoods section on right sidebar on The Real Estate Sizzle, or you can search for any category in the search box on the right, for more information on the Tampa Real Estate Market.

You can read some of my previous articles on Tampa Neighborhoods:

Palma Ceia…the “Plant High School” neighborhood

Hyde Park..a historic neighborhood in the Tampa Real Estate Market

Golf Course Communities:

Cheval

Hunter’s Green

Westchase

Davis Islands

I can help with your move to any Tampa Neighborhood, or provide information on the Tampa School Districts, contact me today!


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Property Tax Amendment Removed From the November Ballot…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Real Estate News

The Latest News on The Tampa Real Estate Market and Property Taxes in Florida! 

Here we go again! A Leon County judge removed “Amendment 5” from the November ballot. The proposed amendment was written by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission and would eliminate the portion of property taxes that pay for schools.  It would also increase the sales tax by one cent and non-homestead properties would have a reduced cap on their assessed valuation.  Judge John Cooper ruled the question was misleading to the voters!

This gives me the perfect opportunity to get on my political soapbox today!  Maybe Florida voters should spend some time educating themselves on the issues, and the candidates, before they vote. My guess is…many voters, including Florida voters, head to the ballot box “clueless” about what they are voting for, or what the candidates background, or stance is on most issues. Maybe they should spend more time watching the news, instead of reality television shows. 

One has to wonder what can possibly be done to “educate” Florida voters?

First, we had the 2000 presidential election “fiasco” where some Florida voters didn’t know how to use a paper “punch” ballot.

Then, we switched to electronic voting machines, to eliminate the “hanging chads” of the paper ballot, but, this year, the electronics were eliminated, and back to the paper ballots we go. I think now we have to “fill in the dot”. Should we assume that if a third grade student can take the FCAT exam by filling in the “dots”, that registered voters in the state of Florida should be able to do the same?  Elections officials are already warning voters that the “dots” must be filled in…no “x’s” or “dashes” allowed.  I can already envision the November election nightmare in Palm Beach County!

Maybe we need to pass legislation requiring all registered voters must “pass” a class on “filling in the dots” before we allow them to vote.  How about requiring reading skills at the 8th grade level? Sound Reasonable? Let’s call it the FVAT…Florida Voters Assessment Test. Should someone who doesn’t have the capacity to understand the questions on a ballot, or the ability to properly fill out a ballot, have the right to vote? That’s my thought for the day. What do you think?


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Tampa Real Estate…Live in Beach Park or Sunset Park…Neighborhoods In the Plant High School District

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, Davis Islands Real Estate, Hyde Park Real Estate, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Moving to Tampa, Real Estate News, South Tampa, Tampa Home Search, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Schools, Waterfront Homes in Tampa

Many Families are searching the Tampa Real Estate Market for homes in highly-rated school districts in Tampa.  The Plant High School District is always at the top of that list.  Here is another article in my series on “Plant High School Neighborhoods.”

Beach Park and Sunset Park, two well-established South Tampa neighborhoods, run East and West of Westshore Boulevard and border Tampa Bay.  Large lots and grandfather oaks line the winding streets that Tampabeachparkhave been popular since their development in the 1950’s.  Brick ranches, Mediterranean and Traditional styled-homes fill these neighborhoods which include waterfront homes in Beach Park Isles and Sunset Park Isles, commonly known as the “fingers”.

Grady and Dale Mabry Elementary Schools, Coleman Middle School and Plant High School are all “A” rated, making Beach Park and Sunset Park a top choice for families with children.

Prices range from $400,000 to several million. For a list of the homes available in Beach Park, or Sunset Park, you can contact me today!

You can read some of my previous articles about Tampa neighborhoods:

New Suburb Beautiful

Parkland Estates

Culbreath Isles

For more information about the Tampa Real Estate market, Tampa Neighborhoods, including Culbreath Isles. South Tampa, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Channelside, 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 contact me!


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Social Media Marketing…How Does it Benefit the Real Estate Industry?…Tampa Real Estate Market News

Filed under: Tampa Real Estate Agent, Tampa Real Estate Market

The Latest News on the Real Estate Industry and the Tampa Real Estate Market, every day, on The Tampa Real Estate Sizzle….

I was recently interviewed by Paul Chaney, known throughout the Real Estate Industry as a “Marketing Guru”, about the role of Social Media Marketing, with respect to the Real Estate Industry.

For the “novice” to Social Media, some of the most familiar social media sites would be Facebook, Twitter and My Space.  I use Facebook, Zimbio and My Blog Log, primarily, to stay connected to my peers in the Real  Estate Blogosphere, and promote my articles about the Tampa Real Estate Market, and International Real Estate, to a wider audience.

VFflyer, a “virtual flyer” that you find on the right sidebar, displays listings and promotes them to many internet sites, including Yahoo, Googlebase, and many others, insuring a “wide reach” that is interactive, and attractive.

To stay ahead of the curve in the Real Estate Industry, you must stay on top of the latest in technology and reach clients “around the world”, in a variety of ways.

Writing interesting, and informative articles, on The Real Estate Sizzle is challenging,time-consuming and rewarding…I absolutely “love it”!

Thanks to Paul Chaney, for the interview, and the “kudos”…Thanks to Jim Cronin, of The Real Estate Tomato, who took my  design ideas, made me “sizzle” and coached me to the top of the Real Estate Blogging heap!  Thanks to the “Tomato” staff, Jason and Chris, who keep my site running smoothly and tolerate all my inquiries about the latest widgets!  But, the greatest thanks goes to the thousands of readers, who find me on Google, or read The Real Estate Sizzle every day.  I love your inquiries and your comments. Stay tuned!


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Find the Best Schools and The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Tampa…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Best Places in Tampa, Buying a House in Tampa, Channelside Tampa, Davis Islands Real Estate, First-Time Homebuyers, Golf Course Communities in Tampa, Historic Tampa, Hunter\'s Green Homes, Hyde Park Real Estate, Luxury Homes in Tampa, MacDill AFB, MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, Places to Live, Relocation, Schools in Tampa, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate Market, Tampa Schools, Westchase

School starts in Hillsborough County (Tampa) on August 18th! It’s “relocation season” in the Tampa Real Estate Market, as families are trying to coordinate buying a house in Tampa, selling a house in another area and getting their children settled for the start of the school year in Tampa.

The big question is…”Where are the best schools and the best neighborhoods in Tampa?

For more in-depth information on Tampa Schools and Tampa Neighborhoods, you can read some of my previous articles:

Golf Course Communities:

Cheval

Hunter’s Green

Westchase

Davis Islands

Tampa Schools

Relocation to MacDill Air Force Base

Hyde Park

Find the Right Neighborhood in Tampa

For more information on any Tampa Neighborhood, Tampa School Districts, or help with your relocation to the Tampa Bay area, please contact me today.


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