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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, 2008

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Tampa Real Estate News…Don’t Forget to File For Homestead Exemption

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, Homestead Exemption, Moving to Tampa, Real Estate News

The Latest News and Information on the Tampa Real Estate Market, every Day!

Florida Law allows for up to $50,000 to be deducted from the assessed valuation for a primary residence, which can significantly lower your property tax bill.

In order to qualify for the Homestead Exemption, you must file an appication with the property appraisers office. You need only file once, and must reside in the home, on January 1, of the first year you are claiming the Homestead Exemption.

In Hillsborough County, in order to qualify, you must file your application prior to March 2, 2009.

You can download the forms, here, and then see the list of County offices where you can file the application for the Homestead Exemption.

Don’t wait…you will find long lines as it get’s closer to the deadline!

It’s a buyer’s market in Tampa!  I can help find the perfect home in any Tampa neighborhood!

Read some of my previous articles about finding the right neighborhood in Tampa!:

Tampa Homes from $300,000 to $500,000

Orders to MacDill Air Force Base? Find the Right Neighborhood!

Find the Best Schools and Best Neighborhoods in Tampa

Contact me today, for help with the Tampa Real Estate Market!


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Heading to Tampa Bay for the World Series? Where are the Best Restaurants in Tampa?

Filed under: Real Estate News

Tampa is “abuzz” with the Tampa Bay Rays playing in, and hosting, the World Series this week.  Hordes of baseball fans will descend on the Tampa Bay area, which means they will be looking for all of the best restaurants in Tampa, and the best places to eat in Clearwater!

Yes, I sell real estate in Tampa, but I also love great food!  Welcome, to all of the baseball fans who are in town this week!  Enjoy some of my suggestions for all of the great places to eat, all over the Tampa Bay area!

For the Phillies fans, you won’t find much “cheese steak”, but you can feast on just about anything else, at some of my favorite spots!

The Best Steakhouse in Tampa

Best Places to Eat in Tampa

Best Places to Eat in Clearwater

Best Pizza in Tampa Bay

Best Burger in Tampa

If you are just loooking to “hang out”…Downtown St. Pete is loads of fun!  You will find great shopping, restaurants, the Art Museum, movies and more!  Head over to Dino’s piano bar for a drink and listen to some great music , or enjoy some wine and nibbles at Tastings!

If you have any questions about where to go, or what to do while you are in the Tampa Bay area, or, if you are thinking about buying real estate in Tampa Bay, or just want to chat, send me an email!  Enjoy your Stay!

 


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The Tampa Real Estate Market…What is a CDD fee?

Filed under: Real Estate News

With Tampa Bay hosting the World Series this week, Tampa is “on the map” and I have gotten many inquiries from people who are considering moving to Tampa.  The Tampa Real Estate Market, especially homes in the suburbs, has a unique “fee”, or “tax” that out-of-town buyers are unfamiliar with. That is, what is known as a “CDD fee”.  What, exactly,  is a CDD fee?” Since that term is very unfamiliar to most buyers who are moving to Tampa from other cities, here is a brief explanation of CDD fees.

A CDD is short for Community Development District, which finances and manages community developments.

Tax-Free Bonds are issued to the developer to finance the cost of building the infrastructure of a development, including roads, utilities and many amenities including, pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, golf courses, etc. Homeowners in the development pay the costs of the CDD over the span of 15 to 30 years. There are a number of communities with CDD fees in Tampa, and throughout the State of Florida, so if you are looking for real estate in Tampa, or anywhere in Florida, you should know about these fees.

Can CDD fees go up? Yes. The CDD fees appear on the homeowners tax bill. Each Community has a CDD board, initially appointed by the developer, which decides whether to include additional assessments into the CDD fee. If a community decides to do additional Chev_1landscaping, revamp the golf course, add gates, or any other amenities, those costs may be added to the existing CDD fees. That would increase a total tax bill and increase the escrow required by your lender.

What can you do if you live in a community with a CDD fee? Stay informed. Know who the members of the CDD board are and attend any meetings regarding CDD fees.

 You can find a list of all communities with CDD fees in Florida here. For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, 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, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate contact me today!

 


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Search For Homes in The Tampa Real Estate Market

Filed under: Best Places in Tampa, Buying a House in Tampa, Channelside Tampa, Davis Islands Real Estate, First-Time Homebuyers, Hyde Park Real Estate, Luxury Homes in Tampa, MacDill AFB, MLS Listings in Tampa, MLS Search, Moving to Tampa, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market, Tampa Schools

Are you moving to Tampa, or searching for homes in Tampa?  Make your search MUCH easier by having the latest listings in Tampa delivered to your email address, as soon as they are listed!  It is a “Buyer’s Market”, but the best “bargains” are selling quickly.

You can get started on receiving all of the listings that meet your criteria in a matter of minutes…click here to receive the latest listings today!

For more information about the Tampa Real Estate market, Tampa Neighborhoods, including Culbreath Isles, MacDill AFB,  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, Houses in the Plant High School District, Tampa Schools, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa, the Best Tampa Neighborhoods, or International Real Estate contact me


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The ONE Thing You Should NEVER Do When Buying a Home in The Tampa Real Estate Market.

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, Tampa MLS Listings, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate Agent, 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 you are buying a home in the Tampa Real Estate market, or anywhere in the World, you should NEVER fail to get a Home Inspection done to check for any structural, or mechanical, defects in the home you are buying. With the number of “foreclosures” on the market being sold “as is”, it is VERY important that you have any home you are intending to buy inspected by a PROFESSIONAL Home Inspector.

Very often, buyers are trying to save money by having a “friend” who claims to be a contractor do the inspection. BAD IDEA. Home Inspectors are certified through ASHI, a professional association of Home Inspectors. They have specialized training, standards to uphold and checklists they can follow, eliminating the likelihood that they might “miss” something. While no inspector is perfect, the more training the inspector has, the more thorough he is likely to be in examining the home for any possible defects, especially those not visible to the untrained eye.

Davis_water

Occasionally, you will need to hire additional inspectors, depending on the home. A waterfront home generally will require a seawall inspection, or a dock inspection. Property in a rural area may warrant a septic inspection or well inspection.

Wood-burning fireplaces should really be inspected for any loose mortar, or creosote build-up. I recommend a local chimney sweep for those inspections. Radon inspections are common in many areas East of Tampa and that requires a cannister to be placed in the home for several days, then collected, and tested, for the presence of Radon Gas.

While the cost of inspections is not inexpensive, the cost of NOT uncovering a problem until after you are the homeowner can be HUGE. Ask your Real Estate Professional for the best inspectors, not the cheapest ones!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, or Real Estate Listings in the Tampa area, 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, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 If you would like to receive a list of homes in a certain price range…send me an email!


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What’s Happening in The Tampa Real Estate Market?

Filed under: Real Estate News

The latest news on the Tampa Real Estate Market, International Real Estate, and everything you want to know about moving to Tampa, or anywhere in the world, every day on The Real Estate Sizzle!

While many Americans are focused on the Stock Market news, the banking industry, or the Presidential election, others are focused on taking advantage of the “Buyer’s Market” in the housing industry! Yes, there are mortgages available, AND, yes, houses are selling in the Tampa Real Estate market!

The question is: What is Selling in Tampa?

Answer:  The “bargains”

No surprise, homebuyers, and investors, bought 932 properties in Hillsborough County in the past 30 days. Of those sales, 32% of the properties were pre-foreclosure, in foreclosure, or already “bank owned”!

While many people may be “waiting” for the “bottom” before they buy, we won’t know WHEN the bottom occurs, until it has already past.

My advice to buyers…start looking!  The prices are low, mortgage rates are low and you can get an FHA loan with as little as 3% downpayment.

My advice to sellers? Stay informed about the current prices and make price adjustments to stay competitive!

Looking for a “bargain” in any Tampa neighborhood?  Contact me today!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Why Foreclosures are “Easier” than Short Sales in the Tampa Real Estate Market

Filed under: Real Estate News

Foreclosures in Tampa…

Buyers in the Tampa Real Estate market are “bargain shopping” and many of them are asking about buying a “short sale”…a situation where the bank is willing to accept an amount that is less than the mortgage amount owed.

Many listings are being advertised as “short sales”, but unless the seller has an “agreed-upon” short sale price documented from the lender, the buyers are often looking at 60–90 days of negotiations with the lender, with no guarantee that the lender will agree to the sale.

Foreclosures, on the other hand, are alread BANK-OWNED.  The lender WANTS to sell the home, and sell it QUICKLY. Most lenders want to close the transaction in 30 days!

So, if you are looking for a “bargain”, you should focus on foreclosures, or houses that are priced at the low end for the neighborhood!  For a list of foreclosures in Tampa, or bargains in Tampa, 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!


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Big News Affects The Tampa Real Estate Market!

Filed under: Real Estate News

The big news in Tampa today is not about the Economic Crisis, or the Presidential Race.  The Hillsborough County School Board announced that it will be making “Boundary Changes” for a number of schools next year and specifically mentioned Plant High School in South Tampa! Plant High is one of the Top 100 High Schools in the U.S., and the Plant High School District is one of the most sought-after places to live in Tampa for families with children. I have lived, and worked, in the Plant High District for nearly 20 years.

The Current Boundaries for Plant High School take the district north of Kennedy Blvd. to I-275 and south through the neighborhoods of Bayshore Beautiful and west to Bel Mar Shores and the bay. I can guarantee there are parents throughout South Tampa who are already forming a coalition to fight the boundary changes, since South Tampa Real Estate values are higher in the “Plant” District, any boundary changes are bound to affect housing values in certain South Tampa Neighborhoods. 

Where will they move the boundaries?  That will be a heated discussion!  Since South Tampa consists of everything south of Kennedy Blvd., that would be the “natural” boundary change. However, that would virtually eliminate much of the “minority” student population and could be considered “segregation”.  It would change the demographics at the school and eliminate the majority of students who are “bused in”.  Moving the southern boundary farther north, would eliminate the Bayshore Beautiful neighborhood, which is filled with pricey homes and many prominent “movers and shakers” in Tampa!  As Real Estate Agents, we often joke that someone influential must have lived on Chapin Avenue, since it is such an odd place for a southern boundary in the Plant District! The Bayshore Beautiful Homeowner’s Association meets tonight at 7 pm…I am betting this item is on the agenda!

Several years ago, Westchase Elementary School went through some boundary changes and THOUSANDS of parents showed up to protest!

Though I can’t predict WHERE the new boundaries will be, I CAN predict many heated discussions on the issue! My advice?  If you live close to the “fringes” of the Plant High District, this might be a good time to sell your house and move to the “center” of the District!  Davis Islands, Hyde Park, Palma Ceia, New Suburb Beautiful, Parkland Estates,  Beach Park and Sunset Park are pretty safe “bets”.

You can read more about living in South Tampa, and the Plant High School District, in some of my previous articles!

Buy A Home in the Plant High District

Buy A Home in Beach Park or Sunset Park

Hyde Park…The Historic District in Tampa

New Suburb Beautiful

Davis Islands

For help finding a home in the right neighborhood in Tampa, for your family, contact me today!


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Where Are The Best Schools in The Tampa Real Estate Market?

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, Cheval Homes, Davis Islands Real Estate, Golf Course Communities in Tampa, Historic Tampa, MLS Listings in Tampa, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market, Tampa Schools

Many families are searching for a home in the Tampa Real Estate Market. 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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Take a Break From the Tampa Real Estate Market Today…Watch the Vice-Presidential Debate

Filed under: Poll, Tampa Real Estate Agent, Tampa Real Estate Market, Where is Jackie Now?

I’m taking a little break from Tampa Real Estate for a few days and spending a long weekend in Seattle.  I’m looking forward to some cooler weather, some great seafood and some interesting political discussion about the vice-presidential debate.

If you have been reading The Real Estate Sizzle for a while, you know that I am logical, factual, opinionated and LOVE my career in Real Estate.  I also love politics, and this has been an especially exciting political year! However, with the mainstream media, it has been quite a challenge to sort out facts from fiction about the issues and the candidates!

While I am away, enjoy a few of my thought-provoking articles:

Facts and Distortions in the Media…On Wall Street…and In the Financial Industry Will Affect the Tampa Real Estate Market

The Presidential Election is Nearly Here…Do You Know the Candidates?

Will The Choice for Vice President Decide Your Vote?

How will I choose a President?  The same way I choose my friends and associates.  I will choose the candidate with integrity, experience, good values, and one who looks out for the long-term good of the country. I will choose a candidate who believes in keeping us safe from terrorists, wherever they may be. I will choose a candidate who does the right thing, even when it’s not the popular thing to do. I will look at the candidates’ friends, and associates, past and present, because “you are known by the company you keep”. That means I will not vote for anyone with ties to terrorists, radical groups or associates who “hate America”.  I will choose a candidate who tracks wasteful spending in Government and puts an end to it. And, lastly, I will choose a candidate who has a proven track record.  With the downfall of many companies on Wall Street recently, how many investors really checked the “track record” or the “management style” of the companies they invested in, or tracked their recent performances, including the behavior of the management, such as selling off their stock? Past accomplishments, not eloquent speeches,  are the best indicator of future success.  Life isn’t always about Real Estate, but it is always about “doing the right thing”!

My thoughts for the day…I’ll be back on Monday!


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