Tampa Bay Real Estate Blog

Want to know what is happening in the local Real Estate market?  Joseph Kipping created a Blog about the Tampa Bay Real Estate market for Buyers and Sellers.  We have agents on our team who specialize in the buying and selling side of real estate and will work with you through every step of the way.  Real Estate information you can use.

Oct. 17, 2018

Winter Is Coming

Every year they descend on Florida like the morning dew...They bring with them their smiles, accents and cars. They fill our shops, restaurants, neighborhoods and streets. Some call them winter visitors, some fondly refer to them as snow birds. For some it will be their first time; sadly for some, it may be their last. If you are anything like me, you look forward to this annual migration of friends. But, how do you prepare for this seasonal transplanting of our beloved Florida compatriots? Below are a few tips to make this year’s peopling successful and worry free.

Call ahead and find out when they intend to arrive. For some, the journey is long. Knowing a date of expected arrival will give you a timeline to accomplish a few small acts of kindness to make their return pleasant.

Sweep their driveway. We have a lot of wind and rain in Florida which can leave debris piled up in their driveway and entryway. Sweeping their driveway is a simple way to lessen the stress of their approach and show them you care.

Leave a potted plant or flowers in front of their entrance. Nothing says, “Welcome back” or “We thought of you” like a lovely gift awaiting them when they get there. Coming home to an empty house can be daunting. Having their second home closed up all summer can leave it musty and feeling dank. If you have keys, open it up for a bit, spray air freshener, place flowers in the rooms...these are all ways to brighten the entrance and begin their annual visit with a smile.

Place a food basket with a meal prep for their first meal at home, or snacks they enjoy, in the kitchen. Not having the, “What do you want to eat?” conversation among themselves, upon arrival, can also lessen the stress of their pilgrimage back to Florida and set them up for a successful stay.

Complete all your errands a couple days before hand. Sometimes being on-hand as your winter friends settle-in can be a real blessing for them. Hospitality shown by your presence will reinforce the welcoming atmosphere of our splendid home state of Florida. Remember, you are lucky to live here year-round, share that luck and love with your winter visitor friends. If they are looking to make Florida their permanent, year-round home, or if you know anyone who is interested in purchasing/selling a winter home, pass along our phone number and web address - we promise to help make their transition as simple and smooth as possible (Joe: 813-321-(HOME) 4663; Joe’s Cell: 813-784-0141 main office: 813-600-1604 and https://www.tampabayhome.com/).

The roads will get busier, the lines at the stores will get longer; take it all in stride. Enjoy the friendship and even local economy boost our snow bird friends give us while they are here. Most of all, remember to smile. They just made a long trek back and will be oh-so happy to see you.


Winter is coming...

Posted in Local
April 6, 2018

10 Reasons To List With A Realtor


March 23, 2018

Two Key Strategies to Sell Your Home for the Most Money Possible

All home sellers want to sell their homes for the most money possible. In our current market, even the most savvy homeowners often sell themselves short in their home sale. There are two tried and true strategies proven to glean the most profit when selling your home.

1. Price it (just a little) too low. Logically, we think pricing our home a little above market value, will leave room for negotiations. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. If you price your home a little below market value, it is more likely to create a bidding war between several offers which in turn can result in a higher final sale. Let the buyers do the negotiating for you by driving the price upward as they compete to win the deal.

2. Hire a real estate professional. People think if they sell their home themselves (For Sale By Owner, a.k.a. FSBO), they will make more money because they will not have to pay a commission. The research tells otherwise. Not only do homes listed by real estate experts sell faster than FSBOs, but also at a higher price. Realtors have the industry resources to market your home to more places and with greater frequency, therefore they are able to reach more potential home buyers. Realtors are also held to the highest standard to be certain your home selling documents are compliant with local laws, thus saving you attorney fees when the time comes to close your sale. Statistically, homes sold in 2017 as FSBOs sold for 6% lower than homes sold with a realtor. The data also suggests buyers who sought out FSBOs over realtor listed homes, were bargain hunters who wanted to negotiate lower sale prices with the owner.

When it comes to selling your home, there are many factors to consider. Where will you move, are you downsizing or upsizing, is it economically prudent to purchase a new home elsewhere, or rent while you find your perfect dream home (see my blog: http://bit.ly/2IhrKeL to find out which is more expensive, renting or buying). These two simple strategies can save you money and time while producing the highest profit when you sell your home.

At The Tampa Bay Home Team, our experts are ready to assist you whether you are looking to buy a home at optimum value, or sell your home at the highest profit. Call us today, we are here to help.

March 9, 2018

7 Common Home Selling Mistakes

Posted in Sellers
Feb. 20, 2018

Time is Almost Up to File for Your 2017 Homestead Exemption!

If you purchased a home in Florida in 2017 and occupy that home, you may qualify for a Homestead Exemption. This exemption could result in a savings of hundreds of dollars annually on your taxes. However, the deadline is quickly approaching - END OF BUSINESS DAY, MARCH 1, 2018.

If you purchased a home in Hillsborough County, Click here.

If you purchased a home in Pinellas County, Click here.

If you purchased a home in Pasco County, Click here.

If you purchased a home in any other county, and would like to know how to file for your Homestead Exemption, please call us at: 813-600-1604.

Feb. 9, 2018

Three Things You Should be Doing Today if You Want to Sell Your Home Later.

Are you thinking about selling your home this year, next year, or anytime in the future? If so, there are three strategic things you should be doing now.

  • Organizing

  • Keeping up on small repairs

  • Cultivating curb appeal

If you find getting organized is difficult, staying organized is a bigger challenge. I can speak to this fact. So many people purchase organizational items, start a board on Pinterest, and have good intentions to follow through, but do not know where to start. The answer is simple, start with one cabinet, one drawer, one closet and work out from there. Take one room at a time, one weekend at a time and reward yourself as you progress. Some tips: if you have not used it/wore it in a year - get rid of it, if it is chipped or broken in anyway - toss it, if it is expired - throw it away. Doing this will give you a jump start on organizing your home.

That dripping faucet might not bother you, neither does the dent in the wall from when your child opened the door too fast. However, to potential buyers - these are a big turn off. Keeping up with small repairs around the house will keep your home in sell condition. It will also make it easier to list, when the time comes, because you won’t be scrambling to fix them when you are ready to put your home on the market. So, touch up the paint, clean up the baseboards and fix the dripping faucet.

You don’t need to hire a landscape architect to give your home curb appeal. Simply plant a few plants, keep your pretty flower pots full of lovely blooms and limit your lawn ornaments so your front yard does not appear 7653 Seafield Lane, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545cluttered. If you have weeds coming through your mulch or rocks, pull them. Start small, stand back and look at your home from a potential buyer’s eyes. Check out this example of simple, yet beautiful example of curb appeal.

The effort you put into organizing, keeping up on small repairs and cultivating curb appeal will be well worth it when you decide it is time to sell your home. Based on average cost and return on investment (ROI), HomeGain.com reports that each of these three low-cost, do-it-yourself home improvements will net between 100-400% ROI to the seller.  When that time comes, contact us. Our experts will guide you through the entire transaction from beginning to end. Getting you the most for your investment, and making the entire process streamlined, is our commitment to you.


Feb. 8, 2018

Bidding Wars Abound… How Long Will They Continue?

Just like with any product or service, the law of supply and demand impacts home prices. Any time that there is less supply than the market demands, prices increase.

In many areas of the country, the supply of homes for sale in the starter and trade-up home markets is so low that bidding wars have ensued, and the busy spring-buying season is just around the corner.

CoreLogic recently conducted an analysis on national home prices at the time of sale for their January 2018 MarketPulse Report and found that a third of homes sold for at least list price.

“The share selling above list price was almost three times the trough in January 2008 and represented more than one-fifth of total sales.”

Many markets in the western part of the country and around major cities are experiencing higher shares of homes selling above list price.

“San Francisco had the largest share of homes—76 percent—that sold for at least the list price, and Seattle and Los Angeles followed with 63 and 51 percent, respectively. Miami had the lowest share—16 percent—of homes selling at or above the list price.”

Increased demand during the spring and summer months, the traditionally busier seasons for real estate, will no doubt influence how many homes continue to sell over list price.

This should not be seen by sellers as permission to overprice their homes, though. Buyers are becoming more and more educated, especially those who have been searching for their dream homes for a while now while waiting for new inventory to come to market.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

Bottom Line

Without a large wave of new listings coming to market, buyers will continue competing with each other for the homes that are available. If you are thinking of selling your home, now may be the time to do so before more competition comes this spring. Let’s get together to determine the demand for your house in our area.

Feb. 7, 2018

Is it Less Expensive to Buy than Rent in Tampa Bay?

The struggle is real. Do you buy a home right now, or continue to rent? While there are many misconceptions about why a person thinks they should continue to rent - transient job status, inability to maintain a property, afraid to “take a risk” etc. - the overwhelming evidence shows it is fiscally prudent to purchase a home instead.  According to the Tampa Bay Times, people earning an average wage in the Tampa Bay area spend between 37% - 48.7% of their income on rent, whereas, home owners spend only 32% – 34.7%on their monthly mortgage. (http://bit.ly/2DVn8sk)

So why aren’t more people purchasing homes? One misconception is transient job status. In other words, they move a lot with their jobs. Purchasing a home is a great investment. As it continues to build equity, it continues to build wealth for your future. It is also necessary to our psychological wellbeing, to have a place to call home. Michael Schreiner, from Evolution Counseling, says it best, “where the existential meets the physiological, where the biological and spiritual align, is in the deep human need we all feel, at some level of awareness, to have a place to call home.” (http://bit.ly/2EdCkod)

Another misconception is some people do not feel they can maintain a property. There are many property options where the owners have minimal maintenance responsibilities. Some condo associations and even some HOAs include outdoor maintenance in their dues. Other properties simply do not have anything to maintain. And, of course, there are always the neighborhood youngsters willing to do projects around the house for extra money, so they can purchase an item their parents told them they would need to earn for themselves.

For those afraid to “take a risk”, the market has adjusted itself to more than compensate for past errors of judgment. When the recession hit in 2008-2009, the average American household lost a third of its net worth. (http://bit.ly/2DJgtRQ) The housing crash contributed, along with systemic factors already in play, to create a volatile environment of debt. Now, almost ten years after the start of the fall, the data shows the U.S. housing market has gained back $9 trillion in value. (http://bit.ly/2rPvZtT) Essentially, righting itself once more.


Therefore, if you are struggling with the decision to buy a home or continue to rent, investigate your buying options. Contact a trusted professional - we at Tampa Bay Home Team have over 65 five-star reviews on Zillow and have been a part of more than 1400 buying/selling real estate transactions over the last 15 years. We will work with you to find the perfect home for your family/budget needs. With constant changes in interest rates and property values on the rise … the time to buy is NOW.

Jan. 26, 2018

If You’re Considering Selling, ACT NOW!!

Definitely an aggressive headline. However, as the final data on the 2017 housing market rolls in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME!

How did we finish 2017?

  1. New-home sales were at their highest level in a decade.
  2. Sales of previously owned homes were at their highest level in more than a decade.
  3. Starts of single-family homes were their strongest in a decade and applications to build such properties advanced to the fastest pace since August 2007.

And Bloomberg Business just reported:

“America’s housing market is gearing up for a robust year ahead. Builders are more optimistic, demand is strong and lean inventory is keeping prices elevated.”

And the National Association of Realtors revealed that buyer traffic is stronger this winter than it was during the spring buying season last year.

The only challenge to the market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is less than a four-month supply of inventory. This represents a decrease in supply of 9.7% from the same time last year.

Bottom Line

With demand increasing and supply dropping, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Let’s get together to see whether that is the case in your neighborhood.


Jan. 19, 2018

91% Of Homes in Florida Have Positive Equity!

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that “over the past 12 months, 712,000 borrowers moved into positive equity.” This is great news, as the share of homeowners with negative equity (those who owe more than their home is worth), has dropped more than 20% since the peak in Q4 of 2009 (26%) to 4.9% today.

The report also revealed:

  • The average homeowner gained approximately $14,900 in equity during the past year.
  • Compared to Q3 2016, negative equity decreased 22% from 3.2 million homes, or 6.3% of all mortgaged properties.
  • U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all homeownershave seen their equity increase by a total of $870.6 billion since Q3 2016, an increase of 11.8%, year-over-year.

The map below shows the percentage of homes by state with a mortgage and positive equity. (The states in gray have insufficient data to report.)


Significant Equity Is on The Rise

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, believes this is great news for the “housing market.” He went on to say:

“Homeowner equity increased by almost $871 billion over the last 12 months, the largest increase in more than three years. This increase is primarily a reflection of rising home prices, which drives up home values, leading to an increase in home equity positions and supporting consumer spending.”

Of the 95.1% of homeowners with positive equity in the U.S., 82.9% have significant equity (defined as more than 20%). This means that more than three out of four homeowners with a mortgage could use the equity in their current home to purchase a new home now.


The map below shows the percentage of homes by state with a mortgage and significant equity. 

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who are unsure of how much equity you have in your home and are curious about your ability to move, let’s meet up to evaluate your situation.