Monday, June 23, 2008

Motion VR technology is the next best thing to being there!

Tampa, Fl June 23, 2008.
Thinking of putting your house on the market and trying to find a way to stick out from the crowd of homes on the market? Well you might want to try Motion VR. MotionVR has developed a leading edge proprietary technology that is redefining today’s 360º online virtual tour business, and which has established a “first-of-its-kind” marketing tool. Unlike standard low-tech 360º panoramic tours, MotionVR provides online visitors with a “walk-through” tour allowing viewers to obtain a real perspective of what they would actually see if visiting a property or facility in-person. I've started to offer this to my higher priced properties and the results have been positive. But don't take my word for it, you can click on the click below and test drive it yourself.

Click here to see the amazing new tour technology

The above link is one of my newest listings that is currently on the market for $2,640,000. It's a stunning Marc Rutenberg Model home is Hawk's Landing. This Marc Rutenberg Castaway Grand Model Home was the Tampa Bay Builders Association Parade of Homes Grand Award Winner in its introductory year. You can click on the link to actually walk through the home with the aid of this virtual tour. If you would like to tour the home in person please contact me for directions and Model home hours.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Tampa, Fl June 19,2008
About 40 million Americans move each year, and Florida is the No. 2 spot for relocation, second only to California, according to a survey conducted by The survey finds that 19 percent of those relocating went from owning their own homes to renting, with only 15 percent shifting the other way. Only 14 percent of the 1,237 respondents owned their previous residence and moved to a newly purchased home, and the majority (52 percent) went from one rental situation to another. The survey shows that most people relocate for a new job, a transfer within their current job or to seek a new lifestyle, including retirement. About half the moves were from one state to another. Two-thirds moved more than 100 miles and 54 percent moved more than 500 miles away. California is the number one destination state with 6 percent of the total sample moving there from another state, while 5 percent of all relocations move to Florida, followed by Texas (4 percent), New York (3 percent) and Georgia (2 percent).

Source: (06/17/2008)© Copyright 2008 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Will increases in the cost of gas increase your home value?

Tampa, Fl June 19,2008
The cost of gas is redefining the definition of "location, location, location." After potential buyers weigh commuting expenses, demand goes up for homes near jobs, bus terminals or train stations. If gas prices continue to rise, some neighborhoods could experience price gains at the expense of other neighborhoods that see a drop in demand.

Read the full story:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Clear Sky Beachside Cafe- A new local favorite on Clearwater Beach

Clearwater, Fl. May 28,2008.
Finally, a Clearwater Beach eatery that satifies both vacationers and locals alike. During our latest trip to Beach and the Sandpearl Resort we discovered a new beachside cafe that is getting great word of mouth from locals and vacationers. The Clear Sky Beach Side Cafe is a charming friendly place to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner as you enjoy the cool beach breezes coming off the gulf and live steel drum music at night. My kids and I loved going there for breakfast and highly recommend the pancakes. I would also recommend the Two Egg Breasfast for a very reasonable $4.50. Having tried nearly 10 different items on this menu, I think you would be hard pressed to find something on this menu that isn't simply delicious. The pizzas are fanastic and I recommend the California Pizza with cream spinach, applewood bacon, mesquite chicken,mozzarella,roasted garlic, artichokes,avocado and roma tomatoes. For a lighter pizza try the "Sky" pizza with goat cheese, marinara sauce, roasted red peppers and grilled veggies. Their menu has so much variety that there is something for the whole family. They have panini, sandwiches and wraps as well as full dinner entrees like N.Y.Strip, Grouper Picatta, Cedar Planked Salmon, Drunken Shrimp Penne and Pasta Pomodoro. They even have French Onion Soup served in a flakey hand rolled peasant bowl. For salad lovers there is the Spinach Salad with fried leeks, pancetta, shitake mushrooms, mandarin oranges, raspberry walnut dressing topped with fresh strawberries and walnuts. All these entrees are all priced reasonably from $4.50 to $24.95 for the N.Y.Strip. So if you would like to enjoy something other than a fried grouper sandwich and want to please the whole family then I would highly recommend Clear Sky Beachside Cafe on Clearwater Beach. They are located at right next door to the New Sandpearl Resort and their address is 490 Mandalay Ave Clearwater, Fl 33767. The owner's name is Dan Shouvlin and they can be reached at 727-442-3684.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Top three reasons most buyers will miss the bottom in the Tampa real estate market

May 15, 2008 Tampa, Fl

With all the talk of declining real estate prices over the last 18 months its no wonder that most buyers waiting on the fence will in fact miss the bottom of the market and end up paying more for the house they want in the future. Why will this happen you ask? In a nut shell, its the same reason most sellers didn't sell at the peak. It is the old adage "Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered". The same human emotion of greed works on the buy side as well. Today's buyer's are trying to time the market and therefore maximize their profits by buying at just the right time and paying the lowest price possible for their home. It's human nature and we all at some level access both our fear and greed emotions when deciding on investing our money. Now to the top three reasons why buyers will miss the bottom.

Reason Number 1.
Greed. I think buyers are becoming greedy today when making offers on homes and are walking away from some very attractive prices on some very nice affordable homes because they think that prices will go lower and if they wait they will get a better deal. This is one of the many signs that a bottom has already occurred. The best time to buy is when fear is at it's highest point. That occurred in March and April of 2008 and will probably be proven to be the very bottom of the Tampa Bay area real estate market. The window of opportunity is closing and prices have already started to level off and sales trends and buyer traffic are increasing on a weekly basis.

Reason Number 2.
Affordability. With homes prices in the Tampa Bay market down over 20% in some areas and the increase in income levels over the past 8 years combined with historically low interest rates makes affordability the lowest since the year 2000. The same factor that contributed to the decline in home prices over the last 2 years is the same factor that will help home prices bottom out this year. Another contributing factor is lower home owners insurance rates and lower property taxes. This actually is one of the lowest risk times to buy a home in the last 10-15 years.

Reason Number 3.
Rental Market. The rental market is strong and the need for housing in the Tampa Bay area will continue to grow. The strong rental market is giving seller's an alternative to dropping their prices to unrealistic levels when they can rent their home and wait out the market. As the bottom in pricing forms, sellers are less willing to sell at the bottom. Sellers are actually listing their homes for sale or lease. This is putting buyers in competition with renters looking for homes to lease. This is also helping to lower available inventory in the Tampa Bay area.

My prediction is that there will be a lot of buyers kicking themselves a year from now about why they didn't buy at today's attractive prices. The amount of buyers who will miss the bottom will probably be the same number of people that wished they had sold at the peak in late 2005. Real Estate will once again stop being a dirty word and the talk at the water cooler will start to turn positive in the months ahead. Of course by that time you will have missed the bottom.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tom Burkett calls a bottom for Tampa Bay Real Estate

Tampa, Fl May 13, 2008.
From everthing I see, read and hear the Tampa Bay area real estate market hit bottom sometime between February and April of 2008. If you have been sitting on the fence and waiting to time the market and buy at the bottom, now is the least riskest time in over 10 years to buy a home. Read on:

Florida Realtors reported positive signs in their local housing markets during first quarter 2008, noting a slower rate of expansion for inventory levels and an increase in pending home sales in some areas. Another positive note: A total of 8,581 existing condos sold statewide during the quarter, up 8.3 percent over fourth quarter 2007. "If we look at what is happening month-over-month for 2008, it appears that the bottom may be here," says 2008 FAR President Chuck Bonfiglio. "We are now seeing more activity, more sales and even prices starting to rise in some markets."

Read the full story:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Is This The Bottom For Tampa Bay Real Estate?

Tampa, Fl March 26, 2008
Recognizing that the current market favors buyers, 77 percent of respondents in a MarketTools survey said that the time is right to buy a home - a 20 percent increase compared to a similar January survey.

Read the full story:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Florida Foreclosure Update

March 14, 2008 Tampa, Fl
Nearly 60 percent more U.S. homes faced foreclosure in February than in the same month last year, with Nevada, California and Florida showing the highest rates. In Florida, 32,447 homes reported at least one filing, up more than 69 percent from February 2007 and up more than 7 percent from January, according to California-based RealtyTrac Inc.

Read the full story:

Friday, February 8, 2008

A rising tide of Foreclosures in Florida

February 8, 2008 Tampa, Fl
The Miami-Dade County Clerk of Court’s office is expanding the number of days it auctions properties from two to three per week, as more than a thousand foreclosed homes are waiting for the auction block in February. Lenders are buying back most of the properties, officials say.

Read the full story:

Housing Sales Trends Tampa

February 8, 2008 Tampa, Fl
NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in December, slipped 1.5 percent to 85.9 from a downwardly revised index of 87.2 in November. Soft market conditions are expected to continue for existing home sales in the months ahead, according to NAR’s latest forecast, though analysts expect to see improvement by the second half of this year if Congress increases loan limits.

Read the full story:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Amendment 1 Property Tax reform Vote on 1/29/08

January 15, 2008, Tampa, Fl

Governor Crist will spend a lot of time this week advocating passage of Amendment 1, the property tax reform proposal voters will consider on Jan. 29. The governor continues to visit families who will benefit from passage, and plans a promotional bus tour around the state on Wednesday. Early voting began today.

Read the full story:

Short Sales Start to Effect Home Prices in Tampa in 2008

January 15, 2008. Tampa, Fl.

Some real estate practitioners are carving out a new market niche by specializing in short sales, in which the lender holding a home’s mortgage agrees to accept an offer for less than what’s owed and forgives the rest of the loan.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tampa Bay Foreclosure Update Report

Tampa, Fl. December 19, 2007
A surprising new monthly report suggests that U.S. home foreclosures declined 10 percent in November. “This could indicate that foreclosure activity has topped out for the year,” says RealtyTrac Chief Executive Officer James Saccacio. But “the true test of whether this ceiling will hold will come at the beginning of next year.” Florida, with one filing for every 282 households, ranked second nationwide.

Read the full story:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Florida Property Insurance Update

Tampa, Fl November 4, 2007
Many Florida homeowners are starting to see more options when it comes to property insurance coverage. Since January, eight insurers have received approval from the state Office of Insurance Regulation to cover Florida homes, with another three companies waiting for the go-ahead.

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Florida Prpperty Tax Reform Report

Tampa, Fl November 4, 2007
The tax swap may be back. A panel of the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, a group with the power to put an amendment directly on the November 2008 ballot, is considering a plan to reduce homestead property taxes and cap non-homestead property taxes with a temporary increase in the sales tax. FAR President Nancy Riley serves on the commission.

Read the full story:

Florida Homes Sales Report

Tampa, Fl December 4, 2007
Disruptions in the mortgage market and tightening credit continued to impact Florida’s housing sector in October, with statewide sales of existing single-family homes totaling 9,165, a decrease of 29 percent from the October 2006 figure. The statewide existing-home median price last month was $222,100.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When is doing a 1031 exchange beneficial?

Tampa,Fl November 27, 2007

Want to know more about 1031 exchanges? Using these like-kind exchanges instead of selling the property outright will almost certainly save your seller big bucks in taxes, according to an expert in 1031 exchanges.

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Support the Tampa-based Cut Taxes Now Citizens Petition

Tampa, Fl November 27, 2007.
Continuing to bash a property-tax plan he reluctantly voted for, House Speaker Marco Rubio is now urging supporters to back a citizens’ petition to cap the total amount of taxes paid by every property owner to 1.35 percent of the property’s value.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Modest Recovery of Home Prices Expected in 2008

Tampa, Fl November 14, 2007
A modest recovery for existing-home sales is expected in 2008 as the impact of the credit crunch subsides, according to NAR’s latest forecast. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in September, rose 0.2 percent.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Florida Population Growth Report

Tampa, Fl. November 8, 2007.
UF research finds that Florida’s population grows by about 900 people per day; slightly less than the 1,100 per day a few years ago. Top counties by rate of growth, in order: Flagler, Sumter and Osceola. Top growing counties by number of new people, in order: Orange, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough.

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