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THE BEST HOME IMPROVEMENTS FOR YOUR TAMPA BAY HOME

The Tampa Bay real estate market is booming, and getting the best offer on your home means standing out from the competition. Perhaps you’ve been waiting on your home improvement ideas because of the winter blues or the rainy springtime season.  Separating your home from the competition is a key factor in obtaining top-dollar.  You can reduce days on the market and sell before your competition.  Buyer’s get a good sense of what they want on their “first impression” of a home and it’s key to be clean and simple showing off the key characteristics of your home.

START ON THE OUTSIDE

Whether a potential buyer is working with an agent or browsing on their own, their crucial first impression is based on exterior appearance, known in the business as “curb appeal.” Tackling exterior home projects will put your best foot forward and greatly improve your chances that a prospective buyer will want to see more. Here are a few simple but highly effective ways to address your home’s appearance and increase your bottom line.

LANDSCAPE YOUR YARD

Landscaping can be as simple as tidying up through trimming, weeding, repairing cracked cement, and replacing damaged fence posts. Invest in some mulch, plant new greenery, install a level walkway or construct new raised flowerbeds. The first glance at your location needs to capture attention, and beautiful surrounding flora goes a long way.

SPRUCE UP WITH COLOR

As you work on your lawn, you might notice how lackluster your actual exterior looks when compared to other homes in the Tampa Bay real estate listings. There are two great ways to fix this, and they are both inexpensive. Pressure washing your home is a quick way to remove dirt, mildew and grime from both your home’s exterior and your driveway and walkways. The transformation of color through a high-powered cleaning is amazing, removing years of built-up dirt and grime. In addition to cleaning, adding a new coat of exterior paint will give your home the face-lift it deserves. If you don’t have the time or resources to repaint the entire structure, focus on freshening up your porch, window boxes and shutters with a fresh coat to draw the eye of potential buyers.

LET IN THE SUNLIGHT

Before prospective buyers of your Tampa Bay home step inside to tour the interior, be sure there is plenty of light shining in to truly showcase the living space. Allowing the brilliant sunlight to come streaming through clean windows and secure screens will greatly accentuate your interior design. Pressure washing will help thoroughly clean your windows, but you will also want to replace any windows that are cracked and screens that are torn or full of holes.

COMPLIMENT THE INSIDE FROM THE OUTSIDE

Two features on the exterior of the home which have an enormous impact on approval of the interior are the air conditioning and deck or porch space. As we all know, the air conditioning unit helps to keep the interior comfortable, and each element must be fully functional to support this. Have your unit evaluated for energy efficiency and, if issues arise, schedule necessary repairs or replacement to offer potential buyers a comfortable environment. Energy efficiency is a huge selling point, so consider adding a smart thermostat system while you’re at it for additional value to buyers.

If you have a deck or porch space, take a close look at its stability and appearance. A new coat of stain or sealer can greatly improve its appearance, and your buyers will appreciate the attractive exterior extensions to your home’s living space. If your home doesn’t have a porch, consider adding one! It will provide you with plenty of outdoor enjoyment as well as a better selling price down the line.

TURN THE INTERIOR INTO A MUST-HAVE

Real estate experts know that one key to selling your home for a great price is creating a modern, functional space. Kitchens and bathrooms are the big winners here. Renovate your kitchen with new countertops, tile floors or refaced cabinets to bring a fresh and attractive feel to your home. Use neutral color schemes and materials that speak to high-end quality. Replace old carpet or linoleum with hardwood for an upgraded look that still offers durability. You don’t have to remodel everything, but choose items that present the most value to potential buyers and go from there.

STANDING OUT IN TAMPA BAY REAL ESTATE

The housing market in Tampa Bay often presents steep competition, and you are undoubtedly looking to gain the most equity out of your home when it sells. Make the most of the sunny weather and your free time in the summer months to follow these easy and affordable ways to increase the value of your home. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! We love helping our clients improve their homes to get the most out of their sale.

Who are iBuyers in Real Estate?

Amazon all but destroyed shopping malls. Expedia dislocated travel agents. Uber sent taxis into a tailspin.

Now will real estate agents be next? Will iBuyers take over their business?

The advent of online companies paying cash to buy homes directly from sellers has sent shock waves through real estate brokerages across the nation–in some areas.

Are they cutting out the Realtor?

The chief executive of California Association of Realtors told agents Wednesday, Sept. 25, they have little to fear from iBuyers — provided they embrace change, technology and adapt.

The iBuyer “changes the way you do business as technology has done … to everything in the last 30 years,” said Joel Singer, CEO of the state Realtor association for the past three decades. “But it doesn’t change it in a way that should generate fear. It should generate a sense of opportunity.

The traditional method of selling homes in America has survived decades of innovations many thought would eliminate brokers, even as internet users increased to 81% of the population.  Citing figures showing 91 percent of home sellers used an agent this year.

The reasons are twofold, Singer said: First the industry itself has adapted and evolved. Seventy-seven percent of agents say they now are completely or almost completely mobile. Eighty-six percent use social media in their business. The average agent spends $2,000 a year on technology.

The other reason is the nature of home sales, which Singer said is more personal and complex than other transactions that have gone online — such as buying an airline ticket or buying a book.

You cannot automate that (home buying) experience!

However, there is room for improvement.

Buying and selling a home can be a painful process. Twenty-six percent of homebuyers complain the process is too costly, while about a fifth say it takes too long, it’s inefficient, a “rough ride,” according to a recent Google consumer poll.

“What should be an incredibly joyous thing, buying a new house, buying your first house, … is often quite nerve-wracking, quite difficult, (with) a lot of uncertainty and stress,” Singer said. “Until we can figure out how to deal with that, we make ourselves as an industry ripe for certain amounts of change.”

There’s no shortage of potential disruptors. Among them, discount brokers, flat-fee brokers, brokerages that let agents keep their commissions and brokerages with their own exclusive listing services.

iBuyers are perhaps the latest disruptor to appear, surfacing in Phoenix in 2014 then spreading across the nation. Companies like Opendoor, Redfin Now, Offerpad and Zillow started buying homes in Southern California in 2017.  Opendoor has a close relationship with Lennar and have focused on purchasing resale homes built by Lennar, but has all the noise been successful?

They provide easy-to-use websites that allow home sellers to submit information about their house, then get a guaranteed cash offer within a week or less. The iBuyers deduct the cost of repairs and charge a “convenience fee.”  There is always fine print and most of the complaints have been the repairs have been excessive and offers have changed throughout the process, according to complaints on the Better Business Bureau site.

There is a place for iBuyers, catering mainly to sellers willing to take less for their home for the added convenience or certainty of a cash sale, Singer said. He estimated iBuyers will handle 10-15% of all home sales by the end of the next decade.

But they won’t take over!

For now, the biggest challenge for Real Estate Agents is one another. There will always be some type of company/business trying to gain market share, however the share seems to always be below 10% if they gain any traction at all.  A good agent will explain the process to the client and set them up for success.

Referenced from Jeff Collins at Lake County Record-Bee

HOW DOES SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY AFFECT THE SALE OF MY HOME?

 

In the 1950’s, homeowners were wowed by dreams of the future, with flying cars, self-baking ovens and automated vacuums. Many of these concepts have come to life with smart home technology, though not necessarily in the way they were once imagined.

Smart homes today revolve around making life easier, letting you adjust everything from temperature to lighting from anywhere in the world. These types of improvements do a lot to attract millennial buyers who have grown up with technology and look forward to its integration into the home.

A LITTLE DOES A LOT

Having access to tech in a home office, kitchen and bathroom will set your home apart from other houses without such modern conveniences. Fortunately, unlike completely remodeling major portions of the building, adding value to your Tampa Bay home with smart tech won’t break the bank.

Spending around $1,000 before putting your Tampa Bay house for sale, a paltry sum where renovations are concerned, will result in significant gains on the housing market. Though these aren’t always monetary, it can result in a faster sale since these features are very attractive to buyers that would be interested in installing some of the same units themselves.

DOORBELLS AND DETECTORS

Many tech tools don’t take much of a time investment when it comes to installation but provide a host of benefits that you and future homeowners will inevitably enjoy. Some of the most common items that will help craft the perfect smart home include:

  • Video Doorbells – Security is always a major concern, and being able to keep an eye on your front door while at work or even in the shower makes a home feel that much safer.

 

  • Smart Locks – Another front-door option, these take a little more effort to install put the added security and keyless entry options make it a worthwhile addition.

 

  • Smoke Detectors – Knowing anytime when there’s a fire or batteries need changing is a definite boon, and the cost of multiple detectors can be offset by smart devices that listen for the alarms already present in your house.

 

  • Thermostat – The first real integrated smart device, this can ensure your home is always at the correct temperature and can even respond to voice commands when you’re relaxing on your couch!

 

  • Light Bulbs – Lamps on timers have been a mainstay of vacationers for decades, but smart bulbs will turn on with your phone, and many can even adjust color and brightness on a whim!

 

  • Smart Speaker/Hub – Alexa and Echo, Amazon and Google’s smart-home supermodels, are just two examples of units that respond to your voice and tie all of your tech together into a cohesive unit.

These simple upgrades will transform your home, and even though they seem like superficial additions they let possible buyers see your house as more than building. Safety and security are just as important as comfort and convenience, and when it’s all integrated it becomes one irresistible package!

ROOM TO IMPROVE

While all of this technology does wonders for your home, you also need to consider which rooms will benefit most from electronic additions. Every area can be upgraded, but certain tech fits more easily in specific locations.

Living rooms or gathering spaces are definite spots to create a centralized hub for technology. Having your smart hub where everyone congregates makes it much easier to control and monitor the house while entertaining, and hose-shoppers will take notice when the primary living space is set up to be a control room for all of their toys.

Another space that benefits from these upgrades is the kitchen. While a smart refrigerator is more expensive than other options, adding high-tech appliances to the most complex room in the house makes it that much more alluring. Even something as simple as adding receptacles with USB ports by the nightstand can be a deal-maker!

SELLING MY HOME WITH SAVINGS

It’s not just a fancy screen on a dryer that makes it a big selling point. Making your home smarter also makes it energy efficient. If lights turn off when you aren’t home and thermostats regulate heat and cooling efficiently, homeowners are going to see a drop in their energy bills. High tech security also looks good to insurance companies, so fire alarms and video doorbells are a definite win for you and potential buyers.

Getting your house ready for the Tampa Bay real estate market is never easy, but make sure you keep smart home technology in mind as you prepare to put your Tampa Bay house for sale. The added value comes in a variety of ways, and if spending around a thousand dollars helps you make the sale more quickly, it’s an investment any homeowner can get behind!

Crystal Lagoon COMING SOON to Wesley Chapel

Crystal Lagoon COMING SOON to Wesley Chapel

Pasco County, FL will soon be introducing The Epperson community, a 2,000 home planned development located in Wesley Chapel.  The attention is not directly in the homes or the typical community amenities, but the fact that the communities developer has contracted Crystal Lagoons to build them a giant lagoon (see photo).  This is the first of its kind in the United States and expectations and excitement are continuing to grow!

Metro Development Group, the company behind the actual community development – states the lagoon will take over 16 Million Gallons of water to fill and spread over 2000 feet in width and go as deep as 8 feet.  In addition, while conventional swimming pools use a lot of chemicals and chlorine, the crystal lagoon uses less than 1 percent of the chemicals and less than 2 percent of the energy required for ordinary community pools.  The lagoon can be used for a number of things, from traditional swimming and snorkeling, to sailing and kayaking.  Developers even see the potential to host triathlons, weddings, and more once completed- day passes to the lagoon MAY be offered at some point and is still in discussions for those not living in the community.

Several home builders will make up the 2,000 homes in Epperson and prices will begin in the mid $200’s.  For more information, a community tour, and/or purchasing options at Epperson please feel free to contact The Antonakos Luxury Group – Quicksilver Real Estate.

Reference Article: https://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/233384889-story

OPAL SANDS RESORT TO DEBUT IN CLEARWATER BEACH

Opal Resort

OPAL SANDS RESORT TO DEBUT IN CLEARWATER BEACH

The makeover on Clearwater Beach continues as The Opal Sands Resort is set to open this February 2016. The resort will set the bar for luxury beachfront accommodations that include a zero-entry outdoor pool and sundeck perfect for kicking back with a drink, a state-of-the-art fitness center, full-service spa, fire pits, and retail shops & eateries round out the on-property diversions.

The Gulf views will provide the perfect backdrop for special events, weddings, celebrations and meetings, as the resort will offer 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, and 5,500 square feet of event lawn for elegant outdoor affairs. Clearwater Beach has already been named Florida’s No.1 Beach according to USA Today and The Opal Resort will only continue to solidify the beach’s outstanding status.

As travelers continue to visit Clearwater Beach and tour it’s casual beachfront luxury and lively ambiance they will soon realize that it is great investment to purchase a condo, home, or town-home further creating demand in Pinellas County. As a Florida Resident and Real Estate Professional I’ve seen the growth in a short period of time throughout Pinellas County and the demand for waterfront properties is certainly here.

For more information on The Opal Sands Resort please visit: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/opal-sands-resort-to-debut-in-clearwater-beach-300218487.html

SAIL THROUGH THE SKIES IN SKYACHT ONE

skyacht-one_3SAIL THROUGH THE SKIES IN SKYACHT ONE

Skyacht One is valued upwards of US$80 million and soars through the air with luxury in each and every detail. Said to be based on Embraer’s Flagship Lineage 1000E aircraft, it is one the most technologically advanced aircrafts available today. Skyacht One includes a Master Suite or “Captain’s Quarters,” Master Bath Suite, cocktail bar with Sofa Seating, and custom intuitive designs that embrace mahogany panels with bejeweled controls from engraved brass, gold, silver and platinum. Additionally, the majority of its components are handmade and even hand painted. We have always been accustomed to luxury on the ground and luxury on the water, but now we can expect luxury in the air.

 

For more details and the full article visit: https://www.luxury-insider.com/luxury-news/2016/01/skyacht-one

FLORIDA MANSION OFFERED AT $159 MILLION (Le Palais Royal)

Florida MansionFLORIDA MANSION OFFERED AT $159 MILLION (Le Palais Royal)

The most expensive listing in the United States is about to hit the market…….again. This time Le Palais Royal located in Hillsboro Beach, FL will be listed at $159 Million, a $20 Million price increase from it’s previous listing price.  The increase in price is not only due to Florida’s desirable and increasing market, but an additional 1 1/2 acres of land, two guesthouses, and an entertainment complex were added within the past 2 years.  Amazing features include 11 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a 30-car garage, ice-skating rink, go-kart track, IMAX Home Theater (with 18 seats), and a $2 Million marble staircase.  The property is owned by Robert Pereira, the founder of Middlesex Corp, a construction company located in Massachusetts and Orlando, Fl.

The home is made up of 60,500 square feet pricing it just under $2,300 per square foot. The total lot equates to just over 4 1/2 acres and has ocean views on one side and the intra-coastal on the opposite side.  Some of the luxury features this home has to offer are the first of their kind and construction time has exceeded 9-years.

For more information on Le Palais Royal and it’s exquisite features please visit: https://www.wsj.com/articles/floridas-le-palais-royal-boosts-its-price-tag-to-159-million-1447255330 

TAMPA PREMIUM OUTLETS OPEN

tampa-premium-outlet-1-web_TAMPA PREMIUM OUTLETS OPEN

With over 100 Stores and 441,000 sqft, the Tampa Premium Outlets located in Lutz, FL are sure to be a hit!  The outdoor Venue, with Key West Vibes, and mostly covered walkways will attract shoppers from all over and give people a sense of why Lutz, Wesley Chapel and New Tampa are among the fastest growing areas in the country.  The Premium Outlets are just the beginning of what is expected to come to the area and home builders are gearing up for the demand they believe will happen when buyers get a sense of the area.  New communities such as Estancia and The Ridge at Wiregrass are among two of the top within a couple miles from the Tampa Premium Outlets.  Residents of Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties will surely fight through the anticipated traffic at the Grand Opening and even through the Holidays knowing they don’t  have to drive to the Orlando Premium Outlets or Ellenton Outlets to save 25-65% on designer brands any longer.

For more information on Stores and The Tampa Premium Outlets Grand Opening please visit: https://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=117