Real Estate Insider Blog

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Good Time to Buy a Home in Clearwater?

The Clearwater Housing Market is Heating Up

This is good news for sellers but buyers need to consider their home buying options now to avoid being priced out of the market. For Clearwater home buyers it’s time to get off the fence and actively explore your options today.

January 2016 has seen a National Average of 5.4% increase in home values and Clearwater is ahead of the trend. Of course our beautiful weather helps but the low home inventory has produced a much larger demand for available homes. Rather than see this as a negative, home buyers should look at the advancing home values as an opportunity to get into the market at the “perfect time.”

“But if it’s a seller’s market then shouldn’t I wait to buy?”

Not necessarily, while there are conditions which makes it appealing for sellers to enter the market, buyers have good reasons to buy as well. It’s really more of a balanced market right now. The natural reaction of sellers to the rising home values is to list their homes for sale. As we get into the Spring Selling Season in Clearwater, we can expect to see inventories rise as well. This is a critical point if you are trying to save money.

Buyers have a real incentive to purchase a new property right now since interest rates have fallen since the beginning of 2016 and not likely to keep falling. As of April 8, 2016, interest rates are down 8 basis points over last week to a national average of 3.38%....

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Does it Make More Sense to Rent or Buy a Home?


After the housing crisis, many Americans were forced into the rental markets and questioned if home ownership was really the "American Dream". As the markets have recovered, sentiment has changed on this front, and the most recent Generational Trends Report by the National Association of Realtors shows that it's the millennial generation who are anxious to make the leap as first-time homebuyers. No matter your age group, whether buying your first home or not, the debate continues about the benefits of renting versus buying. Here are just a few reasons why buying a home continues to make the most sense. 

High Rents

Rents in the Tampa Bay area are continuing to climb, with a median rent per month of $1,395, a 3% increase from a year ago and within 10 miles of Clearwater, FL, the average apartment rent is around $1376. In the Clearwater area, a 2-bedroom apartment averages $1425 whereas a 1 bedroom apartment rents for around $979 a month. While there are costs associated with home ownership, this monthly outlay for rent (averaging between $12,000 to $17,000 per year) isn't providing you any equity and is essential just wasted money “down the drain”. 

Home Value Appreciation

While rents are continuing to rise, so is the value of homes in the Tampa Bay and Clearwater area market. Just in the past year, the median sales price of homes saw an appreciation of 7%. It's clear to see where placing your...

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Should I Buy or Sell During an Election Year?

Although the 2016 presidential election is still months away and we don’t yet know which candidate will represent each party, we know for certain that housing sales can decline the closer it gets to an election. This could actually be good news if you're trying to sell your home due to the law of supply and demand. When the supply is lower, it increases demand as well as selling prices. Consider this: In a 2014 study conducted at Princeton University, researchers discovered that home sales fell between two-tenths and three-tenths of a percent during gubernatorial elections in 35 states between 1999 and 2006. Although the percentage is small, the effect is comparable to other influences on the housing market such as a steady decline in per-capita income.

What Makes People More Reluctant to Buy a Home in an Election Year?

Since the Princeton University study includes only state elections, it’s safe to assume that the effect is likely to be larger when the political stakes are at the national level. One reason for the hesitation is that perspective home buyers are not sure how the outcome of the election will affect their personal finances. When the winning candidate receives less than 55 percent of the vote, the uncertainty is even greater. This is reflected in the fact that home sales fall an average of one-third to one-half of a percentage point during tight races.

The Good News

You should not let these...

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Should You Renovate Before Selling?

If you want to sell your home for a good price within a short period of time, you need to make sure that your home is as attractive as possible to potential home buyers. This means arranging for repairs as well as renovations in order to fix your home's most glaring flaws, each of which can be a significant obstacle in the home selling process. Furthermore, it is worth noting that choosing the right renovations can raise your home's value on the local real estate market by more than what you spent, particularly if you are careful with your choices.

How Can You Choose the Right Renovations?

Here are some suggestions if you want to make sure that your renovations get you the best returns:
Since the kitchen is a popular area of the home, you want to make sure that it looks as presentable as possible. Although you want to avoid anything that is too expensive, too extensive, and too time-consuming, you should at least make sure that it gets the cosmetic renovations it needs to look good. Common examples range from a new coat of paint to more expensive measures such as replacing the countertops and the flooring. If you have cash to spare, you can even consider replacing old and worn-out appliances with their energy-efficient counterparts since forward-looking home buyers love energy efficiency.

Similarly, since your bathroom will also be seeing a lot of use, you should consider giving it some cosmetic renovations as well. At a minimum, you want to make...

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