Real Estate Insider Blog

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Christopher Milson Recognized by NAR

Christopher Milson recognized by the
National Association of Realtors as a
Certified Pricing Strategy Advisor

Qualified to Assist Buyers and Sellers by REALTOR®
with Particular Expertise in Pricing Properties

Clearwater, Florida, 10/28/2016 — Christopher Milson with Charles Rutenberg Realty has earned the nationally recognized Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification. The National Association of REALTORS® offers the PSA certification to REALTORS® as determining property values depends more than ever on professional expertise and competence, the best use of technology, and a commitment to approach the pricing assignment from various perspectives.
“The market demands accurate property value assessments, so NAR is excited to provide Realtors? with enhanced tools, education and expertise to determine the most accurate value for a home and give their clients a leg up when buying or selling,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. 

“Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA” is the required one-day course for the PSA certification that provides REALTORS® with knowledge and skills to select appropriate comparables and make accurate adjustments, guide sellers and buyers through the details of comparative market analyses and the underlying pricing principles that inform them, and interact effectively with appraisers. In addition to...

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3 Winning Strategies for Buying Your First Home in the Clearwater Area


Buying any home is an intimidating proposition, even for the well planned, so first home buyers may find it especially daunting. With the median sales price in Clearwater, FL hovering around the $165,000 mark, your first home is likely to be the biggest investment decision you're ever going to make as a young adult. This guide arms you with winning strategies to buy your first dream home.

Prepare Your Finances to Establish Your Budget

Buying your first home is only prudent when you can actually afford to make a down payment. This may involve a few years of planning leading up to your investment. Depending on the situation, down payments typically start out at zero for a VA loan all the way up to 30% for some loans in high rental condo buildings for example. Always check with your lender as the down payment percentage will also depend on your credit score. To prepare your finances smartly, make sure you cut down on frivolous expenses and put it towards the deposit for your first home. Establish your budget based on your current income, cost of living and existing debts like student loans and car loans and make sure you don't exceed this budget when looking for homes. It’s always a good idea to have your lender give you the estimated closing costs so that you aren’t short a couple of thousand dollars right before you close. If you need some names to some good lenders give Christopher Milson a call at (727) 207-6300 or email him at...

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Should you buy a foreclosed property in the Clearwater area?


Foreclosures are often a lucrative opportunity, but they can also be a high-risk investment. Before you decide whether or not to invest in them, it's important to look at both the good and the bad they bring to the table. It's also critical to have the right real estate professional, a well-planned budget, and the dedication to the project before getting started.


What Are the Advantages of Buying a Foreclosure?

The biggest advantage to buying a foreclosure is the opportunity to get a good deal. Simply put, foreclosures are homes seized by lenders after the homeowner failed to make payments as promised. Most lenders are willing to sell the home at a reduced price in order to maintain their investment and minimize the loss which can substantial gain to a buyer in the right circumstances. Below are some advantages of buying foreclosed properties you can review.

1) More “Bang for Your Buck”

If the price is right, you may be able to purchase more home for your dollar or live in a better neighborhood and actually buy your dream home instead of dreaming of that home.

2) It May Be Profitable

In many cases, the foreclosure is sold at less than the market value, providing you with “immediate equity” and an opportunity to profit from the sale. It's important to see these are potential benefits, but there are no guarantees here.


What Are the Disadvantages of Buying a Foreclosure?


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Home Prices in the Clearwater Area are Soaring!

Home prices in Tampa Bay are continuing to rise and prices are surging even higher in Pinellas County. The real estate market continues to provide home sellers and buyers with outstanding conditions and encouraging even more attention from surrounding areas. Tampa Bay saw the highest increase out of ALL Florida metro areas with an impressive 20% jump in the month of August whereas Pinellas County soared even higher according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Breaking Down the Numbers

The number of homes sold in June was about the same as the same time in June of 2015. This means that inventory, overall is low. For those who are planning on selling a home right now, that's good news. Home values are on the way up as a direct result of limited inventory. For those planning to buy right now, it’s not a good time to “sit on the fence” and interest rates are already predicted to increase after the election. Anyone schooled in basic economics understand “supply and demand” and right now there are more buyers in the market right now than sellers – this is a key reason you'll want to take action quickly and work closely with a local real estate agent like Christopher Milson. Be sure to you seize the opportunity before the train leaves the station and you end up paying way more than you should have.

When it comes down to location, here are some key facts:

  • Hernando County had the largest increase in home values. It grew...
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Just for Fun


Watch what this faithful dog does when the kids get off the bus!

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Pros and Cons of a Homeowners’ Association (HOA)

When you start searching for a house, the many choices available may seem overwhelming at first. It’s typical in many areas such as Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Safety Harbor to find some neighborhoods which have a Homeowners Association (HOA) that governs them. These organizations have many pros and cons that you need to consider before deciding whether you want to live in a HOA neighborhood or not.

Pro: They Provide Amenities for Residents

When you buy into a Homeowners Association, this will give you access to specific amenities that the neighborhood offers. The type of amenities can be small or large, and they may include things like tennis courts, swimming pools, children's playgrounds, and even gyms or clubs. Enjoying these amenities also provides an extra opportunity to socialize with neighbors while having fun, and they can contribute to a more fun community overall.

Con: Fees Are Mandatory

When a neighborhood is governed by a Homeowners Association, you are going to have to pay a monthly or yearly fee and sometimes extra fees that weren’t properly funded like a private street that costs more than what was allocated in the association’s reserves.


Pro: They Govern How Neighbors Can Do Certain Things

The Homeowners Association can protect you from neighbors who may play music too loud or put up garish Christmas decorations in their yard in October that they keep up all year long. Do like a...

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