Thursday, May 18, 2017

Choosing The Best Realtor® for the Job!

Who you choose to represent you when you buy or sell your home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during your move. Your real estate agent can make the process easy, quick, and painless – or long, expensive, and painful.

Here are 5 adjectives you should for in your real estate agent if you want to get the most out of the sale of your home or your home purchase:

1. Tenacious
Real estate is at times a complex world. There are seemingly endless challenges to navigate through: the house you love was snatched up by someone else; someone put a bid in on your home and then pulled out at the last minute; there are issues with the community, or zoning, or construction! These are some of the reasons why you need a savvy real estate agent who is tenacious, never gives up, and doesn’t stop until you have successfully bought or sold your home at the right price with the least obstacles.

The best real estate agents are the ones who not only have plan B, but plan C, D, and E ready and waiting. When things fall through, they don’t let it get them down. They keep pushing and coming up with creative solutions to close your real estate transaction – no matter what!

2. Honest
Honesty is always the best policy, but it’s especially important when it comes to real estate. You need to be able to trust your agent: he/she can negotiate the best contract terms on either side; to tell you the truth about your properties and options; to give you the right advice when it comes to buying or selling. If you work with an agent who bends the truth, withholds information, or – worst case scenario, whatever that may look like–you’re going to end up losing time and money, and patience throughout the process.

3. Savvy
There’s a lot to know in the world of real estate. Your real estate agent should be savvy, smart, and able to help you navigate through everything you don’t know about real estate. Look for an agent that can walk you through the entire process from A to Z. You want someone who is an expert in your area, and who can break down complex real estate jargon into easy-to-understand terms so you know exactly what’s happening at every stage of your home purchase or the sale of your home.

4. Persuasive
Every great real estate professional has the heart of a salesperson – and the persuasive skills to match. There are tons of instances in which you’ll need your Realtor® to turn on their persuasive charm. Real estate agents have to use persuasion to negotiate the best offers, to convince sellers to accept your bid, to convince potential owners that your home is the very best buy for them.

5. ThoroughBuying and selling any property is an involved business: there are papers to sign, inspections to schedule, and documents to process. You want to work with an experienced, thorough, detail-oriented real estate agent who will ensure that every “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed.

In addition to managing the transactional portion of your real estate venture, you want a real estate agent who’s so thorough they ensure that YOU don’t forget anything on your end. A thorough real estate agent will come armed with a checklist of not only what they need to do to process the purchase or sale, but what you need to do on your end in order to tie up any loose ends.

It’s easy to spot a thorough real estate agent. Do they send you reminders for home showings? Is their day planner meticulously organized? Do they jokingly refer to themselves as “type A?” If so, you’ve got a winner. The right real estate agent is essential in making the process of buying or selling your home a quick, easy, and a financial win. And when you lock in a real estate agent with all of these adjectives, you’re well on your way to real estate success.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"Shedquarters": Your New Personal Oasis at Home!

With Spring comes new trends and fresh real estate concepts. If you’re looking for an innovative addition to your existing home and living space – here’s your answer! 

Introducing ‘Shedquarters’! This new real estate trend is now emerging and offers your outdoor space a new twist. You’ve heard of the ever-popular ‘Man Cave’, maybe you’ve even created the ultimate lounge area in your own home, but now it’s time to clean out the lonely forgotten shed in your backyard, or bring in a new shed and start from scratch! Here we will imagine the endless possibilities that your own personal ‘Shedquarters’ could provide for you… and your family!

We all need an escape from time to time; a distraction-free room to relax and rejuvenate. Design a She Shed to include all of your favorite hobbies & luxuries. Add a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the space, along with some comfortable furniture to design the perfect reading nook. Need an artistic escape? Hail as Hobby Headquarters and store your craft supplies and favorite pieces inside to enjoy. Create a beautiful greenhouse or revive your old gardening shed – the possibilities are truly endless!

Alternatively, convert that neglected space in your backyard into the ultimate ‘Shedquarters’, giving yourself a private office spot. “Forts for grown-ups” states Modern Spaces, the west coast shed-building professionals. Always wanted to work from home? Now you can seclude yourself from distractions in your own personal office oasis! These are fantastic ways to transform unused real estate into valuable space in and around your property.

Need more space for the kids? Encourage outside play and imagination with a shed-turned-Kid Cave. More than just a plastic playhouse, this kid friendly space can be personally designed for you and your child’s interests. A timeless investment, your Kid Cave serves as the ultimate space for hobbies and homework.

Whether you’re looking for a home for your hobbies, an office, or just a place to expand and relax, creating your own personal ‘Shedquarters’ is a fun way to maximize your home enjoyment. No need to drive to your getaway, just go to your backyard. 


Friday, April 21, 2017

Featured Properties: Tampa, FL

~20437 Autumn Fern Avenue~

Absolutely pristine 4 bedroom, 3 bath home located on a picturesque conservation lot in Live Oak. Just built in 2011 and has ample space for your family to grow and stretch in this 2600 sq ft, 2 story, 2 car garage home!! 

Just listed for $286,900!

Beautiful 42” espresso cabinets and granite counter tops accent the generous gourmet kitchen with stainless appliances. Easy access to your huge screened in lanai to complete your outdoor space. The flex room downstairs is perfect for any office, den, library or even a formal dining room. 

Upstairs you’re greeted by a loft space with lots of natural light. Down the hall, you’ll find the Master suite complete with dual vanities, granite counter tops, your walk-in shower and garden tub. 

The community of Live Oak offers many amenities and recreational activities to enjoy such as: a clubhouse with fitness center, multiple pools, tennis courts, a covered playground, and more. Live Oak is conveniently located with easy access to: I-75, Morris Bridge, many popular restaurants, Wiregrass Mall, newly opened Tampa Premium Outlets, USAA, Citi Bank VA Hospital, Florida Medical, Wesley Chapel, Moffitt Hospitals and of course USF!

~3336 Chapel Creek Circle~

Fantastic villa rental home in Seven Oaks. Located on pristine waterfront & conservation lot, framed in by a screened in lanai. Shows like a model, space of a home and loads of amenities. 

Maintenance free Villa has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a split floor plan with numerous details and upgrades. Nearly 1800 square feet of living space, this villa opens to spacious and elegant living and dining rooms with views of the rear of your home.

Priced to rent now at $1650.00! Available now!

Seven Oaks is an awesome community located near popular restaurants, SR 54, I75, Wiregrass Mall, fitness centers, entertainment, and so much more! The wonderful community offers access to the pool, clubhouse, fitness center and tennis courts are just some of the million dollar amenities available Seven Oaks.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Real Estate in Full Bloom

As spring flourishes around us, the real estate market blooms as well! Are you considering making a move this year? Now is the perfect time to prepare for this home selling season! Keeping in mind a few simple marketing tricks to make your home stand out from the competition!

First and foremost, jump on the spring cleaning bandwagon! Sometimes the small details of cleaning the inside of closets and clearing away clutter are forgotten, but these particulars are noticeable to potential home buyers. As articulated by Michele Lerner of, “While everyone has clutter, buyers want to see a fantasy version of your house in which they can envision living”. You can do it!

While cleaning, take notice that all of the small repairs that have fallen by the wayside have now become more apparent. Take advantage of this time to move those repairs to the top of your to do list. Replacing doorknobs, updating fixtures, pressure washing the exterior of your home, and adding fresh mulch, all enhance the value of your showing time.


The recent trend of vibrant front door colors is also a memorable feature, adding pizzazz to otherwise average curb appeal. Consider adding new sod and flowers to complement your fresh front door, along with clearing out dead landscaping and dirty gutters. Buyers are on the lookout for the small details that allow them to picture your home as their new sanctuary. 

Most importantly, seek the assistance of a trusted Realtor. Beyond selling your home for the highest price, the agent with the most extensive marketing plan and local knowledge adds immeasurable value to the home selling process. Ultimately, “You want everybody to know your home is for sale because that’s how you get the highest price” says Sissy Lappin, founder of 

It’s not too soon to start taking the small steps of preparing your home for sale. When you’re ready to pursue your next real estate transaction, don’t forget to call Tampa Bay’s real estate experts at SI Real Estate Tampa!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hometown Trends: Tampa, FL

Welcome to Tampa, Florida! Home of the Buccaneers, the Lightning, the Rays and Florida’s powerhouse of business and economic development.

Lifetime locals and newcomers alike, have been the beneficiaries of Tampa’s expansive business, entertainment and real estate advancements. Making the list yet again, Tampa ranks #8 on Forbes’ list of Fastest-Growing American Cities.

A major player in Tampa’s growth over the past couple of years has been the ever-expanding Tampa International Airport. Not only has this project enhanced the Tampa traveler experience, but it has also created thousands of local jobs, contributing to Forbes’ 2.43% projected job growth for the Tampa Bay area in 2017. The construction of new terminals and shops combined with the employees to be hired for these new facilities makes for the perfect employment boost!

Moving towards downtown Tampa, the Riverwalk District and Riverwalk Tower is ready to impress! This 52-story office and luxury residential building will be the tallest building in Tampa and the tallest building on the West Coast of Florida. Resting on the edge of the Tampa Riverwalk, Riverwalk Tower is the perfect place for work and play! With Forbes’ predicted wage growth of 7.6% in 2017, this luxury skyscraper is sure to catch the eyes of aspiring downtown Tampa residents and greatly add to our urban core.

Among hustle and bustle of the metropolitan area, it’s no surprise that the suburbs are expected to grow as well. New home construction, new communities and eager sellers are adding new homes to the market for buyers of all kinds. Some are first time buyers, searching for a steal before the interest rates increase. Others, view the prospect of home-ownership as a reliable investment to build upon their assets rather than gamble with risky stocks. Regardless, there is good news for sellers and buyers that will see projected home prices grow just over 7% this year! Seller and buyers alike will derive real estate benefits from this growth – whether you receive top dollar for your listing, or buy a home that’s quickly appreciating, 2017 has your back!

What is your most anticipated development around Tampa Bay for 2017?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Strike While the Real Estate Iron is Hot: Mortgage Rates for 2017

By and large, we saw a healthy housing market last year – but what should we expect as we embark on a new real estate journey in 2017? 

For home buyers, this is your que to strike while the iron is hot! If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy your new home – your wait is over! Increase your buying power by taking advantage of these lower mortgage rates before we see an increase between 2017 and 2018. As Bill Dallas, CEO at Cloudvirga explains, “We expect GDP [gross domestic product] to increase 2.1% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018, which in turn would cast an upward pressure on mortgage rates”.

Alternatively, sellers are also at an advantage. For those with changing household sizes, moving up or downsizing may be a motivating factor for selling your home. Our current seller’s market, combined with buyers seeking low interest rates, makes for a swift and profitable seller transactions! As Theresa Williams-Barrett, Vice President of consumer lending and loan administration at Affinity Credit Union articulates, “We should anticipate those who were once on the sidelines, begin to act on the market in hopes of capitalizing before rates get higher”.


In fact, a recent survey released by the University of Florida reveals that 50.1% of Floridians believe it is a good time to buy a home. Among those surveyed, low interest rates was the most popular reason given for home buying motivation. Participants also agreed that homeownership is part of The American Dream, adding another motivating factor to home purchases in addition to lifecycle factors and economic conditions.

In 2016 we saw the second increase in a decade from the Fed when short term interest rates rose between 0.50% and 0.75%. Many factors may influence mortgage rates this year including: housing market conditions, the election and new policies imposed by the Federal Reserve. Policy makers are expecting not one, but three bumps in interest rates as we continue through 2017. 

If you’ve been on the fence about buying or selling, take advantage of these historically low rates! Buy or sell your home in 2017!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Glimpse Into The Real Estate Crystal Ball: Real Estate Forecasts for 2017

As the buzz of New Year celebrations have settled down, many people are taking a closer look at the pulse of the real estate market for the year ahead. Whether you are considering buying a new home or selling your existing home, 2017 is looking like a promising year for your potential real estate transactions!

Kicking off 2017, has released their yearly forecast, predicting a sales volume increase of 4.17% across the southern Florida market. Despite South Florida’s strong population growth and stable job creation, 2016 saw a decrease in home and condo sales – making this year’s sales prediction music to the ears of Realtors and investors! “There is more inventory on the market [in South Florida] than a year ago and prices haven’t fully recovered so it is more of a value play for buyers than other parts of the country” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at

Additionally, our neighbors in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL are among the top 10 markets expecting real estate sales growth of 6.3% for 2017. Good news is also in store for our hometown of Tampa, FL! Market research conducted by Local Market Monitor determined that Tampa maintains a strong 3.1% three-year population growth rate, up .8% higher than the national average of 2.3%.

Thanks to steady job growth and anticipated home appreciation, we’re eagerly welcoming baby boomers, employment relocations, retirees and second-home buyers in 2017. As Ingo Winzer, president and founder of Local Market Monitor states, “The national economy has stabilized and is growing again, the factors that prompt people to go to Florida have recovered”.

SI Real Estate Tampa is excited about what the real estate and builder future holds for our clients this year. We look forward to helping all of our friends, clients, and family across Tampa Bay and beyond in reaching their real estate goals for 2017!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Why Use A Realtor for Your New Construction Purchase?

Searching for a home to purchase? You’ve probably noticed the increasing inventory of new construction homes available. Builders are developing new communities all over Florida, especially in the greater Tampa Bay area. If you’re ready to start exploring the option of purchasing a model or builder home, don’t go it alone! There are countless advantages of having an agent with connections to builders and the community, along with new construction experience, by your side for a new home purchase… Always use a Realtor ®

As you admire the freshly built model home, you may be surprised to learn that the “new home sales consultant” greeting you might not actually be a Realtor. Builders employ sales agents and staff to sell their homes, but these individuals are not necessarily required to have a real estate license.

While not hiring a Realtor may seem like a thrifty choice, it is always in your best interest to have representation in negotiating your purchase, seller / builder concessions, upgrades, and more! The best part? Your agent is free; no cost to you… Only Benefits! 

When builders determine the price of the home, an earned commission for your Realtor is already included in the builder’s budget and purchase price. For buyers that opt out of agent representation, the price of their home remains the same.

Buyers that choose a trusted Realtor who specializes in new home construction are on the fast track to a successful new home purchase! We rely on experts in our daily lives to provide expertise and guidance. From hiring a CPA to ensure you’re filing properly with the most deductions, to employing an attorney to represent you – your Realtor’s commitment and expertise is invaluable.

Your real estate agent has a fundamental fiduciary responsibility to you, meaning your best interest is their highest priority and is part of their adherence to the code of ethics. Starting with explaining upgrade costs or outlining clauses in your contract, to your mortgage and HUD closing costs, your agent is in your corner.

Examining a contract may be foreign to the average eye, but your Realtor brings their proficiency to the closing table when it’s time to review the final numbers. Get ready to save big on closing costs, appliance packages, and much more all wrapped up in the best financing options!

Shop confidently with a Realtor who specializes in new construction and new homes in your corner from contract to closing.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Tiny Home Trend

Flipping through the television channels and social media, you may have noticed that many people are shifting towards downsizing their living space. Shows like Tiny House, Big Living and Tiny House Nation document the trending transition to tiny homes.

So why are so many Americans jumping on the tiny home bandwagon?

According to, the average home is 2600 square feet – compared to the minimal square footage for tiny homes, averaging between 100 – 400 square feet! Those joining the Tiny House Movement are doing so to protect the environment, live frugally and have the freedom to travel.

With their petite structure, many tiny house homeowners have found financial freedom that would have been difficult to achieve had they opted for a mortgage on a traditional home. The savings from high property taxes, lower maintenance costs and less major repairs are illustrations of many sources of household savings through Tiny Homeownership. The mobility of these homes, in conjunction with financial savings also allows for individuals to pay off debts and save more of their income for travel expenses they otherwise would not have been able to afford.

Unsurprisingly, tiny homes use less materials, thus decreasing the amount of lumber for building and fuel used to transport supplies.  Stemming from the small size of the home, it is also more feasible to use environmentally friendly materials that would be far more expensive if used on a larger home.  In contrast to traditional real estate, tiny homes can be easily powered by solar panels due to their small stature, hence drastically decreasing energy use. This means lower utility bills and more money to save or use for other life style priorities.  All in all it is very easy to “go green” in a tiny home! 

Aside from all of these benefits, many are finding it difficult to find a place to “park” their tiny home.  In an article from The Washington Post, most homeowners use the land of family members, friends, or rent space in an RV Park.  However, many governments around the U.S have not caught up to the legality of tiny homes regarding building codes and parking provisions.  So still some work to do to make this a stronger part of mainstream. 

Now that you’ve got the scoop, do you think you could trade in your home for a tiny house?

Smart Homes: The Future of Homeownership

Traveling back to the 1960s, homeowners were just beginning to enjoy the luxury of having a television in the home.  The families of the 1990s experienced the convenience of owning their very own computer. Fast forward to 2016, and not only has technology advanced in the way of entertainment, but it has become a part of our everyday lifestyle.  For years, technology has filled our homes – now our homes have become an integral part of new age technology.

While the definition of a smart home is debatable, most consider a smart home a house that has remotely controlled systems including temperature, lighting and electronic devices. Once considered a luxury for the wealthy, smart homes have become a mainstream component of homeownership. Combining security with convenience, smart homes offer families enhanced peace of mind.

Beyond the ability to remotely access security footage from your smart phone or tablet, some smart homes have the unique capability to assist you and your family to safety beyond an alarm alone. As explained in an article from ‘How Stuff Works’, “not only would a resident be woken with notification of a fire alarm, the smart home would also unlock doors, dial the fire department and light the path to safety”.

Technology with this level of sophistication also proves to be beneficial for elderly individuals living alone. Reminders can be set to take medication, turn off unused appliances such as the stove or an overflowing tub, and notify emergency personnel of bodily injury. Many families have found smart home technology to be more efficient than placing their loved one in a nursing home.  Additionally, many have discovered that this form of personalized care is also more cost effective - all while allowing their loved one to maintain independence.

Furthermore, smart home technology has become the epitome of convenience. Never mind digging in your pocket or purse for your keys, your smart home will open the door for you as you approach! Forget to feed your pets? Your smart home will dispense a preset amount of food for them at meal time!

Whether you are just hearing about smart home technology, or have been enjoying the benefits for years, SI Real Estate Tampa wants to know – What’s your favorite smart home feature?