Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 123

Tampa Luxury Home Housing Report - October 2017

by Craig & Linda Nowicke


The charts below show the 7-day and 90-day rolling averages for list pricedays on market, and inventory for the metro area's luxury market (e.g. top 10 zips with median prices above $500k)


The charts below compare the ilhm-tampa luxury market with the ILHM National Luxury Market Index and show 90-day rolling averages for Median List Price and Days on Market.

The chart below shows the Altos Market Action Index for the metro area's luxury market and the National Index.

Statistics provided by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Courtesy of Tampa FL Realtor Linda Nowicke.

Advantages of being in a Homeowners Associations

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

There are many positive aspects of living in a neighborhood that is governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Finding the right one for you and your family may take some research, but if you’re looking for a managed area, it could save some headache in the end.

            What is an HOA?

●     And HOA is an organization that creates and enforces rules in a subdivision or condominium. When you purchase a home in an HOA community, you are, by default, a member of that HOA, and must pay fees and follow their bylaws.

●     Most HOA’s now have their information, some complete with neighborhood photo galleries, available online, making it easy to start your research.

●     Fees and their due dates vary by neighborhood, depending on amenities.

●     Research the amenities that a neighborhood's HOA focuses on.  Whether it’s community beautification, a neighborhood gathering place, or a neighborhood walking path and gym, there are many options available.

●     After you look at the qualities of an HOA and narrow down which ones you like best, find out what the fees are and how they’re paid.  HOA fees can be high, but in comparison with what amenities they offer, it could save you money in the end.

●     Most HOA’s have rules and regulations that go beyond your local municipality.  These bylaws are in place to protect your property value, and maintain a certain quality of life for the homeowners.


            HOA Benefits

●     The amenities that some HOA communities offer can save a member money in the end.  A community center means a gathering place for members, saving rental fees for party venues. A walking track or swimming pool can save residents from joining private gyms and health clubs.

●     HOA neighborhoods in general are more appealing aesthetically, because member fees go towards keeping the common areas clean and landscaped.

●     Some HOA organizations provide security, trash pick-up, pest control, as well as street sweeping and snow removal. Your property is your responsibility, but the shared areas are taken care of.

●     If you choose to live in a condominium community, the organization usually handles all landscape maintenance, as well as exterior home maintenance: for instance, if a shutter blows off the building, it’s taken care of.  All the homeowner needs to do is notify someone on the property management board, and they handle the rest.

●     The community organization board members live in the neighborhood, so they are aware of needs specific to the area, and can better handle solutions to any problems.

●     Homes in HOA neighborhoods protect your investment in a fluctuating market because of their home-maintenance regulations.


Don’t let bad press shy you away from considering a home in an HOA.  If a house you absolutely love is in an organized community, do careful research, talk to residents in the community, then make your decision.  There are many different aspects to different organizations, and finding the right one for you and your family just takes a little research and thought.

Photo credit: 

The 50-20-30 Rule - Creating a Budget You Can Live With

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

If you are new to budgeting, managing your money may seem complicated and overwhelming.  You not only have to be organized, but you must make challenging decisions about how to spend your money.  Don’t despair! There is good news for you.  You don’t need fancy financial apps on your phone or extensive spreadsheets with dozens of categories to see how your money is being spent.  You simply need to follow the 50-20-30 rule!

The 50-20-30 rule assists you in building a budget by using three spending categories. 

  1. 50% of your income should go to living expenses and essentials including rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries and transportation.
  2. 20% should go to savings, investments and debt-reduction payments.
  3. 30% of your income should be used for flexible spending. This includes everything you buy that you want, but don’t necessarily need such as travel, going out to movies etc.

Remember that the percentages for essentials and flexible spending are the maximum amounts you should spend.  If you use less income in these categories, you will have more to put toward other financial goals.

Here is how to start the 50-20-30 budget. First, determine exactly how much money you bring home each month.  This will be the amount you will base your 50-20-30 split on.  Then track your spending. Every penny of it, from your rent/mortgage payment down to the coffee you stop for on the way to work in the morning.  As you are analyzing your spending, split it into the 50-20-30 categories.  Once you see what you are spending where, you can make the needed adjustments to ensure you are falling into the 50-20-30 parameters.  If you find you are spending too much on things that you want but don’t need, that’s when it is time to cut back.

The 50-20-30 rule works because it provides a simple way to track your spending so that you can pay your bills, add to your savings and have money left over for fun stuff.  It keeps you on the straight and narrow so that you can begin to meet your financial goals.  If you stay the course, you will eventually achieve financial stability.

Tampa Luxury Home Housing Report - September 2017

by Craig & Linda Nowicke


The charts below show the 7-day and 90-day rolling averages for list pricedays on market, and inventory for the metro area's luxury market (e.g. top 10 zips with median prices above $500k)


The charts below compare the ilhm-tampa luxury market with the ILHM National Luxury Market Index and show 90-day rolling averages for Median List Price and Days on Market.

The chart below shows the Altos Market Action Index for the metro area's luxury market and the National Index.

Statistics provided by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Courtesy of Tampa FL Realtor Linda Nowicke.

Why You Should Hire a Realtor

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

With the internet making information about selling and buying homes so readily available, some may wonder if they need to hire a Realtor. The answer to that is YES!  And here are some reasons why:

  1. Education & Experience

Just because you read something on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true or accurate. For example, there is ample information on the internet about diseases and medications, but I would bet that if you were sick you would seek out a trained medical doctor to help you.  If you hire a real estate professional, you don’t need to know everything about the housing market or the ins and outs of selling or buying a home.  It is simply the smart thing to do to hire someone who knows more than you do!

    2. Your Realtor is Your Intermediary

Agents take the spam out of your property showings.  If you’re looking to purchase a newly built home, your agent will keep builders’ agents from overwhelming you. If you’re selling, your agent will help you avoid wasting your time with “lookie loos” who aren’t interested in purchasing and keep the focus on serious buyers.

    3. Neighborhood Knowledge

Realtors make it their duty to either have intimate knowledge about the neighborhoods in their area or to know where to find that information.  They can provide comparable sales information and tell you where to find a plethora of demographic material about the neighborhood, such as data about schools and crime.  They also have access to information regarding other homes for sale in the area and can use that knowledge to help you be competitive whether pricing your house to sell or bidding on a house to buy.

    4. Price Guidance

Realtors don’t select prices for buyers and sellers, but they can help guide them to make intelligent choices for themselves.  They will supply data regarding current market supply and demand conditions that will assist both buyers and seller with pricing negotiations.

    5. Market Conditions

A lot of time and energy can be saved by allowing Realtors to impart their knowledge regarding current market conditions. Yes, you can probably research it yourself, but do you truly want to spend your time doing that?  This type of information will have a large impact on what you ultimately decide to do.

    6. Professional Networking

With a competent Realtor, clients will have an “in” with other professionals they may need to buy or sell.  Legal liability will keep agents from recommending certain individuals or companies over others, but they know which vendors have reputations for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing.  So, they can provide a list of references with whom they have worked and assist you in making a wise selection.

    7. Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality

Top producing Realtors are great negotiators because unlike buyers and sellers, they are not emotionally driven. In addition, they have negotiation skills that make them excel at their job. They are professionally trained to represent their clients’ best interests and to keep information confidential from competing interests.

    8. Paperwork!

Today’s real estate purchase contracts can run ten pages or more. That’s a lot of paperwork. One tiny mistake can land you in court or cost you thousands of dollars. Avoid the risk and allow a professional to guide you through the process!

    9. Questions After Closing

A smooth closing transaction doesn’t always mean that there won’t be complications later.  There might questions that were overlooked in the excitement of closing on a home. A reputable agent will be there by your side even after the sale is complete to answer any questions that come up.

   10.  Relationship Development

Successful real estate professionals depend upon referrals for continued business. This gives them strong incentive to make their clients happy and satisfied. And it also means that agent will be there for you when you are ready to sell or buy again. Don’t be surprised to receive periodic updates from your agent in the mail.

The professionals at Tampa Realty Now are ready to assist you in selling or buying a house today! Give them a call at (813) 413-4343 or visit

What to Look for During a Post-Hurricane Home Inspection

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in our neck of the woods, and hopefully your home survived with no apparent damage. But it’s still important that you take the time to carefully look at your house and examine it for damage such as missing shingles or vents plugged by wind-blown debris.  Here is a list of things you should do to complete a post-hurricane home inspection:

-          Check your roof for visible damage. Look carefully at valleys where the roof planes intersect and check anything that comes up through the roof, such as vent stacks.

-          View your dryer vent outlet. Use a flashlight to see if it is clogged with debris from the storm.  Remove any debris that you find.

-          Check gutters and downspouts. They can come loose if a strong wind catches them.  This can result in them eventually swinging loose and doing some real damage. Clean them out if they are clogged.

-          Examine your exterior air handler unit for storm damage.  Be sure to keep all shrubs and landscape trimmed from around the unit for proper air flow.

-          Look at your home’s electrical service entrance.  If it is sagging or leaning, contact an electrician immediately.

-          Make sure your fence is still standing.  Take a walk around the perimeter of your fence and push it to check for storm-weakened sections. 

-          Observe any large trees you have on your property. You may want to consider having them removed if they are a possible threat to your home in future storms.

When examining your home after a hurricane or storm, document and take photos of any damage that you find.  This will make the insurance claims process much easier.

Tampa Luxury Home Housing Report - August 2017

by Craig & Linda Nowicke


The charts below show the 7-day and 90-day rolling averages for list pricedays on market, and inventory for the metro area's luxury market (e.g. top 10 zips with median prices above $500k)


The charts below compare the ilhm-tampa luxury market with the ILHM National Luxury Market Index and show 90-day rolling averages for Median List Price and Days on Market.

The chart below shows the Altos Market Action Index for the metro area's luxury market and the National Index.

Statistics provided by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Courtesy of Tampa FL Realtor Linda Nowicke.

Protecting Your Home From Flooding

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Weather is unpredictable and it can be treacherous.  While there is nothing you can do to prevent bad weather from happening, there ARE things you can do to prepare your house for it.  There are no guarantees that your home won’t sustain any damage, but these steps will help protect your home from flooding:

  1. Know the flood level of your home.  You will need an official measure of how high floodwaters could rise where you live.  There are flood maps available on line at FEMA.  Your home insurance agent should have this information as well.
  2. Determine how water flows around your property. The grading or slope of your yard can determine whether water will flow to or away from your house.  Observe how water flows during a typical rainstorm.
  3. Make sure electrical and climate systems are safe. Once you know the possible flood levels, you can move switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least a foot above where flooding may reach them.  If possible, adapt your furnace, water heater and any other anchored indoor equipment to sit higher than the property flood level.
  4. Raise and secure outdoor equipment.  Fuel tanks, air-conditioning units and generators should be secured and raised above flood level.  Generators won’t help you if they engulfed by water. They should never sit on the ground.
  5. Adjust water valves to prevent sewage backups into your home.  Install an interior or exterior backflow valve.  The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) recommends gate valves because they create a stronger seal than flap or check valves.  They are more complicated because you operate them by hand, but reduce the risk of water getting in.  These valves should be installed in all the pipes in the house.
  6. Extreme cases might require a complete retrofit.  One option is to raise your home so that the lowest floor is above flood level.  It’s an expensive option, but if you live in an area that experiences frequent flooding, it may be necessary.  Another option is to “wet-proof” your home by putting in foundation vents that allow water to flow through the structure rather than rising inside and causing more damage.  The third option is to “dry-proof” by using coatings and other sealing materials to walls to keep water out.
  7. When you know bad weather is on the way, take these last minute steps to help prevent flooding damage:

-          Clear gutters, drains and downspouts.

-          Move furniture, rugs, electronic and treasured items to upper floors.  If you have a one-story home, raise them above flood level if possible.

-          Shut off electricity at the breaker panel.

The expense of preparing for flooding may seem overwhelming, but the catastrophic damage it can cause could possibly cost far more, both financially and emotionally.  Do what you can to protect yourself today!

Preparing for an Emergency or Natural Disaster

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Nobody enjoys thinking about the possibility of a family emergency or natural disaster, but taking steps to prepare for those possibilities should be a priority.   While not lessening the shock and anguish of an unexpected, tragic situation, being prepared will help you to get your life back in order faster and easier.

One thing to consider is having important paper work organized in an emergency binder.  The binder should contain all the important information about your life.  Think about any paperwork or vital information you would need access to in an emergency, such as:

  • Vital Records

-          copies of birth certificates, adoption records

-          copies of marriage licenses, driver’s licenses and passports

-          copies of all property and auto records – deeds, leases, titles, etc.

-          copies of all property/umbrella insurance policies

-          a list of where off-site and original documents are stored

  • Financial Information

-          list of all bank account numbers

-          copies of front and back of all credit cards

-          list of all investment account numbers

-          list of all retirement/pension account numbers

-          detailed information about current income/benefits

-          detailed information about mortgages/loans

  • Medical Information

-          copies of health/life/disability insurance cards and policies

-          medical history for each family member

-          list of medications and prescriptions, including dose and pharmacy

-          details about any ongoing medical conditions/treatments

  • Contact Information

-          friends and family to reach in case of emergency

-          neighbors who have access to your house

-          financial institutions, insurance companies, legal advisors

-          physicians, specialists, hospitals and other healthcare providers

-          employers and benefit administrators

-          including a family emergency plan in your binder will help you to keep yourself calm and organized during what may be a stressful time


Make sure that your emergency binder is kept in a place where it is easy to get to and that it is easy to carry and that family members are aware of its location.

Secondly, it is a good idea to have a safety deposit box or lock box in which to store your original documents.  This can also be used for storing important computer files and passwords, priceless family photos and valuable jewelry and memorabilia. Include a photo of each member of your family along with fingerprints and dental records.  A home inventory list is also a useful item to have in storage.  Remember that most of the documents in your “Emergency Binder” will be copies.  Originals should be placed in a safety deposit box or lock box for safekeeping.

Whether it’s a family emergency or a natural disaster, tragic events almost always leave people feeling blindsided.  Preparing in advance will help ease the feelings of being overwhelmed and panicked as you put your life back in order.  So, set aside a day to put together your emergency binder to help protect your family now!


Additional helpful links

Assessing Your Real Estate Insurance Coverage

Organizing Your Home Made Simple

Hurricane Harvey Relief

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey is far reaching and rebuilding after a disaster of this magnitude is a daunting task.  People have lost their homes, belongings, vehicles and businesses.  There are many ways to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but it is important that you make sure that if you make donations, they are going to legitimate programs.  Charity Navigator can help you find reputable organizations that are accepting donations for relief.  If you would like to donate specifically to groups located in the areas affected, please consider the following:

Houston Food Bank

Food Bank of Corpus Christi

Houston Humane Society

San Antonio Humane Society


You can also donate directly to Hurricane Harvey Relief through the following organizations:

Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey Relief

Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief


A 2014 article in the online Realtor magazine,, addresses what real estate business owners have gone through after natural disasters.  While After the Storm tells stories of loss and grief, it also offers hopeful stories of rebuilding and success.

Courtesy of Tampa FL Realtor Linda Nowicke.   

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 123




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Contact Information

Photo of Linda and Craig Nowicke Real Estate
Linda and Craig Nowicke
RE/MAX ACR Elite Group
14823 N. Dale Mabry
Tampa FL 33618
Linda: 813-728-3880
Craig: 813-675-5030
Fax: 813-961-6016

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