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Moving with Kids - How Important is the School District?

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

When choosing a new home, there are usually several items on the buyer’s list of priorities, but when kids are involved, school systems often top that list.  People are generally willing to pay more and sacrifice other desires to make sure they are in the best school district for their children.  Private schools may be a feasible alternative for some, but that is not the case for many. Even if buyers don’t have children (or plan to have them), they may want to buy where the schools have the best reputation because it will have a positive effect on resale value down the road. However, it’s important to remember that a poorly ranked school district does not automatically mean that the overall quality of local education in an area is poor.  You must do your research. The website Niche is an excellent resource for information on schools in the Tampa area.  Consider the age of the schools, their physical condition, the student-to-teacher ratios and standardized test scores. Understanding how the school system works in Florida will be helpful in your search as well.  According to Florida School Choice, there are many options available to residents including Charter Schools, Magnet Schools, Career Academies, Virtual Schools, Controlled Open Enrollment, Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Programs, Dual Enrollment and ABC School Programs.  In addition, there are scholarship programs for private schools and resources for people who choose home education.

Finding a home in the Best School Districts  is something the real estate professionals at Tampa Realty Now can help you do.  Contact Craig & Linda Nowicke at 813-728-3880 or 813-675-5030 and begin your search today!

Selling Your Home with Kids

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Selling a home can be challenging.  There are so many things to consider. Between scheduling open-houses, last minute showings and keeping your house in "staged-perfect condition" at all times, the stress can be overwhelming.  Now toss in a kid…or two…or three.  It’s summer time and that means kids aren’t in school, which makes keeping your home in pristine, “show-ready” shape is all the more difficult.  But with the Tampa area being one of the ten hottest real estate markets of 2017, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to sell and sell big!  So how do you cope with it all?  First, take a deep, cleansing breath.  Now…follow the advice of people who have been there, done that.  You CAN do this!

-          Make packing and moving an adventure! Once your house is on the market you know you are going to be preparing for a move eventually, so start right away.  Give your kids little projects to complete to keep them busy and to make them feel like they are part of the process.  You would be amazed at how much help they can be if given the chance.

-          Have a “go-and-show” plan.  You want to take every opportunity possible to show your house, so prepare and be ready to head out the door if you get that last-minute call from your realtor.  Have a list of “things to do” in mind so that you aren’t just killing time while you wait.

-          Remember that less is more.  One of the jobs you can give to your kids is to choose the toys and other items that are most special to them to keep in their rooms while preparing to move.  The rest should be packed and stored out of the way.  Remember that visitors will likely look in closets and open drawers, so make sure you have smart storage solutions.

-          Don’t forget to flush!  We all know that kids, especially younger ones, can be a little absent minded when it comes to their toileting habits.  Assign someone to be in charge of checking all the bathrooms prior to leaving the house just to be sure everything has been flushed away!

-          Do a sniff test.  Let’s face it…kids can stink sometimes.  Summertime is a prime time for sweaty, smelly children who might not be as concerned with personal hygiene as they should be.  The odors emanating from them are NOT the first impression you want to make on potential buyers.  So be hyper aware of how your home, and especially their rooms, smells.

-          Stay neutral.  If you have decorated your little ones’ rooms with bright colors and specific themes, you may want to change it up to appeal to buyers.  Remember that they want to be able to picture the house as their own, and that is easier to do with rooms that have neutral colors and simple décor.

-          Relax.  I know…easier said than done.  But your house does not have to be perfect every second.  Try to keep up with clutter and cleanliness a little each day so that you don’t become overwhelmed when you find out someone is coming to see your house.  And remember to let your kids help!

 

Contact Craig and Linda Nowicke at TampaRealtyNow.com and get your house on the market today!

5 Tips For Childproofing Your Home

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

childproof

You may or may not have small children living in your home but even if you don’t you might have a family member or a friend who does, so tips on how to childproof your home may be advantageous to you.  There are several ways in which you can make your home child friendly so that you don’t have to worry about any little ones getting hurt or any of your stuff destroyed. 

  1. The first and most important tip to make your home childproof is to cover your electrical outlets.  For some reason electrical outlets are very interesting to little hands and fingers.  The best way to keep the kids from exploring your electrical outlets is to buy covers for them.  Make sure to get the electrical outlets that are not that hard for you to pull out so that you don’t constantly have to try so hard to remove them when you want to use an outlet.
  2. This may sound silly but get on your hands and knees and travel around your home looking for things that might be dangerous.  You may find that you see much more clearly by getting down to a child’s level when it comes to childproofing your home.  Fix any issues you deem to be hazardous to kids while you are in this position.
  3. Put glass items and valuables up high out of reach of children.  This will not only help keep children safe in your home but it will also keep your valuables from getting broken.
  4. If you have anything sharp such as a fireplace with edges made from stone or brick you may want to buy covers for those edges to use when you will have small children around.  If you have little ones who live in your home you may want to keep these areas covered at all times. 
  5. If you have a swimming pool, always make sure that someone is outside watching the children if they want to play in the back yard.  Even if you have the pool surrounded by a fence you need to make sure the kids are looked after if they are anywhere near a pool. 

Hopefully some of these ideas for childproofing your home will be helpful to you and will prevent an accident from happening.  Once you feel as if your home is childproof then you will no longer have to worry about little ones getting hurt and you can enjoy your new or existing home. 

Courtesy of Tampa FL Realtor Linda Nowicke.

4 Tips for Moving Into Your New Home

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

moving

The big day has finally arrived!  You and your family are moving out of your old house into the new home you have finally closed on!  It’s an exciting time, however moving can be a huge headache if you go into it unprepared.  Below are a 4 tips on how to make your move a success.

  • If you plan to hire a moving company to take care of your move for you, don’t be afraid to do your homework on the different moving companies.  There are some moving companies out there that will help to make your move a lot easier while there are others that can simply make the entire process a nightmare.  You owe it to yourself to do a bit of research and to find the best moving company you possibly can.
  • Another bit of advice for moving from one house to another is to prep for the move ahead of time.  Make sure that your movers know if they will be moving heavy things such as kitchen appliances and have them unplugged and cleaned out before the movers arrive so that they can easily and quickly get the heavy objects taken out of the way. 
  • Get your packing done before the big moving day arrives.  Moving companies do not want to be tripping over you while you are frantically packing last minute items into boxes that have yet to be taped and ready to move.  If you have your job done before the movers arrive, they will be able to get their job done in a quick and successful manner.  It’s also a good idea to stack your boxes against the walls of the rooms so that the movers can easily move about as they are working.  Again, if your job is done, their job will be easier and all will be happy. 
  • Label your boxes so that movers will understand what room it goes in.  If you label the boxes with your kid’s names, it’s likely the movers will have no idea which room the box belongs in once they arrive at your new home.  Keep it simple and label the boxes accordingly. 

If you do your part to make sure you have done all you can do to make the move an easy process,  the moving company will be free to do their job and do it right.

Courtesy of Tampa FL Realtor Linda Nowicke.

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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: 813-413-4343

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