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Downtown Tampa Development

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Downtown Tampa is the place to be these days, with so much going on that you won’t want to miss!  The waterfront district is getting a facelift with two new development projects recently announced.  Riverwalk Place and a Marriott Edition hotel will both be within walking distance of the Tampa Convention Center.  These projects are just part of the continue redevelopment that is shaping the future of Downtown Tampa.

Riverwalk Place will soar over 50 stories to become one of the tallest towers on Florida’s west coast.  It will house offices, restaurants and luxury condominiums.  Prices for the condos will range from around $600,000 to over $2 million. It will be the first new office sky scraper build in Tampa in 30 years, and it will be the first mixed-use tower ever per Larry Feldman, President and Chief Executive of Feldman Equities.  The goal is for it to become the social hub of Downtown Tampa.  Offering views of the Hillsborough River and Bay from most offices and residences, it’s curved, sailboat-like shape will fit right in to Tampa Bay’s maritime character.

Just two blocks east from Riverwalk Place will be a 173-room Edition hotel. The hope is that it will become Tampa’s first five-star resort and the crown jewel of the proposed Water Street Tampa neighborhood. The plan is for Water Street Tampa to encompass 53 acres along the Ybor Chanel, converting it into a cultural hub with restaurants, green spaces, marinas and hotels.  With a rooftop pool, adjacent bar, restaurant, spa and fitness center, and retail shops, the Edition is sure to be a favorite spot for Tampa residents and tourists alike. 

Downtown Tampa is growing and thriving due to the $3 Billion redesign and is part of what makes the city and surrounding areas a wonderful place to live!    Lots more to come!

Are you ready to SELL your home?  Call the TAMPA BAY real estate professionals, Linda & Craig Nowicke, at Tampa Realty Now and let them assist you in getting your home STAGED and SOLD for the highest possible price!  CALL THEM TODAY at 813-728-3880 or 813-675-5030.

Photo Credit: 83degreesmedia.com

Luxury Market Report - June 2018

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

May is considered to be the barometer month in which to measure the year’s luxury trends and discover the influences of today’s affluent, discerning buyers, and investors in their decision processes. In 2018, these trends are proving that there may be a need to Zag when everyone else is Zigging, to achieve success.

The world is cultivating Millennials, providing for their tastes, but it should be remembered that it is the Boomers who have the greater spending power right now! Boomers might be less effected by current trends, but they embrace and appreciate unique experiences, new opportunities, value for money, customer service, and most importantly personalization. In the luxury retail market, 45% of customers are asking for personalized products and service – which translated into real estate means that it’s time for your marketing and their experiences to be both personalized and unique – so don’t be scared to do things differently!

Click here to read the full report!

Statistics provided by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Courtesy of Tampa FL Realtor Linda Nowicke.

Study: Amendment 2 failure would spark $700M tax increase

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – May 16, 2018 – Florida TaxWatch released a study on Tuesday projecting that property taxes could increase by more than $700 million on non-homestead properties like businesses, apartments and second homes should Florida fail to extend a property tax yearly rate cap.

According to TaxWatch, the increase would happen if voters reject a proposed constitutional amendment that they'll consider on the November ballot.

Known as Amendment 2, the proposed amendment would extend a current 10 percent cap on annual increases in assessed values of non-homestead properties – a cap that voters approved in 2008.

TaxWatch Vice President Kurt Wenner said many Floridians aren't aware how much taxes could go up if the cap is lifted.

"If Amendment 2 fails to pass, it doesn't mean that the cap is just no longer going to be in effect going forward," Wenner said during a media event at the Florida Press Center. "It means that all of this property will suddenly be assessed at full value. This can be quite a big sticker shock when some people get their tax bills."

Wenner said he expects that these potential tax increases would be passed along to renters and business customers, making the issue important whether someone owns property or not.

Supporters of the amendment say it's currently polling at just under 60 percent, which is the threshold for amendments to pass.

The Florida Legislature decided in 2017 to put Amendment 2 on this year's ballot. Senator Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican who sponsored the proposal, estimated at the time that failure to extend the cap would effectively lead to a $688 million tax increase.

In all, Florida's November ballot will include 13 proposed constitutional amendments.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®

Tips for Selling Your Home During the Summer Months

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Spring is flying by and soon summer will be upon us.  Summer is not the most popular time to sell a house for several reasons: people are going on vacation, kids are out of school, and activities keep you busy.  But sometimes the timing cannot be helped.  Life happens and circumstances may require that you move during the hottest season.  If that is the case, here are some tips for attracting buyers during the summer months:

  • CURB APPEAL

Make a great first impression with curb appeal.  Mow & edge your lawn.  Make sure bushes are trimmed and plant flowers.  Keep your front entry, sidewalk and driveway swept and create a warm and inviting entryway to your home.

  • DECORATE WITH SUMMER ACCENTS

Utilize calming colors such as blues and greens to decorate the interior of your home.  If you have dark-colored accent pillows and throw rugs replace them with brighter Summer Hues. Keep it simple.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money; something as basic as an inexpensive blanket draped over a chair can give a room a soothing vibe.

  • BRING THE LIGHT INSIDE

Pull back window coverings & open the blinds.  Use tie backs to open lighter curtains.  The only time you should leave blinds/curtains closed is if there is an undesirable element on the other side of the window such as your neighbor’s trash can…but even then, keep them slightly open to allow light into the room.

  • HAVE FLEXIBLE SHOWING HOURS

Showing your home while still living there is challenging, but the more flexible you are, the more people will look at your house. 

  • SPARKLE AND SHINE

Metals give a “summery” feel.  It doesn’t matter which ones; gold or silver, brass or pewter.  Mix and match them using vases, picture frames, mirrors, utensils, goblets, hanging planters etc.  Metal Designs That Shine

  • OFFER SUMMER BEVERAGES AND SNACKS

Have chilled drinks available for visitors.  Have a few light snacks or fruit for them to enjoy.  Have bowls filled with citrus fruits to brighten up your kitchen and give it a sunny feel.

  • CREATE GOOD SMELLS NATURALLY

There are a lot of ways to bring summer scents indoors. Pleasant, fresh aromas will make your home feel inviting and comfortable.  A plug-in near the front door is a nice touch.

  • CONTROL THE INDOOR TEMPERATURE

Have your home at a comfortable temperature for visitors.  There is nothing worse than walking into a stuffy, warm house when it is hot outside.

If you’re thinking about selling your house this summer, let the professionals at Tampa Realty Now help you get your house on the market.  Give Linda Nowicke a call at 813-728-3880 today!

Tampa Luxury Home Housing Report - April 2018

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)

ILHM-TAMPA VS NATIONAL

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.

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!

Tampa Luxury Home Housing Report - March 2018

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)

ILHM-TAMPA VS NATIONAL

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.

Now is a Great Time to Move Up!

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

We hear a lot about people downsizing and simplifying, but if you are looking for a larger home, now is a great time to sell your smaller home and move up to something that better suits your wants and needs.  Perhaps you have a growing family and need more space, or an additional income-earner has joined your household or maybe you have enough equity in your current home that you can now afford your dream home. Whatever the reason, movin’ on up is an exciting prospect!

Ok, now let’s contain that excitement a bit and think about what it means to purchase a more expensive house.  First, just because you can afford something on paper, doesn’t mean you should commit all your resources to the most expensive property on your radar.  It would behoove you to take a thorough look at your current budget and then play with the numbers a bit to determine how much more you’re willing to spend each month on a higher mortgage payment.  A dream house is wonderful, but being house-poor is not.  Think about your lifestyle and don’t make the mistake of getting into a financial bind that doesn’t allow you to do the activities you enjoy.

When financing your new home, you have a couple of options.  If you haven’t sold your current home yet, you can choose a Home Equity Loan to make the down payment on the new home.  A home equity loan allows you to borrow against your current home’s equity and is usually less expensive than other loans. 

Before you put your house on the market and commit to purchasing a new one, educate yourself about the prices of houses in the areas where you will be selling and buying. Whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, an experienced professional Realtor will be able to assist you in navigating the process. The goal is to sell high and buy low, and in today’s market that is an achievable dream!  Call Craig & Linda Nowicke of Tampa Realty Now at 813-675-5030 or 813-728-3880 and let them help you find your dream home today!

Bidding War Prep 101

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

It is a Seller's Market in real estate, and now that spring has arrived, the competition for homes is likely to get even more fierce.  If you are looking to purchase a home right now, chances are you may find yourself in a bidding war.  Be prepared! 

Here are six ways to come out on top in a bidding war:

  1. Get your finances in order and get as much cash as you can.  It is never too soon to get pre-approved for a loan. In fact, the sooner the better.  Sellers will have lots of options and will be leery of those who do not have loans set in stone.  If possible, bring cash to the table.  Sellers will fear appraisals coming in low and loans falling through, so be prepared to cover the difference with cash.
  2. Don’t hesitate!  Be the first to make an offer, and make it a good one.  An insulting offer will put you at the bottom of the seller’s list, so it is not a good time to low ball.  Come in at or slightly below asking price so that they know you are serious about purchasing their home.
  3. Offer an Escalation Clause. This is the amount of money the buyer agrees to increase the offer if there are other bids. If you offer the asking price of $400,000 on a house, but it might sell for $450,000, put in an escalation clause stating that you are willing to go as high as $460,000.  But know your limit.  Don’t offer more than you can handle.  Also, make sure the clause states that the seller can only take the winning bid up to a level just above the competing offers.  For example, if an offer comes in for $430,000, your bid would be upped to $431,000.
  4. Get a pre-inspection.  It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but it can help you in a super-tight market.  If you can make a bid that is not contingent upon inspection, sellers will look favorably on your offer versus the same offer from someone who has a contingency in their contract.
  5. Show the love!  If you have found the perfect house and really love it, don’t be afraid to let the sellers know, either directly or through your Realtor.  You can write a letter, send pictures of your family or even make a video describing why you love the house so much.  Be specific in your praise.  Sellers may appreciation the connection you feel with the house and choose you over other bidders.
  6. Think with your head, not your heart. Be smart! Purchasing a home is an emotional thing for sure, but emotions can get in the way of making wise decisions.   Make sure you have done thorough research of the market: look at the most recent comparable sales, compare prices from a year ago, visit local school, have coffee at the closest café and speak to potential neighbors.  Look at listings nearby.  Whatever you do, don’t overpay because you get caught up in the heat of the competition.  While the house may seem perfect for you, it is not the only house that will be perfect for you. So, keep a level head and make intelligent decisions.

You don’t have to face a bidding war alone. The experienced professionals at Tampa Realty Now can help you through the process of finding and purchasing the house of your dreams!  Call them today at 813-728-3880 or 813-675-5030.

Get Organized Before Listing Your Home for Sale!

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

If you are planning to put your house on the market, there is no time like the present to start getting organized for the process of staging, showing and moving out of your home.

Begin now by following the tips listed below and you won’t feel so overwhelmed when it’s time for that first open house!

-          Eliminate Piles before you sell.  Some of us suffer from Flat Surface Syndrome.  If there is a flat surface, it’s covered with “stuff”.  Now is the time to eliminate any of the “stuff” cluttering the horizontal surfaces in your home. Things such as mail, magazines and other odds and ends that are piled on the tops of tables, desks and shelves should be removed. 

-          Clear out storage areas.  If your closets, bookcases, pantry, and other storage areas are overstuffed, this is a red flag for potential buyers that screams, “not enough storage!”.  Keeping a minimum number of items in your house will leave the impression that there is a generous amount of storage in your home.

-          Get rid of excess. Eliminate or pack up items that you won’t need before you move.  For example, only keep enough dishes, towels, sheets, toys etc. that you will use during the time your house is for sale. Why have ten sets of sheets in your linen closet when you will only need one or two?

-          Remove seasonal items.  Pack away things that are only used during other seasons.  If you are selling in the fall/winter, pack away your spring/summer clothes.  You can also pack away off-season holiday items. 

-          Throw things away. If it’s worn out, broken, rusty, stained, torn or incomplete, it is time to let it go.  If your belongings look shabby and old, your house will look that way too.  Don’t hesitate to throw such items away.

-          Donate items you no longer want or need.  When you are cleaning and sorting items, if you come across things that you don’t use now and won’t use in a new home, donate them.  There is no point in packing and moving something you will never use.  But if it’s in good shape, someone else will get use out of it.

-          Sell before you sell. If you find that you have many items to eliminate from your home, think about selling what you don’t store, throw away or donate.  You can sell at a yard sale, bring items to a consignment shop, or list items online.  But have reasonable expectations regarding how much money you can make; don’t overprice.  Remember the goal is to dispose of as many things as possible.

-          Rent a storage unit.  Move large items/equipment that you don’t use often to a storage unit.  It can also provide space for packed boxes to give you a head start in preparing for your move. Check out SpareFoot to find self-storage unit options in the Tampa area.

-          Improve curb appeal.  Remove any clutter (toys, lawn ornaments, garbage bins) from your yard.  The outdoor spaces provide the first and last impression for potential buyers and as such, it is important that they look neat and tidy.

Moving can be stressful, so don’t wait to start preparing.  Get a head start before putting your house on the market!  When you’re ready, call the professionals at Tampa Realty Now at 813-728-3880 or 831-675-5030 to take care of all your real estate needs!

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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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