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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.

Pricing Your Home to Sell

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

When preparing to put your home on the market, there are a lot of things you need to think about.  Deciding if you should make home repairs and improvements, staging your home to impress potential buyers and keeping your lawn and house in prime condition for viewings and prepping to move.  But one of the most important decisions you must make is how to price your home.  Determining the asking price for your home cannot be taken lightly. There needs to be some psychology and strategy used to decide the price that will sell your home in a timely manner and for the most profit.  You and your Realtor should identify and agree upon the approximate value of your property. You can use Comparable Sales of similar properties sold in your neighborhood to help you make this decision.

Next, you need to understand the price range for your list price.  Depending on market conditions, competing properties, time of year or inventory, the price range can fluctuate.  For example, a house with the asking price of $500 K can have a price range of $480 K to $520 K.  Once you have determined your home’s value and have a price range in mind, it’s time to conclude what your asking price will be.  This is where pricing strategies come into play.

  1. Appeal to multiple buyers - It may be tempting to ask for the highest price you think you can possibly get for your home.  But if you price your property on the lower end of the value range, you will likely appeal to more than one buyer and you might even have a bidding war amongst buyers who want your home.  Chances are you will get more than your asking price if this happens.
  2. Utilize psychology when choosing your asking price - Be careful of too many zeros.  For example, it is easier for a buyer to process $250 thousand than it is $250,000 - and $250,000.00 is even worse on the eyes. Buyers feel like they are being asked to pay more when there are more zeroes included in the price. It doesn’t change the actual price, but the perception of the price changes.
  3. Make sure it’s visible in real estate searches - If buyers are looking for three-bedroom homes under $400 K and you have your property priced at $405 K, an automated buyer search for properties under $400 K will exclude your home, meaning you will miss out on a lot of potential buyers.  Experienced Realtors will set up search parameters for buyers that include properties listed a little bit more above their price ceiling.  Keeping in mind that home prices are flexible, buyers could find the perfect match on a home above their limit, but with the possibility that it is in within a reasonable range of price or that it will be reduced.
  4. Have a price contingency plan before listing your home - You may have very high expectations regarding the worth and appeal of your home. If you insist on asking top dollar for it, you may get lucky (depending on the current market) and get it, or you may not get any full price offers at all. In that case, it’s important to have a contingency plan lined up before you list your home. That way, if you must lower your asking price, you will already be prepared for it and it won’t catch you off guard.
  5. Be flexible -  Setting an initial asking price is just the beginning of your home selling process.  A lot of different factors may come into play when selling your house, and you won’t be able to anticipate all of them.  Being flexible will allow you to react quickly to changing Market Conditions or new information and you will be more likely to get the best price for your home.

If you decide you are ready to sell your home, contact the real estate professionals, Linda & Craig Nowicke at Tampa Realty Now and let them assist you in getting your house on the market and sold for the best possible price!  Call them today at 813-675-5030 or 813-728-3880.

Sell or Rent - Which Option is Best for You?

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Whether moving for a job or just relocating for personal reasons, you still must decide what to do with your current home.  Should you rent it out?  Or sell it?  There are many circumstances to consider before making that decision.  How long do you have before you move?  What is the housing market doing in your area?  And do you have someone you can trust to manage your property?

Of course, the biggest motivator in your decision is which option will be most financially profitable.   If you have a lot of equity in your house and can sell it, you’ll walk away with some cash to put toward your new home.  If the house is paid off, you’ll walk away with A LOT of cash.  However, if your equity is built up and you have low mortgage payments (or no mortgage payment), you could bring in a substantial monthly income by renting the house for more than your monthly payments.  You do have to consider the costs involved with renting the house out.  If you’re relocating to another town, you will likely have to hire a Property Manager to collect rent and take care of issues that come up.  You might also have to pay to advertise the home.

There are going to be risks involved either way.  If you put the house up for sale, you run the risk of not selling it quickly and possibly ending up with two mortgage payments or a house payment and rent payment on a new place.  But there are also Risks of Renting Out Your Home. There’s a chance you will rent it to people who you think will be good tenants, but wind up paying the rent late or not at all.  There is also the risk that renters will not take care of the house and lower its value.

Another issue to consider is that housing markets can greatly fluctuate from year to year. You must question whether your neighborhood is in the kind of shape to support a quick sale.  If other homes haven’t been selling, for example, you might not get as much for your house as you might if you could wait a year or two and rent it out in the meantime.  On the other hand, if the housing market is hot in your neighborhood, it might just be the best time to take advantage of it and sell to get the best price possible.

Finally, you must think about whether you can afford a new mortgage while you still own the first house.  Per Kiplinger, lenders count about 75 percent of the income you receive from renters when figuring out if they’ll give you a new loan, but that’s only if you have a signed lease and your salary is sufficient to cover the rest of the mortgage requirement.  Selling your house will make it much easier for you to qualify for a new loan.

The bottom line is that, after doing your research, you can decide whether selling or renting is the best and most financially sound choice for you.

If you decide you are ready to sell your home, contact the real estate professionals, Linda & Craig Nowicke,  at Tampa Realty Now and let them assist you in getting your house on the market and sold for the best possible price!  Call them today at 813-675-5030 or 813-728-3880.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

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!

Packing for a Move 101

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

Congratulations!  You have successfully sold your home!  What a relief, right?  Now comes the hard part. Moving.  Moving is one of the Top 5 Stressful Situations along with job loss, death of a loved one, divorce and major illness. Sounds fun, huh?  That’s why it is important to go about moving in a thoughtful and organized manner.  The more prepared you are, the less stress.  Packing up your house can be overwhelming, but you can make it easier by spreading it out over several weeks rather than trying to do it all right before you move.  Here is a general timeline for packing that you can use as a guide:

FOUR WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: PRE-PACKING - Hopefully when you sell your house, you won’t have to immediately vacate.  About a month before moving you can begin to pre-pack items that you won’t need or use before you move.  Out of season clothing, tools and small appliances, and collectibles/knick knacks are items that you won’t miss. Hint: if your house is still on the market you can take this step as well, and it will help with staging your home for prospective buyers.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: NON-ESSENTIALS - Among the items that you didn’t pre-pack, choose those that you know you likely won’t need before moving.  Books, extra linens, and kitchen items can be packed up because you likely won’t be doing much reading, and you only need enough linens, plates, and utensils for the number of people living in the home.  CDs and DVDs can go as well.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: THE SERIOUS PACKING BEGINS - Yes…now it is time to start paring down the amount of “stuff” still in your home. If you have children, allow them to choose a few toys/games to keep out, and box up the rest. If you have a home office, clean it out and pack what you plan to take with you.  Any jewelry and shoes that you don’t wear daily can go as well.  You may feel that two weeks is a long time to go without these items, but trust me, before you know it you will be unpacking them in your new abode!

ONE WEEK BEFORE MOVING DAY: SEVEN DAYS AND COUNTING: Now it is time to pack up all but the few things you will need to get through the last few days at your current home.  The rest of your clothes and kitchen items can go (leaving yourself what you will need until the move, of course).  Go through your medicine cabinet and toss any expired medications. Pack the rest except for the ones you take daily.

TWO DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY: IT’S GETTING REAL YA’LL: At this point your stress level may be peaking, but if you have been following the time-line and packing a bit each week, you should be almost finished!  Box up your electronics (in their original packaging when possible), bathroom items, and any miscellaneous items that are left.  Keep an Essentials Box that you will keep with you as you are moving.

MOVING DAY: IT’S HERE! All that should be left is furniture and appliances.  Whether you have hired movers to load the large items or you are doing it yourself, it will be so much more manageable with everything else already boxed up and ready to go.

IMPORTANT TIP: Label every box.  You can either write what is in the box or what room the box should go to.  Or both.  You will be glad you did when you are unpacking!

Remember that this is simply a general guideline.  You should do what is right for you and your family when it comes to packing and moving. But hopefully this will make what can be a trying and overwhelming time a little less stressful.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, contact the professional Realtors at Tampa Realty Now  and let them help you get your house on the market!  They can be reached at 813-728-3880 or 813-675-5030.  Call them today!

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!

What You Need to Know About Selling Your House this Spring

by Craig & Linda Nowicke

  1. It’s a Seller's Market - Inventory shortages are still driving the market.  Since it is a high-demand, low-supply environment, people trying to sell their homes will see a lot of foot traffic from eager buyers. This is especially true for entry-level to mid-tier homes. In addition, if sellers price their homes right for their market, they could end up with multiple offers.
  2. Starter Homes are in Demand - Millennials are one reason for the increased housing demand.  Many of them in the past have been reluctant to the commitment of purchasing a home due to fears about job security and large amounts of debt.  But now they seem ready to become homeowners.
  3. Aesthetically Pleasing Homes Sell Faster.  Spring is the perfect time of year to show off your home.  Take advantage of flowers blooming and trees blossoming by keeping your yard neat and tidy.  That first impression may be what draws people to look at your property.
  4. More Options=Greater Odds.  Some people may think that selling in the spring is a bad idea because there is less competition during other months of the year.  But less competition means fewer buyers.  Many Realtors feel that competition is a positive thing in the real estate market and can assist homeowners in getting a better deal.
  5. School’s Out for Summer.  Many homeowners want to time their purchase of a new home with the end of the school year so that they are not moving their children to a different school mid-year.  If the closing occurs in early summer, it gives the family a couple of months to get acclimated to their new area before the new school year begins.
  6. More Buyers=More Offers.  The best thing that can happen for a seller is to receive multiple offers that result in a bidding war.  This is most likely to happen in the spring when more people are house hunting.

Spring is a time for new beginnings. People are excited to get out and look at homes. So, don’t miss out on this opportunity.  If you are thinking about selling your house this year, call the professionals at Tampa Realty Now at 813-728-3880 or 813-675-5030 and let them help you put it on the market now!

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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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