Why a Home Doesn’t Sell

This video from the Re/Max YouTube channel discusses the main reasons why some homes struggle to sell. We can help you avoid these problems before you even have your listing go live so that you get the best chance of having a buyer see your home and fall in love with it. If you are looking to sell or buy a home in the Tampa Bay Area, contact Bonnie directly through the blue “Live Chat” button on the left hand side of your screen and see what we can do for you.

Looser Credit Requirements for Mortgages

According to AOL Real Estate, the average credit score needed to secure a home loan has dropped over the past year. The average rate dropped from 748 to 727, a drop of twenty-one points. This means that more potential home buyers can get access to loans than before. As the credit requirements loosen, it becomes easier for potential buyers to qualify for loans. While the score used in these determinations is the FICO score, which borrowers can only get when applying for these loans, getting your full credit report can give you a decent idea of what to expect when you apply. We covered how to get your credit report here.

Borrowers with lower credit scores still struggle to get loans. Having a good credit history and good debt-to-income ratio are two of the biggest things used to determine qualification for a home loan. Failing to keep on top of these can result in struggles to obtain a mortgage. So, it is a good idea to stay on top of your credit and manage debts before trying to apply for a home loan. There is still potential to get a loan with lower credit, but you need to qualify on a number of other criteria in order to offset the damage done by a poor credit score.

If you have poor credit and want to apply for a home loan, take some time and do what you can to patch up your credit history. Pay down debts, work with creditors to avoid having negative marks on your credit report, and make sure to monitor your credit score. Do this, and your chance of getting a loan could improve significantly. Of course, this is not a guarantee, but it certainly can help. Plus, making these efforts shows potential lenders that you are serious about trying to live up your commitments.

Florida Home Values to Rise Over 5 Percent in 2014 – Call A Realtor Today

Zillow recently published their home value forecasts for 2014. Over the past year, home values across the country averaged a 6.4 percent year-over-over increase from 2012 to 2013. In their estimates for the coming year, Zillow predicts that average U.S. home prices will increase by 4.8 percent through 2014. How this becomes news to Florida homeowners is that some of biggest increases throughout the country will be right here in Florida. The three key markets they examined in the state, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami all showed signs of increase that beat the national average. Orlando in particular is predicted to rise by at least ten percent.

The Tampa market, which in these estimates frequently includes homes as far north as Hernando County, is expected to see an increase of somewhere between five to ten percent. Home values in the Tampa Bay area are steadily on the rise, have been for some time now and appear to be continuing their climb. This is great news for Florida homeowners.

They consider the housing recovery to be in the middle stages, which means that there is still room for further growth. This means that now is a great time for homeowners to start considering a move if they have reason to. If the rising values have not resulted in a price that is tempting to sell at yet, there is a good chance that the next year or two will bring values to that level. Keep an eye on the housing market in the near future, as opportunities to get real value out of a home sale are becoming more abundant. As the market improves, there is no better time to get into the market and reap the benefits for yourself. If lower market values have been keeping you weary of getting into the fray, let this report serve as a sign that opportunities are coming for you to make a move to better your lifestyle.

Check Out Citrus County

This video highlights some of the best features of Citrus County. It shows the benefits to businesses who look to Citrus County as a new center of operations. It also points out the expansion of the Suncoast Parkway, which connects the northern counties of Citrus and Hernando to the economic centers in Hillsborough and Pinellas.

We get a look at some of Citrus County’s most well known towns, Inverness, Crystal River, Homosassa and Floral City. We also get to see a bit of the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. Like Weeki Wachee Springs in Hernando County, Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park is a great place to take in nature and see wildlife up close.

The video also shows the opportunity for growth in several key industries to the county, including medical, financial and technology. Citrus County has expressed a commitment to growing these industries and wants to get more businesses to come to the region. As industry grows, jobs increase, the economy improves and the area prospers.

There is much to see and do in Citrus County, and the area continues to grow as the population centers expand north from Tampa and St. Petersburg and into the northern counties. This trend has been growing for years, as cheaper housing, decreased congestion, and more available land have been enticing lures to those tired of cramped, expensive city housing.

Citrus County is a vibrant, rural community that is on the rise. If you are looking to expand your business or live the Florida lifestyle minutes away from the coast, Citrus County is a great place to look.

First Fridays in St. Petersburg Florida

Downtown St. Petersburg is one of the best destinations for Florida nightlife. This video shows off one of St. Pete’s best attractions, the First Friday celebration. Every month, on the first Friday of the month, a several block long section of downtown is turned into one big block party. Hundreds of people gather to let loose and enjoy the biggest party in the area. With music, food and much more, this is a great introduction to all that Florida nightlife has to offer.

This monthly event is right in the center of the action St. Petersburg, within walking distance of several bars, concert venues, restaurants, art galleries, etc. Checking out this party gives you the perfect opportunity to see all of the best hotspots in one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in all of Florida. This is something you would not want to pass up if you enjoy a night out living life to the fullest.

St. Petersburg is home to some of the top attractions in the state. From Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, to the St. Petersburg Pier, this city is full of attractions and places to take the family and have a great time. There are restaurants serving  just about any type of food you could want. It is also home to some of the best nightlife in the entire state. People drive from hours away and fly in from all over the country to see the sights and enjoy all of the attractions of this great city. Certainly, that is a sign of the city’s popularity.

If you have the opportunity to get down there, you are certain to have a great time. Just check out this video from VisitStPeteClearwater.com that shows you what you can expect from this lively event.


Historic Hernando County – HCPL Oral History Series Pt. 1

Here is the newest entry in our continuing series, Historic Hernando County. This video, created by the Hernando County Public Library, is one of several they produced in a series of oral history interviews about Hernando County. In this entry in the series, longtime resident Fred Blackburn discusses many topics about the early days of the county’s history. Below, we provide a summary of the topics discussed so people can get a better idea of what they will see watching the whole video.

– He discusses what some of the early homes in the area were like. The difference between living conditions then and now is pretty staggering. It makes you really appreciate the lifestyle we are afforded today.

– He then discusses the way justice worked back in the day. It was an old-school style of posse justice. This was the type of thing you would see in the Old West.

– We get a picture of what schools in Hernando County were like in the 1950s. School lunch sounds like it was awesome back then. Some of the other differences between schools then and now are quite intriguing.

– He then talks about growing up farming his family’s food. He then talks about the experience shopping at the local general store and how vital it was to the community. From there, we get a picture of how close the community was and the sense of morality that was prevalent during his youth.

– We then get an amusing anecdote about installing his family’s first television set.

– He then talks about the days of Hernando being a dry county and how that led to the popularity of moonshine in the region.

There is plenty more, but we do not want to give everything away. It is a really interesting video and anyone interested in the roots of their community should check it out. The Hernando County Public Library has done some great work with this series. Show them your support.

Growing Mortgage Applications

Current mortgage applications are scarier than ever. According to CNN Real Estate, the size of mortgage applications has ballooned due to the new rules and regulations governing the mortgage market. Applications as large as 500 pages long are becoming a fairly regular occurrence. Here are some reasons for these enormous documents.

1. Financial disclosures. Tax returns, bank statements, and much more are now required to be scrutinized with every new mortgage application. These new disclosures are making things more difficult for those seeking loans. You need to make sure you keep or have access to these records, because you will need them.

2. Identity disclosures. New mortgage applications require more stringent proof of identity. You need to prove to borrowers that you are who you say you are. The reason for these extra precautions is security. The government checks for links to terrorist groups. This can be seen as intrusive to some, but these are the rules we have to live with.

3. Appraisal documents. A large part of the new mortgage rules focuses on ensuring accurate appraisals so that loans are made for the proper amount. This precaution has been put into place to avoid inflated appraisals. This is another of the many protections put into place with the new rules.

With mortgage applications being more complicated than ever before, working with someone versed in the new rules who can assist you in walking through all the red tape and hassle that comes with these gargantuan piles of paperwork is practically a necessity. One important piece of that puzzle is hiring a qualified Realtor. They are trained to assist you and connect you with reputable mortgage lenders who will help you with the details of the process. If you are looking for a Realtor in Spring Hill, Florida, look no further than Bonnie Barbieri. Contact her here.

Having Fun in Spring Hill by Fred Moutran

Spring Hill, Florida has many places to go for those who want to have a good time. Whether you want fun in the sun or drinks after dark, there is something for just about anyone. From beaches to nightclubs, here are a few of the best places to go to have fun in Spring Hill.

1. Weeki Wachee Springs – Along with Buccaneer Bay, its adjacent water park, Weeki Wachee Springs is the top tourist attraction in Hernando County. We have covered how the park is a favorite among celebrities and movie producers. It is also incredibly popular among locals as a great place to cool off in the summer heat or take in nature on the river boat ride. Of course, you simply cannot think of Weeki Wachee Springs without mentioning the world famous Mermaids. This is something you just have to see for yourself.

2. Aqua Bar & Lounge – This is one of my personal favorite places to go to cut loose on the weekends. A great atmosphere, excellent staff and some of the best parties in town, Aqua has everything you could want from a Tampa nightclub right here in town. We covered Aqua a bit more recently. Check it out.

3. Pine Island – If beaches are more your thing, be sure to check out Pine Island. This beach is the hotspot for people who want to have fun in the sun in Hernando County. Check out this video we found and see what you have been missing.

4. Spring Hill Lanes – Bowling is a popular activity in Spring Hill. Many nights, Spring Hill Lanes will be absolutely packed. If you want to get in a game and get together with friends, this is one of the prime places to do it.

These are a few of the better places to go and have a good time in Spring Hill. If you have any other places you would like to recommend, drop us a line on our Facebook page.