Move to Pasco and Hernando Counties!

hernando county photo

Are you looking for new areas to move to? Are you retired and looking for new places to settle? Are you new to the States and looking for nice areas to settle down? If yes, then I may have just the thing you are looking for. North Tampa Bay, Florida is the place to settle when it comes to “good living”. The Sunshine State is in the south-eastern region of the country. To north Florida is bordered by Alabama and Georgia, to its east is the Atlantic Ocean, to its south is the Straits of Florida and to the west is the Gulf of Mexico. The area which we are talking about today is the North Tampa Bay region. The North Tampa Bay region consists of the Hernando and the Pasco counties. These two counties are ideal in terms of settling down. With high life expectancy rate, these two counties are the gold haven when it comes to buying real estate in the region. Low mortality rate, high human development index and high per capita income are the other main features that enhance the counties’ image as real estate haven. Home to many beaches, rivers, lakes and other tourist spots, these counties are always swelling with flow of capital. In the county of Pasco there are a number of nudist beaches which attract tourists and local residents alike. Apart from these, there are a number of other important destinations too. There are number places to roam about in the area. A few of them are

Hudson Beach

J. Ben Harrill Recreation Complex

Veterans Memorial Park

Tom Varn Park

Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park

Conner Preserve

Cypress Creek Preserve

Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge

Weeki Wachee Springs

Withlacoochee State Forest

The New Port Richey Recreation & Aquatic Center

Holiday Rec Complex,

The Jay Starkey Preserve

Croom Motorcycle Park

Bayport Park

Brooksville Railroad Depot Museum

Delta Woods Park

Withlacoochee River Park

Crews Lake Wilderness Park

Veterans Memorial Park

Annutteliga Hammock

These areas have one of the best medical and educational facilities in the country. These two counties have some of the top hospitals, the top schools and the top colleges of the entire country. To facilitate shopping and easy availability of daily use items; these two counties have some of the best shopping malls in the country. So, if you are thinking of buying new property or if you are thinking of settling down in a new place, I would strongly recommend the North Tampa Bay, Florida. Let the sun shine upon you.

Photo by State Library and Archives of Florida

Want to paint a room? Here are some tips for you to get started.

A collection of cans of paint and other relate...

A collection of cans of paint and other related materials. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a room, paint is like clothing. Just like clothes define the personality of the person, the paint defines the personality of the room. For a room, the paint is one of the most important things. A room’s paint speaks a lot about it. When you enter a room, you may or may not particularly notice the paint of the room but the paint portrays a subliminal image in your subconscious mind. It is like you do not even look at it but still it plays a major role in portraying the image of the room and its dweller too. Well, painting a room is an artistic task. That is the reason why many people like to leave it to professionals to paint their rooms. But, for some people like myself, my room shows my personality and I cannot let anyone else paint my personality. Therefore, I, like most other people like to paint my rooms myself. Today, in this article, I will give tips on how to paint a room. These tips are like insider tips that will be of great help to you when you paint your room. These tips will enable you to do a better job at painting your room. So, without wasting anytime, let us get down to the tips.

-The type of walls: There are various types of walls. The outer surface of these walls can have different characteristics and therefore, there are different paints suitable for it. So, before you start the work, be sure you know what type of canvas you are painting on.

-The type of paint: Depending on the type of wall and the area to be covered, you can select a suitable type of paint from a number of options available in the market. I personally suggest a long lasting and spot free paint for the walls.

Painting equipment:

-When it comes to painting equipment, the question that comes in front of us is what to paint with. In the market, the following painting equipment is available:

Brushes

Rollers

Paint sprays

Based on your requirement and your painting skills, you can choose one.

-For small, congested areas, you can use brushes of different sizes.

-For large areas, you can use rollers. While using rollers, make only bottom to top motions.

-For even larger areas, you can use spray.

-Always make a uniform layer of paint on the surface.

-Make sure the paint does not drip.

That about covers it. Have fun and enjoy your new room.

Avoiding Home-buyer Regrets

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AOL Real Estate posted an article by the staff at Zillow about the common regrets experienced by first time homebuyers. Most of these regrets are avoidable if you go into your move with a little bit of planning. Just a little preparation can lead to a much more satisfying  experience. Here are ways to avoid some of the most common mistakes made by first time homebuyers.

Many buyers end up wishing they had something larger or with more storage space. There are a few ways to work around this, depending on your wants and expectations. Moving further from the cities can lead to more home for your money. Weeding out unnecessary stuff can free up more space if you can bring yourself to part with it. If your property allows for it and you have room in your budget, putting up a shed can give you plenty of extra space.

Another common complaint is paying too much and being caught off guard by the cost of closing. This is something that can be alleviated by talking things through with your Realtor and making sure you know what to expect and how much home you can afford. If you happen to be going it alone, there are plenty of resources online to help you understand closing costs and mortgage terms. Spending time researching them before going into a transaction can help you prepare and possibly save you a bundle.

Being dissatisfied with their neighborhood is another common complaint among homebuyers. The AOL Real Estate article provides some good advice here. Driving through on a Friday night gives you a good idea of what a neighborhood is really like. To add to that, there are also resources online to find out things such as crime records, property taxes, and other neighborhood specific information.

Many homebuyers also regret not having a larger yard. Again, buying further from the cities can help here. Also checking outside of large communities, out in rural areas can be helpful here. Checking with your Realtor about what you can afford and check around accordingly can be quite helpful here.

Parking is another major concern among first-time homebuyers. Having a little extra room in your budget can be helpful here. Then you may be able, depending on the neighborhood, to add an extra section to your driveway, or even an added carport.

Getting out there and doing that extra legwork and knowing what you can afford can prepare you for most contingencies and help you avoid most common regrets. Doing a little prep work beforehand can save you a lot of hassle later.

Photo by Images_of_Money

A Tiny Kitchen for Any-Sized House

Ever feel like you need more space at home? What would you do if you could convert most of your kitchen for another use? Would you set up a reading room? Office? Extra storage? With an innovation highlighted in an article by Yahoo Homes, those aspirations may soon be possible to turn into reality.

Although it carries a hefty price tag, priced at nearly $15,000, the Ecooking Kitchen from Clei fits and entire kitchen worth of appliances and fixtures and places them into a two foot by two foot column. In such a tiny amount of square footage, they managed to squeeze a fridge, a freezer, a sink, a dishwasher, coffee machine, countertops, storage, an herb garden, and a four-burner induction cooktop. They packed nearly everything one could need, aside from maybe an oven into a space smaller than most recliners.

They do this by putting everything into a column where everything folds into or pulls out of the base. It is really a marvel of design and engineering, but for the price tag, one would have every right to expect it to be. Still, if one can afford it, the saved space could allow for a whole new realm of possibilities within a home. Getting all of these items securely stashed into such a small space means that those with minimal cooking supplies and potentially put an entire other room of their home to better use. Who couldn’t use that extra space?

This is just one in a series of innovations in maximizing the space available in a home that has come along in recent years. More and more people are finding ways to make living space that most would see as far too small work for them by virtue of such advances in technology and design. Just picture how much fancier and more refined a so-called “tiny house” could be with something like this for their kitchen.

Affordable City Living Can Be a Reality in Tampa Bay

Exterior of the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa...

Exterior of the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Finance has an article about how people are being priced out of city living by soaring prices. This is a topic that we have covered extensively. Most major cities in America are becoming havens for the rich as housing costs have squeezed most people out of the running for many residences. This is where Tampa Bay has an advantage over many parts of the country.

Real estate in Tampa Bay has more variety and affordability than most other major metropolitan areas. While there are still the high-priced “middle class lifestyle on an upper class budget” type of homes around, there are plenty of places that are affordable for the average household. With three major cities within a small radius, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, there are options for just about everybody. There are also towns right on the outskirts of those cities that have plenty of affordable places within a short distance of the bigger cities. You have all of the benefits of the bigger cities with less of the hassle.

There is always a hint of the big city culture and entertainment scene anywhere you look in the Tampa Bay area. From Weeki Wachee Springs and Buccaneer Bay in Hernando County, to the Innisbrook golf resort in Palm Harbor, there hints of big city culture even far outside the cities themselves. Wherever you go in the Tampa Bay area, something exciting is nearby.

As for work and avoiding those long commutes, as previously mentioned, there are plenty of affordable places in and just outside of the cities, meaning short commutes without mountains of mortgage debt. This is great for those who have been priced out of other cities, as there is plenty of opportunity alongside plenty of affordable homes in the Tampa Bay area real estate market.

For more information about living in the Tampa Bay area, email SOLD@bonniebarbieri.com.

What Car Dealerships Can Teach Us

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Yahoo Finance has an article up about how and why the auto industry is recovering better than the housing market has recently. The answer they give was the same answer as to why the housing market crashed in 2008, subprime lending. The auto industry is thriving because they are more willing to provide credit to lenders looking to buy cars than the banks that provide mortgages are. Of course, we all know how that worked for the housing market.

The article does state that the auto industry is supposedly taking a better accounting of the risks than what the mortgage market did leading into the Great Recession. Whether this is actually accurate remains to be seen. However, there is a point there that bears note, and that is the idea that if the mortgage lenders were to be willing to do a better job accounting for the risks and and ensuring their loans were good risks, that loosened lending could very well have a positive impact on the housing market. We have shown before that steps have been put in place to attempt to ensure that this occurs, but as of yet, there is little data on their effectiveness given how new these programs are.

This does raise the question, “If there are measures in place to ensure mortgages are not being made to bad risk clients, why are there not more quality mortgages being written?” Part of this is due to the fact that these new guidelines also tightened the rules and requirements for getting a mortgage. Part of it is people being too burdened financially to take on a mortgage at this time. Part of it is the disillusionment that some people experienced after the mortgage crisis that led to a weary eye cast at any financial institution.

There is little that can be done about the tighter requirements. That was an unfortunate aftereffect of the mortgage crisis. The financial burdens placed on families across this country carry no easy or even uniform fix. The one thing that can be worked on is that public perception of the financial industry. This is a public relations issue. If people can see the positive effects of the new regulations, then they may begin to trust their institutions again. It may not be a cure all for the mortgage industry, but if more people are borrowing and making their payments, the banks may start to find ways to start lending to higher risk clients in a responsible manner again  like the auto industry appears to have done.

Mortgages that are easier to obtain means more buyers from across the demographic spectrum. This entices more people to sell, and the market flourishes. It can be done. If we want to see sustained growth in real estate, it must be done. There is something to be learned from the auto industry, the question is, will we learn it in time?

Photo by StockMonkeys.com

Rebuffing Renters Arguments

Yahoo Finance has an article with ten reasons why they believe it can be better to rent than to buy a home. While some of them hold water, we believe a good portion of those reasons are rubbish, and here are our explanations for why:

10. Spending Less on Utilities: This one does have some truth behind it. However, when it comes to energy usage, home ownership also affords you the freedom to do things like put solar panels up which can reduce energy costs to nothing. With the restrictions of renting, this is not possible.

9. Not Being Responsible for Repairs: This again has some truth to it. However, Google the horror stories of people trying to get repairs taken care of through their landlords and you may end up just wanting to handle it yourself instead of waiting six months to fix a leaky toilet.

8. Lack of Property Taxes: OK, they have us there. However, we counter with the higher rental cost that will quickly put you in the red on that.

7. No Mortgage Debt: There may not be a debt, but you will still pay every month, where buying a home means that eventually you would own it outright with no further mortgage payments.

6. Renters Insurance is Cheaper than Homeowners Insurance: True, but again, the inflated rental costs can easily offset those savings.

5. More Mobility: OK, there is really no counter to this one. If you value the ability to pack up and move wherever life takes you, rentals could be a smarter choice in that respect.

4. The Possibility of A Better Neighborhood: There are plenty of article about how rentals are so expensive in cities that they are unattainable for most middle-class families.

3. Financial Stability: Even the Yahoo article acknowledges that buying a home can be a better investment. There are arguments either way here, so at worst, this can go to either side.

2. Amenities You Couldn’t Otherwise Afford: They state that while some people cannot afford a house with a pool, some apartments have it on site. For some buyers, this can be accomplished with a gated community, however, not all buyers have access to that luxury. The rental crowd takes that one.

1. Easier to Redecorate: Their own argument is a contradiction here. It is not easier to re-decorate an apartment or rented house than one you own. Period.

Realistically, most of their arguments depend heavily on location and comparing housing arrangements that simply are not comparable.  We still contend that owning a home beats renting in today’s economy. Give us a call and we can tell you why in greater detail.

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Building for the Future

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There is a wealth of evidence to show that the Great Recession has been exceptionally difficult for young adults. Those in their mid-twenties to early thirties are saddled with more financial burdens than many of  the generations before them. Astronomical student loan debt, unemployment, underemployment, lowered wages, these are all things that young adults today are nearly guaranteed to face at some point if they have not already. The younger generation did not have the decades of prosperity necessary to build a nest egg and ensure themselves security like those in their parents’ generation had. This is why we see a greatly decreased number of them owning homes today.

This is especially troublesome to those whose own economic stability relies on the strength of the housing market. To some extent or another, that is everyone. So much of the American economy is built around or fueled by the housing market. Beyond real estate agents and brokers, there are contractors and builders, repair technicians and plumbers. Retail sales hurt when housing hurts. There are less financially secure homeowners buying things, and that hurts stores ranging from Lowes to WalMart, Best Buy to Burger King, and everything in between. A lack of homeowners with disposable income also leads to less investment, which hurts financial market, which are the lifeblood of our economy.

The point here is simple, finding ways to improve the financial standing of our younger generations benefits everyone. Getting more of them into homes, getting them on their feet and financially secure leads to the wheels of economic growth turning faster. That benefits everyone. More money gets spent, which in turn means more people are earning it. What is key for the housing industry is key for the economy at large. Helping our young adults find meaningful work and buy homes will lead to more prosperity for everyone. We need to be smart as a nation and build for the future.

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Photo by 401(K) 2013

Spring Hill Courier Fools Several News Sites

six flags photo

A number of reputable news outlets have been getting duped in the past week or two. They have been reporting news as factual that has in fact come from a satire website that is basically Spring Hill, Florida’s version of The Onion. Sites such as The Orlando Sentinel were duped by these parody articles. The site that has been causing all of the uproar is called Spring Hill Courier. One look at the nature of the headlines and Photoshopped pictures should be a dead giveaway, but still, many have fallen victim to the ruse. The site’s “About Us” page clearly points out the site’s satirical nature, however, several sites were fooled anyway.

The “story” that garnered the most attention was one that reignited the old rumor that a Six Flags theme park was going to be opened in Spring Hill. This was the one the Orlando Sentinel was caught off guard by. The Sentinel has since retracted their story, offering a correction. The story was spread like wildfire through social media with many getting the joke, and many others being fooled.

Other articles on the site talk about preposterous scenarios such as bears taking up residence at the old, closed Sweetbay at Four Corners, a racist entrepreneur who wanted to open a “whites-only” Arby’s and plenty more. Some of the articles are quite funny to anyone in on the joke, A few, like the Arby’s one are in somewhat poor taste.

All told, if you want a good laugh, check the site out. It is pretty entertaining. Just don’t fall into the trap that some in the local press have and take the stories seriously. After all, Florida produces plenty of weird news on it’s own anyway.

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Photo by Sarah_Ackerman

Cautious Optimism Over the Tampa Bay Housing Market

tampa bay photo

Market Watch has an article up that explains five reasons that they believe put fears over the state of the current housing market to rest. In the interest of keeping you up to date with everything going on in the housing market, we will run through their points and evaluate their claims so you can get a better idea where things stand.

Claim #1: Homes are really affordable right now.

This one is really on the money. We have stated numerous times on our blog how home prices are really great for buyers in the current market. Buying is currently far more cost effective than renting when one is able to make the purchase. We have also pointed out that here in the Tampa Bay area, home prices are among the most affordable in the country.

Claim #2: Student loans are not as much of a burden as people think.

This claim is one that is really subjective. For some, the burdens of high student loan payments can be crippling. For others, the article’s claims that many buyers can easily afford the loan payment plus the mortgage on a home holds true. However, even when payments are low, high debt loads could have a negative impact on mortgage availability. Some borrowers might have low student loan payments due to income-based repayment plans yet still owe a huge sum. They could likely have difficulty getting a mortgage. Really, this one has to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Claim #3: Once current grad school students finish school, they will buy homes.

This is really another difficult one to evaluate, because we go back to the same discussion about student loans. If a grad student takes on considerable debt to get their degree, there can be issues with them qualifying for a mortgage.

Claim #4: Younger people are buying more new cars, so homes will follow.

This actually is a pretty good sign. So long as those buying the cars are keeping up with payments, it means that they are becoming financially secure enough to possibly afford a home as the need arises. This is a sign that really gives us some hope.

Claim #5: Getting loans is getting easier.

This is another one we have repeatedly touted ourselves.  We have posted several articles about how mortgages are getting easier to get and how low interest rates have kept them affordable. This is one we completely agree with.

Overall, it would seem as though the Market Watch article is at least half right, if not possibly better. This translates to some decent hope about the state of the market. However, unlike the purely rosy outlook of the article, we temper our optimism with caution. We believe things are on the right track, and so long as things stay that way, good things lie ahead.

If you want to keep up to date with more real estate news and information, bookmark http://bonniebarbieriteam.com and check back often as we update at least three times a week.

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Photo by Cal Dellinger