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This Month in Real Estate: May 2014

The median price for homes was $198,000 and home prices are up 5.4% from last month and 7.7% from the same month last year.

And the average nation rate for 30-year fixed mortgages has slightly risen to 4.33%.

To get tips on selling your home faster and for more money through staging, watch the video above or contact me at Rosemary Sells Tampa!

Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

Tips for Buying a Vacation or Second Home

Investing in a second home is a great way to vacation.  Whether it’s a beachfront condo or a Disney-adjacent single family home, there are so many wonderful ways to make lasting memories with your family.

But, before you jump in, review these 6 tips:

1. Keep costs within the budget.  Unless you’re paying cash, make sure you get prequalified for a loan before you start looking.  And don’t overspend:  you’ll need cash for ice cream.

2. Determine the frequency of use.  If you’re going to be spending a week or a month at a time at your vacation home, then you may not mind spending half the day in the car (or in airports) to get to your destination, but if it’s a weekend home, you’ll probably want it a little closer. 

3. Pick the right location.  Pick an area that offers what you want.  If you’re not a beach person, maybe homes with the Gulf of Mexico in the backyard isn’t where you should be looking. 

4. Understand upkeep.  If you don’t want to hire a lawn service to mow a large yard, you may want to consider a maintenance-free condo or town home. 

5. Research rental potential and costs.  If you intend to rent out the property, be sure to research things like renter’s insurance and what properties in the area are renting for. 

6. Think about resale and changing needs.  Don’t forget to factor resale value into your decision.

These tips are summarized from Barbara Ballinger.  Read more at Realtor Mag.

And start the search for your Florida Dream Home today at Rosemary Sells Tampa!

click here to search for homes banner(photo source)


Gap Between Renting and Buying Costs is Closing in U.S.

Sold Sign

The gap between renting and buying is narrowing across the U.S., down 8% from last year.

Home ownership is 38% cheaper than renting, although the numbers do vary slightly depending on your region.  Owning is only 5% cheaper than renting in Honolulu, but is 66% cheaper in Detroit.

Even though home prices have been on the rise, low mortgage rates have continued to make home ownership a better financial decision.

Owning a home will continue to be cheaper than renting until interest rates reach 10.6%.

Why wait?  Start your home search today at Rosemary Sells Tampa!

Read more:  Property Wire

This Month in Real Estate: April 2014

Median Home Price:  $189,000

Average 30-year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.32%

This month’s video focuses on buying a home in a seller’s market.

To begin your home search today, visit Rosemary Sells Tampa!

This Month in Real Estate: March 2014

Home prices are down 4.5% from last month, but are still 11% higher than they were from the same month last year.

The average national rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is at 4.33%.

Inventory is now at the lowest since 2005, so we’re experiencing a seller’s market.  This means that if you’re a buyer, you need to get pre-qualified from a mortgage company before looking at homes, and if you’re a seller, you need to be listed at the right price.

For more details, watch the video above, and if you’re ready to buy or sell a home, or you have some questions regarding the process, please contact me at Rosemary Sells Tampa!


Enter to Win $50,000 by Downloading My App!

Enter to win $50,000!  Text KW2B3CSU8 to 87778 to get the app and enter the agent code KW2B3CSU8 when prompted!

What is it?

A free home search app for iPhones, iPads, and Androids.

What can it do?

With the app, you can search for over 4 million homes across the U.S. and Canada.

The best part?  You can do a search for “nearby homes” and “nearby rentals” that are near your location.  You can then get driving or walking directions to any property you pick!

Plus, you can see large, color photos, you can save your favorites and even make notes on them.  You can email and text your favorites, and you can send them to Facebook and Twitter, too.  There’s even a mortgage calculator!

And if you have any questions at all, you can email and text me right from the app!

How do you win $50,000?

Download the free app and enter the contest by clicking on “Enter to Win $50,000” once you’re in the app.

How do you get it?

Text KW2B3CSU8 to 87778 to get the app, and enter in my agent code (KW2B3CSU8) when prompted, so I’ll be able to help you with any questions you may have!

Or, scan the QR Code below, and add in KW2B3CSU8 when prompted.

You can also get the app from the Keller Williams website.

Good luck!

Sandy Snowman | Christmas in Siesta Key, Florida

It was negative 16 degrees in some areas of the country this week, but here in Tampa, Florida, we’ve got a balmy high of 79 today.

Most of us Floridians do wish it was a wee bit cooler, but we’re still enjoying Christmastime in our own way.

In the spirit of the season, I wanted to share this photo by Barbara Weibel of a snowman built from the soft, white sand of Siesta Key:

Sandy Snowman  |  Christmas in Siesta Key, Florida

As a local beach bum who has known the joy of toes buried deep within the cool, velvet sands pictured here, I can share a smile with this contented snowman.

Merry Christmas from Florida!

And if you’re looking for your own slice of paradise in Tampa Bay, start your search at Rosemary Sells Tampa!

(photo source)

Single-Family Home Prices are Going Up

Stats from the National Assoc. of Home Builders are showing a pretty steady rise in prices for single-family homes since 2009.

The charts below show the numbers from 2009-2012, and also for the three-quarters of 2013:

New and Existing Home Price Trends

Find this graphic at Builder Online.

Need advice on buying or selling a home?  Visit Rosemary Sells Tampa!

Check Your Credit Score 6 Months Before Trying to Buy a Home

Nearly 3 out of 10 Americans have a credit score of 620 or lower, and are unlikely to qualify for a conventional mortgage loan.

And the lowest mortgage rates usually go to people with credit scores of 740 or higher.  According to, in September 2010, 47% of Americans had a credit score over 720, but as of September 2013, that number is 40.3 percent.

When you’re ready to buy a home, you want to avoid any unpleasant surprises, so it’s important to make sure your credit is in good standing.

At least 6 months before trying to purchase a home, check your credit score.  Fix any mistakes, and make sure you keep paying all your bills on time.  Also, don’t take out any loans or new credit before closing on your new home.

Read more about the credit score stats at Florida Realtors, and check out my blog on 7 tips to Fix Mistakes in Your Credit Report.

Also, if you’re shopping for a new home in Florida, check out the tips and powerful search engine at Rosemary Sells Tampa!

Discover the Lifestyle of Connerton in Land O’ Lakes, Florida

Connerton just released a new video showcasing all of their amazing amenities!

You can view the clubhouse, fitness center, cafe/lounge, basket ball and tennis courts, resort-style pool and water play area, playgrounds, open spaces, and wooded walking trails.