Real Estate

Selecting the perfect floor plan for your lifestyle

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Are you shopping for your next home?  Your lifestyle will determine if the home’s floor plan will work for you.

Do you entertain frequently?  You should search for a home with a bathroom on the main floor near the living room so guests do not have to go upstairs or through several rooms to find the bathroom.

Do you enjoy cooking?  A large kitchen with plenty of counter space and a good oven is must then.  If you prefer to cook with gas you will need to be sure the new home has access.

Do you enjoy entertaining outdoors?  Make sure there is an easy main entrance to the lanai or deck.  You don’t want the sliding glass door in the master bedroom to be the only way your guests can access the back yard (yes, I’ve seen that before!).

Do you want a big screen TV to watch the game on?  You will need a large wall to anchor it on as well as a large room for plenty of seating if you plan on hosting weekend football viewing parties.

Are you a pack rat?  Make sure there are plenty of closets, kitchen and bathroom cabinets and other storage solutions to hold your holiday decorations, family keepsakes and more.

Do you have large pieces of furniture you want to keep?  Check the dimensions of the rooms and walls to be sure your dining table or big leather sectional will fit.

These are some of the questions you should ask yourself when you begin your home search.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

 

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Fun, Neighborhood Businesses, Real Estate

Hurricane Prep for Your Pets

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If a hurricane or tropical storm came your way do you have a plan for your pets?

Most of us like to believe “it will never happen to me” but what if does.  How would you protect your best friend?

Red Cross shelters typically do not accept dogs so if you live in an evacuation zone decide now where you would go.

Before the storm arrives be sure your pet is micro chipped and wears a collar with your identification in case you get separated.

You should also put together an emergency kit for each pet.  A backpack or duffel bag works great.  Start with these items-

  • Copies of their shot records, license, and pet records in a clear plastic bag
  • If your pet takes medication add an extra supply to her emergency kit
  • A blanket or towel for drying off or sleeping on
  • Enough pet food, treats and water for at least 7 days
  • Can opener for wet food along with extra leash, food bowls, toys, brush and plastic potty bags

Please take the time now to prepare your pet’s emergency kit.  If a storm does come you will be glad you did.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9699

 

Real Estate

Is investing in Real Estate right for you?

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Have you ever thought about investing in Real Estate?  Real Estate is a great investment and makes sense for the right investor.

A few days ago I received a phone call from a young woman I sold a home to earlier this year.  She and her fiance are interested in buying their first rental house and she was looking for some guidance.  This is some of the advise I gave her-

  1. Are you ready to become a landlord?  Are you going to search for and screen your tenants and be available by phone at 2:00 am when the air conditioner goes out (because it’s always the middle of the hottest night in August when that happens!  LOL).  Or would you prefer to hire a management company to handle all of that for you?
  2. How are your finances?  If you need a mortgage to purchase the property your lender will ask for a higher down payment (at least 20%) and your interest rate will be higher than for your primary residence.  Lenders are taking a bigger risk on homes that are not your primary residence.
  3. Select the right home.  How much work does the property need before it’s ready to rent?  Can you tackle the job yourself or do you need to hire help?  Is it located in an area tenants want to be such as near shopping and schools with good interstate access?
  4. Understand your expenses.  You will have to pay the mortgage, property taxes, insurance and maintenance on the home.  There may be other expenses depending upon the home, such as HOA fees and management fees if you elect to hire someone to take care of the property for you.
  5. Determine your potential profit.  After all of your expenses have been paid and a small amount set aside in cash reserves to cover replacement of that air conditioner along with vacant times between tenants,  how much will be left for your profit?  Aim for at least a 6% and closer to 10%.
  6. What is your budget?  After carefully considering all of the above points, how much are you willing to invest in your rental home?

We met again a couple of days after our initial consultation, reviewed the numbers and are scheduled to look at our first property early next week.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

 

Real Estate

Staging Your Home to Sell

Staging a home as part of the listing process is helping to sell homes faster and for more money.

According to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 50% of staged homes sold for one to ten percent more compared to similar homes on the market.

Staging your home makes it easier for buyers to visualize living in the home with their own belongings.  Often simple things will make a big impact.

The survey showed the most common home improvement projects recommended were de-cluttering the home (93%), deep cleaning of the entire home (89%), cleaning the carpet (81%) and removing pets during showings (80%).

It shouldn’t be a surprise that staged Living Rooms have the largest impact followed by Master Bedrooms and Kitchens.   Those are the areas where homeowners spend most of their time.2017-profile-of-home-staging-infographic-07-06-2017-1300w-2269h

Staging is an important step I encourage all of my sellers to do before we put your home on the market.  I’ll be happy to provide any information you need or connect you with an outstanding professional.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

 

Real Estate

6 Reasons your home isn’t selling

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When you have your home listed for sale but it’s not selling there are often simple reasons why and things you can do to help your home sell.

  1. Your home is overpriced.  An overpriced listing will sit on the market longer than a home that is priced well.   No one wants to overpay for their home.  Buyers will compare your home to recently closed similar homes in the market and place their offer accordingly.   Reducing the price will make you more competitive in the market.

 

  1. Your home is not in excellent condition. Take the time to ensure all the maintenance items on the home are complete.  Simple things like burnt out light bulbs will effect the way buyers perceive your house.  Make sure your home is sparkling clean before every showing.  You may even want to pay and have it professionally cleaned.   Take the time to make sure your home always looks it’s best.

 

  1. There a lot of similar homes for sale near you.  Homes sell slower when there is a larger inventory.  Your agent will be able to advise you what the average selling time is in your neighborhood.

 

  1. Your photos are poor quality. Buyers view homes online first and then decide which ones to visit in person.  Be sure to use the maximum number of high quality professional photos allowed in your listing.

 

  1. The description of your home is weak. Does the description of your home tell the facts and only the facts or does it elicit emotions and create a story of the lifestyle the buyer will have when living there?  Most people will not take the time to read a boring home description, make sure yours keeps the reader interested.

 

  1. Your home is too personalized. Buyers want to envision living in the home with their belongings.  Take the time to edit furnishings and visual clutter.  You may even want to consult a professional home stager to help showcase your home.

Following these tips should help your home sell.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Results that get you packing!

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Real Estate

Will a simple remodel help me sell my home for more money?

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People ask me all the time what home improvement projects should they tackle before listing their home for sale.  They are hoping to make last minute improvements that will give them a net increase in the sales price of their home.  Unfortunately, there are few home improvement projects you can do that will net more money when you sell.

Most projects will only earn you a return of about 65% of what it costs to make the improvement.  The numbers will vary slightly based upon the type of project.  Each year a “Cost vs. Value Report” is published for Tampa detailing the information.

Some projects will yield a higher return such as adding attic insulation (a 155% return) and replacing a garage door (a 100.7% return) but most projects will not pay for themselves when you sell.  I would always suggest checking the report before investing in any project unless you are remodeling for your own enjoyment.

When you are ready to sell I would suggest you ensure all routine maintenance projects have been completed and have a thorough professional cleaning of your home- yes I am sure you are super clean, but potential buyers will see things you never even thought about.  This will help your home look it’s best and show buyers the home is well cared for.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Cost vs. Value Report I can be reached by phone or text, 813-244-9688.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

Real Estate

Why do I need a Home Inspector when purchasing a house?

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One of the most important things you will need to do when purchasing a home is schedule your home inspection.  Depending upon the contract you are using, you have about 10 days to have the home inspected and request the sellers to make any repairs.

A home inspector performs a visual inspection of the systems and items in the home. It’s best to use an ASHI certified inspector who has been rigorously tested, educated, experienced and follows the ASHI code of ethics.

Depending upon the size of the house and any additional items requiring inspection (such as a pool) the inspection will take a about two hours.  The inspector looks at the structural parts of the home like the foundation and roof as well the heating and cooling systems, electrical, and plumbing.  In addition they will also inspect walls, floors, doors, ceilings, attics and more.

It’s best if you arrive at when the inspection is almost complete.  The inspector will go over his report with you in person and show you his findings.  You should also receive a detailed written report after the inspection is complete.  The inspector should be very thorough and the report will probably contain a few cosmetic items that can be repaired after you move in. If there are any serious structural concerns you can usually negotiate with the sellers for the repairs or if there are too many you may be able to cancel your contract, check with your attorney or agent for guidance.

The Home Inspector will be able to advise you on the condition of the home you are buying and suggest any future repairs.

Kelly Harden, Realtor

Mihara & Associates

(813)244-9688

 

 

 

 

Real Estate

Why does my Realtor® want to meet me before showing me houses?

As a Buyer, when you first start working with a Realtor® they are going to request a sit down meeting with you.  This meeting could take place at their office or even a coffee shop.  Why do we do this before jumping in and showing you prospective houses?

It gives us a chance to get to know you better.  I have a series of questions I ask all of my buyers that helps me understand the type of house you are looking for, where you want the house to be, features you would like the house to have and what’s most important to you.  These interview type questions help save time in the long run by helping me understand you better.

A sit down meeting also give you a chance to interview the agent.  Ask questions, anything you want.  You need to feel comfortable working with me and confident I have your best interests at heart.

If you’ve never bought a home before, or if you did but it was years ago, you may not be aware of everything involved.  During our first meeting I will explain the process to you, what steps are involved, and what your responsibilities are as well as mine.

If you have not gotten pre-approved for a mortgage your agent will refer you to a couple of great lenders they trust and have worked with in the past.  In today’s strong sellers market you will need to send a pre-approval letter from the lender to the seller along with your offer.

Last, but certainly not least is safety.  It’s never wise to meet someone you don’t know in a vacant home.  Your agent may also ask for a copy of your drivers license, that’s standard procedure in many offices today.

When you take the time to meet with a Realtor® at the beginning of your home search you have the opportunity to ensure they are the right person for you.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

813-244-9688

 

Real Estate

Final Week of the 2017 Tampa Bay Parade of Homes

It’s here, the final week of the 2017 Parade of Homes put on by the Tampa Bay Builders Association.  This is your chance to see 92 models from 39 builders at their absolute best.  Model homes have extended hours, you don’t even need an appointment.  You can check out which model home won what award and pick your favorites.

This is my favorite outdoor space (and it’s an award winner too).  I’d like to use it as inspiration for my own backyard, another fun reason to go!

If you are thinking of moving a new construction home is always a great idea.  The home is brand new, no one has lived in it before.  If you start the process early you can choose your finishes and maybe even customize part of the house.  Newly built homes are usually more energy efficient and offer the latest in technology.

Many of the homes are in awesome communities with fabulous perks such as community pools, playgrounds, dog parks, walking or bike trails and more!

Kelly Harden  Realtor®

Mihara & Associates, Inc.

(813)244-9688

ps- When you find a home you love and want to buy don’t forget to bring your Realtor®, our job is to look out for your best interests!

 

Real Estate

Almost 4 Acres of Beautiful Land for Sale In Dover, FL

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I recently listed a beautiful piece of property in Dover, Florida for sale.  It’s almost four acres of undeveloped land with gorgeous oak trees, shrubs and other trees located north of Brandon Blvd and south of  Dr. M.L.K. Blvd.  It’s close to everything while still allowing plenty of privacy.

If you are looking for a place to build your dream home this might be it!  With almost four acres of land there is plenty of room for you and all of your toys!

The property is listed for $175,000.  If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the land please give me a call, 813-244-9688.

Kelly Harden, Realtor®, GRI

Century 21 Affiliated, Avila

813-244-9688