Are You a Buyer Sitting on the Fence?

Many people are just sitting on the fence out there waiting, pondering, doodling and noodling about whether or not to buy a home. Oh they want to buy alright – but they are wondering if now is the time or should they wait a little longer. We understand that some people may be having a hard time deciding, after all, they are not in the business and have limited access to forecasts and current numbers. Plus, with all the media doom and gloom about foreclosures and the economy, no wonder people are afraid to move forward. The reality though, in my opinion, and as evidenced by the stats below is that if buyers continue to sit on the fence, they may miss out on some opportunities that currently exist in this rock bottom market.

Here’s the latest from the National Association of Realtors, published today 11/24/08:

For the second month in a row, Florida’s existing home sales rose in October, with Florida Realtors® reporting a 15 percent increase in activity in the year-to-year comparison; last month’s sales of existing condos statewide increased 5 percent in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR).

A total of 10,443 existing homes sold statewide last month, up 15 percent over the 9,118 homes sold in October 2007, according to FAR. Florida Realtors also reported higher statewide existing home and existing condo sales in September compared to the year-ago levels.

Market conditions continue to range widely, according to the latest housing outlook from NAR. “A pattern of sharply higher sales in areas with large price declines is well established,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Affordability conditions have consistently been a major factor in driving sales. Historically during recessions, buyers have responded to incentives and it’s important for government to keep that in the forefront of housing stimulus decisions.”

In Florida’s year-to-year comparison for condos, 2,956 units sold statewide compared to 2,805 sold in October 2007 for a 5 percent increase. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $147,600; in October 2007 it was $192,300 for a 23 percent decrease. In the latest data available at press time, NAR reported the national median existing condo price was $199,400 in September 2008.

There are some incredible deals flying past my desk right now. That’s the good news. The bad news for those buyers still sitting and waiting is that these good deals are going quickly. It’s great news for the sellers and for Realtors who want to sell homes in Tampa Bay, so don’t hesitate too long. Take advantage of this good news.

Relocating to Florida? ~ Check Out this Book!

Long-time Englewood attorney Dean Hanewinckel has released his first book, The Official Snowbird’s Guide to Becoming a Florida Resident. The book is designed to help people moving to Florida protect their money and assets. While we have not read the book, based on what Dean has told us, I think this could be a valuable resource for anyone thinking about moving to the Tampa Bay area.

“Many new residents are losing hundreds to thousands of dollars because they aren’t familiar with our laws and customs,” said Hanewinckel. “In some cases, people are needlessly paying taxes to their former state, while others aren’t taking advantage of our homestead laws. Every state’s laws regarding taxes and property are different. Knowing how we do things in Florida can save a new resident from paying unnecessary costs when buying a home and from construction liens when building one.”

Each year up to 300,000 people move to Florida, and this book aims to make their transition a smooth one. Starting with a step-by-step guide to becoming a Florida resident, the book also covers valuable topics such as the state’s taxes, buying, building and insuring a home in Florida and estate planning in Florida.

“After 24 years of helping clients with these issues,” said Hanewinckel, “it became my mission to collect this information and put it in one easy-to-read book. It’s the most comprehensive resource to becoming a Florida resident on the market.”

Hanewinckel has practiced law in Englewood since 1984, helping clients with their estate planning, real estate and business law needs. The Official Snowbird’s Guide to Becoming a Florida Resident can be purchased through Its companion website,, contains forms and resources that supplement information in the book.

Our team has a lot of knowledge as well on the subject, so in addition to the book, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions and concerns should you be considering a real estate purchase in Tampa Bay.

Call Oldsmar Home ~ Tons of Charm and Convenience

With all the benefits of big-city life and all the comforts of small-town living, Oldsmar, Florida has it all. Located on the northern tip of Tampa Bay, between Tampa and Clearwater, Oldsmar is a century-old community founded in 1913 by Oldsmobile creator, Ransom Eli Olds. Expected to be a big-time oil-producing community due to its placement near one of the four oil wells in Florida, Oldsmar did not produce the riches Olds had expected. However, it does provide other types of riches just waiting to be collected.

With its close proximity to both Gulf beaches and Lake Tarpon, Oldsmar is an ideal community for those who love being near the water. Home to protected wetlands and Harbor Palms Nature Park, Oldsmar also offers a tranquil setting of beautiful parks with scenic views and wildlife, perfect for those who love the outdoors and outdoor activities.

However, if you’re looking for something a little more exciting, Oldsmar offers that, too. With just a short drive to Tampa or Clearwater, big-city excitement and opportunity are just moments away.

If you’re looking for a community that combines the best of small-town living with big-city opportunity, Oldsmar Real Estate will fit the bill. Though not rich in oil, Oldsmar is rich in community, beauty, and opportunity. As its welcome sign reads, it’s “A Great Place to Live and Work”.

Lipply Real Estate Leads Other Realtors in North Pinellas

The well respected and coveted Kenst Report, which tracks the top 125 Real Estate Agents in North Pinellas, recently posted its’ current report. The three main categories, which include selling, listing, and combined sales, rank Robert Lipply of Lipply Real Estate as the #1 selling associate in North Pinellas for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Quarters. That’s every month from January up to October! Robert and his team of four real estate agents (Joe Gibbons, Thomas Towns, Arlene Colecchia, and Michael Madson) together sold 40 properties during this time period. The Lipply Group, part of RE/MAX Realtec, had the most recorded sales in the entire North Pinellas area. The Palm Harbor RE/MAX Realtec office is centrally located in the Tampa Bay area.

Fred Kenst of Tarpon Springs has been reporting on Florida Brokerage firms for 18 years and compiles these numbers for profit. Real Estate agents wait in anticipation to see where they rank with their associates. We are proud to be #1!

What have we sold? Together our team has sold homes all over the Tampa Bay Real Estate area. From St. Petersburg in the south, Pasco County in the north, Tampa in the east and Dunedin in the west, we have sold in all these areas! Price ranges vary, but we are seeing an increased interest in condos, affordable single family homes, and waterfront property. Short sales and foreclosures seem to top the list, but for those who desire a quick closing or a “move in condition” property, a traditional listing with an aggressive offer most times works out to the buyer’s advantage. Yet, people all over the United States still think homes are not selling in Florida. Homes are selling and with our fantastic internet presence we have many buyers. We also have many of our own real estate listings and these listings are selling as well. Over the last few months, we have sold 6 of our own listings, some within one week of listing them.

If you are looking to sell a home in Pinellas, Pasco, or Hillsborough County, it only makes sense to list your property with the team that has the buyers! When you list with us, we give you ultimate exposure on the Internet to prospective buyers and a wide reach on the MLS to other real estate agents. Either way, the goal is to sell your home, and that’s what we have been doing. And doing it well.