Real Estate Information

Tampa Real Estate Blog

Tammy Waugh

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 96

The Top Tips For Home Buying!

by Tammy Waugh

Ready to find your dream home in the greater Tampa area? Welcome to the exciting process of buying a home! But, let's be realistic.....it can also be a daunting process, especially if you are a first time home buyer. To help allieviate some stress, follow these helpful home buying tips!

 

Tip #1: Get Your Finances in Order FIRST!

Even before you begin searching for your new home, you should have your financing all figured out. Make sure you have a good credit score and get preapproval for a mortgage. By doing this first, you will know the appropriate range that you can afford and will avoid falling in love with a home that is just out of your budget.

 

Tip #2: Do Your Research and Understand Your Loan Options.

It is important that you understand all the loan options available to you. Don't know the difference between a 15 or 30 year mortgage or what it means to be fixed rate? Check out our Finance Information for help with this step of the process. There are many programs out there that can help assist you in affording a new home. Check out potential down payment assistance options. If you have bad credit, research options that are still available to you, such as FHA loans. The more informed you are, the better off you will be when it comes to managing this major financial decision.

 

Tip #3: Know Your Current and Future Must Haves

No house will be absolutely perfect for you unless you build it from the ground up yourself. Be sure to prioritize the must haves for your home as you proceed on your search. It is important to be aware of your current needs as well as those you will encounter in the future. It is always best to have room to grow. Also, consider the resale value of the home and the neighborhood it is in for when you do decide to move someday.

Tip #4: Get a Home Inspection.

Never skip out on the home inspection. This is a vital step in the process. It helps protect your interests by ensuring that there are no underlying issues with the home. The last thing you want is to move in only to discover that the home has major, costly problems that require immediate fixing.

 

Tip #5: Be Open to Negotiation.

Do not think that you will lose out on your dream home if you do not offer the asking price. Although this is always a risk, especially in highly competitive markets, you can make sellers more open to negotiate with you by having your finances in order. Already being preapproved for a loan, having good credit, and/or being ready with the down payment shows that you are serious and that they do not need to stress that the deal might fall through. Also, be ready to negotiate in case anything is discovered during the home inspection.

Tip #6: Work With a Realtor.

Although the internet might make it seem like home buying can be done completely on your own now, it really is to your benefit to work with an Experienced Realtor. There is just no replacing the sort of expertise that a real estate professional can provide. By understanding the local market and trends, knowing what to look for, having negotiation experience, and more, a realtor can help keep your best interests at the forefront and help make the home buying process as smooth as possible.


Ready to Buy  your dream home in the Tampa area? Give The Sper Group a call today or visit our website at http://www.thespergroup.com/.

5 Home Maintenance Projects to Complete Before The New Year!

by Tammy Waugh

The new year is right around the corner. Get a jump start on some New Years Resolutions! Start with taking care of your Tampa area home! Now is the perfect time to take care of some of those home maintenance tasks you have been putting off. Here are our top 5 home maintenance projects to complete this month!

#1 Deep Clean Your Kitchen! Your kitchen will do some hard work over this holiday season. Give it some TLC know that things have settled down. Do a thorough deep cleaning throughout the kitchen. Clean out your fridge and pantry (donate what you can!). Scrub inside and outside of all appliances. Clean the walls, kickboards, and floors.

#2 Stock Up On Linens! White sales, i.e. sales on linens and towels, has become a tradition this time of year. Freshen up your home with crisp linens and plush towels at incredible deals. Reuse old towels as rags.

#3 Organize Seasonal Items! Now is the perfect opportunity to create an organized space for your holiday decor. Take inventory when you take the items down and declutter your items. Find an easily accessible spot for your newly organized decor so you are all set for the next holiday season!

#4 Clean Your Home's Filters! Clean EVERY filter in your home. This includes your HVAC, air filter, clothes dryer, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, dehumifier, and more. It’s not just your HVAC. Check the manufacturer instructions for all the filters in your home. Filters should be cleaned or changed out once a year to keep the item running properly. Create a schedule for the month to clean all the filters found throughout your home and be set for the year ahead.

#5 Prepare Summer Projects! Have some landscaping or exterior projects you want to complete this summer? Start planning for them now! By planning ahead of time, you are prepared as soon as you have the free time and weather conditions to get started. It also provides you with time to gather bids from potential contracters and lock them in before their schedules are fully booked.

Check out The Sper Group website throughout the year for more helpful home maintenance tips!  

 

Why December Is The Perfect Time To Sell!

by Tammy Waugh

December might not be seen as the prime time to sell your home.....but we are here to tell you that it is! Whether you have been waiting to list your home or considering taking it off the market until next year, resist that urge! December is actually the perfect time to sell your home! Here are the top reasons why you should sell your Tampa Area home this month!


1. Full of Festive Cheer!

The holidays are right around the corner. Your home smells of cookies and is filled with beautiful decorations. Staging is already done for you! This homey ambiance will help buyers see the potential of the home. Be smart with your decorations though! You never want them to distract from your home's features.

2. Serious Buyers!

People are busy with the holidays and might slow down their home search. Those buyers that are still out there are for one reason....they are eager to move now! Serious buyers will continue to look in December which means a higher likelihood that your house will sell quickly.

3. Rush Before School!

If a buyer has children, they will want to move before school starts up again January. Take advantage of their urge to buy during this short school break!

4. Time For Adjustments!

If you have been considering taking your home off the market this month because it has been sitting for a while, hold fast! Instead, take this time to adjust your strategy for selling. This might mean making some fixes around the house, changing your staging, or modifying your price. This will keep your listing open to potential buyers while you adjust.

5. Top Listing!

Other sellers will take their homes off the market. This will decrease the inventory and help your listing rise to the top of the pack. This means more buyers will see your home in their searches and eliminate a lot of your competition!

6. Easier Closing!

Every aspect of the housing market gets busy in the spring, including loan processing and approval. Lenders have more down time in December which means that buyers can be approved quicker. In turn, this means that the closing process becomes much easier for you as a seller.


 

If you are interested in Selling Your Home This December, give The Sper Group a call today or visit our website at http://www.thespergroup.com/.



Information Source: Realtor.com®

Become The Ultimate Open House Host!

by Tammy Waugh

Enjoy Selling success this season by hosting a successful open house for your Tampa home! Buyers will be offering you top dollar for your home if they are presented with an all star experience when they see your home for the first time in person. Follow this tips to Host a Successful Open House for your Tampa area home!

1. Create a great, Welcoming First Impression from the moment they walk up to your front door. Add a welcoming door mat and beautiful potted plants to show how much you care about your home.

2. Showcase how much Counter Space your bathrooms and kitchen have by clearing off the clutter. Hide personal hygiene items in bathroom drawers and remove non-essential kitchen appliances.

3. Allow buyers to See Themselves Living in the Home by putting your personal photos and items away before the open house.

4. Set the Dining Room Table with beautiful place settings to showcase how your home functions for your family and your guests.

5. Be the ultimate host by offering a Small Snack or Refreshing Beverage to the buyers. Put some fragrant flowers throughout the home.

6. Do Not Stick Around for the entire open house. Allow buyers the time to walk through the home with only the realtor. This will give them more opportunity to freely ask questions and explore the house without feeling awkward.

Get ready for your own open house or any other part of the selling process by working with the The Sper Group! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.thespergroup.com/.

Festive Holiday Events In Tampa!

by Tammy Waugh

Jingle bells are starting to ring throughout Tampa! The holiday season is here! Get in the festive spirit at fun community events all month long!


 Tampa's Tree Lighting Ceremony

Date: Friday, November 30th

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (600 North Ashley Drive)

Come see Mayor Buckhorn light up the city's beautiful tree for the season. There will also be a free holiday movie in the park.


37th Annual Downtown Christmas Parade

Date: Saturday, December 1st

Time: 11:00 am  

Location: Downtown Tampa

Watch Santa, community organizations, schools, marching bands, and more as they parade through downtown Tampa spreading holiday cheer!

Santa Fest

Date: Saturday, December 1st

Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (600 North Ashley Drive)

After the parade, head to the park to experience an afternoon of winter fun. Enjoy holiday entertainment, holiday crafts, games and activities, photos with Santa Claus, and so much more!


The Nutcracker

Date: Saturday, December 1st

Time: 2:00 pm & 6:00 pm
Location: University of South Florida’s Theatre 1 (3839 USF Holly Drive)

Take in this great holiday tradition for the 6th year in Tampa.

 

Continuing Christmas Events

Christmas In The Wild

Dates: Now - Sunday, December 30th

Location: Lowry Park Zoo (1101 West Sligh Avenue)

Christmas Town™

Dates: Now - Monday, December 31st

Location: Busch Gardens (10165 North McKinley Drive)

Winter Village

Dates: Now - Saturday, January 5th

Location: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (600 North Ashley Drive)

Victorian Christmas Stroll

Dates: Saturday, December 1st - Sunday, December 23rd

Location: Henry B. Plant Museum (401 West Kennedy Boulevard)

Christmas Lights Limo Tours

Dates: Saturday, December 1st - Saturday, December 29th

Location: Throughout Greater Tampa



The Sper Group wishes everyone in Tampa a very Merry Holiday Season!

How To Stage For Selling Success!

by Tammy Waugh

It is still a great time to sell your Tampa home! Help it stand apart from the competition this season with staging! Studies have shown that staged homes sell faster and for a higher sale price than un-staged homes. Enjoy selling success by following these easy staging tips!

1. Declutter to create a blank canvas and remove personalized items so buyers can visualize themselves in the home.

2. Create the best first impression with your curb appeal. Make sure the outside of your home (i.e. siding and windows) are clean and add some attractive landscaping.

3. Imagine you were walking through your home for the first time and note your home's best features. Find ways to highlight these features through furniture and accessory placement.

4. Add fresh flowers or a seasonal plant to your home's foyer to create a welcoming atmosphere.

5. Keep the staging versatile so buyers can imagine a variety of ways to utilize the space.

6. Make your home appear as large as possible by using light paint colors and grouping furniture in the center of the rooms.

7. Accessorize using groups of three, which studies have shown is the most visually attractive numbering in home decor.

8. Keep it well lit with natural lighting by using gauzy, light colored curtains. Always turn on all room and accent lights during showings.

9. Add some nice finishing touches, such as fresh towels and soap in the bathrooms. Keep all spaces inside and outside of the home well organized and clean.

For more Home Selling Tips, follow us on Facebook or visit our website at http://www.thespergroup.com/.

Consider The Schools When You Buy!

by Tammy Waugh

 When you set out on your search for your dream home in the Tampa Metropolitan Area, there are many things to consider. Architectural style, size, design features and amenities, outdoor spaces, and more. If you have kids, at the top of those considerations should be local schools. There are several reasons why it is important to focus your search on homes near top ranked schools. First and foremost, you will be ensuring that your child receives the best education possible, setting them up for future success. The other major reasons sets you up for future success as well! Homes located near top ranked schools have a higher value in the market! The whole family truly benefits by living in a great school district.

Find your dream home in one of these top achieving local school districts:

Hillsborough County Public Schools | Homes for Sale

Pasco County Schools | Homes for Sale  

Pinellas County Schools | Homes for Sale

 

After you have selected which school district you would like to reside, then your work begins. Do some research to find out which schools within the district are the best of the best. There are many helpful resources you can use, including independent websites such as GreatSchools.org, Niche.com, and U.S. News & World Report. Each of these sites offers data and unbiased rankings about individual schools and districts. You should also look at the school websites to learn about any recognitions and/or awards they might have received. Once you have done your homes, visit the school to see if it is truly the best fit for your child. This will allow you to see firsthand if the facilities, staff, academic and extracurricular offerings, and more meet your standards.

Have you found the perfect school for your child? Let The Sper Group help you find your dream home located nearby! Give us a call today at (813) 760-2002 or visit our website at http://www.thespergroup.com/.

Getting Ready for Guests this Thanksgiving!

by Tammy Waugh

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to get your Tampa area home ready for your holiday house guests! Although this can seem like added stress, there are simple steps you can take to prepare the rooms in your home and keep everyone comfortable for the big feast!


 

Throughout the House: Declutter the common areas and guest rooms of your house. Clear off all counter and table tops of unnecessary items. Store the clutter out of the way. Add nighlights to hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms so guests can easily navigate their way in the dark.

Foyer: Remove your items from this area and create spaces for guests to store theirs. Add a welcome mat to protect your floor from dirt. Make it easy for guests to remove their shoes by adding a seat to your entryway.

Kitchen: Make sure your kitchen is cleared of any unnecessary appliances or items so you can cook with ease on Thanksgiving. Create space by moving the coffee machine into a different common room for your guests to use. Add additional seating in the kitchen so you can enjoy the company of your guests as you prepare the feast.

Bathrooms: Stock up on toilet paper, towels, and toiletries for your guests. Make sure that all of these items can be easily found by placing them on open shelves or in baskets. Avoid falls in the tub by adding a bathmat.

Bedrooms: Allow your guests to control the temperature while they sleep by adding a ceiling fan to your guest bedroom. Make sure they have a good supply of blankets and pillows. If guests have to sleep in public areas, consider using a folding screen that can be easily stored so guests can enjoy some privacy.

 

Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Tampa!

 

What to Know When You Close!

by Tammy Waugh

Your offer was accepted on your dream home! Get those hands ready for signing lots of paperwork and completing those final steps necessary for the keys to be handed over to you! Here are the 5 Steps to Closing to help you get through this last part of the home buying process.


1. Make Sure Contingencies Are Met

It is likely that your purchase agreement includes some contingencies, such as home inspection, appraisal, and/or financing. Make sure that any contingencies are met so you know whether or not to finalize the deal.


2. Clear The Title

You get legal ownership of the home through the title. Your mortgage lender will check to see if anyone else has claims to the home and whether there are liens on it. Be sure to buy title insurance to protect you against any legal claims.


3. Get Final Mortgage Approval

Now that you are about to close, your home loan has to go through the underwriting process. During this step, the underwriter will make sure that you were honest with your financials and verify that no changes have occurred to your credit score. Avoid any issues during underwriting by not making large purchases while you are in the process of buying a home.


4. Check Your Closing Disclosure

Review the closing disclosure against the loan estimate you received at the very beginning of your home buying process. Make sure that there are no discrepencies with the mortgage payments, interest rates, loan terms, and additional fees. Ask for explanations if you see any changes.


5. Walk-Through One Last Time

Within 24 hours of closing, do a final walk-through of the home. This allows you to verify that the previous owner has moved out and that the home is still in the same condition it was when you made your offer.

 

For more helpful home buying tips, follow us on Facebook and check out our Website!

Head To The Polls on Election Day!

by Tammy Waugh

It's time to do your civic duty! Election Day, November 6th, is here! As a citizen of the United States, you have the right and privelege to have your voice heard by voting. Regardless of your political affiliation, this election is important for you to have a say in your local, state, and national political appointees. The polling places throughout the Tampa area will be open tomorrow 7:00 am until 7:00 pm. Find all the important information you need for Election Day by clicking on the links below.


Hillsborough County


Don’t live in Hillsborough County? Find your local election information here:


We look forward to seeing everyone in the greater Tampa area at the polls! Happy Election Day!


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 96

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of Tammy Waugh - The Sper Group Real Estate
Tammy Waugh - The Sper Group
BHHS Florida Properties Group
13131 N. Dale Mabry
Tampa FL 33618
813-760-2002
813-404-1533