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Tampa Real Estate Blog

Tammy Waugh


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Questions to Help You Find the Best Realtor to Sell Your Home!

by Tammy Waugh

Congrats! You are ready to Sell your Tampa area home. Now that you have made the decision to sell, it is time to find yourself an Experienced Realtor to help you list and sell the home. Working with a realtor helps you sell the home faster and for a higher sale price than if you were to go it alone. But, obviously, you want to make sure that you are working with the best of the best. To find the perfect realtor for the job, ask them these questions:


  • How many years experience do you have working within the local market?  
  • Within the past year, how many homes have you sold within my neighborhood? 
  • How much (price range) do the homes you sell go for, and what is the average sold-to-list price?
  • What is your commission fee for your work? 
  • What is your marketing plan for my home? 
  • Will the sale of my home be handled directly through you or will other members of your team also be working on it? 
  • On average, how long do the homes you sell stay on market?



An experienced realtor is someone that can help you acheive selling success! Asking these questions allows you to find a realtor who can help you acheive your real estate goals and fits within your personality needs. Contact The Sper Group to discuss your selling needs and ask us any questions that you might have! We are confident that we are the best real estate team for your job! Give our team a call today at (813) 760-2002 or visit our website at


Staging Tips for Fall Home Selling!

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. "Fall" into successful selling 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 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

To Buy Or Rent......That is the Question!

by Tammy Waugh

If you have been renting because buying a home seems like too much of a financial commitment, it is time to adjust your thinking! Renting actually costs you more money in the long run. It's time to take the plunge and Buy! Need more convincing? Here are the main reasons why buying your first Tampa home makes more financial sense then signing another lease.

As a renter, you are spending money that is not building you any equity. In fact, you are helping build equity for your landlord. Keep that money in your own pocket! While the down payment and mortgage might seem like a lot of money from the outset, you are building equity for yourself as soon as you purchase your first home. According to Pulsenomics, home values should appreciate 3.35% yearly and 24.34% cumulatively over the next 5 years. That makes buying an incredible Investment. And, unlike other investments, such as stocks, a home is something that you use every single day. Along with Tax Savings that home ownership opens you up to, home ownership is also a form of Forced Savings. These savings translate into a greater net worth. The Federal Reserve has found that the net worth of home owners is 44x greater than renters!

Having a mortgage also locks in your Housing Costs. As a renter, your monthly costs can alter every time your lease is up. With a mortgage, you know exactly what you need to pay every month for a set number of years. This offers you better opportunities to budget and save. One final reason to buy instead of is Cheaper! It's true! According to data collected by Zillow Research, 28.9% of income goes towards median housing costs for renters as opposed to only 15.7% of income going to housing costs for homeowners!

Invest in your future! It's time to BUY your dream home! Contact the Sper Group to get started. Begin your search on our Homes for Sale! Give our team a call today at (813) 760-2002 or visit our website at

Buying a Home this Fall? Follow These Helpful Tips!

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 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


What Control Do You Have Over Mortgage Rate Factors?

by Tammy Waugh

Mortgage rates are the lowest they have been all year! It's the perfect time to take the plunge and purchase that dream home! However, you might come to find that the rate quotes you are getting from lenders is not what you were expecting. There are several factors that affect your mortgage rate. It is important to understand which of these factors you can change and which are beyond your control to ensure that you receive the best rate possible!



Mortgage Rate Factors You CAN'T Control

  • Economy – ALL interest rates are driven by the global economy

  • Lender pipeline – How much business that is currently being processed by your lender

  • Property location – Lender costs are determined by state laws

  • Home use (Primary residence, vacation home, rental, etc.)


Mortgage Rate Factors You CAN Control

  • Property type (Single family, multi-family, condomenium, etc.) – Determine which type of home you want based on the relative cost of financing.

  • Loan-to-value (LTV) – Increase your chances for loan approval, lower your mortgage insurance rate, and cut down your fees by putting more money down upfront.

  • Loan features – Choose a loan with a shorter fixed-rate period to save on interest.

  • Loan amount – Avoid very high or very low amounts that often have higher rates.

  • Credit score – Work on improving your FICO score before buying a home.

  • Points Pay more upfront to buy a lower interest rate.


Take control of these mortgage rate factors in order to receive the best rate possible. Be sure to compare custom quotes from several competitive lenders. Just remember that rates are constantly changing from day to day so do your research ahead of time and make sure that you have good credit and a low loan-to-value ratio to ensure that you are always receiving the best advertised mortgage rates.


Check out our website at for Mortgage Rates & Calculator and more Home Buying Resources!

Resource: The Mortgage Reports

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend in Tampa!

by Tammy Waugh

Labor Day Weekend is Here!! Celebrate the unofficial end of summer in the Tampa area! There are fantastic festivals planned all weekend long. Find great family fun throughout the greater metropolitan region. With live music, amazing food, great activities, and more, this will be a long weekend you will never forget!

Celebrate Oldsmar!

Dates: Friday, August 31st, & Saturday, September 1st

Time: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm (Friday & Saturday)

Location: R.E. Olds Park (107 Shore Drive West, Oldsmar)

Cost: FREE admission!

Head to the top of the bay for the 23rd annual Celebrate Oldsmar! The weekend is filled with family fun. Enjoy great live music, carnival rides and games, car show, children’s activities, beer garden, and more! Dine on delicious grub from your favorite food vendors, including Cotton Craze, Dietra's Delights, Mr. C's Grilled Cheese, Famous Pizza, Kona Ice, Oldsmar Smokin' BBQ, and Renowned Hospitality.  Do not miss the spectacular fireworks display at the end of the night on Saturday.

Music Lineup

Friday | Stormbringer | 6:30 pm

Saturday | Soul Circus Cowboys | 6:30 pm



Date: Saturday, September 1st

Time: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Location: Beach Boulevard (Gulfport)

Cost: FREE admission!

Come to Gulfport’s waterfront for their end of summer celebration. The 18th annual festival celebrates peace, art, and music! Enjoy fantastic live music during “Geckostock”. Check out all the incredible vendors, street performers, walking parade, costume contest, and so much more!

Music Lineup

Blueberry Patch Stage

Solar Flair | 10:00 am

The Laura Shepherd Show | 11:00 am

Askew | 1:00 pm

Tropical Disturbance | 3:00 pm

Sonic Stew | 5:30 pm

Ella Jet & Future Soul | 8:00 pm

South Stage

Code Red | 10:00 am

I Heart Cats Band | 12:00 pm

Razin Jane | 2:00 pm

Elysian Sex Drive | 4:00 pm

Trinity 7 | 7:00 pm


Summer of Rum Festival  

Date: Saturday, September 1st, & Sunday, September 2nd

Time: Noon - 11:00 pm (Saturday) & 11:00 am - 9:30 pm (Sunday)

Location: Curtis Hixon Park (600 North Ashley Drive, Tampa)

Cost: $20 per person (General Admission) | Purchase tickets HERE!

Treat yourself to deliciously refreshing rum cocktails while listening to live music by regional and national performers. With games, fireworks, and more, this is a Labor Day weekend festival you do not want to skip!

Music Lineup



Summer Survivors  

The Sunsetters


The New Rulers

The Downstairs Mix-up

Sugar Ray (Headliner)


Tribal Style


Ella Jet & Future Soul

DJ Cardinal


The Wailers (Headliner)



The Sper Group wishes everyone a very Happy & Safe Labor Day Weekend!

The 5 Steps to Closing!

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!


Maintenance Projects to Handle This Upcoming Season!

by Tammy Waugh

Fall is the perfect time in Florida to address any home maintenance problems you have been putting off. It also allows you the opportunity to discover any potential issues and fix them before the weather begins to cool. Although the seasons do not change dramatically in the greater Tampa area, the functionality of your home can be affected during the slight temperature and seasonal changes we do experience. Make sure your home is in perfect condition year round by checking out these areas in your home that often need regular check ups! Spend some time this weekend making fixes and keeping your home in tip top shape!


Gutters and Downspouts. Florida sees an abudance of rain during the month of September! You want to make sure that all your gutters and downspouts are working properly to avoid any issues during those inevitable rain storms. Clear your gutters of any accumulated debris to make sure water can flow through it. Consider installing gutter guards if you find that you are continually needing to clean your gutters throughout the year. While clearing your gutters, check for any leaks and ensure that the gutter is flush with the roof. Downspouts should properly divert the water away from your house. Check your yard for any accumulated water. This could indicate leaky pipes or grading issues. It is best to find all the problems this fall before they become larger, costlier issues in the future.


The Air Conditioner. Those sweltering summer days are behind us but you still will need a properly working air conditioner to keep you and your family cool this fall. Hire an inspector to check the functionality of your air conditioner. Listen for any odd noises coming from the outdoor condenser and check if a new filter is needed. Since you will use your air conditioner less frequently now that summer is over, this season is the perfect time to address issues and make sure that it works properly next summer.

The Windows. Although we enjoy warm weather all year round in Florida, the nights can get cold during the fall and winter. Once those cold nights hit, you do not want to discover drafty windows. Check them now to address any issues. Install weather stripping if necessary and make sure that the windows have proper insulation all the way around them.


Unwanted Pests. Bugs are around throughout the year in Florida, though they tend to diminish during the fall. Help prevent any pests next year by making your home bug proof. Look for easy access points for bugs to come into the house. Also, check around the yard for standing water that could be used as a breeding ground for mosquitos.


There are so many great properties available this fall in Tampa and the surrounding communities. Check out our Featured Properties to find your dream home!

Interested in Buying or Selling a home in the Tampa area this fall? Give the The Sper Group a call today or visit our website at

Resource: REALTOR® Magazine  


Tampa Home & Garden Show!

by Tammy Waugh

Tampa Home & Garden Show

Looking to make some improvements to your Tampa area home? In that case, you do not want to miss the Tampa Home & Garden Show!


Head down to the Tampa Convention Center (333 South Franklin Street) this weekend for Tampa's largest home show of the year!



The Tampa Home & Garden Show is the perfect opportunity to meet with experts and learn about the latest home trends. Find builders, contractors, landscapers, pool/spa professionals, and other vendors who specialize in home improvements. Discover incredible ideas and products for your kitchen, bathrooms, windows, doors, garden, energy, security, and so much more.



The hours for the event are 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 25th, and 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 26th. The cost is $8 per adult and $4 per senior. Military personel and children (ages 18 and under) are FREE all weekend long!


Image Credit: ECCS Home Shows

Homeowners with pups know that they become an integral part of your family. You want your home to be just as comfortable, safe, and fun for them as it is for everyone else living there. Here are some incredible home improvements to make your Tampa house the most pet-friendly (and human-friendly) on the block!

Keep all supplies together!

Find stylish ways to organize your pets toys, snacks, leashes, and other supplies that fit within the decor of your home. There are so many DIY projects or furniture options that you can utilize to easily and fashionably store everything for your pooch.

Use an elevated feeding station!

Keep your floor tidier by utilizing an elevated station that houses the food and water bowls. It looks for streamline and provides the perfect spot for your dog to dine.

Give them a special spot!

Just like all the humans have their own room to retreat to when needed, your furry friend should also have an area that is all his own. Locate a spot within the home that offers a peaceful, quiet retreat and place a comfy dog bed there so your pup can relax when needed.

Create a cleaning area!

Stop going to the groomer and avoid wet floors in your bathroom by setting up a washing station for your dog. Add built-in stairs so the pup can easily get in and out of the tub.

Free access in and out!

Let your pooch free access in and out of your home by adding an Automatic Doggy Door. Simply place a transmitter on your dog’s collar and they can come and go as they please.

Unlimited view!

Your home should have a fenced in backyard so your dog can roam safely and securely during play. But you also want your dog to see more of the world. Install a Pet Peek in the fence at your dog’s height so they can still see what is beyond their domain.

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

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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