Monday, July 29, 2019

In this week’s article, we highlight some fantastic historic properties in the Clearwater and nearby areas that you may or may not know about. If you are new to the area, these properties are sure to please and if you have been in the area for awhile, you are most likely aware of their many changes. In either case, I’d like to highlight a few of them for you:

First on the list is 802 Druid Road South which sits high on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico at Clearwater Harbor facing the number one beach in the USA on Florida’s West Coast, Clearwater Beach. This property is almost an entire block and on this site sits the original Fort Harrison lookout and the main building was a refuge for settlers fleeing wartime conditions and also was used temporarily as a hospital for wounded soldiers. This estate is currently known as Century Oaks, for it’s massive 100 year old oak trees and is the only waterfront home in Florida which sits 50 feet above sea level. This grand estate with all its amenities is currently for sale. Call me for details.

In the 1800s, a forward-thinking gentleman named Milton Plant, who owned railways, steamships and hotels constructed a hotel in Belleiar, Florida and thus the Belleview Hotel opened on January 15, 1897. He built the hotel in hopes that it would be a resort destination that would help boost tourist travel on his railroad line which was serving Florida’s west coast. In its hey-day, it hosted numerous high-profile people both at the hotel and on the golf course. During World War II, the hotel was requisitioned by the US Army Air Corps to house troops training at nearby airfields. The Belleview Inn is not too far from 802 Druid Road South (mentioned above). The property went through changes in 1947 and again in 1970 and today the hotel still stands and is now the site of not only a beautiful, boutique hotel, but also several new condo buildings currently being built.

Lastly, we will talk a bit about the Harbor Oaks community which is bounded by Druid Road South, Fort Harrison, Lotus Path and Clearwater Harbor. This community was Clearwater’s first planned residential development by Dean Alvord, a major developer out of New York state. He opened Harbor Oaks in 1914 and various plaques can be found around the community that speak of its history. If you like tree lined streets with charm and you like historic homes, you’ll love Harbor Oaks, which is 100 years old and counting.  Completed by 1930, these homes today are close to the water and close to the new downtown development projects making this easy living. We just listed a gorgeous two story, updated beauty at 430 Jasmine Way. Call if you are looking to purchase a home or know someone looking for a home. If you are considering selling your home, please give me a call at 727-298-8888 or send me an email at terriLMREP@gmail.com or visit our website at laurenmichaelsrealestate.com, we offer red carpet service. I always love hearing from you! That’s all for this edition, enjoy the start of your summer! (Thank you to the Clearwater Historical Society for the historical information reprinted here.)

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

It’s possible you’ve heard the common phrase in real estate that It’s all about “Location, location, location”.  It is true that location takes priority over a majority of other variables, but condition is commonly as important as location.

 

How does Condition rank up at the top with location? You could say this has something to do with our current generation being indoctrinated to the home buying process through HGTV. Today a buyer not only wants their ideal neighborhood but they expect the home to be impressive as well. Home improvement shows can make it appear easy to get a picture-perfect looking home no matter what it started out looking like, thus setting the expectations high at the offset.

 

Despite that most sellers aren’t going to get onto a home improvement show for a quick makeover remodel, there are still many ways a home owner can improve the condition of their home before listing.

 

VITAL UPGRADES. A seller’s home in an ideal location, near public transportation or at the end of a cul-de-sac won’t always make up for an older kitchen, bathrooms with original tiling or squeaky floorboards.  This is where they need to consider doing needed upgrades before listing. Based on reports, Americans can spend up to over $6,500 on improvements before listing their home for sale and they shouldn’t skimp on this especially if they’re looking at selling fast or for top dollar.

 

EXTERIOR PRIORITY.  An old roof or fencing, worn down siding or cracked paint can turn away most potential buyers despite being in a great location. Even after considering the potential time and money they might need to invest into the property, these can present structural issues not to mention what problems can present themselves if the buyers are getting a loan.

 

MELLOW OUT THE DÉCOR. Most buyers are not going to be able to see through that bright teal paint on the family room walls no matter if the home is on the most desirable street in town. Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves living in the home as soon as they walk through the front door and the best way to achieve this is by making the décor as universal in appeal as possible.  Paint rooms in neutral colors, pack up the family photos, stock the bathrooms and bedrooms with white linens and towels and accent living areas with beige throws and pillows. These simple steps soften the overall feel of a home, open up the space and create a blank slate for potential buyers to build upon.

 

Still thinking your client’s home being in a great location is good enough to get it sold? It may be, but keep this in mind: Great location and mint condition are likely to get a seller asking price or possibly higher if they are in a hot market. The above points would be worth a sellers time and investment.

 

If you are considering selling, please give me a call at 727.298.8888 or send me an email at TerriLMREP@gmail.com or visit our website www.laurenmichaelsrealestate.com.  See you next time!

 

Source: RISMedia 5/20/2019/TiffanyKavon

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Can’t confront packing up to move?

We have a few ideas to help make it a bit easier to get started and keep it organized. We hope these simple tips will help you pack everything up and get started on your next adventure!

Tips for Packing up and Moving

1. Start now.

Start right away. You can start immediately with getting needed supplies such as boxes, tape and labels or markers.  Of course, you are not going to get far without starting somewhere, make sure you have the tools and start boxing up things you don’t need on a daily basis and aren’t vital for your routine actions. Take your time and keep it organized by room.

2. One room at a time.

By getting one room at a time you will be able to set and complete targets and as each room is completed you will see that you are making progress and stay encouraged to complete the job.  For smaller items that may get broken or lost, wrap them in tissue paper and box them up in an old shoe box or similar container so they stay separate and secure.

3. Labeling is Key.

Keep a large marker on hand and labels or paper with tape to clearly mark the top and all sides of each box.  Boxes get turned in all directions from the time they are packed, moved into and out of trucks and into your final destination.  There is no way to ensure you will be able to see what each box contains unless you label all sides and the top as that may be all you have access to.  Make it easier on you at the other end and keep labels clear and abundant.

4. Packing Paper & Protective Wrapping.

Keep your items protected by using packing paper and if needed bubble wrap to wrap any delicate items. Newspaper may rub off onto your things so try to steer clear from it if you are using it on anything of value.

5. Moving Boxes are Key to a Successful Move.

Using moving boxes makes your move that much more worry free and secure.  Knowing your things won’t fall out of a box designed to hold bread or vegetables that you got from the grocery store is only one part of it.  Labeling a box covered with advertisements or ink doesn’t work as easily either. Moving boxes are also of a standard size and so make truck loading and box stacking much easier.

6. Research What may not be Shipped through standard routes.

If you are shipping any of your boxes, research what hazardous household items are not able to be shipped through shipping companies and account for this.

7. Valuable Possessions.

Some things should be kept by you and moved personally or through a verified and certified mail program.  If you have valuable items that need insurance or that you don’t want to trust to just anyone to handle for you unsupervised you may want to label them for you to personally handle and move or if not feasible to get an insured shipping method arranged. Keep these items separate in your packing. 

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019
I hope everyone is having a good New Year, I know it can be quite hectic and it’s always a good idea to take a moment and enjoy what you have. I want to wish you and your family a wonderful year filled with growth and expansion.
 
If you are wondering if we are still growing here in the Tampa Bay-St Pete-Clearwater areas I’d like to assure you that we are! With the US economic outlook being healthy it is definitely affecting us here in the Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. Here are some statistics for you and where each came from:
 
#1 Best Place to Buy a Home (Tampa) – Niche
#2 in Best US Cities to Buy Real Estate (Tampa) – Tampa Bay Times
#8 Fastest Growing Cities (Tampa) – Forbes
#2 Best City for Young Entrepreneurs (Tampa) – Forbes
#2 Best City for First Time Home Buyers (Tampa) – Business Insider
#26 in Fastest Growing Cities (Tampa) -WalletHub
#2 of 228 Best Cities to Retire In (Clearwater) – Niche
#47 of 228 Healthiest Cities in America (Clearwater) – Niche
#47 of 228 Healthiest Places to Live in America (Clearwater) – Niche
 
And here is what Forbes has to say about the Tampa, St Pete, Clearwater areas:
 
 
America's Fastest-Growing Cities 2018
 
 
Samantha Sharf Forbes Staff
 
“Forbes’ annual list of America’s fastest-growing cities provides a holistic picture of places on the upswing. We look at growth of population, employment, wages and economic output. We also use home price growth as a proxy for wealth. Here are the 25 metropolitan areas (including divisions) across the country experiencing the biggest overall surges, plus the growth rates and projections that got them on the list.For the methodology and trends behind this list read: America's Fastest-Growing Cities 2018:
 
#23. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater-FL Metropolitan Statistical Area 
 
· Population growth 2017: 1.40% (26)
· Proj. pop. growth 2018: 1.64% (21)
· Job growth 2017: 2.69% (15)
· Proj. job growth 2018: 2.18% (21)
· GMP growth 2017: 3.13% (29)
· Proj. GMP growth 2018: 5.39% (5)
· Wage growth 2017: 2.19% (72)
· Proj. wage growth 2018: 7.17% (8)
· Home price growth 2017: 9.93% (16)
· Proj. home price growth 2018: 3.34% (56)”
 
So while you are kicking off the new year, keep these statistics in mind and if you are considering selling your home, please give us a call - we have a team of professionals standing by to service you. It is our greatest pleasure when we can hand the keys over to a Buyer after selling your home so give us a call at 727-298-8888 or visit our website at laurenmichaelsrealestate.com.
 
We look forward to helping you in this New Year!
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

 

Clients have been asking me if grey colors are still the best color to paint their house and my answer is a resounding Yes! They are clean and easy to work with, especially the very light grey to beige colors now known as greige (a mix of light grey and beige). On the exterior, I think the greige works well as it is warm and inviting while being neutral enough to attract a wide array of Buyers. I have done my three most recent property interiors in light shades of grey and they have sold rather quickly. My designer used a light grey color in the main living area and mixed it a bit darker for the master bedroom and master bathroom. One for one we got compliments on the color and the house sold rather quickly. It is still a popular choice as you can see on all the many home design TV shows so yes, I believe it is going to be with us for awhile. Keeping a uniform color throughout the inside the house is important however it is ok to use complimentary colors in bedrooms other than the master bedroom. I don’t want to suggest paint colors as I am not a designer, but do talk to your designer and surf the web for ideas to see what you come up with.

In the last few articles I talked about what to do to prepare your home for selling and in this article I want to talk about some simple things you can do to add a pop of color here and there. The first thing is to have fresh cut flowers somewhere in the house and I like to recommend the kitchen. Bright, yellow flowers not only brighten up the area but the color yellow seems to indicate value. I have always placed fresh cut flowers in my kitchens prior to showings and it makes the area smell good, indicates a freshness and give the idea of value.

Another thing that can be done is to place a new welcome mat at the front door. Throw out that old, worn out, weathered welcome mat and place a new, good quality one at the front door. This small action can say a lot to potential Buyers. I would suggest also adding a few potted plants with some flowers for added pop.

Take a look at your front door, is it weathered? Is cracked and worn? If it is a wooden door, you may be able to clean it up and either polish it with a good wood polish cleaner (one that is meant for outdoor wooden items) and/or stain it to give it a fresh, updated look.

Lastly, power wash your driveway and sidewalks so that they look clean, fresh and free of dirt and anything else that can make them look discolored.

I hope these suggestions help and until next time, enjoy this beautiful weather as we are now officially in the fall season!

If you need help Selling your home, please don’t hesitate to call us, we have a dedicated team of professionals waiting to service you here at Lauren Michaels Real Estate Partners. Call us at: 727-298-8888 or you can visit our website at www.laurenmichaelsrealestate.com.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Here we are more than halfway through October and the real estate market is continuing to do well. I want to ensure you do everything possible to sell your home as quickly as possible, so let’s take a look at some things that can help increase the potential sale of your home:

  1. Make sure the outside of your home is clean and inviting.

The way to turn Buyers away is to not have the outside of the home looking clean and fresh and clutter free. Let’s take a closer look at what this could include: Driveways clean (power washing can make them sparkle.) Cars parked inside the garage and not in the driveway. Landscape trimmed and neat which includes lawn, hedges, flower beds and trees. Too many untrimmed trees give the appearance that the home is neglected. Clean windows and clean paint. Clutter free including garbage cans out of sight.

  1. Make sure you have professional grade photos of your property as these will most likely end up all over the internet as well as in print and since you only get one chance for a first impression, make it the very best first impression possible!

 

  1. I think a very good strategy for selling your home is to have a professional inspection done prior to putting your home on the market so that you can address and take care of any issues that come up. That way when you go under contract there are no surprises and you should have a much smoother and possibly shorter inspection period because you have already taken care of any issues that could have prevented a sale.

 

  1. Keep a folder of all the repairs and upgrades that you do with all the receipts from contractors, handymen and things you buy yourself so that if a question comes up as to when something was done, it can easily be found in the folder. Some people like to keep this on a computer which makes access quicker and more efficient.

 

  1. It’s time to de-clutter and this can be a wonderful thing because you could be holding onto many things that you have had for years that possibly are no longer needed. Grab all your old photos and take them to a place that will convert them to discs that you can keep on your computer or on a digital photo display. Have an estate sale and get rid of more and finally donate any unsold items to charity. The idea is to make your house not so personalized to you, but to a Buyer that could envision himself or herself living there.

 

  1. Make it easy for Buyers to see your home. When you put too many restrictions, you lose valuable Showings: 24 hour advance notice or seller’s agent must accompany makes it harder for Buyers to see the property. Maybe they are only in town for a day and will miss the opportunity to see your home if they have to give 24 hour advance notice. I know this makes it harder on the sellers but believe me it will be worth it. You have no idea how many times I have had Buyers pass on a property only to buy something else because the one they wanted to see had too many restrictions making it impossible for them to see it.

 

  1. Don’t be present at the Showings. Potential Buyers cannot talk freely when the sellers are around and many times Buyers will talk about how this could go here or that could go there or changes they would make and having the sellers there makes it difficult for them to speak freely.

 

  1. Finally, take your pets with you whenever there is a Showing as it makes it easier to show the house when there are no pets around. Some potential Buyers have pet allergies and are turned away by the presence of a cat or a dog. Don’t miss an opportunity to sell your house because you left your animals at home. I understand it is not always easy to take them with you, but it makes for a better Showing with the animals gone.

 

We at Lauren Michaels Real Estate Partners specialize in bringing Sellers and Buyers together and with our unique and creative marketing plans, we make selling turn to SOLD! If you would like to discuss selling your home, give us a call at 727-298-8888 or email us at terriLMREP@gmail.com or visit us at laurenMichaelsRealEstate.com.

 

Happy Halloween!

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When talking about selling Location is key, but don’t neglect Condition
It’s possible you’ve heard the common phrase in real estate that It’s...

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