Tuesday, March 24, 2020

In this time of volatility, it is important to take all the precautions that are being advised, to stay focused and to move forward the best we can. In this week’s article, we are going to talk about having a pest inspection done before you list your property and the advantages of doing that.

Before your real estate professional places a “For Sale” sign in your front yard, you want to be sure that no stone has been left unturned when preparing your home for marketing. The “To Do” checklist that your agent gives you is created to help protect you from the unknown once you are under contract to sell. It is also a great checklist for taking care of everyday preventative maintenance of your home and in this climate, that is important.

One of the key items on your list will be the recommendation to obtain a professional structural pest inspection prior to listing instead of waiting for an acceptable offer to see if your home is the subject of hidden pest or water damage.

For a modest fee, a state-licensed pest inspector will scrutinize everything from the rafters down to the foundation, looking for signs of active wood-boring invaders and/or dry rot.

Termites, both sub-terranean and drywood and certain beetles can be causing behind-the-scenes damage to the structure, while water could be causing wood to rot where it is not properly protected. Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a report with suggested remedies and estimated costs for any areas of active infestation or dry rot. If you want to correct any problem that has shown up you will know ahead of the curve and have the opportunity to do so.

Having this information before you move ahead with an offer gives you a great advantage when selling your home. You will know the cost to get a clear pest report prior to agreeing on a selling price.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the home selling or buying process. Thank you for reading and remember you can always call me at 727-298-8888 or email me at terriLMREP@gmail.com ordrop by our office at 906 Drew St Clearwater, Fl 33755. Until next time!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Well, it’s official – the holiday season is here! Get ready for both small and large gatherings. I’d like to give you a few tips on how to prepare your home for the holidays to help make it even more enjoyable and festive:

  1. Make sure to remove any items you won’t be needing over the holidays for example now is a great time to declutter by recycling old newspapers, magazines, mail that has piled up, straighten up counter tops and put away items you won’t be using to give additional counter top space and move out any old furniture. You can donate, recycle and lastly throw out anything you won’t be using in the future.
  2. Clear out the Entryway: If that welcome mat is worn out, now is a good time to replace it with a fresh, new one (both inside and out). Clear out shoes, umbrellas and any clothes you have been storing in the entry way closet to make room for your guests and add hooks in the entryway or hall closet for your guests to store their coats and purses. A decorator friend of mine has added shelving in the hallway closet for guests to place their bags and I think that is a clever idea!
  3. Stock bathrooms with toilet paper, tissue, towels and toiletries for guests to use while they are visiting. If you don’t have enough countertop or shelf space, place them in baskets to make them easily accessible to guests.
  4. Make sure you have plenty of outdoor lighting so that guests can easily make it to your front door. Decorations can add quite a bit of light, so if you have limited lighting try adding some extra light with holiday lights.
  5. Lastly, enjoy this holiday season with your family, friends, loved ones and be kind to strangers. (Some information gotten from an article by Lisa Kaplan Gordon at HomeLogic) If you are considering selling your home and want to know what it is worth, please give me a call at 727-298-8888. If you are considering buying a home or an investment property, give me a call, I’d love to discuss this with you. We at Lauren Michaels Real Estate Partners wish you a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and we look forward to hearing from you.

Call us at 727-298-8888 or email me at terriLMREP@gmail.com. You can visit our website at laurenmichaels realestate.com.

Thank you and see you soon!

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. 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 its doors on January 15, 1897.  He built the hotel hoping 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, numerous high-profile people visited both 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 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.  The Belleview Inn is not too far from 802 Druid Road South (mentioned above).

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 over 100 years old.  

Completed by 1930, these homes today are close to the water and 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 email me at terriLMREP@gmail.com.  I always love hearing from you! 

We offer red carpet service and look forward to exceeding your expecations.

(Thank you to the Clearwater Historical Society for the historical information reprinted here.)

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

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. 

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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