The Summit at Fern Hill in Riverview, Florida

Florida Map with CountiesLocated along US Highway 301 in Riverview, the Summit at Fern Hill is one of the most conveniently located new single family home communities within the Interstate 75 Corridor. it is conveniently located to restaurants and shopping as well as Tampa’s business district and Gulf Coast beaches.  Some of the property highlights include:

  • Pricing from $200,990s – $274,990s
  • Square footage from 1,555 to 3,326
  • Bedrooms from 3 to 6
  • Bathrooms from 2 to 3
  • Amenities include a resort-style pool, cabana, and playground
  •  CDDs at $157.98 per month with low HOAs ($12 per month)

Per Lennar, the Schools for this subdivision include:

  • Sessums Elementary School
  • Rodgers Middle School
  • Spoto & Riverview High School

Although the above schools are the currently assigned to the subject development, I would suggest that any potential buyer check the Hillsborough County website to verify the schools and more information (school grades, school calendar, etc.). If you are relocating to Hillsborough County, you can find your school at click here as well as the school calendar at click here.

Unlike most builders, Lennar offer a home that has everything included.  What does that mean for the buyer?  In the case of upgrades, it is simply a matter of over pricing them above what you could get done from an individual subcontractor.  I’m not saying that Lennar does not offer upgrades, but most of the “typical”upgrades in the modern home as “granite” countertops are included.  Whereas, a lot of builder charge higher prices at their “design centers”.  This is just something to think about when deciding on purchasing a home.

There are several “spec” homes available.  Home builders in the Tampa Bay Residential Market have completed homes available with some real savings like discounts off the original sales price and generous closing costs available to potential home buyers in communities like Riverview and Ruskin, Florida.  Sales prices onSpec” (speculation) are often the best places to get the best deals.  These homes are built by builders without an intended purchaser in mind (Hence the builder is speculating that they will find a builder to buy the home).

There are thee spec homes available (Harrisburg, Hartford, Dover, and Providence models).  The following is the Harrisburg Model:

Harrisburg Front

Harrisburg first flr

The following is the Hartford Model:

Hartford Front

HARTFORD fIREST fLOOR

The following is the Dover Model:

Dover Front

Dover 1st Floor

The following is the Providence Model:

Providence

Providence 1st Floor

Providence 2nd Flr

Front Elevations and Floor Plans provided by Lennar Homes

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not?  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty a.t 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link

Granite vs. Quartz

Azalea-Kitchen_thumb.jpgMost of the new homes in the Tampa Bay residential market have granite countertops as standard rather than an option.  Some of the home builders are offers Quartz as an updated option. Granite is a common type of igneous rock that is granular and phaneritic in texture. Granites can be predominantly white, pink, or gray in color. Granitic rock is widely distributed throughout the continental crust.  Below are some different colors of Granites:

Various_granites

cropped-hamilton-kitchen-river-bend.jpgDid you know that Granite is actually porous?  Whereas, Quartz is not porous and thus requires no periodic sealing like Granite with the look of any quartz countertop compares to granite.  It is also heat-resistant.  Since quartz is an engineered product, consisting of a minimum of 93% quartz and 7% epoxy binder and dyes.  An engineered product is s a composite material made of crushed stone bound together by an adhesive.  The two common stones used in producing these products are marble and quartz.  It requires no sealer has the advantage in that it requires no harsh chemicals to seal, nor does it emit harmful chemicals into the air, making it potentially more environmentally friendly.  Because quartz countertops are manufactured, the color and pattern possibilities are limitless—including varieties that are almost identical to granite or marble.  Because of the ease of care, Quartz is becoming more popular.  For example, I know that Lennar now offers quartz as an option.  If you buying a home and you want to get the most for your money, you should consider Quartz.

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not?  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty a.t 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link

 

Dover Ridge (A New Single Family Home Community)


moneyhands_217w_gifDover Ridge
is a new home community in eastern Hillsborough County, Tampa Bay Florida.  This location is still in a more rural location between Valrico and Plant City.   However, it is still conveniently located to restaurants and shopping as well as Tampa’s business district and Gulf Coast beaches.  Some of the property highlights include:

  • Pricing from $210,990s – $285,990s
  • Square footage from 1,555 to 3,326
  • Bedrooms from 3 to 6
  • Bathrooms from 2 to 3
  • Gated community with no CDDs with low HOAs ($68.04 per month with a one-time $300 Capital Contribution)

Per Lennar, the Schools for this subdivision include:

  • Nelson Elementary School
  • Mulrennen Middle School
  • Durant High School

Although the above schools are the currently assigned to the subject development, I would suggest that any potential buyer check the Hillsborough County website to verify the schools and more information (school grades, school calendar, etc.). If you are relocating to Hillsborough County, you can find your school at click here as well as the school calendar at click here.

Unlike most builders, Lennar offer a home that has everything included.  What does that mean for the buyer?  In the case of upgrades, it is simply a matter of over pricing them above what you could get done from an individual subcontractor.  I’m not saying that Lennar does not offer upgrades, but most of the “typical”upgrades in the modern home as “granite” countertops are included.  Whereas, a lot of builder charge higher prices at their “design centers”.  This is just something to think about when deciding on purchasing a home.

There are several “spec” homes available.  Home builders in the Tampa Bay Residential Market have completed homes available with some real savings like discounts off the original sales price and generous closing costs available to potential home buyers in communities like Riverview and Dover, Florida.  Sales prices onSpec” (speculation) are often the best places to get the best deals.  These homes are built by builders without an intended purchaser in mind (Hence the builder is speculating that they will find a builder to buy the home).  There are thee spec homes available (Harrisburg and Hartford models).  The following is the Harrisburg Model:

Harrisburg Front

Harrisburg first flr

The following is the Hartford Model:

Hartford Front

HARTFORD fIREST fLOOR

Front Elevations and Floor Plans provided by Lennar Homes

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not?  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty a.t 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link

 

Little Harbor in Ruskin, Florida

img_6055Whether you are still working or retired, you can have it all in a home?  You can have beautiful views of Tampa Bay coupled with two-story homes in a Cape Cod atmosphere in Tampa Bay.  Well You can in one of Lennar’s newest waterfront communities.  These homes will have direct access to Tampa Bay with the convenience of being able to accommodate own docks and boat lifts.   Some of the property highlights include:

  • Pricing from $514,990s – $669,990s
  • Square footage from 2,618 to 3,835
  • Bedrooms from 4 to 5
  • Bathrooms from 2.5 to 3
  • Amenities include a basketball court, fitness center, marina, playground, sport court, swimming pool, tennis court, and volleyball court.

Since schools districts can change all the time, we suggest that a potential buyer should verified the schools prior to purchasing.  Per Lennar, the Schools for this subdivsion include:

  • Thompson Elementary School
  • Beth Shields Middle School
  • Dr. Earl Lennard High School

There are seven spec homes available (Jupiter, Sanibel, and Amelia models).  Spec homes are homes built without a buyer and usually offer better than average deals as the builder/developer does not want to keep them for very long.

Amelia Front Elevation

Amelia Model

Amelia First Flr

Amelia Second Flr

The following is the Sanibel:

Sanibel

Sanibel First Flr

Sanibel 2nd Flr

The following is the Jupiter:

 Jupiter

Jupiter 1st Flr

Jupiter 2nd Flr

Front Elevations and Floor Plans provided by Lennar Homes

KW1784102f20KW_thumb.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not?  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty a.t 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link

Estoppels in Real Estate

moneyhands_217w_gifSo you think that you have considered all the epenses that are required to sell your home?  Maybe not.  Did you know that the seller might have to get an estoppel letter from the management company.  This legal document outlines information regarding the current owner’s financial standing in regards to the HOA, what is due and what has not been paid. It also indicates any assessments that are in progress or projected. Typically, these letter are needed before the 15 days before closing, as well as an update fee if the closing is delayed beyond the “good through” date. You would think that most management companies could provide this service for free and have several years ago. Unlike most closing fees, which are paid at the time of closing, management companies require payment upfront. However, this has been considered another source of income.  Additionally, there is not uniform cost to provide an estoppel. The good news is that you don’t have to get an estoppels for properties not in a subdisivion..  The bad news is that you will most likely have to get one from the management company to sell the property.

KW1784102f20KW_thumb.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty a.t 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link

Riverview Pool Home Just Sold

IMG_6509.JPG

I just sold this pool home for at full list price at $248,000.  This property went under contract in 53 days during the slowest sales period (the holidays) in the year.   This three-bedroom/two-bath/three-car garage pool home with an office is nestled in the HEART OF RIVERVIEW. This charming home is situated on an OVERSIZED .78 ACRE LOT & boasts over 2,000 SF of living area. You will find this generously sized residence offers the SPACE & FLEXIBILITY to grow & transform to accommodate your changing lifestyle. You will appreciate the beautiful WOOD LAMINATE FLOORS that flow throughout the kitchen, brunch area (eat-in kitchen), & family rooms.  A charming WOOD BURNING FIREPLACE in the family room provides a cozy focal point for family gatherings. The master bedroom overlooks the POOL and POND as well as beautiful SUNSETS. The 2 additional bedrooms are both bright, spacious, and are located along the opposite side of the home.

img_6055This home’s backyard is a MUST SEE meant for entertaining-SPACIOUS, PRIVATE, & PARTIALLY FENCED. Surrounded by generous yard space, a screened in saltwater poolwith an outside bar, lush landscaping, & fruit trees create the perfect place to sit outdoors! * HOA Only – $80 per quarter!!! BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBORHOOD!!! Convenient to schools, shopping, dining, & easy access to Downtown Tampa!

moneyhands_217w_gifThinking of buying or selling real estate?

KW1784102f20KW_thumb.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty at 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link.

 

Buying Versus Renting Single Family Homes

deposit-clipart-gold_theme_money_dollars_clip_art_7759 - CopyAs We Have all Heard Growing up “Buying a House is the Biggest Decision That the Typical Person Will Make in Their Lifetime.”

Advantages of Buying

1. Building Equity Over Time

Unlike renters, homeowners can build equity over time. On a typical mortgage, a portion of each monthly payment goes toward the loan’s interest with the majority payment reflecting interest in the beginning and the principal that grows during the mortgage term with the .majority of the payment reflecting principal.

2. Tax Benefits

Several tax benefits cater exclusively to homeowners, though not all homeowners qualify for all benefits. These are the most notable:

  • Homestead Exemption. If you bought a home last year, the dead line to file for homestead exemption is March 1st.  Every person who owns and resides on real property in Florida on January 1 and makes the property his or her permanent residence can file an application for a homestead exemption and may receive an additional property tax exemption up to $50,000.  The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes. The added $25,000 applies to assessed value over $50,000 and only to non-school taxes.  Please note that there are also other exceptions.
  • Federal Tax Deductions. If you itemize your federal income taxes, you can deduct your property taxes and the interest paid on your mortgage, reducing your overall income tax burden (often substantially). This particularly benefits those in higher tax brackets.

These benefits aren’t available to renters.

3. Potential for Rental Income

Even if you don’t initially think of your home as an investment property, you can turn it into a source of income. This can partially or totally offset your mortgage, tax, and insurance payments on it, and still make cash flow (money) on your former home.

4. Ability to change

As a homeowner, the majority (if not all) of the property is available to customize your home (i.e. painting the walls, adding new bathroom/kitchen fixtures, updating your kitchen, or building a patio or deck with or without a swimming pool, etc.) as long as the homeowner provided they don’t break local building codes or violate homeowners’ association rules.

Any radical changes to the home is typically not available to renters.

5. Sense of Belonging and Community

Since homeowners tend to stay in their homes for longer than renters, they’re more likely to put down roots in their communities. This manifests in many ways (i.e. your kids forming friends)

Disadvantages of Buying

1. Potential for Financial Loss

Although home ownership builds equity over time, equity doesn’t equate to automatic profit. If home values in your area decrease or remain flat during your tenure as a homeowner, dragging down the appraised value of your home, you risk a financial loss when you sell. However, homes tend to appreciate over the long term.  While renting doesn’t build equity, it also doesn’t involve the risk of owning a depreciating asset.

2. Responsibility for Maintenance and Repairs

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for covering the cost of maintenance and repair work on your home. Though your exact outlay is likely to vary from one year to the next, you can expect to pay toward these expenses.

3. Most Homes Aren’t Sold Furnished

While this concept is lovely, it’s far from commonplace, particularly in single family homes.  Some homes include appliances such as refrigerators and washer/dryers.  Unless your previous residence was similarly sized and fully furnished, you need to spend time, money, and energy furnishing your newly purchased home.

By contrast, many rentals come furnished. Even if their decorations don’t quite match your tastes, furnished spaces save resources and sanity on the front end of your tenure.

4. High Upfront Costs

Though upfront home buying costs vary greatly depending on the size of the down payment and the value of the home, you can expect to shell out no less than 3.5% FHA Requires a 3.5% Loan to Value Ratio as a down payment and should include seller paid some of the buyers’ prepaids, closing costs, and non-allowables.  FHA rules do allow sellers to give up to 6 percent of the home’s purchase price for closing costs.) of your home’s value (for an FHA loan and relatively low closing costs) before moving in. You could spend well over 20% of the purchase price.

Advantages of Renting

1. No Responsibility for Maintenance or Repairs

As a renter, you’re not responsible for home maintenance or repair costs. If the roof leaks, a toilet backs up, or an appliance stops working, you don’t have to call an expensive repair person, but rather you just have to call your landlord or property manager.

2. Relocating Is Easier

When you rent, it is easy to relocate. although a sudden move may require you to break your rental lease or pay negotiated penalty with your landlord.

By contrast, selling a home takes time and effort. A quick sale of your home may force the homeowner to accept a lower price and potentially take a loss on your investment.

3. No Exposure to Real Estate Market

Home values fluctuate in response to changing economic conditions, and can decline over time. If you’re a renter, that’s not your problem as a renter, but rather the landlord’s problem as a property owner.

4. Credit Requirements Generally Less Strict

Although most landlords require prospective renters to undergo a credit check, this is typically a zero-sum proposition. It is not typical that your application is either approved or denied based solely on your credit score.  As long as you don’t have a checkered credit report that includes bankruptcies and judgments, you’re likely to find a landlord willing to rent to you.

By contrast, mortgage lenders typically have high credit standards, with credit scores below 680 or 700 considered subprime in many cases. Even small changes to your credit score can significantly affect your mortgage rates (and qualification), potentially adding thousands of dollars in interest over your loan term.

5. Some Utilities May Be Included

The cost of most or all utilities, including non-essentials such as cable television is less common, but definitely still possible for single family homes. By contrast, homeowners have to pay full utility costs, sometimes several hundred dollars per month, depending on dwelling size and usage.

Disadvantages of Renting

1. No Equity Building

Unless you’re party to a rent-to-own agreement, every dollar you pay in rent is gone forever. No matter how long you remain in your rental unit or how exemplary a tenant you are, you can’t build equity in the property under a typical lease agreement. If you plan on staying in the same location for more than a few years, buying may be a smarter financial choice than renting.  Initial costs include the rent security deposit and, if applicable, the broker’s fee.  Recurring costs include the monthly rent and the cost of renter’s insurance.

2. No Federal Tax Benefits

While homeowners can deduct property taxes and mortgage interest on their federal income tax returns, renters aren’t eligible for any housing-related federal tax credits or deductions and local real estate taxes. Depending on your property tax and mortgage interest burden, this shortcoming can raise your federal tax liability by several hundred dollars per year.

3. Limited Control Over Ongoing Housing Costs

Unless you live in a municipality with rent control laws (not common in my market), your landlord has the ability to raise your rent once your current lease expires. Rental property owners raise rents to match rent increases elsewhere in the rental market.

4. Limited Housing Security

While most jurisdictions have generous renter protection laws that prohibit landlords from evicting without cause and require adequate notice (typically 30 or 60 days) that tenants won’t be given an option to renew their leases, and to remain in your rental unit indefinitely. Homeowners don’t face such uncertainty. They can remain in their homes as long as they stay current on their mortgage payments and real estate taxes.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate?

KW1784102f20KW_thumb.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty at 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Lithia (Fishhawk Ranch), and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link.