Buying a House? Don’t Forget to Factor in Property Taxes!

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You’ve found the dream house, the price is right and you are ready to purchase. Make sure you stop and consider additional expenses first. The cost of homeownership goes beyond just your mortgage payment. For instance, property taxes and flood insurance. In this article we are going to focus on property taxes. Did you know that Florida’s property taxes average 1.1% of a home’s assessed value? This tax helps support state and local government funding, since Florida doesn’t impose a personal income tax. It’s imperative that you discover how your property tax bill works. Once you understand how your property...

Saint Pete Local Secret- Pure Sea Salt

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  St. Pete is a treasure trove of little gems known only to the locals. We are setting out to reveal some of these little secrets for those uninitiated with “the Burg”. From quaint glass stores, to craft beers, handmade soaps to our latest find; Sea Salt! Surrounded by oceans, it’s no wonder that Maureen (Mo) Cacioppo, 35, has made a hobby of crafting homemade sea salt into a full time, thriving operation. Currently she has more than 16 flavors and has made a resolution to put out a new flavor each month. Our favorites so far are maple bacon,...

WORD OF THE WEEK- ESCROW

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WORD OF THE WEEK- ESCROW If you’ve ever heard a discussion on real estate, chances are the word “Escrow” has been thrown around. Perhaps you have a vague understanding that it has to do with holding money, but we will break it down for you here. There are two different meaning for the word “escrow” depending on what part of the country you are in. The overall definition is: “To place money or legal documents in the control of a third party until specific conditions are met”.  In the Western US, when someone says they are “in escrow”, they are...

Stylish Suggestions for a Pet Friendly Home

They may have feathers or paws, but for many of us, our pets are family. Why not then create a functional space for them that still meshes with your sense of style? According to David Beart, a Canadian in the process of building the world’s most pet friendly home, “When we build homes for our family, we work around the pets later. Why not include the pets’ needs as well when building the home?” “Over half of all homes have pets living in them, but animals are still an afterthought when it comes to home improvements.”*** And if that hasn’t...

WORD OF THE WEEK- AMORTIZATION OF A LOAN

  Congratulations! You just bought a home, or are considering doing so? It can be a bit daunting when you are faced with a life changing investment and a vocabulary lesson at the same time. We are here to break down some of these foreign words for you. Today we are taking on Amortization of a loan. Amortization is just a fancy way of saying “spreading out”. When you hear this term, it is referring to spreading your payments out over multiple periods. Fear not! You’ve more than likely done this before with phone plans or big purchases of some...

Word of the Week- Appraisal Vs. Inspection

  Appraisal Vs. Inspection If you haven’t already delved into the world of real estate, chances are that at some point in your life, you will. Real estate is often the most important investment people ever make, yet often they are astoundingly un-educated about the process and the terminology. As a perpetual student, I thought it would be fun to create a weekly journey to teach the average person about this complex and varied world. We will launch this journey by comparing “Appraisal” vs. “Inspection”. They sound like synonyms, but they are actually two very different things and serve very...

10 Best Places To Live In St. Pete Florida

  As the thump of your tires turn underneath you and the span of the Skyway bridge stretches above you; you will leave the hustle and bustle of Downtown Tampa and know you have arrived in the Eden-like sanctuary of St. Pete Florida. This unique, historically rich, culturally over-flowing and breathtakingly beautiful city is largely unknown to outsiders, but those of us that call it home, know that we are some of the luckiest people in the US. Just imagine, all this beauty, nature and culture are our backyard! If you have ever thought about checking us out, here are...

Are You Hurricane Ready?

7 Steps to Preparing for the “Big One”   “It Only Takes One Storm to Change Your Life and Community”. If you live in hurricane prone area, like Florida, you need to be prepared. While hurricanes pose the greatest threat, tropical storms and depressions can also wreak havoc. Here in the St. Pete/Tampa Bay area we are susceptible to all three. Before you begin to prepare for a big storm, you should know the basics. The major hazards that you should be aware of are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes and high surf/rip currents....

The Price Of Selling Your Home

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Looking at the Real Costs Involved in Marketing and Selling Your Home   Visions of money fairies throwing cash their way is often what people selling their homes seem to expect. But the reality can be sobering. The old cliché “In order to make money, you must spend money” holds true even in the housing market. So before you go spending all that money on vacations and cars, make sure you have done your homework and know exactly what your profit margin is likely to be. Most homeowners are aware of the agent commission and this is the first and...

Retiring In St. Pete- The “Sunshine City”

Retiring in St. Pete- The “Sunshine City”        So you’ve dedicated your life to a career, a family and success. Now it is finally time to reap the rewards of all that hard work. Where to spend your golden years is the BIG QUESTION! Have you considered St. Pete, Fl? The sunshine city, as it is often referred to, because of its average 361 days a year of sunshine, is a truly over-looked gem. According to WalletHub, St. Pete came in No. 11 as one of the best places in the United States to retire. In this study, they...