And soon it will be summer…


Dear  Clients, Neighbors, Friends and Associates…

My personal Blog for June 2023 discusses national real estate trends and is now published in,  “National Real Estate Market Update for 2023.” 

Following the Record Home Prices of last year, headlines across our country touted Higher Mortgage Rates.  But the real story is continued  Low Inventory.  One might imagine increasing mortgage rates could mean fewer buyers, thus significantly more inventory.  But actually,  that has not happened. 

Many buyers  face serious affordability challenges now.   Meanwhile many sellers are holding on to properties which carry a mortgage with historically low rates.  They don’t want to move to another property and pay higher interest rates.  Some are even buying a new home while keeping the old one for investment/rental/future appreciation.   Rather than pay off the old mortgage with a sale, they are keeping the low interest loan in place.  If they have the down payment to afford a new home without selling the old one, they are able,  in a sense, to invest the balance of that low interest mortgage into another property at a low rate.

The momentum of the market has  cooled since last Fall.  Prices  dropped last July through October.  That does not appear to be the case now.  There have been price reductions on active listings, we still see them.   But keep in mind  sales data is lagging 30, even up to 90 days.  Price reductions mean sellers are no longer able to demand exorbitant prices.   But sales data may not tell the full story of what is actually happening in real time.

Economists seem to agree, there is no signal in our markets that  supply is getting ahead of demand.    How any factor affects a market is very often dependent on location.  Some factors can affect one market in a significantly different manner than another market.  Further, there are always  external factors that are not in the general sales data, such as debt ceiling and recession fears, not to mention  fears about escalating insurances along our coast.

In any event, there seems to be a floor on prices now, even if there is no substantial upward pressure.

Perhaps one concept to embrace:  the market is never as bad as people think, and the market never gets as good as people think.

In any event, extremes are always seeds of opportunity.   As a seasoned local market expert, I am here to guide you.






SOLD in June
F205, Osprey Pointe at the unique Dolphin Cay gated community and preserve across from Eckerd College.  Private, third level unit,  direct-west-facing open waterfront, 2/2, 1653 SF plus private terrace and garage parking space. All updated with open great room, elegant travertine flooring throughout.   $840k.

Click picture for video.  Click here for a Google Earth view of the property.





For a current market snapshot in the PASS-A-GRILLE AREA,
with a 6 month synopsis of Active,
Pending and Sold Properties, click the links below:

Single Family:


Last month I first told my readers about  360-180, a new and efficient  concept in documenting what you own for the insurance adjuster, in the event of a natural disaster, such as hurricane, or fire, or for moving or remodeling projects. Protect your investment! 

I have no affiliation with this business.  But the owner Timothy Krafcik, has been my Tech Association for over 30 years.  I encourage my readers to Take Advantage of the introductory   price of $99 offered until July 1.

See more information below.


From May Paradise News, page 45, courtesy of Pete Roos.

Are You Prepared For The Next Ian?

Folks in Fort Myers Beach are dealing with insurance claims in the aftermath of last year’s
disastrous Hurricane Ian, which, until a day before landfall was aiming for Tampa Bay.
How many of them would have taken the precaution of photographing their home and
possessions and preserving those records safely in the cloud.
A Longtime St. Pete Beach resident with a photo and technical background
has offered to help residents prepare.


They provide a safe guard for your insurances,  peace of mind for you, and  provide you the property owner,  independent, dated photographic documentation of what you own prior to any potentially devastating event, storm, flood, fire or theft.  Images are presented in 360 degree surround view. See their demo at password “demo”.
You never need to worry you have viable proof for your insurance company of what has been lost or damaged in some disaster to your furnishings, artwork, equipment, built-ins, cabinetry, architectural add-ons. 360-180 also provides valuable documentation of  property condition, what is on-site  prior to storage for a remodelling project in your home or business, or a move to a new location.


Their introductory price is a flat fee of  $99 until July 1, 2023.  
Prices will increase by about 50 %, and be based on documented square footage of structure.


* Security of information.  Owner, tech coordinator and photographer, Tim Krafcik, and his rep, Barbara Praete, are 40+ year residents of Pass-a-Grille.  References include Joan Walker, Realtor 36 years; Sean Hurley of Frank T. Hurley Associates, Inc, Realtors; Ron and Sherry Sacino; Jack LoBianco; Brenda Ercius. 

* Creation Date, imbedded in each room image, of Paradise News cover and local newspaper front page.

* Documentation of all furniture, artwork, cabinetry, built-ins, add-ons, equipment in your home or  business.

*Cloud storage off-site. Access is password protected. Accessable with most web browsers.

* Material updated for same owner/property for $25 per room at any time after the first document is delivered.

Call 727-228-0273 for an appointment. Visit

What’s up for February?

Dear  Clients, Neighbors, Friends and Associates…

Roses are red, violets are blue
Is there a cupid looking for you?
Of course, dream awake!
Rekindle the flame, or start one anew! 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What’s up for February?…why, my winter garden for sure, time to harvest again… 
It’s also a good time in our area to get your property on the market..

My personal Blog for February, 2022,,  is  “8 Popular Home Design Features for 2022.” Opinions  for my blogs come from a variety of sources and reflect assorted market trends.   You’ll see reading my blog.  One of the strategies for preparing a property for sale  is discussed as a popular trend in “staging” for today’s buyer.


Frankly I would have hesitated to recommend sellers go for an accent wall when preparing their home for sale.  Sometimes personal statements can take a wrong direction and the buyer cannot visualize themselves in that space and will not feel  it’s the home of her dreams.  (For instance, my personal artistic flair, i.e. New York Taxi Yellow walls surrounding my kitchen area and bathroom ceiling,  may indeed not have general appeal.)

This weekend however, I visited a client who took a relatively outdated condo unit I sold her in December,  and created an inspired space for her mother… without any expensive remodeling such as granite countertops and new flooring….  She has transformed the space.  Note how the strong blue accent wall in a room of gentle neutral hues, has made the wall surrounding the open water view seem to disappear, bringing focus to the main feature of this condo, the exceptional open water view.   Nice job!

Real Estate Statistics for December,  2021,
as reported by the Pinellas Realtor Organization’s CEO David Bennett:

For a current market snapshot in the PASS-A-GRILLE AREA, with a 6 month synopsis of Active, Pending and Sold Properties, click the links below:

Single Family:

Please contact me, or visit  my website,  to set up a personalized real time search to target your specific market, or to analyze your property’s position in your own neighborhood marketplace.

I’ve not been one to seek awards for some years now,  especially when the best gift has been working with some of these remarkable people nearly  12 years!   But this lovely trophy, awarded to founding members of our Suncoast Global Council, means a great deal to me…thank you.  I am encouraged to share it, so I salute the Suncoast Global Council of our Pinellas Realtor Organization



Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Dear  Clients, Neighbors, Friends and Associates…
You make a difference in who I am, and how I do business, some of you for many years now.  Thank you, and Happy New Year!

 My frequent visitor for several months, this intriguing  female cardinal started her days admiring herself in the rear view mirror of my car around 8 a.m. every day,  before her radiant red male took her off to breakfast.   But now she has discovered my gazing ball in our backyard, and she can watch herself fly from the hammock…hahaha over and over.   Enjoy 2022, be amazed at yourself, and keep flying.



My personal Blog for January, 2022,,  is A Return To ‘Normal’?  The State of Real Estate in 2022.  Here is a summary of thoughts and predictions from some of the leading real estate economists.

Real Estate Statistics for November, 2021,
as reported by the Pinellas Realtor Organization’s CEO David Bennett:

For a current market snapshot in the PASS-A-GRILLE AREA, with a 6 month synopsis of Active, Pending and Sold Properties, click the links below:
Single Family:

Please contact me, or visit  my website,  to set up a personalized real time search to target your specific market, or to analyze your property’s position in your own neighborhood marketplace.

No one should lose his home because of Covid-19

May 19, 2020

Dear clients past and present, fellow real estate professionals, neighbors and friends…


All of us know someone who needs a phone call or a personal message, and we all have family or  friends who may need pandemic-related housing information. 

I am sending this letter to pass along recently published information, please pass it on to someone who needs it.

No one should lose his home because of Covid-19.  On May 13, Kerry Smith, “Florida Realtor” staff writer published information about a one-stop website for homeowners and renters to give them tools to find programs that work for them.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), joined together in this project.  The website is, and should “help homeowners and renters navigate these unprecedented times.”

It is generally understood,  those homeowners with mortgages backed by FHA, VA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, may request an initial 180 days payment forebearance, after which they may also request an additional 180 days.  Please let your lender know if you are a veteran or current military service member.   Once the homeowner is able to resume mortgage payments, he will discuss with his lender his options to bring his mortgage current, which may include modification of loan term, refinance of the existing mortgage or some other work-out solution including time to sell the home.  Before confirming the elected option my understanding is he will  be required to make 3 consecutive month payments on time, more or less a show of good faith, in order to proceed on the course selected.  It is my further understanding, borrowers who are eligible may be able to take advantage of our record low mortgage rates,  meaning refinance or buy a new home, three months after their forbearance ends, i.e. after three consecutive payments under their repayment plan, payment deferral option, or loan modification.


Below are two  related links published in the past week which could relieve some anxiety for homeowners whose finances have been significantly impacted  by Covid-19.

I hope this information helps those who need it.  And I will repeat what I said last month, because  I see strong indications of buyers returning to the market now.  Inventory is low, which is good news for current sellers, where buying  decisions may come quickly.  If you are a buyer who is ready or needs to make a move, get out there and you might make a very good deal on the home you like and want for your family … Sellers will appreciate you more than ever.

Contact me if you have questions, go well, with best regards,



Christmas  2021 along our Gulf Coast…

Christmas  2021 along our Gulf Coast…
The ghost crabs all scurry ‘tween moon beams they host.
We humbly set our sights
On peace, love, extraordinary light,
We string our stockings on beach chairs with care…
St. Nicholas will soon be there…..


Every year, it seems the holidays sneak up on us—and every year, that brings with it the dreaded last-minute gift panic. Finding a present that hits all the right notes can be surprisingly stressful, even when it comes to people you’ve known for years.

My personal Blog for November, 2021,,  is 20 Unique Home Gifts for Every Person on Your List. 

Real Estate Statistics for October, 2021,
as reported by the Pinellas Realtor Organization’s CEO David Bennett:

For a current market snapshot in the PASS-A-GRILLE AREA, with a 6 month synopsis of Active, Pending and Sold Properties, click the links below:
Family:  Single


Please contact me, or visit  my website,  to set up a personalized real time search to target your specific market, or to analyze your property’s position in your own neighborhood marketplace.
Merry Christmas!…may your blessings grow a thousand fold…

Reasons people will move during the pandemic

Florida Realtor digital news posted an article today, July 16,  citing Buyers’ Wants during these pandemic times…

Reasons people will move during the pandemic

  • 44%: Need more space
  • 41%: A desire to buy rather than rent
  • 37%: To get out of the city and move to the suburbs
  • 31%: Job relocation
  • 31%: A desire for private outdoor space
  • 28%: To be closer to friends and family
  • 27%: To downsize
  • 19%: To be in a better school district
  • 13%: To get away from multifamily or condo life
  • 11%: Due to financial problems and/or a job loss
  • 3%: To get closer to the city
  • 11%: Other

Crowded cities do not hold the same fascination right now, despite the energy we have all felt living in the middle of a vibrant community and/or evolving cultural area.

Buyers who are in the market right now are serious, they want a bigger home, they want more space around them, and of course, some want to downsize from homes if they feel overwhelmed with the upkeep.  Most buyers would not be in this current market of uncertainty except for the historically low interest rates.  They feel it is a cushion should the upward value trend get derailed at some point, for any length of time.  Buyers who can and want/need to move…. for jobs, schools or other concerns… are making their move, trying to get in place for the long haul.  Furthermore, depending on any stability in ongoing rental rates  could be unwise compared to locking in a 30 year loan around 3% or less.

Generally homes with more space are most sought after, although buyers often opt for  new or all remodelled, move- right- in with no expectation of further monetary investment.   Whatever the case, real esate professionals can help buyers and sellers reach a solution so  most any transition can work.

Certain features in a single family home, like excellent space, a 2 car garage, especially a Home office, attract today’s home buyer.   If the buyer is a visitor seeking a second home, a vacation home along our beaches, they often look for an intriguing location rather than space, they are buying a lifestyle, investing in a place of escape  that  feels perhaps freer and more inspiring than they have “back home.”


675 63rd St. So., St. Petersburg, 33707.  $399k. SELLER IS AHEAD OF THIS MARKET!… Recently reduced $30k so buyer has built-in equity for any updates he wants. Buyers, NOW is the time, MAKE YOUR MOVE TODAY! EXCELLENT 3 bedroom/ 3 bath/ 2 garage Home, lots of space, professionally landscaped corner lot, quiet residential neighborhood, popular and accessible location adjoining Gulfport, hardly a mile from restaurants and myriad shopping of So.Pasadena, short walk to Stetson Law School, parks, library, community center… and only a ten minute drive to beaches or Tyrone Mall. This well-sized home features a BRAND NEW red cement tile ROOF, and 3 year old air conditioning system! Special interior features include solid oak flooring, spacious kitchen, dining room, family room, living room, office and foyer… in addition to the 3 bedrooms and 3 baths! A comfortable and inviting covered front porch with broken- tile flooring stretches across the front of the house. An open broken-tile terrace stretches across the west side(back) of the house. PLUS a sizable side yard to the south can make a lovely play ground for children and pets……… or perhaps a pool. NOTE: OFFICE and third bath may be accessed outside the house. Many of us have home offices, and this assures privacy for work areas as well as your family.

OPEN SATURDAY, JULY 18, 1 TO 3,  or call Joan for individual video call/walk through.

200 1st Avenue, Pt. Pass-a-Grille #303, St. Pete Beach, Fla., 33706.  $413k.  TALK ABOUT ROOM WITH A VIEW!!! stretching from the Pass out of the Intracoastal Waterway into the Gulf of Mexico, here is your beach retreat like no other….Feel extraordinarily liberated in this brilliant setting, expansive water views overlooking the beautifully manicured private grounds and pool of Pt Pass-a-Grille. This gem has an unmatched location at the southernmost tip of a string of Gulf front Islands stretching from Clearwater Beach to the end of St. Pete Beach. Take a short 8 block stroll along the beachfront to “downtown” Pass-a-grille, 8th Avenue, home to all manner of quaint shops and unique restaurants, Merry Pier at the east end of 8th, the Historic Museum on 10th. No need to go any further!…And no need to look any further for the home or vacation spot of your dreams. Freshly painted interior, large pantry, walk in bedroom closet, lovely balcony (with storeroom), on-site laundry. Awesome views eastward from bedroom also.  A/C system only about 4 years old. Exceptionally well-maintained complex.

OPEN SUNDAY, JULY 19, 1 TO 3, or call Joan for individual video call/walk through.

Best regards to all,


Selling your home…Your Pre-listing package

Even in a “sellers’ market,” the  home seller must keep certain tips and possible pitfalls in mind to stay the course.   Maybe you’re a first time home seller, maybe a seasoned seller, but even  a veteran Realtor goes in with a plan based on practical home selling ideas. 

If you look around your neighborhood you’ll  notice most   seasoned sellers list their property with a Realtor.   Even in a “Sellers’ Market.”   Pricing, predicting, presentation, promotion, problem solving, processing…peace of mind.  It takes a professional.

One step at a time…we’ll make your property stand out in a crowd.

  1. HIRE A REALTOR.    You won’t be sorry.

As a prospective seller, you might interview a number of real estate professionals in your market to determine your best “fit.”  You are choosing your available point person, who is going to be with you beginning to end.  Consider references, overall reputation, expertise, connections, community and global engagement.  Be sure to discuss the  hands-on management and services you expect.  It’s important you  participate in this groundwork,  review the professional’s networks, her  proposals for exposure and her/his marketing plan  offered, and discuss the  program best suited to your specific needs and goals.

And meanwhile, keep in mind one very basic key to success…Share with your agent all the things you love most about your home, details and insight you’d like her/him to  share with consumers. 

Then from that moment on, think of your property as a product instead of your home.  This is the art of selling.

Don’t put your property on the market until you’re ready to sell.   Then be educated to sell.   Selling property properly means get professional, non-subjective advice,  especially if it’s your home.   If the owner isn’t ready to let go, buyers will know and the house will likely sit.   


… And don’t “test” the market.  You will fail.


  1. PRICE PROPERLY.  Your key to success.


A seasoned Realtor can help you target the perfect pricing position for your property in any current marketplace.  Pricing a property for the most successful sale is not just a science,  based on what actual statistics tell you.  It is is also an art, a perception that the professional Realtor develops over years of experience, added to the intimate study of your home real estate market, its histories and the relative sales climate at any given point in time.


There is often a spread between the original offering/list price and the price where the property actually sells… Alert!:   the narrower this spread, the more successful your sale.   Be sure to analyze, and disregard fabricated or manipulated data.


Time on the market must be factored into your pricing decision.   It’s proven today, just as it was before we had computers and fax machines and cell phones,  the longer a property sits, the lower the sales price.


Also a proven statistic, no matter how the market trends, up or down, the further your initial list price is above the actual market activity, the longer your house will sit. That’s the basis for the advice… in most markets, the best strategy to attract the most buyers is to price just a bit low.  Take advantage of  your agent’s insight and experience and you will lose nothing by determining the savvy pricing position… BEFORE you begin.


Today’s buyer  has all manner of access to statistics and histories and trends, viable or not; and while of course, buyers seek to pay as little as possible, they essentially want a fair deal.  When it comes to buying their first, or their fifth, home, they are largely willing to step up to the price  that can be supported by professional and reasonable analysis of what the market will, or should bear.  In other words, be prepared, and demand your agent be prepared to provide this in writing to a prospective buyer and/or his agent.

Here are some common mistakes sellers make in pricing their property:

  1. Pricing to what has not sold rather than what WAS sold.

When I was a new Realtor the saying went like this, “Price a little high, and a little low…”  given a stable market, you can successfully price a little higher than what just sold, but also price it  lower than what is currently offered  for sale, i.e. the competition.  Don’t worry that a neighbor might  sell for more than you.  If he is priced way higher, focus on your own goal.  That competitor will not likely sell sooner, certainly not for more.

  1. Overvaluing the amenities.

What is important to one owner may not be important to another, or even preferred, such as granite countertops and high end fixtures and appliances.  No two women like the same kitchen.   Even a pool may be a drawback, perhaps for  an out-of-town owner who doesn’t prefer the added maintenance and liability, or a  family with an infant who are concerned about family safety.  

  1. Reflecting improvements you’ve made dollar for dollar in the list price for your home.

Buyers may not appreciate the improvements you’ve made along the way as much as you did when you paid for them.   It’s often difficult for a home seller to recognize when his cherished improvements and decor seem out-dated, even ill-advised, to the prospective buyer.  In any event, we all know a car or a couch never brings the same price 5 minutes off the lot or the showroom floor.  A buyer will not, cannot sincerely appreciate your personal clutter, nor even perhaps your financial investment.  None of this will weigh so much as your clean, manicured, professional  presentation.

  1. Pricing with your next home purchase needs in mind.

Buyers won’t care what you need to net for your next purchase.

  1. Pricing according to on line computer estimates, Zestimates, automated valuation models.

These sites are available everywhere, even on some agents’ websites (!), fun tools to “see where you are today”…  But these are macro-level, at-a-glance, unwarrantable  valuations which cannot be accurate enough or substantive enough to be  dependable indicators of where a property is properly placed on the market.  A good buyer, one who will pay the price,  will seek professional guidance and expertise.  You as a Seller, should, too.

What if an agent knocks on your door and suggests you list your home in a range of $368k to $432K, then adds he’s confident you have a 50% chance of selling it in that range…?     That’s essentially what you get with an AVM.

Your agent should be prepared, in writing,  to help you make an informed decision about pricing your property.  Then your agent will do his or her best job to continuously counsel you and to ensure you’re not still sitting in your home six months later, along with the other Un-Solds.   There are Un-Solds in any market.

  1. Ignoring feedback and traffic indicators.

Really look at the actual, not manipulated,  listing to selling time ratios when you price your property.   AND once you have listed your property on the active market,  stay engaged. Listen to your agent, who should give you continuous feedback from other agents as well as personal showings.  Listen to what the market is telling you.  Watch the traffic patterns, on-site and on-line, keep up with what your neighboring competitors are doing, and find out what your  prospective buyers bought instead of buying your property.

  1. PREPARE AND PRESENT THOUGHTFULLY….your property is your produce.

Again, think of this property as a product to sell, not your home.  You won’t live there any more, someone else will.  And the best odds of finding your buyer sooner rather than later is to de-personalize it, and show your buyer the palette (s)he can use to imagine himself living there, not you.

  1. Curb appeal…first impressions…this is the initial determination of what your home is like inside.  Clean the yard,  get rid of obstacles that detract from “manicured” in any way.  Re-mulching, new grass, new plants can add color and appeal, perhaps add solar lighting along the walkway and potted greenery at the front door.  Pressure wash drives, walkways, siding…paint and trim, clean soffits and gutters, check the roof….how does the front door welcome people, the front porch, the mailbox?……

Keep a realistic budget, don’t replace something unless it’s a major irreparable detraction, but little things add up.  You’re providing a memorial snapshot, a first impression to set the tone of the interior showing, or to bring that buyer back to look inside.

2…Clean clean clean…  Be especially sensitive to this now.  Above all, this is the major feeling that will weigh in with prospective buyers.  Not only clean, make it  sparkling…which of course denotes attention to that sort of detail, and gives a prospective buyer peace of mind.  You want the buyer to know you think well of your home, not just what you have in it. You want them to feel it is a healthy home. Proper cleaning can surpass the countertop upgrade you couldn’t afford, and it costs the seller virtually nothing beyond time and detergent and polish.

3…Repair/remodel. …  Small improvements go a long way… details such as fresh trim at doors, baseboard, crown molding, cabinet handles, fresh paint (neutral shades only!…such as warm white), and get rid of the wall paper…  Cleaning  and making sure all fans and lighting fixtures are in working order is a big plus.

You can step up another level…to new or continuous (all rooms matching) flooring, new windows…all of these items can significantly brighten and improve the look of your home and help your home sell faster, thus for more.  Attention to such items can also likely increase the return on dollar spent.

You might consider appliance upgrades, but initial attention should focus on major mechanical items, indicating your home  is well maintained.  This will likely win more points with a buyer. 

Substantial interior upgrades such as bathrooms and kitchens, for the purpose of selling faster or  for more,  are  ill-advised, not only for potential  dollar return on your investment, but also for the time, not to mention unexpected hurdles, it will likely take to complete.    And after all,  second-guessing what your buyer will prefer is very risky…especially with kitchen and master bath arrangements.

  1. De-cluttering and staging…. You don’t need to have  a huge budget to be staging savvy.  Staging can mean professional, really upscale designers, or it can translate to de-cluttering, de-personalizing,  and  “styling” a house. Less is more.  De-cluttering is top of the list…which  may mean renting  a pod or storeroom, removing a couple pieces of furniture from each room.    Do this before you put your property up for sale.  It will sell faster, for more.

It may take a trained “third” eye to transform a space to suit the latest trend in home buyer wants and needs, but often you and your friends and your agent can be the staging sages.  Just use an objective eye and pin-point where attention is most warranted.  Staging or “styling” a home can be as simple as neutralizing, reorganizing and redistributing some pieces you already own, with the idea of drawing attention away from what detracts…or screams… and putting focus on what is spatially positive and has general appeal.  Perhaps you might create a focal point in a room with a piece of furniture that suggests how the buyer might use the room.  But remember to give your prospects the space they need to visualize and to engage.

  1. GET THE WORD OUT…key in to professional marketing.

Proper pricing is crucial, but the price a buyer offers is driven by cleanliness, preparation, presentation (staging/styling)… and of course, bringing your public in.   Traffic  is generated by professional  marketing and proper market exposure.  Once your home is ready to go on the active market, your Realtor can assure your photography, your brochures/ flyers, are attractive,  and your marketing material is  thoughtful, relevant,  informative, and demonstrates pride of ownership for a new owner.  The expert marketing representative  has not only  the resources, but also the resourcefulness, the know-how, to focus attention aggressively while in good taste, with the most beneficial and effective results.

A savvy  real estate agent is equipped to hook you into all manner of networks, local and global, to expansively and  properly expose your property for sale.  All of us who are MLS and PRO/Realtor members are syndicated on nearly  a thousand on-line websites, and some of us are professionally linked through our individual  certifications and designations so we are associated with countless other  professional networks, to assure you enjoy maximum exposure for your product, both in your own backyard, and across the globe.

                                                                                       READY, SET, GO!

Staying In Touch

We are all watching stories of people risking their own lives to save people….I think many of us wish we could do something really heroic just now.

But we each have our assignments, our unique challenges, every day. I am fortunate to be low maintenance, I live alone. My structure and my goals are my own. (Hahaha, like my 2 kitties.) I water the Impatiens or check on the a/c at a vacant listing, address issues with tenants, earn a new real estate certification, check on a client, cheer up a friend, create a new marketing prospectus, participate in global Realtor Zoom conferences, practice yoga to cello music…

Peace and power to all of you who hold your family together at home.

Today my goal is to say “Hi” to clients I may not have spoken with in some time, to neighbors and friends I have not seen at the grocery, or on social media, and Realtor friends I may have missed on recent Zoom conferences.

Being a small independent agent, I can usually afford to focus my full attention on a project and give each client the ultimate “hands-on” real estate experience. So this not so hands-on, virtual, arena is somewhat new to me. But like my peers everywhere, I am jumping in. I will continue to be resourceful in finding ways to show and market homes and make the experience meaningful for those who want to buy and sell real estate. Everything is not fine. This health pandemic is a financial disaster, but it is not a real estate recession. And it is the opinion of most economists and industry experts, real estate will help lead the way to recovery for our economy. So let us all keep putting deals together!

The most frequent question I get right now is what is going on today in the real estate market with this virus situation. And that is still hard to say, because this ” new market” is only a couple weeks old. We are not seeing big changes in local statistics at this point… deals still close, deals from last month are largely still in the pipeline. And the market inventory has remained much the same due to several factors: Some contracts are falling out over financing issues/ income disruption, and those properties go back on the market. At the same time some sellers have cancelled listings, or changed to “temporarily off the market” status…generally they own occupied properties where families are nervous to have traffic through their homes until a “safer” time. We see price reductions,sure, but nothing too astounding. In many areas price reductions have been common for some time as sellers enjoyed a climbing market, and occasionally priced their properties a bit too optimistically.

From February 19 to March 19, Pinellas County recorded 922 single famly homes sold. From March 19 to today, April 19, SFR sales totalled 811. 507 condo units sold in the window February 19 to March 19, and between March 19 and April 19, 440 condo units sold. The number of pending sales for both single family and condo units remained essentially unchanged between February 19 and today, as reported by our Stellar MLS market review. That stability is positive.

After over 32 years in the real estate business, I have not seen it all….This is new territory. I have no crystal ball.

If you are a consumer and want to know, “is this a good time to sell?” …Each real estate market has its own rules. But if you are ready, and able, to allow safe showings, I believe now is as good as next month, or a couple months from now. There are buyers out there, I can see this on the response I get from real estate posts. Shopping on line will be stronger than ever, buyers will not favor touring a myriad of homes with their real estate agent before making a decision, and if they are ready to make a move, decisions may come quickly.

If you are a buyer, and you are ready or need to make a move, my advice is to get out there and see if you might make a really good deal on the house you like and want for your family. Sellers will appreciate you more than ever.

Contact me if you have questions I might answer, go well, with best regards,


Update on Flood Insurance Legislation

Many thanks to Doug Izzo, Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce :

Good afternoon,

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was set to expire today. However, Congress passed its 11th extension yesterday, carrying it through June 14, 2019. The plan is, Congress will pass the disaster aid bill before June 14th which includes an extension through the end of September. The end goal is to have flood insurance reform including a long-term reauthorization this summer. More can be found at the following link:
Thank you,
Doug Izzo

Government Affairs Director
Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce