11 Reasons You’ll Love Moving To Clearwater, FL

Redington Beach Florida
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA

Arona McGinley | Charles Rutenberg Realty | RealEstateBitz.com

Every day we have families moving to Clearwater, FL! Clearwater is one of those places that is perfect for families with children, seniors looking to relax and enjoy the perfect weather or a great golf day. When you move to Clearwater, Fl plan on getting rid of the snow boots and heavy winter jackets. Time to stock up on lots of bathing suits, shorts, and sleeveless tees. Whatever the reason it’s definitely one of the best places to live in Florida.

Clearwater Florida has excellent schools, there is so much history and I can’t forget to add Winter the Dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Clearwater, FL supports over 50,000 local jobs and has been growing every year. If you’re looking for that beach vibe with a slower pace of life then this is the place for you. Check out our downtown and enjoy the museums, great restaurants, and perfect weather. Should you be moving to Clearwater, or are thinking of moving to Clearwater, Fl please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about this beautiful city. I am always happy to help!

5 Things You Should Know Before You Move to St. Petersburg, Fl

St. Pete Beach was Rated Top Beach in the United States

If you reading this you must be thinking of moving to St. Petersburg, Florida and you may be wondering why people are loving St. Petersburg. This year, St. Beach has been rated the top beach in the United States and was also rated fifth in the world.

St. Petersburg, Fl has a great deal to offer if you’re looking for a place with a diverse culture, great restaurants, top-rated beaches, nightlife, great schools, historical sites, the University of South Florida (St. Pete Campus), and great neighborhoods to live in.

Downtown St. Petersburg, Fl

Downtown St. Petersburg is buzzing all day and night. You can visit great museums such as The Dali Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts and Chihuly Collections of stunning glasswork. Check out the St. Pete Pier for fun things happening for both adults and kids. Dine at waterfront restaurants or just enjoy a fun beach day with the family. On a bright sunny day, you can browse the local Saturday Morning Market and buy organic produce, food made by the locals as well as arts and crafts. Check out our beautiful downtown on foot. Park your car and walk or use the Looper trolley which runs seven days a week. There is so much to see and do at downtown St. Pete.

Beaches St. Petersburg, Fl

Are you ready for some fantastic Beaches? As I said has been rated the top beach in the United States. Our beaches are casual and perfect for laying out. If you want some activity we’ve got plenty of that too: Check out windsurfing, boating, dolphin watching, sandcastles and so much more. While you are in St. Petersburg check out the historical Don CeSar resort where you can dine, get some drinks at the bar, have an ice cream cone with the kids. There is so much for everyone.

Sporting Arena

Are you a sports fanatic? St. Petersburg is home to the Tampa Bay Rays baseball at Tropicana Field and the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium. You can also check out the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. This takes place on the waterfront street course in downtown St. Petersburg. It’s a week-long of activities and has fun for the whole family, live entertainment, and interactive activities for the kids.

Colleges and Universities

The University of Florida has a campus located in St. Petersburg, Fl. This campus has on-campus student housing. This campus is located on the water and on some days you can see dolphins playing in the water. This campus is close to downtown and is a great place for students to live. Students are close to shops and restaurants as well a great beaches and parks.

The People

There is such a diverse makeup of people in the St. Petersburg area. You can see that through the diversity of the food and restaurants that are available. From mom-and-pop restaurants to food trucks and top dining waterfront restaurants there is something for everyone. Take a walk downtown St. Petersburg and see the mix of people enjoying each other although they come from all walks of life. This is a place where all cultures come together for some fun in the sun.

If you are ready to make the move to St. Petersburg Florida we welcome you. There is so much to do for the retirees, for the students, and for the families with kids. I cannot think of a more perfect place to to live.

If you need more information check out www.RealEstateBitz.com.


4 Upgrades that can help you lower your homeowner’s insurance cost

reduce your insurance premium

Homeowners’ insurance premiums continue to rise each year. Here are some simple ways to not only lower your insurance premium, but they can also increase your property value.

  1. Do you have a bad roof that’s been leaking, has rotting wood, and is as old as you are? Did you know that insurers offer discounts for roof upgrades? Talk to your insurance agent and see what discounts are available with a new roof.
  2. Storm-Safe Windows and Doors can increase the value of your home, but it can also help you reduce your insurance premiums. Talk with your insurance agent to see what discounts are available to you.
  3. Install a Home Security System. This is an upgrade that’s relatively cheap and can reduce your insurance premium. Talk to your insurance agent.
  4. A Water shutoff device is another easy device that you can install which can help reduce your insurance premium. This device will alert you of moisture or leaks in places that shouldn’t have water. Talk with your insurance agent to see what discounts are available.

These are just a few of the things that can help you lower your insurance premiums. Don’t forget to contact your insurance agent when you get these upgrades to update your policy.

Is Buying a Condo Right for you?

Is buying a condo right for you in florida

So you’re thinking about buying a condo? Buying a condo can make sense for most people! It’s great for retirees, singles, couples, and for 2nd homes or vacation homes.

Consider these before buying a Condo.

Is Condo living right for everyone? A Condo may offer many advantages as well as disadvantages. Here are some Pros and Cons to look at before you decide to buy a Condo.

  • Condo living is somewhat like apartment living. Not a lot of parking available for friends and family when they visit.
  • If you want privacy then Condo living is not for you.
  • Consider the extra fees that are charged for amenities whether you use them or not (pool, clubhouse, gym, game room, etc). Fees for maintenance such as yard work, upkeep for anything outside of your Condo.
  • Little or no yard space. Forget about those backyard BBQs with friends and family.

On the other hand, most Condo communities offer a lot of amenities for those who want to take advantage of them.

  • Amenities include Work out Rooms, Pools, Clubhouse, get together with neighbors, and more.
  • There is the convenience factor
  • If you like people and love to interact with your neighbors then this will be a great atmosphere for you. There is a sense of community in Condo living
  • No Yardwork ever again! Someone else takes care of the maintenance.

Living the Condo life may not be for everyone. If you love that Condo lifestyle there are lots of great Condos available in the Tampa Bay Florida area.

If you are ready to start your Condo search contact your local Realtor for more information on what’s available.

Why Investing In Florida is a Good Idea!

  • Is Buying in Florida a good investment?

Buying real estate in Florida is a great investment. Not only is it a place where everyone wants to vacation. Florida has beautiful weather, that low key lifestyle, lots of attractions for the whole family.

Another attraction is Florida has no income tax.

In Florida, we have had a lot of real estate development, and that’s great for investment buyers because the prices of homes are still reasonable.

We have a strong demand for rental properties, condos, single-family homes. We have vacationers looking for options to rent besides staying at hotels.

Finding homes for investors and second home buyers
  • What are some good places to buy investment properties in Florida?

Some great places to buy an investment property in Florida are Tampa, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, Kenneth City, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Belleair, Dunedin, and Orlando.

If you are looking to invest contact us for some great investment properties.

Your Home Buying Checklist

Are you a home buyer in Pinellas County, Florida
  1. Separating your wants -vs- your needs.

Here are a few tips for home buyers that are shopping for houses. How to narrow down your search.

  • What do you need in a Home?
  • What do you want in a Home?

Before you even start shopping think about what you actually need in the home for you and your family. There is a huge difference in what you want compared to what you need. If you work from home all the time you may need a home office. If you work from home once a week you can also say I need a home office. Is a home office really necessary if you only work once a week from home? The bigger the home, the more expensive, so it helps to break down needs versus wants.

Arona McGinley Realtor in Tampa florida

2. Be realistic about your finances

Look at your finances, determine what you can afford to spend monthly for your mortgage. Do you have money for a down payment? Do you have money for escrow? This will determine what price range of homes you can afford.

3. Talk to Lenders, get pre-approved.

This is a letter from a lender that you give to the sellers to show that you are serious about buying their home. It says that the lender is committed to lending you this much to purchase their home.

Once you determine that you are ready to be a homeowner talk with a Realtor about market conditions. This is one of the biggest investments don’t just wing it.


Why is the Appraisal so critical to your real estate transaction?

Arona McGinley Realtor in Tampa florida

Did you know that the appraisal can make or break your real estate sale? The appraiser works for the bank, not the seller or the buyer.

In real estate transactions, we have 3 significant players – the buyer, the seller, and the lender. The Appraiser is the eyes of the lender in the field. An Appraiser plays a vital role in every real estate transaction.

For example, we have a real estate transaction of a sale price of $300,000. The buyer is putting 10% down which is $30,000. He is getting a loan in the amount of $270,000. Everyone so far thinks this home is worth $300,000, obviously, the buyer thinks this because he made an offer for the sale price of $300,000.

The lender now sends the Appraiser out to the home to get an appraisal of what the home is worth. Here is where it can become pretty tricky. When the appraiser goes out here are a few things that can happen:

  1. The appraiser determines that the value of the home is higher than the sales price, maybe its $305,000 instead of $300,000. This is great news because we can go ahead with our transaction.
  2. The appraiser, appraisers the value of the home at $300,000 which is the sales price. Excellent! We move ahead with the transaction.
  3. The appraiser values that home lower than the sales price for example $290,000. This becomes a problem for all parties involved. A couple of things can happen here which is not so great for the parties involved.
  • The Lender can still lend the buyer the money to purchase the home but only for $290,000, not the $300,000 sale price.
  • The seller can either eat the $10,000 and sell the home for $290,000 instead of $300,000. This can sometimes happen, where the seller comes down to the new appraisal price.
  • The buyer can buy the home at $300,000 but would have to bring additional money to the table. You can see this happening in a seller’s market. The loan is now $290,000 with a down payment of $29,0000, the loan amount would be $261,000. The buyer has to bring an extra $10,000 to purchase the home at $300,000.
  • The last thing that can happen is that the whole transaction blows up because neither party is willing to negotiate.

You can see how the Appraiser is vital to a real estate transaction. It does not matter what the buyer or the seller thinks the home is worth. It matters what the Appraiser thinks…that’s what counts!

Home Purchasing Costs & Fees

Here are some of the costs that you will have when purchasing a home in Florida.

Are You Ready To Buy Your Home?

Your guide to buying your first home -

Buying a home can be the most exciting time for you and your family. But don’t lose out on the home of your dreams by doing this alone. This is one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, and I want to help you by making this experience less stressful.

As you go through the process you may have questions on –

  1. Downpayment – How much is required as a downpayment of a home?
  2. How do I get a Mortgage for this home?
  3. How do I complete the Mortgage application?
  4. Do I have enough money saved up to buy this home?
  5. Do I have a good credit score?
  6. How do I write up an offer on my dream home?
  7. How do I negotiate to get the best price?
  8. How do I submit an offer on my dream home?
  9. What do I do when the Seller accepts my offer?
  10. How do I get the home inspected?
  11. How do I negotiate repairs?
  12. How do I get a title search?
  13. How do I get a survey?
  14. What are my closing costs?

There are so many things to think about when buying your home. Don’t go through this alone. Call/Text 727-422-9340 I can help you buy the dream home for you and your family.

5 Must-do Home Improvement Projects to sell your home in 2020

5 home improvement projects to sell your home in 2020

You’re ready to sell your home, and although you’ve always kept your home in great condition you still need to do some extra maintenance. When selling your home your property has to be in tiptop shape if you’re going to get top dollar when you sell. If you’re selling your home you still want to have your home looking good on the inside as well as the outside. Even if your home is on the market for 3 months or more, you have to keep giving that home your love, even if you have already vacated the home. When your home looks like its well cared for, you get more people interested in looking at it and even get top dollar. Here are some tips that you may already be doing or neglecting.

  1. Landscaping – your lawn should be mowed, trees and shrubs trimmed, flower beds should look lush. Your driveway and walkways should be well lit without weeds and leaves on it.
  2. Gutters – people tend to forget that you get all sorts of debris in your gutters. Make sure that your gutters are cleaned out. By not doing this you can have all sorts of issues with your roof, walls of home and drainage issues. You don’t want to deal with overflowing drains if it rains, or damage walls or foundation issues or drainage issues when selling your home.
  3. Fix Broken things – Buyers tend to check to make sure the doorbell works. It’s one of the things that people tend to forget when getting their home ready for the sale. Lots of times it doesn’t work. This may be something small to you, but to buyers, this can be a big deal. Fix leaky faucets and running toilets.
  4. Critters – go around your home and make sure you don’t have squirrels or other critters living in your attic or other areas of your home.
  5. Clean Windows and Doors – If your home is on the market for more than a month you will have to get those windows and doors cleaned up. Get rid of cobwebs or spiderwebs that may have built up around them. Not doing this will make the home look neglected.

Get your punch list made up, and make sure you’ve got all of these little things taken care of. By doing these small things you can get more return on your investment.