11 Reasons You’ll Love Moving To Clearwater, FL

Redington Beach 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!

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.

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.

Home Purchasing Costs & Fees

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

Advantages of Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Realtor Arona McGinley

Many of us think that the best time to sell a home would be in the spring and summer. This is true that the majority of buyers are looking to make a purchase during those months. But not all buyers disappear after Labor Day.

In Florida, your home may get a lot of interest from all the snow birds that are flocking down to Florida. This is a great time to take advantage of the holiday season and show off your home to 2nd home buyers or buyers that are looking to make Florida their home.

Your Home Looks It’s Best

This is a great time to make your home look cozy and family friendly. Most people shopping for homes during the holidays are very motivated. This is great time to capitalize on this by creating an atmosphere of family with tasteful decorating and minimal clutter.

Show off your home’s greatest assets and enhance it by using tasteful christmas decorations.

Lack of Competition

Many sellers are debating on taking their home off the market during the holidays. You may find that you have little or no competition during the holidays. New sellers may want to wait for the new year to list their home or prefer to get it ready for sale during spring or summer.

This is an advantage to you because you have less competition for buyers looking for homes like yours. When you have less homes on the market it means that you get tons of buyers focusing on your home. Talk to your realtor and make sure your home is priced correctly.

Buyers are more Motivated

Most people don’t decide to move during the holidays. If you have a buyer shopping for a home during the holidays usually it means they have to move. This involves a job or other reason to buy a home during the holidays. People shopping for homes around the holidays tend to be serious buyers and are very motivated. Keep the holiday cheer on when you meet with these folks and you’ll be sure to sell your home.

Things to Know about FHA Appraisals

Arona Mcginley real estate agent seminole florida. FHA Appraisal

In order to use an FHA loan to purchase a home, the property will have to be appraised and inspected by a HUD-approved appraiser. This is to ensure that the property meets HUDS’s minimum property standards.


Only an expert can assesses or determine the value of your home. You get an appraisal to determine the value of your home in today’s market. The appraiser usual has a check list of HUDs requirements for FHA.

Things You Should Know About FHA Home Appraisals

  • HAND RAILS – handrails should be installed along open staircases, and in accordance with FHA/HUD requirements.
  • RAILINGS – has to be installed around, decks, patios, porches and balconies.
  • PAINT – all interior and exterior paint should be in good condition. There should be no distressed paint eg. peeling paint.
  • WINDOWS – all windows should be fully operational and not broken. If it is, it has to be replaced.
  • DOORS – doors should be functional and hanging properly.
  • ROOF – If the roof has leaks it must be repaired or replaced.
  • UTILITIES -utilities must be on and functional at the time of the inspection.

These are just some of the things that will be addressed with an FHA Appraiser. To get more information visit FHA APPRAISAL

If you are looking for more information on selling or buying a home please call/text 727-422-9340 or email: arona.mcginley@gmail.com or fill out the contact form.

Price To Sell

This can be one of the most difficult part of the selling process for most homeowners. This is the home that you may have raised your family in and with that comes all the memories. How can you put a price tag on that? If you are selling by owner then it’s up to you to figure out what will be a fair price.

Take a look at your home and realistically write down the square footage of the home, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, any updates, example maybe you added a new roof, new kitchen or bathroom remodel. These things will be important when comparing your home to ones that have sold in your area. If your price is too high you may find that your home will sit on the market for months and if it’s too low, then you end up losing money.


Buyers Handbook

Mortgage application tampa bay florida

Preparing For Your Purchase

Home Ownership for 1st Time Home Buyers Tips

Are you a first time home buyer?

When you are ready to buy your home a lender will basically evaluate your overall financial picture as well as other financial factors to see if you qualify for a mortgage. Here are some tips to help you get your loan.

  • Do not quit your job while you are in the process of getting a mortgage, nor change jobs or decide that this is a great time to become self employed.
  • Don’t go out and spend money on huge ticket items like a new car that you would need financing for. If you do this it will increase your debt to income ratio and this then decreases your chances of getting approved for your loan.
  • Do not go on a shopping spree for new furniture to decorate your new home before you close on your home. You maybe tempted if you found the perfect furniture but please hold off on buying any major purchase until after the closing.
  • Do not ….do not lie on your loan application. Do not omit any debts, if you do this it is considered to be fraud to lie on your loan application and you will be denied the loan.
  • Don’t use your credit cards excessively during the process. And please do not forget to pay your bill. Any changes to your spending habits may just prevent you from getting your loan.
  • Put aside money for your closing costs. You can contact the closing company to find out what your closing costs will be.
  • Do not go out and co-sign loans for anyone. This means that you are assuming debt, even if it is someone else that is making the payments. This will also increase your debt to income ratio.
  • Do not make large deposits into your bank account. You may have had an estate sale to get rid of things in your home before you move and made a good chunk of change. Talk to your lender before you deposit that money into your account or any large deposits while you are in the process of getting a loan.
  • Do not change bank accounts during the process of getting a loan. The lenders are looking at your financial stability.

If you are unsure about anything please discuss it with your loan officer