According to the Reuters news service, the home market for those with high net worth incomes (HNWI) has remained surprisingly strong – even when there were dips in other sectors. Luxury homes are hot on the radar of those with the means to swing multi-million dollar purchases.

One listing tactic for the marketing of luxury homes – whether in Beverly Hills, Palm Beach, or here in South Tampa  – is the “pocket listing.” Pocket listings give the owners of luxury homes the ability to conduct a discreet, private sale by keeping it off the Multiple Listing Service. The most common reason our sellers opt to steer clear of the MLS is to give maximum leeway concerning general public knowledge of the offering.

I recall seeing one notable recent example (I…

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Investors are still shaking off the memory of watching what happened to their IRA stock portfolios during the nightmarish global financial crisis. Even the groggy recovery that’s been under way ever since has featured the kind of stomach-churning drops that drive investors to the Pepto-Bismol.

So it’s not surprising that some have been searching for alternative assets that could grow tax-free within their retirement accounts. And lately I’ve been hearing from more clients who are asking about the possibilities in real estate, including Tampa Bay area second homes and even vacant acreage.

You read that right: real estate is a little-publicized yet entirely legal vehicle for IRAs! Right now, when prices are at bargain-basement levels, investing for…

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For a future homebuyer scanning through the Tampa Bay Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings, first there are the meat-and-potatoes factors (baths, bedrooms, square footage), then any number of other distinguishing factors.  Is the kitchen upgraded?  Does the floor plan work?  Will I like the backyard?

It’s easy for buyers to become enchanted by the bells and whistles as they search through the MLS listings.  But no matter how permanent they consider their intended move, that home purchase should always include a thoughtful appraisal of its long-term investment value.  Some of the underlying factors in that respect don’t change a lot.

Location, Location, Location!  When your agent sends you a batch of new MLS listings, be sure to click on the link…

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With election season poised to roar into high gear, I’m about to begin officially (oh, all right – unofficially) to discount most of what I read over the next few months. Especially from experts, since many seem to have a horse in the race.

But while we are still in the nobody’s-paying-attention-yet month of August, I thought I should bring Tampa Bay area real estate readers — homeowners and future homeowners alike – an item that caught my eye last Friday. I had to read it three or four times before it sank in.

The headline read, “Housing: Good Vibrations,” with the subhead, “Real mortgage rates plunge into negative territory.” It’s the kind of negative news I don’t remember seeing a lot, but it certainly sounded interesting.

The author was…

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If you are organized and willing to put in some serious spadework, buying a Tampa foreclosure can save you thousands of dollars.  A new wave of foreclosures could be heading our way later this year. According to RealtyTrac, the leading source of foreclosure statistics, one in every 665 national housing units received a foreclosure filing in June. More foreclosures mean more opportunities; but it also means that more buyers will begin to think seriously about going after them. In other words – more competition.

If you have never looked into what is involved in snagging one of the foreclosures in the Tampa Bay area, a few basics will greatly improve your chances for success:

Do Your Research So You Can Act Quickly.

The foreclosure market performs…

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Many potential Tampa Bay area homebuyers rate fireplaces near the top of their ‘nice to have’ list. Not a ‘gotta have,’ but definitely a solid plus. For them, fireplaces are romantic additions to any property.  Sometimes a backyard fire pit or open-hearth barbecue can fill the bill. Especially during these July evenings, the allure of the dancing flames, crackling sound and woodsy aroma are all that are needed to bring back fond family memories and build new ones…

However – whether indoors or out, there are some practical advantages and drawbacks to both wood burners and gas fireplaces.

The main advantage to a wood burning fireplace or an outdoor fire pit is the ambience it creates. Since wood is the original renewable fuel, all the positives that…

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