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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 32

Six Must-Know Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends

by Tom Smith Team

From Decorating to Staging

by Tom Smith Team

Once you've decided to put your home on the market, you're looking to sell quickly for the best possible price. One tactic that can help sell your home faster is staging. At first, staging may seem like a real estate term that doesn't actually mean anything. Isn't staging just decorating? Well, not exactly…

 

Homes and Condos for Sale on Clearwater Beach

Appeal to the masses

Your home is likely decorated to your tastes. It could be colorful and eclectic, or rugged and industrial. But when you're staging your home, rather than appealing to a specific decorating sense, you want to furnish your home in a way that appeals to everyone-and more importantly, doesn't turn anyone off who just isn't into your personal style.

Tone down the personal flourishes

Buyers want to be able to see themselves in a home and imagine how they'd make it their own. Unfortunately, that means less of your own style as you're preparing for your move. Cut down on family photos, bold artwork, and unusual furniture. Do some major decluttering so the buyer can see all the space and storage opportunities. It may be sad to start removing the items that make your house a home, but it's an important part of the process.

Mass appeal doesn't mean “boring"

Your staged home can still be colorful, just stay away from extremes. If you paint, stick to whites, grays, or neutrals. Add flourishes of color with window treatments or accent furniture, but try to choose items that will appeal to both genders.

Call a pro

There are likely several staging companies in your area. If you need a recommendation, reach out to your trusted real estate professional.

What Affects Property Values?

by Tom Smith Team

Current Clearwater Beach Home Values/Trends Homes and Condos for Sale on Clearwater Beach What's your home worth?

​​Some the features that increase property values are obvious-like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.

  • The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
  • Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
  • Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it's not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
  • Parking: This isn't too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That's why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.
  • The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers-many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.

5 Money-Saving Green Updates

by Tom Smith Team

Going green is great for the environment, but that's not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings. In addition, some are tax deductible.

  1. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.
  2. Solar Water Heater: can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use -- sunshine -- is free.
  3. Insulation: There's a good chance your insulation isn't very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.
  4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.
  5. Geothermal system: OK, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth's temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. But tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or two, it's a great investment.

Top 10 Reasons to Live on Clearwater Beach

by Tom Smith Team

I feel very lucky to have been raised in such a beautiful place! I grew up in paradise and have actually never seen real snow, imagine that! I think it's safe to say I have quite a few reasons why this is a great place to live, but here are my top 10 reasons to live on Clearwater Beach:

  1. Weather: Imagine a winter with low temps barely below 40 at night! And when it does get "cold" it's only for a few nights and then we are back to the warmer temps that Florida is known for, mid 60s and 70s.
  2. Location: We are half way to Naples from Georgia, middle of the state which makes a driving commute easy if you're heading south to Miami or Key West or North to Tallahassee. Pinellas County
  3. Attractions: We are less than an hour away from 2 International airports, Tampa International and St. Pete Clearwater Airport, and adventure parks like Busch Gardens, Adventure Island (water park) and Lowry Park Zoo. Less than 2 hours away from Orlando with many adventure parks, most well known is Disney World, Sea World, Aquatica, Dolphin Cove, Universal Orlando and Universal City Walk.
  4. Sports galore! We are home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Clearwater Phillies, Dunedin Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Rowdie's soccer and Tampa Yankees.
  5. Shopping: The closest mall is 20 minutes away, Westfield Countryside with a new Cobb movie theater with action packed D-Box seats and 3D movies, and fantastic restaurants like BJ's Brewhouse, Bar Louie, PF Changs, Grimaldi Gourmet Pizza, and Red Robin. Almost forgot, there is an ice skating rink inside open all year!
  6. Sea breeze: "You don't know what you have till it's gone." Wow, what a difference the ever constant sea breeze makes during the summer and the winter. It keeps us cool during the summer and warm during the winter because of the gulf waters.
  7. Boating: Clearwater Beach and Island Estates are the BEST location for boaters because we have the highest bridges in the area until you go all the way south to St Pete Beach. Both the Clearwater Memorial Causeway and the Sand Key Causeway are over 70' high. No draw bridges to wait for, keep on cruising. There are many small islands to go explore.
  8. Active communities: Every morning you will see the sidewalks and causeways bustling with people out for a bide ride, walk or jog. Trust me the challenge of going up the tall Clearwater Memorial Causeway attracts tourists and locals alike. The hike is well worth the reward, the view from the top is spectacular. There is a viewing area with a bench for your enjoyment.
  9. Beaches: The main reason people chose to live here, the beaches! These are the most unique beaches in Florida and Clearwater has won its share of awards - Best Beach Town 2013 by USA Today and Best Beach in the nation 2 years in a row by Tripadvisor. The sands are sugary white and like powder in your toes.
  10. Sunset Festivals: Every night Pier 60 transforms into entertainment central with street performers, dancers, magic shows and crafters with booths set up along the pier. You might even get to see Bumble Bee from transformers or Spider Man. Family-friendly movies play on the weekends, click here for the schedule and more information.

 

Great family fun! St. Pete Rocks

by Tom Smith Team

There's a fun "secret" game happening all around us every day. You feel lucky when you find one and excited to hide one. Kids and adults alike are taking part in a fun game and it all started on Facebook @StPeteRocks.

The possibilities are endless for painted rocks and places to hide and find them. A good friend of mine mentioned the rocks on Facebook, then a few days later I happened to be the "lucky one" who found 2 rocks at a local kids store in Seminole. I was with my 4 year old son who I told about this "secret" game and he was thrilled. A child is naturally drawn to collecting rocks and what a fun thing to do together and spend time outside. 

Different terms are used by the "rock" community...

"I've been rocked at Walmart"
"Going to rock out and hide my rocks at ......... Park"
"Thank you for rocking St Pete"
"Keep on rocking"

The Facebook page has now reached over 16,000 members. It's become quite the attraction for all ages. Rocks have been reported throughout Pinellas County, not just St Pete. People have posted pictures of rocks found at hardware stores, Walmart, Publix, parks, restaurants and more.

How to play:
1. Either find rocks or paint your own. Some are painting poems, kids movie characters, mermaids, abstract art and more. Some are funny, beautiful, unique and touching.

2. When you find these special rocks, you can keep them or re-hide them now or later.

3. When you find rocks, take a picture and post where you found it on the St Pete Rocks Facebook page.

4. When you paint your own and go to hide them, you can give the place you are hiding them or just a clue by taking a picture of the location (on a tree, park bench, etc) so people have to find them.

Keep on rocking! Check it out and Join on Facebook

What's Shakin on the Beaches - February 2017

by Tom Smith Team

If you ever had any doubt on whether Clearwater/St. Pete Beach area was the right spot for you to call home or just own a vacation home well just look at some of the activities, you can do year-round and then picture you or your family having all that fun!  The Clearwater chamber of commerce lets you choose from over 40 fun filled adventures.  Would you want to ride in a Pirate Ship, Parasail, charter a fishing boat for some Grouper or Tarpon, take a sunset cruise on a 70-foot power boat?  If your answer is yes to any one of these http://www.beachchamber.com/attractions.html.

Or maybe you would like to attend some of the year-round events happening in February that are some of my favorites.

Sea-Blues Festival
Dates: 2017-02-17 to 2017-02-19
Location:
Coachman Park, Clearwater, FL

Presented in Coachman Park, this yearly festival has become one of Clearwater’s most beloved signature events and appeals to thousands of visitors during February each year. 

More information on http://clearwaterseablues.com/

The annual Florida State Fair is a salute to the state's best in the agriculture and equestrian industry including an abundance of shows, music, rides, food and shopping for 12 consecutive days.

From Thursday, February 09, 2017 - 10:00am
To Monday, February 20, 2017 - 12:00pm

MORE INFORMATION

Blast Friday returns to the Cleveland Street District in Downtown Clearwater for its 7th season.

Friday, Feb. 24 – John Waite. Singer/songwriter John Waite got his start as the lead singer of The Baby’s whose hits include “Isn’t It Time?” and “Every Time I Think of You.” After five albums with The Baby’s, Waite released his first solo album, “Ignition,” which boasted the hit rock single “Change,” which was soon followed with a No. 1 and what is undeniably one of the all-time greatest pop/rock ballads, “Missing You.” The song topped the international charts and today remains a radio staple around the globe.

This event is managed by Ruth Eckerd Hall. For more info on VIP tickets visit blastfridayclearwater.com.

That’s what's shakin!

In this resort style residence, year-round outdoor living is created with the tranquil salt water pool, covered patios and unique western view featuring stunning sunsets. A boater’s dream with an option to dock at a 30’ covered boat slip with 10K lb lift or a second slip for larger vessels. The seawall has a pavered sidewalk for fishing and relaxing.

The great room has clean architectural lines, high-impact windows, skylights & soaring ceilings that capture you & melt your cares into the shimmering water beyond. The master suite enjoys complete privacy on a separate wing of the home with an award-winning bath featuring glass tile floors, natural lighting, separate vanities, expansive custom walk in closet & premier finishes. Entertaining on a grand scale is accomplished with finesse, whether it’s a family celebration in the waterfront dining room or large gatherings that begin in the great room & unfold throughout the home. The gourmet kitchen is masterfully finished with natural quartzite counters, high-end appliances, induction cooktop, warming drawer, Sub-Zero refrigerator & a casual breakfast bar.

A true retreat for those seeking seclusion and luxury island living. Call today!

 

Construction Loans for Tear Down and Rebuild New

by Kristin Vincelli

What’s Shakin on The Beaches - Construction Loans for Tear Down and Rebuild New

While there is a shortage of land available on the beaches, there are plenty of old homes that could be torn down and rebuilt new.  Take a drive up and down the waterways or coast and you will see construction sites like these popping up all over the place.  We believe this trend will continue to grow and gain momentum especially for buyers who are buying vacation homes.  Buyers who can wait 9-12 months for a brand new dream home on the water have some pretty appealing options when it comes to financing.  5/3 Bank for example has a program that will finance your new construction home and lot altogether in one loan and with one closing.  These loans can be for primary residence and second home financing with loan amounts up to 2 million. 

Loan limits are flexible.  Up to 90% on primary and second homes if loan amount is under $424,000.  For jumbo loans the maximum is 80% loan to value for primary and 75% for second homes.

What happens if you own the home/land already?  The bank will let you use the equity in the lot as part of the down payment required.  You could have enough equity in the property to satisfy any or all of the down payment requirement.  If that’s the case you would just need to give the builder a deposit if they require it.

How does it work?

Step 1 You find a home in a great location 

Step 2 You work with the builder to come up with a cost to build

Step 3 The bank approves you for the cost of the land and the cost to build

Step 4 The bank closes in 60 days and the tear down construction process begins.  The bank disperses the draws to the builder during the construction phase until complete.

Step 5 The home is completed 9-12 months from now and you move into your brand new home, no additional closing needed!

The ONE TIME CLOSE with banks like 5/3 allows you to lock in today's rates and you don’t have to re-qualify when the home is done saving you time, money and the hassle of having two separate closings and worrying about what rates will be in 9 or 12 months.  Are you ready to walk into a brand new home? If you want that new home smell and feel and can wait a few months this may be for you. Call today for more information.

That’s whats shakin!

 

New Year's Eve 2017 Clearwater Beach, FL

by

Welcome to Light It Up Clearwater!  Clearwater Beach's Annual Fireworks Celebration.

Come join us on New Year's Eve, grab a bite to eat, relax with your toes in the sand, watch one of our world famous sunsets and then ring in the New Year with Fireworks at midnight, compliments of the Beach Chamber of Commerce and our wonderful sponsors.

Don't expect much bubbly to flow on the sugary beaches of Clearwater Beach. On New Year's Eve, like most other nights, locals and visitors alike stroll over to Pier 60 on the Gulf of Mexico shoreline to admire the sunset, listen to live music, shop for crafts and watch fire-throwers perform daring feats. The free nightly Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival takes place from 4 to 8 p.m., after which most families head over to Frenchy's Original. In the past 45 years, the Quebec, Canada, expat known as "Frenchy" has opened five very popular seafood cafes. Kids love the beer-battered grouper, garlic fries sprinkled with crabmeat and key lime pie; a special menu will be available on New Year's Eve. If the gang is still awake afterward, lay your blanket out on the beach to wait for Light It Up Clearwater, the annual fireworks spectacle amplified by reflections from the calm Gulf waters.

For more information, please visit www.lightitupclearwater.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 32

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Contact Information

Photo of Tom Smith Team Real Estate
Tom Smith Team
Coastal Properties Group International
423 Mandalay Avenue, Suite 102
Clearwater Beach FL 33767
727-776-3375
7276861596