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2019 Real Estate Prediction for Pinellas County.

2019 Real Estate Prediction for Pinellas County.

With 2018 behind us, we’re focusing on the new year and predicting where the real estate market is going in 2019. With so much data out there about the market, we have had to sift through the noise and sort the accurate data from the hyped-up data in order to set some realistic expectations for the year ahead of us.  As with all predictions, no one has a crystal ball able to see the future and how all of the cards will fall. I have however, distilled information from credible resources, based this post on my 20+ years of experience and what I am currently seeing in the marketplace. Let this information serve you as a barometer in your decision making this year as we optimistically head into 2019. Let’s take a look at how we’re expecting the real estate industry to shape up this year here in the U.S. and most importantly, Florida and Pinellas County.

With so many opinions on the web and in newspapers, most of which is just “Click Bait”,  it can be hard to decipher what you should pay attention to and really what’s going to happen with the real estate market this year, but if we look at consistent, reliable data sources such as the National Association of Realtors, realtor.com, Zillow and the National Association of Home Builders, the fog starts to clear and we begin to envision what’s ahead in 2019.

Over the last 4 years the U.S. housing market has seen roughly 5.2 to 5.4 million real estate transactions per year, this year it’s expected that 2019 with be right on par with 2018 with 5.4 million real estate transactions. So, we are not expected to see more sales but a steady market. However, the prediction for value changes isn’t quite as rosie. From 2016-2018 we saw roughly 7-8% appreciation each year. For 2019, based on a number of disruptors in the market, the largest factor being an unknown for mortgage interest rates, real estate is predicted to appreciate at roughly 4% nationally. Keep in mind that this is a nationwide average and every micro market will be different.

Some factors that I feel could help the real estate market in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County are: we are landlocked, Pinellas County is almost built out, new construction will require the removal of existing buildings which will push up real estate prices, builders are left building townhomes, condos and apartment buildings to accommodate the need for housing in more densely populated areas. The cost of building materials and labor are also on the rise. Population increase is another major factor, in 2018 Pinellas County saw a 7% increase in our population, Hillsborough saw a 13% increase and Manatee/Bradenton saw a 17%-18% increase. This data leads me to believe that Pinellas County should, on average, see a higher property appreciation rate than the predicted national average stated above.

Interest rates will be the biggest factor in 2019, making homeownership less affordable as we move though the year, the FED has given a dovish forecast for an additional rate increase this year. However, predictions of mortgage rates increasing over the next 12 months suggest that we could see mortgage rates climbing to 5.5% by the end of the year. This could make an average mortgage of $300,000, 12% more expensive per month by the end of the year.

Let’s add up all of these factors for a more well-rounded assessment of 2019 being your year for making a real estate move. Property values are continuing to increase with each month here locally and mortgage values are expected to increase at some point this year. If you have been considering making a move, it looks like the sooner you make a move in 2019 the better off financially you’ll be. Start your home search with the Price Group at PriceGroupRealtors.com  and call us for a consultation of your specific circumstances and home owning vision.

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Safety Tips

 

After Hurricane Irma hit Tampa Bay and left 6 million people without power including many in St Pete for at least a week in 2017, most of us are on high alert this hurricane season. Our proximity to the waterfront makes us very vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.

These hurricane safety tips will help you stay prepared and keep your mind at ease this year, rain or shine.

 

 

 

 

Prepare now, relax later.Hurricane Safety Tips for St Petersburg, Florida and the Tampa Bay area

 

It seems obvious, but we cannot stress this enough: Don’t wait until a storm is imminent to start preparing. We’ve all seen photos of empty shelves at grocery stores right before a large storm hits, and you don’t want to be that family driving all over town to find the supplies you need to secure your house. Or, even worse, be stuck without food and water for days on end.

Start now and you can save yourself a lot of headaches.

 

 

 

 

 

Stock up on supplies. Hurricane Safety Tips for St Petersburg, Florida and the Tampa Bay area

 

Make sure your safety kit is stocked and ready to go each year (you can add this to your Spring Cleaning list, which we’ve already prepared for you here!). Along with the following items, you’ll also want to ensure your bathtubs are filled  so you can use that water for bathing and flushing the toilet in case the power is out for multiple days.

Things you want to include:

  • First aid kit (you can buy these at any drug store)
  • Any necessary medication for you and your family (and pets!)
  • Flashlights
  • Battery powered radio
  • Extra batteries (for any devices that are battery powered)
  • Portable cell phone chargers
  • Non-perishable foods and water (the State of Florida website suggests 3 days worth)
  • Entertainment such as books, crosswords, board games, etc.
  • Cooler, ice and/or ice packs (you can make ice days or weeks in advance so you’re not waiting in line at the store)
  • Manual can opener
  • Personal hygiene items (deodorant, baby wipes, feminine hygiene items, etc)

 

 

Know your evacuation route. Hurricane Safety Tips for St Petersburg, Florida and the Tampa Bay area

 

In addition to having all your supplies stocked up in advance, you should always plan for a possible evacuation, especially if your home is located in a flood zone. If local officials call for an evacuation of your area, you don’t want to be scrambling to find the most efficient way to get out or not give yourself enough time to do so and be stuck in traffic for hours unnecessarily. Plan ahead, find your route and have a back-up plan just in case. Keep your gas tank full, have an extra container for emergencies, pack your hurricane kit in your trunk with any documents you may need in a water proof container, and confirm a place to stay with family or friends if you aren’t staying in a hotel.

Make arrangements with hotels as soon as you can to ensure they are not already booked. If you have pets, call ahead to hotels and shelters and see if they allow pets. Click here for a map of local evacuation routes, lists of public shelters, and other resources from the City of St Pete.

 

 

 

 

Secure your home. Hurricane Safety Tips for St Petersburg, Florida and the Tampa Bay area

 

Before you evacuate, or if an evacuation isn’t mandatory, you’ll want to make sure your home is safe and secure well before a storm approaches. Make sure windows are covered with storm shutters or secure them with wood covering at least 5/8″ thick to prevent projectiles from breaking the windows. Note: make sure to measure your windows so you can cover it in entirely. Stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot will cut wood for you. Take a note of any tree limbs that are hanging over or around your home. Trim any limbs that may cause damage to your home or surrounding homes or may cause your driveway to be obstructed.

Take any lawn/patio furniture, potted plants, decorations, children’s toys, etc. and bring them inside to avoid the wind sending them into surrounding buildings/vehicles. Secure driveways and garages with sandbags if necessary.

 

For more information on hurricane safety, please visit the links below.

 

State of Florida Essential Guide to Hurricane Preparedness

FloridaDisaster.org

St Pete Hurricane Center

National Weather Service Hurricane Safety Tips and Resources

5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

 

 

Spring is finally here. And with it, the annual tradition of cleaning every-single-thing we’ve been neglecting the rest of the year. It can get overwhelming: What do you clean first? Do I have all the right tools? Keep reading to make this year’s spring cleaning simple and easy with our 5 easy spring cleaning tips.

 

 

Take inventory

 

Make a list of everything you want to accomplish. (You can download the sample list to the right, just click to download your spring cleaning checklist here.) After you have an idea of what you want done, take a look at the supplies you have.

 

For example, if you want to deep clean your carpets you’ll need an upholstery cleaner (you can buy or rent these) and plenty of cleanser You can buy the soap that comes with most rent-able cleaners, or for more eco-friendly options click here. If your mission is to spruce up the garage, you may need paint, new shelving, or pest control items.

Start at the Top

 

When you start your spring cleaning adventure, we recommend starting, literally, at the top. Dusting ceiling fans and other high surfaces after you’ve vacuumed can cause frustration when you get dust on your already sparking floors or other surfaces. Save your self some time and clean the floors, cabinets, upholstery, and washing/spot treating any area rugs last.

 

 

Hire Professionals

 

Feeling too overwhelmed? Don’t have the time? You can hire a reputable cleaning, pest, and maintenance services to help. Not only will they not miss a speck of dirt, they may also catch things you might have not thought of like cleaning the fridge coils or checking the efficiency of your washer and dryer. Have questions on who to hire? Contact us for our recommended professionals.

 

 

Don’t Forget the Outside

 

We spend a lot of our time indoors, so when we think of spring cleaning we think of all the things within our walls. If you have a pool, lawn, shed, detached garage you may want to pay attention to those as well. Check to make sure your pool pump is working properly, and set traps/clean out any pests that may have found homes during the winter.

 

 

Clean Everything (Even if it Looks Clean Already)

 

Don’t let “clean” walls or floors fool you. Dirt can build up little by little over time without notice. Take a sponge and mild soap to walls with high-traffic, move furniture and vacuum underneath, wipe down cabinets, and make use of that self-cleaning oven!

Bombax Tree at St Pete’s MFA

Bombax Tree at St Pete's MFA

Bombax Tree at St Pete’s MFA

Bombax Tree at St Pete’s MFA

 

 

If you’ve been in Downtown St Pete during the beginning of Spring, you’ve noticed the tall, climb-y tree next to the Museum of Fine Arts bursting with red blooms. But what kind of tree is that, anyway? We have some trivia for you so the next time someone say “That tree by MFA” you’ll be able to drop some knowledge on them.

 

 

 

The Bombax tree, sometimes called the red cotton tree (because the inside of the fruit has fibers that resemble cotton), is an Asian tropical plant that can grow anywhere from 65 to almost 200 feet tall in tropical areas. The tree loses all of its leaves in the winter time and just before new leaves grow in the spring, it blooms vibrant red five-petal flowers. In Southeastern China, these flowers are often dried and used for tea and the dry cores of the flowers are sometimes used in northern Thai cuisine.

Hurricane Safety Tips

 

 

Hurricane Safety Tips

 

 

While Tampa Bay hasn’t had a storm hit in 2017, we are still very vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. These hurricane safety tips will help you stay prepared and keep your mind at ease.

 

Don't Wait

 

 

 

Prepare now, and relax.

 

We cannot stress this enough: Don’t wait until a storm is imminent to start preparing. We’ve all seen photos of empty shelves at grocery stores right before a large storm hits, and you don’t want to be that family driving all over town to find the supplies you need to secure your house. Or, even worse, be stuck without food and water for days on end.

 

 

Stock up on supplies

 

 

 

Make sure your safety kit is stocked and ready to go each year (you can add this to your Spring Cleaning list, which we’ve already prepared for you here!).

 

Things you want to include:

 

First aid kit (you can buy these at any drug store)
Any necessary

 

medication for you and your family (and pets!)
Flashlights

 

Battery powered radio
Extra batteries (for any devices that are battery powered)

 

Portable cell phone chargers

 

Non-perishable foods and water (the State of Florida website suggests 3 days worth)

 

Entertainment such as books, crosswords, board games, etc.
Cooler, ice and/or ice packs

 

Manual can opener
Personal hygiene items (deodorant, baby wipes, extra water for bathing, etc)

 

 

Know your evacuation route

 

 

Plan for a possible evacuation, especially if your home is located in a flood zone. If the state calls for an evacuation of your area, you don’t want to be scrambling to find the most efficient way to get out or not give yourself enough time to do so. Plan ahead, find your route here and have a back-up plan just in case. Keep your gas tank full and pack your hurricane kit in your trunk with any documents you may been in a water proof container.

 

Do you have a place to stay (with family or friends)? Make arrangements with hotels as soon as you can to ensure they are not already booked. If you have pets, call ahead to hotels and shelters and see if they allow pets. Click here for a map of local evacuation routes, lists of public shelters, and other resources from the City of St Pete.

 

 

 

Secure your home

 

 

 

Before you evacuate, or if an evacuation isn’t mandatory, you’ll want to make sure your home is safe and secure well before a storm approaches. Make sure windows are covered with storm shutters or secure them with wood covering. Take a note of any tree limbs that are hanging over or around your home. Trim any limbs that may cause damage to your home or surrounding homes or may cause your driveway to be obstructed.

 

Take any lawn/patio furniture, potted plants, decorations, children’s toys, etc. and being them inside to avoid the wind sending them into surrounding buildings/vehicles. Secure driveways and walk ways with sandbags if necessary.

 

 

For more information on hurricane safety, please visit the links below.

 

State of Florida Essential Guide to Hurricane Preparedness

FloridaDisaster.org

St Pete Hurricane Center

National Weather Service Hurricane Safety Tips and Resources

Bring The Noise: The St Pete Pier Is Coming

Construction begins on the new St Pete Pier.

Construction begins on the new St Pete Pier.

 

The New St Pete Pier

 

The ceremonial ground breaking on the St Pete Pier has come and gone and now comes the tough, not-so-pretty part: noise pollution. Remember when the One building started? It was (and is) an ear full of ground pounding, crane engine running, and metal clanking throughout the east side of downtown. We can expect more of the same starting next week as construction starts on the new St Pete Pier.

 

What does this mean for you?

 

ABC Action News reported that over 400 piles are going to be drilled by the crew through January to support the weight starting in September. But test piling will start on July 17th, which will be bringing the noise to Beach Drive and Old Northeast. According to NewStPetePier.com, construction should end in late 2018 and the official ribbon cutting in “early 2019”. That’s a lot of noise.

 

The pier looks to be an amazing build, though. There will be multiple gardens, play areas, music venues and room for shops restaurants. It sure looks pretty, at and a cool $14 million estimated cost it ought to be. Will the end result be worth it? Sure looks that way from the renderings. It will be interesting to see how the noise affects businesses nearby that have outdoor space. In the mean time, there are events like Pier Beer Summer Series. This even will connect the booming brewery scene and education on the pier and it’s progress.

 

For more information on the project and to keep updated with time lines and events, check out  NewStPetePier.com and sign up for their newsletter.

Dos and Don'ts of Getting a Mortgage

Dos and Don’ts of Getting a Mortgage

 

You want to buy a home. Now what? Here are some simple dos and don’ts of getting a mortgage that can help you throughout the home buying process. For more home buying tips you can check out our guide here. And when you’re ready to splash into the wonderful world of home ownership, use our custom home search to help you find it easily. Want more information on mortgages? Contact Adam Karol or John Fenech at Sunbelt Lending.

 

Dos and Don'ts of Getting a Mortgage

Tips for Buyers: Components of a Credit Score

Components of a Credit Score

Components of a Credit Score

 

 

Components of a Credit Score

 

The components of a credit score can be tricky to understand, especially as it relates to large purchases, like your dream home. Our friends at Sunbelt Lending have some tips on what lenders will looks for. Not all things are created equal in the world of credit scores.

 

You want to buy a home. Okay, now what? If you’ve read up on our Tip for Buyers you know that the first thing you need to do is get your finances in order. Knowing your credit score is a great first step. The info graphic below will give you a better idea of how to understand what your score means, and how to correct any issues your lender may see when assessing your home loan.

 

Components of a Credit Score

 

Have more questions about your credit score or home loans? Contact Adam Karol or John Fenech, they will be happy to help.