Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 26, 2024

Selling a Home is Easy

Posted in Housing
May 31, 2023

Tickets on sale for Brightline trips between Orlando and South Florida

🛤 ORLANDO, Fla. — 🛤

Tickets are on sale for Brightline trips between Orlando and south Florida.

The high-speed rail company started selling tickets on Wednesday morning ahead of service starting out of Orlando International Airport later this summer.

Right now, tickets are only on sale for trips Sept. 1, 2023, and Jan. 7, 2024.

Tickets for summer 2023 trips out of Orlando will be released at a later date while Brightline works to narrow down an official start date.

There will be 16 daily round trips with hourly departures between Miami and Orlando.

Tickets start at $79 for adults and $39 for kids. Groups of four people or more will automatically save an additional 25% on SMART tickets, which is the economy seats.

PREMIUM fares start at $149, which is more of a first-class experience with added amenities, including a dedicated lounge, priority boarding, checked luggage and complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the trip.

Regular service from Orlando to Miami will stop at all Brightline stations, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Aventura.

There will also be non-stop trains that run between Orlando to Miami. The total trip will take about 2 hours and 59 minutes.

https://www.gobrightline.com/train-stations/fl/orlando

Posted in Local Updates
May 30, 2023

Celebrating Local Heroes: Introducing the My Hometown Heroes Grant Program

Every community is built on the dedication and selflessness of its local heroes. From firefighters and police officers to teachers and healthcare professionals, these individuals go above and beyond to make a positive impact on our lives. In this blog post, we are thrilled to introduce the My Hometown Heroes Grant Program, an initiative designed to recognize and support these exceptional individuals in our community. Read on to learn more about this inspiring program and how it aims to honor our local heroes.

 

1. The Importance of Recognizing Local Heroes:

Local heroes play a vital role in shaping our community. They selflessly dedicate their time and energy to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Recognizing their efforts not only shows our appreciation but also inspires others to contribute and uplift our community.

 

2. Introducing the My Hometown Heroes Grant Program:

The My Hometown Heroes Grant Program is an exciting initiative aimed at acknowledging and supporting local heroes in our community. The program provides financial grants up to $25,000 in aid for their new first mortgage, equivalent to 5% of the loan amount.  

3. Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the My Hometown Heroes Grant, applicant must be active professionals in roles such as firefighters, police officers, teachers, healthcare workers, or other community service providers. Total of 60 eligible occupations.  Click here for the full list:  https://www.capstonerealestate.me/my-hometown-heroes-program/

Credit score must be at least 640 to qualify for this program.

The loan is only available for primary residence, and maximum income limit of $123,150.

Please contact us at cs@CapstoneRealEstate.us or the lender, Mark St Clair at 727-564-2493 or email him at markstclair@leader1.com.

 

Posted in Housing
May 29, 2023

Tampa Bay’s Newest Amphitheater

The grand opening of Coachman Park and the new concert venue The Sound will be celebrated with a weeklong calendar of events, the City of Clearwater has announced. Ruth Eckerd Hall, which operates The Sound, has announced four concerts for the new outdoor amphitheater that sits along the waterside of downtown Clearwater:

  • Cheap Trick on Wednesday, June 28;
  • Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw on Friday, June 30;
  • Dave Koz Summer Horns Tour with Special Guests Candy Dulfer & Eric Darius on Saturday, July 1;
  • Peter Frampton on Sunday, July 2.

In addition, there will be three free community concerts at The Sound, culminating with a patriotic celebration with The Florida Orchestra on Independence Day including fireworks over Clearwater Harbor.

The Sound is Tampa Bay’s newest waterfront concert venue. The facility will be operated by Ruth Eckerd Hall in partnership with the City of Clearwater and will accommodate a year-round performance schedule. The Sound includes 4,000 covered seats plus an additional 5,000 lawn seats. The venue is nestled in a reimagined 19-acre park.

“This will be an iconic venue offering a one-of-a-kind experience in Tampa Bay,” Susan M. Crockett, Ruth Eckerd Hall President & CEO, said in a statement. “The Sound will host great entertainment in front of Clearwater’s breathtaking sunset and is sure to be an artist favorite.”

Daily recurring events for the grand opening celebration will include health and fitness classes, food and beverage experiences, exhibitors, children’s games, as well as activities and park amenities such as a splash pad, large playground, walking trails and more.

Here’s the full schedule:

Wednesday, June 28: A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the park will occur at 5 pm. Following will be the highly anticipated first concert at The Sound. The night concludes with a free concert by Rock Hall of Fame inductees Cheap Trick. Guests are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance for this free event. Advance reservation ensures entry. General admission. Seating is limited – bring a blanket.

Thursday, June 29: Thursday’s theme of Clearwater Celebrates Diversity & Culture is all about celebrating the rich diversity that exists within Clearwater, with a focus on promoting inclusivity and understanding across all communities. There will be a multicultural market and crafters, as well as dance troupes and musicians showcasing their talents. Children’s activities will include inflatables, face painters and other family-friendly activities.

The day will end with a FREE community concert at The Sound featuring Tampa Bay’s favorite local group, The Black Honkey’s Band.

For the free concerts on June 28 and June 29, general admission will be on a first-come, first served basis. Chairs are limited; bring a blanket for the lawn.

Friday, June 30: Kicking off the weekend, Friday’s theme will be Clearwater Celebrates Music. There will be a craft beer garden, a variety of children’s activities and buskers and street entertainment to add to the festive atmosphere. Local musicians will perform on The Green in the park throughout the day, and visitors can sample a variety of delicious foods from the food truck experience.

The day will close out with a concert at The Sound, featuring Grammy-winner Colbie Caillat and Grammy-nominee Gavin DeGraw, starting at 7 pm.

Saturday, July 1: Clearwater Celebrates Community will begin with a 5K running event. Following the race, participants can enjoy the craft beer garden, performances on The Green, a farmers market and events honoring Clearwater’s neighborhoods.

There will be a concert at The Sound, featuring Grammy-nominee Dave Koz Summer Horns Tour with Special Guests Candy Dulfer and Eric Darius at 7 pm.

Sunday, July 2: Clearwater Celebrates Hispanic Culture is a day dedicated to celebrating the large Hispanic community that makes up the fabric of Clearwater. The day will feature dance classes with professional instructors, musical performances on The Green, such as Rumbero’s De Tampa, DJs and delicious Hispanic cuisine from numerous food trucks.

The day will end with a concert at The Sound featuring Grammy-winner Peter Frampton at 7 pm. Frampton returns to Clearwater for the first time in seven years on his Never Say Never Tour.

Monday, July 3: Clearwater Celebrates Wellness will be a day highlighting the passive recreation areas of Coachman Park and promoting healthy and active living. Participants can join a community volunteer cleanup or host their local meet-up group outings at the park. To prepare for the Independence Day Celebration, there are no large events or concerts planned for July 3.

Tuesday, July 4: Clearwater Celebrates America will start the holiday with a classic car show featuring vintage cars and trucks, as well as shop local at the farmers market, enjoy the sounds of buskers and street entertainers and let the kids burn off energy with family-friendly games and entertainment. The night ends with a fireworks celebration.

Posted in Local Updates
May 28, 2023

Mortgage Rates and Loans: Understanding Your Options for Financing a Home

When it comes to financing your dream home, understanding mortgage rates and loans is crucial for making informed decisions. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your options, you can navigate the mortgage landscape with confidence. Here's what you need to know:

 

🏘 . Explore Mortgage Types: Delve into various mortgage types, such as fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages offer stability with consistent interest rates over the loan term, while adjustable-rate mortgages have rates that can change periodically. Understand the advantages, drawbacks, and suitability of each type based on your financial goals and circumstances.

 

🏘 . Factors Influencing Mortgage Rates: Learn how factors like credit scores, down payments, and loan terms influence mortgage rates. A higher credit score and a larger down payment generally lead to lower interest rates. Loan terms, such as the length of the loan, can also affect the interest rate. Understanding these factors helps you assess your eligibility and potential rates.

 

🏘 . Significance of Loan Pre-Approval: Discover the importance of obtaining loan pre-approval before house hunting. Pre-approval provides a clear understanding of your borrowing capacity, allowing you to narrow down your search to homes within your price range. It also demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer, giving you a competitive edge in negotiations.

 

🏘 . Utilize Mortgage Calculators: Take advantage of online mortgage calculators to estimate monthly payments, evaluate affordability, and explore different loan scenarios. These tools can help you understand the financial implications of various loan options, including interest rates, loan terms, and down payment amounts. Use them to make informed decisions about your home financing.

 

🏘 . Compare Lenders: It's important to compare multiple lenders to secure the most favorable terms for your mortgage. Research different lenders, including banks, credit unions, and mortgage brokers, to assess their offerings, interest rates, fees, and customer service. By comparing options, you can find a lender that aligns with your needs and offers competitive rates and favorable terms.

 

By understanding mortgage rates and loans, you can make informed decisions when financing your dream home. Explore different mortgage types, consider the factors influencing rates, and prioritize loan pre-approval. Utilize mortgage calculators to evaluate affordability and compare lenders to secure the most favorable terms. With this knowledge, you'll be equipped to navigate the mortgage process confidently and find the financing option that best suits your needs.

Posted in Market Updates
May 26, 2023

Real Estate Market Trends: Key Insights and Predictions for Buyers and Sellers

To navigate the ever-changing real estate market successfully, it's essential to stay informed about key trends and leverage valuable insights. By understanding the factors that shape the market, buyers and sellers can make informed decisions that align with current conditions. Here's a closer look at the key aspects to consider:

 

📈 1. Impact of Supply and Demand: Supply and demand dynamics play a significant role in real estate market trends. When demand exceeds supply, prices tend to rise, creating a seller's market. Conversely, an oversupply of homes can result in a buyer's market with more negotiating power. Understanding these dynamics helps buyers and sellers gauge market competitiveness and price their properties accordingly.

 

📈 2. Influence of Interest Rates: Interest rates have a direct impact on the affordability of homes and the purchasing power of buyers. When interest rates are low, buyers can secure more favorable mortgage terms, increasing demand in the market. Rising interest rates, on the other hand, may discourage some potential buyers. Monitoring interest rate trends is crucial for both buyers and sellers to assess market activity.

 

📈3. Housing Inventory Levels: The availability of homes for sale is an important indicator of market conditions. Low inventory levels create a competitive market with higher prices and faster sales. High inventory levels, on the other hand, can lead to longer listing times and increased negotiating power for buyers. Understanding the balance between supply and demand helps buyers and sellers navigate the market strategically.

 

📈 4. Impact of Location and Economic Indicators: Real estate trends can vary significantly based on location and economic indicators. Factors such as job growth, economic stability, infrastructure development, and local amenities can influence property values and demand. Analyzing local market conditions and economic indicators provides valuable insights for buyers and sellers to make informed decisions.

 

📈 5. Demographic Shifts and Market Trends: Demographic changes, such as population growth, migration patterns, and generational preferences, impact real estate market trends. For example, the preferences of millennials or baby boomers can shape the demand for certain types of properties. Understanding demographic shifts helps identify emerging market trends and investment opportunities.

 

📈 6. Expert Predictions and Strategic Advice: Keeping up with expert predictions and strategic advice can give buyers and sellers a competitive edge. Stay informed through real estate market reports, industry publications, and reputable sources. Expert insights can help guide decisions related to timing, pricing, and negotiation strategies.

 

✨✨By understanding real estate market trends, buyers and sellers can make informed decisions that align with current conditions. Stay informed about supply and demand, interest rates, housing inventory, location-specific factors, and demographic shifts. Leverage expert predictions and strategic advice to navigate the market successfully and achieve your real estate goals.✨✨

Posted in Housing
May 24, 2023

Guide for a Successful Home Purchase

Home Buying Tips: Your Guide for a Successful Purchase

When it comes to buying a home, being well-informed and prepared is key to ensuring a successful purchase. By following essential home buying tips, you can navigate the process with confidence and make informed decisions. Here's a breakdown of the important steps to consider:

 

1. Set a Realistic Budget: Before starting your home search, assess your finances and set a budget that aligns with your financial capabilities. Consider your income, expenses, and future financial goals to determine how much you can comfortably afford for a mortgage payment.

 

2. Obtain Mortgage Pre-Approval: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is crucial as it provides you with a clear understanding of your borrowing capacity. Contact lenders to compare mortgage options, interest rates, and terms. Pre-approval demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious buyer and gives you an advantage in negotiations.

 

3. Research Neighborhoods: Thoroughly research potential neighborhoods to find the best fit for your lifestyle and investment potential. Consider factors such as proximity to amenities, schools, transportation, and future development plans. Look into property values and market trends to gauge the potential for appreciation.

 

4. Find the Right Real Estate Agent: A knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent can guide you through the home buying process and help you find the perfect property. Seek recommendations, read reviews, and interview multiple agents to find someone who understands your specific needs and preferences.

 

5. Navigate the Home Inspection Process: Conduct a thorough home inspection to identify any potential issues or repairs needed. Hire a qualified inspector who will examine the property's condition, including the structure, electrical systems, plumbing, and more. Use the inspection report to negotiate repairs or adjust the purchase price if necessary.

 

6. Negotiate Effectively: Skillful negotiation can make a significant difference in securing a favorable deal. Work closely with your real estate agent to understand market conditions, gather information on comparable sales, and craft a competitive offer. Be prepared to negotiate on price, contingencies, and other terms to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

 

By following these essential home buying tips, you can navigate the process with confidence and increase your chances of a successful purchase. Remember to stay organized, conduct thorough research, and seek professional advice when needed. Buying a home is a significant investment, and with careful planning, you can find the perfect home that meets your needs and aligns with your financial goals.

Posted in Housing
May 22, 2023

"Your Comprehensive Seller's Guide: A Step-by-Step Roadmap to Selling Your Home with Confidence"

Selling a home can be a complex process, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can maximize your chances of a successful sale. Here is a step-by-step seller's guide to help you navigate the home selling process:

 

1. Assess your reasons for selling: Determine your motivations for selling and establish your desired timeline. This will help you make informed decisions throughout the selling process.

 

2. Find a real estate agent: Research and hire a reputable real estate agent who has experience in your local market. They can provide valuable insights, market your home, negotiate offers, and guide you through the selling process.

 

3. Set the right price: Work with your real estate agent to determine an accurate listing price for your home. Consider factors such as recent comparable sales, market conditions, and the unique features of your property.

 

4. Prepare your home for sale: Enhance your home's appeal by decluttering, deep cleaning, and making necessary repairs. Consider staging your home to showcase its potential to potential buyers.

 

5. Market your home: Work with your real estate agent to develop a marketing plan. This may include professional photography, online listings, open houses, signage, and targeted advertising to attract potential buyers.

 

6. Negotiate and accept an offer: When you receive offers, carefully review them with your real estate agent. Consider factors such as the offer price, contingencies, financing terms, and the buyer's qualifications. Negotiate with potential buyers to reach an agreement that suits your needs.

 

7. Complete inspections and appraisal: Once an offer is accepted, the buyer will typically conduct a home inspection and possibly an appraisal. Be prepared for any repair requests or negotiation that may arise based on the inspection findings.

 

8. Finalize the paperwork: Work with your real estate agent and attorney to complete all necessary paperwork and legal requirements. This includes reviewing and signing the purchase agreement, disclosures, and other relevant documents.

 

9. Close the deal: Coordinate with the buyer, their lender, and the title company to schedule the closing. Attend the closing meeting, sign the necessary documents, and transfer ownership of the property to the buyer.

 

10. Move out and hand over the keys: Once the sale is complete, make arrangements to move out of the property. Leave the home in a clean and presentable condition and hand over the keys to the new owners.

 

Remember to consult with professionals throughout the selling process, including real estate agents, attorneys, and possibly home stagers or contractors. They can provide guidance, maximize your home's appeal, and help you navigate the selling process successfully.

Posted in Housing
May 20, 2023

"Your Comprehensive Home Buying Guide: Step-by-Step Roadmap to Finding Your Dream Home"

🏡 Buying a home is a significant decision that requires careful planning and consideration. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the home buying process:

 

💰 Assess your financial readiness: Determine your budget by reviewing your income, expenses, and savings. Consider your ability to make a down payment, pay for closing costs, and afford monthly mortgage payments.

 

💰 Check your credit score: A good credit score is crucial for getting favorable mortgage terms. Obtain a free copy of your credit report and address any errors or issues that may negatively impact your score.

 

💰 Save for a down payment: Determine how much you can afford to put down as a down payment. Saving at least 20% of the home's purchase price can help you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) and qualify for better loan terms. However, there are loan options available with lower down payment requirements.

 

💰 Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Approach multiple lenders and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This process involves a detailed financial assessment by the lender, and it provides you with a clear idea of how much you can borrow. Pre-approval strengthens your position when making an offer.

 

💰 Determine your housing needs: Make a list of your requirements, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location preferences, and desired amenities. Consider factors like commute times, school districts, and neighborhood safety.

 

💰 Begin your home search: Utilize online real estate platforms, work with a real estate agent, or explore local listings to find homes that meet your criteria. Attend open houses and schedule private showings to assess properties in person.

 

💰 Make an offer: When you find a home you like, work with your real estate agent to draft a purchase offer. Consider factors like the asking price, market conditions, recent comparable sales, and any necessary contingencies (such as a home inspection or financing).

 

💰 Complete a home inspection: Once your offer is accepted, hire a professional home inspector to evaluate the property's condition. The inspection helps identify any potential issues or necessary repairs, allowing you to make an informed decision.

 

💰 Secure financing: Contact your chosen lender and complete the mortgage application process. Provide the necessary documentation and comply with any additional requirements. The lender will conduct an appraisal to determine the home's value.

 

💰 Close the deal: Work with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney to complete the necessary paperwork and legal procedures. Review the closing disclosure, sign all relevant documents, pay the closing costs, and receive the keys to your new home.

 

💰 Move in and settle: Coordinate with movers, transfer utilities, and update your address with relevant parties. Settle into your new home and handle any necessary post-move tasks, such as connecting internet services and updating insurance policies.

 

Remember to consult with professionals throughout the process, including real estate agents, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, and attorneys. They can provide guidance and ensure that you navigate the home buying process smoothly and make informed decisions.

Posted in Housing
May 18, 2023

Renting vs. Owning

🏡 Many Americans doubt their ability to cover the costs of buying a home. But that only means exchanging monthly mortgage payments for monthly rent payments. 🏢

 

Renting vs. owning — what are the advantages of each? Here are some things to consider before signing your next lease. 👇

Advantages of Renting:

✅ Fixed rent

✅ No property taxes or HOA fees

✅ Lower insurance costs (no homeowners insurance)

✅ Landlord responsible for repairs and maintenance

✅ Various amenities (pools, gyms, common areas, etc.)

✅ Ideal for young professionals, college students, or frequent relocations

 

Advantages of Owning a Home:

🔑 Building equity with each mortgage payment

🔑 Cheaper mortgage payments compared to renting

🔑 Freedom to modify the property to your liking

🔑 More space for you and your family

🔑 No shared living spaces or walls with neighbors

🔑 Potential tax deductions

 

For many Americans, owning vs. renting can be a better option for building equity in a property. Don't let your rental payments solely benefit your landlord. Invest in your future! 🏡💰

 

#HomeOwnership #RentingBenefits #BuildingEquity

Posted in Housing