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Melanie Loves Tampa Bay

Melanie Loves Tampa Bay

By Melanie Atkinson
Welcome! 💗 I'm Melanie - Tampa Bay area Real Estate Agent with Smith & Associates. Join me to learn about the ins and outs of real estate, home ownership, and living in the Tampa Bay area in sunny Florida. Looking to buy/sell a house? I specialize in the Westchase, South Tampa, and Downtown Tampa areas with over 11 years of experience. matkinson@smithandassociates.com
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Moving to Florida 🏡 How Buyers Stand a Chance in a Crazy Real Estate Market
By now you've probably heard about the low inventory real estate situation here in the Tampa Bay area, and I'm sharing my advice for how to best navigate this housing market. As of March 2021, Hillsborough County only has three weeks of single family home inventory, when a balanced housing market would have about six months worth of homes available.  Take a close look at your finances, because you might have to get creative. It is very normal for a buyer right now to guarantee to pay a certain amount over appraised value. In order to win that contract, you may have to put down a larger down payment or the seller might want you to put more of an escrow deposit down. It's going to be difficult to get sellers who will accept a contract contingent on the sale of your home, so you may need to tap into other money sources such as investment accounts.  For those lucky enough to be a cash buyer, you are likely to win the contract in a multiple-offer situation if it's the same price as finance offers.  Be flexible, but don't settle! There will probably never be the perfect house, but cosmetic items can be changed. Be flexible on the "wants," not as flexible on the "must-haves."  Why even jump into this housing market right now? My buyers are choosing to proceed for several reasons including historically low interest rates, the ability to work from home, and out-of-towners looking to leave more expensive states. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
15:35
March 4, 2021
Answering YOUR Questions ❓ #3 Schools, Property Taxes, Homestead Exemption, Singles Scene
Reading your comments and answering questions in the 3rd edition of this series! Leave questions you have down below in the comment section and they may be answered in future episodes. Timestamps: 0:00 Intro 1:00 Pools & Property Value 1:55 NYC to Jacksonville 2:18 Homestead Exemption 3:54 Property Taxes 5:13 CDD & HOA Fees 6:43 School Districts 8:36 Singles Scene 9:17 Waves 9:58 Townhome Construction 10:56 RI to FL Florida Department of Education resource (researching school districts) http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades/ https://www.greatschools.org/ https://www.niche.com/ Juless_TheTipsyCook MOVING ACROSS COUNTY *Rhode Island - Florida* https://youtu.be/7uHP5QkPL04 Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
12:09
December 16, 2020
Moving to Florida 2021 🏡 What You Need to Know
Planning to move to Florida in 2021? Here are some important updates for anyone considering a relocation to the Sunshine State. This episode will be building on information shared in a previous video about moving to Florida in 2020, so check that one out if you haven't seen it yet. 2020 has been a game changer for many of us, and it's been fascinating from a real estate perspective. We have seen record sales months, rock bottom interest rates, low inventory, multiple offer situations, and buyers buying sight unseen. Prices in Florida have gone up this year - a lot! How much? At the end of the 2020 third quarter, median prices statewide for single family homes were up 13% from the same time last year.  Now that isn't true for every house in every neighborhood, real estate is very local. Topics discussed: 0:00 Intro 1:33 Housing Market 3:21 Starting the Home Search 4:52 Selling Your House 5:03 Mortgage Interest Rates 14:48 Insurance Changes 23:18 Final Advice The Mortgage Firm Tampa / Patrick Storch   https://www.closemymortgagetampa.com/   Call or apply online. 📲 813-616-8844 🖥    8471 West Linebaugh Ave.  Tampa, FL 33625   NMLS # 189233 | 228635 Contact Maria Rodriguez for your insurance needs within the state of Florida maria@weachterinsurance.com   Office: 813.831.8889 Direct: 813.969.4466   Rip Weachter Insurance Agency   http://www.weachterinsurance.com/ Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
23:55
November 30, 2020
How to Buy a House Sight Unseen | BEST REALTOR TIPS
It's hard to imagine buying a house without ever seeing it in person until after closing, but it's happening now more than ever. For much of 2020, there have been travel restrictions in place so house hunting has largely gone virtual. If you wait to fly down to see a home in person, it may already be gone so buying sight unseen has become a common practice. So how can you do it successfully and what are the risks? In this episode of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay, I'm sharing my best tips and advice.  For all of you out there about to take the leap into buying a home sight unseen, best of luck to you! Use all of the available resources and ask a lot of questions. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
10:24
November 1, 2020
Moving from California to Florida? 🌴 Here's What You Need to Know
Are you researching moving from California to Florida? My clients Bill & Dotty were longtime California residents who decided to make the change and spend their retirement years here in the Tampa, Florida area. They share insight and experiences that hopefully will be helpful to anyone looking into the process.  Here are the topics we touched on during our conversation: 0:00 Intro 0:45 Background as CA residents 1:30 Florida Decision 3:35 Florida Misconceptions 5:35 Choosing a Location 6:06 Dunedin, Florida 7:17 Florida Homes 9:43 Swimming Pools 11:41 Taxes 14:19 Gas & Groceries 14:45 Vehicle Registration 19:31 Florida Residency 20:21 Weather 22:33 Hurricane Season 27:22 Retirement Lifestyle 31:07 Golf Courses 32:32 Beaches 35:07 Medical & Health Resources 36:22 Tampa Bay Negatives? 37:56 Tampa Bay Sports 39:26 Things to Do 41:55 Bill’s Fire Safety Tips Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
47:08
October 12, 2020
Housing Market: What Will Happen to Home Prices? 🏡 Realtor Explains
As if 2020 couldn't get any weirder, we've been dealing with an insane housing market here in the Tampa Bay area for months along with other parts of the country. What the heck is going on and how do you figure out if now is the right time to buy a home? Do you take advantage of the ridiculously low interest rates or do you wait until there's more inventory? Will those interest rates still be low once there is more inventory? What about another housing market crash? What if I buy now and then it becomes 2010 again and home values plummet? I know you're probably thinking, "Well, she's a real estate agent. Of course she's going to encourage people to buy homes..." But I want to say that I never encourage anyone to buy homes who don't want or need to purchase homes.  People have different reasons including getting married or divorced, starting a family, kids going to college, etc. Life continues even in the worst of times. Regardless of what happens to the economy, look at your own financial picture and personal situation to determine if buying a house now is right for you. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
11:09
August 31, 2020
Luxury Real Estate Guide 🏙️ Tampa, Florida
The Tampa Bay area is seeing an influx of luxury home buyers coming from out of state. If you're seeking high end real estate in Florida, I've put together a guide for our area to help you. We have tons of coastline, two major cities, three professional sports teams, the award-winning Tampa International Airport, a great local food scene, and enough land for you to have room to breathe.  So what does the luxury housing market look like in Tampa? You can choose whether you want a Gulf front home with a sandy beach in your backyard, a home on the Intracoastal Waterway with a spot for your boat, a luxury condo in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg or on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, or an estate home in northern Hillsborough County on acreage. There's also a historical home in Hyde Park or a waterfront house on Davis Islands. Golfers can check out Avila, Innisbrook, or Golfview in South Tampa.  Other popular neighborhoods include beach communities along the west coast of Pinellas County from Clearwater Beach to St. Pete Beach, Snell Isle, and Venetian Isles.  If you don't mind driving north out of Tampa - there are lovely properties in Lutz, Odessa, and parts of Tarpon Springs. East of Tampa is Thonotosassa, where The Oaks is currently for sale at $17,500,000. Luxury Condominiums https://saltairestpete.com/    https://marinapointe.com/   https://www.sandpearl.com/   https://www.viragebayshore.com/   https://www.hydeparkbayshore.com/   https://www.sanctuarybayshore.com/   https://www.alturabayshore.com/   https://waterstreettampa.com/residences/tampa-edition    Golf Courses https://www.innisbrookgolfresort.com/   http://www.avilagolf.com/   http://www.pcgc.org/ Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
09:42
August 24, 2020
Buying New Construction Homes in Florida 🏡 Things You Should Know
New construction homes are on fire this year in the Tampa Bay area. Neighborhoods in Odessa, Wesley Chapel, and Riverview can hardly keep up with the demand. With the influx of people wanting to be in Florida, combined with low interest rates and affordable prices - it's easy to understand why these builders have had record-breaking months.  This episode is for all of you out there looking to buy new construction in the coming months.  Want to skip ahead? Here are the topics discussed: 0:00 Intro 0:43 Builder Incentives 1:49 Base Home Prices 2:24 Working with Realtors 3:56 Inventory Homes 4:50 Construction Timeline 5:52 Credit Scores 6:30 Down Payment 7:07 Additional Deposits Feel free to leave additional questions in the comment section, and they may be featured in a future video here on the channel. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
08:05
July 28, 2020
Wesley Chapel: What You Need to Know 🌴 Pasco County, Florida
Wesley Chapel is a popular community outside Tampa, Florida that I get asked about all the time. Let’s dive into this area from new construction home builders, home prices, where exactly it’s located in Pasco County, flood zones, schools, and things to do.  Want to skip ahead? Here are the topics discussed: 0:00 Intro 0:45 New Construction Homes 1:55 Crystal Lagoon @ Epperson 2:45 CDD Fees 4:03 Affordable Home Prices 4:35 Builder Competition 5:23 Wesley Chapel Location 6:26 Tampa Bay Commute 7:08 Flood Zone? 7:35 Things to Do 9:45 School District 10:12 Wesley Chapel Wrap Up Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
10:56
June 23, 2020
Moving to Tampa, Florida 🌴 What It's REALLY Like
Thinking about moving to Florida? While I've lived in the Tampa Bay area for two decades, my boyfriend Todd has lived in quite a few different cities. He relocated to Tampa in 2017 and joins me in this episode to share his perspective on how Tampa compares to other places in the U.S.   Want to skip ahead? Here are the topics we touched on: 0:00 Intro 0:55 Why choose Tampa? 1:35 Florida offers year round outdoor living 2:17 Traffic & commuting in Tampa 3:35 Lower cost of living in Florida? State income tax, housing options, auto insurance 4:39 Home prices - how much do you get for your money? 5:51 How easy is it to meet people in Tampa? 6:35 Things to do, outdoor activities 7:15 Golf courses outside Tampa city limits 7:55 Bad drivers in Florida? 8:28 Weather & hurricanes 8:57 Bugs & alligators 9:36 Florida man news stories 10:15 Tampa food & restaurants 11:00 Sports, concerts, entertainment Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
12:09
June 9, 2020
How to Sell Your Home While Buying Another House 🏠 Realtor Advice
"Help! I have to sell my current house before I buy another one. Where do I start?" This is a question I get all the time, so get ready for all my best advice. TIP #1 - UNDERSTAND YOUR FINANCES There's a difference between NEEDING to sell your current home in order to qualify for the loan on your next house and WANTING to sell your current home. If you fall into the category of wanting to sell, you have more freedom to make offers on listings because you won't have as many contingencies attached, which gives you a leg up on negotiations. This is super important in areas that are a seller's market. TIP #2 -  DON’T PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE The card in this scenario is your next house, while the horse is your current home. If you can't buy the next house before selling your current one, then most of your focus needs to be on the sale.  TIP #3 - FIND A NEW REALTOR Start reaching out to real estate agents in your new city well in advance of your move. Some of you might have relocation companies providing a Realtor, and you do have a say in who represents you. All agents are not created equal, so do your due diligence.  TIP #4 - VISITING WITH A PURPOSE If you have enough time to take multiple trips to your new hometown, take advantage of it! Your first trip should be an introduction trip, not necessarily a house hunting trip. Tour neighborhoods, talk with builders, get a feel for areas you're considering moving to. TIP #5 - MAKING OFFERS When you start putting in offers, your current house should already be under contract. Remember what I said earlier about the contingency if your offer is conditional upon the sale of your own home first. Most builders are okay with this, so keep new construction in mind as you house hunt. If your current home is through the inspection period and/or the appraisal, that makes your contingency less risky so be sure your agent communicates this to the listing agent. TIP #6 - NAVIGATING THE MOVE Try and negotiate a longer escrow period of 45-60 days to give yourself more time. This gives you a chance to come down to your new city, find a house and get it under contract with enough time to process your mortgage loan. Consult with a moving company to get an estimate on how long it will take to get your belongings from A to B. Same day closings are doable, but there are potential snags that could hold up transactions. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
08:56
May 26, 2020
Florida Real Estate 🏖️ European Buyer Guide ft. Annette Reeve / Mayfair Int'l Realty
Real estate in the U.S. works much differently compared to other countries. In this #socialdistancing episode, I talk with Annette Reeve / Mayfair International Realty in London about European / UK residents buying homes in Florida. There's a lot to know when you purchase international property. Annette, who works with agents and brokers around the world, is a great resource for information. If you want to skip ahead to specific topics, here are timestamps: 1:30 UK buying process vs. US 6:51 Where UK buyers want to purchase homes 10:23 Rental & vacation homes 12:25 Financing a home for international buyers 15:50 Getting an international lawyer / attorney 21:30 How to find a Florida property 22:05 Brexit effects on UK real estate 23:00 COVID-19 and real estate Annette Reeve MNAEA CIPS / Director Mayfair Office and Mayfair International Realty - Cashel House - 15 Thayer Street – London - W1U 3JT Direct Line :  + 44 20 7467 5332 Mobile : +44 7740 679715 Office : +44 207 467 5330 Email: annette@mayfairinternationalrealty.com The gorgeous house I Skyped at is currently for sale! $2.3M French-Inspired Estate Outside Tampa 🏡 8,400+ sq ft, Wine Room, Pool | LUXURY HOME TOUR https://youtu.be/48L70qMFitQ Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
26:35
April 24, 2020
New Florida Realtor 🏠 Door Knocking for 8 Hours & Flipping a $10K House
39 closings, 10 pending properties, door knocking for 8 hours a day, and flipping a $10,000 house - Pensacola real estate agent John Cho shares his highs and lows from the first year as a Realtor.  Great conversation and here's timestamps if you want to skip ahead:   0:56 Getting started in real estate 7:08 Is young age a disadvantage? 8:38 New vs. veteran agents 9:55 Team culture & mentorships 11:30 Door knocking for leads 17:45 Flipping homes   20:50 Finding investment properties 22:30 What's Pensacola, FL like? 26:10 Average home prices in Pensacola   John Cho / Realtor - Pensacola, FL area Call: 850.602-5583 choyohan93@gmail.com https://www.blueanchorrealty.com/agents/john-cho/ https://www.instagram.com/Johncho_re/ https://www.facebook.com/JohnChoYourRealtor https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8CuHbQo6MSJfwU3iueGzaA https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-cho-0a4179124/ Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
29:25
April 17, 2020
Real Estate 🗽 NYC vs FLORIDA ☀️ with Michael Holt
🗽 NYC vs FL ☀️ Real estate chat comparing the New York City metro to the Tampa Bay area in Florida with Licensed Broker Associate Michael Holt, who works in both locations. Michael fills us in on the unique NYC market and what it's like to buy / sell there. We also chat about the lifestyle and cost differences, and a current development project in Sarasota. Thanks to Michael for joining me!   Michael Holt / Licensed Broker Associate / The Holt Team mholt@halstead.com Cell: 917.407.0287    www.holtsnewyork.com YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelHoltNYC Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/michaelholt123 Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/michael__holt_/ Twitter https://twitter.com/Michael__Holt   The Beacon - Sarasota, FL https://www.thebeaconsarasota.com/ Listed by Coldwell Banker 941.366.8070 She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
30:08
April 6, 2020
Will Mortgage Rates Ever Drop to 0%? 🏡 Should You Refinance Your Home?
Mortgage rates are all over the place right now, as the Federal Reserve sharply cut interest rates and announced buying of mortgage-backed securities. How low can mortgage interest rates go? Melanie talks with David Donaldson, Branch Manager with VanDyk Mortgage, about what we can expect and answers some questions that popped up this week. Will mortgage interest rates ever come close to 0%? Should homeowners refinance their mortgage? Is now a good time to buy a home?   The Donaldson Team David Donaldson / Branch Manager ddonaldson@vandykmortgage.com   NMLS#506528 | FL#LO10267 Office: 813.230.3433 | Cell: 813.230.3433 teamdonaldson.vandykmortgage.com    Note: this episode was produced in March 2020 - in the age of #socialdistancing Melanie is currently Skyping with guests. 🎥 Mortgage Tips for First Time Home Buyers: Why Credit Score Matters 🎥 https://youtu.be/eZReFsBrr0U 🎥 Thinking about moving to Florida? Here are some helpful videos with information you should know 🎥 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7V4ypw92HE&list=PL-rX1eKoHSSAAc2kEV27Tmb37xwT2Kf6S Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
29:49
March 28, 2020
Florida Insurance: What You Need to Know 💵 Homeowners, Flood, Auto, Renters, Umbrella
Tampa Bay area insurance agent Maria Rodriguez, with Rip Weachter Insurance Agency, joins me to talk about Florida insurance. She explains homeowners, flood, auto, renters, and umbrella insurance policies and why they're important to protect yourself and your property. We also discuss what type of insurance you need in the event of a hurricane or severe weather.   Want to skip ahead to a specific topic? Here's what we covered: 0:39 Homeowners insurance 1:45 Florida weather / hurricanes 3:50 Age of roof and how it affects homeowners insurance rate 7:05 Wind mitigation process 8:05 New construction 10:55 Older homes 13:50 Flood insurance 16:50 Flood zone changes expected 18:47 Flood insurance for 2nd homes / investment property 23:30 Auto insurance 29:10 Renters insurance 30:58 Umbrella insurance   Contact Maria Rodriguez with your insurance needs within the state of Florida maria@weachterinsurance.com Office: 813.831.8889 Direct: 813.969.4466 Rip Weachter Insurance Agency http://www.weachterinsurance.com/ 🎥 Mortgage Tips for First Time Home Buyers: Why Credit Score Matters 🎥 https://youtu.be/eZReFsBrr0U 🎥 Thinking about moving to Florida? Here are some helpful videos with information you should know 🎥 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7V4ypw92HE&list=PL-rX1eKoHSSAAc2kEV27Tmb37xwT2Kf6S Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
33:16
March 3, 2020
Answering YOUR Questions ❓ #2 Relocating to Tampa, Snakeskin Fashion, Porta Potties!?
Answering your questions and responding to comments left on my channel - everything from relocating to the Tampa Bay area, keeping animals in your backyard, love bugs causing car damage, Midtown Tampa, to the supply of crocodile and snakeskin themed clothing!? Meanwhile, Tucker doesn't want to cooperate with this video shoot. This is going to be a regular video series, so keep 'em coming!    If you're not looking to buy / sell a home, the best way to reach out to me with specific questions is by leaving a comment on a video here on YouTube (versus DMs or emails). This way, I'm able to see all of them in one place and respond as quickly as I can. Plus, the entire community can benefit by seeing your questions and comments.   (And if you'd like to follow my dog, yes, he is on Instagram! @tampatucker)   🎥 Thinking about moving to Florida? Here are some helpful videos with information you should know 🎥 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7V4ypw92HE&list=PL-rX1eKoHSSAAc2kEV27Tmb37xwT2Kf6S Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
11:55
February 18, 2020
4 New Home Communities Outside Tampa 🏠 Pasco County
So many of my buyers are looking for new construction in the Tampa Bay area and there are lots of housing options to choose from, but I want to share four popular communities that I show often in Pasco County, just north of Tampa.   Three of these developments are in Odessa, and one is in nearby Land O' Lakes. State Road 54 is the main road that leads into all of the neighborhoods. Odessa is farther west compared to Wesley Chapel, so it's closer to the beach.   If you work in Downtown Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base, or the Westshore district you have multiple routes to commute everyday including the Veterans Expressway / SR 589, which connects to I-275.  There are lots of shops, businesses, and restaurants in this part of Pasco County, and Florida state school grades are pretty high for most of the schools in this area. You will still want to check the specific school grades for the house you are interested in.   Starkey Ranch https://starkeyranch.com/    Asturia https://asturiaflorida.com/    The Preserve https://www.drhorton.com/Florida/Tampa/Odessa/The-Preserve    Bexley https://www.bexleyflorida.com/ NOTE: This episode is very visual, so I'd recommend you also watch the YouTube video to see the homes I'm referring to, as the audio might not make much sense just listening. 🎥 https://youtu.be/3kgdFk1-4kw 🎥 What Are CDD Fees? CDD vs HOA 🏡 Buying in Florida FAQ  https://youtu.be/svy_4LFiArs   Realtor's Advice on Buying 🏠 New Construction Homes   https://youtu.be/9g_enoJPzos Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
13:07
February 5, 2020
Home Selling Makeover 🏠 Home Staging [Before & After]
We're giving one of my listings a home makeover by bringing in a home stager [before & after pics], plus I'm sharing some of my best home selling tips.  This vacant Tampa villa went pending in just two days!  We'll be getting into the importance of creating an identity for each room in a house, what impact rooms are, adding hardware to kitchen cabinets, making sure floors are very clean, and how curtains / window treatments make such a difference in a space.   Home staging by Tracy Bowers of Upstage, Inc.  813.727.3311 / tracy@upstageinc.com   NOTE: This episode is very visual, so I'd recommend you also watch the YouTube video to see the home makeover, as the audio might not make much sense just listening. 🎥 https://youtu.be/7vd_SI7OMDQ 🎥 WATCH 🎥 Home Staging FAST on a $200 Budget 🏠 Realtor Tips  https://youtu.be/u409XhaSVJc 🎥 WATCH TAMPA BAY GUIDE VIDEOS 🎥 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBZwB1EpTy5wd0_bKPsMReA Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
08:34
December 10, 2019
Moving to Florida in 2020? What You Need to Know
So you want to move to Florida in 2020? This is your last cold winter, right?  There's a lot to know about our great state, and I want to share information about establishing residency, buying vs. renting and the Tampa Bay area specifically. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO MOVE TO FLORIDA? If you're planning to move to Florida part-time, you'll want to be diligent in following the rules to establish residency in this state. Consult an attorney if your situation is more complicated. Say, you own a home in another state and plan on buying another one in Florida. WHY SHOULD YOU MOVE TO FLORIDA?  There are lots of reasons to move here and everyone has their own motivation. Warm winters and no state income tax are two of the most common ones I hear. Some people REALLY love Disney World and want to be close, or be near the beach. WHERE EXACTLY SHOULD I MOVE TO IN FLORIDA?  If you're not being transferred by your job to a specific city, then you have an entire state full of different cities and towns to fit just about any lifestyle. Figure out if you want to be in a city or at the beach, and if you need to be close to an airport for frequent traveling.  Which city has job opportunities that fit your skill set? What's your housing budget? Once you start answering those questions, you can narrow down which parts of Florida may work for you. Make sure to plan multiple visits to locations you're interested in to see what they're really like. Remember that vacationing in Florida is much different than living here day-today. Don't just hang out in touristy areas. Drive into neighborhoods, eat at local restaurants and talk to locals. WHEN SHOULD YOU MOVE?  Whenever you're ready! Florida is a year round state - we don't really have a time when things are super slow. However, there are more people here during the winter months due to the part-time residents enjoying the warmer weather.  As far as real estate is concerned, if you're looking to purchase a house - certain areas do fluctuate with inventory and prices throughout the year. For instance, homes in great school districts see peak buying/selling season during the spring and summer months before school starts. Vacation areas have busy winter months because that's when people are visiting and home shopping if they plan on staying. HOW DO I MOVE TO FLORIDA? Every circumstance is different, but there are a couple scenarios that I run across a lot. #1 - Family who wants to move here for the start of the 2020 school year #2 - Individual / family without a time frame or need for specific school district #3 - Florida retirees 🎥 WATCH TAMPA BAY GUIDE VIDEOS 🎥 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBZwB1EpTy5wd0_bKPsMReA Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
10:02
November 25, 2019
2019 Holiday Guide 🎄 Things To Do in Tampa | MELANIE ❤️ TAMPA BAY
We may not have a white Christmas, but there is still plenty to do in the Tampa Bay area over the holiday season. Here are some great family-friendly holiday events you won't want to miss if you're a resident or just visiting Florida! Enchant - St. Petersburg - Tropicana Field November 22 - December 29 https://stpete.enchantchristmas.com/stpete Busch Gardens Christmas Town - Tampa November 16 - January 6 https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/christmas-town/ Christmas in the Wild - Zoo Tampa November 29, 30 | December 6-7, 13-15, 20-23 https://zootampa.org/events/christmas-in-the-wild/ Winter Village - Downtown Tampa - Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park November 22 - January 5 http://www.wintervillagetampa.com/ Holiday Lights in the Garden - Largo - Florida Botanical Gardens November 29 - January 4 https://flbgfoundation.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=479557&module_id=350229&sl=1496170903 Oakdale Christmas House - St. Petersburg November 29 - January 3 http://www.christmasdisplay.org/ The Christmas Trail - Plant City Check website for dates https://www.thechristmastrail.com/ ICE! featuring The Polar Express - Orlando - Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center November 25 - January 5 https://www.marriott.com/gaylord-hotels/christmas-at-gaylord-palms-kissimmee-orlando.mi#Experiences COMPLETE LIST OF HOLIDAY EVENTS: https://www.melanielovestampabay.com/blog/2019-holiday-guide-things-to-do-in-tampa 🎥 WATCH TAMPA BAY GUIDE VIDEOS 🎥 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBZwB1EpTy5wd0_bKPsMReA Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
10:52
November 12, 2019
Relocating to MacDill AFB? Tampa Neighborhoods + Commute Times Guide
Are you relocating to Tampa to work out of MacDill Air Force Base and need a starter guide to the Tampa Bay area? That's what this episode is for! MacDill Air Force Base is located at the southern end of the Tampa peninsula, about 4 miles south of Downtown Tampa. MacDill AFB is not only an Air Mobility Command (AMC) base, but headquarters for the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). We have a large military presence here as well as lots of civilians who work at the base. Sometimes you don't have much time to get to know an area before you're transferred here. Hopefully this video, as well as others here on the channel can be used as a resource. Popular areas for military families: BRANDON RIVERVIEW LITHIA / FISHHAWK RANCH SOUTH TAMPA CARROLLWOOD WESTCHASE NEW TAMPA WESLEY CHAPEL DOWNTOWN ST. PETERSBURG Toll roads you may have to take include the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway which connects South Tampa to Downtown Tampa all the way to Brandon, or the Veterans Expressway - a north-south toll road running from Tampa International Airport to northern Hillsborough County. State of Florida Department of Education, School Grades: http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades/index.stml/ About MacDill AFB: https://installations.militaryonesource.mil/military-installation/macdill-afb  Disclosure: I am not affiliated with the military or MacDill Air Force Base 🎥 WATCH TAMPA BAY GUIDE VIDEOS 🎥 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBZwB1EpTy5wd0_bKPsMReA Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
15:22
October 29, 2019
Answering YOUR Questions ❓ #1 Weather, Snakes, Public Transportation | MELANIE ❤️ TAMPA BAY
Answering your questions and responding to comments left on my channel - everything from weather to public transportation to snakes. Meanwhile, my puppy Tucker does his best to be a huge distraction. This is going to be a regular video series, so keep 'em coming!  If you're not looking to buy / sell a home, the best way to reach out to me with specific questions is by leaving a comment on a YouTube video (versus DMs or emails). This way, I'm able to see all of them in one place and respond as quickly as I can. Plus, the entire community can benefit by seeing your questions and comments. (And if you'd like to follow my dog, yes, he is on Instagram! @tampatucker) Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
14:23
October 15, 2019
South Tampa 🌴 One of Tampa's Most Popular Areas | FLORIDA LIVING
One of the most popular Tampa Bay areas is definitely South Tampa, so let's take a closer look to see if it's for you! Generally when people are talking about South Tampa, they're referring to the peninsula that juts down into Tampa Bay with the northern boundary of South Tampa being State Road 60 (Kennedy Boulevard) and the southern boundary being MacDill Air Force Base.  So why do so many want to live in South Tampa? LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION South Tampa is close to two large commercial areas - the Westshore District near Tampa International Airport, and Downtown Tampa. That makes for a convenient commute. However, you would have pretty quick access to highways bringing you to other Tampa Bay areas including I-275 and the Crosstown Expressway. It's also close to fun places around Downtown Tampa like Amalie Arena, Curtis Hixon Park, The Florida Aquarium, Glazer Children's Museum, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, and Sparkman Wharf.  EATING, DRINKING & SHOPPING Because South Tampa has been a popular areas for a long time, many local and chain businesses and restaurants have set up shop here. You don't have to go far to find an amazing restaurant, fun boutique, or grocery store. SCHOOL DISTRICT If you've been looking online at listings, you probably see the phrase "in the Plant High School District." Plant High School is consistently one of the highest rated in the area. Make sure you check the actual school zone for the house you're interested in purchasing. The other high school in South Tampa is in the southern portion of the peninsula - Robinson High School.  *NOTE: School zones subject to change NOT COOKIE CUTTER Because the area has been built over the last century, every house looks different and there are plenty of examples where century-old bungalows sit next to brand new contemporary construction. If you value privacy, South Tampa can be a hard place to find it with many smaller lot sizes. Unless you are backing up to the water, golf course, or a street changes are good that you'll have a neighbor backing up to your property. NEIGHBORHOODS & HOUSING OPTIONS You can see beautiful, historic bungalows in Hyde Park Village, lots of new construction in Swann Estates from builders developing existing lots where older homes used to stand. There are townhouses close to Howard Avenue, and you'll find some walkable neighborhoods in South Tampa. Like Downtown St. Pete, South Tampa has some of the highest price real estate in the area since demand is so high. If you want a waterfront property in South Tampa, be prepared to spend well over $1 million. Other popular neighborhoods include Beach Park, Bayshore Beautiful, Ballast Point, Interbay, Westshore Yacht Club, Culbreath Isles, Sunset Park, Golfview, Palma Ceia, Virginia Park, nearby Davis Islands and Harbour Island. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
12:33
September 24, 2019
Reality Check ✅ What New Homeowners Should Know (& Meet My New Puppy) | MELANIE ❤️ TAMPA BAY
Buying a home is a very exciting process, especially when it's your first house! But what happens when you move in and life isn't exactly what you imagined? Let's talk about some of the challenges that can overwhelm new home buyers right after closing that takes the fun away of owning your own place. Featuring my new puppy Tucker, a smooth coat Brussels Griffon - otherwise known as the 'Petit Brabancon.' Warning: Your new house might be really dirty. In Florida, sellers are not legally required to have the property professionally cleaned when they transfer it to the buyer. Before closing day, take note of any discoloration in flooring - especially carpet and grout. Often, this issue goes unnoticed until the furniture is gone. If you think you're going to need to replace flooring or spend money on cleaning, make sure to prepare for this added cost. Paint jobs may be bigger than you anticipated. It's not required or customary to patch and paint portions of the walls with nails or screws. Sometimes the patch job ends up looking worse than before, so most of the time - the seller leaves the walls as-is. It will be up to you to repair the drywall. If you're planning to repaint anyway, that's the time to patch up those holes. Your A/C will absolutely break in the first month. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but I can't begin to tell you how many times air conditioners (or something else) break soon after a new buyer moves in. Homes are full of things that need to be fixed. Sometimes buyers will get upset with the home inspector or seller, because they feel like the issue should have been caught or disclosed. Most of the issues are just regular things that break. Once you close on your house, that is now your responsibility. Hire a good home inspector to begin with and consider getting a home warranty. Your neighbors might be terrible. If you had visions of co-hosting summer barbecues with your best friends next door, you may want to adjust your expectations. Chances are, you WILL find friends in your neighborhood. If you have an unpleasant or intrusive neighbor, there's not much you can do about it unless their behavior warrants contacting local authorities. Driving around the neighborhood prior to purchasing and talking with people who live there may be helpful to avoid nightmare neighbors, but you can't always rely on strangers for solid information. Furnishing and decorating is a marathon, not a spring. Making a house a home takes time. Lots of buyers don't expect that and want it to feel like home too quickly. It's frustrating with boxes piled up and furniture deliveries taking too long. Don't worry if there are empty rooms for a while, you need to figure out how you are going to live in the space. Decorate and furnish the rooms that are the most important for your daily life and do the rest over a longer period of time. Set realistic decorating and furnishing goals. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
08:24
September 10, 2019
How to Pronounce Tampa Bay Area Places | MELANIE ❤️ TAMPA BAY
There are some names of cities and places around the Tampa Bay area that are just really difficult to pronounce. Some are really long and complicated.  So here are a few of the trickiest and how to say the names just like a local. Lutz   St. Pete - some folks use the wrong abbreviation for St. Petersburg and refer to it as "St. Petes" Ybor City   Dunedin   Thonotosassa   Wimauma   Kissimmee   Masaryktown   Homosassa   Weeki Wachee   Amalie Arena  (rhymes with family) Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
02:46
August 27, 2019
Why Everybody Wants to Live in Downtown St. Petersburg
Downtown St. Pete is one of the most coveted areas to move to in the Tampa Bay area.  So why does everyone want to move there and how much does it cost to live there?   Honestly, it's just a really cool and beautiful place to live. Downtown St. Petersburg truly does have it all - the whole bay front is lined with gorgeous parks that host different festivals and events throughout the year. It's the perfect place for a long walk with your pet, a bike ride, or just to sit and enjoy the water view. It's a walkable city with a vibrant, inclusive energy. Because so many people want to live there, it has become pretty expensive to own or rent. If you want to live in the heart of downtown, you'll probably have to choose from a townhouse or a condominium - many are in high rises. They range from small studio to penthouses. If you're lucky, you might be able to find a few for around $200,000 - but the median price is in the $500,000 range with prices going up well over $2 million. What about rentals? The same is true. Look to pay a minimum of $1,000 / month with most costing more than $2,000 / month. Popular neighborhoods nearby include the Historic Old Northeast, Snell Isle, and Venetian Isles. What about affordable areas near Downtown St. Petersburg? The short answer is, yes, of course there are. More budget-friendly neighborhoods tend to be farther away from the downtown core and the houses may need some TLC.  It's possible to find a single-family home for under $300,000. Remember that most of St. Petersburg was developed quite a while ago, so there are lots of older, traditional, Florida-style ranch homes. In closing, Downtown St. Petersburg is as beautiful and as fun as it seems. There are always resale opportunities in the area and new condo projects to look into. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
08:47
August 13, 2019
What Are CDD Fees? CDD vs HOA 🏡 Buying in Florida FAQ
If you're looking at Florida homes for the first time, you're probably wondering what the heck a CDD fee is. How is it different from an HOA? CDD stands for "Community Development District." It's main purpose is to plan, finance, construct, and operate community-wide infrastructure and amenities for residents to enjoy. http://www.ccfj.net/FS190CDD.html#190.012 The neighborhood developer takes out a bond to get access to the money to create all of this infrastructure - the bond is paid back by residents over periods typically 20, 25, or 30 years. How do residents pay the CDD fee? The yearly cost of the CDD fee is part of your non-ad valorem property taxes. Combined with your ad valorem taxes, this creates your total tax bill for the year. How much is a typical CDD? The amount varies widely from neighborhood to neighborhood, but I've noticed that most of the new, large, master-planned communities here in the Tampa Bay area have CDDs around $2,000 per year. How is a CDD different from the HOA? The CDD and HOA (Homeowners Association) are different entities within a community that work together, but have different responsibilities. Many of the maintenance costs in a community are handled by the CDD, whereas the HOA creates and enforces deed restrictions as well as operate the amenities.  What happens when the bond is paid off? Does the CDD go away? Westchase is a great example of a neighborhood that has certain villages with paid off CDD bonds. The homes in Westchase over 20 years old are now only paying the maintenance cost portion of the CDD, which will never go away. But once that bond is paid off, homeowners do get a significant cost break. I looked up a house in The Fords. In 2017, the CDD bill was $1,095.55. After the bond was paid off, the 2018 CDD bill was $486.20.  Why spend money to live in a CDD community? There are lots of Tampa Bay area neighborhoods without CDDs, but they tend to be smaller communities with fewer amenities. If you don't think you will use amenities like a swimming pool, tennis courts, or fitness center, you might want to look at non-CDD communities. Typically, those will have higher HOA fees, because the HOA is now responsible for all of the maintenance costs. This is part of my new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) series here on the channel - feel free to drop any questions you have in the comments. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
04:12
July 30, 2019
Home Partners of America 🏡 Rent to Own Homes Program Explained
Finding a home that's a lease with an option to buy (rent to own) can be extremely difficult - close to impossible in popular areas.  However, leasing while you get to know your new city, repair your credit or save up some money for a larger down payment may be your best option. Let's talk about a lease-purchase program called Home Partners of America. While I am not affiliated with this company in any way, I do feel the program offers a valuable option for those who qualify so I want to share some details. *Criteria subject to change and may vary by state What is the Home Partners of America Lease Purchase Program? https://www.homepartners.com/  Say you want to own a home in a nice neighborhood but you just aren’t ready to buy.  Maybe you want to be in a good school zone and there are limited rentals available to pick from?  Or, if you are working on repairing your credit and you just need a year or two to qualify for a mortgage. Home Partners of America purchases homes that are currently for sale and leases them back to you.  So, this opens up a lot more options of homes to rent because now you can look at homes that are for sale.  You get to pick the house, they purchase it, you rent it from them. You can buy it from them or a predetermined price at any time.  Now, nothing is that simple but that is the basic premise of the program. FAQs https://www.homepartners.com/how-it-works/faqs Who qualifies to be a renter with Home Partners of America? Which properties qualify for the program? I am qualified and the house I love is qualified - what happens next? What about the rent price? What about a security deposit? Can I bring my pets? How do I purchase the home? Breakdown by numbers:  https://www.homepartners.com/how-it-works/the-math  Pros & Cons The biggest pro to this program is that it gives future home buyers an opportunity to settle in their desired community before they can qualify to purchase a home. Or it gives new residents a way to try out a neighborhood before they commit to buy.  The program is transparent and your costs and fees are outlined prior to entering the program.  Your only obligation is to rent the home for one year.   If you are a seller, consider using this program as a way to attract more buyers. Home Partners of America will pay a fair price for your home.   The cons mostly revolve around the fees associated with buying.  Home Partners is going to roll the closing costs over to you, as well as increase your price 5% a year.  Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
07:51
July 10, 2019
Moving to Florida? Guide for New Residents 🌴 DMV, Car Registration, Retiring, Pets, SunPass
Lots of you out there are planning to move to Florida or purchase a second home here. If you're looking to establish residency in the Sunshine State, here are some practical tips. (Yes, you do have to go to the DMV) *Disclosure: I am a Realtor, so  I help people buy and sell houses. I am not an attorney or accountant.  These matters can be complicated, so if you have any questions please consult a licensed professional.* ESTABLISHING FLORIDA RESIDENCY You are considered a Floridian when your true, fixed, and permanent home is in Florida.  DRIVER'S LICENSE & VEHICLE REGISTRATION If you are a new resident you must get your Florida Driver’s License and register your vehicle within 30 days of establishing residency in the state of Florida.  DMV:  What to Bring to Get Your License https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/what-to-bring/ Vehicle Registration General Information: https://www.flhsmv.gov/html/titlinf.html PET REGISTRATION A Florida pet license is required for all pets. Florida pet registration forms are available at any local veterinarian.  Both dogs & cats over 4 months old must have a pet license, and all are required to have rabies inoculations or booster shots. All Florida pet registration fees will vary from county to county, so check your county’s website.   HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION Florida residents can apply for a Homestead Exemption.  You get a discount on the assessed value of your home. It also caps the amount that your assessed value can go up each year to only 3%.  This is a great tax benefit that Florida homeowners enjoy.  Your deadline each year for registering is March 1st, so don’t forget!  You will do this through your County Property Appraiser office or website.  E-PASS / SUNPASS Florida has a lot of toll roads and a lot of them don’t have pay booths.  If you live in an area with toll roads or plan on doing a lot of exploring in Florida, you will want to get a SunPass or an E-Pass.   https://epass.cfxway.com/epassweb  https://www.sunpass.com/en/home/index.shtml  FINDING EMPLOYMENT State of Florida Job Openings: https://jobs.myflorida.com/ RETIRING TO FLORIDA If you are planning on retiring to the Sunshine State there is a website for the Department of Elder Affairs that actually provides a lot of useful knowledge.   Department of Elder Affairs: http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/resources.php Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
09:16
June 26, 2019
Moving to a New City: Should You Rent Before Buying a House? | MELANIE ❤️ TAMPA BAY
 You've made the major decision to move to a new city that you don't know very much about. You are excited about your transition, but have to figure out the right place to live. Should you rent before you buy? There's no one answer to this common question, so I'm breaking down both sides to help you find your answer. WHAT'S YOUR TIME FRAME FOR MOVING? If you're being relocated for a job, your employer may need you to move within a few months - not a lot of time to get to know an area. Being crunched for time may mean taking a breath and renting is your best bet. Planning a move well in advance? Then you'll have more time to get to know your new city. Visit there multiple times, explore the area on weekdays and weekends to get a feel for your commute, different seasons, and talk to lots of locals.  Do your online research on home prices, neighborhood safety, distance from places you know you'll frequent.  HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR JOB? If you're starting a new job with a new company or feeling antsy in your current career path, you are probably going to want to rent until that situation solidifies.   On the other hand, if you're moving with an employer you already know and like - then buying is an easier choice because you're not as worried about having to find new employment in the near future. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? With school-aged kids, you don't want to have to rent for a year - then move elsewhere and have to switch schools. There are rental options in good school districts, although they can be difficult to find in the Tampa Bay area - especially if you're looking for a large enough house for the family. Landlords may also restrict pets based on size or breed.  WHAT DO YOUR FINANCES LOOK LIKE? If you can't qualify for a mortgage or want to save more money for a down payment, then renting is the easy decision. However, if you do have money to put down and you can qualify for a loan - consider interest rates and home prices in the area you're looking at.  ARE YOU AN EXPERIENCED HOMEOWNER?   If you've been a homeowner for a while, being a renter may be a bit uncomfortable - even if it's temporary. You don't want to ask permission to change your living space. Or you could want a break from the responsibilities of ownership and can make a comfortable home for yourself while learning about your new city. DO YOU HAVE A RELOCATION PACKAGE? I've worked with many clients who move with very generous relocation packages from their employers that pay for moving expenses and closing costs if they purchase a home. Those packages often have an expiration date. Being offered thousands of dollars toward a home is enticing, and you may not want to lose those benefits if they expire while you're living in a rental. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
08:11
May 28, 2019
Moving? 🏠 How to Find + Research Safe Neighborhoods in Your New City | MELANIE ❤️ TAMPA BAY
The words "safe neighborhood" are included in just about every text or email I get from people looking to move. It's no surprise that you want to live in an area you consider safe, but everyone has a different definition of what feels safe to them. This is why I wanted to share some tools to help you navigate this issue. Real estate agents are not supposed to share their views on the safety of various neighborhoods, as it's against our code of ethics and violates the Fair Housing Act. Answering questions based on what we consider safe can get us into trouble both legally and ethically. Please understand why we cannot answer that question directly, but we can tell you about resources so you can make that decision based on your own research. We live in a time where information is right at our fingertips, so the search will start online. Realtor.com is a great place to start. Put your new city's name in the search criteria, click on any listing - then click the map. You'll see useful icons - but I will be focusing mainly on the CRIME button. Zoom out and you'll be able to see areas shaded based on crime statistics.  I also highly encourage you to check out city, municipality, and county websites for direct crime information and detailed maps.  Here are some in the Tampa Bay area: HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY http://gis.hcso.tampa.fl.us/PublicGIS/CrimeMapping/ CITY OF TAMPA https://www.tampagov.net/police/info/crime-statistics PINELLAS COUNTY http://egis.pinellascounty.org/apps/CrimeViewer/ Another website that I have found helpful for United States crime statistics is crimemapping.com - many cities are featured. One more thing you may want to look at is a sexual offender / predator map for the state you're moving to. Florida's version allows you to search by address to see where registered offenders live in proximity to the address. STATE OF FLORIDA SEXUAL PREDATOR MAP https://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/sops/search.jsf Obviously, maps can only tell you so much - but they are a solid starting point. Next - spend time and the money to visit where you want to live. Go to restaurants and shops, talk to locals. If you're a parent - find a local playground and talk to other parents. Go to potential schools and meet with administrators. Look up social media pages for that community to get information on prospective neighborhoods. Lots of factors go into deciding where you want to live, and safety is at the top of the priority list for most buyers and renters. The reality is - no location is 100% crime-free and everyone has a different opinion on what is safe to them. Take your time and do your research. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
05:04
May 14, 2019
Buying a Beach Vacation Rental Property: 5 Things You Need to Know from a Realtor
Have you been dreaming about a beachfront vacation home? One that you get to enjoy, but also pays for itself with rental income?  Are you ready to take the plunge, but not sure where to start here in the Tampa Bay area? I'm here to share some tips on buying a property at the beach. #1 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION It's the first rule in real estate for a reason, and very much applies to vacation rentals. There are two things to consider when evaluating locations. What type of location do you want for your own use, and what will renters want?  As you drive down the beach areas in Pinellas County, there are different towns with totally different vibes from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater. #2 MINIMUM RENTAL RESTRICTIONS If you're looking at condos, please know that nearly every condominium association has specific rental restrictions you will have to follow. Some allow for short term rentals, but others only permit longer time periods like six months or more.  Considering a single family home? Be sure to check the rules of individual towns or villages as some of them do have rental restrictions - especially for short term rentals or renting out rooms in homes.  #3 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Most of my clients who have purchased beach rental properties don't have the time and desire to advertise the home, handle the lease, collect rent, pay taxes, and deal with ongoing maintenance issues. Property managers tend to charge between 8 - 10% of the monthly rent for their services. It can save you a lot of headaches and keep you out of trouble - especially when dealing with state and local taxes. Owners that rent out a condo/home for less than 6 month periods are required to collect both a tourist development tax and sales tax - 13% in Pinellas County. #4 COSTS There are quite a few costs to consider from condo association fees, property taxes, insurance, property management fees, and general maintenance. These costs can add up, so crunch the numbers to see if you will actually net a profit. #5 KNOW YOUR SEASONS Rent prices vary depending on the season. Obviously, the winter months of January, February, and March are peak times for beach rentals. That's also when most Northerners want to actually use their beach house. If you're looking to maximize your rental profit, you may need to use your home during off-peak seasons.  BONUS TIP: Make sure you are working with a knowledgeable realtor with expertise in the areas you're looking to purchase in. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  Free sound effects from http://www.freesfx.co.uk  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
07:04
April 30, 2019
Worst Things About Living in Florida 🌴 Bugs, Severe Weather, Crazy News
Previously, I've highlighted mostly the good things about living in Florida and the Tampa Bay area. It's in my nature to do so, because I love these areas but no state or city is perfect so... Let's talk about the worst aspects about living in Florida. Why would I try to talk you out of moving to Florida? Because you need to relocate here with realistic expectations and with eyes wide open. My goal is that the people who choose to move here LOVE IT.  BUGS & CREEPY CRAWLIES POLITICS BAD DRIVERS  HEAT & HUMIDITY SINKHOLES CRAZY NEWS STORIES INCREASED POPULATION LIGHTNING, HURRICANES & STORMS INSURANCE COSTS ABOUT MELANIE LOVES TAMPA BAY: Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  Free sound effects from http://www.freesfx.co.uk  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
09:56
April 16, 2019
Psychology Behind Home Pricing 🏠 $399,900 or $400,000? | Realtor Talk
When it comes to items in the grocery store, pricing something at 99 cents is better than $1, but is the same thing true for pricing your house?  Recently, I read an interesting article on the Florida Realtor's website about the psychology of home pricing based on information presented by Robert McTague. https://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=378172  https://www.inman.com/2015/04/17/the-psychology-of-pricing-a-real-estate-property/  This is a topic that's always fascinated me, so I wanted to share this with you and break down what it means. WHAT ABOUT THOSE 9'S? Sellers and agents love home prices that end in 9's - they think it will make their listing seem like more of a bargain than the ones listed at $100 more. But you need to be careful, because you might be losing potential buyers. Here's why: buyers tend to search online in $25,000 increments. If your house is priced at $350,000 - it will be included in searches up to or starting at $350,000. Homes priced at $349,900 won't be shown to buyers who set a minimum price of $350,000.  It may be beneficial to use the 9 strategy for properties priced in the middle of a $25,000 increment such as $310,000 going to $309,900. However, the article also pointed out that luxury brands tend to price items at round numbers like $1,500 - so as a seller, you should want your house to convey luxury rather than bargain basement. ODD PRICES SEEM MORE LEGIT What if you price your house at $354,000 or $357,000 - does that help? It actually might. McTague says that a precise price suggests that the seller did a full analysis of what their house is worth, and the buyer might view that listing as having less room for negotiation.  COMMAS AND DECIMALS If you want to make your house seem more affordable, take out the commas and decimals from the price where you can. Buyers are more likely to see the price of $350000 as lower than $350,000.00. On the flip side, when you're negotiating or have a price decrease - add in all those commas and decimals. For example, you can market "Home Reduced $15,000.00!" that makes it look like a bigger discount. Hope you learned a few pricing strategies today! If you're looking to buy or sell a home in the Tampa Bay area - feel free to contact me. ABOUT MELANIE LOVES TAMPA BAY: Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
03:19
April 2, 2019
Living in Tampa / St. Petersburg 🌴 Things To Do, Job Opportunities, Where to Live
Moving to Tampa / St. Petersburg? Sharing lots of helpful information from things to do, where to live, cost of living, job opportunities, and more. WHERE TO LIVE Primary counties are Hillsborough (Tampa) and Pinellas (St. Petersburg / beaches). If you're considering a move here and prefer urban areas - you can choose between downtown Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg. Housing ranges from luxury high rise condos to historic bungalows. Other communities throughout the area include Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Hyde Park Village, Seminole Heights, and Ybor City. JOB OPPORTUNITIES The Tampa Bay area is home to the headquarters of Fortune 500 companies such as: Tech Data, Publix, Jabil, WellCare, and Raymond James. Other companies with a presence here include: Bloomin' Brands, Citigroup, Humana, USAA, JP Morgan Chase, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Progressive Insurance, and Mosaic.  There are endless opportunities here for anyone in healthcare, education, and the service industry. YEAR ROUND ACTIVITIES From beaches to water activities including boating, fishing, kite surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and scuba diving. Museums -  The Salvador Dalí Museum, Tampa Art Museum, Glazer Children's Museum, Museum of Science and Industry. Aquariums & Zoos - Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park Amusement Parks - Busch Gardens, Adventure Island We have festivals for just about everything and everyone. Breweries - the Tampa Bay area is very quickly becoming a destination for those who enjoy a great craft beer.  Music - Amalie Arena, Raymond James Stadium - these two host many of the most popular tours.  https://www.visittampabay.com/things-to-do/  SPORTS Home to three major sports teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (football), Tampa Bay Lightning (hockey), Tampa Bay Rays (baseball).  TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - consistently ranked one of the top in the nation. https://www.tampaairport.com/  COST OF LIVING The Tampa Bay area is very affordable in comparison with other cities in Florida. Our average housing costs are lower, and transportation is reasonable. Florida in general is an expensive state for all types of insurance, but at least you're not paying state income tax here! Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
10:14
March 26, 2019
Realtor Secrets 🏠 What Buyers REALLY Think of Your House
During my real estate career I've shown thousands of houses, and there's one thing that's true for almost all buyers: they make observations on your home as soon as they walk in and some of them are not so nice. Buyers need to connect with your home in a personal way in order to want to purchase it. They use all five of their senses and will often verbalize what they're thinking. Here are some of the most common (brutally honest) observations that I hear. SMELLS Whether it's food, cigarettes, or even overly aggressive air fresheners - nothing turns off a buyer faster than a smell that they don't like. Don't try and mask or cover up unpleasant odors - you need to get to the source and fix it. You may need to replace carpet, paint walls, clean out air ducts, or remove furniture - especially pieces that pets love to sit on. Don't cook any foods with pungent odors. PERSONAL PHOTOS I actually like when homes have a few pictures, despite what every real estate article and video recommends. Personally, I've never seen a buyer get turned off by a few lovely family photos. What you want to avoid are casual snapshots. You don't want buyers taking away too much of their time checking out your 2002 Spring Break photo collage. And lets talk about wedding photos - take down almost all of them. They could dredge up negative emotions for newly divorced buyers. NICKNAMES Your house will definitely get a nickname - every buyer does it. They come in, look at your house, remember one or two things about it and then give each house a nickname. Just the other day, I had a buyer refer to the "zebra house" because it had a cool picture of that animal above the couch. You want buyers to have a positive or neutral nickname, and not a strange personal item like tequila. I have found that buyers are much more likely to purchase homes with a positive nickname.  DIRT, DUST, HAIR It's really hard to keep a house clean with a family and pets living in it, but it's so important for the home to exude cleanliness. No dirty baseboards, dog hair on the floor, mold in the shower, or a dusty air filter. Buyers notice all of these things right away and it's a huge turn off. Do a deep cleaning before you list your home, and then spend the money to have someone come weekly for upkeep while you are showing it.   IS THIS HOUSE WORTH THE PRICE?  Almost immediately, a buyer will make an assessment of what they think your house is worth, usually based on how much work they feel it needs. Buyers tend to overestimate the cost of cosmetic changes, so make easy ones before listing - modern paint colors, removing wallpaper, updating light and plumbing fixtures, and replacing worn carpet. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com   Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
07:29
March 19, 2019
Mortgage Tips for First Time Home Buyers: Why Credit Score Matters
Getting mortgage tips for first time home buyers and talking credit with Patrick Storch of The Mortgage Firm Tampa. So you've just graduated from college, got a great job, and live in a city you want to stay in... What are your first steps to buying a home in terms of getting a mortgage?  According to Patrick, recent college grads may be able to step into home ownership sooner than they think and qualify for a mortgage. In some instances, education can substitute for being on the job for a few years.  Credit score REALLY matters for anyone who wants to qualify for a home loan. Lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio (how much income and debt you have), credit score, and assets.  Some first time home buyer programs only require a 3% down payment.  The higher your credit score, the better it is for a mortgage loan interest rate and qualifying. How to establish credit? -Get a couple credit cards (2 max) -Don't max out credit cards, pay them off monthly -Always pay bills on time (credit cards, debt, utilities, phone bill) Your Mortgage Credit Report is then pulled by lenders like Patrick. 580 credit score typically the lowest you can have to qualify for a mortgage, but ideally your credit score should be 700+. The Mortgage Firm Tampa / Patrick Storch https://www.closemymortgagetampa.com/ Call or apply online. 📲 813-616-8844 🖥  8471 West Linebaugh Ave.  Tampa, FL 33625 Monday - Friday: 8:30AM - 5:30PM Evenings & Weekends: By Appointment NMLS # 189233 | 228635 Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates.  She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate.  melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com   Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
18:41
February 26, 2019
Living in Florida: What's it REALLY Like? (Cost of Living, Weather, Traffic, Alligators, Perks)
What is it really like to live in the state of Florida? This episode is focused on the perks and reality of the Sunshine State. If you don't live here or have never visited, it's easy to create your own version of Florida and I get all sorts of questions. WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ALLIGATORS? Alligators are a big part of our world here in Florida, and they've been here for a lot longer than us people have. For the most part, they stay away from humans. Alligators migrate, so a pond or lake without any could get a gator a few months down the line. Alligators only become a problem when they lose their fear of humans, which can happen if they are being fed. https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/alligator/  WHAT'S IT LIKE LIVING SO CLOSE TO BEACHES? Sandy... It's really sandy. I fully understand that beaches are a big reason people move here. They are so beautiful and there's nothing better than watching a sunset while sitting in the sand. The West Coast of Florida has some of the best! HOW'S THE TRAFFIC? Just like all major cities, we have traffic headaches, mostly during rush hours. If there's a wreck on a major highway like I-75 or I-275, it can cause significant delays. We see a spike in vehicles on the road during peak tourist season: January through March. Beaches get very crowded and I-4 to Walt Disney World can see a lot of activity.  https://www.fdot.gov/statistics/trafficdata/ DISCOUNTS ON AMUSEMENT PARKS? Yes! Florida residents can purchase discounted tickets and annual passes to your favorite amusement parks.  https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/resident-stay-rooms/details/ https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/park-tickets/flr/index.html https://www.legoland.com/florida/buy-tickets/tickets/ FLORIDA'S COST OF LIVING That really depends on what you're used to. If you're coming from the northeast or California, then no, it isn't expensive to live in Florida. But compared to other southern states, Florida can be more expensive. WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER??? Weather is a major concern for new residents and it should be. Hurricanes are a possibility and we do have days with intense storms and flooding. Yes, it's hot and humid lasting well into the fall months, but this is a tropical climate and that's normal. Makes for some bad hair days, but also keeps your skin and eyes from drying out. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
09:26
February 5, 2019
2019 Home Prices: Are We in a Balanced Housing Market?
What if the housing market isn't a seller's market or a buyer's market? Does that mean we're headed into a balanced housing market? Lately I've been asked about another possible housing bubble. We have enjoyed a very healthy and fast-paced market for several years now in Florida. Prices are much higher than they were when this positive trend started, and that worries people because they naturally wonder how high prices can go before they start to fall. Well, the short answer to that question is NO. I don't think we're going to experience another bubble, followed by a crash like 2008 to 2011. The market is different this time around, and lending requirements have changed.  What I do think is happening is that the prices and sales frenzy are slowing down, which makes it seem like the market itself is going down - but is it? Think of it this way... When you're in an airport on one of those moving sidewalks, you feel like you're really zooming along. All of a sudden you step off and it's like you're moving at a snail's pace. But, you are actually moving at a normal pace - it just feels slower. That same concept is true for a housing market that's cooling off. When the market slows down, it's like stepping off the moving sidewalk. It feels like a big difference, but we're still moving forward, albeit at a slower pace. And that's okay! I promise. In the past two decades, we have become so used to unbalanced markets. First, we had the extreme seller's market in the mid-2000s, which quickly turned into a buyer's market by 2009. A few years of that led us to the seller's market we have experienced for the last couple of years. We've been riding a roller coaster! But here's the thing: When it's a seller's market, they have all the power and buyers feel like the inferior party in the transaction.  When it's a buyer's market, sellers are tripping over themselves to attract buyers among a lot of competition.  For so many years, one party or the other has had all the power. When inventory rises, but there are still a healthy number of buyers (which there are in Florida), the market balances and prices won't continue to climb at the same speed. I realize you don't like to hear that your home value isn't increasing like it once was, but prices can't go up indefinitely. We all know that.  They either have to go down or slow down, and I'll take slowing down any day. But here's the beauty of a balanced housing market - everybody has to do their part. Sellers who prep their home to perfection will benefit from more buyers wanting their home. Buyers who have been struggling to find homes will have a better opportunity to find the perfect one. With Love, Melanie Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com   Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com   Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Love
05:10
January 29, 2019
What is the Gasparilla Pirate Festival + Parade ??? 🏴‍☠️ Tampa Traditions
For anyone who doesn't live in Tampa, Gasparilla can be a real head scratcher - what is it? Mid-January, us Tampa Bay residents are getting our beads ready. So what is Gasparilla? Gasparilla Pirate Festival was inspired by the legend of Jose Gaspar, who supposedly was a Spanish Naval officer-turned-pirate back in the late 18th century and early 19th century who plundered the waters of the West Coast of Florida. Now, there is no actual evidence that this really happened, but nobody cares about that little detail. Back in 1904, the story of Jose Gaspar was unearthed and Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla adopted him as a patron rogue of their city-wide celebration. That celebration has been evolving ever since, and now the Gasparilla invasion and pirate parade is the third largest parade in the United States, attracting around 300,000 people to the city of Tampa. Even though the pirate invasion is the main draw, there are lots of other Gasparilla-themed events that take place over several weeks: Children's Gasparilla Parade - family-friendly, bead-throwing good time for all ages. Parade route runs along Bayshore Boulevard, and this usually takes place the week before the main pirate invasion. Alcohol-free event. http://gasparillapiratefest.com/childrens-fest/ Gasparilla Parade of Pirates presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla - held on the last Saturday in January, Ye Mystic Krewe fearlessly pilots their ship up Tampa Bay, firing off cannons until it reaches the city shore. Once there, they demand the key to the city from the mayor. When the mayor gives up the key, they have a victory parade up Bayshore Boulevard, and the pirates take over for one not-so-fearful afternoon. http://gasparillapiratefest.com/ http://ymkg.com/ Even if you're not a 'parade person,' you should still make your day downtown and enjoy the festivities throughout the day at the local bars and restaurants. Sant'Yago Illuminated Knight Parade  http://www.knightparade.com/ Gasparilla International Film Festival https://www.gasparillafilmfestival.com/ Gasparilla Festival of the Arts http://gasparillaarts.com/ Gasparilla Music Festival  https://gasparillamusic.com/ If you aren't from Tampa and want to join us for the invasion, we hope you do! It is always a fun and memorable time for everybody! With Love, Melanie Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com  Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
04:42
January 17, 2019
Tampa Bay Woman of the Year - Helping Local Families
Hello friends, Very excited to announce that I’m running as a candidate for the Westchase Charitable Foundation Tampa Bay Woman of the Year! The Westchase Charitable Foundation is a non-profit, public charity started in 2004. It relies on fundraising to support families who have either children or parents battling a serious illness or assisting people in the community and beyond who are faced with a family tragedy.  Since its inception, the Westchase Charitable Foundation has provided over $500,000 in direct financial grants to families around the Tampa Bay area. Even though the name references Westchase, over 90% of the grant recipients reside outside of the Westchase area. So to all of my friends and Tampa Bay community - I humbly ask for your support, and there are several ways you can get involved. http://www.westchasefoundation.org/candidate/melanie-atkinson/ The Tampa Bay Woman of the Year event takes place Saturday March 2, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Sheltair, which is in the jet center across from International Plaza. Previous events have attracted 500 - 600 people. It is a beautiful venue and there will be a live band, live and silent auctions, food & drinks, private jets to tour, and so much more.    I've attended in the past and it's a great time! The most impactful way to support the organization is to become a sponsor. I am looking for business or personal sponsorships ranging from $1,000 - $15,000. If you're a local business that wants to get behind a strong cause, I would love to talk to you. Restaurants/food & beverage distributors - we're also looking for anyone who wants to set up a station to provide food and drinks to guests - the more the better! Have things you'd like to donate for the live or silent auction? This could be smaller or big ticket, anything helps! Of course, another way to support my candidacy for Tampa Bay Woman of the Year is to go to the event on March 2nd and have a wonderful night out. Tickets are available now. Early bird pricing is in effect until February 8 - $60/per person for general admission, $80 after February 8. Register now and don't forget to put my name in the box that asks: "Which candidate are you supporting?" BUY TICKETS: https://tbwoy19.auction-bid.org/microsite/ Finally, I'm also selling 50/50 raffle tickets for $100 each. You do not have to be present to win, so this is a great way to participate if you live out of the area or won't be in town. 📞 Call/text 813.368.6084 or email me at matkinson@smithandassociates.com  Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084  DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change. 
05:22
January 15, 2019
Mortgage Interest Rates Explained: A Brief History 🏠 Should You Buy a Home?
Let's dive into home mortgage interest rates, as I've been getting a lot of questions about this topic. We hear on the news all about rising rates and wonder how that will affect the housing market. Well, I wish I could whip out a crystal ball and tell you exactly what will happen with rates and the market, but that's just not possible. Let's break down data showing you mortgage interest rates from a historical perspective, then show you what your money can buy. This chart is from Freddie Mac, showing the annual average mortgage rate for fixed-rate loans since 1972. When I pulled this data, November and December 2018 had not been posted yet, so the average that you see is for rates from January through October. It seems almost unbelievable that people were paying over 16 percent for their mortgages, but they were at that time. For an entire decade, rates never averaged below 10 percent. Even in more recent times (ie: 2000), rates averaged over 8 percent. When we saw the peak of the housing market in the mid-2000s in Tampa, rates weren't at rock bottom. They were in the high 5 to low 6 percent range. Since then, rates have moved significantly lower. In 2016, rates dropped to an average of 3.65 percent. Yes, it would have been great to lock in a 30-year mortgage at the 2016 rate, but life happens and maybe you weren't ready to buy a house then. Don't beat yourself up about the rates being lower, they had to rise at some point - that's just basic economics. Instead, focus on how rates are still very reasonable compared to previous decades. Disclaimer: I am a real estate agent, please get in touch with a licensed mortgage broker for specifics on your situation. If you don't have someone already, I can help you connect with a great one. Obviously, no one wants to pay more for their borrowed money than they have to, but rates are still very low compared to previous rates. So, should you look to buy in the upcoming year even though it looks like interest rates are going to be higher compared to the past few years? As a real estate agent, my answer is to ask you some follow up questions. Do you need a new home? Can you afford it? Have you been renting for a long time and now want to take advantage of the tax benefits of owning a home? (PS: mortgage interest is tax deductible!) If the answer to any of those questions is yes, than buy a house. Don't let the interest rates get in the way of that goal. Historically, rates are still low. Do your research and partner up with a great real estate agent and mortgage lender - happy house hunting! If you're looking in the Tampa Bay area - give me a call/text as I'd love to help you! Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
07:14
December 18, 2018
Building New Construction Homes 🏠 How to Get Financing / Loans
Many of you may be looking to build that dream home, but you're gonna need to pay for it! Special guest in this edition of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay: Shawn Eckley / Vice President at BB&T and expert in construction loans is here to answer your questions about getting financing for new construction homes. Construction-to-permanent loans combine your lot and construction financing in a single loan. When your home is complete, the lender modifies your construction to a permanent mortgage. There is one upfront closing and only one set of closing costs. There are typically two scenarios for construction-to-permanent financing. 1) You own the lot already and find a builder 2) Find and purchase a lot while working with a builder Shawn recommends that anyone looking to build their own new construction home select a builder before purchasing the lot, as once you put a contract on the land - you likely will only have 45-60 days to close, and it can take at least that long to find a builder. Some builders in the Tampa Bay area own vacant lots with a home already planned for the property and they are looking to connect with buyers. That was the situation when I built my custom home, which made that part of the process a little easier. Expect lenders to require at least 20 percent as a down payment on construction loans, with that percentage rising on loans over $1 million. Many lenders are getting away from 10 percent down payments on construction-to-perm loans because it's tough to get mortgage insurance since the home isn't completed yet. Lenders such as BB&T handle draws (scheduled payments to the builder) as work is completed on the home and inspected. Construction loans can also be utilized on purchase-remodels for home buyers interested in properties in need of renovations. Buyers make interest-only payments until the home is completed, and there are several different fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage products available. Contact Shawn Eckley if you are looking into building a new home or buying and remodeling an older home - he is able to service customers in any area where BB&T has an office. NMLS ID: 415207 Mobile: 813.293.8093 Office: 813.314.3218 Email: sEckley@bbandt.com https://www.bbt.com/seckley More about BB&T's construction-to-permanent loan program: https://www.bbt.com/lending/mortgage/building-a-home.page I hope this information helps all of you out there thinking about buying a new construction home. Give me a call if you're in the Tampa Bay area, and I'd love to help you! Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
13:33
November 6, 2018
Realtor's Advice on Buying New Construction Homes 🏠
Have you fallen in love with one of those perfect model homes in a new construction neighborhood? I love them, too. In this edition of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay, I'm sharing tips on how to be a smart buyer for new houses. Buying a resale house versus new construction are very different processes. #1 - WORK WITH A REALTOR #2 - UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT COSTS OF NEW CONSTRUCTION #3 - NEGOTIATING WITH BUILDERS #4 - CLOSING COSTS #5 - CONSTRUCTION TIME EXPECTATIONS I hope this information helps all of you out there thinking about buying a new construction home. Give me a call if you're in the Tampa Bay area, and I'd love to help you! Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
11:51
October 30, 2018
Tampa House Tour! Realtor's Tips for Maximizing Space in Your Home
Welcome to my house! We're taking a tour to show you a few rooms I've re-purposed in order to maximize space and stay organized to get the most out of my square footage. If you want to see how a Tampa Bay area real estate agent lives and sets up a home - here's your chance. Workout Room - This was intended to be an office or an additional bedroom. Instead, I had the same hardwood floors run into the room and moved my home gym equipment in. It's great for me, because it has a glass paneled door and good acoustics. If you have the space, investing in the equipment is worthwhile and saves you money and time compared to a gym membership as long as you have the personal motivation to exercise. Breakfast Nook - My home's layout features an open concept kitchen / eating space / family room. I can fit a large table into the breakfast nook and just don't have a need for a formal dining room. Many new construction floor plans are incorporating bigger areas for breakfast nooks, which are becoming the primary dining/entertaining spots. Home Office - Formal dining room turned work space. You don't necessarily need an office in a closed off room. I prefer working in an open area, which is why I chose this room with lots of natural light at the front of the house. The trick with having a home office in such a prominent spot is keeping it presentable and organized. Real estate agents work anywhere and everywhere and we need a highly functional set up at home. Utilize pieces of furniture with lots of built in storage. If you have ideas / recommendations on how to maximize the square footage in your home, leave a comment! NOTE: This episode relies heavily on visuals - there's a YouTube video available so you can see everything I'm referring to: https://youtu.be/ustb6Xmx44M Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
04:58
October 24, 2018
Best Tampa Restaurants You Need to Try 🍽️ Top Eats from Fine Dining to Casual
The food scene here in Tampa is growing and changing - it can be hard to keep up with all of the new places to eat. From the most well-known to hidden gems, I'm sharing recommendations for some of my favorite restaurants from casual to fine dining. BERN'S STEAK HOUSE bernssteakhouse.com/ ULELE www.ulele.com/ ARMATURE WORKS armatureworks.com/ COLUMBIA RESTAURANT www.columbiarestaurant.com/ ON SWANN www.onswann.com/ CIRO'S SPEAKEASY AND SUPPER CLUB www.cirostampa.com/ CW'S GIN JOINT cwginjoint.com/ BIG RAY'S FISH CAMP www.bigraysfishcamp.com/ DONATELLO ITALIAN RESTAURANT www.donatellotampa.com/ JIMBO'S PIT BAR B-Q www.jimbosbarbq.com/ METRO DINER metrodiner.com/ DAILY EATS www.ilovedailyeats.com/ OXFORD EXCHANGE oxfordexchange.com/ Now that I'm good and hungry, I gotta go find a place to eat for lunch! There are still so many restaurants left to talk about in the Tampa Bay area, so I'll do another restaurant-themed episode again. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
07:12
October 16, 2018
Smart Home Technology Products 📱 Easy to Use
Sharing some of my favorite new smart home technology products that are also easy to use! I have a love / hate relationship with smart home technology. Although I love the convenience and functions of some of the products, I also get very frustrated when they don't work or they're hard to understand. I was more recently introduced to a few products that I hadn't used before and installed a few more. It is important to note that I do not use a central home system like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. I prefer to manage all of my technologies individually through apps on my phone. Some of the products highlighted here do work with Alexa, Google, or Nest. LIFTMASTER GARAGE DOOR OPENER WITH MYQ https://www.liftmaster.com/myq/myq-smart-home?gclid WEMO LIGHT SWITCH https://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F7C030/ RING DOORBELL https://www.amazon.com/Ring-Wi-Fi-Enabled-Doorbell-Nickel/dp/B00N2ZDXW2 KWIKSET SMARTCODE ENTRY KEY PADS https://kwiksethardware.com/?page=products&manufacturerID=101&collectionID=268192 Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
05:25
October 9, 2018
Real Estate Agent: Honest Advice, Lessons + My Worst Year
Experienced Tampa Bay Realtor Melanie Atkinson with Smith & Associates shares her story of how she became a real estate agent, highs and lows in the real estate industry, advice for surviving downturns in the market, and her worst year in the business - making $11,000 in 2011 during America's recession. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
10:56
October 2, 2018
5 Home Selling 🏡 Pitfalls You Need to Avoid
Selling your home? While you've probably seen information out there on this topic, we're diving a little deeper in this episode. Here are my 5 home selling pitfalls you need to be aware of and avoid: #1 - PACKING #2 - FINANCING #3 - TITLE #4 - INSPECTION #5 - THE APPRAISAL Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
08:31
September 25, 2018
Swimming Pools 💦Maintenance, Costs + Buying a House w/Pool
Thinking about buying a house with a pool? There's a lot you need to know about owning and maintenance when it comes to swimming pools. Fellow Smith & Associates real estate agent Travis Long is here to help, as he's also a licensed pool service contractor. Top 3 things to consider: 1) LIFESTYLE 2) POOL INSPECTION 3) MAINTENANCE Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
10:45
September 18, 2018
Buying a House: Practical Home Features to Consider
Buying a house? There are lots of practical, utilitarian features in a home that can be overlooked and underappreciated. - Gutters - Pre-wires & Pre-plumbs - Utility Tubs - Outdoor Water Lines - Permanent Garage Shelving - Storm Shutters I encourage all of my buyers to pay attention to the big and little upgrades in a home. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Information provided is subject to change.
05:10
September 11, 2018
5 Reasons Why Dating is Just Like Buying a House 🏠
A comparison I've used often over the years with buyers is comparing dating to home buying. Here are my 5 reasons why: 1) TECHNOLOGY 2) FLAWS 3) THE RIGHT FIT 4) APPROVAL 5) THE PRETTY FACE I wish you the very best both in home and love searching! Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Info subject to change.
07:32
September 4, 2018
All About Tampa's Westchase Area Neighborhoods | EPISODE 3
In a previous episode, I talked about the Westchase community, but what about the surrounding area? Let's get into those neighborhoods right now! If you're considering moving to this part of Tampa, it's important to understand all of your options. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Info subject to change.
10:41
August 28, 2018
All About Tampa's Westchase Neighborhoods | EPISODE 2
What has made Westchase one of the most popular Tampa Bay area neighborhoods for more than 20 years? That's an easy question. In this episode - we will touch on the specific neighborhoods, school zones, community amenities, where to eat, and places to go! WORLD OF WESTCHASE MAGAZINE: http://www.westchasewow.com/ Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Info subject to change.
08:21
August 19, 2018
Welcome to Melanie Loves Tampa Bay! | EPISODE 1
Welcome to the launch of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay! Subscribe if you want to learn about real estate, home ownership, and life in the Tampa Bay area. Melanie is a Tampa Bay area Realtor with Smith & Associates. She loves Tampa Bay area area, houses, and helping clients buy and sell real estate. http://melanielovestampabay.com Email: matkinson@smithandassociates.com Call/text me if you are looking to buy / sell a home in the Tampa Bay area! 813.368.6084 DISCLAIMER: All content provided on melanielovestampabay.com and the Melanie Loves Tampa Bay YouTube channel/social media platforms is for informational/entertainment purposes only. The owner of Melanie Loves Tampa Bay makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Information provided is subject to change, please consult Melanie directly or another licensed real estate agent to receive the best expertise for your specific situation.
03:20
August 14, 2018