Real Estate TipsTampa Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

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

July 29, 2020

Is it a good time to buy a house in Tampa FL?

Is it a good time to buy a house in Tampa FL?

Of course there is not a simple black and white answer, that would be too easy. Withe the covid-19 virus still rearing its ugly head the expectation would be for home prices to begin to drop. However that has not been the case so far. 

Listing inventory is down compared to this time last year and has caused a pike in home prices with competing offers. Interest rates are still at an all time low with no real signs of increasing.


Buying sooner than later could be the wise decision!

Market Report

Market Report Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Market Snapshot: Estimated Home Values












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Thismap layer shows the average estimated home values, based on the AVMsand RVMs® for properties in an area. Source(s): Public recordsand MLS data where licensed; updated Quarterly.


Median Est. Home Value


Updated: 6/30/2020



About this Data: Estimated home values are generated by a valuation model and are not formal appraisals. Valuations are based on public records and MLS data where licensed. The metrics shown here reflect All Residential Properties data.

Tampa, Florida

Market Snapshot: 12-Month Change in Estimated Value

















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Thismap layer shows the change in estimated home valuesover the past 12 months, based on the AVMs and RVMs® for properties in an area. Source(s): Public recordsand MLS data where licensed; updated Quarterly.


Median Est. Home Value


Updated: 6/30/2020



About this Data: Estimated home values are generated by a valuation model and are not formal appraisals. Valuations are based on public records and MLS data where licensed. The metrics shown here reflect All Residential Properties data.


Tampa, Florida

Market Snapshot: Concentration of Distressed Properties




Thismap layer shows the concentration of distres ed properties, in areas where RPR has MLS data. Source(s): MLS data; updated Quarterly.


Total # of


# of


# of


# of

Distressed Properties


Updated: 7/29/2020








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About this data: The metrics displayed here reflect distressed property counts (listings and public records) for All Residential Properties as of 7/29/2020.



Market Snapshot: Sales Price

Tampa, Florida












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Thismap layer shows the average sales price for properties sold in the previous six months, in areas where RPR has MLS data. Source(s): MLS data; updated Quarterly.



Median Sales Price


Updated: 6/30/2020





About this data: The Metrics displayed here reflect median sales price for All Residential Properties using MLS listing data.



Market Snapshot: List Price

Tampa, Florida












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Thismap layer shows the average listing price for properties in the previous six months, in areas where RPR has MLS data. Source(s): MLS data; updated Quarterly.



Median List Price


Updated: 6/30/2020



About RPR (Realtors Property Resource)

Realtors Property Resource® is a whollyowned subsidiaryof the National Association REALTORS®.

RPR offers comprehensive data – including a nationwide database of 164 million properties – as well as powerful analytics and dynamic reports exclusively for members of the NAR.

RPR's focus is giving residential and commercial real estate practitioners, brokers, and MLS and Association staff the tools theyneed to serve their clients.

This report has been provided to you bya member of the NAR.



About RPR's Data

RPR generates and compiles real estate and other data from a vast arrayof sources. The data contained in your report includes some or all of the following:

Listing data from our partner MLSs and CIEs, and related calculations, like estimated value for a propertyor median sales price for a local market.

Public records data including tax, assessment, and deed information. Foreclosure and distressed data from public records.

Market conditions and forecasts based on listing and public records data.

Census and employment data from the U.S. Census and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Demographics and trends data from Esri. The data in commercial and economic reports includes Tapestry Segmentation, which classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics.

Business data including consumer expenditures, commercial market potential, retail marketplace, SIC and NAICS business information, and banking potential data from Esri.

School data and reviews from Niche.

Specialty data sets such as walkability scores, traffic counts and flood zones.


Update Frequency


Listings and public records data are updated on a continuous basis.

Charts and statistics calculated from listing and public records data are refreshed monthly.

Other data sets range from daily to annual updates.


Learn more

For more information about RPR, please visit RPR's public website:

Posted in Tampa Fl
July 28, 2020

The Florida Housing Market

The Tampa Housing Market

The phone is still ringing, the online showing requests and property inquiries are still coming the in and we are now showing homes both in person and virtually. 

According to Amy Scott in her May 8th article titled Housing Market Show Signs of Thaw she states "Strong buyer demand hasn’t faded, and some now think April’s downturn was a pause so agents, buyers and sellers could figure out how virtual home selling works" and I am in total agreement. 

The activity level for home buying has definitely made some corrections to leftist. We are seeing what would have been strong home buyer candidates who have lower credit stores, but may have qualified in the past being turned away by current lender standards. It has become harder for mortgage brokers to shop these loans and we are seeing necessary scores in the 660's. That's not to say there are still not lenders able to finance loans at the old 580 score. It's simply a matter of identifying those lenders and making sure the you are using a lender who underwrites their own loans and has the liquid capital behind it.

July 27, 2020

How to Use the Basic Home Search

July 27, 2020

How to use the advanced home search tool

Advanced Home Search Tool!

May 13, 2020

Pasco County Parks changing for the future

Great news for Pasco County residents!  While our parks were closed, nice improvements were made.  Pasco County is fast becoming a highly desirable place to live thanks to beautiful wide-open spaces, a growing job market and excellent housing choices.  Take a look at this video message to learn more about some of nature's finest spots in Pasco County.  Interested in exploring the house options?
Experience the Team Z difference!

Pasco County Parks changing for the future

View Pasco County Homes and Real Estate

To View the entire Article click here!

May 12, 2020

Cypress Preserve

Cypress Preserve in Land O Lakes Florida

Take a look at this wonderful community in Land O Lakes Florida.

View Just Listed Homes for Sale in Cypress Preserve

March 31, 2020

Realtors Deemed Essential Service

Homeland Security Deems Real Estate an Essential Service

An advisory opinion helps “officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring … public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”

WASHINGTON – Officials say new federal guidance should signal to state and local officials the need to allow construction and real estate activity to continue during coronavirus-related work stoppages.

The guidance includes a 15-page list of essential services, and “residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services,” are listed on page 13. It also includes real estate support services, such as government offices that conduct title searches and notary and recording services that support mortgage loans and the real estate industry. READ MORE

Feb. 28, 2020

Can I Get Closing Cost Help from a Seller?

What Percentage Rate?Your agent needs to know what loan would work best for you and how you can utilize the sellers contribution to your closing costs. Different loans have different guidelines on how much a seller can contribute to a buyers closing costs.


In the case of a USDA loan a buyer can get as much as 6% of the sales price in sellers contributions that can be used toward closing costs, prepaid expenses, discount points, and other closing costs. You could potentially get into a home with paying nothing out of pocket


On a VA loan the seller may contribute up to 4% of the sale price, plus reasonable and customary loan costs. Because he VA loan contribution can include additional reasonable and customary loan costs the actual amount is calculated a bit differently and it would be best to talk to your lender on how much of a contribution you could actually get


 While an FHA loan requires a 3.5% down payment to the loan, a buyer can get as much as 6% of the sales price in sellers contributions that can be used toward closing costs, prepaid expenses, discount points, and other closing costs.FHA Loans


The conventional loan has more of a sliding scale used for seller contributions. If you are putting less than 10% down on the home the maximum seller contribution is 3%. A buyer putting 10 to 25% down can receive as much as a 6% seller contribution, while a buyer putting down 25% or more may get as much as 9%.


So what do you do if you are getting $9,000 in closing costs but you actual closing costs are only $6,500? If you don't use it you LOSE it! You as the buyer don't get to pocket that money, it would go back to the seller's bottom line. What can you do to use that money? Talk to your lender, see how much it would cost to pay down your mortgage rate, or perhaps pay the funding fee for a USDA, VA or FHA loan? Each program is different on how that extra contribution can be applied so talk to your agent and lender!

Feb. 27, 2020

The Top home loans for 2020

Finding the best loan

Finding the best loan for you doesn't have to be a difficult process, especially if you know your score, how much you have to put down and how much you have for closing costs.  FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional? This is sooooo confusing! But here is some information that you may find useful!


An FHA is a loan that is backed by the federal government. It affords mortgages for lower credit scores as low as 500 (however down payments will be higher, as much as 10%).  A credit score of 580 can afford you the opportunity of putting as little as 3.5% down. The downside as the borrower is you pay mortgage insurance (an upfront premium of 1.75% of the loan amount and an annual premium of between .45

% to 1.05% annually, which protects the lender on default. Terms on the FHA loan can be 15 or 30 years at a fixed rate. This loan is best if you can't qualify for a conventional loan due to credit OR if you don't have a lot of cash saved to put down on the home.


Equal Opportunity LendersA VA Loan is a loan made to veterans of the military who can acquire a certificate of eligibility, which can be acquired online at or through your chosen lender. The VA loan is made by private lenders that are partially backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA loan allows for 100% financing of the loan amount and is more flexible with its more lenient credit and income restrictions. Having your Realtor understand the VA process is critical to getting you the best possible outcome for the VA loan. You could potentially get into a home with ZERO out of pocket, to include closing costs!


 The USDA loan is a 100% no money down mortgage made available that is backed through the US Department

of Agriculture. It is geographically restricted as it offers loans in more rural areas. The loan is only offered as a fixed rate product. Although the USDA loan does require an upfront mortgage insurance premium




Conventional is a mortgage loan for scores starting at 620 with down payments as low as 3%. Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) can be 

.05% to 1% of the loan amount per year. Terms on the Conventional  loan can be 10, 15, 20 or 30 years at either a variable or a fixed rate. If you have cash on hand for down payment and closing costs than the conventional mortgage could be the best loan for you.  Lenders of conventional loans are not as restricted as government backed loans, although the government has special rules for over site, lenders can set their own guidelines.

Tampa Mortgage Lenders | Home Loans

Seattle home sellers guide
Szabina Kiss
Ocean Blue Mortgage
NMLS# 1209397

Loan Consultant
14562 Vista Ln
Largo, Florida 33774
Office: (727) 859-3702

Apply Now with Szabina Kiss at Ocean Blue Mortgage
Chaz Johnson
Chaz Johnson
Loan Depot
NMLS# 208399

Loan Consultant
3903 Northdale Blvd. Suite 140W
Tampa, FL 33624
Office: (813) 523-4904
Cell: 813 391 1070
Apply with Chaz Johnson at Loan Depot

Shop Lenders

How Much Can I Afford?

Don't be afraid to shop a few lenders to see who may give you the best deal. In these days of technology it is easy to gain access about your credit score before you even need to apply.  Banks like Wells Fargo offer free credit score programs where you can see your score through your account.


Make sure you have an idea of how your credit shapes up. Things may have happened in the past to cause you to be late on payments for your car or credit card and they will negatively affect your score. More commonly unpaid medical bills may appear from past medical bills that you may or may not even be aware of. Getting these things cleaned up prior to you applying for a mortgage would be to your advantage.


Based on your score you can search the internet for rates, however any rate you see will be subject to a review of an and all documents necessary for your loan.  Therefore it can change. Some of my clients have used the inline lending companies, however I have found that the more local lenders understand the market in Tampa Bay and more importantly know the Florida home buying process.


You can ask your Realtor for a few lenders they may have used for transactions. You may find the transactions may run a bit smoother that way!


Remember ask questions and always read any fine print on any lending documents so there are no surprises!


Mark Zabilowicz
Mark and Jeanmarie Zabilowicz
Tampa Bay Premier Realty
SL# 3144719
Team Z Realtor / Partner
5314 Van Dyke Rd
Lutz, Florida 33558
Direct: (813) 694-4110
5 Star Raing
Best Of Zillow


Posted in buying a home, Mortgage
Feb. 19, 2020

Best Places to Live in Florida New Port Richey

So you have decided to visit the wonderful Tampa suburb of New Port Richey, one of the best places to live in Florida. Now that you are here, you are looking for things to do. Well, you stumbled upon the right article!

Just Listed Homes in New Port Richey

New Port Richey is known for its low cost of living, condensed population, and its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico coast. But it also has a large volume of parks within the city’s limits, which is a very nice feature. Let’s take a closer look at a handful of them.

Here are 4 parks you need to visit while in New Port Richey:

Sims Park and Orange Lake Park

Donated to the city by George R. Sims in 1924, Sims Park is the crown jewel of New Port Richey. There is a splash pad that is open from 9 a.m. until a half hour before sunset every day. Other amenities include a boat dock, amphitheater, riverfront walk, kayak/canoe Launch, a playground, and 5 pavilions (2 of which have grills). The park is also pet friendly. 

New Port Richey Blue Heron

It is located at 6341 Bank Street and was rated by Tripadvisor as the No. 1 thing to do in New Port Richey.

Riverfront Homes in New Port Richey

Cotee River Park

Cotee River Park is yet another must-see destination in New Port Richey. Located at 8625 Riverview Drive, this park gives you a great view of the Pithlachascotee River, commonly referred to as “Cotee River.” Here is how the park is described:t

“One can walk or bike along the Cotee River from downtown New Port Richey all the way to the city limits. You’ll find plenty of benches and shaded picnic structures along the way to stop and enjoy the boats and manatees going by.”

Frances Avenue Park

Located at 5580 Frances Avenue, Frances Avenue Park is at the beginning of the Florida Canoe Trail. It offers a kayak/canoe launch, a playground, picnic areas, and more. There are also multiple open grassy areas. Here is how the park is described:

“This park is a nice tranquil location that seems more rural than it actually is. With wide open grassy areas, a ADA accessible playground, covered picnic areas, and river access, it’s a great place for relaxing, hosting a family reunion, or your next community barbecue!”

James E. Grey Preserve

This little find is located at 6938 Plathe Road. Sure it has all the prerequisites (picnic tables, grills, playground, canoe/kayak launch, etc), but it is so much more than that. Here is what else it has to offer:

“A hidden treasure of 80 acres of natural wilderness just minutes from downtown New Port Richey where a quiet rural boardwalk follows the winding path of the River. The Preserve is part of the Great Florida Birding trail.”

3 Great Bars In New Port Richey

New Port Richey, Florida is known for its vast array of parks and open areas, low cost of living, and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. But there is more to the city than just those three pillars. What happens if you come to town and get a little bit thirsty? Don’t fret — New Port Richey has you covered and so do we.

There are plenty of local bars to choose from, but we will help you narrow it down. Here are three of the best bars in New Port Richey that you need to visit tonight:
New Port Richey Bars

Homes for sale within walking distance to downtown New Port Richey

Sand Bar

Your first stop on your New Port Richey bar hop should be right here at Sand Bar. It doesn’t matter how early you get here, either. Their full bar is available starting at 7 a.m. everyday. Yes, 7 a.m.!

Sand Bar is open 365 days a year and has a twice-daily happy hour. On the food side, they are known for their fish and chips (“Fingers and Toes”) and their wings. They have 16 beers on tap as well as an assortment of bottled/canned beers and liquor. 

The bar also features ping pong tables, karaoke, more than 40 TVs (including three 80-inch TVs), and table-side speakers. 

Sand Bar has been in business for 30 years and has a 5-star rating on Yelp. If you can only make it to one bar in town, this is it! It is located at 4780 US 19. 


If you are looking for something a little more upscale, Sip is the place for you. It is a wine and craft beer bar and restaurant located at 6231 Grand Boulevard. 

Sip has a massive selection of red, white, and specialty wines. They also have plenty of beer and cider options as well as coffee and tea! If you are looking for food, their small plate options are both dainty and filling. To use one word to describe this place: Quality.

Here’s how Sip came to be:

“The concept for “Sip” was born of several personal passions. A love of wine and beer, and the natural processes by which they come to us… The enjoyment of any activity which causes us to slow down and savor each other in our favorite surroundings, and… An affinity for interior design which results in a unique space that just ‘makes people feel good!’”

Pete’s Grand Central

This is one of the newest bars in town. New Port Richey’s only classic arcade, antiques, and beer & wine bar opened in July of 2018. Located at 5732 Main Street, Pete’s Grand Central features a litany of arcade games and is a great place to catch local musicians on stage. 

They have six beers on tap, 16 bottled beers available, a trio of wines, and their happy hour extends into Saturday. This is a great date night location or just a place to soak up some nostalgia over drinks.

4 New Port Richey Shops You Must Go To

New Port Richey is truly a great place to purchase a home and settle down. Whether you are a retiree or just starting out, the low cost of living and closeness to the beach are two huge perks of the area. If you focus on the former, that means there is more money for shopping!

New Port Richey is a hot destination for home buyers for plenty of reasons, but the shopping (particularly downtown) is certainly one of them. So how do you know where to go in town? Let’s take a look at three New Port Richey shops you just have to visit:

Junque From the Trunque

You can find a little bit of whatever you need at Junque From the Trunque. They sell everything from antiques to vintage collectables to modern trinkets. Crystal bowls, music boxes, toys, coke collectables, vintage purses, and more are all available here.

Junque From the Trunque is located at 5104 Trouble Creek Road and has a 5-star rating on Yelp. Here’s what you can expect when you walk through the shop doors:

“Junque from the Trunque is a little shop of big treasures! We carry anything and everything from Vintage to Antique to Modern. We love to repurpose & upcycle to create new useful items. We carry lots of the tools for you to make & create your own project.”

The White Heron Tea and Gifts

The best tea in town! Hands down. There is no debate. The White Heron Tea and Gifts is a must-visit for any tea enthusiast. There are tea etiquette and tea after dark events, plus you can make reservations for tea seatings. Those seatings happen on Tuesday through Saturday at the specific times of 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Each seating is 90 minutes in length.

The White Heron Tea and Gifts is located at 6228 Grand Boulevard. Here’s what owner Kelly M. Hackman had to say about why she started her business:

“The dream of owning a business in historic downtown New Port Richey is one that I have had for so many years that I can’t even remember how long it has been… It seems so surreal and exciting to me to be able to bring my passion to life for everyone to enjoy.”

Antique Center On Main Street 

Described as “one of the most successful Antique Dealers in Pasco County,” Antique Center On Main Street is a great place to get your items appraised or cosigned. It is also a great place purchase a unique goods. They buy and sell everything from antiques, jewelry, collectibles, art, and more. It’s located on 5811 Main Street.

Antique Center On Main Street has a 4.5-star rating on Yelp. Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

“Beautiful antique shop! Everything from antique to vintage, and new. Something for everything. They are always running sales. The owner is very knowledgeable and extremely friendly! His employees are great also. Stop in the next time you are downtown.”

That is only some of what New Port Richey has to offer. Come to the city, shop ‘til you drop, grab a cold one and enjoy the everything the city has to offer.

Take a look at New Port Richey Homes For Sale