Tuesday, June 25, 2019

10 Things you can do to get your home ready to SELL in the Spring/Summer!

To get the most for your home, and have it sell quickly, like most things, timing and preparation is key! Here are a few of my favorite tricks for maximum profits you can do now if you plan to SELL in the Summer.  Call me for more.
1) Clean = Green.  The cleaner the more money you will get.  Clean out closets and cabinets.  (A fresh coat of flossy white paint inside will make them look brand new.)  Use organizer baskets inside, which are usually on sale in February. (They will make it easier when you move too.)  Give away, sell, or donate unwanted items. Clean grout in showers and tubs.  If needed, remove and replace grout in corners. Make it white.  You can have your floor tile & grout steam cleaned if needed.  Make your kitchen and bathrooms shine.
2) Fresh Paint is very attractive to buyers.  Not in every room necessarily.  Foyers, Master Suites, Kitchens and Bathrooms are the most important.  Warm but neutral shades are nice for foyers, kitchen, family rooms, and soft restful hues for the bedrooms and bathrooms. (Semi-gloss in the baths and kitchen – looks clean and shiny, flat everywhere else – softens, and hides imperfections in surfaces.)
3) Let the sunshine in.  Clean the inside of your windows, sills, blinds, wash curtains and drapes. 
Keep your draperies/curtains and blinds open during the day.
4) Clean out the refrigerator and freezer.  Clean oven.
5) Look for white sales  and freshen up the look of your bedrooms and bathrooms
6) Trim Trees and Shrubs.  Take advantage of the mild Florida weather in Spring, and trim your trees and shrubs.
8) Pressure wash exterior of your home, your vinyl fences, patios, walkways and driveways. Clean outside of windows. 
7) Add some new mulch and a few flowers that will bloom in the Summer.
9) Spread some Grass seeds to green up your lawn. You will have the prettiest lawn in the neighborhood. (Keep the seeds wet for 10 days.)
10) Call me for a free in home consultation to discuss how to address your specific needs, so you can maximize your profits.  I can also help you stage your home for maximum affect.  And I have reasonably priced vendors I can recommend that paint, pressure wash, clean, etc. I also will provide free Professional HD Photography with Virtual Tour and Massive Internet Advertising for all my listings. You should use my many years of experience to help you realize your plans and goals.  Call me.  Also, visit www.FlipMyHomeRealEstate.com

For more email me at  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com or check out my Testimonials on  www.DeeSmith.com or call or text 813-714-9737

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


1)You probably have a relationship with your bank or credit union.  They want your business, and they will take the best care of you. You will get the best customer services there.
2)You will get a better interest rate from your bank or credit union, than a mortgage broker.
3)You will pay less closing costs with your bank or credit union too as compared to a mortgage broker.
4)A pre-approval letter from a bank or credit union says to the seller and his agent, that you are a smart buyer, and you have good credit. Mortgage brokers are for people who need help getting financing... maybe their credit is not the best, and they don't mind paying a little more closing costs and interest to get the financing they need.
5) Your bank or credit union wants to have a lasting relationship with you, and they won't play games, or tell you half the truth.  You can trust them.

It is best to go to your Bank or Credit Union first for your financing needs.  If you need a recommendation, I have a couple of good ones with low closing costs and low interest rates. Get your pre-approval letter when you are ready to look at houses, and then call me, text or email me to go see what great deals we can find.  813-714-9737  deesmith@deesmith.com
FOR MORE INFO VISIT www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


How long should a home inspection take on a normal home in Land o Lakes and Wesley Chapel?  

A great home inspection on a normal home should only take 2-3 hours at the most. If it takes longer, it is not a better inspection.  It only means your inspector is inexperienced or unorganized. And you don't want that.  A really experienced inspector will know what to look for by the age of the home and also sometimes the community it is in. Builder problems make themselves known in neighborhoods to experienced inspectors.

For example the inspectors should start outside around 8:00 AM, inspect the roof and outside of the house, sprinkler system, then come inside and turn on all the appliances, check the lights, outlets, check plumbing for leaks and proper drainage, a/c and heat, windows and doors, go up in the attic and look around at the roof, wiring, insulation, trusses, tie-downs, and be done by 10:00- 10:30 AM.

Today they have handheld electronic devices to enter all their findings, and pictures on in a program that will print, when they are done with the inspection, instead of filling out a paper checklist.  This is designed to save your time.

You should be at the home inspection to be able to see any problems that are found, also so that the
inspector can tell you about the systems in your home.

One important question a buyer should ask after 'how much do you charge' for the home inspection, and before hiring a home inspector is - Can you do my home inspection in 3 hours or less?  And why not?  

We all know it will take a little longer if it is a huge house or there are detached buildings, spas and pools that must also be inspected.  

Call, text or email me at 813-714-9737 or deesmith@deesmith.com and www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Do you have a Plane Jane house? Add some drama with these proven tips that are sure to work and find all the hidden $$$ in your home.

1)      Clean = Green – This is the truest of statements that is proven time after time.  The cleaner your home is the more $$$ you will get for it.  Pressure clean your driveway and walk ways, the front of the house and fence and anything you can see from the street.  Find lots-a $$$ with this tip!

2)      Get some attention – You can change the front of your house.  One quick-trick is to paint just the trim a complimentary color, if your home doesn’t need an entire paint job.  Paint the fence in the front if it needs it.  Another quick-trick is to paint just the front of the house and/or the front door.  Red is a good front door color that will bring good fortune to your family.  When painting to sell, always ask your Real Estate Professional to help you pick the color and shade or hue.  Look around your neighborhood for good paint colors.  To find more $$$ don’t waste your $$$ where it’s not needed.

    3)      More attention - Get new house numbers or paint them a complimentary color that will stand out.  Get a new mailbox or paint it. You can add planters, window boxes, architectural features, or brightly colored flowers and mulch. Maybe add a water feature if you have room near your front door.  Big front porch? Is there room for a bench? Rocking chairs? A colorful potted plant?  Always ask your Real Estate Professional before wasting money on something that may not bring you more $$$.

4)      Tired lawn?  Sod it! - Nothing like a beautiful lush green front lawn to make the buyers come running.  Well worth the $$$.

5)      Don’t hide your face – Don’t block the architectural features of the front of your home with over grown bushes and low hanging tree limbs. Trim bushes so you can see windows and other architectural features, and trim trees so you can walk under them at least and better yet high enough to see the roof line from the street.  Trim the limbs that hang over that roof while you’re at it, and get the leaves off the roof.  More money!

6)      Lights, Camera, Action – Light up the outside with low voltage lights on sidewalks and in the landscaping, and spot lights on ornamentals.  Nothing adds more drama.  Have your Real Estate Professional get high definition twilight pictures taken for the MLS and Internet Marketing.  Now you are finding lots more $$$.  Quick-trick -Leave those lights on until bedtime for drive-by buyers. 

These may cost you $Hundreds but bring you $Thousands.  Be sure to first consult with your Real Estate Professional so you don’t waste your money on improvements that won’t bring you more money.  Call me when you are ready and I will help you find more money in your home. A penny saved is a penny earned and a bargain is not measured by what you pay, but by what you get in return. DeeSmith@DeeSmith.com  or www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com   or My Cell 813-714-9737 talk or text.  
Maybe you need some help with repairs, to get the most for your home. Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Staging is the most helpful real estate strategy to get a quick sale and the highest offers. 
To do it right and to get the best results everything must be staged from the front yard, all throughout the house to the backyard.  Pressure cleaning walks, porches, lanais and drives, fences, mulch and landscaping, fresh paint,  neutral colors with splashes of color in the accessories, furniture placement for an easy flow and to make the rooms seem larger, lovely smells, good sounds, and a perfect temperature inside all fit the bill.  
Do not put the house on the market until it is perfectly staged and the pictures are taken. 
Price it right. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.  There are buyers just waiting for homes to come on the market in Land o Lakes and Wesley Chapel.  
When a good one hits, there is a frenzy of activity.  The listing hits the MLS with gorgeous pictures and a virtual tour, then just stand back and watch.  
If you can "WOW!" them, they will be hooked.  You will probably generate multiple offers and the highest price the market will bear. 

Maybe you need some help with repairs, to get the most for your home. Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

Not sure where to start? Call me. I am really good at this. 813-714-9737 or email deesmith@deesmith.com and visit www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com or www.LandoLakesRealEstateAgent.com

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


There are many things that you can do before you put your home on the market that will bring in the 'big bucks'. 

There are also many things you can do that will actually make the value of your home diminish.   Your real estate professional can help you determine what is going to bring you more money and what is a bad idea.   Asking first will definitely save you money, and actually put more money in your pocket at the closing table.

Painting the living room is a good idea. Painting it aqua or orange - is not.  Neutral colored walls are the best bet when applying a fresh coat of paint.  
Waiting until your home is vacant to put it on the market may sound good to you, but unless your furniture is really out of style or ragged, this is not a good idea.  Buyers need to see correct furniture placement to appreciate the space they are looking at.  
Remodeling a bathroom or kitchen is very expensive and you need resale guidance with your choices before you sink a lot of money into these ideas.  You may not recover any of it.  
“Pretty color” counter-tops are a hard sale, and so is plaid wallpaper. 

It is a good bet that shining up kitchens and bathrooms, pressure cleaning walks and drives, painting over those “pretty color” with a neutral color, and de-cluttering, though they are quite inexpensive, will bring you quite a bang for your buck.  
Also, trimming trees and bushes and adding new mulch and some pretty flowers will bring many times more than they cost. 

Don’t waste your money before you talk to your Realtor.  Let her help you decide what to do, what not to do, and help save you lots of money.  Call or Text me.  I am really good at that. 

Maybe you need some help with repairs, to get the most for your home. Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

For more information on successfully selling a home in the Land o Lakes/Wesley Chapel, FL market please contact me at 813-714-9737 or you can visit my website for more information.  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Every market is different in every area of the country.  In the Land o Lakes/Wesley Chapel area of
Florida we have a market where the buyers seem to only be interested in "Move in Ready Homes".   There are plenty of homes on the market that are not move in ready, out dated, in need of repair, cluttered, dirty, over priced.  They are sitting for month after month. 
As soon as a NICE home comes on the market there is a frenzy of activity and there are multiple offers and offers above asking price. Why? 
They are 'Move in Ready'.  The buyers are watching the new listings that come on the market and they are acting fast.  It is a competition to get one of these NICE homes secured with a purchase contract.
Therefore, if you are going to catch a buyer - you gotta use the right bait! Make you home 'Move in Ready'.
De-clutter, clean, paint, update, repair, and price it right and you will sell it quick. If your home has been sitting on the market. Take it off temporarily, get it right and put it back on the market with new pictures and it will sell... quick.

Maybe you need some help with repairs, to get the most for your home. Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

For more information on successfully selling a home in the Land o Lakes/Wesley Chapel, FL market please contact me at 813-714-9737 or you can visit my website for more information.  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com


1)    PLUG HOLES IN YOUR BUDGET.  Make your own coffee and take it with you, and make your lunch. Save on Gas- carpool, bicycle or walk; Electricity-turn off lights and fans when you leave the room, turn down the thermostat, put your water heater on a timer, put your computer, printer, etc. on a power strip and turn it off at night. You wont turn it on until you return from work the next day; Meals – make your own, don’t buy food in boxes, cans or bags, buy fresh vegetables, fruits and meat, buy store brands, clip coupons whenever possible, don’t buy junk food; Entertainment - rent the movie instead of going to the movie, have friends over (BYOB -bring your own drinks and a snack to share) to watch the game, play cards and board games instead of going out to clubs, and bring the kids to save on babysitting; etc..

2)    SELL SOMETHING.  Clean out your garage, attic, storage unit. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. CraigsList.com, ebay.com, bookoo.com, etc. can help you sell your treasures. Look for consignment shops in your area to help you. Have a yard sale.

3)    GET A SECOND JOB.  At Christmas time stores hire temporary help, and at tax season many tax prep businesses hire temporary help.  Start a Concierge, Put up and take down holiday decorations, Mow lawns. Trim trees, Rake leaves. Handyman service, shopping service, Baby Sitting, Elder Sitting (best to take a class in CPR), Dog Walking, House Sitting, Pet Sitting, Cleaning houses, and so on.  Get creative.

4)    SAVE. Determine an amount (20%) to put into savings every paycheck and don’t deviate. Put in all the money from selling things, and all extra money from saving on your budget, and all the money from your second job.  No matter what, don’t take anything out of savings until you have your 10% down payment money.  It won't take long.

THEN CONTACT ME. You are welcome!!!   Now you are ready to buy a home. Contact me when you are ready and we will find your perfect home.  Bonus:  You now know how to save for new furniture, vacations, etc., anything you want in the future.

FOR MORE INFO VISIT www.DeeSmithSellsHomess.com and www.LandoLakesRealEstateAgent.com

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


GET PRE-APPROVED.  There is a great big difference in pre-approved and pre-qualified.
If you loan officer only pre-qualifies you, he asks you some questions and based on your answers he 'estimates' the mortgage amount the lending institute 'may' loan you. 
If he pre-approves you, he actually verifies your information by checking your credit and obtaining bank statements, pay stubs, tax information, etc. from you, and can tell you the bank will loan you a specific amount based on this information, subject to underwriting and the property appraisal, etc.
When you make an offer on a NICE home in Land o Lakes and Wesley Chapel and find yourself in a bidding war, your pre-approval holds much more weight than a mere pre-qualification letter.  It says you are a knowledgeable, serious buyer who knows what it takes to successfully close on their home.  You are ready, willing, and able to buy their home, and you are the kind of buyer they want to sell their home to.

For more information on successfully buying a home in the Land o Lakes/Wesley Chapel, FL market please contact me at 813-714-9737 or you can visit my website for more information and my Testimonials.  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com

Tuesday, April 30, 2019


First, let’s understand who the buyers are in the Land o Lakes/ Wesley Chapel, FL market… and what they want, which is the essence of marketing,
and so important in selling your home.  Give them just what they want, and they will be happy to pay the price for it. 

What do they want?  These days the buyers are all expecting to buy a nice home… clean, uncluttered with lots of storage, nice landscaping, with updated appliances, and nice features.  They don’t want to have to do anything to it, except move right in. 
Who are they?  According to the NAR 40% of home buyers are first-time home buyers today.  First-time home buyers have been living in apartments, or rental homes, usually managed by property managers.  They have been prepared and maintained for them, and they are used to that certain level of maintenance and condition.  All they have to do is just move their furniture and possessions into a new apartment.  They are already clean and everything is in working order, usually updated with the latest appliances and features.  This is what they are used to and this is what they are looking to buy.  A large percent of the rest of the buyers are move up buyers and want something better than they have now. Some of the rest are downsizing buyers and want something smaller but nicer than what they have now.   And there are relocating buyers who are going to a lot of trouble moving from far away, and really would like something nice.  The one thing they all have in common is they want something nice and move-in ready.

The buying process is a process of elimination.  If your home is not up to these standards, it will be eliminated within the first 10 seconds.  You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
These buyer are  pre-approved for their financing, and getting automatic emails from their Realtors with the new listings, so they are ready to move fast when something good shows up.  This is why

the pictures are so important. What are they looking at in those auto-emails? The pictures.

Also, in most cases, the buyers know they are paying a higher price than this time last year, and they want to get something for that.  The better prepared homes will sell almost immediately and at a higher price, most times with multiple offer which can make them sell for more than the asking price.  This alone should be a good incentive for the seller to prepare the home before putting it on the market.  This is a competition, and your home should be the best it could be.
Now that we know who our buyer is, and what he wants we can better understand what we have to do to prepare your home for this market. So what should you do to prepare your home?  Each home is different and the only way to know is to have an experienced Real Estate Professional who specializes in this approach help you.  She knows what buyers are looking for, and she can help you do it without wasting your money on things that don’t work, or may even be detrimental.  Along with professional photography,  massive Internet marketing, and a lot of experience, staging will get your home sold FAST AND FOR MORE. Buyers will be happy to pay more for your home.

Maybe you need some help with repairs, to get the most for your home.  Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

 For more personalized information on getting the most for you home, help staging your home, and marketing it to the masses on the Internet, please feel free to call me on my cell, or text. 813-714-9737 or email DeeSmith@DeeSmith.com  or  visit  www.DeeSmithSellesHomes.com . and for testimonials

* WARNING! - THIS PLAN IS DESIGNED TO SELL YOUR HOME FAST AND FOR MORE... AND IT WORKS!!!   If you are not ready to sell your home quickly, DO NOT list your home with Dee Smith at this time.... we will wait until you are ready.  Help with planning is available before you are ready to list, to make your move less stressful and more enjoyable.  Call Dee today!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Buying a  nice, move-in-ready home in this market is a competition.  What must you do to be successful?

#1) You must be ready to buy.  Give your pre-approval letter to your Realtor to save valuable time.
#2) You must be watching the new listings.  Have your Realtor set up auto emails.
#3) You must be working closely with your REALTOR, and
#4) You must be ready to move fast and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

The truth is... this really is a competition if you want a nice, move-in-ready home in Wesley Chapel 

& Land o Lakes, FL!!! Every market is different.  Here the inventory is really low and the nice, new listings are selling quickly, and they are ALL selling for more than they did last year, or even last month.

Many buyers will have to put in 'extra cash' above the appraisal to secure a purchase.  If you don't... the next buyer will.   Why? Because  they are tired of putting in offers and getting beat by a better offer and because the prices are going up.  They understand that the appraisals are based on houses that sold within the last 6 months, which sold for less because the prices are going up.

Nice, move-in-ready short sales and bank owned properties are selling for the same as nice regular re-sales, and just as fast. Sorry to say... the reality is... this is a competition for these nice homes, and you must be ready to compete, willing and able to move fast, and to be on the top of your game.  You must have the right mindset and the right attitude.

This year interest rates are still LOW, but they are increasing... and the prices are going up as well.  Now is the time to get your best buy, your lowest interest rate, and your lowest payment.  Check out the video on my website about buying this year vs buying next year.  THE COST OF WAITING

brought to you by Veterans United Home Loans, which by the way is a great place to get your pre approval letter, veteran or not.

If you are looking for a steal, there are still some ‘discounted’ short sales, foreclosures & re-sales available, but these are usually in need of repairs and updating. We still have the FHA 203K Mortgages with built in repair and ‘reno’ funds to help with these. We make the "in's and out's" of buying and selling real estate easy for you.

For more information on successfully buying or selling a home in the Land o Lakes/Wesley Chapel, FL market please contact me at 813-714-9737 or you can visit my website for more information.  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com   and to read my Testimonials.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


WHAT???  THE BIG 3 REAL ESTATE SEARCH SITES DON’T CARE IF THEY GIVE YOU INCORRECT INFORMATION???  Or where can I get correct information about the values and availability of homes in Land o Lakes, and Wesley Chapel, Florida?

The whole purpose of the Big Three Real Estate search sites, Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Trulia.com is to send buyers to Realtors who pay them to do that. The purpose is not to give the buyer or home owner accurate information. 
Zillow.com in their own presentation to Realtors says they know they are as much as 40% off on the value of homes on their site, and accuracy of availability is not a priority to them. 
So in other words, they don’t care if they give you wrong information. They say that is the Realtor’s job. Their purpose is to sell leads to Realtors and sell advertising.  Once you understand that, you can see that your need for a Realtor who can give you the CORRECT value of your property and can tell you what IS available for your criteria is critical.  Realtors have no reason to give you wrong information, to the contrary, they NEED to give you good information so you can make a good decision.  You really should work closely with your Realtor when buying or selling your home.

The Big Three and all the other smaller real estate search sites do serve a good purpose for connecting Buyers with Realtors.  But if you want to get ahead of the game, find a good Realtor in the beginning to help you find that perfect home or sell your property for the most you can get.  Your Realtor can give you comparable sold listings when selling, and also when buying to make sure you know the true value of the property.  Your Realtor can set you up on the new MLS Portal system where you can search just like on the Big Three. There are auto-emails, you can change the search, map searches, and everything else the Big Three has, but it is correct and up to the minute information, which you need.

So find a good Realtor, get the true value of your property or get on the MLS Portal, and cut to the chase! Time wasted is very valuable and irreplaceable. Call today!

Maybe you need some help with repairs, to get the most for your home. Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

For more information on successfully buying or selling a home in the Land o Lakes/Wesley Chapel, FL market please contact me at 813-714-9737 or you can visit my website for more information,  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com
and to read my Testimonials

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


What makes a home sell for more?  The same floor plan in the same neighborhood with the same size lot and same amenities. Why does one sell for more than the other?  This may sound like a
mystery, but let’s look closer.
What are the buyers looking for today?  Find what they want and give it to them.  Isn’t this the essence of sales?  Take fishing for an example, when you go fishing you use bait you know the fish like.  So you give the buyers what they like… but what do they like?  Knowing what is trending in your market is very important.  Do you think home preparation and Staging will help?  Information and Pictures? 

Second, you fish where the fish are.  Where are the buyers today?  Well, 95% of today’s buyers say they started their search on the Internet.  Do you think massive internet marketing to over 500 Internet search sites would be effective?

There are more cash buyers in the market today than there have been in years… But what do they want, and how do you find them?  You need to find a Realtor who understands today’s trends and marketing techniques, what the buyers like and where to find them. This Realtor will more than pay for her services by getting you that much more for your home. 

But your home needs some updating, repairs?  To get the most for your home. Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

For more info contact Dee Smith at 813-714-9737, call or text, or deesmith@deesmith.com or you can visit my websites for more information and to read my Testimonials.     www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com   

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


"No, I don't need a professional, I can look it up on Zillow.  It's on the Internet, it has to be true. "

Did you know that Zillow says they use an algorithm to determine the value of your home?  It uses every home that has sold in the same zip code, or geographic area, whether it is old or new, out of date or updated, pool or no pool.  It doesn't take into consideration the size of lot, size of home, amenities of the community, surrounding businesses, school grade, etc.  

Did you know, Zillow says it is in business to sell advertising to Realtors and Mortgage Loan Officers, not to tell you what your house is worth?  That is the job of your Realtor.  The Zestimate is just to get the homeowners on the site.  It doesn't have to be correct.

Think about it....  Do you need an expert to just tell you what your home is really worth in today’s market?  I am glad to do that for you...  just the facts, a free CMA, Current Market Analysis.
Call, text or email me.  

Maybe you need some help with repairs, to get the most for your home. Visit www.FlipMyHouseRealEstate.com

For more information on successfully buying or selling a home in the Land o Lakes & Wesley Chapel, FL market please contact me at 813-714-9737 or you can visit my website for more information & Testimonials.  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


So you think you are going to get a great deal on a foreclosure. Think again.  Those days are gone and you could be stepping into something you should really want to avoid.  You could lose hundreds of dollars and not have a house to show for it, or find yourself owning a money pit!

Do you really need a place to live soon? 
Never put in an offer when you have any time constraints. There is no guaranty you will close on time or at all, when you enter into an agreement to purchase a bank owned property. One reason is the bank doesn’t have the title company search for a clear title until they have a buyer.  Then when a lien or unpaid HOA fees, or other problems are found it goes back to the legal department to investigate before they will pay it, which takes more time.   Meanwhile the buyer could be left waiting and wondering what is going on.

Are you a gambler?  Don’t put in an offer if you don’t have much cash to gamble on the transaction.  Just ask the buyer who has paid for an appraisal, a home inspection, termite inspection, wind mitigation inspection, paid to turn on the utilities for inspections, and a survey and finds out after laying out hundreds of dollars, the bank can’t close on time, or may not close at all. If it doesn’t close, the buyer,  having paid out all these fees, may have nothing to show for it, and there is no recourse. 

Do you think you want to do a little real estate investing?  You are not going to get a good deal on a bank owned property.  The days of discounted foreclosed properties are gone, because the banks are all pricing them higher than the market in order to push the market up more.  They have lots more foreclosed properties to sell. If the property is in bad condition, you should know you are buying it ‘as is’, and you should do the inspection first because many banks don’t allow an inspection contingency.  Many don’t do repairs. Many won’t even turn on the utilities for you to do the inspection.  You are on your own and it may become a money pit.  Beware!
What about auctions?  These are good, if you have an extra 5% buyer fee to throw in above the price of your bid.  This fee pays the auctioneer.  You're welcome!

Do you think you know what you are buying?  The bank has no legal responsibility to disclose anything they know about the property, that materially affects the value of the property, or anything about the property’s history.  It could have Chinese drywall, it could be haunted, there could have been a mass murder there, settling issues or even an active sinkhole.  They don’t have to tell you anything like normal sellers do.  It is all up to you to find that out on your own.

How can these nightmares be avoided?  Don’t buy a bank owned property. Hello! Don’t even look at them and they can’t rob you of your time and money.  Ok. You know someone who got a wonderful deal on a bank owned property. When was that?  Was it recently? 

For more information on successfully buying or selling a home in the Land o Lakes/Wesley Chapel, FL market please contact me at 813-714-9737 or you can visit my website for more information and Testimonials  www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


So you want to buy a rental property in Land o Lakes and Wesley Chapel, FL? Good!
Real estate has historically been one of the best long-term investments and the best hedge against inflation. Now is the time to invest because the values of properties in Land o Lakes and Wesley Chapel have gone up  in the last few years sending a clear indication of future appreciation. 
Yearly gross income on rental property when you put down 25%, minimum could be as high as 50% of the original investment paying you back in 2 years.   Investing is always tricky, so here are a few recommendations to consider before buying a rental property.

1)      Buy in a desirable area of town.  
You want your demand (tenants) to stay higher than the supply of rentals in the area. 

2)      Buy in a neighborhood that will keep its value.  Neighborhoods with CDD fees will keep their value longer than those with a HOA only or no fees at all, because the CDD will see that the neighborhood and amenities are maintained well.  CDD fees are  collected with the taxes, so even if the neighboring homes go into foreclosure there will still be plenty of money for the maintenance.  Neighborhoods with a strong HOA are also good, if they have a track record of enforcing the deed restrictions, and if they have high reserves. 

3)      CDD and HOA fees, as well as taxes and insurance are tax deductible on rental property.  Some other deductions are property management, improvements, repairs, and depreciation.  Pretty much everything you spend on rental property is tax deductible.  Trips down here to maintain your property between tenants are tax deductible,.

4)      Properties with more amenities may command higher rent.  Find the market for rent prices in several neighborhoods you are interested in.

5)      Properties with included property maintenance are desirable, because that is one less thing you have to plan for.

   6)      Do not use a mortgage unless you have to.  When using a mortgage put as much money down as you can and make it a 15 or 10 year mortgage.  The interest is tax deductible, but the mortgage payment eats into your monthly net income.  When your mortgage is paid off, your income will increase.

   7)      401k money can be invested into rental property.  Consult your tax professional for guidance.

8)      Use a Realtor who knows the area and understands investment properties... and, very important... owns investment properties.  Also use a good property manager to manage your rental properties.  Good property managers are well worth their fees, because taking care of problems with rental properties is their expertise.  Dealing with tenants, finding vendors for repairs, finding new tenants, background checks, holding deposits, taking calls on weekends and holidays for you from tenants, and much more. They don’t just collect the rent.  You need them.

If you would like more information about purchasing rental property in Land o Lakes or Wesley Chapel, Text, Call or Email me directly at 813-714-9737 or Dee@DeeSmith.com  for Testimonials  visit www.DeeSmithSellsHomes.com

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Selling in Land o Lakes or Wesley Chapel or surounding areas?

Everyone knows when you go to sell anything, you must get it ready to sell.  What do you need to do to get your home ready to sell?  Believe it or not, this is a huge part of marketing your home, and something I have my sellers spend a bit of time, but not so much money on.  You see, in order to sell a home you have to know what the buyers today are looking for.  With this knowledge, we prepare and stage our listings to maximize the interest and ultimately the offers we will receive.

1) Curb appeal.  Of course this is your first chance to make
a good first impression.  This is how we get the buyers in your house.  Pressure washing and/or painting, new mulch, new flowering plants, trimming, etc.  An experienced Realtor can help you know what to do and help you stay within a budget.

2 I always say, “Paint is cheap”.  And it can be fun.  It certainly makes a big difference in the impression buyers get.  I can help you know what to paint and what can slide, what colors are best in what rooms, what will get you the best return on your time and money.  It’s my job, and I study these things… for you.

3 The kitchen is the most important room in the house in our current market.  Kitchen reno’s can easily get out of hand.  I have seen some kitchen reno's where the homeowner definitely spent way more than they needed to, and will never recover the money spent. Also, some that certainly did not get the homeowner more money for their home, and some that were not a good idea at all.  Before you spend a lot of money on kitchen renovation, call me and let’s talk about what you are trying to accomplish.  You may be surprised at how little it can cost to make a big impact in the kitchen.   A little experience in this can save you a lot of money.

4 The bathrooms are very important, especially the master bath. 
You may not be able to add more room to your small master bath, but you can easily add style.  And in bathrooms as well as kitchens, “Clean equals Green” is what I always say.  The more clean you have in your kitchen and bathrooms, the more green you will get from the sale.

If you are going to be selling a home soon, contact me.  I would love to  help you save even more money while getting the extra value out of your home.  There are a lot of costs during the process.  Knowing where to spend your money, and where you can save money, will help put more money in your wallet.

Dee Smith  813-714-9737   deesmith@deesmit.com  www.DeeSmith.com
RE/MAX Premier Group  Wesley Chapel, FL 33544