As far as the market is concerned......there are still a ton of foreclosures to be worked out, some of them aren't even showing as being in foreclosure but they're months, even years behind on payments. ......but interest rates are really low now which can make a huge difference in a 300k mortgage. It's hard to know when the very bottom will be here, but make sure you take into consideration the expense of moving twice, renting for a year (no tax break), and the potential for interest rates to increase.
I just assisted a military family with purchasing a home in FishHawk and one of the things that swayed them was the commuter bus. If you love the outdoors, FishHawk offers some amazing amenities (miles of walking trails,fitness center, tennis and basketball courts, and an aquatic center). Probably two other factors that wow people are the A rated school and the sense of community - things like concerts in the park during the summer, pumpkin festival in the falls and Christmas get togethers). There are other areas of town that offer great housing, such as South Tampa - you have a closer commute to MacDill but will not get as much house for the money, so it's a trade off.
If you want to search ALL listings in the Multiple Listing Service, you can go to http://www.Tampa.Listingbook.com. This is a great resource for home information as well as pricing trends, days on market, property tax lookup, and loan calculations. It is updated every 30 minutes and will send you a report daily for any listings that match your criteria.
Please let me know if there is any way I can be of service to you.
Keller Williams Realty
We moved from Baltimore in the late sixties, to Tampa as my father was hired to build the Strike Command at MacDill Field..He had high security clearance. He was also a member of the "Flying Tigers"/ Far East Command-running transport gas for them...in WW2. Your husband might be a kick out of knowing that. Dad took care of Pres. Roosevelts' plane as well. He was the only mechanic allowed to work on his plane.
Fishhawk is a great choice and there are other communities you should look into. Would love to help you find your dream home..
Phyllis Crosby, Realtor/GRI
ReMax Tampa Top Notch Associates
Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan points to evidence that a recovery is on its way, including an increase in consumer spending, an improving service sector, and the likelihood that employers will begin hiring soon. "More favorable financial conditions overall keep us optimistic that we are moving forward with the recovery, albeit at a lower trajectory than previously forecast," Duncan said in a statement. Housing will be a big part of that.
Regardless, it is a great time to be a buyer - best of luck to you!
The truth behind the market is this, no one REALLY knows where the bottom is, but what we CAN tell you will 100% certainty is this, the market has already leveled off, and the rates are stlll RELALLY low which means rates WILL go up...
Let me know if I can help!
I think we're seeing a temporary blip in prices of homes because of the $8k and $6,500 tax rebates. To be conservative and to get a very good feel for where you should buy in Tampa, you may want to rent for a year. There are still a substantial number of foreclosure and pre-foreclosure homes looming on the horizon. Also if interest rates should rise significantly it may put downward pressure on prices. Other factors like inflation may actually cause "Real" estate prices to increase, though. And.... should you decide to rent, you will lose the large tax deduction for your mortgage interest so you may owe a lot more income tax.
There is a lot to weigh out. We rented when we first arrived from Honololu in 1995 when my husband (he's a federal employee) was transferred to MacDill. We didn't have any children at that time so it was easy to rent.
If you decide to rent first, you also have to be very careful when renting from an individual owner because so many owners are in pre-foreclosure and you may have to move without much notice!
I have two more questions--
First, I am learning about the prevalence of insects in Florida. Is it worth stretching to buy a new home in order to get pest-tubing?
Second, what are your thoughts on where the market is? I understand sales are picking up--is that a short-lived bump due to buyers trying to get the tax credit, or are we nearing The Bottom? Thanks again!
There are many wonderful communities in the Tampa area, and is very hard to give you just a few at this time. I work and have worked with many military familes moving into the area, and I have encouraged them to around different neighborhoods before deciding on their favorite. To the northwest of the county, you have communities like Westchase, Waterchase, Westwood Lakes, Mandolin Reserve just to mention a few. To the northeast you have the New Tampa area, with subdivisions like Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Heritage Isle, Arbor Greene, West Meadows etc. Of course you always have South Tampa close to MacDill with one of the best school districts in the county. Familirize yourself with these areas and then you will know what best works for you and your family. If you need any assistance, please let me know. I have been a Tampa resident for the past 25 years and a Realtor for the past 16.
Also there is another community that offers gorgeous homes and is an easy to commute to MacDill. Eastlake Woodlands in Oldsmar. No CDD fees and reasonable HOA fees.
If you're getting the USAA Realtor incentive, I can offer to beat their incentive and also allow you to shop for the lowest cost mortgage because you will not be locked into USAA for the mortgage. http://www.ThirdFederal.com and http://www.AimLoan.com offer very low rates and low "lender related" fees.
For helpful info on how to shop for the best mortgage, you can go here:
Alma Rose Kee, P.A.
In the price range you are requesting you can find a home within one of our gated communities; which would increase your security. We have a park and ride center with an "express" bus to MacDill, although many still choose to drive. There are a few negatives that we can discuss if you are interested.
Welcome to Florida!
If schools are important to you, yes the have good schools, but as with most master planned communities, they are all having their challenges now. Lutz and Land O Lakes, in Pasco have some of the better schools in the Tampa Bay area, from elementary on up to High school, real hard to find that "IN" Tampa, unless you are in South Tampa. Which of coarse is real close to the base. you can find a nice home in S Tampa for $400k but it might not be as new as if you were in other areas such as fish hawk, cheval, villa rosa, and other nearby lutz land o lakes communities.
Let me know if you need more info.
Fishhawk Ranch has very expensive CDD Taxes and HOA fees and is literally out in the middle of nowhere. If going to the beach is a preference you will have over an hour commute. If you enjoy world class shopping at The International Mall, it is also a hike.
It's a beautiful community but not worth the inconvenience and the extra costs in my opinion.
If you're willing to do a reasonable commute adjacent to the Veterans Expressway, you may want to consider Cheval, Villarosa and Stonebrier in Lutz. There are no better elementary or middle schools in all of Tampa. Steinbrenner High is new and not yet rated but is expected to be one of the best high schools. Zip 33558
Hope this helps.
Alma Rose Kee, P.A.
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
It is like everything, some people love FishHawk and some will not live there. It is a bit far to MacDill because there is no easy way out of the neighborhood. It is a very nice subdivision which had great appeal in the boom days. You have to go there and see for yourself.
Here's a link to the transportation offered for military families http://www.fishhawkranch.com/Military.aspx
And here's a link to homes in the 300-500k range in Fishhawk http://idx.diversesolutions.com/search/3658/24
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Fishhawk is nice, but the traffic is pretty bad. I know your husband would leave early, but it is still a distance and the infrastructure out there is still being built. I would recommend a couple of other places which are closer to MacDill. One is namely South Tampa, which is not so much as a gated community like Fishhawk, but is very upscale and close to MacDill. The other community I would recommend is Westchase. The traffic pattern is a little more palatible and it has A+ schools as well as, south tampa.
We would be happy to help you in your search. We have helped alot of MacDill people relocate into Tampa and would be happy to help. As a team, you get more to help you than just one person.
The Szydlowski Team
Future Home Realty, Inc.
I have helped many buyers that are relocating to Macdill. Fishhawk is a very nice master-planned community; however, it might be a little far depending on how long your husband wants to commute. It takes a good 15 min. to even get to the Interstate from those back roads. Mira Bay is a nice master-planned community in Apollo Beach and that is not too far from Macdill. Are you looking for a lot of amenities? There is less traffic coming from the South - Riverview, Gibsonton, Apollo Beach because US 41 and the Crosstown Expressway run right into Macdill - North Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Lutz, etc. tend to hit a lot of rush hour traffic. Please, let me know if I can help you with anything.
Nicole Van Allen