Tuesday, January 30, 2018

First Time Home Buyer Tips

Are You Buying a Home for the First Time? 

Here are 6 Tips to Make It Easy:

Being a first-time homeowner can be very exciting and also a bit overwhelming. You may get unsolicited advice from family and friends. While some advice is useful, other tips may be completely unrelated to your situation. Here are six tried and true tips that you should follow when setting out to purchase your first home.


It's always a good idea to create a checklist of items that are non-negotiable. No home will have exactly what you want, however, if you lead with your non-negotiables you will be a step closer to finding the perfect home.


You will be looking at a large variety of homes and it could get overwhelming and confusing. It also can be difficult when the decor and furniture is not to your liking. However, it is best to try and overlook things such as paint color, undesirable flooring or decor. You must focus on the layout instead. Are the rooms in desirable locations? Picture yourself doing daily activities and moving throughout the home to determine if it's right for you.

Additional monthly payments

Keep in mind that the mortgage payment isn't the only monthly bill you will need to pay when owning a home. Bills such as electric, heating and other maintenance can add money to your monthly budget. You can always ask for copies of monthly service bills to get a good idea of how much you will be spending.

Resell value

Even though you are purchasing a new home you also should consider a resale. Every home has the possibility of being resold and you don't want to get stuck where your resale value could be lowered.


Many first-time homebuyers' have their mindset on a specific location. However, that area may exceed your budget. If you expand your search sometimes even just a few miles outside of your target area home, prices may be more affordable.

There is no perfect home

Unless you are willing to have a custom home built that can meet every need and desire, then you will likely not find the perfect home. Use your checklist and focus on the layout of the home. Stick to the items that you want the most and look for a home that has most of these options. You will likely have to make a few concessions.   However, with a little open-mindedness, you will get into a great home.
It can be frustrating as well as exciting as being a first time home buyer. Keeping an open mind and focusing on the layout will help you get into a home that is perfect for you and your family. For all of your real estate needs, contact the experts at Tampa Bay Realty and Investment Group.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What Affects My Credit Score?

Have you ever wondered what changes affect your credit score? 

One of the first things your lender will ask you when you apply for mortgage is, “What is your credit score?”  This is a very important factor that helps determine your qualifications for a mortgage. The higher the score, the better off you are when it comes to securing a good rate.
There are five basic factors that are used to calculate your credit score. The calculation is as follows: payment history (35%), debt to credit ratio (30%), length of credit history (15%), mix of credit (10%) and new credit (10%).
Here is a breakdown of each piece:

Payment History

This includes making payments on time for credit cards and other loans. This carries the most weight on your credit score and one or two late payments can decrease your score more than you might think. Try to pay every bill on time.

Debt to Credit Ratio

This piece relates to your credit cards. The amount of debt that you hold on your credit card is divided by the credit limit on the particular card. So the recommended ratio should be less than 30%. Do not max out your credit cards on a regular basis because your credit score will be lowered. Paying your balance, or keeping it as low as possible is key.

Credit History

It’s important to show that you have a solid history of getting credit and keeping credit. The longer your history is the better your credit score. If you have accounts that have zero balances you should still consider keeping them open as this will also increase your credit score.

Mix of credit

Lenders also look to see that you can maintain a variety of types of credit accounts. This includes retail accounts, credit cards, mortgage and car loans.

New credit

Every time you attempt to open a new credit card it will affect your credit whether or not you get approved.  Each attempt could lower your score 5 points. Try only opening one card at a time to keep your score high.

If you are in the market for a new mortgage your lender will look at a variety of factors determine to determine your interest rate. The credit score is a large factor in that determination. Properly maintain your credit score so that you can be on your way to owning your dream home. For all of your real estate needs contact the experienced professionals at Tampa Bay Realty andInvestment Group. Call 813-515-4882

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Thinking About Buying a Rental Property?

5 Tips You Need to Know before beginning in real estate investment

Real estate investment can be a lucrative venture if you do it right. Knowing how to determine if a property is a good investment and knowing a bit about the real estate investment process will take you a long way as a beginning investor. Location, market, age of home, condition, potential improvements and LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION are all important factors. 

Before you do anything - you must decide how much money and time you are willing to put into the real estate investment venture. Once you determine these factors you can begin moving in a more specific direction. Here are the five basic steps that you should consider when beginning real estate investing:
  1. A budget will be most important and must be set up front. If you want to invest a few thousand dollars, then a real estate investment (REIT) fund is a good option. Direct investment requires tens of thousands of dollars.
  2. Do some research. Look for neighborhoods in good school zones, or ones with steadily increasing values. There are many homes on the market labeled "handyman special" which could be a great investment for the right buyer.
  3. Buy Low and Sell High is the name of the game. Investing with sweat equity gives you value-enhancing improvements with a non-monetary contribution. Leverage your time to increase your revenues.
  4. You must have cash flow should any issues arise. This fund will come in handy if you need to take care of issues promptly.
  5. The last step is perhaps the most important. You must be prepared and ready for anything. The real estate market ebbs and flows and the more you know in advance the better off you will be. You may need a healthy dose of patience for the right buyer to come along.

Real estate investment can be lucrative. However you must do your homework upfront and understand all that goes into it. When you are ready to delve into the real estate investment game give the experts at Tampa Bay Realty and Investment Group a call. Our experienced professionals will help you choose wisely. Give us a call at 813-515-4882 or visit us on facebook: facebook.com/TBRAIGLLC/

Sunday, July 30, 2017

What are the benefits of hiring a property manager?

Why hire a property manager?

Many first time investors overlook the benefits of using a property management company which include:


Our property managers give an independent appraisal of the correct rent for a rental property. A lot of first time investors over or under estimate the amount of monthly rent they should charge resulting in lost income through a high vacancy rate.

Tenant Selection

Our thorough background checks ensure we take the responsible approach to your property and tenancy. Selecting a good tenant is critical for us as property managers because tenants are expected to pay rent on time and take care of the property as if it were theirs. 


Many prospective tenants contact local property managers directly for information about properties for lease or short term rentals.  Ericka Lehrer, CEO, has managed 70 properties of her own which leads to a long list of clientele, as well as an extensive word of mouth referral base from previous tenants, neighbors, and other great relationships that she has developed over time. We also have access to inbound marketing via social media platforms, MLS, and associations we heavily network with.

Viewing the Property

Showing prospective tenants the property takes time because people wanting to lease a home generally want to view the property during after work hours such as the evenings or weekends. We understand your time may be restricted therefore you may not be able to find the best tenant for the property in the fastest time. That is why we take care of this for you!


Having a tenant complete and sign a lease agreement is very important as it protects you the investor. A clearly written contract should state the responsibilities of the tenant, property manager, and owner. Many investors overlook key parts of renting a property with the result that legal issues are created between the tenant and owner.

Maintenance Issues

Our managers will conduct regular property inspections to make sure the property is properly maintained and take action if it is not. Maintaining the value of the asset should be a key consideration for investors to maximize their return. Maintaining a property also leads to tenant retention which is also critical for the investment return. One of the most common reasons why tenants leave a rental property is that the landlord does not provide a high level of service i.e. it may takes weeks to fix an air conditioner because the landlord is too busy or may live out of state. We can guarantee that all of your tenant requirements are dealt with promptly and professionally.

Termination of contract

Problems can often arise when a tenant wants to terminate their contract i.e. lack of notice or failure to leave the property in the same condition it was first leased. Our property managers will ensure that the contract is properly terminated and that a new tenant can be sourced quickly to reduce vacancy rate. We also adhere to strict guidelines requiring tenants to take responsibility for any damages they may have incurred based on our inspection records done prior to move in.
Give Tampa Bay Realty and Investment Group a call if you have a property you cannot sell and want to lease, or if you have multiple investment homes you would like our help renting. We can help! 813-515-4882