Author Archives: 360_Realty

Arrggh, uh, what is Gasparilla, anyway?

If you’ve lived in Tampa for a while, you probably know of Gasparilla. You’ve seen the pirates, heard the cannons, wonder why there are so many men walking around with scrubby beards…and what about those wenches?  There’s a lot more to Gasparilla than the parades, festivals, events, and beads.

According to Ye Mystic Krewe, legendary pirate Jose Gaspar terrorized Florida’s West coast during the 18th and 19th centuries. When he died, he left buried treasure along the Coast that has never been found. In 1904 Ye Mystic Krewe was formed and adopted the swashbuckler as the celebrated patron of Tampa…and the rest is history!

There are many events going on and these links will give you all the details. Enjoy, matey!


What’s the Difference Between a REO Property and a Foreclosure Property?

We know there are a lot of questions about real estate, and we’re tackling them head on with our 360 Realty FAQ series. We have videos on our Facebook page, and will also share information here in our monthly newsletters. This month, we’re tackling REOs and Foreclosures. What’s the difference?

The difference essentially lies in ownership.  In an REO, the property has already gone through the foreclosure process. The lender or investor is now the owner.

If a property is in foreclosure, the procedure has begun but the original seller is still the owner property and not the lender.

Tips to Manage Stress During the Holidays

  1. Stick with your routine – Get to bed on time, don’t oversleep and stay true to your normal daily routine
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast – Starting the day off on the right foot makes everything easier
  3. Exercise – Even if it’s just a short walk, exercising is a great way to clear your head and ease stress
  4. Everything in moderation – Try not to overindulge in food, alcohol, spending or activities. Overindulging often just leads to more stress.
  5. Take deep breaths – A few cleansing breaths really can reduce your stress levels and calm you down
  6. 6. Just say no – You can’t do everything and be everywhere. If you need to turn down an invitation, that’s ok!

Should I stage my home or sell it empty?

This is a question we know sellers often grapple with, and there are certainly pros and cons to both.

Staging can help some buyers. It will often make a property look more modern and updated. It can also help buyers see how a space can be used, especially if you have a home that has a unique layout or space design. In this case, it can help buyers see how rooms can be divided, and where furniture should be laid out.

That said, there are buyers that have their own design vision, and a staged space could distract from that vision. If you do decide to stage, we recommend keeping things clean and uncluttered, with no personal objects. Staging can also be costly, so it is important to look at your budget and the potential costs.

Ultimately, you and your realtor can make a decision that makes the most sense for you and for your property.

Community Involvement

Tampa is a wonderful community and we feel so lucky to live here. Like many of you, all year long we try to find ways to help those that are less fortunate, and we especially look to do so during the holidays. Here are a few of the wonderful organizations that make such a difference in the lives of our Tampa Bay residents.

Fall Activities in Tampa Bay

We are lucky to have so many options for celebrating the fall season and Halloween! From fall festivals to pumpkin patches, there are tons of options for fall fun!

Hyde Park Village Pumpkin Patch – Make it a day and shop, grab lunch or coffee and pick out your pumpkin at this quaint pumpkin patch in the heart of Hyde Park Village.

Harvest Holler Corn Maze – Located just North of Lakeland, they have something for everyone, including a corn maze, live animals, a pumpkin patch and more!

Hunsader Farms – This farm is a fun way to spend a fall day! In addition to a pumpkin patch, they have a petting zoo, playground, market and more!

Oktoberfest – Here’s something for the adults! Celebrate Oktoberfest with German cheer, dancing, and singing.


Planning Your Outdoor Space

Fall is here and for Floridians, that means it’s time to head outside! Creating a fabulous outdoor space can be a big project or a small one – it’s really up to you. A couple comfy outdoor chairs, a shady umbrella, and a small table might be all you need. Or, you might be considering a fire pit, back patio, and outdoor kitchen. Whichever way you go, beautiful outdoor space is a welcome addition and can help boost your home value and appeal when selling.  Read On for tips on how to spruce up your space!

  1. Use light sources to create the mood – Whether you use lanterns, candles, or outdoor lighting in trees and bushes, light sources can add drama and highlight key parts of your space.
  2. Bring in color with accessories – Accessories like throw pillows or plant containers can bring in bright pops of color without a lot of costs.
  3. Have ample seating – If you want to open up your outdoor space to friends, then make sure you have enough seating for a group. Loveseats and benches can add seating without taking up too much space.
  4. Decorate with potted plants – Not only can the containers add color, but so can the varieties of leaves and blooms. It’s also an affordable way to update the space, especially as the seasons change.

Preparing for a Hurricane

Many Floridians have dealt with impending hurricanes. No matter how many you’ve faced, there’s always that sense of dread leading up to the possibility of the storm. This storm, Irma, is no exception. In fact, it has the potential for being one of the worst we’ve seen. Preparing your home and family is essential. Here are some tips that will help. But, the most important tip we can give you is to watch the news and follow the directions of local officials. Please stay safe!

  1. Evacuation Planning – Find out if you’re in an evacuation zone and be sure that you understand local evacuation routes.
  2. Buying Supplies – Purchase supplies well in advance and keep them on hand, especially throughout hurricane season. This should include bottled water, flashlights, canned foods, pet food, and a first aid kit. We know water has been difficult to find, but stores are restocking regularly and Amazon may also be a good source (though more costly).
  3. Copy Important Documents – Make copies of important documents and keep them in a safe place. This may include proof of ownership and insurance paperwork for home, cars, boats, etc.
  4. Protect Your Home – Take in outdoor furniture that could potentially be lifted and tossed by wind, secure any loose shingles or shutters.
  5. Secure Electronics – Backup electronics, charge your devices and unplug electronics that could be impacted by a power outage.
  6. Use Common Sense – Stay indoors, even if the eye of the storm is passing through, don’t drive through standing flood water and be patient waiting for emergency crews to help as needed.


How to help victims of Harvey

Gabby Kaufman Wed, Aug 30

Hurricane Harvey made first landfall Friday as a Category 4 storm, slamming Texas with brutal winds and severe flooding, leaving Houston underwater and millions of residents in need of aid. The relentless storm has dropped record-breaking rainfall and made a second landfall Wednesday in Louisiana. Here are some ways you can help.

Red Cross
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recommended that those who want to help victims should donate to the American Red Cross, which he called a “tremendous asset.” A number of other organizations at the national, state and local levels will provide vital assistance to residents in the coming days, weeks and months.

Local and national relief organizations
The Salvation Army, Save the Children, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Heart to Heart and Samaritan’s Purse are all on the ground in devastated areas and seeking donations to continue their response efforts. Texas Diaper Bank is sending out disaster relief kits to those affected. Team Rubicon is an emergency response team made up of military veterans and first responders. Oath (which is the parent company of Yahoo News) offers matching funds for donations to the Red Cross and some other organizations.

Food banks
Feeding Texas is a statewide network of food banks, and Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks serving the area hardest hit by Harvey. That list includes Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi and San Antonio Food Bank, among others.

To help nonhuman Texas residents, animal welfare organizations will be focused on rescuing, sheltering and rehoming pets. The Humane Society and the SPCA of Texas and their affiliated shelters will need money, supplies, food and foster volunteers.

Blood donations can be made through the American Red Cross, and Carter BloodCare, We Are Blood and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center are all Texas-based organizations sure to be seeking increased donations.

Other relief efforts
Airbnb has set up an Urgent Accommodations page, allowing evacuees to find a place to stay for free with the help of those able to offer their space at no charge.

A list of individual crowdfunding campaigns related to the hurricane can be found at GoFundMe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief page. GlobalGiving, another crowdfunding site, is aiming to raise $2 million for a relief fund.