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Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

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Dunedin, Florida Restaurants

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Dunedin Restaurants

There are wonderful restaurants in Dunedin, Florida.  For some of the very best, mouth watering Florida cuisine anywhere, you must visit Dunedin.  From the very freshest seafood, to fantastic Italian or Mexican food to simply great steaks, Dunedin has a little bit of everything.  Click on the selections below for more information.

Casa Tina Gourmet Mexican and Vegetarian Restaurant.  http://www.casatinas.com/  Fresh, healthy and authentic Mexican cuisine.  727-734-9226

Sea Sea Riders Restaurant, Inc.  http://www.seaseariders.net/  Fresh and tasty seafood on the Gulf. 727-7347-1445

Bon Appetit Restaurant.  www.bonappetitrestaurant.com/  Voted Tampa Bay's best waterfront restaurant.  727-733-2151

Bellini's Restaurant.  http://www.bellinidunedin.com/  Voted one of the 20 best restaurants in 2005 Florida Trend magazine.  727-733-5449

Spoto's Steak Joint II.  http://www.spotossteakjoint2.com/  A great steak house for over 30 years.  727-734-0008 

Cafe Alfresco.  http://www.cafealfrescoonline.com/  Sidewalk cafe and bistro right on the Pinellas Trail.  727-736-4299

Black Pearl of Dunedin.  http://www.theblackpearlrestaurant.com/  A special place for special occasions.  727-734-3463

Flanagan's Irish Pub.  www.flanagansirishpub.net/  Dunedin's oldest and best Irish pub.  727-736-4994

Kelly's Chic a Boom Room.  http://www.kellyschicaboom.com/  Casual chic, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and outdoor dining.  727-736-5284

Umberto's of Long Island.  http://umbertosoflongisland.com/  Terrific pizza, best in Florida.  727-736-3138

Country Boy Restaurant.  So good, it doesn't need a website.  Wonderful Sunday breakfasts.  727-734-9108

John's Pass Florida

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

John's Pass, on the Gulf Coast of the Tampa Bay area, is a fascinating village full of shops, restaurants, ice cream shops, parasailing and charter sport fishing.  It is a bustling area on the intracoastal waterway just a few miles south of Clearwater Beach with lots of family oriented activities.  Find a parking spot, then walk around.  Watch hand rolled cigars being made, then, if you smoke 'em, try one for a wonderful cigar smoking expeience.

As you walk along the boardwalk, get a hand packed ice cream cone or frozen custard, then watch the boats on the inlet coming and going, some jet skies, some charter sport fishing boats, some pleasure cruisers and some sailboats.  There are watercraft for everyone on the water at John's Pass.  And as you watch the boat traffic, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphin sightings.  There are always dolphin swimming around the inlet and it is fun to watch as tourists see their first dolphin.

Try Gators restaurant for a good meal, a cold beverage, and during football season, be surrounded by Florida Gator fans every Saturday afternoon.  As you munch on a grouper sandwich in the evening, you just might see people on the dock dipping blue crabs from the water for a very fresh lunch the next day.  It is truly a Florida experience!

John's Pass is one more wonderful reason to own real estate in the Tampa Bay area.  It is a great place for a family to spend a day, having fun, seeing the unique sights of the Florida waterfront lifestyle, eating good food, and just maybe even sighting a dolphin.

So c'mon to the Tampa Bay area.  Enjoy the laid back Florida lifestyle  Take a look at buying real estate in the Tampa Bay area.  The time has never been better for getting a home in this terrific part of the country.

For information about other communities in the Tampa Bay area, visit our website, www.SunBayAssociates.com.

Fun Restaurant in Tarpon Springs

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Despite all the gloom and doom of the sinking economy in the news, there are lots of great things to like about the Tampa Bay area.  One of the wonderful benefits of the Sun Coast of Florida is the selection of restaurants.  In northern Pinellas County, in the eclectic City of Tarpon Springs, there is a gem of an eating establishment called Snookers Floribbean Bar and Grill.  Fresh seafood, straight from the Gulf of Mexico, succulent shrimp, seared Mahi, ice cold adult beverages and friendly servers all combine to make Snookers a fun place to meet after a hard day at work or for a dinner with friends. 

 

We just ate there, had a really good dinner of fresh caught seafood, an absolutely wonderful coconut bread pudding for dessert, enjoyed the live music, and Basilia our server was really helpful and pleasant.

 

Snookers has an outdoor tiki bar and a pool of live gators that is just outside the tiki bar.  There are lots of flat screen TVs for viewing your favorite sports or even CNN.  Weekends there is live music on the outdoor patio.  Sit there and enjoy dinner, have a relaxing drink and listen to your favorite music.

 

And as you enter the inside dining area, be sure to check out the very large saltwater aquarium with live snook, a favorite Florida gamefish, and redfish swimming around.

 

To learn more about this fun and casual restaurant in the Tampa Bay area, visit their website at www.snookersgrill.com.

 

We’ll occasionally write about a fun thing for the Tampa Bay area lifestyle.  If you have a special interest, let us know and we’ll discover more together.

 

Be sure to check out our website for more information on real estate and the Tampa Bay area:  www.SunBayAssociates.com.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Basically, a deed in lieu of foreclosure is the action a homeowner takes to give his/her house back to the lender in exchange for being forgiven the debt of the mortgage.  When considering a deed in lieu, be sure that the lender will accept it, and get the acceptance in writing.  As part of the written agreement, have the lender agree to forgive any amount that is not covered when the house is later sold by the lender.  Some experts believe that a deed in lieu looks better on a credit report than a foreclosure. 

 

From a lenders perspective, this is an act of last resort because banks really do not want property that needs to be maintained and hopefully resold.  The banks really want cash so they can continue to issue loans. Some lenders require that the house be placed on the market for at least three months in a good faith effort to sell it.  Many lenders will not consider a deed in lieu if there are other liens on the property. 

 

Another issue to cover in detail with the lender is to see how the lender will deal with the outstanding balance due.  Will the debt be forgiven or will the lender provide, in writing, assurance that it will not sue the homeowner for the balance at a later date.  Some lenders will keep the mortgage and not cancel the debt until the property is resold.  Be sure you know all the details of any agreement concerning the mortgage, your debt and what the lender is, in fact, agreeing to.

 

A short sale is preferable to a deed in lieu because in a short sale, the bank has agreed to forgive the difference between the sales price of the home and the amount owed to the bank, and the property is sold outright, freeing the homeowner from further obligation to the bank.  A short sale also frees up funds for the bank to lend instead of having to manage a piece of real estate.

 

As with short sales, it is wise to determine the impact a deed in lieu may have on your tax obligations before entering into any agreement.

 

For legal advice, consult a real estate attorney in your area. 

 

To learn more about short sales or other solutions to your real estate issues, visit www.EquityOptionsGroup.com or visit www.YourHouseOptions.com.

 

Remember, you have options.

 

Call Gwen at 727-939-1515 or Doug at 727-741-4189.

Or email Gwen@EquityOptionsGroup.com or Doug@EquityOptionsGroup.com

Short Sales Explanation

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Last time we talked about the merits of a short sale vs. a forebearance of mortgage.  Today we will go into the short sale process a bit.

 

The short sale option is something that most borrowers do not know about and many realtors do not want to deal with because of the length of time to complete such a transaction.  Under the best of situations, a short sale can take three months to complete and it is not unusual for a short sale to drag on for five or six months before closing. 

 

In the past, a bank would require that the borrower/homeowner, be behind by several months before even considering a short sale.  However, due to the changing market and the simply overwhelming number of houses in pre-foreclosure or outright foreclosure, some banks are accepting a short sale transaction before the homeowner is actually in arrears.  There are several items that must be provided to the bank to get a short sale approved.  Among these items are the previous two years tax returns, pay stubs for the past 2-3 months, bank statements for the past 2-3 months, a financial worksheet showing all assets and liabilities, including monthly payments, all sources of income and more.

 

A key advantage to a short sale, especially when considering foreclosure, is that a short sale might not tarnish your credit rating, where a foreclosure can affect your credit rating for seven years or much longer.

 

There are short sale specialists available to guide you through the process.  It may take 3 to six months or even longer, depending on the bank, but the time and effort may be worth it for the homeowner whose alternative is foreclosure.  To learn more about if a short sale is the right option for you, contact a reliable realtor and ask for a review.  If you want to get a jump start and find out if a short sale may be the option for you, go to www.YourHouseOptions.com.  Your inquiry will be handled with the utmost respect and integrity.

 

Next time we will address a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

 

Remember, there are always options.  Foreclosure does not have to be the only way out of a temporary financial difficulty.

Merits of forebearance vs. a short sale

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

 

Last time we talked about the forebearance of mortgage agreement.  Today we will briefly address the merits of forebearance compared to a short sale.  For specifics, be sure to consult a real estate attorney in your area.

 

The biggest benefit to a forebearance agreement is the postponement of the monthly mortgage payment and the potential to keep the house if all agreed payments can be made.  However, if the borrower cannot make the agreed payments, and repay the delinquent balance within two years (or the agreed time frame) the house will still go into foreclosure.  Also, interest continues to accrue on the outstanding loan during the forebearance period.

 

The main benefit of a short sale is having the bank agree to settle the mortgage for less than the amount owed.  This may even preserve the borrower-homeowner’s credit rating.  The greatest disadvantage to a short sale is that because it is dependent on the bank to approve acceptance of an offer for less than the amount owed on the mortgage, this process may take months.  The borrower’s credit rating may be negatively affected, but usually for two years or less as compared to seven years or longer for a foreclosure.

 

Next time, we will address the short sale process in a bit more detail..

 

Remember, there are options to foreclosure.  To learn more about a short sale, visit www.YourHouseOptions.com.

 

 

 

Forebearance of Mortgage Agreement

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Forebearance agreement

 

Previously, we talked about different options to avoid foreclosure on a mortgage.  Today we will address a forebearance of mortgage agreement.  This is not a definitive discussion and we strongly suggest you consult with an expert in your area. 

 

A forebearance agreement is only one of several ways to avoid foreclosure.  It is simply an agreement between the bank and the borrower or homeowner to delay payment of the monthly payment for a specified amount of time.  The borrower usually has to be able to make a payment of at least 50% of the delinquent amount and can pay back the full amount due within two years.  If there is a lot of equity in the house, the borrower might be able to refinance the house to cover the amount due.  Refinancing could salvage the house, but is very likely to result in a much higher interest rate on the new mortgage.  The higher interest rate may be worth it to save the equity in the house.  Of course, if there is little or no equity in the house, refinancing is not likely.

 

Unfortunately, national statistics show that it is very likely that the borrower/homeowner who has fallen behind on the present mortgage is going to default on the new note within just a few months to a year.

 

Next time, we will address the relative merits of seeking a forebearance agreement or going with the short sale option.  To learn more about the short sale option to avoid foreclosure, visit www.YourHouseOptions.com.

You Have Options

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Do you live in the greater Tampa Bay area and love it, but are having a hard time making your mortgage payments?  If you purchased a house in the last few years when the market was hot and now that the market has cooled off you might have a house with no equity that is simply not worth what it cost only a couple years ago.  With the economy in the condition it is in now, people are struggling to make their mortgage payments.  No matter the reason, if you can’t make the mortgage payments you are in a very stressful situation.

 

There are options, however, to avoid foreclosure.  Among the options available are:  forebearance; deed in lieu of  foreclosure; restructured loan;  renting the property, or, there may be an option most people don’t even consider, called a short sale.  This is when the house is worth less than what is currently owed to the bank, based on the current market conditions, there is no chance of selling it for enough to recoup the original investment, and the bank will agree to it. 

 

In the next few blogs we will discuss a little more of each of these options.  In our next discussion we will address a forebearance of mortgage agreement.

 

Remember, there are always options, foreclosure does not have to be the only way out of a temporary financial difficulty.  Visit www.YourHouseOptions.com for more information.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Sun Bay Associates

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.  For more information visit www.SunBayAssociates.com

New $7,500 Tax Credit for First Time Buyers

by Sun Bay Associates

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was just signed by President Bush with some amazing benefits for first time homebuyers. Call everyone you know who wants to buy their first home (or who hasn't owned one in three years), this is too good to miss - it's a $7,500 tax CREDIT (not deduction but a credit).

If you have not owned a home in three years, you qualify as a first time home buyer. If you buy a home after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, you qualify for this credit. Call your friends who just bought a home since April 9th and tell them they may take $7,500 off their tax bill if they qualify. It has to be your principal residence, so rentals do not count.

The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum of $7,500. This is not an additional deduction that lowers the amount of income to be taxed, it is a tax credit. In other words, you take $7,500 off your tax bill. But there is a catch; the credit you receive now is actually an interest-free loan that must be repaid.

The loan has no interest, and will be paid back over 15 years. You get the credit on your 2008 taxes, but you start paying it back on your 2010 taxes that are due in 2011, so you get at least two years without a payment. You pay back 6.67% of the credit each year, so for a $7,500 credit the payment is $502.50 per year. If you stay put for 15 years, you pay it off with no interest.

What happens if you sell the house? You pay the balance back at the closing. So, you get $7,500 now, and pay the rest of it back if you make money on the sale of your house. What happens if you do not make enough money when you sell your house? They forgive the rest of the debt.

Other restrictions stipulate that you have to buy your first house in three years before July 1, 2009, not have super high income, not use bond financing and buy anywhere in the US.

If you'd like to learn more about this program, please call me or visit www.SunBayAssociates.com !

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
35095 US Hwy 19N, Suite 100
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908