JUST SOLD! – Covington Court

November 25, 2008

208 NE Monroe Cir. N. #202C
St. Petersburg, FL 33702

2 beds / 2 bath / 1-car carport $53,000

Super nice 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom 2nd floor condo in very desirable Covington Court in north St. Petersburg. Kitchen includes all appliances. Flooring has been upgraded to a gorgeous Pergo laminate – see the photos! Two large bedrooms with the master featuring a walk-in closet and private bathroom. Plenty of storage including extra storage in the laundry room. Use the elevator located right outside your front door when needed. Totally enclosed Florida Room is carpeted and overlooks the heated community swimming pool. This condo is clean and in move-in condition. Covington Court is ideally located near great shopping, dining, entertainment, schools and I-275. If you’re looking for a good deal look no further.

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Running from a bear

November 22, 2008

bear-runningTwo hikers round a corner and come face to face with an enormous bear that rises up on its haunches and roars at them. “What do we do?” the first hiker asks. “Run!” says the second hiker. “Do you really think you can outrun a bear?” asks the first hiker. “No, but I can outrun you.”

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JUST SOLD! – North St. Petersburg

November 20, 2008

600 Atwood Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33702

2 beds / 1 bath / 1-car garage $86,000

Beautiful home in quiet and charming North St. Petersburg. Close to the Gandy Bridge and easy access to Tampa. Enjoy quality shopping, dining, entertainment and schools. This upgraded home has ceramic tile in all the right places with a huge kitchen featuring a cooking island. Both bedrooms are large with mirrored closet doors. The Florida Room has a gorgeous wood ceiling….check out the photos! Enjoy your morning coffee or evening glass of wine on your covered patio looking out into a beautiful fenced backyard. Plenty of storage in closets, backyard shed and over-sized garage. Put this home at the top of your list!

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November 20, 2008

alaskaiconTom had been in the liquor business for 25 years. Finally sick of the stress he quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it’s total peace and quiet.

After six months or so, of almost total isolation, someone knocks on his door. He opens it and sees a huge, bearded man standing there. “Name’s Lars, your neighbor from forty miles up the road. Having a Christmas party Friday night… Thought you might like to come. About 5:00.” “Great”, says Tom, “after six months out here I’m ready to meet some local folks. Thank you.”

As Lars is leaving, he stops. “Gotta warn you…… There’s gonna be some drinkin’.” “Not a problem” says Tom. “After 25 years in the business, I can drink with the best of ’em.” Again, the big man starts to leave and stops. “More ‘n’ likely gonna be some fightin’ too.” “Well, I get along with people, I’ll be all right. I’ll be there, Thanks again.” “More’n likely be some wild sex, too,” says Lars.

“Now that’s really not a problem” says Tom, warming to the idea “I’ve been all alone for six months! I’ll definitely be there. By the way, what should I wear?” “Don’t much matter ….. Just gonna be the two of us.”

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Favorable interest rates/reduced prices

November 18, 2008

Do the math. Lower rates multiply buyers’ financial power, especially now when rates are near a 40-year low. Even one/half of one percentage point difference means a buyer could save more than $1,000 per year on a median-priced home. Buyers get more home for the money, which is a perfect scenario for families looking to upsize.

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Pasco County Charter Schools

November 18, 2008

reportcardAcademy at the Farm
Grades: K – 8
Opened August 2002

9500 Alex Lange Way
Dade City, FL 33525

Phone: (352)588-9737 Fax: (352) 588-0508
School Administrator: Dr. Michael Rom

Athenian Academy of Pasco
Grades: K – 7
Opened August 2006

3118 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL 34655

Phone: (727)372–0200 Fax: (727)376-1916
School Director: Manuel Goncalves

Countryside Montessori Elementary
Grades: 1 – 6
Opened August 2002

5852 Ehren Cutoff
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639

Phone: (813)996-0991 Fax: (813)996-0993

School Administrator: Elaine Padron

Dayspring Academy
Grades: K – 8
Opened August 2000

Elementary Campus:
8911 Timber Oaks Avenue
Port Richey, FL 34668
Phone: 727- 862-8600 Fax: 727- 868-5175

Middle School Campus:
9509 Palm Avenue
Port Richey, FL 34668

Phone: (727)847-9003 Fax (727)848-8774
School Administrator: John Legg

Imagine School at Land O’ Lakes
Grades: K – 6
Opening August 2008

17901 Hunting Bow Circle
Lutz, FL 33558

Phone: (813)909-4501 Fax: (813)909-4515
School Administrator: John Selover

Notice any errors in this Pasco County Charter Schools list? Please let me know! Thank you.

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Inventory makes now the time to buy

November 17, 2008

Conditions are ideal for buyers to find their dream home. Inventory is plentiful. In Florida’s three largest markets alone, more than 125,000 homes were for sale at year’s end in 2007. Even with these high inventory levels, economists predict that number will go down in 2008 – which, of course, is another great reason to buy now.

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Experience counts

November 16, 2008

The Presidential election was too close to call. Neither the Republican candidate nor the Democratic candidate had enough votes to win. There was much talk about ballot recounting, court challenges, etc., but a week-long ice fishing competition seemed the sportsmanlike way to settle things. The candidate that caught the most fish at the end of the week would win the election.

Therefore, it was decided that there should be an ice fishing contest between the two candidates to determine the winner.

After much of back and forth discussion, it was decided that the contest take place on a remote frozen lake in northern Minnesota.

There were to be no observers present, and both men were to be sent out separately on this isolated lake and return at 5 P.M. with their catch for counting and verification by a team of neutral parties. At the end of the first day, John McCain returned to the starting line and he had ten fish.

Soon, Obama returned and had no fish. Well, everyone assumed he was just having a bad day. He would hopefully catch up the next day.

At the end of the 2nd day McCain came in with 20 fish and Obama came in again with none.

That evening, Harry Reid got together secretly with Obama and said, ‘Obama, I think John McCain is a low-life, cheatin’ son-of-a-gun. I want you to go out tomorrow and don’t even bother with fishing. Just spy on him and see just how he is cheating.’

The next night (after McCain returns with 50 fish), Harry Reid asks Obama, ‘Well, tell me… how is John McCain cheating?’

Obama replied, ‘Harry, you’re not going to believe this, but he’s cutting holes in the ice.’

Moral of the Story: Experience Counts.

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How to Lower Your Home Insurance Costs

November 14, 2008

by Brandon Cornett

When you buy a home, your mortgage lender will require a homeowners insurance policy in order to protect their interest in the home. In most cases, the lending institution owns most of the home during the first years of the home, until the homeowner gains equity. So it only makes sense that lenders want to protect their investment in the home.

But this policy protects your investment in the home, as well. It gives you peace of mind that, in the event of a loss, you will be covered in some form or fashion. So you should make sure you get solid coverage from a reputable insurance provider.

With that being said, it sure is nice to save money wherever possible. And this goes for insurance policies as well. Here are some of the ways you can lower the overall cost you pay for a homeowners insurance policy.

Compare Insurance Companies

When you compare one provider to another, you are doing two important things at once. First, and most obvious, you are finding out who offers the lowest rates for a comparable level of coverage. Secondly, you are learning about the different types of coverage these companies provide, including the many components that make up a policy, the terminology associated with it, etc. Both of these items are important when trying to lower the cost you pay out of pocket.

Save Time by Using the Internet

The good news is that you can conduct much of the above-mentioned research fairly easily, just by using the Internet. In the past, you had to make a lot of phone calls (or even office visits) to compare insurance companies and policies. There are many big insurance websites that allow you to do this. But as always, watch out for scam websites that ask for too much personal information up front.

Another benefit to getting a home insurance quote online is the speed factor. Using the Internet, you can accomplish in a few hours what used to take a few days or even weeks.

Improve Your Credit Score

These days, in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 – 2008, it’s more important than ever to have a good credit score. For one thing, mortgage lenders require that borrowers have higher scores these days to get the best loan rates. But there’s another good reason to maintain good credit. Many insurance companies are beginning to use this factor when determining the price for policies.

Raise Deductible to Lower the Costs

The deductible is the money you would pay toward a loss before your insurance policy would cover the rest. If you have coverage on your car, you are probably familiar with the concept of deductibles. It’s the same basic concept with a homeowner policy.

You can lower your premium by raising your deductible amount. Many financial experts recommend doing this as a way of lowering premium costs. The logic is that you know for certain that you’ll pay the premium on your policy, but there’s only a small statistical chance of suffering a loss and having to file an actual claim. So this approach seeks to lower the amount you know you’re going to pay (the premium) by increasing the amount you may never have to pay (the deductible).

Purchasing insurance for your home can be a balance between cost and coverage. You want to control the former without sacrificing the latter. I hope this article has given you the knowledge and confidence you need to accomplish these goals.

About the Author: Brandon Cornett is the publisher of Homeowners Insurance World (a new service of the Home Buying Institute). To learn more about this important topic, or to get online quotes, visit the author’s website at

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Low-Income Home Buying Programs Explained

November 12, 2008

What are low-income home buying programs, and how do they help home buyers?

I get this question a lot, especially from first-time home buyers. So here’s an overview of low-income home buying programs, how they work, and where you can learn more.

Generally speaking, a low-income home buying program is any program that’s designed to help home buyers who may not otherwise qualify for a mortgage loan.

Normally, when you talk about such programs, you’re talking about a loan that gets some form of government backing. In other words, the government backs or guarantees a loan on behalf of the home buyer who is applying for the loan. This is the essence of how most low-income home buying programs work.

When the government backs a loan for a slightly unqualified borrower, mortgage lenders will be more inclined to loan money to that borrower. The lender is comfortable doing this, because in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan, the government has agreed to back it, so the lender would still be paid.

Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae is a shortened version of Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA). Congress created this organization in 1938. According to their website, Fannie Mae “provides financial products and services that make it possible for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families to buy homes of their own.”

Learn more at

Freddie Mac
Freddie Mac is a shortened version of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Congress chartered this organization in 1970. Freddie Mac supports the secondary mortgage market by purchasing residential mortgage loans and reselling them to investors (mostly on Wall Street). This increases the availability and affordability of home loans for low- and middle-income Americans.

Learn more at

As a home buyer, you wouldn’t normally deal directly with an organization like Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, but they do have a role in the low-income home buying process.

Federal Housing Authority
The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) also supports low-income home buying in the U.S. This organization was created as part of The National Housing Act of 1934. The FHA insures mortgages, which helps low-income home buyers qualify for mortgage loans they might not otherwise qualify for.

Learn more at

Rural Housing Authority
The Rural Housing Authority (RHA) can assist low-income home buyers in certain situations. The RHA is part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Unlike the organizations listed above, the RHA actually makes direct loans to home buyers. They also guarantee loans for home buyers in rural areas.

Learn more at

Veteran’s Administration Home Loans
The Veteran’s Administration (VA) helps home buyers by guaranteeing loans made by mortgage lenders. The VA does not actually make direct loans. The VA home loan program is reserved for U.S. military veterans and their spouses. To apply to this program, one must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. The home buyer would then present this certificate to their mortgage lender.

Learn more at

State-Sponsored Programs
In addition to the federal programs listed above, there are many programs unique to certain states. For instance, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority “makes low interest mortgage loans available through [their] network of experienced lenders.” Most other states have similar programs, in one form or another.

State programs are too numerous to list on this page. To learn more about them, searching online for home buying programs in your state.

About the Author: Brandon Cornett publishes the Home Buying Institute, a website full of advice on mortgages loans, house hunting, credit scores and more. Learn more or contact the author by visiting

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