Monday, December 14, 2015

Unique gift for the One Who Has Everything

A friend recently asked me what she should get her husband for the holidays.  The response was along the lines of giving him a new experience, something he has never done before.  This season, The Hotel Zamora (, a Mediterranean-inspired boutique hotel located across the street from one of the Gulf Coast's best beaches in St. Petersburg, Florida, might have the winning gift.  The holiday spirit is being brought to sunny St.Pete Beach with a Stocking Stuffer Picnic Basket for Two.  The basket includes stuffed challah lamb sandwiches made with roasted garlic leg of lamb, shaved rosemary, tzatziki, oven-dried tomatoes and mint pesto, with candy-cane peppermint cheesecake lollipops for dessert.  Pair the basket with a snugly blanket and one of our world-famous sunsets for the perfect romantic experience.  This will surely be a present one won't soon forget.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Make Wise Investment Property Choices

 Making the decision to invest in real estate is a decision that can have a major impact on your personal finances.  If the transaction is successful, you profit from the investment and over time can accumulate extra money.  Alternatively, unwise choices may lead to loss of money and debt. Hiring an experienced Real Estate Broker is an essential part of the purchasing process.  

While considering investment property, make certain to find a location that people will want to live in. You might consider buying a home that needs some help but is built in a desirable neighborhood. Make certain the home is worthwhile and is worthy of resale or rental, and hopefully will make you a nice profit. Location is important!

Often times families choose to invest in a property together.  Going this route involves complex legal documentation.  You will want to be certain to have official agreements laid out in case there is ever a desire to sell in the future.  These can be complex and having a licensed professional available to assist is crucial.

Let me help you make wise investment decisions.  Call today!  Keyvan Kohan ~ 727-565-1658

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pinellas Boat Parades to Light up Waterways

One of the benefits of living in a coastal community is the multitude of annual boat parades. It is time to get ready for some holiday magic along Pinellas County's waterways. The St. Pete Beach and South Pasadena Lighted Boat Parades are scheduled for this coming Friday, December 4th beginning at 6:00 PM. Traveling south down Boca Ciega Bay from the Blind Pass Bridge to the Bayside Bridge, boats will travel in this time-honored tradition.The best decorated boats can compete in several categories and win cash prizes.  The best place to view the parade will be from Horan Park. The viewing party will include music, hot cocoa, children's art projects and a visit from Santa.

Other area boat parades include:
12/4      Tarpon Springs 26th Annual Holiday Boat Parade at 7:00 PM
12/5      Dunedin Boat Parade at 6:00 PM
             Pass-a-Grille/Vina Del Mar Lighted Boat Parade at 6:00 PM
12/12   Memorial Holiday Boat Parade by the Island Estates Yacht Club at 6:30 PM
             Illuminated Boat Parade by the Rotary Club of St.Pete at 6:00 PM
             Boca Ciega Yacht Club Lighted Christmas Boat Parade at 6:00 PM
             Festival of Lights Boat Parade in John's Pass at 6:30 PM
12/19    Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade at 7:00 PM
             Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade at 4:30 PM
12/20    Redington Beaches/Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade at 6:00 PM

For additional information about the boat parades or any homes along the parade routes, give me a call Keyvan Kohan at 727-565-1658 or visit

Monday, November 9, 2015

Make Sure Your Rental Investment Helps You Retire Sooner

Your retirement portfolio, boosted by rental properties, can add a steady stream of income throughout your retired life.  Of course, you will want to be certain those same properties don't become a drain on your personal retirement resources.  The following points may help make your investment work to your advantage.

1. Know your Financing Options
Lending requirements have changed from what they were in the past.  Down payments up to 30%, not including closing costs, may be necessary. Loan terms may be more favorable when purchasing a home you plan to occupy. You might choose to buy a home as an owner occupied property to live in for a year prior to renting out.  This would allow you to qualify for the more favorable terms offered owner occupied properties.  You might choose to use a portfolio lender who doesn't sell mortgages into the secondary market, meaning it the loan wouldn't need to meet Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac's terms. Consider buying foreclosures or homes through tax sales.

2. Set Aside Money in Reserves
At the most unexpected times, repair costs can creep up if you own a home. It is essential to have money in reserve before buying or renting out a property.  When the water heater blows or roof leaks, you will need the money readily available to fix or replace the problems. It is recommended to have at least six month's worth of rental expenses set aside to ensure you can take care of emergencies as they arise.

3. Understand Tax Implications
Depreciation on rental properties can be claimed offering a valuable tax benefit and reducing annual tax burdens. In several cases, rental units operate at a tax loss. These losses can be deducted on landlord's tax returns at a price of up to $25,000 per year.  Some other requirements need to be met but while tax implications can be complex, they can also be beneficial for owners of rental properties.

4. Use a Licensed, Knowledgeable Realtor to Help Choose the Right Properties
Be sure to purchase the right homes and condos if you choose to make rental income part of your retirement plan. Properties can be profitable investments if they are in the right school districts and attract quality tenants. Always consult an experienced Realtor when shopping for a rental.  They can point out how much homes are renting for in certain areas, high demand parts of town, and how to find rentals that will generate positive cash flow.  Typically single family homes in solid school districts are a wise focus for first-time landlords.  This is because families with children may be less likely to break a lease unexpectedly.

Rental properties can be terrific additions to retirement portfolios if chosen correctly. I would be happy to help you find a rental investment that just might help you retire early!  Call me directly at 727-565-1658 or check out my website at

Information from the Dough Roller

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fewer Homeowners in the Sunshine State are Currently Underwater in 3rd Quarter of 2015

With increasing home values and completed foreclosures, fewer mortgage-holding homeowners across the nation are finding themselves underwater.  A home with a loan-to-value ratio greater than 125% would be considered seriously underwater.
In the third quarter of 2014, 28.1 percent of Florida owners with a mortgage were seriously underwater.  One year later, according to RealtyTrac's Q3 2015 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report, that number dropped to 23.2 percent.  
Nationwide, the number of homes with high loan-to-value ratios were at the lowest level since 2012. According to Daren Blomquist, Vice President of RealtyTrac, "After a lull late last year and early this year, home sales volume and average sales prices picked up dramatically again the second and third quarters of this year, resulting in a substantial drop in seriously underwater homeowners." 

The share of U.S. homeowners who are seriously underwater and also going through foreclosure in the third quarter also hit its lowest level since the first quarter of 2012.  That number is presently 33.4 percent.  The time to buy is now and I would be happy to assist you!  Call or visit my website.  Keyvan Kohan (727) 565-1658 or

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Housing Market A Bargain in Tampa Bay

With a median home price of $175,000, Tampa Bay's housing market is cheaper than other metro areas in the Southeast US.  Higher growth combined with lower prices makes the region an affordable market that is appreciating quickly. This provides a promising opportunity for home buyers especially since mortgage rates remain low.

Orlando's median price is $198,000 while Jacksonville marked $204,500 and Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro market averaged $289,900. The median sale price of homes in Florida's east coast cities between Port St. Lucie and Titusville rose about 20 percent from the previous year.

Certain metro areas are boasting median home prices startlingly high. California cities continued to dominate the list of most expensive markets.  Homes in the Silicon Valley, for example, are commanding a median sales price of $980,000.  That is 5.6 times Tampa Bay's median home prices.

Check out some of the area's best homes for your family.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Prepare to Rock This Weekend at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

Clearwater Jazz HolidayIn Coachman Park this Thursday through Sunday, visitors to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday can expect a blend of eclectic music. More than 40,000 people rock the area in front of the stage.  The Holiday organizers are planning for it to the be the largest ever.  Drawing a crowd from across the nation to listen to music and watch the sunset in Clearwater, this music event is set to be the best yet.

This year's featured all-star lineup includes Buddy Guy, Sheryl Crow and the Avett Brothers. Through scholarships and educational partnerships, CEO Steve Weinberger helps Bay Area students develop their love of jazz. Children under 12 are free.

Adult tickets begin at $15.  Gates open at 4:00 PM Friday and 2:00 PM both Saturday and Sunday. Don't forget a lawn chair, blankets and sunscreen.

Drop me a line if you are going to make there anytime this weekend.  Keyvan Kohan, ReMax Metro

Monday, October 5, 2015

There Is No Time Like The Present To Borrow

Low interest rates make it the best time in recorded history to borrow money, according to Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane.  They are lower now than they were in the days of FDR, Napoleon and Julius Caesar.  They are even lower than any time since the ancient Sumerians made loans using grain or silver. During the Great Depression, rates dipped almost down to zero.  In the United States, United Kingdom, euro zone and Japan rates are all-but-zero.

Why now?  It could be the combination of an aging economy that doesn't require as much investment as before and a global economy that just came out of crisis.

Trends seem to accelerate now so interest rates at or close to zero could be around for a while.  If Sweden can be used as example, rates move down into negative numbers before edging back into positive territory.

Borrow now and invest in Tampa Bay real estate.  For professional advice, contact Kohan & Associates at 727-565-1658 or visit our site at

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Changes To The Mortgage Closing Process Upcoming


The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosures and regulations have been integrated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The new CFPB disclosure forms will be used for any transactions involving a mortgage. The effective date for implementing the new TRID forms is October 3, 2015. This initiative is aimed at making the mortgage process easier for buyers to understand.

The new tools are aimed at educating consumers, aiding in comparison shopping, and helping to prevent surprises at the closing table.  The closing disclosure must be received by the buyer at least three business days before closing.  It is meant to disclose all of the costs of the transaction to be paid by the consumer.

For assistance with understanding the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms for most transactions involving a consumer mortgage, Keyvan Kohan is here to help.  Call Kohan & Associates at 727-565-1658 or check us out on the web at

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Shine on St.Pete

What do the Iron Man movies, Smithsonian museum, MTV's Real World, and Facebook headquarters all have in common? Artists whose work has appeared in these locales also have transformed exterior building walls across St. Petersburg.  The Shine St. Petersburg Mural Festival  ( brought together an impressive roster of internationally famous artists to bring the city to life in a big way. They are coloring the city with vibrant style.  A few of the mural painting artists include Hitnes (Rome), 123Klan (Canada), Ricky Watts and Shark Toof (California), and others from New York, Georgia, Orlando, Miami and St. Petersburg.

Feel free to come walk the city to see for yourself ( It may just make you want to move into a downtown condo. Kohan & Associates can help.  Call 727-565-1658 or visit our website at

Friday, September 11, 2015

Forced Into Loss by the Law

Bay Isle Key Apartments - St Petersburg, FL, United States
Hundreds of Florida condo owners are discovering that they won't receive as much help as they hoped.  A new law was designed to increase owner's rights as condos are being converted to apartments. But when their properties go rental not all owners are compensated at the full price they paid. Many are being forced to sell at huge losses.

Governor Rick Scott signed the law in July. However, just prior to the House voting on this measure, it was changed to provide full compensation only for owners with Homestead exemptions. This came as a blow to those who bought second homes or investment properties.

Bay Isle Key, a 370 unit complex in north St.Petersburg, is one of hundreds of Florida condo developments converting to apartments. (  

When investors acquired 80 percent of a buildings units, they could terminate the condo association, convert the complex to rentals and force individual owners out.  The new law says owners will be paid the current fair market value, not what they paid.  In several cases, today's market value is far less than what a condo originally cost at the peak of the boom.

For knowledgeable real estate advice, call Kohan & Associates at 727-204-5001 or visit

Monday, August 31, 2015

St.Petersburg Mayor Kriseman Sees Cuban Opportunity

The United States and Cuba have reopened their long-closed embassies opening the door to improved future relations.  This is exciting news for St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman who is intent on helping regional efforts.  Kriseman said he wouldn't mind if his city is picked as a Tampa Bay based consolate office. The hope is to establish economic and cultural ties with the island nation.  Additionally St.Pete is intent on promoting the city's marine ( and medical science industry as an ideal partner for Cuba's world-renowned vaccine and preventative care.  Another push will be to bridge the Cuban and St.Petersburg arts communities together ( These are exciting times for Tampa Bay. If you would like to buy in this dynamic forerunner of a city call Keyvan Kohan at 727-565-1658 or visit

Monday, August 24, 2015

Madeira Beach Projects Funded by Grants

Over the past several years, a record number of improvement projects have been planned, started or completed throughout Madeira Beach (  The expense and scope of these efforts has surpassed $20 million dollars. A large portion of the money has come from grants. The slated projects include citywide road reconstruction and stormwater system improvements, Gulf Boulevard beautification, boating infrastructure and dock improvements as well as new playground equipment. The City Centre project called Remember our Children Park ( has been completed at a cost of $10 million. The installation of plants, palm trees, lighting and upgrades has added tremendous beauty to the area.  Come for a visit and you'll decide to stay!  I would be happy to show you around.  Call Keyvan Kohan 727-565-1658 or email

Monday, August 10, 2015

Why Rely on Technology to Evaluate Home Values?

Image result for technology and home images

A multitude of websites inundate real estate consumers promising to have the magical formula for calculating real market value of homes today.  Data aggregation systems and computational models are examples of the advancement of information technology tools that have drastically changed the way real estate is marketed.  However, it is critical to get an insider's perspective to truly evaluate a residential property.

Personal tours involve viewing location, size and layout of homes. Certainly this type of information can be obtained from using a multiple listing service.  However, to truly get a feel for all a home can offer requires a personal investment of time. Physically walking through a home or condo allows the buyer to see firsthand all improvements, upgrades and remodels. It also allows for a close up look at potential structural damage from cosmetic to more serious. Experienced realtors and appraisers compare quality features daily. Relying on trained professionals can save buyers thousands of dollars.  This hands-on approach to determining real estate value benefits both buyers and sellers.

I will be more than glad to conduct a personal walk through of your chosen homes, provide a free market analysis, and answer any questions you have regarding the real estate market.  Call today for so much more than a computer generated valuation. Keyvan Kohan's Direct Line is (727) 565-1658. Website is or email


Thursday, July 30, 2015

St. Pete Brownstones Expected Downtown Soon

New York style brownstones are planned for a downtown St.Petersburg site on First Street North and Fourth Avenue ( The five high-end spaces are part of a joint venture project between owner Frank Menna and hotel/restaurant owner Steve Gianfilippo.  The new project, called The Brownstones, will consist of a row of 4000 square foot homes complete with roof decks and space below for professional offices.  Each unit will have a garage and elevator.  Pre-construction prices are expected to range between $1.3 and $1.8 million. The location, just two blocks from Beach Drive,is ideal due to the proximity to shops and restaurants. A flurry of development in the area includes the 18 story Bliss Condo tower and Rowland Place, a 17 condo building. If you would like to get in on the downtown action, call Keyvan Kohan today at 727-565-1658 or check out

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Madeira Beach Approves New Condo Development

 AZUL 3.jpg

Prepare to see aging apartments being replaced by upscale condos along Gulf Boulevard in the near future.  The plans have been approved by the city planning board and new developments are on their way.  The first project, named Astoria Beach Club, will be a five unit, three floor condo located at 13700 Gulf Boulevard.  A second project will be a four story, eight unit complex named Azul.  This redevelopment will combine two lots from 14107 and 14133 Gulf Boulevard. If you are interested in either of these two projects or any other similar properties in Madeira Beach, give me a call.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Florida abounds with Natural Springs

Freshwater springs, including the ones at Ichetucknee State Park, are this area's treasures.  The state boasts upward of 600 springs.  Some are so small they are easily missed, while others are large enough to feed a river.  Many of the state's first communities back in the 1800's centered around springs.  Popular watering spots include Ocala near Silver Springs, Daytona near DeLeon Springs, and Jacksonville near Green Cove Springs.  Dozens are held in the public trust while some are privately owned. Millions of gallons of fresh, 72 degree water pumps from these gems daily.  If you haven't experienced the a cool dip, just ask a local for their favorite natural park and jump in one day soon.

Friday, July 10, 2015

St.Pete Pier Could Soon Be Gone

This Thursday the St.Petersburg City Council will vote on a $3.1 million demolition contract.  If approved, the inverted pyramid pier could be dismantled soon.  Already issued, is a city demolition permit for the pyramid, since the structure does not touch water.  However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requires a permit to demolish the rest of the St.Petersburg Municipal Pier. Federal requirements include cultural mitigation.

The bridge and deck of the pier were part of a 1926 Million Dollar Pier, making them eligible for inclusion in the National Historic Registry.  City, State and Federal agencies together understand a draft memorandum calls for historic markers on the new St.Pete Pier, preservation of some artifacts, and documentation of the current pier.

According to St.Petersburg Preservation president Emily Elwyn, very detailed drawings can be done so that researchers in the future can go back and look at the pier to see how it was designed.  Also included will be documentation on the work of inverted pyramid architect William Harvard and other local architects.

The entire demolition is supposed to take 180 days with much of the concrete rubble used to shore up seawalls at nearby Albert Whitted Airport.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

St.Petersburg Kicks Off New Recycling Program

Universal curbside recycling debuted on Monday, June 29, 2015.  The program began in the Old Southeast neighborhood of St.Petersburg.  Mayor Rick Kriseman watched as the first load of recyclables dropped from the bin into the truck. "I know that our residents will do the right thing for our city and for the environment," he said.  The city joined local cities of Gulfport, Pinellas Park and Tampa which already had universal curbside service. city workers have delivered thousands of 95-gallon bins to residents.  Plastics, glass, cans and other recyclable items will be picked up once every two weeks. Added to their monthly utility bill will be a $2.95 monthly fee.  This will pay for trucks, containers, maintenance, fuel and processing. Seven trucks have been purchased to implement the city's new recycling program.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Home Maintenance Checklist

Many of us go about annual cleaning rituals to spruce up the appearance and cleanliness of our homes. This year you might consider taking a few additional steps to save on energy bills and ward off repairs later.
1. Have a licensed technician tune up your air conditioner. Dirty filters make your cooling system work harder which can increase energy costs and damage equipment. Check and clean the drains to remove sediment and algae which can cause clogs or water back up, making a home more humid or creating water damage.
2. Set your programmable thermostat to hold or vacation mode for a constant, efficient temperature.  Use fans when people are in rooms to make the settings more tolerable.
3.  If there are gaps around doors or windows, reapply exterior caulk.  Add weatherstripping around doors if any sunlight can be seen from inside.
4. Clean gutters of nature's debris. Add extensions to downspouts to carry water at least 3 feet away from the home's foundation.
5. Use a garden sprayer to apply a bleach and water solution to your roof.  This will remove dark streaks and stains which indicate an algae problem. Be sure to rinse.
6. Remove exterior dirt and mold from siding, decking, driveways and fences by pressure washing.
7. Clean your windows by washing the glass, vacuuming the sills and tracks, and clearing the weep holes.
8. Reseal wooden decking or replace any soft, spongy, decayed areas.
9. If you have a fireplace, call a chimney sweep to make sure the caps are in place and the damper is working properly.
10. Tune up your lawn mower so the blades are sharp.  This prevents grass tearing leaving it vulnerable to disease, sun damage and insects.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Searching for your new home

Purchasing a home can be one of life’s greatest accomplishments and often the largest financial investment you will ever make.  As experts in Tampa Bay real estate, we are here to help you every step of the way in finding the home of your dreams.
If you’re new to the area or interested in relocating, take some time to explore the Gulf Beaches and all that our neighborhoods have to offer.  Once you’re ready to start your home search, head on over to our easy-to-use search feature, where you have the entire St. Petersburg area MLS at your fingertips.  You can even plan to attend one of the many open houses held each week.  If you have any questions along the way contact us directly.  We’re always here to help!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Catch the Outdoor Play "In the Heights" this Weekend

demens landing park walkway in downtown st petersburg florida

"In The Heights" Broadway Musical in the Park

Demen's Landing
100 First Avenue SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Bring your blanket and lawn chairs to the outdoor play in the park. Catch Broadway's Tony-winning musical about chasing your dreams and finding your true home. American Stage's annual play in the park takes place at Demen's Landing in beautiful St.Petersburg. . Reserved seats are available for purchase, but it's just as fun to pack a picnic and sit on the grass. Through May 17.
Price: $13-$20 lawn, $26 premium blanket, $32 reserved.
Phone: (727) 823-7529

Monday, May 11, 2015

Downtown St.Pete's Waterfront Readies for Change with New Pier

The St. Petersburg City Council has approved the Pier Park design to replace the currently abandoned inverted pyramid.  The plan to develop the downtown waterfront and invigorate about 4 miles of shoreline is expected to have a long-lasting effect on the community.  The Pier Park project is expected to open in three years at a cost of $46 million. It is to include open park space, bike and walking paths, water activities, concessions, art shows and outdoor entertainment..  The long-term plan to provide increased access to the water, more pedestrian areas and public art will improve the quality of downtown St. Petersburg.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

St. Pete Beach wins #1 U.S. Beach Destination in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards

Based on millions of travelers' reviews, the highest honor any beach can receive was given to St.Pete Beach.

Fun Facts about the St.Petersburg / Clearwater area:

* We have 361 days of sunshine per year

* We are America's top beach destination on the Gulf of Mexico

* We feature 35 miles of white sugar-sand beaches

Call us today so we can help you buy your piece of the #1 beach destination in the United States!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Looking for something fun to do this weekend with your family and pet?

Come to the 2nd Annual Localtopia, a community celebration of all things local. Over 100 vendors from St.Pete's favorite independent businesses and non-profits will be represented. Enjoy live music all day! Join the fun at Williams Park, Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information go to: