Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Home Sales Expected to Grow Modestly in the Coming Year

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According to new consumer survey results and a National Association of Realtors 2017 housing forecast, existing home sales are expected to make a small gain in 2017. Mortgage rates are increasing while consumer confidence that now is a good time to buy a home may be decreasing. The Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey found that a majority of households (78%) do believe now is a good time to buy a home. Renters, however, retreat slightly in their market confidence. 

Weakening morale among renters may be caused by declining affordability in many parts of the country. NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun says, "Rents and home prices outpacing incomes and scant supply in the affordable price range has been a prominent headwind for many prospective buyers this year. Making matters worse, the unwelcoming reality of higher mortgage rates.."

Even with this year's slow dip in buyer excitement, existing sales are still predicted to close 2016 3.3% above last year - the best year since 2006. Next year, sales are forecast to grow by about 2 percent to around 5.52 million. Interestingly, the national median home price is predicted to go up by 4 percent next year.

Yun is hopeful that the continued job growth, any economic stimulus from the new administration and more millennials reaching their prime buying years will keep demand steady for the most part. Ultimately, what the housing market needs is more inventory. 

Almost all of those surveyed believe that prices will stay the same or rise in their community in the next six months.  Respondents from suburban areas, renters, and those living in the West are most likely to believe prices will go up in their communities.

Kohan and Associates Real Estate Team is ready for 2017. How may we help you?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Four Key Tax Strategies to Implement Before the Year End

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Celebrations and parties galore. All good times unless you have taxes on your mind!  Apply the following strategies to your business or real estate holdings and then go get yourself another glass of eggnog.

1. Document everything and get your books in order. Proper documentation is a must. Make certain to have a system for organizing receipts so you can substantiate expenses on your tax returns. Utilizing technology will improve efficiency. You might even consider a mileage tracking app. Using various expense recording apps on your smart phone can ensure you don't lose information along the way.
2. Review your entity structure. When running an active business it is a good plan to set up an LLC. It is generally simple and cost effective. Without an entity structure in place, any profit can be subject to self employment taxes. You might end up paying around 50% of your earned income to federal and state governments. Don't do it! Transact all business through your LLC if your state allows this. Also, when staking claim in a partnership entity, don't use your own name, use that of your LLC. This way you can choose to have your personal LLC taxed without affecting your partner's tax position.
Utilizing these ideas just may help you save enough money so you can buy a new property next year.
3. Before the year's end, make wise investments. What products or services can you buy now that will help in the future? What items are key to your growth? Maybe a new computer , truck or software subscription can help. Buying these items before the new year will allow you to write off the cost in 2016.
4. Establish and use retirement accounts. When flipping, developing or selling a home, retirement accounts can become a powerful tax planning tool.  Business owners can contribute up to $53K per year. Make sure you are taking the appropriate steps now to minimize your tax liability. Talk with a CPA, lawyer and finance professional to get the best tax strategies to help put more money in your pocket before the year is up.

Call the Kohan & Associates Real Estate Team when your nest egg is ready!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Top Real Estate Tips for Investors

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1) The best way to invest will always be through direct ownership.  You have total control and get to make all the decisions including if, when and to whom you would like to rent. When an investment is done correctly, you can expect an 18-23% average annual return. Simply having 3-5 quality properties will be more than enough for most people.
2) Avoid publicly offered partnerships. There can be internal fees, poor decisions made by the general partners and a lack of tax benefits all making this relationship unattractive.
3) Leave house-flipping to the professionals. After watching one too many HG-TV episodes, there are way too many people trying this.  Good buys are tough to find in a good market though. House flipping also requires an emotional detachment which can be difficult for most of us.
4) Stay away from time shares. Most people feel buyer's remorse after they become owners.
5) Real Estate Investment Trusts can be good if you do your research and take time to study the market.
6) Unless you are quite savvy and know the real estate cycle in your area, vacation properties might prove to be a poor idea. Speak to our team first ( to let you know the rental history of specific buildings and units so you can make a wise decision.
7) Your own home is not really an investment unless you know when to buy and sell regardless of personal situation at the time.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Neighbors and Fences : Can't We All Just Get Along?

Is there a polite way to add a fence between your home and that of your neighbors?  What is the appropriate etiquette in getting their input? If it is true that good fences make good neighbors why are so many people offended when a new one is installed?  An important point to keep in mind is that the purpose of a fence is not always to create privacy and keep people out.  Perhaps they serve to keep pets within property borders, serve an aesthetic choice, or keep children safe.  If a neighbor puts up a fence where there wasn't one previously, don't automatically assume it is an unfriendly gesture.

The first step to installing a fence is determining the property line and your city's regulations. Equally important is keeping communication with neighbors as open and informative as possible.  Ask your fence builder to review the plans with you so you have a clear understanding that you can discuss with those who live next door.  After all, even with a fence between you, you'll still be neighbors.

If there is an existing fence that encroaches on your property, talk about resolving the issue with a friendly conversation but be prepared to back your idea with evidence and documentation. You can ask for advice from your city offices and hopefully it won't get to the point of needing a lawyer.

Traditionally etiquette dictates that the front side of the fence (flat flush side of the planks or slats of a wood fence) should face your neighbor or the street.  The back side should face in toward the fence owner's property.

Ask if your neighbors would like to share the cost of putting up a new fence.  Keep in mind that if you both approve of a design you should have a written agreement for the joint agreement.  It should include who is responsible for what maintenance. If your neighbor doesn't join with you to build the fence, go ahead and move forward with the design plans of your own choosing.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Frightening Home Staging Mistakes

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When you think of Halloween does it conger thoughts of carving pumpkins, hanging decorations, and gorging on fun-sized candy? If you are a homeowner considering selling your home soon you might also be preparing for potential buyers instead of trick-or-treaters.

The National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Staging says that 32% of buyers' agents and 37" of sellers' agents believe that a staged home can increase the amount a buyer is willing to pay by up to 5%. So as part of the home selling preparation, is can be true that home staging is a crucial element. If you are choosing to prepare your home on your own, beware of the following staging mistakes that might scare away home buyers and their money.

1) A Dark and Spooky Entryway
2) Cobwebs in the Corners
3) Startling Colors on your Walls
4) Menacing Halloween (or other) Decor
5) Hovering Like a Ghost During Showings

Selling your home doesn't have to be scary. Contact Kohan & Associates Real Estate Team to help you sell quickly and for top dollar.  We can be reached through our website at

Monday, October 10, 2016

Townhomes Surge in Popularity

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Even as single-family home prices are rising in the Tampa Bay area townhomes are becoming all the rage. Builders and buyers are finding townhomes quite appealing as evidenced by the number of them being built and bought recently, up 54% from last year.  New townhouses were being built at twice the rate of single family homes from South Tampa to downtown St.Pete. 

Why? Dave Bullock, CalAtlantic Home's President, explains, "You can own a really nice townhome in a nice gated community in a really great area for less than you can rent." New Jackson Square townhomes near Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa were recently suggesting a monthly mortgage payment on a three-bedroom unit could be as low as $1587.   A nearby apartment community was renting their three-bedroom units for $1800 per month. It makes for a powerful comparison.  Once insurance and taxes are factored in to a purchase, the monthly payments can still be less or nearly equal to monthly rent prices.

Townhomes cost on average about $224,000 which is nearly $100K less than a single family home. But price is only one factor drawing buyers.  They are roomy when compared to an apartment and often have lower maintenance costs when compared to single-family homes. They are different from condos being that they are typically two stories high, built side by side with one or two shared walls. Owners of townhomes hold title to the land beneath the building unlike condo owners. They still pay a fee for maintaining common areas like pools, gyms and security. 

Urban living is gaining renewed interest and professionals seem to be moving away from wanting anything to do with yard work. It is likely that with the lure of personal garages, increased square footage and proximity to downtown hubs, we will see an increase in the number of townhomes popping up throughout Tampa Bay.

Our team would like to show you some townhomes first hand.  Let us know which ones you would like to see by checking out our website at  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cruisin' with the Cross-Bay Ferry

The 98-foot Provincetown IV, which has been ferrying passengers between Boston and Province?town, Mass., can carry up to 149 passengers at 33 mph.
Ahoy, mateys! In the next month or so, residents and visitors will have a new on-the-water opportunity. Plans were released this week for a cruise between the downtowns of St.Petersburg and Tampa aboard a 98 foot, 149 passenger catamaran. Commuters and day trippers can sail across Tampa Bay at 33 mph on the Cross-Bay Ferry. This new service elevates our status among the best communities on the water in the country. The ferry will connect Beach Drive in St.Petersburg to the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa along with all the shops, restaurants, museums and hotels these two destinations offer. 
As a collaborative effort between the cities, each will put in $350,000 to kick start the six month pilot program. The vessel, called the Provincetown IV will arrive in late October.  The public will have several days to ride for free during Thanksgiving week.   The regular fare will be $10 for adults one way and $8 for kids 3-12. Commuters will be eligible for reduced pricing. The trip is expected to take 50 minutes. Food and beverage service, bike racks, indoor and outdoor seating and spectacular views are planned.
For additional info, check out or

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ten Reasons to List with a Realtor

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Save yourself time and hassle by listing your home with a licensed Florida Realtor.  Below are the top 10 Reasons why:

1. Price: Homeowners who sell their homes on their own typically generate $46,000 less than homeowners who work with a Realtor.*
2. Access to Buyers: Through the Multiple Listing Service, professional contacts and their own database of prospects, Realtors can help you reach the widest range of customers.
3. Marketing Expertise: Realtors know the best ways to advertise to attract buyers, plus they can use the marketing muscle of their brokerage to promote your home.
4. Time: Realtors have the time and expertise to handle open houses, showings, inspections and the dozens of other tasks that would take you away from your work and regular routine.
5. Sales Skills: Realtors can evaluate your home and suggest improvements to get you the maximum value, and they're skilled at handling showings to generate a positive response.
6. Experience Handling Paperwork: Buying or selling a home involves reams of paperwork that can be hard to understand. Realtors thrive in this world.
7. Negotiation Skills: With years of bargaining experience and expert understanding of the market, Realtors can help you close the deal at the price and terms you want.
8. Knowledge of Neighborhoods: Realtors know local communities cold and can help you find a replacement home in the nicest neighborhood and with the best schools. For example,
9. Knowledge of Service Providers: Realtors can refer you to their network of top-quality lenders, lawyers, inspectors and repair people to make sure you get the best result in every stage of your deal.
10. Advice after Closing: An experienced Realtor will continue to support you as questions pop up after the deal is done.

* The typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales, according to NAR 2014 Profile of Home buyers and sellers.

Info from:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Invest and Get Rich

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Are you looking for ways to make your money work harder for you instead of working harder for your money? Robert Kiyosaki, author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", gave insights on making money and what to do with it. In a recent interview on MarketWatch, he suggested that rich people don't work for their money. We were always taught to get an education and find a job that we can work hard in to make great money.  Kiyosaki advises that if you are saving part of your earnings and investing in the stock market, you are going to lose. He predicts the worst stock market crash in history will occur in 2016. So what is the best investment now?  It's up to each of us to discover but we must be realistic.  

Regardless of whether the market is up or down, look for a real estate bargain.  Keep your eyes open for investment opportunities that others don't see.   However, be mindful of taxes in states like Hawaii, California and New York. Look for areas, like Florida, that are favorable to investors with regards to debt, taxes and laws. Whenever you are ready, Kohan & Associates is here to assist with your investment.  Reach us at

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ideas to Pay Off Your Mortgage Quickly

Are you interested in accelerating your mortgage payments to pay off the loan at a faster rate?  Successfully speeding up the process can result in financial gratification and pay off in the long run. You may find that following one or more of the following tips help you pay down your mortgage at an accelerated pace.

Did you know you can use your credit card rewards to pay a mortgage? One example of this reward program is the Home Rebate Card through Wells Fargo ( With this particular card, each time you make a percent you can earn 1 percent cash back.  The money earned is automatically transferred to your mortgage principal each month. To learn more about how this card rates, check out the US News Money report at

It can take a good number of years before there is a shift from paying interest to paying principal balance on a long term mortgage.  Therefore, making larger payments from the beginning can be one of the best strategies for those who have extra income and minimal expenses.  Front loading principal payments to get ahead might be a little easier for first time buyers or those without children yet.  

Another method to try is to use a tax refund to help pay down a mortgage.  Instead of splurging on a vacation the refund amount might be able to pay a couple extra house payments.  In fact, according to the IRS ( the average refund last year was $3116.

To save a little bit of interest, make multiple payments each month. Technically you would be borrowing less money on a daily basis which would lower your interest. For example, instead of paying a $2000 monthly mortgage payment, you might choose to pay half of that every two weeks.  By paying every 14 days, you would be making 26 half payments per year.  This equates to two extra payments a year. This is the same as paying one extra monthly payment per year which will help you pay of your mortgage faster.

For other mortgage and real estate tips, contact Kohan & Associates.  We are here to help. Visit us on the web at

Monday, July 11, 2016

Is Your Home Prepared?

Regardless of the forecast for storms in the United States, coastal residents should fully prepare themselves each year. There isn't a strong correlation between the number of named storms and the number that actually make landfall.  For example, this hurricane season there are 12 named storms forecast to develop and any number of those can hit the US or none at all. In other words, a year might deliver many storms with little impact or deliver few storms but hit with major impact.

Colorado State University has forecast the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season to have near historical averages for the number of named storms and hurricanes.  There are a total of five hurricanes expected with two of those being major.  A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger. Hurricane season spans from June through November. Experts predict the U.S. is due for another hurricane strike sooner rather than later but since it is impossible to know when that will occur it is important to be prepared.

Not only having insurance but getting the right amount and type can mean the difference between a smooth or challenging recovery. Contact your insurance agent to discuss the type of and amount of coverage recommended. Other online resources include:  The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation    The Insurance Information Institute The Florida Department of Financial Services

Review your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy by asking yourself these questions:

What is my deductible?
What is my hurricane deductible?
Do I need flood insurance?
Do I have enough coverage to replace my home and belongings?

Some companies offer rate reductions for reinforcements to the roof, garage, windows and doors.  For help in determining what improvements might offer discounts on your hurricane insurance premiums contact your insurance agents.  For other helpful tips, such as what items you might add to your emergency supply kit, contact Kohan and Associates at

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Principles of Organization

Doesn't it feel great to get your home organized?  The hardest part is just figuring out where to begin. According to Houzz there are 10 principles that keep the process simple and keep you from becoming overwhelmed.

1. Determine your active and passive areas: The spots that you touch or pass daily are considered active.  This can include the entryway, top drawers and eye-level shelves. Passive areas are the zones that are used less frequently like a guest room, low shelving, and deep nooks in closets.  Keep the items you don't use frequently in the less active spaces.
2. Don't overorganize: You need to be able to find things when you need them.  Clear containers and open baskets help corral contents while still letting you see inside. If you use containers that aren't transparent, you might take a picture of the objects inside or label them.
3.Beautify open storage: Choose carefully whatever you decide to display on open shelves.  Make certain it is visually pleasing and colorfully arranged.
4. Make clean up a breeze: Especially when it comes to kids' toys, use easily accessible bins, boxes, hampers and hooks.  
5. Arrange by task: The easiest way to describe this is to think of a first-aid kit.  Conveniently cluster everything you might need to care for an injury.  Shoe boxes work well for grouping small items together.
6. Everybody needs a mudroom or similar area: Create a space for all of the stuff that is constantly in transit like keys, leashes, purses, etc. Don't let these items randomly pile up.  Dedicate a space that will keep them all neat.  The most logical space would be to put a few baskets on a shelf near the main entrance to your home.
7. Subdivide: If you are using a drawer to store small items consider an organizer.  Without them you are inviting clutter and chaos in the kitchen.  Subdivide your junk drawer, office supplies, cutlery, etch. and arrange neatly into drawers.
8. Look up:  Organize vertically by using shelf risers to increase cabinet capacity. Add wall mounted hooks and holders to store brooms, mops, and handled tools to get them off the floor.
9. Choose wisely:  Pick the right container for the job at hand.  You don't want to ruin your wedding gown or precious family photos.  Be smart and take preventative measures by choosing acid free containers for pictures or breathable boxes for storing clothing.
10. Keep it low: Store heavy items low so you don't have to balance something that weighs a ton while wobbling on a ladder. You wouldn't want a heavy item to fall out of a cabinet and land on someone's head so keep anything that takes effort to lift down below waist height.
For other great home ideas visit

Monday, June 13, 2016

Kitchen Projects that Pay You Back

Adding major value to your home can easily be achieved by using modern, stylish material (  Simply updating countertops and sinks can set the tone for the entire kitchen. Popular choices include granite, quartz, concrete, marble, slate, tile and onyx. Laminates, while priced low, are generally considered outdated.

When choosing a material for your home, consider durability, maintenance and cost.  Natural stone counters can cost up to $300 per square foot. The elegant, earthy, upscale look is pulling homeowners toward the wide range of colors offered by stones like marble, limestone and soapstone.

The fewer seams and less porous the material, the less likely it will be to have water and bacteria creating unsanitary conditions. Stainless steel and solid surface counters are not porous and offer a look that is seamless.

Sinks are also getting smarter and more stylish.  Undermount sinks, versus the traditional top mount, are trendy and offer a sleek design. Today's kitchens are highly functional with multiple work zones.  Many homeowners are installing drain trays and built in preparation boards to add extra workspace.

While budgets can be limiting, kitchen design has infinite possibilities. Choose attractive modern patterns and materials that create a unique look for your home and bring you satisfaction. When it comes time to sell, your happiness will shine through to new potential buyers.

For additional design ideas, check us out at

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Far from the Simple Life

The sugar white sand on North Clearwater Beach is beckoning you to a new home. Introducing the only beachfront new construction project available on Clearwater Beach...Pura Vida! The planned residence is a boutique style building with 22 condos using the highest quality standards. It will feature 6 living levels plus two floors of parking. Prices start at $975,000 for a 3 BR/3.5 BA 2000-3000 sq ft unit.  Each residence will have 2 assigned parking spots plus a storage unit.  Amenities to include a heated pool, fitness center and meeting room. For more information, on Pura Vida Condos, visit Kohan & Associates at

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Astoria Beach Club coming to Madeira Beach

You've heard the saying, "The Early Bird Catches the Worm".  In this case, the worm is soon-to-be built Astoria Beach Club. New luxury condominium homes are being planned on beautiful Madeira Beach, FL.  Have you ever dreamed of owning a premier residential beachfront property? Now is the opportune time you have been waiting for!

 Astoria Beach Club will feature stunning classic architecture with the finest quality finishes and appliances. The kitchen and baths will feature custom quality solid wood cabinetry with beveled edge granite tops. Each residence will own a private two-car garage and private laundry room.  An outdoor pool/spa with waterfall gives you a second option to the tranquil gulf beach. Pre-construction pricing ranges from $925,000 for nearly 2000 square foot unit up to $2,250,000 for a penthouse boasting over 4400 square feet.  

If you are interested in learning more about Astoria Beach Club or any other properties along our beautiful Gulf Beaches feel free to contact Kohan & Associates through our website at We can't wait to show you our gorgeous community.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tips for House Hunting in a Seller's Market

In a seller's market there is an abundance of buyers in comparison to the supply of available homes. Imaginably prices skyrocket and multiple offer situations abound.  How can you make your offer more appealing than countless others?  Consider these easy steps to help ensure an ideal result:

1. Get Prequalified - Visit your bank to learn how much of a mortgage you can afford. Showing a prequal letter to sellers lets them know you are making a serious offer.

2. Look Around - Research all that is available then investigate the properties which are realistic matches for your budget.

3. Sharpen Your Pencil - Be prepared to fill in a load of paperwork.  Mortgage lenders are cautious when it comes to lending money.  Be prepared for the onslaught of questions by organizing your financial documents before meeting with the lender.  This will help expedite the process and raise your chances of getting a good deal.

4. Pop in Frequently - Visit the neighborhood where you are considering purchasing a home to learn as much as possible.  Regularly stop by the area at different times during the day.  Talk to neighbors. Eat at the local restaurants.

5. Remain flexible - In a highly competitive market you might have to settle just a little. Make small concessions without simply settling. Focus on the features you want and need the most but shop with flexibility on your mind.

6. Negotiate - If several potential buyers desire the same property, make your offer stand out as the best one by providing an incentive.  There are legally acceptable ways of doing this. For example, you might offer as much cash as you can, waive seller's fees, or decline seller-provided warranties.

7. Make a Strong Offer - Lowballing is out.  Be in line with your competition by offering the asking price or higher. work with the seller to determine their preference on closing date and other contingencies.

8. Don't Oversettle - Even in a competitive market, you can feel if a property is the right fit for you. Go with your gut. Even if a home is in your price range, it might not meet the majority of your expectations. If you can't find something that works for you, wait out the hot market.

9. Find a Fabulous Agent - Some people think only a seller needs to use an agent.  There are buyer's representative, negotiation specialists and professional agents who know how to get results.  make sure you have a specialist working for you.

If you are considering purchasing or selling your home, reach out to us.  The team of Kohan & Associates will be in your corner. Find us at

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Renters Beware!

The state Attorney General's Office is investigating a Tampa firm by the name of HOA Problem Solutions.  They are accused of faking bids on foreclosures at public auctions.  A bid is made at online public auctions but when payment is not made, another auction is planned and again the high bidder defaults.  This invalid sale happened five times over the course of eight months for a property in Quail Ridge Villas. 

The homeowners association received a final foreclosure judgment against a resident who owed thousands of dollars in delinquent fees. Then someone bid on the property but failed to pay, causing repeated delays, ultimately hurting the association which couldn't collect fees needed for maintenance and repairs. As foreclosure proceedings dragged on, HOA Problem Solutions has been renting out the house. An attorney for the Villas filed a lawsuit claiming the company "is intentionally impeding the judicial process by submitting false bids.  Other associations have had similar experiences with the firm according to Clearwater attorney Brandon Mullis. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office is conducting a consumer protection investigation into HOA Problem Solutions.

Avoid the foreclosure auction process game and call the professionals at Kohan & Associates.  We are here to help.  Keyvan Kohan can be reached at 727-565-1658. Stephanie Kohan can be reached at 727-564-9983.  Whether you are interested in Renting, Buying or Selling feel free to browse our website at

Monday, April 25, 2016

Packing Up a Lost Loved One's Home

Regarded as one of the most stressful situations, it is likely that each of us will one day have to clear out a deceased parent's home. There is no way to soften the difficulty of this inevitable, unenviable task. 
Often times even though people aren't classic hoarders, they still hang on to a multitude of questionable objects they saw no reason to get rid of previously. Easier to dispose of are the Tupperware's without lids and receipts from decades past. However, when it comes to the family memorabilia, trying to decide whether to keep or toss can cause emotions to become excruciatingly painful. My best advice is to keep your common goal in mind - .  You can't cling to every candy dish in an effort to keep the lives of your loved ones from slipping away.
If you have not had the experience of packing up a family member or friend's home, here are some pearls of wisdom:
1. Keeping the house can be costly, so the shared goal of selling can  help motivate packers.
2. Save things that have a story or value.
3. Split things between family.
4. Hire help. Several companies can assist with estate sales for the items you plan to liquidate.
5. Take pictures of items you don't intend to keep but still have meaning.
When the task of clearing out the house is completed and you are mentally ready to sell your loved one's home, call Kohan & Associates. We are realtors with compassion and understanding of what you have experienced because we have been there ourselves. Call Keyvan Kohan at 727-565-1658 and Stephanie Kohan at 727-564-9983 or reach us through our website at .We can get through this most difficult time together.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pinellas County Government Contact Info

Keep these important numbers handy for easy reference when you need them.  Or just give 
Kohan & Associates a call and we will provide you a list.  Stephanie Kohan, Director of Client Services-Realtor,  and Keyvan Kohan, Broker-Associate, can be reached at 727-565-1658.  Feel free to contact us through our website as well at

Pinellas County Government          
Animal Services                         727-582-2600
Animal Bite Line                        727-582-2608
Chemical Waste Hotline             727-462-4623
Citizens Info Center                    727-464-4333
Clerk of Court                             727-464-7000          
Consumer Protection                   727-464-6200
Convention & Visitor's Bureau   727-464-7200          
Elections                                      727-464-6788         
EMS & Fire Admin.                    727-582-2000
Flooding Info                               727-464-3471
Health Dept. (CLW)                    727-469-5800         
Health Dept. (St.Pete)                 727-824-6900         
Housing Finance Authority         727-464-8210        
Jail                                               727-464-6415         
Justice Protection                         727-453-7441
Parks                                            727-582-2100
Property Appraiser                      727-464-3207          
Public Defender                                                           
Public Works                                727-464-3251
Sheriff                                           727-582-6200         
Tax Collector                                727-464-7777         
Veterans Services                          727-464-8460
Zoning Permit                               727-464-3401
Cable/Internet/Landline Providers
Bright House                                1-888-289-8988      
Verizon FiOS                                1-800-VERIZON   
WOW                                           1-866-745-3685      
Department of Motor Vehicles
 DMV                                           727-464-7777       
Electricity/Natural Gas
Duke Energy                                  727-443-2641      
TECO                                            1-877-TECO-PGS
Pinellas County                             727-464-7500        
Trash Collection
Pinellas County                               727-464-7500
Pinellas County                             727-464-4000

Friday, April 1, 2016

Interested in Adding Value to your Home?

Knowing which home improvements are most beneficial to make a statement in today's real estate market can really pay off. Keeping in mind that each upgrade will most likely help increase the value of your home when selling, now is a great time to learn the smartest options.

1. Declutter:   Taking out the extra furnishings and accessories from a home has been estimated to be worth as much as $4000.  This is truly a case where less is more.  If you feel like you need a gentle nudge consider hiring a professional cleaning service or home staging company.

2. Landscaping: Even for those of us without a green thumb, adding plants and mulch helps improve first impressions. Costs are relatively low but the return value is high.

3. Fresh Paint: The smell of new paint sends visitors a message that the home has been improved. Choosing neutral colors that are currently fashionable can make living space more inviting.

4. DIY Projects: If you can do some handy work around the house, labor savings equal 100%. Consider trading out old faucets for modern nickle and steel models.  Or how about adding wainscoting to at least a single wall for added value?

5. Updated Lighting: New lighting fixtures can brighten your home without breaking the bank. There are so many options to choose from that this is an easy way to add character and decoration.

6. New Furnishings: Prospective home buyers can be wowed by the look of great, affordable furniture. Impress them with a few new pieces of tasteful and comfy couches or chairs.

7. Pre-Inspection Inspection: Here's a home value hack you might not have thought about.  Consider hiring an inspector before your home even hits the market.  Particular mechanical or plumbing problems can be identified and fixed ahead of time.

Would you like to know the current value of your home?  We would be happy to provide you with a FREE MARKET ANALYSIS.  Give Keyvan and Stephanie a call today: 727-565-1658.

Additional home improvement ideas can be found at

Friday, March 18, 2016

From Beach Shacks to High End Mansions

The norm on our local beaches has become small family cottages giving way to high-end homes. Real estate sellers and developers see this trend continuing with quaint homes along the beach coming to an end as more and more multi-million dollar homes are replacing them.

According to Developer Peter Donnantuoni, new construction was dormant for about 10 years following the market crash of 2006. However, coming out of the recession, expensive homes are going up all over.

Many of the existing homes in this area are showing signs of age with older designs and finishes. Baby boomers who have worked hard are now comfortable spending big bucks on modern new homes. They want to enjoy what they have earned.  While the cost of high end Gulf beach homes can range from $3-$5M, they are still a bargain compared to those south of the area. Pinellas County is going through a renaissance of sorts where everybody wants to move here.  Investments in beachfront property are trending since the value of the land is what's driving the price of expensive homes.

Vacant lots are harder and harder to come by.  A 60 foot lot in Redington Beach recently sold for $1.7 million dollars.  Modest homes are getting sold and knocked down as they become obsolete.  The house ages but the lots are appreciating assests. Builders and realtors believe that more and more high end homes will be built along the beach with smaller ones being cleared away to make room.

In the words of a local agent, "Even though it is cheaper to buy on the Pinellas beaches than it is to buy south of here, it won't last forever.  We were the best kept secret but that is over.  Values will increase and so will the demand."

If you are ready to own your piece of sand, call Stephanie and Keyvan today at Kohan & Associates.  We can be reached 7 days a week at 727-565-1658.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Feeling lucky?

St.Patrick's Day is only days away and it's time to celebrate!  Tampa Bay has a multitude of options to choose from.  Give me a call (727-565-1658) and let me know if you will be at any of the following events:

Mayor's River O'Green Fest
Saturday, March 19, 2016
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
600 N Ashley Drive Tampa

Tampa's official Saint Patrick's Day party is centered around the Hillsborough River which will be tinted bright green for the occasion.  Celebrants can also expect live entertainment, games, kids activities, local restaurants and beer.  Free for the entire family including Fido!

MacDinton's Soho St. Patrick's Day
Thursday, March 17, 2016
11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
"The place to be seen in ur green"
St.Patrick's Day Party at MacDinton's Irish Pub to include a full Irish menu all day.  Irish dancers and bag pipers will entertain all day and night.  Live music inside and outside. No cover before 5 PM.

Paddyfest at Ferg's Live
Thursday, March 17, 2016
5:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Touted as the biggest and best party in the Bay, Paddyfest features three inside bars, two outside bars, five beer tents, and two stages.  Live entertainment, Giant Flip Cup Tournament, choreographed Irish Dancing and give aways!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Selling Your Home? What Can You Expect This Tax Season?

If your home recently sold or is sale pending do you know what income taxes you will be responsible to pay this tax season?  The amount actually depends on the length of time you lived in your home.  If your family has resided in your home for two of the last five years, single homeowners can earn $250,000 tax free!  Some exceptions to this rule apply for those disabled, relocating for a job more than 50 miles away, or those in need of medical treatment.  In these cases taxes can be prorated. The tax free number increases to $500,000 (exemption on the profit not sale price) for couples filing jointly.  Capital gains taxes must be paid if your home is higher than your allotment. For homeowners who have had their homes less than a year, the regular tax rate applies.
If you are interested in calculating your personal gain, the following compilation is suggested by Time: "First subtract selling expenses such as agent commissions and other closing costs from the sale price.  Then you need to calculate your basis. This is what you paid for your home, plus some of the closing expenses from the purchase, such as title insurance and recording fees (but not loan points or lender fees), and the costs of any permanent improvements, like a swimming pool or new addition.  For more complete details, see IRS Publication 523."
Prior to selling a home, one should check with a CPA, Tax attorney and/or Estate attorney.  For recommendations, give the Kohan & Associates team a call at 727-565-1658 or check out our website at

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Florida Ranked Best Place to Retire

Best and Worst Cities to Retire
Florida is destined to benefit from the migration of nearly 80 million aging Baby Boomers.  According to demographic studies, the Sunshine State's mild temperatures and limitless outdoor amenities make Florida a continued favorite retirement destination. View the charts at the link below to see the 20 Best States to Retire in 2016, based on a study by WalletHub. ( For an unsurpassed lifestyle, now is the time to buy your slice of the most desirable place to live. Call Keyvan and Stephanie at Kohan & Associates today at 727-565-1658 or visit our website at

Monday, February 1, 2016

Shopping for a GREEN House?

It seems that now more than ever, home buyers are searching for eco-friendly homes.  How can you tell if a home is truly green or even lends itself to green tendencies?

The term "green" can mean different things to different people.  Many of those seeking energy cost savings might look for features like Energy Star appliances, weatherproofed windows and advanced insulation. Others may be concerned with personal health issues and therefore seek homes with non-toxic materials like bamboo flooring and low VOC paint. Some buyers go so far as wanting to contribute to a more sustainable future and look for locally produced or reclaimed wood and building material.

Finding a home with even basic levels of "green" can help lower energy bills. Home buyers looking for eco-friendly homes may also consider that green-certified, single family homes sold for 9 percent more than comparable non-green homes according to a recent University of California study. Perhaps buying a smaller home is more economical since the larger homes consume more energy.  Water based paints contain lower levels of gas emitting VOC's than oil based paints. Recycled carpets or reclaimed wood are popular flooring choices. When landscaping, choose plants requiring low levels of maintenance. 

If Green homes interest you, feel free to give us a call and we can show you several in the St. Petersburg area. Kohan & Associates 727-565-1658 or check out our website at and the United States Green Building Council website at

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gasp! It's Gasparilla Time!

Join the fun as pirates invade downtown Tampa. A pre-invasion celebration and the Second Annual Gasparilla Charity Concert will be a night of fun and music on Friday, January 29th.  Taking place on the Pirate Fest Stage in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, the concert features The Hip Inductors, the Swon Brothers and Howie Day. Tickets for general admission cost $20 for the 6:00 PM concert.

The third largest parade in the country takes place on Saturday, January 30th at 11:30 when the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla invades the Port of Tampa in the world's only fully-rigged pirate ship.  Following the invasion, the krewe will lead an almost 4 mile parade down Bayshore Blvd. The parade is free but tickets may be purchased for brunch and reserved seating.

On February 13th an Illuminated Knight parade hosted by Sant' Yago lights up 7th Avenue in Ybor City. There is sure to be dancing in the streets among brightly lit floats and beaded revelers. The event is free but be sure to arrive early for a great view.

For the healthy runners and walkers the Gasparilla Distance Classic will take place on February 20th and 21st. Choose from the 15k, 5k, 8k, half marathon, Michelob Ultra Challenges, 5k walk, 5k stroller races, and more.  Prizes totaling over $40K.

Art lovers prepare for Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to be transformed into a huge outdoor museum.  Artists from around the country will be representing their various art techniques from glass, to wood to water colors. The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts takes place March 5th and 6th.

For more information on upcoming Gasparilla events please call Kohan & Associates 727-565-1658 or visit or

Friday, January 15, 2016

Are You Money Smart?

It happens more often than you might think.  An eager buyer requests my help in finding a dream home.  I start by asking a few questions about their hopeful criteria.  A few minutes in to our conversation the topic leans toward affordability.  I am recognizing a new trend that many are in denial about their finances and require some time to repair credit before considering buying a new home.

An estimated 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck with one third of adults admitting to spending more than they can afford. When it comes to money, we have to deal with reality regardless of what we think we need, want and desire.

Wise money spending habits are key to your successful purchase of a property down the road. Do you neglect bills for impulsive buys? Do you buy based on affordability or desire? Do you buy out of guilt? Do you spend money on name brands?  Do you finance vacations, boats, RVs? Do you borrow money to pay your credit cards? Do you purchase things based on monthly payments instead of actual cost? If you answered yes to any of the above questions you might have unhealthy spending habits which could negatively effect your home purchasing ability.

Consider getting your finances in solid order. Start saving 10 percent of your income, contribute to your pension plan, use coupons, comparison shop and pay charge cards off in full when the statement arrives. When you are confident about your money smarts give the team at Kohan & Associates a call! 727-565-1658 or

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Second Luxury Apartment Tower Planned by South Florida Developer

Demand continues to be strong for high end rentals in downtown St. Petersburg.  Contributing factors to the spiked interest point to the abundance of bars, restaurants, ambiance, and urban amenities. 

South Florida developer, American Land Ventures, is under contract to buy a site for its second luxury apartment tower in downtown St. Pete.  Located on the northern half of the block between Third and Fourth Streets South and Second and Third Avenues South, the site is set for a 22 story, 210 unit tower.  It is across from an 18 story building almost completed. The proposed tower will have one, two and three bedroom apartments priced at market rates for luxury units int he area.

American Land's second luxury apartment tower will share the neighborhood with a nine story, 366 unit apartment complex being built by a Cleveland company, Beacon 430 which is a 326 unit rental complex, Hermitage which is a 348 unit building, and a 35 story, 306 unit tower planned for a vacant lot on Second Avenue North.

The explosion of apartments in downtown St. Petersburg warrants a close eye. Give us a call and we can monitor the growth together.  Keyvan Kohan 727-565-1658 or