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