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Seize The Weekend, South Shore!


So you’re new in town. Hopefully we helped you out getting here! Welcome! OR maybe you’re really, really old in town and just still feel like you don’t know what there is to do to spice up a weekend.

You’ve been to the same chain restaurants, you’ve walked the malls, and spent gallons of gas and LOADS of frustration in traffic going to Tampa or St. Pete – all in the name of a fun Friday night.

The good news is that there are TONS of things, right here in your neighborhood to do. There are things to see, places to eat, and new people and local businesses to connect with!

The REAL Team has been in the South Shore area for years, we know the owners of small businesses that line our highways. We have a firm grasp on what restaurant has the best coconut shrimp, and what bar has the friendliest servers. We’ve had a lot of weekends to fill with activities here, and we want to share everything we’ve learned with you!


Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center

This one’s FREE. 100% FREE. Is that even possible in 2017?

Tampa Electric has a power plant that generates clean and warm water, which is the exact sort of thing our beloved manatees like to snuggle up with. The viewing center is completely free, and has plenty of educational stations on EVERYTHING manatee. It’s such a simple pleasure, and you can visit anytime November to April to see herds of manatee, sharks, and other fish enjoying their warm little nook.

Truly something to check out with the whole family!

Read Mr B.‘s review of Manatee Viewing Center on Yelp



Latitudes may be exactly what you think of when you think of a Bar/Restaurant Where Everyone Knows Your Name. But it is SO much more than that.

Latitudes DOES have a great bar with a good wine and beer selection, and some cocktails that’s perfect to kick off ANY weekend, however, there is so much more to it. Latitudes keeps up with what they can get the freshest and best – so their menu is always changing and giving you something new.

This is the place to go and socialize if you’re a local, and the place to go and be treated like a local if you’re from out of town. Just WAIT until you try their Sunday Brunch Build Your Own Bloody Mary bar.

Read Ron C.‘s review of Latitudes Apollo on Yelp


Southshore Uncorked 

Maybe you’re in need of an after-work Wednesday get-away with your coworkers or maybe you just need something fun for a weekend date night indoors – Southshore Uncorked has you covered.

Come in for $5 glass specials, or take home a Make Your Own Wine kit, bring it back, and have it personally bottled and labeled!

Print out their event calendar and put it behind your wine glasses in the cabinet!

Read Leslie F.‘s review of Southshore Uncorked on Yelp



Four Stacks Brewing Company

This may be one of the best kept secrets in Apollo Beach, but we’ll clue you in on it too.

Four Stacks Brewing is a small brewery with a charming, fun-at-home atmosphere. Crafting delicious beers of their own and carrying other local favorites, everyone here is well versed in the art of the bubbly brew and will make sure they’re stocked up with something to knock your socks off. Kick back with friends and enjoy feeling like you know about an exclusive club right here in your backyard.

Check out what they’ve got on tap before you go!

Read James P.‘s review of Four Stacks Brewing Company on Yelp



At The Real Team, we love supporting the businesses that have roots right where we do. We relish telling our homebuyers where the best grouper sandwich is and which bar we think is best to sing “Sweet Caroline” as loud as we can at. Sure, we’re biased. We love the towns we work in. But most importantly, we want YOU to love your town, too.

By shopping with all of our neighbors, friends, and family members you’re strengthening and building our community.

If you, or anyone of your loved ones need help with real estate needs, put them in experienced hands with The Real Team! With over 800+ Families helped over the years, servicing all areas of the South Shore, we have the expertise to make the moving experience less stressful and more rewarding.

We know these areas. We know our people. We know real estate.

We are your neighbors, your friends, and YOUR real estate professionals.

Home Staging: What To Do Vs. What Not To Do

When you’re selling a house, you have about six seconds to make a positive impression on potential buyers. You have less time than it took for you to get creamer out of the fridge this morning. That means you can’t rely on a stunning interior to make up for a poorly manicured lawn, or a prim bed of begonias to distract attention from peeling paint. Instead, prepping a home for sale requires attending to all maintenance and decor details to create an attractive, cohesive presentation.

This process of converting a lived-in home into a show-worthy house is called home staging. Not to be confused with redecorating, home staging transforms the highly personalized elements of a house into an appealing blank canvas that buyers will go to sleep thinking about.

A seller has to try to be objective by looking at their home as a product that someone would purchase. You have only one chance to get it right, so present your home in the beginning in the best possible way you can.

The home staging process can sound daunting when you’re washing dishes in the same kitchen you’ve spent every morning for the last seven years in, or when you look in the backyard to see the pieces of a once-was tree house crumbling out of the oak tree.

But, it’s true – 95 percent of homes that are staged by professional home stagers sell, on average, in 35 days or less and for near the asking price – versus 140 days for non-staged homes, according to a study by the Accredited Staging Professionals (ASP), a national staging trade organization (Yes. It’s totally a thing.)

Staged homes also happen to look fabulous in photographs.

Luckily, professional stagers from across the globe have shared what it takes. They’ve offered their secrets and golden tickets to getting your house sold quickly.


  • Focus on your curb appeal. You want all of the families and couples driving by to scope out Saturday’s Open House Tour to fall in love with your home from the street. Power-wash the exterior and maybe add a coat of fresh paint to the walls or door. Rise up and put those $15 Target ceramic pots you bought two years ago to good use! Mow the grass for the third time this month (because it’s Florida.) Give the buyers a reason to want to come further than your mailbox.


  • Declutter. Think of it like Spring Cleaning boot camp. You want to leave room for someone else to make the home theirs in their mind. This means taking away larger, clunky pieces of extra furniture like the La-Z-Boy in the living room or the extra dresser in the bedroom. You might even do well to minimize the number of hanging clothes you have in your closet. If you think you’ve decluttered enough, do it again with what’s left. But don’t let this be nerve wracking. The end goal is a big move, so getting ahead on packing some of your lesser-used things up is only going to help in the long run. Or, you can always donate unneeded things to a nonprofit charity. (PS: Many charities will pick up larger donations for free. Find out more about it at http://bit.ly/2wX5Jzn.)

*NOTE This does NOT mean store all of your “extras” in closets or on higher, hidden shelves. Assume buyers will be peaking in. They’re trying to make sure they have room for all of their junk, too.


  • Clean, Clean, Clean. You went through the house and decluttered. That’s the biggest part. The more stuff you get rid of or pack up, the more room your house will have and the less YOU will have to organize and clean to have the home show-ready. Wash baseboards and clean shower tile grout. Organize your bookshelves like they’re going to be featured in HGTV magazine. Clean every inch of your house. In doing this, you’ll also see if little repairs need to be taken care of now that may be noticed. You may need to re-caulk the tub seal or add wood putty to a door frame that you didn’t realize. If your schedule won’t allow this kind of deep cleaning more than once, consider having a professional cleaning service come in regularly while the house is on the market to ensure it stays show-ready.


  • Get Pets Out Of The House For Showings. We can’t count on Roscoe to lick offers out of buyers. We love them, and sure a wagging tail is a nice addition to any get together, but you’re trying to sell a product. That’s much easier done without loud barking or small hairs covering the floor you’ve vacuumed twice today. Keep in mind you have no idea who will come through your door interested in buying your house. Some buyers may not like animals, or could be allergic. It’s best to not alienate the people you are trying to sell to.


  • Take It Personally. As soon as you decide to make the commitment to sell your home, you need to think of it as a product; one that you want to sell fast and for top dollar. Don’t think the house will sell itself. The real estate market is a game. You need to make your home the most appealing product on the block. Don’t take buyers’ remarks personally. Instead, think of it as free advice on how to make your product live up to its highest potential. Emotionally detach yourself, and really focus in on how you’ll be able to make your next house a new home.


  • Don’t misuse spaces: Bedrooms should be bedrooms, not closets or catch-all rooms. Patios should be staged as relaxing outdoor spaces, not left empty or as toy storage. Each space and room in your house should reflect what it was intended for to make it easier for the buyer to picture living there. It’s up to them to decide if the spare bedroom would make a really cool cat-playground, not you.


  • Go Overboard With Heavy Fragrances. You’ve cleaned, you’ve decluttered, you’ve planted some Gerber daisies that, with luck will stay perky and alive until the home has sold, don’t mess it all up now. We don’t want your Tampa home smelling like a California cherry orchard, or worse, a New Jersey Macy’s perfume counter. Most stagers even steer away from heavily scented candles. Smells seem like they’re hiding something, and they also trigger emotions. You can’t control a buyer’s reaction to smelling too much sugared cranberry.


  • Display Collections. It’s time. Bubble wrap and store your vintage action figurines, and take the signed jerseys off of the wall. You don’t want to have your personalized (though awesome) collections taking up the counter space a buyer wants to turn into a herb garden. Experts have said repeatedly that having some sort of personal collection out can highlight the differences between the buyer’s and seller’s taste. All it takes is one Chewbacca figurine to start a thought-trail of “is this really the house for me?”

Getting ready to sell your house should be exciting and fun, not scary. It’s served you and your family well for years, and it’s time to focus on the new memories you will make in this next chapter. Jan Hungate has served the South Shore area for years as one of the top agents and has built her expert team on helping homeowners. The REAL Team has helped people change their lives by selling over 750 homes in the area. We care about you, your family, and the big process of moving. If you’re looking to take the next step of selling your home, call Jan today at 813-786-7010.


Check out what we’re up to by going to www.BestTampaBayHomes.com or see the latest on our Facebook page.



For Sale By Owner- 5 Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent

fsbos-need-agentsIt’s natural for any homeowner to focus on maximizing profit when it comes to putting their home on the market. Many prospective sellers consider cutting out the “middleman” and selling the property solo — instead of hiring an agent.

The reality is this: Selling your home yourself is not the money-saving solution you think it is. The dollars you might save on commissions are often a wash when you consider the higher sales price an experienced agent — with pricing expertise, negotiating skills, and access — can bring to the table.

Real estate professionals have the resources to get top dollar for your home, and they can secure an accepted offer more quickly and get the deal closed on time.

The numbers don’t lie. Statistically, a home on the market listed “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) takes longer to sell (and eventually sells for less) than its real estate pro–represented counterparts. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2013.  (more…)

St Joseph’s Hospital South Hiring and Bringing Home Buyers to the Southshore Area

St_-Joseph-HospitalSt. Joseph’s Hospital-South, 6901 Simmons Loop, Riverview, FL 33578 is NOW OPEN to the community! It is the newest addition to BayCare’s 12 not-for-profit hospitals. This full-service hospital will offer outpatient services, intensive care, a 14-bed maternity unit, imaging, lab, surgical services, and more, in a relaxing, family-centered environment.

Located in Riverview, FL, just south of Tampa, this innovative facility is specially designed to make patients and visitors as comfortable as possible during their hospital experience. Along with New Patients, Doctors and home-worthSpecialists will come Home Buyers! Home Values in the Area are projected to increase due to the growing number of jobs coming to the Southshore Area from Amazon.com’s New Facility and St. Joseph’s Hospital.  (more…)

WHY you NEED a Realtor to Purchase New Construction

realtor-web-300x199Buying a new home is exciting. You get to build your dream from the ground up, choosing your lot, your model, interior finishes and upgrades. But like any home purchase, buying new construction is serious business, an expensive transaction with many financial implications.

That’s why it’s a good idea to obtain representation from a Realtor® when considering a new home purchase. Here’s why:

#1: Builder Sales Reps represent the Builder

Often builders have their own agents on site to answer questions, assist people who walk in, and ultimately help with a purchase. Builder reps provide a valuable service: They can explain differences between models and floor plans and share information about financing options, upgrades and specials. But it’s important to remember that builder reps represent the builder, as they are contractually obligated to do. “Realtors® are trusted resources for real estate information and can help home buyers navigate the increasingly complex home-buying process,” said National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas. “The buyer agency agreement ensures the buyer that his or her Realtor® will represent the interests of the buyer alone and not the seller.” (more…)

6 Ways to Prep Your Home For Sale

woman-paint-wall-at-homeFirst Impressions are important in Real Estate. A potential Buyer will most definitely drive by a home and evaluate the exterior appearance before they decide if they want to view the inside. Here are 6 ways you can get your Home Market Ready!


Handle Repairs

Take care of easily fixed repairs that may be potential red flags for buyers. Common quick fixes include repairing drywall, repainting walls and oiling hinges.


Take this opportunity to get rid of those seldom used items that are cluttering up your home. Remember, it costs to move them so now is the time to let them go! (more…)