Florida Real Estate & News

Get to know Pinellas County real estate and communities on our Florida Real Estate & News blog!

April 13, 2021

Is Now a Good Time to Flip a House?

As Realtors®, we are commonly asked for our opinions regarding the timing of flipping a house. Any time the housing market gets hot, more people consider using some of their savings to flip houses. Today, with a housing market that’s hotter than ever, you may be considering this yourself. Here are some things you should keep in mind before jumping into the flipping business.

Inventory is Low

This can be good and bad. If you find a property that needs some fixes and remodel it so it becomes move-in ready, you will likely sell the home fast. However, because inventory is so low, there are a lot of people bidding on houses, even fixer-uppers. Be careful not to overpay on a property.

Contractors are Scarce

If you call a remodeler, you may find that they may be booked out for months. This means if there is a part of the remodel you are unable to do for yourself, you will have to pay the mortgage until the contractor is able to get to your job. You’ll need to take into account these payments as part of the funds you will need to recoup upon selling. If you can do most of the remodel yourself and do not need the assistance of a contractor, you may find flipping homes to be a successful endeavor.

Material Lead Time

Because so many homeowners are remodeling their own homes or hoping to build new homes in new locations, materials are often backordered. Custom orders are pushed out further than normal. In addition, some appliances are difficult to purchase quickly should a kitchen remodel be part of the renovation. Keep this in mind before you buy a home to flip. Materials are also more costly now than they have been in the recent past, so this may be a consideration.

Flipping Houses Takes a Lot of Work

In addition to a financial investment, flipping a home will also require you to invest significant amounts of time. Even if you have a contractor you can count on, you’ll have many decisions to make and may also need to be there to let those doing the work in and out of the home.

Future Home Realty Can Help

As experienced Realtors® local to the Tampa Bay area, Jason Duraj and the team at Future Home Realty can help you find the right home to flip. And, of course, when you’re ready to list your newly remodeled property, we’re here to help with that as well. Call us today at (813) 992-7771 for a confidential consultation.


March 29, 2021

Avoid These Mistakes When Selling a Home

When you make the decision to sell your home, the goal is often for your home to sell for the greatest amount possible. Ideally with the least amount of stress and in the shortest amount of time. That’s a big goal. However, with a little knowledge going into the process and the help of a local, experienced Realtor®, you should be able to achieve most of your desired objectives as you sell your home.

Mistake #1: Letting Emotion Take Over

Selling a home can be emotional. You made many precious memories there. However, when you plan on selling your home, you have to remember that the house is really four walls and a roof and selling it is a business transaction. The memories you made there will always be a part of you, whether you’re in the home or not. Don’t let a low offer and a passionate letter of how the prospective buyer feels connected to your home influence you to make a deal which won't serve you moving forward. 

Mistake #2: Going it Alone

While saving a few percentage points on commission may sound like a good idea, the expertise of a quality Realtor is well worth the investment. An experienced Realtor knows how to price the home, market it, and get you top dollar. They will also do the work of listing, photographing, and marketing your home. When the offers begin to come in, their professional experience will serve you well throughout the negotiations process. They can also help you with many issues including contracts and navigating situations with multiple offers. Should you choose not to work with a Realtor and opt to sell your home by owner (known as FSBO, for sale by owner), keep in mind that you may still likely pay the buyer’s agent commission at closing.

Mistake #3: Keeping Decor As-is

Your Realtor will likely give you some staging advice. Staging doesn’t necessarily mean moving all your furniture out and paying to rent a staging company’s furniture, although in some cases it may. More often, staging means removing family photographs, decluttering, and making arrangements so each space seems large and open. It makes a difference when selling a home. Potential buyers want to picture themselves living there.

If you are moving out of the home before listing it, you may want to hire a staging company. They will help create an environment that supports the look an average buyer at your price point may appreciate. This may lead to more and better offers from your target buyers.

Call Jason Duraj at Future Home Realty

We have experience selling homes throughout the Tampa Bay area, and we can help you get the most for your home. If you want to relocate locally, we can also help you find a home nearby. Call us today for a confidential consultation about buying or selling your home: (813) 992-7771.

Posted in Home Selling Tips
March 16, 2021

Essential Spring Home Maintenance

Spring is here and although we often think about spring cleaning, we don’t always think about spring home maintenance. Just like car maintenance, home maintenance will help your home last longer with fewer repair bills. Here are a few suggestions for spring maintenance for your home.

Check Your Windows & Doors

As spring in the Tampa Bay area tends to be drier than summer and fall, now is a perfect time to check your windows and doors. Window frames should have a continuous bead of caulk around them. If yours don’t, head to your local home improvement store and get the tools you need and re-caulk yours. Not only will it keep the summer rains out, but it will also help lower your cooling costs.

Entry doors have weather stripping. As your home ages, so does the weather stripping. It’s easy to replace; just take a piece with you to the hardware store and buy the same size and enough length to go around your door. Again, this will help with utility costs.

Smoke Detectors & Fire Extinguishers

Do you know that smoke detectors expire after ten years? If your home is more than ten years old and you’ve never replaced yours, take one down and check the expiration date. If they are still good, remember to replace the batteries if you haven’t done so since last year. (Remember now that Daylight Saving Time isn’t six months apart, changing batteries on the time change isn’t as effective as it once was.) Also check your fire extinguishers. They don’t necessarily expire but they can go bad. If yours no longer reads “Good”, it should be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility. If you don’t have an extinguisher in the garage, kitchen and upstairs in your home, get one for each area.

Schedule Inspections

Depending on the age of your home, the inspections may vary. Here are a few you may want to consider:

  • HVAC Inspection — Many Florida HVAC companies recommend a spring and fall tune-up every year.

  • Water Heater — If you’ve never had your water heater checked or if you are afraid to flush it yourself, your plumber can assist.

  • Roofing — Some roofing companies recommend a roofing inspection annually. For an older roof, that’s true. A new roof, however, should have an inspection after five years and then about every other year.

  • Termite — When you have an annual pest control contract, they should include a termite inspection every few years or they may have traps in the ground. If you don’t have a pest control company, be sure to have a termite inspection annually.

The home maintenance schedules suggested by these professionals can really help your home stay safe and operate more efficiently.

Looking for a New Home?

If you’re looking for a new home, Jason Duraj and the team at Future Home Reality are ready to help. We can recommend a home inspector prior to your purchase which will evaluate windows, roofing, HVAC and other elements of the home. If you’re considering selling your home, we can help with that as well. Call us today at (813) 992-7771 for your confidential consultation.

Posted in Home Maintenance
March 2, 2021

Tips to Help You Make the Winning Offer

Putting in an offer on a house is much easier in a buyer’s market. However, today’s market favors the sellers. Many homes receive multiple offers and sell for above asking price. Without a strategy and an experienced, local Realtor® you may not get your dream home. Here are some tips that will help you secure the house you love.

Divulge Information

When you make an offer, the more information you include in that offer, the better. For example, if you’re flexible on closing, let them know that through your Realtor. This might mean you could close quickly or you are willing to have a long closing or even rent the property back to the current owner for a time. Even if your offer isn’t the highest offer, because you put forward something else they may want or need, you may get the house. If you feel connected to the house, write a letter about your family and how you see yourself in the home to provide to the sellers. It may even benefit you to have your Realtor call the listing agent and communicate the offer and any other relevant information verbally rather than just through email.

Offer More Earnest Money

Buyers may commonly put about 1% of the purchase price down in earnest money; however, the more you offer to put down, the more serious you appear. If you have available cash and are willing to pay more for the house than what it appraised for, also offer to bring cash to closing to cover the difference. Both of these can sway a seller to choose your offer over another.

Limit Contingencies

One of the easiest things you can do as a homebuyer is to eliminate is financing issues ahead of time. Pre-approval shows that you won’t have issues with obtaining financing. If you currently own a home and the sale is not needed to purchase your new home, you can remove the contingency of selling your current home. However, there are many other contingencies you can waive. Although we won’t recommend skipping a home inspection, you can agree to waive any issues discovered other than discoveries pertaining to the structural integrity, termites, or other health or safety issues.

Work with an Experienced Local Realtor

An experienced local Realtor, like the Jason Duraj team at Future Home Realty, can help you submit the right offer and communicate with the listing agent throughout the negotiations. Jason Duraj and his team know the market and will work with you until you get the home of your dreams. Call us today for a confidential consultation at (813) 992-7771.

Posted in Home buying tips
Feb. 16, 2021

Flooring for Your New Home

Today, there are more options for flooring than ever before. Not all flooring materials are well-suited for every room or even for every home. Here are some things to know about various flooring materials before you install new flooring in your new home.

Hardwood and Engineered Wood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is a single layer of wood. Engineered wood has a top layer of hardwood and then layers of plywood beneath. Sometimes other materials are added to engineered wood to aid in structural stability. Both types of flooring come pre-finished or bare so you can apply a custom finish. Hardwood flooring is able to be refinished several times. Quality engineered wood floors can be refinished at least once or perhaps twice depending on the wear layer. It is not recommended to install hardwood, engineered wood, or laminate in a bathroom or laundry room as these areas are more likely to sustain water damage.

Wood-Look Flooring

If you know hardwood or engineered wood floors are not the best flooring option for your home, but you do like the look of wood flooring, consider one of the many wood-look flooring options. The three most popular wood-look flooring options are:

  1. Laminate – This is one of the least expensive common flooring materials available today. However, it’s not a great choice for a bathroom or laundry room. Quality laminate will last for decades and, when you choose one with the right AC rating, it will look great for a long time too.

  2. Wood-look tile – Wood-look tile is a great option throughout your home, but especially in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and any other wet area. Wood-look tile has continued to grow in popularity over the years.

  3. Luxury vinyl plank – This is the newest of the wood-look materials. Also called LVP, it comes in a wide variety of styles and with a wide price range. LVP will last for decades when properly installed. Quality brands are waterproof, and this is a fast-growing segment of new flooring.

Tile & Luxury Vinyl Tile

If you love the look of tile but prefer something with a softer feel, consider luxury vinyl tile (LVT). LVT is the same product as LVP except it’s made to mimic the look of tile and natural stone. It’s a great option when you’re on a budget or if you want to install it yourself.

Tile is one of the most common flooring materials in the greater Tampa Bay area. That’s because it doesn’t scratch easily from contact with sand, and it resists water damage. Tile comes in countless styles and colors so you can create a look entirely your own.

Listing or Buying? Call Jason Duraj

Whether you are listing your home soon and would like to refinish the flooring first or hoping to update the flooring in a home you are planning to purchase, let us know. Jason Duraj and the team at Future Home Realty are happy to put you in contact with professionals we trust in the area. Call us at (813) 992-7771, and let's get started.

Feb. 3, 2021

Tips for Selling a Home in 2021

It’s still a sellers’ market. That means if you’re going to be selling your home in 2021, you need a plan for where you’re going to go. This may even need to be established before you list your home. Many homes receive multiple offers on the day they’re listed.

Have an Experienced Realtor You Trust

These days it seems many people have at least one or two friends who are Realtors®. However, not every Realtor, is the right person to sell your home quickly and for the most money, whether they are a friend or not. You want to partner with a Realtor who is experienced in your area. They should have a good understanding of your home type and have great strategies for selling. It is also beneficial if they know of others who may be in the market for a listing like yours. Selling a home is a business transaction. Be sure to partner with a Realtor who has the experience you need.


Ask any experienced Realtor and they’ll tell you to declutter before they (or a professional photographer) come in to take photos. Remove personal items like family photos, piles of toys, and collectibles. Although it's okay to put things in a closet for photos, your closets should be decluttered for showings in order to highlight available storage space. If you have made an effort to declutter and find your home still seems full, consider renting a portable storage unit to store non-essential things until you move.

Touch Up & Clean

We all know it is important to have a clean house for a showing; however, your home may also benefit from touching up dirty paint or repainting rooms before listing. This is especially true if you have rooms with dark or bold paint colors which may not appeal to a variety of people. If investing a few hundred dollars for paint and a painting service helps your home sell faster and for thousands more because you end up with a bidding war, it’s worth it.

Consider a Home Inspection

If you’re not sure about the condition of your home, you may want to consider a home inspection prior to listing it. A home inspection may cost between $300 to $500 but will also help you know if you need to offer any incentives in the listing or if you need to fix something before a potential buyer’s inspector comes through. You don’t want to lose a buyer because a few outlets don’t work or due to an unknown roofing issue. By taking care of minor repairs before a potential buyer is involved, you may be able to receive an offer for your asking price instead of enduring several rounds of negotiations to cover the repairs.

Work with Jason Duraj

Jason Duraj and his team at Future Home Realty can help you list and sell your home. We work as hard for our sellers as we do for our buyers. As experienced Realtors, we’d be honored to speak with you about your listing and to help you find your dream home anywhere in the Tampa Bay area. Call us today at (813) 992-7771 for your confidential consultation. If you are looking for tips for buying a home this year, click here.

Posted in Home Selling Tips
Jan. 18, 2021

Tips for Buying a Home in 2021

Whether you’re buying a home for the first time in 2021 or hoping to downsize or find something larger, you need to be prepared. Throughout 2020, we saw fewer homes come on the market, and they sold rapidly. This is a continuing trend. If you’re not ready, you may miss out on a home you love. Here are our tips to help you find your dream home in 2021.

Work with an Experienced Realtor®

Many people know several Realtors. However, when choosing the Realtor with whom you want to partner, you will want to pay attention to their experience within the area and market where you would like to move. If they don’t have that experience, you’re not going to see what you want to see right away. This means by the time you find the home you love, someone else may already have made an offer.

Get Pre-Approved

When selling a home, sellers look more favorably on an offer that includes financing approval compared to an offer without pre-approval. Plan ahead to take care of this. In today’s market, pre-approval takes some time. This is unlike in years' past when it was simply a matter of submitting a few paystubs. Be sure to take care of this step prior to making your offer.

Freeze Spending

Once you get your pre-approval, avoid using your credit cards. Don’t take out any new loans (car loans too) or draw against your current equity line. In summary, try not to make any unnecessary purchases, don’t open any new credit cards, and be wary of overspending.

Know What You Need, but Be Flexible

Because the number of available homes continues to be low and prices continue to climb, you may quickly come to realize that what you really want isn’t available. This could be because of your budget, the limitation of neighborhoods you’ve chosen, or even what you’re willing to undertake as far as renovations. You may find that if you really want a new home, flexibility and compromise may be required.

Call Future Home Realty

Jason Duraj is an experienced Realtor, and his team at Future Home Realty has vast experience throughout the Tampa Bay area. When you call us, you work directly with us! Call us at (813) 992-7771 for your confidential consultation.

Posted in Home buying tips
Jan. 5, 2021

New Year’s Resolutions for Homeowners

As a homeowner, you know there are tasks you should take care of in your home on a regular, yearly basis. If you’ve not done them in previous years, perhaps making a homeowner resolutions list will help you stay on track in the future. Then when each new year begins, you will already have a checklist ready to go to keep your home in good condition. Here are a few resolutions and tasks you'll want to complete each year to keep your home functioning at its best. 

Change Your Air Filters

This is one of the quickest homeowner resolutions you can take care of. While we all know that we should change our air filters about every 90 days (more often if you have pets), it can be easy to forget. Clean air filters reduce dust in the home and keep the air you breathe cleaner. Dirty filters cause unnecessary strain on your HVAC system, which could lead to more frequent repairs or higher utility bills. Use the new year as an opportunity to take care of this task, then add ongoing reminders to your calendar or download one of the many apps available to help you stay on schedule. 

Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke alarms expire after ten years. If you don’t know how old yours are, pull a few down and check the expiration date and replace as needed. Also, remember to change the batteries twice a year. A good way to remember to do it is to add a reminder for yourself to take care of this on New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July.

Get a Roof Inspection

Your roof is one of the most expensive parts of your home to replace. Keeping it in good repair will help it last throughout the duration of its expected life. Many roofing contractors recommend a roof inspection annually to look for roof leaks, loose shingles, failing flashing, and other issues. Proactive maintenance, like a roofing inspection, costs a lot less than reactive repair.

Check Your Hurricane Emergency Kit

We hope we never need to use the items in a hurricane emergency kit; however, hurricanes are an inevitability in our location, and it is important to keep supplies on-hand. Having a well-stocked emergency kit will help you manage should your home lose electricity. Emergency kits are also easy to pick up and put in the car if you need to evacuate. Here is a link to FEMA’s recommendations for building your hurricane emergency kit.

Also, remember to take a photo or video of your home and the belongings inside at least once a year. In the event you need to make an insurance claim, photo or video proof of the home and its contents can be invaluable.

The team at Future Home Realty wishes you and yours a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year. If you are hoping to buy or sell a home in the greater Tampa area, we would love to be of service. Call Jason Duraj at (813) 992-7771 for your free consultation.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Dec. 10, 2020

It's Time to Review Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Whether you’re staying in your home or planning to buy a new one, the end of the year is a great time to look at your current homeowner’s insurance policy and decide if you should make changes. Here are some things you should know about homeowner’s insurance for your primary residence.

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

Have you ever looked at your insurance policy and determined which type of coverage you have? Replacement cost will actually replace the cost of your lost goods from a robbery, fire or other covered loss, while cash value will only provide you with the estimated value of those goods. Although the difference in what you’d receive from a loss varies greatly, typically the cost of the insurance is nominal when spread across monthly payments. Many policyholders don’t look at what they currently have. When buying a new home, be sure to tell the insurance agent which type of coverage you want on your personal property.

Look at the Dwelling Coverage Costs

If you have or will have a mortgage on your home, the bank may set the coverage required to fund repairs to the property. Keep in mind if you buy a home for $250,000, you don’t need $250,000 in dwelling coverage because some of your purchase price was the land.

If you are self-financing or have paid off your mortgage, you may not have thought about this number recently. Some builders today say that the cost of lumber alone is up more than 10% in just the last year. Make sure that the dwelling coverage you have would be enough to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss.


Ideally you will never need your insurance policy. If you do need to fall back on your insurance, you want be sure you have the right deductible. Different insurance companies have different options. Some allow you to choose a dollar amount. Others have a percentage of the claim. Keep in mind that the higher the deductible, the lower the payment. If you have the option of a set amount, $1,000–2,500 is fairly common.


Insurance riders are an addendum to the standard policy. There are different types. For example, the scheduled personal property rider includes valuable named items. Things like an engagement ring or other valuable jewelry items, coin or stamp collections, firearms, and valuable artwork may be included. Another type is a life insurance rider. This helps a surviving spouse pay the balance of the mortgage in the event of the death of one of the owners.

If you’re looking at buying a home, Jason Duraj and his experienced team at Future Home Realty are ready to help. We can connect you with trusted insurance agents for your new home if you request. Call us today for your confidential consultation with one of our professionals: (813) 992-7771.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Dec. 1, 2020

Painting Your New Home? Consider These Trending Colors

Every year, the major paint manufacturers announce their Color of the Year. The 2021 colors have all been released and vary greatly. This is great news for homeowners looking for a modern and trendy paint pallet. Hopefully these will provide you with some inspiration for your home.


We’re starting here because bathrooms are smaller and easier to complete, especially if it is your first painting project. If you want a beachy or calm feeling in your bathroom, consider Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore. With a blue-green base and a grey hue, it will compliment both white and grey décor.

If you prefer a more neutral tone or have bold or vibrant elements in your bathroom space, a neutral paint color may be better for your project. In this case, take a look at the color pallet of the year from Valspar. Our top bathroom pick from their dozen Colors of the Year is Unforgettable, a warm cream color, that will work well with virtually any vanity, whether it is stained or painted in any hue.

Kitchen/Great Room

As many homes today have open floor plans, kitchen paint colors are rarely just used in the kitchen anymore. You’ll want to consider a color that complements your countertops and cabinets as well as the colors in your adjoining rooms. Again, we’d recommend looking at Valspar’s Colors of the Year as a starting point. They have hues like Granite Dust, a true grey, and Gallery Grey, a greige, which are both great neutrals and in keeping with recent trends in home décor.

Dining Room

The dining room is a room where you can use almost any paint color and achieve a beautiful result. If you want something warm and rich, consider Passionate by HGTV in the Sherwin-Williams line. It’s a deep berry-red color, yet soft and perfect for dining.

Dark Accent Walls

Although accent walls overall aren’t a hot trend currently, there is one exception: a dark or black accent wall. One color perfect for this is Urbane Bronze which is Sherwin-William’s color of the year. Consider it in your bedroom against light furnishings. It’s also an option for your great room if you’ve chosen a neutral color throughout the rest of the space and want a little pop.

Of course, if you’re painting all or part of your home to sell it, make sure to use light neutral colors. Anything with a hint of grey is popular with buyers. The goal is to make your home look clean and bright and the darker the color, the smaller and darker the room looks. If you’re ready to list your home and need a Realtor®, Jason Duraj and his team at Future Home Realty can help you with buying and selling anywhere in Tampa Bay. Call (813) 992-7771 for your consultation today.

Posted in Home Maintenance