The secret is out! If you live in the Tampa Bay area, or visit, you know it’s a hot market for real estate. And it’s easy to see why! Beautiful beaches, great weather, world class fishing, museums, restaurants, theater and more. Tampa Bay provides everything you could want from a big city, but with wonderful communities that make you feel at home.
So what does this mean for those looking for a new home? Well, it means that you have the opportunity to get premier living spaces and create the life you want to live. “There’s no question that Tampa Bay is a growing market. In 2017 more than 50,000 new residents came here, and most families and individuals are coming from the northern states. You can’t beat our weather and white sandy beaches,” said Ellen Ronnlof, Re/Max Real Estate Agent. Moving from Ohio at the age of four, Ellen was raised in the Belleair Beach and Largo communities and is very proud of knowing the area inside and out! She continues to live in the Indian Rocks Beach community and is now raising her own two children with her husband of 13 years.
“Depending on your lifestyle and family dynamic, we
have single family homes, townhouses, villas and condos.”
– Ellen Ronnlof
Median sales prices do continue to rise; they’re up 10 percent over the past year. At the same time, the inventory for single family homes is starting to increase. “This is good news for both sellers and buyers,” said Ronnlof. “Obviously, for sellers it’s a great time to go to market, with more people moving in and prices on the rise. But there are still deals to be had for buyers, plus we’ve experienced extremely low inventory in the past and currently that’s not the case. Buyers coming to the area get so much value for their money with all that the Bay area has to offer.”
Ronnlof notes that Tampa Bay is still a deal compared to many other markets, even here in Florida. In Clearwater, for example, the average price per square foot is $167, while in Destin, Florida, buyers are paying $304 per square foot! Plus, the area has a healthy mix of family-friendly communities and sophisticated, faster-paced options. In addition to the wonderful beaches and weather, Tampa Bay has sports teams, a growing arts scene with new museums and galleries opening all the time, not to mention first class shopping and dining. “There is so much to do here. No matter what you’re into – being outdoors, shopping, dining – there’s something for everyone. And, the job market is excellent and just continues to grow,” said Ronnlof.
There are also many different home options to fit a buyer’s specific needs. “Depending on your lifestyle and family dynamic, we have single family homes, townhouses, villas and condos,” said Ronnlof. “Many people are looking for family-oriented neighborhoods, which you can find in many cities such as Belleair or Palm Harbor. Or if you want a faster-paced life, you can head to downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg. Both are growing and dynamic and have many exciting options. There’s really something for everyone.”
For sellers, now is the time. Supply is below demand and properties are flying off the market. This makes it more important than ever to have an experienced and well-seasoned agent who will work diligently for you every day. “It’s common to see multiple-offer situations. Sometimes properties can hit the market one day and be under contract the next! You need an agent who will work hard and tirelessly in a market like this. Today, a lot of buyers and sellers think that having access to the internet is all you need to buy or sell a house, but that’s truly not the case. Your agent has to be highly-educated and tenacious with negotiations so they can stand above the rest a win you that contract over all other buyers,” said Ronnlof.
Of course, it’s also important to find an agent who you trust, whose company you enjoy and who makes you feel important. You end up spending a lot of time with your agent during the home buying process, during which you will likely be making the largest purchase of your life. You’ll want to be sure that you and your agent ‘gel,’ and that they will put your needs above all else. “I have always put the ’relationship’ and not the ‘sale’ before all else,” said Ronnlof. “I have been known to tell my clients that I just can’t sell them a home, because I know it will not be a good investment for them. I believe that building a long-lasting friendship and trust is so much more important because I want to be their realtor for life!”
By Ellen Ronnlof @ellesusan