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Joseph Lewkowicz


Tampa Bay Recession

What does a real estate recession look like?

There are signs that this could take place in the Tampa Bay area in the next year. But how will you know it got here. Here are some things to look for and some ideas to help if this does happen in the next year or two.

What the signs of a recession or slow up look like:

Hillsborough StatsIn many areas of the country, the appreciation rate for real estate has been running in the double digits. San Francisco, New York, and Seattle have all had tremendous gains. Locally, the beaches and South Tampa have all had average appreciation rates over 10% in the last year and in some areas almost a 15% increase in price. In Northwest Tampa, my specialization area, the rate of appreciation has ranged from 4% to 10%, depending on the area. The current rate of appreciation in the main urban areas are starting to slow to 6-7%. In South Tampa it may drop to 5% for the year over year appreciation and possibly lower for areas in Northwest Tampa.

There has been a slight buildup of inventory of homes for sale. As of the last report there are over 4,500 homes for sale in Hillsborough County and the average market time is 67 days on the market. The current rate of closings is 1,774/per month. My company Coldwell Banker, releases these reports every month. An important thing to look at is total inventory vs. sales per month and days on the market. If the inventory increases and the average units sold decreases, that will be the first telling sign.

How will this affect you if you are selling a home?

North Tampa Stats 2What I have been finding is that homes that have been upgraded with new kitchens, baths, flooring, paint, etc. bring the most money and sell very quickly. The homes that need updating or work done to them sell for a discount to top quality homes of 15-20%. As an example, one home I closed recently went for $600,000 which was $125,000 more than the next closed home in the neighborhood in the last year. This home did not have any upgrades done and only brought $475,000. The lesser expensive home sold for $117/sq. ft. The home that was upgraded brought $189/sq. ft.

The point above illustrates a great tactic. In a softer market, the pricing and staging of a home becomes critical. The expensive home was very well done and sold for top dollar. The other home was not upgraded but was priced aggressively and because of this, it sold within a short period of time. It is very important to understand the market and know the strengths and weaknesses of the home you are selling. This is where someone like myself, who specializes in an area can help. I am able to look at a home and help you determine the actual value. Looking at the example above the lesser expensive home could have been priced like the higher one and stayed on the market for a very long time.

Joseph Lewkowicz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Coldwell Banker



Want to learn more about Joseph Lewkowicz and Tampa Bay’s housing market?


Joe Lewkowicz February Market Recap Report

The Florida winters may not involve any snow, but the weather changes can have a drastic affect on a home’s landscape. Since it is almost consistently spring and summer here, it’s important to maintain a luscious, green yard, especially if you intend to sell your home anytime soon. Buying some flowers, mowing your lawn, and trimming the hedges are just a few of the small ways to help with the upkeep a front lawn needs. The front of the house is what will create a buyers initial impression on the rest of the home.

Selling a home is a large undertaking, but so is leasing one. The easiest way to decide on what course of action to take is by asking yourself if you can make 1%, from the full value of the house, in rent. If you can, then leasing is actually the better option. However, if the return on your investment into the home isn’t exactly worth it to you, it’s best to consider selling.

Have you taken a look at your roof lately? You may need to. Weather conditions and the age of a home put plenty of wear and tear on a roof. Get an inspector to see how much life is still left. An older home will more than likely require a good amount of maintenance.

A realtor with extensive knowledge is essential to navigating the real estate market, especially in the Tampa Bay area. Joseph Lewkowicz’ 40 years of experience offers the best help for all buyers and sellers with questions on the housing market.

For more information on the current real estate season, check out Joe’s monthly livestreams at

To watch the full February Market Recap report, visit Joe’s TV Channel:

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Joe Lewkowicz January Market Recap Report

In 2017, prices in real estate went anywhere from 4% at the lowest to 9% at the highest. Some of the most popular spots of 2017 were Carrollwood, Villa Rosa, Heritage Harbor, Stonebriar, and Westchase.

2018 appears to be headed in the same direction: however, there might be a slight decrease. January, February, and March is generally the best time to buy a house. For the next three months, prices will be lower, but the number on the market will also be less. Typically, prices rise in March, April, May, and June as more people try to buy into the market, but more housing options are available.

If you are interested in getting in the market, interest rates are still low; the fed rates haven’t been raised yet, although there is talk of doing so, and inflation hasn’t hit the real estate market as of yet.
The “Right to Inspect” contract clause is in most contracts and works in two ways.

The first is the seller will cover a certain amount or percentage of repairs of non-working items. This does not cover structural items or roof leaks, but it does cover a certain percentage of repairs needed on wood destroying organisms. The seller will also help and pay a certain amount to cure any permits.

The second way gives the buyer a certain amount of time to inspect the property, and they can cancel the contract for any reason whatsoever within that allotted time. They don’t have to hire a professional inspector to do this. This clause also allows puts any damage done to the house before the effective sale date on the seller. The seller may fight this, and argue that the buyer had it inspected before hand and bought it as is. If this happens, I suggest you seek legal advice. For more information visit

To watch the full January Market Recap report, visit Joe’s TV Channel:

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Joe Lewkowicz November Market Recap Report

The holiday season is a prime time to buy a house with low-interest rates and flattened prices. While the selling aspect does take a slight decline, it is guaranteed to pick up from April to July.

Hiring handy men and contractors often depend on whether a realtor has quality connections. Trying to find reliable workers is one of the bigger issues in the real estate market. Insuring your chosen realtor has decent contractors lined up is an essential part of their services.

Even though Florida winters are not the coldest, there are still plenty of factors that buyers look for in a house. Double pained windows are becoming a standard item in newly constructed buildings. It saves on electricity and proves to be a good investment over the long run, especially if someone plans to live in the house 10+ years. Those who are selling older houses, specifically those built between 1970-1985, that choose to install these windows might not recoup all the money spent on the remodeling, but it is an important piece to have to compete with newer housing.

Fire pits are replacing the desire for fireplaces due to their style and convenient usage. Needing or wanting a fireplace has come down to the buyer’s expectations. There is no need to install a fire pit for the sake of selling unless you so choose. When showing off a house, if there is fire pit or fireplace, make sure they are on and working. Highlighting these items adds flare to the overall design of the house and gives buyers a chance to get the full effect of these add-on features.

For more information, or to watch the full November Market Recap report, visit Joe’s TV Channel:

Pricing averages for the winter season in Tampa do flatten out, but they have increased compared to last year’s prices. Northwest Tampa had roughly 906 sales between September 1st and November 15th with the median price being $310,000, jumping from $270,000 last season. Going into the New Year, the median price is expected to stay the same, but sales might decrease to about 500. For more information visit

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Make Sure the Marketing is Effective

Whether you market your own home or have a real estate agent do it for you, the marketing must be effective. The listing description for your property—written by you or your realtor—is the best place to advertise what your home has to offer. The right words can do wonders for emphasizing your home’s selling points, while the opposite holds true as well: use ineffective descriptors, and you’ll be selling your property short.

Positive Words
Chances are, the sale ad is the first exposure a buyer will have to your home, and your first opportunity to impress them. These are words you can use to generate a positive reaction right off the bat.

• Beautiful
There’s no understating the impact of beauty. One of the most powerful descriptions in real estate, it should be similarly expressed in photographs of the property.
• Spacious
Plenty of room increases the value of a home in a buyer’s eyes.
• Luxurious
Evokes images of both beauty and spaciousness.
• Landscaped
Describes the exterior in an artful way, especially if you’ve put a lot of effort into the outer design.
• Captivating
People love to have their breath taken away.

Words to Avoid
Some descriptors just fill space or outright negatively affect what buyers will think of your home. Avoid these at all costs.

• Clean
Saying a house is clean adds nothing to its perceived value. You’re selling it; it’s already expected to be.
• Value
Another descriptor that does little to evoke any kind of emotion.
• Small
The opposite of spacious; even if the house is small, draw attention to its finer points.
• Basement Unit
Try “lower level.”
• Motivated Seller
In other words, a desperate seller. This perception can decrease the offers you’ll get for your home.

With only so many words at your disposal, be creative with the way your home is presented in its listing ad. Concentrate on words and phrases that create a positive reaction to the reader while making sure your house is accurately represented.

Stress is one of the largest concerns when selling a home. Staging, managing finances and documents, and simultaneously juggling the rest of your life can be completely draining. However, one thing is certain about selling your home: it’s a lot easier when you have a solid real estate agent to handle it. Remember, No-One Works Harder to Sell your Home more than Joe! Contact Joe today by calling 813-908-7293 or visit

Money from Home 8

Overpricing Your Home: The Dangers

It’s understandable. Your home is your biggest asset and your greatest investment. So when it comes time to sell, you want it to garner in a worthy return. However, while it can be tempting to list your home at a price somewhere above its fair market value in order to allow wriggle room for bargaining, this tactic can backfire. As you’ll learn, overpricing your home can actually contribute to it being sold for a much lower price than you think it’s worth—or not at all.

Asking For Too Much
There are several critical negative effects of trying to price your home too high. For one, it will deter buyers from even considering your property. This is because good real estate agents can tell when a home is overpriced, leading their clients elsewhere. Even a buyer without a real estate agent will see that the home you are selling is far pricier than other homes in the area.

Another disadvantage of overpricing your home is that it will take far longer to sell. In real estate, you generally want to sell your home within the first several months of listing it—failing to meet this time frame will reflect very poorly on your property and may even cause the listing to expire. Buyers pay attention to the amount of time a home is on the market; they will offer less for a home that seems desperate to sell, so you could end up selling the property for even less than what it’s worth.

Additionally, the longer you’re on the market, the more likely it is that the housing market will shift on you. Another result of overpricing is that your home may fail to turn up on internet search results because people are seeking homes at a fair value and not your inflated price. This is why it is so important to temper your asking price. All of these effects ultimately lower the chance of securing the sale.

Pricing Smartly
So how can you prevent overpricing your property? The best way is through the advice of a skilled real estate agent. Agents have a wealth of experience that allows them to analyze current market trends and price your home based on its fair market value.

It’s not a bad idea to price your home a little below its max value just to appeal to a broader pool of potential buyers. Remember, selling your home within the ideal time frame will ensure you receive an offer worthy of its value, and the first impression you make on the market can make your home immediately attractive to buyers.

Keep in mind that the improvements you’ve made on your home don’t necessarily increase its price as much as you’ve paid to improve it, and always have a plan for reducing the price just in case the market changes. Adhere to your agent’s advice, and avoid the temptation of asking for too much. In the end, it’s not worth it.

Stress is one of the largest concerns when selling a home. Staging, managing finances and documents, and simultaneously juggling the rest of your life can be completely draining. However, one thing is certain about selling your home: it’s a lot easier when you have a solid real estate agent to handle it. Remember, No-One Works Harder to Sell your Home more than Joe! Contact Joe today by calling 813-908-7293 or visit

Listing Online 7

Add Value To Your Home

Looking for a way to add value to your home in the long run? Then look into making improvements on your home before it hits the market. Investing money to fix up your home could easily increase your home’s value exponentially.

However, this doesn’t mean spend a ton of money on things you don’t need. Instead spend money on small things like, new floors, sinks, or a fresh coat of paint can turn a skeptical buyer into an eager one. With that being said, here are some tips on how to add value to your home with some major and minor changes.

Home Improvement Projects With The Highest Resale Value
Investing in home improvement projects have the best financial impact when selling a home. Here are a few projects that add more resale value to your home:

The Kitchen
People love walking into a home and seeing a newly renovated kitchen, especially if it’s styled in a modern or contemporary way and all the appliances are updated. This is especially true in older homes, because these kitchen improvements tend to add more value. So, if you want to add value to your home, consider updated your kitchen.

The Bathroom
Next to kitchen remodels are bathroom remodels. Similarly, bathroom remodels are favored when they are updated to look modern or luxurious. This is because modernizing older style bathrooms or sinks usually result in a good return.

Outdoor Improvements
Another home improvement project that has the best resale value are outdoor fixups. This is because your house is the first thing buyers see, you want to make a lasting impression. So by sprucing up the home’s outdoor appearance is a smart investment choice. This is includes the sides, back, and front of the house.

The Roof
The last thing that is a good improvement project is replacing the roof. Although roofs are expensive to replace, some buyers expect these things to be in good condition. Therefore, replacing them won’t dramatically increase resale value, but then again, not replacing them could significantly decrease it.

These were some home improvement projects that could potentially add more resale value to your home. While not all of them are necessary, it’s good to make small changes in the future to increase your home’s resale value. It doesn’t hurt to try, and it definitely doesn’t hurt to look at.

Stress is one of the largest concerns when selling a home. Staging, managing finances and documents, and simultaneously juggling the rest of your life can be completely draining. However, one thing is certain about selling your home: it’s a lot easier when you have a solid real estate agent to handle it. Remember, No-One Works Harder to Sell your Home more than Joe! Contact Joe today by calling 813-908-7293 or visit


Joe Lewkowicz October Market Recap

The housing market in North Tampa has proven to be a steady competitor with other areas of the country. To have the best deals, it takes an expert to understand the handlings involved with selling a house, ensuring a quick and easy closing process, and offering an accurate listing price based on the location and proper upkeep of a home.

Joe Lewkowicz discusses his typical sales/marketing plan, including his avenues for advertisement by mailings, videos, Zillo listings, and Facebook posts.

Ensuring first-time buyers have a pleasurable experience is an essential part of the real estate business. Weighing rental versus purchase options can vastly change the buying process.

The North Tampa market has some of the most significant seasonal real estate investments year round. Having an agent with enough experience about the area is an essential asset to acquire the best deal whether you are buying or selling.

For more information or to watch the full October Market Recap report visit Joe’s TV Channel by visiting,

Join North Tampa Realtor Joseph Lewkowicz, who will be hosting a live stream conference call on the second Thursday of every month at 10 AM EST. Users can log in and communicate with Lewkowicz directly to gain insight into the Tampa market. For more information, visit

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When to Sell 7

Have Patience

There’s nothing more exciting than listing your home on the market for the first time, eager to see what offers come in. Especially when your house is at its finest. You believe, this is the price that is going to attract so many buyers, and that no other house can can beat this price. Moreover, no other house looks like your house and the curb appeal is unparalleled.

However, not all buyers see your house they way you see it. It takes time for any offer to come knocking on your door. So, if you set a price for your house, and don’t immediately receive offers, be patient. Give it a little time before you do anything drastic, like lower your price or expensive remodeling, because you could miss out on the profit you could have made. So, here are some tips on how to be patient when listing your home on the market.

Don’t Control Both
Some people like to sell and negotiate a home on their own, without the help of any realtors. While this can save you money, it can also make you anxious and impatient. This is because you are controlling the whole selling process and can easily see what’s going on in the market. All that power and control can make it harder for you to focus on anything else.

Therefore, don’t control both, instead hire a real estate agent or a broker to handle the rest, while you sit back and relax.

Make Small Repairs
Another way to get your mind off things is to make small repairs around the house. Fix or replace anything that’s broken, leaking or cracked and don’t let the small things go unnoticed, thinking no one can tell.

So, distract yourself by oiling squeaky doors, patching up cracks in the walls, or cleaning up the front yard. These small repairs won’t cost you much and can give you a piece of mind when waiting for offers to come. Also, the future homeowner will appreciate the gesture and not have to worry about doing these small repairs themselves.

Dress Up Your Home
Lastly, the best way to get through playing the waiting game is by investing in home staging. As you’re patiently waiting for your house to get offers, you can spend time personalizing and styling the house. This way, your house can make a lasting impression when someone walks inside. It can also give you a piece of mind because once they see how beautiful the home is, the offers start flooding in.

Lower The Price
If all else fails, and you’ve see no activity for your home, then this might be the time to consider lowering the price of the home. Just mark down a couple hundred dollars and see where that takes you.

Stress is one of the largest concerns when selling a home. Staging, managing finances and documents, and simultaneously juggling the rest of your life can be completely draining. However, one thing is certain about selling your home: it’s a lot easier when you have a solid real estate agent to handle it. Remember, No-One Works Harder to Sell your Home more than Joe! Contact Joe today by calling 813-908-7293 or visit

Proper Price 7

Landscaping Goes a Long Way

When you’re looking to sell your home, the presentation is a huge factor. And while it’s essential to have a fresh interior, the quality of the surrounding landscape is also critical in creating a great impression to buyers. After all, who doesn’t love the sight of a lush, well-kept exterior?

Here are some simple tips to keep your outdoor area attractive without going overboard.

Apply a new layer of mulch to all your garden beds. This looks fresh and helps your plants stand out in contrast to your home. Adding plants of different colors is a great and relatively inexpensive way to add some vibrancy to the landscape, or you could go for a set of monochromatic plants to complement the theme of your home.

Tend to plants that have lost their luster, either by tidying them up or replacing them completely. If there’s a space that needs to filling, consider accent plants, which have striking colors, sizes, and shapes with eye-catching appeal. Large tropical plants in containers are best on patios, lanais, or doorways where they will draw the most attention from those entering or exiting the house.

Plants can add an artistic flair to your home’s exterior. As you’ll see, it isn’t necessary to overload your landscape with flowers and shrubs, but take pride in the ones you choose. A good tip is to use plants that adapt well to your environment and don’t require too much upkeep. You may even consider labeling them so potential buyers will know how to take care of them.

A messy front yard or backyard can be an eyesore, so make sure the lawn is cleaned up by removing weeds and debris. Check for uplifting roots and examine drain pipes to ensure they are buried and functioning correctly, as the cost of these potential repairs is a massive turn-off to home seekers. Wipe down patio furniture along with any dirty stone surfaces, and clean the fence as well.

Another thing to notice is unsightly or overgrown trees or bushes. It may be something you’re used to seeing, but it doesn’t hurt to prune them down to maintain that image of cleanliness. As mentioned, also remove any dead or dying plants.

There’s no reason to overspend or overwork yourself to present a well-kept landscape. Keep the design simple and limit the number of plants; you might even consider removing many of them, especially if they are encroaching on the sidewalk or the neighbor’s yard. Make it as easy as possible for buyers to become accustomed to your yard with plant labels and watering instructions, and take out any plants you intend to keep well beforehand.

With your landscape looking fresh, you can rest assured the first impression you present is an attractive one.

Stress is one of the largest concerns when selling a home. Staging, managing finances and documents, and simultaneously juggling the rest of your life can be completely draining. However, one thing is certain about selling your home: it’s a lot easier when you have a solid real estate agent to handle it. Remember, No-One Works Harder to Sell your Home more than Joe! Contact Joe today by calling 813-908-7293 or visit