Real Estate Trends and Market Insights

Welcome to my blog. I hope to give you a fresh look at all things real estate, trends in real estate valuations, South Tampa insights and a bit of a unique character and personal takes on the market. My professional work has expanded over the past couple of years into assisting divorce and estate attorneys, financial advisors, and clients that are working through complex issues that need a seasoned professional to assist in the valuation and disposition of real estate. Jane Spector, Keller Williams.

Get Out and Celebrate National High Five Day Today!

Thursday April 19, 2018

By: Todd Betzold

For some reason, we seem to be celebrating some kind of "holiday" every day of the year now. I don't know when this started, but it has gotten a little out of hand. I mean, there are over 1,500 national days in a calendar year, yet there are only 365 days in a year. You figure that one out!

National High Five Day

I just don't understand some of them, as we have National Pet Day one week and then National Puppy Day the next week. We get it, we love our pets, but do we need to celebrate them every day? There is also National Get Over It Day and National Yellow Bat Day. Who determines what the days are? Can I just make one up and run with it? If so, let me think on this one!

However, there is one day I think more and more of us should embrace: National High Five Day, which happens to be every year on the third Thursday in April. Today is April 19, the third Thursday in April, so it is officially National High Five Day, so get out there and "high five" everyone!

The High Five History

So, where did the high five come from? There are two stories that claim to be the start of the high five. The first was during the 1977 regular season Dodgers' game, as Dusty Baker hit a home run that made the team the first in history to have four players with at least 30 regular season home runs each. As Baker got to home plate, his teammate Glenn Burke waited for him to congratulate him. This was not a televised game, but apparently Burke greeted Baker by raising his hand and they slapped hands, like a high five.

On the other side of things, there were the Louisville Cardinals playing basketball during the 1978-79 season. They normally would do low-fives, but they switched them up to high fives thanks to Wiley Brown and Derek Smith. It seems crazy to me that the first high fives were thought to be done in the late 1970s. People didn't slap hands before this???

Celebrate This Day

How do you celebrate National High Five Day? Well, by getting out there and high fiving people! I can get behind this day, as high fives are a positive thing. We do them when we are happy about something or celebrating some kind of accomplishment. By giving random high fives to people, it can give them a brief moment of joy and who doesn't need more joy in their life?

National High Five Day was started in 2002 by Conor Lastowka (San Diego, CA), Sam Miotke (Corvallis, OR) and Wynn Walent (New York, NY), college students at the University of Virginia. They created this day together, so now it is your chance to get out there and celebrate it!

Is Anyone Watching The 'American Idol' Reboot On ABC?

Thursday April 12, 2018

By: Todd Betzold

The new concept in Hollywood is if it ain't broke, do a reboot of it. American Idol had a successful run on FOX, but the ratings were slipping and interest was not as high as it used to be, so they decided to end the show after 15 seasons in 2016. I guess after one season off the air, ABC decided it was time to bring it back?

American Idol Revival

Yes, that is what happened. Now, I know that the Idol revival ratings are nothing special, but I am curious to know if anyone out there is actually watching the show? Less people were watching the show during the final seasons the first time it aired, so it is no surprise that the series is getting all-time low ratings.

For this revival, ABC brought in Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie to serve as judges. Sure, it is a good mix of singing styles, but do people really tune into these singing competition shows for the judges or coaches? They can make it more enjoyable to watch, but I think people tune in because they enjoy the competition and not just the judges. Ryan Seacrest is also back, as he makes millions on his 80 million projects he has going on.

So, my question is: Are you watching the American Idol revival on ABC? I am curious to see if people are actually watching it and what they think of it. I have watched an audition video or two on YouTube, but that is it for me.

I Thought It Was Springtime?

Thursday April 5, 2018

By: Todd Betzold

25 Things Florida No Time 1

If you didn't know it, spring officially began on March 20. When you live in Florida, the seasons come and go and it is not a big deal. If you live in Michigan, like I happen to, then the seasons changing are a huge deal!

For months now, I have been waiting for March 20 to arrive. The thought of spring being here and longer days is uplifting. However, I am from Michigan, so I know that once spring hits means nothing to Mother Nature. She can be a very nasty woman sometimes, as she has proved this spring. The East Coast has been pounded with snow, including after spring has sprung.

Yesterday, I went to bed after a night of windy conditions, rain and cold temperatures. However, I woke up to about an inch of snow on the ground! Yes, it was April 4 and I had a layer of snow on the ground. For you Floridians, snow is that white, flaky stuff that falls from the sky! You may not get it in Florida except on VERY rare occasions, but I can look out my window right now and see it on the ground still!

Mother Nature needs to get her crap together though, as we don't need any more of these below freezing temperatures. If this keeps up, you guys in Florida might be seeing a big spike in your population!

'Midtown Tampa' Developers Release Plans For New Project

Thursday March 29, 2018

By: Todd Betzold

The plans are in place, finally, for a new project called "Midtown Tampa," but it looks like rezoning is needing to be approved first. Bromley Companies, a New York-based development company, is in charge of the Tampa project, which has been years in the making. Yesterday, they took the first steps in installing the 1.8 million-square-foot, mixed-use project.

Midtown Tampa View From Central Plaza 1522271063355.jpeg 13753331 Ver1.0

Bromley Companies has been a long-time investor in the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development. They actually bought the 22-acre property near I-275 and Dale Mabry Highway interchange back in the late 1990s. Since making the purchase, the company has garnered additional acreage since the plans were approved. Because of this, the Tampa City Council will hold a public hearing for Bromley's rezoning request on April 12.

The Midtown Tampa project is set to break ground in 2019 and expected completion is by 2021. The first photos of the plan were released today on the $500 million project near Westshore. The plan includes 240,000 square feet of retail space, 750,000 square feet of office space, 400 condo or apartment spaces, a 225-room hotel and four acres of public spaces.

The commercial spaces have not been filled yet, however, Bromley is supposedly in talks with Whole Foods for a relocation, as well as a movie theater.

Nicholas Haines, Bromley CEO, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal in a statement, “Our vision is to inspire a transformative, truly walkable district connecting downtown Tampa and Westshore business district. The site will be recognized for its dynamic combination of office, retail, hotel, and four-acre pedestrian-friendly public spaces.”

Lyft Offering Free Rides For March For Our Lives Event In Tampa

Thursday March 22, 2018

By: Todd Betzold

The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have helped to organize the March for Our Lives demonstration this Saturday, March 20. The students will be marching across the country to try and get gun reform to happen. To help get more students and protesters to the marches, Lyft has agreed to give out free rides in 50 locations around the country, which include five in Florida - Tampa, Parkland, Orlando, Miami Beach and Jacksonville.

Lyft Free Rides At March For Our Lives

In a letter to the students, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green said, "Your bravery and intelligence have provided a renewed and much needed hope for our future. We are incredibly grateful for the example you are setting."

If you plan on attending the March for Our Lives events and want a free ride from Lyft, you must download the Lyft app and RSVP on the March for Our Lives website. The ride codes will be issued on Friday. Once your code is received, you can enter that code in the Promos tab of the app.

Since this will be mainly students marching, not everyone will be 18 or over. Lyft stated that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

There is a catch though, as organizers are urging users to RSVP early. In the press release, it stated that Lyft is only able to support free rides up to $1.5 million. That is still a huge chunk of change coming from Lyft for this historic event. With free rides in 50 locations, that money is going to add up quickly.

The Tampa march starts at 10 a.m. at Kiley Gardens, 400 N Ashley Dr.

These 4 Things Will Shock You Knowing They Add Value To Your Home

Thursday March 15, 2018

By: Todd Betzold

2530 Maryland

If you are in the market of wanting to sell your home, this is the blog post for you! When selling your home, everyone wants to get the most money out of it as possible, right? Yes indeed, so I have come up with four things you can do to your home to add value to it. However, these aren't things you think about every day.

1 - Blue Kitchens and Blue Bathrooms

Sure, buyers want to see a nice lawn when they pull up to the house and some awesome curb appeal. However, it also matters what is on the inside of that house and it looks like blue is in! Zillow did a paint color analysis for 2017 and found that blue is a very popular color in the bathroom and kitchen. Zillow stated that homes with the blue kitchen sold for an $1,809 premium. A light pale blue to soft periwinkle blue bathroom sold for even more money. A whopping $5,440 more.

2 - Live Close to a Starbucks

This one may shock you, but you want more money for your home? Well, add in that you live close to a Starbucks and you just increased the overall value of your home. A 2015 Zillow report found homes within a quarter mile of a Starbucks increased in value, on average, by 96%. I guess since people are willing to pay such high prices for a coffee, they are willing to do the same for a house?

3 - Live Close To A City

Prices for homes close to a major metropolitan area are a lot more expensive. You can take a look at New York City to discover how this works. Home values in the New York, NY metro area are worth $2.6 trillion, which is crazy! That is more than the entire French economy. To support this concept, the average urban home is now 35% more than the average suburban home.

4 - Add in Those Trendy Features

You may not be a fan of the shows on HGTV, but you should be watching them. Joanna Gaines has certain styles she likes to use on Fixer Upper and now we know why. Gaines likes to use barn doors to finish the rooms or a farmhouse sink. It looks like Zillow did a search in 2016 of homes listed for sale. As it turns out, properties that mentioned a barn door or farmhouse sink sold quicker and for more money. Maybe Joanna Gaines is on to something?

Arrive Alive Tour: Helping The Students Of Florida Stay Safe While Behind The Wheel

Thursday March 8, 2018

By: Todd Betzold

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There has been a ton of talk recently about keeping students safe at school, especially since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. While the focus and talks have been centered on gun control and what other measures can be done, these students need to be protected in other circumstances too: when driving a vehicle!

Addicted To Their Phones

We live in the 21st century now, so technology has increased two-fold over the past few years. Most teens are walking around with a cell phone in their hand and constantly texting or "snapping" their BFFs. Because of that, it is no different when they get behind the wheel. Teen often think they can multitask and are able to not only drive, but also send a "quick reply" to their friend's text. The average text takes at least 4 seconds to send. If a driver is going 55 mph, they can cover the length of a football field in 5 seconds. That is a lot of distance covered in one "quick reply" message, right?

Teen Texting and Driving Facts

According to the Arrive Alive Tour, teen drivers are the worst offenders when it comes to distracted driving. AAA did a survey and of the participants, 94% of teens acknowledged that texting while driving is dangerous. Do you think that stopped them when they got behind the wheel? NOPE! Almost all of the participants thought it was dangerous, yet 35% of those same teens admitted they still text while driving!

This is a dangerous issue, as 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving. Yes, shootings at schools are a major issue to deal with, as these things should not be happening. Students should not go to school being afraid of what may or may not happen that day. However, distracted driving is a dangerous topic too and needs to be addressed, especially since cell phone use is highest among 16-24 year old drivers.

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Arrive Alive Tour

That is where the Arrive Alive Tour comes into play. The program offers both a distracted driving and drinking while driving simulator program, which can be brought to any school or community in the country. The students get to get behind the wheel of the simulator and have a hands-on experience of seeing the true dangers of texting and driving.

The tour travels around the country and has already visited Florida with it's Spring 2018 tour, including stops at the University of Florida and Broward College. The tour will continue and the stops in Florida will be happening, as the simulators will be making stops at Cottondale High School, Sneads High School and Pensacola State College.

The main focus is to keep the teens and roads safe, which is a positive for everyone involved!

Will I Ever Be Able To Afford Buying A House?

Friday March 2, 2018

Buying A House

By: Todd Betzold

Most of us think about buying their own house while growing up. I'll admit it, I did too. However, life (and college) happened for me, which now has me wondering if I will ever be able to afford a house of my own.

To be honest, I am not alone in this thinking either. This is a hot-button issue for millennials, which I am not one. I did go to college with millennials though, as I took a few years off from school before going back to school at the young age of 28! Because of starting college right after graduating high school and then taking years off and going back again for even more schooling, I accumulated quite a bit of student loan debt. Enough student loan debt that I wonder if I would ever pay them all off.

A 20% Down Payment?

A lot of people think, oh, that is such a millennial problem. However, student loan debt is crippling a huge portion of our country. A lot of us can't see the end of the road where that debt is concerned, so the thought of saving up enough money to put a 20% down payment on a house is crazy talk. Some months it is a struggle to make sure each bill is paid for, so who has any time for a savings account?

Renting for Life

Like I said, I am not one of those millennials. I am not that stereotype that people like to reference, as the "kids" these days are graduating from college and then moving back in with their parents for years to come. I did move back to my parent's house after graduating college, as I just didn't find that "dream job" we were all promised when getting a college degree. It took some time, but I found a job (or two) and made it work and moved out of my parent's house. Only to have more bills to pay and the deferment period on my student loans running out.

I know the saying that I am throwing away money by renting, but I am used to that. I have thrown away thousands of dollars on a college degree that has no way of paying for itself with a job. Am I bitter? You bet I am! I want that "dream house" and "dream life" like when I was a little boy. For now, I try to remain happy in the life of a rental and student loan payments!

Contemporary Architecture Taking Hold in Tampa

Wednesday February 1, 2017
Conley House

Tampa is finally starting to get its share of contemporary homes. There are several on the market now at a variety of price points. A friend and Co-Worker listed this true contemporary gem in South Tampa. Take a look. Conley Home

Parkland Estates

Another really interesting home under contract in Parkland Estates. Parkland Blvd Home

The 25 Most Expensive Homes Sold in Tampa Bay in 2016

Sunday January 29, 2017
60 Martinique
60 Martinique sold in December for $3,950,000

The Tampa Bay Times reports the 25 "Priciest" homes in the Tampa Bay market in 2016. The list starts at $3.7 million and goes up from there. The usual neighborhoods produce most of the sales - Davis Islands, Palma Ceia, Culbreath Isles, Snell Isle and especially waterfront views. Of the 25, nineteen paid cash showing the wealth certainly is in the market. As Tampa Bay grows, expect the close-in waterfront neighborhoods to continue to post nice gains as existing grand homes and new construction push the market.

Tampa Bay Times article here

Wayne’s Wisdom ~ Loan Approval (Nothing Has Changed)

Friday August 7, 2015
Jane's Blog Photo

Wayne’s Wisdom ~ Loan Approval (Nothing Has Changed)

If you have been approved for a mortgage for your next home, you might be assuming you can breathe easy now and just concentrate on packing and preparing for your move. Not yet ~ While most of your hard work of building a good credit profile and amassing savings for a down payment and closing costs is behind you, it’s important to remember that your lender will recheck your credit just prior to your settlement date and will also verify a few details such as your place of employment to make sure nothing has changed.

That’s the key phrase—“nothing has changed.”

You must take care to maintain the same credit profile that led to your loan approval until your mortgage paperwork is completely signed. Avoid the following actions to ensure a smooth settlement:

  1. Don’t apply for new credit: It may seem natural to apply for a credit card at a home improvement store or a furniture store when you are about to become a homeowner, but applying for credit can lower your credit score.
  2. Don’t close any credit accounts: You may be feeling that this is a good time to get your financial house in order by closing unused credit accounts or transferring your debt to a new credit card with a zero-interest balance transfer offer. While that’s a smart move financially, it’s a bad one for your credit score because you lose points when you have a higher usage of debt compared to your limit on one credit card and to your overall credit availability. Wait until your closing is complete before you make these changes.
  3. Don’t move your money around without a paper trail: Your lender will need the most recent bank statements before you go to settlement, so if you have any unusual deposits you will need to provide complete documentation of where the money came from. If possible, it’s best to move the cash you will need for your home purchase into one account before you apply for a mortgage. If not, make sure you have complete and accurate records readily available.
  4. Don’t increase your debts: In addition to your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio is extremely important to a loan approval. If you take on more debt you could be in danger of going above the maximum acceptable debt-to-income ratio.
  5. Don’t skip a payment or make a late payment: One of the most important elements of your credit score is your history of on-time, in-full payments, so don’t get so caught up in your move that you forget to keep up with paying basic bills.
  6. Don’t buy a car: You may be feeling that a new car would be a nice addition to the driveway of your new home. Resist that feeling.
  7. Don’t change jobs if you can help it: While a job change could mean a raise or a path to a better future, it could also delay your settlement. Your lender needs to verify employment and will need pay stubs to prove your new income before your loan can go to settlement.
  8. Don’t spend your savings: You’ll need cash on hand at the settlement for your down payment and closing costs and your lender may even verify your cash reserves one more time, so make sure the funds stay in place.

In other words, no matter how hard it is at this exciting time, it’s better to do nothing than to do anything. I will be featuring “Wayne’s Wisdom” each month. Stay tuned for more from Wayne Spiwak, Loan Originator with Simons & Leoni Home Loans, LLC. I know South Tampa and a few good men… Let me know how I can help you sell your home! Give me a call at 813-495-2358, or visit my site.

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Work

Lie Down and Let Me Do the Rest

Thursday July 30, 2015
Jane Blog 2

Lie Down and Let Me Do the Rest

With 7 other mattress companies along South Dale Mabry, you would think that it might be foolish to open a “mom-and-pop” style mattress company in the middle of all that competition. Well, after you visit “Sleep Oasis” you’ll know why it would be foolish to go anywhere else!

Jim and Scott opened the South Dale Mabry store in October of 2014. The managing partner, Matt, runs the location and he eats, sleeps and dreams about mattresses. Matt’s passion is SLEEP; he is a wealth of knowledge on all things sleep and attributes a great marriage to his mattress.

The owners, Jim & Scott, alongside managing partner Matt are the “doctors” of mattresses. From the moment you walk in, you are treated like a friend. I visited Sleep Oasis and understand that their number one goal is customer service. They ask you questions that might make you blush: They want to know how you sleep, in which position and if you have any back issues or problems. I haven’t been asked such intimate questions since my last doctor’s visit but I know understand WHY they ask.

If you visit a big box retail mattress store, the first question they ask you is, “Do you like it hard or soft?” At Sleep Oasis, it is all about YOU! They get down to the nitty gritty and understand that focusing on how you sleep is extremely important and the health benefits are enormous. Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

If you are in the market for a new mattress, visit Sleep Oasis and ask for Matt. They understand that building a community is essential for business. Lucky for everyone, California Taco sits right next door to Sleep Oasis and anytime you buy a mattress from Matt, you get a FREE taco at California Taco!

While you are sleeping soundly on your new mattress, let me do all the work selling your home. You can reach me at 813-495-2358, or visit my site. I know South Tampa and a few other FUN things.

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Go

Urban Tree Houses

Thursday July 16, 2015
Urban Tree House Blog Post

Updating Your Home outside the Proverbial Box

Are you an empty nester with a garage apartment needing an update? Do you have young children that need extra space to play? Want to create an urban tree house? I want to share this special site with you so you can explore and make your own adventure:


Because South Tampa has so many wonderful historic trees, a tree house becomes one with the neighborhood. You can create your own outdoor oasis while maintaining the integrity of the neighborhood. You can use the natural elements of the tree; like a branch to create shelving, use the trunk for a wall, or simply let this abundance of wood get your creative juices flowing. Want to be an urban hipster? Be the first on your block to create an outdoor paradise!

Now that you are communing with nature, give me a call to sell your home – (813) 495-2358 or visit my site. I know Tampa real estate plus a few other FUN things…

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Go

Be Prepared & Make a Plan

Tuesday June 16, 2015
Be Prepared Blog Post

Be Prepared & Make a Plan

With the 2014 hurricane season in the books without a single threat to Florida — and not a whisper of a storm on the horizon — it’s difficult not to be lulled into a sense of complacency. This quiet season is the ninth consecutive year the state has dodged a major hurricane. The last hurricane to directly hit the Tampa Bay area was in October 1921. The last major one to hit Florida was Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. Tampa’s hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30. The question I pose is, “would you be prepared?”

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Hurricanes can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour as well as tornadoes and micro bursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events. So as we enter Hurricane season, make sure you are prepared!

According to the American Red Cross, here is a list of recommended hurricane supplies:

  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight with back-up batteries
  • Battery Powered or Hand Crank Radio
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera for photos of damage

Tampa has been lucky for nearly a decade but don’t get complacent, BE PREPARED! For someone who has lived in the South Tampa area for nearly 25 years, you sometimes forget the damage a hurricane can create. I am here to help you with any realty needs you may have as well as keeping you informed.

While you are sleeping soundly knowing you are prepared, let me do all the work selling your home. You can reach me at 813-495-2358, or visit my site. I know South Tampa and a few other FUN things.

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Care

Jazz at Shell Point

Friday June 5, 2015
Jazz At Shell Point Blog

Jazz at Shell Point

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a magnificent event at a lovely home in Shell Point. Sara & Mort Richter have generously hosted the Jazz Brunch event for the past seven years and each year it raises funds to help USF students play at jazz festivals in Europe. The Richter’s open up their stunning home to the supporters of the Tampa Bay area and give them a treat in more ways than one.

The Richter’s home is stunning yet comfortable with large windows opening up to the lush mature backdrop of old Live Oaks, large bamboo and a pristine aqua-blue pool. The tables are set with bright beautiful flowers; delicate china and the catered food and drink are beyond delicious.

Shell Point is a neighborhood that exemplifies old South Tampa. The stylish architecture, the old Live Oak trees, and the lush flora and fauna envelope you like a warm comforting blanket. The hosts exemplify this warmth and exude such class and culture you want to move right in.

While the guests mingled and donated over $51,000, the talented musicians showcased their talents by serenading us with an impromptu private concert. Not only did the students play for all of the guests, they greeted each and every guest and answered questions about their education at USF music school.

The beauty of the event from the hosts to their home’s surroundings creates a sanctuary you don’t often find. People really are the secret ingredient for life. Sara & Mort exemplify that mentality and South Tampa is a community that truly gives back.

While you are dreaming of moving to South Tampa, let me do all the work finding that perfect home. You can reach me at 813-495-2358, or visit my site. I know South Tampa and a few other FUN things.

See Jane Buy, See Jane Sell, See Jane Care

Put the FUN back Between Your Legs

Monday June 1, 2015
Put Fun Between Your Legs

Put the FUN back Between Your Legs

Having lived in South Tampa for over 25 years, I have found some amazing local businesses that really care about our local community. One of these special gems is SoHo Cycling Studio. I not only participate in weekly classes but I truly believe in what Michelle, the owner is doing for S. Tampa. Recently, I sat down with Michelle to find out more about her philanthropic company.

Q: Tell us a little about how and why you started SoHo Cycling Studio?

A: I was born and raised about an hour outside of San Francisco in Stockton, California. At the age of 18 and a semester of college I got the itch to get out of town and joined the Marine Corps. After a few years being stationed in Japan, and my last duty station in Georgia, I decided to get out of the military and back to civilian life. A friend of mine from Georgia wanted to move to Tampa and I said why the hell not? During a move to Philadelphia and Arizona over the course of the next decade my passion for spin grew. Spin/cycling studios where everywhere and when life brought me back to Tampa I just couldn’t get into my favorite way to burn calories in your typical gym setting. And so my obsession with opening my own place started.

Q: On your home page, you show how you give back to the community with over $288,980 donated to local charities. Where does this altruistic approach stem from?

A: Our first charity ride started when a wonderful man in the local community faced lung cancer. The community came together from every angle to help support him and his family. That very first ride was in 2010 and we have committed ourselves to giving back with a ride every quarter. As we grow in the community so does our family feeling and connection that we have with our riders. We only take on events for causes that our riders bring to our attention or have a connection with. We feel that this makes our charity rides so much more special and personal to everyone who is involved.

Q: What can someone new to SPIN (or cycling) expect from his or her first class?

A: Spin is so amazing for various reasons. There is no impact on your back or joints like some other avenues for cardio. It can be for people of all levels and really is as hard as you want it to be. You do not stand out if you are having a bad day, sick or under the weather. We all ride together and get in our own zones with the energy, the music, and instructors provide. You are guaranteed to sweat a TON and to leave feeling detoxified. *We choose only instructors that are certified and willing to bring their best to every class.

Q: What’s next for SoHo Cycling Studio?

A: After 6 years in business this summer we just keep getting better and better from our music to brand new bikes this June to one of best websites for scheduling around. We never want to get stale or comfortable so we strive to always keep things fresh and memorable with DJ rides, Glo Rides, candle-lit rides and live conga drummers!!

So, while you are “Putting the FUN back between your Legs”, let me do all of the work finding you that perfect home. You can reach me at 813-495-2358, or visit http://www.janespector.com/. I know South Tampa and a few other FUN things.

See Jane Buy, See Jane Sell, See Jane Spin

Word of Mouth Really Works

Thursday May 21, 2015

Word of Mouth Really Works

We all recognize the importance of marketing and advertising but are cautious because of the expense. Sometimes we forget about the amazing ability of “word of mouth” advertising. In real estate, it is all about WHOM you know! Remember the commercial for Faberge organic shampoo with Heather Locklear? If not click on the YouTube link below. But it reminds us of how it works: I tell two friends, and then you tell two friends, and so on and so on… Referrals can grow exponentially with a little help from your friends.


When researching the wonderful neighborhoods in South Tampa, you are reminded of how WOM works. One example is Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club, a private establishment that doesn’t even have a sign out front. It is hard to find albeit there is a sign at a nearby valet stand (wink wink). You will need a “password” to enter and then are encouraged to read the ‘house rules”. Ciro’s is ORIGINAL, trying to keep the experience for customers authentic with staff dressed like Prohibition-era revelers, a cocktail menu to impress and a dinner menu that stands up to the originality of the drinks. Unique features of Ciro’s include 3 different seating areas (each with its own personality), “light-up” menus which help illuminate the impressive snack and dinner options. Read more about this funky cool establishment http://www.tampabay.com/features/food/restaurants/learn-the-password-for-ciros-speakeasy-and-supper-club-in-south-tampa/1125916

I heard about Ciro’s from a friend who had heard about it from a friend, and so on…bam- Word of Mouth! Looking to buy or sell a home in South Tampa, look no further and contact me. My testimonials speak for themselves: Elizabeth Baltensperger Hinson said, “Jane, I can’t begin to describe how fortunate we are to have met you at that open house. Thank you for all you are doing and the style in which you do it”.

You can find me at 813-495-2358 or my website, I know South Tampa and a few other FUN things…

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Go

See Jane Sell Cinco de Mayo

Wednesday April 29, 2015

See Jane Sell Cinco de Mayo

Being a South Tampa real estate expert, I have a few suggestions that might help sell your home using local fruits:

  • Add splashes of color by using fresh fruit. Place lemons and limes in clear vases in the kitchen. Use a bowl of pomegranates or oranges to accent your dining table.
  • Use grapefruit scented essential oils to elicit a fresh scent in bathrooms and laundry rooms.
  • Wet a paper towel with fresh squeezed lemon juice and place on low for 10 seconds in your microwave. This will leave your microwave smelling fresh for days!

Now that your taste buds are peeked and your home is ready to list (See Jane Sell), you can put your feet up and enjoy a margarita. With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, explore some of my local favorite Mexican restaurants and whip up a batch of margs with this simple margarita recipe.

Simple Margarita Recipe:

2 oz. Don Julio Blanco Tequila

2 oz. simple syrup (melt ½ cup of sugar in 2 cups of cold water with the juice of (6) limes and (4) lemons)

1 oz. triple sec

Pour over 6 oz of ice and ENJOY

Don’t forget to stop by Tampa’s annual margarita festival for Cinco de Mayo fun: http://www.tampamargaritafest.com/

Jane’s Fun Fact:

The spirit (TEQUILA) is named after a town in central Mexico, which was settled in 1656 and named after its early residents, a local Indian tribe. Tequila means “lava hill” in the Mexican Indian language because the agaves are grown on a dormant volcano. The sugary juice of the Blue Agave is the source of tequila. A prehistoric plant that looks like a cactus, but is actually in the lily family. The blue agave plant takes up to 12 years to mature properly and yields a pineapple-like heart, called the pina (peen-yah). By law, the blue agave plants may only be grown and harvested in the certain Mexican regions like Jalisco.

So while you are relaxing and enjoying that refreshing margarita, I will do ALL the work to list your home and sell it quickly. Call me at (813) 495.2358, when you are ready to work with an agent that gets results!

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Go

Spring has Sprung

Monday March 23, 2015

Spring has Sprung

Spring has Sprung with these Simple Tips to Sell

It’s that time of year again. Birds are chirping. Flowers are in bloom. You’ve rid your closet of unused items and are ready to sell your house. But, have you really cleaned your home? Spring is a busy real estate season, with an influx of listings on the market and buyers starting their house hunting, so it’s the perfect time to make some tweaks to your game plan. Here are 4 TIPS for staging your home this spring.

Spruce up the Entryway - does your front door mat still have dirt on it from the winter? Time to invest in a new one. The cost is minimal and first impressions make a difference. A clean pretty doorway will help set the tone for the entire showing.

Turn up the Tech - it seems that people have multiple devices and need to be accessible at all times. We are just not satisfied with waiting for ANYTHING. So for around $20 make an outlet mobile friendly by adding a USB compatible outlet to charge phones, tablets, and other devices. This is a simple and affordable conversion that will impress buyers.

Color where it counts - don’t be afraid to add color to a room. Typically, when staging your home for sale, agents like to go with neutral colors and furnishings. But you don’t have to paint a wall to add color! You can choose a vibrant area rug, or place a vase of beautiful tulips on the counter to showcase a space. Get creative and have fun. Buyers respond to ingenuity!

Clean Windows (Inside & Out) - to give the impression of new, clean and fresh; make sure to clean your windows. This should include inside, outside, screens and the tracks of sliding glass doors. You can DIY or hire a company for a minimal fee.

Here are a few other links to help you prepare your home for sale. The time is NOW!



Put me to work for you and I will sell your home. Call me at (813) 495-2358 or visit http://www.janespector.com I know Tampa real estate plus a few other FUN things…

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Go

Spinning and Selling

Wednesday May 14, 2014

Spinning and Selling

Before it gets too hot this summer, make sure to take advantage of the beautiful scenery that surrounds us in South Tampa. Whether you want to take a casual ride down Bay to Bay BLVD (the world’s longest continuous sidewalk (4.5 miles) or cycle through beautiful neighborhoods like Beach Park, Tampa affords cycle therapy for people of all levels. You can breathe fresh air on your road bike, take your tandem bike on the local trails or spin indoors at a local shop, like SoHo Cyclery. However you enjoy riding, gear up and get out there, it is National Bike Month for Pete sakes.

May is National Bike Month and is celebrated in communities from coast to coast. May 15 is National Bike to Work Day so make sure to get your bike tuned up and ready to ride! 1 in 5 US residents now live in a Bicycle Friendly Community (73+ million people) and Tampa happens to be one of those communities.

Even if you don’t have a bike you can rent one from Coast BikeShare. Their website says, “Just use a bike when you need one. There are 300 bikes scattered among 30 hubs available with a daily, monthly or annual membership. Find and reserve a bike using a mobile app, on the web at app.socialbicycles.com, or at the bike using its keypad. Visit www.CoastBikeShare.com or call 813-999-3300 for more info.

While you are spinning your wheels, let me do all the work selling your home. You can reach me at 813-495-2358, or visit my site. I know South Tampa and a few other FUN things.

See Jane List, See Jane Sell, See Jane Spin