Category Archives: Real Estate Market

Down Payment Assistance in Tampa, Florida

Do you know you could be eligible for down payment assistance in Tampa, Florida?

Check the programs below. You could be eligible.

Then search your desired home on our website,
click Request More Info or Schedule Showing,
write your contact info and if you want to know what down payment assistance programs are available for the home you want to buy.

CHECK these 5 Down Payment Assistance Programs:

 RCF is a non-profit organization in Tampa that serves residents of Hillsborough County.

Down Payment Assistance:

  • Grant of up to $5,000
  • You don’t need to repay the grant, as long as you remain in the home
  • You can use any lender
  • Down payment assistance will be paid to the title company


  • You’re a first time homebuyer
     (If you have not owned a home within the last 3 years, you’re considered a first time homebuyer)
  • You reside in Hillsborough County
  • You will buy an owner-occupied single-family house, condo or townhouse in Hillsborough County
  • You meet the household annual income limits set for Hillsborough County:

        Number of Persons        Maximum Household        
          in Household                   Annual Income
               1                                 $32,150
               2                                 $36,750
               3                                 $41,350
               4                                 $45,900
               5                                 $49,600
               6                                 $53,250
               7                                 $56,950             
               8                                 $60,600

  • Recent tax return will be the basis of occupants

How to Apply:
1. Submit your application and documents to RCF.
2. If you’re qualified, you will be contacted for an interview.
3. If your application is approved, you will be notified.
4. Submit the final HUD document to RCF for review not later than 72 hours before closing.
5. An RFC representative must be present at closing.

Documents Required:
1. Proof of Income
2. Copy of Good Faith Statement
3. Copy of completed loan application
4. Copy of the pre-approved letter from lender
5. Final approval
7. Copy of the certificate of completion of a home buying course, presented for at least 8 hours, and approved by HUD and RCF.
   Here’s a list of approved providers of home buyer education and counseling.              
8. Letter to RCF explaining why you should be considered eligible for receiving down payment assistance.

See details, application forms and contact information here:
RCF of GTAR Down Payment Assistance Application


Down Payment Assistance:

  • Deferred-Payment Second Mortgage Loan of up to $14,999
     ($10,000 maximum for down payment and $4,999 maximum for closing costs)
  • No interest
  • No monthly payment as long as the home remains your primary residence and you occupy the home
  • Loan is fully forgiven after 5 years of occupying the home as your primary residence


  • Your minimum credit score is 600
  • Your debt ratio should be 31/45%, meaning your monthly home payment must not exceed 31% of your monthly income and your total debt including home payment must not exceed 45% of your monthly income.
  • Your household income is below 120% of area median income
     (Income of household is considered, not just your income)
  • Number of Persons            Maximum Household        
          in Household                   Annual Income
               1                                 $32,150
               2                                 $36,750
               3                                 $41,350
               4                                 $45,900
               5                                 $49,600
               6                                 $53,250
               7                                 $56,950             
               8                                 $60,600

  • You will buy a property within the city limits of Tampa
  • You invest $2,000, with a minimum of $1,000 from your own verifiable funds
  • You do home inspection before closing
  • You’re not allowed to use an ARM loan

How to Apply:
1. Register for homebuyer education. You must not be under contract for a home purchase prior to
   Here’s a list of approved providers of homebuyer education.
2. Sign your contract for a home purchase, dated after the Certificate of Completion
3. Get a lender commitment for your first mortgage
4. Call the Housing & Community Development Division to request an appointment.
5. Submit all required documents within 10 days from date of application

Documents Required:
1. Completed HCD Application for Housing Assistance form
2. Authorization form signed by all household members with income
3. Latest copy of federal income tax return
4. Last 2 pay stubs for all employed household members
5. Child support documentation
6. Recent SSI, Social Security, Disability, Pension documents
7. Copy of executed sales contract, with name of title company
8. Last 6 bank statements
9. Name, address and phone number of your lender
10. Appraisal from lender
11. Housing Quality Standards inspection report, if existing home
12. Lead Based Pain clearance, if home is built before 1978

See details here:
City of Tampa Down Payment Assistance Application

Tampa Bay is 13th Most Affordable Housing Market


The Tampa Bay metro area is the 13th most affordable residential real estate market in Florida, based on third-quarter 2014 data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo. Tampa Bay is in the middle of the pack, about midpoint of the ranking of 22 metro areas in Florida. Each real estate market’s affordability is evaluated using the area’s median family income and median home prices.

The Tampa Bay metro area refers to the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area and encompasses the cities of Tampa in Hillsborough County and St. Petersburg and Clearwater and Pinellas County and some parts of Pasco County.

The following ranking is based on HOI, which means Housing Opportunity Index, the index created by the NAHB and Wells Fargo the measure housing affordability. It measures the percentage of homes for sale in a certain area which is affordable to a median-income family in this certain area, using standard mortgage underwriting criteria.

The HOI uses median family income data published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and applies the assumption that a family can afford to spend 28 percent of its gross income on home mortgage.

1 Lakeland-Winter Haven 84.2 50,400 118,000
2 Tallahassee 82.5 64,800 139,000
3 Ocala 81.9 45,700 93,000
4 Gainesville 81.0 65,400 141,000
5 Palm Bay-Melbourne
-Titusville 78.4 60,700 133,000
6 Pensacola-Ferry Pass
-Brent 78.1 58,400 139,000
7 Deltona-Daytona Beach
-Ormond Beach 76.8 51,500 120,000
8 Palm Coast 75.9 56,300 147,000
9 Port St. Lucie 75.4 56,900 136,000
10 Jacksonville 74.3 63,200 156,000
11 Panama City-Lynn Haven
-Panama City Beach 74.1 59,500 155,000
12 Punta Gorda 74.0 55,700 132,000
13 Tampa-St. Petersburg
-Clearwater 72.8 57,400 138,000
14 Sebastian-Vero Beach 71.1 54,700 140,000
15 Crestview-Fort Walton
Beach-Destin 70.6 62,800 180,000
16 Cape Coral-Fort Myers 68.3 58,000 157,000
17 Orlando-Kissimmee
-Sanford 66.2 54,800 165,000
18 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano
Beach-Deerfield Beach 64.5 61,200 163,000
19 West Palm Beach
-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach 63.8 64,100 185,000
20 North Port-Bradenton
-Sarasota 61.8 57,300 183,000
21 Naples-Marco Island 51.9 62,900 260,000
22 Miami-Miami Beach
-Kendall 47.7 48,600 200,000

In the third quarter of 2014, the median price of homes in the Tampa Bay area was $138,000 and the median family income was $57,400, based on NAHB and Wells Fargo data. Nearly 73% of all homes for sale in the Tampa Bay metro area were affordable to families earning the median income.

Tampa Bay Real Estate Market Is 4th Most Affordable in Florida


Based on the median sales prices of existing single-family homes in the third quarter of 2014, the Tampa Bay real estate market is the fourth most affordable housing market among metropolitan statistical areas in Florida.

Metro Area Median Sales Price
Ocala $ 108,000
Lakeland-Winter Haven $ 140,200
Punta Gorda $ 142,000
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater $ 145,000
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville $ 145,000
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach $ 152,000
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent $ 155,000
Palm Coast $ 157,500
Port St. Lucie $ 160,000
Sebastian-Vero Beach $ 165,000
Tallahassee $ 175,000
Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach $ 178,500
Cape Coral-Fort Myers $ 180,000
Orlando $ 180,000
Gainesville $ 181,000
Jacksonville $ 186,500
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin $ 192,500
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice $ 222,000
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach $ 270,000
Naples-Marco Island $ 342,500
Region Median Sales Price
Midwest $ 172,700
South $ 189,400
U.S. $ 217,300
Northeast $ 261,700
West $ 302,300

Source of Data: National Association of Realtors (NAR

Events in 2014 That Will Boost 2015 Tampa Real Estate Market


Great things are expected for the Tampa real estate market in 2015!
2014 was a year filled with lots of business projects that will have big impacts on commercial, residential and industrial properties in the Tampa Bay area.

The 7 top Tampa-area happenings were:

1.   Jeff Vinik’s Formal Launching of His $1-Billion Redevelopment Plan for Downtown Tampa’s Channelside District

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his team said they have the vision, the  funds and the support of public and private entities.

Vinik is expected to succeed because of the following:

  • He already owns more than 25 acres of land in the Channelside area and is poised to acquire more.
  • He has the financial support of Microsoft founder Bill Gates through his deal with Gates’ investment firm Cascade Investment LLC.
  • He has purchased the Channelside Bay Plaza and the Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina.
  • He owns Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team which has long-term lease rights to the Tampa Sports Authority-owned stadium Amalie Arena, the main anchor of the Channelside redevelopment project.
  • He has obtained approval from the board of trustees of the University of South Florida (USF) for the construction of the USF Morsani College of Medicine and USF Heart Health Institute.
  • He has signed a deal with the Tampa Port Authority for the operation of Channelside’s parking facilities.
  • The Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Convention Center are located in the district.

2.   Launching of Chain and Specialty Restaurants

. Ulele restaurant and brewery, in Tampa Heights, near the Ulele Spring, Water Works Park, Riverwalk and Hillsborough River
. Elevage at the Epicurean Hotel
. Bizou Brasserie at Le Meridien Tampa
. Rivers Smokehouse in Carrollwood, a barbecue
. Del Frisco’s Grille in Tampa
. Wing Zone in New Tampa
. Graffiti Junktion in Tampa near USF
. Culver’s in Tampa, a burger chain
. Earl of Sandwich in St. Petersburg
. Besito in Westshore Plaza
. Buffalo Wings & Rings, looking for location
. Tom+Chee, looking for 5 locations
. Twin Peaks, looking for location
. Fodder & Shine in Seminole Heights

3.   Launching of Malls and Other Retail Centers

.  RareHues design store in Carrollwood
.  Tampa Premium Outlets in Wesley Chapel in Pasco County by Simon Property Group
.  University Mall, acquired and being redeveloped by New York investor Richard Birdoff
.  Hyde Park Village
.  Seminole Mall
.  Specialty grocer Trader Joe’s opened in South Tampa
.  Spanx at International Plaza

4.   City Projects under Mayor Bob Buckhorn

. Completion of the Riverwalk
. Bike Sharing Program
. Water Works Park redevelopment
. Nehemiah Project, revitalization of Sulphur Springs
. Redevelopment of Riverfront Park
. Improvement of other city parks, trails and boulevards
. Agua Luces public art program
. Downtown park programs like the Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta

5.   Launching of Hotels and Hotel Projects

  • Aloft Hotel, in the former Mercantile Bank building in downtown Tampa
  • Le Méridien Tampa Hotel, transformation of the historic federal courthouse  in downtown Tampa, near Ybor City and Channelside
  • Epicurean Hotel, in the SoHo neighborhood of Hyde Park, part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott, developed by the Bern’s family in partnership with hotel company Mainsail Lodging and Development
  • A four-building luxury hotel to be developed by Mainsail Lodging and Development around around a 50-slip marina in Holmes Beach

6.   Residential and commercial real estate projects
. Residential Pierhouse at Channelside
. Residences at the Riverwalk
. The Martin at Meridian
. The Trio at Encore
. NoHo Flats
. Loft-style apartments in Seminole Heights by developer Wesley Burdette
. SkyHouse in Channelside
. Crescent Bayshore

7.   Company Expansions With Help from the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (EDC)

In 2014, hundreds of Tampa jobs were created and will continue to be created in the years to come by these companies:

  • BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a leading veterinary medicine company that employs more than 1,800 in 14 states
  • Cognizant, a leading information technology and consulting company that employs 200,000 employees worldwide
  • Laser Spine Institute, provider of minimally invasive spine surgery, which employs more than 900 medical and corporate professionals across the U.S.
  • LabTech Software, developer of remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform for IT service providers, with more than 350 employees worldwide
  • White & Case LLP, a global law firm with lawyers in 39 offices in 26 countries
  • Quest Diagnostics, provider of diagnostic information services for patients and doctors, with 45,000 employees across the U.S.
  • Acoustiblok, Inc. manufacturer of acoustical soundproofing solutions
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company (TBBC) of Ybor City, producer of craft beer
  • ConnectWise, provider of business management platform for high technology companies

See Top Employers in the Tampa Bay Area 

Photo Credit: Bob B. Brown
Florida Aquarium
Panoramic view of the Florida Aquarium and Channelside retail complex

CC BY-ND 2.0