REal Smart with The MHT Team

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Sept. 18, 2018

What do I do with Grandma?

In the early 1900’s more than 50 percent of homes were multigenerational.  This type of living arrangement is defined by two or more adult generations with adult children over 25 and/or grandparents and grandchildren under age 24 living in the same home.  That number lessened significantly in the 1950’s and continued to be the odd situation until after our Great Recession in 2016. We now have over 64 million or 20% of the population living together again.  In the next three blogs, I’m going to share some of the Pro’s and Cons, Rules of Engagement and Homes and Living arrangements that work well.

Right now, I’ll share my personal story and the lessons I learned mostly the hard way.  In late 1993 we got a call from my husband’s grandmother.  She had had a TIA, was scared and living here by herself in Florida.  We were living in Oklahoma at the time and made the decision to move to Tampa.  We decided she needed family close and wanted to make sure that she was taken care of.  So, we sold our 1908 Craftsman bungalow and took off with our two pre-school age boys.  We moved in together immediately in March of 1994 and tried desperately to make a small ranch home work.  There was so much we didn’t know or understand.

After moving here, no job, no home (WOOT!  Yep, that was stressful!), we settled into a 3/2 ranch home in Temple Terrace.  Grandmother had found a place we could all call home temporarily.  She took the master suite and formal living room for her space and we took over the rest of the house.  I was 29 at the time and CLUELESS.  I can honestly say, we all did our best.  I tried to cook for everyone, but I now had a diabetic in the house and had no idea how to change our diet which had been full fat and high carbs and incorporate her needs.  Remember, Google had not been invented yet and we were still learning our new GUI Windows computer.  My second obstacle was family time.  We were accustomed to taking off on the weekends to parks, flea markets, malls, the beach, etc., to keep the boys entertained.  All things that Grandmother could do for short times but not at the pace of us young adults and 5 and 6 year-old boys.  Needless to say feelings got hurt and the living arrangement made us all a little nutso.  After about 8 months of multigenerational living, Grandmother made a deposit on an assisted living condo.  I look back now and know that she had recovered from her TIA and because she didn’t have a separate space to enjoy friends, the constant activity in the house was exhausting for her.  Having her a few minutes away removed the frustration and allowed us to maintain a much better relationship.  If only we had known about homes with MIL apartments.

My second attempt to have two generations of adults in the house involves those same little boys who grew up and became adults or Boomerangers.  Over the last 10 years, we have had both the boys move in, move out, move back in with girlfriends and GET moved back out.  Bear with me, there is some humor in all this.  It’s the only thing that keeps me sane.  The most important thing I can stress, is there must be some guidelines.  RULES!!!  Oh Em Gee!  Bringing a testosterone filled male back into the house without an understanding of expected courtesies and responsibilities will make your nights sleepless and your days a nightmare.  Now, I realize that there might those perfect adult children out there somewhere on another planet that automatically offer to help with chores, pay a bill or let you know when they are going to be home.  I, unfortunately did not birth one of those.  Being the good parents we are, we attempted to help our boys find their place in this world by adjusting our living arrangements when the need arose.  Not setting boundaries and expectations was a huge mistake and one that caused unbelievable stress and almost the end of our marriage multiple times. 

When you decide to have other adults whether older or younger in your home after weighing the Pros and Cons, the first thing you MUST do is set your Rules of Engagement and determine if your current Home and Living arrangement will work.  Helping you determine your Home and Living arrangement is something that #TheMHTTeam specializes in.  Visit,  we can help you create a plan to rebuild, renovate or sell and buy new.


Brenda Christian
The MHT Team Leader
Florida Executive Realty



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Will The Rays Stadium Change Ybor?

Tampa Bay Rays’ push toward Ybor City sparks real estate sales

Feb. 23, 2018

Five Things You MUST Know Before You Buy a Historic Home in Tampa Bay

Looking for an antique home is an adventure through time.  There’s just something about the charm and character of a historic home that fills you with a sense of homey comfort.  Visions of homemade bread and cookies dance around the kitchen and large family meals with steaming bowls of awesomeness in the dining room.  The front porch has seen many first kisses, glasses of wine and the occasional tear.  So many memories, it’s just too hard to resist the allure.  So, what do you need to know to keep your purchase on track and prevent owning a money pit?

1.      Find an agent that specializes in vintage homes and neighborhoods.  Let’s qualify that a bit more.  Anyone can say they specialize.  Ask how many homes they’ve sold and where they sell the most.  This is crucially important. You want an agent seasoned in solving inspection issues.

2.      Work with a lender that services multiple realtors that specialize in historic homes and neighborhoods.  This insures that your purchase will go as smoothly as possible.  A lender well versed in the possible problems an older home can bring is a lender prepared to make those problems go away.  Always ask if they have an approved appraiser list.  This reduces the possibility of an out of town appraiser being assigned.

 3.      Hire a home inspector that has a history of inspecting older homes.  Not all home inspectors are created equally.  A home inspector that inspects mostly new construction can potentially make mountains out of molehills or literally structural issues out of termite galleys.  Your home inspections are to tell you everything that is wrong with the home so that you can make an educated and informed decision.

 4.      Is the home located in a historic district, overlay or national historic district?  You may have visions of adding a screened lanai and get the shocking news that it is not permitted.  The districts protect the footprint of the property, making it necessary to get permission to make any additions including decks, fences and expansions.

 5.      Talk to your neighbors, friends and realtor to create a good vendor list for things that you cannot do yourself.  Working on a historic home is much different than new construction and just like your realtor, lender and inspector, you want repairmen that have experience working on antique homes.

With over 18 years’ experience selling in the historic neighborhoods of Tampa Bay, I would love to talk to you about how the MHT Team can make your HOME DREAM come true.

Brenda Christian, Team Leader
The MHT Team
Neighborhood Specialist since 2001
Graduate Real Estate Consultant
®, CNE®
At Home with Diversity™
Cell:    813-376-9499

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 23, 2018

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We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates