ICI Spotlight

Articles in the ICI Spotlight category are also featured on the ICI Homes home page.

Are Piggybacks Making a Comeback?

Piggyback mortgages that is, not the ride children love. Piggyback mortgages, a.k.a. second mortgages, are a loan that rides on top of your primary mortgage that. In combination with your down payment, these mortgages allow you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). They were extremely popular in the early 2000s and then went almost extinct after the housing market declined in 2008. With the economy and the housing market on an upswing, it looks like Piggybacks are coming back.
Piggyback mortgages are ideal for several reasons

It’s great for borrowers who want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance but […]

Our Quick Guide for Exploring Ybor City

Tampa wouldn’t be Tampa without Ybor City. The Latin neighborhood that helped shape Tampa as much as any other area influence, remains a flavorful, integral part of Tampa life today.

From food and music, to architecture and industry, Ybor City has contributed heavily to Tampa traditions. If you’re new to the area, or considering a move here, a visit to Ybor City should be on your to-do list. Odds are you’ll return frequently!

Here’s our quick guide for exploring Ybor City.
A little history
Ybor City is located just north of downtown Tampa. A Spanish entrepreneur named Vicente Martinez-Ybor founded the city in […]

Our Primer on ‘Getting Lost’ in Jacksonville

Want to get lost in Jacksonville? We mean that positively! “JAX” is the United States’ largest city by area, with more than 840 square miles. It also contains the country’s largest urban park system.

That’s lots of room to escape traffic, work headaches, or maybe just the daily grind. Those 10,000 acres of urban parks include 10 combined state and national parks, a national preserve and many city parks, recreational facilities and gardens.

If you’re a new or wannabe Jacksonville resident, getting lost here may be as easy as strolling down to your new or imagined neighborhood park. A long run […]

Our Guide to Exploring Tampa’s Riverwalk

Need a dose of downtown? Maybe it’s time to get out of the house. Attend a festival. Visit an attraction. Or, simply enjoy one of the watery landscapes that’s near your new Tampa-area home.

We’ve got the cure — or the answer. Especially if you’d like a little exercise at the same time. Head to downtown Tampa and its Riverwalk, a 2.4-mile trail that winds south to north along the east bank of the Hillsborough River, near where it empties into the Tampa Bay system.

“I can use one of the walking trails in my new ICI Homes neighborhood,” you say.

We […]

National Report Ranks Daytona Area #8 in Markets Poised for Growth

DAYTONA BEACH — For the sixth time in recent months, a national report has ranked the Volusia-Flagler area as one of the country’s top real estate markets to watch.

Read the full News Journal Article here.

Four Island Experiences Near Tampa Bay

Although beautiful beaches abound along the Gulf of Mexico, sometimes you need to cross a bridge to feel like you’ve truly been to the beach.

If you’re seeking an island experience near metropolitan Tampa, we at ICI Homes have four suggestions. These islands are located from north to south along the Gulf, which functions as Tampa’s westernmost neighbor, and all four islands offer different experiences.

They’re an easy day trip from your new Tampa-area home and require minimal stocking-up, unless you’re towing a boat and half your new neighbors with you.

Another bonus? These four islands are Florida state parks. So it’s […]

Art Alert: Sampling Jacksonville’s Museum Scene

You may be aware Jacksonville is known for its outdoor recreation, professional and amateur sports, and many seaside pursuits, but did you know it’s also a prime museum community?

If you didn’t, here’s your chance to learn. A sampling includes jaw-dropping paintings by past and present masters, a historical African-American theatre that continues to thrive, and contemporary installations that stimulate everyone’s minds and curiosity.

The list of Jacksonville museums is much too long to cover here. Don’t worry, though. We’ll get you started with top-line suggestions.

Follow us for a primer on Jacksonville’s outstanding museum scene.
The Ritz Theatre and Museum
The Ritz is […]

Ready to Move? Avoid These First-Time Home Seller Mistakes

If you thought buying your home was tough, selling your first home can be just as daunting. Make the process easier and more profitable by avoiding some common first-time home seller mistakes.
Mistake 1: Emotional attachment
Becoming emotionally detached from your home is one of the hardest things to do when selling. After all, this is where you made memories with friends and family members. Remember that your

home is a commodity, not your identity. The more you can separate yourself emotionally from your home (including neutralizing the interior) the more buyers will be able to picture themselves in your home. The […]

Four Iconic Things to Do in Tampa

If you’re a new Tampa-area resident or are thinking of becoming one, we at ICI Homes are here to offer four informal rites of residentship!

It’s tongue-in-cheek, of course, but all four suggestions are alternately fun, scenic and tasty, plus they’ll will give you a true sense of place and history.

From north to south:
Vist Ybor City
One of Tampa’s most historic neighborhoods, Ybor City dates to 1886, when its namesake, Spanish entrepreneur Vicente Martinez-Ybor, moved his cigar factory north from Key West. Tampa’s Latin Quarter has provided a rich cultural, entertainment and business experience ever since.

You’ll find old brick buildings, vernacular […]

A Water Lover’s Guide to Living in Jacksonville

When one of the major rivers in the southeast United States bisects your city, then drains into the nearby Atlantic Ocean, you’re living a coastal lifestyle whether or not you intended it.

Chances are you intended it! Jacksonville’s booming economy, superb location and residential and business growth, make it a bulls-eye for folks elevating their careers, seeking their dream retirement home or simply moving their families to a vibrant, outdoorsy community.

The water is a big part of it — 22 miles of Atlantic beaches, the St. John’s River, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and innumerable creeks, marshes and freshwater springs. On […]