Five Charming Niche Museums in Tampa

One of the perks of living in a major metropolitan area is the cultural offerings. Entertainment, theater, music, art galleries, exhibits and museums will keep you learning as long as you’d like.

But sometimes the smaller museums pack just as powerful a cultural punch. They might be a bit off the beaten tourist trail and require some online research, but we promise the ones we spotlight here will be worth the time.

Make a day of it and visit two or three museums located near each other. Or, take separate trips to savor everything each attraction has to offer.

Either way, you’ll […]

A Workout Guide to Daytona Beach’s Bridges

If you’ve moved to the east central Florida coast from hillier terrain and require some workout elevation, local bridges are your solution.

The Daytona Beach area offers five tall, multiple-lane bridges across the Intracoastal Waterway. Each bridge’s height guarantees huffing and puffing without drawbridge interruptions, and one bonus of incorporating a bridge into your cardio routine is the splendid views.

It’s hard to top the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. And, depending which bridge you’re climbing, glance north or south and you’ll spot at least one other Daytona Beach-area high bridge.

Remember to be aware of automotive traffic when you cross a […]

Three Tampa Attractions That Deliver Year-Round Fun

You’re targeting the Tampa Bay area for your new custom Florida home, and you’d like to get to know the area a bit better.

You may know two major interstates intersect it, and that splendid beaches lie just to its west. You also might know that local professional, collegiate and amateur sports teams are yours for adopting.

But, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Where will you take those friends and family members destined to camp out in your new guest room? Perhaps the pool you’re planning or envisioning isn’t enticing enough.

You could drive an hour northeast to Orlando, the attractions capital […]

Don’t Miss These Three Iconic Jacksonville Parks

Looking to move to a metropolitan area with plenty of green space?

You won’t do better than Jacksonville, Florida, which is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States — more than 840 square miles. Jacksonville also boasts the nation’s largest urban park system.

That’s a lot of room to roam, and we at ICI Homes are proud to contribute our master-planned communities to the Jacksonville area, and to serve as a selected builder in other communities.

Whatever your impetus for moving here, take advantage of this energetic port city and its gifts from Mother Nature. You’ll find miles of […]

Why is My Credit Score Lower From My Lender?

If you have recently been on a personal finance site to check your credit score and then applied for a mortgage you may have been surprised at the difference in your credit score. That’s because more often than not, the score you received from the personal finance site is going to be higher than the credit score your lender receives when they pull your credit.
Credit algorithms
Personal finance sites that can access your credit history use a different algorithm to calculate your score. They are giving you more of a generic credit score that covers a wide range of credit […]

Three Out-of-the-Box Tampa Bay Attractions

Like most metropolitan areas in Florida, Tampa Bay boasts no shortage of A-list tourist attractions. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, north of downtown, is one of the state’s largest and best known. A quick online search will yield a long roster of others, headlined by the nationally ranked Florida Aquarium and ZooTampa at Lowry Park.

But, those jewels are hardly the only attraction fun to be had here. Experiences of all sizes, shapes and themes are either right under your nose in metro Tampa, or within an hour’s drive of your new ICI Homes neighborhood.

So gear up and go explore these […]

Our Guide to Jacksonville’s Beaches

If you’re buying a new ICI Homes custom home in greater Jacksonville, one of the perks is that you’re less than a hour from splendid Atlantic Coast beaches.

If you’re considering buying a home in “JAX” but haven’t made your final decision, the proximity to those beaches could be the clincher!

For most new Jacksonville residents, being close to several beaches is a big plus. There are few better places to catch an early-morning sunrise, and the recreational and relaxation options are nearly endless.

So, let’s assume living near beaches is a good thing for your household. What’s the best way to enjoy […]

Laker Lutz News Feature – ICI Homes Affordable Customization

“Many people would love to build a custom home for their family, but do not have the time or knowledge to properly oversee its construction, or arrange for construction loans needed in advance of closing. Instead, they compromise what they really want, and end up going with a traditional production builder that allows minimal customization of their floor plans, which often is expensive, and the builder does reluctantly.
But now, Tampa Bay homebuyers have a third option — ICI Homes, which brings together a buyer’s specific custom requests with the resources of an established and reputable production builder.”

Thank you, Laker […]

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. 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 have […]

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 […]