1. Business

Can you afford a four-bedroom house in Tampa or St. Pete? New online tool can help you decide.’s new Price Perfect lets buyers add or delete certain home features to see what they can afford the price they want to pay. (Courtesy of
Published Mar. 28

You're planning to buy a house, and you're thinking it would be nice to have a spare bedroom for those visiting relatives from Rochester.

Or you still have two teenage girls at home, and bathrooms for both would end a lot of early-morning fights.

But can you afford that extra space? There's an online tool that can help you decide. just launched '"Price Perfect,'' which enables buyers to configure their ideal house in their desired neighborhood and price range. Zillow, Trulia and other online sites also let buyers search by ZIP code, size etc. But Price Perfect goes a step further by showing the median price of homes in a ZIP and how certain features increase that price.

"We found that the No. 1 consumer need is understanding affordability,'' Brad Silvert,'s general manager, said in a phone interview Wednesday. "Not just how much you can afford but what trade-offs you are willing to make. If you can afford $360,000, what features are most important to you in looking for a new house? ''

Example: In ZIP 33626 of Tampa's Westchase area, Price Perfect shows that the median price of all three-bedroom, two-bath houses currently on the market is $459,000. An extra bedroom adds $40,900 to the price; an extra bathroom $60,000.

Or in St. Petersburg's 33704, which includes the Old Northeast and Snell Isle areas, the median price of a 3-bed, 2-bath house is $694,900. A fourth bedroom would pump up the price by $267,510 and a third bathroom would raise it by $144,460.

Conversely, deleting one bedroom would reduce the cost by only $27,590 and subtracting one bathroom would reduce it by just $5,990.

Why such a price differential? "It has to do with inventory,'' Silvert said. "In St. Pete, there are not as many four bedroom houses and by default those tend to be nice homes and the price goes up dramatically. If you really want that extra bedroom, maybe you should consider expanding the search'' to another area.

Once users have added or deleted features, Price Perfect links to all homes meeting the criteria in that ZIP. It also shows what the monthly mortgage payments would be, based on 20 percent down and including taxes and insurance. For the basic 3-2 house in Westchase, the payment would be $2,597. In the Old Northeast, it would be $2,475.

Price Perfect currently has limitations. It can't account for the cost of pools, waterfront locations or certain other sought-after features. But users of the site are asked for suggestions, and more features "absolutely will be added,'' Silvert said

Price Perfect uses an algorithm of listing prices and characteristics of homes currently on the market in a specific neighborhood. "This ensures all costs reflect market conditions in real time, making these insights incredibly relevant to buyers currently in the market,'' said in a release. originated as the online home-search arm of the National Association of Realtors. Since 2015, it has been owned by News Corp. and it licenses the word "Realtor'' from the association.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.


  1. A citrus grove in eastern Hillsborough County. [Times (2017)]
    The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is predicting a 3.3 percent increase for the struggling industry.
  2. Gas prices may go up as much as 5 cents this week, AAA, The Auto Club Group, said. Pictured is a man filling up at a gas station in St. Petersburg in 2017. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times  (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Gas dropped 10 cents on average in Tampa Bay last week and 6 cents on average in Florida.
  3. Artist Danny Acosta completes re-lettering  of the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker in Key West after much of the paint was stripped off in Hurricane Irma in 2017. [Florida Keys News Bureau via the Associated Press]
    Less than 10 percent of U.S. counties are "vacation home'' counties.
  4. The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened in April on the 600 block of Central Avenue. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    The popular Jacksonville biscuit shop has recently opened a handful of Tampa Bay locations.
    A frustrated business card user learns that his on-time payments don’t boost his personal credit score.
  6. Regina Temple is the new president and CEO at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. HCA West Florida
    Read this and more Pasco County business news.
  7. The City Council has called for consultants to design an outdoor concert pavilion with a fixed covering over 4,000 seats in the middle of its proposed overhaul of the downtown waterfront. That decision is causing some friction in the city as officials prepare to present preliminary design drawings to the public. City of Clearwater
    Some in the city are divided over Clearwater’s $64.5 million plan.
  8. Tampa Bay workers are more likely than employees in other metros to quit because of a boss they don’t like, according to a recent survey. Pictured are job seekers at a Tampa job fair in June. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tampa Bay and Miami tied for the percentage of employees who quit because of a boss.
  9. Recent sunny day flooding in Shore Acres, a St. Petersburg neighborhood vulnerable to rising sea levels. [Times] Susan Taylor Martin
    The organizations will explore the impact of climate change on Florida.
  10. The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Pasco Extension opened an incubator kitchen on Sept. 23. It's  at 15029 14th Street in Dade City. The goal of the kitchen is to create educational opportunities for food entrepreneurs and help them to start new businesses. Whitney Eleamor (center left) developed the idea for the kitchen. PAIGE FRY  |  Paige Fry
    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week for the Pasco County Extension Service community kitchen.