February 2022 – Dave Bailey


Monthly Archives: February 2022

When Is It Too Late To Stop Foreclosure?

Here are 10 options for stopping foreclosure proceedings on your home, depending on where you are in the foreclosure process timeline.

It can be a complicated situation, and even though I am a real estate agent and I like selling houses, selling your home to avoid foreclosure may not be your best option.

10 Ways To Get Out Of Foreclosure Once It Starts

Let’s take a look at 10 different options you can use to stop foreclosure right up to the last minute or get out of foreclosure once it starts.

Foreclosure Option 1: Loan modification

Talk to your bank to see what can be done to get things back on track.

This may be the fastest and easiest thing to do. If you can explain the situation, they’ll probably be willing to work with you to help get you back on track and out of the pre-foreclosure process.

I’ve done several loan modifications with people who needed to renegotiate their mortgages with their banks.

Foreclosure Option 2: Get A Side Hustle

If you can work, because I know not everyone can, your quickest option may just be to buckle down and put some extra overtime or get a side gig to make those payments so you don’t lose your home.

Sometimes life happens. We get behind. And then we get overwhelmed and can’t see our way out of the problem.

However, I totally understand if you aren’t able to work or are already have too much on your plate. Then you could look at other options.

Foreclosure Option 3: Personal Loan

Talk to family members and friends to ask for help. Sure, it might hurt your pride, but it’s better than them finding out that you got lost your home.

If you have a good support system and you have caring family members who can come together and work with you to overcome this difficult time.

Foreclosure Option 4: Hard Money Loan

If you don’t have any relatives or family members who can help you, you can look into getting a loan from a private investor.

They typically charge a higher interest rate, so it’s not something you would probably want to take too much money out on over too long a period of time.

But if you just need to make a few back payments to get caught up, or you know you’ll be getting a tax refund soon, then this might be a viable option.

Foreclosure Option 5: Rental (or House Hack)

You could rent your home out to cover the payments. If you have somewhere else you can crash for a time, you can let someone else live in your home and make the mortgage payments for you. You might even be able to rent it out for more than your mortgage payment.

Or if you don’t have anywhere else to go, you could just rent out a portion of your house. Taking on a housemate who helps out with rent and utilities is extra money that you can put toward your mortgage payments.

Just be careful about who you rent it out to and do your due diligence because the last thing you want to do is get a bad tenant in there who doesn’t pay and smashes things up.

Foreclosure Option 6: Cash Offer

If you need to sell fast, you can sell your house to an iBuyer or investor for cash. That way you can close quickly and get the property off your hands.

Although the downside to this is that typically, they’ll only pay you 30% less than market value. Because they’ll fix up your house and improve it, then sell it for a profit.

But if you need to sell the house as-is really fast, and you just want to walk away from the whole mess without having to clean up the place or deal with any of the issues, this may be one of your best options.

If this sounds interesting, we can bring you an immediate cash offer from one of the companies we work with, but then still market your home for up to 45 days to see if you get a higher offer. Just fill out the form below if you want us to help you find the best cash offer available for you.

Foreclosure Option 7: Subject To (or a form of creative financing)

This usually takes the form of seller financing where you become the bank. You sell the home, but allow the buyer to take over the mortgage payments for you.

They get the payments caught up so you aren’t having to worry about getting foreclosed on and you transfer the deed into their name.

The advantage to the buyer is that they don’t have to come up with the cash all at once, and you get more than you would on a cash sale. Or sometimes they just can’t get a good loan, so you help them and they help you.

Now, you do have to be careful because some lenders don’t allow anyone else to assume the loan. And most lenders and mortgage brokers don’t like it because they don’t get to charge all their hefty fees for a new loan.

But I know there are a lot of buyers out there using this option to buy homes and help people out who are in pre-foreclosure and running the risk of getting foreclosed on.

Foreclosure Option 8: Listing your home for sale with a real estate agent

If none of the other options work for your situation, or investors don’t want to pay what your house is worth, you can look for a traditional buyer by marketing your house through a real estate agent.

You’ll work with your real estate agent who will list your home in the real estate associations database of homes for sale where all the other realtors helping buyers can see that your home is available for sale.

There are other marketing strategies that your local real estate agent will use to get your house in front of as many eyeballs as possible to get you as many offers as possible.

Foreclosure Option 9: Renovate Your Home For Sale

Now, this may sound counter-intuitive because you don’t have money and need to sell quickly, but it will allow you to get more money for the sale of your home.

So, instead of selling your home cheap for an investor to flip and keep the profits, we can help you do this with no money of pocket until the home sells.

We can connect you with one of three companies that will come in and fix up your house and get it ready for sale without charging you any money upfront. They only get paid when the home sells.

And they only charge for repairs and work they do. So all the extra profits you make on the house are yours to keep and you don’t have to leave that money on the table for the investors.

The only downside is that you’d have to wait till the renovations are done to sell, so it might take a little longer. And depending on how far along you are in the foreclosure process, you might not have time to do all that.

Foreclosure Option 10: Bankruptcy

Obviously, it goes without saying, that I hope things don’t or haven’t come to this point for you as you’re reading this.

But if you don’t have any other options, you could work with a lawyer to help you declare bankruptcy so you can pause the foreclosure process.

A good lawyer can help get you more time to continue to live in the house beyond your initial 90 day period.

Don’t Wait To Explore Your Options Until The Last Minute

If you are in pre-foreclosure or even foreclosure, don’t wait until the last minute to try to do something about it.

Talk to your local real estate agent or even a lawyer as soon as possible to find out what your options are. I’ll be happy to talk with you, explore your options, and even work with you if you live here in Pinellas, Pasco, or Hillsborough counties.

Even if you don’t live in my area, but want to talk about your options for selling your house in Florida, you can message me or call (727) 249-4022.

Or just fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you a.s.a.p.

Contact Us To Talk About Your Stituation And Foreclosure Options

P.S. Here are some more ideas for for future blog posts. Let me know if any of them interest you.

  • foreclosure process timeline
  • how to stop foreclosure at the last minute
  • can you get out of foreclosure once it starts
  • hard money loans to stop foreclosure
  • can banks foreclosures during covid 19
  • can banks foreclose right now foreclosure process in florida 2021
  • how to get out of pre foreclosure
  • how to get a house out of foreclosurehow to get your house out of foreclosure
  • how long to move out after foreclosure auction
  • how long to move out after foreclosure
  • ways to get out of foreclosure in Florida
  • how to get rid of a foreclosure on your credit report

Here’s a slideshare presentation of the information above

Leave a comment below and give us some feedback so we can better help you with your home buying and selling needs in Florida.

12 Rules To Know How Much My House Is Worth

If you want to sell your house fast for top dollar, make sure you are pricing your home correctly.

  • If you price it too high for your market, it will take longer to sell (or might not sell at all).
  • If you price your house too low, you’ll end up leaving money on the table.

So, how do you know where the sweet spot is for pricing your property?

You do what any good real estate agent would do for you.

How Do I Know How Much My House Is Worth?

You create a CMA (comparable market analysis) so you understand what other similar (similar is the keyword here) houses are selling for in your area.

Just because your neighbor Joe sold his property for half a million doesn’t mean your house will sell for that much.

Your house may be less, or it may be worth more.

So, what factors should you consider when comparing your house to other similar properties?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

12 Easy Rules of Thumb To Know How Much Your House Is Worth

Here are some easy rules of thumb for comparing properties:

  1. You start by comparing your house to properties that were sold very recently, preferably within the last few weeks, to compare current prices on the market.

This is important, but later we’ll explain how to compare your house if there aren’t any recent sales similar to your home.

Find Similar Houses To Compare To Your Home

Then, only compare properties which are:..

  1. Similar Square Footage as your house – Other houses you are looking at should be within 200 sq ft. So, if your home is 1200 square feet, you want to look at other homes between 1000 – 1400 sqare feet.
  2. Similar Lot Sizes – Other houses you are looking at should be within 2,500 square feet in lot size.
  3. Similar Ages – The houses you are comparing should
    have been built within 5 years of the construction date as your home.
  4. Similar Neighborhoods Or Same General Area – The price of houses can fluctuate based on the neighborhood they are in, so it’s best not to leave your subdivision And DON’T cross major roads.
  5. Similar Stories – Don’t compare your first-story house to a two-story house

But, what do you do if those houses have a different number of rooms or amenities?

How Much Should You Adjust For Differences In Your House?

Use these general rules of thumbs below:

  1. Different Number of Bedrooms – If your house has more bedrooms than the property you are comparing it to, you can add $10K-25k per bedroom. If your home has less, you’ll subtract the amount.
  2. Different Number of Bathrooms – Again, you’ll add or subtract $10k for each bathroom your house has compared to the other you are comparing it to
  3. Pool – If your house has a pool and the other does not, you can ad $10k-15k to the value of your house. If your house doesn’t have a pool but the other does, you’ll subtract that amount from your price.
  4. Garage – Again, if your house has a garage but the comparable does not, you’ll add $10K to the value of your house. And of course, subtract it if yours does not, and the other does have a garage.
  5. Carport – Same thing with a carport, only this time you’ll only add or subtract $5K dollars for the difference between your house and the comparable.
  6. Traffic – How is the traffic in your area compare to the other house you are comparing yours too? If traffic is worse/dangerous or out of the way, then subtract $10K from the value of your home. If it’s better, easier, more convenient, then add $10K

That should give you a general idea of what your house is worth compared to other similar homes that have sold in your area.

What If There Aren’t Any Recent Homes To Compare To Your House?

But, what if you can’t find a comparable property that has sold within the last 3 months?

Go back in increments of 3 months, 3, 6, 9, 12… until you find a comparable property that doesn’t violate the above rules.

When comping you can go back up to 2 years and adjust for inflation around 3.5% year over year for comps

So, there you have it, my friends.

12 quick, down-and-dirty tips on how to compare your house to others in your area so you have a general idea of what your house is worth.

Hope that helps!

Of course, there are other factors at play, like upgrades and renovations and things that aren’t easily compared to other homes.

This is where your local real estate agent will be able to provide extra insight and expertise since they are out looking at homes on a daily basis…

Which is where I can come in and help you figure out that sweet spot of what your home is worth so that you can sell your house quickly while still getting top dollar for it. No obligations or commitments to selling your home…

But of course, if you do decide to sell it, I’ll be happy to help you get your home ready to sell, create a solid marketing plan to get your house in front of as many people as possible, negotiate the best deal possible for you, and walk you through the inspections and appraisals so you make it to closing.

And then of course make sure you understand all the closing documents you are signing because that’s where I shine.

I’ve done over 850 closings over the past few years working in the real estate industry with title companies and law firms.

Want More Help To Figure Out What Your Home Is Worth?

So, if you have a house in Florida that you’re thinking about selling, shoot me over the property address and I’ll be happy to run some numbers for you.

Even if the property isn’t in Florida, I can still help you crunch the numbers. And then if you decide that you want to sell it, I can recommend a local real estate agent in your area who can help you get it ready, market it, and walk you through to closing.

David, What Is My House Worth?

Fill out the form below with the address of your property, so David can take a look and crunch some numbers for you to understand what your house is worth.

Should You Sell Your Home To Investors

I called the home seller to introduce myself as well as confirm the time and location. She didn’t seem overly excited to sell her home like most people are. I didn’t think much of it.

She needed a second witness to sign off on the General Warranty Deed, so I provided the witness.

We all met bright and early Friday morning at a local coffee shop.

The seller signed the closing documents quickly. Barely glancing at the paperwork.

Was she in a hurry to go somewhere else?

Not really.

We finished signing and I packed up my notary stamp and journal, my box of blue pens, and stuffed the signed documents into the FedEx envelope to ship back to the title company.

When I put my stuff in the car and turned around, she was still sitting there.

I decided to go back inside. I was tempted to get a cup of Honey Citrus Mint Tea. As I walked toward the door, the seller was coming toward me.

I realized she wanted to ask me something.

“What am I supposed to do with the keys?” she asked.

The title company hadn’t given me any specific instructions about collecting anything from her.

So, we sat back down at a table and tried calling a few numbers to see if we could get somebody on the line who could tell her what to do with them.

She Sold Her Home Cheap To An Investor

Long story short, she had sold her house to an investor in another county. They had told her to leave the keys with the title company at signing. But the title company was a good four to five-hour drive away.

She got ahold of one of her contacts before I did. I could only hear one side of the conversation, but it sounded like they wanted her to leave the keys under the rug or something.

In the end, they just told her to hang on to the keys till the buyer got ahold of her to pick them up.

It was a strange situation. Normally, the keys are exchanged at signing. Either the seller leaves them at the office for the buyers to pick up. Sometimes the title company will give me keys to hand the buyers after the signing is complete and the lender has approved funding authorization.

But I’d never had something quite like this happen. And it didn’t make much sense until she explained what was going on.

Investors Make ‘Cash’ Offers For Less Than Your Home Is Worth

An investor had called her, making her a cash offer. If you own a home, you’ve probably received calls from them offering to buy your home for cash. Typically at about 70% of what it’s worth.

They make it sound like it’s better than using a realtor because you don’t have to pay a realtor or closing fees. But investors usually pay much less than your home is worth anyway. So, it doesn’t really make much sense to me. Unless you just want to sell fast and don’t have to deal with buyers.

But in such a crazy hot market like we’re in, it doesn’t make sense to sell your home to the first person who makes you an offer. I’ve been to several signings recently where I’ve seen home sellers take the first offer they get.

An investor had offered the homeowner what they thought it might be worth and the seller accepted. Without checking to see what it was really worth, or even taking the time to see if someone else might make them a better offer.

It’s My House And I Can Do What I Want To…

Which I think is crazy, but hey, it’s their house and they can sell it for whatever they want. Right?

But even if you don’t want to go the usual route of showings and inspections, at least talk to a couple of different investors to get several quotes. Or talk to a real estate agent who can tell you know if the price you’re getting makes sense.

Now, in total transparency, I am a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty, and I work with a lot of investors. So, I see both sides of the coin and see advantages and disadvantages either way.

Explore Your Home Selling Options

All I’m saying is, explore your options to get as much money from your home as possible in the time that you have to work with.

If you’re in a hurry and need to sell fast, then a quick cash offer may make sense.

Get Several Offers For Your Home… Not Just One

But here’s an idea for you. This is what I would do if I wanted to maximize the amount of money I made from the sale of my home.

First, get several cash offers for the sale of my home, and see how long they’ll give me to decide and take the offer. It might be seven days or a month. Then market the home and see if you can find other buyers that were willing to pay more within that time frame.

If I didn’t get a better offer then I would take the cash offer. Which is nice because you have a guaranteed backup plan.

How To Get Top Dollar For Your Home With A Guaranteed Sale

That’s exactly what I do for my clients who want to sell their homes. I work with a company that gives you a quick cash offer for the sale of your home. No showings, no stress, no worries. They’ll buy it quick and easy.

And they give you up to 45 days to find someone else that beats the price they are offering for your home. If someone else does make you a better offer, you made more money for your home. If you don’t get any other offers, then at least you know you have a guaranteed buyer willing to pay cash for your house.

On top of that, they’ll also give you a leaseback so that you can continue living in your own home even after you sell it to them, which is a nice option if you need while waiting to close on the new home that you are buying.

Selling Your Home In Florida?

If you want to sell your home in Florida, I can help you…

  • get a guaranteed cash offer,
  • upgrade your home with any renovations needed with no money out of pocket,
  • market your home far and wide for a better offer, and
  • extra time to live in your home even after you sell it

If you’re interested in listing your home for sale in Florida, inquire about your options by filling out the form below.

Homesteading A Florida Property While Going Through Divorce

“Can I file for homestead on the home I’m buying, even though our divorce won’t be finalized for another month or so?” someone asked me during a closing I did this week.

In a minute I’ll tell you the answer, how we got it, and who we got it from. And I’ll give you a little bit of the backstory. So, keep reading to the end.

But first, we have to clarify a few things. Like what is a homesteaded property, why it’s important to you as a Florida homeowner, and how it saves you money.

What Is A Homestead In Florida?

Questions about homestead are fairly common when someone is buying a home in Florida. Especially, if the new home buyers are moving in from out of state.

So, just in case you’re new to Florida and don’t know what Homestead is, let’s break it down.

Homestead exemptions are a way to decrease your overall tax burden in the state of Florida. Homesteading your property means that you declare that house to be your primary residence. There are limitations as to the size of the lot depending on where it is located.

But homesteading your property, you can claim up to $50,000.00 of tax exemptions by reducing your home assessed evaluation and the taxable amount.

And on top of that, it provides a form of protection. A creditor in Florida, for example, wouldn’t be able to force the sale of your homesteaded property because your spouse ran up a crazy amount of gambling debt.

So, if you are moving to Florida and planning on buying a house, you’ll definitely want to apply for your homestead at the office of the county property appraiser as soon as possible.

Now Back To The Story Of Our Divorcing Couple

I’m signing documents with a man and a woman who were in the process of getting a divorce. I didn’t even realize it at first. They were super chill and friendly. I didn’t pick up on any bad vibes between them, so it almost caught me by surprise when the question came up.

Because I have had to sit down with couples going through the process of getting a divorce, and usually it isn’t much fun. Even if they aren’t in a bad mood, you can tell something is off between them. And things just feel awkward.

So, even though I’m busy engaging them in conversation and light patter as I run them through the documents, explaining what each document is that they are signing, and showing them where to sign, I still pick up on quite a bit from their looks and words and actions.

But this time, it was impossible to sense anything out of the ordinary. I thought they were just another ordinary couple buying a home.

Which is why her question caught me off guard about homesteading her property.

“Can I go ahead and homestead my house since it’s my primary residence?” she asked.

“Yes, of course,” was my reply, until I understood everything wasn’t quite what it seemed.

“Can I file for homestead on the home I’m buying, even though our divorce won’t be finalized for another month or so?”

That one had me stumped. I’d never been asked that question before. I’ve signed documents with couples where the husband lived in New Port Richey and the wife lived in Orlando. I’ve signed documents where one spouse claimed residence in Florida and the other in Maryland.

But this was a new one for me after doing over 850 closings over the past several years, it’s fun to have someone ask you a question that you’ve never heard before.

“Let me check with the title company,” I said.

I trotted over to ask the escrow officer what her thoughts were on the matter. She wasn’t 100% sure and suggested that we call the Property Appraiser’s office to get their statement on the matter.

I mean, sure, we all had a general idea of what the answer would be, but you still want to be 100% sure that you’re giving your clients the right information.

Talking To The Property Appraiser About Homestead

So, the title processor called the property appraiser and they confirmed what we already suspected.

Since the soon-to-be-ex-husband already lived in a home that was homesteaded, the soon-to-be-ex-wife couldn’t file homestead on her property until the divorce was finalized.

Whew. Case closed.

Wife signed the documents buying herself a new home. Husband signed the few documents that required his signature (like the Mortgage since he was waiving his rights as a non-borrower on the loan). And they went on their way.

The moral of the story is, if you’re buying a home in Florida, you definitely want to homestead your property to get your tax exemptions and extra protections.

But if you’re in the process of getting a divorce, you can’t homestead the new property until the divorce is finalized.

Divorce signings. I’ve done a good number of those. As I’m sitting here writing, several other stories come to mind. But they’ll have to wait for another post another day.

Meantime, ask any questions in the comments below.

P.S. And if you’re looking to buy or sell a house in Florida, call me at (727) 249-4022. You can read my Complete Guide To Buying A Home or How To Sell Homes Fast for Top Dollar

P.P.S. And if you’re looking to get married…I’ll be happy to officiate your wedding. 😉 Here are some common questions about Florida wedding ceremonies. You can inquire about your wedding date to see if it’s available.

How To Use Your Primary Residence To Buy A Second Home

Here’s a tip for buying a second home that I came across this week in a closing that I did over in Tampa.

So, they had already been living in their main home for a good while with a lot of equity in it.

They took out a Home Equity Line of Credit and used the funds to buy a second home closer to the beach.

I normally wouldn’t have even known what they were going to do with it, but when we go to the page they had to sign with the Occupancy Affidavit, things got a little sticky.

Now, in case you’re not familiar with the Occupancy Affidavit, it’s a form where that states whether the property will be their primary residence or investment property.

Why Does It Matter If It’s A Primary Residence or Investment Property?

After they sign it, I have the signers take an oath that the information is true and correct. Then I notarize the document.

So, here’s where things took a minute to get sorted out. Because the Occupancy Affidavit stated that the property they were refinancing was their primary residence.

And they paused and read it again. Then said, “No, but it’s not our primary home. It’s a second home.”

At this point, I was confused. The property address where I met them was their residence. And it was the property that was being used as collateral for the loan.

Then they explained that they were taking out the HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) and using the cash out to buy this second home.

That’s when I finally understood what was going on.

Using Their Primary Residence To Purchase A Second Home

I thought that was an interesting strategy for getting the benefits of refinancing on a primary home since technically they were taking out the loan against their primary residence.

Usually, when I see people buying a second home or investment property, they use the second home as collateral, where the interest rates are a bit higher.

Now, I don’t know all the details and didn’t ask, but I thought this was a brilliant stroke of genius on the part of the mortgage broker that helped him with the loan process.

In the end, they understood that, yes, it was their primary residence that they were taking the HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) out on and using as collateral for the loan.

Since it was a cash-out refinance, they were getting the funds wired into their account and could then use it to do whatever they wanted to with it.

Obviously, I’m no lawyer, so I don’t all the legalities behind this. Nor am I a financial advisor or mortgage broker, so I can’t recommend you do the same.

But it’s definitely an idea worth talking about with your mortgage broker or loan officer if you’re looking to buy a home in this crazy market.

Especially, if you have a lot of equity in your current home.

3 Steps To Buying A Second Home With Your Primary Residence

Let’s break this down as simply as possible…and then talk about what you can do with two homes.

Step 1: Cash Out The Equity In Your Primary Residence

Get a cash-out refinance or HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) to get the benefits of using your primary residence

Step 2: Buy The Second Home With The Liquid Equity From Your Original Home

Use the cash out to buy a second home or make a large down payment

Step 3: Congratulations Because You Now Own Two Homes

Enjoy the benefits of owning 2 homes, and take advantage of writing off the tax breaks you get from an investment property.

I guess that was really only two steps since enjoying your new homes wouldn’t actually be considered a step.

But it would sound too easy if I said this was only a 2-step process for buying a second home with the equity from your primary residence.

So, what can you do with two properties?

I don’t knooooow…

Idea #1: Use one of them as a weekend home or temporary getaway.

Idea #2: Rent one of them out as a short-term rental (like AirB&B) when you’re not using it. That way you can just block out the time you actually want to use it. Use the extra income to pay off the mortgage.

Idea #3: Or move permanently into the second home. If you like it better than the first, go ahead sell your old home.

Since you don’t have to worry about moving, you won’t be under any rush or pressure to sell it.

Bonus Idea: Here’s a bonus idea for you…

Later down the line, once you’ve paid off some of the loan and built equity back up, you can use the second home in a 1031 exchange to buy a third (even bigger and better house) without having to worry about capital gain taxes.

The possibilities are endless.

Let me know what you thought of this strategy in the comments below.

Wedding Ceremony Reviews

Here are the things are happy customers have to say about their wedding ceremonies with Dave.

“That was so much more than I expected. I just thought you were doing to come, say a few words, and sign our marriage license.”

– Mike T

Happy couples love the ceremony and words that Dave speaks…

“That was so good. You’ve gotta keep that one. (Pointing to the pages that contained the words I spoke at the wedding ceremony).

– Gary

Even the guests love the ceremonies because they are simple, concise, yet extremely touching.

Can you perform my wedding ceremony?

– Guest at Maria’s wedding

Couples are often surprised by the extra things I do to help them out

“Really? You’ll deliver that for me?

– Gabriel

If you would like to inquire about your date, fill out the form below

Inquire About Your Date

If you’re interested in booking a wedding ceremony with Dave, go ahead and fill out the form below to see if the date you are planning your special day is available…

Your Partner’s Details

Tell us a little about your fiancee as well, so we know who the lucky person is…

Tell Me About Your Big Day!

Now tell me a little about the date and location where you are planning to get married…

If you are in a hurry, you can call Dave directly at (727) 249-4022, but it’s still good to fill out the form below so that we have all your information already on file.

Wedding Ceremony FAQs

Question 1: Will you travel to my wedding location and do you charge extra for it?

My fee includes travel, for both the rehearsal and wedding anywhere in Pinellas, Pasco, or Hillsborough county. There are no extra fees. The price you see is what you’ll pay. If you want me to officiate your wedding anywhere else, just let me know where the wedding venue is going to be and we’ll give you a quote.

Question 2: What if you’re sick on the day of my wedding?

This has never happened, but I do have licensed and experienced colleagues who I know would be happy to take my place and will knock your ceremony out of the park as well as I would. Your ceremony will already be completely prepared by me, of course. All they have to do is step in and perform your wedding ceremony based on the love story that you and I have already created together.

Question 3: What if our wedding venue doesn’t allow a rehearsal?

I highly recommend having a rehearsal so everyone is prepared for the big day and already knows what to do and where to go when the time comes. That’s why I include it in my services! Don’t worry if your venue is not available for the rehearsal! All we need is a space where we can practice standing in a line and walking down a mock aisle. We can do this just about anywhere like a city park, a living room, a party room, or even a restaurant. Our goal is to make sure everyone is as relaxed as possible on your special wedding day. Rehearsing beforehand – no matter where we do it – will go a long way towards giving everyone the confidence they need to perform their very best.

Question 4: How and when do I pay for your wedding services?

We’ll schedule a time to chat about what you want in your wedding ceremony at no charge to you. If you decide to book me, I’ll send you a link to the online payment portal or your choice (Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Cashapp, etc). You can even pay by credit card if you like. All I ask for upfront is a 50% booking deposit as a retainer to save the date and time you want. Then you can send me the remaining 50% after you have the draft of your ceremony script and it’s almost complete. Then I’ll finish building out your story, we’ll edit it along with you so you can suggest changes, and we’ll reach out to your friends and family for some final input for the finishing touches.

Question 5: Do we apply for our marriage license or do you?

Florida requires the couple to show up in person at the County Clerk’s to apply for a marriage license. You and your fiancee cannot apply absentee, by proxy, or through power of attorney. You can fill out the application online (for Pinellas and Pasco counties) and print it off to take in with you. You’ll need to show ID and provide basic personal information like name, date of birth, social security number, marital history, etc, as well as pay a license fee. You won’t have to take a blood test in the state of Florida. Once you have the marriage license in hand, you can give it to me and I’ll take care of everything for you from there. Here are some links to help you.

Question 6: When Will I Get My Marriage License And How Long is It Good For?

You will receive your marriage license immediately when you apply, but if you are a Florida resident, you’ll have to wait three days to tie the knot. Although the waiting period can be waived if you have completed a premarital counseling course or by asking a county judge to overturn the waiting period. Your marriage license is good for up to 90 days.

Question 7: Do I Have To Apply In The County Where I Get Married And Do I Have To Be A Florida Resident?

No, there are no residency requirements to get a Florida marriage license, and it’s good anywhere in the state of Florida. So, you can apply for a marriage license in one county but get married in another. However, your license must be returned to the Clerk in the county where it was applied for.

Question 8: How Much Does A Marriage License Cost In Florida?

Check with your county clerk to find out the current fees, but as of the last time I checked, they ran between $80 – $90 some dollars. I did call the Pasco County Clerk today and they quoted me $83.00. Different websites will quote different prices depending on when they were written, so it’s best to check directly with the source. It’s also worth noting that you get a discount on your marriage license and the waiting period is waived if you take a premarital course. The courses typically run between $10 – $30 dollars.

Have More Questions? Ask Them Below Or Inquire About Your Date…

Choose Your Wedding Service

Welcome to Dave Bailey’s wedding services page where you can choose the level of service you would like for your weddinb budget. We currently have 3 levels of wedding service you can choose from. But don’t hesitate to contact us if you need something different based on your circumstances or needs.

Deluxe Full Ceremony

ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICE includes: This is our top-level package with no-holds barred where I will do everything in my power to make your wedding ceremony the best experience possible by guiding you along each step of the journey as you head to the altar.

  • Wedding Officiant authorized to legalize weddings (me!).
  • No limit on number of guests.
  • In-person, one-hour “wedding workshop” to collaborate and craft every detail of the ceremony.
  • Peace of mind knowing word-for-word what I’m going to say on the day.
  • Complete shared access to your ceremony script.
  • Continuous phone/email contact with me.
  • Writing your love story and telling it in your ceremony.
  • Your total control over the final draft with unlimited script revisions.
  • Complete rehearsal at a location of your choice at/near your wedding venue.
  • Arrival at your wedding at least 30 minutes early.
  • Legal handling and registration of your marriage.
  • Fuel/travel to your ceremony in the region.
  • Performance and orchestration of your ceremony.
  • A backup officiant should I be unable to perform the ceremony.
  • A ceremony experience that will wow you both and thrill your guests!
  • Applicable taxes.

You investment in the Deluxe Full Ceremony is $849.

The Deluxe Full Wedding Ceremony includes everything in the Classic Traditional, PLUS the wedding workshop to craft your ceremony with you, shared access so you can make changes anytime, I’ll write and tell your love story in your wedding ceremony, and includes a rehearsal at the location of your choice (near the wedding venue).

Classic Traditional Wedding Ceremony

The Classic Traditional Wedding Ceremony allows for an unlimited number of guests, phone and email contact with your wedding officiant, the performance and orchestration of a classic traditional wedding according to your wishes and traditions, as well as a back up officiant if needed.

  • Wedding Officiant authorized to legalize weddings (me!).
  • No limit on number of guests.
  • Phone and email contact with Officiant to discuss details of your Ceremony.
  • Unlimited and continuous phone/email contact with me.
  • A copy of your classic ceremony script sent to you before your wedding. Peace of mind knowing word-for-word what I’m going to say on the day.
  • Arrival at your wedding venue at least 30 minutes early.
  • Fuel/travel to your ceremony within the region.
  • Legal handling and registration of your marriage.
  • Performance and orchestration of your ceremony.
  • A backup officiant should I be unable to perform the ceremony.
  • Applicable taxes.

Your Investment in the Traditional Classic Wedding Ceremony is $649

Simple Elopement Wedding Ceremony

If you just want a simple wedding at home or somewhere quiet with just a few close friends or family members, the Simple Elopement Wedding Ceremony may be the option for you.

  • Wedding Officiant authorized to legalize weddings (me!).
  • You may invite 6 guests, including your two witnesses.
  • Phone and email contact with Officiant to discuss details of your Ceremony.
  • A copy of your classic ceremony script sent to you before your wedding.
  • Fuel/travel to your ceremony within the region.
  • Legal handling and registration of your marriage.
  • Full service including signings approximately 15 minutes.
  • Applicable taxes.

Your investment in the Simple Elopement Wedding Ceremony is $349

Have the wedding you want!


Let’s Create The Wedding You Want!

Are you looking for a heartwarming and captivating ceremony for your wedding by someone who will tell your love story? Do you want it to include all the details about your romance that you want – and none of the things you don’t? Do you think your wedding should actually be about… the two of you?

If so, that’s what I do. I’ll tell your love story in a way your wedding guests will love. We’ll make them laugh. We’ll make them shed a tear or two. And we’ll give them an unforgettable wedding experience.

Hey I’m David. I’m a wedding officiant in Tarpon Springs, Florida. And I can’t wait to create the ceremony that will compliment your perfect wedding day.

I’ll work with you to create an event your guests will remember like the day you’ve always dreamed of by helping you and guiding you by doing the following things…


Together, we’ll create a personalized wedding from the details you tell me about how you met your soulmate and the journey you two have ben on together.

“Personalized” means (and this is the best part!) I’m not going to tell rehased quotes and phrases and platitudes out of a can that I pulled off the internet or reuse the same old lines that I used from the wedding I did the week before.

There’s magic in how you two met and got engaged. There’s beauty in the way you both live and love each other. And we’re going to create even more magic in telling your family and friends about your romantic, love story on your special wedding day.


Together we’ll create a customized wedding ceremony that is meaningful to the two of you.

“Customized” means that from the welcome to the vows to the ring exchange, all the way to the pronouncement and everything else along the way.

I will guide you through your wedding ceremony options and we’ll work on it together in a personal wedding planning session. You’ll get the amazing marriage ceremony you’ve always dreamed of.


Together we’ll officiate and legalize your marriage so you don’t have any issues or worries.

“Legalized” means I’m certified with the clerk of court to register your marriage and fulfill all obligations as a lawful officiant.

Your paperwork is handled and filed according to state regulations, and you get peace of mind knowing that your marriage is fully legalized.

All you have to do is apply for a marriage license and give it to me on your wedding day. I’ll take care of everything else from there.

I’ll make sure it’s signed and stamped correctly. I’ll make sure that witnesses sign in the right places. And I will return it to the county clerk’s office in the appropriate county on time so that it gets recorded.

All you have to do is show up on your wedding day and enjoy yourselves.

“David makes your wedding ceremony unforgettable.”

Inquire About Your Date For Your Wedding