The Real Estate Sizzle

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Jackie Colson-Miller

Jackie Colson-Miller, CIPS
Direct - (813)629-5757
Homeward Real Estate
3401 Henderson Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609
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Archive for June, 2007

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How Will a Supreme Court Decision Affect Housing Prices in Tampa?

Filed under: Real Estate News

A recent Supreme Court decision may have a huge impact on Public School Districts across the country! The recent 5 4 decision rejected public-school assignment plans which take race into account, essentially eliminating any forced diversity. Will this end busing in Public Schools?

This will no doubt have a trickle down effect on the housing Schoolbusindustry and a home search in Tampa. Allowing students to remain in their own neighboorhoods will have an impact on school test scores, the percentage of students who attend college, and other statistics that parents generally review, when deciding to purchase a home in a specific school district. Schools that receive higher scores, as a result of the change in student population, will become more desirable and housing prices in those neighborhoods would be expected to increase. Conversely, lower scores and therefore, lower grades (Florida schools are rated A-F, on a variety of criteria) will negatively impact the desirability of the school and the neighborhoods assigned to that school.

After years of forced busing, this a landmark decision by the Supreme Court!

What do you think? Scroll down and leave me a comment!!


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Keller Williams South Tampa is #1 in Florida!

Filed under: Real Estate News

Scrolling across our Marquee today was the surprise announcement from our Owner and Broker that our office is the #1 Keller Williams office in the State of Florida!

JackieNew 010While the public may see the numbers that we generate, what they dont see is the spirit of cooperation and the sense of community that exists in our office and in the entire Keller Williams family. Our office is committed to donate $30,000 to local charities this year, in an effort to give back to the community that supports our business. I have used my blog, The Real Estate Sizzle , to help with that charity drive. KW Cares, our in-house charity, was instrumental in helping many Keller Williams agents along the Hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast areas in Hurricane Katrina and is always there to help Keller Williams agents, and their communities in times of need.

Our agents are actively involved in mentoring new agents, training new agents and every Keller Williams office is run BY the agents, in the spirit of cooperation with each other, and founded on this belief system:

Win-Win

Or no deal

Integrity

Do the right thing

Customers

Always come first

Commitment

In all things

Communication

Seek first to understand

Creativity

Ideas before results

Teamwork

Together Everyone

Achieves More

Trust

Starts with honesty

Success

Results through people

You can always measure success with numbers, but in our office you have to measure success, with the fabulous group of agents, experienced and new, who work together to make our community a better place in which to live and who strive to always do the right thing, for each other and our clients. Keep it up “South Tampa”

We are definitely Number One!


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Need a New Dishwasher? Don’t Buy a Bosch! And “measure” before you buy!

Filed under: Appliances, Buyers, Tampa

Eight Weeks ago my Dishwasher stopped working properly. That pricey Bosch , that my clients raved about, was never all that ! DishwasherWhen I bought my house, I replaced all my kitchen appliances, based on the recommendations of consumer reports and satisfied clients. Sorely disappointed, the Bosch never really cleaned the dishes very well, and it broke down twice in the seven years I owned itnot a great recommendation from a consumer, or a Realtor. I have no issue, paying a premium for an item that is good quality, but I have a problem paying for a quality item that turns out to be just the opposite!

I love to cook, and I HATE to wash dishes, so having a dishwasher that works the way it should, is critical to my life. I am not a “microwave chef”…When I was in college, I had roommates who would beg me to cook and would bribe me with the offer to wash the dishes if I would just cook ANYTHING! Those days are long gone! My children would be happy with take out vs. “Moms cooking” and arent very willing to roll up their sleeves. As much as I enjoy eating out, my preference is, still, to prepare a fabulous meal at home.

Trying to buy another dishwasher, for me, is simply a matter of finding the time to shop for one. Truth be told, I hate to shop. I am the perfect Amazon shopperclick…senddone. Dishwashers are not that simple. I buy all of my appliances from Famous Tate in Tampa. They are knowledgeable and professional. So, two weeks after washing dishes, I decided I had to make time in my day to buy a dishwasher. Off to Famous Tate I went. The salesman told me, We discontinued Bosch because we have had so many complaints hmmjust seven years too lateI really liked the dishwasher drawers , which do small loads.oh no, he said, that is not a good idea for someone who really cooks alot and we have complaints about the draining in the bottom drawer.So, not willing to endure another bad dishwasher ordeal, I ordered a Frigidaire, no frills dishwasher, with the thought that it couldnt be any worse than the Bosch, but at least it would be NEW! I was out the door in under 15 minutes!

Two weeks later, I found a two-hour window in a day, when I could have it installed. The man, who installed my last dishwasher, told me that it wouldnt FIT in the space! WHAT??? Aren’t all dishwashers the same size?? Clearly, not! I had chosen a “tall tub” and it would not fit under my counter. He, sweetly, offered to go to Famous Tate and find another dishwasher that would fit in my space. Greatthe next model could be in within 2 weeks. Eat out, or use paper plates, was his suggestionat this point it was really getting comical.

At the 50 day point, I was getting a little testy about the dishwashing thing, so I called Famous Tate to check on delivery. Oh, I was just checking on your order and it is backordered for 6 weeks . .NOOOOOO WAAYYYY I said, it has been 7 weeks and I need a dishwasher, NOW! He promised he could have an Asko in 2 days

So, today, I am finding a 2 hour window in my day when my new ASKO dishwasher is installed. It cost twice as much as the Frigidaire and is the same price as the Bosch that never really worked well, so only time will tell if it makes the grade. But, one thing is for sure, if it doesnt, I will definitely BLOG about it! So, remember, when you need to buy a new appliance, measure your space first, or get ready to wash some dishes!


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Please Help Me to Raise Funds For Some Worthy Causes in Tampa Today!

Filed under: Real Estate News

I have decided to use The Real Estate Sizzle to help raise some monies for some local charitiesI hope I can count on plenty of help from my readers! I have 900 readers on my blog every week, so I am committing some time to use my reach to do just thatreach out and help others in our community who are less fortunate.

You will notice, on the left sidebar, below my photo, is a Charity Badge, with Five Charities: Alpha House, a local home for pregnant women, The Humane DonateSociety, the animal shelter, American Cancer Society, Hillsborough Educational Partnership, helping students achieve academic success in public schools, and The Spring, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Five wonderful opportunities to help make a difference in our community!

I Want to Raise $5000 this month! I am using the Network for Good badge inspired by actor Kevin Bacon. He has challenged non-celebrities to use their websites to raise monies for charities all around the world, because our social networking can inspire online donations. So, click on your favorite charity to the left and lets get started ! You can see the tally as the funds are raised!

Please consider a generous gift. You can make it in honor of someone , or in thanks for something. It is a wonderful way to make a tribute and make a difference! The online donation is easy and you will receive a receipt for your records.

Every Keller Williams office is active in raising funds for charities, as well as thousands of pounds of food for local food drives. Our office is aiming for a goal of $30,000 this year and I am using my blog to help!

When you make a donation, you can opt to be named on a list of contributors right here on The Real Estate Sizzle. You will need to contact me here if you would like your name listed.

Thank you for your loyal readership and your donation! Togetherwe CAN make a difference.


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Best Question Winner This Week

Filed under: Best Question Winner, Real Estate News

Last week, I wrote about some great summer vacation ideas and invited my readers to “guess” my favorite destination.

Karen was the first with the correct answer…Paris, it is! She wins lunch with Ms. Sizzle….in Tampa, not Paris! How about one of the Restaurants on my favorite list?

You can be the winner this week…leave me some interesting comments, or questions! I am still compiling a list of my Readers’ favorite places to eat in Tampa, so be sure to leave yours here.

And, as always, you can leave me ideas about any topics you would like me to cover on The Real Estate Sizzle.


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Buying a One Million Dollar Home in Tampa….

Filed under: Real Estate News, Relocation, Schools in Tampa, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate

There are currently 17 homes listed in Hillsborough County between $1,000,000 and $1,050,000. These homes are all in highly-rated school districts and desirable neighborhoods.

BEACH PARK

Beach-parkThis highly desirable neighborhood is filled with winding streets and grandfather oaks. Located in South Tampa, convenient to Tampa International Airport and Downtown, this 4299 square foot home with Four Bedrooms and Four Baths sits on a 1/4 acre lot.

It is in the Plant High District and is listed for $1,000,000.

Westshore Plaza and International Plaza, with Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, are just minutes away.

TREETOPS

HbThis Hannah-Bartoletta-built subdivision is located just north of Westchase and is just 10 minutes from the airport.

Listed at $1,045,000 the 4/3.5 home sits on a conservation lot and has 3483 square feet with a pool and spa. It is in the Westchase, Davidson, Alonso school district.

You can walk, or bike, to the shops at Westpark village. Citrus Park Town Centre is just 5 minutes away.

CORY LAKE ISLES

Cory.lakeThis 5/4.5 lakefront home is listed for $1,000,000. It sits on 1/2 acre and also has a study and bonus room in its 4328 square feet.

Located in the northeast part of Tampa in the New Tampa area it is convenient to the University of South Florida.

Pride, Benito and Wharton schools make it a top choice for families with children.

For information on these listings, or any homes in the Tampa area, please contact me.

Listings courtesty of all MLS brokers via IDX


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Great Places to Eat in Tampa

Filed under: Buyers, Fun and Frolic, Restaurants in Tampa, Tampa

Tampa has many unique restaurants. These are some of MY favorite places to eat. Send me yours and I will post them as my READERS favorites.

Ceviche

This Tapas Restaurant,is one of the most romantic places in town. Small, dark and reminiscent of a little rincon in Spain, Ceviche does everything well! Order pitchers of Sangria, their signature ceviche and pimientos rellenos followed by Gambas Al Ajillodelicious! Now there is a second location in downtown St. Petersburg.
Ceviche Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon
Samurai Blue

Sushi with a twist is on the menu at Samurai Blue, on the upper floor of Centro Ybor. The setting is tres chic and the sushi is fabulous. On a weekend night, you may have an hour wait, but it is well worth it. Try the Summer of Love Roll or the Spontaneous Combustion.

Samurai Blue at Centro Ybor on Urbanspoon

Chez Bryce

One of my favorite places to eat, Chez Bryce, a little French Bistro on Davis Islands, in South Tampa.rise.  Tampa-raised, French-trained chef, Bryce Whittlesey knows just  how to please a palate!

I have written about Chez Bryce many times, but it just keeps getting better. Bryce has just added mister fans all around the patio dining Moulesfritesarea! I love them….a cool breeze is always flowing, despite the heat and humidity!

Then, there is the guitar player… strumming sweet melodies at night! This is as good as it gets!

Wednesday specials are also very popular! Every week Bryce offers a three-course, prix fixe menu for $25.00!

Try some of my personal favorites: Cod Beignets, Clams with Chorizo, Roasted Pork, Moules Frites  and anything with Duck Confit! I have a favorite table, too, but, please don’t sit there, chances are I am on my way for lunch, or dinner!
Chez Bryce Island Bistro on Urbanspoon

Charleys Steak House

Yes, I AM a Real Estate agent, but my second love is a great meal and Charley’s  serves up  consistently great steak and seafood. This is the perfect spot for a business dinner, or a special date. The bar is always busy with an upscale crowd. Try the infused martinis and the tuna sashimi appetizer. It is one of the few places in town where you can find traditional escargots. Perusing the massive wine list, oenophiles will be like a “kid in a candy store”!’

Charley's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

BtRestaurant BT

BTs specialty is Vietnamese fusion. This is BTs third foray in the Tampa area and it is the best! The menu is light and innovative, with some of the best items as daily specials. Try the artichoke with crabmeat or the tuna martini! Their full bar offers some interesting drinks, including some interesting Bloody Marys for lunch! Sit on the outdoor patio and watch the shoppers strolling through Hyde Park Village.

Caffe Paradiso

This little Italian jewel sits in a small strip center on South MacDill Avenue. The homemade pasta will get you out of your low-carb rut and the veal and fish dishes are just fabulous. Don’t try to get in without a reservation!
Caffe Paradiso on Urbanspoon

Berns Bar

Berns Steakhouse is a legend, not only in Tampa, but around the world. Well-aged steaks, organic vegetables from Berns own farm and a wine list unlike any other, all in a red-velvet, french bordello-style decor! The Harry Waugh dessert room is a maze of individual, private booths along with a piano player. Berns bar, just off the lobby, is superbly staffed by Kenny and Sonny where the locals eat! It’s my regular Tuesday night venue! Not on the menu, is the Steak Sandwich only available at the bar. My favorite is the Tuna Tartare! The few, cozy tables in the bar area are definitely the best seats in the house!
Bern's Steak House on Urbanspoon

Great Dining Choices in TampaWhat are some of YOUR favorites??


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Find The Perfect Place to Live

Filed under: Fun and Frolic, Places to Live

Its Fridaywe need a little Fun and Frolic todayTake a few quizzes and find out some interesting things about yourself…

Penthouse

Trying to find the perfect place to livethis might give you the perfect answer!

IMG_0002This one might help with your decorating dilemmaIt worked for me!

Yellow walls are my favorite!

Time to clean out your closets Check to see if you are a pack rat!

BeachTrying to plan the perfect summer vacation? Have fun!

I am not a beach person! Where is MY favorite vacation spot?? The first person to guess “my favorite place in the World” wins the prize this week.


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We Need a “Real” Plan to Cut Property Taxes in Florida…I Need Your Opinion Today

Filed under: Poll, Property Taxes in Florida

It’s very clear, from the Sizzle poll and the “buzz” around the State of Florida, that voters are not happy with the Florida Legislature’s solution to our outrageous property taxes. I call it the “non-plan’. But, I also believe in being “Part of the solution, not part of the problem.” So, please help me out. I am meeting with some of our State representatives in two weeks and I would like to have plenty of ideas from Florida voters for a real solution to this problem. I have some great statistics from the conference in Miami that I attended last week, that I will “hammer” them with, but I want some “solutions”, so please give me your ideas.

My blog, “The Real Estate Sizzle” gets 900+ visits each week, from all over Florida, the U.S. and the World. That is amazing! I NEED EVERY ONE OF YOU TO COMMENT AND VOTE TODAY…PLEASE, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! My #1 search phrase on “google” is related to property tax reform, so I have become a resource for this “hot” issue and I am going to continue to make it a priority here, because this is so important to the property owners in Florida. It’s not about me, or my personal situation. My taxes are low. We need to think beyond our personal situations and find a solution that works for our state as a whole. Too many people are focused on “What’s in it for me?”. That is the wrong attitude. This is not a partisan issue, but the media is giving it a very partisan slant.

HELP ME REACH THE LEGISLATURE TO FIND A REAL SOLUTION! Please take the poll…and leave your comments at the end of the article. If you would prefer to send me a private email, you can do that here. I will print your comments and bring them with me to the meeting with our representatives.

YOU CAN VOTE FOR ‘MORE THAN ONE ITEM’ IN THE POLL…please vote AND leave a comment…thank you for your readership and your support.

Free PollsTake Our Poll


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Tampa Theatre…A Historic Landmark in Downtown Tampa

Filed under: Architecture, Real Estate News, Tampa

The Historic Tampa Theatre, on Franklin Street, in Downtown Tampa was built in 1926, with a unique blend of many architectural styles, including Italian Renaissance, Byzantine, Mediterranean, Greek Revival, Baroque and English Tudor. You can see the magnificent interior in the panoramic tour.

The_atIt was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Today, the Landmark, is a bustling place and home to the latest avant-garde films from around the world.

Summer is a special place at the Tampa Theatre. Their Moving-Making Summer Camp was named Best Summer Camp for Kids . Youngsters will learn the art of Digital Filmmaking, from storyboard to final cut! I am hoping my daughter will be able to help with my vidcasts when her session is over! There are still some spaces available for this summer!Theatre-inside

An annual eventtheir Summer Classics series on Sunday afternoons, features the oldies but goodies , like Casablanca, Fred Astaire, and more!

Here is a list of the upcoming flicks Paris Je T’aime is running this week. Dont miss the popcorn


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