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 March, 2008

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Harbour Island…a “Low Maintenance” Lifestyle in Tampa…Tampa Real Estate Market

Filed under: Channelside Tampa, MLS Listings in Tampa, Real Estate News, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate, Waterfront Homes in Tampa

If you are moving to Tampa and looking for a home, and a neighborhood, that offers a low maintenance lifestyle in the heart of the city, Harbour Island may be for you! Popular with boaters, there are a limited number of slips available on the Seddon Channel.

On the waterfront, just blocks from downtown Tampa, Harbour Island offers the combination of prestige, convenience, 24 -hour Harbour baysecurity in a gated environment, and a comfortable lifestyle, in a variety of neighborhoods. You can walk to Jacksons Bistro for dining on the Terrace, or over to the Channelside area for dining, movies or shopping. The Harbour Island Athletic Club has a pool, tennis, spa and the ultimate workout facilities. The St. Pete Times Forum, home to The Tampa Bay Lightning, is just a short walk from home.

Harbour Court and Seddon Cove feature condominiums with city, or waterviews, with prices startinPort royalg in the 200s .

Townhomes are available in several neighborhoods, ranging from the 300s to the 600s in Harbour Bay. The Keys is a Key West style neighborhood with prices from the 600s.

Villas dominate Port Royal and St. Tropez, with non-waterfront starting in the 800s and waterfront prices over 1.5 million.

Single Family Homes are available from 1 to 5 million.

Considering a move to Tampa? Contact me!

Read some of my previous articles on Relocation to Tampa, or Tampa Neighborhoods:

Davis Islands

Cheval

Moving to Tampa? Check the School District!

Looking for real estate in Tampa? If you are buying a house in Tampa, or Selling a house in Tampa, I can help with any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 

Sign up for my email list to receive the latest information on the Tampa Real Estate Market, Living in Tampa, and the International Real Estate Market!


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Why You Won’t Find Neighborhood Sales Statistics for Tampa on The Real Estate Sizzle

Filed under: Clearwater Beach Real Estate, Davis Islands Real Estate, Florida Beachfront property, Historic Tampa, Hyde Park Real Estate, Relocation, Sellers, South Tampa, Tampa Neighborhoods, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market

If you are moving to Tampa, or any one of the many suburbs in the Tampa Bay area, you should know that each area, and each neighborhood, is very unique. From the historic bungalows in Hyde Park to the new construction in Odessa, or New Tampa, Prices and the number of days on the market vary drastically from one area to the next. Each area, and each Tampa neighborhood, has a unique personality, and unique sales statistics.

H-gJust within the South Tampa area, there are more than 20 different neighborhoods, with unique sales statistics. In Hillsborough County, there are well over 100 different areas and many more subdivisions.

The media loves to report Tampa Housing Market Statistics, but they are not real numbers, in terms of specific neighborhoods.

For instance, the South Shore area, which includes Riverview, Apollo Beach and Ruskin, has close to five years of inventory available, while some neighborhoods in South Tampa have less than 6 months of inventory.

If you are considering a move to Tampa, or thinking of selling your home in Tampa, you need to look for sales statistics for the specific neighborhoods that interest you.

So, if you need information about any area in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Clearwater Beach, or St. Pete Beach, just contact meyou will get the latest listings AND sales information for specific zip codes, or neighborhoods.


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The Best Places to Eat In Clearwater Beach

Filed under: Best Places, Clearwater Beach Real Estate, Restaurants in Tampa

When you are looking for the perfect condominium on Clearwater Beach, chances are good that you will be within walking distance to some great restaurants. Frenchysrestaurant

Along Mandalay Avenue, you will find plenty of dining options available, ranging from casual to fine dining. Right on the beach you can nibble on fresh seafood, in a laid-back atmophere, at Frenchys. Just steps away, another easy-going place, is Palm Pavillion.

A trip to Clearwater Beach is not complete without a visit to Heilmans Beachcomber or the sister restaurant, Bobbys Bistro. The Mandalay Grill is one of the newer spots on the scene.

For more upscale dining, you can head over to the Sandpearl resort for a memorable meal at Carretta on the Gulf. You must try the Dover Sole stuffed with Lobster Mousse. It is fabulous!

A little off the beaten path, but surely not to be missed, are the Island Way Grill and Cesares on The Beach. Cesar Tini, of the Donatello and Cafe Paradiso restarants in Tampa, has ventured across the bay, with rave reviews.

What are some of your favorite places to eat on Clearwater Beach??

When you are looking for the perfect place to live in Clearwater Beach, contact me!

Get the latest news on The Real Estate Sizzle…sign up for an email subscription, or RSS feed, right here!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa, Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach and International Real Estate…anywhere in the World!


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What Are “Condo Docs” and Why Should You Read Them?…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Florida Condominiums, Real Estate News

If you are buying a condominium in the State of Florida, whether it is a new property, or a resale unit, Florida Law requires you to receive a copy of the condo docs . This is the official Declaration of Condominium which is registered with the State and it is often as much as 500 or 600 pages of information.

BayviewIncluded in the condo docs is information about the developer, the floor plans, building plan, formation of the Homeowners Association and related fees, along with all of the Rules and Regulations for the condominium.

On a new condominium, buyers receive 15 days to review the condo docs and may withdraw from the contract during that recision period. Buyers of a resale unit, have the same right of recision within 3 days.

Often, buyers are overwhelmed by the number of pages in the docs and dont bother to read them. Since all of the rules and voting rights governing life in the condominium are contained in those papers, I always counsel buyers to read the docs, especially the parts regarding the Rules, Bylaws and Voting Rights. You dont want to move into a building with a Great Dane, and be asked to leave, or give up your pet because the rules allow a pet weight up to 40 pounds!

Condominium living is low-maintenance and a wonderful lifestyle. Reading the condo docs prior to your purchase, eliminates any surprises when you move in and insures that are choosing the right building for your needs!

If you have any questions about condo docs, or are interested in buying a condominium in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Pete, or anwhere in the world, I can help! Contact me today!


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What Does The Latest Property Tax Reform in Florida Mean for YOU?…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Property Taxes in Florida, Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Real Estate Market

Moving to Tampa involves an understanding of Floridas Property Tax laws. For months, I have been discussing the various proposals for property tax reform, and often spoke about the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, which meets every 20 years and has the authority to make changes to Floridas tax laws.

Yesterday, the Commission placed a new measure for Tax Reform on the November 4th ballot, which will require a 60% approval of the voters.

In a nutshell, this is the proposal:

1. Beginning in 2011, property taxes for schools will be eliminated, thereby saving each property owner about $484.00 for each $100,000 of assessed value.

2. The state sales tax will increase from 6 percent to 7 percent, which will shift some of the tax burden to the tourism industry.

3. The legislature will be required to find other revenues to fund the schools.

4. The annual assessment cap for non-homesteaded properties will be 5 percent vs. the 10 percent which was approved in the recent January 29th referendum. This is very good news for investors who have seen escalating tax bills with the rise in property values of the past five years.

What do I think? They still need to tackle the disparity which results from the Save our Homes amendment, which causes new homebuyers to subsidize the tax bills of long-time homeowners, but it is a better plan than the one passed in January. I would prefer an 8 percent sales tax and a 50% reduction in the property taxes. More of a spreading the tax burden among everyone who spends money in Florida, not just the property owners. Lets see if Speaker of the House, Marco Rubio, can continue his quest for NO property taxes.

What do you think? Leave your comments below!

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Not All Home Inspections are Created Equal…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Buyers, Home Inspections, Real Estate News, Tampa Real Estate

 THE LATEST NEWS ON THE TAMPA REAL ESTATE MARKET, BUYING A HOME IN TAMPA, AND REAL ESTATE ISSUES AROUND THE WORLD, EVERY DAY, ON THE REAL ESTATE SIZZLE…. 

When you are buying a home in Tampa, or anywhere in the World, you should ALWAYS get a Home Inspection done to check for any structural or mechanical defects in the home you  are buying.

Very often, buyers are trying to save money by having a “friend” who claims to be a contractor do the inspection. BAD IDEA.  Home Inspectors are certified through ASHI, a professional association of Home Inspectors.  They have specialized training, standards to uphold and checklists they can follow, eliminating the likelihood that they might “miss” something.  While no inspector is perfect, the more training the inspector has, the more thorough he is likely to be in  examining the home for any possible defects, especially those not visible to the untrained eye.

Davis_water

Occasionally, you will need to hire additional inspectors, depending on the home.  A waterfront home generally will require a seawall inspection, or a dock inspection.  Property in a rural area may warrant a septic inspection or well inspection.

Wood-burning fireplaces should really be inspected for any loose mortar, or creosote build-up.  I recommend a local chimney sweep for those inspections.  A fellow blogger, St. Louis Real Estate Voice, posted an excellent article about Fireplace inspections.  The photo alone will scare you!

Radon inspections are common in many areas East of Tampa and that requires a cannister to be placed in the home for several days,  then collected, and tested, for the presence of Radon Gas.

While the cost of inspections is not inexpensive, the cost of NOT uncovering a problem until after you are the homeowner can be HUGE.  Ask your Real Estate Professional for the best inspectors, not the cheapest ones!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunter’s Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me

 

 


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Where Boaters Should Live in Clearwater Beach

Filed under: Clearwater Beach Real Estate, Real Estate News

If you are moving to Clearwater Beach, or considering buying a condominium in Clearwater, or Tampa, as an investment, or a part-time residence, you should consider buying a property with a boat-slip.

BhviewOne of the nicest buildings in the Clearwater Beach area, with boat slips available to its owners, is the Belle Harbor. Situated on the Intracoastal Waterway, and just across from the beach, and the Sandpearl Resort, this newer community offers townhomes and condominiums, along with a boat dock and private slips.

A gated community with clubhouse, fitness center, billiard room and pool/spa deck overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway makes this an ideal location on Mandalay Avenue.

For more information about buying a residence at Belle Harbor, or any other waterfront community, please contact me today!

Looking for real estate in the Tampa Bay area? If you are buying a house in Tampa, or Selling a house in Tampa, I can help with any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Culbreath Isles, Palma Ceia, Westchase, Waterchase, Odessa, Cheval, Avila, Brandon, Riverview, FishHawk, New Tampa, Tampa Palms, Hunters Green, Arbor Greene, Apollo Beach, South Shore, MiraBay, Golf Communities, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estatecontact me!

 

Sign up for my email list to receive the latest information on the Tampa Real Estate Market, Living in Tampa, and the International Real Estate Market!


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The Best Place to Live on Clearwater Beach…Try the Sandpearl!…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Best Places, Clearwater Beach Real Estate, Real Estate News

When you are looking for a condominium on Clearwater Beach, one of the best places to live is the Sandpearl Residences. Recently completed, this Spview2amenity-filled building enjoys a prime beachfront location! It is upscale living at its finest.

The Sandpearl boasts large balconies with amazing pool, and ocean, views. It has 24 hour concierge service, billiard room, fitness room, and lushly landscaped pool/spa area.

Ideally located, it it next door to the Sandpearl resort, where guests enjoy the Sandpearl spa and fine dining at Caretta on the Gulf, or some nibbles poolside at Tate Island Grill.

Just steps from many famous restaurants in Clearwater Beach, Sandpearl owners can walk to Frenchys, Heilmans Beachcomber, Bobbys Bistro, or The Mandalay Grill to sample some of the fresh, local seafood.

The Sandpearl Residences offer many different floorplans, along with some furnished units, ideal for the International Buyer. For more information about buying a residence at the Sandpearl, or one of the many condominiums in Clearwater, please contact me today.

You can read some of my previous articles about living in Clearwater, or in a condominium:

Special Insurance Coverage for Condominium Owners

Where Boaters Should Live in Clearwater Beach


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Special Insurance Coverage For Condominium Owners…Tampa Real Estate News

Filed under: Florida Condominiums, Florida Real Estate, Insurance, Real Estate News, Tampa

When you are buying a condominium in Tampa, or on Clearwater Beach, too often, a homeowner is rushing to purchase Homeowners insurance prior to closing, and realizes, only after a peril, that several hundred dollars in additional insurance coverage may have saved him THOUSANDS in a loss or damages. Many insurance agents do not take the time to offer all of the various riders or policies available, so the astute homebuyer needs to do a little homework.

Loss Assessment Coverage

Florida is filled with condominiums and this unique coverage should be purchased by every condominium owner! It covers the cost of a Atriumspecial assessment to the unit owner, when that assessment is caused by a liability to the condominium association in excess of the limits of theMaster Policy , that is the policy paid for by the HOA fees for structure and liability insurance.

For example, several years ago one of the condominiums in Tampa, on Bayshore Boulevard, needed structural work to each of the balconies, due to a construction flaw. This resulted in a special assessment to each of the unit owners in excess of $8,000. Loss assessment coverage would have cost less than $75/year, but few condominium owners are aware that such coverage exists, so most of the owners had to bear that expense out-of pocket! OUCH!

When you are purchasing a condominium, ask your agent for Loss Assessment coverage Not all insurance companies offer it, so you may have to call several companies before you find it. Special Assessments are very common, so start shopping for insurance long before your closing day and make sure you are FULLY insured.

If you are a current condominium owner, call your agent and add Loss Assessment coverage to your current policy today!

If you are looking for the perfect condominium in Tampa, Clearwater Beach, or St. Pete Beach, contact me today.


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Pizza Lust?…Where to Satisfy That Urge in Tampa

Filed under: "Where to Find", Best Places in Tampa, Poll, Real Estate News, Restaurants in Tampa, Things to do in Tampa

Pizza

After you buy a house in Tampa, you will be searching for all of the best places to eat.

I have been dying for a pizza this week! An engrossing schedule has kept me from surrendering to the pizza lust , so far, but it has prompted many conversations with my friends and colleagues about where to best satisfy the yearning for the perfect pizza, in Tampa. Who makes the Best Pizza in Tampa? This calls for a “pizza poll”.

I have had some great pizzas all over the worldthe island of Kauai, Monaco, Florencevery tasty and not a green pepper in sight! For me, its all about the crust. Im the first to scavenge leftover crust off my childrens plates! No limp crust for meI like it crispy!

How do you agree on the best crust? CrispyChewyDoughy? Or, the best toppings.Pepperoni or Proscuiutto? Chicago-style, New York style, or something a little more gourmetlike Chicken Gorgonzola? Sounds like its time for another Sizzle Poll !

<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com” >Survey Polls</a> – <a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com/poll.asp?p=87096″ >Take Our Poll</a>

Who satisfies your pizza lust in Tampa? What was your most sizzling Pizza experienceanywhere in the world! I want lots of comments here and, take the quiz, “What does your pizza say about you??”

If you liked this poll…check out the “Best Steakhouse in Tampa” poll

Thanks for your participation.

Buying a house in Tampa? I can help with any neighborhood, including South Tampa, Davis Islands, Westchase, New Tampa, Waterfront Homes, Westshore Yacht Club, Clearwater Beach Condos, Bayshore condos, Beach Park, Hyde Park, Palma Ceia and More…just contact me for the latest homes for sale.


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