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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 July, 2010


Taps Wine and Beer Hits the Spot for Downtown Tampa…Tampa Real Estate News and More!

Filed under: Best Places in Tampa, Channelside Tampa, Moving to Tampa, Real Estate News, Restaurants in Tampa, South Tampa, Tampa Neighborhoods

I had heard really mixed reviews about Taps Wine Bar  since it’s entry on the Downtown Tampa Restaurant Scene.  A prime location on the ground level of Skypoint, the only Condo Skyscraper, it has a natural clientele with the “resident GenX/yuppie crowd” who inhabit the glassy tower.

I stopped in for a bite after a movie at the Tampa Theatre nearby, and was pleasantly surprised.  A female vocalist, Kim, was crooning sweet melodies and keeping the back room crowded, so we headed to one of the sofas in the front room and settled in for a bite.   The atmosphere was very relaxing and the servers were very apologetic about being busy. I thought they were fairly attentive, though they continued to apologize for the slow service.  Though the menu is a beer drinkers delight, we focused on the wine list and perused the dinner menu. I ordered the Ridge Zinfandel, which I really enjoy and  is hard to find on a wine list. One of the managers, “Matt”, suggested I try the Prisoner Zinfandel Blend instead.  His suggestion was “right on” with a blend of Zinfandel, Cab and Syrah, it was bold and rich with just the right “berry” fruit finish. Next up, he suggested the Carmenere, from Chile and poured me a sip! Rich and dark, but not heavy tannin, I could taste a hint of current and oak.  It was very smooth and a great alternative for Cabernet drinkers. With a glass of that in hand, I was ready to order a bite to eat.

The variety and reasonable pricing would please most palates, from appetizers to salads, sandwiches and desserts, it was a decent “noshing” menu.  The Far East salad was delicately flavored and loaded with fresh Ahi Tuna.  It was delicious.  The cheese plate featured five very generous portions of various domestic and imported cheeses, salted nuts and sliced fruit.  My only complaint was the lack of a “blue” cheese and a sharp knife. Overall, the food and wine pairings were very good and I will definitely be back for more “sampling”.

Servers were busy, but they continued to check on us and Matt seemed thrilled to have a couple of adventurous “guinea pigs”  for his wine recommendations.  The music was great and the atmosphere cozy…check it out and tell me what you think!

Taps Wine & Beer Merchants on Urbanspoon

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Moving to Tampa or PCS to MacDill AFB? Best Neighborhoods in Tampa?

Filed under: Buying a House in Tampa, CDD in Tampa, Cheval Homes, Clearwater Beach Real Estate, Davis Islands Real Estate, Florida Real Estate, Gated Communities in Tampa, Golf Course Communities in Tampa, Moving to Tampa, Tampa Neighborhoods

The Latest News on the Tampa Real Estate Market News, every day, on the Real Estate Sizzle…

The Tampa Real Estate Market, especially homes in the Tampa suburbs, has a unique “fee”, or “tax” that out-of-town buyers are unfamiliar with. That is, what is known as a “CDD fee”. If you are looking for a newer home in the Tampa area, chances are good that you will buy a home in a community with a CDD fee, since some of the best neighborhoods, in the best school districts in Tampa, have CDD fees.   What, exactly,  is a CDD fee?” Since that term is very unfamiliar to most buyers who are moving to Tampa from other cities, here is a brief explanation of CDD fees.

A CDD is short for Community Development District, which finances and manages community developments.

Tax-Free Bonds are issued to the developer to finance the cost of building the infrastructure of a development, including roads, utilities and many amenities including, pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, golf courses, etc. Homeowners in the development pay the costs of the CDD over the span of 15 to 30 years. There are a number of communities with CDD fees in Tampa, and throughout the State of Florida, so if you are looking for real estate in Tampa, or anywhere in Florida, you should know about these fees.

Can CDD fees go up? Yes. The CDD fees appear on the homeowners tax bill. Each Community has a CDD board, initially appointed by the developer, which decides whether to include additional assessments into the CDD fee. If a community decides to do additional Chev_1landscaping, revamp the golf course, add gates, or any other amenities, those costs may be added to the existing CDD fees. That would increase a total tax bill and increase the escrow required by your lender.

What can you do if you live in a community with a CDD fee? Stay informed. Know who the members of the CDD board are and attend any meetings regarding CDD fees.

Looking for the “best” neighborhood in Tampa? It depends on your lifestyle!

I can help with your move to any Tampa neighborhood, including: South Tampa, Channelside, Harbour Island,  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, Clearwater Beach, Waterfront Homes, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate contact me today!

For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, please contact me. PCS to MacDill AFB or Moving to Tampa?


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Ciro’s Speakeasy Heats up the Howard Avenue Scene…Tampa Real Estate News and More

Filed under: Best Places in Tampa, Restaurants in Tampa, South Tampa, Where is Jackie Now?

Bored with the “same old” South Tampa restaurant scene, I was pondering some dining choices last week, when a friend suggested trying the “new place” in the spot on Howard Avenue once occupied by Ceviche. Intrigued by his recommendation about the fabulous food served in “private, curtained booths”, I decided to check it out.

Ciro’s Speakeasy is the latest venture by Gordon Davis and is located in the first floor of the Bayshore Royal Condominium. I was anxious to see his latest creation, as I loved Le Bordeaux and Ceviche is one of my favorites. The entry to the restaurant is unmarked! Ring the bell and they “peek” before granting entry! Step into the bar and your eyes must adjust to the very dimly lit (pitch black) bar area which features the same high tops as the old Ceviche, but with a fabulous aquarium, as the focal point of the room. The “sultry experience” and prime seating is definitely achieved via the “private booths” with curtains, so plan to get there early if you want to snag one of those precious spaces. They are first-come, first-served.  Positioned well away from the bar, they offer a very intimate lounge experience. Draw the curtain, dim the light and press the button to summon the wait staff for your hand made libations. Enjoy some of the “french inspired” items on the menu, which are  more tapas-style than full-course. The menu has some nice options.  The tuna poke was fabulous.  A huge fan of “pork belly”, we also ordered the flatbread but the barbecue sauce was overwhelming and the “flatbread” was really focaccia. Please, Gordon, leave the barbecue sauce over at Smoke, but keep the pork belly.  Overall, I really enjoyed it.  On the plus side, the atmosphere is intimate and romantic. The small tables and booth configurations can be cramped, as the tables are tiny and won’t hold more than a couple of drinks and plates.

A large, loud group seated across from us was “cramping my style”. I think being “loud” is against the rules (yes, they have rules), but they never did get around to telling us what the rules were!

If you are looking for the most interesting and romantic spot in South Tampa…this is it! It’s on my “Best Places” list.

Ciros Speakeasy and Supper Club on Urbanspoon

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Looking for the perfect house in Tampa? Wondering about the best Tampa neighborhoods? Contact me today!

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