The Real Estate Sizzle

Tampa Real Estate Sizzle…Your Best Source for Tampa Real Estate, Tampa Neighborhoods, South Tampa Real Estate, Florida Condominiums and The Latest News on The International Real Estate Market

Jackie Colson-Miller

Jackie Colson-Miller, CIPS
Direct - (813)629-5757
Homeward Real Estate
3401 Henderson Blvd
Tampa, FL 33609
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Moving to Tampa? Be Prepared to Move Quickly! Tampa Real Estate News

Moving To Tampa? Looking for the Best Neighborhoods in Tampa? When families are moving to Tampa, everyone is looking for the same thing…”The Best”….it could be the Best Neighborhoods in Tampa, it could be the Best Waterfront in Tampa, The Best Schools in Tampa. The family situation may be unique, but, “The Best” is always part of the househunting equation.

My role, as the Buyer’s agent, with nearly 20 years of experience, is to guide those relocating to Tampa to find what is “Best” for them. I ask a lot of questions about lifestyle and their current neighborhood, city vs. suburbs, commute time, work location, ages of the children, any special needs…you name it, I ask it! Lately, I have had to inform the potential buyers that our market has changed. The “Best” houses, and the “Best” neighborhoods are selling quickly. Multiple offers are common. I tell buyers to focus on a few neighborhoods that they like because the house they saw on the internet yesterday, might, very well, be under contract today. If you are planning a move to Tampa, please contact me as soon as possible, so I can start to search the perfect neighborhood for you and your family. There is no substitute for “seeing” a neighborhood in person, or chatting with me on the phone about all of your options.

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 .

For assistance in finding a house in Tampa, or any of the surrounding suburbs, the Plant High School District, which is #38 in the US, or any questions about the Tampa Real Estate market, please contact me. PCS to MacDill AFB or Moving to Tampa?

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I also LOVE Great Food, so check out my Restaurant Reviews on the Urban Spoon….!

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Natural Gas Explosion “Rattles” a Neighborhood!

The Latest on the Tampa Real Estate Market, Tampa Neighborhoods and the International Real Estate Market….

I follow some of my fellow Real Estate Bloggers around the US and one of my favorites, Mary Pope-Handy, in Los Gatos, California, recently experienced a “natural gas explosion” in her neighborhood! Many of my clients LOVE to cook with Natural Gas and having “gas” in the neighborhood is a “plus”, as not all Tampa neighborhoods have gas lines in the street, so homebuyers would have to install a Propane Tank. Few of us realize the implications, or possible dangers, of having gas lines underground, so let’s see how Los Gatos handled the gas explosion and how Mary Pope-Handy blogged about the gas explosion, so neighbors could stay on top of a very dangerous situation.

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 .

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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I love great food, too, so check out my Tampa Restaurant Reviews on Urbanspoon!

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Boca Kitchen Bar Is “Smokin”…New Restaurant Opens in Hyde Park

I have been driving past Boca for several weeks, in the old “Smoke” space on Platt St.   Happy to see “Smoke” evaporate(you can find that review here, too), I was looking forward to a new look, AND, a much better menu.
I made reservations for lunch, and was joined by my favorite “foodie” friend, which is always an epicurean adventure of multiple courses! Thankfully, they have enclosed the outdoor patio, so the space itself is much roomier AND air conditioned. We were promptly greeted by Erika, who, truly, ranks among the “rock stars” of wait staff. She was beyond attentive and, by the time we got to dessert, I think she was “reading our minds”. More on that later…
We decided to share one of the Flatbreads as a first course, and my friend wanted one with the Burrata Cheese, so we ordered the So-Cal…Spicy Tomato Jam, Tomato, Burrata Cheese and Basil Pesto. The toppings were absolutely the freshest, but the crust was a little tough and it needed some salt. No salt, or pepper, on the table, is one of my pet peeves, but Erika promptly brought us some fresh sea salt and pepper. ** Note to all restaurants**…please put salt and pepper on the table!
Our Entrees were the Steak & Egg Salad, and one of the day’s specials, an Oyster PoBoy with Homemade Chips.
I like my steak to “moo” and my eggs to “cheep”, or they are too well done. I am very specific when I place an order and the kitchen delivered the dish perfectly…Grilled Flank Steak, Grilled Radiccio and Frisee Greens with a fresh fried egg and a blue cheese crumble vinaigrette, all done with the appropriate “rareness”. It was fabulous…and HUGE!

Not a fan of Oysters, I had to trust my friend when she showered praise on her PoBoy, especially the house-baked Ciabbata bread and fresh horseradish on the side. Now, really full, but what’s a food review without dessert, right? In deciding to “share”, we were discussing our options in front of Erika and had narrowed it to Hot Chocolate Truffle “Bon Bons” with Strawberry Fields Cream or The Homage to Ybor…a red apple cobbler with dolce de Leche Ice Cream, Nutella Ganache and smoke Coconut Crumb. We never actually “told” Erika what our choice was, but she overheard me discuss my aversion to Strawberry(and only Strawberry) Ice Cream and placed our order for the Homage to Ybor. Great service!
Upon exiting, we were greeted by the chef, Chad McColgin, who took our “flatbread” critique very well and we chatted about our enjoyable dining experience. We left with a basket of assorted, locally grown tomatoes, as Boca Kitchen Bar is also a “market” for some local produce and unique products made in-house.
I can’t wait to head back to Boca for dinner!
Boca Kitchen Bar Market on Urbanspoon

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Fly Bar…A Unique Dining Option in Downtown Tampa

Fly Bar sits on the Northern Edge of Franklin Street in Downtown Tampa. Despite it’s “out of the way” location, it’s unique menu and atmosphere make it a busy place any night of the week. A combination bar scene/tapas menu/restaurant, with music nearly every night, it has a little something for everyone. I have just two gripes about Fly Bar: 1) It is TOOOOO loud. They really need to turn the music down in order to have a dinner conversation, and 2) They refuse to put salt and pepper on thhe table. Yes, they will bring it, if you ask, but the wait staff gets rushed, so ASK for it upfront!
The menu is a delightful assortment of Cold Plates, Salads, “nibble food” and entrees. The seasonal menu changes, so last night I enjoyed the Panko Crusted Goat Cheese with charred cherry pomodoro sauce, along with Seared Red Fish and Crab Gumbo. It was perfectly spiced, and the addition of garbanzo beans was a nice change from the “usual” rice.
The Seared Grouper with white bean stew and wilted spinach, as well as, the Grilled Hangar Steak are also favorites on the menu. Mondays feature half-priced bottles of wine, which offers a nice selection, and a guitarist! Beer drinkers will be happy, too, with many interesting options to choose from!

Fly Bar on Urbanspoon

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A Couple of Gems on the Amelia Island Dining Scene

Fernandina Beach is a “sweet” little beach town, but not exactly a “foodie’s paradise”. Hunting for the Best Places to Eat in Amelia Island…I found them! Stay out of those “beachy” places and head straight here….

Plae…the unusual name of this amazing restaurant is an acronym for “People Laughing and Eating”…and they were! Nestled in a quiet spot on Amelia Island Plantation the menu was varied and filled with enviable choices. I started with a beet, arugual and fried goat cheese salad, while my companion chose the iceberg wedge with blue cheese and bacon. All delicious and served up with a plate of warm focaccia bread. Always up for an adventure, I chose the “Chef’s Surprise”! The waitress “hinted” that it contained a “bone”, so I was hoping for a “shank”! Not to be disappointed, a huge, lucious, slow braised lamb shank was my reward! It was amazing. We also ordered the short ribs, which were equally delicious. Plae was so enjoyable, we returned the next evening to enjoy the piano singer in the bar AND an decadent Chocolate Torte for dessert! Plae is MUST on the Amelia Island dining scene!

PLAE on Urbanspoon

Le Clos…located in a tiny bungalow in Downtown Fernandina Beach, this is a “must reserve” if you have any hope of snagging a table. The setting is charming, the food is French and the staff very attentive. I loved it. If Escargots are on the menu, ordering them is a “given”. I have eaten Escargots all over Europe and the US and, as I told the waitress, these were the most perfectly seasoned, most perfectly EVERYTHING that I have EVER had!

Our entrees were a Parmesan Crusted Grouper in a Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc and Duck Breast with Chive Whipped potatoes. Delicious!

Le Clos on Urbanspoon

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New Homes in Tampa…Builders are Busy Again! Tampa Real Estate Market News

In the past few years, there was little new construction in the Tampa Real Estate Market, but the “New Home” Market in Tampa is busy again. Builders in Tampa are buying lots, building custom homes and starting to build “spec houses” again. Most of my clients are looking for NEW homes, or “Newer” homes, so I am thrilled to see more New Construction on the market.  If you are looking for the Best Places to Live in Tampa, The Best Tampa Neighborhoods, The Best Schools in Tampa, or a new home in Tampa, just send me an email. I have been selling Real Estate in Tampa for over 17 years, so if you are looking for a local “expert” in the Tampa Real Estate market, you are in the right place.

New Home in Tampa

If you are looking for a new home, that is BRAND New Construction, in the Tampa Real Estate Market, and you are not working with an agent, it is VERY difficult to find what you are looking for. Most New Construction is not listed in MLS, or on, and is often under contract before the slab is poured!  The demand for new homes is high, so if you are relocating to Tampa, and you need expert advice, contact me today!

What is the cost of a “new” home in Tampa?

That depends on size, and, of course, location. Prices range from $300,000 to several million. Let me know if I can help!

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 Historic District, 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, Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Condos in Tampa and International Real Estate…contact me! Just give me specifics of what you are looking for and you will receive the newest listings on the market!


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You can read my restaurant reviews on Urban Spoon, too! Any questions about Tampa Real Estate? Contact me today! And, if you like this post, please share it on Twitter, using the “Tweet” button below!

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Moving to Tampa With Time Warner? Find The Best Neighborhoods in Tampa and the Best School Districts in Tampa

We are busy in the Tampa Real Estate Market. Unlike many cities in the country,  Tampa has plenty of families moving to the area for new positions and many job opportunities!  The school year has started, but families are hoping to relocate before the new year and the beginning of the next semester. This is the time when many families are searching for a home in the Tampa Real Estate Market to move right after the holidays. With Time Warner announcing it’s move to the Tampa Bay Area, more than 500 employees will be looking for the Best Neighborhoods in Tampa and The Best Places to Live in Tampa. The big question is…”Where are the best schools and the best neighborhoods in Tampa? The answer…it is different for every family and every “desired commute”.

Tampa is a great, family-oriented city. Located between the attractions in Orlando and the Gulf Beaches, along with one of the Best School Districts in the U.S., it is a fabulous place to live! I promise that you will NOT have to drive in snow, sleet, or freezing rain!

For more in-depth information on Tampa Schools and Tampa Neighborhoods, you should contact me today. I have been relocating families to the Tampa area for 17 years. I have three children who have been educated in both the public and private schools, along with the Magnet Schools. Most of my clients are busy professionals, or  families with children and I counsel them about the BEST choices for THEIR families.

Tampa is a large metropolitan area with many neighborhoods and many options at all price ranges, ranging from Gated Communities to Waterfront to City Living.  I can set up an online search for your specific needs, so send me an email, or give me a call, at 813.629.5757, so I can help narrow your options and find the Best Place to Live in Tampa for YOU!

When you are moving to Tampa, or anywhere in the world, contact me, to find the right home for your family’s needs!

For more information about the Tampa Real Estate market, Tampa Neighborhoods, including Culbreath Isles, MacDill AFB,  South Tampa, Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Beach Park, Sunset Park, Hyde Park, Channelside, 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, Houses in the Plant High School District, Tampa Schools, Luxury Homes in Tampa, Condos in Tampa, the Best Tampa Neighborhoods, or International Real Estate contact me

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Cafe Pont Pleases the Palate

Located in an unassuming strip mall in Largo, Cafe Pont is the perfect example of “Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover”! I have been enjoying this fabulous restaurant for many years, but after a recent dining experience with some friends who had never been there, I had to put it back on my “dine more often” list.

Osso Bucco

From start to finish, Cafe Pont is always amazing.  We enjoyed sips of Mushroom Bisque and Pumpkin Curry Crab Bisque, while awaiting our first course.  All agreed that our choices were delicious: from the Beefsteak Salad and Beet Salad  to the Sea Bass and THREE orders of Osso Bucco, we were very happy.  For dessert, we ordered a Raspberry Creme Brulee, Chocolate Tart and Artisinal Cheese Plate.  A selection of assorted chocolates topped the finish to a lovely evening. A bottle of Ferrari Carano Tresor was the perfect wine on a perfect night!

Cafe Ponte on Urbanspoon

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Downtown Tampa Restaurants…Samaria Cafe is a MUST

I have recently discovered a little “gem” of a family-owned restaurant for Breakfast and Lunch in Downtown Tampa! The Samaria Cafe, owned by a lovely couple who always stop by to “chat”, and check on the food, and the service, is THE place to go.

The menu is filled with so many choices, the hardest decision is “what to choose”!! Everything is fresh, and homemade. In many visits, I have never been disappointed! I usually order Quiche, or Eggs Benedict, but last time I was really in the mood for a “Croque Madame”, which is popular in France, and simply a  Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich, with a fried egg on top. Not on their menu, so I asked if I could have the Monte Cristo with a Fried Egg on top…No problem and it arrived with TWO eggs, perfectly cooked to my request. The owners and staff are so wonderful and the food is fabulous, it is the BEST breakfast spot in Downtown Tampa!

Samaria Cafe on Urbanspoon

While I am a “foodie”, my REAL profession is REAL ESTATE, so if you are looking for that perfect condo in Downtown Tampa, Channelside, Harbour Island, Hyde Park, South Tampa, or anything in the Suburbs, or need help finding the Best Tampa Neighborhoods, just contact me!


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“Pearl in the Grove”…A Little Jewel in Dade City…Make the Drive!

My friend has been trying to get me to drive to Dade City to try “a great new place” for many, many months.  It’s about an hour drive from South Tampa. She coerced me with some antique shopping AND agreed to drive, and it was DEFINITELY worth the trip! To my surprise, I had met the chef/owner, Curtis Beebe and his wife, Rebecca, many years ago, at a dinner party in South Tampa.  Thirteen years ago, they left South Tampa for Dade City,  have raised their three boys there,  and opened “Pearl in the Grove” last year. It was great to see them again.

The dining room was full on Saturday night.  We were warmly greeted by Rebecca and promptly attended to by our server, Boyce.  The menu is a “twist” of Southern specialties with a “nibble” of hot boiled peanuts to start. The bread was  unique, with a touch of corn meal in the batter!   The “Geeno” chips are a MUST! Decadent and delicious…Fried Sweet Potato Chips, topped with melted blue cheese and balsamic vinegar.  The portion would feed a party of six!

The Underground Salad was a fresh, and light, medley of locally grown herbs, watermelon, goat cheese, a hint of mint, and a kumquat and vidalia vinaigrette.  We also tried the Summer Relish Plate with the Fried Green tomatoes, field pea “caviar” and bread and butter pickles.  Aside from the yummy pickles, of the entire meal, this was my only disappointment.

Our entrees were the Catfish and Grits and the Porkbelly Roulade.  At this point, we were feeling a little “porky” ourselves and decided it was time to share.  The tasty catfish beignets were served with a spicy homemade remoulade, smoked tomato grit cakes and some fresh grilled okra and green beans.  The  Hickory Smoked Pork Belly was rolled with carmelized onion and served with a potato tart, along with the grilled vegetables.  If you like bacon, you will “die” for that pork belly.  It was  all fabulous.

Totally satiated, but determined to “taste everything” , our dessert plate was a trio of  the Rich Chocolate Cake, a Lemon Cake with Strawberry Buttercream frosting and a slice of Curtis’ Homemade Lemon Cheesecake…that was the clear winner, though the Chocolate Cake was moist and yummy, as well.

We enjoyed a Block Nine Pinot Noir with the meal, though you can bring your own wine, if you prefer.

Overall, it was a wonderful dining experience.  Trust me…make the trip to Dade City.  And tell Curtis, Rebecca and Boyce that I sent you.  It was clear from all of the great food ,and local diners, that night that “Pearl in the Grove” is well on it’s way to being a bright spot on the Restaurant Scene in the area!

You can read my other restaurant reviews on Urban Spoon!
Pearl in the Grove on Urbanspoon

Looking for the Best Neighborhoods in Tampa, The Best School Districts in Tampa, or need help with Relocation to Tampa? Contact me today!


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