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Tacky Trends: Billy the Bass - 05/31/08 05:12 PM
Remember back a few years when Billy the Big Mouth Bass was a trendy, hot item? My husband told all of us in the family that he wanted one for Christmas, and we all thought he was joking. He's not a fisherman, and he hates kitsch. Well, he was very disappointed at not getting one, and went out and bought one for himself. During that time period, there were lots of luxury homes that had Billy, too. It almost became a game to see how many places we could find Billy. I cringed, having Billy at home, especially when anyone walking (4 comments)
Check your "My Home" page regularly - 05/31/08 03:52 PM
Do you start your time on Active Rain by reading blogs, writing blogs, or checking My Page? When I opened Active Rain this afternoon and went to My Page, there among the comments was an e-mail from a buyer prospect with the message "I'm in St Petersburg this weekend and interested in looking at condos". I was able to connect with her, determine her needs, and then put her in touch with my son, Rob. Then I started reading and posting - and checking - and there was another e-mail with a potential referral. Timing is everything and people want immediate (6 comments)
Ever had an airline lose a piece of your luggage? Then you stand in line and when you finally make it to the counter, they start asking questions: brand, color, size, etc. Hm, I didn't write that down. With most of us carrying small cameras with us, it's easy to take a photo of both your checked luggage and your carryon luggage. Or you could scan your luggage tag when you buy it, with the shape, brand and dimensions, and load it into your camera to keep with you. If you REALLY want to be prepared, you can even (3 comments)
Jennifer Fivelsdal posted a blog that had a photo of irisses in her garden. I love looking a beautiful flowers, but I have a black thumb and no interest in the cultivation side. Give me a book instead of a trowel any day!
A friend recently bought me three orchids, and I love the vibrant color and the gentle arch of the tall branch. It adds serenity and elegance wherever it's set.
A colleague at work grows orchids, and I admire her for that. For me - I'll enjoy while they live - perhaps remembering to water (7 comments)
Last day for changes to the CRS directory - 05/31/08 01:59 PM
For those of you who put things off until the last minute, changes to the CRS directory need to be made by June 1, 2008 - tomorrow - that means today. If you can't find the sheets they sent you, just go online to www.crs.com and log in to make your corrections. The ad deadline has been extended to June 9th. Everything's the same as last year, you say. Is it? Do you have these listed there: Your current blog site as well as your web site? Your current Active Rain site? Your linkedIn site? Your twitter site? Better go check (6 comments)
Save $40 on Amazon's Kindle - 05/30/08 08:34 PM
Amazon has reduced the price of its Kindle, the electronic book reader, from $399 to $359. I don't know why they reduced it, since I think it's the best thing since sliced bread, but they have. I bought it in December and have saved more than its price on the reduced price of books. I carry my Kindle with me everywhere and read it mornings on the treadmill, too. For traveling, it's a way to combat the price of checking luggage. It's a way of drastically reducing the weight that you lug around. Worried that it won't be "like a book"? (5 comments)
High net worth households increasing in the St Petersburg area - 05/30/08 08:05 PM
St Petersburg/Clearwater/Tampa has an increasing number of high net worth households, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. They quote numbers from a study by IXI Corporation, which has defined high net worth households as having a net worth of at least $3 Million. (There are lots of definitions of high net worth, so it pays to look into how a study defines it). From 2006 to 2007 the number increased by nearly 30% and their assets increased by nearly 24%. Not unexpectedly, most of these have made their own wealth, rather than inherited it. That must partly account for the (11 comments)
Poynter Institute - St Petersburg, Florida - 05/30/08 07:53 PM
St Petersburg is fortunate to have the Poynter Institute, a unique place that attracts journalists from all over the world for its seminars and conferences. Its goal is to serve journalists and media leaders, as well as future journalists - to explore ethics and excellence. What should be discussed? How? What about photographs? What's the role of videos in news reporting. Let's talk about the McClellan story, or race relations, or slanting stories. Courses, seminars, online studies. Poynter is a unique institution, right across from the Salvador Dali Museum, and just a few blocks from the heart of downtown St. Petersburg. (4 comments)
SOUL sign at 400 Beach Drive - 05/30/08 06:18 PM
Yes, that's a SOUL sign in the window at 400 Beach, not a SOLD sign. It in the window of the space at the southeast corner of the retail portion, and must portend the coming of a Chapman/Hamilton restaurant at the corner of 4th Avenue Northeast and Beach Drive Northeast. Craig "Chappy" Chapman opened Grillside Central this month in the 400 block of Central Avenue; he'll be opening Chappy's Creole Soul in the 200 block of Central Avenue, perhaps by mid-summer, and then the last of the trio, this one in partnership with the Hamilton family who owns the retail space, (2 comments)
Corrections welcomed - and acted upon - 05/26/08 03:29 PM
This weekend I received an e-mail correcting a fact on one of the downtown St Petersburg condominiums. I had said the units had 8 ft ceilings, and the writer actually measured - the main rooms are all just a tad under 9 feet. I have already corrected the post and checked not only this site but my other blogs, just to be sure the information was not inaccurate on any of them. I really appreciate that she took the time to write and give me the accurate information. If you find any inaccuracies in any of my posts, please bring that (4 comments)
This is Al Lang Field in downtown St Petersburg, Florida. It has been used for Spring Training for many years, but now that's over. The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team wants to leave Tropicana Field and build a new stadium here on the waterfront, on the expanded site of Al Lang Field. Al Lang Field, like all of the downtown parks in St Petersburg, Florida, comes with a restriction. The City of St Petersburg cannot sell or even long-term lease any of this "parkland" with out a referendum approved by a majority of the voters in St Pete. Opinions are (4 comments)
They need the truth because they're making decisions - 05/24/08 07:13 PM
This afternoon Rob and I met with a client who had purchased a new home through us in June 2005 - the height of our frenzied market. He's relocating out of state and wanted to know his options. We know he's making decisions based on our information, which is why we always Tell It Like It Is. Option one: it will sell for 82% of what you purchased it for - which means a loss on 18% plus 7.5 % in closing costs, or a total loss of 25%. Option two: rent it for 53% of your monthly carrying cost, and that doesn't (8 comments)
The skyline of St Petersburg, Florida is changing week by week and even day by day. It's interesting to catch sight of new buildings from different angles. Here, from 2nd Ave N, overlooking the Bay Plaza Building and the Parking Garage, we see Signature Place, the newest condominium building, which has already topped off. Glass, covered with blue film, has been installed nearly to the top. Completion is scheduled for Spring 2009 and yes, there are still some condominium units available. For information, contact The Simms Team at RE/MAX Metro in St Petersburg, Florida. (0 comments)
This waterfront home in St. Petersburg was built in the early 70s, and though it has been updated and has a pool, it's not what today's buyer wants. This house does have a unique lot, though, and is located at the tip of a peninsula, so that the seawall wraps around the house and the site has a wide view down the canal. For a chronicle of the purchase, tear down, and building of the new home, click here. (3 comments)
#1 Beach in USA again in Pinellas County, Florida - 05/24/08 06:16 PM
Dr. Beach has just released his 2008 choices for the top 10 beaches in the US, and #1 is: Caladesi Island, Florida which is in Pinellas County, Florida, just north of Clearwater. It's been #2 for a few years, so has made the cut. Pinellas County is fortunate to have a second beach which was #1 of the top ten: Ft. DeSoto Park was #1 in 2005. In 2008 it was named America's Top Beach by TripAdvisor, which pointed out a "spectacular combination of soft white sand, calm, clear water and a laid-back atmosphere". Pinellas County has over 35 miles (2 comments)
Government home price index posts largest drop in 17-year history - 05/22/08 07:13 PM
"Government home price index posts largest drop in 17-year history" was a headline on today's Yahoo Finance, an article from AP. Thank you, press, once again, for contributing to our current real estate Fear Bubble. Florida is notorious as one of the hardest hit areas of the country. Well, despite the current headlines (which, of course, are averages), let me tell you that things are getting better in Florida, or at least they're better in the Tampa Bay area, of which St. Petersburg is a part. Agents and companies I talk to are saying things like: Our company board is now (10 comments)
Thanks, Lenn, for the welcome to the 400,000 points club - 05/22/08 07:00 PM
So far, Lenn and I are the only 400,000 pointers in Dem Dare a lot of points Hall of Fame. I congratulated Lenn, the first member, and she congratulated me, the second member. And Neal Bloom founded the various x00,000 point clubs. I was fortunate to meet Neal at the first Florida Active Rain gathering. At each membership club level, Neal asks us to post how we got there. Or perhaps - why we got there. Neither Lenn nor I are point-seekers. They just happen. As I said in my response to Lenn's blogpost: Generalities - it may be ironic, but (17 comments)
Resort and Second Home Property Symposium 2009 - 05/17/08 07:46 PM
The NAR Resort Symposium, offered every 18 months, has annnounced its time and location for the 2009 symposium: it's in Naples, Florida, on March 29-31, 2009 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort. The symposium begins with a cocktail reception on Sunday, March 29, 2009 and ends with an evening reception on Tuesday, March 31, 2009. In between are various educational and networking sessions. The last conferences were in Vail (2008) and the Big Island, Hawaii (2007). (9 comments)
Cloisters luxury condominiums - downtown St Peteersburg Florida - Market Update April 2008 - 05/17/08 07:40 PM
The Closters is a recent condominium project in downtown St Petersburg, Florida. With less than 50 units there's a small town comraderie. Just 3 units per floor, each unit has a waterfront view. There is currently just one of these condominium residences on the market, a 2,065 sq sf ft unit being offered at $695,000 and there is one unit currently under contract, listed at $779,000 with 2,694 sq ft . One unit has sold this year at $600,000 for 2,600 sq ft. On the ground floor of The Cloisters is Market Express, a combination coffee shop and small grocery store, with inside (2 comments)
Parkshore Plaza - downtown St Petersburg Florida - Market Update April 2008 - 05/17/08 07:12 PM
Parkshore Plaza - luxury condominium in downtown St Petersburg, Florida This condo was completed in 2006 and overlooks Tampa Bay across Straub Park and the Vinoy Basin and marina. There are currently 11 condominium residences for sale, ranging from $729,500 for an 1,825 sq ft unit on the second floor to $2,799,000 for a 4,326 sq ft townhouse. One condominium is currently under contract, which was listed at $1,220,000. So far this year, 2008, there has been one sale, for $1,180,000 for a 3,000 sq ft unit in Tower One. All of the residences have a waterfront view, many of them (2 comments)
The four towers of Vinoy Place, adjacent to the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel in downtown St Petersburg, and surrounding townhomes, are within walking distance of all the amenities of downtown St Petersburg, Florida, and all have water views of Tampa Bay and the Vinoy Basin. Owners may join the Vinoy Club. There are 11 active listings at Vinoy Place, ranging fro $729,500 for a small 1,825 sq ft unit, to $2,799,000 for a 4,326 sq ft townhome. There is one pending sale for a condo listed at $1,220,000. So far this year there has (0 comments)
400 Beach is the newest condo in downtown St Pete, and every condo in the tower has a water view! So far this year 23 condos have sold here over $1 Million - ranging from $1,010,000 to $2,558,000. There are currently 22 condos listed in the Multiple Listing System, ranging from $749,-000 for a 2,355 sq ft condo on the second floor to $5,500,000 for a 7,000 sq ft Penthouse unit on the 29th floor. There are currently 4 condos offered for rent, ranging from $3,500/month for a 2,450 sq (0 comments)
Kindle love - 05/16/08 09:55 PM
Have I told you lately that I love my Kindle? Probably not in the last week or so. My Christmas Kindle goes with me everywhere. I told you why. Yet another trip - and several of pounds of books replaced by my 10 oz Kindle with dozens of books. I actually weighed my luggage with pounds to spare. After showing this to James Nellis in DC, he has ordered one. He e-mailed me to ask if he should buy any accessories, such as a light. Well, I didn't buy any accessories. Yes, you need a light to read it (it's not (3 comments)
Dell has a tablet - 05/16/08 09:28 PM
At the trade show at NAR Mid-Year meetings in Washington, DC, this week, we saw the new Dell tablet. I liked that they have both the "eraser" tip and the touch pad to move around with. In case you don't know, I type far faster than I write, so the keyboard is iumportant to me in touch, size, and control. The Lenovo tablet didn't have the touch pad. I can remember how much I hated that when I first used it - I'd always plug in a mouse and use that. Now I don't bother with a mouse as I'm so (0 comments)
What makes trolleys fun? - 05/16/08 09:07 PM
What makes trolleys so much fun? Why is it "ok" to take a trolley ride, but not so ok to take a bus ride? Is it because trolleys are associated with vacations, and taking trolley tours around a city? Is it because trolleys relate to leisure time instead of necessity time? Or maybe it's because the windows are up and you can feel the outside. The photo is of the Looper Trolley in downtown St. Petersburg - you can ride it between hotels and attractions, museums and art galleries. You can even ride one to the beach - the white sand (3 comments)
400,000 points - but who's counting? - 05/16/08 08:11 PM
Lenn Harley made history when she was the first Active Rainer to pass 400,000 points. It's not about points, though, it's about contributions. Lenn has made 897 blog posts. She's also made 10,546 comments on other people's posts. So it's about sharing. Maureen Francis & Dmitry Loublitsky are infamous because they were the ones who referred Lenn to Active Rain. They're doing pretty well themselves, with 206,444 points. I'm following Lenn, and with this post should pass the 400,000 point. I've written 1,086 posts and made 8,095 comments. Ken and Mary Deshaies, with 113,188 points, referred me to Active Rain. Bryant (14 comments)
Broadwater waterfront homes - Pinellas County, Florida - Market Update 5-16-08 - 05/16/08 07:45 PM
Broadwater is a mostly waterfront community in southwest St. Petersburg Florida on Boca Ciega Bay. Yesterday the home at 4380 44th St S sold at $500,000. It's a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage with 1,884 sq ft, a heated screened pool, dock with lift and davits. Home has some updating in the last few years, including roof, A/C and hurricane shutters. It was listed for 513 days with various agents, starting at $729,000 and listed most recently at $529,000. Today the home at 3874 48th Ave S sold at $680,000. It's a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2 car garage (0 comments)
Pinellas County Market Update 5-9-08 - 05/09/08 05:22 PM
We just posted our Pinellas County Market Update and there's good news! Each month since January there have been more homes sold in Pinellas County and more condos going to contract. We're reading some good news in the Wall St Journal and there's optimism from Warren Buffett. Lawrence Yun was in Tampa recently and spoke of levelling off this year and rising prices next year. Our team has seen more contracts and more sales, and the activity boards in the office show twice as many sales as new listings. It's been raining, Sally Woo Hoo, and I think we now have (4 comments)
Sandpearl condo sale is a record - 05/09/08 04:25 PM
JMC Communities have made a respected name for themselves in the luxury condo market in Pinellas County and other parts of Florida - quality products, well thought out, great customer service. Another condominium sale at Sandpearl on Clearwater Beach set a Pinellas County record at $4,600,000. This was a gulf front condo with 5,283 sq ft. Million $ plus condo sales haven't been unusual in the last few months. Click here to see the latest Luxury Property Report for Pinellas County, Florida. (3 comments)
Airplane seats - 05/09/08 04:17 PM
We flew US Air today to Washington, DC. We're accustomed to flying on Southwest, so this was an adjustment for us. Yes, we wished we were back on Southwest. But - to the point of this post. Airlines over the last years have placed the rows of seats so close together, they should make the seat backs fixed. It's tight enough in your sarcarphagus. Then the person in front of you reclines his seat. If you're holding anything, it gets slapped back into you. Want your tray table down? Forget having anything useful on it, you only have a triangle of (11 comments)
When is an approval an approval? - 05/09/08 04:09 PM
When following up last Thursday on one of our listings under contract, (our seller, not our buyer), the lender said everything's fine, our closing department needs 72 hours to have all the paperwork done. We had also had a pre-approval letter with the offer. Monday morning we get an e-mail saying that "when the closing department was reviewing the application" they turned down the loan because they couldn't adequately verify the borrower's income, which was with a family company. What? It took you a month for somebody to verify his employment properly? This shouldn't be something left until the day of (4 comments)
Owner Occupancy Ratios in Condos - 05/03/08 04:41 PM
If you're listing a condo in a building with a large number of owner occupants, you might want to tout this in your MLS remarks. When an older condo is competing with new properties, this could be a marketing and buying benefit. This is yet another case of being proactive. In today's market, there are advantages to older condos that you might not have considered. You might want to point out the lower interest rate for a high owner occupancy condo - or even the fact that too many non-owner occupied units may mean no financing at all - unless it's (6 comments)
Think ahead when you make your MLS comments - 05/03/08 04:37 PM
With all the short sales in our area, we sometimes see in the Agent Remarks: "not a short sale" While this is great information, it may be achieving the opposite effect. What if an agent is searching properties and excludes any listing with "short sale" in the general or agent comments. Guess what? The NOT a short sale will be excluded as well. Check your remarks before you send them to the MLS and see if there are any phrases that could be an exclusion for someone. Then reword them: i,.e., "Fast decision/acceptance possible. Offers only need acceptance by the Sellers." (18 comments)
Be Proactive - 05/03/08 04:20 PM
Julie Holt, owner of Anclote Title Company, was telling me this morning about one agent who has closed 27 short sales so far this year in Pinellas County - she's a listing agent who knows what she's doing, and often has a price from the lender BEFORE there's a contract. What a change from most of the short sale listings in our MLS, where you can wait months for an answer. This week I was discussing condo approvals in our "declining market" with Garrett Cronin at SunTrust and he said that if I would send him the names of any condo buildings (10 comments)
Broadwater Market Update - St Petersburg Florida - May 3, 2008 - 05/03/08 04:13 PM
Broadwater, a desirable neighborhood in southwest St Petersburg, currently has 20 waterfront and 5 nonwaterfront homes available for sale. The waterfront homes range from $519,900 to $1,350,000 and the nonwaterfront homes range from $149,900 (a foreclosure that is a tear-down) to $699,000. No homes closed in April, but two went to contract, both waterfront homes. One was listed at $529,000 and the other at $729,000. They are scheduled to close this month. Based on contracts this month, there is a 10 month supply of waterfront homes. You can see visual tours or download property flyers of our listings in Broadwater: www.3722-42ndAveS.com www.4301-37thStS.com www.3888-48thAveS.com www.4001-48thAveS.com www.4493-38thWayS.com (2 comments)
Twitter Matters - to at least one free man - 05/03/08 03:59 PM
We often discuss the value of various social networks, and the recent CyberProfessional conference in Pittsburgh was no exception. We talked about Twitter, among others, and several of us joined Twitter at the time. CNN just released the story of James Karl Buck, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. He was at an anti-government protest in Egypt, when he was arrested, along with his Egyptian translator. On his way to the police station, he managed to post one word on Twitter: ARRESTED. Friends and colleagues in both the United States and Egypt immediately contacted both the university and the embassy on (5 comments)
Signature Place St Petersburg - Looking Good - 05/02/08 08:05 PM
Signature Place topped off a few weeks ago, but so far none of us have been able to get up in the building to see the views or take photos. This shot was taken from the Activity Level of Bayfront Tower, a nearby condominium. Signature Place is a definite architectural signature for St Petersburg, and we're able to see the tower from various vantage points around the city - popping up over buildings or as we look down streets that we cross. I thought this was an interesting view, though, as the penthouses step back, yet are covered by the structure's roof. Not only does (7 comments)
Setting showing appointments - 05/01/08 01:38 PM
Listening to Rob make showing appointments for tomorrow, I found it interesting to hear the additional questions he asked the listing agents: Is there a potential of this being a short sale? (If so) is the listing price approved by the lender or just a figure you're hoping will be approved by the lender? how far along in the process are you with the lender? is the seller approved? has the seller submitted all the required paperwork? has the property been appraised?are there any other offers on the table or other offers that have been submitted/approved/rejected? Has the seller been notified (23 comments)
St Petersburg Florida has a downtown airport - 05/01/08 01:16 PM
St Petersburg might not come up in your search for "aeronautical communities in Florida" because it isn't a fly in to your hanger that's attached to your house, but it IS a city where you can fly in and walk home. Yes, city. St Petersburg has about 250,000 people and is in the midst of the Tampa Bay area with over 2 million people - yet you can fly your plane in to the Albert F. Whitted Airport and walk just a few minutes to your condominium home - many with panoramic water views - or to your boat docked at (2 comments)
Information on Real Estate, Properties, Traditions, Neighborhoods, Market Activity and other items of interest in the Tampa Bay area (St Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Bradenton) and the Gulf Beaches, Florida.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.