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How are you marketing internationally? - 08/31/08 06:59 PM
"How are you marketing internationally?" is a question that is coming up more and more frequently from homeowners. I think part of it is because they're reading in the media about what a bargain US real estate is for other countries, and part of it is because they think they rich foreigners will come in and pay more than an American would pay for their property. We respond by telling them not only what we ARE doing to market internationally, and what we're NOT doing to market internationally, since we've already tried that and found no response. Then we tell them (13 comments)
Hobby of Hurricane Forecasting - 08/30/08 09:03 PM
Ever wished you could pick up the phone and ask a knowledgeable friend what's happening with the latest hurricane or tropical storm? Here's the next best thing - visit Jyotika Virmani's blog. It has a conversational tone and her predictions have been right on more often than not. Jyotika has a Ph.D. in oceanography from the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida here in St Petersburg. She did postdoctoral research on hurricanes. Forecasting hurricanes is just a hobby for Jyotika - her "day job" is as Executive Director of the Florida Coastal Ocean Observing Systems Consortium. (6 comments)
Progress Energy proposes 31% increase in Pinellas County electric bills - 08/30/08 08:41 PM
Progress Energy is proposing to increase electric bills by 31% in Pinellas County, Florida, starting in January 2009, according to an article in the St Petersburg Times. Progress Energy says this is due to increases in fuel prices and commodity prices and increased transportation costs. 31% is a huge increase! What will this do to families who are already struggling to pay their mortgages each month? What about retirees and others who are on fixed incomes? Their annual cost of living increases aren't anywhere near 31%. Progress Energy still needs to justify this increase to the Public Service Commission - let's (0 comments)
Trulia - ignore it or join it? - 08/30/08 08:21 PM
For months I haven't taken the time to go over to Trulia and see what's happening there (after all, how many places can we visit each day?). This morning I did. My listings are there on Trulia, from luxuryrealestate.com and other "providers". So, should I register and "claim" them, so that inquiries come to me? Yes, I think that's a better alternative than having them call someone else about my listings. Who knows the most about them and can best market them? Me, I believe. Then I went over to their Questions and Answers section, and checked out questions submitted on (24 comments)
Hurricane Season - 08/30/08 08:06 PM
It's hurricane season here in Florida, and once again we are tuned to the updated coordinates that come out every 3 hours, and plot the course - or just listen to the news. There's a lot of hype on the news, so some of us just plot the coordinates and avoid the tv. Unlike earthquakes or tornados that occur rather suddenly, we track hurricanes, so yes, we can be prepared, but we can also be stressed for long period of wondering where the hurricane's going to hit. It looks as though Gustav will miss the Tampa Bay area, though hurricanes have (2 comments)
Waterfront streets in Broadwater, a neighborhood in southwest St Petersburg, Florida - 08/30/08 07:58 PM
Tonight I was reminded once again of a phenomenon I've noticed here in Broadwater. a waterfront neighborhood in southwest St. Petersburg. Having many clients and friends in the neighborhood, I'm often invited to parties, or over for dinner or sunset cocktails. Regardless of which cul-de-sac or street they live on, people tell me they are so glad that they live on the "best" block in Broadwater. They have the best neighbors, the best friends. The interesting point is that every block is saying this. It's not a coffee klatsch area, but neighbors do care about each other and look out for (2 comments)
Can you imagine this view from your new waterfront home in St. Petersburg, Florida? You can watch dolphins and manatee playing in the water. You can watch cruise ships, cargo ships, and occasionally Tall Ships as they pass under the Skyway Bridge. You can build a dock for your boat or yacht; you can catch fish from your seawall. Why aren't people seeing this? Because they're seeing the 3 bedroom 2 story house already on the property, and the detached garage, and the pool. They don't see the wonderful building site (nearly an acre, at 100 ft wide by 350 (16 comments)
"Then we'll start making offers" - 08/29/08 08:05 PM
Once upon a time, buyers would look and look until they found a house they loved. Then they'd make an offer on it, and usually we'd negotiate to a contract. That was then. It's not uncommon today for buyers to look and look, and then say, "OK, after this weekend we're ready to start making offers. This generally means they're not fixed on just one house; home love isn't the motivating factor; their offers are probably going to be low; they're probably going to make offers until one of them is accepted. Are these buyers predatory? Probably not. Most likely (6 comments)
St Petersburg, Florida is a peninsula, and since home construction started around 1910, there's very little land left, especially premium waterfront land. So - if you want to build, you generally have to buy a house, then tear it down, and then start to build. That was the case with this home, which is being built on a prime waterfront lot on a cul-de-sac, giving it privacy and great views. Due to FEMA requirements, most new homes have to be elevated, so due to our small lots, the ground level is usually used for garages (a 3 car garage (2 comments)
Hooray - we closed a short sale! - 08/28/08 08:11 PM
Agents listing short sales will probably get to closings - for agents representing buyers, it's a real long shot. We've written offers on probably two dozen short sales this year, and today, for the first time, got to a closing. Rob (my son and colleague) worked with this buyer starting in mid-September of last year (yes, that's nearly a year ago). He wrote an offer for them on this property back in February. It wasn't until this month, AUGUST, that we had a response from the lender - who after six months of waiting wanted a closing within 2 weeks! The (12 comments)
Web access for the blind - 08/28/08 08:09 AM
Target stores agreed to a $6 million settlement because its website was not suitably accessible for the blind, accoording to an article in the Wall Street Journal today. I don't know much about the screen reading software mentioned, but I'd have to agree with Target that I thought the Americans with Disabilities Act referred only to physical buildings. Have any of you considered whether your site complies with the Disabilities Act? How accessible is your site to the blind? I have to admit I've never considered whether the blind could access my website and my blogs.
Ribbon Cutting Grand Opening for The Frame Shop St Petersburg Florida - 08/22/08 08:21 PM
Today was the "Grand Opening" of The Frame Shop on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the Grand Central Business District. Our clients, the Rohrs, opened this business after buying a bungalow in nearby Kenwood - an older neighborhood just featured in a national bungalow publicatrion. Just a few blocks from home they opened The Frame Shop. Jeremiah can do wonders in two or three dimensional framing. The Grand Central Business District is an interesting, low-key, neighborhood business area, adjavent to Kenwood. As a matter of fact, in the same block is the Charles Edwards Salon, where Nick, my hairdresser, (3 comments)
Be Careful What You Blog About - 08/22/08 07:04 PM
One of the benefits of blogging is the google juice, and that people searching for a topic can find us. The correlary of that is that people will contact us about what we blog about - so, if you blog about something, that's what people may call you about. Blog about equestrian properties, and expect to be contacted by people looking for equestrian properties. Blog about first time homeowners, and expect to be contacted by first time homeowners. In effect, what you blog about is what you're asking for. So - be careful (13 comments)
Wall St Journal offers online property ads - 08/22/08 06:58 PM
The Wall St Journal's real estate site, realestatejournal.com, is now offering property ads online for your luxury listings. The cost is $350 for 60 days, far less than advertising in the print Wall St. Journal. A new benefit for members of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing is a luxury listing on the Wall St Journal site. So many designations ask for an annual fee to keep the designation, but offer no other value. That is not the case with the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Just this one benefit alone is worth more than the cost of the annual membership. (7 comments)
The Rainy Season - 08/22/08 06:29 PM
The rainy season on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica really turned out to be much like August here in Florida - sunny mornings, then sometime during the afternoon the heavy rain comes ... and goes. We just don't call it a rainy season here - we talk about the time of afternoon thunderstorms. We have thunder and lightning and power outages, which were less prevalent while we were in Costa Rica. Everyone moving to Florida should be sure to have surge protectors. Of course with Flo somewhere in the state, rain is a constant. Ah, well, it's much better (3 comments)
Short Sales - 08/21/08 05:41 PM
We've noticed that a large percentage of properties we pull to show are short sales - and we always include a session on Short Sales as part of our initial Buyer Counseling Interview. The Pinellas Realtor Organization ran some statistics and found that 34% of all properties under contract are short sales! Considering that many are offers that haven't been accepted yet, that figure is probably considerably higher. What I'd really like to see is what percentage of actual closings are short sales. (6 comments)
Back from Costa Rica - 08/20/08 06:30 PM
Mmm - Costa Rica was wonderful. Away from it all. Guess I really have been away, since I've been gettin some e-mails asking if I'm ok since I haven't blogged lately. Thanks for caring! Tami and I went down to check out some potential investments for some of our clients, and we stayed at the del Pacifico development between Jaco and Quepos on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I was content to walk on the beach early in the morning - Tami went galloping down the beach on horseback. The Ticos (Costa Rican people) were calm and friendly - (14 comments)
Aren't slow times when we should be learning new things? - 08/08/08 09:34 PM
Despite the economy, it seems strange to me that in a slow economy attendance at real estate courses and conferences is lower than usual. This is a great time (more time on our hands) to learn, and the market means that we should be pursuing new niches as well as perfecting our basis skills. Much of the market is really Back to the Basics - but with new knowledge. (10 comments)
Can you tell what's in this photo? It's 2,008 people - Chinese - in perfect coordination during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The precision of the performers in the various Opening events was astounding, whether on the ground or in the air. (7 comments)
Marriott Marquis Atlanta - 08/08/08 09:00 PM
The Marriott Marquis in Atlanta had some interesting building facades. Tami and I stayed here this week while teaching a CLHMS class in Atlanta. It was a huge hotel and had some startling views.
Olympics 2008 - 08-08-08 - 08/08/08 07:14 PM
I'm just watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, and yes, I'm glad that our President is there. The first of the opening ceremony was 2008 Chinese giving a masterful and inspiring performance on 2008 drums. What beauty, what coordination. How much more significant it would have been to be there. Fireworks, light displays. Footsteps of light going from the old city to the new building. The world IS flat - and the better we can all share and cooperate the better. (7 comments)
Colleagues are your clients, too. - 08/02/08 07:56 PM
A lot is written about how to treat your clients - do you realize that your colleagues are your clients, too? Your listing has a lot more potential buyers from your colleagues than from you. Think about it - when you're setting up showings, are there some agents whose listings you'd really like to show? and others whose listings you'd like to avoid? Of course! Most homeowners don't think to weigh this when they are interviewing listing agents - what is their relationship with other agents in the market? It's not easy for them to find that out. The 'rest of (15 comments)
Bayfront Towers Condominiums St Petersburg, Market Update through July 2008 - 08/02/08 07:51 PM
Bayfront Tower, the original downtown St Petersburg highrise, still stands out for many residents. A full 2/3 of the resale condos in downtown St Petersburg during July 208 were in Bayfront Tower (4 out of the 6 resales sold during July). There are currently 16 condos listed in the Multiple Listing System in Bayfront Tower, ranging from $239,900 for a 1 bedroom unit to $1,395,000 for a double corner unit with nearly 4,000 sq ft. Bayfront Tower is the only condo that has valet parking and is the only condo with the common areas on the top floors of the condo. (0 comments)
400 Beach luxury condo St Petersburg Florida Market Update August 1, 2008 - 08/02/08 07:34 PM
400 Beach began closings in December 2007. In July 3 more units closed, at: $1,200,000 $1,366,618 $2,580,000 There are currently 20 units offered in the Multiple Listing System, ranging from $749,000 to $5,500,000, with 70% of the condominiums falling in the $1 - $2 Million range. 400 Beach is the newest of the downtown condominiums, and is one of the luxury towers along Beach Drive, with views across the park and out over Tampa Bay.
Downtown St Petersburg Condos - Market Update August 1, 2008 - 08/02/08 07:14 PM
There are currently 181 downtown St Petersburg condos listed for sale. This is about average for the year, with monthly inventory ranging from 171 to 187 units. 13 units sold during July but more relevant is the number going to contract during July, which was 6. At the rate of sales during July, that is a 2.5 year supply. The $250,000 - $500,000 range has the most choices, with 28.7% of the units. The majority of the sold condos were new: 3 sales in 400 Beach and 4 sales at The Sage make up 54% of the sales. In resales, Bayfront (0 comments)
Downtown St Petersburg Condo Rentals - Market Update August 1, 2008 - 08/02/08 06:27 PM
Downtown St Petersburg currently has a six month supply of condominiums offered for rent through the Multiple Listing System. The 46 condos currently offered are: 1 bedroom units: $700/month to $1,900/month 2 bedroom units: $990/month to $4,000/month 3 bedroom units: $2,200/month to $5,500/month Units in the luxury towers start at $3,900/month. These rentals are generally unfurnished and most require a lease of one year. A minority of them allow pets. During July 8 condos units were leased, ranging from $975/month to $1,200/month. None of the larger units were leased during the month. (1 comments)
Rent vs buy - 08/01/08 07:55 PM
In our current market in St Petersburg, Florida, sometimes it makes more sense to rent rather than buying. A client today looked at a $560,000 condo that was offered for rent for $1,800. In looking into it further, between $700/month in condo fees and $1,000/mo in property taxes, the rent barely covered those expenses - with nothing going toward the cash invested in or the mortgage on the condo. In another situation, in a $1,500,000 condo, the condo fees and taxes are $3,000/mo and the rental is $3,500/month. Many people are now opting to rent for a while rather than buying. (7 comments)
HGTV - 08/01/08 07:52 PM
At a listing appointment today I realized how wide spread the influence of HGTV is. The seller was asking several questions relating to what she had seen on HGTV. Some things didn't make sense to her: Are we obligated to sell if a ful price offer comes in? because on HGTV suggested listing at below asking price to solicit multiple offers. Were we going to have her throw out all of her furniture, take down wallpaper and repaint al the rooms? because on HGTv they had done that. In some respects it's great to have our clients watch HGTV (7 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.