Saint Petersburg, FL Real Estate News

By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Do you like block parties? Well, come on downtown. The first Friday of every month, St. Petersburg ropes off a block of Central Avenue, between 2nd St and 3rd St, for a night of live music and festivites. It's a great place for an end of business day party for downtown business employees, and yet another interesting event for all the downtown residents. So many people of all ages love living downtown in condos or townhomes, where they can walk to a constant flow of events. And if you don't want to be down on the street with the crowd, go upstairs to A Taste for Wine and enjoy some wine on their New Orleans style balcony while you listen and people watch. Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area.  
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Twenty four years ago a museum opened on the waterfront in St. Petersburg which attracts 200,000 visitors a year from around the world - it's the Salvador Dali Museum, with the largest private collection of Dali in the world! We have a permanent collection, and several travelling exchanges. There is a meeting room for functions, with access to the museum after hours. There is a fun store with unique gifts to give for Christmas or birthdays, or take home, or just buy for fun. If you like jigsaw puzzles, there are some really interesting ones here. Throughout the day there are docent led tours, and they have occasional breakfast tours for children - it's fascinating to accompany one of those tours. There's always something different to see, not only in new additions, but in the same pictu...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Recently I wrote about a St. Pete neighborhood called Kenwood. I just learned about a holiday tradition in historic Kenwood:The Kenwood Elves are an incognito group of pranksters who scout the neighborhood and decorate homes whose owners have made minimal or no efforts to decorate their homes. They string strands (often used) of lights, garlands and trim around the porch and yard. From these they hang unique items, such as empty cans, old socks and underwear, plastic or foam cups, broken ornaments and tea towels. So far, the dozen plus elves have never been caught.Most recipients accept this as neighborhood spirit and welcome, rather than an antagonistic attack.Read the St Pete Times archives for more details.Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the ...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Kenwood is an older neighborhood with lots of bungalows. A decade ago it was deteriorating, and not very appealing. Then the transition started! People started renovating the bungalows, and creating a community. Many of the streets are brick, and there are large trees for shade. Even picket fences on some of them. Generally detached garages with alley access, some of them with apartments above (before buying, be sure to verify with the city whether or not that garage apartment can be rented). The neighborhood association became active, and held events in the neighborhood park, Seminole Park. They established an annual tour of homes in the neighborhood, Bungalowfest, with the proceeds going to the association. The city added attractive street signs that marked the neighborhood. This year...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
The Parkshore Grill opened about two weeks ago in downtown St. Petersburg,at the corner of Beach Dr. NE and 3rd Ave N. It's located on the street level of Parkshore Plaza, the luxury condominium tower that opened in August. I'd heard good reports about the restaurant from my daughter and some friends, but had to try it out myself. Yesterday we walked over from the office for a late lunch. The menu offered lots of choices, so it wasn't easy to decide. I settled on fresh salmon and asparagus - and requested that both be prepared without sauces and without using oil or butter, and cancel the potato side. The meal was beautifully presented and every bite was delicious.  The others really enjoyed their choices as well.The waiter was prompt and attentive, knowledgeable - there when we needed ...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Pinellas County, Florida includes St. Petersburg, Clearwater and 22 other municipalities, including several beach communities. It has a population just over 1,000,000 people with 87% of them full time residents.November 2006 statistics have been released by the Pinellas Realtor Organization and looking at them can be depressing. Absorption rates are at al all time low, 5.7% for single family homes and 4% for condominiums. Comparing YTD 2006 to the prior year, listings are up 1186.5%%, sales are down 32.6%. Median and mean sales prices are down.  But do you know what?Homes are selling, both condos and single family. 263 properties DID close in November of 2006. Buyers ARE taking advantage of this being an excellent time to buy. These stats do not include direct builder sales, which are e...
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By Bob Kuc
(Charles Rutenberg Realty)
When I help sellers seller their house, I usually get this look of surprise on their faces.  I have been known to fix small items around the house, as an example a garage door sensor was not working and the garage would not go down via the remote.  After looking at it, I was able to determine that the sensors were not "looking" at each other.  After replacing the wire, the garage door works as designed.  I have throught "draino" down a drain, adjusted hinges or made them stop squeeking, etc.  The homeowner is asked fpr permission and told that I am not to be held resposible is something happens.  I have not yet been rejected or yelled at.I believe that the personalized service that I provide returns more referrals.  At the same time, this feature will not allow me to be a "Top producer"...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
St. Petersburg, Florida, aka The Sunshine City,  was once known as the city of green benches. It was a winter retirement haven and folks would sit on the rows of green benches and watch the world go by.  If you think this is still St. Petersburg, you’re sadly mistaken. The city is in Phase 3:  the first was the city described above with Webb City and its mermaids and Wolfie’s at Central Plaza. Then downtown changed, Maas Brothers closed, and the city emptied, with people going to the malls and the suburbs. Now, we’re in the third phase, and downtown is vibrant, from Beach Drive to Grand Central. The average age of the population is 39, and young professionals are coming from Tampa to St. Pete, not the other way around. Even the Museum of History had a hard time finding a green bench. O...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Mahaffey Theater, St Petersburg, Florida Sometimes it's good to look outside our industry for marketing ideas. Last night the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund invited selected Raymond James clients to A Christmas Spectacular. Guests arrived at dusk, had cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres and then were treated to a final rehearsal of the Florida Orchestra for a program of carols and themes from some Hollywood Christmas films. Clients had the opportunity to meet and chat at the round tables set up in the large lobby, with each other and with the Raymond James representatives. No "sales" presentation. After entering the theater, there was a welcome and 5 minute "commercial", then the performance. The Mahaffey Theater has been recently renovated and now takes excellent advantage of i...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
St Petersburg, Florida is getting greener. Mayor Rick Baker and the City Council declared their intention to make St Pete, the Sunshine City, a "green city". Through LEED they now have earned Silver status and are now pursuing Platinum status.Yes, janeAnne, we're going green, too.We have green homes, green builders and green developments in the Tampa Bay area. A St Pete project proposed by Grady Pridgen is planned with a "green" roof.From the air, St. Pete shows even more green trees than you're aware of when you're walking around. For years it's been a priority to plant trees and flowering bushes in the median of I-275 and along neighborhood streets.  Now we're not just green outside, we're making our buildings green as well.We know that more people are concerned about Green, and that ...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
The St. Petersburg Museum of History in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, currently has an exhibit on historic neighborhoods Roser Park, Ingleside, and Bartlett Park, which will be open through December 31, 2006.To raise funds for the Museum as well as the Ingleside Homeowner's neighborhood, they are holding "A December to Remember at Ingleside" event on December 3, 2006 from 6-9 pm.  13 homes will be on tour, all in their holiday attire. After the tour there is food and entertainment at The Mayor's Mansion (a historic one, not the current one). $35 tickets are available through the Museum. This neighborhood is just south of Bayfront Hospital and All Children's Hospital, near the bay and downtown St. Petersburg. There are large and small homes, old and new. The one in the photo is a new...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Coming Soon to downtown St. PeteThe Grand Bohemian St. Petersburg, Florida will be built just a block from my office, where I can easily take advantage of the restaurants and lounges that front on the street, check out the art galleries there, and listen to the nightly piano music.  Recently revised to have more hotel rooms, this reduces the condos from 82 to 54. Since the condo units will start on the 21st floor, there will be some great water views, despite the building being a block and a half from the bay.These condos are all about lifestyle - and living the life of Eloise, the six year old girl living in the Plaza Hotel in New York - i.e., having staff at your beck and call, to spoil you and cater to you. These condos are for people who have less time than money. Prices start above...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
Kristal's blog this morning about the train stop by the mall from which You Can't Get There From Here brought to mind how much perception affects transportation issues. People love to ride a trolley, but don't want to ride a bus.  It's ok to commute by train, but not by bus.  When you're visiting a city in Europe it's ok to walk to blocks to the restaurant, but in America we want to drive (or take a cab). Funny. The Looper Trolley here in downtown St. Petersburg It runs every 15 minutes daily from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays it runs every 20 minutes from 5 pm to 11 pm. The fare is 25 cents, 10 cents for seniors. From the trolley you can stop at Baywalk for shopping, and reach a hotels, restaurants, museums, the post office, Publix grocery store, the USF campus - you can ...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
The Florida International Museum in downtown Saint Petersburg, Florida has announced an unusual exhibit, From Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs which will run from January 19 to May 13, 2007. There will be 4 themed galleries with multi-media displays artifacts, photo murals, dioramas and hands-on components. The museum is working with the SPCA to create numerous events during the time of the exhibit.  When I first saw this photo, I couldn't help but think of Kristal Kraft in Denver.  While you're in St. Pete, be sure to visit the Salvador Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of History, the Holocaust Museum and lots of art galleries.  Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent selling homes in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay area.    
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
There's something about Coming Home that soothes the soul. Whether we've been away at a conference, or travelling around the world, as much as we enjoy the journey, there's just something about Coming Home.When Tami and I flew back from New Orleans on Saturday, it was one of the rare occasions when it was still daylight when we arrived. We looked out the window and across the Gulf of Mexico saw the white sand beaches (two of which have been on Dr. Beach's Top Ten list as #1) and the strip of land separating the Gulf from the Intracoastal Waterway. We were low enough to recognize exactly where we were by the shape of the land fingers below, and recognize particular buildings, and then flew even lower over Tampa Bay to arrive in Tampa.TIA, the Tampa International Airport, is a great airpo...
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By Dawne Lagergren, CRS, CLHMS, SRES
(Affiliates Referral, Inc.)
St PetersburgWith a purported average of 360 days of sunshine each year, St Petersburg is nicknamed "The Sunshine City".  Welcome to St Petersburg, Florida.  People who visit want to move here and the residents who live here don't want to move.   Our downtown, located on one of our nation's most beautiful waterfront parks, is fast becoming one of the most attractive, liveable and viable downtowns in the country.St Petersburg Downtown St Petersburg DowntownVinoy Resort and Golf Club and Vinoy CondosVinoy Resort and Golf ClubThe Pier and St Petersburg MarinaSt Petersburg PierSt Petersburg and Pinellas County offer an unequaled environment for work and play.  Wonderful weather and miles of sandy beaches, relatively low cost of living and progressive employment opportunities draw people to ...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
We've seen a lot of interesting things on the waterfront, but a floating wedding chapel in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida is a bit unusual. It was just in for the weekend, in conjunction with a wedding exhibition, but will be coming back soon for a 90 day trial period, anchoring on the approach to the Pier in downtown St. Pete. This is primarily chartered for weddings, since it's actually equipped as a chapel would be, with two rows of pews. In the background is a bit of downtown St Pete - the building on the left is an office building, the center one is The Cloisters, a condo, and the tall one is the newly completed condo Parkshore Plaza. Both condos have retail on the ground level.Sharon Simms, Real Estate Agent serving St. Petersburg, Florida, the Gulf Beaches and the Tampa Bay are...
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By Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
(Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International)
The real estate market in Pinellas County, Florida (St. Petersburg, Clearwater) is similar to many parts of the country - lots of inventory, fewer buyers and flat or dropping prices. More details are on my website. Hurting the most are speculators that bought preconstruction. I had a neighbor e-mail me yesterday asking to help them avoid a foreclosure - they bought a preconstruction townhouse in MiraBay, over in Apollo Beach, closed on it nearly a year ago and have had it on the market with a local agent there, but have had no buyers. When the market says your home is worth less than you paid, and there's no buyer, you have three choices to avoid foreclosure:1) sell at a loss;2) rent, with negative cash flow;3) pay the mortgage, insurance, taxes, homeowner fees, utilities and maintenanc...
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