Thursday, December 14, 2017
Home and Garden

Neighborhood Profile: Venetian Isles in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG

Elizabeth and John Funk live on one of the narrow fingers of land in Venetian Isles, which juts east into Tampa Bay the farthest of any Pinellas development.

Their street has never been flooded; nor has their house. But they have been flooded in.

Venetian Isles extends into the bay on relatively high ground northeast of Snell Isle and directly east of Shore Acres. It's an upscale waterfront community of 533 homesites, most of which are on the man-made fingers separated by deep-water canals suitable for power and sailboats of all sizes.

It's no wonder that when the Funks, Tampa Bay natives (she from the Old Northeast; he from Pinellas Point), went looking for waterfront property 13 years ago, they fell in love with it.

Despite slight inconveniences. For instance, eight years ago during a storm, they had to drive as far as they could down the street and then kayak the rest of the way to the Shore Acres Recreation Center, where "mainland" friends would bring supplies to them. Then they would kayak back to their car and drive back to their house. They were socked in for three days that time.

"But we never lost power. We had electricity," John said. "It was amazing." (Electric lines are underground.)

Most other storms strand them only for hours until the water recedes, they said.

Venetian Isles is reached by bridges, via Overlook Drive, Grand Canal Boulevard and Mermaid Point. The neighborhood has young and old residents and is family-friendly, the Funks said.

When the Funks bought in 2001, housing prices were going up, but they still got in before the market exploded.

Elizabeth was in the hospital delivering twins Johnny and Taylor, who are 12 now, when her husband brought her the papers to sign to buy the house. They also have a 21-year-old daughter, Brittany.

"We bought the junkiest house in the neighborhood," John said.

They said they looked at other homes in their price range that didn't need as much work but really liked the floor plan of the one they ended up buying and spent four months getting it in shape to live in, taking out a kitchen wall and putting in new flooring.

Later, they would enlarge the great room and put in a new seawall, boat lift, tile roof and a pool custom-made to fit in the wide but shallow back yard. The view from the house is stunning as you look out on the canal over the pool.

They have no regrets about buying the home, in which they have invested about $460,000, between the sale price and the modifications. That's still well under its appraised value, even in today's market. The price of a single-family home in Venetian Isles ranges from about $500,000 to well over $3 million.

"We got a bargain. We would have paid more," John said.

Patti Ewald can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8746.

Comments
Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

Hometown Pasco for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. You ...
Published: 12/13/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 12/13/17
Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Timely Tendings: Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant species

Beware of buying or gifting invasive plant speciesPlants make great gifts to give and receive. But .?.?. beware invasive species lurking in local garden centers or nurseries. Many invasive species are still commonly sold and if you plant them in your...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

Review: Amazon wants a key to your house. I did it. I regretted it.

I gave Amazon.com a key to go into my house and drop off packages when I’m not around. After two weeks, it turns out letting strangers in has been the least-troubling part of the experience.Once Amazon owned my door, I was the one locked into an all-...
Published: 12/08/17
Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Want the perfect Christmas tree? We asked an expert for help

Lights, ribbons, tinsel, flowers — how do you get that perfect look? We asked designer Ken Neddo of Classic Florals in St. Petersburg to help with this yearly decorating event.   * What do you see as the general trends in Christmas tree deco...
Published: 12/05/17
Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Timely Tendings: As holidays approach, find the right plants; keep an eye on edibles in the garden

Get holiday plants: trees, poinsettias and cactiLiving Christmas trees are a fun, lasting way to celebrate the holiday season that can then be planted to provide a lifetime of enjoyment. Unfortunately a commonly sold plant for this is the Norfolk Isl...
Published: 12/01/17
Updated: 12/05/17
5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

5 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

Thinking about buying your first home? Before you can unlock the door to homeownership, you have to take some important first steps. From finding the perfect location to financing your purchase, shopping for your first home has challenges that go bey...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 8

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Published: 11/29/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

Plan and budget for a good return on your garden investment

The first of the 2018 seed catalogs will be arriving soon in the mail, signaling the start of another growing season. Savvy vegetable gardeners pore over the pages while choosing plants and drafting budgets. Planning ahead provides healthier returns ...
Published: 11/28/17
Updated: 12/05/17
Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

Diggin’ Florida Dirt: Gardeners share suggestions for holiday gifts

If I had to choose just one garden tool to be shipwrecked with on an uninhabited island, it would be my Felco 2 pruners. They clip anything up to about a half-inch diameter — even thicker when I push it, which I do.Even my daughter marveled when I qu...
Updated one month ago