Susan Taylor Martin, Real Estate Reporter

Susan Taylor Martin

Real Estate Reporter

Call me a nosy neighbor. I’ve always liked checking out Sunday open houses, especially houses for sale around my area of St. Petersburg. And I’m a huge fan of HGTV shows like “Flip or Flop’’ and “House Hunters.’’ Maybe that’s why why I ended up four years ago as the Tampa Bay Times real estate reporter. It’s a great job, especially now that the market is hot. But there’s a lot more to real estate than pretty (or not so pretty) houses. I’ve reported on a good number of scams and the colorful characters behind them, including one fellow that my stories have sent to federal prison - twice! In my off-hours, I like to travel (was a foreign correspondent for 12 years), figure skate, hit garage and estate sales, read and check out new restaurants. I’m probably one of the few people who remember when downtown St. Pete had only four restaurants — the lunch counters at Maas Bros. and Woolworth’s plus Aunt Hattie’s and Uncle Ed’s. Alas, Aunt Hattie’s closed in the early ‘80s after a rat ran over a restaurant critic’s foot.

Temple Terrace apartment community sells for $43.2 million.

The Tampa Bay area is popular with investors in multi-family housing.

Officials with agency that misused Hardest Hit funds now work for a developer getting state funds

Stephen Auger, right resigned as executive director of Florida Housing Finance Corp. in 2017 and now works for a developer that gets funding from Florida Housing.
Photos: Florida Housing Finance Corp
Stephen Auger, who resigned as head of Florida Housing Finance Corp. after a scathing audit, is CEO of company that gets funding through the agency.

Owners of St. Pete's Doc Webb House allege a conspiracy to block the sale to developers

The current owners of a home in AllendaleTerrace previously lived in by James “Doc’’ Webb, founder of the former Webb’s City, are suing their neighbors and a preservation group. They say they have conspired to block the sale of the home to a developer so they can purchase the property themselves for less than market value.  [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
A suit filed this month claims neighbors hoped to buy the house for less than market value.

People are moving in to the Westshore Marina District

The first residents are moving into Westshore Marina District, a master planned community near the Tampa end of the Gandy Bridge. [Courtesy of BTI Partners]
TAMPA — For the first time in decades, if ever, people are now living on the 52 acres near the Gandy Bridge that make up the new Westshore Marina District. Residents have moved into..

February home sales figures show 'a market in transition'

This home in Belleair Shore sold in February for $3.75 million, making it Tampa Bay’s priciest sale of the month. [Courtesy of Tom Barrett]
Sales rose in two Tampa Bay counties but only Pinellas saw a significant price gain.