06/18/13 Real Estate
CLEARWATER — Century Oaks, the opulent 14-bedroom estate that birthed one of Clearwater's wealthiest neighborhoods, is up for sale at $17.5 million, making it the priciest home on the market in Tampa Bay.
The 30,000-square-foot estate was listed for sale Friday by businessman and world-champion powerboat racer Hugh Fuller, who bought it for $5.5 million in 1996 from British Formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell....
06/12/13 Real Estate
Even as home prices climb, four out of 10 homeowners here still owe more on mortgages than their homes are worth, making Tampa Bay the most underwater area in the country.
Still, the local situation is improving, with the share of home loans that are underwater dropping from 48 percent to 41 percent over the last year, new CoreLogic data show.
About 255,000 homeowners here are underwater because they took on debt during the housing boom with inflated home purchases or home equity loans, or saw their home values plunge during the bust....
06/10/13 Real Estate
TAMPA — Vince Naimoli, the once-embattled first owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, wants to sell his opulent brick mansion for $9.9 million.
Naimoli, 75, listed the 15,000-square-foot estate he owns with his wife, Lenda, in Tampa's elite Avila enclave last week, a listing shows.
In 1995, Naimoli, a former founder of a Fortune 500 glass manufacturer, built the three-story mansion on 10 acres on the Lake Chapman waterfront....
06/08/13 Real Estate
Home sales are hot. Prices are climbing. Supplies are increasingly tight.
All these positive signs for the housing market are nice, but many wonder the same thing: Is this a new bubble, or what?
It's easy to see how today's housing market could trigger flashbacks to the frothy mid 2000s boom. Bidding wars are rampant, deals are quick, and investors and flippers abound.
But economists say there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical that the market is blowing bubbles. Homes are still undervalued. Banks are tightfisted with loans. And prices will likely cool before they burst....
06/07/13 Real Estate
TAMPA — The apartment-heavy Channel District could soon have a new neighbor, a 20-floor apartment tower planned for Kennedy Boulevard.
Two acres between 11th and 12th streets are now under contract by apartment developers who could begin construction by the end of the year, said NAI Tampa Bay managing director T. Sean Lance, who listed the property.
Lance would not name the buyers, but said he expected to close on the deal within a few months. The tower, across from the Grand Central at Kennedy condos, would hold 250 apartments....
06/04/13 Real Estate
Suffer a foreclosure abuse while losing your home? How does $1,480 sound?
That's how much 72,000 Floridians will receive from a big bank settlement, Attorney General Pam Bondi said Tuesday.
The $106 million in checks will be split among homeowners who filed claims of wrongdoing after their foreclosure between 2008 and 2011.
That group totals about 40 percent of the 167,000 Floridians foreclosed on during those years. The checks, all for $1,480, will be mailed this month....
06/03/13 Real Estate
TAMPA — Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan sold his waterfront Davis Islands estate Friday for $4 million.
The Martinique Avenue home built in 1957 fills 9,300 square feet on one of the chic enclave's largest lots, My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service data show.
Marked by its blue tile roof, the contemporary-styled home features four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a guest cottage, a large home theater and a full gym....
06/01/13 Real Estate
Half a decade since the housing bust, many foreclosures are showing their age. A quarter of cases now in Hillsborough court are at least 3 years old.
So who's keeping Florida's more than 350,000 pending foreclosures in court? Judges largely blame the banks. State court data show banks regularly delay cases so long that judges drop them for lack of action.
That's right: The same industry facing billions of dollars in punishment for hastily whizzing foreclosures through court a few years ago now isn't moving fast enough, court leaders say....
Duke Energy's attempt to slash its Citrus County tax bill might have backfired: A new appraisal says the utility owes more than three times what it paid last year.
An appraisal team hired by Citrus County concluded that Duke did not accurately disclose the value of all its taxable property, according to a report released Thursday. The utility undervalued its land and failed to include some transmission lines, easements, substations and transformers in the value of its assets, the report said....
05/28/13 Real Estate
TAMPA — Sen. Bill Nelson is visiting downtown Tampa this morning to hold talks with mortgage officials over widespread problems with short sales.
Because credit bureaus lack a distinct code for short sales, they are often incorrectly coded as foreclosures on credit reports.
Mortgage brokers said that damages short sellers' credit and severely lengthens the amount of time they must wait for a new loan....
05/23/13 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — When Gary Sheffield, once one of baseball's highest-paid players, built his multimillion-dollar party mansion in Pinellas Point in 1997, he aimed for that special tier of excess few but pro athletes can afford.
The master suite's California king bed was laid on black marble near what look like the highest-end speakerphones, stereos and VCRs the late '90s had to offer. A few steps past stained-glass windows, the master bathroom was adorned with a gold-accented hot tub....
05/22/13 Real Estate
Tampa Bay's housing market continued to bloom last month amid the best spring selling season in years, but tight supplies of homes for sale are squeezing hopeful buyers out of deals, new Realtors data show.
Nearly 3,200 local homes sold last month, making it Tampa Bay's busiest sales month in seven years, multiple listing service data show. And the typical buyer signed a contract within a month, the fastest pace of deal-making since the boom....
05/21/13 Real Estate
Banks say they have given Florida homeowners $8.6 billion in relief, more than they agreed to as part of a nationwide "robo-signing" settlement — but they're not off the hook just yet.
That's because data on their payouts over the last year, released Tuesday, have yet to be reviewed by someone independent of the banks.
And much of the relief they've reported to fulfill their end of the settlement has yet to be weighted according to settlement formulas, and will likely net them credit for only pennies on the dollar....
05/18/13 Real Estate
TAMPA — When builders broke ground this month on an office park in the Tampa suburbs, perhaps the first speculative project this area has seen in half a decade, one developer called it a "good sign that we've turned the corner on the recession."
But don't expect office parks to bloom at the same frenzied speed as new homes. Agents and builders said Tampa Bay's commercial construction remains a wasteland, stalled by lack of business, stung by vacancies and strapped for development cash....
05/17/13 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — Susie Wheldon, the widow of champion IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, is selling the family's Snell Isle home for $2.1 million.
The three-story home on Coffee Pot Bayou features an outdoor kitchen, a large pool, boat lifts and a three-car garage, a listing by Re/Max agent Bonnie Strickland shows.
Dan Wheldon, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, bought the new 4,400-square-foot home in 2005 for $1.9 million....