06/24/16 Real Estate
One South Florida lawyer provides a "complimentary motion'' that homeowners can file in court. A Clearwater company encloses a hand-written check for $3,000. And there's seemingly no end to the "free consultations.''
It's all part of a bid to grab some of Tampa Bay's shrinking mortgage foreclosure business.
With the number of new foreclosure filings down dramatically, lawyers, investors and others are deluging distressed homeowners with offers of help....
06/23/16 Real Estate
RUSKIN — In the largest industrial property sale in Tampa Bay history, the huge Amazon distribution center in Ruskin has been sold for $103.6 million.
The buyer is a Phoenix-based real estate investment trust.
The 1.1-million-square-foot center is 100 percent leased to the giant Internet retailer, which will remain as a tenant, but it is large enough to accommodate future tenants....
06/22/16 Real Estate
Prices for Tampa Bay homes continued to increase in May, with three of the four bay area counties showing double-digit gains.
But for the bay area's two biggest counties, Pinellas and Hillsborough, the increases are not nearly as dramatic as they were early in the year.
"I think it's kind of stabilized,'' Tampa Realtor Rebecca Schmid said of the bay area real estate market. "I don't see it going down but I don't see it going up at this point.''...
06/21/16 Real Estate
RUSKIN — In yet another sign of south Hillsborough County's explosive growth, Lennar has paid $17 million for a Ruskin site where it plans its first luxury waterfront homes in the Tampa Bay area.
The Miami-based company, one of the nation's biggest home builders, will resurrect the Little Harbor residential community just off U.S. 41 and Shell Point Road about 8 miles southwest of Apollo Beach. ...
06/17/16 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — Is one of the prime sites near downtown St. Petersburg's bustling Beach Drive poised for sale and redevelopment?
That's the speculation fueled by a new lawsuit against the owners of the dated Plaza Tower and Courtyard Shops at 111 Second Ave. NE, just a block off Beach and across the street from the Sundial shopping, dining and movie complex.
Rudolph Andrews, who owns a hair salon in the Courtyard Shops, says in his suit that the Kalyvas Group slipped a provision in his new lease saying it could terminate the agreement with 180 days' notice "in the event that Lessor (Kalyvas) elects to redevelop the premises." Andrews, previously known as Rudolph Perez, refused to accept the change and is demanding Kalyvas renew his lease under the original terms. ...
06/17/16 Real Estate
After the economy crashed in 2008, Benny Andrews and his wife closed their Tampa direct-mail business, paid off all their bills and lived by cash only.
It was a smart way to stay out of debt. But it wasn't so good when they began to think about buying a house.
"We didn't have credit cards, we didn't have car payments, we didn't use credit for six or seven years so basically our credit score was too low to get a (mortgage) loan,'' Andrews said. ...
06/16/16 Real Estate
Foreclosure defense ads have disappeared, vacant homes are again occupied and bank-owned properties are bringing big bucks.
Yes, the darkest days of Tampa Bay's foreclosure crisis are well past.
Though still above the national average, the percentage of bay area homes in some stage of foreclosure continues to plunge. And both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are on track to record the lowest number of new foreclosure filings since 2006. ...
Former Rays owner Vince Naimoli's Avila home finally sells for $3.9M, a fraction of original asking price06/09/16 Real Estate
TAMPA — More than six years after it first hit the market, the Avila estate of former Tampa Bay Rays owner Vince Naimoli has finally sold — at less than a third of the original asking price.
Multiple Listing Service records show that the lakefront home closed last week for $3.9 million, a 72 percent drop from its peak price of $14 million. The deed had not been recorded as of Thursday afternoon, but one of the agents involved in the sale said the buyers already live in Avila but wanted a bigger home....
06/09/16 Real Estate
In an encouraging sign for the general economy, the number of Tampa Bay borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth continues to plunge.
Although still double the national average, just 16 percent of bay area homeowners with mortgages were underwater in the first three months of this year compared with 23 percent in 2015's first quarter, CoreLogic says.
In raw numbers, 95,979 homeowners in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties had negative equity, compared with nearly 140,000 in last year's first quarter....
06/09/16 Real Estate
TEMPLE TERRACE — Goodbye River Chase Apartments, hello the Park at Valenza.
A Tampa-based company has bought the 776-unit River Chase complex for $70 million and plans to rename it as part of a substantial makeover.
With 97 percent occupancy, the apartments "represent an outstanding value-ad opportunity in one of greater Tampa's fastest-growing areas," said Randy Ferreira of Blue Rock Premier Properties. ...
06/09/16 Real Estate
Over the decades, Tom O'Brien saw a dramatic metamorphosis of his native Boston.
"It was nothing years ago when I was growing up,'' he says with a still distinct accent. "We used to fish at the pier and no one was down there. Now there's a Marriott at $600 a night.''
Sixteen years ago, O'Brien "chased a woman'' to another city still in the early stages of a much-needed makeover. That relationship ended but love blossomed for his new home of St. Petersburg. ...
06/07/16 Real Estate
Forget Davis Islands, South Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg — Tampa Bay's hottest ZIP codes are two you might not expect.
While wealthier parts of the bay area have seen greater price appreciation since 2004, the areas most sought after by home buyers today are Largo/Seminole (ZIP 33778) and Tampa's Carrollwood-Northdale (ZIP 33624), realtor.com says.
The main reason for those ZIPs' popularity is simple — both have stable neighborhoods with the kind of roomy yet moderately priced homes that are in increasingly tight supply these days. ...
06/03/16 Real Estate
On St. Petersburg's Beach Drive, one penthouse sells for a record $6.9 million. A nearby penthouse, not even finished, goes under contract for $2.95 million.
The city's downtown condo market may be in a league of its own, as many Realtors agree, but condo sales throughout the Tampa Bay area are bouncing back after their disastrous crash a decade ago.
In Pinellas and Pasco counties, more condos sold in April than in any month since 2012, as far back as the Florida Realtors organization tracks sales. Hillsborough had its second-best month in April, topped only by a bumper showing last June. ...
06/02/16 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — A recent hard-hat tour of downtown's 18-story Bliss condo tower has quickly paid off — the penthouse is now under contract for $2.95 million.
With the pending deal, all 29 units in Bliss have found buyers even though the building remains under construction at 176 4th Ave. NE just off Beach Drive.
"This Bliss sale is just one of many this year that show how demand is simply outpacing inventory'' in downtown St. Petersburg's luxury condo market, said David Traynor, a vice president at Smith & Associates. "We have penthouses that have sold after being on the market for only a few days. These quick moving sales are becoming the norm for luxury condominiums in this area with very little new construction anticipated in the year ahead."...
Nearly 455,000 Tampa Bay homes could be damaged by hurricane storm surges, the most in any major metro area except Miami and New York City. And rebuilding all those homes could cost $80.6 billion.
That's according to a report released Wednesday by CoreLogic, a global property information firm, as the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off with two named storms already on the record books....