08/30/16 Real Estate
Even as Tampa Bay's housing market continues a robust recovery, distressed sales still make up a significant share of all home sales.
Distressed sales — foreclosures and short sales of homes sold for less than the amount owed — accounted for 17.3 percent of bay area sales in May. That was more than twice the national rate and the third highest rate among the 25 largest metro areas, CoreLogic reported Tuesday....
08/26/16 Real Estate
For months, neighbors in St. Petersburg's Pinellas Point area wondered what would become of the large, aging waterfront house with its wide-open view of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
So when the "for sale'' sign disappeared in June, their thoughts ran along two lines: "We were hoping it would be either an investor who would demo it, because it was pretty rundown, or a homeowner with a family,'' says Mary Weber, who lives next door with her husband and two children. "That would be nice for us if another family came in.''...
08/25/16 Real Estate
BELLEAIR — The iconic Belleview Biltmore Hotel is no more, but part of it will live on as the new Belleview Inn. JMC Communities, which bought the property last year for a condo- and carriage-home community, is spending $13 million to move and preserve a 38,000-square-foot, three-story section of the hotel including the lobby, original stained glass, heart pine planks, fireplace and grand staircase. Sporting the original distinctive green and white exterior, the new inn will have a pool, ice cream parlor, history room, social events venue and "grand lawn'' for outdoor events. It will sit at the end of a new boulevard landscaped with palms and flowering bushes. The move and renovation are due to start this fall and take 16-18 months to complete....
08/24/16 Real Estate
Sorry, Tampa Bay home buyers — prices are still shooting up.
The median price for a single-family house jumped 12.6 percent in July, the ninth straight month of double-digit, year-over-year increases. The steady rise continued to be spurred by a tight supply of available homes, with 4.3 percent fewer houses sold in July than in the same month a year earlier.
"We still have demand out there that's not being met with the amount of supply," Charles Richardson, senior regional vice president of Coldwell Banker, said Wednesday. "It's a great time to come on to the market as a seller — if I was thinking of selling I'd want to be in this market. It's crazy to see it last this long on the demand side."...
Even before the Great Recession, New Port Richey attorney Constantine Kalogianis was in serious financial trouble.
In a letter to a bank that was suing him, Kalogianis said he had exhausted his savings and "simply could not go (on) this way any longer.'' His real estate holdings were worth less than the loan amounts. He had stopped paying on two business lines of credit.
Yet Kalogianis told none of this to a client who agreed to "invest'' nearly $230,000 with him....
Even in her 90s, Joy Culverhouse was a woman of "strong will'' who made one thing perfectly clear — she didn't want her children to inherit any of her millions.
That's the latest claim in the battle over the estate of the widow of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse Sr.
In a motion filed this week in Hillsborough County probate court, representatives of the estate are trying to quash attempts by Hugh Culverhouse Jr. and his sister, Gay Culverhouse, to revoke their mother's will and a multi-million dollar trust. The siblings don't have legal standing to challenge the will, the motion says, because Culverhouse disinherited them long ago....
08/19/16 Real Estate
As a gay man practicing law in Louisville, Ky., 18 years ago, Greg Burton always felt like a bit of an outsider.
"Everyone knew but no one talked about it," Burton says. "I really wanted to move to a more open, more progressive community that had a larger gay community as well as an airport that could get me to various places."
Initially settling on Tampa, where he had friends, Burton bought and restored a house in Hyde Park. A year later, in 1997, Burton crossed the bay to St. Petersburg. While fixing up a house in the Old Northeast, he got his real estate license and embarked on a new career as a Realtor whose specialty is working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender buyers and sellers....
08/18/16 Real Estate
BELLEAIR — With half of the 26 condo units already sold, construction will begin in October on the first of four mid-rises planned for the site of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.
JMC Communities announced Thursday that it also will spend $13 million to move and convert part of the original building into a boutique hotel.
Ranging up to 3,676 square feet, the two- and three-bedroom Belleview Place condos start in the mid $600,000s. That includes the initiation fee for a golf and social membership in the Belleair Golf and Country Club, which has a full-service restaurant and bar, a resort-style pool, a fitness center and a marina....
08/18/16 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — No matter how fleeting, there are few sights as awesome as the implosion of a big building disappearing in an enormous cloud of dust.
Sorry, YouTube fans, but that won't be the fate of an 11-story former hotel slated for demolition in downtown St. Petersburg. Yet there will still be a lot more noise and vibration as contractors continue clearing an entire city block to make way for redevelopment. ...
08/18/16 Local Government
ST. PETERSBURG — Pamella Settlegoode, who lives in St. Petersburg's Allendale area, has posted several signs outside of her home on busy 38th Avenue N protesting the city's order that she remove a canopy shading her cars and camper. City staff says the canopy, which cost several thousand dollars, is out of character with the surrounding area.
The 90-year-old house has not had a usable garage since 38th Avenue was widened decades ago and access was blocked. Settlegoode notes that there are two similar canopies on Snell Isle, but the city says one was installed before current codes took effect and the other is in conformity with the neighborhood's design....
08/17/16 Real Estate
ST. PETE BEACH — The beach house of former Florida governor and current congressional candidate Charlie Crist is on the market for $1.29 million. That's nearly $400,000 more than Crist and his wife, Carole, paid a year ago.
On a corner lot across Gulf Way from a popular beach, the 1,616-square-foot home built in 1940 has a fireplace, a cedar closet and restored wide-plank cypress floors. There's also a second-floor apartment with a bedroom, a kitchen and a family room that could be rented out or used for guests....
08/12/16 Real Estate
ST. PETERSBURG — All those apartments, condos and houses going up in and around downtown St. Petersburg are giving the city a boast-worthy distinction — it's among the nation's top 10 urban areas for "walkable new construction.''
And Tampa isn't far behind, according to the national real estate brokerage Redfin.
While many parts of the Tampa Bay area remain inconducive to a pleasant stroll — think St. Petersburg's Tyrone area and Tampa's West Shore district — downtown resurgences are making both cities more pedestrian friendly. ...
08/11/16 Real Estate
With its charming old houses and pastoral setting, St. Petersburg's Crescent Lake area has long been one of Tampa Bay's most desirable neighborhoods. Now it's the latest flash point in the strife between homeowners and home builders.
At issue this time is hydraulic pile driving, and whether the steady bang, bang, bang of pilings being pounded into place for a big new house will damage nearby homes and aggravate a known sinkhole problem. ...
08/08/16 Real Estate
A second video has surfaced that appears to show Pasco County lawyer Constantine Kalogianis altering official court records in a mortgage foreclosure case.
Deutsch Bank recently filed the video with the clerk of court as evidence in its bid to overturn a judge's ruling in the case in which Kalongianis represented the Land O' Lakes homeowners. The ruling dismissed the case and awarded him $45,530 in attorney fees and costs. ...
07/29/16 Real Estate
TAMPA — Have you ever fantasized about spending time with Beyoncé and Jay Z? Now you can actually live where the superstar couple themselves spent time.
The striking mid-century home that the duo rented this spring on Davis Islands just hit the market for $3.695 million.
Built in 1969, the three-bedroom, 21/2-bath house sits back from Riviera Drive and is surrounded with lush tropical foliage that screens it from everything except the bay waters to the west. The listing doesn't say so, but it's a fine place to hide from paparazzi and overeager fans. ...