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St. Petersburg ranks in retirement spots

St. Petersburg was a runner-up in a list of top retirement spots around the nation compiled by the Real Estate Investment Journal.

Mount Dora and Naples/Fort Myers made the top-21 list, compiled from recommendations in Money magazine, 50 Fabulous Places to Retire in America (Career Press) and Retirement Places Rated (Prentice-Hall).

Editors of those publications based their ratings on quality of life, living costs, housing affordability, personal safety, cultural activities, mild climate, proximity to recreational opportunities, local economies, local taxes and health care.

Following the top-21 list was the category of runners-up which included St. Petersburg and no other Florida cities.

Included in a third "special mention" category were Boca Raton, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lakeland, Miami-Coral Gables, Orlando, Pensacola, Vero Beach and Winter Haven.

Money magazine, by the way, singles out Gainesville as one of the 10 best places to live in the United States, one of the five best small metro places to live and one of the five best places to live in the South.

Hillsborough's top home builders

The Builders Association of Greater Tampa has named its top 10 builders for 1994, based on the number of new-home sales in Hillsborough County during the year that ended Aug. 31.

The top-selling residential builder was U.S. Home and its Rutenberg Homes division, which sold more than 400 homes.

In descending order, the others in the top 10 are Florida Design Communities, Centex Homes, Pulte Home Corp., Inland Homes, Lennar Homes, M/I Homes, Suarez Housing Corp., Arvida Homes and MacRiley Homes.

Sun City Center was the county's top new-home community for the third consecutive year, with a total of 440 homes sold by several builders.

"Rising Star" awards went to Southern Crafted Homes as builder and Harbour Associates Construction as custom builder. This award is based on the highest percentage of increase in business over a two-year period.

Women Realtors schedule installation

Sultana Frazis of the Coldwell Banker Clearwater office will be installed in December as president of the Clearwater Women's Council of Realtors.

The council offers a referral network and leadership and career-development programs for real-estate agents.