Florida is a Happy Place

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey of more 1.3 million people across the United States over the past four years regarding their happiness level of their lifestyle and where they live. FLORIDA ranked #3 in the study with Louisiana and Hawaii in the #1 and #2 position respectively. Well, of course the study started before Katrina hit Louisiana so that answers that and there’s no question about Hawaii in many people’s minds. Having been to Hawaii I can understand how retires could be happy there, but I am still trying to figure out how young singles are content and happy with high cost of living and small islands. Regardless sunny, warm, outdoorsy living is where people report happiness. Being able to go outside and enjoy simple things like taking the dog for a walk, sipping your morning coffee on the pool deck, and watching the sun set are all things that we Floridians sometimes take for granted.

The least “happy” states are Michigan, Connecticut and New York. Of course, with the harsh winters and gray skies, who can blame them. While they are digging out from a blizzard, we are playing golf or tennis here in Florida.

Move to Florida and put on your happy face!

Westchase Area Homes and Condos for sale

Westchase is a pristine community with landscaped roadways and sparkling ponds. Each village within Westchase owns its own unique charm from single family homes with caged pools to those with front porches or townhome style two-stories. No matter which style of home you choose or whichever village you pick to reside in, all the sidewalks in Westchase lead to the town within the community. Westchase area has created a town with lots to enjoy from restaurants to boutiques and coffee shops. Conveniences such as doctor’s offices, a community school and grocery stores are all within walking distance from your front yard, eliminating the need for you to use your car for many everyday things. Many communities have tried to copy the concept that Westchase has created with no success. Westchase still remains a community like no other.

Westchase Subdivisions, Neighborhoods, Condos
and Townhomes

Bennington Berkeley Square Bridges Enclave
Fords Glencliff Glenfield Greens
Harbor Links – Estates Keswick Forest Radcliffe Saville Rowe
Shires Vineyards West Park Village Woodbay

Looking To Get Away From The Snow?

Are you at home, stuck inside because there is a blizzard outside? Or because it’s too cold outside to be enjoyable? It may be time to relocate to the Tampa Bay, Florida area! Right now, we are enjoying beautiful 70 degree weather just in time for Christmas. We have our doors open to feel the crisp breeze, but still walking around in shorts to see the boat parades go by. There are arts and craft festivals, tree lightings, and family friendly holiday events all over the county to put you in the spirit. And if you are really missing the snow, Seminole and Clearwater have arranged for snow to be brought in to enjoy a snowball fight, or sledding down the ice mountain.

No one wants to chip ice off their windshield, shovel snow from their walkway or drive on the icy roads if they don’t have to. Now is the time to buy a beautiful home in a deed restricted neighborhood complete with a pool, fireplace and lots of outdoor seating. It is a buyer’s market and home prices are affordable. You can have a gorgeous home for a fraction of what they were previously going for. And our market is showing strong signs of rebounding, so now is the time to come down, enjoy our gorgeous weather and see if this life is for you. While you’re stuck inside there, you could be strolling the beach here! Come take a look at Pinellas County Real Estate.

2010 Tax Credits for Home Buying!

$6,500 Tax Credit for Current Homeowners!

• Receive up to $6,500 in a tax credit on a new home purchase
(you must have lived in your current home for 5 consecutive years over the past 8 years).
• Purchase home by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.
• Income limits to qualify for full tax credit have increased to $125,000 for individuals or $225,000 for joint filers. (Partial tax credit may be granted for incomes up to $145,000 for individuals or $245,000 for joint filers).
• Home must be used as your primary residence.

Is someone you know a first-time homebuyer?

• Tell your family and friends – up to $8,000 tax credit for new homebuyers!
• Buyer(s) must sign a purchase contract by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.
• Homebuyers cannot have owned a home during the past three years.
• Home must remain primary residence within 3 years of the purchase date.
• Income limits to qualify for full tax credit have increased to $125,000 for individuals or $225,000 for joint filers. (Partial tax credit may be granted for incomes up to $145,000 for individuals or $245,000 for joint filers).

Let us know when you are ready to look at Pinellas County Real Estate.

Westshore Condos and Homes for sale in Tampa

The Westshore area, with it’s well-established waterfront homes and communities with new constructions make finding a home easy. Located right up the road from Tampa International Airport, traveling has never been more convenient. International Plaza and Westshore Mall both provide upscale shopping with restaurants and nightlife that is second to none. Located just miles from Downtown Tampa, not only are business opportunities available close to home, but many annual celebrations such as Gasparilla are close by without having to fight too many crowds to get there. Owning a home in Westshore will make it easy for the sports fan to see a game at Raymond James Stadium located a couple miles from the area. With the Veteran’s Expressway and the Interstates running directly through Westshore’s business areas, many other attractions in the Tampa area are only a short drive away. When looking for your next home, be sure to consider the beautiful area of Westshore.

Westshore Subdivisions, Neighborhoods, Communities, Condos
and Townhomes

Anadell Anita Subdivision Bayshore Estates Beach Park
Bel Mar Belvedere Park Borghese Villas Bridgeview Estates
Broadmoor Park Bungalow City Carol Shores Cordoba at Beach Park
Culbreath Isles Culbreath Key Cypress Estates Fairlawn Estates
Gates of Westshore Graymont Townhomes Guernsey Estates Hanan Estates
Hanan Park Henderson Beach Hesperides Lois Townhomes
Manhattan Margaret Anne Mariner Paradise
Park City Rosedale North Siena Villas Stoney Point
Sunset Park Tampania Villa Sonoma Villas of Westshore
Vineyard West Shore Crest Westshore Palms Westwego

Not Quite a Winter Wonderland

If you’re living in Florida, it could be a sunny Christmas. In the Tampa Bay Area we are wearing shorts and sunglasses, while our northern friends are already experiencing freezing temperatures and blizzards. It may not be a white Christmas, but it’s a great time of year to keep the doors open, invite friends and family over and drink eggnog. And if we’re lucky, it may drop down to the high 50’s at night, so we can throw on an artificial log and enjoy the ambiance! But while we may not be able to break out the sled, or build a snowman, there are wonderful things to do around town to get out and enjoy the cooler weather. There are many great holiday events such as boat parades at many of the local marina’s, arts and craft festivals, family holiday gatherings such as the Olde Fashioned Christmas in Dunedin or breakfast with Santa Clause in Safety Harbor. If you want to see snow, but don’t want to have it all season, Clearwater and Seminole have snow shipped in for a snowfield wonderland complete with sledding and snowball fights!

So when you’re not out shopping for the perfect holiday gift and fighting the crowds at one of our many fantastic shopping venue’s, get out and enjoy some of the great outdoor traditions. And watch out for the increase in traffic. Many people are flocking to Florida to avoid shoveling snow. And who can blame them…with temperatures in the 70’s during the day, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Homes & Condos Near USF

Students attending The University of South Florida may want to rethink when it comes to renting. Homes in and around the USF area set the stage for a perfect first home for students, with mortgage payments that may be just as affordable as monthly rent. Families that may have an individual in one of USF’s masters or doctorate programs can find homes in the area that will allow them a short commute to the college and still have their family with them close by. Many stores and restaurants in the area run student specials making it easy to take advantage of local bargains. Other communities located within a few miles from USF and provide luxury living for families and individuals that still want the convenience of being close to USF are Tampa Palms and Raintree. So, if you are pondering the idea of home ownership rather than apartment living, don’t overlook the established communities located right in the USF area.

USF Area Subdivisions, Neighborhoods, Communities, Condos
and Townhomes

Altman Colby Bavarian Village Briarwood Hillsboro Highlands
Laurel Terrace Legacy at Tampa Nebraska Ave. Heights Pleasant Dale
Pine Lake Sherwood Heights Sunridge of Tampa Bay Sweetwater Oaks
Takomah Trail Tampa Overlook Temple Highlands Temple Terrace Estates
Terrace Gables Terrace Park The Club at Hidden River

Columbia Restaurant in Downtown St. Petersburg

One of the great things about living in Sarasota, Florida is the proximity to Tampa and St. Petersburg. Yesterday I felt like getting out of town so I drove the family up to downtown St. Petersburg and met my mother for a great lunch at the Columbia restaurant. It is located in The Pier. If you are driving through downtown you cannot miss it.

The views from the restaurant were phenomenal. It is located on the 4th floor so you have some fantastic water and city views. It is a great place to eat for a special occasion, a great meal or if you want to impress someone from out of town. My kids loved watching the motor boats and sailboats driving by as we ate a delicious meal.

There were plenty of meal options for children. I ate the Palomilla which is a marinated top sirloin cut very thin and quickly grilled. It was topped with chopped onions, parsley and lime juice. Yummy.

My wife had the half and half which is half Cuban sandwich and half 1905. That is a great combination. My mom mowed through a big plate of the 1905 salad. The Columbia is known for that salad. Again, very tasty.

When we left we strolled down The Pier to walk off some of our lunch. After that we took the kids over to the play ground at Barwood and Vinoy Park. I was impressed how alive downtown St. Petersburg was for a Sunday. What a great place to live or own a condo. There were some amazing great looking condos overlooking the water.

After the kids ran around the park for about 30 minutes we got in the car for about a 45 minute cruise back to Sarasota. Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg make great day trips if you are a Sarasota resident.

Marc Rasmussen
Sarasota houses

South Tampa area of Tampa homes for sale

Located north of MacDill Air Force Base and south of Raymond James Stadium, South Tampa is an exclusive community of various constructions, established and new, with an originality all its own. Large architecturally designed homes and smaller charming residences both fit the definition of South Tampa’s uniqueness. This trendy area with its brick paved roadways will never leave you without something to do. Located within South Tampa is Hyde Park, an upscale shopping district with storefronts, restaurants and entertainment all in one quaint area. Here you can dine on patios and enjoy the fabulous Florida weather year round. If you are not looking for a house, condominiums are available as well in the South Tampa area. In South Tampa you will never be far from some of Tampa’s best restaurants and local area attractions. If a trendy lifestyle is what you seek, South Tampa just may be the community for you!

South Tampa Subdivisions, Neighborhoods, Communities, Condos
and Townhomes

Audubon Villas Azeele Park Barcelona City Homes Bayview
Belfair Park Chelsea Place Clair Mel Corina Place
Golf View Park Gray Gables Howard Terrace
Madison at SOHO Marine Manor Maryland Manor Moody City Homes
New Suburb Beautiful Palma Ceia Parkland Estates Seward Place
Southern Pines Southland St. Andrews Park The Poydras
Urban Townhomes Virginia Park

Seminole Heights of Tampa Homes for Sale

Classic style and shaded lawns are what you would find if you drove through the quaint community of Seminole Heights. Located in Tampa’s historic district, Seminole Heights is plain and simple, a neighborhood that is established where neighbors relax on front porches and enjoy many conveniences of the location. Situated next to I-275, Seminole Heights is only a short drive to downtown, Tampa International Airport and other area attractions that are not to be missed. Some of the best shopping and dining the Tampa area has to offer is right within reach and business opportunities that occupy the downtown area will leave you happy that you may have a short commute to and from work. From Busch Gardens to the Performing Arts Center, you will always have choices among you when you reside in Seminole Heights.

Seminole Heights Subdivisions, Neighborhoods, Communities, Condos
and Townhomes

Altamira Heights Altamonte Heights Avalon Heights Belmont Heights
Beverly Heights California Heights East Suwanee Heights Eastern Heights
Emory Heights Florida Ave Heights Grove Hill Heights Hana Heights
Hanley Heights Harmony Heights Manor Heights Nebraska Heights
North Seminole Heights Oak Heights Old Seminole Heights Orange Heights
Orange Hill Heights Powhatan Heights Purity Springs Heights Rippling Heights
Seminole Heights Suwanee Heights West Suwanee Heights Zion Heights