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Beachfront Condos

Beach condos in Pinellas County Florida

Beach condos in Pinellas County Florida

Notes from Rob:

It has been interesting to watch the prices of beachfront condos rise and fall over the past few years.  Back in 2005 and 2006, if you were wanted a condo on the beach, where you could listen to the waves on your balcony, you would be paying a minimum of $500,000 for a very small unit, in need of major updating.  I remember negotiating a deal for a 3-bedroom condo at the Reef Club in January 2008.  We were thrilled to get our offer accepted at $487,500.  The only two sales in the building in the last two years sold for $340,000 and $335,000.  When we sold our listing in Angler’s Cove for $580,000 in 2007, we had highly recommend our seller take the offer and be done with it.  The last sale in the building for a similar unit was for less than $370,000.  In the Bella Grande on St Pete Beach units that sold for over $600,000 are now selling for $400,000 and less.  If you are a seller, you are not happy with these numbers.  However, if you are a buyer, it is a great time to finally own your piece of the ocean (yes, I know it is the Gulf of Mexico).  I was showing beachfront condos all weekend and here are the prices your are looking at today.  For $350,000 I can get you a small, 2-bedroom unit in need of some work in a 30-year old building.  For $450,000 you can upgrade nicely to a 2-bedroom unit in move-in condition.  For the bells and whistles, in a newer building, you are going to spend at least $600,000, but that is so much better than the $800,000 plus you were spending in 2006.  In my building, one of the units sold for $1,200,000.  Today it is a short-sale and is listed at $650,000.  So yes, if you have been dreaming of your condo on the beach.  It is time to start living your dream.

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Indian Shores Florida Market Update


Indian Shores sunset

The year has been busy.

In Indian Shores, there are 134 active listings, with another 23 under contract or pending sale.  There have been 14 sales this year, 13 of which were condos.  The average sales price was $280,118.  Most of the sales were small, inexpensive units across the street from the beach.  The highest sale was in Las Olas, directly on the gulf, with 3,270 square feet, which sold for $810,000.  There are 23 units currently under contract, including three over the million dollar mark.  The highest of which is a unit at Alta Vita, which is listed for $3,500,000.  It will be interesting to see what it sells for.   The San Kevi seems to be the building with the most activity.  With six units on the market, ranging from $999,999 to $1,490,000.  The $999,999 unit is a short sale which was purchased for $1,480,000 in 2006.   With 3,440 square feet, directly on the Gulf of Mexico, it could be the bargain someone has been waiting for.

The house I keep watching is the one 4 doors down from my house.  A six bedroom home, with 5,215 square feet, private heated pool, and gulf front balconies on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors.  As I walk by it every day on my evening beach walks, all I think is that if I win the lottery, that will be my first stop.

Give me a call if you have any questions or would like me to show you what Indian Shores has to offer.

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Sunburst Cove – Indian Shores

Notes from Rob:

Sunburst Cove is a complex that was completed in 2007.  Their are only 6 units in the building, which includes a heated pool and spa and is directly on the Gulf of Mexico.  All of the units are 5,100 – 5,400  square feet and include a 2-car garage, 8 balconies and 360 degree views as the units take up the entire floor.  The units sold for between $800,000 and 1,750,000.  The $800,000 was a short sale that resold in 3 weeks for $$1,200,000.  There is currently one unit for sale.  It is on the 5th floor and is listed for $1,400,000.  It is full of upgrades and well worth a look if you are considering a first-class beach condo.  The building is on Indian Shores beach, within walking distance of the Salt Rock Grill restaurant and very close to Park Blvd and easy access to the interstate and Tampa.  With four sales in 2009, it has done very well in today’s market.

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Beach Condo Sales

Notes from Rob:

As I continue to write about the different beach condo complexes, I thought I should take a look at how the sales of beach condos are doing in 2009.

There are currently over 400 beach condos on the market.  For my purposes, the condos had to have at lease 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and 500 square feet.  I looked from St Pete Beach, north to Sand Key.  When possible, I tried to exclude condo-hotels from my numbers.

Of the condos currently on the active market, 58 are listed for $1,000,000 or more (with a high of $3,595,000).  Another 56 are listed between $750,000 to 999,999.  There are 114 active listings between $500,000 to $749,999.  There are 90 listings between $400,000 and $499,000.  You can find 68 listings between $300,000 and $399,000.  And believe it or not, there are 26 listings under $299,999 (3 below $200,000).  Understand that the lower priced units are very small and the water view is generally not gulf view.  But you can get something for a lot less than you could several years ago.  For the lower priced condos you are also looking at older buildings: of the 58 units over a million dollars, 49 of them have been built since 2000, whereas the lower prices units are in buildings generally built in the 1960s and 1970s.  Of the units built since 2000, only 3 are listed for less than $500,000 and they are around 1,100 square feet.  There are several nice choices between $500,000 and $600,000, all of which allow short term rentals.

After the Active listings, there are 24 units currently listed as “Active with Contract.”  Today, that generally means it is a short sale, with a contract pending the bank approval.  Another 27 units are under contract, pending the sale to go through.  So people are still buying.
In 2009, 164 gulf front condos have sold.  They have been fairly consistent throughout the year.  Sales by month are:  9, 18, 16, 26, 32, 21, 20 and 22.  Prices have remained consistent.  This year only 6 units have sold for over $1,000,000, with a high of $1,250,000.  One unit that was listed for $1,950,000 and had 5,100 square feet, sold last month for $800,000.  It was a short sale, but sold for much less than the original sale price of $2.7 million.  There have been 12 sales between $750,000 and $999,999, another 13 between $600,000 and $749,999.  In the $500,000 to $599,999 range, 20 units sold this year, and another 28 units sold between $400,000 and $499,999.  As we go down in price, the sales increase…58 units have sold between $300,000 and $399,999 and another 27 units sold for less than $300,000.  On the average, sellers are getting 90% of their list price price for their sales price, after an average of 166 days on the market.
In summary, beach condos are selling, but not for the high prices some sellers are looking for.  If you are a buyer and have thought about a beach condo, but thought they were too expensive, now might be the time for you to start looking for the right beach condo.  After four weeks of living on Indian Shores and watching the sunset from my balcony, I’d highly recommend beach living!

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Mansions By The Sea – Sunset Beach – Treasure Island

Notes from Rob:

Mansions by the Sea Treasure Island Florida

The condo complexes along the beaches vary greatly.  Some are small, with only 8 or 10 units, while other are much larger with hundreds of units.  Mansions by the Sea on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island is one of the larger units.  The complex has two buildings, each with 72 condos.  The units run from 1-bedroom units with  1,015 square feet to large 4-bedroom units with 3,100 square feet.  Though a vast majority of the units are 2-bedroom/2-bathroom,  1,510 square foot units.  Mansions by the Sea was built in 1980.  The units vary greatly by view and by upgrades that have been made.  Many still have the original appliances, counters, cabinets and flooring that came when the unit was originally built 30-years ago.  With that in mind, you can buy them at a lower price and update them to your taste.  Others have been beautifully updated by their current owners and all you need to do in move in and enjoy the view.  There is a community pool in-between the two buildings, as well as a small game room, fitness center, and tennis court.  The complex also has a very nice boardwalk along the beach.

If you have never been to Sunset Beach, you should go and check it out.  It is on the south end of Treasure Island and is one of those lesser known beaches that locals get to enjoy without the crowds of the more touristy beaches.  Several small restaurants allow you to have a beer and burger during your outings.  You are only 5 minutes away from the Treasure Island Causeway, giving you easy access to the mainland.

There are currently 12 units for sale in the complex, ranging from $219,900 to $999,000.  I especially like a 2-bedroom/2-bath unit on the North-East corner which gives nice beach views from one balcony and sunset views from another, which is listed for $399,000. Four units have sold this year at prices ranging from $276,900 to $575,000.  Monthly maintenance fees are just under $500 a month and include: building insurance, taking care of the building exterior and lawn, pest control, security, trash, water, and sewer.

For those looking a condo with reasonable square footage, a nice view, and beaches to stroll along, this would be a building to look at.

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Seacrest condos – Indian Shores

Notes from Rob:

Seacrest condo Indian Shores

I have finally moved to the beach and am loving the view every time I look out my balcony.  I hear the waves hit the beach and watch fabulous sunsets every night.  To say we are happy would be an understatement.  With all of that in mind, I am going to start writing about the different beach condo’s to let everyone know something about the different complexes.  I will start with Seacrest.

Seacrest is on Indian Shores.  The complex is nice and small.  Only eight units.  Each unit is just under 2,200 square feet.  They all have three bedrooms and three bathrooms.  The master bedroom and living room look directly at the Gulf of Mexico.  The kitchens are large, upgraded and open to the living room and gulf.  It is a joy to do the dishes as you look out at the beach.  Each unit has two parking spaces (one under cover), private storage room, and its own laundry unit (you would be surprised how many of the beach complexes still have community laundry rooms for all of the residents to use).  The complex has a swimming pool, spa, and BBQ grill for all the residents.  The pool area has a private gate to the beach, and has an outside shower to so you can wash off the sand before heading back into your unit.  You are a short walk to Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf and the Salt Rock Grill restaurant.  The building has a 30-day rental minimum, so you can rent out your unit if you are not a full time resident, but it does not allow the very short term rentals that make you feel you live in a hotel.

The building was built in 2003.   Originally the units sold for between $639,000 and $860,000.   Generally, the higher the floor (and upgrades) the higher the price.  In the six years since the building was open, 4 of the units have resold.  Prices went up, to a high in 2006, when one of the 4th floor unts sold for $1,200,000.  Currently, there is only one unit for sale in the building, and it is listed for $879,000.

I give the building a top rating and would recommend it to anyone looking for an updated, beachfront condo.

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Ray of Hope

Notes from Rob:

Sunset at the beach - St Pete Beach

As I’ve written before, my wife has always had a dream of living on the beach.  We are only 9 days away from her goal.  As we did our evening walk along the beach last night I looked toward the sunset and saw this ray of light, or is it a ray of hope.  We can’t wait to sit on our balcony night after night and watch the sunset as we listen to the waves.  I have been showing property on the beaches for over three years now, and I can’t think of any I would prefer to move into than the one we will be living in for the next two years.  I’ve already had clients ask me to find them a condo just like the one I found for my family.  I plan to start writing about the different condo complexes along our beaches to tell you about them and how they differ from unit to unit.  For now, I keep my fingers crossed and count down the days until August 1st when we will start living our dream on the beach.

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Beach Bungalows

Notes from Rob:

Everyone on our team has strengths and specialties.  Due to our location on Beach Drive, we all know a lot about Downtown condos and I love spending hours with clients or just interested “walkers” who stop by our inviting outside table and chairs and just want to talk about the market, real estate in general, or downtown condos.  My wife is a beach person, always has been and always will be.  My dream is to find her a beach front condo that we can rent (in our limited budget) so that she can wake up and fall asleep to the sound of waves (if anybody knows of one that is coming available in August and won’t cost me an arm and a leg, give me a call).  Because we spend many of our evenings walking St Pete Beach, Treasure Island and Madeira Beach, I have learned more and more about the Beach and the individual condo developments. 


Recently I have seen a lot of interest in beach “bungalows.”  We are not talking about those right on the sand and their million dollar price tag, but rather small 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom houses that are within walking distance to the beach.  You would be surprised at the nice little places you can now buy for less than $250,000.  Have one under contract right now that closes on Friday that was listed for under $200,000.  Small, but a very cute house.  As they showed it off to their friends, they have tasked me to find another one just like it for them.  The best I have found for them is ½ mile north for $219,900.  The best thing of all is that neither is a short sale.  If you add short sales into the mix, there are several nice homes under contract around the $150,000 mark.  But then you are waiting for months on end for the bank to make a decision, and in most cases the bank hasn’t even agreed to sell at the list price, let alone the offers that are usually considerable lower than that.


I think the lower prices are what are finally bringing some of the second home buyers back into the market.  When they had to spend $400,000 plus for a home they were only going to use 2 or 3 months a year, they can’t justify the expense.  But as the prices have dropped, I have seen a significant increase from those folks from up north looking for that get-away home that we can provide along our beautiful beaches.

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Sandpearl Clearwater Beach among top 10 hotels worldwide

Sandpearl Hotel Clearwater Beach Florida

The Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach has been named by Expedia as one of the top 10 hotels worldwide, based on their customer reviews and employee input (according to the Miami Herald today). One of JMC’s goals when they developed and built this resort was to combine luxury amenities with a casual atmosphere – they’ve succeeded in doing this. The Sandpearl is a favorite overnight getaway for us.

You can enjoy the benefits of the Sandpearl Resort on a regular basis by purchasing a condominium at the adjacent Sandpearl Residences where condominiums are priced from $600,000 to $1,400,000. You can also purchase a condominium suite actually IN the Sandpearl Resort Hotel, which you can put in a rental pool or not, priced from $510,000 to $1,600,000.

Expedia also named the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Sarasota  as one of the top 10 hotels in the world.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Sandpearl Clearwater Beach Florida Phase II

Sandpearl Phase II

JMC Communities hosted a broker’s open house for Phase II of Sandpearl Condominiums, Clearwater Beach, Florida. Four condominiums and one hotel suite condominium were opened this afternoon for a group of Tampa Bay real estate agents. Several decorators were featured – each condo was furnished by a different company (one had just decorator boards) so the agents could see not only different floor plans but different decorating styles. The common areas were on display and hors d’oeuvres including sushi were spread out on the bar. It was easy to imagine living the beachfront lifestyle.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

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