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Notes from Rob:

My boss (mother) has been after me for a year to start blogging.  Does everyone have a mother like that? 

She had her first web site before I even owned my first computer.  I love gadgets, but she is light years ahead of me in all of them.  So now, I follow her down the blogging path.  The key will be can I blog regularly as she does?  I will do my best. 

Today, I start with rambling, tomorrow I will discuss my closing on a bank owned property (knock on wood), and then I will move on to my experiences in showing properties out on the beaches lately. 

See you tomorrow!

Spoken by Rob Johnson | Discussion: No Comments »

Southwest Airlines and Tampa International Airport are Computer Friendly

Computer cartels at Tampa International Airport Southwest terminal

Tampa International Airport has been computer friendly for years by offering free wireless internet access. Not too long ago Southwest Airlines started providing computer “bars” where you could plug in and recharge your computer, and the small flat surface everyone shared was certainly better than balancing on your knees. What a pleasant surprise when I arrived at the Southwest Terminal at Tampa International Airport today to find in the main lobby and at the gates were these banks of computer stations – a flat private surface of probably 2 ft x 3 ft where you can spread out your papers, your coffee or sandwich, as well as your computer, and use the two plugs for working and recharging. Plus the free internet access. Kudos and thanks to both Southwest Airlines and to Tampa International Airport!

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

baby Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane family

Withlacoochee State Forest in the Green Swamp was the location of this baby Sandhill Crane. We are fortunate to have a great landlord, Tom Bell, who took this photo a week ago and sent it to us in an Easter greeting, as the closest shot be had to an Easter “chick”. I thought this was a wonderful depiction of Florida and what it has to offer, so asked and received his permission to share it with you.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Wedding Bells are a good reason to sell

Wedding Bells mean Home Sale

We see so many sign riders advertising misery – Short Sale, Foreclosure, Price Reduction, Must Sell – we thought we’d set this house apart. We had sign riders made up saying WEDDING BELLS. This wonderful 2 story Colonial home in the desirable Pink Streets of St. Petersburg is priced to sell at $575,000 (we listed it Thursday afternoon and held it open yesterday, with 22 groups of visitors, including three good prospects).

What does WEDDING BELLS mean?”  asked several guests. It means that this house is being sold because the owner is getting married. She’s selling her house; he’s selling his house; and they’re buying a new property together. It’s been a happy house, and it’s selling for a happy reason. That’s good news in the current market.  More than one visitor said, “He must be quite a guy for her to give up this house!”

Happy to Report that this home has SOLD and the wedding took place!


Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Happy New Year 2009!

Happy New Year 2009!

My lack of blogging the last month hasn’t been lack of interest, it’s been orchestrating change. The Simms Team left RE/MAX Metro, excited about the new possibilities, but sad about leaving some great people – though we’re only 2 blocks away so we should still be in contact.

We formed ALVA International, Inc., our own real estate company. Our new phone is (727) 898-2582 (898-ALVA) though our old phones will still reach us. Our new location – which we’re so excited about – is at 238 Beach Drive NE, right across Read the rest of this entry »

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Go Rays! On to the World Series.

Tropicana Field Celebrates Rays Win

Tropicana Field glowed as I drove by this morning on my pre-dawn trip to the Vinoy Fitness Center. Usually when the Rays win a baseball game, the fabric roof is illuminated in Tropicana orange. Never before, though, have I seen it still glowing in the morning – but never before have the Rays made it to the World Series. All of St Petersburg was celebrating the win!  Go Rays! Click on the photo to enlarge.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Sunset Beach mailbox

Sunset Beach mailbox

Yesterday, driving back from the Sandpearl reception on Clearwater Beach, we drove down Sunset Beach (the south end of Treasure Island) to see what was new. This mailbox (click on the photo to enlarge) caught my attention – done in the same colors as the house behind it.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Closings can be beginnings

Click to enlarge

Yesterday was the closing on a waterfront home here in St Petersburg – actually one in my neighborhood, Broadwater. I represented the buyers, which is nice because it means they’re coming here rather than leaving here. These buyers started looking a few years ago, waiting for the right time and the right house. Recently they found it.

A few minutes ago a florist delivered a vase of beautiful flowers, large and bold, with bright, happy colors, and tropical leaves (how did they know what I liked – or did they guess?). They were accompanied by a note saying,

Sharon, thanks so much again for working with us through this over the last several years. We are both very happy with the result and especially the friendship you’ve shown us. … Barb & Jeff Boehler

Barb & Jeff have been great to work with, and we look forward to sharing many good times with them in the years ahead.

Thank you!

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

Hurricane Season Starts – Florida Listens

Hurricane season starts every year on June 1st – not that hurricanes can’t emerge prematurely, but other than that, June 1st is when Floridians start listening to the weather reports – or watching the newspaper headlines.

If this is your first hurricane season in Florida, here are some hints for you: Read the rest of this entry »

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »


A garagemahal is a home where the garage (often a 3-car garage or more) dominates the front view of the house. I don’t know that the word applied to townhomes that may have only a one car garage, but the point is the same when you see the garage but not the entrance and no other facade than the garage. The word comes from the Taj Mahal, so there’s a bit of irony in that most of these garagemahals have none of the majesty of the originating building. We have to assume that somewhere behind the garages, there IS a house.

The opposite to this is a development such as Dolphin Cay, where the single family homes (other than the waterfront homes) are designed to be pedestrian-friendly, generally with a front porch. The garages are behind the homes, unobtrusive, and occasionally with living space above the garage – a home office, a guest suite, a recreation room.

The Old Northeast, a popular neighborhood in St Petersburg that is close to downtown, is pedestrian friendly, which adds to its appeal. Some of the homes in the Old Northeast date back to the 1910s – others are still being built, though generally on lots that previously had homes. Characteristic of the neighborhood, garages are typically behind the house, with alley access. The front porches encourage neighbors to know one another, as you’re much more likely to chat if one of you is on the porch and the other is on the sidewalk walking by. People are unlikely to walk up to your house and ring the doorbell just to say, Hello! When you’re within sight of one another, it’s only natural to nod, wave or strike up a conversation.

Hint: if you want to get to know your neighbors, take a dog out for a walk (yours or one that’s borrowed) – just remember that they’ll know your dog before they know you.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: No Comments »

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