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Old Northeast Market Update – Part 4

Northwest Quadrant of Old Northeast Neighborhood

Old Northeast Quadrant 3

Continuing with our week-long series of analyzing the last five and a half years of housing data for the Old Northeast neighborhood, today we’re focusing on the section that is often overlooked, from 22nd Avenue N north to 30th Avenue N, and from 4th Street N east to 1st Street N. Despite that fact that many don’t consider it to be part of the Old Northeast, it has many of the same characteristics, including brick streets lined by shady trees, charming architecture and a very walkable feel. Although it’s not as close to the parks along North Shore Drive, it is extremely close to Coffee Pot Bayou, with sidewalks along the water, a lovely park and playground, and a public boat launch. And although it’s a little further from downtown St. Petersburg, it’s very close to grocery and shopping centers.

This segment is smaller and has far fewer homes than the neighborhood south of 22nd Avenue N, so it’s important to remember that as we look at the data. Many of the lots here are larger than those in the southwestern quadrant, so the additional land value impacts price per square foot ($/sq ft). As in the other parts of the neighborhood, 2011 seems to have been the turning point in the market, with a marked increase in total number of sales. The most significant difference between this and the other quadrants isOld Northeast Northwest Quadrant that average sale price is still nearly $100,000 lower than in 2008 (currently $287,929 versus $383,500 in 2008). Oddly though, the average number of sales and $/sq ft is nearly identical to 2008 which would indicate that fewer of the larger homes in this quadrant have sold recently.

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Old Northeast Market Update – Part 3

Southeast Quadrant of Old Northeast Neighborhood

Old Northeast Quadrant 2

For today’s look at the Old Northeast market activity over the last five years plus 2013 year-to-date, we’re focusing on the quadrant that most people consider the “true” Old Northeast – from 1st Street east to Beach Drive NE, and from 5th Avenue N north to 22nd Avenue N.  It has the largest number of homes in our analysis. We’ve purposely left out the North Shore area east of Beach Drive because it has a completely different dynamic. Now, to be sure, some folks will say that the character of the neighborhood changes south of 12th or 13th Avenue, but there has to be a limit to how much we slice and dice the data!

Just like the rest of the neighborhood, it’s clear that 2011 was the turning point for recovery. Average sale price hit bottom at $365,148, average price per square foot ($/sq ft) hit a low of $165, and from then on, both of those figures have increased continually. For the current year-to-date, average sale price is up to $531,437, and $/sq ft is at $230, both figures being higher than 2008.Southeast Quadrant of Old Northeast Neighborhood

Total number of sales spiked in 2012, an indication of the recovery as buyers burned through the inventory. Sales for 2013 are on a healthy pace, already 84% of last year’s total and only 7 full months into the year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Old Northeast Market Update – Part 2

Southwest Quadrant of Old Northeast

Old Northeast Quadrant 1

As we said in yesterday’s introductory post, the Old Northeast neighborhood has very distinct sections. To start with our individual analyses, we’re looking at the area from 4th Street N east to 1st Street N, and from 5th Avenue N north to 22nd Avenue N. It’s not the “sexiest” part of the neighborhood, but it’s often where you can get “more bang for your buck.”

The homes in this area tend to be a bit smaller, with a vast majority being the cute bungalow style. Particularly as you get closer to busy 4th Street, there are not as many homes that have been remodeled as in other parts of the neighborhood, which contributes to a lower average sale price (currently $327,359 for 2013 year-to-date, 29% lower than the Old Northeast as a whole, and 38% lower than the quadrant east of 1st Street).  Read the rest of this entry »

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Old Northeast Neighborhood Market Update


Old Northeast Map

The Old Northeast remains one of the most popular neighborhoods in St. Petersburg. Its charming homes, from small bungalows to grand showplaces, appeal to many who don’t care for cookie-cutter environments. Most of the neighborhood enjoys shady tree-lined streets, many of them paved in old brick, hexagon sidewalks, lovely landscaping and creative architectural styles. With the downtown waterfront park system running adjacent, it’s a place that invites its residents to get out and enjoy outdoor activities. Its proximity to downtown, bustling with entertainment and cultural activities, and its easy access to the interstate system, make it even more attractive.

Officially, the Old Northeast runs from 5th Avenue N to 30th Avenue N and from 4th Street east to the water. There are “purists” who insist that it runs only from 1st Street to the water, and stops at 22nd Ave N, often referred to as “Historic Old Northeast.” The area from 1st Street east to Coffee Pot Bayou and from 22nd Avenue to 30th Avenue has its own designation as Historic Granada Terrace, and the grid from 22nd Avenue to 30th Avenue between 1st and 4th Streets is often completely disregarded in the conversation.

Home Sales in the Old Northeast

We took a look at the last five years’ historical data, as well as the current year to date, to satisfy our curiosity about market trends. For the exercise, we broke the whole neighborhood into four grids as described above, and confirmed that Read the rest of this entry »

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What will $500,000 buy in downtown St Petersburg?

Downtown St Petersburg from Albert Whitted Airport

Downtown St Petersburg


What will half a million dollars buy in downtown St Petersburg? In the first quarter of 2013 the Multiple Listing System shows only three sales between $500,000 and $600,000.  Two of these were in Signature Place, one with 1,447 sq ft sold at $540,000 and another with 1,465 sq ft sold at $565,000. One city home at Parkshore Plaza with 1,686 sq ft sold at $555,000.

There is only one downtown St Pete condo listed in the $500s – a 1,686 sq ft city home at Parkshore Plaza which is listed at $575,000.

Search downtown St Petersburg condos for sale.

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Warehouse Arts District Sweetheart Gallery Walk

St Petersburg Clay Company

St Petersburg Clay Company

The Warehouse Arts District had its first Sweetheart Gallery Walk yesterday. The participating artists provided a free trolley tour of the Warehouse Arts District, which runs from 1st Avenue N to 10th Avenue S, from 16th St to 31st St in St Petersburg, Florida.

The historic Seaboard Coastline railroad station is the home of St Petersburg Clay Company. There you’ll see outdoor kilns, artists studios, a gallery and retail clay supplies. Wending back through the district, you’ll find Duncan McClellan Glass. Duncan took over an old tomato packing plant (or was it a fish processing plant?) and has made a studio, gallery, hot shop and residence. Artists are moving to St. Pete.

The Warehouse Arts District (WAD) was founded in 2012 with the goal of creating a community to attract artists from all over the country to live and create in St. Petersburg. Their  motto is “Where Art is Made”. There are several arts clusters nearby with galleries and shops, but this industrial area is for noisy artists, down to the nitty gritty. The old industrial/manufacturing warehouses offer great space for large equipment. Many artists are choosing this area to work and to live.

Participating artists/venues included: Craftsman House Gallery, Nuance Galleries, Grand Central Stained Glass, Articles Gallery, St Pete Clay Company, MGA Sculpture Studio, C Glass Studio, Soft Water Studio, Duncan McClellan Glass Art Studio and Hot Shop, Zen Glass and Charlie Parker Pottery.

Spoken by Sharon Simms | Discussion: 1 Comment »

A home for Christmas

It's hard to put a house under a Christmas tree but that doesn't mean it can't be a Christmas present. We think our SALE PENDING properties are indeed Christmas presents – for the sellers, for the buyers, and yes, for us, too.

Most years the St Petersburg real estate market is slow between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not this year. The Simms Team has been out showing property every day, usually to multiple clients. We are very grateful for that. Showings … offers … contracts … closings.

A huge thank you to everyone who has chosen to work with us and to everyone who has referred us clients.


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Homes are reworking spaces

Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka

Not So Big House

Reworking spaces in homes is a  lesson from the National Association of Homebuilders annual show that applies to remodeling older homes as well as building new ones. Read their comments about house design for creativity and cost savings.

Formal living rooms and formal dens are being used less. Even home offices are used less as many of us tend to use tablets elsewhere in the house or outside on the patio or dock.  So, more emphasis is placed on a combined activity area in homes: the kitchen, family room and eating area all as part of one large space where we can interact. An office space may be an alcove, a second pantry, or even a window seat.

All these ideas bring me back to Sarah Susanka’s series of books based on The Not So Big House. Her first book, back in 1998, was an eye opener. She advocated quality over quantity, useable space over more square footage. Charm and utility. She parlayed her first book into a series, but my favorite is still her original The Not So Big House.

What brings you happiness in a house? How can you be apart but nearby? How can views allow space to be shared?

As homeowners are more concerned than ever about expenses, from property taxes to insurance to utility costs – great design is more important than ever.

Would you like some help in finding your new home or suggestions for improving the one you have? Contact The Simms Team at ALVA International, Inc real estate.


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Insurance issues that may affect the sale of your St Petersburg home

Citizens requirements for 4 point inspection

New 4 point inspection requirements


New rules from Citizens Insurance may affect the sale (or purchase) of your St Petersburg home. Starting September 1, 2012, Citizens will require a 4 point inspection for any new or renewal homeowner’s insurance policy on a home 30 or more years old – i.e., built before 1982.  Many of the waterfront homes in Venetian Isles, Broadwater, Yacht Club Estates and many other areas were built in the 1970s, so will be affected.

The four “points” of the inspection are plumbing, electrical, HVAC (heating and air conditioning) and the roof.  The inspection must be completed by an appropriate Florida licensed inspector and photos must accompany the report.  It appears that a new 4 point inspection report will need to be done with each annual renewal. In addition to a certification that all four systems are in good working order, there are some other requirements to note:  all roofs will need to have at least 3 more years of expected life; no polybutylene pipes; and if the house has single strand (aluminum branch) wiring, separate documentation of remediation must be provided and certified by a licensed electrician. Three remediation methods are allowed: 1) entire home rewired with copper; 2) connections repaired via COPALUM crimp; or 3) connections repaired via AlumiConn.

The aluminum wiring situation is similar to the knob-and-tubing situation in older homes. Most contracts will state that all systems need to be operating properly but that the seller/owner will not have to upgrade to new codes unless an item needs repair. However, if the contract is subject to financing, the lender is going to require insurance. If the buyer can’t get insurance for the home, the loan won’t be approved, so the financing clause will allow him to walk away. So, it’s better to address this issue before you put the home on the market.

Call or email The Simms Team for a copy of the new Citizens 4-point inspection report or for additional information on these inspections.



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Insuring your St Petersburg condo

Generally your St Petersburg condo will have an insurance policy that covers the building as well as liability coverage for the condo. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get additional insurance for your St Pete condo unit.

You are responsible for the interior of your unit, from the drywall or plaster wall in. So – wall coverings are your responsibility as are floor coverings. Appliances and furniture are also yours. You can get a policy to cover these things, as well as covering you for liability. Keep in mind that if you have water damage caused by a unit above you, it’s your responsibility for that damage to your unit – another reason to have it insured.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of variables in the cost for this condo unit insurance: master building coverage, wind mitigation and energy factors, what floor the unit is located on, size of the unit, etc.  Thus you can’t call and get a quote, for example, on “a unit” in Parkshore Plaza or in Bayfront Tower but you can get a quote on a specific unit. If you’re buying a condo unit, start checking on this as soon as you go to contract – don’t wait until a week before closing!


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