Highland Park

Zen Bistro Grill & Sushi Bar at The Avenue of Westchase

Posted on March 16, 2007. Filed under: Highland Park, Life, Local Entertainment, Local Restuarants, Tampa Bay area Restuarant Reviews, Waterchase Real Estate and News, Westchase Real Estate and News |

Last night I finally got the chance to try out Zen Bistro in Westchase. What a pleasant surprise. A quaint little bistro tucked in the corner of the new Avenue of Westchase just east of West Park Village. My daugthers and I are always on the look out for great local restaurants in the Westchase area and we have found one at Zen. First off, if you love sushi as much has we do then you must try Zen Bistro. We ordered the “Sixth Sense” roll which is Spicy tuna, avocado, tempura onion, wrapped in rice paper and toppped with more spicy tuna, tobiko, and wasabi tobiko. What a delight! We also enjoyed the “Dragon” roll which is spicy tuna, tempura flakes, cucumber, topped with tuna, masago scallion and spicy mayo. We can’t wait to go back and try their “Art Meditation” roll which is chunks of tuna marinated in chili sesame oil and lime sauce with fresh asian herbs and slaw atop a california roll. The atmosphere was surprising upscale and done with serene zen garden boxes set into the floor with a neon light display that gave the bistro a very modern but relaxing feeling. Our waiter Rick was very attentive and made some nice recommendations. We will definitely be coming back.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Real Estate Update 3/15/2007

Posted on March 16, 2007. Filed under: Belle Harbor on Clearwater Beach, Buying Tips for Tampa Bay Real Estate, Clearwater Beach Real Estate Report, Highland Park, JMC Developments, Life, Manadaly Beach Club - Clearwater Beach, Marc Rutenberg Homes, New Construction Projects in Tampa Bay, New Port Tampa, Trump Tower Tampa, Uncategorized, Waterchase Real Estate and News, Westchase Real Estate and News, Westshore Yacht Club |

There’s been a lot of interesting news out the past two days so I’m combining them into one article.

2007 FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

One hand may not know what the other hand is doing: The Florida House wants to get rid of property taxes; at the same time, however, it has told local school boards to increase property taxes if they need more money to operate. Read complete story.

In Tallahassee yesterday, the Senate began their debate on property tax reform, focusing on a priority of commercial Realtors to change the tax basis of “highest and best use” to one that considers how a property is actually used. In the House, debate continued as Democrats offered their own reform plan.

Read the full story

SUBPRIME MORTGAGES

Subprime mortgage market troubles already make it more difficult for some homebuyers to secure a mortgage, but fear of a broad collapse has caused Congress to consider tougher standards for the industry.

Read the full storyMORTGAGES

HUD is preparing to punish some subprime mortgage lenders under investigation for discriminatory practices it announced yesterday. HUD also suggested that the largest mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, should consider giving strapped homeowners more time to make their payments.

Read the full story

CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE

Florida officials approved a new business plan for Citizens Property Insurance, allowing the state-run insurer to be more competitive and offer some savings to policyholders. Under the plan, Citizens will offer a complete policy that covers windstorm damage, as well as fire, theft and liability.

Read the full storyREAL ESTATE FORECAST

The real estate market faces unique conditions right now, such as the subprime mortgage market problem and unusual weather. Consequently, NAR predicts that things will likely get better this year but hesitates to say exactly when that turnaround will occur.

Read Full story

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

2007 FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

Posted on March 12, 2007. Filed under: Belle Harbor on Clearwater Beach, Buying Tips for Tampa Bay Real Estate, Clearwater Beach Real Estate Report, Highland Park, JMC Developments, Manadaly Beach Club - Clearwater Beach, Marc Rutenberg Homes, New Construction Projects in Tampa Bay, New Port Tampa, Trump Tower Tampa, Waterchase Real Estate and News, Westchase Real Estate and News, Westshore Yacht Club |

An alternative House Republican plan to swap property taxes for sales taxes began to gather steam Friday. The idea is to eliminate the portion of property tax bills that go to school districts and pay for education through a higher sales tax. To read the entire story click here.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Verify sq.ft. of house before you buy

Posted on March 2, 2007. Filed under: Buying Tips for Tampa Bay Real Estate, Highland Park, Marc Rutenberg Homes, Waterchase Real Estate and News, Westchase Real Estate and News, Westshore Yacht Club |

One of the things that some sellers do when they list their house is overstate the square footage of the home. I’ve noticed this happening in Tampa and is a big factor in the final price that you pay. Overstating the square footage of the home based of tax records is the most likely reason. Sometimes tax assessors measure from the outside of the home increasing the avg. home size by 5-8%. When it comes to buying houses you need to make sure you verify the square footage of the home you are buying. Below are 4 ways you can use to help establish the true square footage.

1. Have an appraisel done and make your offer based on a price per sq.ft price that could change based on the appraisel.

2. If you are buying a house that was built by a national or local builder, find out what the model floorplan is and go to their website and verify the square footage from that floorplan.

3. Ask neigbors what the square foot of the house is or a Realtor that is familiar with the area homes.

4. Ask the seller if they have the original floorplan from the builder or a set of blueprints and verify the square footage from that.

A little extra effort on you or your Realtor’s part  can pay huge dividends when the avg. sales prices for homes can reach over $200/sq.ft. or more in Tampa. Overstating the size of a 3,000 sq.ft home by just 5% can add about $30,000 to the final purchase price.

Check back weekly for more home buying tips from Tom Burkett with The Burkett Collection and Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...