Just Listed: 1560 Gulf Blvd. #1006 Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Ultimar condo buildings

Imagine spending time at one of Sand Key’s most premier communities. With three balconies, 10-foot ceilings, time seems to slow down as you rejuvenate watching the sunrise in the morning over the intercostal and wind down watching the sunset in the evenings over the Gulf. Natural light in almost every room, this renovated unit is simply stunning. The office space could be used or converted to a third bedroom. The community features resort-style amenities including, 24-hour security, and clubhouse with catering kitchen, game room, three pools, indoor and outdoor spa, sauna, tennis, basketball court and putting green.

More Information

Active With Contract Status Gone

AWC (Active With Contract) as a status in MLS will be phased out starting November 1st, 2016.


After the housing bubble, there were an exorbanit amount of distressed properties.  All to often deals were falling through for one reason or another, and agents wanted the ability to still market the property even though it was under-contract.  Once a property status was changed to Pending, the property is no longer on the market and no longer active on 3rd party websites like realtor.com.  To satisfy the need, they created the AWC status, that show up on 3rd party websites.


These 3rd party websites are used to generate leads, and now that distressed properties are now at normal levels, the status has been deemed unnecessary and confusing to the public.  

Also, some agents were abusing the status to obtain leads, and making showings difficult.  As AWC, showings were supposed to be accepted, and that was rarely the case.  Let’s face it, many sellers don’t want anymore people to go through their home than necessary.  It also was confusing…was the property available or not.  The simple answer is that is was not available for purchase, at that time.

Moving Forward:

“Active With Contract” will be removed, and status will include Active, Pending, Sold, Expired, Withdrawn, and Temporarily off Market.  After all a property is either for sale, or it isn’t.  This should help clear up consumer confusion, and save agents time educating customers.  

Tips For Selecting A Luxury Listing Agent

You have made the decision to sell a luxury home, and now is the time to select the real estate professional who can best assist you. Not all good agents operate effectively in the upper-tier market. It is a level that requires special competencies. I have provided some general criteria to help you make a decision to get the best desirable result.

In short, specialized knowledge + quality systems + clear communication = an agent who can deliver the results you want in the luxury home arena.

  1. Look for market knowledge and real estate skills. A luxury home expert should be able to discuss the amount of inventory available, the average number of days a property is on the market before going under contract, the number of sales in the last 90 day, and the average/median list price to sales price ratio, all by price range, because different price-points have different statistical date.
  2. Notice Special Luxury Affiliations. Certain brokerages offer different advantages. True luxury brokerages have affiliations and partnerships that will help target other luxury agents and customers. Sotheby’s International Network and exclusive partnerships for example.
  3. If you are selling, ask that the listing presentation include a specific marketing plan for your property. Don’t assume that the best marketing plan is always the most expensive. Listen to why the agent has included each element of the plan. Be sure that your home will be promoted online as well as in more traditional ways. If the residence is very expensive there is a higher likelihood the buyer will come from outside the area, a luxury home magazine may be an important part of the plan. Recognize that plans will differ depending on current market conditions and buying patterns. Your agent should outline his or her proposed plan and explain it. Look at the quality of the marketing pieces the agent has used in the past as part of your evaluation process.
  4. Don’t let an agent “buy” your business. Choosing an agent based on the highest suggested list price is counterproductive if the house is overpriced. The agents doesn’t set the price-the marketplace does. If your home goes on the market as an overpriced listing, other professional agents and their prospective buyers will quickly move on to other properties that offer move value relative to cost. Will they come back after a price correction? Maybe…in many cases, no.
  5. Transparency, accountability, and clear communication. Choosing an agent who can communicate clearly will help simplify the process. They should be held accountable for their marketing plan. They need to understand your needs and expectations and they should be able to convey their expectations to you.

Why a REALTOR May Not Take Your Listing


We understand the importance of netting a seller the most amount of money.  We also know we only get paid if a property sells.  Ultimately, it’s not the seller or the agent that determines what a property is worth, but instead the buyers and the market.  We know where the market has been, where it is, and where it’s headed in the near future.  If a seller isn’t willing to be realistic, then it might not be worth our time and marketing dollars.


There is a difference between needing to sell and wanting to sell.  If a seller doesn’t need to sell and isn’t motivated, it could be a waste of an agent’s time and money.  If a seller isn’t motivated, but is realistic on pricing, that’s okay.  We know motivation levels vary.  Keep in mind, we are often told by sellers, “we don’t need to sell.”  Only to find out weeks later they are suddenly more motivated.  Generally, you wouldn’t be contacting us, if you didn’t want to sell your home, see FSBO’s.


Past Experience:

We will want to know what your past experiences have been.  If you home has been listed with 3 other agents over a short span, it can be a “red flag” to an agent that your expectations may not align.

Tampa Bay’s Most Dog Friendly Condominiums

Grand Central at Kennedy Pool


Designed for the urban pet owner. State of the art, gated dog walk and cleaning station.

Grand Central at Kennedy

Situated in Channelside between two public dogs parks it doesn’t get much easier to let your pup be social.  GCAK also has dog areas on the pool deck, but your dog must be leased at all times.  No breed restrictions.

Towers of Channelside

A pet area on the pool deck and down the street from a public dog park make this a luxury retreat for any residents pup.  Walk to Fergs, Columbian, and any number of pet friendly restaurants.  Breed restrictions

Island Place – Island Walk (Harbour Island)

Several dog areas with clean-up bags provided. Condo rules require pets to be on a leash at all times.  Only breed restrictions


Which ones did I miss?

Will I Get A Better "Deal" If I Go Through The Listing Agent

If you were going through a divorce, would you hire the same attorney as your spouse?

Similar logic to a FSBO, many buyers (even though a Buyer’s agent cost nothing) think they will obtain a better price by going through the listing agent. The reason being, they think the listing agent will cut their commission, and thus net the sellers the same amount at a lower price to the buyers.

Generally speaking, the only parties that benefit from this scenario are the listing agent and the Sellers, and here is why:

  1. Listing agreements are agreed upon upfront and a buyers agent commission is published in MLS.  This agreement protects the listing agent’s time and work, and is done so, in part, for this precise scenario.
  2. As agents, we often have to dig for the truth with clients and customers.  Listing agents don’t always know what a sellers bottom price will be.  As shocking as this might be to some, agents are not always told the truth from Sellers, and Buyers. So much so, that there is a popular saying in the industry, “Buyers are liars and Sellers are worse.” Many times we never know where a negotiation is going to go until it happens, and there are several factors involved. Including market conditions, such as; Days on the Market, price drops, inventory levels, any other offers, condition, lending qualifications, and so on.
  3. The Seller was the first to hire the listing agent.  If the deal falls through the agent is most likely, still going to try and please the Seller. Legally, a transactional broker has to remain neutral, but it is very easy for them to get caught in a troubling situation. If there was a side to take, whose side do you think is more important to them?
  4. The listing agent will know more.  Information is power.  They will possibly know what the sellers are willing to accept and get them more than that in order to please them. They will know how much activity the property is receiving, and they will possibly know how much the buyer can afford or is willing to pay.
  5. Duel agents are not allowed in other States.  Florida currently allows an agent to act neutral and be a duel agent, but many states don’t even allow it to happen for fear the buyer or seller will not be represented appropriately or in the best interest.

Reasons a Listing agent may not drop their commission when operating as a transaction agent to both sides.

  1. They don’t have to.  The commission was agreed upon upfront, and if the agent is going to do twice the work, shouldn’t they be compensated for it?
  2. It was their marketing, their resources, their systems, their money, their strategy, their communication with the buyer, therefore they should be incentivized accordingly.

Going through the listing agent may help in unique instances, but to get a better deal is not one of them.

Information is good…miss-information is bad

[testimonial name=”Noreena Hertz”]All of us show bias when it comes to what information we take in. We typically focus on anything that agrees with the outcome we want.[/testimonial]

Thanks to the internet, one of the biggest changes in the Real Estate the last 15 years has been in the access to information for Buyers and Sellers.  While, easy access to information has solved some problems, such as, not having to rely on Agents searching for you, making searching faster, easier, and in the convenience of your own home. It has created a whole other set of problems that REALTORS have to combat, such as mis-information, information overload, and misinterpretation of information.  A major part of why the FSBO’s percentage is at all time historic lows and part of the reason why agents are needed more than ever to decipher and guide Buyers and Sellers through what they need to know and what they need to remove from their cranium.  

Here are some common mistakes I see buyers and sellers make when it comes to gathering information on their own:

  1. Yes, the public has more information than ever before….but our information is better. We REALTORS, still have more resources, more information, more accurate data, and we can generally find and decipher it quicker than you can, because we do it every single day. No matter how long we are in the business, we are still learning and experiencing new situations day in and day out, and if you’re REALTOR is not full-time, they’re skills are most likely not sharp, and not up-to-date.
  2. The source…often on a third part website like Zillow, they have forums where agents, title company representatives, lenders, buyers, sellers can all share opinions.  Some of this information is great, but the public should know the majority of these sites are for lead generation and search engine optimization, and you generally don’t know if you are talking to someone who knows what they are doing, how long they have been in the business, or even if they are full-time.  Ratings help, but I can contact 25 of my buddies now and get them to write 5 star reviews for me, and it would probably only cost me a couple of bottles of wine.
  3. Location…often times it’s tough on the internet to find out where the information is coming from.  Different locations have different customs, different processes, different markets, and different paperwork, and different cycles.  For example, in NY lawyers handle the contracts.  In Florida we don’t have to deal with basements, but we do have to deal with Flood zones, and Hurricane Insurance boxes.  Even within Florida, we have 4 different standardized contracts for sale and purchase, and in different regions, different contracts are used more often.
  4. Paralysis by analysis ( the state of over-analyzing, or over-thinking a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.)…I see this in South Tampa often, because it’s a difficult market to learn and understand.  Different locations and streets command different pricing.  Sellers and Buyers can struggle, because if they talk to 10 different people they may get 10 different answers.  That’s if humans still talk…more likely if they go on 50 different websites, they will get 49 different answers.
  5. Numbers…I know what you’re saying, “But stats don’t lie.” Mark Twin probably said it best, “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” Part of our job is to tell a story using numbers.  If I can select and choose the numbers, I can mold you a story you want to hear.  If someone else picks…it’s going to be a different story.  Neither one of us may right, but technically no one can say we are wrong either.

Whether you are a Buyer or Seller, a knowledgeable REALTOR will tell you what you need to know, and not what you want to hear.

[testimonial name=”Daniel J. Boorstin”]Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.


Why Is South Tampa Special When It Comes To Home Prices

Hyde Park Village phone booth

The short answer is Demand, that wouldn’t make for a good post. So why is South Tampa in such demand?

H.B. Plant High School – Blue ribbon, A-Rated, and consistently rated one of the top schools in the country.  Tampa has many other terrific High Schools, but H. B. Plant receives much recognition for the awards and historic nature of the school, deservedly.  It should be noted that Robinson HS has one of the areas few IB Programs, something not available at H.B. Plant.  There are also terrific private schooling options in the area as well.

Proximity To Activities – People of all ages want things to do and they don’t want to have to travel far to do them.  Downtown Tampa is close by and provides hockey and events at Amalie Arena, Straz Center, Convention Center, Tampa Aquarium, Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Park, and Channelside. South Tampa has Hyde Park Village, Bayshore, and the literally hundreds of restaurants, cafes, bars, and casual dining locations.

Live, Work, Play is leading to the new urbanization movement.  The two largest demographics of millennials and baby boomers both gravitate to this concept, albeit for slightly different reasons, but they both agree that they want to leave the car at home and have things to do close by.

MacDill AFB – In addition to the 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, is also home to 28 mission partners, including U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. The presence of these two unified commands and other mission partners creates a unique multi-service community at MacDill, with all branches of the armed forces represented.  Living in South Tampa provides an easy commute on and off the base.  Also, the only public golf course in South Tampa (just make your tee-time early, they can’t let just anyone on the base).

UT – 8,000 students from 150 different countries, 600 Faculty members, and expanding.

Tampa General Hospital –  With around 7,300 employees, is one of the region’s largest employers.  People like to live close to where they work…especially with some of the commute times around Tampa Bay.

Everything is better by the water – Shocker, people like living by the water.  Perhaps this is why about 40% of our nations population lives by the coast.  South Tampa is pretty much surrounded by water (Harbour Island, Davis Islands, Westshore, Bayshore).  South Tampa has deep water boating access, something not all areas can claim, the longest continuous sidewalk of 4.4 miles along Bayshore Blvd., and a couple different Yacht Club options.  Waterfront real estate continues to fetch a premium depending on lot size, view and a few other factors.


Oh yea…Not to leave out the neighborhood feel, the historic charm, Gasparilla parade, nightlife, Bern’s and other fantastic restaurants, and celebrity residents.  

2913 1/2 W Hawthorne To Be Placed On The NY Times wrap for New York Couture Show

Hawthorne twilight

Sotheby’s International Realty believes in targeted marketing, focused on selling some of the most extraordinary properties the World has to offer. Each design and lifestyle has an audience, our award-winning marketing department is tasked to put these extraordinary properties in front of the audience that can both appreciate and understand each every home’s unique lifestyle.

With extraordinary design and style, it is no surprise this sophisticated Tampa listing was chosen for placement in the International NY Times wrap on February 13th, during the New York Couture Show. The Couture Show showcases some of the most talented and renowned designers around the World.

[testimonial]”We designed and built the ideal home for the luxury, easy to maintain, adult lifestyle. We love living in both Florida and New York so we combined the best of both – an open loft-style design with an emphasis on bringing the outdoors in. We love to entertain and have hosted many wonderful occasions with friends and family. Having a large family, we incorporated comfortable accommodations for our children and guests.”[/testimonial]

New York Couture Show (www.couturefashionweek.com)

Couture Fashion Week was founded in 2005 by Andres Aquino. CFW presents a series of couture and luxury fashion shows in New York City and other selected cities.


Listing Details:

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2016 Tampa Bay Real Estate Predictions


While Florida led most of the country in distressed properties, there still are a good amount working their way through the court system, but in 2016, they will continue to have less and less of an effect on the market. They are not the quantities or the discounts to compete with the conventional supply. Declining numbers, and lenders that have become more proficient at selling foreclosed properties with the help of listing agent have made them less like distressed properties and more like conventional sales with maybe a slight discount…maybe.


“Healthy”, “strong”, “normal”…whatever adjective you want to use, the Tampa Bay housing market has recovered over the last few years, and I think we are starting to enter into a state of fewer extremes. Fewer foreclosures, inventory levels possibly increasing in some areas from historical lows over the last couple years. A strong dollar may detour foreign money, and mean the double-digit appreciation we have seen in some areas, could slow, which isn’t a terrible thing if consumer confidence continues to grow. Some in-demand areas will still suffer from low inventory levels, and as such, their prices will continue to get pushed higher. Potentially limiting some buyer’s options and pushing them to more affordable locations.


The condo turn-around started a couple of years ago, and the trend is only getting better.  Many condo communities were some of the hardest hit in the downturn, and the recovery was a little slower than single family housing.  St Petersburg condo market is hot now, and Tampa, I think is about a year or two behind.  Financing condos will continue to be less challenging as regulations loosen and Associations strengthen, creating more millennial buyers, second home purchasers, retirees, seeking the low maintenance lifestyle, and thus increasing demand.

Interest Rates

Starting off the year they have continued to stay low…that cannot last forever, but it is an Election year, so I would bet that there is not much of a jump this year.. Eventually they will continue to slowly rise as the economy improves and the Fed tries to head off inflation, but I don’t see it having a mass effect on the housing market anytime soon.  Even at 4-5% rates would remain at historical lows.


Building is back big time…custom home builders, national home builders, community development, condo and apartment building will continue to hit full swing.  The hardest part is finding the land.  Tampa and St Petersburg have more projects in the works and on the horizon than I can count.  Both cities continue to grow their identities and will look much different 5 years from now.

Things to keep in mind….

All real estate is local.  The market is different in South Tampa, than it is in Seminole Heights, Avila, or Westchase.  Even the market in Palma Ceia is different than historical Hyde Park or Sunset Park.  Snell Isles is different from St Pete Beach.  The luxury market is vastly different from the 250k and under market. Talk to a professional, and find out what is happening in your neighborhood and at your price-point.

Below is an excellent video explaining market conditions and Tampa even gets mentioned towards the end.