Friday, October 28, 2011

Dogtoberfest 2011 at Wiregrass this Saturday

Dogtoberfest 2011
Don't forget the third annual Dogtoberfest pet costume contest and pet adoption event this Saturday at The Shops at Wiregrass from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Details of the pet costume contest.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do the CherryBerry in New Tampa

CherryBerry, a self service yogurt bar is coming to New Tampa offering over 50 frozen yogurts and over 50 toppings.  The new shop will be located a few doors down from Michaels in The Walk at Highwoods Preserve on BBD.  I don't have a projected opening date, so I am not sure how long before we can "do the CherryBerry".

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Tampa bridge photo update

New Tampa bridge (View from New Tampa Blvd.)

           New Tampa bridge (View from I-75) 
The $14 million New Tampa bridge project over I-75 is scheduled for completion in 2013 and will connect New Tampa Blvd. to Commerce Park Blvd., providing an alternate route to BBD. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Florida Orchestra Pops in the Park this Sunday in Tampa Palms

Don't forget the free Pops In The Park Concert by the Florida Orchestra will be held this Sunday at Compton Park in Tampa Palms at 7:00 PM.  Link

View Larger Map

San Diego congresswoman introduces bill to help homeowners avoid foreclosure

The response time from banks in accepting or rejecting short sale contracts on homes can be exasperating to all parties involved and sometimes can take many months for any type of response.

"As homeowners across the nation continue to tangle with banks, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to give people another tool to avoid foreclosure and the subsequent damage to the their credit rating. The Short Sale Transparency Act will require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disclose the minimum asking price they are willing to accept for a short sale if the first offer is rejected.

“People deserve a real chance to avoid foreclosure. It is unfair to expect someone to complete a short sale instead of abandoning their home to foreclosure, if the banks don’t meet them half way,” said Davis. “So many homeowners are willing, even eager, to work with banks to get out from under the mortgage and protect their credit rating. But far too often, they find themselves in a guessing game as to what dollar amount will complete the sale.”

"For many Americans a short sale, the sale of a home below what is owed, is a last chance to avoid foreclosure. However, when the acceptable price is unknown, short sales become less viable because homeowners are essentially shooting in the dark when submitting bids to a bank. As a result, loan servicers can repeatedly deny short sale offers without giving homeowners guidance on the price the bank is asking. Ultimately, this back and forth ends in foreclosure.

On the other hand, if an offer is, for example, $2,000 short and the homeowner knows this, they could find a way to make up the difference in order to complete the short sale.

Disclosure is essential to ensuring fair transactions between investors and borrowers. Fairness to consumers is critical to boosting the economy and ending the cycle of foreclosures."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Caribbean Jubilee to open at Wiregrass

Caribbean Jubilee
Caribbean Jubilee hopes to open on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel.  They still were busily stocking the store when I dropped by.  The store is located next to Crazy 8.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel still in the running for county sports park

Pasco County Commissioners were expecting three proposals for a county park.  One from Wiregrass Ranch, one from Aripeka for a "wake board" park in the old SunWest mine site, and one from Odessa for Starkey Park, but Odessa apparently dropped out.  The Wiregrass Ranch park previously was reported to be a 160 acre multipurpose sports complex with as many as 30 fields.  According to the St. Petersburg Times, details of the park proposals won't be revealed for at least 30 days.  A sports complex in Wesley Chapel has been kicked around for years, going all the way back to 2007 with the Pasco National Tennis Center which ultimately "crashed and burned" in 2009.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Average credit score for Tampa slightly below national average

Of the top American cities, Tampa ranked 92 with an average credit score of 740 for folks here, which is slightly below the national average of 749.  West Palm Beach topped the list for Florida cities with a ranking of 62 and an average score of 753, Orlando ranked 98 with an average score of 734, and Miami had a ranking of 122 with an average credit score of 719.  Which US cities had the top and lowest ranking?  Wausau, WI had the top average score of 789 and Harlingen, Texas ranked 143 with an average credit score of 686.*

What's the cost of a lifetime of bad credit?  Over $200,000!
Tips on how to boost your credit score

*Sources:  Experian, Vantage Score

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Major FDOT road project begins and others are planned for New Tampa & Wesley Chapel

I-75 widening project begins:
A $95 million project to widen I-75 to six/eight lanes from Fowler Avenue to State Road 56 began yesterday.

The project will add one lane in each direction, as well as auxiliary lanes near interchanges to enhance safety and reduce congestion along this major north-south highway. When finished, I-75 will be at least three lanes in each direction throughout Hillsborough County and up to north of State Road 54 in Pasco County. Work is expected to be completed by spring 2016.

FDOT Five Year Tentative Work Program:

The following local information was presented Thursday in the FDOT, District Seven, Five-Year Tentative Work Program Public Hearing for Fiscal Years July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017.  Note:  Planned projects for Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, & Hillsborough were covered.  The projects listed below are the only ones located in New Tampa & Wesley Chapel:

Wesley Chapel:
  • Widening of SR 54 from Curley Road to Morris Bridge Road-- Right of Way advanced from 2015 to 2014  Construction added for Fiscal Year 2016.
New Tampa:
  • Bruce B. Downs widening from Bearss to Palm Springs Blvd.  Construction--Fiscal Year 2015
  • Bruce B. Downs widening from Pebble Creek to County Line Road --Right of Way added for 2014 and Construction for FY 2017
  • Cross Creek Blvd. widening from Cory Lake Dr. to Morris Bridge Rd.--Construction FY 2013
The public hearing/webinar was the first step in the process.  Next will be the executive review, followed by a state wide hearing before it is adopted on July 1, 2012.

Public comment/input is encouraged and can be made via mail to:  Donald Skelton, District 7 Secretary, FDOT, 11201 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa, FL 33612 or e-mail: before October 24, 2011.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Two local Arts & Crafts Shows this weekend

Don't forget the two arts and crafts shows that will be held locally this weekend:

Arts And Crafts Under The Palms in New Tampa is held by the Tampa Palms' Womens Club and will be held Saturday and Sunday at Market Square (BJ's Wholesale) from 10:00 to 4:00 PM.

The Wesley Chapel Fall Festival also will be held on Saturday and Sunday and will be held at The Grove mall in Wesley Chapel.

Don't forget the fresh market at The Shops at Wiregrass on Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00 and while you are out and about you might want to stop by our local pumpkin patch too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wesley Chapel Pumpkin Patch

If you are looking for pumpkins, here are some pictures of a Pumpkin Patch in Wesley Chapel on SR 54:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kirklands coming to Wesley Chapel and hiring!

Kirkland's, a home decor retail chain with almost 300 stores in the U.S., is coming to Wesley Chapel and will be located in the North Woods Shopping Center on BBD/CLR between Petco and Marshalls. According to the posted sign there will be a HIRING FAIR on October 11, 12, & 13 at the Brandon location (Regency Square, 2448 West Brandon Blvd., Phone: 813-684-0343) from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Positions available: Management, Associates, and temp. positions.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Meadow Pointe September real estate report

21 single family Meadow Pointe homes were reported sold in September by our local MLS:
  • 19% were "traditional sales", with an avg. sales price/sq. ft. of $83.30 and 142 average days from listing to closing.
  • 29% were REO/Foreclosures with an avg. sales price/sq. ft. of $64.47 and 109 avg. days from listing to closing.
  • 52% were Short Sales/Pre-foreclosures with an avg. sales price/sq. ft. of $69.78 and an average of 289 days from listing to closing.
Currently there are over 40 single family homes listed for sale in Meadow Pointe with prices ranging from $102,000 to over $300,000.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Mezer to speak at October PACA meeting

Attorney Steve Mezer of Bush/Ross in Tampa will help Pasco County community groups navigate home foreclosure and abandonment laws when he addresses the Oct. 13, 2011 meeting of the Pasco Alliance of Community Associations (PACA).

PACA president Jim Flateau said, “On a good day, the complexities of real property-related laws are mind-boggling for the citizens who serve on community boards across Pasco County. Even as we try to understand them, the statutes change and so does the housing market. Steve has previously brought his unique experience to our members, who are eager to hear his insights on the ever-changing landscape that we all confront in trying to manage our communities.”

The public is invited to attend PACA’s meeting. It begins Thursday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Land O’Lakes Community Center, located at 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. (US 41), three miles north of SR 54.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

BurgerMonger coming to Wesley Chapel

In addition to all the other Wesley Chapel commercial projects in the works, BurgerMonger announced that it is coming to Wesley Chapel on BBD, just South of The Shops at Wiregrass!  "Stay tuned" for further details.

September real estate report for New Tampa*

September single family home Sale Prices in New Tampa:

Sold prices ranged from a low of $122,000 to a high of $750,000, with an average sold price of $276,454.

Traditional or Distressed Sales?

Based on the information reported in our MLS, 76% were traditional sales (NOT distressed sales), 2% were REO/ Foreclosures, and 22% were short sales/pre-foreclosures.

Sales Price/List Price Ratios:

The average Sales Price/List Price ratios were:  Traditional sales--96%, REO/Pre-foreclosures sold ABOVE list price--108%, and Short Sales--96% of list price. 


52% of the home sales were financed with conventional loans, 26% with new FHA loans, 9% were paid for in cash, and 2% were other.

Currently Listed For Sale in New Tampa:

There are over 300 single family homes listed for sale in New Tampa with prices starting at $90,000 and going up to over $2.5 million.

*Information reported in MLS on the morning of October 4, 2011 deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Homebuyers giving the boot to short sales

Short Sale homes for sale (when a seller will need to sell at a price that will net less than he/she owes on mortgages and must get seller lender approval on sales contract) are having less and less appeal to buyers.  Mistakenly, many buyers believe that the term means that the sale will be quick. Buyers also don't realize that short sales are sold "as is", with the seller making no repairs after buyer inspections.

"Buyers complain that short sale transactions take too long to close, with approval times often taking several months after a buyer submits an offer."  That is, IF they receive approval.   Most short sales contracts never close, forcing buyers to start all over again after waiting months.  Link

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Dogtoberfest--3rd Annual Pet Costume Contest returns to Wiregrass this month

Howdy partners!
3rd Annual Pet Costume Contest and Adoption Event
Saturday, October 29th from 10am - 2pm
Costume Contest Registration 10:00am - Noon
Over 50 Animal Rescue Groups from the Tampa Bay Area will have many different type of pets available for adoption, including what you’d expect: dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, and a few surprise exotic pets.
Pet Costume Contest Categories:
(Limit One)
Most Festive
Owner/Pet Look-A-Like
Best Homemade Costume
Best Celebrity Look-A-Like
Costume Contest Registration: 10:00am-12:00pm in Center Court. (Registration line closes promptly at noon.  You must be in the registration line by 12:00 pm in order to be eligible for awards.)
Judging: 10:00am-12:30pm in Center Court. (Proceed immediately to the judges' table after registering. You must be in line at the judges' table by 12:30pm in order to be eligible for awards.)
Awards Presentation: 1:30pm in Center Court. (All pet entrees should be present in Center Court by 1:00pm. Awards will be presented by category. Each category will walk across the stage and the winners will be announced.)
Grand Parade: 2 pm or immediately following awards presentation beginning in Center Court.
Category Prizes: (1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded in each category)
1st Place: $50 Gift Card from The Shops at Wiregrass, 2 passes to Big Cat Rescue, and 1st Place Trophy
2nd Place: $25 Gift Card from The Shops at Wiregrass, and 2nd Place Trophy
3rd Place: $10 Gift Card from The Shops at Wiregrass, and 3rd Place Trophy
All entries: All pet costume contest entries will receive a Dogtoberfest medal.
Grand Champions: Judges Choice Awards
All proceeds to benefit Animal Based Charities.
For more information, please contact Cat Crusaders at or call 813-472-9700.  Link to official rules
What am I going to wear?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Jalapeño Mexican Grill in New Tampa

Jalapeño Mexican Grill recently opened in the Oak Ramble shopping center on BBD.  Ay chihuahua!  Looking at the menu, it appears to be authentic Mexican food too!  The new restaurant is open from 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM and has a website and a facebook page.  Phone:  813.977.0889.