Real Estate Information
Sun Bay Blog
Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates
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Where is the best pizza in Palm Harbor or where is the best pizza in Dunedin is a question buyers ask all the time when looking for homes for sale in Palm Harbor or homes for sale in Dunedin. Instead of giving them my opinion, 'cuz I've never met a pizza I didn't like, we polled over 500 people for their opinions on the best pizza in the area. Below are the results of the poll, and this is not to exclude anyone, it just is a great place to get started. Notice that the big name national chains are not here. Home cooking almost always is the best. Read on, and "mangia".
Drum roll, the results of our very informal poll say that Queen's Pizza tops the list for best pizza in Palm Harbor. Not to mention it is also named best pizza in Dunedin. Queen's Pizza has three locations. This is a family owned business that started as a corner pizza restaurant in 1978 and has grown into a very popular place to go for excellent pizza and pasta. the crust is incredible, the topping are plentiful, and the price is competitive. It is hard to get a better value for your pizza dollar.
The next most named restaurant for the best pizza in the area is Galley Pizza, located in an unassuming strip mall at 509 Alt. 19 in Palm Harbor. Galley Pizza has great salads and incredibly good pizza. And practically next door is a local produce market so you can buy fresh produce on the way home right after downing your pizza.
Next we come to another local favorite, Fireside Pizza, located in downtown Palm Harbor. Fireside Pizza is a casual restaurant that features simply delicious pizza, salads and sandwiches. You need to try the caprese salad or the garlic knots before you dive into their specialty pizza. The atmosphere is friendly, very casual, and you can order many craft beers, for those who like to indulge is such things. Or try the dry rubbed chicken wings served over fire roasted onions. You will not be disappointed.
And the list grows longer, and everyone is delicious. Personal tastes will help you decide which is really the best pizza in Palm Harbor, so give it a shot and try every single pizza restaurant we mention. Just not all in the same week.
Next on our list for best pizza in Dunedin is Tony's Pizza on Main Street in downtown Dunedin. Whenever there is a festival in downtown Dunedin, be sure to stop in at Tony's Pizza for a slice of white pizza or a stuffed calzone that is plenty of food for the biggest appetite. Tony's Pizza has a small-ish dining area and really does the take out super well. Stand on the sidewalk and watch through the front window as the chefs create your special pizza, or sandwich. The atmosphere is casual, and very friendly. Get a slice, and I mean a big slice, for less than $2.50.
Country Pizza Inn is another very popular local pizza restaurant that pops up on many of the best pizza in town lists. They have three locations, in Clearwater, Largo and New Port Richey and the locals won't hesitate to drive to the nearest location for wonderful pizza or pasta. If you like stromboli, make Country Pizza Inn a destination. The take out door is always busy, so you know that people are eating lots of pizza at home, during football games or just to have a convenient yet delicious meal.
Here's a bit of a surprise. This is the national chain that got the most mentions, the Mellow Mushroom. It is a little bit on the funky side, yet the food really is good. Mellow Mushroom is located on Gulf to Bay Blvd. (Rte. 60) in Clearwater for those who are coming off the Courtney Campbell Causeway heading west to the beaches, stop by the Mellow Mushroom for something to eat before heading to Clearwater Beach.
There were several smart alecks who suggested anyplace in Chicago has the best pizza. Well, for those of you who really want a Chicago style pizza, try Pauls Chicago Pizza in Clearwater, on McMullen Booth Road. Pauls is another family owned pizza restaurant that boasts the best Chicago style thin crust pizza in the area. For those who are really hungry, try the lunch buffet. There are various pizza slices, home made meatballs, pasta and so much more that you cannot possibly leave wanting more. And Pauls can cater for 10 to as many as 400.
And another outstanding pizza restaurant is Fairway Pizza in Palm Harbor on Alt. 19. Not only can you get great pizza, Fairway has multiple TVs so you won't miss any of the games that night. And there is live music every Thursday thru Saturday. Be sure not to miss the local trivia contest held every Wednesday from 7-9 pm. Or take advantage of our wonderful Florida weather and enjoy the outside deck while having pizza or a beverage while listening to the entertainment. Fairway features northern style pizza and they have a truly excellent seafood pizza. It may sound odd but really is tasty.
If you have been reading this far and are not yet hungry for a slice or a whole pie, keep reading.
The only other "national" chain that got significant mentions in our little survey is Jet's Pizza. There are a few locations in the area, including Jet's on Main Street in Dunedin, on US 19N in Palm Harbor and on Gulf to Bay in Clearwater. Jet's Pizza is strictly take out or home delivery. The deep dish crust is wonderful. Even though it is a chain, the pizza is really good and the people are super friendly. Jet's garlic bread sticks or the cinnamon bread are a nice extra treat.
The Plum Pizzeria on Alt. 19 in Tarpon Springs offers gourmet pizza. If a shrimp florentine pizza or margherita pizza makes your mouth water, give Plum Pizzeria a try. How about something a little different and try the Tarpon Greek pizza, with feta cheese and gyro as the toppings. This gem is located in a little strip mall that also has a convenience store. So if you are going to stop to gas up the car on the way home, why not check out Plum Pizzeria and bring home dinner.
Does coal fired pizza appeal to you? It should and one of the best places for it is Cristino's coal oven pizza in Clearwater. A sure fire sign that a restaurant is a good one is when you can't get in the parking lot on a Tuesday night. It's that good If pizza isn't always on your mind, try one of their panini sandwiches. Get it served hot or cold. Either way, it is a totally rewarding meal. And when you have finished having your meal, there is always room for gelato.
What list of favorite pizza restaurants would be complete without Umberto's of Long Island, located on Patricia Avenue in Dunedin. Umberto's has been dishing out superior pizza, New York style of course, since the early 1970s. Umberto's offers both eat in and take out services and is the longest established Italian restaurant in Dunedin. And the people of Dunedin know good food!! You know they use fresh ingredients when they tell you right on the menu, you can get basil pizza - in season only.
Almost everyone of these pizza restaurants are in unassuming strip malls. Don't be fooled. Some of the very best places to eat are there. They don't focus on the glitz. They focus on the quality of the pizza, pasta and desserts, not to mention the friendly and outstanding personal service. If you are looking for the very best pizza in Palm Harbor, or the best pizza in Dunedin or Clearwater, stop in at any of these local and mostly family owned pizza restaurants. You will be delighted and your wallet will also be delighted.
As an aside, we did have several people who could not resist the temptation to name their favorite pizza places - from where they used to live. Several people said "anywhere in Chicago". That may be true, however if you are in Dunedin, FL, it is not that convenient to head to Chicago. We also got feedback that the Linwood Cafe in Randolph, MA serves great pizza in a friendly atmosphere. I would dismiss that, except I know from personal experience that is totally true. One of my personal all time favorite places for relaxing and enjoying a great pizza.
For northern style pizza, we got a recommendation for Sofia's in Cornish, ME.
The long distance winner is a suggestion for Fat Olives, in Homer, Alaska. I am afraid that is one I can't testify to, although if/when I ever get to Homer, I will definitely try it out.
It looks to me like we need to plan a road trip to Chicago, Maine and Alaska to sample more pizza!! Who's game??
If you are looking for an active 55 plus community in Palm Harbor, here it is - Highland Lakes. This 55+ community has a whole lot of activity for everyone.
Of course, the biggest attraction is the 27 holes of golf offered for all residents of Highland Lakes. The monthly homeowner charge is $93, and for your $93 you get a whole lot for your money. Among the activities that are included with the fee are not only golf, but tennis, pickle ball (try it, you might like it, Google it), bocce, line dancing, shuffleboard, slimnastics, swimming and Zumba gold.
But wait, there's more!! There are exercise classes in the pool for those who may not want to golf yet want a good and safe workout. The clubhouse is home to most of the activities so for a rousing game of bingo, head for the clubhouse. There are also rooms for various organizations and functions, which may include: cards and other games, ceramics and classes for ceramic artists, a computer club where people who may be intimidated by computers can come and have savvy computer users teach new tricks.
And yet there's still more!! The concert club lets you sing your heart out and have a great time socializing with others who love to sing. Get involved in the Highland Lakes Garden Club. Whether you are an accomplished gardener or just simply want to learn how to grow a simple shrub, or maybe you just want to chat with people who know how to grow things and not kill their house plants, the Garden Club is for you.
All residents of Highland Lakes have free access to the boat ramp at the Lake Tarpon Lodge. Some of the amenities of the Lodge include a large banquet room with a full service kitchen, a porch with full and beautiful view of Lake Tarpon, the second largest lake in Florida, several gas grills and picnic tables just waiting to be used, and there is a swimming pool too. Residents can rent, for a very modest fee, the Lake Tarpon Lodge for functions. The lake view is spectacular, and free!!
There is a travel club, with chaperoned trips in high end motor coaches to various locales. Sometimes it will be a day trip for a nice lunch and sometimes there are trips where there may be a bit more excitement, such as Biloxi for a wee bit of gambling and catching a good show or having a really nice meal.
Just because one may live in Highland Lakes, that does not mean you are restricted to staying there. Palm Harbor proper has lots of shopping and restaurants. Find out what is surrounding Highland Lakes at this link for Palm Harbor.
The Tampa International Airport is an easy drive, only about 30 minutes, for those who want to head north for the summer, or visit family, or need to travel for business. The airport is one of the best in the country, as voted by travelers, and parking is readily available. The airport is undergoing extensive upgrades and when completed will rival any airport in the USA.
Besides the ease of travel, there is the International Plaza, with a huge selection of stores and a marvelous food court. There are stores for every taste, ranging from the Apple Store, to Bose, or Abercrombie & Fitch, BRIO Tuscan Grill, Cheesecake Factory, Bath and Body Works, Crate and Barrell, Coach store, Michael Kors, Gucci, Burger King, Tumi, Bar Louie, Vera Bradley, Williams Sonoma and so many, many more. Of course there are coffee shops for those who simply enjoy people watching, so stop at the Coffee Bean or Starbucks, find a comfortable chair and have fun relaxing with our favorite coffee while the rest of your party spends money.
Then there is the Gulf of Mexico to consider on the west coast of Palm Harbor. From Highland Lakes to the coast is a short drive, maybe 15 minutes. Palm Harbor offers marinas for boating enthusiasts who want salt water action. Go fishing in the Gulf, catch some speckled trout, snook or flounder inshore, or go offshore for grouper, mahi-mahi and other big fish. The nearby beaches are among the best in the entire nation, with Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island state parks, in Dunedin, just a short drive from Highland Lakes. Be a "Friend of the Island" to help support the islands and the wildlife on the island while sharing with the humans who visit the island to enjoy the incredible pristine beaches. Or bring a fishing rod to surfcast and bring home a freshly caught dinner.
Just a bit to the north of Highland Lakes is the quaint village of Tarpon Springs, which is a real sponge fishing village and it has an active shrimp fleet too. The streets of downtown Tarpon Springs have sidewalk cafes where you can enjoy fresh Greek pastries and strong coffee or authentic Greek cuisine. Tarpon Springs offers charter fishing trips to head out to the Gulf for deep sea fishing, or go on a head boat with larger groups to catch plenty of fish, including grouper while having a good time.
Go a bit south of Highland Lakes to Dunedin and you will find more than enough to keep you busy with a wide range of street festivals, events, outdoor concerts, movies in the park, and restaurants. Check out our blog posts for things to do in Dunedin. Visit our site, click on the blog tab and there you are.
If you are looking for a very active 55 plus community, like to play golf, want to get involved in a myriad of other things to do, like a wide variety of restaurants and shopping and in general think a 55+ community is the right lifestyle for you, Highland Lakes is it. Check out the homeowners association website for even more details on why this is such a wonderful place to live.
Great Restaurants to Eat in Dunedin, FL.
How often do you visit a community and need to find a restaurant that will serve a good meal at a fair price. Do you automatically head to the closest national franchise place, where you know the food will be decent, the prices will be generally reasonable and the service may be pretty good? Or do you prefer to be a bit more adventurous and seek out a good place where the locals like to eat and sometimes treat it more as a social event than just a place to go eat.
If you are one of the latter, and you are ever in the Dunedin area, here are some really good establishments that provide a nice local flavor. And the locals love them!!
Casa Tina Gourmet Mexican and Vegetarian Restaurant in the heart of downtown Dunedin on Main Street. The food is wonderful and fresh and authentic. Javier, the co-owner with Tina, is from Mexico and the food is true to his heritage. If you are in town on Cinco de Mayo, the block of Main Street in front of Casa Tina is closed for the day long festival of music, fun, and food. Visit www.casatinas.com or call 727-734-9226.
Sea Sea Riders Restaurant is just west of the immediate downtown area of Dunedin, and only a block from the Gulf of Mexico. There is dining on the porch, where you can have a drink and dinner while you watch the people walking by on their way to whatever event is happening in town that evening, or enjoy the newly remodeled and expanded bar inside. The seafood is fresh and the service is really friendly. Come in for a friendly beverage and enjoy the live music. Visit the website for this week’s activities www.seaseariders.net or call 727-7347-1445
Bon Appetit Restaurant is right on the Gulf of Mexico at the marina in Dunedin. The outside bar is covered and has several TVs so you can watch our local teams, Rays, Bucs or Lightning when in season. It is a favorite gathering place for locals to meet, have a beverage and catch the sunset. The outdoor dining area is another place to enjoy the Florida lifestyle, have a delicious meal, and again, catch another free and spectacular sunset provided by nature. You can take advantage of the valet parking service too so your evening will be all the more carefree. Bon Appetit has been voted as Tampa Bay’s best waterfront restaurant. Visit www.bonappetitrestaurant.com/ or call 727-733-2151
Cafe Alfresco is right in the mix of what’s happening on Main Street in Dunedin AND it is at the crossing of the Pinellas bike trail and Main Street. Enjoy the sidewalk cafe for the alfresco dining experience. Watch the bicycle traffic whizzing by on the Pinellas Trail, or dine inside. The food is really good, the servers are excellent with personality, and the prices are very reasonable. Just outside the entrance is one of several custom made bicycle racks you can find all over the city. This one looks like a locomotive. Watch around town for these interesting bike racks, made by the local Institute for Creative Arts. Visit the website www.cafealfrescoonline.com or call 727-736-4299.
For a dining experience that will be a highlight of your visit to Dunedin, make reservations at the Black Pearl of Dunedin. This is a Mobil Guide rated restaurant with limited seating. It is worth it!! The food is freshly prepared and it is high end quality. The Black Pearl is also right on Main Street in Dunedin so after dinner, stroll the downtown area to get a true taste of what makes Dunedin so special. Visit the website at www.theblackpearlrestaurant.com or call 727-734-3463.
At the other end of the spectrum, visit the sometimes raucous Flanagan’s Irish Pub. The food is hearty, the drafts are cold, and the music is Irish. Flanagan’s is Dunedin’s oldest and best Irish pub. Locals flock to this colorful pub, and if you want to have a seat on Friday or Saturday evening, get there early. Visit the website at www.flanagansirishpub.net/ or call 727-736-4994.
Kelly's Chic a Boom Room is casual chic. It is also a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner. The outdoor patio is wide open for a wonderful dining experience. Lots of space so you won’t feel crowded by other tables, and at the same time the friendly atmosphere will make your meal fun and entertaining. Not to mention that the portions are more than enough and delicious. Kelly’s is most assuredly a favorite of the locals in Dunedin. For Sunday brunch, get there early or be prepared to wait. The good news, the brunch is worth the wait. Kelly’s is in the heart of downtown Dunedin on Main Street. Visit the website at www.kellyschicaboom.com or call 727-736-5284.
Umberto's of Long Island is a little bit off the beaten path. This family owned hidden gem is on Patricia Avenue. The pizza is terrific New York style. Visit their website, http://www.umbertosoflongisland.com/ or just call them at 727-736-3138. It’s worth a little drive from the downtown area. You won’t be disappointed.
If you like comfort food that is served with a smile, try Country Boy Restaurant. This is yet another restaurant that the locals flock to, and Sunday morning brunch is very busy. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, stop by and enjoy a really solid meal. This gem has been a family owned and operated establishment since 1985. Visit their website at http://www.countryboyrestaurant.com/ or call them at 727-734-9108. Country Boy is on 1353 Main Street in Dunedin.
Our Place Restaurant of Dunedin is an unassuming eatery in a little strip mall on 1336 Main Street. The food is fresh, the servers treat you like family, and the owner will seat you and fill your coffee cup all the while making you feel like you’re a long lost friend. Don’t be misled by the not flashy decor, the food is great and the prices are unbelievable. Watch for the daily specials. And be sure to stop at the bakery display case. The pies, oh my, the pies. The cinnamon buns are only a taste of heaven. Our Place is a winner of the 2015 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. Visit the website http://ourplacedunedin.weebly.com/ or call 727-239-7886.
Olde Bay Cafe is the definition of Florida’s casual lifestyle. Stop in for dinner on the open air patio, which is also dog friendly or just enjoy a beverage and the fresh catch of the day while sitting literally over the water of the Dunedin Marina. In the evening, while having the freshest fish or one of Dunedin’s local micro-brewery products, enjoy yet another sunset. The atmosphere is as friendly as you could ask for, and just as casual. Watch the boats coming into and going out of the marina while you contemplate your next day’s activities. Visit the website http://oldebaycafe.com/ or call 727-733-2542.
Right at the gateway entrance to Dunedin’s Main Street is the Clear Sky Draught Haus. This is so much more than a draught haus, serving 37 craft beers on tap and another 60+ brands of bottled beers and a full bar. And the food, awesome. The lobster mac ‘n cheese is divine, maybe not heart healthy, but, we all need a little temptation once in a while. Besides, it really is worth it. Everything for breakfast is really tasty, from the Mexican flatbread to lox and bagels. There is something for everyone at the Draught Haus. Visit the website http://www.clearskydraughthaus.com/ or call 727-286-6266.
With all these restaurants, you have a wide range of delicious eateries in Dunedin. So whenever you are in the area, pick one of these places. We feel they are among the very best places to eat in Dunedin. We are locals, and lots of other locals feel that these are among the very best places to eat in our little town. These eating establishments are one of the many reasons we love living here. Check it out. If you are looking for a house, you might find a place you want to call home.(727) 286-6266(727) 286-6266
Luxury homes for sale in Palm Harbor are plentiful, if you want a luxury home in Palm Harbor. Based on the latest statistics for Pinellas County, the absorption rate for luxury homes is 13%. This simply means that if there are 100 luxury properties for sale, that 13 will sell. We are defining a luxury home as a house priced at or above $500,000.
There are homes on the Gulf of Mexico, for those who love boating and related water sports. There are homes on Lake Tarpon, with scenic vistas of the lake, boating, great bass fishing and just enjoying the quiet of a large lake. There are golf course homes, in Innisbrook. Innisbrook has 4 golf courses, great restaurants, tennis courts and much more. The Copperhead Course is home to an annual PGA tournament.
So, for those of you who are numbers lovers, keep on reading. If details and numbers bore you, time to check out now, because today we are talking numbers,and specifics.
One interesting item is that in the last 30 days, covering the month of June, there were 5 sales of luxury homes in Palm Harbor. There are now 105 houses on the market at that price range. Of these, 27 are under contract and 78 are actively listed. As you read this, and if you have already clicked on the link above for a search of luxury homes in Palm Harbor, because this is a fluid market, the numbers in the search link reflect real time values, and this paragraph shows a moment in time.
For our purposes, we are going to be talking about numbers based on today, although the search link will show homes for sale in Palm Harbor at the time that you visit the link.
Of the active listings, effective today, there are 78 houses listed for sale. The averages for these houses are 4 bedrooms, and 4 1/2 baths, with just over 4,000 square feet of living space. The average price per square foot is $249 and the average list price is $959,753.
If you delve a little deeper into these figures, we will find that there are 61 houses for sale, of which 39 are active listings in the $500,000 to $750,000 price range. 22 of the luxury houses for sale are under contract. The good news is that in the last 30 days, 5 houses have sold in the $500,000 to $750,000 range. The average list price for the homes for sale in this price range is $584,000, with an average of 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. The average price per square foot is $181. The average Days on Market (DOM) is 58.
Of the homes under contract, the figures are a bit different. The pending contract price average is about $621,000, an average of 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, and the average price per square foot is $201. These figures are not the final sales figures, so these may change, some significantly. One house in this price range is currently a short sale, and 2 of these homes are bank owned, or foreclosures.
For luxury homes for sale in Palm Harbor priced between $750,000 to $1 million,
there are 20 homes for sale, of which 4 are under contract. In this price range for luxury homes, none are either a short sale or a foreclosure. Of the 5 sales in this price range, 4 were funded with conventional mortgages and one was a private sale.
As of today, there are 25 homes for sale above $1 million in Palm Harbor. Of these luxury properties, 23 are active listings and 2 are under contract. The two properties under contract are on the Gulf of Mexico waterfront. The average list price for these luxury homes is $1.636 million, with an average of 4 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths and an average price per square foot of $330. The average DOM is162. None of the 25 homes priced above $1,000,000 are distressed sales (short sale or bank owned).
Overall, in the Pinellas County real estate market, there is a 3.4 month inventory and an overall absorption rate of 29.5%. In all of Pinellas County, there were 1567 homes sold, down slightly from April when there were 1768 homes sold. The median and mean sales prices for homes sold in Pinellas County were 96% of list price. And an interesting note, if you happen to be looking at foreclosed property, the mean and median sold price was 100% of the list price. This indicates that banks are not negotiating much on foreclosures.
If you would like to learn more about the Palm Harbor luxury home market, be sure to contact us at Sun Bay Realty Group. We have been in the market for over 18 years.
This week we celebrate America, culminating with the Fourth of July on Saturday. There will be fireworks everywhere, well, almost everywhere. Families will be gathering to celebrate our freedom, and they just might have a great picnic along the many beaches in our area. People will be out boating, soaking up the sun, and just having fun.
Fireworks will be in many communities, here are a few of them in our area.
Dunedin: July 3 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, home of the Dunedin Jays, on July 3 there is a ball game and special event for Beer, Bacon and Fireworks. For a $10 game ticket, get in the park, sample craft beers for $1, and taste bacon treats from local restaurants. Then after the game, enjoy a wonderful fireworks display.
Clearwater: July 4 at Coachman Park there is the Brighthouse/Clearwater Spark the Sky event. Free admission to the park. Festivities begin at 4 pm with specialty foods and kids' activities. There will be a Clearwater Pops concert at 7:30, featuring the Wilsons. Then at 9:30 the fireworks display will Spark the Sky. Bring the whole family and enjoy.
Safety Harbor: July 4 at the Safety Harbor Marina there will be festivities for the family, including children's activities, live entertainment, food vendors, and FUN. The fireworks will go off at 9 pm.
Tarpon Springs: July 4 there will be a huge fireworks display and the very best place to view the fun will be from Howard Park and along the approach to Sunset Beach. Bring a picnic and some chairs. Spend the day at the beach at Howard Park. Have a blast!! (Sorry about the pun.)
Come on out and celebrate America, have a picnic on the beach or in one of our many state parks, or spend the day boating in the gulf of Mexico or on Tampa Bay. Then after sunset, while winding down from a day of fun and relaxation, enjoy the fireworks at the many locations around our area.
The greater Dunedin/Clearwater area is a great place to live or visit. Take the time to enjoy life this weekend. While you're at it, maybe you want to take some time to find a home in the area.
Happy Fourth of July, or Independence Day!!!
Why should you go through the pre-approval process when beginning your house-hunting efforts? There are many questions that should be addressed before anyone invests a lot of time searching for homes, driving around looking at houses, and dreaming of the one perfect home. Click on the dollar sign to learn about the mortgage pre-approval process.
For additional information on buying a house, visit our home page, then click on the buyer reports under the Buyer tab. There is a lot of excellent information for the buyer who wants to be educated.
The first thing that should happen, is the buyer should identify a lender and contact that lender to talk about the entire mortgage approval process. If the buyer has not gone to a lender, when she does talk with a Realtor, a good professional Realtor will ask if the buyer has been pre-approved. If the answer is no, then the Realtor can suggest highly competent lenders who can do the pre-approval. In essence, the pre-approval phase in the overall mortgage approval process is that the buyer will learn what she qualifies for. This keeps the buyer from asking a Realtor to show her houses that are too far above her means, it prevents the Realtor from investing hours of time and effort looking for houses that she simply can't afford, and it prevents a seller from getting excited because someone made an offer on his house and finding out weeks later that the buyer cannot qualify for a mortgage.
For instance, if a buyer wants to find a waterfront house for sale in Dunedin, and has not gone through the pre-approval process, who really knows how much that buyer can pay for a house? Go to the dollar sign and click on it to review the steps in mortgage pre-approval. Brian P Forrester with VanDyk Mortgage explains the process in easy to understand words and makes it less scary, as the unknown tends to be. The worst part of getting a mortgage is being unprepared, and the video explains it very well.
So, click on the photo to the right if you would like to see waterfront houses for sale in Dunedin. Then, take a moment to think about what kind or mortgage will it take to buy that house. If you need a lender, take the time to do your homework and find one. Or talk to your professional Realtor who can suggest highly qualified lenders and get the process started.
Be the well prepared buyer, talk to your Realtor and talk to your lender, get pre-approved before you start looking. It will be time well spent and you will avoid being disappointed.
If you are looking for a wonderful community to live in, and don't want the inconvenience of maintaining a single family home, try looking at condos for sale in Dunedin. There is something for every taste and pocketbook in the condos for sale in Dunedin. Not to mention the unique lifestyle that this Gulf Coast community has to offer.
The Dunedin lifestyle has an eclectic blend of the new, the old and the best part is that it is all fun. There are all kinds of events, from a local seafood festival, to a Wines the Blues festival, to multiple arts and crafts festivals, to movies in the Park on Friday nights, to Mardi Gras, to Cinco de Mayo, to Old Fashioned Christmas, to the Dunedin Holiday Boat Parade, to a rollicking St. Patrick's Day celebration, to Spring Training for Major League Baseball, to an Open Air Farmers Market and so very much more.
The downtown area of Dunedin offers boutique shops, a Mobil Guide rated and nationally known restaurant - the Black Pearl, many other very good restaurants offering food from New York style Pizza to seaside dining to open patio dining. You cannot go hungry if you just walk a couple of blocks through downtown Main Street in Dunedin. Strachan's Hand Made Ice Cream is a must do on Main Street. There is a wide variety of hand made ice cream to choose from, and as a bonus, bring your dog for a special doggie cone from the take out window.
But I digress, you wanted to learn about condos for sale in Dunedin, so there are many that are affordable, priced up to $150,000. These include condos that are in 55+ communities that won't break the budget of retirees. Some of the 55 plus communities have no pets policies, so it is smart to learn about the specific policies of each community. Most condos have rules about pets, with limits on the size and number of pets, with some being small pets only, or even no dogs with one cat OK. Have your Realtor obtain the condo documents so you can determine if the lifestyle of that condo community is right for you.
Dunedin is such a welcoming community. There are lots of parks in the city. Pioneer Park hosts the open air Farmers Market every Friday and Saturday except during the summer. You can find custom roasted coffee beans, specialty breads, fresh local produce and fresh meats and seafood. Friday night movies are a feature in Pioneer Park in the month of April, and it's free. Weaver Park, right on the water of St. Josephs Sound, hosts the Sunset Concert Series every Friday evening in the month of May. And there is Edgewater Park, by the Dunedin Marina, that hosts the annual Craft Beer Festival. Hammock Park is several acres of quiet walking trails.
If you are an exercise lover, there is the Pinellas Bike Trail. This paved bikepath runs the length of Pinellas County, from Tarpon Springs in the north to St. Petersburg to the south and the Pinellas Bike Trail runs right through downtown Main Street in Dunedin. As you ride along the trail, on the north end of Dunedin, stop at Eli's Bar-B-Que from Thursday thru Saturday for the very best mouth-watering bbq pork and chicken you could ever hope to taste. then ride a little farther south along the trail for the downtown experience, or take a detour over to Honeymoon Island by riding out on the Dunedin Causeway.
Of course, it is not all lifestyle, since you really are looking for condos for sale in Dunedin. There are condos from between $150,000 to $500,000 if you are looking for perhaps waterfront living. One community, Mediterranean Manor, is situated on the water of St. Josephs Sound and is a short walk to the Dunedin Causeway. It has its own private beach and includes free mooring off the beach. There is a park and you can grill with Honeymoon Island only a short distance offshore for a wonderful backdrop.
Royal Stewart Arms is a 55+ community on the Dunedin Causeway in the $150,000 to $250,000 price range. This community is at the entrance to Honeymoon Island, with it's own fishing pier, clubhouse, tennis courts and an incredible view of St. Josephs Sound. This is a no pets community.
For those who are looking for the luxury condo market, Dunedin has that too! The Dunedin Grand is right on the water of St. Josephs Sound and offers spectacular views of Honeymoon Island and our magnificant Dunedin sunsets, which by the way, are free of charge. And there is a new development in Dunedin, 200 Main Street so you can enjoy the latest in building technology and still have the best lifestyle Dunedin has to offer.
Every city has condos for sale. Dunedin not only has condos for sale, it also offers a unique lifestyle to support the condo you buy and call home. Check out Dunedin, you'll be glad you did.
Why not live in Palm Harbor and find that there are lots of things to do in this Gulf Coast community? How often do you wonder if there are things to do in Palm Harbor? Well here is a list, although not complete, but it will certainly give you the idea that Palm Harbor is a community that offers a great quality of life. And by the time you are done reading this blog, you will want to look for real estate for sale in Palm Harbor.
Is a day at the park something that appeals to you? You can bring a picnic with you for a full day of family fun. Palm Harbor offers several parks, including John Chestnut Park and Wall Springs Park. John Chestnut Park is on the east side of Tarpon Lake and admission is free to all. There are many covered pavilions with picnic tables and charcoal grills so you can enjoy the day and be in the shade while you grill your burgers and hot dogs. The go take a stroll on the boardwalk along the lake and if you look really hard, you might see a gator. Just don't feed them! Or, catch a bass in the lake.
If you prefer the salt water life over the fresh water of Lake Tarpon, take a trip to Wall Springs Park, again with free admission. There are walking trails that lead to several fishing piers that you can introduce little children to the fun of catching their first fish. Also, Wall Springs offers lots of areas for kayakers to investigate the mangrove forests and maybe see egrets, or dolphin, or lots of fish. Wall Springs is open until dusk every day. There is even an observation tower to climb for a panoramic view of St. Joseph's Sound. You can ride your bike on the Pinellas trail and get to Wall Springs Park easily, the entrance to the park is right along the Pinellas Trail. These are great reasons to look for homes for sale in Palm Harbor, so let's find a few more.
Looking for something more competitive than a day in the park, try golf. Palm Harbor has lots of golf courses, to test every skill level. There is the Innisbrook Golf Resort, host to the Valspar PGA golf tournament on the famous Copperhead Course. The restaurant is a world class steak house, there are three other championship courses within the resort to complement Copperhead. You can buy a luxury home within the resort, there are vacation rentals also available and all the amenities are available. During Spring Training, there are major league teams just a short drive to see the Blue Jays, or Phillies or the Yankees get ready for the major league baseball season.
Other golf courses include the Countryside Country Club, Lansbrook Golf Club, East Lake Country Club and all offer spectacular golf experiences with beautiful and manicured courses.
Maybe you prefer a little indoor fun, such as eating and enjoying a beverage. In Old Palm Harbor there is Peggy O'Neill's for really great food in a fun atmosphere. And Peggy's really rocks on St. Patrick's Day. Or try the Thirsty Marlin. Enjoy fresh local seafood in a very relaxed setting, including the outdoor patio where you can enjoy your meal and even have a tasty cold beverage, all while enjoying our beautiful weather. Still need more things to do in Palm Harbor? Try the Stilt House brewery, the latest craft brewer to our area. Do you yet have enough reasons to look for real estate for sale in Palm Harbor?
Not yet? OK, here is more information. A hidden little area is Ozona, west of Alt. 19 and nestled on the Gulf Coast. For a true feel of Florida, try Molly Goodheads restaurant, even get a bite of gator if you dare. Molly's has been around for many years and is definitely a favorite of the locals, so get away from the mainstream tourist areas and have a great experience at Molly Goodheads. If you would rather dine on the water, there is Ozona Blue, serving the freshest Florida seafood overlooking the Ozona marina.
Here is something that you aren't going to find many other places - The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary. this is a place where chimpanzees, orangutans and monkeys can "retire" after they are no longer suitable as pets, or retire from laboratories or the film industry. Visitors can come to the Sanctuary to view the animals from 10 AM to 4 PM, Thursday thru Sunday. Donations are accepted, with adults at $10, children $5, and kids under three are free. The Pinellas Bike Trail goes right by the Sanctuary so take a break from your ride and visit.
Are you tired yet? How about other things to do in Palm Harbor, like a night at the movies or head to any of the many, many fine restaurants in the area? Muvico in Palm Harbor has ten screens for the latest movies, or cross US 19 for the Cobb Countryside 12 Cinemas at the Westfield Countryside Mall, where before or after the movie, stop in at PF Changs for super Chinese food, or Red Robin for a great burger and all the fries you can eat, or Bar Louie or BJ's Brewhouse or Grimaldi's Pizzeria or any of the other many restaurants offering good food, and great fun.
So, if you really want to look for real estate for sale in Palm Harbor to fit your lifestyle, go ahead and do it. Palm Harbor has multiple terrific lifestyles, from country club living and playing on excellent golf courses, to living on the water so you can see the best sunsets every evening, for free, or take a boat out to maybe catch dinner, or just stroll along the beach for quiet time.
Oh wait!! Forgot to mention the Palm Harbor schools. Simply put, they are excellent. Palm Harbor University High School is a sought after magnet school on the west side of US 19. then in the East Lake area is the well thought of East Lake High School. Both schools have excellent academics and very good athletic programs. There is so much to talk about the good life in Palm Harbor that we'll save it for another time to cover even more reasons to want to live in Palm Harbor and to look for homes for sale in Palm Harbor. Stay tuned, we just might find what makes you want to be here.
Why live in Dunedin, FL? The question really should be, "Why not?" Dunedin is on the west coast of Florida, right on the Gulf of Mexico. Just to the west are Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island.
There are so many things to do in Dunedin that most people can't get to them all. Starting with January, every Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm, there is an open air farmers market in Pioneer Park. This market, with local farmers selling fresh produce, meats, breads, honey, hand-crafted items, spices, sauces and so very much more, is right on the downtown Main Street. Admission is free, so you can browse the area until something tickles your fancy. Or, just walk around to each vendor, chat for a bit, and sample their wares. This way, you know exactly what you are getting.
If the Farmers market doesn't do it for you, there is the second Friday Wine/Art Walk. This starts about 5:30 in the evening and shops stay open late for downtown visitors. Stroll along the sidewalks, sample some wine at various shops and locations, have a nice meal at any of the many restaurants - even outdoor patio dining at several establishments.
There is a huge Arts and Crafts Festival in January, in downtown Dunedin Main Street. This is one of the best crafts festivals in the Southeast so you really don't want to miss it. Check out the various hand-made products, from knit scarves to cutting boards, to blown glass, to beautiful artwork paintings, to metal sculpture and so much more. Of course, there is lots of great food to eat as you amble along. Because Dunedin is very dog friendly, bring your favorite canine along, to socialize with the other dogs.
February brings one of the year's most anticipated events - the Mardi Gras parade. There will be more than 50 floats from around the area. There will be all kinds of things going on, pirates, fun, LOTS of beads and when it is all over, the crowds will head to downtown for fine food and drink. Top it all off with a visit to Strachan's Hand Made Ice Cream shop and you have a perfect February evening. And for the Snowbirds, there is NO snow.
March brings something different, the Trashy Treasures event. This is held at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center on Friday and Saturday. It is lots of fun. Naturally, the Open Air Market is going on Friday and Saturday, the second Friday Wine/Art walk is still on as are all the other normal activities in the area. And you simply can't forget the annual St. Patrick's Day celebration, hosted by Flanagan's Irish Pub. There will be a full day of music, food and perhaps a wee bit of beverages. For this day, everyone has their Irish on.
March also is spring training for Major League Baseball and Dunedin is the home of the Toronto Blue Jays for spring training. Come to the ballpark to watch your favorite players and future stars warm up for the coming baseball season. For the snowbirds, it is great entertainment, and they can break out the tee shirts and shorts a couple months early. Just might want to check out real estate for sale in Dunedin, as a thought.
Moving into April, Films in the Park take center stage. These are held in Pioneer Park each Friday evening for the month of April. The movies begin at dark. Bring your own chairs, folding chairs are great. Bring your own snacks too. It is all FREE, so don't hesitate. It is a great evening of family fun and entertainment. You can even bring your dog. And for the summer, the Dunedin Jays play almost downtown against other budding baseball stars. It is great entertainment, and the cost is very low. You just might catch a souvenir baseball.
May brings outdoor concerts to Weaver Park, on the water. The music starts at 7 pm and goes 'til 9 pm. There are snacks available for sale, or bring your own. Again, your own chairs are welcome. Just get there early as the whole area fills up quickly. While enjoying the outstanding music of some of the area's finest musicians, catch the sunset and realize how great it is to be living the Dunedin lifestyle. And it is all free, the music, the sunset, and the seating.
Bring your camera, you might see a musician who played with some of the biggest bands in rock 'n roll, playing on stage just for your delight and edification, and because they just love to play music.
By the way, the hand cut fries are hot and delicious. We are just getting warmed up on why live in Dunedin. You just might want to find out what a house you are looking at is worth, and if you do, click on the sunset.
June brings yet another Arts and Crafts Festival to downtown. It will be Friday and Saturday with lots of interesting hand crafted items to touch, smell, and buy. There just might be some food and one never knows, but the hand squeezed lemonade really tastes good on a warm June afternoon. Then the Open Air Market has it's last month of fresh produce and other tasty offerings in June, since the summer is just a bit warm for open air market. This means it is your last chance to stock up on some of your favorite sauces, specialty coffees and teas, and why not get just one more loaf of hand crafted bread or other simply scrumptious baked goods.
Come July, people are thinking of the beach. There is the Dunedin Causeway, with fishing, wind-surfing, jet-skiing, sun bathing and swimming to offer. Or drive across the Causeway to Honeymoon Island and enjoy the stunning beach, dubbed the best beach in America by Dr. Beach in his annual rating. Stay tuned for more on Honeymoon Island in another post.
August sees the end of school vacations and families are getting ready for that. Football is in the air, with pre-season getting fired up. High schools are geared up for football, the NFL is all atwitter about the coming season. The Tampa Bay Bucs are an easy drive away from Dunedin. And the minor league baseball teams are jockeying for their playoff positions. Sports are big in the area this time of year.
If sports are not for you, get involved. There is the Fine Arts Museum, Friends of the Island - for Honeymoon Island, or clubs such as the Dunedin North Rotary, whose motto is "Doing good and having fun."
September finds some of the best outdoor weather of the year. Boating and fishing are exceptional. You can kayak on the grass flats to relax, or fish for redfish and speckled trout, or paddle across to Honeymoon Island. Or drive across the Dunedin Causeway to Honeymoon Island, then hop on the ferry to Caladesi Island for an afternoon picnic.
October finds Halloween. There are events for the children all month. There is the big Our Lady of Lourdes Fall Festival, with a huge carnival midway with rides, games of chance, cotton candy and more, a massive flea market tent with outstanding bargains, and barbeque. The fires start a couple days early so the pits are ready for hundreds of pounds of ribs, pulled pork and more, all cooked on site.
Then November comes and people are getting ready for Thanksgiving. The weather is cool, still no snow though, for you snowbirds. The Open Air Farmers Market starts up again, so you can get the unique blend of coffee beans, or that special cheese or loaf of bread you couldn't find in the grocery store.
December brings another special and signature Dunedin event, the Old Fashioned Christmas. There will be S'Mores made to order over hot coals, games and toys from the 1890s for the young at heart to try out, outdoor concert, and even "snow" over Main Street by the historical museum.
Then the incredible boat parade with dozens of elaborately lighted boats to celebrate the holiday season. The boats parade off-shore a bit, from the north down to the Clearwater Causeway, turn around and take turns coming into the Dunedin Marina so all can see the fun handiwork on each decorated boat. The culmination of the parade is the last boat, bringing in Santa Claus to light the holiday tree in Edgewater Park.
Yes, Dunedin is a unique, fascinating and fun place to live. You too can share the Dunedin lifestyle, which is what makes it such a great place to live. There are always things to do in Dunedin, and the people love to share.
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