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Highland Lakes, Palm Harbor - a Really Active 55 plus Community

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

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.

Good Restaurants to Eat in Dunedin

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

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

by Doug Campbell

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.

 

 

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908