One real estate broker discovers that affordable inland homes are quietly becoming top sellers.
CLEARWATER - Chris Rattray knows waterfront homes in north and mid Pinellas fetch top dollar.
But it's smaller, older homes inland that have his attention.
Rattray, a 57-year-old real estate broker with Help-U-Sell, spreads highlighted databases and color-coded maps of Pinellas County across his desk.
"There are more than 1,000 homes for sale here right now," Rattray says, pointing at Clearwater on the map. "This is where the action is."
of living (here):
Research home prices
|Use the interactive maps located on the pages linked below show the rates at which prices have risen in neighborhoods throughout the 5-county Tampa Bay area:
The cost of living here
Home sweet home no easy find
Neighborhood ripe for change a good gamble
Priced out of their markets
Appreciation with a caveat
In Seminole, real cows to cash cows
Roots aplenty in Driftwood
The elusive starter home
What $100K feels like
Brisk sales at land's end
Must be something in the saltwater
Modest gains in Childs Park
Now that's rich
Older, smaller homes have plenty of takers
This home hasn't changed very much - but the price sure has
Through the roof
Retiring baby boomers fuel waterfront boom
Work, wait and equity can just happen
Priced out of their markets
Old Florida features grace new houses
Suburbs going condo
These new houses celebrate old styles
New homes offer old style
Buying into Pasco's bargains
Going up: land values
Hernando's hidden secret
Wise buyers 'lucky,' content with beachfront home
|Real houses, real prices
So, what does a median price house look like? It depends on the neighborhood. To view representative homes from south Pinellas County, see our photo gallery.
To research detailed information about individual properties, click below to each county's website.
Citrus database search
Hernando database search
Pinellas database search
Hillsborough database search
There, home buyers have more options that cost less.
"The redevelopment downtown is starting to attract some people," Rattray said. "And it's only going to continue. People want to be close to the downtown. Plus, it's a good value."
In neighborhoods closest to downtown Clearwater, homes have been selling at a historic rate. Through July of last year, there were 340 sales of single-family homes, nearly as many as in all of 2002.
Northern Dunedin and northern Largo had large numbers of homes sell through July 2003.
"People want to live in a diverse market," said Largo-based RE/MAX ACR Elite Group real estate agent Brian Staveley. "From my office, I can walk one direction and sell you a $5.1-million mansion. I can walk another way and find an affordable house for a little more than 100,000 bucks.
"When you talk about the service industry - schoolteachers, policeman, restaurant types - the majority of the people who work here, they can't afford 5-million bucks," Staveley said.
"They come here."