Newest Kitchen Remodel Trend: Black Stainless Steel Appliances

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Thinking of redesigning your kitchen and wondering what the next big trend is?  Beyond your typical Stainless Steel and Granite – what is there?

Well, KitchenAid and LG both claim to have come up with the first ever Black Stainless Steel kitchen appliances.

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Personally, I think these look really sharp and high end.  Since I hate my current refrigerator, I thought I’d explore what a new fancy fridge in Black Stainless Steel might cost me…

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This Kitchen Aid French door fridge (above) runs $9,399, while the LG French door fridge (below) will run you only $4,199.

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Depending on your budget, if you are wanting the latest and the greatest, you might also check out brands like Wolf & Subzero as well as Viking, who both offer appliances packages in a variety of colors and with paneling that is hidden in a well matched kitchen, as shown below.

Subzero's "Hey where's the Fridge" look
Subzero’s “Hey where’s the Fridge” look

So what about the countertops – what’s trending there currently? While granite, quartz and marble are still popular options, a new surface is emerging.

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Dekton is an ultra-compact surface that can be used both indoors and outdoors because it’s resistant to ultraviolet rays. It is also highly resistant to stains, features maximum resistance to heat and fire, as well as to cold and thawing, and is a fireproof material. Per the company’s website, this material “allows greater potential for installation in one piece with no cuts, no joints and no limits. It has the appeal of a completely uniform surface, which fits seamlessly into very different design styles.”

5 Indoor Things To Do on a Rainy Tampa Bay Day

Well here we are at the end of July, and it has been raining non-stop lately in Tampa Bay – it feels like for about the past 2 weeks, and it is supposed to continue all of this weekend.  Ugh!  Come back sunshine!

In the meantime, if you find yourself bored and looking for something to do indoors, here are a few suggestions:

One of my personal favorite stores...
One of my personal favorite stores…

1.  GO SHOPPING.  Sooo… this one may be geared slightly more towards the ladies, but seriously – we have some of the best shopping!  You could head over to International Mall, where you’ll find everything from Gucci and Louis Vuitton to staples like Dillard’s and Apple (go play with the new Apple Watch perhaps?).  Not into clothes and shoe shopping?  How about hitting up Ikea or Home Depot or Lowes for that latest house project – which will keep you occupied all rainy weekend long!  Hasn’t the wife been asking for a new shoe organizer?

Yours truly drinking an Ecto Cooliner with my beer snob significant other at Cycle Brewing in St. Pete
Yours truly drinking an Ecto Cooliner with my beer snob significant other at Cycle Brewing in St. Pete

2.  Go Brewery Hopping.  And this one might be slightly more geared towards the guys, although many ladies are getting on board with the craft beer scene these days too!  Did you know that Tampa Bay was recently ranked in the Top 5 Craft Beer Destinations in the country?  It’s true!  Hit up Cigar City Brewing in Tampa or Cycle Brewing or Green Bench in St. Pete, among many other local craft beer stops.  Just remember to Uber, don’t drink and drive.

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Blackjack at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

3.  Hit the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.  Once inside you won’t know if it is raining or not, day or night, and they like it that way. Head on over to the casino, play some slots and enjoy the music and adult beverages – and the food is fantastic too!  Or you could hit the spa and enjoy a massage or pedicure…

Mosi has something for the entire family!
Mosi has something for the entire family!

4.  Visit a museum.  In St. Pete you may find the Dali Museum interesting (I recommend doing the audio tour, you’ll miss a lot without it) or the Museum of Fine Arts to name a few, or in MOSI in Tampa is fun for the entire family.

Your little princess will love the mermaids!
Your little princess will love the mermaids!

5.  Visit the Florida Aquarium.  Come face to face with a penguin, dive with sharks, swim with fishes, pet the stingrays! My personal favorite is the otter tank, those little guys have so much personality!

I hope this list has given you a little more inspiration beyond the typically rainy day movie or bowling.  What are some of your other favorite indoor spots in Tampa Bay?  Tell us in the comments below!

Wesley Chapel Ranked 3rd Best Place for Families

Unless you lived in Wesley Chapel, you might not know that it is a great place to raise a family. I may be biased, as I am a resident of Wesley Chapel myself, but now there is even the data to prove it.  Consumer advocacy group NerdWallet.com ranks Wesley Chapel the number 3 out of 180 cities on its list of “Best Cities for Young Families in Florida.”

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Analysts ranked 180 cities, towns and census-designated places (CDPs like Wesley Chapel) with populations greater than 10,000, looking at four different criteria: “quality of education,” “family friendliness,” “prosperity & growth,” and “home affordability.” Wesley Chapel ranked 3rd in the state.

Wesley Chapel zip codes include 33543, 33544, and 33545. The Wesley Chapel CDP in the rankings covers from County Line Rd. north to S.R. 52 and from Wesley Chapel Blvd east to Morris Bridge Rd.

The NerdWallet study looked at Greatschools.com rankings, percentage of families with at least one child under 18, median family income for 2013, family income growth between 1999-2013, and home median values.

The list’s author, Jonathan Todd, had this to say about Wesley Chapel.

“With a population of 44,982, Wesley Chapel is one of the larger communities in the top 10, but it still offers a small-town atmosphere,” Todd wrote. “Median home values of $152,200 are the most affordable in the top 10, and for the money, residents get access to schools that earned an 8 (of 10) at GreatSchools. Over 30 percent of households are families with children, making Wesley Chapel a destination for young families. Even with the small, close-knit feel, residents in Wesley Chapel are only 20 miles north of Tampa, home to one of the fastest-growing metro economies in the state.”

The study determined that 30.9 percent of families in Wesley Chapel have at least one child under 18 years of age. The study also found that median family income for 2013 was $80,446 and that family income in Wesley Chapel grew 20.11 percent between 1999-2013.

There are a number of other reasons that make Wesley Chapel a great place to live:

1) An outstanding and still-new hospital, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, with plans and room for future expansion.
2) Brand new, technologically advanced State College campus (the Pasco Hernando State College’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch).
3) Three major shopping malls, two completed (Shops at Wiregrass and The Grove) and one expected to open 4th quarter 2015 (the Tampa Premium Outlets).
4) The future largest ice skating facility in the State of Florida, Florida Hospital Center Ice, expected to open in October 2015.
5) A future major office (Raymond James Financial), an expansion of the Shops at Wiregrass and thousands more residential units still to come in Wiregrass Ranch.
6) Tremendous youth sports programs under the Wesley Chapel Athletic Association (WCAA) which is sending three softball teams to the Dixie State Championships.

They forgot to mention all the growth happening here from new businesses to new construction homes for sale in Wesley Chapel.  As you can see, Wesley Chapel has just about everything you need to set your roots and raise a family here in Paradise!

Search Wesley Chapel Homes for Sale

Chad E. Grannan is in his 14th year of Real Estate, specializing in Residential Real Estate as a Buyer’s Specialist. He’s worked for a local Developer/Builder and currently works exclusively with Buyers for The Jamason Realty Group at Smith & Associates Luxury Real Estate. As a Member of multiple MLS systems and with sales experience in Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hernando, Polk, and Manatee counties, his expertise is invaluable.

Ask a Realtor: When Does the Seller Have to Leave the House Prior to Closing?

Q: The last time I sold my house (in another state) I got 2 days after closing to completely move out. Now my Realtor says I have to be out by the day of closing on my house in Florida! Why, what gives?

A: Your Realtor is right. The Florida FAR/BAR As-Is contract (the most common one used) states that on the day of closing, Seller will have removed all items from the home and deliver all keys, garage door openers, etc.  The expectation under the law is that the property is to be “broom swept clean” for closing and free of trash and debris.  It’s a nice touch to really have the property clean and sparkling for the new buyer.

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There is an option in the contract for post-occupancy.  Usually when this happens, the Seller leases the home back from the Buyer, with a full Florida lease, deposits, etc. in place.  This is a riskier option for the Buyer, because what if something breaks or the Seller damages the property after the closing occurs?  That is why these are not very common in my experience.

The closing procedure may work differently in other states, but this is the norm in Florida, and something worthy of reminding Sellers when they list their home so they can plan accordingly.

St. Pete’s Realtor Robber Targeted More than Just 2 Victims

You may have heard the news stories about St. Pete’s Realtor Robber. I have a personal connection, as this individual came in as a lead through a referral source to me the same day the Realtors were attacked. 10 News called me last night to hear the details. See the story below.

As soon as I realized the lead I’d received was the same man who’d attacked two female Realtors on Wednesday, I immediately called St. Pete police to tell them what I knew, and the referral source so they could warn any other agents who’d received the same lead to tell them he was dangerous.

Please – fellow Realtors, be vigilant about always meeting clients in public first, getting pre-approval letter or proof of funds before you show property and a copy of a drivers license. Don’t make yourself a potential victim by being a pop-tart (i.e. popping over to a property the minute someone calls who is a complete stranger.)

St. Pete and Tampa residents – please watch the video and help us identify this man.

UPDATE 6.8.2015: They caught him! Technically he is a suspect at this time, but police say they are confident that this is their guy.

Just Sold at 100% of Asking Price: 6046 Bayou Grande Blvd NE

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As you might’ve heard, the market is hot out there!  The home at 6046 Bayou Grande Blvd NE in St. Petersburg’s Shore Acres neighborhood just went under contract in only 8 days and sold for 100% of the asking price.  Congrats to our seller Lee!

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Wondering what your home could sell for in today’s market? Just click to find out!