Just here for a few days for a conference. Trust me, this city would be far far down on my list of places to visit. Strip malls. Horrible zoning. Obese Americans. Chain restaurants. And yes, REALLY expensive condos ("from the low 600's!")
Read the paper today and lots of ads for condos with the same stock-art photography I used to see in Phoenix. Does anyone really believe that hot 20 year olds are buying these $900,000 condos - where they drink martinis or wine with their other hot 20 year old friends out on the porch? Then get dressed up in their black dresses and tuxes for a night out on the town?
My shuttle driver spent the 30 minutes to the hotel talking about the killing he was going to make in real estate here. He just got his bankruptcy done a year ago and he found a bank to get him a no-doc no-down loan on a $200,000 house here (at 8%). He said he's up at least $50k already, and wants to sell that one to put the money into some land.
Yup, the shuttle driver. Figure that pays about $8 an hour.
I didn't want to break the little guy's heart. He's screwed. And this was (another) shoe-shine-guy kinda moment. When the shuttle guy is flipping homes, RUN!
Then don't get me started on the hurricanes, and the humidity, and the bugs, and the lack of "there" there. Heck, even the beach was nasty.
Anyone else from the Tampa area want to comment on this market? Sure felt a bit like Phoenix.
February 19, 2006
Posted by blogger at 2/19/2006