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Understanding the home buying process

Understanding the home buying process

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you don’t want to miss Understanding the Home Buying Process, the featured topic on There’s No Place Like Home, on Thursday, Sept. 1.

The program, which features different issues each month, is sponsored by the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County.  It airs the first Thursday from 10:05 to 10:35 a.m. on WRXB 1590 AM.

The program is also televised on PCC-TV (Bright House Channel 622, Knology Channel 18 or Verizon Channel 44), You Tube, or online.

Sun Ketch Townhomes At Northeast part of housing surge

Sun Ketch Townhomes At Northeast part of housing surge

St. Petersburg, FL - A new Northeast neighborhood is part of the surge in new housing construction this summer.  Recently, the Commerce Department released data showing housing starts surged 14.6 percent in June. 

Sun Ketch Townhomes At Northeast may not seem new. The project started several years ago but was at a standstill until Taylor Morrison purchased the property from the bank last October. The builder then broke ground on the newest phase in June.

County's upcoming eTownHall to discuss property taxes

County's upcoming eTownHall to discuss property taxes

As property owners receive their annual Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices from the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s office, they may have questions about the notice and how their property values are used to set property tax rates.

The eTownHall: TRIM 2011 will be held Thursday, Aug. 25, from 7 to 8 p.m. to explain the TRIM notice: why property owners receive the notice, what the information means, who the taxing authorities are and what millage rates are.

The event will be shown live at www.pinellascounty.org/eTownHall. During the interactive online event, residents can blog, tweet, follow the blog and view live video online or on TV. The eTownHall will include an iTownHall component, which enables residents to call in questions. Citizens can blog and tweet questions starting at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22.

Exciting new garden-style apartments to open in Largo

Exciting new garden-style apartments to open in Largo

Largo, FL - On July 27, members of the business community, elected officials and the general public gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the City of Largo's newest rental apartment community, Bayside Court Apartments, located at 1760 Clearwater Largo Road.

 "This project fulfills the City's vision for creating a vibrant community," states Largo's Community Development Director, Carol Stricklin. The mixed-income garden style apartments will be developed by The Richman Group of Florida, Inc., thanks to a public-private partnership with Pinellas County, the City of Largo, the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County, Neighborhood Lending Partners, and JPMorgan Chase.

The Housing Finance Authority, Pinellas County and the City of Largo provided financial assistance from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) which supports the purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed properties.

Raytheon triumphs in long lawsuit with St. Pete homeowners

Raytheon triumphs in long lawsuit with St. Pete homeowners

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- With little evidence that Raytheon's environmental contamination was the direct cause of their declining property values, home and condo-owners in western St. Petersburg accepted a small settlement Thursday in a lawsuit that had dated back to 2008.

A U.S. District judge ruled Thursday to accept a settlement allowing homeowners in the area to receive $2,500 in exchange for agreeing not to pursue further litigation in the case.  The residents of St. Pete's Azalea Neighborhood were looking for significantly more.

Raytheon inherited the toxic waste plume when it purchased the plant at 1501 72nd St. N. in 1995, but the pollution was kept secret for more than a decade.  In 2008, residents filed a lawsuit when they found out they were within the plume.

Kirstie Alley is threatened with losing her Clearwater mansion

Kirstie Alley is threatened with losing her Clearwater mansion

Actress Kirstie Alley has yet to pay the property tax bill on her mansion overlooking Clearwater Harbor. Alley, best known for her time spent on "Cheers" and more recently "Dancing with the Stars," is also known for her participation in Scientology, which influenced her decision to purchase the real estate.

She bought the mansion to be closer to the Church of Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. Alley purchased the mansion for $1.8 million in 2008.

However,according to Pinellas County property tax records, Alley stopped paying her property taxes last year and currently owes $41,395.23.

A spokesman released a statement last Thursday saying  “We were not aware of the amount owed, and her accountant never received the bill.” Alley says she will pay the property tax bill in the near future. She has until April 2013 or the property will go up for auction.

Zero percent home loans help residents prepare for hurricanes

Zero percent home loans help residents prepare for hurricanes

Pinellas County, FL -- Pinellas County may be able to assist qualified homeowners with a zero percent interest loan to prepare their homes for hurricane season.  

The maximum loan is $20,000 amortized for up to 20 years.  Eligible improvements are roofs, windows, doors and more.

A $2,000 grant is also available to assist disabled homeowners in the removal of barriers and to add features that will make their homes easier to navigate.  Improvements may include the addition of wheelchair ramps, grab bars in bathrooms and equipment for the hearing impaired.  

“These programs are instrumental in helping residents improve their homes and enhance their neighborhood. As we move into hurricane season, many of the improvements may help homeowners mitigate storm damage,” Anthony M. Jones, director of Pinellas County Community Development said in a release.