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Smart Vacation Home Buys-How we stack up in Tampa Bay 2008 vs 2010

Aol Money and Finance posted an article about the Best Places to buy a second home or vacation home. I decided to do some research based on their criteria for a smart Vacation Home Buy.

What Makes a Smart Vacation Home Buy?

1. Affordable: homes for less than $350K

2. Convenient: less than three hours from a major city

3. Active vacation rental market

4. Plenty to do.

5. Room to grow: an unsaturated market, situated near upscale destinations

Anyone would agree that the Tampa Bay area fits into their criteria of top 10 list of best places to buy a home. Based on the article, the recommended price of a vacation home investment to be no more than 350,000.

 First, I searched our MLS database for homes for sale, which includes townhomes and condos. I based my search on a tri-county area Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties. 

For those of you not familiar with counties in our area the citites include: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, Brandon, All the Beaches, Harbour Island and Davis Islands.

The first thing I wanted to know was how many homes were on the market.  Are you ready for this?

The numbers for housing inventory at 350K or under.  The average home is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,454 sq ft. 

in August of 2008 there were:  29,874 active homes for sale. 

The average sales price was $154,616.

Moving ahead to May of 2010 the inventory has decreased to 21,404, indicating our market is stabilizing.  

Our average sales price is now $130,501.


If you would like to search the MLS database go to  You can search property in all 3 counties, save favorites, and schedule showings. Or contact a Real Estate Agent 813 784 7744 for questions.

Written by Rae Catanese, Realtor

Licensed Realtor since 2002, Tampa Bay’s own Rae Catanese regularly gives expert advice and insider tips about the Tampa Bay real estate market via her blog, The Tampa Real Estate Insider. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Tampa, St. Petersburg or Clearwater areas-then this blog is for you. I typically post articles once a week. To make sure you don’t miss my newest posts, you can subscribe here! Have a real estate question? Email me here!

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