Real Estate Junkie

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Northern Exposure

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Remember, St. Pete is just an hour commute away.   By Robert Plunket   Having trouble finding the right house? Here’s something you might want to try. Move to St Pete and commute! I’m not kidding. Its southern part is barely a half an hour from our northern part and it’s famous for its great […]

April 2, 2007


Remember, St. Pete is just an hour commute away.
 
By Robert Plunket
 
Having trouble finding the right house? Here’s something you might want to try. Move to St Pete and commute! I’m not kidding. Its southern part is barely a half an hour from our northern part and it’s famous for its great old neighborhoods and vintage housing stock. After years of being famously comatose, the whole town is booming—it’s not Sarasota, true, but it has charms of its own. And compared to what things cost here it’s like going to another planet.
 
Yesterday I saw two houses in a tiny neighborhood called Ling-a-Mor Estates. It was developed in the 1950s and its 40 or so houses all have a family resemblance—solid, conservative concrete homes with custom decorative touches. There is a California feel to it; many of the houses are on the water, with docks, and face Coquina Key right across Big Bayou. I cannot tell you how cool and pleasant this little enclave is.


2800 Edwards Ave South
 
2800 Edwards Ave South is the larger of the two. Three bedrooms and two baths (they’re original) and a new kitchen. It has three big living areas, with those great old indoor planters and wrought iron decorations. It’s well priced at $304,000, down from $329,000.


2801 Edwards Ave South
 
But the real find is right across the street— 2801 Edwards Ave South. It must be the smallest house in Ling-a-Mor but it pretty much defines adorable. It’s a two-bedroom, one-bath cottage, with beautiful, just refinished hardwood floors, and a family room with sliders onto a deck that overlooks a nice fenced backyard. Two-car garage. And the price? Are you sitting down? $194,900. This may well be the best buy under $200,000 in the state of Florida. Misti Kehoe is handling both houses–call (727) 744-1649.
 
Of course, there are drawbacks. The famous riots several years back were not too far away. But things have improved enormously. And Ling-a-Mor’s immediate neighbor to the north, Driftwood, remains more than ever St Pete’s most charming neighborhood. I’d tell you to buy there but that’s impossible. Driftwood houses never come on the market. They’re passed down from generation to generation, like antiques and trust funds.