Real Estate News for North Pinellas County

Archive for February, 2009

Other restaurant reviews

After posting the review of Caposey’s Restaurant, I got to thinking that you might like to see some other reviews of local eateries. I got ’em — just find a section called “Local Resources” on this page (over to the right) and click on it.  It will take you to the Restaurant Review page over at my website.

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Caposey’s Restaurant

 caposey_restaurant_sign_editedIt’s been a while since I posted a restaurant review, but this is a good time because I had breakfast this morning in a place I really like.

Caposey’s is up in New Port Richey, a little north of us, in Pasco County. It’s a Mom & Pop operation that puts out really good food at really good prices. If your idea of a good restaurant is a small, family-run place with great but simple fare and a lot of down-home charm, this might be the place for you.

John and Nancy Caposey were working in a restaurant in Palm Harbor about five years ago when they decided to go out on their own. John cooked at that other place, and Nancy waited on tables.
We remember them from those years at the other place, which later gave way to a fancier place and then went out of business.
Anyway, the Caposeys moved further up US19 and found a good site. They’ve been working hard at it ever since.

“We’re going to have our fifth anniversary on March 5,” Nancy told us this morning. “They say that if you can make it for five years in the restaurant business, you’re going to be all right, so we’re pretty excited about this birthday.”

This morning we had pancakes, which are about the best around here. I’m really fussy about pancakes and I won’t order them out most of the time, but these were really good.

So give it a try. Caposey’s is a little hard to spot when you go up US19 because the restaurant is actually located at 5250 Green Key Rd., a little east of US19. But you can spot it from US19 if you look hard, and the big sign helps. If you see a sign that says “Pioneer Title” on the east side of US19, it’s time to slow down and turn.

Call them at 727-842-4307 if you need directions.

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The newsboys are coming

The newsboys are coming to Pinellas County
The newsboys are coming to Pinellas County

Now, who is this motley collection of youngsters, and what are they doing on my blog, which is (mostly) about real estate?
I can’t tell you. Not yet, anyway.
But I CAN tell you that these guys are newspaper boys from sometime around 1900 or 1910.
This picture came from the Library of Congress. I found a number of other really good pictures of young paper boys there, too.
These newspaper boys hark back to a time when the latest, freshest and most accurate news was found on the pages of the local newspaper. If you wanted to know what was going on in the world, or in your own community, or if you simply wanted the latest baseball scores, you went outside, looked up and down any city street, and you hailed the closest newsboy. There was probably more than one out there at any given moment, especially if it was close to presstime.
The newspaper boys are gone now, but their spirit still carries the latest news.
And that’s all I can tell you. But watch this space.

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Ugly bathroom contest

Now, this is an ugly bathroom

Do you have an ugly bathroom?

Now, we’re not talking about a bathroom with some rust stains in the sink, or a tear or two in the flooring, or even a few rips in the shower curtain up by the curtain rod rings. No, we’re talking about a seriously nasty bathroom, one that you don’t like to go into even when you really, really have to go.

Luxury Bath Systems of Tampa Bay, which has a place of business at 33851 US19N in Palm Harbor, is looking for a really, really ugly bathroom. It has to be in Pasco, Pinellas or Hillsborough counties, but otherwise its an open field.

Here’s the good part; if your ugly bathroom is chosen as the worst of the worst, you might win a full bath remodel – a re-do that will include KraftMaid vanities from Grand Kitchen & Bath of St. Petersburg; vanity tops from Granite Plus Inc. in St. Petersburg; as well as new plumbing fixtures, toilets, lighting and doors. In other words, the works, something valued at $8,500.

Here’s what you do: submit a photo of your nasty bath at You must submit your entry by March 31, and five finalists will be chosen and posted on the Luxury Bath Systems website between April 3 and 26.

"After" bathroom picture

"After" bathroom picture

Once the finalists are posted, people can visit the website and vote for their favorite. On May 1, the winner will be announced.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPARTMENT: The really ugly bathroom in the picture at the top was an entry in the ugly bathroom contest from an earlier year (we didn’t want to influence the outcome of this year’s contest). The really pretty bathroom picture shows a bathroom done by Luxury Bath Systems, but it is NOT a makeover of the ugly bathroom above. There; we feel better!

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Mortgage rates down, but bank profits up

Here’s a fact you may not have realized – interest rates on home mortgages have been coming down, but the profit margins for lenders on those mortgages have been going up.

What that means is that mortgages could come down even further, and lenders could still make a nice profit on them.

In January, the average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages fell below five percent. It was the first time that rates had dipped so low since Freddie Mac started keeping track of rates in 1971, 38 years ago.

In spite of that, bank profits on 30-year fixed mortgages have been going up. The gap between mortgage rates and 10-year U.S. Treasury yields (2.5 percent) hasn’t been so great in the past 27 years.

Enlightened home buyers aren’t very happy about that. Some officials in the federal government aren’t pleased, either. California Congresswoman Maxine Waters serves on the House Banking Committee. She believes lenders should drop their rates to benefit homebuyers.

“If the government is making sure that cost is dropping for the banks, it should be dropping just as much for consumers,” she said. “But they’re not. Banks could make loans at 4.5 percent, or even lower, and it would still be profitable.”

Some experts believe banks are reluctant to drop rates for consumers any further because of the losses they have experienced through foreclosures and a more than sluggish real estate market.

It will be interesting to see what the Obama Administration will do about home lending rates as a condition of the bailout.