Susan Taylor Martin, Real Estate Reporter

Susan Taylor Martin

Real Estate Reporter

Call me a nosy neighbor. I’ve always liked checking out Sunday open houses, especially houses for sale around my area of St. Petersburg. And I’m a huge fan of HGTV shows like “Flip or Flop’’ and “House Hunters.’’ Maybe that’s why why I ended up four years ago as the Tampa Bay Times real estate reporter. It’s a great job, especially now that the market is hot. But there’s a lot more to real estate than pretty (or not so pretty) houses. I’ve reported on a good number of scams and the colorful characters behind them, including one fellow that my stories have sent to federal prison - twice! In my off-hours, I like to travel (was a foreign correspondent for 12 years), figure skate, hit garage and estate sales, read and check out new restaurants. I’m probably one of the few people who remember when downtown St. Pete had only four restaurants — the lunch counters at Maas Bros. and Woolworth’s plus Aunt Hattie’s and Uncle Ed’s. Alas, Aunt Hattie’s closed in the early ‘80s after a rat ran over a restaurant critic’s foot.

Oldsmar corporate center sold for $47.1 million

580 Corporate Center in Oldsmar Jones Lang LaSalle Capital Markets
The six-building center is 91 percent occupied.

State board revokes license of felon Tampa Bay real estate agent

An image from the web site of Realtor Michael Schaffer's real estate company. [Realty Resources] www.tampabayhomerealtor.com/team  |  Screen grab
Michael Schaffer still has active listings

Site of new St. Pete condo tower sold for $17.5 million

A South Florida developer plans a condo tower on the parking lot between the Northern Trust building, left, and the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront. Susan Taylor Martin  |  Susan Taylor Martin
South Florida company plans a 35-story tower next to a Hilton hotel.

Tampaís chief bankruptcy judge sees many people 'get behind the financial 8 ballí

Judge Caryl E. Delano, chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the middle district of Florida Caryl E. Delano
Caryl E. Delano will serve four years as chief judge of one of the nationís busiest bankruptcy courts.

Looking for a vacation home in Florida? Forget Naples and Key West.

Artist Danny Acosta completes re-lettering  of the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker in Key West after much of the paint was stripped off in Hurricane Irma in 2017. [Florida Keys News Bureau via the Associated Press]
Less than 10 percent of U.S. counties are "vacation home'' counties.