It has been a decade since the Grand Prix first took over downtown, bringing thousands of fans to St Pete.
A series of races along a picturesque 14 turn, 1.8 mile temporary track, featuring the IndyCar, Firestone Indy Lights, Pro Mazda Championship, USF2000 National Championship, Pirelli World Challenge Championships, Expanded Bright House Speed Zone, Yacht Club, Indy Fan Village, autograph sessions, Ferris Wheel, Stadium Supertrucks, go cart racing, celebrity sightings and more!
New this year, the HERO ZONE, a free, interactive military obstacle course, lets kids of all ages test their skills on some of the same obstacles faced by our troops in basic training. The HERO ZONE is deployed by Wish for Our Heroes and is located inside Gate 1, next to the Bright House Speed Zone. Inside the Speed Zone, get physical with rock climbing, power jumping, mechanical bull rides, a pit stop challenge, or gyroscope.
From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. there is a FREE shuttle service from Tropicana Field to the race course. Parking at Tropicana Field will be $10. The shuttle will pick passengers up on 10th St. S. and drop off passengers near the Hilton on Fourth Ave. S. between Second and Third Streets. There will be a two-block walk to the race entry gate 5. The shuttle will operate all three race days from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Congratulations Elana & Matt on purchasing 8521 Meadowbrook Drive, Seminole, FL 33777 with The Price Group. we hope you enjoy your 4 bedroom home with pool & spa in the Trails in Bardmoor. I’m sure the kids will love the pool in the summer!
Now’s the smart time to buy! with interest rates at an all time low and prices on the rise you can feel confident in The Price Group to help you find the home you and your family are looking for…
By: Diana Olick | CNBC Real Estate Reporter
CNBC.com | Tuesday, 22 Jan 2013 | 11:33 AM ET
“For Sale” signs may seem like an eyesore to neighbors on any given local street, but the lack of them is a much bigger problem.
Just 1.82 million homes were listed for sale in December, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is a 22 percent drop from a year ago and the lowest supply since May of 2005, when words like “boom” and “bubble” followed the word “housing.” At the current sales pace it would take just 4.4 months to sell those homes.
“The greatest concern in the market is the inventory situation,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. “Even if we see an increase in the Spring and Summer, if home sales hold at the [current] level or even a 5 to 6-month supply, price increases are guaranteed. We don’t want to see rapid appreciation in prices faster than income.”
The reasons for the low supply are varied, and the low numbers are in fact feeding on themselves. If potential buyers can’t find something to their liking, they will probably not list their homes for sale.
There are also still 10.7 million borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, according to the latest report from CoreLogic. An additional 2.3 million have less than five percent equity in their homes, referred to as near-negative equity. Most of these homeowners are stuck in place, unable to sell unless they can afford to pay in to their mortgages. As for new supply, even though builders are increasing starts, they are still not even at half the pace they were at the height of the housing boom.
As a result, home prices are now rising more and faster than most analysts predicted due to this short supply, up 7.4 percent year-over-year in November, according to CoreLogic. They are especially surging in some of the hardest hit markets from the housing crash, where large-scale investors are swarming with cash in hand. In Phoenix, home values jumped nearly 32 percent from a year ago in November and are now at the highest level since October of 2008 according to DataQuick. While still 39 percent off their boom-high in June of 2006, they are now up 41.5 percent from the bottom, and there is not much on the market.
Healthy housing market gains are historically driven by increasing employment and income, not by lack of supply; the latter leads to price bubbles. First-time home buyers, who generally account for 40 percent of the home-buying market or higher are still under-represented at just 30 percent, according to the Realtors. This is due to tighter credit conditions in the mortgage market and now decreasing affordability.
December’s disappointing drop in home sales, month-to-month is a clear warning for the housing recovery going forward. Rising home prices are not the sole measure of a healthy market. Supply and demand need to fall closer in line, and a robust economic recovery should be driving both home sales and prices.
—By CNBC’s Diana Olick; Follow her on Twitter @Diana_Olick or on Facebook at facebook.com/DianaOlickCNBC
Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com
© 2013 CNBC.com
Click on link to watch video New Housing Fears: Home Prices Are Rising Too Fast
It’s official! The recent “fiscal cliff” legislation means MI premiums are tax deductible for premiums paid on home mortgages through December 31, 2013, retroactive for 2012 (deductibility was previously allowed to expire on December 31, 2011).
This means there’s no interruption in MI tax deductibility through December 31, 2013. With tax deductibility renewed for MI, there’s never been a better time to take a closer look at mortgage insurance. MI tax deductibility is one more reason to choose traditional options for housing finance. Not only is MI tax deductible, it can also be cancelled when it meets investor conditions.
After managing to survive another Savage race with Sid Roberts I’ve pre-registered for the next one. Why do I do this to myself? I can only assume that it’s my way of convincing myself that I’m not getting any older!
Check out the race video
From what to plant to what to harvest, here’s everything you need to know to prepare your garden for autumn.
By Sally Anderson of MSN Real Estate
There’s a snap in the air, the songbirds are looking at their calendars, and trees are exploding in hues of yellow, pink and red. But don’t think that means you can spend the weekends in your jammies. Make haste while the weather is still gardener-tolerant; you’ll be happy for those shorter to-do lists come late fall and winter.
Keep planting spring-flowering bulbs, all the way up until the ground becomes frozen, and prepare tender perennials for winter.
Holes for planting crocuses, daffodils, tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs should be about three times deeper than the diameter of the bulbs. Add peat moss, fertilizer and bulb dust to the soil as you plant; then give them a good watering.
In milder climates, bulbs can still be divided and transplanted.
Before the first frost, move tender plants such as begonias, geraniums, gerbera daisies and impatiens indoors for the winter.
Buy hardy garden mums to plant in well-drained soil in a sunny location; fertilize now, and again in the spring. Color spots of winter pansies and flowering kale and cabbage can also be planted early in the month, or until the ground freezes.
Gladioluses, dahlias, tuberous begonias and fuchsias should be prepared now for winter storage.
Hold off on mulching perennials until the ground has frozen.
Trees and shrubs
October is a great month to shop for trees and shrubs, as they’re showing their true colors at the nursery. Planting can take place now and over the next several months, letting strong, healthy roots develop over the winter.
Make your last selections of trees for planting this month and later, even if you hold off on buying.
Tie up and prune raspberries.
Mid-autumn is a perfect time for planting grapevines.
Take hardwood cuttings.
In most areas, lawn care can continue until about mid-October.
Aerate lawns now while grass can recover easily; if you core aerate, make cores 3 inches deep, spaced about every 4 to 6 inches. Break up the cores and spread them around.
If your lawn needs it, thatch and follow with a fall or winter fertilizer.
Even if thatching isn’t necessary, your lawn will be happy for a dusting of fertilizer now to help roots gain strength before the spring growing season.
Overseed bald patches or whole lawns as needed.
Rake and compost leaves as they fall, as well as grass clippings from mowing. If left on the ground now, they’ll just make a wet, slippery mess, inviting to pests.
It’s easy to forget about watering duties in the middle of fall, but proper moisture now is key to your plants’ successful survival over the cold winter months.
Check the moisture of all plants, especially those in dry, sheltered areas such as under eaves and around tall evergreens.
Autumn leaves must fall — but what to do with them?
Rake or otherwise gather all the little fallen ones, from leaves to grass clippings to spent plants and vegetables, and either give the compost pile a good feeding or spade them directly into the ground. Exception: If your grass has been treated with herbicides, it might be safer to compost than to blend into the soil.
As an alternative to raking, if you have drifts of piled leaves, mow over them in the grass to break them up and make a great brown-and-green composting combo.
Save some whole leaves for piling around roses after the ground has frozen
Slugs don’t slow down as the weather gets cooler; in fact, you’ll likely find them at all life stages in October, from eggs to youngsters and adults.
Take whatever measures you prefer — salt, slug bait, saucers of beer — to eliminate slugs. It’s best to catch them at early stages, to stop the reproduction cycle.
Keep the ground raked and tidied to reduce their habitat.
Keep staying ahead of weeds this month; they serve as homes for pests and bugs, and destroying them before they flower and seed will save you work in the future.
In many areas, October is the month to harvest.
Do a taste test on vegetables, and harvest them when flavor is at its peak. If you’d like to extend the harvest of carrots, turnips and other root vegetables, leave some in the ground to mulch as the weather gets colder. They can handle cold snaps!
Early in the month, before temperatures drop too much, seed cover crops such as clover, peas or vetch to enrich the soil. It will serve as a natural fertilizer, stifle weed growth and help loosen up the soil for next year’s crops.
If your September was mild enough that your houseplants and geraniums are still outdoors, be sure to make them cozy inside before the first frost takes a bite out of them.
Take geranium cuttings of 2 to 4 inches to root indoors.
If you treat houseplants chemically, after treating be sure to keep them warm and away from direct sunlight.
Fertilize houseplants now; they shouldn’t need it again until March.
Get poinsettias and Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti ready for well-timed holiday color. Give them a daily dose of 10 hours of bright daylight or four hours of direct sun, and 14 hours of night darkness. Christmas cacti need a cool environment of 50 to 60 degrees F, while poinsettias prefer a warmer 65 to 72 degrees. Let cacti dry out between waterings.
With fall in full swing, now’s the time to get your home and yard ready for winter.
By Anne Erickson of MSN Real Estate
October is the first full month of fall; by the end of this month, most of your winterization should be completed. Falling leaves and dwindling daylight signal a final opportunity to do some outdoor organizing before winter settles in.
Repair roof shingles
Try to do this on a warm day if you have asphalt shingles on your roof, so the shingles will be flexible. Use roofing cement to seal cracked and torn shingles and to reattach curled shingles. Then tack down the damage further with galvanized roofing nails, and cover the exposed nail heads with roofing cement. Split wood shingles can be patched with roofing cement as well.
Do a fall siding inspection and remedy any problems you find. Look for damaged paint, warped or split wood, cracks or holes in stucco, and missing or slipped siding panels. Your repair tool kit will depend on what kind of siding you have: For example, wood siding may require wood putty, waterproof glue, nails and screws; stucco may require wire mesh, stucco patching compound, a trowel and a chisel. Most types of siding require a coating of sealant or primer, and paint to finish the repair and ensure waterproofing.
Replace your screens with storm windows. If your screens are dirty or damaged, repair and clean before storing them to prevent further deterioration. Light scrubbing followed by a blast from a hose will eliminate bird droppings and other grime. Small tears can be sewn up with thin wire. If you have older single-pane windows and no storm coverings, apply heat-shrink plastic to the inner or outer window frame to create an insulating air space and save heating expense.
Make sure your damper is in good working order by opening and shutting it prior to lighting the first fire of the season. If you didn’t clean your chimney at the end of the heating season, do it now — especially if you burn soft woods, which release more creosote. Often the first indication that a chimney needs cleaning is a chimney fire, so preventive maintenance is important.
Detect deadly gas
If you heat your home with wood heat or a gas heater, a carbon-monoxide detector is a must. These devices look and sound like smoke detectors, but they detect carbon-monoxide gas instead. Units that plug into an outlet are also available.
Check batteries in smoke detectors
Daylight saving time ends Nov. 7. Get into the habit of checking smoke-detector batteries when you “fall back” and “spring ahead.” Also make sure household fire extinguishers are fully pressurized and in good working order.
Close seasonal air conditioners
If you live in a place where air conditioners are used seasonally instead of year-round, this is a good month to close them down. Switch off power, make sure the condensate drain is clear, and clean condenser coils and filters (a vacuum will do). Either remove window units or cover them, to protect your home from drafts and the units from inclement weather.
Bleed air from radiators
Radiators can get air pockets in them when not in use. If air pockets stay, they will keep the unit from heating up to its full capacity. If your unit doesn’t have automatic air valves, you need to bleed it prior to every heating season. To bleed air out, turn on the furnace and circulator and open the supply valve to the radiator. Find the bleeder valve (it’s usually opposite the supply valve) and open it while holding a pan to it. Air should be released, followed by hot water (thus the pan). Close the valve as the water comes out. Lightly feel the radiator to make sure it is heated along its entire surface; if there are gaps, repeat the procedure.
Cut brush back from the house
Before stowing all of your gardening equipment for the winter, walk around your house with a weed whacker and a pair of pruners and cut back any brush, weeds or branches that contact your house. This task will eliminate a common access point for insects, rodents and rot. It will also keep branches and shrubs from scraping away at your siding during windstorms.
Watch those leaves
If you don’t want the tannin in fall leaves to leave hard-to-clean imprints on your deck and concrete walkways, keep those surfaces leaf-free. If you do get some leaf prints, try a solution of half water and half bleach (test it first in an unobtrusive spot — it may lighten the wood on your deck) or trisodium phosphate (commonly known as TSP) and warm water. Or, just leave the prints and consider them an artistic addition to your exterior look.
Store outdoor furniture
Scrub and store outdoor furniture; even furniture designed to stay out year-round will last longer if protected from extreme cold and wet. Store or cover your barbecue unless you cook with it all year. Empty and store large planters — clay or terra-cotta units will crack if left out to freeze and thaw. Clean and store your gardening tools, but don’t put them completely out of reach — shovels are useful year-round.
Winterize external plumbing systems
This is the most important job of fall if you live in an area that freezes in the winter. The simple fact that water expands upon freezing has caused countless homeowners innumerable woes. Ignore this job and flooding, water damage and thousands of dollars worth of plumbing bills will be your constant winter companions.
Here’s your to-do list:
Drain underground sprinkler systems.
Have outdoor pools drained and professionally serviced.
Drain exterior water pipes and any pipes that run through unheated areas (such as a garage, crawl space or unheated porch). If draining these pipes isn’t possible, wrap them with foam insulation or heat tape.
Cover exposed spigots with foam covers. Or, if cosmetics and ease of removal don’t matter, wrap spigots in layers of newspaper, cover the newspaper with a plastic bag, and seal the whole affair with duct tape.
Drain and store garden hoses. Leave one hose and nozzle somewhere that’s easily accessible; you’ll need it for gutter cleaning and car washing.
This is just wonderful!