Motion Detectors and Home Security

lady taking out the trash - imageA home motion detector which will automatically switch the outside lights on as you approach the steps or the sidewalk can provide you the perfect solution for safely greeting you at your home at night. Now you can safely walk up your sidewalk without undo fear of tripping over items inadvertently left there by your children. In addition, the motion detector can ease your security concerns relating to any intruders entering your backyard. With a motion detector your lights will be conveniently switched on exactly where you require them and when need it on.

In this article I have attempted to introduce you to motion detectors and to explain as to where they can best benefit you.

For your convenience you should position your motion detectors so that they cover all the walks which lead up to your front door and backdoor as well as the driveway. In this way the light will come on as you come home in the evening or to light the pathway as a visitor approaches your home. You could comfortably install them on your patio or deck for that added convenience. You should highly consider their use in any areas that may be considered potentially hazardous such as at your swimming pool or around stairways.

Security be your major concern and you should aim your motion detector to survey all the approaches available to your home including any patio doors or fence gates. You may wish to aim your detectors into the dark areas surrounding your yard, perhaps aim into any dense bushes or trees where an intruder may lurk. Keep in mind that good lighting does not guarantee the safety of your home it represents one of the more efficient low cost methods of discouraging unwanted intrusions.

Ideally it is considered best to mount your motion detectors between six and ten feet above the ground level. Position your detectors so that most of the movement will happen within the detectors sensitivity zone. Obviously you may not be able to do this with your existing light location. A possible solution to this dilemma is to install your motion detector a short distance from the light itself. These units retail for about $10 up to $20. The particular wiring employed to connect this detector to the lights use low voltage and presents no danger therefore it does not require enclosing within a plastic or metal conduit.

I hope I have shed some light on where to place your motion detector when you install them.

If you have any questions about Tampa Bay, FL real estate or Lutz, FL homes please give us a call.

Wesley Chapel Real Estate Market Overview

The beautiful district of Wesley Chapel is situated centrally within the Tampa Bay area of Florida. With its initial population of less then 6000 it has managed to develop yet still retain its small town attitude and friendly atmosphere. Wesley Chapel is positioned a mere 25 miles from downtown Tampa and is easily reached via Interstate 75 and 275.

From the early 2000, the region of Wesley Chapel has experienced a rapid growth. New luxury communities as Seven Oaks, Meadow Pointe, Bridgewater, Saddlebrook, Northwood and Lexington Oaks have spring forth new life within the area. Santa Fe and Saddle Creek have become prominent for their exquisite town home developments. Within the Wesley Chapel vicinity there are 2 middle schools, 2 high schools, new malls such as the Cypress Creek Center, Shops at Wiregrass, the Grove outlet mall within the northern perimeter. Wesley Chapel contributes greatly to the quickly expanding population of Pasco County making the county the 38th fastest growing within the nation. Wesley Chapel is truly one of Florida’s outstanding locations to live and grow with your family.

Shopping the Boutiques of Tampa Bay

image of boutiqueWho doesn’t like to shop? Everyone has that little something that they look for when in the various stores. It may possibly be that you are a collector of miniature glass horses or you might accumulate Star War memorabilia. Either way you search for something unique and different every time you enter a store.

What better place to look for the unique and different items them in Tampa Bay’s profuse and charming boutiques. Here you can enthusiastically unearth those one in a lifetime treasures that no one has. From that amazing piece of antique, 18th century jewelry to an evening dress with a fanciful southern flare. You can readily locate unique items that seem to be just waiting for your special attention.

I have taken the liberty to list a few of the many Tampa Bay’s fun places to shop. These boutiques are listed alphabetically by their business name. This list is by no means complete. Regardless of where your home is in the Tampa Bay area you are merely a short ride to these fabulous boutiques.

Ambrias Gallery of Wearable Arts is located on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg. This boutique takes pride in specialized evening gowns as well as suits. Their size range is from size 2 up to size 26. You can also shop their jewelry selection, the interesting and fun dye-able type shoes and any additional accessories for that special occasion in Tampa Bay.

Deborah Kents is located at the Dale Mabry Avenue in Tampa. This popular boutique presents a fine selection of elegant designer clothes, shoes, jewelry and an assortment of accessories to make your evenings more enjoyable. Besides the numerous designer clothing such as Marithe+Francois Girbaud or Marc Jacobs you can readily perceive the largest collection of antique jewelry in Tampa.

DKM Accessories on Palmira Ave in Tampa can be described simply by two small words – distinctive and funky. Here you can discover the latest trends in fun clothing, shoes as well as handbags. Choose from a large selection with names such as From My Flat within London or possibly you would like some Havaianas flip-flops. You will find numerous trendy and cool designer accessories.

The Pink Palm which is another of the Dale Mabry avenue boutiques represents the single supplier for Lilly Pulitzer items in the Tampa Bay area. In this shop you can locate many colorful accessories and apparel created by Lilly Pulitzer, Trina Turk, LaCoste as well as a host of other designers. Located within the store is also a medley of home related accessories. Be sure to check them out.

Eccentricities on Howard Avenue in Tampa are nominated for the Trendiest Shop within the Tampa Bay area. This shop offers many high end formal as well as informal clothing, a selection of cool jewelry, leather handbags, artwork, lamps and more. The clientele that visits this shop is so diverse that Eccentricities shop prominently features both funky items and the classical pieces.

The Jolie International Boutique on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa specializes in trendy fashions for the discriminate dresser. The boutique sports designs by such designer greats as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbanna as well as Dior. You can find items ranging from casual day wear to the ultimate lingerie.

The list could go on and on with some of the wonderful boutiques found in and around Tampa bay. Why take my word for it, come and check them out yourself.

Buying Homeowner’s Insurance

So you finally got your dream home in Tampa and now you are ready to move in, however there still exists one very important consideration that has to be dealt with. That is the matter of obtaining your homeowner’s insurance. This insurance provides protection for you against loss resulting from your property as well as your possessions. As you well know as a homeowner you are mandated to obtain this insurance before you can get your new home loan. What you may not realize is that there are more things to consider here other then just the price of the coverage when you are searching for your insurance.

First, check on what is called “replacement cost” type of homeowner’s insurance should it be available. This kind of policy helps guard you from the effects of inflation. It is centered upon the depreciation of your property in combination with the inflation index to allow insurers to properly assess the sum of the replacement cost. Don’t be mislead, however as there are additional factors that will be brought into play also. A few insurance companies may set certain limits upon the total amount covered in place of total replacement. Be sure you inquire as to specifics concerning such insurance coverage.

The second point to be covered concerns calculating the complete amount of insurance coverage you will need to protect your home as well as its contents. Never regard the value of the land when you are calculating the amount necessary for your insurance as the land is not covered within your policy. To archive your belonging take photos of your possessions or even better, take a video of all your possessions as well as the exterior of your home. Store these photos (video) in a safe place such as in the banks safe deposit box. Should you need them in an emergency to prove the worth of your dwelling and its contents they will be readily available.

Your third step is to inquire from your family, friends and business associates who they have their home insurance through. Refer to the Yellow Pages of your local telephone book and contact several insurance agents. Ask each of the agents for homeowner’s insurance quotes. You can even go on the internet and visit various insurance websites to request additional quotes. Read as many review on the companies as you can.

Step number four is to find out if the insurance companies you are talking to offer any sort of discounts on their homeowner policies. Of course the extent and the types of discounts offered will vary according to the age of the people residing within the home, their employment status and the locality of the home.

Your fifth hint is to try for the combo policy if the agency offers it. In this case all your real property like boats, cars and your computers will be covered under this kind of policy. Make certain to ask if they provide this sort of insurance policy. Your insurance premium could very well be lower also.

For step 6 consider scheduling your premiums to coincide within your monthly planned budget.

Now we come to the deductibles for step 7. Ask your potential agent about the various options you have on your deductibles. As you already know the deductibles represent the amount of out of pocket money you are required to pay toward your loss before the insurance company begins paying a claim. Usually the higher your insurance deductible is the more money that you may save on the insurance premiums. Generally deductibles are in the range of $250 up to $300.

Lastly we come to step 8. You may wish to consider paying a higher deductible as it may help you to lower your policy premiums.

I would strongly suggest that you visit My Safe Florida Home ( to get a wind inspection.  It’s free and my insurance company dropped my cost by 40%.

How to Select Firewood for Those Chilly Tampa Nights

Are you and your family comfortable in your new beautiful Hyde Park, Tampa home? Could you be more comfortable if you could only shake that evening coolness from inside your dream home? Would you like to do this without running your fuel heater just to make your home slightly more livable?

I have heard the statement so many times previously. Someone will say, “But I live in Florida why do I need a fireplace or firewood.” The truth of the matter is that the Florida evening can become a little bit on the chilly side as those who have lived here for any length of time can attest to. This is particularly valid when residing along the coastal edges of the state.

What I would like to explain to you in this article is a few hints on purchasing firewood to take the chill off of those slightly chilly evenings. There are many ways to purchase firewood. By purchasing firewood by telephone using phone numbers readily found in the local classified ads or the telephone yellow pages can frequently be less costly then using your local lawn and garden center or by purchasing it from the neighborhood vender who peddles firewood from house to house. As with any purchase you should be sure and shop around carefully as the services and costs can vary widely from one vender to another. Make sure you get the best value for your money and pose any concerns or questions which you may have to the seller about his wood such as:

1. Is the wood available from the vender for purchase dry wood? Keep in mind that green wood may oftentimes be considerably cheaper however you will be responsible for seasoning it yourself.
2. Is the wood available for purchase a hardwood or softwood?
3. Is the wood already split or will you have to complete that task yourself?
4. Will the seller be hand stacking the wood precisely where you wish to store it when he delivers it or will he merely dumped it in a large unattractive pile in your driveway?

One of the most important points I would like to present to you must ensure that both the seller and you are speaking in the same language and terms as you consider the amount of firewood which you desire to purchase. Firewood is usually measured by the volume of the wood in units frequently referred to as cords. Cords are available in a quarter, half or whole cord. Don’t permit the seller to sell you firewood in any other unit of measure such as ricks, fireplace cords or thrown cords. These various units are poorly defined and are able to mean just about anything which the seller cares to make them. Stay with the unit of the cord as it is generally the accepted standard.

Precautions When Building a Patio

image of a patioSo you have finally finished planting your grass seed and making your home in Lutz look like it came out of the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Now you find it is time to begin a new project. You lounge comfortably in your new grassy backyard sipping gleefully upon that glass of lemonade and start to think how nice it would be to have a well made concrete patio. Guess what – the patio is your next construction project.

You carefully consider where you will place your new patio and you already are well aware that your Oak trees will need to be considered within your proposed design. You can recall from reading how you should be careful not to dig inside the root zones of your trees. Just as a reminder, the root zones are those areas which fall directly below the trees branches or what is often known as the drip line of your tree.

The various trees often display different degrees of endurance when it concerns their root systems. Some are more sensitive to root damage while others can withstand considerable abuse. In general, most of the oak tree species as well as the butternut, walnut and the beech trees can be easily killed or destroyed by any root damages they occur. When building a patio it is best to avoid the root zones on these trees. Keep all your excavation outside the trees root zone. The fir, ash, pine, willow and maple trees on the other hand are usually a hardier variety and as such have a tougher root structure. You could safely complete some excavation within these trees root zone without adding undo stress upon their associated roots.

Be sure to keep in mind the following hints:

1. Frequently 50 percent of a trees active root system lies within the top 12 inches of the soil. Most people believe the majority of the trees roots are buried deeply within the soil.
2. Aspen, willow, elm and oak have extremely strong, tough concrete buckling roots therefore you should consider maintaining a safe perimeter around their root system.
3. When cutting your tree roots don’t use a shovel or a backhoe that would leave a ragged cut but use your pruning saw which will make an orderly cut and heal rather quickly.
4. Too much soil compaction tends to be a major killer for trees. Concrete and delivery trucks as well as heavy machinery all compact the soil which in turn makes it difficult for the root system to obtain nutrients, water and oxygen. Even foot traffic to a certain extent hinders the proper grow of the root system. You may wish to temporarily fence off your construction area to protect your root system.

Many factors contribute to trees hardiness such as climate, the age of the tree, soil conditions or the particular species of tree. Should you be in doubt I highly recommend contacting a tree specialist especially one who is a certified arborist. With proper planning and a careful work attitude you can create a masterful patio in your new Lutz, FL home.

Salvador Dali Museum – Tampa Bay

Dali, Salvador. Persistence of Memory. o/c; 23.8x34.7cm. NYC, MOMALocated well within the Tampa Bay Real Estate area is the famous Salvador Dali Museum. It is but a mere skip and a jump to reach this popular attraction located in nearby St. Petersburg Florida. Here in a converted warehouse you will find one of the largest collections of the Spanish artist Salvador Dali’s works that can be found outside of Europe.

Salvador Dali was born on the 11th of May in 1904 beneath the hills of Spain’s famous Pyrenees Mountains within the small agricultural community of Figueres Spain. Dali was the son of a Spanish notary. Every year the family would spend the season in their summer home of Cadaques where he constructed his first art studio.

As a youth he attended the Madrid fine art school of San Fernando Academy. His earliest recognition as an artist materialized when in Barcelona, he held a one-man art show. It was in 1928 at the Carnegie Institutes art exhibit that Dali finally achieved artistic importance. Three of his oil paintings including his famous Basket of Bread was publically shown. Dali’s Basket of Bread painting now hangs proudly in the Salvador Dali Museum.

Soon Mr. Dali conducted his first Paris one man show. After that he was really beginning to achieve notoriety. He teamed up with several known surrealists which were lead by none other then Andre Breton. From there Dali became involved with Gala Eluard who later was to become Dali’s lover, business manager, as well as his inspiration. Dali was now considered a leader in the Surrealist art movement. His famous Persistence of Memory is still considered a masterpiece in surrealist work.

During World War II, Gala and Dali escaped Europe and fled to America. In 1941 the New York Museum for Modern Art provided Dali his initial exhibit. In 1942 Dali published his autobiography.

Dali opened his Teatro Museo in 1974 in Figueres, Spain. Upon the death of Dali’s inspiring wife, his health started to fail him. In 1986 He had a pace-maker implanted and lived his life pretty much in seclusion. Salvador Dali died the 23 of January 1989 from heart failure. As an accomplished artist Salvador Dali did not limit himself to any particular media or style.

You can readily visit Salvador Dali’s paintings on a require basis and catch a glimpse into this artistic genius’ life and inspiration at the Salvador Dali Museum. Your home in Tampa puts you within a 25 minute ride to the home of some of this artist’s finest painting. Why not stop at the Salvador Dali Museum and take advantage of this opportunity while visiting Tampa Bay.

Brandon Real Estate – The Long Rise in Growth

welcome to brandon imageWhen one considers the manner for which cities and towns grow it is amazing to see how some fall short of this average while others exceed this figure. Brandon Florida real estate market is one of those that have far exceeded the average.

The Greater Brandon vicinity represents one of Florida’s fastest raising neighborhoods in not only Florida but America as well.  Brandon is a youthful type community preferring to focus on its economic development as well as towards its community centered programs. These efforts have created a feeling towards the town where anyone would definitely be proud to be a resident.

Brandon’s history stems back to January of the year 1857 as John Brandon made his arrival at Fort Brooke from the state of Mississippi. Along with him he brought his wife and his six young sons.  He originally settled his family in the Seffner area; however in August of 1858 he purchased 40 acres within the New Hope vicinity south of SR 60. These 40 acres was to become the home of the future Brandon Florida.

Nine years after his wife past away, John gave everything he had to his son James Brandon. He then packed his bags and relocated to Bartow. In the year 1876 James constructed a home in Brandon which remains today under the name of Stowers Funeral Home.

John Brandon in the meantime remarried Victoria who was a widow and the two returned to the New Hope region in 1874.  John then purchased 160 acres and renamed his land Brandon. Their new home was built upon the corner of Victoria and Knights Street. Within the next four years John donated land for use in constructing New Hope Church. The church was the first church located in the town and actually served as the cities first school also.

Victoria assumed a foremost role within the community in 1886 upon the death of her husband John. It was in Victoria’s home that the community’s first post Office was initiated when she assumed the role of postmistress.

Since these early times Brandon has continued to prosper and grow. From its first general store years ago to its unique shops of today the population for Brandon and its neighboring communities have risen to about 178,808. Brandon has progressed to a community composed of youthful professionals who commute to nearby Tampa on a daily basis. Fifty percent of the population has incomes in excess of $75,000 annually.

Although Brandon has develop into a primary urban area it has not lost that friendly, home town touch that started it’s grow cycle many years ago. It has created several public schools, corporate centers and malls are frequently being started. Brandon represents the ideology of community spirit with a small town atmosphere. You can still be greeted with a smile and a handshake when meeting someone in Brandon. It has progressed to a community that one can be proud to be a member of.

Some great communities in Brandon are:

Tampa’s Lucky Seven Spots for Cheap Eating

Whether you are a tourist to the Tampa area or a full time resident then you surely appreciate the value of a good tasting inexpensive meal. Eating out oftentimes makes a large dent in the wallet and this is especially true if you happen to have a rather large family. Never the less this does not have to be the case. Within the Tampa Bay vicinity there are several food establishments which serve excellent flavored meals without pushing the breadwinner into the poorhouse. These meals are affordable and the restaurants concerned will leave your mouth wanting more. I have listed here what I call the Tampa Lucky Seven Spots – your taste buds will surely think they are lucky. Without ado let’s start our review.

1. The Three Coins Restaurant on Nebraska Avenue is an immediate hit with many of the transplanted New Yorkers who either live in the Tampa area or are here for a short visit. Sitting within the Seminole Heights vicinity the restaurant menu offers a traditional fare with meals like gyros, homemade soups, turkey dinners and apple pie like mom used to make. The waitresses are friendly and won’t hesitate to remind you about eating your veggies.

2. Cuban Sandwich Shop on North Florida Avenue specializes in Cuban type sandwiches. The sandwich of favor is the Media Noche. This sandwich is a scrumptious grilled ham with cheese packed sandwich. They also serve the best breakfast around Tampa with menu selection such as Picadillo or Lechon and yellow rice.

3. Bruno’s Pizza Pie on Fletcher Avenue is a continual favorite of the South Florida University students. Their specialty consists of two giant slices of pizza plus a medium drink for only $3.20. They make their pizza thinly sliced and perfectly crisp. This is a good deal for those with a tight budget.

4. Taqueria Quetzalcoatl on Howard Avenue is a fun and healthy place to eat a reasonably priced meal. They feature traditional as well as fusion quesadillas and burritos. Their usual house specialties are fried corn masa with beans, salsa, pork and sour cream on top.

5. Savvy Jack Southern Gourmet on 56th street combines a pleasant French couple, Southern style food and a small quaint restaurant. This restaurant is a rare treasure of Tampa Bay. Within its walls you will sample the best of food, a place with a character all its own and an invitation to visit in old world charm.

6. Trang Viet Cuisine on East fowler Avenue is a vegetarian’s delight. Although meat dishes are available Trang Viet Cuisine features three pages of their meatless dishes. All are tasty and affordable. They were awarded the coveted 2005 Favorite Restaurant award by Tampa Bay’s Vegetarians food group.

7. Mel’s Hotdogs on East Busch Boulevard has been providing Chicago style wieners for the last two decades. You can readily choose from bratwurst, corn dogs, Angus beef burgers, the popular Italian steaks or the vegetarian burgers. They are known throughout the city for their Chicago Dogs and the Reuben’s. They feature beer on tap also.

We have only scratched the surface of the fine places in Tampa to eat. Should you live in one of the Tampa Bay subdivisions you are merely a hop, skip and a jump to some of the optimum in eating pleasure to be found. Check them out today.

Edward Scissorhands and Land O Lakes

Why are movie producers interested in  Land O Lakes, FL real estate?

The Edward Scissorhands movie took place within a castle set high upon a hill where an exotic inventor’s finest creation resides. This creation is no less then the almost human Edward. Unfortunately, Edwards’s creator died prior to completing his greatest invention and poor Edward was left with scissors for his hands. For years now Edward had lived alone and then an Avon lady named Peg found Edward and invited him to her home. Initially Edward is accepted within the community and displays a unique talent for cutting hair as well as hedges however this quickly changes.

This contemporary fairy tale was produced in 1970 and became an instant hit however few people realize that it was filmed in the beautiful Land O Lakes area within Pasco County, Florida.  The population of this small Florida lake area is currently in excess of 30,000 people and growing daily. Its lovely location has bolstered its growth from that of 7,800 residents in the early 90’s to what it is today. A quick glance at the construction being accomplished in Land O Lakes clearly reveals that its growth is still taking place. New housing developments can be seen sprouting up all over the Land O Lakes area.

With its newly established master plan, the community of Land O Lakes will eventually have 8,766 homes, storefronts, schools and restaurants. Future estimates place this Land O Lakes community at about 20,000 to 25,000 families.

Land O Lakes is a city loaded with lakes, streams, ponds, water canals and rivers. It is truly a beautiful place to consider as your home. It is only 20 short miles from the Florida Gulf coast and sits comfortably in the Northwestern part of Tampa Bay. With its location this community offers its homeowners access to an unlimited number of employment as well as recreational opportunities. It literally represents an outdoorsman’s paradise with its host of popular sports options such as fishing, hunting and boating. These activities are extremely popular with the local population. A much tamer selection of activities offer abundance of shopping, elegant dining or simply enjoying a short stroll along the tree lined avenues which can present a romantic and exciting pastime.

The various upscale neighborhoods which compose the Land O Lakes community make for a peaceful life for your family and yourself. Speaking of families, for those who have school age children the local schools are highly prized for their clean and safe campuses. Local community officials fully support the cities beautification campaigns by encouraging the preservation of the landmarks and parklands.

This area’s ecological beauty is extremely appealing and generates an unresolved setting in which to live, to work or to play. The Land O Lake real estate options include the single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums.

Incidentally, this area seems to be very popular with the Hollywood film producers for not only was it the shooting location for Edward Scissorhands but also the location of the 2004 movie Night of Demons and the 2007 film entitled the Belly of the Beasts. I am sure you will observe all three of these movies now with a different viewpoint.