What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental

What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental

What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental Florida Vacation HomesAlthough I was told it was built in 1923, it was first listed in the Tampa City Directory and Sandborn Fire Insurance book in 1922 as under construction. The home and original garage were built by Shields Brothers.

Arthur B Shields and brother Archie L  were born on Burton Island, VT . As recently as 1874, Lake Champlain navigation charts label it “Potter’s Island,” though C.C. Burton, a farmer on the mainland, was using the island for pasture by the 1840’s. Sidney Burton owned the island through the early 1900’s and leased it to tenant farmers who raised cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. Crops included beans and peas. Burton Island became the site of a Vermont State Park in 1964. Remnants of the island’s agricultural past such as fence lines and stone piles, rusted farm implements and the foundation of the old barn are still visible.

Arthur Shields was born 8 years after the end of the Civil War and moved to Tampa in 1908.  He was 35 years of age. Archie and Arthur built all of the homes on the 5800 block of Suwanee along with an additional home a block away (5806 N Branch).  They sold 5801 in 1928 to John N & Augusta Mutton.  The Mutton’s occupied the home from 1928-1946. In 1931, the Mutton’s expanded the original garage into a cottage for his relative Callie M Mutton. In 1947 Ralph W Fairchild purchased the home from Augusta Mutton following her husband’s death in 1945. Ralph and his wife Katerina who originally hailed from Worcester County, MA remained in the home until she passed in 2001.

What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental Florida Vacation HomesOther interesting factoids the 1923 production of cigars in Ybor City and West Tampa totaled a half billion never to be met again. The Tampa Electric Streetcar system was launched in 1908 and by 1920 had 156 cars. The cost of a streetcar ride was 5 cents.  The first phone number for 5801 was 91-316.

The population of Tampa in 1880 was 720, by 1920 it has rocketed to 51, 60
8 and tourists reached 125,000 during High Season. Miami that same year had a population of 29,571. In 1923 Tampa’s Mayor C H Brown authorized $3,000,000 to be spent on new roads.

Arthur Shields eventually moved to Pinellas County and passed in 1952 followed by Archie in 1957.

What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental Florida Vacation Homes

What I discovered at the library regarding my Tampa Vacation Rental Florida Vacation Homes

Economic Impact Study

Economic Impact Study

 

Erehwon Retreat was the first Vacation Rental to open within our Historic District in 2010 and we’ve seen many other home owners join in making Seminole Heights a vibrant community.  Over the last eight years the vacation rental industry has made a real economic impact that is both significant and largely taken for granted.  In February 2017, we approached 1/3 of our former guests by Email and asked them to respond to our economic survey.  We’re sharing the results and have added an underscore for this presentation of a wonderful Jerome Kern and P G Wodehouse song from 1917 for your added enjoyment.

TOP 10 TIPS…

 Top 10 Tips for an Unforgettable Vacation Rental Stay

While most any itinerary to Florida can be fabulous, and vacation rentals offer a great money saver, for my two – or ten – cents worth, here’s what I would share….

  1. Use trusted travel sites – The most popular sites for vacation rentals are Booking.com,HomeAway/Vrbo, Airbnb Flip Key/TripAdvisor.  For quick stays and shared rooms in owner occupied home AirB&B.  If the property has a Branded Name, do a web search and or Instagram or Facebook check on the brand name.  Some Web travel portals list top vacation properties but have no connection to the actual real estate.  Don’t bother calling if the site won’t permit you to write the owner,  it’s the classic bait and switch.  That property will always be unavailable but they have others to suggest.
  2. How long the property has been advertised – the longer it has been on the travel site, the more likely it is to be genuine and legitimate.
  3. Ask if it’s legal – The state of Florida says cities can’t ban short-term rentals, can’t limit how frequently a property is rented and can’t require a minimum length of stay. So city officials are taking other steps to reduce their proliferation in single-family neighborhoods. Examples include registering with the state and city because the owners are supposed to be paying county and state taxes on the rental, capping the number of renters in any home, require a local contact for emergencies and allow the city to revoke the licenses of properties that repeatedly create disturbances or break the law. If you are renting a cooperative or apartment ask the property owner to confirm that their lease permits subletting.
  4. Don’t be fooled by Photoshop photography– Ask the owner for additional photos — an honest vacation lessor will always have other pictures to share.  If the property offers no exterior photos or you have concerns about the neighborhood, check Google’s Street View to confirm that the property you’re renting actually exists at the address advertised.
  5. Be careful of the lowest cost per night – If prices seem too good to be true, they often are in Florida.  Your greatest savings when compared with area hotels is during PEAK SEASON.  Hotels with excess capacity during the OFF SEASON are trying to match vacation properties.
  6. Read the reviews – Compare the differences in feedback from the first five guests with the last five guests that appears on all travel sites your property is listed:  HomeAway/VRBO, FlipKey/TripAdvisor, AirB&B
  7. Trust your instincts – But remember when the property owner is paying a commission to the website, the web site releases no contact information or last name until the reservation is completed.  In other words, the property owner knows nothing about you unless you are a registered member of the travel website.  So it’s not a red flag if the property owner has questions about your stay.  Better yet, avoid – “Is your place available?” by providing some background, “Hi, we’re interested in your bungalow. We are in our late 30’s, non smokers, live in Baltimore County, MD and we would be visiting with our two sons, ages 7 and 10.”
  8. Take your time –  No need to rush and avoid those properties that are pushing for a decision.  On the other hand, know if the property is listed on various travel sites.  If so, remember the owner is obligated to accept the first firm offer.
  9. Be a regular – If you rent a home you like, stick with it. You’ll develop a relationship with the owner if you go back to the same place year in, year out — and avoid the risk of being scammed on a new property.
  10. Take lots of pictures – But take a break from social media while you’re on vacation. Wait until returning home to post photos.  It’s not a great idea to announce to the world your away from home and check your privacy setting and avoid tagging your rental property location.

100th Gasparilla

100th Gasparilla

Tampa celebrates its 100th Gasparilla on Saturday (1/31/15).  Tampa’s answer to Mardi Gras celebrates the legend of Jose Gaspar (nicknamed Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate captain who supposedly operated in southwest Florida. Gasparilla was founded in 1904.   The festival didn’t happen in 1907-09 and was suspended during World War I and II so it’s accurate to say Gasparilla has been held 100 times, just not all in a row.

Gasparilla Parade 1922 over the Kennedy Blvd. Bridge, 1 year before Erehwon was built.

100th Gasparilla Florida Vacation Homes

Spring Training Turns 100

Spring Training Turns 100

Prohibition was taking hold, the Great War was in the offing and Spring training began with the first major-league exhibition on February 26, 1914 at Tampa’s Plant Field (on the grounds of what is now the University of Tampa) then again — after crossing Tampa Bay by steamship — the next day in St. Petersburg, at a park on Coffee Pot Bayou. The Cubs won both 3-2.  Pictured famed NY Yankee Lou Gehrig in 1937.

Spring Training Turns 100 Florida Vacation Homes