Updates from January, 2012

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  • Best Places to Retire 2012 - 10 Great Sunny Places to Retire

    11:37 am on January 26, 2012 | Comments:0
    Tags: AARP, , Dr. Beach, , ,   Filed under: Buyer Info, Consumer news and advice, Retirement, Sarasota, Second Home Buyers, Seller Info, Siesta Key, The Gulf Islands, Tourism, Vacation

    If bright skies and warm temperatures are on your must-have list, these cities fit the bill

     from: AARP | January 2012
    Sarasota, Florida

    If you’ve ever dreamed of retiring on the best beach in the U.S., now might be your chance: Siesta Beach, of the dozens of waterfront strands in and around Sarasota, earned the top beach in the U.S. honors from Dr. Beach for the white sands, crystal water and wide area for sunbathing, playing or people watching.

    Sarasota, which sits south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast, is beach-centric but there’s more to this city of 52,025 people than simply embedding toes in sand.

    See also: Ten best states for retirement.

    Start with the arts scene, which includes a renowned Rubens collection at the Ringling Museum of Art, which is adjacent to John Ringling’s Ca D’Zan Mansion, an impressive, if somewhat gaudy, homage to Venetian Gothic architecture. Sarasota also has its own opera house, ballet company, symphony orchestra and multiple theaters, all in a modern downtown surrounded by water.

    The city’s historic neighborhoods include Towles Court art district, which harbors colorful wooden homes, galleries, shops and restaurants. Main Street is ideal for walking — and popping in and out of quaint boutiques and restaurants, along with lively bars. Towles Court hosts regular art walks, featuring works of local artists.
    For non-beach natural diversions, forge into Myakka River State Park, which offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, cabin rentals and airboat tours. Wildlife here includes red-tailed hawks, otters, foxes and alligators. And for man-made diversions? Golf and tennis are big in Sarasota, with dozens of public and private courses and hundreds of tennis courts. For baseball fans, Ed Smith Stadium is the spring training headquarters of the Baltimore Orioles and home to a minor league franchise.

    Sarasota was hit hard during the housing crash and is still recovering. Foreclosures are a big issue here, but that also means you might pick up a house at a steep discount. Unemployment is above the national average and most jobs are in retail, tourism and hospitality, and thus don’t pay well. But prices of most goods and services are in line with incomes, thus the cost of living index is average.

    Crime is above average here but most residents say they are happy living here, and most are fairly healthy: The obesity rate is below the national average (although the diabetes rate is slightly above average). While there’s no science to prove it, good health and happiness may be linked to hanging around some of the world’s best beaches every day.

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  • Luxury and Vacation Homes Are Selling

    9:06 am on September 15, 2011 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , ,   Filed under: Buyer Info, Luxury, Second Home Buyers, Seller Info, Vacation

    by The KCM Crew on September 12, 2011

    It has been a trying time for most segments of the real estate industry. However, two areas that are showing improvement are the luxury home and vacation home markets. It seems that people in these segments are again beginning to purchase.

    Vacation Homes

    Last week Market Watch published an article discussing the vacation home market. Dan White, president of Daniel A. White & Associates, a wealth-management firm in the Philadelphia area, was quoted in the article.

    “A lot of people are worried about the [stock] market today because of the volatility and the fact we could be going into a double-dip recession. They’re looking for other avenues. Real estate, if we’re not at the bottom [in prices], people think we’re pretty darn close.”

    The article also explained some purchasers are seeing this as an opportunity to buy a vacation/retirement home:

    “Some baby boomers are seizing an opportunity to get a deal on a vacation home they can enjoy now but that’s also a home that eventually will become their primary residence when they retire.”

    Luxury Homes

    Along with the vacation home market, the luxury market has also made a comeback. HousingWirereported on the luxury market last month:

    “In the nation’s top 20 markets, million-dollar property sales rose 18% in 2010 with a 21% increase in California, said Laurie Moore-Moore, CEO of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a Dallas-based firm…

    In Miami, 517 properties sold for $2 million or more during the first seven months of 2011, up nearly 16% from a year earlier.”

    Bottom Line

    If you are in a position to move-up to the home of your dreams or have been thinking about a vacation home for the family, now might be the time to make the move.


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  • Fourth of July Tops Charts as Most Popular Outdoor Cooking Holiday

    9:09 am on June 29, 2010 | Comments:0
    Tags: cookout, holiday, July 4th,   Filed under: Vacation

    RISMEDIA, June 29, 2010—Fired up for the Fourth; Americans agree Independence Day is the number one holiday for barbecues and outdoor cooking. In fact, 80% of adults say they plan to host or attend a cookout this Fourth of July, according to results from a new 2010 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) national grilling poll.

    “The backyard cookout is an all-American pastime and a time-honored tradition that brings family and friends together in patriotic celebration,” said Leslie Wheeler, HPBA Communications Director. “The majority of Americans turn to outdoor cooking on the Fourth of July and throughout the warmer months because it provides a fun, easy and affordable way to create delicious meals while spending time together outdoors.”

    And to please patriotic palates this July, according to HPBA’s consumer poll and industry survey findings, the most popular foods for grilling are, in order: burgers (85%), steak (80%), hot dogs (79%) and chicken (73%)–followed by sausage/bratwurst (55%) and ribs (53%). As for top toppings, 66% of Americans report that they reach for the ketchup while 62% say they add on mustard. (More …)

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  • Sarasota Florida is the best buy in the Western World!

    4:42 pm on June 22, 2010 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , ,   Filed under: Sarasota, Vacation

    Reports show that Sarasota Florida is the best buy in the Western World!

    The report, published today in http://www.GlobalEdge.co.uk ranks popular resort and second home locations around the world reveals the cheapest western holiday home destination is Sarasota, Florida, which is little surprise given how much the market has fallen over the past two years and the number of agents currently selling distressed property to foreigners in the sunshine state.

    Among the surprises: Apartments in Warsaw, Poland are selling for higher prices than Dubai.

    Manhattan and Paris are running neck in neck, but Moscow makes them both look cheap. Little wonder that the Russians are on an international buying spree, with Hong Kong residents close behind them. With China now officially the hottest residential market in the world, US properties are practically an impulse buy. (More …)

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  • The 31 Best Beach Vacations

    10:53 am on May 18, 2010 | Comments:0
    Tags: ,   Filed under: Communities, Sarasota, Tourism, Vacation

    Splendid Sand
    Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida

    Says Dr. Beach, “Sugar sand with a beach that is hundreds of yards wide; you’ve gotta love this place.” We do.

    Stay: Sara Sea Beach Resort (800/235-3493 or sarasearesort.com) has 21 beachy rooms, each with a kitchen and, on your arrival, a complimentary bottle of wine. Boutique rooms start at $237. For vacation rentals, visit siesta4rent.com.

    Eat: Try Ophelia’s on the Bay (877/229-9601 or opheliasonthebay.net) for waterfront fine dining, Siesta Key Oyster Bar (941/346-5443 or skob.com) for casual fun.

    Shop: Hip fashions—shoes, clothing, swimwear—await at Foxy Lady (941/349-6644 or foxyladysarasota.com), in a cottage just across from the beach.

    Local secret: The Siesta Key Drum Circle (siestadrumcircle.com) draws hundreds to the beach for music and dancing every Sunday before sundown.

    Photograph Panoramic Images/Getty Images , Writer Steve Millburg


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  • New Video from Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau

    5:30 pm on October 21, 2009 | Comments:0
    Tags: attractions, , lifestyle, , , snowbirds, , , Video   Filed under: Buyer Info, Communities, Sarasota, Tourism, Vacation, Video

    Sarasota and her islands are a wonderful destination for your vacation. View the video from the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau on the finest beaches, restaurants, and family filled attractions.

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  • 25 Best Places to Retire

    2:41 pm on September 10, 2009 | Comments:0
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   Filed under: Buyer Info, Communities, Seller Info, Vacation

    Thinking about your post-work home?

    You’ll get huge bang for your buck — plus lots of other perks — in these towns.  Port Charlotte, Fla.port_charlotte_fl

    Population: 48,000

    % over 50: 44%

    Typical 3-bedroom home: $170,000

    Housing prices down: 63%

    State income tax: None

    Lots of places in Florida have been battered by the housing bust. But this laid-back Gulf Coast town, just across Charlotte Harbor from pricier Punta Gorda, arguably best hits the sweet spot of great prices and great amenities.

    Homes here cost less than half what they did in late 2005, and about 40% of them sit on canals and waterways leading to the harbor – which has 270 square miles of cruising waters and 219 miles of protected shoreline. – CNNMoney.com,  by Sarah Max and Beth Braverman

    To view the entire article, click here.

    To see complete data, including tax rates for Port Charlotte, click here.

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  • Siesta Key Beach, Florida

    3:12 pm on September 4, 2009 | Comments:0
    Tags: , ,   Filed under: Vacation, Web

    If They Gave Awards for Sand … Well, They Do

    siesta SUMMER may seem an odd time to flee to Florida, but thanks to a happy accident of geology, there’s one small island there that may be better to visit the more the mercury rises.

    Siesta Key, Fla.

    Siesta Key, an eight-mile-long, crescent-shaped barrier island on the Gulf Coast south of Sarasota, is becoming more popular in hotter months as tourists discover its powdered-sugar white sand that seems always to stay cool, no matter how high the heat outside. Other enticements include cool gulf breezes; clear, temperate, turquoise water; and huge discounts on accommodations from July through September at luxury high-rises, cozy cottages and funky beachfront bungalows.

    “Do you really have to put this in your paper?” asked a frequent visitor, Linda Guckenberger of Columbus, Ind. “Siesta Key is a hidden treasure, especially in the summer. The heat in Indiana is oppressive in August, so when we tell people we’re going to Florida, they think we’re nuts. They say, ‘Why aren’t you going north?” – By ELIZABETH MAKER, Published: September 4, 2009

    To view the entire article, please click here.

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