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© Local Postal Customer Why the World Comes to Sarasota SIESTA KEY ROUND-UP PAGE 6 RESTAURANT SPOTLIGHT PAGE 15 SCHOOL HIGHLIGHT PAGE 21 SARASOTA HISTORY PAGE 30 20% Discount - with this ad LIVE MUSIC PAGE 18 WATER WORLD PAGE 27 APRIL APRIL 2013 2013 | 941.539.0205 | ISLAND VISITOR PUBLISHING, LLC | | Complimentary A Bubble for your Thoughts... |Do New Rules Miss the Reality of Today’s Real Estate Market? By Robert Frederickson April 12-14, 2013 5th Annual Fiesta on Siesta Women’s Collegiate Volleyball Visit for more information. The first paragraph of a recent press release from the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states something so disarmingly obvious you might find yourself smiling in amusement upon reading it for the first time. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is issuing a final rule to implement laws requiring mortgage lenders to consider consumers’ ability to repay home loans before extending them credit. The rule will take effect on January 10, 2014.” That’s right. Soon lenders will actually be required to give some thought as to whether-ornot mortgage customers have the wherewithal to pay back the money they borrow. As our cousins across the pond might say: Brilliant! But all joking aside, re-stating what should be obvious is perhaps a necessary starting point given the abuses leading up to the great real estate boom and bust of 2005-2007 and the even greater recession that followed. And there’s little sympathy to be found for the lending industry that helped steer the economy onto that rocky shoal where it has floundered for years now. Many would argue it has only itself to blame for its double-secret-probation status and forced exile to the regulatory equivalent of a kindergarten classroom, where scissors and other sharp objects have been removed and behavior is closely prescribed and even more closely monitored. Yet with the ability to qualify for loans now anything but easy, the question becomes one of whether or not the new regulations will make much of an impact. Some fear they will cause the mortgage application process to become even more difficult as lenders tighten standards further for fear of possible statutory sanctions resulting from any failure to fully comply, whether intentional or not. First time homebuyers and those with anything less than stellar credit will be the most adversely affected by any tightened standards. All of which has many in the housing industry concerned for what they see as nascent signs of a modest, though still fragile recovery in both the real estate market and broader economy as a whole. Indeed, reported just last week that nationwide, homes in February sold at the fastest clip in over six years. The average time to sell a home fell from 123 days in February of 2011 to 98 days in the same month this year. Lew Sichelman writes a nationally syndicated column titled “The Housing Scene’’ that runs in some of the nation’s largest newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. In a phone interview last week, he explained that while he supports the new rules and the bureau’s efforts, he is somewhat skeptical about their impact, especially over the short term. Story continued on page 28 Siesta Key Chamber’s 2012 Local Business of the Year Located on Stickney Point Road in South Bridge Plaza between New Balance and Stonewood Grill is a specialty ice cream shop that offers unique flavors and has earned the reputation for superior quality ice cream. Bill & Norma Abel opened Abel’s Ice Cream in April 2011, and have already been recognized for offering Sarasota’s best specialty ice cream flavor, Spumoni (swirled pistachio, chocolate and cherry ice cream, almonds and a special blend of fruits) in the July 2012 issue of Sarasota Magazine. It now adds the 2012 local business of the year award from the Siesta Key Chamber to their growing honors. Of the 36 flavors of premium Florida made ice cream they offer, “Hands down, the #1 seller is Stellar Coffee” (rich coffee ice cream with fudge and mini dark chocolate coffee cups)says owner Bill Abel. Their brand is the recipient of 11 national awards issued by the National Ice Cream Retailers Association since 2009. The Abel’s pride in their business is evident with their sparkly clean shop where they personally welcome you and serve their ice cream with a cup of water and the news of the day. Abel’s Ice Cream is opened 7 days a week. 1886 Stickney Point Road, 941-921-5700, Story continued on page 23

IV Siesta Sand - April 2013

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