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Your Lifestyle Awaits Matching Naples Properties To Your Perfect Lifestyle

Your Luxury Real Estate Specialist Representing Some Of The Finest Properties On Southwest Florida’s Beautiful Gulf Coast


CONTENTS Volume 2 Issue 3




2009 ADDY Award Winner

FEATURES PUBLISHER’S PAGE ................................................................... 12 WELCOME ................................................................................. 14 NTRODUCTION .......................................................................... 16 SUN COAST ............................................................................... 18 THE BEAU CIEL LIFESTYLE/Barbara Mei ..................................... 24 CULTURAL COAST ..................................................................... 30 PARADISE COAST ...................................................................... 44

DEPARTMENTS FOREIGN CURRENCY by Laura McLoughlin foreign currency “issues” explained ................................................. 56 NTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE by Carla Rayman why invest in florida, why now? ....................................................... 60 CROSS BORDER ESTATE PLANNING by Matt Altro the eb-5 green card: a canadian’s ticket to retirement in the u.s. ...... 64

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.com mag s e hom rida o l f . www


The May, 2010 Toronto Events and Realtor Quest Trade Shows were a great success for all participating! Two seminars offered by Florida Homes Magazine "Investing in Florida" were attended by packed rooms at 2 locations. Thanks to a great line-up of presenters the crowds were provided outstanding information in which to make informed decisions on "Where there Lifestyle will begin.”

About the Publisher: Canadian-born Mike Mattina has a passion for the Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle. A successful entrepreneur, his personal search for a home in Florida exposed a great need for area information not easily attained, and has propelled his present desire to assure comprehensive relocation, vacation and real estate information is readily available to international buyers seeking the Florida lifestyle.

Special thanks to Rochelle Herman, “Today with Rochelle” radio 1280 am WTMY for an exceptional live broadcast from the Toronto Congress Center. Our deepest appreciation is extended to all of the presenters who made this seminar such a great success: Carla Rayman, Patricia Tan and Valentina Pippin of Prudential Palms Realty International Divison; Laura McLoughlin, Regional Manager of Moneycorp; Alain Forget, RBC Bank USA; David Altro, Altro & Associates; Sang Park, Ecoterra International; David Smith, Jaymor Group and Garry Levy, Strategic Alliance Financial. Florida Homes Magazine has an informative radio program each Thursday on “Today with Rochelle,” from 1 to 2 pm, Eastern, on 1280 am WTMY. Going Coastal with Florida Homes Magazine, with your hosts Rochelle Herman and publisher Mike Mattina, can be heard and viewed online at The program offers valuable insight on domestic and international topics relative to the Southwest Gulf Coast Lifestyle and purchasing Florida Real Estate, with an array of guests including attorneys, banking professionals, real estate professionals and related international real estate specialists. Housing Snapshot The first quarter of 2010 offered a tremendous increase in home sales and pending home sales all along the Southwest Gulf Coast, providing increased optimism for the months to come. An increase in median home values for the Sarasota/Bradenton and Naples markets are primary points of enthusiasm that should be noted. Fueled in part by the homebuyer tax credit, the incentives and attractive pricing have buyers poised to purchase. Sun Coast The numbers continue to remain strong in the Tampa area market, with 1,866 homes sold in April 2010, versus 1573 in April 2009, for an increase of 18.63%. Year-to-date 6,281 homes were sold across all price points versus 5,347 for April 2009, for a 17.47% increase. In all price ranges, homes reflect a sale price of 95% of ask price, an average of 99 days on the market and a reduced overall inventory standing at 7.2 months. Cultural Coast Reaching the highest pending sales numbers in the past four years, the 1,160 sales contracts accepted for the Sarasota area market reflected a sense of buyer urgency. April 2010 sales outpaced the April 2009 sales by 50%, while the first quarter of 2010 indicates an 8% increase in the median value of area homes. Paradise Coast April 2010 is the second consecutive month that the median closed price has increased in the Naples area market. For properties over $300,000, the median price increased 3 percent from $534,000 in April 2009 to $550,000 in April 2010. Additionally, traditional sales outpaced distressed property sales two to one. Overall sales increased 46 percent in April 2010 over April 2009, while the pending sales of single-family homes $1M to $2M price range increased 200% from April 2009.





Alan Atchley Broker-Associate, GRI, TRC, e-PRO


9040 Town Center Parkway Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 Office 941-782-1202 Cell 941-720-1641

beyondreal estate FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE




Your Paradise Lifestyle Awaits

Welcome to the life and lifestyle of endless sunshine and swaying palms that is the allure of Florida's Southwest Coast. Where near perfect weather year-round, the romance of sun swept beaches and magnificent sunsets attract visitors and seasonal residents alike. Consistently ranked in the TOP destinations, as well as one of the best places to live work and play, this area offers first-class accommodations, nationally ranked beaches, a rich history and a glimpse into the majestic wildlife that makes this region of the country so special.

Allow us to guide you on your ultimate Southwest Florida excursion. Featuring the vibrence and nightlife of the SUN COAST (Tampa, St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Tarpon Springs) the rich history and performance mecca of the CULTURAL COAST (Sarasota/Bradenton, Punta Gorda, Venice and Boca Grande) and the world-class amenities, artfully co-existing with untamed wilderness of the PARADISE COAST (Naples, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Sanibel/Captiva, Fort Myers and the Florida Everglades).

Award-winning communities, top-ranked golf courses, endless waterways and the relaxed Florida lifestyle create a unique harmony and global appeal. Since the late 1800's, Southwest Florida has been a popular destination for those seeking a warm therapeutic climate, resort amenities and sophisticated recreation. Her earliest “snow-birds” were industrialists and aristocracy. Today, their vision of the ultimate paradisiacal lifestyle lives on in the array of resort hotels, museums, worldclass restaurants, recreational and professional sports, first-rate boating and fishing opportunities, world famous beaches and extraordinary cultural amenities.

Whatever your lifestyle, or passion, Florida's Southwest Coast will offer abundance at every turn. You can experience the ultimate thrill at amusement parks, or on an air boat ride through the wilderness of the Everglades; seek sanctuary on a remote and unspoiled island retreat, or spend countless hours wandering the tranquil tree-lined streets of the quaint downtown districts. Opera or Osprey, hip and trendy, to soulful seaside exploration…your options are as endless as the regions pristine waterways and days of sunshine.


Find your Perfect Piece of Paradise.

Going Coastal Home to some of the finest destinations in the world such as Naples, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Boca Grande and Sanibel Island, Florida's Southwest coast is most often noted for its majestic barrier islands and gorgeous gulf beaches, which lure millions to the local shorelines annually. Named for the Spanish feast of flowers, Florida's lush, exotic foliage flourishes throughout this Southwest region, filling the surrounding scenery with brilliant colors and intoxicating scents. Glistening waterways wrap around the region's miles of coastline providing peaceful passageways for dolphins, manatee and other aquatic life. Equally famous for historic districts, intriguing architecture and landmarks, the cultural attraction of Naples, Sarasota and Tampa include theatre, seasonal ballet, the symphony, and countless distinctive art galleries, along with a large population of local artisans. While festivals year-round such as the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa, the Sarasota Blues Festival and the Taste of the Islands in Sanibel and Captiva, awaken your spirit, foster your imagination and feed your soul. Nature enthusiasts are enamored with the plethora of natural treasures of the region. Camping, canoeing, hiking, the Vince Rookery, Corkscrew Swamp, and, of course, the famous Florida Everglades, with intriguing airboat excursions, provide outdoor educational and recreational adventures for all ages. The region's temperate climate, ample sunshine and southern breezes create the perfect backdrop for any type of outdoor recreation. Each area boasts a variety of public and private golf courses, many associated with gated communities and resort-style amenities. From the tranquil elegance of Lansbrook and the exclusive Cypress Run (Tarpon Springs) to The Founders Club (Sarasota) and the distinguished Olde Cypress Golf Community (Naples), discriminating homeowners and discerning golfers enjoy 12 months of glorious tee times, unhurried play and award-winning greens.





clearwater st. petersburg

bradenton sarasota CULTURAL venice COAST punta gorda boca grande cape coral ft. myers PARADISE COAST naples marco island

SUN COAST The Tampa Bay area begins our journey of the coastal experience. A cosmopolitan flair, with incredible natural resources, the Tampa area offers an array of attractions, professional sports, a rich history, cool bay breezes and miles of open waterway. The Sun Coast is comprised of various barrier islands and 35-miles of white-sand beaches, encompassed by the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater offer a tropical setting and hold year-round appeal for the angler, golfer, the arts and water sport enthusiasts. Home to award-winning beaches, including Caladesi Beach, America's number one beach in 2008, you're close to everything, yet you'll feel as though you're miles away from anywhere. In addition to award-winning beaches, the area offers attractions, recreation and aquatic educational opportunities. Visit a marine aquarium, experience a dolphin encounter, discover unique shops and boutiques, or sample the coastal cuisine. From elegant dining and moonlight dinner cruises, to completely casual barefoot beach relaxation, there's a perfect experience awaiting you on Florida's Sun Coast.

CULTURAL COAST A European style city, Sarasota is home to an abundance of outdoor recreation, cultural amenities beyond compare, awardwinning beaches, outstanding cuisine and world-renowned shopping. The Cultural Coast includes Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice accompanied by surrounding communities. Beyond the allure of the over 35-miles of stunning beaches, you'll find a rich history, magnificent architecture, award-winning communities, miles of boating water and lush golf courses. Home to a world-class ballet company, numerous playhouses, the Florida West Coast and the Venice Symphonies, along with a plethora of art galleries, the region plays host to festivals, visiting artists and exciting exhibits year-round. Each area of the region reflects a unique personality. From Boca Grand's tropical island ambiance, waterfront dining and the feel of “Old Florida,” to Bradenton and Venice, with their friendly, small-town allure, historic ambiance and tranquil pace. Loose your self on sun swept beaches, aboard your boat, in a museum, or on the green. Take a dinner cruise, bike or hike the grounds of one of the area's nearby State Parks. There is something for everyone on Florida's Cultural Coast.

PARADISE COAST Nestled between the calm azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the subtropical wilderness of the Florida Everglades, Naples and surrounding communities boast miles of unspoiled beaches, incredible wild life, upscale amenities, award-winning neighborhoods, over 130 highly acclaimed golf courses, culinary delights, cultural events, art exhibits and exquisite sunsets. Snorkel, stroll, shop or shell. Tantalizing island fare and local bounty, or international cuisines, an abundance of dining options are available in the region. Naples, Marco Island & the Florida Everglades comprise The Paradise Coast. Neighboring communities include Fort Myers, known as “The City of Palms” and Fort Myers' beaches, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, with their laid-back island culture. Here you'll discover a gentle pace and tropical ambiance. Home of the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, the unsurpassed natural beauty of this region and strong nature conservancy focus captivates the outdoor and wild life enthusiasts. From upscale to economical, whether you prefer fishing, shelling, tennis, nature hikes or swamp buggy excursions…this quintessential Florida community welcomes you. FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE





The Sun Coast, also recognized at the “Nightlife Capital of Southwest Florida” is also known as a boating and fishing paradise. Home to three award winning beaches, this region is geographically defined by the Tampa Bay area and numerous barrier Islands. For families, entrepreneurs, artists, nature enthusiasts, retirees, as well as beach goers and boaters, longing for the endless sunshine and enviable lifestyle of Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast, the Sun Coast is beyond compare. The Sun Coast includes the communities of Tarpon Springs to the north, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach, Largo, Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, and St. Petersburg, recently regarded among America's Top Livable Cities.

The Tampa Bay area, rich with natural resources, unmatched beaches, endless waterways and marvelous attractions makes this region of Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast one of the top destinations for visitors, as well as those looking to relocate to the Sunshine State. Boasting the largest performing arts center in the southeast, the largest science museum in the south, 2008's number one beach in America, tens-of-thousands of acres of natural preserve, the number one zoo in the country for children, along with a vibrant business climate, the life and the lifestyle are unsurpassed on Florida's Sun Coast. Experience award-winning beaches and gorgeous waterways, where you can lounge, fish, swim, sail or shell. Take a



magnificent moonlit dinner cruise, visit the Henry B. Plant Museum, with its fine furnishing and incredible architectural presence, schedule a tee time on one of the Tampa Bay area's gorgeous golf courses, or watch some of the world's best performers at the Tampa Bay Arts Center, one of the largest performing art centers in North America. The Sun Coast's natural bounty is expansive in their nature parks and preserves. The regions commitment to the preservation of natural resources and dedication to protecting vulnerable marine and avian life is seen in the area's vast wildlife sanctuaries, rehabilitative, rescue and research aquariums.

Wild Adventures…choose your venue. Sensational roller coasters at Bush Gardens and the interactive wildlife expositions at the Florida Aquarium, or visit the Lowry Park Zoo offering close encounters with over 2,000 animals housed in natural habitats. Invigorating professional sporting events, big game fishing, or a night on the town at one of Tampa's trendy hotspots, whatever your skill or thrill, the Sun Coast promises to engage your senses and capture your heart. Tampa's Latin Quarter, has a reputation of “party central” in Tampa Bay. One of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida, Ybor (pronounced Eebor) City's quaint streets, trendy galleries, live music and exceptional cuisine

draw thousands to its energetic atmosphere and old-world charm. This particular destination has also given rise to Tampa's recognition as “the Nightlife Capital of Florida's West Coast” and offers an exotic blend of scents, sights, sounds and flavors. A tropical climate of quiet and calm draw visitors and residents to the prominent destination of Clearwater/St. Petersburg. Award-winning beaches, a rich history, a thriving economic base, numerous attractions, along with a host of special and sporting events offer a wide variety of activities in this quiet coastal community.

In addition to marvelous beaches and amazing Gulf of Mexico sunsets, you'll find endless boating opportunities, with yachts, sightseeing boats, dinner cruises and even a pirate ship at the Clearwater Marina. Be amazed by the work with rescued and vulnerable sealife at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, or experience St. Petersburg's infamous Sunken Gardens.

Location Florida's west coast , Hillsborough County, just north of Sarasota, 25 miles in from the Gulf of Mexico. Geography Hillsborough County 1,050 square miles of land area Temperature 82° F average high temperature 61° F average low temperature 73.1° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 44.8 inches Average Annual Sunshine 346 days Population 336,823 residents Airport Tampa International Airport is located just five miles west of downtown Tampa on the east shore of Tampa Bay General Information: 813870-8700. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is located on State Route 686, Roosevelt Blvd. 4 miles north of St. Petersburg.

Boasting the Henry B. Plant Museum, a Children's Museum, Museum of Fine Art and a History Museum, along with various cultural venues including St. Pete's Florida Craftsmen Gallery and Mahaffey Theatre complex, the cultural amenities of this community are impressive. Live theatre and performances are featured at Ruth Eckerd Hall and The Palladium Theatre, home of the St. Petersburg Ballet Company. Tarpon Springs is home of the world-famous Sponge Docks, graceful mansions and a Mediterranean heritage peacefully coexisting with casino cruises, championship golf and deep sea charters. The historic downtown features a vibrant city center of galleries, restaurants, antiques and specialty shops.


Clearwater Beach is consistently ranked as of the best Florida Beaches and one of the most popular with families. Secluded Caladesi Island holds the title as “America's Number One Beach” in 2008. A largely undeveloped barrier island, Caladesi is only accessible by boat. This little piece of heaven offers a 3mile nature trail, dockage for your boat and ferry access to the nearby Honeymoon Island.

Tampa, along with its neighboring communities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, are located midway down Florida's west coast. Surrounded by miles of waterway, the region offers world-wide appeal as a resort destination, as well as a comfortable place to live.

Sea Port Port of Tampa 1101 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602 (800) 741-2297 Cost of Living Index 98 (U.S. average is 100) Median Resident Age 41.24 Years





THERE’S A SUNNY SIDE TO THIS AREA OF FLORIDA’S WEST COAST THAT MAKES IT A HOT SPOT AMONG THE WORLD’S DESTINATIONS. FUN ‘N SUN LOVERS COME FROM AROUND THE GLOBE TO THE BEACHES OF ST. PETERSBURG AND CLEARWATER EARNING THIS REGION THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “SUN COAST”. Savor the Flavors After a day at the beach, the museums, on the course, or at any of the host of attractions throughout the Sun Coast, escape to a tropical paradise for a marvelous meal at Fish Tail Willy's, or tantalize your senses with the meticulously chosen menu at Jorge's Seafood Grille. Satisfy the most discriminating taste with exquisite meals at Savant Fine Dining, or experience old-school cuisine and professional service, dinner and dancing at the Wine Cellar in Redington Beach. Voted one of the “20 Best New Restaurants” in Florida, by Florida Trend Magazine, Middle Grounds Grill, at Treasure Island, features the freshest in local fare, while Britts Laguna Grill serves up sunsets almost daily in the coolest tropical paradise location on Clearwater Beach. For the epitome in European allure, try St. Pete's Cafe Alma, celebrating community, art and intellect with live entertainment. Notable Nightlife The Tampa Bay area sizzles with chic nightlife locations and tropical retreats. Bay Area bands crank out jazz, blues, rock, country and salsa at clubs and restaurants throughout the region, The “Soul of St. Petersburg,” BayWalk is an open-air entertainment complex sure to please in the heart of downtown. Let loose at Y'bor City's Green Iguana, or try a famous “martooni” at the Chic-a-Boom Room in Dunedin, serving as a haven for those looking to relax and enjoy mingling. New York New York, in Clearwater, serves up an entertaining ambiance and great local bands. A “must visit” is the highly popular Shephard's Tiki Bar, right on Clearwater Beach. This raucous establishment is a favorite of fun-loving souls. Come by boat, or by car, but don't miss it. Water Wonders With miles of endless shimmering waterways, lakes, rivers and secret hidden backwater, you can fish to your heart's desire. Whether you prefer a pier, or the deck of a deep sea charter, the Sun Coast is sure to thrill you. Hubbard Marina at John's Pass, in Madeira Beach Florida is West Florida's Leader in Deep Sea Fishing for 40 years, offering all types of water excursions, including sightseeing tours. While you're there, don't miss the Pirates Cove Bar. Exhilarating lunch or dinner cruises are sure to please in Tampa and St. Pete. All aboard for a Dixieland lunch, or a glamorous dinner cruise with



stunning water views. Watch the dolphins cavort from the Dolphin Encounter® Cruises and view these graceful marine mammals along with the gorgeous shoreline of Caladesi Island. Native Adventure An unsurpassed abundance of parks, nature preserves, estuaries and exhibits will have you on a first name basis with many of the true Florida Natives. Few destinations offer the opportunity to visit sanctuaries specifically focused on rescue and rehab of Florida's vulnerable wildlife. Located in Indian Shores, The SunCoast Seabird Sanctuary is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured avian life, with an on-site hospital. The Lowry Zoo, the Florida Aquarium and the Tarpon Springs Aquarium offer experiences with marine and wildlife most will never forget. Or, strike out on your own adventure at one of the many preserves. Brooker Creek Preserve's 8,500acres are sanctuary to over 50 reptiles, 40 mammals, 160 bird species and 20 amphibians, of which many are rare or listed as protected. Shell Key Preserve is a 1,755-acre preserve, whose unique habitat provides a sanctuary for vulnerable and protected wildlife species. Moccasin Lake Nature Park, a 51acre preserve, or Boyd Hill Nature Park located on Lake Maggiore, a 245-acre preserve, will bring you up-close to many of the endangered plants and rare wildlife of the Tampa Bay area. Botanical Bounty Not only is the region rich in botanical beauty, but also features the added benefit of a rich history and culture. The signature destination of St. Petersburg's Sunken Gardens, first opening in

1935, offers rare foliage, along with a magnificent butterfly garden. The beautiful Palm Arboretum sits on two-acres of bounty offering hundreds of botanical specimens. Florida Botanical Gardens features 90-acres of protected wetlands and endangered scrubland, along with an abundance of spectacular color throughout the year, and a very special Children's trail. A member of the National Register Of Historic Places, Weedon Island Preserve, situated on Old Tampa Bay, was once home to at least four prehistoric cultures who thrived on the area's natural abundance. The Cultural and National Historic Center features a creative blend of environmental education infused with the Weedon Native American Indian culture.

Creative Expressions An exciting array of annual festivals, street performers and events can be found year-round on the Sun Coast. Live theatrical, orchestra and ballet performances are featured at Ruth Eckerd Hall, The Mahaffey Theatre and The Palladium Theatre, home of the St. Petersburg Ballet Company. St. Petersburg regularly tops the nation among art destinations. The Museum of Fine Arts, along with the Salvador Dali Museum offers examples of paintings, glass, decorative objects, photography, and antiques. The Gasparilla Festival of Arts attracts hundreds of artisans and art enthusiasts to the exhibits of photography and jewelers, sculptors and painters.

Thrills and Spills With exhilarating attractions like Busch Gardens' Gwazi, a double wooden coaster, boasting the title of the Southeast's largest, and The Serengeti Plain, featuring hundreds of exotic African animals, to professional baseball, professional football and hockey, you're never far from the action on the Sun Coast. Sunscreen Required Known for award-winning beaches, this region offers a plethora of pristine shore line. Home to America's number one beach in 2008, Caladesi Island State Park, which is dog friendly as well as family friendly, Clearwater offers a cornucopia of top-rated sandy destinations including the Number one beach in 2005, Fort De Soto Park. For a high energy beach excursion try Clearwater Beach, with hotels, beachwear boutiques, a marina and the infamous Pier 60. Relaxing on the beach, with no highrises in sight, Pass-A-Grill on the lower end of St. Petersburg Beach offers a tranquil respite, or for those seeking a more “secluded” approach try Shell Key Preserve, no structures, just palms, dunes, white sandy beaches and resident wildlife. Ambient Accommodations From modest to magnificent, the accommodations on the Sun Coast are as unique as the communities themselves. Five-star resorts, boutique hotels, or bed and breakfasts offer a restful environment to soothe the senses. One of the most famous, situated on a 22-acre bluff overlooking Clearwater Bay, the Belleview Biltmore, built in 1897, is a private, waterside, fullservice resort offering golf, tennis, spa and beach club. Discover distinctive personal service and heartwarming ambience at the Quorum Westshore Tampa, or loose yourself at the highly acclaimed Innis Brook Resort, Palm Harbor, a 900-acre impeccable resort offering top ranked golf courses, tennis, a host of restaurants, lakes and trails. Don't miss Ybor City's beautifully restored boutique hotel, The Vincente de Ybor Historic Inn, built in 1895, and the true centerpiece of Ybor City's historic district.


Niche Excursions Lively, quaint, fragrant and scenic effectively describe the many hidden treasures of the Sun Coast. Tampa's Hyde Park Village provides a perfect backdrop with its tree-lined streets, brick courtyards and fountains. You'll find an array of dining, shopping and entertainment options from The Channel Side Bay Plaza to Ybor City's historic Seventh Avenue, named as one of 2008's “Nation's Greatest Streets” by the American Planning Association. Discover an eclectic urban village in the heart of St. Petersburg at the Grand Central District, or immerse yourself in the ambiance and a rich history at The Florida Orange Groves Winery. John's Pass Village offers the feel of a unique fishing village, with shopping, dining and entertainment for the whole family. Scenic boardwalks, great restaurants, specialty wine making, and even a streetcar will transport you to the enchanted sites, sounds, aroma and rich culture of the region.

Clearwater annually hosts their four-day Jazz event featuring street performers, crafts and music. In Largo, visit the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, featuring the work of Florida artisans, or Heritage Village where Florida History comes to life. Known for its small intimate atmosphere, don't miss the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center hosting Broadway musicals, plays and concerts year-round. Don't miss the Henry B. Plant Museum, housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, an architectural majesty and a designated National Historic Landmark.

Days on the Green There are plentiful manicured greens in this Golfer's Paradise, with over 300 semi-private and public golf courses, along with an average of 346 days of sunshine. Host to major golfing events, you'll find challenging courses readily available, along with golf academies to assist you sharpen your skills. TPC Tampa Bay has recently received the number 18 ranking of the top 50 public facilities in the country, by Golf World Magazine in their annual 'Reader's Choice: Best Places To Play' edition.




HAPPENINGS Year-round outdoor festivals, with tantalizing fare and spectacular sounds can be explored on the Sun Coast. Indoors, the live performances command audiences at the Mahffey Theatre January through May, and the Tampa Bay Performing Art Center almost year-round. Spectacular shows and concerts at the St. Petersburg Times Forum offer more than 150 events, annually, including ice shows, the circus and indoor sports. Enjoy year-round walking tours of the Downtown St. Petersburg Historic District, or party in Palm Harbor during their First Friday's events, when the historic district transforms into a large block party, with live entertainment and art exhibits.

Fair taking place in Tampa's trendy downtown area with courtyards and tree-lined streets. Spectacular surroundings augmented by amazing sculpture, photography and one-of-akind jewelry. May brings the Annual Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races in Garrison Channel featuring team paddling in a fiercely competitive fashion.

In January, convene with colorfully costumed Pirates during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in downtown Tampa, or explore over 100 area artisans at the Dunedin Fine Art Festival.

Things begin to crank up come October with the NSRA Southeast Street Rod Nationals where vintage auto collectors from around the globe gather at the Tampa Florida State Fairgrounds. This show features over 1,400 pre-1949 vehicles in the “largest street rod show in the Southeast.” In the Lively Latin District “Guavaween” the annual celebration in Ybor City attracts thousands from around the world to the spirited parade and magnificent music venues.

February brings one of Tampa's signature annual events celebrating the Latin Heritage of Ybor City during the Sant'Yago Knight Parade and Family Festival. Experience the best of Seafood and Blues at the Annual Sea Blues Festival in Clearwater's Coachman Park, or “Mardi Gras on Main Street” in Downtown Dunedin. March plays host to the annual Gasparilla Festival of Arts where hundreds of sculptors, photographers and various artisans, from around the globe, display their work in downtown Tampa. Just in time for the onset of April, St. Petersburg gears up to host it's Annual Folk Fair featuring ethnic villages, and authentic costume, with demonstrations of time-honored craftsmanship and ethnic cuisine. In April and May the three-week Clearwater Fun N' Sun Festival plays host to over 40 events, with musical venues ranging from classical and jazz to that cool Latin beat. This is also the month for the highly anticipated Hyde Park Village Art



In June and throughout the summer months, spend a night under the stars with some of nature's most amazing animals at the Lowry Park Zoo's Summer Safari Nights.

Sample the freshest seafood fare in November, with vendors and restaurants treating visitors to their famous seafood specialties during the Ruskin Seafood and Arts Festival, or if you're so inclined, sample some of the finest Cigars in the world at the Ybor City's Annual Cigar Heritage Festival. This festival brings amazing aromas, great food, live music, drinks and fun for the whole family. A host of parades, both on and off the water, holiday concerts and seasonal performances are featured, annually, during the holidays on the Sun Coast. Experience the charm of the 19th Century holiday at the Tampa Bay Hotel during the Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Henry B. Plant Museum, chosen one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events in December.


an address of distinction




B E A U C I E L 9 9 0 B O U L E V AR D O F T H E AR T S S A RA S O TA , F L O R I DA

Beau Ciel is an architecturally acclaimed building with a plethora of amenities. Each apartment has its own private elevator lobby, 24 hour concierge service, a social room with a large catering kitchen, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a swimming pool and spa with a very well appointed outdoor entertaining area inclusive of two gas grills and much more. There are also hotel amenities which are exclusively available to Beau Ciel residents. The gracious layout of this generous 3400 square foot 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath apartment in the sky makes it feel much larger. Overlooking the Sarasota Bay and the Yacht Harbor with expansive vistas by day and sunset vistas by night. The meticulous craftsmanship, finishes and taste are ideal for a discerning buyer.



amenities & features Building Features Elegant arrival plaza with porte cochere drop off Dramatic two-story entrance lobby with grand staircase leading to the amenity level 24 hour concierge service Closed circuit television security system Keyless building entry/security systems High speed private elevators leading to each residence Mail room Two interior parking spaces in secured parking garage Air-conditioned storage space Enclosed bicycle storage in parking garage Automatic recyclable trash system Amenity Level Features Luxuriously appointed lounge with fully equipped bar Elegant board room/private dining room Card room Owners' theatre area Extensively equipped fitness facility Men's and Women's locker rooms with steam, sauna and massage therapy rooms Large catering kitchen with its own elevator entry Heated pool and spa with surrounding brick paver deck amidst lush tropical landscaping Poolside cabana with wet bar, two gas grills and covered eating area

Residence Features Private elevator lobby at each entrance 9'8" high ceilings, except where dropped Use of architectural tray ceilings in select areas of residence to create dramatic spaces Crown molding in specifies areas 5-1/4" custom profile baseboards 3-1/2" custom profile casing 8' high solid-core raised panel interior doors Spacious walk-in closets Exterior terraces with ceramic tile and see-through glass railing Energy-saving solar tinted windows Laminated architectural glass on all non-balcony windows Premium plumbing design including central hot water system Fire protection sprinkler system Multiple-zone, individually controlled high efficiency A/C and heating system Digital programmable thermostats Recessed lighting in halls, kitchens and bathrooms State-of-the-art structured wiring designed to meet today's and tomorrow's telecommunications requirements, including high speed cabling to all TV outlets and CAT cable with "home run" configuration for telephone and data communications Roof mounted satellite receivers Monitored security system in each residence Convenient wall-mounted ironing board in laundry room Premium front loading washer and dryer

apartment amenity upgrades 18" x 18" Navona travertine marble throughout Over 350 lineal feet of custom profile crown molding throughout and chair rail in certain locations Luxury custom closets Custom window treatments consisting of shades with sheers and pewter tiebacks Storage area off elevator entry Glass shelf display alcove in main foyer Plate glass mirror in dining room alcove area reflecting the water view Kitchen backsplash in a glazed terracotta custom design Lightly used bachelors' kitchen Miele dishwasher Custom-built walk-in pantry in kitchen Three section built-in bookcase with mahogany pilasters in family/breakfast room Two full bathroom cabinets have solid birch custom roll-out drawers under the sink Bookcase framed doorway to master bedroom Plate mirror surrounds master bath Designer ceiling fan in master bedroom



Located in the finest neighborhood in Sarasota, just minutes away from the airport, The Ringling Museum, beaches and fine shopping. It is centrally located in Sarasota's renowned cultural district and is walking distance to downtown, numerous theatres, the symphony and the opera. This fabulous apartment has a three million dollar view and is aggressively priced for under two million dollars. Visit for more information about this exciting Sarasota waterfront community.

Barbara Mei, Broker/Associate Surfside Properties (941) 893-7417 FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE


listen very carefully and you might hear . . .

a five star o p portunity is whisperin g

Nestled along the pristine coastline of Longboat Key on Florida's West Coast, Bleu Claire brings a new level of exclusivity to beachfront condominium living, with only 11 to be built estate residences from 4,000 square feet. Inspired by the villas of the French Riviera, the community’s understated elegance reflects the beauty of its natural surroundings and the enchanting views of the Gulf of Mexico while offering environmentally green construction and surprising amenities.. From the $3 millions USD. Penthouses from the $5 millions USD. Call 941.744.7441 or visit















The cultural capital of Southwest Florida, the Sarasota area is a haven for art patrons, musicians, and writers, performing artists, sculptors and painters. With two symphonies, an opera house, world-class ballet company, numerous playhouses and a plethora of art galleries, the region hosts festivals, visiting artists and exciting exhibits year-round. Art patrons will enjoy The Asolo Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, Island Players, Lemon Bay Playhouse, or Theatre Works, and of course the Sarasota Ballet. Experience the melodic offerings of the Florida West Coast Symphony, Key Chorale, the Sarasota Jazz Club, or Venice Symphony. Sarasota and her distinctive barrier islands are home to awardwinning beaches where you can snorkel, shell or stroll through the warm azure Gulf waters. Loose yourself in the gentle

breezes and the soothing sound of lapping waves, or be completely awestruck by magnificent sunsets. Lido Beach provides a picture postcard setting along with sugary soft white sands. Enjoy the sun, or build castles in the sand while the family can stroll along the shore to St. Armand's Circle, a distinctive designation in itself consisting of upscale shops and boutiques. Don't miss one of the top beaches in the world at Siesta Key. Voted as One of “America's Best Beaches;” “Third Best Walking Beach in the USA,” by USA Today International Edition; and “The Best of the Best Sand,” by Conde Nast Traveler. To experience "Old Florida" at its finest, visit Casey Key, just to the south of Siesta Key. Picturesque winding gulffront roads make for an incredible ocean-side journey. Whether by car, or scenic bicycle ride, you'll be among some of


the finest homes Sarasota has to offer. Little traffic, on this remote stretch of pristine paradise, quaint inns and Old Florida resorts transport you to a simpler time with gentility and grace. Bradenton and the tropical paradise of Anna Maria Island offer a unique sense of Old Florida Charm, lush golf courses, cultural attractions and historic ambiance, along with white sand beaches and stunning sunsets. Bradenton offers a unique historic and cultural flavor, along with award winning planned communities such as Lakewood Ranch, while Anna Maria takes you back to a simpler unhurried pace and stretches a mere 7.5 miles in length and less than one mile wide. Venice abounds in natural beauty, with a quaint downtown area, tremendous live oak trees and magnificent Old Florida

appeal. A designated “Florida Main Street” community, Venice is also a cultural Mecca, with its annual festivals, galleries, live theatre and of course the Venice symphony. Also know for white sand beaches Venice's Caspersen Beach is especially appealing to naturalist's offering an unspoiled and secluded area, left primarily in its natural state. The essence of the Old South is found in the historic waterfront town of Punta Gorda. Palm-lined cobblestone streets, Victorian mansions, wide verandas and street lamps capture the spirit of a different era. The barrier island of Manasota Key offers uncrowded beaches and an ideal environment for shelling, golf or fishing in a serene setting.Located on Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande offers the perfect setting for quiet coastal living. This

unique island sanctuary features a rich history and abundant natural beauty. Peacefully nestled between Charlotte Harbor and the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico, Boca Grande reveals miles of white sand beaches, abundant parks, exceptional dining and lodging, in an intoxicating atmosphere of barefoot elegance. The Cultural Coast is well known as a golfer's paradise, boasting magnificent golf courses both public and private. Beautiful weather year-round, lush greens and tropical foliage create a perfect backdrop for the avid golfer. Many of the golf courses are associated with award-winning country club communities featuring vast acreage of natural beauty, wildlife, lakes and resort-style amenities.

Sophisticated St. Armands Circle, in Sarasota, features over 130 fine shops and gourmet restaurants. A world-renowned location, St. Armands is a market place of charming European-influenced

Location Florida's west coast between Tampa to the north and Ft. Myers to the south. Sarasota County is between Manatee County (north) and Charlotte County (south). Located on the Gulf of Mexico. Geography 571.75 square miles of land area 35 miles of beachfront Temperature 82.8 F (28.2 C) average high temperature 61.9 F (16.6 C) average low temperature Annual Precipitation 55.18 inches Average Annual Sunshine 361 days Population 325,957 residents Airport Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (941359-5200) is located at the intersection of US 41 and University Parkway.

elegance. Gracefully blending the past and the present, courtyards and treasures accompany contemporary architecture and lush tropical foliage to create an enchanting atmosphere of continental appeal. Home to world-class dining, shopping, sophisticated amenities, theaters, galleries, a symphony and the Sarasota Ballet, along with 35-miles of beaches and six barrier islands...for a while, or a lifetime, The Cultural Coast is a perfect piece of PARADISE. Don't miss Crescent Beach an 8-mile stretch of pristine beach and warm Gulf waters. A popular escape for lovebirds, the magnificent backdrop creates an ideal location for beach weddings, but also holds a peaceful allure for writers and artists. Crescent Beach holds claim to the official title of “The Worlds' Finest, Whitest Sand”.

Cost of Living Index 85.8 (less than average, U.S. average is 100) Median Resident Age 41.1 Years


The Gulf of Mexico invites a wealth of boating opportunities, from rentals, cruises and deep-sea fishing trips, to sightseeing and sunset tours. Take the helm of a watercraft, or let another direct your boating destination, the choices on The Cultural Coast are endless. Dolphin runs, eco-tours, kayak, or canoe, this region has the best-of-the-best in fishing and boating. Regardless of the size of your water craft, there are ample marinas to welcome you along the way. Dock for the night, or for a while. Featuring fine dining experiences, live entertainment, incredible natural beauty, and a host of aquatic wildlife, find your senses tantalized by the rich abundance of the water and the region.

Sarasota, together with its neighbors to the north and south, Manatee County and Charlotte County, form the 7th-largest market in Florida.

A magnificent array of professional theater, opera, ballet and symphony performances, home to Ringling fame and a host of yearround art and music events, this region has earned the title of Florida’s “Cultural Coast."





BEING HOME TO PROFESSIONAL THEATER, OPERA, BALLET AND SYMPHONY, ALONG WITH A VARIETY OF ART AND MUSIC EVENTS, THIS REGION HAS EARNED THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “CULTURAL COAST”. Savor the Flavors After a great day of exploration, or before you embark, there are great restaurants in the region to satisfy any taste. The Bay View Bar & Grill at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, offers full bay views and uncomplicated cuisine in a Florida Casual outdoor setting. Try the Crow's Nest Marina Restaurant, Venice's waterfront landmark since 1976 and voted "Venice's Best All Around Restaurant," or The Monkey Room on Longboat Key featuring a spirited ambiance and creative island-influenced cuisine. Don't miss breakfast at Siesta Key's Broken Egg, or the magnificence of Chef Paul Mattison at Mattison's Riverside at Twin Dolphin Marina in Bradenton, sunset at The Sandbar on Anna Maria, or The Captains Table at Fisherman's Village, in Punta Gorda, with exceptional local seafood fare and some of the best Florida views available. Notable Nightlife When the sun goes down, the fun's just begun on the Cultural Coast. Live music, dance floors, mild breezes, twinkling white lights and tiki torches are all components of the silk & sandals nightlife. Don't miss the Five O'Clock Club, the Gator Club, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, The Beach Club on Siesta Key, Blasé' Café' or Mattison's City Grille where you're sure to find great food, outdoor dining, exotic beverages and magnificent music. Water Wonders If it's fishing that interests you there are more than 1000 species of fish, along with endless bays, rivers and streams to keep you reeling-them-in on Florida's Southwest Coast. Tarpon enthusiasts find the months of May and June offer adventure in the world famous Boca Grande Pass. And, don't forget about the Redfish, Snook and Trout. Check out the action on Anna Maria City Pier, or have all of your fishing needs met at Englewood Bait House. The warm Gulf waters are not just for fishing, try snorkeling or scuba at Crescent Beach's Point-ofRocks, kayak or canoe at Myakka River State Park, or dock your vessel at one of the regions marvelous marinas. Native Adventure For a real native adventure, the wildlife, avian life and flora of the Cultural Coast can be found in the state parks, along the beach, or at one of the aquariums, botanical gardens or museums. Don't miss the Crowley Museum and Nature Center, Mote Marine, The Parker Manatee Aquarium, or



Sarasota Jungle Gardens where you can convene with Florida's greatest natural assets, alligators, manatee, flamingos, deer and armadillos. Botanical Bounty The natural bounty of the area will amaze you. From the worldrenowned Marie Selby Gardens to the Rose Garden of Mable Ringling, take a stroll through lush gardens throughout the area. Don't miss Historic Spanish Point a window into 5,000 years of human history, Oscar Scherer State Park or Caspersen beach, where you can hike, bike and search for shells or sharks teeth. Niche Excursions From St. Armands Circle, Downtown Sarasota and Main Street to the quaint offerings of Downtown Venice and Englewood's Dearborn Street, shop and discover the neighborhoods rich in cultural as well as historical flair. Palm-lined streets, renaissance architecture, secret gardens, casual outdoor cafes, along with intriguing boutiques will have you wondering what's around every corner. Curtain Call So much to experience…live performances at the symphony, the ballet, or theatre. All along the cultural coast you'll find performing artists waiting for their next encore'. Not to be missed Sarasota: Opera House, Florida Studio Theater, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Venice Little Theatre, The Asolo Repertory Theatre, The West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, Banyan Theatre Company, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, Venice Symphony and Lemon Bay Playhouse.

Circus Enthusiasts A tremendous component of this region's heritage is attributed to John and Mable Ringling. The region boasts romantic gardens and Mansions to the infamous Sailor Circus. Don't miss the Tito Gaena Flying Trapeze Academy in Venice or Circus Sarasota, The Ringling Museum of Art, The Ringling Museum of the Circus offering the history of the Greatest Show on Earth, or the Sarasota Classic Car museum featuring four vehicles used personally by John Ringling.

Sunscreen Required World renowned beaches await on the Cultural Coast. Pristine and unspoiled, surrounded by natural bounty and sunlit splendor, each area of the coast offers a unique experience. Quiet North Lido Beach, the action of Siesta Beach or the petfriendly Brohard Park offer something for everyone in the family. Try shelling on Turtle Beach, near the southern end of Siesta Key, or on Caspersen Beach in Venice, where you'll find much of the area in its natural state. Longboat Key features magnificently manicured communities, as well as tropical havens tucked away in a traditional “Old Florida” style. For a true Old Florida adventure, Gasparilla Island holds the allure of a quaint Florida village, with abundant wildlife, or ferry to Little Gasparilla Island, accessible only by boat, offering the tranquility of a remote island paradise.

On The Green Some of the finest golf courses in the US are located on the Cultural Coast. Area resort accommodations often include outstanding golf courses. Try the course at the Boca Grand Resort, or the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. You'll find public play at Sarasota's Bobby Jones Golf Complex, SunCoast Golf Center, Sunrise Golf Club, Lake Venice Golf Club in Venice or the Manatee County Golf Course in Bradenton. Voted among the “Best Places to Play” by readers of Golf Digest 2008-2009, The Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch offers a level of service and greens found at world-class private facilities. This Arnold Palmer Signature 18-hole golf course is open to the public and was also voted one of America's Top Golf Courses by ZAGAT Survey 2007-2008. Consistently noted as one of America's best places to live work and play, the list of accolades for this area is long. Best Places to Live “Top 100 Places to Live and Launch/Money Magazine” The Great weather and cultural climate, in addition to a strong retirement and tourism market placed Sarasota in the Top areas to Live and Launch a Business (2008). Countless activities and clubs geared toward singles, and organized around interests from wine tasting to ballroom dancing led Fortune Magazine to rank Sarasota as one of the Top locations to” Retire In Style.” The endless parade of black-tie events means lots of opportunities for a night on the town with your date (2006). Excellence in Health Care For the second year in a row, Sarasota Memorial Hospital was listed among “America's Safest Hospitals” by (2009). Widely accepted as the gold standard of patient care, Sarasota Memorial Hospital received re-designation as a "Magnet" hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) (2008). Sarasota Memorial Hospital received a Sliver Performance Achievement Award from the American Stroke Association recognizing their commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care (2007).


Creative Expressions An intrinsic component of the areas culture that has drawn international recognition, art is a mainstay of the region. From the Ringling Museum of Art and the Historic Oslo Theatre to the countless galleries in our Downtown districts, you'll experience one-of-a-kind sculptures appearing seasonally along Sarasota's Bay front. A Stroll down Venice Avenue is an art enthusiast dream. Visit the Collector's Gallery with the bold sweeping canvases and the work of Maryanne Jacobsen, or the Venice Art Center, the oldest community art center on Florida's Culture Coast, offering ongoing exhibits and workshops for the community. Don't miss Village of the Arts in downtown Bradenton featuring artisans representing an eclectic mix or mediums including photography, pottery, jewelry and furniture makers.

Ambient Accommodations Magnificent downtown Sarasota and Sarasota Bay views await at the world renowned Ritz-Carlton Sarasota featuring the finest of resort amenities, golf, fine dining, tropical resort pool, Jacuzzi and even programs for the kids. Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel located on Lido Beach, offers a storybook seaside setting, with 600 ft of private beach on the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. The Lido Beach Resort is a tropical beachfront location on Lido Key, with warm hospitality and top-notch service in a casual tropical venue. Relaxation, with personalized and friendly service, is what you can expect from the Inn at the Beach in Venice. The Seaside Inn Beach Resort on Anna Maria features a casual appeal in a boutique hotel environment. Try tennis, golf or take a romantic retreat at the Gasparilla Inn and Club on Gasparilla Island, a premier destination on Florida's Gulf Coast since 1913.




HAPPENINGS On the fourth weekend in January the Annual Arts and Crafts Festival is held at the Venice Municipal Airport. The Venice Symphony begins its season in January and has concerts on the first Friday of the month through April. The Venice Little Theatre runs from October through May, while the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre features year-round performances. Each January brings Sarasota Arts Day, a celebration of the local artists, on the streets of downtown Sarasota, along with the St. Armands Circle's Winter Art Festival, Punta Gorda's Sullivan Street Craft Festival and the Annual Downtown Venice

Craft Festival. The official opening of the Opera Season includes a Sarasota extravaganza and the Winter Concert Series of the Jazz Club of Sarasota. January also plays host to Circus Sarasota Opening Night and the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival at the Crowley Museum. In February, when our northern counterparts are shoveling snow, we are continuing to enjoy outdoor recreation and numerous festivals including the Anna Maria Island Art & Craft Festival, Venice Craft Festival and Siesta Fiesta Craft Fair. March winds bring the Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic, while live performances continue this month at Florida Studio Theatre and The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, along with many others throughout the area. April offers up the 17th Annual Sharks Tooth Festival, along with the Florida Winefest & Auction at the Longboat Key Club. The Sarasota Jazz Festival held this month brings great bigband, blues and more to the heralded week-long event.



In May and June, we're closing another cultural season, but the art doesn't stop on the Cultural Coast. Theatrical performances continue at FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Venice Theater Cabaret Series and Asolo Repertory, while The Sarasota Opera hosts its annual Summer at the Symphony. Outdoor activities and events include the Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest and Historic Burns Square Artists' Market. During the summer months the area hosts legions of fishing tournaments, along with local art festivals and exhibitions. The fall is ablaze with vibrence and brings a host of outdoor

festivals to tantalize the senses. Music, cars, local fare, crafts and so much more at The St. Armand's Circle Annual Art Festival, Annual Sarasota Craft Festival, Anna Maria Island Bayfest, The Annual Sarasota Blues Festival, The Venice Art Festival, Annual Taste of Manatee, St. Armands' Circle Classic Antique Car Show and Annual Siesta Beach Holiday Arts and Craft Shows. The holiday season is jam-packed with activities. Holiday parades, Winter Festivals, and of course ART…always. December brings the Art Walk at Towles Court, The Annual Festival of Trees, Holiday Night on St. Armands Circle, Anna Maria Island's Annual Winter Festival, The Annual Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, The Sarasota Holiday Parade, The Lighted Boat Parade at Bradenton Yacht Club and The Venice Christmas Boat Parade. You'll be entertained right up till the time of The Pineapple Drop at Midnight on New Years' Eve in Downtown Sarasota.

WHITNEY BEACH SHOPPING CENTER 4 (+/-) acres of rare commercial waterfront property (C2) in prime location with 534 ft. of road frontage directly across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. Currently operating as shopping center with 35,000 s.f. of space. $4,100,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

GULF FRONT RESIDENCE Approved architectural plans to build a luxurious “landmark” 8000 s.f. (+/-), 5 bedroom, 6.5 baths w/office, media room, elevated swimming pool & private spa. Surrounded by expansive terraces and lush tropical landscaping. $3,995,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

LOVELY KEY WEST STYLE HOME Secluded & airy 3BR/3.5BA home in Conrad Beach area of north Longboat Key. 4 balconies, fireplace & rooftop widow’s walk for viewing sunsets. $1,275,000 Butch Hunt 941302-8254

LUXURY WATERFRONT TOWNHOMES Large 2000 sf+ 3/2.5 Key West Style townhomes, furnished with Bay to Beach Views. Buy 8 as a whole project for $3.8 million or as individual units starting at $499,000. Ray Alexander or Tina Rudek 941-538-6660

FIRST FLOOR BEACH FRONT WALK OUT Step out to the beach or pool from this 2BR/2BA Gulf front unit in desirable Longbeach Condominiums on the white sands of North Longboat Key. Tastefully updated with tile, carpet & corian countertops. Rare to find & pet friendly complex. $495,000 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168

LOVELY CANAL WATERFRONT HOME with spacious accommodations. Owners pride shows thru out this beautiful waterfront, island getaway. Ideal as a vacation or primary residence with two Master Suites on main living area and grandfathered ground floor with 2 more bedrooms and additional living area. $799,000 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168

LIVE THE LIFESTYLE, OWN THE DREAM Highly sought after north end of Anna Maria Island, 3bd/3ba beauty with stunning views from all three front porches of Tampa Bay. Kick back and enjoy the marine life. Entertain in style in a private pool complete with Pergola and views of the Bay. $1,090,000 Vicki Gilbert 941-713-

NESTLED ON THE PRISTINE SHORES OF LONGBOAT KEY this unique 1,200 s.f. recently renovated condo has two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, is completely furnished, and has elevator access. The large balcony overlooks the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. $599,999 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168

TRULY ONE OF A KIND and like no other on Longboat Key! 100x550 Gulf front property extends to additional 17,000 s.f. waterfront parcel with existing boat house and docks on protected sailboat water leading directly to the IntraCoastal Waterway. This estate size property offers the best of both water worlds. $5,500,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

Anna Maria Island Realty Longboat Key Realty 6000 Marina Drive Holmes Beach Phone +1-941-538-6660

The Longboat Key Office: Phone: +1 941.383.5543 Fax: +1 941.383.9194

The Anna Maria Island Office: Phone: +1 941.538.6660 Fax: +1 941.778.7070





The Paradise Coast, comprised of Naples, Marco Island & the Florida Everglades, offers unsurpassed natural beauty, a strong nature conservancy focus, upscale neighborhoods, over 130 highly acclaimed golf courses, fine dining, along with renowned cultural events and art exhibits. The surrounding communities of Fort Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Bonita Springs and Cape Coral augment this fascinating region along Florida's Southwest Coast. Art enthusiasts, nature lovers, boaters and golfers are drawn to the magnificence of the area, with opportunities to explore Florida's “wild side” in the Everglades, or experience distinctive culinary delights in Naples. The finest in resorts, award-winning restaurants and luxuries abound, while romantic islands beckon with white sand beaches, crystal clear Gulf waters, swaying palms and some of the best shelling in the world.

Naples' European charm and tropical climate invite residents and visitors to rejuvenate, recreate and explore year-round. Named the best “Small Art Town” in 2005's publication of the 100 Best Art Towns in America, Naples shimmers in the art and cultural arena. Venues include over 130 galleries, historical attractions, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, home of the Naples Philharmonic, and the Naples Museum of Art. Explore the shopping districts of Fifth Avenue South, with restored historic city center buildings and sidewalk cafes, or Third Street South with its small-town aura, tree-lined streets, chic boutiques and European bistros. The Naples downtown waterfront district features the exceptional Bayfront Marina, unique shops, galleries, or try the local sea fare at one of Tin City's restaurants with beautiful views of Naples Bay.


Naples sets the standard for Golf in Southwest Florida. Over 140 golf courses can be experienced in the Naples-Marco Island area. Surrounded by nature's abundance, you're assured each day on the green is a unique experience. Worldclass courses and pristine greens, under the watchful eye of eagles, osprey or alligators are sure to stimulate the senses. Thirty minutes to the south of Naples is the world-class resort destination of Marco Island, with distinctive dining, miles of pristine beaches, cavorting dolphins and uninhabited tropical islands. The largest of Florida's “Ten Thousand Islands” Marco Island has retained much of its natural beauty. Gulf waters invite fishing, manatee excursions, dinner cruises, shelling and snorkeling. Relax in the sun, or thrill to an Everglades airboat adventure. Surrounded by protected areas, Big Cypress

National Preserve, 10,000 Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Everglades National Park assure Florida's fragile wildlife, eco-systems, coastline and natural bounty remain the state's greatest treasures. Magnificent Royal Palm-lined streets have earned Fort Myers the celebrated title of the "City of Palms." Trustees of the winter estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, poised upon the Caloosahatchee River, this pristine community has become an intoxicating blend of old and new. Boasting highly acclaimed golf courses, magnificent architecture, and a thriving arts community. Take in a show at the Florida Repertory Theatre, The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, or experience some of Broadway's finest at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

The laid-back Fort Myers beach has gained recognition as the “World's Safest Beach”, with its calm waters and pristine beach stretching the length of the 7-mile island. A splendid destination for family fun, exceptional dining, lots of silky sand, sun and water sports. Fort Myers Beach provides the gateway to the Islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Sanibel and Captiva feature 15-miles of unspoiled beaches, 22-miles of bike path and no stop lights. The quaint island lifestyle offers amazing alfresco dining, two, Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, 18-hole golf courses, live performances at Big Arts cultural center of the islands, along with the acclaimed annual Sanibel Music Festival each March.

Referred to as “The Gateway to the Gulf of Mexico,” Bonita Springs lies between Fort Myers and Naples, along the gorgeous Gulf. Sparkling white sand and clear waters, along with the amazing natural beauty, this Paradise Coast community offers quiet seclusion as well as outdoor recreation and resort amenities.

Location Florida's west coast , Collier County is just south of Sarasota on Highway 41 and Florida's Gulf Coast. Geography Collier County 2,025.5 square miles (making it the largest county in the State of Florida, based on land area). Temperature 91° F high temperature 54° F low temperature 77° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 51.3 inches Average Annual Sunshine 324 days Population 21,377 residents Airport Naples Municipal Airport is located minutes from downtown Naples and Interstate 75, serving as the gateway to "paradise.” 239643-0733 Cost of Living Index 130 (U.S. average is 100)

From the epitome in refined European elegance to unpretentious barrier islands, theatrical performances, or swamp buggy races, the Paradise Coast will embrace you with her charm, mesmerize you with her natural beauty, and tantalize the senses with her chic boutiques, luxurious resorts and culinary delights. The Florida Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, at the tip of South Florida, is an impressive ecosystem, rugged, beautiful and intricately diverse. From the marine life of Florida Bay, to cypress swamps and topical hammocks, there's something magical about this enchanted and yet fragile area that provides recreational as well as valuable environmental resources.

Median Resident Age 44.4 Years


Sanibel Island Beach is on of the best that Florida has to offer. Still largely a well-kept secret, the tranquil surroundings are popular with windsurfers and wildlife. Captiva Island Beach, near the Bahia Honda Channel, features stunning reefs and marvelous snorkeling.

Naples, Marco-Island, Fort Myers, along with the neighboring barrier islands and Florida Everglades offer a beachside location, vibrant arts scene, high-end shopping and nature preserves. In 2005, Naples was voted the “best beach in America” by the Travel Channel as well as the number one “small art city in America”.

Don't miss Lover's Key Beach, ranked among the “Top Ten Florida Beaches" by the Travel Channel, this peaceful respite offers an intriguing island getaway for sunsets and stargazing.







Savor the Flavors Dining options on the Paradise Coast are a true culinary delight. Open-air, international cuisine, steak house, or local seafood, the delectable local fare is a tantalizing component of this refined community. Upscale, or casual, a wide range of culinary influences and award-winning chefs, create the ultimate dining experience. The Turtle Club Restaurant at the Vanderbilt Beach Resort offers a magnificent beachfront dining experience. Their outstanding cuisine and gracious service earned them the honor of Naples “Best Waterfront Dining,” by the Naples Daily News in 2007. Bayhouse Restaurant, overlooking Osprey Bay and the Cocohatchee Wildlife Preserve, is one of the most respected seafood restaurants in the area, while picturesque bay views and continental cuisine compliment the M Waterfront Grill. The Dock at Crayon Cove is an open-air restaurant with ideal views of Naples Bay. Informal, you'll feel like you've arrived at a special island retreat. Fort Myers' Varanda provides a charming atmosphere at its circa.1902 location, specializing in regional flavors and marvelous seafood. Bokeelia's acclaimed dining at the Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant features spectacular water views, sunsets and cuisine. In Bonita Springs try Doc's Beach House Restaurant, a local landmark, steps from the Gulf, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or, for some of the best seafood around, try Pinchers Crab Shack. In addition to the restaurant, there's a fresh seafood market, with the days local catch. Notable Nightlife When the sun goes down, the nights heat-up on the Paradise Coast. The Tiki Bar at Sam Seltzer's, Fort Myers features a huge tiki bar, live music and spirits. Naples' Shane's Cabana Bar is a spectacular outdoor destination, directly over the water, featuring a full bar, tropical specialty drinks and martinis. If you're looking for jazz, Sanibel's Ellington's Jazz Bar & Restaurant books a fantastic array of pianists, saxophonists, guitarists and more. This old-school jazz spot hosts Ellington's signature white grand piano. At its marvelous Venetian Bay location, M Lounge features spectacular views, spirits and a full calendar of live weekend music. Take an evening cruise, with live music, aboard the Big M Casino at Fort Myers Beach. Try your hand at Las Vegas casino-style gambling aboard a 162-foot yacht, with black jack, roulette, shot machines and dining.


Water Wonders Beyond the abundant fishing options and venues, there are numerous water adventures on the Paradise Coast. Snorkeling, challenging deep-sea charters, air boat excursions and dinner cruises offer something for every water enthusiast. Marco Island Sea Excursions offer water adventures to fish, sail, or tour the islands. While you're so near the exhilarating Florida Everglades, don't miss the opportunity to take an air boat ride. Captiva Cruises offer a Dolphin Watch excursion, the Sunset Serenade Cruise, with live entertainment, as well as shelling cruises to Cayo Costa. Native Adventure The Paradise Coast takes its nature conservancy role seriously with environmental activities and tours that highlight the area's rare, exotic and fragile wildlife. Everglades-fringe ecology reveals a private world of wetlands, salt and freshwater marshes along with an extensive system of backcountry mangrove estuaries. Abundant nature preserves, wildlife sanctuaries and protected habits offer tremendous opportunities to view native wildlife whether on water, or on land. In the upper segment of the Fakahatchee Strand of the Big Cypress Swamp, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge works fervently to protect, preserve and repopulate the endangered Florida Panther. Big Cypress National Preserve protects over 720,000 acres of the vast Big Cypress Swamp and contains a diversity of wildlife, including the elusive Florida Panther. Everglades National Park, is the only one of its kind and the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, protecting rare and endangered species.

Botanical Bounty On a hiking trail, via canoe or by island tour, the vast array of State Parks on the Paradise Coast will provide scenic journeys into the secluded sanctuaries of exotic plants vital to the survival of local wetlands and wildlife. Discover the unique plants and animals that make this coastal ecosystem so valuable. Visit Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park for an introduction to beach ecology, Cohatachee Nature Center for kayaking, or canoeing the fascinating estuaries, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park with a marvelous collection of wild orchids, Bald Cpress and native Royal Palms, with a boardwalk to a virgin cypress strand, or Rookery Bay

Niche Excursions Palm-lined streets, European bistros and historic treasures of the Paradise Coast offer avenues of enchantment. Spend the day at Naples City Dock at Crayton Cove. Featuring the largest fishing and sailing charter fleets in the area, you'll find sightseeing excursions, shopping, restaurants and lodging. Naples Tin City Waterfront Marketplace recalls the area's nautical past, with unique boutiques and great restaurants. Visit the estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in the heart of Fort Myers for an exploration into the fascinating history behind two of the world's most remarkable men. A trip to the tip of Sanibel reveals the Sanibel Lighthouse, a beacon to nautical navigators since 1884. Curtain Call The Paradise Coast glistens with a refined appreciation for the performing arts. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts is the premiere performance hall in the region, and home to the Naples Philharmonic. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre accommodates 450 guests, and features eight professional

Creative Expressions Creative talent and art patrons are enthralled by the galleries and exhibits of the Naples area. From the collection of over 130 galleries, outstanding permanent collections and traveling exhibits at the Naples Museum of Art, to the eclectic galleries of Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. Throughout the year there are hundreds of art and cultural events in the area monthly. Sunscreen Required The Paradise Coast is a prime location for beach goers. Naples' features 10 miles of silken sand and one of the most beautiful beach parks in the state at Lowdermilk Park Public Beach. The Travel Channel's Beach Week Expert Panel selected Naples, Florida as “America's Best All-Around Beach� for 2005. Lovers Key offers an unspoiled state park to enjoy the magnificent Gulf sunsets and Marco Island's Tigertail Beach is picture postcard perfect. Fort Myers Beach is recognized as one of the safest beaches in the world and Sanibel Island Beach is undoubtedly one of the best Florida beaches. Ambient Accommodations Resort amenities, sumptuous surroundings and spectacular golf courses typify the amazing accommodations on the Paradise Coast. LaPlaya Resort is one of Florida's finest resort hotels. It's marvelous location between the Gulf of Mexico and Vanderbilt Bay offer guests the ultimate tropical experience. The Vanderbilt Beach Resort offers 5-miles of white sand beach, elevated tennis courts, a beachside infinity pool and award- winning full service restaurant. For a Tuscan inspired resort Bellasera Hotel, located in the heart of Old Naples, offers a distinctive ambiance, Italian architecture, courtyard fountains and marvelous amenities near Naples Fifth Avenue South. Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa boasts a haven of hospitality and refined luxury in an idyllic setting. Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa, nestled on 3-miles of sun swept beaches, transports you to a tropical and luxurious enclave. No passport required to be embraced by the peaceful Gulf waters, beachside tropical pool, luxurious spa and private golf course.


Environmental Learning Center for a guided exploration of the bays and mangrove forests of Rookery Bay. At the Naples Zoo you'll find Caribbean Gardens. This historic tropical garden was founded in 1919 and offers 52-acres of botanical bounty and exotic plants. The Naples Botanical Gardens offers tropical gardens with beautifully restored natural habitats, and an interactive children's garden. At the conservancy of Southwest Florida, explore the vast natural habits via boat, conoe, kayak, or through one of the many hands-on exhibits.

productions each season January through August. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers offers outstanding Broadway Series as well as dance productions January through July, while the Florida Repertory Theater features live theatrical performances October through June.

On The Green The Paradise Coast and the Naples area set the standard for golf in South Florida. Naples has more golf courses per capita than any other area in the world. One of the exceptional attributes of playing golf on the Paradise Coast is the amazing abundance of nature, natural water hazards and interesting wildlife. Numerous area resorts feature stunning greens, along with amazing amenities.




HAPPENINGS You'll be enthralled by the leisure activities and abundant recreation, sun swept beaches, endless days on the green and tantalizing sunsets of the Paradise Coast. But there is much to experience when it comes to great music, art and festivals throughout the year.

February is also the month for the Annual Everglades Seafood Festival in Everglades City, the Naples National Art Festival, the Naples Jazz Festival in Cambier Park, the Annual Mardi Gras Celebration downtown Naples and Annual Photography Exhibit at Rookery Bay, along with the Annual Art fest in Fort Myers.

Monthly events, exhibits and series welcome the entire family into the worlds of watercolor, history, great music and wildlife discovery. Exhibits and educational programs at the Museum of the Everglades, Naples Historical Society, Naples Museum of Art, Naples Botanical Gardens and the Collier County

March brings the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, Annual Sanibel Shell Fair, Cape Coral Sounds of Jazz, The All Florida Championship Rodeo and Major League Baseball Spring Training with the Red Sox in Fort Myers. Into April Marco Island's Annual Film Festival includes elegant parties, as well

Museum continue throughout the year. Marco Island Center for the Arts features exhibits in the Lauritzen/Rush Gallery and MacFarland Atrium Gallery, while the “Art in the Park” exhibits showcase the talent of Naples Art Association members.

as film screenings. Fort Myers hosts its River and Blues Festival, while you can capture tropical delights at Sanibel/Captiva's Taste of The Islands. May serves up the Taste of Collier in downtown Naples, featuring the culinary talents and fare of local restaurateurs. The annual Great Dock Canoe Race on Naples Bay happens in May and July brings the Fort Myers Beach Annual Taste of the Beach.

January through July, you'll find Broadway Series productions at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. October through June the Florida Repertory presents awarding winning theatrical performances, or be entertained year round at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre's concert series and Off Broadway performances. In January, the music abounds at the Philharmonic, while the seafood and entertainment spice up the Goodland community at their annual Mullet Festival. In Fort Myers the Annual Medieval Faire and Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science & Inventor's Fair begin the year, while Cape Coral hosts its Annual Festival of Arts and Bonita Springs hosts is National Art Festival. From the end of January into February, the Edison Festival of Lights in Fort Myers includes a regatta, fireworks and three days of crafts along the river.



Come September it's time for Fort Myers' Fall Community Art Showcase, while October features the Southwest Florida Folk and Blues Festival in Pine Island. From the end of October to the first of November, the signature event of the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival celebrates Southwest Florida's 190mile marked paddling trail, The Great Calusa Blueway. During November, Naples beams with Celebrate the Arts Month, along with the Naples Renaissance Fall Art Festival. Fort Myers Beach hosts its Annual Sandsculpting Festival, along with the Annual Taste of the Town. During the holidays…November to New Year's, festivities and lights dazzle throughout the Paradise Coast. The Annual Holiday Boat Parade and Holiday House at the Edison-Winter Estate are winter favorites in Fort Myers.

So much enjoyment so close by. Visit

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OnOf The Your Side Closing Table Lauren P. Kohl Attorney at Law

Law Offices of Gibson, Kohl, Wolff & Hric, P. L. 1800 Second St, Ste 901, Sarasota, FL 34236 414 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

Protecting Your Interests

Representing local and international clients purchasing and selling real estate, including waterfront, golf course, foreclosures and short sales in the greater Sarasota area. We protect your interests at closing.



The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our

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Laura McLoughlin Regional Manager Moneycorp Inc 1.407.352.5890

FOREIGN CURRENCY “ISSUES” EXPLAINED By Laura McLoughlin Let's face it, now is the time to purchase your piece of Florida real estate. Prices are at an all time low, and the US dollar is weak, meaning you can buy so much more 'house' with your local currency. According to the Florida Association Realtors report on international buyers, the weakness of the Dollar is one of the main reasons so many international clients purchase in the sunshine state. However, exchanging and transferring your currency can cause issues which could affect anything from the amount of money you have to spend to the actual closing date. The first 'issue' to consider, and I invert issue because there are solutions, is that currency rates can fluctuate by as much as 10% in a matter of weeks so your funds could shrink significantly while you're busy planning your purchase. In addition, the exchange rate you receive may not be the best exchange rate available. The currency market is the same as any other market, and the price you pay, that is the exchange rate you receive, will vary depending on the institution you use to facilitate your currency exchange and transfer. Moneycorp has been trading currencies for over 30 years. We have an expert team of dealers based in London, UK, as well as a local team of experts in Orlando, Florida.


Below, I have outlined the basics of currency exchange and how to go about transferring your money overseas most effectively. I have also provided some expert insight into the currency markets and how rate movements can affect the most important thing of all your money! Timing is key Never underestimate the value of a good exchange rate. Currency markets are constantly fluctuating and making your transaction at the right time can make a big difference to the amount of money you end up with in your bank account. If you were transferring $50,000 (Canadian) into US dollars on the dates noted below, you would have received the following: February 6th 2010 – US $46700 April 29th 2010 – US $49700 In this instance, a Canadian buyer would have benefited from the advantageous movement. However, if we take the same period in 2008, the Canadian dollar was trading around the same level against the US dollar as today and by July the rate had moved more than $0.07 against the market meaning a Canadian buyer would have received nearly US $3500 less 3 months later.

How does it work?

Currency exchange – the basics

Opening a trading facility is a one-time, no fee, no obligation process. Once your trading facility is open you will then be put in contact with your expert, who will assist you to get the best rate, at the best time. When you have booked your transaction, your will choose the date you want Moneycorp to transfer your funds, you will simply need to arrange for your local currency to be sent to Moneycorp on or before this date.

Knowing when to make your international payments can be tricky. So, it is key that you understand all of the contract options available and that you get expert guidance on the currency markets. To help you get to grips with things, see below for a brief outline of the tools/products that an FX specialist is likely to offer. Spot contracts. Buy or sell a currency for immediate delivery. Spot contracts are suitable if you want to receive your currency quickly and efficiently. Forward contracts. Book to buy/sell your currency in the future, at a rate you fix today. Forward contracts can help protect against adverse currency movements and can be used to lock into favorable exchange rates. Stop loss orders. Set a minimum level at which you will buy/sell your currency. Your order will be fulfilled automatically if this rate is reached in the markets. Effectively, this guarantees a minimum rate at which your currency will be exchanged. Limit orders. Set a higher target exchange rate at which you will buy/sell your currency. Your order will be fulfilled automatically if this rate is reached in the markets. Effectively, this guarantees a maximum rate at which your currency will be exchanged. If you run a limit order in parallel with a stop loss order, the exchange rate at which you trade is guaranteed within a given range which means you can plan ahead more effectively. Moneycorp – Key Facts Moneycorp Trading name of TTT Moneycorp Limited 1962 Company incorporated 1979 Started dealing in foreign exchange £11bn+ Traded in currencies in 2009 600+ Dedicated employees 2.8m+ Customers served in 2009 20%+ Average income growth per Annum since 1979

Using Moneycorp is very simple, a three step process: Open your Trading facility Book your trade Transfer funds

Currency exchange does not need to be difficult, it is very simple if you understand the factors which can create problems for you and plan ahead to ensure you get the most from your foreign exchange provider. If you'd like to discuss current exchange rates and the various options available to you, please contact me on +1 407 352 5890 or

As the Regional Manager, Laura leads a team of specialists who assist clients who need to exchange and transfer their currency. In the recent years, Moneycorp have positioned themselves as the industry leader in the real estate market, assisting clients with the exchange and transfer of funds for the property transactions. Having now helped many clients through this process, in addition to working directly with the real estate professionals, Laura can ensure the process is simply, efficient and provides a complete currency exchange solution. Laura McLoughlin, the Regional Manager for Moneycorp Inc, joined TTT Moneycorp Limited UK in 2000 and worked in the Retail, Operations and Projects division before joining the Key Partnerships team as Business Development Manager. Her first role took her to Spain where she opened the Costa Blanca Office before carrying out market research in Portugal, heading back to London and eventually Moving to Central Florida in March 2005 to establish Moneycorp Inc, a subsidiary of TTT Moneycorp Limited located in Knightsbridge London. Oridinally from North West of England, Laura studied Economics and Law at the University of Wales. With her extensive knowledge of international business and marketing in addition to her expertise of the foreign exchange and international trading markets, Laura is recognized as an industry leader in her field. Laura strongly supports the growth of international business into Florida and is an active member of many international councils and boards across the state. Laura regularly speaks at seminars and conferences on the importance of currency exchange and issues clients with foreign exchange requirements today.


Moneycorp can help you make the most of movements like this helping you trade at the right time, in the right way when rates are in your favor. Our expert dealers will proactively keep you updated about the currency markets and alert you to any significant changes relevant to you.





Carla Rayman, REALTOR Director of International Development Prudential Palms Realty Sarasota, Florida 1.941.724.0519 1.941.487.5181

Prudential Palms Realty


We just returned from a week exhibiting at Realtor Quest, a real estate agent expo, in Toronto. This two day event held at the beginning of May, gave us the opportunity to meet Toronto real estate agents and to answer their questions on the Florida real estate market. Along with our partner Florida Homes Magazine, we also held seminars for the public on investing in Florida. These seminars were strictly educational and gave the public the opportunity to learn from both Florida and Canadian experts about important facts when making a purchase in Florida. Our speakers included RBC Bank who spoke about different financing options, Altro and Associates who spoke about protecting your assets and tax, Moneycorp who spoke about the advantages of using a currency exchange company, and the Your Global Agents team from Prudential Palms Realty who gave a presentation on the current real estate market in Florida. The key point of the seminars was to emphasize using a team of professionals to ensure a smooth real estate transaction. Choosing the right professionals to assist in your transaction can save you time and money – not only upon the purchase but


throughout the length of time you own the property and most importantly, when you sell. As a Canadian purchasing real estate in the United States, you are afforded the same property rights as an American. You do not pay more for taxes or home insurance just because you are from Canada. The State of Florida gives certain advantages to those who are Florida residents. If you are domiciled in the State of Florida, you can apply to receive a homestead exemption which lessens your tax liability by up to $50,000. Also as a Florida resident, your real estate taxes currently cannot increase more than 3% per annum. If you are a non-Florida resident (meaning your primary residence is outside the State of Florida - meaning any other state or country), current Florida law states your tax cannot increase more than 10% per year. Insurance rates are based on the location and condition of the property, not where the owner is domiciled. One of the other concerns was if financing was available for Canadians. RBC Bank has one of the best programs available

Many people do not see the value in consulting with a tax advisor prior to purchasing a property. As an international real estate consultant, I can only tell you that this one of the most critical points and is money well spent. It is difficult to generalize how to take title to a property for every individual's situation is different. How will you use the property? Do you have children and should you add them to the title? Are you or your spouse in poor health and concerned about what will happen when one of you is incapacitated or dies? Do you have sizable assets that need to be protected? How do you lessen your tax liability as a Canadian owning property in both Canada and the United States? Consulting with a tax attorney such as Altro and

Associates prior to making a purchase could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the long term. Now that the Canadian dollar has strengthened, how do you get the best value for your purchase? If you use a currency exchange company, such as Moneycorp, you can take advantage of locking in a rate for up to two years. Not only can you do this for the down payment or complete purchase, but you might wish to consider doing this for things such as home owner association fees and future mortgage payments. Moneycorp is a wholesale currency exchange company that strictly retails which affords, you the consumer, to get the most attractive exchange rate. Why Invest in Florida, Why Now? Most markets in Florida are reporting reduced inventory and increased pending sales. In some markets, properties are already showing healthy signs of appreciation. With the combined aspect of the favorable exchange rate, historic low prices and interest rates, the time to invest couldn't be better.


and makes the process quick and easy for Canadians to purchase. Unlike an American bank, RBC is able to use your Canadian credit to expedite the financing process when purchasing an US property. RBC Bank has 83 locations throughout Florida which makes it easy for those spending time in their new Florida home to access a local bank. So easy that RBC Bank reported that 40% of their current clients refinancing this year are using these funds to purchase a second home in Florida.



OYSTER BAY ESTATES Stately and impressive sits this grand Tuscan inspired home on a large scenic lake in this prestigious neighborhood. True to its architecture, this home has been authentically appointed with custom milled doors, Venetian plaster walls and ceilings, granite and stainless appliances, 3 fireplaces, porcelain tile and wood flooring R

JANIS COLLIER, GRI, ABR, REALTOR Cell (941) 313-1212, Office (941) 951-6660

throughout. Over 5800 square feet featuring 4 ensuite bedrooms, an expansive bonus room over the garage, 2 laundry rooms and 3 car parking. You'll enjoy entertaining on the gracious patio, complete with fireplace and summer kitchen, swimming in the saline pool with spa or canoeing on the lake. Located close to the exclusive Field Club, and just minutes to downtown and the Siesta Key beaches. Offered at $1,999,000.

WEST OF THE TRAIL WINNER!! 2005 built 2-story home has been upgraded and enhanced to the max with STUNNING appointments throughout. Near Southside Village. Priced to sell. $899,000

SIESTA KEY Stunning and sophisticated, over 5000 sq ft, 4 en-suite bedrooms, office/den, elevator, high ceilings, floating staircase, summer kitchen, pool with spa and short bike ride to the beach. $1,325,000

BAYPOINT HOMESITE Prime property located on Palma Sola with IntraCoastal & Bay views. Protected boat dock just across the street. Gated community near the delightful Cortez beaches. $259,000

RIVO ON RINGLING Exciting architecture, wonderful amenities, and a convenient location make this 2 bedroom PLUS den a winner!! Enjoy BAY views from the south facing balcony. An incredible price $379,900.


JANIS COLLIER, GRI, ABR, REALTOR Cell (941) 313-1212, Office (941) 951-6660


Matt Altro Chief Operating Officer Altro & Associates LLP Montreal–Toronto–Calgary–Sarasota–Naples–Ft. Lauderdale–Phoenix 1-800-370-4860

THE EB-5 GREEN CARD: A Canadian's Ticket to Retirement in the U.S.? By Matt Altro This is the time of year when Canadians snowbirds who have been seeking refuge in the U.S. from the Canadian winters start counting the days. They are looking on the calendar to determine when they left Canada and hope they haven't been enjoying the sunny weather too long. The magic number is 182. If you are a Canadian and you spend more than your allotted amount of days in the U.S. per year, you may be subject to U.S. income tax on your worldwide income. Beware, Canada will still consider you a resident which may lead to double taxation on your annual income. For most Canadian snowbirds, half a year is just fine. They go back and forth to the sunbelt states each year using up their days and they do not have tax issues given that they file the Closer Connection Exception Form 8840. For others, 182 days is not nearly enough. They may have a dream to retire in the warmer climate or they want to spend more time with their adult children / grandchildren who are living in the U.S. Some Canadians want to move their business to Florida or Arizona and want to have the right to work in the U.S. SM

In order to make these dreams a reality, several pieces of the puzzle must fit together. None is more important than obtaining a green card. There are several different routes available however most lead to dead ends. Either they are not eligible for a particular categories (sponsorship by a spouse or parent who is American), while others have too many restrictions and take too long (7 years of working for a specific company that is willing to sponsor them).


There is another route that has become increasing popular for high net worth Canadians who are moving to the states. It is called the EB-5 investor category green card. The EB-5 path allows Canadians to be eligible for a green card if they make an investment of $500,000 in one of the regional center projects that are approved by U.S. immigration. In order to be approved as a regional center, projects are typically situated in a U.S. location where unemployment is high and economic activity is needed. In addition, the project must demonstrate how it will lead to indirect employment creation. This investment is ideal for clients or retirees who prefer a hands-off approach. As a limited partner in a pooled investment, the client does not have to participate in the day-to-day management of the project but still maintains some authority over policy. The projects tend to be real estate driven such as office buildings or hotel chains. Once the project is fully up and running and the building is occupied investors may start making a regular return and ultimately a capital gain once the project is complete. Three keys to success when considering an EB-5 Green Card: 1. Plan ahead: While most consider the EB-5 a fast track to a green card, it does not happen overnight. There are several steps to obtaining your permanent green card. In most cases, Canadians receive their conditional green card after 15–18 months and then it is

another 2 years for the condition to be removed. As with most important life choices, it is better to plan ahead.


3. Find the right professionals: As with most high net worth individuals, having the right professionals on your team may be the best investment decisions you can make. A qualified and ethical accountant, lawyer, or financial planner can save you millions or be the difference in helping you realize your retirement dreams. As mentioned earlier, the green card is a key piece of the puzzle when moving to the U.S. but not the only one. A Canadian who is moving to the U.S. needs a comprehensive cross border plan constructed by professionals who are licensed to practice on both sides of the border. The plan must take into account the changing laws and the Canada-US tax treaty to ensure clients are minimizing departure tax and estate planning issues. R

A Canadian who becomes a U.S. resident is now subject to a whole new set of laws. Working with professionals who are aware of how they work may lead to major financial benefit. For example a Canadian who is now a non-resident of Canada may withdrawal their RRSP at a much lower rate of 25% (rather than 48% if they remained in Canada). If the RRSP is collapsed at the appropriate intervals, the tax rate drops again to 15%. That is a 33% tax savings on your retirement dollars. In closing, the EB-5 is not for everyone. But if you are an affluent Canadian who wants to trade in your habit of counting days out of the country for counting strokes in your golf game or laps at the pool the EB-5 may be for you.

With over thirty years of combined legal experience, Altro & Associates, LLP is a boutique law firm providing sophisticated cross border tax, estate planning and real estate legal services to high net worth individuals. We have offices in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Phoenix, Ft. Lauderdale, Sarasota and Naples. Our firm regularly represents Canadians who have U.S. assets, Canadians with adult children in the U.S., Canadians moving to the U.S as well as Americans in Canada. We work together with investment advisors, accountants, attorneys, wealth managers and other professionals to develop and implement the best possible Tax and Estate Plan for the client. Cross border tax estate planning and real estate involves many complex issues and typically requires at least two firms involved, one with Canadian expertise and the other with U.S. expertise. At Altro & Associates, LLP we have Canadian and U.S. attorneys and notaries with deep Cross Border expertise to provide practical planning and recommendations and the implementation of the plan in accordance with the laws of the appropriate jurisdiction.


2. Do Your Due Diligence: Most projects will provide you with a prospectus. Read this document over carefully and seek an endorsement from your trusted advisors. Check the track record of the EB-5 developer. Not all projects are created alike. How long have they been in business? Find out how many green cards have been approved to investors from their project. Ask questions like, “Are the other partners all foreign or are some of them American as well�. This will give you an idea of the quality of the investment. If Americans who do not have any interest in the EB-5 project for a green card are involved this probably means they are interested in project as a solid investment.



Florida Homes Magazine Vol 2 Issue 3  

Discover award winning communities, top ranked golf courses, resort hotels, museums, world class restaurants, recreational sports, pure whi...

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