YOU worked hard... YOU saved...
YOU endured the cold and snow...
The time has come to
REWARD YOURSELF! Floridaâ€™s sunny shores and warm breezes are within your reach. Trust me, your fellow Canadian. I did it and so can you! And your best friend will thank you! Allow me the pleasure of showing you around town!
Lana Butsky Broker/Owner, CIPS, TRC Neapolitan Realty LLC Naples, Florida 239-777-2532 Info@NeapolitanRealty.com NeapolitanRealty.com
relentlessly pursuing perfection
FROM THE PUBLISHER
pring is here and with the abundance of outdoor recreation on Florida’s Southwest Gulf Coast, don’t forget about Major League Baseball. Enjoy the thrill of the ballpark as the AL East Division Champs Tampa Bay Rays begin the 2011 MLB season againt the Baltimore Orioles in April. The Tampa Bay Rays season continues through September, 2011. For more information visit: http://www.raysbaseball.com. Additional Noteworthy Spring Events Sarasota Film Festival April 7 – 17 Clearwater Sea Blues Festival May 6 & 7 Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest May 7 The 2011 Sarasota Tarpon Tournament May 21 – June 25 Taste of the Beach – Fort Myers May 15
About the Publisher: Canadian-born Mike Mattina has a passion for the Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle. 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.
Housing Market Highlights The Florida Association of Realtors reports that Florida’s existing home sales in March 2011 increased 37% over February 2011. Florida Realtors also reported a 63% increase in statewide condo sales for March. “Increased pending sales figures are a positive sign for home prices, which are continuing to stabilize,” according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. Sun Coast Business Week - America’s Cheapest Homeownership Market - Tampa Ranked #5 There are definite signs of stability in the Tampa area housing, with home sales up 16.5% from March 2009 to March 2010. The average home sale price rose to $161,846 and the inventory of unsold homes, at 7.7 months, is the best reported in 4 years. Cultural Coast Sarasota area real estate professionals are already experiencing a tremendously active season. The positive point in the Sarasota market lies within the pending statistics for January 2011, reaching 1,013. Not since, the Homebuyer Tax Credit in April 2010 was nearing expiration, have pending sales exceeded the 1,000 mark. For the year of 2010, overall home sales were up 12.4 % over 2009. Sales in the Sarasota market have now risen for two consecutive years, since a low point of 5,820 sales in 2008. Paradise Coast In the Naples area, the real estate market does indeed appear to be heating up. Overall pending sales increased 36% over January 2010, to 1,101 contracts in January 2011. According to Phil Wood, President of John R. Wood REALTORS®, “The strong number of pending sales in January is due to the renewed level of confidence in the economy, which did not exist last year. Property showings are up significantly in February, as potential buyers are ready to get off the fence and make a purchase.” Dr. Shelton Weeks, Lucas Professor of Real Estate and Director of the Lucas Institute for Real Estate Development & Finance at Florida Gulf Coast University agrees, “It looks like you are experiencing the wealth effect. Buyers are looking at their portfolios and feel wealthier than last year. They feel more confident which increases the probability that they will buy a home right now.” Our Advertisers We extend our deepest appreciation to the continued support of our advertisers which make our publication possible. In addition to the in-room magazine of The Don Cesar Hotel – St. Pete Beach, Florida Homes Magazine can now be found in-room at the exceptionally appointed Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport. Sources: Florida Association of Realtors, Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, Naples Area Board of Realtors, Sarasota Association of Realtors.
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
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.
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Find your Perfect Piece of Paradise.
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 attractions 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 awardwinning greens.
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
clearwater st. petersburg
bradenton sarasota CULTURAL venice COAST punta gorda boca grande cape coral ft. myers PARADISE naples COAST marco island
3731 Indian Place (see page 24)
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
TAMPA, ST. PETERSBURG, CLEARWATER, LARGO, MADEIRA BEACH, TREASURE ISLAND, TARPON SPRINGS, PALM HARBOR
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
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
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 Hillsborough County 1,197,317 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
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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
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
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.
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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
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
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.
CASA ELEGANTE ON SARASOTA BAY
Palatial Bay Front Estate
When your eyes first meet this sprawling Mediterranean-style estate...take a moment. Soak it in. Let it transport you, transform and inspire you. The breath taking view of Sarasota Bay extends for miles to the north and south. One-of-a-kind features and ingenious design make this nearly 15,000-square-foot residence the quintessence of luxury living. A Certified Green residence, the majesty of this estate is paired with the ultimate in efficiency and flawless construction.
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 communityâ€™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 www.BleuClaire.com.
ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY THE DEVELOPERS TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE IS AN ARTIST'S RENDERING AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
S A R A S O T A , L O N G B O A T K E Y, L I D O / S T. A R M A N D S , S I E S TA K E Y, V E N I C E , ENGLEWOOD, CASEY KEY, BOCA GRANDE, ANNA MARIA ISLAND, MANASOTA KEY, BRADENTON, LAKEWOOD RANCH, OSPREY
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. Lose 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
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
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 known 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 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. Sophisticated St. Armands Circle, in Sarasota, features over 130 fine shops and gourmet restaurants. A world-renowned location,
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 Sarasota County 369,765 residents Airport Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (941359-5200) is located at the intersection of US 41 and University Parkway.
St. Armands is a market place of charming European-influenced elegance. Gracefully blending past and 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. 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 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.
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.”
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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
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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 Forbes.com (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.
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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.
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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.
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NAPLES, MARCO ISLAND, SANIBEL, CAPTIVA, BONITA SPRINGS, FORT MYERS, CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA EVERGLADES
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.
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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 Collier County 293,909 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.
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MILES OF PRISTINE BEACHES, UPSCALE AMENITIES, ALONG WITH THE ABUNDANCE OF PICTURESQUE WILDERNESS AND WETLANDS DEPICT THIS AREA AS “FLORIDA’S LAST PARADISE” AND HAVE EARNED THIS REGION THE TITLE OF FLORIDA’S “PARADISE COAST.”
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.
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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 â€œAmerica's Best All-Around Beachâ€? 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.
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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.
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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.
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. 50
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Gulf Front 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath $379,000 James Patterson 941-730-9296
Live The Lifestyle, Own The Dream $1,090,000 Vicki Gilbert 941-713-0195
Water, Water, Everywhere $439,000 Call Gina Brulato 941-730-3653
Truly One Of A Kind $5,500,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303
Buy One or Both Tradewinds Units $170,000 Ea James Patterson 941-730-9296
Bel Mare 2Bd/2.5 Bath Condo $379,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337
Longboat Key Gulf Front Condo $599,999 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168
Magnificent Bayou Club Estate $2,200,000 Ray Alexander 941-704-2168
Unique North Shore Estate $1,395,000 James Patterson or Bill Brittain 941-538-6660
Spacious Key Royale Canal Front Home $949,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337
Gorgeous Full Bay View Duplex $999,999 Lisa Bouck 941-374-0165
“Old Florida Style” Cottage $475,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337
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: +1 941.778.7070 firstname.lastname@example.org www.engelvoelkers.com/longboatkey
The Anna Maria Island Office: Phone: +1 941.538.6660 Fax: +1 941.778.7070 AnnaMariaIsland@engelvoelkers.com www.evannamaria.com
ANDORRA ARGENTINA AUSTRALIA AUSTRIA BELGIUM CHILE CHINA CROATIA CYPRUS CZECH REPUBLIC DENMARK FRANCE GERMANY GREECE HUNGARY IRELAND ITALY LUXEMBOURG MACAU MONTENEGRO NETHERLANDS OMAN PERU PORTUGAL QATAR RUSSIA SOUTH AFRICA SPAIN SWITZERLAND THAILAND TURKEY UAE UNITED KINGDOM USA
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
Jennifer Zales Previews® Property Specialist Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate 813-758-3443 Jennifer@JenniferZales.com www.JenniferZales.com
MARKET FOR VACATION HOMES RISING CONSIDER BUYING A HOME YOU CAN ENJOY AND GENERATE SEASONAL RENTAL INCOME WHILE AWAY
By Jennifer Zales According to the Wall Street Journal, sales in many vacation communities across the U.S. soared last year to levels not seen since boom times, driven by deep discounts, cash purchases and buyers' rising stock portfolios. In another study, the third annual Cotton Report, research indicates a substantial increase in the number of home buyers seeking a vacation home purchase, an increase of 800% year-over-year. In many markets a vacation home is still a solid investment if you’re looking for long-term return. And in many resort areas, vacation home owners are opting to purchase a vacation home, and rent on a short-term basis while they are not using it. Serving the needs of luxury vacation home purchasers from the resort areas of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater areas down to Bradenton/Sarasota, I’m seeing a huge increase in buyer traffic. Many of the buyers I am working with are purchasing vacation homes now due to the favorable pricing, the harsh winters they are experiencing up North, and having the flexibility to rent them while not in use. Many intend to eventually retire in these homes, but want to lock-in on pricing now. According to a report released in 2010 by TripAdvisor, vacation rental homes have emerged as a popular choice for travelers seeking greater value and more varied amenities. On average, vacation rental home gross rental income can range from 5-15% of the home’s value on an annual basis. The exact ratio will vary with the region of your home, marketing and property management. I have homes directly on Tampa Bay in the marina community of Apollo Beach that have consistently generated over $100,000/year in gross rental income for the past 2 ½ years. Buy a house you love in an area that your family enjoys vacationing. It is likely that if your family enjoys the area, there are many more that will feel the same. For most buyers as well as vacationers…the view is a delight unto itself and a very important factor when considering your rental market. A view will cost more in the initial purchase, but will also result in a higher rental rate and improved occupancy. A home with no view has a lower purchase cost, but will also yield a lower rental rate. Determine your market, luxury or budget-friendly. It is critical to connect with professionals who understand the business of purchasing a vacation home, when you are intending to rent it.
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The key to finding a vacation rental property with cash flow is to become informed on home pricing, the average rental rate, the average length of vacation stay and any restrictions. According to Hank Sorensen, a prominent real estate attorney in Tampa, “Leasing restrictions and zoning vary on shortterm rentals therefore it is critical that to research the rental ability of a home. There are some markets that won't allow short-term rentals at all, and some require certain permits and/or licensure.” Vacation home taxes are based upon how much time you are there, how much time the home is unoccupied and how much time the property is rented. Keep detailed records, and work directly with your accounting professional to determine what is best for your individual needs. If a home has been functioning as a rental, we always ask for the property’s rental history and obtain information from past tenants about the renting experience. If it will be new to the rental market, we talk to area property managers and other owners. I also advise my clients about the rental market peak seasons, the off season, and the average number of weeks rented. Although possible, there are definite considerations in renting your vacation home without the use of a property manager, especially if your vacation home is a distance from your primary residence. Finding reliable service providers, housekeepers, maintenance, etc. is required. Property Management Companies are a viable alternative. They hold an element of responsibility for the oversight of your property, assure that it is clean and maintained, along with managing reservations and interacting with renters. As part of the process, I assist the client in finding several local property managers that they can interview to assist them with the vacation rental management.. It is also possible to market and rent the property yourself, and utilize a management company as needed. There has never been a better time to buy a Vacation property, as they often pay for themselves and can earn a profit through rental income. Jennifer Zales 813-758-3443, Jennifer@JenniferZales.com Hank Sorensen Esq, Law Offices of Henry T. Sorensen II, P.A. 813-814-7600, or email@example.com The following article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide tax, accounting, legal or investment advice. Please consult with the necessary professionals regarding your own individual situation.
INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE 60
Carla Rayman, REALTOR Director of International Development Prudential Palms Realty Sarasota, Florida 1.941.724.0519 1.941.487.5181 www.YourGlobalAgents.com
Prudential Palms Realty
NOW THAT IT’S SEASON IN FLORIDA...WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING By Carla Rayman
The State of Florida just got closer to the Canadian border, or at least it appears so because of all the Canadian license plates on Florida’s highways. From Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, and Newfoundland, Canadians are coming to Florida in huge numbers once again this year. For the second year in a row, Canadians represent the largest group of foreign buyers in the state of Florida – an overwhelming 36%. Their main reason for buying is still the weather and the lifestyle. What makes it more attractive is the status of the Canadian dollar, which has been at par with the US Dollar on and off for the past year. What has changed, as well, is the trend of the Canadian buyer. In the past, Canadians were purchasing more single family homes than condominiums. Due the value in the condominium market, in the past two years, 2/3 of all purchases are now for this type of property. Canadians typically purchased in resort areas. Presently, Canadians are looking outside of resort areas to invest. And investing they are. Beginning in the third quarter 2010, many Canadian buyers decided to purchase in Florida for pure rental income. Instead of residing for part of the year and maybe renting for a few weeks, they are now looking for annual income which is producing anywhere from a 4 to 10% return.
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The Sarasota/Bradenton market was the number one choice for Canadians to purchase in 2010, representing 18% of Canadian buyers. Orlando and the Walt Disney areas came in the number two position, followed by Cape Coral and Fort Myers. Cape Coral and Fort Myers which have typically been very popular for the German buyers, now has become a hot spot for Canadians, due to the number of distressed properties in the past year. The Miami area, including Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Hallandale, etc., had a decrease in Canadian buyers for 2010, while the Naples and Marco Island areas were consistent with 9% from 2009 to 2010. The most recent statistics are from January and are provided through Florida Realtors which receive their data based on surveys of multiple listing services from local Realtor boards and associations. The sales numbers represent totals of Realtors’ closed transactions within the metropolitan statistical areas. Condominium sales increased in most major markets across the state in January averaging 36%. Miami, due to a number of Brazilian buyers, saw a 134% increase in single family home sales. Panama City followed in the number two position with a 65% increase in sales. Tallahassee showed the biggest loss with a decrease of 27% in sales. So why the huge increase in the number of sales?
Mainly due to the fact that the median sales price in January only increased in five major markets across the state.
The markets that showed an increase in median sales price from January 2010 to January 2011 - Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie, Fort Myers/Cape Coral, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. The single family home market in Florida continued to decline from January 2010 to January 2011. While home sales were up in most markets, it declined in areas like Fort Myers/Cape Coral and Fort Pierce/Port St. Lucie. The median sales price statewide was down 7% and was down in all major markets with the exception of Pensacola, which showed a 2% increase. The largest decrease in median sales price from 2010 to 2011 were Ocala (-25%), Lakeland/Winter Haven (-20%) Gainesville and West Palm/Boca Raton (-19%), Miami (-18%) and Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater (-16%).
When working with your Certified International Property Specialist as your real estate agent, discuss with them your investment criteria for the property and your exit strategy for when you sell. Remember, they are the expert in the area and will be able to guide you to the right property and professionals to create the right investment portfolio for your future. Carla Rayman, GRI, CIPS, TRC, e-PRO - Patricia Tan, GR,. CIPS, TRC www.YourGlobalAgents.com
INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE
While Miami had a record sales month, possibly due to the fact that their prices were down 41% from January 2010â€“the highest percentage change across the state. The Pensacola market, up 53% in sales, followed Miami for the next highest median price decrease (40%) on an annual basis.
Foreclosures and other distressed properties, while seemingly less this year than last, tend to distort the median sales price in most market areas. Buyers are continually disappointed to find that the great deals of 2009 into early 2010 are long gone. Properties on the market today are priced at 40-60% off the 2005-2007 market values. In older neighborhoods, or highly coveted areas, pricing has remained consistent and in some cases increasing. The most important thing for buyers to note is that all cities and neighborhoods are different â€“ prices due to demand and location can vary greatly.
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CROSS BORDER BANKING 62
Frederic Potvin Cross Border Segment Advisor RBC Bank USA 1-800-236-8872 www.rbcbankusa.com.
BANKING DIFFERENCES IN THE U.S. By Frederic Potvin As a Canadian visitor to Florida, a student, or a professional living and working here, chances are you have encountered some difficulty navigating the American banking system. There are many differences between the way you can manage finances in Canada and the banking methods observed here in the U.S. At RBC Bank速, we want to help you fully understand those differences so you can avoid common pitfalls, take advantage of unique opportunities, and create financial success. Terminology One of the fundamentals of managing your finances successfully during your stay in the United States is to become acquainted with typical American banking terms and how they compare to those you are familiar with in Canada: ATM
Automated Teller Machine
CD TD Check
Certificate of Deposit Timed Deposit Written instrument to draft money from a demand deposit account. Individual Retirement Account Employer sponsored retirement account Personal Identification Number; 4 digits
IRA 401(k) PIN ABA/ACH Number SSN Visa* Check Card
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Social Security Number A debit card used to make purchases, access cash, and complete online transactions. The amount of the transaction is deducted from a corresponding checking account
PTB ABM GIC
Personal Touch Banking Automated Banking Machine Guaranteed Investment Certificate
Same as U.S. term
Investment Retirement Plan Registered Retirement Savings Plan
PSC Transit & Branch Number
Personal Security Code; 4-6 digits
SIN Social Insurance Number Debit or Client Card A debit card, commonly referred to as Interact, used for all banking center, Personal Touch Banking machine and many merchant transactions
Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Capabilities
Utility bills can't be paid at banking offices or via ATMs Utility
While U.S. ATMs work the same as PTBs do at home, there are
bills can be paid via check, credit or check card, or online bill pay
limitations to how you're able to use them. U.S. ATMs allow you to
services directly to the utility company.
1) Withdraw funds, 2) Make deposits (at compatible machines
The U.S. clearing system is often times slower than Canada's
only), 3) Transfer funds to and from certain account types, and 4)
While a check clears in one day in Canada, a check can take up
Obtain ledger account balances and a brief transaction history.
to 14 days to clear in the U.S. Account balances are not shown in 'real-time'.
Unlike with PTBs, you can't pay your utility bills. In addition, ATMs
accounts display 2 balance types. The ledger or book balance is
considered 'out of network' relative to the type of card you use,
the dollar amount reflected at the end of a business day after
only allow you to access one checking and one savings account
deposit transactions are posted and checks clear. The available
and you may be charged for your transactions.
balance reflects the amount of money in your account actually available for use. The available balance may be lower than your
Visa Check Card Advantages & Limitations
ledger balance as check items in your deposit may not have
In the United States, Visa check cards are convenient tools that let
cleared. Check card transactions that haven't cleared yet will
you: 1) Make purchases in-store and online wherever Visa is
reduce your available balance but many times not for the exact
accepted, 2) Access cash & transfer funds at ATMs and 3) Earn
amount. Tips at restaurants, gas pump purchases, and hotel
rewards points for signature based transactions.
deposits or reservations are typically not accurately reflected until the entire transaction clears.
When comparing U.S. check cards to the debit cards or client
Overdraft protection lines are not automatically repaid While an
cards you're accustomed to using in Canada, there are several
overdraft protection line will automatically advance funds to
meaningful differences. U.S. check cards do not: 1) Earn rewards
cover overdrafts, you must call or visit a branch, or use online
points for PIN based or debit transactions, 2) Require a PIN to
banking to pay back the principal and interest.
complete credit transactions, and 3) Carry personal or account
Debit and check cards may authorize purchases causing you to
information that can be scanned at bank locations.
overdraw. This can occur due to overstated available balance based on checks or transaction holds that haven't cleared. An overdraft line of credit can help prevent this.
One unique feature of U.S. check cards is the liability protection they offer the cardholder. Through federal regulations and Visa policies, most U.S. check cards protect cardholders from the
At RBC Bank, our team of dedicated Cross Border Banking
liability that arises from fraudulent use or theft.
Specialists fully understands the unique financial services needs of Canadian citizens living in or visiting the United States. We're
When using a U.S. check card, it's wise to always carry a picture
committed to putting our clients first in everything we do; from
identification card as you'll often be asked to present one prior to
delivering practical advice and relevant U.S. banking solutions to
having transactions approved.
providing the personal service and relationship you've always enjoyed in Canada. Our goal is to help you create whatever is
Everyday Banking Distinctions
important in your life here in the U.S. while offering a seamless
As you become acclimated with daily banking activities in the
financial connection to Canada.
United States, there are several distinctions that, unless you're aware of them, can cause unnecessary stress. The following are
Locate one of our branches at www.rbcbankusa.com and contact us.
some of the most important:
We'll give you the confidence to create your path forward.
Post-dated checks are not honored in the U.S. If you post-date a check and the party to whom you wrote it deposits it earlier than you had intended, the check will clear and the amount deducted from your account.
ÂŠ RBC Bank (USA) 2009. Member FDIC. Equal OpportunityE mployer. ÂŽ Registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under license. RBC Bank is a trade name used by RBC Bank (USA) and its branch offices operate under this trade name. *RBC Bank is licensee of trademarks. EQUAL HOUSING
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
BUILDING . HOME . LIFE 64
Gail Shane Realtor Liaison Neal Communities Manatee & Sarasota Counties 941-713-8008 www.NealCommunities.com
AN INTERVIEW WITH CANDICE MCELYEA By Gail Shane This months' interview is with Candice McElyea, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Lakewood Ranch Communities. We are talking about the “Live, Work, Play” lifestyle in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Candice, Lakewood Ranch is truly a well planned master-planned community celebrating 15 years. What is the attraction? Gail, from townhomes to custom estates, families become neighbors and neighbors become family in Lakewood Ranch. Everyone enjoys a sense of community. It's all here at award winning Lakewood Ranch, an 8,500 acre master-planned community, located on Florida's Gulf Coast, close to I-75. Lakewood Ranch is a great place to live, work, shop and there is always something to do. You'll find all of this and more at Lakewood Ranch: gourmet and familyfriendly restaurants, A-rated schools, unique shops and boutiques, business parks, hospital and medical center, three different masterfully designed golf courses; an athletic center with fitness, aquatics and 18 lighted tennis courts; even Polo and Cricket clubs. And over 150 miles of sidewalks and trails, community parks, lakes and nature preserves sharing dramatic landscapes with forest and wetland preserves abundant with native wildlife. Each year Lakewood Ranch hosts great events and festivals that attract people from all over the state. The first Friday of every month you will find thousands of people on Main Street for Music on Main, a free street party with live music and family friendly activities. Main Street is a very unique destination, what else can we find there? Main Street at Lakewood Ranch is located across from the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. This outdoor venue offers stylish boutiques and international restaurants, the Lakewood Ranch Cinemas and the Fish Hole, our own Miniature golf course. Main Street combines elements of the ideal downtown with easy to access stores that make year-round shopping a pleasure. Famous names and specialty shops line the streets. The open-air environment provides a unique plaza for strolling and shopping. At the Center's hub, the pavilion hosts special events, farmers markets, concerts and festivals throughout the year making this the focal point of the community and Lakewood Ranch's "downtown." Grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks and start your stroll.
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Restaurants include Ed's Tavern, MacAllisters Grill & Tavern, Paris Bistro, Polo Grill, Saijo Sushi and The Serving Spoon. Now open are Eduardo's Cantina and The Main Street Trattoria. Office suites line the second story of the street and loft style condos make Main Street the ideal place where you can truly live, work and play. Gail , there are eight more shopping districts on the Ranch where you will find a little bit of everything: small boutiques and specialty clothing shops, pharmacies, dry cleaners, grocery stores, wine and spirits, florists, jewelers, coffee shops, a variety of restaurants, ice cream parlors and much more. Candice, for the sports enthusiast, what does Lakewood Ranch have to offer? Where do we begin? With 36 holes of private golf, 18 holes of daily fee golf, 18 tennis courts, polo, cricket, and over 80 clubs to choose from, the Ranch rivals any world class resort. All 3 golf courses are always in excellent condition and maintained as “tournament ready” championship courses. There is an excellent practice facility with a double sided driving range, several putting greens, practice bunkers for both fairway and green side bunker practice, newly remodeled target areas and a new 18,000 square foot green to practice all areas of the short game. Half of the land at Lakewood Ranch is set aside as open or recreational space. It's no surprise that our community parks and 150+ miles of trails are a popular focus of neighborhood life enjoyed by all. Not many communities can boast that they have Polo? There's good reason they call it "the fastest game on four feet." You'll discover why at the Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood Ranch. Nine world-class fields and a regulation size arena where the best players in the world gather Sunday afternoons throughout the winter season for league and tournament play. Season starts on December 19 and Polo is perfect for a family outing. You can bring your picnic baskets and enjoy all the exciting action along with pony and Clydesdale wagon rides, tailgate parties, half-time entertainment and divot stomping.
Schools and employment are very important to young families, what can they find in Lakewood Ranch? From exceptional early learning through grade school, to high school & beyond, there is the opportunity for a lifetime of learning in Lakewood Ranch. Schools were always a part of the master plan, and land was set aside for them long before any homes were finished. Today, they're one of the primary reasons families choose to live here. You will find The Imagine School, a public K-5 charter school that emphasizes the education of the "whole child." The Out-of-Door Academy Middle and High School is one of the area's best private preparatory schools. Pinnacle Academy is a private school specializing in the education of children with autism and related behavioral disorders. Colleges include Manatee Community College Center for Innovation and Technology, Keiser University and Culinary Institute, Everglades University, Manatee Technical Institute and the Meridian Career Institute all have campuses in Lakewood Ranch. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, or LECOM, opened its first branch campus and pharmacy schools here. LECOM has plans to open a dental school as well. And Manatee Community College, University of South Florida/New College and Ringling College of Art and Design are all nearby. More than 1200 businesses are already your neighbors and employers around the ranch. Thoughtful insight has been utilized to create a community where the "Live, Work, Play" lifestyle can easily be fulfilled. Candice, for those that choose a Country Club lifestyle, what does Lakewood Ranch have to offer? A clubhouse of historic proportion, inspired by the Italian villa-style of Sarasota's famous Ringling Museum, our award-winning 44,000 square foot clubhouse is nothing short of magnificent.
Marble columns, graceful arches and elaborate finishes all harken back to the early 1920s when elegance reigned supreme. Club life revolves around the informal and fine dining areas (casual or buttoned up, it's your choice), as well as the meeting and card rooms where members and their friends regularly gather. For larger functions and special occasions, such as weddings, holidays and the occasional charity ball, there's the grand ballroom or private wine room, the Wildwood Cellar, where members and guests can dine and dance the night away. The clubhouse is the social center of the country club lifestyle, where member service and attention to detail are unsurpassed. Lakewood Ranch is known as the largest green-certified community in the US. That is something to be proud of! Yes Gail, in Lakewood Ranch homage is paid to the breathtaking environment that surrounds us. That's why we're proud to have been designated as the largest green-certified community in the US. Our commitment to remaining green in all aspects of residential and commercial development remains unwavering. You are just as likely to see a human neighbor in Lakewood Ranch as you are a deer, fox, eagle or alligator sunning itself on one our many lakes. Candice McElyea can be reached at Lakewood Ranch Communities 941-757-1546 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gail Shane is the Realtor Liaison for Neal Communities, and is the host of Gail Shane & Friends â€œCommunity & Real Estate Talk" on WTMY 1280 AM Radio or www.wtmy.com, Saturdays 10-11am
FLORIDA HOMES MAGAZINE
Published on Apr 15, 2011
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