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4120 SNAIL ISLAND COURT Quite possibly the Island's very best location!

BOCA GRANDE, FLORIDA Enjoy the splendor of 585' of shoreline with incomparable views in all directions. Southeast exposure offering 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, plus 2 half baths! Generous open floor plan with well over 6000 sq. ft. under roof with lots of light (all Anderson windows & doors)! This home is in excellent condition, dockage up to 100' and a lift for your tender. Three-car garage, spectacular landscaping, bay beach for the kids/grandkids and the ultimate privacy. Located on approximately 3.5 acres of land with an acre +/- of submerged lands. If you're looking for the very best views, large dockage, privacy and a spacious home, with plenty of room for an additional guesthouse...then this is it! The seller is a licensed real estate broker. $6,900,000 The Boca Grande lifestyle has continued to charm families and active retirees for over 100 years. Come experience our no stoplight community. our “Comfortable Island Luxury.� The Very Best of Florida!


P. O. Box 1364, 411 Park Avenue Boca Grande, Florida 33921

BOB MELVIN Owner/Broker/Realtor


YOU worked hard... YOU saved...

YOU endured the cold and snow...

The time has come to

REWARD YOURSELF! Florida’s sunny shores and warm breezes are within your reach. Trust me, your fellow Canadian. I did it and so can you! Allow me the pleasure of showing you around town!

Lana Butsky Broker/Owner, CIPS, TRC Neapolitan Realty LLC Naples, Florida 239-777-2532

relentlessly pursuing perfection


CONTENTS Volume 3 Issue 3





2009 ADDY Award Winner

PUBLISHER’S PAGE ................................................................... 12 WELCOME ................................................................................. 14 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................... 16 SUN COAST ............................................................................... 18 Ecoterra/PURE Beach Resort & Spa ........................................... 23 CULTURAL COAST ..................................................................... 30 PARADISE COAST ...................................................................... 42

DEPARTMENTS REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS by Lauren Kohl know the facts before you buy ........................................................ 58 INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE by Carla Rayman real estate taxes and insurance ....................................................... 60 BUYING A FLORIDA BUSINESS by Gary Kauffman, Esq. the purchase agreement ............................................................... 62 BUILDING. HOME. LIFE by Gail Shane an interview with Craig Cerreta ........................................................ 64

gobal glo



ummer is heating up on Florida's Southwest Coast and again, Sarasota's Siesta Key Beach ranked at the top of the list for Best Beaches in America. Up from the number two position for the past two years, Siesta Key reached the Number One ranking, by Stephen P. Leatherman, director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research, also known as “Dr. Beach.” Real Estate Snapshot The May 2011 real estate statistics reported compare to May 2010, when the $8,000 federal home buyer tax credit initiative was helping to improve overall home sales. The tax credit increased sales last year, though the 2011 numbers are strong due to a market wealth of quality homes. Buyers are finding tremendous value, at all price ranges, and are making offers. Some properties are receiving multiple offers, a positive trend that will assist in attaining overall real estate market stability. 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.

For Florida’s Southwest Coast, real estate sales momentum appears greatest in the condominium market, with a 29.54 percent increase in condo sales in the Tampa Bay area, a 10 percent increase in condo sales for the Sarasota area, and a 9 percent increase in condo sales for Naples. Sun Coast Year-to-date real estate sales for the Tampa Bay area have increased 7.44 percent for single family residences, over the same time period in 2010, with an impressive 29.54 percent increase in condominium sales. Tampa’s May reporting indicates a total of 6.3 months of inventory, with homes selling at 95 percent of list price. Cultural Coast Condo sales reflected a 10 percent increase over May 2010, while the median sales price increased to $218,750, an 18 percent increase over May 2010. The current inventory for single family homes is 5.8 months, and 7.4 months for condos. Paradise Coast Naples is reporting the median price of homes sold increased 6 percent for the 12month period ending May 2011, versus the 12-month period ending May 2010. Compared to May 2010: • Overall pending sales increased 8 percent in May 2011 with 955 contracts. • Overall closed sales increased 4 percent in May 2011 with 838 sales. • Single-family home pending sales increased 8 percent in May 2011. • Condo sales increased 9 percent with 450 sales in May 2011. Record Breaking Real Estate Sale – Longboat Key Florida April 21, 2011 - A Longboat Key record price of $12.5 million was paid for 825 Longboat Club Road. The price reflects the highest amount paid for a single-family home in Longboat Key history, and the third-highest sales price in Sarasota County history. The home is located in the exclusive Regent Court neighborhood of only eight residences, on 1.3-acres, with 150 feet of Gulf Beachfront, 11,961 sq. ft., 5 bedrooms and 6 baths, selling for $1,045 per sq. ft., behind the gates of the Longboat Key Club and Resort. On behalf of Florida Homes Magazine, we express our greatest gratitude to the faithful advertisers who consistently make this publication possible. Sources: Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, Sarasota Association of Realtors, Naples Area Board of Realtors,





Your Paradise Lifestyle Awaits

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

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

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

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


Find your Perfect Piece of Paradise.

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.

Going Coastal





clearwater st. petersburg

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

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

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

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





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

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



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

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

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

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

Location Florida's west coast , Hillsborough County, just north of Sarasota, 25 miles in from the Gulf of Mexico. Geography Hillsborough County 1,050 square miles of land area Temperature 82° F average high temperature 61° F average low temperature 73.1° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 44.8 inches Average Annual Sunshine 346 days Population 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





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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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



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

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


pure beach resort and spa

barbados Though you may have seen many beautiful places throughout the world... this Barbados location will simply take your breath away. Near every convenience you may desire, here you can lose yourself in gorgeous sand, lush tropical foliage and gentle breezes. Untouched and unspoiled, as if no one has been there before, experience the awe that early explorers must have felt when discovering a new land. A Five-Star Waterfront Resort community, on the Island of Barbados, PURE Beach Resort & Spa offers the epitome of luxury and privacy with a Condo Boutique Hotel, Manor Homes and Condominiums. Residents and guests can enjoy stunning panoramic ocean views and the most beautiful stretch of uninterrupted white/pink sand beach. Relax at the expansive pool complex, indulge at the Spa, dine at one of the Resort's five-star restaurants, or invigorate in the state-of-the-art fitness center.


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Immerse yourself on PURE's private and unspoiled beach. Body surf, wind surf, snorkel, swim, or stroll as you're enveloped in unsurpassed beauty and continual soothing tropical breezes. For those seeking a medical respite, state-of-the-art facilities and complete privacy, PURE offers the perfect combination of superior medical expertise in an exclusive and descrete environment. The Resort Spa level of outstanding service includes therapeutic properties offered by Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeons, with onsite practices. Restaurants PURE's five-star Resort restaurants will provide a wealth of cuisine options and unique dining experiences. Throughout the year, PURE will host an impressive selection of world-renowned chefs to provide guests superior cuisine and a truly distinctive dining experience. Concierge Services The professional staff will address every detail in preparation for your arrival. Airport transportation to the Resort, dinner reservations, personal shopping and personal transportation from the PURE fleet will assure your discerning desires are met to perfection.



Barbados Known for its breath taking beauty, Barbados offers a magnificent climate, unsurpassed hospitality and incredible natural bounty. The Caribbean's most popular vacation destination, the people of Barbados embrace visitors with a gracious and courteous attitude. Their culture of inclusion, friendliness and respect help to define their deep cultural order that allows visitors to enjoy their surroundings in complete relaxation. This Barbadian culture is one of the largest contributing factors to the vast population of celebrities, along with the very wealthy, that own personal property in the area. No intrusions, paparazzi, or security detail needed to enjoy the abundant offerings of Barbados in complete anonymity. Barbados also offers numerous unique investment advantages. A thriving economy, one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean, the absence of capital gains tax, along with no restrictions on foreign currency offer tremendous global appeal.




PURE's Commitment to Sustainability and Environmental Protection With a backdrop of unspoiled and tropical allure, PURE is committed to creating the ultimate resort location with an Eco-focus to utilize renewable resources and reduce energy consumption, while protecting and preserving the natural bounty of the pristine location. From sporty to sophisticated, a PURE fleet of Eco-focused personal vehicles will offer guests a transportation selection for use throughout their visit. Every aspect of the project design is dedicated to assure a completely self-sustained community and create a healthy indoor livability. From the Resort relationships with local producers of organic produce and utilization of native plant material, to implementation of state-of-the art GREEN products and materials, PURE retains an impressive commitment to neutral environmental impact. Resort Vacation Home Enjoy the privileges of home ownership, in a premier luxury resort, at a fraction of the cost. Vacation indulgence is available 4 13 weeks annually, and includes incredible amenities and personalized services, in one of the Caribbean's most popular locations. Professional Management Much of the success of the Resort lies within the professional management. Well-respected and proven hospitality professionals cater to every detail, year-round. There is no need to worry about maintenance, housekeeping, or repairs.



The Economy Offshore finance and informatics are important foreign exchange earners, and there is also a light manufacturing sector. The government encourages direct foreign investment and continues to privatize the remaining state-owned enterprises. A second home investment in Barbados is attractive because of widely available foreign currency mortgages, high quality legal services, a recently reduced property transfer tax, and the absence of capital gains tax. The main factors responsible for the improvement in economic activity include an expansion in the number of tourist arrivals, an increase in manufacturing, expension of service sectors, and over 4,000 International Business Corporation operating in Barbados. Recently, offshore banking and financial services have also become an important source of foreign exchange and economic growth.



Travel What better way to experience the laid-back island of Barbados than at The Pure Beach Resort & Spa; less than 10 minutes from the Grantley Adams International Airport, a vital link for international air traffic in the Eastern Caribbean. The recently upgraded main passenger terminal handles in excess of 2 million passengers who come to experience the pristine beaches, crystal clear water and vibrant flora with great music and delicious food each year. There are non-stop, daily scheduled airline services from several major international cities, originating mainly in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. Barbados was the only Caribbean destination to accept scheduled Concorde flights, until it was withdrawn from service, and there is now a Concorde museum housing one of the airplanes that used to make the trip from London. The following gateway cities offer direct flights into Grantley Adams International Airport: - San Juan, (Puerto Rico), Miami, Charlotte (North Carolina), Philadelphia, JFK (New York), Toronto, Montreal, Frankfurt, Brussels, London, Rio de Janeiro and Caracas (Venezuela). About Ecoterra Ecoterra is a leader in providing enviable real estate opportunities in prime resort and waterfront developments. Our team boasts over 30 years of experience in real estate industry, ranging from land acquisition, development, and building execution to property marketing and sales. We are committed to environmental sustainability and to providing an excellent return on investment, to our investor partners. This is what forms the foundation of everything we do.

Barbados Office: Beach House, Sunset Crest, St. James, Barbados B.W.I. Tel. 246.432.6648 Fax 246.423.1324 Web Toronto Office: 151 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 400 Toronto, ON, M4R 1A6 Tel. 416.488.0990 28







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


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.”





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



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

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

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

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


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

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




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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Location Florida's west coast , Collier County is just south of Sarasota on Highway 41 and Florida's Gulf Coast. Geography Collier County 2,025.5 square miles (making it the largest county in the State of Florida, based on land area). Temperature 91° F high temperature 54° F low temperature 77° F annual average temperature Annual Precipitation 51.3 inches Average Annual Sunshine 324 days Population 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.







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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

WE KNOW the only way to build stronger communities for TOMORROW is to invest in our communities TODAY

The communities that GEICO insures are also the places where


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Gulf Front Residence $3,995,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

Luxury Waterfront Townhomes $499,000 Ray Alexander or Tina Rudek 941-538-6660

Lakewood Ranch Estate 4Bd/4.5Ba $1,395,000 Lisa Bouck or Ray Alexander 941-538-6600

Spacious Key Royale Canal Front Home $949,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337

Holmes Beach Bungalow 3Bd/3Ba $450,000 Linda Dickson 941-224-1337

Water, Water, Everywhere $339,900 Gina Brulato 941-730-3653

Enjoy Island Lifestyle 3Bd/2Bath $499,000 James Patterson 941-730-9296

Buy One or Both Tradewinds Units $150,000 Ea James Patterson 941-730-9296

Hawthorn Park 3Bd/3Bath $409,000 Gary LaFlamme 941-725-0928

Holmes Beach Florida Cottage 3Bd/3ba $479,000 Carolyn Spencer 941-730-0496

Key Royale Canal Front 3Bd/2Ba $625,000 James Patterson 941-730-9296

Unique North Shore Estate $1,395,000 James Patterson or Bill Brittain 941-538-6660

The Shore 2Bd/2Ba Gulf Views $500,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

Whitney Beach 2Bd/2Ba Condo $274,000 Tina Rudek 941-920-0303

“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

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


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Walk with the Doc - Talk with the Doc Join us the 1st Saturday of each month! ..... Invite your friends TUNE IN - 1280 WTMY – Guest variety includes weekly “Suncoast Justice” Public Forum with Morgan Bentley Attorney of Parker Williams Law Firm, Himalaya “Health Beat Report,” “Going Coastal with Florida Homes” Real Estate Talk, Life, Dining, Entertainment, Community – National News & Celebrity Interviews!

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Over 15 Years Experience 1-941-927-2708

2017 Fiesta Drive Sarasota, FL 34231

The Karins Law Firm understands that the immigration process is one of the most significant experiences in a person's life. With personalized, professional attention and care, we assist you in negotiating through a variety of processes including: Temporary work and non-work visas including investors and small businesses, fiancĂŠ visas, student visas Employment-based permanent residence ("green cards") Labor certification Family-based permanent residence ("green cards") Citizenship and Naturalization Consular services

Hands-on personalized attention to carefully negotiate you through each step of the complex US immigration process.






Lauren P. Kohl, Attorney at Law Law Offices of Gibson, Kohl, Wolff & Hric, P.L. 1800 Second Street, Suite 901, Sarasota FL, 34236 414 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229 1.941.966.3575

KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU BUY By Lauren P. Kohl Many of you, I'm sure, are familiar with the tale of Rip Van Winkle. But, what most people don't know is that legend has it that Rip Van Winkle was survived by a great, great, great, great, great grandson who moved to the Sarasota, Florida area and became a successful real estate investor. So successful was he that his nickname became Real Estate inVestor Winkle (RVW for short).

RVW, being a very loyal client, proceeded to call his old Realtor and arranged for a meeting at her office. While in the lobby, RVW couldn't help but stare at the busy professionals rapidly typing hand-held gadgets with their thumbs. He began to feel anxious. Everyone was in such a hurry. Was he missing out on something, he wondered.

One afternoon, in 1994, after a particularly profitable closing, RVW strolled down to the powdery white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and nestled himself amongst the sea oats where he enjoyed a spectacular sunset. Having inherited the family trait of narcolepsy, RWV didn't awaken until earlier this year when he discovered quickly that everything he knew about the purchase and sale of real estate had drastically changed except for the prices which had only modestly increased.

“Here are some MLS printouts of homes I plan to show you today,” said the Realtor. “Why don't we go over them together before we hit the road?” As RVW reviewed the paperwork he noticed that 1/3 of the properties selected were bank-owned foreclosures, 1/3 were short sales, and 1/3 were traditional sales. “The foreclosures appear to be priced the best,” said RVW. “Let's start with those!”

Specifically, when RVW awoke he remembered that he had some funds he wished to invest in real estate. Preferring leverage, he visited a local mortgage professional to apply for a loan. He was pleased to see that interest rates were much lower than he recalled and started running cash flow projections in his head while his mortgage professional accumulated the loan application. Brought back to reality upon hearing a thud of paperwork hit the desk, RVW saw that his mortgage professional had a stack of paper about 3 inches high for RVW to complete. RWV felt entirely invaded by the application. Doesn't anyone trust each other anymore, he wondered. Nonetheless, the paperwork was completed in less than an hour and RVW left to look at homes with a laundry list of information he was expected to bring back to the mortgage professional. “The sooner you provide me with paperwork, the sooner I can get you a loan approval,” said the mortgage professional. “I will need about 45 days. Make sure your purchase contract gives me at least 45 days to approve your loan. Good luck, and welcome back!”


RVW sat in the front seat next to his Realtor and noticed that she had what he learned to be a GPS map on her dashboard. As they drove RVW noticed an abundance of neighborhoods that hadn't existed in 1994. Heck, she had planned to take him further to the east and south than he had planned. “There is so much to choose from!” exclaimed his Realtor. “I typically spend several days with each client these days. It takes that long just to familiarize them with their options. You missed the boom that occurred in 20022006. Just wait until you see some of these neighborhoods! They have amenities you never dreamed of.” Several hours later RVW, feeling entirely exhausted decided to make an offer on one of the bank owned properties. His Realtor prepared the contract and addenda required by her office and presented 20 pages to RVW. “What happened to the 3 page contract I remember? asked RVW. “Long gone,” she replied. RWV's Realtor went on to say that once she presented the contract to the listing agent the listing agent would come back with an 18 page bank addendum. “I don't suggest you sign the addendum without consulting an attorney,” She said. “There are inherent risks in purchasing a bank owned property. You should

understand them before you proceed. You should also recognize that the bank may be considering multiple offers on this property. You should offer what you really think the property is worth. Let me show you what comparable homes have sold for.”

RVW decided to have his Realtor prepare a third contract on a traditional sale. A home owned by a family that was still lovingly maintaining the home. The lawn and pool were in great condition, the air conditioning had been running all summer, and all the appliances, ceiling fans and window treatments were included in the sale. RVW offered about 15% more for this property than the other two. “Now we wait and see.”

RVW slept well that evening knowing that even if he didn't wake up for many years he was buying a home at a historically low price, with an extremely low interest rate. He just couldn't lose. The moral of the story is: If you haven't purchased or sold real estate in the last few years, you should expect a totally new experience. The best way to protect yourself throughout this experience is to hire a local attorney with experience in real estate purchases and sales. You should also find an experienced Realtor and mortgage professional that you trust and remain loyal to them. It can take a bit of time to find the home that meets your personal and financial goals at a great value. Note: This story is not intended to deter individuals away from purchasing bank owned properties or short sales. The author has represented hundred of buyers and sellers in the successful closing of these types of transactions. It her is opinion that both buyers and sellers should make informed decisions.

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.

1.941. 1.941.966.3575 966.3575


“In the event my offer isn't accepted I'd like to make an offer on one of the short sales you showed me. What can you tell me about these?” asked RVW. The Realtor called the listing agent of RVW's top short sale choice and told RVW she learned that the home had been under contract for 5 months previously with another buyer who walked because he wasn't willing to wait any longer. RVW arched an eyebrow, “You mean to tell me that the home is listed at $225,000.00 but the listing agent has no idea whether or not the seller's mortgage lender will accept that amount?” “Exactly, the short sale approval process is a long one. But, most of my clients, those with time to wait, have been able to purchase homes at great value.”

Eventually, RVW was able to negotiate a contract on the bank owned property. He proceeded to spend money on inspections only to find that the bank could not convey clear title. RVW was returned his deposit but the funds spent on inspections were lost. He became tired of waiting for the short sale to be approved so he cancelled that contract. He really wanted to borrow the money before mortgage rates increased. His only choice was to pay a little more for the traditional sale, and so he did.


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





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

Prudential Palms Realty


As a Certified International Property Specialist in Southwest Florida, the number one question I get from my Canadian clients is about real estate taxes. For some reason, there is a lot of misinformation that Canadians alone pay more real estate taxes than anyone else when they purchase a property in the State of Florida. Since this topic seems to come up so often, I have integrated this into the regular seminars I do with the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto and Montreal in order to dispel this myth. First, let’s talk about taxes in general. The United States has one of the lowest tax bases in the world. As Americans, we pay about 24% of our income in taxes. Canadians, on the other hand pay about 31%. To expand this even further, the Brits pay 34% Germans 37%, French 42%, Swedes 46%, and the Danes 48%. Only Turkey, Chile, and Mexico have lower tax burdens than the USA. When it comes to real estate taxes, it is all about whether you are a permanent resident of the State of Florida and if the property is your personal homestead. It has nothing to do with you being Canadian (or British or French, for that matter). As a Florida resident, I have the right to apply for a homestead exemption. A Florida resident means I have the right to apply for a Florida driver’s license and voter’s registration card.


It also means that I have declared the State of Florida to be my primary residence for the majority of the year. The homestead exemption gives me a deduction of $50,000 (originally $25,000) off the assessed value of my home. For example, if the assessed value of my home is $500,000, I will only be taxed on $450,000. On average, property taxes are roughly 1.5-2% of the assessed value of the property. Also with the homestead exemption, my property taxes cannot increase more than 3% per year. This does not mean they will go up 3% every year, they could go down – the 3% is just a cap. Overall, tax rates rose in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte Counties last year but property owners experienced a tax cut because the taxable value of their properties dropped another 11%. So what if you are not a Florida resident? What happens if you are Canadian, from New York or any other state or country? As a non-homestead property owner, your real estate taxes cannot increase more than 10% per year. Up until January 1, 2010, there was no cap for non-homestead property owners. Real estate taxes increased rapidly in Florida during the boom years of 2006-2007 and non-homestead owners were affected significantly. Today our tax base in the Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte County areas are 1/3 below this 20062007 peak.

Homeowners Insurance is based upon the following:

! ! !

the condition of the property its location the year it was built(your insurance will be less if the


property was built in 2002 or newer) the type of construction (block will be less expensive


than frame) the distance the property is from the coast

Have more questions about being a Canadian buyer in Florida? I am always looking for more topics to discuss. If you are a

Across the state on average, tax rates rose 2.1% in 2010 but tax collections plummeted $2.3 billion as property values fell statewide for the third straight year. Overall, Florida property owners were assessed 8% less than in 2009.

current RBC client and would like to learn more, please contact me about our upcoming seminars in Canada. ®

Carla Rayman, REALTOR , GRI, CIPS, TRC, e-PRO ®

The second biggest question I am asked from Canadians is about homeowner’s insurance. The price you pay for insurance has nothing to do with where you are from – it is simply about the property itself.

Patricia Tan, REALTOR , GRI, CIPS, TRC


Remember, the homestead exemption is for my personal residence. What happens if I invest in a rental/vacation property, vacant land, or a commercial property? My real estate taxes in this case are treated in the same way as if I was from Canada or anywhere outside of the State of Florida and are capped at 10% per annum. Just last month, the Florida legislature decided to put a referendum on the November 2012 ballot to decrease the cap from 10% to 5%. While the real estate taxes have not greatly affected the amount of investment from those who cannot homestead, the passing of this referendum will only increase investment activity at all levels.




Gary Kauffman, Esq. BAND WEINTRAUB, P.L. Sarasota, Florida 941. 917-0505 p

BUYING A BUSINESS IN FLORIDA: THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT By Gary Kauffman, Esq. Buying a business can be complex. For an E2 visa candidate, your U.S. investment needs to satisfy both your business goals, as well as your visa requirements. Whether you’re buying a large manufacturing facility or a small restaurant, it all begins with the Purchase Agreement – your roadmap for all dealings with your seller. This article will highlight certain issues to consider when signing your first Purchase Agreement. 1. Asset Purchase Agreement. Most buyers prefer to purchase a seller’s assets, rather than stock or shares in the seller’s company. This is done primarily to help you (the buyer) avoid acquiring your seller’s debts and liabilities. Although some liabilities can be pursued against an asset purchaser (e.g., sales taxes), an asset purchase will shield you from most of your seller’s creditors. 2. Due Diligence Period. In a typical Purchase Agreement, after signing the contract, you are given a period of time to evaluate the business. Perhaps you saw a financial statement that the seller prepared; but didn’t see any underlying documents (e.g., check registers, tax returns). If possible, request a 30-day “due diligence” period. During this time, you can more carefully review the financials; inspect any business equipment, vehicles, or airconditioning units; or review key contracts affecting the seller’s business. You should have the right to terminate the agreement, during the due diligence period, if you are not fully satisfied with the results of your evaluation.


3. Purchase Price. The purchase price is always the most important issue. But it is not always prudent to pay the full amount up front. Perhaps you’re concerned that the seller’s financials are overstated; or that the seller’s debts will become your debts; or that customer retention may be hard to achieve. One solution? Ask for a seller loan. For example, on a $450,000 purchase price, but you might offer to pay just $300,000 up front, and give a Promissory Note to your seller for the other $150,000, to be paid out over 3 years. This solves two problems – it helps to preserve your capital; and if anything goes wrong after the closing, it gives you leverage to withhold payments on the Note (e.g., if your seller misrepresented the financials). 4. Escrow Deposit. Most Purchase Agreements expect the buyer to deposit funds in escrow, pending the closing. This shows good faith to your seller, while you take 30 days (or more) for due diligence. Perhaps your seller asks for $20,000 in escrow, to be applied toward your $450,000 purchase price. But for an E2 visa candidate, some U.S. embassies may require more funds at risk; and your immigration attorney may suggest increasing your deposit to $75,000. Be careful. A typical Purchase Agreement will say that if you (buyer) default in closing, the escrow agent must pay the deposit to the seller. If the embassy requires a higher deposit, then just make sure your seller gets just the original $20,000 if you default, and you get back the other $55,000.

(Note: If you terminate a Purchase Agreement, during the Due Diligence Period, that is not a ‘default’, and you get back 100% of your deposit.) 5. Conditions. Consider whether you need any conditions to occur before you are required to proceed with buying the seller’s business. For example, do you want the right to terminate the contract, if you are unable to (i) receive your E2 visa, (ii) get a bank loan for a portion of the purchase price, (iii) agree on terms for you to employ your seller, after closing, or (iv) sell your house in Canada, which funds may be needed to pay for the business? You should always ask for a global “due diligence” condition, where you can terminate for any reason. But consider also whether you need other conditions added. 6. Non-Compete. In your Purchase Agreement, be sure to provide for a Non-Compete Agreement. Even though this won’t get signed until closing, be clear up front.

If you pay good money to buy a business, you don’t want your seller competing with you. Perhaps ask the seller to not compete for 5 years, within a 30-mile radius of the business. The specifics will vary, depending upon the type of business. 7. Closing Costs. To ensure a smooth closing, a good Purchase Agreement will allocate the various closing costs, according to local custom. Between Buyer and Seller, who pays for (i) the landlord’s cost (if any) to approve a lease assignment, (ii) taxes owed on any seller loan, (iii) releasing liens and charges encumbering the business, or (iv) the closing fee charged by the closing attorney? All are negotiable, and should be addressed in the Purchase Agreement. Gary Kauffman, Esq. BAND WEINTRAUB, P.L. One South School Avenue, Suite 500 Sarasota, FL 34237 941-917-0505




Gail Shane Realtor Liaison Neal Communities Manatee & Sarasota Counties 941-713-8008

AN INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG CERRETA - “THE CITY OF CHOICE” By Gail Shane This month’s interview is with Craig Cerreta, residential Realtor with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch. We are talking about why Sarasota is a leading market in the Florida housing recovery.

Sarasota has big city amenities with a small town feel. It’s a place where you see your friends and neighbors when you go to theater or dining. It’s a place where you actually know your county and state representatives. Simply said, Sarasota really is a great place to live.

Craig, you say Sarasota is past bottom and well into recovery, yet many other Florida markets are still staggering. Why Sarasota? Why now? The first and most obvious reason is supply and demand. There has never been a question of demand. People want to live in Sarasota and its surrounding communities. Supply surged to unsustainable levels during the bubble, but things have changed in the past year. Supply is down. Way down. According to the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR), Sarasota inventory is at a six (6) year low. Buyers are jumping off the fence as they realize that the dramatically reduced inventory means less choice and fewer bargains. Statistics vary by product type and price point, but the message appears very strong that the bottom has passed in Sarasota. This is especially true for product built in the past 10 years that is priced below $750,000. Good homes at a decent price are selling in less than 90 days. Great homes at decent prices are selling in just a few days. SAR March statistics show sales of single family homes up 23% from the previous month and condo sales up 10%.

Is that why you and your wife moved here? Yes, as a Realtor we could have gone anywhere in Florida when we moved here from Atlanta 7 years ago. We were tired of the big city. Yet we value fine restaurants, theater and a vibrant downtown city center. We wanted a small sophisticated city by the beach. We found it. My experience as a residential Realtor tells me that a lot of people are looking for that same small town feel with big city amenities.

How far have prices reduced from market highs? Resale prices are down to 2001 to 2003 levels in most product categories. The resale market was driven down by short sales and foreclosures. Sellers have had to come to grips with this. The price variance between a distressed property and a normal sale is nowhere near as big a gap as it was a year or two ago. Even new home construction pricing is down to about 2003 levels. One of the reasons Sarasota and Manatee counties are so hot is because Pat Neal, of Neal Communities has led the Florida homebuilding industry in reducing costs and prices so he can compete with the resale market. He has already sold well over 130 new construction homes this year. Craig, you titled this article “City of Choice,” so the recovery must be driven by more than just price? Sarasota offers lifestyle options not easily matched by other Florida markets. Sarasota is actually a small city at the beach. Not a beach town. Not a big city. You have heard it before that Sarasota is hot because of its cultural assets (ballet, symphony, opera, etc). Yes that is true, but it misses the bigger point. Sarasota is hot because it lives like a small city.


If you’re the kind of person who grew up appreciating cultural amenities and the type of community that comes with it, you need more of a city. Sarasota’s downtown master development plan is focused on creating a pedestrian friendly environment with cafes, stores and shops that are easily frequented by residents and tourists alike. Craig, you don’t live downtown, so the appeal must reach beyond the city center? We live in the University Park/Lakewood Ranch area, about 10 miles from downtown. The area is beautiful, safe and fun. We are surrounded by restaurants, shopping, and golf courses, yet we are minutes from downtown and the beaches. We decided on this area due to lifestyle. We are not big beach people. I love golf and the country club, a master planned lifestyle. My wife loves the shopping and restaurants. It is a fantastic area to live. You talk more about lifestyle than about houses. Is that really the key thing buyers need to think about? Buyers will be much happier in the long run if they focus on lifestyle and activities versus a specific house. The first thing I do when I secure a new buyer client is take them on a half day tour of the area. The goal is to figure out if the Sarasota and surrounding areas are right for them. Then we drill down into housing options. It isn’t just about the house or even the price of the house, but the lifestyle and residential amenities. I help clients find the right home in the right community that fits their family lifestyle today and tomorrow. Craig Cerreta can be reached at 941-993-2502 Gail Shane is the host of Gail Shane & Friends “Community & Real Estate Talk" on WTMY 1280 AM Radio heard Saturdays 10-11am.


V3I3 Florida Homes Magazine  

Florida Homes & Lifestyles Magazine is the go-to source for those seeking information and inspiration for all things related to real estate,...

V3I3 Florida Homes Magazine  

Florida Homes & Lifestyles Magazine is the go-to source for those seeking information and inspiration for all things related to real estate,...