The Atlanta Braves first Spring Training season in their new stadium in North Port was off to a great start until the Coronavirus put an end to it. Of course virtually every sport in the world is on hold until this health crisis is resolved, and it will be at some point. I attended the opening day game between the Braves and Orioles and was very impressed by the facility. Fans can view the game from any point in the stadium including several outdoor terraces. There were a few issues with the availability of food items in the concessions but it was the first game of the first full season in Cool Today Park and things have been worked out. Here’s some pictures from the Opening Day game!
Florida was rated Best Place to Retire in the Wallethub 2019 annual survey. States were thoroughly vetted on a range of factors including affordability, quality of life, and quality and access to health care services. For those of us already enjoying the benefits of living in Florida the results are not surprising. Most affordable due to no state income taxes and low property taxes especially compared to most northern states, and the wonderful climate and range of year round outdoor activities available.
Read the report here: Wallethub Best Place to Retire 2019
In a separate report, Wallethub also ranked Florida as the number 6 best state to start a business in 2018. Much of this is due to our business friendly government regulatory environment as well as an effort to diversify the Florida economy from tourism. Many businesses are leaving high tax and regulation heavy states like California for Texas and Florida. You can read this report here: Florida Rated 6th Best State to Start a Business
Anyone who has driven down Tamiami Trail/US 41 in the West Villages knows that the intersection in front of Gran Paradiso and Islandwalk was a very busy place, with no traffic signal. As a result there have been numerous accidents there. After lots of input from residents and concerns from County Supervisors the State has finally installed a traffic signal! This may seem like an inconvenience to drivers on 41 but safety of motorists is in everyone’s best interest.
If you are looking to find a piece of “Old Florida” then Snook Haven in Venice should be high on the list! Located at the east end of Venice Ave just past River Rd and down an oak canopy covered unpaved road, you will find it on the banks of the Myakka River. In the early 1900’s Snook Haven was a fishing camp with a main house and some cabins that could be rented in a very rustic and undeveloped environment. Area history suggests that during Prohibition it was an active location for smugglers to transport whiskey and other banned substances up the Myakka from Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf. As a result it became a “secret destination” of sorts for locals to enjoy for it’s beverages and other activities. In the late 1930’s it is said that one of the original films starring Johnny Weissmeuller, Revenge of the Killer Turtles was filmed here as well as a French film about a prison camp in Asia. In the 1940’s a new owner built additional cabins and eventually a restaurant was opened. When the then current owner decided to sell in 2006, Sarasota County purchased it and created a county park to preserve it’s history and allow public access to the Myakka for small boats, kayaks, canoes and fishing. While still very rustic in nature, the restaurant has been updated and is operated as a backwoods style smokehouse/barbecue by the same group that operates Sharky’s on the Pier and I can personally say the pulled pork is excellent. There is usually live bands and entertainment on the weekends, and the Gulf Coast Banjo Society plays once a week during lunch hours. I have included a few pics and videos, One of the videos was taken early this month after we has a lot of rain and the river was running high. I saw this palm tree going up and down and initially couldn’t figure it out, but it was apparently snagged on the bottom while the current was lifting it up and down. The “sawing” noise was a contractor working at the time but it does add an interesting effect!
Two recent reports indicate that the shortage of construction workers, and now recent tariffs imposed on imported lumber are taking their toll in the form of higher prices for new homes. Over 80% of builders say they have raised prices since they are having to pay higher wages to workers and subcontractors. About 60% of lumber used in new construction is imported from Canada. Prices for the lumber have already increased 40% this year, and the additional 20% tariff on the Canadian lumber will only add to that. The National Homebuilder’s Association said the lumber price increase adds about $9,000 to the cost of each new home. The study found that new home prices have increased 22% from 2015 to 2018, an increase of about 7% per year. These increases have an upward impact on the prices for resale homes as well since buyers consider the benefits of both new and resale properties. On the positive side, current homeowners benefit from rising values and are building more equity but first time buyers find it more difficult to purchase their first home. And rising interest rates…….
don’t let high taxes take away your retirement savings! get your free guide to new homes in sarasota & venice florida
You’ve worked hard and saved some money for retirement and maybe that day is here or maybe it’s getting closer. And you just filed your Tax Return and noticed how much you are paying for Property Taxes and State & Local Income Taxes. In your earning years you may just cringe and think it’s OK because “at least I can write it off on my tax return”. But starting in 2018, the ability to write off those expenses is limited, and most filers probably won’t even do it and instead take the standard deduction. So those high taxes will just eat away at your retirement savings. For example: (source The Tax Foundation and Wallethub)
State Income Tax Rate: NJ- 8.97% NY 8.82% CT 6.99% FL 0%
RE Tax on $300K Home: NJ- $7,200 (2.4%) NY- $4,950 (1.65%) CT- $6,060 (2.02%) FL- $3,060 (1.02%)
If you are like most people reaching retirement and thinking about buying that new home in the Sunshine State, get my free personalized 18 page report on new home communities in the Sarasota and Venice area. My report compares community amenities, home types and price ranges, HOA fees, CDD fees, distances to beaches and other attractions as well as other valuable information that can save you time in finding your perfect place. My guide is updated periodically as new communities open.
After over two years of negotiations between local officials and the Atlanta Braves organization, construction of the new Spring Training facility in North Port is now underway. Marty Black, West Villages district executive and Braves Vice Chairman John Schuerholz spearheaded the effort to make this project a reality. The $100 million dollar project is slated to be completed (or mostly completed) in time for Spring Training in February 2019, an ambitious schedule for a project of this size. The 80 acre complex at the intersection of US 41 and River Road should be a great asset to the area, and hopefully encourage state and local officials to fast track the long overdue River Road widening and improvement project.
Sarasota has always been known as a leader in Modernistic Architecture and design, most notably for the contributions of Paul Rudolph, Ralph Twitchell, Victor Lundy, among many others, and is referred to as “The Sarasota School of Architecture” or “Sarasota Modern”. These designs tend to use straight lines, lots of glass and windows for natural light and ventilation, and the use of basic materials like concrete. This article from Houzz.com reminds me of this style and presents some interesting ideas on using basic materials like plywood, concrete block, reclaimed wood, even industrial type materials, with some really great results.
American Lifestyle Magazine is my publication that celebrates the flavor and flair of life in America, and takes the reader on a journey of the nation’s sights, sounds, and tastes. Each issue features interesting articles highlighting artists, recipes, and lots of seasonally specific tips and information along with great photography. And lots of great recipes too! This issue highlights our National Parks, has some great ideas for summer “road trips” along with some great grilling recipes. I hope you like it, and please share! Read It Here!
If you would like to receive the full printed editions by mail at no charge, please sign up below, add your mailing address, and request American Lifestyle. The printed editions are about 50 pages each and are published every 2 months.
You’ve heard the commercial advertising for Offerpad.com and Zillow Instant offers in some markets. They offer to buy your home “instantly” and save you lots of money, move you for free etc….BUT the truth is they will still send a property inspector, possibly an appraiser, and likely reduce their “offer”. As the inventory of foreclosed properties has dwindled, the Investors and Flippers like the “we buy ugly houses” folks are now trying to acquire properties on the cheap this way. The likelihood of receiving full value for you home is not good, and the process of actually selling a home is not “instant”. All of the paperwork and legal issues take time and a normal close time for a cash transaction would be about 30 days. So when you click on the link to their website below, see that they estimate ZERO days to close. Not possible and the rest of the math is flawed. And YOU have no one working for your interests in the process. This is why you need a Realtor working for YOU! So proceed with caution and call me if you need advice- 941.544.6829