Florida Realtors has announced its support for Amendment 4, a measure on the Aug. 30 primary ballot that would extend a tax break for solar devices on homes to businesses and industrial facilities.

by Lloyd Dunkelberger  July 2016 http://saintpetersblog.com/florida-realtors-announce-support-amendment-extend-tax-break-solar-devices/

The amendment, sponsored by Sen Jeff Brandes and Rep. Ray Rodrigues in the 2016 session, would exempt solar units from both property taxes and tangible personal property taxes on commercial properties.

“It will encourage Florida’s business community to invest in solar, which will expand the use of clean energy and help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Matey Veissi, the Realtors president and  co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami.

“In turn, increased solar energy will help preserve our natural environment for future generations. As the Sunshine State, Florida should be in the forefront of solar choice for businesses and consumers,” Veissi said.

Dean Asher, a former Realtors president and candidate for Senate District 13, said passage of the amendment could expand employment opportunities in a solar industry that already employs 6,000 workers.

“If Amendment 4 passes, it could increase the number of jobs across the state as more business owners install solar panels at their properties,” he said. “Removing tax penalties and making solar and other renewable energy options more affordable in Florida will spark more interest in using solar energy – and that benefits both residents and business owners across Florida.”

If passed by 60 percent of the votes and then implemented by the Legislature, the tax incentives of the amendment will begin in 2018 and extend for 20 years.

A recent Florida Chamber of Commerce poll showed 64 percent of voters in favor of the measure, with 19 percent opposed and 17 percent undecided.

The Realtors, who have 155,000 members in Florida, join a large contingent of Amendment 4 supporters, including the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Solar Energy Industry Association, The Nature Conservancy and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

 

by Lloyd Dunkelberger  July 2016 http://saintpetersblog.com/florida-realtors-announce-support-amendment-extend-tax-break-solar-devices/

 

 

Built-in shelves and a gas fireplace Image: Dream Book Design

Enjoy your home more today — and sell it for the best price tomorrow.

When it comes to home improvement, some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely.

Here are eight affordable (under $5,000) home improvement projects that’ll help you enjoy your home more today and provide excellent financial return in the future.

1. Add the Finishing Touch of Molding

Decorative molding is a classic touch that’s been around since the ancient Greeks and Romans first installed it to add grandeur to their buildings.  Centuries later, molding is still one of the most dramatic ways to dress up a room. It’s a budget-friendly improvement that trims a room for a finished and expensive look.

Today’s wood moldings come in hundreds of options — from simple to ornate — that you can stain, paint, or leave natural. You can also find moldings in flexible materials, such as foam, that make installation a whole lot easier. Some moldings even include lighting that casts a soft, ambient glow.

Buyers consistently rank both crown molding and chair railing in their list of most desirable decorative features they seek in a home (#3 and #7 respectively), according to the annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey, “What Home Buyers Really Want.”

And at $1.50 per foot if you DIY it, or $8 per foot if you hire, it’s a no-brainer in terms of personalizing your home while adding value. (Although we don’t recommend DIY unless you’ve got above-par mitering skills.)

A few tips about molding:

Use crown molding to make a room seem bigger and taller. But be careful about proportions. If your ceiling height is 9 feet or less, go with simpler styles to avoid overwhelming the room.

Place a chair railing at one-third the distance of the ceiling height. Chair railing placed incorrectly can make a room seem out of proportion.

Don’t forget entryways, doors, and windows: Bump up the trim around these areas to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.

2. Install Quality Ceiling Fans

If crown molding and chair railing were #3 and #7 on buyers’ decorative wish lists, what was #1?

Ceiling fans.

Over the years, ceiling fans have become quite the crowd pleaser. Once they were just a cheap solution to rising energy costs — ugly, wobbly, noisy eyesores endured because they were cheaper than air conditioning.

Today, ceiling fans have evolved into an essential component of American homes as energy prices continue to rise. And since designs have caught up with the times, they come in a variety of styles and colors to complement any room.  If your ceiling fans are old and outdated, new ones (coupled with a fresh paint job and crown molding) could give your rooms a refreshing update while saving money.

Some tips about ceiling fans:

  • Ceiling fans should hang 7 to 8 feet above the floor. If you’ve got a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that’s flush-mounted.
  • Size matters more than the number of fan blades. Go for the biggest Energy Star-rated fan that will fit the space.
  • Choose quality. You’ll get better cooling results, less noise, and good looks at a digestible price point of $200 to $600.

3. Plant Some Trees

Apple tree outside of a house next to a patio Image: M. Williams

Say what? Adding trees doesn’t instantly pop into your head when you think of adding value to your home. But trees are moneymakers that get better with age.

A mature tree could be worth between $1,000 to $10,000, says the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. A 16-inch silver maple could be worth $2,562, according to a formula worked out by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

In urban areas, money really does grow on trees. A recent study of home sales by the Pacific Northwest Research Station of Portland showed that street trees growing in front of or near a house boosted its sale price by an average of $8,870 and shaved two days off its time on the market.

There’s more. Trees also:

  • Save $100 to $250 annually in energy costs
  • Lower stress
  • Prevent erosion from downpours and roof runoff
  • Protect your home from wind, rain, and sun

But don’t just run out and plant trees willy-nilly. Here are some tips:

Follow the sun. Plant shade trees on the south side of the house where the sun beats strongest and longest.

Follow the wind. Plant windbreak trees, which can lower winter energy costs by 30%, on the north and northwest sides of your property.

Don’t plant too close. If you do, branches can scrape roofs and siding, causing expensive damage.

Rule of thumb: Don’t plant trees any closer than the tree’s mature height plus one-fourth of that height. So, for example, if a tree reaches 40 feet, it should be planted at least 50 feet from any other trees.

Related: Good Landscaping Adds HOW MUCH Value to My Home?

4. Install a Patio

Back yard patio in the dusk Image: Suzanne Davis at bebehblog

Patios are a great cost-effective way to increase your home’s living space without actually adding on. Plus you’ll recover 30% to 60% of your investment. A $2,000 patio would return around $900 at resale.

But don’t go crazy and trick out your patio with high-end amenities, like an outdoor kitchen — especially if you’d be the only one on the block with one. When it’s time to sell, you won’t get back much — if any — of your investment on kitchens and other high-end amenities. Instead, keep it simple and functional. (And, really, how often would you use an outdoor kitchen?)

Some wise advice when planning a patio:

  • Check property for slope, sun, and shade patterns.
  • Remember ‘dig alerts’ that utilities provide free of charge.
  • Don’t skimp on patio lighting. It can make all the difference in functionality and beautification.

Related: How to Make Your Hobbit-Sized Patio Feel Like Versailles

5. Pump Up Your Home Security

The peace of mind that comes with installing a home security system is priceless.

In reality, price varies. You can buy and install it yourself for $50 to $300, or a security company can sell and install a system from $0 to $1,500. The “zero” is the hook companies use to lure you into signing a multi-year monitoring contract that ranges from $95 to $480 per year.

If a monitored system suits your needs, you’ll also get a break on your home insurance. Most companies will discount your annual rate 15% to 20% if you have a security service.

Home security systems also make your home more marketable: 50% of homebuyers (in the NAHB survey) say a home security system — particularly security cameras — tops their list of most-wanted technology features.

You can go over the top and install high-tech security gadgets, like smartphone-operated locks and a laser trip wire. Or you can keep it simple with a keypad that communicates with sensors and motion detectors throughout your house.

Tips:

  • If you do decide to go with a monitoring system, choose a company with a 10-year track record to ensure reliability.
  • Don’t rely on any system as your sole means of security. Locking doors and windows is still your best first-line of defense.

6. Do Almost Any Energy-Efficient Upgrade

The value of energy-efficient houses just keeps going up and up. A UCLA study examined the sales prices of 1.6 million California homes from 2007 to 2012 and found that homes with Energy Star, LEED, or GreenPoint certification had, on average, a 9% higher price.

That finding is echoed in NAHB’s report that surveyed homebuyers across the nation: Nine out of 10 potential buyers would select an efficient home with lower utility bills over a less efficient home priced 2% to 3% less.

One energy-saving home improvement project that not only saves energy but gives you tons of enjoyment, too, is converting a wood-burning fireplace into a gas one. If you like to crunch energy numbers, gas fireplaces have energy-efficient ratings as high as 77%, compared with wood-burning fireplaces that convert only 15% of wood’s energy into useful heat.

In fact, 39% of homebuyers say a gas fireplace is an essential or desirable feature of the next home they purchase. So when it comes time to sell your home, more than one-third of potential buyers will be looking for a gas fireplace.

In the meantime, it’ll be paying for itself in reduced heating costs.

Some tips for converting to gas:

  • direct-vent gas insert most closely replicates the wood-burning experience at a cost of about $3,000 to $4,000, installed.
  • If you don’t have an existing fireplace, you can install a direct-vent (vents directly outside so you don’t need a chimney) gas fireplace for about $5,000 (installed and finished).

Related: 5 Quick Energy Fixes to Save Up to $660 a Year

7. Add Some Creative Storage

We don’t have to sell you on the value of storage and built-in organization. Since when have you heard someone complain about too much storage? Never, we bet.

Adding storage is a no-brainer, but it does take a little brainpower to find your home’s hidden storage.

Here are a few ways to think outside of the toy box:

  • Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs.
  • Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.
  • Even stairs can give you more storage. One clever mom repurposed an old chest of drawers and created storage within a basement staircase.

Related: Storage Hacks from Space-Challenged New Yorkers

8. Light Up the Outdoors

Exterior lighting makes your home shine in the evening, accents features you like most about your house, and helps keep burglars away. A hard-wired lighting fixture can cost $150 to $250 to install. On the plus side, you could get a 50% return on your investment, says Judith Patriski, a Cleveland appraiser and REALTOR®. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some homeowners’ insurance premiums. (Check with your agent.)

And with technological advances in solar lighting, it’s easier and more cost-effective than ever to boost your home’s nighttime curb appeal.

Plus, 90% of buyers say outdoor lighting is on their list of desired home features.

Tips:

  • Place accent lights under your favorite trees to show off your landscaping’s top earners.
  • If your lights are hard-wired, put them on a timer so you don’t waste energy running them during the day.
  • Choose a warm white light. It’ll make your home look and feel welcoming.

 

2016-06-26-1466983744-448815-beach1.jpg

While many think that Florida is for snowbirds and vacationing families, St.Petersburg is slowly becoming one of the America’s most popular cities to live and visit.

By      http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ayngelina-brogan/5-st-petersburg

Once considered God’s Waiting Room with an aging population, the new generation of millenials is sticking around and there’s a flood of young professionals moving to St.Petersburg. With an average of 361 days of sunshine each year, St.Petersburg is nicknamed the Sunshine City. The city is surrounded by water on three sides making it a great vacation for sailing, fishing or relaxing on the beach.

While St.Petersburg charms vacationers to come back year after year, many are choosing it as a permanent home. Here’s why:

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Vibrant Arts and Culture

There is no shortage of traditional exhibitions to visit with the glass sculptures at the Chihuly Collection, Salvador Dali Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.

However, art is also found on the street with a thriving street mural scene that sends a signal to visitors that St.Petersburg isn’t like other cities in Florida. The city is so committed to its outdoor artwork that each September local volunteers host the Shine Festival, which celebrates local artists and welcomes outside artists to participate and engage with the community.

No State Tax
Florida is one of several states with no income tax, which attracts entrepreneurs from all over America. With strong growth and healthy employment opportunities, the younger generation is no longer leaving but staying to work, often in tourism.

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Craft Beer
Considered to be one of the best cities in America for craft beer. There’s an established craft beer trail with 27 breweries and proud locals are quick to choose their favorite local brew over a Budweiser.

A progressive city hall changed zoning limitations to allow craft breweries to open. Established breweries like Cycle Brewing are welcoming new entries, choosing community over competition, understanding that St.Petersburg could be recognized as one of the best destinations for craft beer.

LGBT Friendly Community
St.Petersburg actively promotes LGBT tourism and has one of the largest Pride Festivals in Florida. The city has a dedicated LGBT Welcome Centre, with a café for tourists as well as a space for LGBT youth to feel comfortable being themselves.

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Emerging Food Scene
A new generation of restaurants have flourished in St.Petersburg offering up global street food options like Cuban sandwiches, and modern American cuisine. The food in St.Pete is so good it brings visitors from the neighboring beaches back into downtown simply to eat.

By      http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ayngelina-brogan/5-st-petersburg

The luxury real estate market in the Great North is white hot with Toronto retaining it’s top spot. Here’s why.

anada has it all: Natural beauty, a pristine environment, sizzling culture, political stability, strong employment, educational excellence, an active outdoor lifestyle, and a currency exchange that welcomes the international real estate investor.

As we look ahead to next year’s Luxury Defined, the definitive global report on prime real estate worldwide, Christie’s International Real Estate checked in for an interim report from our top performing market of 2014.

THE STATE OF CANADA’S LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET: SEE THE INFOGRAPHIC 

Toronto not only retains its lofty standing, incredibly, the luxury property market is even hotter than it was a year ago. Last year, Toronto’s 31 Days on Market, the time it takes to sell a luxury home, was half of second place San Francisco’s 71 days. The Christie’s International Real Estate Affiliate in Toronto, Chestnut Park, recently noted that in 2015 the number has dropped lower – to 26.

Days on the Market (in $3 million + category)

Days on the Market (in $3 million + category)

Fueling these sales is the keen interest from Chinese buyers and an appreciation of hard assets, such as art and real estate, as a reliable investment option over the long term, especially when markets are volatile, as they have been in China. These buyers, however, are not strictly investors but rather are moving their families and living here, drawn by the top-notch schools, the clean air, and sense of safety. Vancouver and Toronto are top destinations for the Chinese buyer.

In fact, Toronto leads the other major Canadian markets with a 55% leap in million dollar sales for the first half of the year and a 52% jump in sales over $2 million. More recently, in September, Toronto posted 32 sales in excess of $3 million, which is up from 25 the year prior. Chestnut Park reports that most of the transactions at this price point sold over asking price. The city is on track to pass the mark of 100,000 total sales for the year, which would shatter the previous record of 93,000 set in 2007.

Year-Over-Year Home Sales Volume Growth

Year-Over-Year Home Sales Volume Growth

Toronto did not have Canada’s top sale. That honor went to Vancouver when Mailin Chen, a businessman from Mainland, China, who already resided in Canada and operates a company there, purchased an estate for $51 million. That said, the average price of a freehold detached home in Toronto was $1 million in September, which is an historic breakthrough at that price point.

“I would say, however, that $3 million and up defines the luxury market in this category,” says Chris Kapches, President of Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. “For condos, I would put the luxury price point at $2 million. This is an attractive alternative to freehold in that the entry point is more accessible and while the demand is high, with multiple offers on most transactions, the city’s inventory is growing to satisfy that demand.”

Top Real Estate Sales by Region

Top Real Estate Sales by Region

As the city itself becomes less affordable, the outlying areas are seeing renewed interest from buyers. Not only are prices more attractive, Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax, which would translate to $100,000 on a $2 million home, simply goes away on transactions outside the city limit. Chestnut Park reports an explosion in Collingwood and Hamilton where people are purchasing homes for a third of the price and starting businesses and professional practices in retail space that is less expensive as well. One result: in October a home in Hamilton listed at $599,000 sold for $810,000 after 17 offers.

Notable markets also experiencing this ripple effect are Montreal. Our Affiliate, Profusion Realty, has noticed that foreign investors, including a growing number of Chinese buyers, are coming to see the value proposition of to purchasing in a city as vibrant as Toronto or Vancouver but at a fraction of the cost.

In Victoria, sales are also up due to a phenomenon we call “Lifestyle Arbitrage”. This is when sellers opt to cash out of their current residence and relocate to a lower-priced home while maintaining their present lifestyle with considerably more money in the bank. Our Affiliate in Victoria, Newport Realty, is experiencing this a citizens of Vancouver choose to take advantage of the city’s real estate boom, international demand and rising prices then relocate to Victoria. As a result, prices is this bucolic corner of Canada are going up, including the record sale of $7.3 million achieved by our Affiliate over the summer. This is the highest price posted in the past eight years.

The drop in oil prices has hit Calgary hardest in Canada with sales down 28% in the $1 million-plus range and down 38% in the $2 million-plus range. Our Affiliate, Semrau & Associates, reports, however, that some affluent buyers are purchasing teardown properties near the city center and building custom homes.

$1M+Home Sales Volume

$1M+Home Sales Volume
$2M+ Home Sales Volume

$2M+ Home Sales Volume

As with any white-hot real estate market, speculations of an impeding bubble burst in Canadian real estate have proven irresistible to journalists around the world. That said, in the foreseeable future, there appears to be no change in the forces driving the market to these heights. The low value of the Canadian dollar creates a value proposition for international investors. The country is projecting (and preparing for) an increased number of foreigners in 2015 – 285,000, to be precise, compared with approximately 260,000 in 2014. And as political unrest continues around the globe, more people are likely to agree with a United Nations report naming Canada one of the world’s top places to live.

What Do You Get for C$5 Million in Canada?

What Do You Get for C$5 Million in Canada?

Top Listings from our Canadian Affiliates:

Victoria, British Colombia, Canada

This private 200 acre estate ranch with 7000 sq. ft. offers outdoor living space with spacious indoor rooms & magnificent views.

This private 200 acre estate ranch with 7000 sq. ft. offers outdoor living space with spacious indoor rooms & magnificent views.


Alberta, Canada

This gracious 4940 sq ft home is rich in Calgary's heritage & offers gleaming hardwood floors on the main level, 3 fireplaces, formal living & dining rooms, main floor family room & a gourmet kitchen with bright eating area.

This gracious 4940 sq ft home is rich in Calgary’s heritage & offers gleaming hardwood floors on the main level, 3 fireplaces, formal living & dining rooms, main floor family room & a gourmet kitchen with bright eating area.


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This is an incredible renovation of an originally designed Barton Myers residence reminicent of a magnificent manhattan townhome.

This is an incredible renovation of an originally designed Barton Myers residence reminicent of a magnificent manhattan townhome.

http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/market-insights/canada-reigns-global-stage

logo_global_thumbCIPSwithname

This Thursday, August 11, 2016 from 8:00am – 5:00pm, the Pinellas International Council will hold another Certified International Property Specialist course-The Americas and International Real Estate. It will be held at the Pinellas Realtor Organization (PRO) at 4590 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater.

This course offers you practical information on working with Caribbean, North, Central and South American investors.  Historical and cultural influences, regional relationship, and investment opportunities are covered along with a special focus on Mexico.

***This course is one of the courses required to earn the prestigious Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. The CIPS Network comprises 2,500 real estate professionals from 50 countries and is the specialty membership group for global business practitioners of the National Association of Realtors®. The CIPS® designation prepares Realtors® to service the growing international market in their local community by focusing on culture, exchange rates, investment trends, and legal issues. Click here for more information about CIPS and the requirements to earn this prestigious designation.

SPEAKER: Jorge Cantero
Jorge is licensed in real estate in the state Florida since 1985, and previously a recipient of a New York State Broker’s License. Mr. Cantero’s international experience prior to that was a result of being involved in the chemical industry with a series of multinational companies, and having extensively traveled in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Mr. Cantero’s specializations include residential resales, marketing of foreclosures; and in particular serving inbound international investors and residential real estate exchangers.

Mr. Cantero is a Past President of the Residential Association of the Miami Association of REALTOR®, and was the recipient of the Association’s Educational Award in 1994, and of the REALTOR® of the Year Award for 1995. Furthermore, he is a member and director of numerous committees of the Miami Association, Florida Association and National Association of REALTORS®.

In addition to having earned the designations of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Mr. Cantero holds a Master Degree in Chemical Engineering from New York University (NYU), 1972.

SCHEDULE:
7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, and breakfast
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Course

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Seating is limited and registration is required.

REGISTRATION:
PRO Members ($95):
Click here to register.

~~~PRO Members – would you like a scholarship to help pay for this course? The REALTOR® Professional Development Scholarship is available for you, courtesy of the Pinellas REALTOR® Foundation and the Affiliate Business Partners of PRO. Click here to learn more and apply. Note: the scholarship does not cover any additional costs associated with obtaining the certification. If you’re interested in the scholarship, REGISTER AND PAY FOR THIS COURSE FIRST, then fill out the application on the webpage linked above. We request that you register and pay for the course first to guarantee your spot since scholarships and seating are limited. If you are awarded, we will issue you a check.

Non-PRO Members ($95):
Click here to register.

For more information, please Contact: Jan Dean at  JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004

Neighborhood Advocates Initiative
 TBX Campaign #7

Greetings!

Traffic is everywhere, and it seems to get worse every year. Community leaders have tried many times to work out plans that could alleviate congestion, provide transit options, and reduce cost to citizens. The Department of Transportation has begun work on a new plan called Tampa Bay Express (TBX).

TBX is a $6 billion overhaul of the Interstate system in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. This eight-part project will fix many choke points and add capacity to the “spine” of Tampa Bay.
Construction on the first major piece will begin soon as they connect I-275 to US 19 by building an elevated highway where 118th Ave runs in Pinellas Park. The other seven parts will fix the major choke points, create transit options for buses in Hillsborough, leave open the possibility of rail across the Howard Frankland Bridge, and add express toll lanes throughout the system.

Here are some highlights of the project:

Gateway Project: This will connect north and south Pinellas with a limited access highway. You could go from downtown St. Pete to Dunedin before seeing your first traffic light.
Howard Frankland/ Westshore/ Tampa Airport Interchange: This would reconfigure and rebuild the interchange to alleviate the bumper-to-bumper traffic on northbound Howard Frankland Bridge.
I-275/ I-4 Interchange: Also known as “Malfunction Junction,” this would increase the size of the interchange to allow more capacity.
Express Lanes: Tolled limited access lanes would give long distance travelers and commuters a more reliable drive through the Interstate system. Charged a variable rate based on traffic, drivers would be guaranteed a minimum 45 mph drive through the area. New lanes would be constructed for this plan, and no existing lanes would be used for this purpose. The current lanes would remain free to use.
No New Taxes: Most transit or transportation plans call for tax increases, or new tax sources. The entire plan will be funded by the gas tax we already pay at the pump, and by revenue generated by the express lanes.

I’m letting people know because these issues have the potential to directly impact the growth and strength of the local economy, as well as our quality of life. In order for our area to remain attractive to residents, visitors and the workforce, we must find a solution to our existing traffic problems. It ultimately affects all homeowners, and I wanted to keep you informed.
You can find out more at tbxYES.com or TampaBayExpress.com.
If you have any questions or any real estate needs, you can email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com or call me at 727-804-6566.
© 2016 Pinellas Realtor Organization

Hope that you have a fantastic weekend, whatever you choose to do!
If you are thinking of remodeling or updating your house or yard, this is a great event to attend for ideas and to see the newest products.
Tampa Bay Home Show (All Weekend)
Home improvement experts will be at the Tampa Bay Home Show this weekend.  Exhibits, giveaways, door prizes, seminars, and  the latest trends in home remodeling: from kitchen and baths to flooring, to windows and home protection. Friday and Saturday from 10am-6pm, Sunday from 10am-5pm. Free admission and parking. Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive. St Petersburg, Florida
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Pub Crawl and Pokemon GO Day @ Jannus Live. (Not sure I feel about this-could be interesting.)
Pokemon GO has quickly become an international sensation. This Saturday, players from all over Tampa Bay will gather downtown for a huge Pokemon Pub Crawl. The festivities begin at Jannus Live at 2pm and will move to designated zones beginning at 3pm. This event is 21+ and is free to attend. Check with Jannus Live for details, 200 1st Avenue N.

Girls Rock Camp at The Local 662. (This is cool.)
The campers from the very first Girls Rock Camp St. Pete will be performing LIVE in front of an audience of friends, family, supporters and fans! 2-6pm. $10 for adults, $5 for kids 13 and under (cash only at the door). The Local 662, 662 Central Avenue. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chef’s Summer Tasting Menu at Stillwaters Tavern (next to our office-238 Beach Dr. NE. Great smells come drifting from the there. Oh, yum.)
Enjoy the new Chefs Tasting Menu at Stillwaters Tavern with 3 courses for just $19.99 Starter: House or Caesar Salad; Main: Grilled 5 oz Tavern Steak, Fish of the day, or Char Siu Chicken Ramen; Dessert: Brioche Bread Pudding, Almond Tart with Citrus Curd and Pears, or Summer Berries with Ice Cream. Available 4-7pm. Call 727-350-1019 for reservations. Stillwaters Tavern, 224 Beach Drive Northeast.

The Florida Bjorkestra: The Music of Bjork and Kate Bush, with Jamie Perlow and Whitney James at Palladium Theater. (This is something new and different to attend.
 Fifteen piece ensemble of local luminaries known as The Florida Björkestra bring the sound, arrangements and quirky harmony of Icelandic artist Björk delivering chamber-pop renditions of songs such as Human Behaviour, Army of Me, Hyperballad and I’ve Seen It All. The orchestra features strings, horns and chorale backed by bass, drums, guitar and piano. Vocalist Jamie Perlow fronts the group. 6pm. $15 in advance, $18 day of show. Palladium Theater, 253 5th Avenue North.

These residences are outfitted with the finest in workout equipment and space, proving that you don’t have to go far for fitness.

July 15, 2016 / Property Spotlight http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/property-spotlight/eight-impressive-home-gyms

Watching athletes from around the world compete in Rio de Janeiro for gold will inspire many to hit the track—or the pool, tennis court, or basketball court—and set a personal best. For most, that will involve a trip to the gym or at least another facility with the capacity for such activities. Not so for the owners of these luxurious retreats, where an on-site fitness center is a key attraction. From personal weight-training equipment to private saunas and even indoor basketball courts, upscale fitness amenities make it entirely possible to train like an Olympian right at home.

Mountain Retreat
Telluride, Colorado

Enjoy an après-ski workout with a view of the trees outside the windows of this Telluride estate, which also has an indoor basketball court.
Enjoy an après-ski workout with a view of the trees outside the windows of this Telluride estate, which also has an indoor basketball court.

This contemporary estate in the Rocky Mountain ski resort of Telluride, Colorado, presents stunning views of the San Sophia mountain range. With 8,000 square feet of interior space, the home includes three main living areas connected by a series of bridges. On-site recreational facilities range from a basketball court to a gym with views across the treetops outside. There is also a ski utility wing with access to Telluride’s world-class skiing facilities, which are just a short walk away.

Contemporary Cascais
Lisbon, Portugal

With its tempting view of the pool, this gym serves up a cool setting for a workout in this stunning Lisbon-area residence.
With its tempting view of the pool, this gym serves up a cool setting for a workout in this stunning Lisbon-area residence.

Situated within a gated residential community in the golfing community of Cascais about 23 miles from Lisbon, this striking property boasts a large game room with bar, a home theater, and staff quarters with private entry. A spacious leisure area includes a gym, sauna, Turkish bath, and indoor pool. Outside, the grounds feature manicured gardens, a barbecue, several dining areas, a large pool, and three tennis courts.Sleek Estate

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A compound composed of six individual penthouses, this impressive building at the edge of the exclusive golf course The Dutch has a separate gym and sauna.
A compound composed of six individual penthouses, this impressive building at the edge of the exclusive golf course The Dutch has a separate gym and sauna.

This newly built estate located adjacent to a famous and very private golf course outside Amsterdam is actually six independent penthouse apartments—all of which have the potential to be connected—boasting a combined total of 38,179 square feet of interior space. The modern structure, designed in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, is complemented by a carriage house with a pool, gym, sauna, and Turkish bath. Additionally, a butler’s house provides six bedrooms and kitchenettes. About a one-hour drive from central Amsterdam, this unique property combines the utmost in convenience and indulgence.

Lakefront Allure
Clayton, Georgia

Set up as a professional gym, the workout area of this lakefront house in Georgia provides ample space for exercising.
Set up as a professional gym, the workout area of this lakefront house in Georgia provides ample space for exercising.

This elegant lake home has warm accents such as reclaimed oak floors and beams, exposed brick and stone, multiple fireplaces, and hand-distressed wood kitchen cabinetry. Situated on Lake Burton—a reservoir of the Tallulah River in northeastern Georgia—the residence is ideal for entertaining guests thanks to its chef’s kitchen, waterfront porch, and fabulous home gym with its own sauna and steam shower. A workshop represents an additional outlet for expending energy and accomplishing a goal.

Modern Manse
Cannes, France

Taking an exercise break in this house is like escaping on a mini-vacation; the workout room with views over the hills of Provence also has a hot tub and sauna.
Taking an exercise break in this house is like escaping on a mini-vacation; the workout room with views over the hills of Provence also has a hot tub and sauna.

Perched atop a hill overlooking the ocean and the Lérins Islands, this expansive retreat offers 7,201 magnificent square feet of interior space that includes eight bedrooms. The dramatic grounds also feature a guest house, caretaker’s cottage, pool, and garage. The fitness room in this bright and airy house has large windows plus a sauna and hot tub. The property’s location in the French Riviera—one of the first modern resort areas—makes it an ideal getaway for active travelers, especially yachting enthusiasts.

Island Escape
Honolulu, Hawaii

The fitness room of this glamorous Honolulu mansion boasts majestic panoramic views of the Pacific, enhancing the appeal of home workouts.
The fitness room of this glamorous Honolulu mansion boasts majestic panoramic views of the Pacific, enhancing the appeal of home workouts.

Combining the glamour of Hollywood and the sophistication of New York City, this opulent hillside Honolulu retreat serves up panoramic views of Lanai, Maui, and Molokai from nearly every angle. The property itself is a magical setting complete with a koi pond, tea pavilion, outdoor spa with hot tub, and tropical waterfalls. The 9,166-square-foot interior features grand entertaining spaces, a chef’s kitchen with professional-grade appliances, plus a master suite with its own movie projector and drop-down screen. Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the ocean-facing exercise room outfitted with an array of equipment and free weights as well as multiple television screens.

Spanish-Style Grange
Smiths Parish, Bermuda

With space for just about any type of weight-training equipment, this brightly lit Bermuda gym also has its own steam shower.
With space for just about any type of weight-training equipment, this brightly lit Bermuda gym also has its own steam shower.

This Mediterranean-meets-Bermuda residence offers seaside luxury and multiple amenities. Set on three acres with south-facing ocean views, the elegant 1947 home has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a cedar-panelled library with fireplace, a media room, and—for the athletically inclined—a spectacular home gym with its own steam shower. A tennis court with a shady pavilion and changing room—plus a pool with its own pavilion and wet bar—complete the package of this retreat located just moments from some of Bermuda’s best beaches and a nature preserve.

Glorious Georgian
New Vernon, New Jersey

The spacious home gym in this New Jersey Georgian-style home is roomy enough for a range of fitness equipment., and its wall of mirrors will help exercisers ensure that good form is second nature.
The spacious home gym in this New Jersey Georgian-style home is roomy enough for a range of fitness equipment., and its wall of mirrors will help exercisers ensure that good form is second nature.

Situated in a leafy town about an hour outside Manhattan and adjacent to a protected trout stream, this Georgian-style residence offers stately architecture, generously sized rooms, and wooded grounds with a pond. From the detailed millwork to the wainscoting and vaulted and tray ceilings, the residence generates an authentic Old World ambience. Woodburning fireplaces, custom built-ins, and handsomely crafted kitchen cabinetry add to its charm and warmth. The finished lower level has a spacious recreation room and a fitness room with a mirrored wall.   Discover more homes with exquisite gyms 

July 15, 2016 / Property Spotlight http://luxurydefined.christiesrealestate.com/blog/property-spotlight/eight-impressive-home-gyms

TOMORROW-Tuesday, July 19, 2016 | 8:00am – 5:00pm
Pinellas REALTOR Organization
The overall impact of globalization has driven Europe to become a major market in competition with the Americas and the Asia/Pacific region. Consequently, Europe is a very active source and target of international real estate investment .This is due in part to the size of the region which offers tremendous investing potential. Knowledge and awareness of basic, cultural, political and economic conditions in Europe will enhance a real state professional’s ability to represent, interact with and command the respect of clients.
SCHEDULE:Europe and International Real Estate
7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, and breakfast
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Course
Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.Seating is limited and registration is required.
REGISTRATION: $95
PRO Members – would you like a scholarship to help pay for this course? The REALTOR® Professional Development Scholarship is available for you, courtesy of the Pinellas REALTOR® Foundation and the Affiliate Business Partners of PRO. Click here to learn more and apply. Note: the scholarship does not cover any additional costs associated with obtaining the certification. If you’re interested in the scholarship, REGISTER AND PAY FOR THIS COURSE FIRST, then fill out the application on the webpage linked above. We request that you register and pay for the course first to guarantee your spot since scholarships and seating are limited. If you are awarded, we will issue you a check.
***This course is one of the courses required to earn the prestigious Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. The CIPS Network comprises 2,500 real estate professionals from 50 countries and is the specialty membership group for global business practitioners of the National Association of Realtors®. The CIPS® designation prepares Realtors® to service the growing international market in their local community by focusing on culture, exchange rates, investment trends, and legal issues. Click here for more information about CIPS and the requirements to earn this prestigious designation.
SPEAKER: Jorge Cantero
Jorge is licensed in real estate in the state Florida since 1985, and previously a recipient of a New York State Broker’s License. Mr. Cantero’s international experience prior to that was a result of being involved in the chemical industry with a series of multinational companies, and having extensively traveled in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Mr. Cantero’s specializations include residential resales, marketing of foreclosures; and in particular serving inbound international investors and residential real estate exchangers.
Mr. Cantero is a Past President of the Residential Association of the Miami Association of REALTOR®, and was the recipient of the Association’s Educational Award in 1994, and of the REALTOR® of the Year Award for 1995. Furthermore, he is a member and director of numerous committees of the Miami Association, Florida Association and National Association of REALTORS®.
In addition to having earned the designations of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Mr. Cantero holds a Master Degree in Chemical Engineering from New York University (NYU), 1972.
Contact: Jan Dean
Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004

This is interesting. I would never have chosen a cold country to be the happiest country in the world. I need sun, warmth & water!!

What makes a nation’s people happy? According to a new report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), it’s factors like GDP per capita, freedom from corruption and “having someone to count on in times of trouble.”

By those criteria, SDSN says Denmark is the happiest country in the world, Reuters reports. Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland round out the top five; the U.S. ranks at #13.

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

(727) 804-6566
AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com

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  • Member Phil Riek wins education award, PRO members graduate Leadership Institute August 29, 2016
    Congratulations to member Phil Riek, who won the Florida Realtors Education Individual Achievement Award at the Florida Realtors convention last week. Helping colleagues learn more about working with international clients is a key goal for Riek, who often plans and presents programs with global themes. He has led a Global Symposium, as well as planned market […]
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  • PRO members to National committees August 29, 2016
    The following PRO members were appointed to National Association of Realtors committees. Brandi Gabbard – 2017 Vice Chair of the National Association of Realtors Insurance Committee “I have been fighting for affordable insurance options for homeowners on the local, state, and national level since 2013. I am looking forward to continuing to champion this figh […]
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  • PROFarm Direct Mail Marketing Program August 23, 2016
              Farm Area Realtor® Marketing (FARM) is PRO’s newest innovation. Our program is centered around strong messages that keep you, the Realtor®, at the center of the transaction because consumers will see that you know about issues important to them. This seamless marketing program goes to work for you each month, [...]
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  • PRO member Kevin Hussey passed away August 17, 2016
    To all of Kevin’s friends and business associates, the family would like to thank you for all of your love, thoughts, prayers and outpouring of compassion.  Kevin Michael Hussey was a special man, and there is a hole in our family that can never be filled.  We miss him deeply and will each and every [...]
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  • Tampa Bay Times Open House Sept 24 & 25 August 11, 2016
                      Promote your open house to more than 890,700 readers in the Tampa Bay Times and on tampabay.com/homes! New for 2016, Tampa Bay Times is publishing the ads on Saturday AND Sunday for an Open House Weekend-long Event! The next open house promotion publishes on September 24 [...]
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