Neighborhood Advocates Initiative Flood Insurance April 2016

I’m sure that you have heard that flood insurance rates increased starting April 1.

In 2012 Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Act, creating sharp rate increases for properties in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Those increases went into effect in the fall of 2013, and crisis ensued for many homeowners. Congress acted by passing the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which addressed many of the problems.

The sharp increases from Biggert-Waters were postponed, and a glide path was proposed instead of the immediate increases. On Friday, April 1, 2016 the glide path went into effect.

Here is what a property owner should know:

  • The type of property matters: Residential vs. Commercial, Pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map), Severe Repetitive Loss, non-primary residential, etc. It is important for a property owner to understand that the property’s characteristics will dictate the maximum annual increase in premiums. A typical Pre-FIRM, primary residence will see a maximum annual increase of 18%, but on average will see a 9% increase.
  • High likelihood rates will continue to increase: Pinellas County, FL has the most NFIP policies of any county in the country, and Pasco and Hillsborough are close behind. This is based on several factors that will continue to drive risk and increased rates for years to come. Those risk factors are weather, building codes at the time of construction of Pre-FIRM homes, and proximity to bodies of water.
  • How do I know exactly what I will be paying? It is important to involve an insurance professional during this conversation. The many facets of flood insurance, or any other form of property insurance, make it a complex question to answer. An insurance professional can navigate the ins and outs, and properly advise you on how best to limit your cost. Keep in mind, you won’t see an immediate increase in costs until your next renewal period, you purchase a new property requiring flood insurance, or you have to re-initiate your flood insurance policy due to a lapse in coverage.


Because this issue has the potential to affect you and our local economy, I thought that you might want to know about it. If you have questions or comments, please email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com Thank you so much.

© 2016 Pinellas Realtor Organization

An associate of mine is offering this 3 bedroom 1940’s block home on 1/3 acre for sale in St Pete Beach. Please contact me if you are interested or you know someone who might be interested in owning this rare large lot home.




The Pinellas Realtors Organization is proud to volunteer for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon held here in St. Petersburg this weekend. We will be at Table #15,  to the immediate left as you enter the Fitness Expo on the Beach Drive side. See the maps & schedule below.

National Association of Realtors’ current national ad campaign is “Get Realtor,” and that only a Realtor® has the professional education and savvy to guide them as smoothly as possible through the difficult & always changing process of purchasing a home.  A Realtor® knows the property and its surroundings,  knows which legal forms must be used and understands the local market. We are also proud to see the Realtor “R” in several key places at the race site, including light pole banners along the streets Downtown, the finish line, transition area and more. The logo is also on every athlete t-shirt, bib (race number) and finisher’s medal!

We will be selling TriTats at our tent. They are temporary tattoos the athletes can put on their arms to “body mark” themselves instead of having to get someone to write them on in sharpie. The athletes love them and they look really professional.

I will be at the Fitness Expo on Friday from 12-3pm. and I working in my office with a view of the activities on Beach Drive NE on Saturday 10-1pm. I love all the great events that go on in downtown St. Pete throughout the year.

Please come on out to support these amazing athletics. The weather should be great.

Swim 1.5K · Bike 40K · Run 10K
Sunday, April 24, 2016

As the first major race on the U.S. calendar, St. Anthony’s Triathlon has kicked off the triathlon season in North America for the past 33 years. On race day the athletics swim through Tampa Bay, bike along waterways and run through beautiful neighborhoods in St Petersburg, Florida and past cheering spectators. Amateurs as well as some of the world’s top professional triathletes,  limited to 4,000 individuals and 150 relay teams, compete for a prize purse. The event culminates with a festive waterfront awards party featuring live music, great food and cold beer on Sunday.

Over the years, St. Anthony’s Triathlon has been named “Race of the Year” by USA Triathlon and has served as a qualifier for the Ironman Triathlon World Championship. Athletes from 44 states, six U.S. territories and 17 countries have participated in recent years.

****Please remember that select streets will temporarily close to accommodate thousands of athletes racing on foot and on bikes while competing in the Triathlon on Sunday, April 24.

St Anthonys Triathlon Course Map Fin 2016               Sa Triathlon Expo Map 2013 Draft 03 041513

Event Schedule

Last Updated April 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

St. Anthony’s Triathlon (Straub Park)

12-6pm – Athlete Check-in

12-6pm – Sports & Fitness Expo

3pm – Meek & Mighty Youth Specific Triathlon Clinic – Presented by USAT Youth Junior Certified Coaches

4:30pm – Beginner Triathlon Clinic – Presented by USAT Level 3 Elite Coach Jennifer Hutchison

6pm – Open Water Swim Clinic – Presented by Leo Briceno, Triathlon Swim Coach (Behind North Shore Pool)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Meek & Mighty Triathlon (North Shore Pool)

6:30am – Athlete Check-in (North Shore Pool)

6:30am – Transition Area Open & Body Marking

7:30am – Start (Adults ages 16+)

8:15am* – Start (Youth ages 11–15)

9am* – Start (Youth ages 7–10)

10am – Awards Party (Vinoy Park)

*Time Trial Start so start times may be sooner than above time.

St. Anthony’s Triathlon (Straub Park)

10am-6pm – Sports & Fitness Expo

11pm – Trigger Point Clinic targeting their Ultimate 6 program, presented by Nicole Brownell (Feet First Expo Tent)

12pm – Open Water Swim Clinic – Presented by Leo Briceno, Triathlon Swim Coach (Behind North Shore Pool)

12-5pm – Athlete Check-in

12-6pm – Mandatory Bike Check-in (Vinoy Park)

1pm – Mandatory Pro Meeting (Vinoy Park Post Race Tent)

2pm – Novice/Beginner Clinic – Hosted by Jennifer Hutchison, USA Triathlon Level 3 Coach and Guest Coaches

3:30pm – Women’s Specific Tri Clinic:  “Tips for a Fast and Fabulous Race Day”, Hosted by Jennifer Hutchison, USA Triathlon Level 3 Elite Coach and Guest Coaches

6pm – Open Water Swim Clinic – Presented by Leo Briceno, Triathlon Swim Coach (Behind North Shore Pool)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

4:45–6:45am – Transition Area Open & Body Marking

6:50am – Start (North Shore Beach)

8:35am – Approximate time of First Swim Wave for Sprint

8:40am – First Finisher Expected

9:30am – Post-Race Party Begins

11:30am – Professional/Open Age Group Awards Presentation

12:00pm – Age Group Awards Presentation

1pm – Course Closes

A weekend with some of the best blues music. Aaron Neville, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and JJ Grey (along with many others) will perform live at the waterfront Vinoy Park at one of the finest musical festivals in Florida. Listen to great blues while enjoying views of downtown St Petersburg and the Tampa Bay. The Tampa Bay Blues Fest began in 1995 and in 2011, it was given the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive” award as the best blues festival in America by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee.  Proceeds from the event benefit their charity partner, Pinellas Association for Retarded Children.
Music until 10 p.m. each evening!  General Admission Tickets –
Friday – $35  gates open at noon
Saturday – $40
Sunday – $30
Three Day Pass – $95

Weather this weekend-Sunny, mid 70’s, low humidity & a slight breeze. Come spend the day or the whole weekend!

Click HERE for a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets. Vinoy Park, 701 Bayshore Drive Northeast, St Pete, FL

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful New House.

  • 1/87 SLIDES © Andy Dean/iStockphoto/Getty Images

How Much A Home Cost the Year You Were Born

People love telling stories about how a home purchased years ago for next to nothing is today worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Truth is, those tales might be overestimating real estate as an investment. While a house bought in 1930 for around $6,000 may be worth roughly $195,000 today, when adjusted for inflation, the appreciation is not as impressive as it seems. Since 1930, inflation-adjusted home values have increased by a modest 127%, or less than 1% each year.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed real estate data from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the U.S. Census Bureau. According to research conducted by economist Robert Shiller, major increases in real estate values took place over two distinct periods: the post-World War II housing boom, and the subprime housing bubble leading up to the 2007-09 recession. Outside of these spikes, national home prices have remained relatively stable.

Several factors after World War II, during the first major increase in home prices, drove up housing demand. Government rationing during the war had caused a limited supply of homes, and the 1944 G.I Bill, which subsidized home purchases for millions of soldiers, further increased demand. While the construction of new homes increased considerably at this time, it was still outpaced by demand, and home values spiked.

Unlike the housing bubble that occurred 60 years later, the post-war housing boom stabilized. By the late 1940s, the national median home price had plateaued around $130,000, where it would remain roughly unchanged for the rest of the century.

Another housing boom began in the early 2000s. Easy access to credit, favorable tax policy, low mortgage interest rates, and an increased enthusiasm for homeownership drove up demand for housing. The homeownership rate peaked at 69.0% in 2004, up significantly from 47.8% in 1930. When many of these homeowners could not afford to pay their mortgages, foreclosures spiked and home prices plummeted.

Outside of those two periods, housing prices have been fairly stable. Regional markets, however, have been more volatile. A number of major U.S. cities experienced regional booms in the 1970s and 1980s.

Other features of the American housing market have changed over time. The population has become more urban, shifting from 56.1% of Americans living in an urban environment in 1930 to 80.7% in 2010. The size of homes have increased too. Between 1973 and 2014, the size of a typical home increased by 65.3%, from 1,505 square feet to 2,488.

There is little consensus among economists as to what drives home price fluctuations over time. Factors such as construction costs and mortgage interest rates are often considered major drivers. However, the relationship between these factors and home value is far from clear. Home prices may not change primarily on the basis of these forces, according to Shiller.

To identify home values in each year, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical housing data published by Robert J. Shiller as an appendix to his book Irrational Exuberance. The home price index was matched with the median home value data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) to determine the median home value for every year since 1930. Homeownership rates, the size of a home measured in square feet, and the percentage of people living in urban or rural areas, also came from the U.S. Census Bureau. Disposable income per capita for each year since 1930 came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

This is what a home cost from 1930 to 2015. http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/how-much-a-home-cost-the-year-you-were-born



Spending the day w/Deborah Boza-Valledor teaching Transnational Referral Certification (TRC), Proxio, and Marketing Yourself Globally!  Priceless!

We are talking about Deborah Boza-Valledor, the COO of the greater Miami Association of Realtors and Beaches, who was awarded the 2015 CIPS Instructor of the Year Award for her teaching excellence in the field of International Real Estate by NAR.

The Pinellas International Council (PIC) has put together an exciting International Day with Deborah. The Date is April 15th, so it’s Tax Day. You should have either filed your taxes or requested an extension! So come spend the with us!!.

Hold on to your seats – here comes Deborah, a whirlwind in action!  Practice your shorthand as you will be given innumerable and priceless tips and ideas by this dynamic presenter! Brought to you by the Pinellas International Council, your $20 fee includes three classes (and lunch!) by one of the most well-respected national international real estate presenters, Deborah Boza-Valledor. Take your international real estate career to the next level with Deborah. This day promises to be highly informative, fast-paced and one of a kind.
1. Transnational Referral Certification You will to learn how to make and receive compensated referrals using a proven system so that you can integrate international referrals into your business plan. Upon completion of this course, you will be given the opportunity to become certified and included in the World Properties TRC database for a fee. Click here for additional information about the TRC certification. You will learn how to: * Integrate international referrals * Increase your income * Market yourself worldwide as “TRC” * Be part of a searchable database.
2. Proxio Enjoy your complimentary lunch while learning about Proxio – a real estate platform that provides global marketing and networking services that empower you to market yourself and your listings worldwide in 19 languages and 55 currencies. Real estate professionals use Proxio’s online services to promote and translate listings, build business networks, and search for properties that meet client’s criteria – across geographic and cultural borders. By connecting the sources of real estate supply and demand in an efficient manner, Proxio enables real estate professionals to reach a global audience and close more transactions.
3. Marketing Yourself Globally Identifying and marketing your personal brand is an essential core competency for managing and sustaining a successful real estate career. Empower yourself by knowing what you have to offer, what you want and how to ask for it. Learn tips of the trade from Deborah about how to position yourself worldwide as the “expert” in real estate. Don’t neglect the rest of the world – you could be missing out on tons of sales. 

SCHEDULE: 9:00 a.m. to noon: Transnational Referral Certification Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Break 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Proxio (Lunch and Learn) 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Break 2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m.: Marketing Yourself Globally
INSTRUCTOR: Deborah Boza-Valledor Deborah calls herself an “Island Girl” as she was born in Key West to a Cuban father and a Bahamian mother, and grandparents from the Spanish Canary Islands. Deborah is a REALTOR® and licensed instructor as well as an avid blogger and coffee drinker. She currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer of the REALTOR® Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches. Deborah has served as a Director of the National Association of REALTORS® and as the International Regional Coordinator for North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

REGISTRATION: Pinellas International Council (PIC) Members: $20: Click here to register.

PRO Members ($25): Click here to register.
Non-PRO Members ($30): Click here to register.



Neighborhood Advocates Initiative Pinellas Realtor Organization

Here’s an issue for homeowners in Florida to watch.

Education is absolutely critical to our economic growth, and obviously economic growth impacts the value of your home. But, our responsibility goes beyond our property values to our core values. By investing in our schools we are investing in our children and their development.

In 2004 Pinellas County citizens voted to increase their property taxes by a half mill to fund in-classroom spending for public schools. The goal was to make an investment in our children, and therefore a long-term investment in our community. In 2008 and 2012, our community continued this commitment by reauthorizing the half mill for education. Pinellas County voters will have the option to re-authorize once again this fall.

Here’s what the funding goes to:

  • Teacher pay: Each teacher receives an additional stipend that makes their annual pay more competitive with surrounding school districts. Pinellas County Schools is able to attract and recruit a higher caliber of teacher because of this incentive.
  • Well-rounded Curriculum: With tight budgets and restrictions from Tallahassee and D.C., the arts, music, summer programs, state of the art technology, etc. have been cut from most school district budgets. In Pinellas County, we have these programs and classes to offer students because of the half mill increase, giving our children a more well-rounded education.
  • In-classroom spending: Every penny of the millage rate goes to in-classroom spending, avoiding the sometimes expensive administrative bureaucracy of government. Furthermore, there is an independent citizen oversight committee to make sure they funds are being spent as intended, and wisely.

Because this issue has the potential to affect you and our local economy, I thought that you might want to know about it. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

If you have any thoughts or questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com . Thank you so much. Take care.

© 2016 Pinellas Realtor Organization


Hint: It’s not the U.S.A. and living where the Vikings once roamed may help.

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.

On the opposite end of the list, the most unhappy country in the world is Burundi, followed by Syria, Togo, Afghanistan and Benin.

“There is a very strong message for my country, the United States, which is very rich, has gotten a lot richer over the last 50 years, but has gotten no happier,” said head of the SDSN Jeffrey Sachs. “For a society that just chases money, we are chasing the wrong things. Our social fabric is deteriorating, social trust is deteriorating, faith in government is deteriorating.”

Hmmm, makes one think, eh?  To read what makes people happy & the full article, click on the word “happy” in the first paragraph & it will take you to the reuters.com post.

Part of this appeared on time.com.

There are three dominant trends in real estate that sellers should be aware of going into the new year. CNNMoney recently asked industry insiders to share what will be important when it comes to selling a home in 2016. Do you agree?

  1. A seller’s market dominates. Home prices have been climbing so much that they’re even matching their 2006 highs. Seller’s markets are more dominant in certain cities such as San Francisco, where bidding wars are widely reported and offers go well above asking price. “The more lucrative a region’s economic future appears to be, the easier you can expect it to be to sell a home,” according to the article.
  2. Mortgages will get pricier. Low mortgage rates have been the standard in the last few years, but that will soon change. The Federal Reserve is gradually beginning to raise rates, which will move mortgage rates higher and dampen affordability. Sellers should be aware that it may become more difficult for prospective buyers to secure financing.
  3. Tax benefits still abound. The largest tax break for ordinary taxpayers who qualify remains the exclusion on capital gains for the sale of personal residences. Single taxpayers are able to exclude a maximum of $250,000 in gains from the sale of a home. Joint filers get double that: $500,000.

Source: “Selling a Home in 2016? Here’s What You Need to Know,” CNNMoney/Motley Fool


On top of a hotel in downtown Havana July 2015




downtown Havana 11.jpg

The Capitol in downtown Havana. I took this in July 2015 while visiting with Cuban friends. 


Yesterday, President Obama and the first family arrived in Cuba. It’s the first time in 88 years that a U.S. President has visited Cuba and that president was Calvin Coolidge in 1928! It took President Coolidge 3 days by battleship to get to Havana but only took President Obama 3 hours to arrive on Air Force One. Upon arrival the First Lady, her daughters & her mother were given beautiful bunches of flowers.

His first Tweet was, “President Obama@POTUS 19h19 hours ago

¿Que bolá Cuba? Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people.”  ¿Que bolá Cuba? means “What’s up, Cuba?

 I visited Cuba this last summer with dear Cuban friends for 2 weeks and found all of the people I met to be so friendly, happy, caring & giving. I’m sure that Obama & his family will find the same. And I am sure that their visit will be quite different from mine, even though some of the same sites will be seen.

Cubans crowded the streets of Havana on Sunday to try to catch a glimpse of President Obama and his family. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times


DSCN0628.JPG      DSCN1119

This morning there was an official welcoming reception by President Raúl Castro at the Museo de la Revolucion (the former palace of Fulgenico Batista), where the military band played The Star Spangled Banner. Before he met with President Castro, Obama laid a wreath at the memorial to José Martí, a journalist and poet whose ideals are loved in both Miami and Havana. There are José Martí statues, banners & plaques everywhere in Cuba. Several times a week there were documentaries about him on the Cuban television.

DSCN1017     DSCN1024

José Martí Sign to entrance of old Havana.jpg

old Havana 14.jpg

After some sightseeing & various meetings including with American & Cuban business leaders, the President & family will return to the Museo de la Revolucion for a formal dinner. Tomorrow President Obama will be giving a speech on live Cuban television and attending a baseball game between the Cuba National Team and the TAMPA BAY RAYS from St Petersburg, Florida!! I wonder if Raymond, the official mascot for the Rays will be there. ¿Que bolá Raymond?  #RaysinCuba

Rays, Tropicana Field, St Petersburg, Florida

No matter what your political views are or where you stand on the Cuban-American relationship, this is an historical event.

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

(727) 804-6566

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  • ‘Welcome’ to all our new members who joined us in April May 3, 2016
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    The Realtor “R” could be seen all over Straub and Vinoy Parks April 22 – 24 as PRO’s Gold Sponsorship of St. Anthony’s Triathlon came to life. Light poles in Downtown St. Petersburg sported banners with the Realtor logo, and fencing up around Straub Park along Beach Drive repeated the “R” every 3 feet or [...]
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