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Celebrating the 39th anniversary of my re-birthday! As Monty Python said, “I’m not dead yet! It’s just a flesh wound!” August 6th, 1978. Believe it or not, there was a full body cast under that dress. I weighed about 85 pounds & I’m 5’6″. So very glad to still be here and for all my family & friends & various adventures all the way.

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Okay, you just can’t make this stuff up. I have always wanted to live in a waterfront home but this is not what I had in mind!! I am standing in ankle deep water in my driveway when I see Nemo and buddies paddling up my street. Are they looking for Dory and 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney, Australia like in the Disney movie? Paddle up to the stop sign and take a right to Tampa Bay and just keep swimming.

So, now it’s pouring again with wind gusts up to 50 mph. I really NEED low tide or for the winds to change directions so the water will recede SOON. Apparently, to add to the 2 days of rain & high winds, we are experiencing astronomically high tides. Is it because Jupiter has aligned with Mars and Saturn?  High tide in St Pete was at 2:44pm and low tide is at 10:30 pm. I have never seen the water come into my driveway or yard before. Please, please, please, who will stop the rain from coming into my garage?  As Blonde sort of sang, The tide is high & I want to save my house. Six feet until it reaches my garage & all the oodles of precious items stored within. Yikes!! I wish all my neighbors & friends in the Tampa Bay area good luck. Keeping my fingers crossed & my warped sense of humor in tact. Let’s hope that’s all that warps! If not, perhaps “Coming soon waterfront 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a pool”. Time to check the water level & to see how many frogs are camped out on my front porch now.

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by Graham Wood

Morguefile.com

When we speak of international buyers, we’re usually talking about people from other countries who want to invest in U.S. property. But the lines go both ways. There are high-net-worth Americans who want to buy homes in other countries, and they can spell big business for practitioners who are willing to aid them in their global search. But where should they be looking?

Rick Davidson, president and CEO of Century 21, argued at the Asian Real Estate Association of America’s Global & Luxury Summit in Chicago on Monday that because of the dollar’s strength against many other foreign currencies, American buyers can get great deals abroad. But one country stands above the rest as the best place for Americans to invest their money abroad because of a confluence of economic benefits: Japan.

“We are deeply immersed in the Japanese market,” Davidson said, noting that Century 21 has 900 offices and 6,000 agents there. Here are the reasons Davidson gave for why Japan should be a target for wealthy U.S. home buyers wanting to purchase overseas:

  • The interest rates on 10-year fixed-rate loans are 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent — far below America’s historic interest-rate lows.
  • One U.S. dollar 119.54 yen, which gives U.S. buyers a 20 percent discount on purchases.
  • There are virtually no restrictions for foreign investors in Japan.
  • Japan is coming out of recession. Deflation is expected to stop and GDP is expected to grow in the near future, so American investors will start to see a positive ROI starting now.
  • Tokyo is the cheapest of all Asian cities in terms of price per square foot. The average price per square foot of a luxury property in the U.S. is $1,180; in Japan, it’s $680.
  • Tokyo land prices have been rising for five straight years, making future expectation for price growth high.

Graham Wood is a senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at gwood@realtors.org.

Please join us for the 4th Annual Global Real Estate Symposium! Register NOW before it’s too late.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:00am – 4:30pm
The Pinellas International Council presents the 4th Annual Global Symposium. Engage with fellow REALTORS® and learn from our expert speakers working with the global market. Plus register & attend the afternoon session for CE credits.
2015 Global Real Estate Symposium Flyer

Door prizes will be raffled off! You must be present to win, but won’t want to miss out!

YOU’LL HEAR FROM:
1. Susan Inez-Poskus, International CPA with Roberge Poskus International
“International Tax Items for Non-Residents – Changes and Concerns”


2. Joe Schneider, Manager of Global Business Development & Outreach at NAR
“The Impact of Globalization on Your Local Market: Working Profitably with Foreign Buyers”

3. Paula Smith, CCIM, Broker Associate | Robert Barber, CCIM, Residential and Commercial Specialist (both with Coastal Properties Group International)
Commercial Outlook 2015″

PLUS – 3 HOUR CE CREDIT COURSE:
“Marketing to International Clients”
taught by Pablo Wong, Senior VP for Market Development for Fidelity National Financial
NOTE: This class will run from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you just want to attend the class you may, but you still need to register.

SCHEDULE:
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, continental breakfast
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Symposium
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Networking, appetizers and drinks
There will be a lunch break and lunch will be provided for you! All other food and drink is included in the registration fee, and is provided by our Affiliate Business Partners. Please visit them during the networking periods!

Contact: Jan Dean
Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004

Location Details
Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

Brightly costumed dolls representing Japan and Mexico in scenery from their lands at 'it’s a small world'

If you have ever visited Disneyland or Disney World, then chances are you have heard “It’s A Small World”. When you take the 12-15 minute ride in the little boats that meander throughout the various lands, you hear it many times & in many languages. In my case, I have been stuck in that attraction several times with my daughters in both Florida & in California. It was their favorite ride so we rode it as many times as we could possibly fit in each visit. The more you ride, the more likely you are to get stuck.  One of the fastest way to drive this mother crazy.

Fast forward 15 years and I have just purchased a new phone. My youngest daughter is helping me set up this new phone but with a few surprises unknown to me. Teenagers are so clever, aren’t they? So the first time of my daughters called me, the new phone rings with, can you guess? Yes, “It’s a Small World”!! They thought that it would drive me crazy-a short drive these days, I admit. That was 2 years ago & their little surprise has backfired because I love it. That song lets me know that it is one of my wonderful daughters calling. It brings a smile to my face every time and brings back some incredibly fun memories. It’s a blessing & a curse. LOL   SO thanks, my wee one! Or should I say Merci, Muchas gracias, Vielen Dank, Σας ευχαριστώ, Grazie, 感谢您, Takk, ありがとうございました。, Obrigado, Go raibh maith agat?

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears. There’s so much we share…and a smile means friendship to everyone

To watch the video:  http://youtu.be/weZrqrN9Jp0

Written by brothers Richard and Robert Sherman

It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small world after all.

It’s a small, small world.  Thank you, Mr. Disney!

Walt Disney

 

 

I am part of Warren Buffett’s firm as of January 28th, 2014 – Bershire Hathaway HomesServices Florida Properties Group. So it was nice to come across this article with a quote from Warren Buffet. Thanks, Warren!

Feb 26, 2014

Real estate investments Warren Buffett made in a Nebraska farm in 1986 and a New York City retail space in 1993 taught him some general truths about investing, he revealed in his annual note to shareholders. Those investments convinced Buffett — whose flagship firm rolled out the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand last year — that taking a long view in real estate investing pays dividends and that downturns can provide lucrative opportunities. “A climate of fear is your friend when investing; a euphoric world is your enemy,” Buffett wrote.

Source: CNN Money – See more at: http://www.inman.com/wire/warren-buffett-on-real-estate-investing-a-climate-of-fear-is-your-friend/#sthash.I09EyOTQ.dpuf

BHHS Florida Properties Group Cabernet logo

 

Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970.

Earth Day is held annually worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  Earth Day was first proposed in San Francisco in 1969. In 1970 Senator Gaylord Nelson started an environmental teach day for Earth Day on April 22, 1970 but it wasn’t until 1990 that Earth Day became an international day with 141 countries participating. More than 20 million people turned out for that first “Earth Day” on April 22, 1970. Dennis Hayes who had originally proposed Earth Day in 1969, organized it into what it is today. It is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year with billions of people participating. This year marks the 44th year.

April 22nd was chosen as the date for Earth Day because there was no conflict with any religious holidays, school exams and school breaks. Senator Nelson wanted as many students, especially college students, to participate as possible. It also happened to be the anniversary of the death of one the first American conservationist John Muir. John Muir was born in Scotland in 1938 and his family moved to a farm in Wisconsin when he was 11 years old. As a young man, he traveled across Canada and in 1867 he started his walk from Indiana to Florida. He then wrote a book about that journey entitled A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf. In 1868 he arrived in San Francisco and then headed off for a week-long visit to Yosemite, calling it “The grandest of all special temples of Nature.” And as they, the rest is history…

John Muir wrote letters, essays, and 12 books telling of his adventures in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and started The Sierra Club.  John Muir Trail,  Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach, John Muir College, Mount Muir, Camp Muir and Muir Glacier among many others were named in his honor. He was instrumental in opening President Roosevelt’s eyes that there needed to be a national park service. They first met in 1903.

My great-great uncle Virgil T McCroskey was born in Tennessee in 1876 but spent most of his life in Eastern Washington. He retired from the pharmacy business in 1920 and spent the next few years traveling throughout Washington and California. Somewhere along the way, he met John Muir according to family letters. Virgil T. also saw the need for saving the old growth forests and the surrounding nature. So began his second career as an amateur conservationist. Virgil T. used his money and energies to buy parcels of land which eventually became two new state parks. The two state parks are: Steptoe Butte State Park in Washington State and Mary McCroskey State Park in Idaho. Vrigil T. McCroskey is listed as one of the top 200 “American conservationists”. How cool is that???  I became a member of the Sierra Club as a teenager long before I had ever heard of Virgil T. McCroskey but apparently conservation is in my blood.

Some things that you can do today to participate in Earth Day and every day are:

Reduce, reuse, recycle 

Buy locally and buy toxin-free products for your home (Seventh Generation is a great resource as well as others)

Walk around your town or city and pick up trash

Plant a tree and a garden, bring some plants into your home to help clean the indoor air

Use soaker hoses and put water system on a timer to water early in the morning

Start a compost pile

Fix dripping faucets

Ride your bike or walk to work 1-2 times a week

Take  photos of nature while walking on the beach or in the woods

Eat one of your organic meals outside while soaking up the rays, sights & sounds of nature

Use reusable shopping bags

Join your local Freecycle to pass along items instead of throwing them  away

Exchange your light bulbs with energy-efficient ones                                                                

Collect hazardous materials like paint and batteries and dispose of them  properly

Join a Community Supported Agriculture group

Educate yourself on environmental issues and renewable energy sources

Get involved with your local environmental groups by donating time and/or money

AND just for fun, take CNN’s Earth Day Quiz: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/22/world/earth-day/index.html

Women’s Council of Realtors – Pinellas Suncoast Chapter

Georgia Naruns winning a prize at WCR Conference Orlando 1-2012

And the winner is … Georgia Naruns just minutes after receiving her prize from Angela Territo at the WCR Communication & Outreach Forum. Georgia, Jim McConnell, Janice Lockridge-Williams and Annalisa Weller are attending the educational sessions & business meetings being held at the Florida Realtors Mid-winter Conference in Orlando.

By the way, the temperature outside today was 78 degrees. Orlando is an hour and half drive from St Petersburg and Tampa.

Facebook page for WCR Pinella Suncoast –    www.facebook.com/PinellasSuncoastWCR

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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