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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Seven real estate laws drafted by the 2017 Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott went into effect Saturday, including a Florida Realtors priority: estoppel fee caps.

Laws effective July 1

  • Cap on estoppel certificate fees – Sellers of properties who live in an HOA, condo association or co-op will have a limit on the amount they’ll pay for an estoppel certificate, a document that informs a buyer if the seller is current with their dues and assessments. SB 398 (Sen. Passidomo, R-Naples) caps estoppel certificate fees at $250 for unit owners who are current in their assessments. Associations may charge an additional $100 for expedited estoppel certificates (delivered within three business days) and another $150 to owners who are delinquent in their assessments. The bill sets the price of estoppel certificates for multiple units owned by the same person and establishes a uniform, statewide format that ensures buyers and closing agents receive the appropriate information needed to close the real estate transaction. This bill also requires certificates to be valid for 30 days if delivered electronically or 35 days if delivered by mail.
  • Florida’s natural resources – More than $500 million is earmarked for Everglades restoration, beach renourishment and springs restoration. During the session, SB 10 (Sen. Bradley, R-Orange Park) served as the primary piece of policy legislation for Everglades restoration and establishes how the funding will be used for these projects. A key provision of SB 10 is the construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that is designed to curb nutrient and salinity levels that are harmful to Florida’s valuable natural resources.
  • Condominium termination law – Legislation passed in 2015 to protect condo owners from being forced to sell – possibly at a loss – has several loopholes that real estate investors and bulk buyers exploited. SB 1520(Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater) fine-tunes the rules and modifies the process by reducing the percentage of owners required to reject the termination – from 10 percent to 5 percent.
  • Condominium oversight – A South Florida news report of fraud in condo board elections, misappropriation of funds and rigged bids resulted in a Miami-Dade grand jury recommending changes to Florida’s Condominium Act. HB 1237 (Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami) provides several new condo oversight rules: (1) a condo association with more than 150 units must publish its financial reports and other documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, condo rules) on a password-protected web page; (2) if an owner is denied documents and fraud is proven, persons responsible for fraudulent activity could face felony charges; (3) the term of a condo board director is limited to eight years, with some exceptions.
  • Private flood insurance – As Realtors petition Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Florida lawmakers continue to work to attract private flood insurance capital to Florida. HB 813 (Rep. Larry Lee Jr., D-Fort Pierce) accomplishes two primary goals: (1) Rating flexibility for flood insurers is extended from 2019 until 2025 before they must follow guidelines similar to other lines of coverage – a way to encourage private insurers to enter the Florida market; (2) insurance agents can place flood policies with surplus lines insurers for two more years – until 2019 – before they must make a “diligent effort” to place the coverage with carriers regulated by the state. Diligent effort requires an agent to seek coverage and be rejected by at least three regulated carriers writing the same type of coverage.
  • Drone regulation – HB 1027 (Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville) preempts the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) by local governments and grants oversight to the state of Florida. This will prevent drone operators from having to potentially comply with ordinances adopted by 400+ local governments.
  • Pollution notification – SB 1018 (Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid) sets a threshold for when an operator is required to notify the Division of Emergency Management and the Department of Environmental Protection about a pollution event. It also provides a timeframe for the notification and defines what a reportable event means. This legislation is the result of pollution from a sinkhole at the Mosaic fertilizer facility in Mulberry, Fla., last summer. The Scott administration created an emergency rule that shifted the burden of pollution notification from the state to the owner of the property where the spill occurred. Florida Realtors was part of a coalition that successfully challenged the legal authority for this rule, creating an opportunity for the passage of this friendly legislation.

© 2017 Florida Realtors

 

sailboats & sunset

Imagine relaxing on your own balcony watching the sun set on the Gulf of Mexico  while the boats cruise past. Welcome home to your own private paradise on Tierra Verde, in St Petersburg, Florida. Enjoy beautiful views of the Intracoastal waterway from the front balcony or the Gulf of Mexico from the back balcony of your corner penthouse.

view of the Gulf of Mexico from your balconyThe semi-private elevator opens up into your own private foyer.  This meticulously maintained 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo has an additional bonus space that could be use as a den or office.

VERY RELAXING LIVING ROOM THAT OVERLOOKS THE BALCONY & THE GULF OF MEXICO       NICE SIZED BALCONY

 

 

 

 

 

Flooded with light from windows on two sides and the open floor plan, the living room is great for entertaining.

kitchen1   kitchen

 

 

The spacious kitchen has a breakfast bar with views of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

In the formal dining room, there is enough space for a corner cabinet.

dining room 2

The master bedroom has superb water views of the Gulf of Mexico and a door that opens up to the balcony plus a walk-in closet. The master bath has a large skylight.

master bedroom

 

master bath with skylight vertical

THE 2ND BEDROOM HAS ITS OWN PRIVATE BATH & SLIDERS TO A FRONT BALCONY WITH VIEWS OF THE BAY,SKYWAY BRIDGE & SUNRISES. 2nd bedroom with balcony

THERE IS A 2 CAR GARAGE WITH THIS UNIT. THE COMMUNITY HAS A FISHING PIER, HEATED POOL/SPA & BOAT SLIPS.

community pool 1

The current owner has replaced all of the windows and sliding glass doors with impact glass. The newer A/C unit has a UV light for cleaner coils which improves the cooling efficiency and therefore reduces the electrical costs. Another special feature is the reverse osmosis water system.

3rd bedroom

3rd bedroom

 

front of buildingFishing pier & boat docks

 

 

 

 

Estoppel-Postcard_Front

January 2016-Here’s an upcoming issue for homeowners in Florida.

When you’re selling or refinancing your home, if you’re part of a condo association or a homeowners’ association, you need to provide the buyer or lender with something called an “estoppel certificate”. That is a statement of your financial status with the association: Are you current on your association dues? Are there any liens on your home? Since buyers and lenders don’t want to be surprised, providing them with an estoppel certificate is reasonable and a good business practice.

Florida law does allow condo and homeowner associations to charge a “reasonable” fee to prepare one of these estoppel certificates. The issue is what exactly is “reasonable”.

Condo and homeowner associations are required by law to maintain current records of any assessments or liens on the properties they oversee. So the work required to put together an estoppel certificate is fairly minimal. Many associations charge a reasonable fee – $50 or $100 – to provide the certificate. Others, however, have turned this into a revenue stream, charging over $1,000 in some cases to provide a simple piece of paper.

Well, during the 2015 session, Rep. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Rep. John Wood (R-Winter Haven) have introduced bills to cap the amount charged by condo and homeowner associations. They’re looking to reintroduce that bill in the 2016 session. The pertinent facts are:

  • $200 cap on fees for any homeowner who is not delinquent on paying association dues and fees;
  • Up to an additional $200 if the homeowner is delinquent; and
  • Up to $100 for an expedited certificate.

Plus, the bill would require associations to provide the estoppel certificate within 10 days, and have the certificate be valid for 30 days.

On the one hand, this seems like a no-brainer to ensure that consumers aren’t being overcharged. $1,000 just to prepare a piece of paper, with information the association already has, does seem like a stretch. On the other hand, there are people who wonder if this isn’t just another example of government intervention and regulation into private businesses. And of course, there are people who think that the bill doesn’t go far enough: even $200 cap seems too high for them.

If you’re a homeowner who belongs to a condo or homeowner association, I’d love to get your take on this. You can email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com or call me at 727-804-6566.

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One of the perks of being a Realtor in the Clearwater Beach-St Petersburg area is the view on your way to and from work. The other day I had a home inspection on a lovely waterfront condo in Dunedin. Yes, it took over an hour’s drive to get there but oh, how gorgeous was the scenery once I arrived. By the way, the temperature was 74 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze. Not bad for December. Ah, life can be so good!! Thank you.

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As The Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis ads might say if he were a Realtor,
“I don’t always post my sales. But when I do, I prefer to post a sale of a luxury condo in downtown St Pete .”   
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I recently represented the buyers for this beautiful 3 bedroom 2736 square foot (approx. 254 square meters) Parkshore Plaza luxury condo on the 11th floor. With its stunning views of downtown St Petersburg’s waterfront and the Tampa Bay beyond, the vibrant activities of Beach Drive are at your doorstep. Restaurants, museums, galleries, music venues, boating, marinas, the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, sporting events including the Tampa By Rays and the Rowdies, art festivals, music festivals, rib festivals and much more are found within minutes of this high rise building. Tampa International Airport is less than 30 minutes if one choses to venture afar. The new owners are enjoying their own private elevator which opens into the private foyer before entering the contemporary residence with an open floor plan. Floor to ceiling windows, designer lighting and travertine flooring throughout give the condo that elegant feeling one expects in a luxury condo. The bedrooms have western views towards the beaches providing beautiful sunsets and have all full en-suite bathrooms. Two secured parking spaces along with an additional secured, air-conditioned storage area come with this unit. Parkshore amenities include: a fitness center with private lockers, steam room, a library adjacent to a billiards room, a resort-style pool and spa area heated by Geothermal, an outdoor natural gas grill and kitchen with fireplace, a large social room with catering kitchen, a business center and a 24 hour concierge staff.
If you are interested in living this wonderful lifestyle, I would be delighted in helping you with finding the right condo or home. And remember,
 “Stay thirsty for the luxury life of St Petersburg, my friends.”
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Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

(727) 804-6566
AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com

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