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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Aug. 15, 2017 – Florida Realtors, the state’s largest professional trade association, officially kicked off its campaign to pass Amendment 2, which gives voters the chance to make a 10 percent cap on annual non-homestead property tax increases permanent. It will appear on the 2018 general election ballot.

Prior to the 10 percent cap, if the value of a business owner’s property increased significantly compared to the previous year, they could see their property tax bill skyrocket. Owners of investment homes also faced steep property tax hikes, which could be passed along to tenants in the form of higher rents.

“Amendment 2 really is good for everybody because if the non-homestead tax cap expires in 2019, every Floridian will be negatively impacted in some way,” says Florida Realtors President Maria Wells. “Whether it’s a business having to increase the cost of their goods and services or tenants having their rent go up a significant amount, communities across the state will suffer.”

Florida Realtors, along with its coalition partners, is planning a comprehensive, direct-to-voter campaign over the next 14 months. The campaign theme, “Everybody is for Amendment 2, because Amendment 2 is for Everybody” signifies the importance the measure holds for every citizen of the state.

“In the current age of partisanship, it’s often difficult to find an issue that people with different viewpoints can agree on, but with Amendment 2 we did just that,” says Carrie O’Rourke, vice president of public policy for Florida Realtors. “The Florida Senate passed it unanimously, and the House was right behind them with 97 percent voting in favor of the referendum. That level of bipartisanship speaks volumes for the widespread benefits Amendment 2 offers.”

http://everybodyisfor2.com/map/

The 10 percent cap on non-homestead properties was part of the Save Our Homes portability constitutional amendment voters approved in 2008. The 10 percent cap portion of the amendment sunsets on Jan. 1, 2019.

The kick-off includes the launch of the campaign’s website, www.EverybodyIsFor2.com, which features a video outlining the benefits of the amendment.

Amendment 2 Will Impact Properties All Across Florida

Estimated Properties Affected: 5,074,149, See how your area would be affected!

© 2017 Florida Realtors

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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

Pinellas International Council 6th Annual Global Symposium-Thank you to David Bennett CEO of PRO, John-Paul Mario Chair of the PRO Business Affiliates, Susan Inez-Poskus CPA from Roberge Poskus, Maria Grulich from Florida Realtors, Bill Risser, VP of Digital Strategy from Fidelity National Title, Don Gonzalez Attorney, Carlos Fuentes NAR instructor, the nearly 100 attendees and all of the PRO Affiliates who sponsored this informative event. Thank you all for making this such great day!!

 

PROFarm_4Qstats_postcard

 

PROFARM Neighborhood Advocates
Q4 2016 Stats (March 2017)

Greetings!

Florida Realtors® recently released the 2016 fourth quarter (October through December) real estate market statistics for the state. I wanted to give you an overview of how our area is performing.

The single family homes real estate markets in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties finished out strong in 2016. Median Sale Price continued to rise through the end of the year in all three counties. Closed Sales in Hillsborough County were up and held about even in Pinellas and Pasco. Pinellas rebounded from being down in Quarter 3 of 2016 year-over-year in Closed Sales.

Inventory has shrunk year-over-year for the fourth quarter in Pinellas and Pasco, but Hillsborough is finally showing signs of an increase in Active Listings (Inventory). Median Days to Contract was down in the Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco markets, though the year-over-year margin started to soften in the fourth quarter of 2016.

As your local Realtor® and Neighborhood Advocate, I am your resource for data that affects our communities and your property value. Homeownership affordability and accessibility is a cornerstone of the Realtor® advocacy efforts at every level – local, state and national.

Here are some highlights from the Florida Realtors® Quarter 4 2016 Statistics Release for the Single Family Home Market Segment:

  • Closed Sales: Slightly up for Pinellas County; up for Hillsborough County and down only slightly for Pasco County for Quarter 4 2016 from Quarter 4 2015. This statistic is a good indicator of the overall health of the market, and successful closed sales mean a win-win for both buyers and sellers.
  • Pinellas County: 3,351 Closed Sales Q4 2016 vs. 3,271 Closed Sales Q4 2015, a 2.4% increase
  • Hillsborough County: 4,641 Closed Sales Q4 2016 vs. 4,225 Closed Sales Q4 2015, a 9.8% increase
  • Pasco County: 2,335 Closed Sales Q4 2016 vs. 2,340 Closed Sales Q4 2015, a 0.2% decrease
  • Median Sale Price: Up for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 4 2016 from Quarter 4 2015. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half the homes sold for less.
  • Pinellas County: $218,000 Median Sale Price Q4 2016 vs. $185,000 Median Sale Price Q4 2015, a 17.6% increase
  • Hillsborough County: $225,000 Median Sale Price Q4 2016 vs. $205,000 Median Sale Price Q4 2015, a 9.8% increase
  • Pasco County: $185,000 Median Sale Price Q4 2016 vs. $160,000 Median Sale Price Q4 2015, a 15.6% increase
  • Inventory (Active Listings): Down for Pinellas County and Pasco County and up just slightly for Hillsborough County for Quarter 4 2016 from Quarter 4 2015. When inventory is low, there are fewer houses on the market and buyers are often competing for homes or have a tougher time finding a home that suits their exact needs. Flexibility, planning and preparation are key to being able to make an offer on a home when you do find what you’re looking for.
  • Pinellas County: 3,288 Active Listings Q4 2016 vs. 3,317 Active Listings Q4 2015, down 0.9%
  • Hillsborough County: 4,382 Active Listings Q4 2016 vs. 4,364 Active Listings Q4 2015, up 0.4%
  • Pasco County: 2,217 Active Listings Q4 2016 vs. 2,491 Active Listings Q4 2015, down 11.0%
  • Median Days to Contract: Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 4 2016 from Quarter 4 2015. The midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time. The faster a home goes to contract, the less time it is on the market for sale. Another good indicator for sellers and a tool for buyers to understand how to reach their goals in a hot market.
  • Pinellas County: 29 Days Q4 2016 vs. 31 Days Q4 2015, a 6.5% decrease
  • Hillsborough County: 32 Days Q4 2016 vs. 39 Days Q4 2015, a 17.9% decrease
  • Pasco County: 30 Days Q4 2016 vs. 41 Days Q4 2015, a 26.8% decrease

Please don’t hesitate to email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com or call me at 727-804-6566, if I can be of service. Thank you so much.
© 2017 Pinellas Realtor Organization

Don’t get left out of this important market! Did you know that 22% of all International buyers in the USA bought property in Florida? International buyers are a significant component of the Florida real estate market. 74% purchase with cash & spend an average of $174, 624 for their Florida-based home. According to National Association of Realtors, between April 2015 & March 2016, two out of three Florida Realtors worked with International buyers last year

Please join us for this very informative day. Excellent speakers & 3 hours of CE credit too!

NOW IS THE TIME to get involved with International Real Estate. Attend our Pinellas International Council’s 6th Annual Global Symposium and learn the proper way to work with buyers & sellers from around the world ! Register here: http://www.calendarwiz.com/calendars/popup.php?op=view&id=108868777&crd=pro

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Get your flip-flops ready!! Jimmy Buffet has partnered with Minto Communities to create a community for people 55-and-older in Daytona Beach, Florida which promises to “reflect the lifestyle embraced in Buffet’s songs”.

Jimmy Buffet retirement community

MINTO COMMUNITIES + GETTY photo

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Say what? Get your limes & salt shakers out.

The 6,900-home community  says it will be tropical & fun.The plans include a pool with cabanas instead of a central park & statue like most towns. Music, food,  beverages, an onsite fitness center, indoor lap pool, spa and an outdoor resort-style pool will be the core of this development.

William Bullock, a senior vice president with Minto, told The Daytona Beach News-Journal: “You never know when or where Jimmy Buffett may show up to do a concert. The concept for the community is Margaritaville equals fun,” Bullock said. “Having fun, socializing, enjoying the lifestyle because you’ve earned it, you’ve been waiting your whole life for it and now you’ll be able to celebrate it with food, fun and music.”

The first phase of the Latitude Margaritaville, Daytona Beach, homes are expected to be ready to move into by fall 2018. They’ll feature Old Florida and Key West architectural styles and range in price form the low $200,000s to the mid-$300,000s. They are also going to have some live broadcasts, artists unknown at this time, from there on their SiriusXM Channel.

for more info see    http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20170216/jimmy-buffett-community-coming-to-daytona

On Valentine’s Day,

You’ve given roses, flowers, balloons, candy & jewelry. Why not not give your sweetheart a diamond of a house for Valentine’s Day?

This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Shore Acres home in St Petersburg is all remodeled and ready for you to move in. I’ll even add a big red bow! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

https://www.trulia.com/property/3223754998-1766-Maryland-Ave-NE-Saint-Petersburg-FL-33703

 

The 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship is being held tonight in Tampa. It looks like a repeat of last year’s game the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers.

Time: Monday, January 9th at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Thousands of fans started arriving last week. According to the news last week 15 of the top hotels in the Tampa Bay area-including St Petersburg & Clearwater Beach-were completely sold out with many other area hotels filled too. The fans aren’t just college kids. Alum of all ages have been arriving from all over the country too. Raymond James Stadium is expecting more than 50, 000 people to attend the game tonight.

The festivities started on Friday with Fan Day where you had the chance to meet the players & coaches. Saturday was the beach competition with football and special appearances by both championship team bands and cheerleaders.

 

Yesterday there was a concert with Jay Pharoah introducing the bands-Jamie N Commons, Gavin DeGraw & Usher. Nice line up.

 

 

dunedin

The name of this small town, located on the west coastal of central Florida comes from Dùn Èideann, which is the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh-the capital of Scotland.

Dunedin is one of the few towns or cities that still has open waterfront views to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Its beaches, including Dunedin Causeway, Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi Island State Park, are consistently rated among the best beaches in the world. Dunedin is located between Clearwater, the Gulf of Mexico and by Palm Harbor. And yet it is close to Tampa, St Petersburg and Tampa International Airport. A very nice location. Small town feel with worldly connections.

DCIM100MEDIA

In the 1800’s Scottish families originally settled in the area. In 1852 two Scotsmen by the names of J.O. Douglas and James Sumerville, called the area Dunedin after their hometown in Scotland-Edinburgh. Once upon a time Dunedin was one of Florida’s main ports with the largest fleet of sailing ships in the state.

Once a year, usually in April,  the Dunedin Highland Games are held with competitions including caber tossing, sheep herding, stone throwing & pipe and drum bands. There is also the DUNEDIN CELTIC MUSIC & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL, usually held in November.

Dunedin has been the training site for every Blue Jays Spring Training season for the last 40 YEARS. This makes Toronto the only major league franchise to have remained in the same location for all of its spring training.

If you want to know about Dunedin, Florida, you might want to watch this short video produced by St Pete-Clearwater. It is a great overview of city of Dunedin, the Pinellas Trail, Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island State Park.

Record 103 Million Americans Traveling This Holiday, Most Seeking Warmer Weather

 
According to AAA, more than 103 million Americans–the most on record–are expected to travel for the year-end holidays. This represents a 1.5 percent increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, compared with last year. This comes despite one fewer travel day this holiday season. The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Friday, December 23 to Monday, January 2, 2017.

The increase in holiday travel this year is being driven by additional consumer spending, a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages. Additionally, low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt more Americans than ever to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays.

“It’s the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney. “Rising incomes and continued low gas prices should make for a joyous holiday travel season.”

Most travelers will drive this holiday season

The vast majority of travelers–93.6 million people–will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease slightly, to 3.5 million travelers.

New Year’s gas prices second-cheapest in nearly a decade

AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pumps so far this year compared to the same period last year. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.23, 23 cents more than the average price on New Year’s Day 2016 ($2.00). Most U.S. drivers will pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62.

Holiday airfares, hotel rates and car rental prices mixed

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, holiday airfares are projected to average $204 for a roundtrip flight along the top 40 domestic routes. Rates for AAA Two and Three Diamond Rated lodgings are expected to increase 7 percent, with travelers spending an average of $128 and $160 per night, respectively. Daily car rental rates will average $66, slightly lower than last year’s holiday travel season.

Warm-weather destinations top the list of most popular holiday destinations

With the exception of New York City–an-ever popular holiday destination–warm-weather locales in Florida, Nevada and California top the list of most popular destinations for this holiday season travel.

WPJ News | AAA 2016 Year end Travel Forecast

Vacation News » Miami Edition | By Michael Gerrity | December 23, 2016

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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  • 8 Ways to Avoid Legal Problems October 16, 2017
    By Richard Westlund Oct. 16, 2017 – It’s easy to get into legal trouble today. A buyer might claim that you misrepresented the property or failed to recommend a home inspection. A seller might complain about a poorly worded phrase in the sales contract or a discrepancy in the escrow account. Or you might get […]
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  • Pinellas REALTOR Organization elects 2018 Board of Directors October 2, 2017
    The following PRO members will be serving on the Board of Directors in 2018: Chair: Paul Hendriks, Gulf to Bay Homes & Estates Chair Elect: Kevin Batdorf, Batdorf and Associates Past Chair: Tom Shelly, Sunshine Home Sales Secretary: Glen Richardson, Smith & Associates Real Estate Treasurer: Cyndee Haydon, Future Home Realty Director: Vanessa Bustaman […]
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  • Facts on the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions in Florida September 28, 2017
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