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Look which city made it into the top 20 places to visit this year in the USA according to TripAdvisor!! St Petersburg, Florida!! Yippee! For the last 13 years, I have called St Pete my home. It is surrounded by beautiful water, has gorgeous weather-especially at this time of year, tons of great restaurants representing food from around the world, farmers market, food trucks, unique shops, brew pubs, world famous museums, top-notch galleries, creative murals, waterfront parks, dog parks, boating, sports to watch or partake in, music venues, music festivals, Ribfest, Honda Grand Prix race running through the downtown along the waterfront and so much more. With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, St Pete has the Guinness World Record for logging the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days). Hmmm, maybe that is why it is nicknamed “The Sunshine City” in the Sunshine State.

I love it here. Come for a visit or to buy a home, I’ll be waiting for you.

St-Petersburg-Florida-Summer-Southern-Cities-(2)

Nicknamed the “Sunshine City,” St. Petersburg is a warm and pleasant beach town on Florida’s Gulf Coast with much to see and do. Springtime visitors won’t want to miss the St. Petersburg Mainsail Arts Festival, a joyful celebration with artists, food, live music, and entertainment. There’s a lot to do out on the water in St. Petersburg, like this Mangrove Kayak Tour, or a Stand up Pedalboard Tour where you’re likely to spot dolphins and manatees. On a St. Petersburg Speedboat Adventure, you’ll take the wheel of your very own speedboat, exploring the coastline in style.

To see the other 19 cities, including BALTIMORE and BEND, Oregon, please go to https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalsBlog/2019/01/28/top-places-visit-usa-best-destinations/?fbclid=IwAR28G8o-j1FkD7sN5KIHbNvS_yBgD8wyshC9rWqL538tOaLrV0oCX_6EW1Y

Young family arriving at their holiday beach house

By the Experts at Hippo

You’ve just returned from a trip to the beach. You ask yourself: Why should I continue to pay rental fees when I could own a vacation home and rent it out? Unless you’re fairly wealthy, you’ll need to make sure you can commit to buying a seasonal home before you start shopping around. Here are five indications that you’re ready to take the plunge:

1. You can afford one

Can you afford to own a vacation home? If the answer to that question is yes, that’s probably the most obvious sign that buying a seasonal home is something you should consider. You never want to buy a home that will leave you drowning in debt.

Remember, the purchase price is only part of the cost of owning a vacation home. You’ll have to pay utility bills, maintenance fees and insurance premiums. And depending on where your home is located, you could also be responsible for paying homeowners association fees.

To decide whether you have enough money in the bank for a vacation home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have emergency savings (at least three to six months’ worth of take-home pay)?
  • Can you make a 20 percent down payment?
  • If you have kids, have you already put aside enough money for a college fund?
  • Can you still put away enough money for retirement?
  • Have you paid off your existing home?
  • Have you calculated the potential return on your investment?
  • Does it fit in with your long-term investment strategy and financial goals?

Everyone’s situation is different. If you can answer yes to most of these questions, there’s a good chance that there’s room in your budget for a vacation home.

2. You’ve done your research

If you’ve done your homework, that’s another good sign that you’re prepared to purchase a vacation home. When you’re visiting an area that might become the location of your future home, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself; however, doing your research and taking the time to understand what the surrounding area has to offer is important. You’ll also want to make sure you visit during different parts of the year. That way, you can get a feel for what it’s like to live there during different seasons.

Think about the short- and long-term implications of buying a seasonal home, especially if you plan to spend plenty of time there. When you retire, for example, the amenities included in a vacation home may take a backseat. Having access to a hospital and activities that improve your overall health and well-being may be critical.

3. You know what’s happening in the market

If you can keep up with what’s going on in the housing market, buying a vacation home might make sense. If you analyze changes in sales prices, you’ll be able to time your home purchase carefully, and you’ll be able to make the most appropriate decision based on seasonal demand, which drives home prices.

In 2016, new, single-family home sales reached their highest level in a decade, although there was a decline in home-buying activity among vacation home buyers, according to a survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). A rising demand for housing and a shrinking supply of options has pushed up prices, making it more difficult for many people to purchase a vacation home. In 2016, the median vacation-home sales price was $200,000, up from $192,000 the previous year.

4. You have a plan

Buying a seasonal home could be worth considering if you know how you’re going to use it. Maybe you view the home as an investment property that can serve as an additional source of income. Maybe you’ve decided that you’re going to find guests online through a website like Airbnb or Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO).

Keep in mind that if you intend to rent out a vacation home, you’ll need to think about advertising and logistics. You’ll need photos of your rental property and a detailed description of its amenities. You’ll also need a rental agreement and a plan for how you’re going to accept payments. Will you use a service like Venmo or PayPal, or ask guests to mail you a check?

You’ll probably need to hire someone to clean your home and check for signs of damage and theft before new guests arrive. Hiring a property management company might make your life easier, but agencies often charge between 25 and 50 percent of your rental income.

5. You’re prepared to pay taxes

Rental income must be included on both state and federal tax returns. If you are renting out your vacation home or even a portion of your vacation home (e.g., a bedroom), you might be considered an innkeeper. That means you might be expected to collect the same lodging taxes that hotels collect and make payments to your county, city and/or state. In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for example, among tourists who pay for lodging, a 12 percent tax is due.

For many people, the decision to purchase a vacation home is serious. If you decide to take that leap of faith and you already have homeowners insurance, make sure you find out whether your current policy will cover a second home. Also, if you intend to rent out the property, consider purchasing rent loss insurance. It covers the loss of rental income following natural disasters and catastrophic incidents.

Hippo is an InsureTech company that’s reimagining home insurance through the lens of homeowners, building policies with more comprehensive coverage for today’s consumers. Hippo Insurance is available to homeowners in 10 states throughout the U.S. and will be available to more than 60 percent of the nation’s homeowners by the end of 2018.

http://blog.rismedia.com/2018/5-signs-youre-ready-buy-vacation-home/

72% of vacation property owners and 71% of investment property owners believe now is a good time to buy. 33% bought their property in a beach area. Location, location, location!! We have some of the best beaches!! Plus we have music venues, a multitude of sports options, first rate museums, art venues, waterfront festivals, brew-pubs, incredible restaurants and much more!

Think St Petersburg, Florida; Clearwater Beach and the Tampa Bay Area!!

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7 things you have to know before you visit Belize

A natural attraction (Picture: Getty)  article by Ellie Hattersley   https://metro.co.uk/2018

 

Beautiful Belize, a small country in the northern part of South America, sure packs a punch. Despite its relatively diminutive size, it manages to fit in some of the world’s best beaches, the second biggest coral reef in the world, a unique natural phenomenon, and some seriously impressive ancient ruins. 8 things to know before you go to the Czech Republic And honestly, it’s worth going just to spend some time sprawled upon the sands of Caye Caulker, perhaps its most famous island. Here are seven things you should know before you go to Belize.

  1. It’s the only Central American country with English as an official language. Due to its history as a British colony, the majority of people in Belize speak English, alongside Spanish and Creole. Belize became independent in 1981 and changed its name from British Honduras in 1973.
  2. The capital is, surprisingly, not Belize City. Though Belize City was the capital of the country but after the hugely destructive hurricane Hattie hit in 1961, plans were conceived to move the capital inland. The newer capital is called Belmopan. However, Belize City is still the country’s cultural and commercial capital, and also hosts the country’s only major airport.
  3. It’s got a whole bunch of Mayan ruins Mayan ruins. 7 things you have to know before you visit Belizeat Cerros (Picture: Getty) More than 900, in fact. They are spread out across the country, and many can be reached easily from Belize City.
  4. The second biggest coral reef in the world lies off its coast. After the Great Barrier Reef, Belize’s barrier reef is the largest in the world. It stretches more than 180 miles along Belize’s Caribbean coast, and supports wildlife as wide ranging as West Indian manatees and American crocodiles. It has plenty of fish, too.
  5. And the most bewildering natural attraction in the Great Blue Hole. 7 things you have to know before you visit Belize (Picture: Getty) The Great Blue Hole is the biggest sea sinkhole in the world, at a depth of 407ft. It’s a diver’s dream, with crystal clear visibility, and even snorkelers can spot nurse sharks and reef sharks patrolling its outer rim.
  6. It has more than 450 small islands, called cayes. 7 things you have to know before you visit Belize Caye Caulker. (Picture: Getty)
  7. Cayes are low-lying, sand-based islands, located at the surface of a coral reef. Caye Caulker is probably the most famous of these, but they are all pretty paradisiacal.
  8. Belize has the lowest population density in Central America. With only 382,000 people, and just 37 people per square mile, it’s little wonder that Belize’s population density is the lowest in Central America. But, of course, the population numbers are considerably boosted by the tourist crowds.

 

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/05/01/7-things-you-have-to-know-before-you-visit-belize-7488826/?ito=cbshare   Ellie Hattersley

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

 

 

Bordeaux Trade Mission meeting this Friday May 11th in the Conference room at Coastal Properties Group office, 437 High Street. Dunedin: 12-1.30 pm. We will have Bordeaux wine and strawberries. See you there. Please text RSVP to Marina Kloppel 858-382-7499.

 

 

This is an interesting report. Quite surprised to see that Miami doesn’t have the top slot for the first time this year. St Petersburg-Tampa-Clearwater have moved into 11th place. Nice!

detroit

Where are international home shoppers looking in the U.S.? Each month, we assemble our International Demand Report, examining which metros garner the most interest from international users on realtor.com®.

Miami Falls Out of Top Slot, Los Angeles Takes Over

Miami was ranked #1 during both February and January this year. As we ease out of the grips of winter, international buyers may be more willing to look beyond the dreams of beaches and vacation life offered by Miami. Miami has dropped to rank #4, and Los Angeles moves into the top slot. The last time Los Angeles was ranked at #1 was from September to November last year.

Despite this slip, expect to see Miami bounce back in the coming months.

Detroit Jumps To 2nd Place

It’s not common to see too much of a shift in the top ranks of international demand. So it was a bit of a shock when the Detroit metro area jumped 24 spots all the way to rank #2. Such a drastic jump warranted additional investigation. We tracked the activity down to a listing that went viral on social media which bolstered traffic from Canada and the UK.

However, even when we went back into the data and removed the traffic directly related to that listing, we saw that this listing generated substantial residual traffic to the rest of the Detroit area. It’s this residual traffic that ultimately propped up Detroit this month.

Explore these trends and more on our international demand page.

international demand march 2018

Pinellas International Council Marketing & Networking Session is thrilled to have Macarena Rose return once again to speak on living in & purchasing real estate in Belize on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 3:00 – 4:30 pm!!

 

 

Thank you, Macarena Rose, for sharing your time and incredible knowledge with us. She is very vivacious and makes learning so much fun!

Macarena is the owner of Rainforest Realty in Belize, developing it into one of the leading real estate agencies in Central America. She remains a vital presence in the Central America real estate industry, maintaining an ongoing leadership role. She has a busy schedule that includes creating the International radio shows “Belize Talk Radio” ,  “International Real Estate Talk” and her newest show “Tuesdays with Morey Tax Tips“, filming her 6th HGTV House Hunters International program in Belize, speaking as an International Real Estate Consultant in various forums and serving on the board of many community organizations in Belize.

Macarena’s latest adventures includes the first Belize filming of HGTV’s Show called Off the Grid and has filmed 6 other episodes for HGTV House Hunters International in Belize!

Additionally she is now the Operating Principle of Keller Williams Belize.

An inspiration as to how to live a fulfilled life…her motto is – Throw Your Hat Over the Wall, Don’t Look Back & Just Do!

Although this opportunity is FREE for you, you must register due limited space, snacks & wine.


Click here to register. 

http://pinellasrealtor.org/education-and-events-calendar/

Contact: Martha Vasquez
Email: martha@marthavasquez.com

Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater FL 33762

 

 

Please join the Pinellas International Council this Thursday for the Certified International Property Specialist course, the Americas & the International Real Estate. This informative course is being taught by  Ileana Bogaert, Realtor® and the 2012-2016 National Association of Realtors President’s Liaison to Colombia.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 | 8:30am – 5:00pm at Pinellas Realtor Board, 4590 Ulmerton,Road, Clearwater, Florida.

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.

Instructor: Ileana Bogaert   Ileana Bogaert's profile photo

Ileana Bogaert, Realtor® CIPS, GRI, AHWD, TRC, CNE
Global Real Estate Marketing Specialist
2012-2016 NAR President’s Liaison to Colombia
Bogaert’s International Realty-Marco Island – Naples – Miami

SCHEDULE:
8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: Sign-in, networking, and breakfast
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Course

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Seating is limited and registration is required.

REGISTRATION:  http://pinellasrealtor.org/education-and-events-calendar/

***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.

Contact: Jan Dean
Email: JDean@tampabayrealtor.com
Phone: 727-216-3004
Pinellas REALTOR Organization
4590 Ulmerton Road
Clearwater FL 33762

Please join the Pinellas International Council for a presentation on Greece by Alexandra Sekouri, the President of the Hellenic Association of Realtors (Greece). Alexandra recently attended the National Association of Realtors Mid-year Meetings in Washington, D.C. held each year for a week in May. Ms Sekouri will be discussing the buying process, types of properties, price ranges, referral system, why one should invest in Greece and much more. Hope to see you there! Please remember to register first.

Greece June 2017

 

This beautiful turnkey contemporary Bed and Breakfast with 2 Professional Tennis Courts and 6 units can be yours for business or pleasure or both! Located in the stunning area of Tamarindo, on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Province of Guanacaste, where the main attractions are surfing and eco-tourism.

There is a total of 7 bedrooms so you can use one for yourself & the rest for your family, friends, or guests. It is short walk to Tamarindo’s main surfing beach and the business center. Playa Tamarindo is a long, rocky beach with excellent waves and two main breaks for advanced surfers.

Some eco-friendly activities in the area include watching turtles nest during their season, diving, snorkeling, body surfing, zip-lining, estuary trips, sailing, horseback riding and fishing.

Guest suites include a 2 bedroom apartment, 2 – 1 bedroom suites, and 3 guest rooms with a total of 7 bathrooms. Also included is a restaurant and a gorgeous pool which creates a great spot for entertaining. Imagine sitting out by this pool in the morning sipping some fresh Costa Rican coffee from the nearby mountains. The property is 1600 Square Meters with 300 Square Meters of structures. This property offers the owner several means of income & attracting a variety of guests. All of these wonders can be yours for $1,195,000.00.

Tamarindo is easily accessed from Liberia Airport (approx. an hour or so away) with airlines from many major cities arriving daily. Commercial airlines include: Air Berlin, Air Canada, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Jetblue, US Airways and several others.

As well as 3-4 supermarkets, a farmer’s market is held every Saturday morning.  With such fresh food & so many outdoor activities available, it is easy to see why so many are moving to Costa Rica for La Pura Vida!!

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about this wonderful property. Thank you so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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