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Photo Courtesy of Bill Purcell Photography

Net-Zero Design Reshapes Senior Living

People rarely think of downsizing to any retirement facility as something that’s more. It’s almost always seen as less, whether that’s less space, less freedom, or less fulfillment.

Vassar Byrd is working to turn that thinking on its head with the redevelopment of Rose Villa, a 22-acre senior living community overlooking the Willamette River in Portland, OR.

The three-phase project started with a campus redevelopment that brought 75 new homes and a walkable environment, including a Main Street, green space, gardens, retail, and restaurants.

And with the recent addition of the Oaks at Rose Villa, Byrd, Rose Villa’s CEO, is cementing the idea that better options exist both for residents and for the environment.

What’s different, better?

The Oaks at Rose Villa is a 12-cottage pocket neighborhood that had its grand opening in February.

In developing the project, Byrd asked, “How do we rebuild our village with great infrastructure and modern amenities and reimagine it?”

She had a gut feeling about what “different” and “better” looked like. “For us, energy efficiency, health, and helping the environment were such important aspects,” she comments.

Given Portland residents’ deep concerns about and connections to the environment, she thought that incorporating green design principles would be natural.

Focus groups with locals confirmed her suspicions. “They totally got it and talked about feeling better and having healthier air,” says Byrd.

Lower costs, a lighter footprint

Byrd tapped Green Hammer Design, a Portland-based green design-build firm with a track record in designing buildings that adhere to standards like LEED®, Passive House, Net Zero Energy, and the Living Building ChallengeTM, to design the net-zero neighborhood.

“The idea that you could have such a light footprint and create as much energy as you use was a deeply resonant message,” says Byrd.

Features like a south-facing roof solar array, triple-pane windows, air-to-air mini-split heat pumps, and a heat recovery ventilator to supply continuous fresh filtered air, and native landscaping all helped Green Hammer to achieve its goals.

Thanks to the energy efficiency features, residents of the Oaks at Rose Villa pay 22% less in monthly utility costs than those living in similar homes elsewhere on the campus.

Modern residents, modern design

The architect took design cues from the surrounding community, creating the 1,200-sq.-ft. craftsman-style, two-bath cottages grouped around a courtyard, according to Erica Dunn, Green Hammer’s director of design.

“For us, it was really important that the architecture was in character with the neighborhood and community,” says Dunn.

And the design is a departure from what people associate with senior housing – no pastels, flowered wallpaper, or ornate furnishings. Instead, the cottages’ interiors are sleek, open, and modern, and they incorporate design principles that allow for aging in place.

Cultural, emotional considerations

Byrd also wanted to create a culture and environment that would mitigate some of the challenges of aging, including loneliness, that sense of disconnectedness, and some social woes – cliques, for example — that can develop when 500 people are stacked in a high-rise building.

Green Hammer’s design addresses some of those issues. Though there’s personal, private space, residents walk out their doors and can find people in the courtyard, for example.

And the design of the garages forces people to go outside and not scurry directly into their homes.

An abundance of pedestrian paths encourages people to get outside on a regular basis and walk to take care of their daily business, which creates greater vibrancy on the streets and provides more opportunities for residents to meet others, find friends, and feel a sense of community. That all helps to stave off the loneliness that can be so prevalent as people age.

Residents already have gotten together to organize biking, hiking and cross-country skiing clubs, discovered Byrd.

Going viral

The Oaks at Rose Villa’s approach is a concept that could have legs, believes Byrd. “Lots of people think a senior living community is a place where they may have to give up on the way they want to live. Here, they can continue to live their values,” she says.

She’s been getting the word out about the how-to of building a similar community, and she speaks at industry conferences about the Oaks concept, the process, and its marketing.

She thinks baby boomers and seniors also can change the landscape by demanding better aging-in-place options. After all, she points out that people in that generation were the ones to reshape everything from childbirth and the workplace, to the environment.

They can reshape retirement housing too.

Article written by Elyse Umlauf-Garneau

 

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

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See what’s happening in St Petersburg, Florida’s Old Northeast neighborhood and downtown St Pete by checking out the latest issues of the St. Petersburg’s Northeast Journal . There are articles on local events, people, history, real estate, the arts, restaurants and much more. The journal is bi-monthly and has been published since 2004.

http://northeastjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/NEJ-Jan-Feb-2016-WEB.pdf

http://northeastjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/NEJ-Nov-Dec-2015-WEB.pdf

Below is a brief overview of what you might find if you decide to own a vacation or primary home in Costa Rica. The original article is quite long so I’m going to break it up into several distinctive subject posts. Just a taste so you will want more & more…

International Living

 

Costa Rica Beach

 

Join the 20,000 American expats already living
“la pura vida” in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s fame as a retiree destination is richly deserved. You’ll find the tropics along the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts, while most of the Central Valley is cool and breezy. If you find it difficult to choose which climate you prefer, you will be glad to know that the mild temperatures of the Central Valley are just two hours by car from the tropical beaches of the Pacific Coast.

Expats are attracted to Costa Rica for numerous reasons, which include the low cost of living, excellent health care, modern telecommunications structure, beautiful beaches, rainforests, lush valleys, and cool mountains…not to mention the theaters, art galleries, and fine dining. There are more than 20,000 expats living in Costa Rica and many well-established expat communities.

Tucked between Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica may truly have it all: a year-round tropical climate, modern cities, Caribbean beaches, Pacific coastline, rainforests, lush valleys, and mountains.

In March 1997 we took Costa Rica off our recommended list. Twelve years later, in 2009, Costa Rica was back on our list of Top Retirement Havens and remains there still. Yes, after 12 years off our list of affordable opportunities for profit, IL has discovered that there is an unknown—and still affordable—side to one of the world’s most coveted overseas retirement destinations.

Long stretches of deserted and undeveloped beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts…dense jungles teeming with exotic wildlife…towering volcanoes, lush green valleys, and hundreds of crystal-clear lakes, rivers, streams, and waterfalls…mesmerizing sunrises, sunsets, and star-filled evening skies…all these things, and much more, are drawing people back to Costa Rica.

Whether expats live in this beautiful country full- or part-time, they relish the climate, neighborly atmosphere, low cost of living, excellent health care, stable democracy, and countless ways to have fun. This is a middle-income, developing economy, with a tradition of democracy. The life expectancy at birth here is one of the highest in the world—outstripping both the U.S. and the UK. Tourist facilities are extensive, and because English is a second language for many Costa Ricans, the country feels very visitor-friendly.

In Costa Rica, the good life is called “pura vida.” For those who retire in Costa Rica, pura vida is a daily fact of life in this beautiful, exotic, and surprisingly affordable country.

There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership as such, although no one can own property within 50 meters of the ocean, and for the next 150 meters real estate comes under Maritime Zone laws. These laws permit development only under government “concession.” This means that anyone shopping for property should be doubly cautious about buying oceanfront real estate, including condos. Before entering into a transaction, insist that your attorney verify that the title is legally consistent with Maritime Zone regulations.

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.

This is a great article to read if you are thinking about purchasing a second home, an investment property or a retirement home in another country.

 

House with an ocean view in the Dominican Republic

iStock Photo

David McKeegan, co-founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, weighs in on the issues U.S. expats should consider when buying and selling foreign property.

Whether American expats are looking to buy overseas property as an investment, vacation home, rental or residence, taxes should always be top of mind.  Regardless of the potential return on investment, beauty, or the property’s fit into your expat lifestyle dream, consider these tax do’s & don’ts to ensure your purchase is one you don’t regret.

Do consider setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to purchase the property
As a U.S. expat, if you are purchasing a foreign property primarily for investment purposes (either in your expat country or elsewhere outside of the U.S.), doing so as an individual may be the easiest but not the most advantageous decision. While tax time will be less complex (simply reporting rental income/expenses on your 1040), individual ownership offers you no liability protection. For LLCs with only one owner, the LLC is considered a “disregarded entity” for tax purposes, and all of the activity will be reported on the individual’s personal U.S. tax return.  This eliminates the burden of filing separate business tax returns and avoids the increased accounting fees associated with a business tax return.

Don’t ignore foreign-exchange rates
When you purchase a foreign property, you will likely transfer a large sum of money into your foreign bank account for the initial down payment.  Before you do, find out the foreign-exchange rates and fees associated with the transfer and even seek a professional broker who can ensure you obtain the most beneficial exchange rate possible—this could save you thousands of dollars when you buy and can impact your profit when you sell.

Remember that the U.S. may tax you on any resulting gains when you sell your property. The exchange rate gain from paying off a mortgage is calculated by converting the amount of the loan to USD using the exchange rate at the time the loan was originated and the exchange rate at the time the loan was paid off. The resulting gain is taxable as ordinary income using your marginal U.S. tax rate. If you have held the property for more than a year, however, you’ll be taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of 0%, 10% or 20%, depending on your marginal U.S. tax bracket.

Do deduct your mortgage interest and points from your U.S. Federal Tax Return filing
Mortgage interest and points are deductible on your U.S. expat tax return, even though the property is in a foreign country.  But the deduction can only be taken against income that has not been excluded by the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. So if you exclude all your foreign income, you’ll need to have U.S.-sourced income or non-excluded foreign income to use this deduction.

Don’t forget to reduce gains taxes with the Foreign Tax Credit
The gain on your foreign property sale may be taxed by the country in which the property is located, as well as the U.S. For U.S. tax purposes, this gain is considered foreign-sourced income, so you may be able to use the Foreign Tax Credit to reduce your resulting U.S. tax liability. However, the gain isn’t considered foreign earned income, so it cannot be excluded using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

Do try to keep the home for 2-5 years
As a U.S. expat living the life of a digital nomad or bouncing around for your career, planning to live in a residence for 2 or more years may not be possible. But regardless, try not to sell for at least two years.  The reason is that when you live in the home for 2-5 years, you will be eligible to exclude a gain of up to $250,000 (or $500,000 for those filing married jointly) from U.S. taxation. If not, the full gain will be taxed at the applicable capital gains rates.

 

David McKeegan is Co-Founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services, which specializes in the expert preparation of U.S. federal tax returns for Americans living abroad.

Email us at expat@wsj.com. Follow us @WSJexpat. Join our Facebook group.

 

Costa Rica Punta Loros

Punta Loros, a planned luxury resort and development property that spans 800 acres in the Central Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, recently tendered its environmental impact study to the Technical and Environmental Secretariat (Spanish acronym: SETENA). The study is an important part of the compliance process required to make this ambitious project a reality.

Jaime Lopez  http://news.co.cr/planned-luxury-resort-costa-rica-moves-ahead/35476

According to a news report by Spanish tourism trade publication Expreso, Punta Loros will require a $400 million investment and will consist of three hotels, 34 multifamily residential buildings, an 18-hole golf course, and plenty of luxury amenities to deliver a lifestyle reminiscent of upscale resorts in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Punta Loros is located in Tarcoles, a touristic coastal area of the Garabito canton of Puntarenas. This beach community is just a 45 minute drive from San Jose, and it is part of the Orotina and Jaco Beach region where a future International Airport will be developed to accommodate the growing tourism and retirement industry in Costa Rica. In other words, Punta Loros is prime real estate. Here’s a description from the developers:

Nestled along the coastline on the Central Pacific province of Puntarenas in stunning Costa Rica you will find Punta Loros, an 800-acre, luxury resort and development property.

An easy 10-minute drive off of the main highway near Orotina, this development parcel or large private estate offers investors enormous potential on a unique and perfectly located property. Real estate is and always has been about value, and location, location, location, and Punta Loros absolutely delivers both.

Punta Loros has a gently sloping topography with ocean views from almost ninety-five percent of the titled and deeded property. There is one-mile of Pacific beachfront with several distinctive bluffs with spectacular vantage points for optimal placement of hotel sites, an old world waterfront village, meandering golf course, world class spa, beach club as well as multi-use residential sites.

Although the building permits in Punta Loros will allow for different architectural styles, the resort facilities will feature the elegant Spanish Colonial design. Up to 5,000 residential units will be constructed in Punta Loros over a four-phase period.

Jaime Lopez  http://news.co.cr/planned-luxury-resort-costa-rica-moves-ahead/35476

 

 

A retirement home on the water can be affordable if you are willing to move overseas.

Kathleen Peddicord Oct. 20, 2014 from  http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/10/20/affordable-retirement-in-the-caribbean

Northern Belize is a remote region of tropical rivers, hardwood forests, traditional farms, sleepy rural villages and breezy Caribbean seashores. This is a refreshingly off-the-radar place where residents embrace a simple, friendly, by-the-sea lifestyle. It is also the best value destination in Belize and one of the most affordable options for retirement in the Caribbean.

Northern Belize is an area of about 2,500 square miles and the point where the Caribbean and Central America meet. As that geographic juxtaposition suggests, the population is diverse, and it is becoming more so as North American retirees are beginning to recognize what this overlooked part of Belize has to offer and settling here in growing numbers.

Northern Belize’s remoteness is part of its appeal, but remote living has its disadvantages, especially in retirement. This is why the proximity of this part of Belize to Chetumal, Mexico, just across the border, is so important. The town of Corozal in Northern Belize is a gateway town to Chetumal and from there to Merida and Cancun beyond. In Northern Belize, you could enjoy a bargain Caribbean lifestyle with easy access to shopping, city distractions and medical care in Chetumal.

Belizeans are known for their hospitality. Plus, they all speak English, so new friendships are quickly and easily made. Corozal is home to an established and growing expat community, but this group is well integrated with the local Belizean community. Living here, you could fill your days sailing around Sarteneja, horseback riding at Chan Chich, kayaking at Orchid Bay, fishing at Bacalar Chico or bird watching at Crooked Tree Lodge. And you wouldn’t ever lack for company, Belizean or expat, if you wanted it.

While some expat retirees are prepared to be pioneers and carve a homestead out of the jungle or maybe plant a farm, most prefer to settle in a town. The three most appealing places for expat retirees are Sarteneja, Corozal and Orange Walk. There are also expat pockets developing in places like Four Mile Lagoon and Gringo Lane. In recent years, planned communities have developed specifically with foreign retirees in mind.

Property taxes are minuscule in Belize. This is a plus for those looking to save money on taxes, but it also means that municipal services are thin on the ground because there aren’t funds to support them. So, organized and private communities typically appeal to foreigners. These are places where you can enjoy a laid-back, bargain Caribbean lifestyle in Northern Belize while maintaining a North American standard of living.

Retirees settling in this part of Belize are launching businesses ranging from restaurants, bars and bed and breakfasts to construction services and farming. Others expats are truly retired, choosing to spend their days deciding which book to read next or which restaurant to boat over to for lunch.

Corozal, which is both a town and a district, maintains a friendship list so expats can stay in touch and know what’s going on. Every Wednesday, foreign retirees and residents meet at Jam Rock Restaurant for darts. One Thursday per month is the Corozal Women’s Forum. Fridays are for happy hour and potluck dinners in expats’ homes. The third Saturday of each month is Art in the Park, when local artists set up tables to display and sell their work. There’s a local chapter of the Rotary Club, a sailing club and full moon concerts in front of the Corozal House of Culture.

Despite the growing expat influence and excluding most waterfront property, real estate in this part of the country is still priced for the Belizean market. This is unusual and likely won’t continue much longer. The presence of foreign buyers eventually translates to pricing for foreign buyers. This hasn’t happened yet, which means there’s a window of opportunity.

As anywhere in the world, waterfront land is the highest priced and much more expensive than inland property. Inland you can find larger properties suitable for farming. If this idea interests you and you’re willing to dig deep and talk to the locals, you can find land for as little as $1,000 per acre.

Still, the cost of waterfront property in Northern Belize is a bargain compared with prices out on Ambergris and Belize’s other cayes, and an even greater bargain compared with values elsewhere in the Caribbean. It’s possible to buy a sea-view lot for as little as $30,000 or a small but turn-key casita in some of the development communities in the region for less than $200,000. And a seafront house in Sarteneja built to U.S. standards on 1 acre of land was recently on the market and listed for just $299,000.

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/10/20/affordable-retirement-in-the-Caribbean

If you are interested in purchasing property in Belize, please feel free to contact me. AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com

 

From Worldpropertyjounral.com  November 10, 2014

According to a new annual report by Livability.com, each day nearly 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65, and retirement is within reach. Nearly four in 10 Boomers plan to move when they retire.

Matt-Carmichael 2.jpg

Matt Carmichael

With this in mind, Livability.com has named the Best Places to Retire, 2014. These cities offer access to affordable and quality health care, practical cost of living, retiree-friendly businesses and services, as well as several amenities to help keep residents active.

“Not all seniors will move when they retire, but for those who do Livability wanted to suggest a range of options,” says Livability editor Matt Carmichael. “As retirement itself is changing for many beyond a traditional idea of warm weather and golf, so too have our ideas of what makes a great retirement city.”

Best Places to Retire 2014 include:

1.   Springfield, MO
2.   Knoxville, TN
3.   Bellevue, WA
**4.   Largo, FL  just north of St Petersburg about 20-25 minutes** in the Tampa Bay Area
5.   Wheat Ridge, CO
6.   Honolulu, HI
7.   Albuquerque, NM
8.   Tucson, AZ
9.   Missoula, MT
10. Coeur d’Alene, ID

Livability.com editors used data from Esri and the County Health Rankings to find cities with access to a large number of hospitals and doctors and yet still have low health-care costs. Housing affordability measured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Location Affordability Index was also taken into account. Several measures including overall cost of living, natural amenities, climate, number of golf courses, walk score, and crime rate were selected from our overall Best Places to live metrics with special attention paid to specific concerns of seniors and Boomers.

In addition, Livability looked at Census data and data from Esri’s consumer segmentation system, Tapestry, to find areas with heavy concentrations of seniors and businesses and services that cater to them. They analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find areas with low unemployment for seniors and used data from Kiplinger to find cities located in states with retiree-friendly tax benefits. – See more at: http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/united-states/best-places-to-retire-best-cities-to-retire-in-liviablitycom-matt-carmichael-best-places-to-retire-2014-baby-boomer-retirement-communities-8645.php#sthash.TcK9DBSB.dpuf

logo_global_thumbCIPSwithname
Don’t forget to sign up for the Certified International Property Specialist class of The Americas and International Real Estate. It’s just a week away!! Do you have business with buyers from Canada, Mexico, Central or South America? Then you will want to learn the proper way to conduct business. And don’t forget more and more baby boomers are buying second or retirement homes in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica & Panama. Find out how you can cash in on the referrals. Carlos Fuentes, our instructor, presently serves as NAR Regional Coordinator for North America, Central America and the Caribbean so you will be learning from one of the experts on our hemisphere.
~

Mr. Fuentes has been involved in commercial and international real estate for the last 25 years, having earned the CCIM (Commercial R.E. Specialist), CIPS (International R.E. Specialist) and TRC (Transnational Referrals Certification) designations.  His travels have provided opportunities for international deals in the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S.  He has successfully completed a significant number of 1031 Exchanges.

Carlos Fuentes has published articles in several national and international magazines and been a presenter at both national and international seminars and panels. He is a member of the NAR Speaker Cadre, a Certified CIPS and TRC Instructor as well as a Federal Court Certified Interpreter (Eng/Span).  Mr. Fuentes has served as 2011 NAR Executive Committee Liaison to Global, Resort and Second Home Real Estate Group; Past President of My Florida Regional MLS (with 34,000 users) and the Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®.  Mr. Fuentes received the 2003 NAR International Outreach Effort Award and the 2006 NAR President’s Liaison Award.  He was the recipient of the 2008 GTAR Deal of the Year Award, recognizing a unique transaction, and named 2009 GTAR REALTOR® of the Year.

Thousands of investors from the Caribbean, North, Central, and South Americas buy property in Florida every year. Do you want to learn the skills necessary to work with them? This class is for you! You can also apply for a scholarship to learn these new skills.

This is one of three elective courses required to earn the prestigious Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation from National Association of Realtors. You may take this class even if you don’t plan on earning the designation – instructor Carlos Fuentes is an excellent teacher and you will learn about:
•Social, historical, political, geographical, and cultural characteristics of the Americas
•Skills for researching the Americas real estate market factors and assessing global business opportunities
•Adapting business and social behavior to conform to customs and cultural norms that facilitate global real estate transactions

WHAT: CIPS course – The Americas and International Real Estate
WHEN: Wednesday, September 10 | 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: PRO – 4590 Ulmerton Rd in Clearwater
COST: $99 – but scholarships are available!
Light breakfast and lunch will be provided

REGISTER: on Pinellas Realtor Organization website  http://pinellasrealtor.org/  look either under Upcoming Events CIPS: Americas and Intn’l R.E. or under the tab Education-Education & Events  http://pinellasrealtor.org/education-and-events-calendar/

PRO-International-Council-logo-2-300x115

 

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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