Best Lighting Fixtures – Franklin Lighting

With over 10,000 lights and fans in the region’s largest showroom, Franklin Lighting in Sarasota is sure to satisfy all of your lighting needs. They carry thousands of high quality lamps, ceiling lights, wall lights, outdoor lights, and fans. Along with lighting fixtures, they also have a selection of home accents like mirrors, bookends, plaques, and more. No matter what look you’re going for, contemporary or traditional, they will have the perfect fixture to suit your style.

The dedicated, professional, and highly trained sales staff truly makes the process enjoyable and trouble-free. Because of all this, Franklin Lighting has won an abundance of titles. Since 1994, they have consistently been voted the “Best Lighting Store” from the Sarasota Herald Tribune. They also took the 2018 title for “Best Lighting Fixtures” in SRQ Magazine. 

FRANKLIN LIGHTING

Address: 3600 N Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234
Phone: (941) 355-2550

Anna Maria Island Sales: Market Conditions

MARKET CONDITIONS by Broker Lawrence Chatt:  The Anna Maria Island real estate market continues to remain strong for single family homes. No question Anna Maria Island Real Estate is a strong investment. 20 years ago the average single family home on Anna Maria Island was $275,000. Today the same property on average is worth more than 1 million dollars. That correlates to a 7% appreciate rate for the last 20 years. Couple that with the earning power of vacation rental income and that makes for an impressive return. While you can see single family homes over the last 20 years have provided a strong return most buyers on Anna Maria Island are not purchasing real estate for their potential financial returns. They fall in love with the island and want to hop on the Anna Maria Island “bus” as soon as possible given the history of escalating prices and potential that the “ridership” of Anna Maria Island may outpace future earning power. Potential residents of Anna Maria Island don’t want to see themselves get priced out of the market. Speaking of which, here is a great article by a local newspaper that provides statistics about the 1 Million dollar real estate club known as Anna Maria, at least forecasted for 2018.

AFTER CLOSING – NOW WHAT? Pool Tips

AFTER CLOSING: So your Island Real Estate Sales Agent has been there with you through the closing, but the work isn’t done! You’ll need local vendors for both routine maintenance and special projects. If your island home has a POOL, here are some tips: Determine how much use your pool will get year round. Will you be living there full time or renting? Is there a spa, a pool heater and is the pump a traditional or salt water unit? Gathering this information first will be helpful and your Island Real Estate Professional can help you.

Hiring a local pool vendor who understands you needs and specific equipment will save you a lot of headache. We have learned that larger homes which are rented often need twice a week service in the summer months where heavy use, hot sun and tracked sand can build up fast.  You want to keep your paradise sparkling!

We have had good experiences with: Pool America (941-778-4440), LaPensee Pools (941-778-5622) and Tom Sanger Pools (941-713-2836).

 

Waste Collection Schedule for Anna Maria Island

If you are visiting or relocating to Anna Maria Island, it is important to be aware of the waste collection schedule for all three Island cities. Below, you will find the garbage and recycling pickup days for Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island Waste Collection Schedule 

Holmes Beach:
Household Garbage (solid waste) – Collected on Mondays and Fridays
Residential Recycling – Collected on Tuesdays
Residential Yard Waste – Collected on Wednesdays

Anna Maria City:
Residential Yard Waste and Recycling – Collected on Mondays
Household Garbage (solid waste) – Collected on Mondays and Fridays.


Bradenton Beach:

Household Garbage (solid waste) –  Collected on Monday and Thursday
Residential Recycling – Collected on Thursday
Residential Yard Waste – Collected on  Wednesday

 

Community Center on Anna Maria Island

Center of Anna Maria Island

The Center of Anna Maria Island, located in Anna Maria City, is a non-profit community center open Monday – Saturday.  The Center provides an abundance of different human service needs for children, seniors, and every age group in-between.

Whether you’re looking to take up a karate class with the whole family, or get out of the house by-yourself for the Center’s yoga class, there are tons of fun activities to take part in for everyone.

Along with the variety of classes taught there (Meditation, Cycling, Tai Chi, etc.), they also provide an awesome before and after school program, summer camps (ages 5 – 14), and different recreational sports.

Becoming a member is easy, and a great way to meet new people. You can get individual annual passes, or a family pass for only $105 a month. If you’re visiting Anna Maria Island for a vacation, the Center also does daily, weekly, or monthly passes.

 

Address: 407 Magnolia Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-1908

Real Estate document organization tips

We all struggle with document organization, either our electronic or hardcopy files.  I hope this information helps in your next Anna Maria Island real estate transaction or for that matter any real estate transaction.  Having real estate documents handy for insurance, income taxes, property taxes and many other requirements makes life easier.  After all seems like Murphy’s law always takes effect.  Someone needs information as an emergency and taking an hour or two finding proper documents is time you just dont have at the moment.

Tip #1)  I find that real estate surveys, elevation certificates, insurance and banking paperwork are the most used files after the purchase of a property.  Create three folders; A) Surveys & Elevation, B) Insurance C) Banking Information.Anna Maria Island property
Tip #2)  At the very least scan your survey, elevation certificates, banking information and all insurance declaration pages associated with the property.  Be sure the information is electronically stored outside the home in the case of a fire or 50 year weather event.  If you can scan in the entire closing package that is the best yet.
Tip #3) The rest of the documents can go in one folder.  Warranty, deed, title insurance, etc can all be placed in one folder labeled as such.  I find the rest of the real property documents are rarely pulled out for later reference.
Tip #4) If you rent the property create two folders each  year.  {Year} Income and {Year} Expenses.  If you are lucky enough to have a property manager send you montly statements create a third folder, {Year} Statements.

When you sell that Anna Maria Island property for a nice profit don’t pitch those real property documents too soon.  Document organization records must be maintained for three years after selling the home.  More specifically, three years from the filing date or the date the income taxes were due.  Be careful, if you use your property for business income and you self employ yourself to manage the property all information as it relates to the real property should be maintained for six years.  This can be tricky and I would always suggest you consult your CPA or the Internal Revenue Service if you believe you may fall into this category.  Of course most suggest you hold on to your tax returns indefinitely.

I hope my document organization tips help for your next real property purchase.

Larry Chatt

Larry Chatt

Top 10 Activities to do in Sarasota

What to do and see in Sarasota, FL

Have you been spending a lot of time on Anna Maria Island? Looking for a change of pace? Experience the beautiful city of Sarasota, where there is a whole lot to do! Below are our pick for the top 10 Sarasota activities to take part in.

 

1 ) John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – The Ringling museum is the best bang for your buck in Sarasota. Costing only $25 for adults, your ticket gives you access to the entire Ringling “campus”, where you will get lost for hours wandering around the immaculately landscaped grounds. The actual museum of art runs special exhibits year round, and is packed with Asian, European, and American treasures. Be sure to make it out to the breathtaking 56 room Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, built in 1925, which overlooks gorgeous Sarasota bay. Last but not least, be sure to visit the Circus Museum. Built in 1948, it was the first museum to commemorate the robust history of the American circus.

2 ) St. Armand’s Circle – After you’ve experienced all the shopping that Anna Maria Island has to offer, the next logical step is St. Armand’s. The circle as we know it today was developed in the early 1950s, and has been steadily growing alongside the city of Sarasota ever since. Enjoy a cocktail before your meal at Tommy Bahamas’, or experience the fine dining of The Columbia Restaurant, which is based on the restaurant of the same name in Tampa, founded in 1905. After your meal, be sure to check out one of the many elegant shops that populate the circle, which include luxury clothing stores, jewelers, and multitudes of specialty shops.

3 ) Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium – Mote Marine is one of the most interesting attractions in the greater Sarasota area, for multiple reasons. First and foremost, it acts as a marine animal rescue and research center, which is an incredibly important service with the ever-growing population of people around the Gulf of Mexico. Now here’s the fun part: the animals that they can not rehabilitate for the wild are put into educational exhibits where they are treated like royalty. Be sure to check out the different touch tanks, which are full of sting rays, hermit crabs, sea anemones, and other cool creatures. This is a perfect place to bring your kids!

4 ) Sarasota Jungle Gardens – One of the oldest consistently open attractions in Florida, The Sarasota Jungle Gardens are truly amazing. The diversity of the plant life is a major attraction, with over 3000 different species of flora that have been introduced to the ecosystem since it opened. I, however, found the wildlife to be the most interesting aspect. The Gardens play an important role in the upkeep of central Florida’s wildlife, as the vast majority of the exotic animals there are rescues, with many of them being taken in from the wild after previous owners abandoned them. Be sure to check out one of the daily shows featuring local wildlife.

5 ) Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Sitting on sparkling Sarasota Bay, The Van Wezel is known by locals as the premiere location to catch a good play or concert in the area. Built in 1970 and recently renovated in 2000, The Van Wezel has been serving the community for a long time. As a child growing up in the greater Tampa Bay Area, every school I attended would come to a show put on specifically for children that was always a blast. Shows include performances ranging from nationally acclaimed stand up comedians, to lesser known dance troupes, and of course musical acts from all walks of life. The Van Wezel is about a half an hour drive from Anna Maria Island and is always 100% worth it.

6 ) The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is the equivalent to any car fanatics dream! It is the second oldest continuously operating antique car museum in the Nation. With a beautiful, and very wide variety of antique care, including a car that was John Lennon’s, this is a great place to take the entire family to admire the fine craftsmen ship of the vehicles that have gone down in history.  Punta Gorda hosts another classic car museum.

7 ) Siesta Key Beach – While Anna Maria Island certainly has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, they are simply surpassed by the beach at Siesta Key, and that’s saying something! When you’re taking your trip to St. Armand’s, make sure you stop off here and soak up some sun. This is the highest rated beach in the entire United States of America.

8 ) Yoder’s Amish Restaurant – Easily my favorite restaurant in the greater Sarasota/Bradenton area, Yoder’s is simply the best place in Sarasota to enjoy a good meal. Featured on a few different national television shows, the restaurant’s home-cooked style meals never disappoint. I usually keep it simple with my order; succulent turkey breast, mashed potatos, corn on the cob, and fried okra. At that point, I’m always far too stuffed for desert; so I take home one of their famous peanut butter cream pies.

9 ) Myakka River State Park – I’ve always found Myakka River State Park to be one of the best places to get a true taste of what little bit of “wild” Florida is left. Located in eastern Sarasota County, I’ve spent days at a time experiencing all the amazing activites the state park provides us. Your options are endless; there’s hiking, biking, fishing, and even a “canopy walk” where you walk between giant trees on rope bridges. My personal favorite: the air boat tour. You and a few friends jump on an airboat and the driver whips you around the marshes, while giving a verbal tour detailing the history, wildlife, and vegetation in and around Myakka River.

10 ) The Powel Crosley Estate – This giant mansion overlooking Sarasota Bay is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. Built in 1929 by Powel Crosley for his wife, the estate now serves as a venue that you can rent for weddings, family reunions, etc. That, however, isn’t even the fun part! When it isn’t being rented out, the estate decorates the mansion and puts on intimate, interactive “plays” where actors read poetry, or re-enact scenes from classical literature. I’ve personally attended multiple Edgar Allen Poe readings, A Charles Dickens Christmas, and a reimagining of Shakespeare that was a blast.

 

Top 25 real estate investment over last two decades

Most of us that have lived on Anna Maria Island for the last decade know Anna Maria Island real estate has been a fantastic investment.  Take into account the option to rent seasonally and pull in at least $50,000 gross income for a 3 bedroom Anna Maria Island property with a pool and the rate of return is even more staggering.

In late April, 2018 Minda Zetlin created a list of cities with the title, “If you bought a home in 1998 in one of these ten cities you might be 1 million dollar richer.”  Eight of the cities are in California with two breaking the trend.  At number 7 on the list, Kailua, Hawaii has an estimated profit of $785,000 after selling.

Anna Maria City welcome SignWonder what other city outside of California made the top 10 list?  Bet you guessed it, Anna Maria, Florida coming in at number 5 with an estimated SOLD profit of $866,000.  Of course many of us take this information with a grain of salt and maybe there are a few smaller cities that missed the list but lets remember Anna Maria city is made up of less than 1,000 households.  Anna Maria City is already pretty small.

The article goes on to estimate the 5 year profits from renting a home in Anna Maria City is $285,000 or $56,000 per year.  Unfortunately the details of the forecast are not supplied however in my experience without debt service the estimated profit is reasonable.  Yes, since 1998 there are a few more rental regulations to be concerned with but nothing that cannot be navigated and I supply some help in a previously written Anna Maria City rental blog, here.

Guess who made the list at 23 out of the top 25?  Holmes Beach!  Estimated profitability, $523,000.  This is very impressive considering Holmes Beach has about 1/3 of its transactions as condos which inherently are more than half the base value of single family homes.

Once again, are we surprised?  If you are please give me a call and would love to educate you on the Anna Maria Island Investment real estate market.

Larry Chatt

Larry Chatt

Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach

If you have visited our wonderful little island of Anna Maria, then you have probably been to Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. If you haven’t, then you’re missing out on a lot!
Especially if you are on the Island anytime between November and April. Because that is when the Bridge Street Market takes place!

 

 

Bridge Street Market is held from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm every Sunday in November, through April. The market is located at 107 Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Visit your favorite vendors and enjoy fantastic food, beautiful art and jewelry, great local musicians, fresh produce, and much more!

Address: 107 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
Contact Number: (215) 906-0668

 

My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Fredrik Backman’s amazing comedic novel will touch your heart – all of your heart – with its honesty, warmth and pure, innocent love.

Seven year old Elsa has always felt peculiar, never fitting in with her peers yet preferring the company of her best (and only) friend in her grandmother; a seventy seven year old crazy woman with a wild and free spirit, refusing to sugar coat her opinions or justify her actions.

As far back as she can remember, Elsa’s grandmother has been telling her stories every day about the “Land of Almost Awake” with unforgettable, vibrant characters that are brave, strong and more than often also a bit scary. When she passes away one evening, she leaves Elsa with a box full of numbered letters to be delivered, thus sending the young girl on an adventure. Each letter sends her in the path of seemingly odd and brilliant drunks, protective monsters, loyal attack dogs and the like. Brave Elsa slowly learns that the fairy tales her grandmother told her were more than just that, they were true stories of lonely misfits who are also viewed as “different”. She also learns about her grandmother’s live before she was born, her loves and adventures better than any fairy tale ever told.

Along this adventure, Elsa accepts herself and looks at those around her with new eyes. The maternal bond extends to her mother who has the last touching letter. The love between these women extends through to death and back again.

This story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Life and death has never been celebrated more beautifully.  The tears spilled into the last pages of my copy and I actually held the book to my heart when I finished, yet it was happy tears with a smile which I believe are the best kind.