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Flood Insurance Transfers

Flood Insurance Transfers

Did you know that some National Flood Insurance Program policies can be transferred from one property owner to the next? If yours qualifies and you’re selling your home let the buyer know that you have an existing policy that can be transferred to them – it may give your home an edge over others on the market. The process is called “policy assumption” and can make the homebuying process easier for both the buyer and seller.

There are a few items to consider, such as occupancy changes. For example, if the property is currently owner-occupied and the new buyer is going to use it as a rental property, this change must be at the time of policy transfer. In this case, an additional premium may be due at closing so make sure to disclose this type of information to your Island Real Estate Sales Agent and insurance agent.

The process is fairly simple, there are required forms that you will need to fill out in order to transfer your policy to a new owner. The forms will need to be reviewed by the current flood insurance carrier for approval. Your insurance agent should have all the information you need. If you have not chosen an agent, your IRE Sales Agent can recommend a local agent for you.

One of the reasons a policy transfer is so attractive is if your home is in a high-risk flood zone (like ALL of Anna Maria Island) it can be difficult to sell in a timely manner due to flood insurance requirements. With policy assumption the buyer does not have to go through the hassle of meeting underwriting requirements to purchase a flood insurance policy for the home, which can help your property sell faster. 

Another major benefit of this process is that it can be more cost-effective for the buyer. Policy assumption allows the homebuyer to avoid the extra cost of a new elevation certificate, which are typically required for properties in high-risk flood zones.

Premiums for flood policies are paid annually, so by assuming an existing policy the buyer does not have to worry about paying a flood insurance premium until the renewal date. A simple credit/debit on the HUD statement can fairly charge the buyer for the months left on the policy after they own the property OR the seller can offer the remaining policy as a “bonus.”

Enjoy a Casual Meal With Your Toes in the Sand at Coquina Beach Cafe

Enjoy a Casual Meal With Your Toes in the Sand at Coquina Beach Cafe

If you’re already out enjoying the day at Coquina Beach, or if you’re just in the mood for a casual bite to eat right on the beach, head over to the Coquina Beach Cafe. This laid-back spot is located in the city of Bradenton Beach (southern end of Anna Maria Island), and is right at the entrance to Coquina Beach.

The cafe is nestled right on the beach, so you can enjoy your food with your toes in the sand, and the Gulf of Mexico right in front of you. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Coquina Beach Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, with the menu containing classic breakfast items omelettes, waffles, and biscuits & gravy. For lunch they offer different seafood platters, sandwiches, and fish or chicken tacos. It’s nothing fancy, but who needs fancy when you’re on Island time. The food is good and you can’t beat the view!

Coquina Beach Cafe also has frozen drinks (great for humid hot days), ice cream & sno-cones, as well as a souvenir shop. Want to relax on the beach after enjoying breakfast or lunch at the cafe? Inquire with them about renting some chairs and an umbrella. Staying at the South Beach Villages? If so you’re only a walk away!

Coquina Beach Cafe
2650 Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
(941) 778-4757

AMI Creamery and Bakery

AMI Creamery and Bakery

“Calories eaten on vacation don’t count”! Or at least they shouldn’t, especially with a place like AMI Creamery and Bakery as an option on Gulf Drive in Anna Maria City.

AMI Creamery and Bakery makes their gelato onsite using fresh fruits, local dairy and juices to create unique Florida inspired flavors. Fun fact; the gelato here is served a tad warmer than traditional ice cream which gives it a silky and smooth texture. By also using less cream the gelato is lighter and has less fat plus a more intense flavor. Don’t take my word for it – go try free tastes for yourself! Multiple scoops are encouraged! Try their unique nacho sundae (photo below) for a fun dessert perfect for sharing (or not!). Both the Sandbar Restaurant and The Porch are close by and have yummy dessert menus, yet a stroll to AMI Creamery and Bakery after dinner may hit the spot.

Exclusive to Anna Maria Island, AMI Creamery and Bakery serves William Dean candies and truffles. YES, these are the same beautifully made treats featured in the Hunger Game Trilogy. Macarons and 36 flavors of candies/truffles are waiting for you to enjoy. Special gift packaging is available if you want to take some home.

And the pastries! We can’t forget to mention the delicious pastries AMI Creamery and Bakery offers daily. The options rotate so you may get to try a few different treats depending on how many times you stop in.

Nothing “General” about this Store!

Nothing “General” about this Store!

Nothing “General” about this Store!

Anna Maria General store is one of the island’s best assets to vacationers and residents alike. They offer grocery items, both hot and cold deli sandwiches and delicious bakery treats from local Hometown Desserts.  The AMGS supports local vendors by stocking milk from Bradenton’s own Dakin Dairy Farms and orange juice from Mixon Farms. If you forgot sunscreen, don’t worry – they have it! Same for other toiletries and sundries. There are smaller sized grocery and cleaning supply items are always stocked so there are fewer leftovers after your vacation.

Fun Fact, the General Store is part of the AM Historic Green Village. Surrounding their outside decks are heat tolerant edibles bought by the ECHO Global Farm. Every little bit helps Mother Earth!

Conveniently, the General Store is open seven days a week from 8am to 9pm at 503 Pine Ave in Anna Maria City. They welcome call in orders also, just dial 941-779-9200.

For guests vacationing at A Mermaids Tale or Sea Song – lucky you! You’re close enough to walk over for lunch or a refreshing fountain Coke.

Hometown Desserts is a Real Treat!

Hometown Desserts is a Real Treat!

Hometown Desserts started in 2007 as a home-based business baking goodies using recipes owner Cindy learned from watching her mother and grandmother in their Southern kitchen. Fast forward to 2012-present and Anna Maria is lucky to have this delicious local bakery for all our special occasions (Wednesday is a special occasion, right?) as a brick and mortar retail location on Pine Ave. Many local restaurants get their sweets from Hometown Desserts, their Key Lime Coconut cake sells out at the Anna Maria General Store regularly!

The sweet smell of yummy treats hits your senses and immediately your belly is ready for a snack. If you can imagine it, they can bake it! Pies, both regular and custom cookies, scones, brownies, cheesecakes – oh my!

While Hometown Desserts has a case full of treats ready for you to grab and enjoy, they specialize in custom orders. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, or any other celebration. Cupcakes, themed treats (checkout the wand candy pretzel photo below!).

Gluten sensitive? You’re not left out of the deliciousness because Hometown Desserts have gluten free items for you. Flourless cakes, coconut macaroons and more, just ask!

Visit Hometown Desserts at 507 Pine Ave in Anna Maria City or call, 941-896-3167. They are open 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays.

Florida Beach Condition Warning Flag System

Florida Beach Condition Warning Flag System

Anna Maria Island’s main attraction is our beautiful beaches.  Water as far as the eye can see, with both the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay hugging our precious home. The best thing we can do in the water is be safe! Florida has a beach flag warning system that uses colored flags to explain the current conditions at any public beach. Look at the lifeguard stands to display what you can expect on any day.

A DOUBLE RED FLAG: The water is closed to the public. No swimming or wading allowed and all water activity (surfing, paddle boarding) is prohibited.

RED FLAG: Means High Hazard. Likely there is a high surf and/or strong currents. Even being knee deep in the surf is too dangerous.

YELLOW FLAG: Medium Hazard. Moderate surf and strong currents may be dangerous for some.

GREEN FLAG: Low Hazard with calm conditions yet its always smart to exercise caution.

WHITE or NO FLAG: No hazards, enjoy the water. However, this is not a free-for-all to ignore smart beach fundamentals.

PURPLE FLAG: Dangerous Marine Life. There may be jellyfish, man-o-war or stingrays present.

There is no colored flag for inclement weather such as lightning and rain. Just use good judgement and remember if you hear thunder then you are too close to a potential lightning strike so take cover, head home or enjoy one of our fantastic restaurants. Slims in Anna Maria has a “no shower happy hour” Monday-Friday from 3-5 with both drink and food specials – show up sandy and messy, they don’t care!

Luckily most days on Anna Maria Island are sunny with either no flags needed or white flags on the lifeguard poles. Have fun and be safe!

Floriday’s Woodfired Grill and Bar

Floriday’s Woodfired Grill and Bar

Just over the drawbridge sits a quirky and fun restaurant at the base of Compass Hotel, part of the Margaritaville chain.  Floriday’s Woodfired Grill and Bar has wonderful water views where you can watch manatees, dolphin and sailboats as you enjoy cocktails and eats.

Floriday’s has great service no matter if you sit in the open yet covered patio or inside among the fun island vintage décor. There is a full bar with drink specials plus Tequila Tuesdays and Wine Down Wednesdays. Enjoy LIVE music Friday and Saturday night with a rotating schedule of local talent.

Huge hush puppies are a delicious starter or additional side option to entrees and basket meals. Specials are usually fresh catch so ask your server. Main dishes range from steaks, chicken and seafood, burgers and seafood tacos. Classic fried baskets of shrimp or chicken tenders with fries are available too, the kiddos might like these. Both raw and fried oysters are on the menu when in season. On Burger Monday’s, enjoy a burger and fries for just $10!

Dessert is always a favorite so sit back and enjoy a sweet treat before you leave. Key Lime Pie plus other yummy options are hard to resist!

If you are on your way to the beach, Floriday’s makes picnic basket meals perfect to take along and enjoy surfside. Cold drinks and live music Friday-Sunday make this a fun stop after a day on the beach as well.

Perico Island and Perico Bay Club are just down the street, maybe too far a walk yet definitely less than a 5 min ride away especially if you’re staying at our vacation rental at 1107 Edgewater Circle.

Floriday’s is open Sunday through Thursday 11am to 10pm and both Saturday and Sunday until 11pm. Large parties are welcome, just give them a heads up call at 941-741-8700 before you make the trip to 12332 Manatee Avenue, Bradenton FL 34209. 

Island Driving for City Slickers

Island Driving for City Slickers

Anna Maria Island – For most folks, all it takes is crossing over the causeway for the stresses of the real world to be washed away by sunshine and salty air; others may need a reminder or two. Once you see that beautiful “Welcome to Anna Maria Island” sign, you can relax, you should relax, you paid good money to relax, you came here to relax, that should include when you are behind the wheel of your car.

You work hard all year, meet deadlines, crunch numbers, pay bills, raise kids, fight traffic so that you can come here and chill. There are no hurries or traffic jams in our magical paradise.

So, during your stay here take a deep breath and ‘cruise’. Try to remember what it was like to actually enjoy a scenic drive. Because you will be hard pressed to find better scenery than this.

To help you transition into ‘Zen Island Driving’ here are some handy tips:

#1 You must stop at a designated crosswalks WHEN pedestrians are present.

#2 You DON’T stop at every designated crosswalk when there are no pedestrians present (and I am behind you on my way to work!).

#3 Gold Carts are FUN! They do come with some unique rules though. You must have a valid drivers license to operate so don’t let the kiddos drive. Everyone must wear a seatbelt, you can only use it from sunrise to sunset AND stay off the sidewalks and bike paths.

#4 The trolley (featured in the image at the top of the page) is NOT a school bus. If you are in oncoming lanes, you don’t need to stop. (unless you are at a crosswalk and there are pedestrians present.)((Or unless it  isn’t a trolley and it IS a school bus!))

#5 It is easy to get distracted by all of the palm trees swaying in the breeze, but keep an eye out for unexpected stop signs, bicyclists,  club cars, golf carts, segways, beachgoers and most of all, other distracted drivers!

#6 There is no rush on Anna Maria. PERIOD! So slow down! Our speed limits are set to protect our residents and guests and they are STRICTLY enforced!

#7 Forget your car has a  horn– they upset our wild parrots and whoever you are beeping at is probably lost or doesn’t care.

#8 Take the FREE trolley! There are trolley stops up and down the island and you can hop on and off as much as you like all day, every day!

#9 Be mindful of the speed limits! Just as important as not going OVER the posted limit try not to travel too far UNDER the limit. Be mindful of pedestrians and birds, yet going 15mph in a 35 zone just backs up traffic for no reason.

The whole point of being here for visitors and residents alike is to be in paradise. As a guest on Anna Maria Island, we welcome you and hope you enjoy every ray of sunshine and every wave dancing up to the beach. We also want you to be safe and happy, so go do it.!

Real Estate Market Conditions

Real Estate Market Conditions

The Real Estate Market on Anna Maria Island, and all of Manatee County, continues to be HOT with number of sales almost four times that of 2020*.

Inventory is at a record low yet demand has not diminished. Properties are selling fast and often for over list price. Fewer new construction projects are turning buyers to explore existing homes to either remodel or enjoy as is. Estimates of nearly 1000 people moving to Florida each day create this housing issue, our new residents need to find living space in order to establish residency. With more and more workers still reporting remotely and being able to work anywhere, why not move to the beach or at least an island community?

We may have been describing YOU above, and if so, finding your perfect “peace” of paradise might cost a little more than in previous years but you deserve it! Ask any local and they will attest that the move was the best real estate decision they ever made.

On the other side of the coin, if you have considered selling, now might be the time to explore options. Our Full Time Sales Professionals are here to help estimate value anytime.