Anna Maria Island and COVID-19

BREAKING NEWS! ANNA MARIA ISLAND ISLAND IS NOW OPEN FOR SHORT TERM RENTALS! Visit our Island Real Estate Information Page for more information.

Our Island Real Estate office has reopened, taking extreme precautions to keep visitors, sales professionals and staff safe. Our office is open to the public Monday through Friday with staff in the office on Saturday answering any and all telephone calls.

Anna Maria Island restaurants are open to 50% capacity and hair-nail salons were opened May 11th. Vacation rentals continue to be closed to guests with under 30 night stays for the entire Island. We are seeing irresponsible management companies as well as vacation rental owners putting their guests at risk by allowing immediate arrivals less than 30 nights. Code enforcement IS actively pursuing guests checking in and ARE evicting guests. There are a great number of theories regarding when Vacation Rentals will be opened however one thing is certain, no one yet knows for sure. One additional challenge vacation rental owners are finding is their local management companies have no staff on hand and thus properties during this epidemic are not actively being managed. Of course Island Real Estate Vacations continues to have our full staff on hand to continue with monthly maintenance and any owner requests. Visit our newly formed property management information page if you are considering a change.

Surprisingly, Anna Maria Island Real Estate Sales continues to remain healthy. We have seen a few closing delays and cancellations due to COVID-19 but the lion share of contracts have closed. Real Estate professionals are beginning to hold open houses with lack luster results. What we are seeing is the serious shoppers are still viewing properties physically or reviewing a virtual walk through. New contracts on real estate property are occurring albeit at about a 60% pace. Look for our June/July newsletter which will provide statistics on the pace of real estate sales on the Island. March and April closings have remained steadfast and on pace for a normal 375+ real estate closing year.

For up to date COVID 19 information visit our Island Real Estate Information page. If you need anything give us a call. We are here and ready to help if you think we can. Stay safe!

Wind Mitigation Inspection: What is it & do you need one?

A Wind mitigation inspection (also called a windstorm mitigation inspection) is when a certified inspector looks over a property for specific weather withstanding features. These features can be anything from door/window coverings to the way your roof is attached to your home and how your roof is sealed to prevent water from entering. Though a wind mitigation inspection is not required to get homeowners insurance in Florida, it can result in substantial savings on your annual premium.

This inspection can affirm whether your home has features that drastically decrease the severity of property loss from hurricane wind. All the windstorm-withstanding features the inspector looks for may seem like minor details, but they make a world of difference when a windstorm or hurricane strikes. The appropriate wind mitigation features can be the difference between your home weathering the storm and a total rebuild.

Along our Anna Maria Island coast, savings can range from a few hundred to well over $1,000. Keep in mind that the average cost for a wind mitigation inspection is about $100. Though that may seem like an investment, the inspections are typically valid for five years.

After the wind inspection is complete, the inspector will offer suggestions that could improve the sustainability of your property. You can then make changes to your property or simply submit your wind mitigation report to your insurance agent. If you think you’ve had one done, you can look over your current policy and see if you received any sort of windstorm credits. If so, you can ask for a copy of the inspection from your current carrier.
You’ll likely receive the most savings if you take the inspector’s suggestions, which will also add to the value of your home and is never a bad thing! If you do decide to make structural changes to your home, make sure you work with a licensed engineer and contractor.
Keep in mind that the wind mitigation inspection has to be current. If it’s older than five years old, it’s time for a new one!

Island Real Estate Vacations Dog Policy

ISLAND REAL ESTATE VACATIONS (IREV) welcomes your loving pup at our registered Dog Friendly Vacation Rentals! Please see the rules listed below.

RULE #1 – Only well-behaved DOGS allowed! Sorry, cats or other pets are not approved!
RULE #2 – Only certain breeds of dogs are allowed and must be approved before checking-in.
RULE #3 – Our Pet Friendly Properties are restricted to either 1 or 2 dogs depending on listed restrictions for each dog friendly property.
RULE #4 – Approved dogs weigh less than 25 lbs or more than 25 lbs. Dogs over 75 lbs are NOT permitted.
RULE #5 – You must notify IREV you are traveling with a dog. A $250 non-refundable pet fee is required per dog. If unauthorized dog is found during stay, guest subject to immediate eviction with no refund of monies paid and will be responsible for damages as well as extra cleaning fees.
RULE #6 – Your dog must be housebroken and well-behaved. The registered guest will be responsible for any damages as well as additional cleaning or treatment needs due to fleas, “accidents” or excessive pet hair.

Dogs permitted in rental home only as arranged in advance. Addition of any other pet is prohibited without prior approval. You are solely responsible for any damaged or personal injury caused by your dog.

To bring your dog(s), guest(s) must agree to the following terms:

  • Guests agree to keep their dog under control at all times.
  • Guests agree to promptly report any damage caused by dog(s).
  • Guests agree to pay any costs for damage done by dog(s) which exceeds the pet fee per dog or is not covered under an additional damage insurance policy.
  • If damages are not reported but are found by Island Real Estate Vacations, it will be documented, and necessary replacement or repair costs will be charged to guest(s) credit card on file.
  • Guests agree that their dog is housebroken.
  • All dogs must be up to date on rabies vaccinations and all other vaccinations.
  • Guests agree that dog(s) will not be washed in the bathtubs or showers inside the unit. This must be done in the outside shower if provided or with hose.
  • Guests agree to adhere to local ordinances, leash laws and licensing requirements. Dogs are NOT allowed on the beaches of Anna Maria Island.
  • Guests agree to clean up after their dog(s) & dispose of their pet(s’) waste promptly. Any cleanup of dog refuse outside will result in additional cleaning fee of a minimum of $50.
  • Guests agree to review and repair any yard damage created by visiting dog(s) such as but not limited to digging.
  • Guests agree to keep dog(s) from being noisy or aggressive, and from causing any annoyance or discomfort to others. Guests will remedy any complaints immediately. Guest acknowledges local ordinance restrict noise and excessive noise by pet and may result in fines from local municipality. Guest responsible for said fines.
  • Island Real Estate Vacations, LLC, and/or the Property Owner are not responsible for guests’ dog(s). Guests agree to pay agents promptly for any damage, loss or expense caused by their dog(s).
  • No personal pet beds or other such items should be put in the washer or dryer!
  • Repairs to screening on the porch will be assessed at labor charges for rescreening if your dog(s) break through the screen for any reason.
  • Guest to clean all excess dog hair and remove from the inside of the unit prior to departure.
  • “Vicious or Dangerous Dogs” trained for dog fighting or with any tendency or disposition to attack any dog other domestic animals or humans without provocation, are not permitted at any time. Any dog with a recorded history of biting is strictly prohibited.

Island Real Estate Vacations Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy
Island Real Estate Vacations, LLC charges a $250.00 cancellation fee for all cancelled reservations. If a vacation reservation is cancelled outside of 90 days from arrival, all but $250 deposited will be refunded. If the vacation rental contract is cancelled within 90 days of arrival, all deposited funds will be retained by Island Real Estate Vacations, LLC. However, if Island Real Estate Vacations, LLC is able to re-rent the vacation property for the same dates AND for the rental rate originally contracted, a full refund will be provided, less the $250 cancellation fee. If the vacation rental is partially re-rented, the new rental amount for the original dates contracted will be refunded, less the $250 cancellation fee. In summary, eligible refunds will be determined based on the difference between the contracted amount for dates reserved and the re-rented price, less the $250 cancellation fee. There will be no refund if the vacation property is not able to be re-rented. Island Real Estate Vacations does not make any guarantees that any vacation property will be re-rented for what was contracted originally.

Trip Cancellation Insurance
We recommend you take out a comprehensive trip cancellation insurance to cover unforeseen eventualities. For details of the Island Real Estate Vacations trip cancellation insurance program please see the Trip Cancellation Insurance informational page for Red Sky.

Hold Harmless
Subject to Island Real Estate Vacations Cancellation Policy herein, it is expressly agreed that Island Real Estate Vacations will not be held responsible and will not issue a refund for any reservations that are canceled, prevented, restricted or interfered with by circumstances beyond its reasonable control, including without limitation, earthquake, fire, flood, Act of God, hurricane, red tide, storms, wars, civil or military disturbances, environmental hazards, or any other cause whatsoever beyond the reasonable control of Island Real Estate Vacations. In the event you attempt to cancel your reservation, arrive late, depart early, or otherwise alter your reservation as a result of any of the foregoing, you will be subject to Island Real Estate Vacations Cancellation Policy as detailed herein. Trip Cancellation insurance as noted above can be a solution to help mitigate the risk for some of the issues listed. All prices are subject to 12% sales and resort tax.

Island Real Estate Vacation Rental UPDATES

Thanks for visiting Island Real Estate. This is our attempt to keep potential Vacation Rental Owners and Guests updated with our progress to add properties to our program. We are reserving properties!

Kacey’s Back!

UPDATE to ALL! We are excited to announce Kacey Varga is BACK! If you want to catch up you can email her at Kacey@IslandReal.com or give her a call at 941 345-1287 on her direct line. So very lucky to have her come back to Island Real Estate!

GUESTS: – Your response has been overwhelming! Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement as well as your willingness to use Island Real Estate again. We believe we are 1 short week away from having vacation rental properties on our website. We are targeting March 13th.

OWNERS: – Thank you for your inquiries as well as your patience. We have the details of our program completed and are ready to share! Just call or email us and we would be happy to go over our program. (941) 778-6066. Our website is progressing and hope to have vacation rental properties on our vacation rental page in a few weeks. Thank you!

Island Real Estate Vacations NOW OPEN!

Island Real Estate is excited to announce our return to the vacation rental market on Anna Maria Island! We are happy to be your locally owned rental management company that offers personalized customer service to rental owners and vacationers as we once did. At Island Real Estate of Anna Maria Island, we pride ourselves in being the best in assisting with all your real estate needs and as a rental customer of our ISLAND REAL ESTATE VACATIONS division, you can expect the same superior service and qualified experienced team to meet your rental management needs!  If you are interested in what ISLAND REAL ESTATE VACATIONS has to offer, please give us a call or an email. (941) 778-6066 or Info@IslandReal.com

3rd Quarter Real Estate Snapshot for all Anna Maria Island

Larry Chatt here, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer? Real Estate on Anna Maria Island has been a mixed bag of results for buyers and sellers for the last six to twelve months. If you are a buyer looking for product that is 5+ years or older and may need a renovation here or there then life is grand. There is plenty of great real estate for sale on Anna Maria Island and sellers are recognizing demand is low which requires reducing price as needed. Of course a great situation for buyers but not so good for sellers.
On the other hand, if you are a buyer looking for new construction you are likely becoming frustrated over the high demand of new real estate. High demand correlates with little negotiating room for buyers and sellers know it. Sellers are still negotiating but very little. New construction prices are being driven higher and higher and appear no relief in sight. At least for the last five years one thing is true, if you are a buyer of new construction, the sooner you buy the less it will cost.
Our local naughty 7 letter word, Red Tide, did impact real estate on Anna Maria Island last year. This is evidenced by inventory absorption for the last quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019. Inventory absorption often provides a leading indicator of the health of supply and demand for real estate in an area. Our chart measures how many months of real estate is for sale during a given snapshot in time. The chart shows for the first time in almost 10 years we saw two data points of Anna Maria Island real estate inventory exceeding 12 months. The good news is that in the second quarter of 2019 demand has bounced back and we seem to be back in normal territory.
If you have any questions about Anna Maria Island Real Estate please call on any of our full time real estate sales professionals. We would love the opportunity to help!

4 Point Inspections

When you purchase a home on Anna Maria Island, you may need a “4 point inspection” before securing a homeowners policy. In fact, most insurance companies will require this when a home is older than 40 years, or a rental property is older than 30 years. A newly constructed home does not need this inspection for insurance. You can get an insurance quote without an inspection; however, you will need inspection before actually purchasing the policy.
A 4 point inspection looks at the 4 major systems in an older home. An insurance company wants to know that an older home has been well maintained, and the major systems are in good working condition. This is NOT a safety inspection. They are done by a licensed inspector or building contractor.
Here is what a 4 point inspection examines:
• Roof – Type of Roof Covering (shingles, tile, rolled). The age and condition of the roof, i.e. are there missing shingles or leaks?
• Electrical System – The type of the wiring in the home (copper, aluminum, knob and tube). The brand of the electrical panel. The condition of the homes electrical system
• Heating and cooling – Is there central heat and air in the home? The age and condition of the system. Are there signs of leaking?
• Plumbing System – Type of supply and drain lines found in the home (copper, CPVC, galvanized, lead, polybutylene, etc. Is there evidence of current leaks? The age of the hot water heater.
These inspections are done at the homeowner’s cost, and generally run between $50-100. Ask your Island Real Estate Realtor or insurance agent for a recommendation on whom to use.
If you are aware that your home has one of these issues, be sure to tell your insurance agent up front so you get an accurate quote. Insurance companies vary in their responses to homes that have issues. Some insurance companies won’t insure these problematic homes at all, while others take a different approach.
If your home has not been updated nor has older problematic systems, consider updating them. Before purchasing an older home for the first time, be sure to check that you can find insurance that is affordable. When purchasing an older home, we recommend getting a 4 point inspection done first and working with a reputable independent insurance agent. They can help determine the cost of insurance and advise whether the home is insurable.

2018 Market Summary for Anna Maria Island by Lawrence Chatt, Broker

Results are in for Anna Maria Island Real Estate for 2018. I would like to discuss each category of real estate then will move on to the overall health of Real Estate on Anna Maria Island.

Single family homes on average were flat for 2018. The amount of single families sold (234), average sold price ($1,050,000), and days on market (135) are all flat as compared to results from 2017. One notable difference this year is the amount of single family homes on the market at 179 versus end of 2017 at 139. Average for the last 4 years has been 170 single family homes on the market in December. While a big jump from last year the inventory of 179 falls right in line with a normal year.

Condos for sale on average improved versus 2017. Condos have lagged single family home results so not big surprise condos caught up a little in 2018. More specifically, on average condo prices were up 3%, transactions were flat (131), Days on the market flat (138) and inventory was down 15% (73). If you have been considering selling a condo, now might be a good time to throw your hat into the ring since the average inventory in the last 4 years has been 85 and currently our supply is low.

Multi-family/ Duplexes and Land are all relatively flat as compared to 2017. There is relatively no movement for duplexes however for vacant land there are two noticeable results for 2018. The first is appreciation on average of 6% versus 2017. Fairly significant however the “mix” of sold vacant land could be the culprit as only 9 vacant lots were sold versus an average year of 19 and 2017 of 18. Of course as vacant land becomes more and scarcer on the island this stat is expected to continue to reduce slowly. However I believe escalating building costs and the fact land plus build cost in most cases exceeds the price of relatively new product on Anna Maria Island has contributed to the slowdown in 2018.

Finally where would be in this world without charts? Below is a chart that provides the quarterly sales since 2005. Of course this is the demand side of the Anna Maria Island absorption rate. Sales for the 4th quarter of 2018 is low and the last time we saw transactions for the 4th quarter hovering around 60 was in 2011. 2018 transactions, (397) ended a little higher than the 4 year average of 390 so 2018 for demand was an average year. Red tide is likely the culprit of the 30% drop in sold properties for Q4 and its encouraging our new governor of Florida is taking red tide seriously and within weeks of being sworn in is taking some progressive steps towards ensuring red tide is stamped out. Definitely something we will all keep our eye on for 2019.

As always, email or call if you have further questions. We would love the opportunity to help find your “peace” of paradise on Anna Maria Island or its surrounding areas. Here’s to a prosperous, healthy and red tide free 2019. I very much appreciate your business!

Local Lawn Care – Shady Lady Horticultural Services

Founded in 2012 by Anna Maria Island resident Joan Bowling, Shady Lady Horticultural Services provides service with a focus on the specific and unique needs of island properties. For example, sea spray can end up with plantings looking rather plain. The simple addition of salt tolerating colorful shrubs and moisture holding mulch make for a much nicer view.  A nice balance of form and function.

Shady Lady Horticultural Services prides themselves by offering turnkey solutions for island residents. Shady Lady offers landscape design, construction and maintenance services with both native plants and custom designs.

Shady Lady’s design services are unmatched, offering both residential and commercial solutions. They use a “Best Practices Approach” to construction and provide service worthy of their island neighbors.