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).

 

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 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

Holmes Beach City Rental investment information

Holmes Beach rental guidelines are extremely complicated and this post is an introduction into Holmes Beach Rental information.  It is critically important that you find a real estate professional that understands all zoning requirements for all three cities of Anna Maria Island.  First lets start with zoning in Holmes Beach City and how it relates to rentability.  Rentability in Holmes Beach can be defined in five general categories.

Rent nightly – 365 guests per year
Rent weekly – 52 guests per year
Rent monthly – 12 guests per year
Rent monthly – less than 12 guest per year due to condominimum bylaws
Rent annually – 6 months or more.  Normally referred to as tenant.

Below is the current Holmes Beach Zoning map.  I would ALWAYS suggest verifying the zone your property is in by calling Holmes Beach City hall and confirming what they have on record.  The map is not 100% accurate from property to property however it does paint a picture for Holmes Beach zones.

Holmes Beach Zones

 

R1 and R1 AA zones may only be rented for 30 days or more.  There has been a great deal of discussion in the past that one guest per month is acceptable however the code does dictate 30 day minimums so if you are purchasing a Holmes Beach property for rental income be sure to utilize 30 day minimums as your reference for income to be sure you use a conservative approach rather than an aggressive approach when calculating potential revenue.  The typical buyer for these zones is someone who would like to stay multiple months and perhaps rental income is nice to have but not necessary to fiscally maintain the property.

R2-R4 zones can essentially be rented once per 7 day period.  Holmes Beach does have a vacation rental ordinance which requires annual inspections for vacation rentals in these zones.  The typical buyer for these zones is someone who would like to rent the property weekly for the vast majority of the calendar.   A word of caution if you anticipate living in the property or visit for multiple months.  R2-R4 zones are primarily filled with seasonal vacation rental homes so your neighbors normally change weekly or monthly.  If you require significant rental income for your Anna Maria Island property then consider the impact later if you plan to live at the property permanently or a good portion of the year.

A1 zones can be rented nightly and it is zoned for high tourism.  It is up for discussion if A1 properties require inspections however in my humble opinion inspections are not required for A1 zones and not subject to the Holmes Beach Vacation rental ordinance.  I must state again, this is my opinion however after several years I have not registered A1 properties via the vacation rental ordinance in Holmes Beach.  The typical buyer for this area is someone who wishes to be close to the beach and maximize rental income as well as minimize maintenance on the property since the vast majority of properties in the A1 zone are condominiums.

C1 – C3 zones are primarily commercial areas of Holmes Beach which are not residential friendly.  If you are considering a commercial property be sure to find a sales professional that has assited in the buying and selling of multiple commercial properties in Holmes Beach.  This is extremely complicated and if someone is informing you that you may rent a C1 – C3 property on a seasonal basis then I strongly suggest more research at Holmes Beach City hall is initiated.  I can help with commercial property as I have personally bought, sold and developed on Holmes Beach Commercial property.

Take note, if you plan to rent your Holmes Beach or Anna Maria City property.  Each of the two cities currently require inspections on an annual or two year basis.  Bradenton Beach is currently working to modify their ordinance to require much of the same.  Why is this mentioned?  If the property you are considering has not been rented since 2015 then “owner improvements” which have not been permitted may cause significant grief.  Normally cities do not inspect properties unless there is a significant reason to do so.  However, once the property is signed up for one of either two cities to enter the seasonal rental pool that will trigger an inspection.  Ground level usage in an elevated home may require permanent removal by the city.  For sure non permitted work will be found and the improvements that may be adding value to the property being considered may be required to be torn out upon the Vacation rental required ordinance.

Do yourself a favor and PLAN to register your property as a vacation rental in the appropriate city.  DO NOT plan to slip under the radar as all cities have become fairly effective at finding vacation rental advertising and linking it back to the property.

Buy a property on Anna Maria Island as a seasonal vacation rental is very complicated.  Be sure to use a full time real estate professional with your search.  No weekend warriors or non Anna Maria Island Real Estate professionals.  There is too much at stake and each city has complicated ordinance that can significantly impact value if all characteristics of the property are not taken into consideration.  I have written a blog to help you find the right real estate professional however I know any of our full time sales professionals at Island Real Estate would love to help.  Happy hunting and good luck.  Larry Chatt

Choose the right Anna Maria Island real estate professional

 

Choose the right Anna Maria Island real estate professional

Anna Maria Island real estate is very complicated.  Three cities with different zoning as well as rules and regulations is a strong start.  Not to mention vacation rental registration requirements vary in each city as well as their inspection criteria.  Follow that up with Coastal Construction lines to be concerned with, riparian rights as well as rentability and it creates an equation for a disaster if a buyer tries to go it alone.  An Anna Maria Island property is too large of an asset to risk not finding the right real estate professional to help with your once in a lifetime purchase.  Of course this is where I would provide a “plug” for Island Real Estate sales professionals as we only have full time sales professionals in our office.  While the rest of Anna Maria Island in recent years has doubled their sales staff.  Over the last decade Island Real Estate has only added two full time sales professionals that combined have sold real estate ON Anna Maria Island for more than 40 years.  I have heard too many horror stories of buyers using a friend or friend of a friend that truly is a weekend warrior.  A Sarasota or Tampa real estate professional will be hard pressed to understand the zoning and rentability requirements for Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach as well as Bradenton Beach.  It is just next to impossible to keep up with multiple areas and city rules and regulations.  I do however recognize there are great real estate professionals in other organizations on Anna Maria Island.  For real estate professionals outside of Island Real Estate be sure to use my supplied questions below to help you make sure you have found one of the “good one’s.”  Check out below.

A)  Is their office located on Anna Maria Island?  If the answer is “no” then move on and there are no further questions to be asked.  There are way too many changes occuring and the office HAS to be local to keep up with all three cities.
B)  How many Anna Maria Island listings does the individual have currently or in the past?  If in the last two-three years you cannot find at least 10 listings ON Anna Maria Island then MOVE ON.
C)  Use some of the zoning information I have provided in my Holmes Beach or Anna Maria City rental posts and ask the real estate sales professional specific questions on rentability of zones in the City you plan to purchase in.  All FULL TIME local sales professionals should be aware of at least two of the three zones you ask about.
D)  Ask if there are any occupancy restrictions in Anna Maria or Holmes Beach?  If you wanted to rent out to 16 people is that allowed?  If the sales person answers “no problem” without caveats then RUN and run FAST, that is away.

I am always happy to help answer questions you may have about Anna Maria Island real estate.  Feel free to email or give me a call on my direct line.  (Larry@IslandReal.com) or (941) 345-1288.  I pre-apologize it can sometimes take 48 hours to return calls as well as emails but I am happy to help with questions you may have.

I hope the questions above help to find the right sales professional for your Anna Maria Island real estate search.  Anna Maria Island real property can be extremely complicated and don’t leave your large asset purchase up for chance.  Good luck and happy hunting!

  Larry Chatt

Anna Maria Island History – BP oil spill

The BP oil spill otherwise known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a significant event for Anna Maria Island although it took place more than 250 miles away.  April 20th, 2010 on the BP operated Macondo Prospect there was a wellhead blowout which caused fatal explosions killing 11 people and injuring 17 others.  The blowout caused more than 4,900,000 barrels of oil to be spilled into the Gulf of Mexico making it the worst oil related industrial accident in the history of the world.

The oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico at unprecedented rates caused panic among Anna Maria Island visitors and residents for more than three months when BP was able to complete a “static kill” which finally contained the leaking wellhead.  The sheer magnitude of the continued BP oil spill in conjuction with concerns for oil washing up on Mississippi, Alabama, North West Florida and Louisiana created escalating concerns Anna Maria Island would never be the same.  Shuttering images of oil coated sea life created visitor cancellations as well as real estate transaction cancellations for several months.  Below is an estimate of the oil spill area.

BP oil spill area

Thankfully no oil washed up within hundreds of miles of Anna Maria Island beaches and life got back to normal by 2012.  Real Estate was quick to recover within the next 12 months and while visitation for 2011 was affected by 2012 Anna Maria Island visitors were back stronger than ever.  It’s never an exciting proposition to remind us our paradise is at risk every day but sure helps to be reminded how very lucky we are to visit and or reside in such a fantastic place.  Let’s hope many lessons of the BP oils spill have been learned and the world never has to endure another oil industrial catastrophe.

Steps to make Anna Maria Island – HOME

So, you’ve fallen in love with Anna Maria Island and want to call it home…we can’t blame you, that’s how most of us ended up here too! But what’s your next step in making our paradise your new home?

Step 1: Start with Island Real Estate. As soon as you can, call Island Real Estate and one of our professional local Realtors will share with you island market trends and current listings. 

 

 

Step 2: Determine the budget of your investment. Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt. But you should make this determination based on your own financial situation. Each listing has a mortgage calculator on IslandReal.com to help you!

Step 3: Unless you are paying Cash or have a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange, get Prequalified for Your Mortgage. Island Real Estate can introduce you to proven successful lenders in our area so you can get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. They will review this information and tell you how much they can lend you.

Step 4: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer You and your Island Real Estate Realtor will start touring homes in your price range. You may see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them, so you might want to take pictures or video to help you remember each home. Your Realtor will also provide details on each listing.

Step 5: Get a Home Inspection Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Your Island Real Estate agent will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.  Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.

Step 6: Have the Home Appraised. Your lender will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.

Step 7: Purchase required Insurances. Every area has their own unique set of required insurances. Your local Island Real Estate Realtor is very knowledgeable with the flood and wind insurance needs for our island.

Step 8: Coordinate the Title Insurance. As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your Island Real Estate Realtor will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.

Step 9: Close the Sale – Congratulations!  At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. Island Real Estate will be with you and ensure everything goes according to plan and to make sure you receive all the necessary keys, etc. needed so you can celebrate your new purchase!

Anna Maria City Real Estate property investment information

If you are searching for a real estate investment in Anna Maria City and you are interested in earning rental income on your investment then look no further.  The following Anna Maria City rental information is intended to help buyers with zoning and deed restriction information.  Frankly Anna Maria City as well as Bradenton Beach are significantly different than Holmes Beach when it comes to zoning and rentability.  Let’s first make sure we define “Anna Maria City” property areas.  Anna Maria City property starts at Beach Avenue and angles it’s way to the South East along White avenue then follows a trajectory backwards towards Oak.  Best bet, consult the zoning map posted at Anna Maria City Hall.  For convenience I have provided the most recent Anna Maria Zoning map.   When reviewing the map, take note of Residential, Retail over Residential and Commercial zones in Anna Maria City.

Zoning:   With the exception of Residential over Retail (ROR) and Commercial zones which are primarily along Pine avenue and Gulf Drive, rental options for your potential Anna Maria City property are relatively easy.  Anna Maria City allows for nightly rentals.  Please be aware, while the city allows for nightly occupancy I strongly suggest that frequency is not followed.  Nightly rentals can cause a significant disturbance in the community.  I strongly suggest when purchasing any real property on Anna Maria Island that all income considerations are done using weekly rental estimates.  If you wish to rent in longer periods of time such as monthly or annually all section of Anna Maria City are open to such rentals with little to no restrictions.

Deed Restrictions; location and new construction:  It is important to note there are several areas within Anna Maria City which have deed restrictions which do limit both the number of times the real property can be rented as well as the length of time.  Most location Deed restrictions are located along the beach.  Unfortunately there is another set of restrictions which are more random throughout the City of Anna Maria.  Several years back, Anna Maria City provided permits to build for mostly homes larger than 4 bedrooms if the owner signed a deed restriction which limited the frequency the property could be rented.  The seller and real estate professional must disclose this information however it is best to ask during your review of the property are in place.  If Deed restrictions are provided to you at time of contract it is imperative you seek legal advice to review all restrictions to assure you may use your new found property as intended.

Occupancy Restrictions:  So we have established most of the City of Anna Maria can be rented weekly, monthly and annually.  There are some exceptions but 95% of Anna Maria City property has significant availability to rent.  There is one last set of circumstances to be concerned with, Occupancy restrictions.  Anna Maria City currently allows for two occupants per legal bedroom up to a 4 bedroom property.  For less than 4 bedrooms there is latitude to allow an additional 2 occupants.  Beyond 8 occupants there are limited options for weekly rentals in Anna Maria City.  The bottom line, if you are serious about seasonal renting and you are considering an Anna Maria City property then it is critical you research the occupancy allowed for the specific property.  Allowed occupancy is not zone related in Anna Maria City but litigation related.  If the property owner filed Bert Harris litigation in 2016 or beyond and won, that specific property will be grandfathered to allow for more occupancy than standard.  Of course occupancy and seasonal rental income have a direct relationship.  More occupancy typically provides for more income.  Less occupancy allowed means less income.

Anna Maria City Real Estate professional:  Hopefully our Anna Maria City Rental information provides an idea that a little knowledge can be very dangerous when purchasing a property in Anna Maria city as well as Anna Maria Island.  Please be sure you utilize an experienced Anna Maria Island real estate sales professional.  No weekend warriors allowed!  Do not utilize a friend located in another area of Florida to save a little commission or “throw them a bone.”  I have numerous horror stories that a new owner’s intention for a property was not allowed because experienced professionals were not used during the buying process.  This can happen to you!  It all starts with a real estate sales professional that provides accurate information as well as referrals to local experienced general contractors, bankers, inspectors, accountants and lawyers.  Sure, your best bet is just to utilize an Island Real Estate sales professional however if you want to perform your own research then visit our blog to help find the right Anna Maria Island sales professional.

I hope my Anna Maria city rental information page is helpful in assuring you find your “peace of paradise.”  Here is a link to the Anna Maria City Vacation Rental information however I would caution if this is your primary plan to assure you purchase the right piece of Anna Maria City property, stop NOW.  Your strategy is flawed.  Don’t go it alone,  you need a LOCAL real estate professional to help in your search.

Thanks for visiting – Larry Chatt

 

 

 

Choose the right Anna Maria Island real estate professional