New condo insurance law is causing indigestion

January 28, 2009

Effective January 1, 2009, condominium unit owners are required by state law to carry insurance, and condo associations have the right to purchase it bill the unit owners. This has hundreds of calls flooding in to state representatives’ offices from angry condo owners. Insurance can cost from $1,000 to $5,000 a year depending on Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor …

January 23, 2009

“I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor; Believe me, honey, rich is better.”

 — Sophie Tucker, American singer, 1884-1966

I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, but whether money is abundant, I’ve always been a do-it-yourself person. I’ve paid others to do what I was capable of doing lots of times, because I was too busy with other things, or not interested enough to take it on, or just lazy. Quite often, I experience that those who should be able to do a better job than me (professionals, for example) actually do not, and I wind up wishing I had done it! Maybe this has happened to you?

Now, I’m not talking about cutting my own hair or changing my own oil … I’m just saying that Read the rest of this entry »

Avoid bargains in parachutes and brain surgery

January 21, 2009

“Avoid bargains in parachutes and brain surgery.” This old saying is out there in many variations and versions, but the message remains the same: Some things are too important to shop for on price alone.

Econ 101 taught us that some items are commodity goods — the product is the same regardless of the supplier, and therefore price is the only consideration in choosing the supplier. The traditional examples Read the rest of this entry »

Do you really need title insurance?

January 20, 2009

This morning I spent some time in a seminar on title insurance given by Linda Witt of  Attorney Steve Greenberg’s office at Icard Merrill, and she shed light on several of the questions that come up around title insurance.

At a real estate closing or settlement, the buyer (or buyer’s lender, or both) will pass large checks across the table to the seller in exchange for Read the rest of this entry »

Getting started

January 14, 2009

First, the numbers:

It’s about 4:30, temperature here at the office is about 66 degrees, skies are mostly sunny. High tide was at 3:47, and the next low is at 9:31. Days since the last boat ride: 3!

I was out on Sunday, despite the weather being a touch on the cool side. Winter boating in Sarasota is really interesting, since the water temperature is too cool for lots of the microorganisms and that makes the water clearer. The low tides in winter are also quite a bit lower, so you can see where all those sandbars and mudbanks  are– the better to avoid them when they are submerged. I think the bst kind of local knowledge is gained by running around in boats at very low tides.

Anyway, it was a great day spent with friends and looking at boats and homes. Never, ever get tired of THAT.