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 »

Waterfront for under $250,000? In Sarasota?

January 27, 2009

Not all waterfront is in the million-dollar category! For sure , some is. But I have a listing, for example, within a mile of downtown Sarasota, and one bridge to the bay, for $215,000! Add a dock and you’ve got a place for a good-sized outboard boat to live in your backyard.

I have a listing in Port Charlotte on a canal that comes out on the Myakka River, with dock and pool, for $219,000. That one just went under contract or I’d offer to show it to you.

Even Siesta Key, historically priced in the stratosphere, is getting reasonable again. I have a listing there, 3 BR, 2 BA at 599,000 that is gorgeous, with a dock and small boathouse.

All of these can be seen on these web pages:

Downtown waterfront

Siesta Key Waterfront

FL Supreme Court decision affects beach front property owners

January 26, 2009

Imagine that you own a beachfront property on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico. Your seaward property line is defined as the Erosion Control Line … which means your land has contact with the Gulf.

Along comes the government with a beach renourishment project which adds tons of sand, effectively pushing the water’s edge back and cutting off your property’s contact with the water.

Can the government do that? The Supreme Court said they can!

For details, go to the website of Attorney David Levin, waterfront specialist, at, and click on “Newsletter.” There you’ll find David’s comments as well as a link to the complete text of the decision.

Many thanks to David Levin’s office for bringing this to the attention of all of us with an interest in waterfront property!

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 »

This costly mistake could have been avoided!

January 19, 2009

Just before the holidays, I attended a seminar given by David Levin, prominent local attorney specializing in waterfront property transactions. Entitled “Red Flags on the Waterfront,” it outlined some of the things Realtors should watch out for as they assist their clients in buying and selling.

Many possible pitfalls await the unwary buyer.

Now, regarding making changes to a  property after you’ve bought it, you would certainly expect to have to comply with all regulations and get permits and Read the rest of this entry »