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Halloween 2019

Lee and I always look forward to a fun night of mischief and laughs on Halloween. When we lived up north, Halloween was always a dress up night with the doorbell ringing off the wall. Children, neighbors and friends would knock on our door to visit, get treats, and party with us. Halloween in Solivita is quieter, with no children in costumes to knock on our door, so every year Lee and I plan something fun. This year we are going to see the One Night Only RAT PACK UNDEAD Show at the Osceola Playhouse. Although Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. are dead, on Halloween 2019 they will rise again and perform on stage for a few hours. We will be transported back in time as the cast croons their hearts out for one night only in Kissimmee. We are Looking forward to seeing and hearing this show, it has gotten some great reviews and sounds like a fun way to spend the evening. Dinner with family and friends first and then on to the main event. Happy Halloween to all our friends, family and clients. We wish you a Sweet, Fun Evening filled with mischief of your own making.

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Fall is Festival Time in Florida

Solivita Fall Festival

Don’t miss the Fall Festival in downtown Solivita. The Festival is always a great day, entertainment, food, great crafts, plus talented artisans exhibit and market their goods, while music and fun fill the air, plus it is the perfect time to start shopping for the holidays. Last year we purchased beautiful framed photos by Solivita Resident Photographer, Linda Moffat. We also purchased Solivita handmade jewelry, and handknit sweaters for the grandchildren. Seems to me that there is something at the Festival for everyone. Even if you choose not to buy anything, our clubs are out selling food and it is a good day to visit with friends, bring the children out for some fun and enjoy the cooler weather we have all be waiting for. If you would like to visit Linda on the web, you can see her photos at

Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival; August 29 – Nov. 23, 2019

The festival runs from the end of August through mid-November. The event is marked by wine tastings, Disney and guest chefs cooking up culinary delights, and the popular Eat to the Beat Concerts. Entrance to the Festival, plus select wine and beer seminars, cooking demonstrations, culinary exhibits, concerts and all attractions are included with regular Epcot admission. Specialty events require reservations and separate event admission.

Fantasy Fest in Key West; October 18 – October 27, 2019

Put on your greasepaint and let the good times roll for ten days of celebrating that can only be described as zany, bizarre, and hilarious. Fantasy Fest participants take to the streets of Key West in a somewhat raucous style with circuses and sideshows like you’ve never seen before. Nonstop activities include parades, masquerades, street parties, and more. From what we have heard, If you’re prone to flamboyance, this event is better than Mardi Gras. There is a scintillating 2019 Fantasy Fest Schedule online so if you have time and love to party this could be the fest for you. The theme for 2019 Key West Fantasy Fest is “In Tune but Off Key: Celebrating 40 Years of Fantasy” having never been to Key West during Fantasy Fest, we hear it is very busy during this time of the year, so don’t go without being assured you have a place to stay, but if you go, buckle up and be ready for a wild time.

It may be too late this year to book Fantasy Fest but now you know when it is, put it on your calendar for next year and book 2020 at least 9 months in advance. Fantasy Fest is always about the same time every year so start looking on the website for the exact dates and plan your escape to Fantasy Fest 2020.

Apalachicola 56th Annual Florida Seafood Festival; November 1 & 2, 2019

The Florida Seafood Festival is a two-day event annually drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the historic town of Apalachicola in scenic Franklin County. The Festival is held at the mouth of the Apalachicola River under the shady oaks of Apalachicola’s Battery Park in downtown Apalachicola. There are events for just about everyone. The Festival features delicious seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, seafood related events, and Musical Entertainment. Some of the notable events include; Oyster Eating and Oyster Shucking Contest, Blue Crab Races, Photo Contest, a parade, 5K Redfish Run, the Blessing of the Fleet, History of the Festival Exhibit plus lots of fun and people watching in a beautiful place on the river.

This is always a fun festival held in a beautiful old town in Florida. Dress casual and comfortable, put on your flip flops and have a blast enjoying the freshest seafood around.

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Tis the Season to Start Planning for House Guests

Great visits start with great planning. This time of the year Lee and I start planning for our holiday house guests. We try to limit the number of out of town guests per visit so that we have time to spend with each of our guests, and comfortably accommodate them all.

We love to have family and friends stay at our home and we find if we have planned the visit well, we are sure to have fun. We keep an air mattress on hand, spare sheets, extra pillows, blankets, and towels. In our guest baths we place baskets containing extra toiletries, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotions, etc. In the guest bedrooms we like to leave a local guide to events and attractions, a few bottles of water, and a few small bags of snacks that our guests can take with them when they venture out. We also print instructions on how to use the coffee pot, washing machine, etc., and instructions on where to find the supplies. Since Lee and I are out working, leaving instructions frees us up, and provides our guests with the ability to care for themselves.

We let our guests know that they are welcome to relax and enjoy their stay by leaving paperback books, fresh flowers and some note paper in each of our guest rooms. We also leave a calendar with a schedule of breakfast and dinner times so that our guests know ahead of time what we have planned. We do not always stick to the plan, but we find it helpful to have a plan and be prepared. I make a few items ahead, muffins, granola, hard boiled eggs, a quiche, simple items to make breakfast easy. We leave lots of fresh greens, cheese and fruit in the fridge, so our guests find it easy to make lunch or a snack. Dinner is up to you. We generally cook one or two of the nights during a visit and dine out with our guests, and we always encourage our guests to venture off to enjoy dinner on their own. We have even enjoyed a pizza night while guests were in residence. We find it fun to entertain, and if you make the visit easy it will be fun for everyone. No one wants to spend their vacation doing dishes and as a host we find if we make the visit too much work for us, we are too exhausted to enjoy the company. So have fun with your guests, be kind to yourself, and enjoy your guests in Solivita style.

When I know company is coming, I make the following Muffin Recipe. These muffins can be made in advance and frozen.

Lorraine’s Company’s Coming Muffins

1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour

¾ Cup Sugar

½ tsp. salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup oil

1 large egg

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

½ tsp nutmeg

Mix and Stir in

½ cup walnuts chopped or

½ cup raisins


Mix Dry Ingredients. Mix Wet Ingredients. Mix Wet Ingredients into dry. Do not overbeat. This should be done with a spoon. No need for a mixer. Spoon into greased muffin pans. Bake 375 till toothpick inserted in center is clean. Let cool, remove and serve

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Bella Verde is a Proud Sponsor of The One Plus One Giving Program for the Guardian ad Litem & Foster Children of Osceola County

Bella Verde Realty is proud to sponsor The Third Annual One Plus One Giving Program. Our commitment to Osceola and Polk County’s children is simply to give these kids the best holiday possible. Bella Verde Realty will match every gift donated: you give one, the children get two! Ages for children in the program range from infant to 18 and all gifts are greatly appreciated. GAL advises that the younger children in the program get the most support, although all gifts are appreciated, gifts for the older children are greatly needed. Currently over 500 children are enrolled in the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Osceola Inc. Children’s Program and gifts at this time of the year are especially appreciated. Kindly bring your unwrapped gifts to the Bella Verde Office from 10/15/2019 to 12/3/2019.

Our Christmas Tree is already decorated, and the Bella Verde elves have been busy gathering gifts. Together let’s make this a happy holiday season & show these children we care about them. Stop by our office, pick up a flier, drop off a gift, and help a child have a happy holiday.

I’ve achieved ‘the American dream.’ I feel it’s my duty to help others achieve their vision, too – especially the youth.

― Joe Frazier

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Announcement: Congratulations to Lorraine!

Congratulations to Lorraine Valdes and Bella Verde Realty! Lorraine Valdes was chosen as one of the TOP Producing 500 Realtors in the Orlando Area, which is a wonderful honor and a true tribute to her knowledge, abilities and the many accomplishments Lorraine has achieved. Lorraine and Lee were guests at the Dr. Phillips House in Orlando at the Real Producers End of Summer Celebration. Lorraine was the only realtor to win this prestigious award in Solivita and is thrilled to be honored for her hard work, total sales, and devotion to her clients. Photos of the event are on the website. Lorraine and Lee report that it was a grand evening filled with music, dancing under the stars, champagne, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, awards, fun, and to end the evening, an ice cream truck.

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Housing Market Predictions for 2020 are Positive

As we move into snowbird season, sales typically heat up in Solivita and in the warmer climates throughout the USA, but in Solivita, we have a new factor to add to the HOT Solivita Real Estate Market. Taylor Morrison is in the final phase of building out Solivita, making this the last opportunity to purchase a new home in our community. The new models are luxurious, spacious, and priced to sell. Overall, 2019 Solivita real estate sales have been strong and our inventory of resale homes remains low. A low inventory helps to drive sales and home prices upward, making it a good time to sell in Solivita and a great time to jump into the new home market.

Overall sales of homes in the US picked up in Q1 and Q2 and the preliminary numbers for Q3 are looking good. Economists suggest that sales are recovering from the recent economic lull caused by the trade transition and changing interest rates. The Q1 and Q2 economic reports add confidence and fuel as we head into the winter buying season. Builder confidence has returned as evidenced by all the building around our neighborhood and throughout the USA. When you combine builder confidence with the recent positive economic data, all signals are pointing to NOW being the perfect time to buy. Remember, a Bella Verde Realty salesperson will provide guidance, advice, and our sharp negotiating skills for you when you are buying a new home. Bella Verde Realty will provide this service at NO COST to YOU. The commissions are paid by the Seller/Builder and without your own Realtor assisting you in this very important transaction your best interests are not protected. Please do not enter into such an important transaction without the benefit of a qualified realtor at your side. Call any of our realtors to ask about this service.