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Ready to Relocate and Buy a Home?

Read the below article first, to help make your search successful and frustration free.

1. Get Pre-Approved

You must be pre-approved if you are planning to finance a home. This is an important step to help you move forward, whether you are buying a home virtually or in person. You can pre-arrange a lender or Ask your Bella Verde Agent for a good lender, our realtors have worked with many lenders and can point you in the right direction to help you find a lender that will deliver for you.

2. Determine Your Wants and Your Needs

Make a list of your must-haves and a second list of your negotiables. For example, your must have list should include the town or area of interest, the number of bedrooms, Square footage, should your new community be gated, do you want a garage, are you looking in a 55 Plus Active Community and so on. If you are working from home, a home office may also be a priority.

Next make a list of the items you would like but may be willing to trade off. These items can be a view, lot size, pool, lanai size, powder bath, etc.

Once you have determined the above and discussed this with your realtor the search is on. Inventory is low in Solivita, but knowing what you are looking for, will help us target the perfect home for you and eliminate homes that will not work. Every Bella Verde Realtor lives and works in Solivita. We know the Community, the Neighborhoods, and every floorplan therefore will target your needs and wants and find you the home of your dreams. Bella Verde Realtors do an extensive amount of research for you and will view all homes with you that fit your wants and desires. If you are looking to purchase a home virtually, we will be happy to conduct virtual tours of the homes that you desire to view. In fact, during this time of COVID-19 we have shown and sold many homes virtually to clients from all over the country.

Although Bella Verde Realtors are the busiest and most successful realtors in Solivita, we do not only sell Solivita, we successfully market and sell homes, condos, and townhomes in Poinciana, Kissimmee, Orlando, plus the Taylor Morrison Communities of Bellalago, Vitalia at Tradition, and Port St. Lucie. We also have Realtor Contacts Statewide; should your search take you outside of our area of expertise we will be happy to refer you to a realtor we know and trust in Florida.

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Socially Distanced Thanksgiving Dinner

Looks like this year, Thanksgiving Dinner may be just the immediate family, we will socially distance at a table for 12 with only 5 of us. The shopping and cooking sure will be easy, but even if we cook the smallest turkey, we will be eating Turkey for days. After all, even while working, COVID-19 has given us a bit of extra time to contemplate life and enjoy the simple pleasures! Thanksgiving has always been, for me, a time when we gathered with friends and family. My Mom and Dad started the tradition years ago, their table would groan under platters of Traditional, Lovingly Prepared food. It would not be unusual for 25 – 30 of us to gather to share a Thanksgiving Meal. Sadly, most of those folks are no longer here to share the table with us, but I bring those early experiences and happy memories with me to every Thanksgiving Celebration. This year Lee and I, Mom and my sister and brother will eat, drink, and express our gratitude for our beautiful life, wonderful family, good friends, and great clients and neighbors. We will pray for the world to be free of Covid-19 and life for us and our fellow world citizens to be safe and disease free once again.

I do not know how big the turkey may be, but I do know I am going to roast asparagus, serve mashed potatoes, plus the family all-time favorites. Mashed Potatoes is a must on our table, without them, where would you put your gravy? I think we may try a new stuffing and it will be the recipe below. To start dinner, a simple but delicious blue cheese stuffed date wrapped in prosciutto and baked in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

Cauliflower Stuffing Recipe Follows, gluten free, and tasty

8 -12 oz sage flavored pork sausage

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or butter

1 medium onion chopped

2 ribs celery chopped

12 medium mushrooms sliced

¼ cup chopped carrots

2 pounds cauliflower, cut into small florets

¾ cup chicken broth

¼ cup dried cranberries or one apple skinned, cored, and chopped.

½ tsp dried thyme leaves

¼ cup fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

If you were unable to find bulk sausage, remove the sausage from casing and break up with a fork. Place sausage in a large skillet, brown over medium high heat. Add Olive Oil or butter, stir in onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots, and the fruit of your choice, cook for 5 minutes.

Mix in cauliflower, broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 5 more minutes.

This is delicious, gluten free, works as a Holiday Dressing and a Vegetable plus contains all the Thanksgiving Day Flavors. In my book, a One Dish Wonder.

Once Dinner is Done, it will be a Pumpkin Crème Brulee and homemade apple pie, followed by a good cup of coffee or hot cider by the firepit. Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours.

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Quick Tips for Growing Veggies in Your Own Home during COVID-19

Produce is expensive and easy to waste. Stop tossing the scraps and try planting them. The result is fun and easy, plus it may save you a trip to the store.

To Grow Green Onions. Once you master this trick you will never buy a green onion again. Just hang on to the white part of the onion with the roots left. Use about ½ inch of water and place the onion in a short glass on your counter. These onions grow up not out, so start with a short glass and move it to a taller glass when necessary.

Celery. I learned this from a friend. Celery is a pretty plant and easy to grow. While visiting with a friend I stopped to admire a plant on her front porch, turns out, it was celery. Cut off the bottom two inches of the base of the celery stalk (where all the stalks meet) and place in a bowl with ½ inch of water. In a few days you will see growth in the center of the plant. Transplant the entire plant to a pot and watch it grow till ready to pick.

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Getting Away from the Everyday Stress while Staying Safe

Explore a local park, enjoy a hike, or a just take a walk on one of the many trails sprinkled throughout Florida. The following website is a great resource for finding great trails for hiking, biking, or for finding great spots for a canoe, kayak ride, or a good campground. This site includes spots where you can rent a canoe or a kayak. Florida has some beautiful outdoor spaces, perfect for a Social Distance Get Away.

Make a Virtual Visit to the National Zoo in Washington, DC and check up on the residents. The Giant Panda is amazing and so is her new baby. He is little, cute, growing, and now we know he is a Boy! Enjoy watching and listening to him as he grows up big and strong. Watch mom on the webcam as she cares for him. The zoo has live webcams and some great footage of many of the animals they care for. What a great opportunity to enjoy the zoo, and safely visit with the animals up close from the comfort of your home. Visiting the zoo virtually is a peaceful way to safely enjoy a new experience. When COVID is gone, and it will be, perhaps you may find a new place to visit or a new addition to your bucket list.

Enjoy a Dinner Date in Your Own Home

Lee and I planned a celebration dinner for two. I set our table with our best linen, dishes, and silverware. Lee chose the wine, plated, and served chilled shrimp, while I prepared our entree. Dinner was simple, Omaha Steak did all the work, all we had to do was defrost, heat, and serve. Together we made a salad and shared a lovely evening. Dinner was delicious and easy with little clean up. Frankly, it really did feel like a night out and our meal was probably better than we would have enjoyed had we really gone out. Instead we relaxed, enjoyed a good bottle of wine, had some laughs, listened to the music of our choice and together we shared a memorable, safe night. In fact, we enjoyed our “Dinner Out In” so much that next week we are “going out” to dinner again in our own dining room.

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Celebrate Fall on Your Lanai

2020 Sure has been a Crazy, Different Year for us all. A year filled with experiences, and threats (real or imagined) that until 2020 only existed in Horror Flicks. We remain “Solivita Strong”, 11 months in, and looking forward to celebrating Fall and the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Lee and I have a firepit that we light on dark, quiet nights, when the heat of summer is behind us, and our temperatures dip in the evenings. In the fall spirit, while sitting by our firepit, we are enjoying an Apple Cider Mojito. A quiet evening, listening to the sounds of the conservation, and enjoying a few moments together is a lovely way to wind down at the end of the day while socially distancing. We send good wishes and warm toasts to all our friends, clients, and family. Lee and I invite you to come to Solivita and share in the good life that Central Florida Offers.

Our Cider Mojito is easy to make. Fill two glasses with ice. Add the juice of ½ a lemon to each glass. Top each glass with ¼ cup gold rum, fill the glass ¾ way up with cider and top each with a splash of seltzer. We garnish our Mojito with mint, thyme, a slice of apple and or a cinnamon stick. We have thyme and mint in our lanai garden, so for us, we just pick a few sprigs and drop them in our drink. We usually enjoy our Fall Mojito in Jelly Jar Glasses for extra fun.