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Spend the day or the weekend in Sarasota

If the beach in August is too hot for you, take a visit to the The Ca’ d’Zan Mansion in Sarasota in the afternoon and hit the beach at sunset. This Mansion is the former winter home of one of America’s eccentrics and very wealthy couples, John Ringling, of the Ringling Brothers Circus, and his wife Mable. The Ringling’s started building the mansion in 1924 for a price tag of $1.5 million. After they died, the estate was given to the state of Florida to be preserved and enjoyed by all. Unfortunately, the costs to maintain this mansion left the Ringling’s home in disrepair but in 2002 this home was officially revived by the state and opened to the public. A tour of this lovely residence provides a glimpse into the opulent private lives of the Ringling family, with spectacular views and extravagant rooms that once hosted gatherings for the elite. If you are a movie buff and familiar with Hollywood’s remake of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”, Ca’d’Zan was used as a location for an abandoned mansion in this 1996 movie.

Sarasota is only about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Solivita and an easy drive. It is a world away from our quiet, perfect community but always a good diversion. So, if you feel like enjoying a bit of history and want to feel the cool breeze of the gulf, Sarasota is a great place to enjoy a day trip or to spend the weekend. Lots to do with gardens, museums, beaches, great seafood, and shopping.

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Roasted Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Crostini

Why not try a twist on the typical Crostini? Lee and I did, and it has become one of our go-to snacks


5 Oz. Goat Cheese

1 Lb. Strawberries, hulled and cut into bite size pieces

2 Tbsp. Honey

2 Tbsp EVOO

1 baguette cut into ½ inch slices

Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into little pieces

Fresh ground black pepper


Put the Oven on 350 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment to make clean up easy.


On one baking sheet toss the strawberries with honey, spread them in a single layer and bake on the upper rack of the oven till tender and juicy. About 20 – 25 minutes. Toss the berries half-way through the baking.


On the remaining baking sheet, brush EVOO on each slice of bread and bake in the middle of the oven until toasts are golden 10 – 12 minutes.


Once toasts are cool, top each with a smear of goat cheese, followed by a spoonful of roasted strawberries and their juices. Sprinkle the torn basil and black pepper over the crostini and serve immediately.


We enjoy this light snack with a glass of Prosecco, and we hope you enjoy this recipe too. Cheers!

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Westview is coming in 2022

Westview is a new Master Planned Community separate from Solivita. The residents of Westview will not be using Solivita Infrastructure but instead will be an entirely new community opposite our gates. Taylor Morrison has filed a subdivision plan for Westview, seeking approval for 1,844 detached home lots in five sizes, more than 50 acres of parks and amenities, an 11.5-acre commercial lot and 616 townhomes plus amenity space including parks, pools, tennis, a clubhouse, soccer fields, basketball, and baseball/softball fields. In addition to the recreation provided in the project, the western 36 acres of wetland will be preserved as passive open space.

Westview will be a multi-generational master-planned community and will include one of Taylor Morrison’s Esplanade Branded Active Adult, Resort Style Communities.

As this exciting new Taylor Morrison Project progresses I will continue to advise each stage of the build, be ready, as these new homes are planned to start selling by the end of 2022. It is exciting to see new neighborhoods planned and built bringing in new families, new neighbors, and new opportunities continuing to add diversity to our greater community.

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Living on the Sunny Side of Life

Florida is a Tax Friendly State with an average property tax rate that is 10% below the national average. Life in Florida has many benefits including a Homestead Exemption of up to $50,000 in assessed property values, a low sales tax rate, plus Florida does not charge an estate or inheritance tax. Florida has no state income tax, nor does it tax income from pensions, IRAs, 401K plans, or Social Security Benefits. Think about how much more disposable income would end up in your pocket if you did not pay State Income Taxes.

Solivita welcomes new residents seeking to live in an upscale retirement community with resort style amenities that are enjoyed year-round. We are proud to be a culturally diverse community with residents flocking to live within our gates from all 50 states, plus we have quite a few snowbirds wintering with us from countries near and far. The closer you look at Florida the more you will see how much this state has to offer. If our weather and tax structure does not lure you in, we have breathtaking beaches, pristine blue lakes, amazing wetlands, wonderful wildlife, a diverse bird population, countryside settings, suburban enclaves, and major metropolitan areas. Enjoy world class entertainment, unique cultural experiences, and farm-fresh dining. Florida really does have something for everyone, plus, our Weather offers 12 months of fun and outdoor enjoyment. If you are seeking an active lifestyle, look no further, you have found your home in Solivita.

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4 Corners Tavern

4 Corners Tavern in Champion’s Gate, a good stop for a burger, a brew, brisket, ribs, salmon, or even just a soup and a salad, plus it is only 15 minutes from our gate. Lee had a black bean burger, and I enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw. My pulled pork sandwich was tender, juicy, and ranked up there with one of the best I have had. Cold Beer on Tap, a decent wine list, a full bar, and Vegetarian and Gluten Free Options are offered too. Great for a casual meal any time of the day, but if you are out late, 4 Corners is the perfect spot, as they have a menu for dining after 10 pm. I only let you know this as for most of Solivita our days of dining at 10 pm are over, but when the kids and grandkids visit they are up early, out all day, and just starting to think about dinner around 9 pm making 4 Corners Tavern a Good Option for you to share with them. The space is open, modern, clean, and the food is good. The wait staff was knowledgeable and attentive. Champion’s Gate is a hop, skip and a jump down Poinciana Parkway, and a fun place to dine. On separate visits, we sent our younger cousins and children there, they all returned happy, full, and shared rave reviews with us. Try this spot during the day and remember this is a great late-night spot when the kids are in town.

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Hurricane Season – Follow the Scouting Rule and “Be Prepared”

Preparing for Hurricane Season is simple but important. On a trip to the grocery store pick up some extra gallons of water, batteries for your flashlights and radio, battery operated candles, matches, some canned goods, dried fruit, nuts, and snacks that you enjoy. While in hurricane season, keep your car’s tank gassed up and maintain propane or charcoal for your grill. Just in case you lose electric, you will be able to cook out of your freezer and fridge for a few days on your grill. Solivita has an extensive infrastructure that includes underground wiring, therefore Solivita cannot experience a loss of power due to a pole coming down or a lightning strike in our community, but unfortunately we cannot control the electric grid outside of our gates.

If Lee and I are heading out of town during hurricane season we always put our outdoor furniture away and place our lawn ornaments out of harm’s way. Of course, if a hurricane is predicted in our area, and we are home, we stow our outdoor items in our garage, check our wine inventory, and get ready to hunker down for a few days.

The Beauty of Life in Central Florida is that we are away from the coastal areas leaving us less vulnerable to storms and storm damage, having said that, in hurricane season it is better to be prepared and be safe, rather than to be sorry. Lee and I have lived in Central Florida for over 20 years and have weathered a few hurricanes. You can feel safe living in Solivita, our homes are block construction, our roofs are strapped to our foundations, our trees are well maintained, the pond levels surrounding our homes are controlled by our HOA and we have emergency services around the corner from our community, therefore anyone lucky enough to call Solivita Home can head into hurricane season worry free.

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The Benefits of Buying in an HOA Community

Solivita is an HOA Golf Course Community with Tons of Benefits. Included in your monthly HOA Dues you get 150,000 sq ft of Amazing Amenities that include Tennis Courts, Pickleball Courts, Bocce Ball Courts, Shuffleboard Courts, a Softball Field, Basketball Courts, Horseshoe Courts, a Billiard Room, 14 Temperature Controlled Pools, Hot Tubs, Clubhouses, Parks, Ponds and Natural Beauty, plus two 18 Hole Championship Golf Courses.

Our community HOA Benefits include Basic Cable, Lawn, Shrub, and Tree Maintenance for your home and for the entire community, and reclaimed Water and Sprinkler Maintenance. Our ponds are stocked for fishing (catch and release), and the HOA maintains our sidewalks and our roads. Your HOA dues include 2 State of the Art Amenity Centers, computer labs, a lending library, activities, weekly movie nights, plus parades, parties, and lots of activities throughout the year. In addition, Solivita is a safe community, constructed with underground electrical wires, we are gated, monitored, and have manned security 24/7.

Living in our HOA Community does provide lots of benefits including the fact that your neighbor cannot violate any of the Solivita Community Rules. For example, your neighbor must comply with all guidelines to not disturb the peace of our lifestyle by playing loud music at all hours of the night or by partying past midnight. These HOA Rules protect you from a neighbor adversely affecting the value of your home, or the quality of your lifestyle. Our HOA is active and responsibly maintains our neighborhood keeping our community not only beautiful but peaceful.

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It’s a Seller’s Market!

Current Market Report.

During the last 30 days, 51 homes sold in Solivita. As of the middle of August we only have 24 homes in Solivita Active and on the market for sale. An unusually low inventory for a community with over 5,000 homes. Bella Verde Realty has a list of buyers seeking homes in Solivita, therefore if you are looking to sell, now is the time. In Addition to selling homes in Solivita, our Bella Verde Realtors sell homes throughout Central Florida, we are busy working with folks moving to Solivita and families moving to our area. Call us to find out the best school districts, the perfect neighborhoods for your family, the perfect towns to buy or build in, and put your name on our growing list of interested home buyers looking to live in our newest community, Westview. Be one of the first owners in this brand new, upscale community building now and ready to start selling in 2022. We are the Realtors to Go To when you are Going to buy or sell your home.

Every Realtor says they are the best, the most active, the busiest, etc., but how many realtors encourage you to view the facts? Buying or Selling a Home is one of the most important financial decisions you will make, therefore it is important that you work with a realtor that is knowledgeable and an industry leader. We encourage all our clients to ask to see, and to review the MLS Records. Our Bella Verde Staff will be happy to print sales records for the top 100 realtors in our area directly from the Florida Multiple Listing Service for you. Bella Verde Realty is a leader in our industry, we are a family firm, staffed with real estate professionals, marketing experts, and IT folks who live, work, and sell more homes than any other realtor in Solivita.