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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. https://floridahikes.com/bike-trails

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. https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/news 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.
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Solivita Sales

Thank You to all our clients, friends and family who have supported and helped to make Bella Verde Realty the highest selling realtor in Solivita. Our Stats are amazing and so is life in the Award Winning Active 55 PLUS Community of Solivita. We attribute our success to each partnership Bella Verde Realty Realtors form with each of our clients. Every Bella Verde Realtor spends time getting to know you, we spend time listening, understanding your needs, and promise to find you the home and lifestyle you desire. The secret to our success is simple; every Bella Verde Realtor makes the following promise to every client - we PROMISE TO NEVER OVERSELL YOU and we promise to work hard to find you the home of your dreams.

Bella Verde Realty, LLC: 101 Transactions
Arista Realty Group: 80 Transactions
Borchini Realty: 79 Transactions
Davies Realty, LLC: 37 Transactions
AV Homes (new home builders): 27 Transactions
Florida Plus Realty: 25 Transactions
Charles Rutenberg Realty: 25 Transactions
Dorn Lane Realty: 13 Transactions
Fairway Realty: 11 Transactions
Right Track Realty: 11 Transactions
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A Typical Solivita Day in 2020

Our Pandemic Days have been similar in structure to our Pre-Pandemic Days except most of the community is wearing masks. Some of our masks are quite creative and come in multiple colors, patterns, and now all types of closure methods. The masks we are now wearing have evolved over the months and have become fashion accessories. Some of our masks tie at the back, some have fixed ear loops, some adjustable ear loops, and some have ear loops with an added Velcro strip that allow you to remove your mask and jauntily drape it around your neck until you are out and about again.

Other than these changes, “Solivitians” are still walking, biking, exercising, swimming, gardening, playing softball, pickleball, golf, tennis and outside in the air having fun. Our basketball court is busy, our social gatherings are much smaller for safety, and when visiting with neighbors on the street we visit at the suggested 6 foot distance, but life in Solivita is still active and has been good. While following the CDC Guidelines, we do feel safe within our gates.

Our restaurants are open and are serving food, plus doing take-out and delivery. Lee and I have done take-out; but have not yet enjoyed a meal in a restaurant since the pandemic began in March, we are looking forward to visiting our favorite places once the virus is under control. Our grocery stores, drug stores and liquor stores happily deliver our requests promptly. We can place our orders in the morning and be unpacking our deliveries in the afternoon.

The advantage to life in Central Florida, we are spending time outside enjoying our gardens, ponds, natural spaces and are loving the nice weather that arrives with fall. I am not a summer soul, so wherever we lived, once the summer heat is over I am once again a happy girl. Lee and I both enjoy the Fall, Winter and Spring weather in Central Florida; we fling open our windows, turn off the air, and enjoy the treats Mother Nature provides; bright blue skies and cool breezes. Our days are still perfect for swimming, but without humidity, plus the pools are heated and refreshing. The perfect time to sit back in one of our spa tubs and enjoy the weather and the warmth of the water as it bubbles around us.

Yes, Group Activities are limited due to the Pandemic. Our weekly Movie night in Solivita have been temporarily rescheduled, but not cancelled. Our HOA has become quite creative, they are streaming the weekly movies into our homes via our own special Solivita Station. There is one unfortunate Movie Night Change, the HOA is no longer providing free popcorn on movie night. Seems they have not yet worked out a popcorn delivery system for each of our homes. The HOA is not only delivering movies to our homes but sponsoring games, trivia, concerts, all virtual and all entertaining. Kudos to the Solivita HOA and the creative folks entertaining us during the Pandemic.

As cold weather sets in for most of the US, we send good wishes for your health and safety and invite you to visit with us in Solivita to view for yourself how good life can be in the comfort of the warm, embracing, and uncrowded AWARD WINNING 55 PLUS COMMUNITY of SOLIVITA. Visit us in person or visit us virtually. We will be happy to arrange to meet you at your convenience and show you around this special community we call home.
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Solivita Sunshine Eggs

Serves 8

• 5 Hard-boiled Eggs
• 1 tbsp. Butter
• 1½ tbsp. Flour
• 1 cup Milk
• 1 cup shredded Cheese
• ½ cup Sour Cream
• 2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard or more to taste
• 1 1/2 cup sliced Mushrooms, sautéed
• 8 slices of your favorite bread
• 8 slices Ham, warmed for a moment in a skillet
• 8 slices Tomato

Peel hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks and crumble in a small bowl. Chop cooked egg whites and set aside.

Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour and cook over medium heat about 1 minute. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Turn heat up to medium-high, cook stirring until sauce thickens to consistency of heavy cream. Add shredded cheese gradually, whisking to fully melt. Add sour cream, mustard, and sautéed mushrooms. Stir in chopped egg whites. The sauce can be made to this point and refrigerated. Warm over low heat in the morning.

The next morning - Toast the bread, briefly warm up the ham in a pan. Layer a slice of tomato and a slice of warmed ham over the toast. Heat the Sauce and Top with mushroom sauce. Garnish with crumbled egg yolks & Enjoy with a good hot cup of coffee.
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Social Distancing Activities

Social Distancing Activities, for the folks not yet ready to dip their toes into an outing:

Plan a Movie Night In

Since a trip to a movie theater is out of the question, why not create your own theater experience at home. Pop a bunch of popcorn, grab an assortment of snacks and fill a cup or glass with your favorite drink. Curl up on the couch and start the film. If you have a projector (and the weather is not too hot), take your movie viewing outside. You can watch movies with loved ones who live outside your home by hopping on a video chat and pressing play at the same time. Alternatively, both Netflix Party and Prime Video Watch Party allow users to watch content and chat online simultaneously with their families and friends. These options are available for the Netflix and Amazon Prime Streaming services, respectively.

Make a Photo Album, you know, the one you “Never Had Time for”

Pull out your boxes of photos, look through the photos on your PC and your phone, or on your camera cards, and select some good ones for printing. The experience of viewing old photos is fun and will bring back lots of happy memories of times shared with family, friends, and beautiful places visited. Choose some good pix, print them, and make an album. Once you have finished, you will be glad you did. Plus, after months of the Pandemic and hanging around our homes, we no longer have any excuses that start with “I just don’t have the time”.

Make a Grateful List

Sit down, reflect on all the things in your life that you are grateful for and make a list. This is a great way to feel joy and be thankful for the wonderful times, friends, family, and the joy life has given to you. Making my list filled me with warm, wonderful feelings and helps to calm the worries that this Pandemic has inflicted upon us all. I typed my list and keep it on my refrigerator, each time I look at it I do feel inner peace and joy.

Have some Youtube Fun

Log on to Youtube and check out the underwater camera live in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The underwater video is amazing. The city has installed Spinner, the Sea Camera, at the bottom of the city’s landmark fishing pier, which stretches out over the ocean nearly 1,000 feet from the shoreline at a depth of about 30 feet. You can see everything from parrotfish to sharks to sea turtles. The water is blue, and the view is breathtaking. The water is clear, the fish are plentiful. This view and experience is awesome, and as near to a snorkel trip as you can get without getting wet. Continue your armchair vacation by tripping around the world via you tube. No ticket, no passport, and no unnecessary exposure to the virus. This is a great way to see where you have been and a great way to view where you want to go, (once this pandemic is history).

StarGaze with a Telescope

Since the Pandemic, we have quite a few clients and friends who have invested in a Telescope to Star Gaze, Moon Watch, and to help them see the space shots from their front lawn or rear lanai. One of our friends said, “Although We may not be able to travel, our eyes through the lens of the telescope, can safely travel to new beautiful places”. October will be a great month for Moon Watching. 2020 has delivered a Pandemic to us, a Presidential Election, lots of worry, unemployment, job and food insecurity for millions of our fellow world citizens, and 13 full moons. In October we will enjoy two full moons, the Harvest Moon on October 1st and the Full Hunter’s moon on the 31st. Being full moons, both October Moons will rise around sunset.

While Stargazing through a telescope we were reminded of a wonderful evening spent in Flagstaff at the Lowell Observatory viewing the stars with the Lowell Educators. It was at this Observatory in Flagstaff that Pluto, once believed to be the ninth planet, was discovered by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh. If you are lucky enough to be there on a dark night when the sky is clear, you too can climb up the ladder of one of the telescopes at the observatory and view the planets and stars but until then, it is fun to view the stars from Solivita.
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The State of Florida is Open

The state of Florida is once again open for all to enjoy the fun, sun and beauty that Florida offers. This month’s newsletter includes Social Distancing Activities, and a few suggestions for the folks looking to go “out and about.”

We recently took a walk through the Mead Botanical Gardens, 47 acres of natural habitat for picnicking, nature walks and wildlife viewing. Mead Gardens has some short trails lined with tall pine trees, a creek, a boardwalk, a greenhouse, and a pond, plus a butterfly garden. If you have a well- behaved dog, bring him along for a walk, as leashed dogs are allowed too. The address is 1300 S. Denning Drive in Winter Park. If you choose not to picnic, the city of Winter Park has wonderful dining, outside and inside. You can dine al fresco and enjoy pasta, pizza, burgers, Greek and Turkish Food in Winter Park, and after all these months, it sure does feel good to be out and about again.

Mead Gardens is also hosting a Haunted Hike in the Garden
Please know Tickets must be purchased in advance
Thursday, Oct. 29 & Friday Oct. 30
6:30 PM – 11:00 PM


Put on a costume if you wish, walk with a happy heart, bring a mask, as it is required to be admitted, and have some fun. Experience spine-chilling tales from Mead Botanical Garden’s 80-year history by the moonlight. Mead Gardens is usually closed at night, but this is the perfect setting for an evening adventure. During this 40-minute hike, a master storyteller will share spooky tales of local legends and unexplained mysteries with you as you walk the garden’s most haunted trails.

Enjoy scary old black and white films prior to your tour in the socially distanced, outdoor waiting area. Adult beverages, and treats will be available for purchase. Hikes run every 15 minutes throughout the evening, from 7 – 10:15 p.m. Group size is limited to 8 people to ensure no one disappears. Keep your eyes peeled for restless critters that lurk in the garden at night.