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Current Housing Market

Good News for Seller’s – We are Still in a Seller’s Market and Home prices are holding near record highs, but sales have slowed slightly. Nationwide, Redfin Reports that roughly 60,000 home purchase agreements fell through in June or about 14.9% of homes that went under contract in June. In our brokerage we have been fortunate and only had one contract cancel recently but this could be an indicator of things to come. Redfin reports this number of cancelled contracts is the highest percentage since March and April 2020 when Covid 19 ground the housing market to a halt.

There are a number of reasons that contracts fall through, inspection issues, a life event, and now the main reason, rising mortgage rates are forcing some buyers out of the market. If rates were at 5% when an offer was made but reached 5.8% by the time the deal was set to close, the buyer may no longer be in a position that allows them to qualify for a loan.Since the housing market has cooled in recent weeks, as the Federal Reserve has boosted interest rates to quell inflation, house hunters have a bit more freedom to seek concessions from sellers, but higher rates also make housing less affordable.

Bottom Line, if you find a house you love, make an offer, and joyfully enjoy your new address. Historically home values hold and if you remain in a home for over 5 years, and you love living in it, you cannot go wrong. 

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Beat the Heat by Visiting one of the below Indoor Venues

MOAS – Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach

A Wonderful Museum for all.  Do you love paintings, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, and other works of art?  If so you have come to the right museum, the Dow Gallery covers several eras of American History from the Pilgrim Century the 18th Century and the American Victorian Period. 

Do you love history?  If so, you have come to the right museum, tour the Root Family Collection which includes the largest Coca-Cola Memorabilia collection in the world.  Lots to experience and enjoy.

Do you love the sky? Visit the Planetarium and explore the galaxy while comfortably seated under a 40’ diameter dome structure with an amazing sound system and digital projector.   Explore all MOAS in one day or enjoy an exhibit, hit the beach, and return another day to visit again.  This museum has lots to offer with a wide range of permanent collections plus there are always several temporary exhibits on display.  

Would you rather search for treasure?

The McLarty Treasure Museum on A1A in Vero Beach may satisfy your craving.  Of course, you can’t take any treasure home with you, but I think you may enjoy a walk-through Florida History.  The museum occupies part of the former site of the Survivors’ and Salvagers’ Camp and exhibits the history of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet’s failed mission. This famous fleet, a group of 11 ships, set sale from Havana to bring a massive haul of gold and silver coins to Spain when a hurricane struck off the Florida Coast.    A wonderful and informative movie is shown telling of the fleet’s attempt to return to Spain. In fact, treasure hunters still come to the town’s beaches to search for washed up coins from sunken ships. McLarty’s Treasure Museum is a mile north of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Or Enjoy a Solivita Activity 

You can always Stay within the gates of Solivita and enjoy any of our 14 pools, our hot tubs with the heat turned down in the summer months, a picnic at the park, a game of golf or tennis, a ride on your golf cart, lunch or dinner at the Bistro or Stonegate Grill or an evening at Mosaics.  Sign Up and Enjoy any one of the many activities Solivita Offers.  Attend a concert, a softball game, a tasting demo, a murder mystery dinner, a live performance, or one of the Wine Down Evenings Solivita is sponsoring.  There is always something to do in our own community.  I have been reading the July Reflections and see lots of planned activities for August and September too.  Looks like it is Time to get out and have some fun.   After all, living in Solivita means you don’t have to travel far to have fun and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle and beauty of Central Florida.

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How to Choose a Real Estate Broker

Choosing the Correct Real Estate Agent is an important step in every real estate transaction. A good agent will come to the table with contacts, experience, and the ability to save a transaction that may not be moving forward smoothly. An Educated Consumer is the best consumer and all BVR Agents are open, honest, and educate their clients along the way.

When looking for a realtor we always recommend you ask trusted friends or family for a recommendation of a realtor they may have worked with. I also recommend that every client interview at least two realtors. Ideally, the interview and selection process of a realtor will be quick. A good realtor will come prepared with a home value analysis and current comps in your neighborhood. The realtor you choose should be a realtor with experience in your neighborhood, a realtor with an honest reputation, and a realtor that will not only work for you, but listen to your needs, and work with you.

The Real Estate Market is still “a buyer’s market” therefore homes are selling quickly, but as mortgage interest rates rise the experts predict the market will slow down a bit. Housing inventory is still in short supply and pricing of homes is commodity based (supply and demand) so at this time in the cycle it does not appear that house prices will be dropping anytime soon.

If you are considering the sale of your home, a BVR Realtor is always happy to come out and meet with you to discuss your home and provide a detailed report estimating your value. If you are looking to buy a home in Solivita or in our surrounding areas, call any of our realtors, we are always happy to work with folks to find them the home of their dreams.

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Easy Chicken Hawaiian In Foil

  • 4 Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup of Teriyaki marinade
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Ripe Florida Fresh Pineapple cut into chunks
  • Pepper to taste (salt is already in the marinade)
  • Preheat your grill to medium high heat

Lay out 4 squares of Heavy-Duty Aluminum foil. Place one piece of chicken in the center of each square. Pour the sauce over the chicken in each packet and turn to coat. Distribute the peppers, onion, and pineapple chunks in each packet sprinkle each packet with fresh ground pepper and fold the foil up to tightly seal each four packet.

Place the packets on the grill, cook for 25 minutes. Open one packet and check to see if chicken juices run clear when tested, if so, remove all four packets and enjoy.  Clean up is a breeze.

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A Local Adventure to Winter Haven

Recently Lee and I enjoyed a late lunch at Tempo 1930 in Winter Haven. We were in Winter Haven shopping for vinegar at the Treasured Olive Store on 4th Street when we noticed this small, but enticing, restaurant with a curious name. After tasting and buying an interesting assortment of delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Vinegars we decided to try Tempo 1930.

The décor of the restaurant was inviting, attractive, and reminiscent of many public houses we have enjoyed. As for the name, Tempo references the sounds of Jazz and Blues that inspired the décor and 1930 pays homage to George Jenkins, the late founder of Publix. George honed his skills as a manager at the Winter Haven Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store and in 1930 George resigned from Piggly Wiggly and founded Publix Markets in the exact location of Tempo 1930, therefore the name. 

The menu at Tempo 1930 is Eclectic with a nice assortment of appetizers, including vegetarian options. We tried Fire Roasted Ahi Lettuce Wraps, a Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad, and an Amazing Cauliflower Burger. All were tasty. Tempo 1930 has a full bar and a decent wine list. Our server was friendly and helpful and told us that on Saturday and Sunday, Tempo 1930 serves brunch, the menu looked good and will be a brunch stop Lee and I will make in the future. 

Back to the Vinegar, we purchased four different flavors, but our favorite from Treasured Olive was raspberry. Yum. We drizzled a bit on our Florida Fresh Strawberries and enjoyed it with Vanilla Ice cream for dessert.

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A Few Days on the East Coast or a Few Days on the West Coast

If a Beach Adventure is more your style why not try STUART, a lovely Atlantic Coast City, known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” just north of Palm Beach and South of Vero Beach. Stuart has an historic, pedestrian friendly downtown, beautiful Atlantic beaches, great river views, charming cafes, and art galleries. Stay in a beachfront accommodation, in town, or on the river. Lee and I like the East Coast Beaches in the summer and the West Coast Beaches in the winter, so the East Coast is always our summer beach pick. Wherever you choose to hang your hat for a few days, enjoy the sunshine and the fun this area offers.




Clam Pass Park in Naples located at the end of Seagate Drive, this 35 Acre mangrove forest is the gem of North Naples. Clam Pass Park is a public beach with a parking lot with a fee, and a tram that crosses a boardwalk through a mangrove swamp. The sand is like fine sugar and the beach is shallow. This is a great, quiet place to hang out on the Gulf Coast for a few days. If you swim or wade across Clam Pass, the beach extends for miles and is lined with sea grape trees and lush foliage. The red, white, and black mangrove trees are resistant to salt from the gulf and the ¾ mile walk is remarkable as you stroll along Outer Clam Bay. The park is open daily from 8 am to sundown. This beach is a local beach and is the perfect place to “get away from it all” but, If you are staying at the Naples Grand Beach Resort, this is the hotel beach.

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Although it is only May it feels like Summer in Florida:

Most folks that have relocated to Florida full time adjust to the summer sun by being active early in the day, relaxing by the pool or the clubhouse in the hot summer afternoons, and then enjoy the evening in the cool of the air conditioning. Lee and I have been Full Time Florida Residents for about 20 years; and after all this time, are fully acclimated to the heat. If you are a full-time resident, enjoy every moment of the summer sun, but please be careful, use sunblock, and stay hydrated.

We wish all our Snowbird friends, clients, and neighbors safe travels to their summer destinations. We will miss you in Solivita and look forward to your return in the late fall or early winter when our weather is WONDERFUL, our sky is a deep blue, and the activities in Solivita are in full swing. 

Summer Fun:

McKee Botanical Gardens: June 18, 2022 is the Waterlily Celebration in Vero Beach at McKee Botanical Gardens. We have been enjoying this once very popular roadside attraction for years.  In fact, if you go back in the Bella Verde Archives on our website to June 2021 you can read all about the history of this unusual historic garden in Vero Beach. The Waterlilies were beautiful last year, and we expect another spectacular explosion of delicate and lovely waterlilies this year. Please visit the Gardens remotely to see dates, times, and events at: https://mckeegarden.org.  If you go, bring your camera as you will be treated to some lovely photo opportunities. 

Lake Placid Caladium Festival, Lake Placid, Florida     July 29 – 31, 2022
A rare small-town festival in the summer, offering arts and crafts, beer garden, food booths, entertainment and a car and bike show. Lake Placid is known as the Caladium Capital of the World. 

Lake Placid is One of Florida’s prettiest small towns, and it boasts almost 50 outdoor murals in the downtown area. This area of Florida has lots of lakes and beautiful farmland. Visit the Sugar Sand Distillery, Henscratch Farms, or if you visit during the Caladium Festival buy some bulbs to plant. Lake Placid’s attractions include 27 freshwater lakes and Toby’s Clown School and Museum. This little Central Florida town has something for everyone. Lake Placid is truly a day away from it all with the small-town charm and is the perfect stop for folks looking for a day filled with simple pleasures. The Caladium Bulbs are world famous, and produce brilliant, beautifully patterned foliage. If you are looking to add some color to your garden, this little bulb is happy to grow in Florida year after year and will bring bursts of color to your yard.

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Design Trends 2022 – Sustainability, Efficiency, and Patience

The latest trends are not trendy at all say the designers. Gone are the days of making your home look like a catalog, instead embrace old family pieces and mix them with new treasures. Homes are reflecting the individuality of the owners, comfortable, authentic, and sentimental. When you mix old items with new items you home and room will feel and look timeless. Vintage glass, a good vintage furniture piece, and Vintage China are all back in style. We were just at the Antique Market in Mount Dora, and I can confirm shopping vintage is not only for the 55 Plus Set, but younger clients are also embracing the look and character of vintage items and are driving the prices up. We have a few Vintage items that we have refreshed  and made them uniquely ours. These projects were fun and creative and make a great talking point, plus we are enjoying the look of our vintage items in our home. The world is experiencing supply chain and shipping delays, making the time right for us to rethink items you may have packed away. May I suggest, you look through your garage, closets, boxes, and unpack your paint brush, put on your designer hat, and make something old new again.

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The Real Estate Market

Real Estate is Hot, Hot, Hot, and not just in Florida, but all over the USA. It is a Seller’s Market as prices are up, but it is also a good opportunity for a Buyer to jump in. Looks like the hot market will remain hot for a while and when it cools down, property values are predicted to continue to rise, just at a slower pace. We have seen record-breaking growth and we all know it will not last forever, but what is the data really telling us. Supply and Demand is the largest driver for real estate prices. Low interest rates brought buyers to the market in droves, but the low housing supply drove home prices up at record levels. Of course, with all the building in the US supply will not remain low forever, but experts predict we need to continue to build housing for a few more years to keep up with the demand for housing. Our job market is booming and so are the housing prices, even with the FED raising interest rates to combat inflation currently our housing market is steady. Only time will tell what is truly in store for the market ahead as no one has a crystal ball. Know, if a downturn comes, it is a Buyer’s Market, and a great time for investors to jump in and pick up some real estate at discounted rates. So be it a buyer or a seller’s market, investing in a home is a great investment. An investment in your life and your lifestyle. Find the home you love in the neighborhood you love and enjoy the benefits of your hard work. As property values rise and fall you will be secure in knowing you have a safe, happy place to call home.

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Summer Pasta Salad For Six

  • 1 – Box Large Pasta Shells
  • 1 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbled
  • 1 Pt. Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Pt. Red Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 3 English Cucumbers diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Mint Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley Chopped
  • 1 Rib Celery Chopped, if you have fresh Celery Leaves you can chop them in too
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped Black Olives
  • 2 Cups Low Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Clove Garlic Minced
  • The Zest of One Lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil to toss with the pasta after draining
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Cook Pasta according to package directions, drain and place on a sheet tray and toss with olive oil to cool

 

Once pasta is cooled place in a large bowl and fold in the rest of the ingredients.