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GAL One Plus One Gift Drive

It is that time of the year again. Bella Verde Realty is the Proud Sponsor of a Gift Giving Drive for Osceola’s Foster Children. We are Proud to say that this is the 5th year we have worked to help the Children ranging from ages 0 – 18 enrolled in the GAL Program. We ask all to donate a gift or a gift card to the Guardian ad Litem Program who help over 500 children that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned in Osceola County. For Every Gift Donated to us, the children will get 2 gifts. One from you and One from Us. We thank You for Helping Us give Florida’s GAL Children Happy Holidays.

We invite you to Visit our website to see our past HOLIDAY GAL Fundraiser Info.  Go to the About Tab, then News, and scroll down to our blog archives, dive into every December for the past 4 years, and see our GAL Gift Giving Success Stories.

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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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Memorial Day

Now that Wine Day has kicked off the weekend right, it is time to truly celebrate and remember those who have died in service to our nation. It is the day each year Americans pay tribute to the brave men and woman who gave their life for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Growing up, our small town held an annual Memorial Day Parade. The veteran’s organizations would march, the local high school band would strike up a tune, the scout troops would put on their uniforms and pay tribute to our veterans. Our local clubs and organizations would build floats, carry banners, pass out water, and decorate the park for the big town BBQ celebration held at Veteran’s Field. A wonderful salute to the memory of our brave soldiers. Memorial Day always began in prayer at the cemetery, followed by a gun salute at the Veteran’s Memorial. My dad was a proud Korean War Veteran and every Memorial Day he would put on his uniform and march in respect and gratitude to the soldiers that no longer could. For one day a year, the entire town would join in honor of our nation and gather in remembrance. It is with many thanks that today we honor and salute each soldier and their families for the sacrifices they made to give us the freedom we enjoy today.

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The Top 8 Reasons To Retire To Florida

Looking for a reason to retire to Florida? Look no further! I can give you lots of reasons that make FLORIDA RETIREMENT IRRESISTIBLE.
Here are the top 8 reasons to retire to Florida:

  1. No Income Tax. Retirees flock to Florida because Florida has NO STATE INCOME TAX. Workers get to keep more of their paychecks and seniors keep more of their IRA or 401(k) withdrawals.
  2. Even More Tax Breaks. Not only is there no state income tax, but there is NO STATE INHERITANCE TAX and NO ESTATE TAX, plus property taxes are relatively low too.
  3. The Weather. The Florida weather is spectacular. It’s warm for most of the winter and summer months in Florida are NO WARMER than the temperatures in the NE except our summer lasts just a little bit longer.
  4. Lower Cost of Living. At the end of the day, if you are on a fixed income, it pays to live where your money goes further. Florida has an overall cost of living that is lower, allowing you to save money for travel, contribute to charity, do what you love to do, or just shop till you drop.
  5. Recreation. I came from NJ. We skied in the winter and swam in the summer, but the rest of the year offered nothing special in outdoor recreation. In Florida, we golf, enjoy water sports, fish, boat, bike, walk, swim, run, and enjoy pickleball and tennis 12 months a year.
  6. Ease of Air Travel. When you go back home for a visit, or when friends or family come to you, there are loads of airports, both domestic and international, for you to choose from. Florida also has a bevy of direct flights to many U.S. and international locations.
  7. Health Care Availability. Many retirees migrate to Florida, which has given us a tremendous amount of good health care options and services specifically geared toward older folks. We have great healthcare providers all over the state such as the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, Moffitt Cancer Center, and Florida Hospitals, just to name a few.
  8. Everyone Loves Florida. This reason comes from the results of an informal survey I conducted with family, friends, and clients. 94% of the respondents clearly stated that they LOVE FLORIDA and all it offers. None of the 94% plan to return to their former home states. Yes, there is the other 6%, but you can’t please all the people all the time. You should come to Florida and join the 94% who love life here!
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Life in the Center of Everything Florida has to Offer:

Heading to the beach from Solivita is easy, with a quick hour and half drive to either coast. I love the East 1w beaches because the water is cooler and a bit wilder, and the beach on Cocoa reminds me of the NJ beaches from my youth. Lee loves the beauty, warmth, and calmer waters of the West Coast beaches. Whichever way we go from Central Florida, east or west, the Florida beaches are beautiful with warm water and soft sand. Growing up in New Jersey, the beach season was short and our beaches were so crowded you could hardly find a place to plant your blanket and umbrella. Florida beaches never seem to be that busy, the palm trees gently sway in the breeze, and the Florida State beaches usually provide picnic tables, a place to park your car, and changing facilities, making a “day at the beach” really an actual day at the beach.
We love to go to Cocoa Beach and when time provides, we stay at the Inn at Cocoa Beach for a night. It’s a lovely beachfront inn, spotlessly clean with a nice pool and public rooms. The Inn brews coffee every morning and provides a good breakfast, plus every evening it hosts a cocktail hour for their guests, which is a nice kick off to the day and a great start to the evening. We park our car at the Inn, enjoy the morning at the beach, the afternoon at the pool, and walk to one of the local spots for dinner, resulting in a truly relaxing overnight.
When we go to the West Coast we love to swim at the beach at St. Pete. St. Pete is a bit busier than Cocoa but just as nice with gorgeous sunsets. We usually pack an overnight bag and spend an evening, grab a great fish dinner, and head back the next morning refreshed and ready to get back to business. Seems wherever we go in Florida, natural beauty surrounds us, blue skies fill our vision, and we always meet some very nice Florida folks who are willing to share recipes. We enjoyed this grouper and want to share the easy recipe with you.

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Events in Solivita

Solivita has so many events going on this month between the Easter Brunch, the Rally for the Cure Village Event, the Annual Queen’s College Golf Outing, the Community Yard Sale, and the events scheduled at Mosaics and the Grille. It’s hard not to be busy! This is also the time of the year that our snowbirds start their flight north, and I would like to wish all of you a safe trip and a safe return to Solivita next season. We will miss you! The longer we reside in Florida the more we find to do, even after living here for over 17 years.  In fact, we are SOLIVITA PIONEERS and PROUD OF IT.
Your Invitation to Central Florida Life
Living in Central Florida means we are central to lots of activities. I would like to extend an invitation to you to visit Solivita to experience this wonderful community. Call me at (407) 641-2688 and I will sign you up for Solivita Discovery Days, which is Three Days and Two Nights to discover for yourself the beauty of Solivita. 

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Sailing in Sebring

Looking to buy a new or resale Home in Solivita.  You have come to the right realtor and the right place.  Our agents and our office specializes in Homes in Solivita, but that is not all we do.  We sell homes, condos, and townhomes throughout the Central Florida Area.  Recently Bella Verde Realty sold a beautiful Lakefront Condo in Sebring, Florida.  Our new homeowners are planning to enjoy the unit off season and rent the unit in the winter months.  An investment in a vacation condo while offsetting most expenses with rental income.  A Great Way to build future wealth while having fun!

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We’re ready for the TRID rules!

At 5 p.m. EST June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement that the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a prepared statement: “The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until Oct. 1, 2015. We made this decision to correct an administrative error that we just discovered in meeting the requirements under federal law, which would have delayed the effective date of the rule by two weeks. We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time.”

Rainier Title has been working towards the TRID implementation for over a year and felt prepared for August 1st. However, with the proposed delay we will be taking this opportunity to continue our education and training of TRID. While we believe that we have been proactive and ready for this change, there are still so many unknowns that will have to be addressed at the time of implementation. The industry should still prepare for 45-60 days for transaction to close due to the new timing parameters of the forms.

We’re working hard to be ready for all changes!

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Real Estate Roundup

Active Home-Building Industry Will Lead to More Demand for Warehouse Space

Strong consumer spending and the rise in housing construction activity are currently the prime factors for the incredible rebound of the U.S. industrial real estate sector, and experts say as home buying continues to increase, so will demand for warehouse space. — From NRE Online

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Developer’s Question

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The Importance of Ethics and Service. An Interview with Lorraine Valdes

An interview with Lorraine Valdes on her becoming a Realtor and her take on success in regards to ethics in life and in real estate. Also, bonus question at the end!

Why did you want to become a Realtor? And why central Florida?

Independence, self employment, I like working with people. I spent 25 years in healthcare: finance management and nursing. Always believed in home ownership and have always been a real estate investor. Therefore I just developed a love for it and continued on with it as a career. Central Florida is where my husband and relocated to, expecting to live here for retirement. However, immediately after we built our home my husband developed cancer. He was unable to work so we escalated our move and came down to live in our retirement home. We chose Central Florida because of the very low ability of a down swing in the economy because it is 100% driven by tourism. To me it was a no-brainer, a perfect investment location.

You credit your ethics and honesty to your background in medicine.
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