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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.

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Living the Good Life in Solivita

Solivita Chefs have risen to the occasion and are creating, cooking, and plating delicious meals in Mosaics on Friday and Saturday Evenings. Three of us were there on a Saturday Night, we each ordered a different meal, every meal was delightful, creative, and each plate was accompanied by an orchid, greatly impressing my mom. Instead of lighting the grill or heating up the house, it is nice to hop onto you golf cart, enjoy a good meal in Solivita, and drive home without the stress of traffic. We plan to make Mosaics a regular weekend stop. Thank you Solivita for bringing good food and fun back to our community. Keep up the Good Work Solivita you all make living here a pleasure.
Solivita is about 45 minutes from the Amusement Parks that Orlando is Famous For. Orlando is among the world’s biggest tourist destination, with theme parks like Universal Studios, and Disney World, but Orlando is also a hometown. The Orlando Area is a hometown to millions of retirees, working folks and families, young and old. Solivita is an upscale community surrounded by natural beauty close to the parks and downtown Orlando. There is a lot to love here, our climate is sunny year-round and Solivita has resort style recreation with golf, tennis, pools, fun and entertainment. Our Hospitals and Doctors are top notch and include Advent Health, Orlando Health, and the World-Famous MAYO Clinic in Jacksonville. If the parks are not your idea of an afternoon out, Orlando has lots of culture to explore and enjoy, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater to name a few. Why live anywhere else when it is all here. Call a Bella Verde Realtor today to discuss how you can get in on the fun of living the good life in Solivita Style.

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Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Bacon

4 Tsp Garlic Powder
4 Skinless, boneless Chicken Breast Halves
Salt and Pepper to Taste
4 Springs Fresh Rosemary
4 Thick Slices of Bacon

Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate.
Sprinkle 1 Tsp garlic powder on each chicken breast half. Season each with salt and pepper. Lay one rosemary spring on each chicken breast half. Wrap the bacon around the chicken to hold the rosemary on. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
Cook the chicken until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. An instant read thermometer inserted in the center should read 165 degrees. Remove toothpicks before serving.

Quick, Delicious and Great Served with Grilled Veggies. Lee and I put this chicken together with Rosemary from our Garden, pour a glass of wine, and in 20 minutes we are enjoying a good dinner and the fragrance of rosemary fills our lanai. A joy to our palates and our senses plus another way to use Rosemary that grows like a weed in Florida.

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Escape to Maitland for a Day

Looking for a great day away, why not spend a day in Maitland, Fl. Maitland is just past Orlando, but a world away from the big city. Yes it is busier than Solivita, but it has some great quiet beautiful spots to visit, spend a few hours away, yet be close to home. If you are into Birds of Prey, reserve your ticket to visit the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. This center focuses on the rescue, medical treatment, rehabilitation, and release of Florida raptors. Amazing work is being done at this center to protect wildlife. Spend an hour and enjoy the amazing variety of birds being rehabilitated, enjoy the calls of the wild while overlooking beautiful Lake Sybelia. This center is doing great work protecting and caring for injured birds with a good percentage being returned to the wild. Talk to the staff, they are knowledgeable and will answer questions and provide you with information surrounding the effort it takes to care for these beautiful birds. We were thrilled that we could experience these powerful birds of prey so closely. https://cbop.audubon.org/ or call the Center at 407-644-0190. The Audubon Center is located at 1101 Audubon Way, Maitland

If you find yourself in Maitland on a Sunday Morning, head over to the Farmer’s Market on Lake Lily. Great Market, Wonderful Vendors, with the benefit of being in Lake Lily Park. Maitland’s Farmer’s Market is not large, but the Park is lovely with enough local vendors to sell their items under the trees around the lake. A perfect market to enjoy a great stroll while buying local fruit, veggies, and items from local vendors. Pick up a Smoothie or a cup of hot coffee and enjoy a walk around the lake under the shade of the trees. Lots of items to choose from, grab a great bottle of local honey, pick up some fresh tomatoes, or buy a plant. Don’t forget your camera, as this is a great spot to get some photos. If you are lucky there may even be music to add a pep to your step. If neither of the above works for you I have two more ideas. Both are treats for your senses, one is as delicious, as the other is beautiful.

Beautiful is the Maitland Art Center, a historical treasure that became the first National Historical Landmark in the Greater Orlando Area in 2014. The Mayan Architecture is stunning, bring your camera, enjoy a great walk. The grounds are open from 11 to 4 and the Art Center is located at 231 W. Packwood Ave., in Maitland, but in these times of COVID I suggest you plan your visit, so you are not disappointed. My other suggestion is delicious, dinner at Antonio’s across the street from Lake Lily Park. Our entire Florida Family has been enjoying meals, groceries, and wines from Antonio’s for years. In fact, when my cousins are in town, Antonio’s is our meeting place for great fun and food. Being former city folks, we always choose to dine in the restaurant inside the market. It is fun, we linger, shop for specialties, and enjoy the sites and aromas of freshly made Italian Treats.

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Pandemic Over But some Pandemic Design Changes are here to stay

We all know that trends come and go, social distancing and spending more time at home seems to have ushered in a new way of life. During the Pandemic, Dan and Chris, friends of ours, spent a lot of time visiting with friends and family on Zoom. Sunday Nights were dedicated Zoom Dates, and although they are vaccinated and things appear a bit safer, they continue to maintain their weekly Sunday Night Zoom Dates. Together with their friends and family they report to have found enjoyment in meeting with the grandkids via Zoom, playing games with them, catching up on the family news, and sharing wine nights with friends near and far. In fact, they enjoy their Sunday Evening Zoom Time so much that they have renamed their 3rd Bedroom their Zoom Room. Interesting, video conferencing is not only for work anymore.

This seems to be a new reality and a good idea as well, as recently I have heard this trend from quite a few clients too. Dan & Chris dedicated a wall in their 3rd Bedroom for Zooming. They painted the wall behind their zoom station, AKA Desk, removed all the clutter, hung some lovely artwork, and created a beautiful space for Zooming as well as Living. A Clean and Beautiful Design that enhances their space, a great idea for life, and a good idea for resale. Proving the adage, “The true creator is necessity, who is the mother of invention”.

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New Grocery Retail Center Planned in Poinciana

More shopping and dining options appear to be headed to Solivita Marketplace Poinciana. Kimley-Horn, a leading Engineering and Land Planning Firm, has filed a conceptual site plan with Osceola County for a 15 Acre grocery-anchored retail center east of Poinciana Medical Center. This project falls within the 180 Acre planned development, which is vested for 1 million square feet of commercial and retail services. The submitted plan calls for a 47,000 square foot grocery store with a 24,000 square foot junior anchor. The two stores would be linked by about 7,000 square feet of inline retail. In addition, this plan creates four new outparcels fronting Marigold Ave.

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Buyer’s Market Quick Takeaways

  • Home prices rose over the past year in nearly every metro area, including ours.
  • This hectic housing market causes appraisal headaches and delays. Home prices are surging as high as they have ever been, leading in a few cases, to a significant gap between the sale price and the appraised value. Rushed appraisers are not always keeping up with new data that may conflict with recent history. There is one option, a Reconsideration of Value Request, which allows an unsatisfied buyer to submit new comparables, for an appraiser to reconsider.
  • Building Materials are rising rapidly too, making new homes more expensive. Industry Data states the cost of lumber has risen 300% in a year.
  • Interest Rates are historically low, but this market is favoring cash sales, as there are more buyers than sellers.
  • Homes are being purchased remotely through virtual showings. So the time is right to sell, but be sure you have a place to hang your hat, as homes are selling quickly.
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Easing your Way Back into Dining Out

Lee and I met friends for a casual afternoon lunch on the deck at Tantrum’s Lakeside Grill in Auburndale, FL. Dine outside, very casual, but good, we really felt like we were on vacation for an afternoon. Growing up, my Mom and Dad used to take us to HO JO’s for the Tuesday Fried Fish Basket and Tantrum’s Menu and Fried Fish brought me back to the fish baskets we enjoyed years ago. The fish was fresh and lightly fried plus served with hush puppies and coleslaw. Delicious Chowder, a good, blackened fish sandwich, and lots of fun. We ate outside on the dock overlooking the water and enjoyed a beautiful view. Tantrum’s serves beer and wine too, so go for the view, the fresh fish and enjoy a great afternoon or early evening in the fresh air of Central Florida. You can visit Tantrum’s Lakeside Grill at 330 Denton Ave., Auburndale, FL.

You do not have to go to Auburndale to have Fun, since Fun in the Sun has returned to Solivita

Activities in Solivita are ramping up, neighbors are having parties, Solivita is busy planning Pool Parties, Game Nights, Shows, and Curbside Dining is back. The Grille is busy serving up a delicious menu. You can hear the laugher of neighbors and friends enjoying fun again. Smokers are cooking, steaks are on the grill, and yesterday the bar was serving up some delicious Margaritas. If you are vaccinated, it is time to dip your toes into the Good Life in Solivita, get out, and safely have some fun with your friends and neighbors.

If Gardening is your thing, just a short drive south on Route 27 is Lake Placid. A beautiful small town that hosts the Lake Placid Caladium Festival, it is local, and it is a fun way to spend a few hours. You may have noticed Caladium Leaves in bright pink, green, and white blooming all over Solivita, chances are they came from Lake Placid, FL. In fact, Lake Placid Florida is “The Caladium Capital of the World”. Lake Placid has been hosting the Festival for many years and if you attend you will find arts, crafts, wine tasting, a beer garden, lots of food booths, entertainment, and tons of colorful caladium bulbs ready to plant in your garden. This festival is held from July 23 – 25th and is always fun to attend, wear comfortable shoes, shorts and bring your sunglasses and hats, it is hot in July.