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Real Estate Tourism

Why an Island Rental Makes Sense

Why buy when you can settle into a charming island rental as if it were your own home? People love to spend part of winter on Anna Maria Island. Many who fall in love with this beautiful island immediately buy one of the small homes, fix it up, then spend part of the year here when it gets cold everywhere else. But in the current economic conditions, it could make a lot more sense to take a close look at staying in one of the island rental properties that are available and postpone buying anything.

Seagull sunsetAn island rental is often just a home somebody else bought when they fell in love with Anna Maria Island. Maybe they bought it a little too quickly. Then rising property taxes, or financial problems from other sources led the owner to need to rent the property to help defray the cost. Many of the island rental properties have been beautifully improved, with all the amenities of a tropical retreat. A spacious interior with nice finishes and tropical furnishings often opens out to a private swimming pool and beautiful island landscaping. It doesn’t take long to settle into such a place and feel at home.

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Real Estate

FEMA Rules Change Anna Maria Island

Scraped lot On Anna Maria Island, when you see an empty lot with new construction about to begin, you know the new building will tower over the traditional Old Florida one-story homes in the neighborhood. Why? It’s the law, to some degree, at least. In 1975 FEMA made it mandatory that all new construction place the first living level at a certain specified number of feet above sea level, which means either having to raise the lot with a huge amount of fill, or building the living space on a second and, possibly, third floor. This coincided with the start of government involvement in flood insurance programs. When the government starts ‘taking care’ of you, it starts telling you how to do things.

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Real Estate

Foreign Invasion Or Foreign Evasion?

Darcie Duncan at Duncan Real Estate Inc. discusses international property buyers.

The National Association of Realtors has just released its Profile of International Home Buying Activity, relaying information about foreign national buying practices in the 12-month period between May 2007 and May 2008. Although the survey of 4,000 realtors across the nation indicates that buying was widespread and spanned almost every state (the most popular states being Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, New York, Washington and Nevada), the report also shows that foreign buyers purchased less property during the period than they did a year earlier. The decline in reported transactions can be attributed to the general downturn in the U.S. housing market. In fact, it appears, according to the report, that foreign buyers, like U.S. buyers, may be reticent to invest in U.S. property until they are assured that the investment will “pay off.”