Many who have stayed for years at island resorts for their annual vacations eventually think about buying property in their favorite place. Anna Maria Island is that favorite place for a wide range of people who have one thing in common: they love the simple, Old Florida beauty here. Although Anna Maria Island lodging offers a wide range of comfortable places to stay, there is something special about having one’s own island home.
Since many people thinking of making the move are from places very different from this tropical island paradise, here is a list of things to watch out for as one selects one’s new island home:
1. Neighborhood flooding can come from high tides, storm surges or just heavy rainfall. Just one or two inches of elevation can make the difference between whether a particular home or yard is often standing in water, or not. Ideally, the potential home buyer should be sure to visit the island during the rainy season, staying at one of the island resorts, in order to drive around after heavy rain and see which properties are standing in water. It’s very hard to predict which properties will be dry and which will be flooded just by looking at them. At the very least, try to talk to others in the neighborhood and ask how often the street is closed due to high rainfall, or whether they have seen standing water at the property in which you are interested.
2. Anna Maria Island rentals are often interspersed among second homes that are not rented. Anyone who depends on peace and quiet should take a careful look at whether there are a lot of island rentals signs in the yards on the street where they are considering buying. Usually, there are more island rentals close to the beach, and this is one reason it’s not necessarily ideal to own a home right at the beach, unless, of course, you plan to rent it. If that’s the case, it’s good to keep in mind that rental properties with swimming pools are much easier to rent.
3. While there are no bad neighborhoods on Anna Maria Island, some neighborhoods have particularly nice local people living in them. Anyone looking for property on the island might find it helpful to take walks through the neighborhoods under consideration, at several different times of day, in order to observe whether it’s a neighborhood of dark second homes, or whether there are people living and walking around that neighborhood. If there are, they most likely will be very friendly.
4. Sun exposure matters in any house that will be occupied year-round. Many make the mistake of thinking it would be ideal to have a view of the sunset. Unfortunately, windows facing west collect the sun at the hottest time of day. It’s almost impossible to stare at the low sun, and most of the time, people with windows to the west end up closing them later in the day. On the other hand, windows looking east collect the sun at the earlier, cooler time of day. They offer a chance to view the spectacle of low sunlight reflecting on the clouds and trees at the end of the day, without having to look in the direction of the sun.
5. In addition to the issue of east versus west sun exposure, north versus south matters. When we were staying in Anna Maria Island lodging, looking around at all the houses for sale, an old timer gave us some good advice. He said to be sure to buy a house with southern exposure because the nicest time for outdoor living is winter, when the winds are from the north. It’s therefore nice to have one’s patio on the south side, blocked from the north wind, and warmed by the sun. Because, believe it or not, it does sometimes get chilly in winter!
People who keep these simple suggestions in mind as they search for real estate on Anna Maria Island probably will end up with homes that feel like their own island resorts, without some of the headaches that can surprise unknowing buyers.