Tag Archives: Taxes

Is the Sun About to Shine on Island Real Estate?

It has been a difficult few years for anyone wanting to sell a home on Anna Maria Island. Having been part of Florida’s spectacular growth, prices on island homes had risen tremendously since the 1990’s, and therefore were subject to the same kind of fall that all popular markets experienced starting a little over three years ago. But at least there always is something about a beautiful island that sets its properties apart from the larger inventories on the mainland. There is only a finite number of island homes, and people will always want to live on an island. So there is reason to believe properties on Anna Maria will be in demand again sooner than the general market.

Island Real Estate sunshine

The question is whether the nation is beginning to see a general upturn in housing sales and prices yet. There have been articles in highly regarded publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, indicating this may be the case. In a recent article in the Anna Maria Island Sun, Louise Bolger points out that Maureen Maitland, vice president for index services at Standard & Poor’s, has speculated that we may look back on April, 2009, as the trough in home prices.

Speaking of speculation, that would mean this could be a very good time to buy an investment home in Anna Maria Island … if you can afford the high property taxes. At least there is the possibility of covering some of those taxes and carrying costs through rental. And rumor has it that if the house has a swimming pool, it is much easier to rent. Of course this all is speculation, and speculation is largely responsible for the bubble and its bursting that put the market where it is today.

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Building Permit – Stop All Work

Stop Work - No PermitLooks like a builder got caught up in the new Holmes Beach City permit approval process.

This house was red flagged 2 weeks ago after demolition work had begun. The notice states the reason to be ‘no permit’.

Two months ago the City of Holmes Beach reviewed its building code after discussion with FEMA rules on floodplain insurance.

Subsequently, a draft code was approved and went into effect, with a projection that new permits received by April 9th would be issued in 30 days.

However, demolition began on this property early April, with walls removed, roof peeled back, and interior gutted.

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Seafood Shack Restaurant Closes

UPDATE: The Seafood Shack Restaurant is open. Hours are 11:30 a.m to 9:00 p.m. Telephone: 941-794-1235Seafood Shack Cortez

The Seafood Shack Restaurant in Cortez has closed re-opened.

The waterfront restaurant has been in business for 38 years serving grouper sandwiches, clam chowder and burgers but succumbed to the combination of high taxes, high insurance, economic downturn, and an upcoming bridge repair.

The humpback bridge on 127th Street is closing for repairs and Seafood Shack owner, Ham Jones, said he faced bankruptcy trying to stay open with low patronage, or close and lay off staff. He kept open the possibility of reopening in November if the bridge repairs are completed by then, and if the Anna Maria Island bridge repair closures reroutes traffic to Cortez bridge as scheduled for October – November.

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FEMA Rules ReRule

In another episode of the continuing non-reality show of “Let’s see what FEMA rules are today”, letters from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the local island cities offices announced that buildings “having the lowest floor one foot or more below the base flood elevation will no longer be eligible for the CRS discount.”

The Community Rating System is a method of assessing cities’ overall exposure to flood damage loss. By installing adequate drainage systems and enforcing building codes to mitigate flood damage, communities can be eligible for a 5 – 45% discount for residents’ flood insurance premiums.

Flooding water levels

FEMA’s new edict beginning May 1st excludes specific properties “at high risk” and “not compliant” in the “Special Flood Hazard Area” from getting the community discount. A homeowner will discover if he is excluded when their flood insurance policy comes up for renewal – the policy will have a small zero in the CRS discount box.

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FEMA Rules On Floodplain Insurance

City of Holmes Beach commissioners presented their first reading of a draft new ordinance related to building code and permitting in the city’s floodplain.

The 31-page ordinance is the result of FEMA, (We’re Here To Help You), having questions about code implementation and compliance with current standards.

On February 12th, the city commissioners put a moratorium on new building permits until a new regulations could be researched and analyzed. The March 25th meeting brought to light the draft reading.

The new regulations are expected to improve ranking with the National Flood Insurance Program system, which provides discounts for cities that participate in the government’s flood insurance program.

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