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