Tuesday, October 30, 2007

E-Book for The Villages Florida is ready now

Just got done with an e-book about The Villages Florida.

It's 117 pages, and is available for instant download. Some of the content is similar to Florida for Boomers, but I really went through section by section and tailored it to folks considering moving to The Villages.

Check it out...hope you enjoy it and learn a lot...I promise you will!

Florida Double Homestead Exemption is really Double-ish

After months of back and forth like they do best, the Florida House and Senate came to a compromise on a new property tax plan to send to voters on January 29th.

And there's nothing like waiting until the last minute. The plan had to be approved by both the House and Senate by the end of October 29 (90 days out from the special election). They made it by a couple of hours.

Here are the basics that could impact homeowners if the bill passes in January:

(Not Quite) Double homestead exemption: Homestead property owners will get a second $25,000 exemption on the assessed value on the value of their homes over $50,000. BUT, because this doesn't apply to school taxes (and because school taxes account for nearly 1/3 of the tax bill) the net result is closer to an additional $16,000 exemption.

Every politician I've heard touting this plan keeps saying "double" because it sounds so good...but its NOT double! Not saying voters should reject it, just calling a spade a spade.

This was one of the key issues that politicians and real estate agents *think* is really going to spark the Florida housing market. Homesteaders will be able to take up to $500,000 of Save Our Homes protections to a new home purchase. If you are downsizing you can take a pro-rated portion of the tax protections.

While some folks will now be able to downsize their homes as well as their tax bill, I don't see this being the boost to the housing market that some would hope.

Assessment cap for non-homestead property: Assessments would increase no more than 10 percent each year on non-homestead property.

This could have been the boost the Florida housing market needed. The original plan was to cap this at 5% but that didn't get accomplished. The fact that people who buy homes in Florida to enjoy as second homes, not primary residences and therefore unable to Homestead, don't have better protection than this, simply means that places like the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee will continue to siphon off lots of the boomers that originally had their sights set on Florida.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Retirement Communities Holding Nintendo Wii Tourneys

I covered the retirement community nintendo wii phenomenon before in another post, but this video I saw on youtube was just too good to pass up.

These people are obviously older than baby boomers, but I think its cool for boomers to see where the future of retirement communities is headed. Hang up the tennis rackets...sell the golf clubs...pick up the controller.

We're on the lookout to bring you articles about any wii related injuries.

I'm going to kick some serious butt in Halo 39 in the year 2045 when I hit the RC (retirement community). Watch out!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Everyone's Leaving Florida?

Have a nice weekend?

Maybe you read the most viewed AND most emailed story from The Wall Street Journal this weekend, "Is Florida Over?"

Now, I'm not here to yell "agree" or "disagree", as the author made some valid points. But I do think everyone thinking of Florida as a place to move to and retire or buy real estate should read it.

However, do not forget the fact that:

1) The WSJ is in the biz of selling newspapers. The link bait title of the article did exactly what it was intended to do...get people reading...and talking.

2) If you agree with the article's premise, that Florida is "out" as a destination, just remember an important lesson learned from just about every boom and bust cycle this country has ever seen:

The people who usually make out the best are the ones doing the OPPOSITE of what everyone else is doing.