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2310 Gulf Drive North, #206, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
2310 Gulf Drive North, #206, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
Beauty and the Beach!... Delightful, Direct Gulf Front, 2 bedroom/1 bathroom corner condo on beau...
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Key Royale Boat Dock, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
Key Royale Boat Dock, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
SOLD: Here is a great opportunity to own a rarely available 16' wide boat slip on a Key ...
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2307 Avenue C, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
2307 Avenue C, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
Superb Anna Maria Island duplex, beautifully renovated inside and out, with a heated pool and a g...
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747 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
747 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
The pleasures of a beach front vacation start with the many relaxing Gulf views from this Key Wes...
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8027 Marina Isles Lane, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
8027 Marina Isles Lane, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
SOLD: Dolphin Watch . . . an exclusive and serenely private, luxury, bay front residence of ...
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Birds Find Paradise On Anna Maria Beach

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Home Values Rising On Anna Maria Island

75th street front
Anna Maria Island Home For Sale

By GRACE GAGLIANO
ggagliano@bradenton.com

BRADENTON — With the exception of Anna Maria Island, home values across Manatee County continued to decline in June, according to statistics released Monday (Aug. 9)  by real estate tracker Zillow.com

Home values in the Sarasota metro market, which includes Manatee and Sarasota counties and with their cities and neighborhoods, fell to $150,200 in June, a .3 percent decline from May and 4.4 percent drop from a year ago.

Home values in the United States declined 3.2 percent from June 2009 to $182,500 in June 2010, according to Zillow.com.

Meanwhile, home values continue to rise on Anna Maria Island. Zillow reported Anna Maria and Holmes Beach saw its fifth straight month of value increases, rising to $458,100 and $364,600 respectfully. Bradenton Beach home values increased .1 percent from May to June, rising for a fourth straight month to $231,200.

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A Perfect Day For Catching Yellowtail

Steve McInturff With A Yellowtail Snapper

Steve McInturff With A Yellowtail Snapper

By Steve McInturff

On July 31st, Islander’s Steve and Barbara McInturff, and their daughter, Britton, were guests of family friends Ruth Hudson and her son, Robert, for an offshore Gulf fishing trip aboard the Hudson family’s 42-foot Cabo, “Diana Maria.”

The weather was sensational, with very light winds, no storms, and almost-flat sea conditions. The water was a wonderful deep blue color and clear as gin. Just another one of those days when you take a deep breath, close your eyes and say, “I love it out here.”

The targeted species for the day was snapper.  More specifically, Yellowtail Snapper.  While in the past, we have experienced more successful yellowtail fishing days in terms of the number caught, this day the size of the yellowtail made up for the lack of numbers.

The mid-to-late summer heat can oftentimes slow the bite, and one must fish really hard to be successful. Additionally, the super-clear water can make fooling the eagle-eyed snappers a challenge.  Leader materials as light as 15-pound test had to be employed, which can increase one’s chances of a successful hook-up, but naturally will result in easy break-offs. (Especially when your hook-up is being chased by the ever-present barracuda searching for the easy meal.)

In all, 11 very nice yellowtails were added to the fish box.  The catch of the day also included the usual mixed bag of red grouper, amberjacks, sharks, barracuda, and mangrove snapper.  Another fun day, offshore, 30 miles west of an island we know as paradise

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Kids Surf Camp On Holmes Beach

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Island Volunteers Give Nesting Turtles A Helping Hand

turtle nest

Turtle Nest

By. J. Hunter Sizemore, The Bradenton Herald

ANNA MARIA ISLAND — A distinct track in the sand, some dug-up plants and possibly a clutch of eggs are the only signs of a mother turtle’s nocturnal visit to the beach.

But at sunrise twice a week, Tom and Lois Huntington pull on their Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch T-shirts and search for these markings by the pink glow of early morning.

From late spring to mid-fall, about 70 volunteers take turns searching Anna Maria Island’s Gulf side beaches for turtle nests: marking them off, logging data and protecting them. The information is used to protect the turtle’s nesting grounds from development and misuse that might further harm these already-endangered species.

Statewide in 2009, 2,748 people helped in some way to monitor the 800 miles of turtle-nesting beaches along Florida’s coast. All of it is covered on foot or by all-terrain vehicle every morning from March to October, says Anne Meylan, a research administrator for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle

This group includes some government and military employees, but it is largely made up of volunteer citizens.

“It’s a partnership,” Meylan said. “If it didn’t exist, then collecting all of this data would be impossible.”

As of Friday, volunteers had found 130 turtle nests on the island this season, and so far almost 1,100 baby turtles had hatched and made their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Level In Decades

house_sold

By ALAN ZIBEL, AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON – Mortgage rates dropped to the lowest level in decades for the sixth time in seven weeks, offering the most attractive opportunity for those who qualify to refinance or purchase a home.

Government-controlled mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for 30-year fixed loans this week was 4.49 percent, down from 4.54 percent last week. That’s the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed loan dropped to 3.95 percent, down from 4 percent last week and the lowest on record.

Rates have fallen since spring as investors seek the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds. That has lowered the yield on Treasurys. Mortgage rates tend to track those yields.

The last time home loan rates were lower was during the 1950s, when most mortgages lasted just 20 or 25 years.

Low rates have sparked some activity in the weak housing market, but not a massive boom in refinancing.

Applications to refinance loans increased 1.3 percent and those to purchase homes increased 1.5 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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You Never Know Who You Will Catch at The Rod & Reel Pier

Rod & Reel Pier

By RICHARD DYMONDrdymond@bradenton.com

Erica Webb, the bartender at the historic Rod & Reel Pier Restaurant on North Shore Drive in Anna Maria, says the best thing about the place is that you always meet someone interesting there.

A sampling of the Sunday crowd turned up, in this order, a treasure hunter with an eBay account, an opera singer who is also a paranormal investigator and a super serious fisherman from Lakeland. Not a bad haul and well below the legal limit.

But the 300-foot pier, said to be one of only several privately owned piers in Florida, seems to attract those accomplished in the much ignored art of doing little to relax from doing much.

It has always been not much more than it was when built in 1947 — a bunch of boards strung together out over Tampa Bay with quaint bar, bait shop and restaurant at the tip.

But there, with a fishing pole in her hand, was Brenda Delhotal, a soprano in the Elgin Opera in Illinois and a member of the Elgin Paranormal Investigators.

Wearing a neon pink top and a yellow hat, Delhotal said she trekked to Anna Maria from Illinois with her sister and friend Lydia Hanson all because of her husband, Augie.

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Former Tidemark to Become Reality Under Mainsail Development

Buildings surround the marina in this architect's rendering of the Mainsail development in Holmes Beach.

Buildings surround the marina in this architect's rendering of the Mainsail development in Holmes Beach.

By Pat Copeland – Sun Staff Writer
June 30, 2010

HOLMES BEACH – Joe Collier, president of Mainsail Development of Tampa, unveiled drawings by the architectural firm of Cooper, Johnson, Smith for the Mainsail Lodge and condos at 5325 Marina Drive.

“We should have construction drawings by early fall,” Collier said. “Our goal is to have the building permit before the end of the year.

“We have a nice amount of reservations – about eight. We’ll work on pricing over the next 30 to 45 days.”

He said the Mainsail marina complex would have 37 units. In addition, there is a 62-slip marina with boats and fishing guides and a lodge is planned.

“We have been sprucing up the trailer there and added boats and lifts,” he said.

Collier said the company has sold four units and is about to sell a fifth at the Beach Inn, its other Island condo complex at 101 66th Street. Units are being sold as a modified condo/hotel, and when the owner is not using a unit, it is a hotel rental.

The Mainsail Lodge and Marina, formerly the Tidemark Lodge and Marina, was begun by Nick Easterling in 2001. Easterling filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and in 2005, Reliance Realty Partners joined the project and the bankruptcy was resolved.

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HOLMES BEACH – Joe Collier, president of Mainsail Development of Tampa, unveiled drawings by the architectural firm of Cooper, Johnson, Smith for the Mainsail Lodge and condos at 5325 Marina Drive.
“We should have construction drawings by early fall,” Collier said. “Our goal is to have the building permit before the end of the year.
“We have a nice amount of reservations – about eight. We’ll work on pricing over the next 30 to 45 days.”
He said the Mainsail marina complex would have 37 units. In addition, there is a 62-slip marina with boats and fishing guides and a lodge is planned.
“We have been sprucing up the trailer there and added boats and lifts,” he said.
Collier said the company has sold four units and is about to sell a fifth at the Beach Inn, its other Island condo complex at 101 66th Street. Units are being sold as a modified condo/hotel, and when the owner is not using a unit, it is a hotel rental.
The Mainsail Lodge and Marina, formerly the Tidemark Lodge and Marina, was begun by Nick Easterling in 2001. Easterling filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and in 2005, Reliance Realty Partners joined the project and the bankruptcy was resolved.
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Litten Book Features Anna Maria Island Photography

Holmes Beach photographer Craig Litten has published a book of photos on Anna Maria Island subjects, including this banyan tree PHOTOS/CRAIG LITTEN

Holmes Beach photographer Craig Litten has published a book of photos on Anna Maria Island subjects, including this banyan tree PHOTOS/CRAIG LITTEN

Cindy Lane – Sun Staff Writer
July 7, 2010

HOLMES BEACH – Former photojournalist Craig Litten has published a book of photographs of Anna Maria Island focusing on the lesser-known angles of the much–photographed destination.

Artistic renderings of tree roots, power lines, clouds and beach toys add seasoning to familiar beach locales in the hardcover book, available from the author.

The book has been used by two bridal couples as a guest book for their Island weddings, said Litten, a Holmes Beach resident who has photos on display at The Back Alley on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach and at Ginny and Jane E’s in Anna Maria.

“I started shooting it because I was inspired by the Island,” said Litten, who relocated here with his wife from Daytona Beach, where he worked for the News-Journal.

A Florida newspaper photographer since 1988, Litten estimates he has had more than 10,000 pictures published worldwide in newspapers, magazines, books and on the Internet.

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Is An Outdoor Kitchen Right For You?

Outdoor Kitchen
By FrontDoor.com

Perfect for the entertainer and culinary connoisseur, an outdoor kitchen brings the heart of the home into the open air and extends a home’s living space.

A great option for those who love to entertain outdoors but hate having to run back and forth with utensils, plates, food and more, an outdoor kitchen can be a very practical way of utilizing time and energy as well as creating a special spot to bring family and friends together.

CURRENT TRENDS

The outdoor kitchen has taken cooking and entertaining to levels that far exceed the standalone charcoal grill.

Accessories such as sub-zero refrigerators, stoves, bread warmers, wine coolers, custom cabinetry, soaker sinks, barbecue, even kegorators for serving beer are now being implemented into outdoor kitchen design.

An outdoor kitchen can now do the duties of a professional chef’s kitchen, all while being steps away from the pool area or fire pit.

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Perfect for the entertainer and culinary connoisseur, an outdoor kitchen brings the heart of the home into the open air and extends a home’s living space.
A great option for those who love to entertain outdoors but hate having to run back and forth with utensils, plates, food and more, an outdoor kitchen can be a very practical way of utilizing time and energy as well as creating a special spot to bring family and friends together.
CURRENT TRENDS
Accessorizing. The outdoor kitchen has taken cooking and entertaining to levels that far exceed the standalone charcoal grill. Accessories such as sub-zero refrigerators, stoves, bread warmers, wine coolers, custom cabinetry, soaker sinks, barbecue, even kegorators for serving beer are now being implemented into outdoor kitchen design. An outdoor kitchen can now do the duties of a professional chef’s kitchen, all while being steps away from the pool area or fire pit.
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