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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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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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907 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
907 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
SOLD: Old Florida charm opens to big, beautiful, bay views from this 3 bedroom / 3 bathroom ...
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6 Lakeview Place, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
6 Lakeview Place, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
Tucked away on a quiet cove off Lake La Vista in the village of Anna Maria is this magnificently ...
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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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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 Drop to Lowest Level In Five Decades

Alan Zibel
The Associated Press
July 2, 2010

WASHINGTON – July 2, 2010 – Mortgage rates have sunk to the lowest level in more than five decades, but consumers aren’t rushing to refinance their loans or buy homes.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for 30-year fixed loans sank to 4.58 percent this week.

mortgagerateart

That’s down from the previous record of 4.69  percent set last week and the lowest since the  mortgage company began keeping records in 1971.  The last time they were cheaper was the 1950s, when  most long-term home loans lasted just 20 or 25  years.

Rates have fallen over the past two months. Investors wary of the European debt crisis and the stock market have shifted money into the safety of Treasury bonds, driving down yields. Mortgage rates tend to track the yields on long-term Treasury’s.

On Wednesday, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped to 2.95 percent. That was the first time it has fallen below 3 percent since April 2009, when the markets were beginning to recover from the financial crisis.
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Memorial Day Weekend – In a Word…Fabulous!

By Tom Vaught – Sun Staff Writer
June 2, 2010

They came to the beach this Memorial Day just like they have since the first bridge to the Island was built and they came despite the ongoing oil spill on the other side of the Gulf.

Memorial Day was a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, a day to forget the grim news headlines and a day to enjoy the beautiful weather on Anna Maria Island’s beaches.

Beautiful Weather and Perfect Water Temperatures Kept The Beaches Full For The Entire Memorial Day Weekend

Beautiful Weather and Perfect Water Temperatures Kept The Beaches Full For The Entire Memorial Day Weekend

“We’ve had strong crowds of people all three days of the weekend,” said Capt. Joe Westerman, lifeguard for the Manatee County Department of Safety stationed at Coquina Beach. “It’s been busy, but we haven’t had any big problems.”

Meanwhile, businesses that deal with visitors to the beach were doing well.

“We’ve done real well this holiday,” said JoAnne Spallino, who owns Joe’s Eats and Sweets with her husband, Joe.

“This holiday was a lot busier than last year’s.”

Lauren Sato, co-owner of Beach Bum’s in Anna Maria, said that they had a great holiday renting electric vehicles, bikes and beach related items.

“We had a record high for Memorial Day,” she said. “The majority of our customers came from Bradenton, Apopka, Lakeland and Orlando.”

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They came to the beach this Memorial Day just like they have since the first bridge to the Island was built and they came despite the ongoing oil spill on the other side of the Gulf. Memorial Day was a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, a day to forget the grim news headlines and a day to enjoy the beautiful weather on Anna Maria Island’s beaches.
“We’ve had strong crowds of people all three days of the weekend,” said Capt. Joe Westerman, lifeguard for the Manatee County Department of Safety stationed at Coquina Beach. “It’s been busy, but we haven’t had any big problems.”
Meanwhile, businesses that deal with visitors to the beach were doing well.
“We’ve done real well this holiday,” said JoAnne Spallino, who owns Joe’s Eats and Sweets with her husband, Joe. “This holiday was a lot busier than last year’s.”
Lauren Sato, co-owner of Beach Bum’s in Anna Maria, said that they had a great holiday renting electric vehicles, bikes and beach related items.
“We had a record high for Memorial Day,” she said. “The majority of our customers came from Bradenton, Apopka, Lakeland and Orlando.”

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Sunsets – An Anna Maria Island Ritual

Sun Setting Through the Pine Trees Just South of the Sandbar Restaurant

Sun Setting Through the Pine Trees Just South of the Sandbar Restaurant

It only takes about three minutes for the sun to disappear after it touches the horizon, but perhaps nowhere on the planet is that time celebrated with more passion than Anna Maria Island.
Watching the sunset is a cherished ritual on this sleepy barrier island, about 20 miles west of Bradenton in Manatee County. Visitors and locals alike gather on the beaches to savor the dimming of the day, an ordinary event extraordinary enough to inspire spontaneous applause.

“In Anna Maria, the sunset is a celebration,” says Kathy Wooten, manager of the Queen’s Gate Resort, one of the many mom-and-pop hotels that dot the three towns — Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria — on the seven-mile slip of island. “If you come here, it’s the one thing you have to do.”

Clapping is optional, of course.

It always seems to happen, though, whether on a secluded stretch of sand or at the iconic Sandbar restaurant on the north end of Anna Maria. In this spot, diners have gathered to watch the ritual since 1913, when a restaurant known as “The Pavilion” entertained guests who could only reach the island by boat.

Nowadays, the Sandbar features dining either indoors or on an outdoor deck with some of the tables perched on the sand itself. Employees and patrons alike stop to watch the show on the horizon, which is acknowledged by the ringing of a bell — and applause, of course.

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It always seems to happen, though, whether on a secluded stretch of sand or at the iconic Sandbar restaurant on the north end of Anna Maria. In this spot, diners have gathered to watch the ritual since 1913, when a restaurant known as “The Pavilion” entertained guests who could only reach the island by boat.
Nowadays, the Sandbar features dining either indoors or on an outdoor deck with some of the tables perched on the sand itself. Employees and patrons alike stop to watch the show on the horizon, which is acknowledged by the ringing of a bell — and applause, of course.

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Duffy’s Tavern Owner Was Island Institution

By Tiffany Lankes – Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Published: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.

HOLMES BEACH – There was one place in Holmes Beach where residents knew they could get a captive audience with the mayor.

Over a burger and a cold beer, they could vent their concerns at Duffy’s Tavern, where owner and former mayor Pat Geyer would always listen.

Miss Duffy - Pat Geyer

Miss Duffy - Pat Geyer

Everyone called her “Miss Duffy,” because of her close connection to the tavern. She died Saturday at the age of 79.

“She was always very involved with the community,” said her daughter, Pamela Geyer. “She called them all family.”

Pat Geyer’s story in Holmes Beach started in 1960, when she and her husband moved their family there from Cincinnati. The couple had been vacationing on the island for years and fell in love with its laid-back scene and beachy culture.

About a decade later, the family bought Duffy’s Tavern, already an island institution that opened in 1958 in a cracker shack on the beach.

“My father worked the first 40 years of their marriage,” Pamela Geyer said. “She figured she would work the rest of it.”

Geyer used to joke that she bought the restaurant at 5808 Marina Drive to keep her five daughters out of trouble by putting them all to work at the restaurant.

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Over a burger and a cold beer, they could vent their concerns at Duffy’s Tavern, where owner and former mayor Pat Geyer would always listen.
Everyone called her “Miss Duffy,” because of her close connection to the tavern. She died Saturday at the age of 79.
“She was always very involved with the community,” said her daughter, Pamela Geyer. “She called them all family.”
Pat Geyer’s story in Holmes Beach started in 1960, when she and her husband moved their family there from Cincinnati. The couple had been vacationing on the island for years and fell in love with its laid-back scene and beachy culture.

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House Staging – Does It Help Sell Your House Faster

CHICAGO (AP) – April 22, 2010 – Hiring a decorating and marketing specialist to help sell a house might sound like a frivolous cost to homeowners desperate to salvage every dollar in a fallen market.

Hiring someone to decorate your home will always sound frivolous to certain homeowners. But it really can be too much to take for anyone looking to sell a home in an already depressed market.

Staging Your Home Can Help Sell It Faster

Staging Your Home Can Help Sell It Faster

A quality house at a fair price will sell itself, they figure. Paying a professional stager to rearrange or bring in new furniture, paint the walls neutral colors and hang different pictures surely couldn’t be worth a four-figure fee, the thinking goes.

Or could it?

Real estate professionals insist staging makes a big difference in how quickly a home sells, which can mean a higher sale price, and cite their own figures that show it.

Patrick McLaughlin had such a poor impression of a vacant house he visited at an open house on Long Island that he told his broker friend it would never sell – it felt cold and uninviting. Then he went back after a professional had staged it and ended up buying it.

“They had art work, furniture, sofas, rugs. It added a great deal of warmth to the property,” says McLaughlin, himself a broker in Sag Harbor, N.Y.

More sellers have been turning to staging to make their properties stand out in a market packed with competing houses.

Margaret Gehr, who stages homes in the Chicago suburbs through her business Re-Arrange It Interiors, and her staff staged a home for The Associated Press’ Homeownership Week series. She discussed the growing practice in an interview:

Q: What exactly is home staging?

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Tourist Still Flocking, But Spending Less

Tourist numbers are on a par with last year, said Kathy O'Bryan, manager of Peach's Restaurant on Holmes Beach.

Tourist numbers are on a par with last year, said Kathy O'Bryan, manager of Peach's Restaurant on Holmes Beach.

By RICHARD DYMOND – rdymond@bradenton.com

ANNA MARIA ISLAND — Every year for the past 25, Mark Short and his family leave the suburbs of Detroit for a week and come to Anna Maria Island for a vacation.

Sometimes it’s for Easter week like this year, sometimes it’s in the summer.

Still, some things have changed.

For one, the Shorts now plan out everything they will spend for the week instead of just letting spontaneity rule.

And instead of spending the whole week at a rented condo or house at the beach, they now save money by spending half their vacation with either Short’s sister-in-law, Nancy Haller, or his father-in-law, Jim Tyrrell, both of Bradenton.

Occupancy levels for hotels and motels in Manatee County showed small incremental increases over last season, starting in December, said Jessica Grace, marketing and public relations director for the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

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Tourists still flocking, but spending less
By RICHARD DYMOND – rdymond@bradenton.com
Buzz up!
ANNA MARIA ISLAND — Every year for the past 25, Mark Short and his family leave the suburbs of Detroit for a week and come to Anna Maria Island for a vacation.
Sometimes it’s for Easter week like this year, sometimes it’s in the summer.
Still, some things have changed.
For one, the Shorts now plan out everything they will spend for the week instead of just letting spontaneity rule.
And instead of spending the whole week at a rented condo or house at the beach, they now save money by spending half their vacation with either Short’s sister-in-law, Nancy Haller, or his father-in-law, Jim Tyrrell, both of Bradenton.
Occupancy levels for hotels and motels in Manatee County showed small incremental increases over last season, starting in December, said Jessica Grace, marketing and public relations director for the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

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