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Around Florida

This category is where we discuss issues that may affect the entire State of Florida.

There are currently 58 blog entries related to this category.

Florida's Do Not Call List Revisited

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 at 12:14pm. 2,868 Views, 0 Comments.

Florida's Do Not Call ListIt's time for another look at how well Florida's Do Not Call Law is working to curtail one of the most annoying grievances Florida residents regularly complain about having to endure - the dreaded and unwanted phone solicitation.

It was seven years ago that we first blogged about how the state of Florida was getting serious about countering unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers of any sort. At that time (June, 2008), then Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson was happy with having collected $1.5 million in fines and judgements against companies that were found to have inappropriately contacted residents on the list over the first six months of the year.

This past week, now Commissioner Adam H. Putnam announced…

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Florida's Economic Outlook? Quite Bright for Growth, Jobs & Housing

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 at 1:15pm. 2,535 Views, 0 Comments.

Florida's Economic Outlook Through 2017The following excerpts on economic expansion for the State of Florida come from The College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida's quarterly economic projection report for July 2014. According to their findings, between now and 2017, it is expected that Florida’s economy will expand at an average annual growth rate of 3.7% and payroll job creation will average an annual pace of 2.6%. Both measures are well above the pace expected for the national economy.

These are some of the highlights of the report with regards to the housing market:

  • As of May 2014, 41.7 percent of single-family home transactions were cash sales, down slightly from 46 percent one year earlier. It's the fourth year in a row that cash sales were at 40…

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Distressed Housing Market Shrinks Dramatically in Florida

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 9:17am. 1,666 Views, 0 Comments.

Florida Foreclosures Drop in February, 2014According to a Realty Trac report on the U.S. Foreclosure Market for February, 2014, foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions - totaled 112,498 properties, a 10% decrease from January and a 27% decrease from February, 2013.

After a 10% month-over-month jump in January, U.S. foreclosures retreated to their lowest level since December, 2005 - a 98 month low. A total of 51,842 U.S. properties "started"  the foreclosure process for the first time in February, down 9% from the previous month and down 27% from a year ago.

States with the most owner-vacated foreclosures were Florida with 54,908, Illinois (15,512), New York (10,880), New Jersey (8,595), and Ohio (7,780).

Florida foreclosure starts…

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Sweetbay Stores Opening Next Year Under New Name

Monday, October 21st, 2013 at 3:51pm. 858 Views, 0 Comments.

Sweetbay Supermarket Stores will be Winn-Dixie next yearSweetbay Supermarket Stores will be Winn-Dixie next year. Jacksonville based Bi-Lo Holdings LLC will purchase both Sweetbay and Reid's for $265M and rebrand their stores. Bi-Lo bought Winn-Dixie in 2011 for $530M and will merge with Winn-Dixie stores over the next few months.

The new organization will result in about 700 stores in eight states. There are six stores in Collier and Lee named Sweetbay and four Winn-Dixies in Immokalee, Marco Island, Golden Gate, and Lehigh that will all carry the Winn-Dixie name.

The sale is not yet finalized, and we guess it could not come about, but all organizations have made the announcement in mid-October of their intent.

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Citizens Property Insurance Cuts Residential Coverage Limit

Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 5:25pm. 13,610 Views, 2 Comments.

Citizens Property Insurance Cuts Residential Coverage LimitCitizens Property Insurance announced on Friday that Florida state insurance regulators have approved its request to cut the maximum policy coverage limit to $1 million from $2 million for residential properties in wind-eligible areas throughout the state. The change will become effective February, 1st for new policies and May, 1st for renewals.

The change applies to wind-only and multi-peril policies that include wind coverage. Properties with a replacement cost value of more than $1 million and condominium units with a combined building and contents replacement cost of more than $1 million will no longer be eligible for coverage. New applications for coverage under the old limit received by January, 18th will be honored for one policy term.

We…

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Florida Real Estate: Heading into 2012

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 3:47pm. 1,905 Views, 3 Comments.

Florida Real Estate: Heading into 2012After our last post reviewing some of the major stories that affected the Florida real estate market in 2011, we thought we would give you a rundown of some additional news items as we head into 2012 here in Southwest Florida.

  • The website TripAdvisor.com has named Fort Myers the No. 3 destination in its list of "Destinations on the Rise." Their review cites the deep-sea fishing, white beaches and golf courses as major reasons for travelers to choose Fort Myers. It also notes the renovation of the downtown area has helped to make the city a more prominent choice for visitors.
  • The Fort Myers area was also ranked in the top 5 as one of the best markets to invest in rental property by the Local Market Monitor and HomeVestors of America, Inc., better…

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Top Florida Real Estate Stories of 2011

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at 5:10pm. 1,720 Views, 0 Comments.

Top 10 stories that affected the Florida real estate market in 2011 and what may be on the horizon for 2012.What stories impacted Florida real estate the most in 2011? Our guess is it depends on your perspective; were you a buyer or a seller? Did you lose your job or find a new one, were you looking for a rental or did you need a place to locate your existing or new business? All these scenarios were impacted one way or another in 2011. So, let's take a look back at just what occurred and see if any will continue into 2012.

The following review includes excerpts from a summation of the top stories that was put together by the Florida Realtors Association along with our own views and some of our blog posts from a Southwest Florida perspective.

    • Florida real estate - the buying opportunity of a generation. Or two or three...without a doubt and at the top…

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Florida Crosses 19 Million Population Mark

Sunday, December 25th, 2011 at 11:57am. 1,170 Views, 3 Comments.

Florida Crosses 19 Million Population MarkEven with the headwinds of the downturn in the housing market and the economy, the population in Florida has continued to grow. And, while the growth has slowed significantly in terms of percentage (1.36%), it still added 256,000 new residents from April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011. That ranks it ninth in the country in terms of percentage growth behind the District of Columbia, Texas, Utah, Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, Washington and Arizona.

In terms of actual residents, Texas gained more people (529,000) than any other state, followed by California (438,000), Florida (256,000), Georgia (128,000) and North Carolina (121,000) according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Combined, these five states accounted for slightly more than half the…

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Florida Supreme Court Ends Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Program

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 5:05pm. 1,022 Views, 2 Comments.

Florida Supreme Court Ends Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation ProgramFlorida courts will no longer require mandatory foreclosure mediation after the Florida Supreme Court announced it will close down the two-year-old program yesterday. Citing reports the program didn’t work as well as hoped and that the court system could no longer justify the cost, Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady said "new foreclosure cases will no longer be referred to mediation."

The mandatory program, established in 2009, was created to ease pressure on the court system and speed up the foreclosure process. However, according to many Florida homeowners facing foreclosure during its tenure, lenders did not take the process seriously and the program did little to help them avoid the inevitable.

Foreclosures already in the mediation…

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FIRPTA: The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 10:36am. 1,943 Views, 0 Comments.

FIRPTA: The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax ActThe following is a brief review of the requirements of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. Known as FIRPTA, the act requires that a buyer of real property in the United States must withhold 10% of the gross sales price and send it to the IRS if the seller is a "foreign person."  A foreign person is described as a non-resident alien or a foreign corporation that has not made an election to be treated as a domestic corporation. It does not include a resident alien that holds a "green card."

Under the Act's guidelines, a seller of real estate must furnish the buyer with a "non-foreign affidavit"  stating that the seller is not a foreign person. The affidavit must also include the seller's taxpayer identification number (in most cases their…

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