Date Archives: February 2020

Thoughts by Julie & Joan Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.

rss logo RSS Feed
Area Information | 16 Posts
Bradenton FL | 8 Posts
Buying a House | 6 Posts
Buying Homes | 2 Posts
Cleaning Tips | 1 Posts
Clutter | 1 Posts
Curb Appeal | 1 Posts
Decorating | 1 Posts
Design Trends | 1 Posts
Dream Home | 1 Posts
Ellenton FL | 1 Posts
Events | 2 Posts
Family Fun | 5 Posts
For Buyers | 1 Posts
Gardening | 1 Posts
Helpful Tips | 2 Posts
Holidays | 12 Posts
Home Improvement | 10 Posts
Homeownership | 3 Posts
Leap Year | 1 Posts
Moving | 3 Posts
Pest Control | 1 Posts
Pet Owners | 2 Posts
Press Releases | 1 Posts
Renovations | 1 Posts
Retirement | 3 Posts
Sarasota FL | 19 Posts
Sarasota-Manatee | 43 Posts
Siesta Key FL | 1 Posts
Wagner Realty | 1 Posts
REAL ESTATE MARKET | wagner realty | Lakewood Ranch, Florida | agents | Downsizing | Home Selling | First Time Homebuyers | For Buyers | Homeowners | Tiny House Living | Home Design | REAL ESTATE AGENTS | Renovations | Technology | Home Supply | Selling Your Home | Retirees Home Buying | Sarasota, FL | Buying a House | relocate | Move | Longboat Key | Area Information | Things to do | Local amenities | Luxury Homes | Event | Restaurants | Dining | Anna Maria FL | Bradenton FL | Bradenton Beach FL | Holmes Beach FL | Palmetto FL | Venice FL | Gardens | Pet Friendly Homes | Home buying | Home buyer advice | Home selling advice | Community events | Clean Your Home | Credit Score | Staging a Home | Closing Costs | Hire a Realtor! | Curb Appeal | Landscaping | Homeownership | Home Maintenance | Holidays | Decorating | Single Mom | Home Affordability | Dream Home | Buying the Perfect Home | De-Clutter Your Home | Kid & Parent Friendly Suburbs | Energy Efficient Homes | DIY Before Selling Home | New Neighborhood | Home Selling Tips | Home Inspections | Real Estate Investment | Retirement | Moving Suggestions | Kitchen Renovations | Home improvement | Holiday giving | Siesta Key, FL | Bradenton, FL | Local businesses | Bakeries | Sarasota County | Manatee County | Lakewood Ranch | Family fun | Festivals | Charities | Outdoor Fun | Ellenton, FL | Englewood, FL | Donation Centers | Parrish, FL | Outdoors and Recreation | Fishing | interior design | staging | Apps | Lifestyle | Vacation Rentals | architectural design | Press Release | Siesta Key | Bird Bay, Fl | Bird Key, FL | Holmes Beach, Fl | Lido Beach, Fl | venice | summer | Charlotte County | Punta Gorda | Boca Grande | downtown Sarasota

16 Ways to Make the Most of Leap Year's Extra Day!

Don't squander the extra time. Carpe diem!

The cynical view about Leap Year is that it's an awkward attempt to manage the calendar so we don't have Christmas in July.

I'd like to look at it this way: We've been given an extra day to make everything better. So - what will you do to take advantage of this extra time?

Here are 16 ways to carpe diem:

  1. Say thank you. Take a page from Jack Welch and Mark Zuckerberg and write a thank-you note. Or just say it.

  2. Read a magazine you would never ordinarily even look at. Get a new perspective on politics, fashion, home décor or wellness.

  3. Throw out 16 things. Things that don't work. Things you never use. They're just weighing you down. Time to say good-bye!

  4. Start a big goal. I want to write another book this year. If I don't begin by March 1 (yes, that's tomorrow), it probably won't happen. Time to get going.

  5. Contact an old friend. You don't need to give a reason for reaching out. All you need is to make the effort.

  6. Take a drive with an important family member. Use car time to talk about something--or just connect.

  7. Play a board game with someone you like. Electronic games don't count. Sit down, roll the dice and experience human contact.

  8. Map out the rest of your year. Big events are probably already accounted for. Now decide on major milestones and plot them on the calendar.

  9. Cook something new or challenging. I attempted honey-oat cereal bars over the weekend. They tasted great, but didn't hold together (more like cereal crumbles). But at least I tried.

  10. Clean your desk. I know: You did that in December and the mess is already back. Give it another try.

  11. Take a break. Do nothing for 15 minutes. Experience empty time with no electronics or chores. Weird, right?

  12. Book three lunches or dinners with people you like. These need to be agenda-free encounters; it's just about getting together.

  13. Do one thing to improve your health. It doesn't matter what: Just take the first step.

  14. Plan a real vacation--one where you don't check email or do any work at all. This will require setting expectations so your boss and coworkers know you're serious.

  15. Build, craft or grow something. Experience the joy (and challenge) of using your hands to bring something to life.

  16. Above all, don't take yourself too seriously.

And remember: They call it Leap Year for a reason. It's your chance to fly high!

SOURCE: Alison DavisFounder and CEO, Davis & Company


Doggy Daycares Your Pet Will Love in Sarasota and Manatee

Manatee Doggy Daycares

It's always hard to say goodbye to your favorite pets at the beginning of a busy day or trip out of town, but if you live around Manatee and Sarasota, then you can rest easy knowing that there are plenty of dog daycare facilities to choose from. Here are a few you might like to check out.

  1. The Lucky Puppy – 8003 US Hwy. 301, N Suite 105, Parrish, FL 34219
    Close to Parrish homes for sale, The Lucky Puppy, offers your puppy a free socialization program every Monday to make new friends. The team at the Lucky Puppy provides a mix of one-on-one interaction with your pet, and group pet activities to promote socialization.

  2. Doggy Resort SRQ – 3424 17th St., Sarasota, FL 34325
    With grooming, training, daycare, boarding, and even a bakery, Doggy Resort SRQ has everything you need to keep your pup happy near Bird Key homes for sale. The Doggy Resort features indoor/outdoor playgrounds, a shaded pool, indoor climate control, and optional extras that include expert dog training.

  3. Camp Bow Wow – 2101 17th St., Sarasota, FL 34234
    Camp Bow Wow allows pet owners to monitor their pups anytime with live webcams. Close to Sarasota homes for sale, Camp Bow Wow is a nationally known chain with a comprehensive program that includes extensive socialization with both pets and people, along with regular exercise.

  4. PetSuites – 5205 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton, FL 34203
    Near Anna Maria homes for sale, PetSuites offers a "first-day free" program at their full-service facility. They even feature a puppy pre-school. Customize your pet's experience with a wide variety of packages, including day play for energetic pups, day boarding for pets that prefer relaxation, and a day spa.

  5. Bayside Pet Resort at Lakewood Ranch – 15117 Garnet Trl., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211
    If you're looking for a luxurious doggy daycare to pamper your pup close to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, then the Bayside Pet Spa is the place to be. Dogs at Bayside Pet Spa get their own private space, along with the option to socialize with other pets. This facility also goes above and beyond with services that include professional grooming and dog training.

  6. Fox Creek Pet Ranch – 5557 Lorraine Rd., Bradenton, FL 34211
    If you have cats or other small pets in need of daycare then Fox Creek Pet Ranch, located near Parrish homes for sale, is a perfect option. Fox Creek Pet Ranch provides care for a wide variety of pets in a facility that is advertised as safe, clean, loving, and healthy.

If you're searching for a community where both you and your favorite pets feel right at home, then our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Manatee and Sarasota.


10 Expensive Home Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

10 Expensive Mistakes to Avoid in Your Home

For most of us, our home is our biggest investment. While we do our best to keep it in top shape, it's easy to make small mistakes that can end up costing us big time. This quick read can save you money in the long run. Remember to:

  1. Clean Out Your Air Ducts
    Cleaning out your air ducts is a task that's easy to forget about, but dirt and debris build-up can cause real problems. Eventually, dirty ducts will start to restrict airflow and make your HAVC system work less efficiently. After a while, this can shorten the life expectancy of your system. 
  2. Pay Attention to Leaking Faucets
    That dripping faucet is more than just annoying. Did you know that even one drip a minute can waste up to 34 gallons a year? Not only is this terrible for the environment, but it will raise your water bill. Something as simple as a washer can solve this quickly and easily. 
  3. Hone Your DIY Skills
    Sure, there are some things that you should leave to the pros, but learning some basic DIY skills will help you save a ton of money when it comes to home repairs and upgrades. YouTube videos are an excellent resource for minor repairs.
  4. Research Before Taking on Home Improvement Projects
    Sure, it might seem like a great idea to add a cheetah-print carpet in your closet or build a cat-patio in your back yard, but an impractical home improvement could end up hurting your resale value.  If there's something you really want and you plan to stay in your home for a long time, this might not matter to you, but it's always smart to stop and think these things through before you make a commitment. 
  5. Avoid Over-Watering Your Lawn
    A lush, green lawn is every homeowner's dream, but when it comes to watering, more isn't always better. In Florida, watering needs change with the seasons Instead of relying on your automatic sprinkler, check in with our local Cooperative Extension for advice on proper watering to ensure you aren't wasting water and money. 
  6. Check Your Roof
    It's important to have your roof and gutters checked at least once a year so that you catch small problems before they get big. 
  7. Control the Temperature
    While many newer homes already have programmable thermostats, older homes often do not. Heating or cooling an empty house is just a waste - with a programmable thermostat you'll quickly make your money back in the form of savings on your energy bill. 
  8. Stop Using Traditional Light Bulbs
    Traditional light bulbs suck up energy and cost you money. Change these out for LED bulbs, and you'll notice a change almost immediately. 
  9. Keep an Eye on Your Home's Foundation
    Watch for signs of damage, like mold on the outside of the house, insects inside, or noticeable cracks. If any of these red flags arise, have the foundation looked at right away. 
  10. Consider Fast-Tracking Your Mortgage Repayment
    The longer it takes you to pay off your mortgage, the more you'll pay in interest fees. Make extra payments when you can, and you can shave thousands of dollars and several years off your repayment plan! 

You can protect your home by creating an annual home maintenance checklist to remind yourself to stay on track with home maintenance.


The 2020 Guide to Spring Training in Manatee & Sarasota

Manatee Spring Training

Grab the Cracker Jack, warm up your mitt and get ready to stand up and cheer — spring training is coming back to the Sunshine State! Each year, some of the best teams in Major League Baseball spend two months in Florida preparing for the upcoming season. We're lucky to have two World Series championship teams call Sarasota and Bradenton home for their spring training season: the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles. 

Our REALTORS® encourage you to take advantage of the warm weather and head out to a spring training game this year. Whether you're a Pirates fan, Orioles fan, or merely a lover of America's favorite pastime, our two spring training facilities are just a few miles from downtown Sarasota and Bradenton.

  • Ed Smith Stadium — 2700 12th St., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Known as Birdland South, Ed Smith Stadium has welcomed the Baltimore Orioles for the last ten years. Built-in 1989 and renovated soon after the Orioles' arrival in 2011, this ballpark once hosted the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox. As one of the best venues in the Grapefruit League, Ed Smith Stadium is within a few miles of many beautiful Sarasota homes for sale, making it the perfect place to relax after a long day walking some of the best properties in the city.

  • LECOM Park — 1611 9th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    Part of the Grapefruit League, the Pittsburgh Pirates, have been coming to LECOM Park for spring training for over half of a century. This award-winning ballpark was recently renovated with enhanced fan areas, new seating, and a state-of-the-art clubhouse. If you're in town searching for Bradenton homes for sale, take the afternoon off and watch the Pirates play at LECOM Park. Be sure to head five miles east to Pirate City to view the Pirates' spring training workout and practice field as well.

2020 Spring Training Games in Sarasota & Bradenton

Are you ready for a preview of the 2020 MLB season? There's no better place to watch the best teams in the league play than at LECOM Park and Ed Smith Stadium. 

Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Games

Be sure to purchase discounted tickets in advance or gather your closest friends for a Group Ticket Package featuring preferred seating. Six-game Weekend Packages are also available, guaranteeing your same seat as the Pirates load the bases against the Yankees, Rays, Tigers, Blue Jays, and Twins! Catch the first part of spring training with these February games. 

  • Feb 22 – Bradenton | Minnesota Twins
  • Feb 23 – Bradenton | Detroit Tigers
  • Feb 25 – Bradenton | Philadelphia Phillies
  • Feb 26 – Bradenton | Boston Red Sox
  • Feb 27 – Sarasota | Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Feb 28 – Bradenton | Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Games

Get ready to see the Os in action against some of the best teams in the American and National Leagues, including the 2019 World Series Champions the Washington Nationals. Pick up single-game tickets or create a 5-Game Flex Plan featuring two prime games. For the ultimate experience, purchase a Birdland South Spring Training Membership which includes access to exclusive events, early admittance to watch batting practice and reduced ticket prices on spring training games in Sarasota and regular reason games in Baltimore! Games through February include: 

  • Feb 23 – Sarasota | Boston Red Sox 
  • Feb 25 – Sarasota | Tampa Bay Rays 
  • Feb 26 – Sarasota | Atlanta Braves
  • Feb 27 – Sarasota | Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Feb 28 – Bradenton | Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Feb 29 – Sarasota | Miami Marlin

Spring training is one of the many things you'll love about living in the Manatee and Sarasota area. For assistance in buying and selling homes in the area, contact us today!


Upcoming Races in the Sarasota & Manatee Area

Races in Sarasota

On your mark, get set, race! Get your running shoes ready and check out these races taking place around the Sarasota and Manatee area during February and March.

  1. Sarasota Military Academy 3rd Annual Raiders Rise & Run 5K | Sat, Feb 22, 2020 — Payne State Park 2110 Adams St, Sarasota, FL 34237
    The Sarasota Military Academy is once again hosting its annual Raiders Rise & Run 5K to benefit their middle and high school Raider's teams. These young cadets have won both state and national titles, but their programs rely on continuous support from the community. The SMA Raider's Rise & Run 5K benefits these programs. If you're in the area viewing Sarasota homes for sale, join the Raiders at Payne State Park.  

  2. Manasota Track Club 25K & 50K Ultra | Sat, Feb 22, 2020 — Oscar Scherer State Park 1843 South Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34429
    If you've already raced 5Ks, 10Ks, or even 15Ks in the 2010s, take your running skills to the next level with the Manasota Track Club's 25K & 50K Ultra. You read it right — 25K and 50K distance races will take place at Oscar Scherer State Park. If you'd rather watch from the sidelines, pay a visit to Oscar Scherer State Park in between tours of Osprey homes for sale.

  3. 11th Annual Take Stock 5K/Fun Run/ Mentor Mile | Sun, Mar 01, 2020 — 8100 Lakewood Ranch Main St., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
    If you're browsing Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, you'll become very familiar with the bustling Main Street within the community. Hosting events throughout the year, March kicks off with the 11th Annual Take Stock 5K, Fun Run, and Mentor Mile on Main Street. Proceeds from all three races benefit the Take Stock in Children organization, which provides mentorship and college scholarships.

  4. Shark's Tooth 10K & Shark Fin 5K | Sat, Mar 07, 2020 – Sun Mar 08, 2020 — Venice Airport Festival Grounds 610 Airport Ave. E., Venice, FL 34285
    Runners in the Shark Tooth Capital of the World are invited to participate in the Megalodon Challenge — a two-day race combining the Shark's Tooth 10K and Shark Fin 5K. Door prizes, music, and a post-race party on both days make the Megalodon Challenge one of the best weekends of the year. If you're planning on scheduling visits to Venice homes for sale, be sure to sign up for the Megalodon Challenge at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds.

  5. The 2020 Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup | Sun, Mar 22, 2020 — Nathan Benderson Park 5851 Nathan Benderson Cir, Sarasota, FL 34235
    If one of your goals is to complete a triathlon, you're in luck! Nathan Benderson Park and the Sarasota-Bradenton area are hosting the 2020 Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup. Conveniently close to Interstate I-75 and Sarasota homes for sale, the challenging course will take participants on a 750m swim, 18.3k bike ride, completed by a 5k run. Push yourself at this Sarasota triathlon! 

  6. Robinson Preserve Twilight 5K & 10K Run | Fri, Mar 27, 2020 — Robinson Preserve 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209
    The 12th Annual Annual Robinson Preserve Twilight 5K & 10K celebrates the stunning sunset views of Robinson Preserve. The event starts at 5:30 pm with age bracketed Kids Dashes. After the kids are done with their races, runners and walkers hit the trails for a 5k or 10k. Be sure to stick around after the race for food and beverages under the stars! Don't forget to register in advance and check out Bradenton homes for sale before your race time. 

Do you want to race into a new home within Sarasota and Manatee County? Our REALTORS® are here to do more than cheer you on! Contact us today!


Florists for Valentine's Day Bouquets in Manatee and Sarasota

Sarasota Florists

Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches — make sure this lovely occasion smells just as sweet by gifting the special someone in your life a beautiful bouquet. Sarasota and Manatee counties are blooming with flower shops offering a variety of dazzling daisies, perfect poinsettias, and amazing asters to show your partner how much they mean to you. Let these florist shops around town help make your Valentine's Day truly memorable.

  1. Sue Ellen's Floral Boutique — 3522 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34237
    Having worked in her family's flower shop throughout her life, Sue Ellen has spent the last 20 years serving the floral industry of Sarasota. Her new floral boutique strives to deliver exceptional service by going the extra mile to ensure that every order is fresh, on-time, and one-of-a-kind. Their delivery area encompasses the city, including the top neighborhoods with Sarasota homes for sale, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and retirement centers. 

  2. Josey's Poseys Florist — 6100 Manatee Ave., W., Bradenton, FL 34209 
    Serving areas near Anna Maria Island homes for sale, this locally owned shop is sure to please! Josey's Poseys Florist will deliver to your valentine a hand-arranged floral display they'll cherish this Valentine's Day. Choose the perfect one from their Valentine's Day bouquet options, and their team will do the rest!   

  3. Ellenton Florist — 6214 US-301, Ellenton, FL 34222
    Deliver something extra special this Valentine's Day with a little help from Ellenton Florist. Located near Ellenton homes for sale, this local florist offers free same-day delivery in the Ellenton area. Plus, their Deal of the Day makes it easy and affordable to surprise your valentine throughout the year with a beautiful bouquet crafted by floral experts. 

  4. Fantasy Flowers of Lakewood Ranch — 8111 Lakewood Ranch Main St. Building J, Suite 101, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
    Fantasy Flowers of Lakewood Ranch is ready to craft a dream bouquet for your significant other this Valentine's Day. They can create any sized bouquet featuring romantic roses, playful daisies, and caring carnations. Located on Main Street just feet away from brand new Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, Fantasy Flowers will help you express the feelings in your heart.

  5. Bradenton Flower Shop — 5262 State Rd. 64 E., Bradenton, FL 34208
    For over 30 years, Bradenton Flower Shop has made Valentine's Day memorable. Many of their "flowers in a gift" sets include a beautiful vase that can be reused all year long. Imagine getting your partner a gorgeous group of flowers for Valentine's Day then filling the vase with more fresh florals throughout the first year you spend in one of our lovely Bradenton homes for sale.

  6. Flowers By Fudgie — 6119A Clark Center Ave., Sarasota, FL 34238
    Impress your valentine with a bouquet hand-arranged by the professional florists at Flowers By Fudgie. Servicing areas near Siesta Key homes for sale, their staff is committed to customer satisfaction and crafting beautiful floral displays. Make sure to order a day in advance for Valentine's Day!   

Looking to share a home with the person you love? Contact us, and our REALTORS® will help you find a loving home.


5 Roofing Choices for Your Home... |

A new roof is one of the most expensive home improvement projects owners may have to tackle. If you've been thinking about replacing your roof, you may be surprised by the number of important decisions you'll have to make. This includes figuring out your financing, choosing a great roofer, and deciding on the best roofing materials for your home. 

When it comes time to choose your roofing materials, you may be surprised by the number of options available. Each option brings varying costs, quality, and aesthetics. Not sure which to choose? Start by reviewing the pros and cons of the following five popular roofing options. 

  1. Asphalt 
    Asphalt shingles are the most common choice for homes in the United States. The popularity comes from the fact that it's fairly inexpensive, comes in a variety of colors, and is easy to install. When choosing the material, however, you'll need to be careful as the quality can vary. Asphalt also doesn't offer much insulation and has a shorter lifespan than some other types of roofing materials. The cost of asphalt roofing typically runs between $70 and $120 per square foot and the average lifespan is about 20 to 25 years. 

  2. Wood
    Wood shingles have been a staple among homeowners for hundreds of years. They offer a rustic look that adds a ton of personality to the home and they age beautifully. Some popular options include cedar, southern pine, and redwood. Although this is an attractive option, wood roofing can split, rot, or mold in wet climates. Homeowners in fire-prone areas may also decide that wood roofing isn't the best choice for them. The average cost of wood roofing is $100 to $150 per square foot and the lifespan tends to range between 25 and 30 years. 
  1. Metal 
    If you're looking for a durable and environmentally-friendly roofing material, then metal roofing might be a great choice for you. It looks great on contemporary homes, bungalows, and cottage-style homes. One drawback is that metal roofing tends to be more expensive than some of the other options. Depending on the style you choose, you can pay anywhere from $100 to $800 per square foot. However, it's a great investment. Metal roofs have an average lifespan of 40 to 75 years.

  2. Clay
    Clay roofing is both beautiful and durable. It's popular among owners of Mediterranian, Spanish-style, and Southwestern-style homes. It's also non-combustible, energy-efficient, and has an expected lifespan of 40 to 50 years.  Clay tiles are very heavy and will usually require extra framing and professional installation. The cost ranges between $300 and $500 a square foot. 
  1. Slate
    Want to invest in a home improvement that will really add value? Consider a slate roof. It's one of the most beautiful types of roofing you can choose, and it's also durable, fire-resistant, eco-friendly, and long-lasting. The average lifespan is 50 to 100 years or more! Many homeowners find that a slate roof is out of their price range as the starting cost is about $600 per square foot. It's also quite heavy, requires extra framing, and must be professionally installed.  

Some Final Tips

Before making your final decision, you'll need to consider a wide variety of factors including your budget, the environmental conditions where you live, and the overall look you want to achieve. 

Since replacing your roof is definitely your run-of-the-mill DIY home improvement project, you might also consider asking your roofing company to help you determine which material is the most appropriate for your home and the goals you're trying to achieve.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder