9 Florida-Friendly Trees to Boost Your Property Value

Trees

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Expansion Plans for Fort Myers Airport

Anybody flying in or out of RSW recently will have seen signs announcing expansion plans.
The RSW Terminal Expansion Project includes consolidating the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints into a new 16-lane configuration and providing additional seating, concession spaces and a business lounge. In total, more than 164,000 square feet of space will be remodeled and 117,000 square feet of new walkways and concession space will be added to the airport terminal.
The project actually started in October 2021 and construction is planned for three years.

Click here to watch a short conceptual video, and here to go to the full news release. (more…)

5 tips on how not to disappear in the hybrid workplace

When remote work was mandatory and all or most of your co-workers, your boss, and many of your external stakeholders were remote, the playing field was level. There was a real sense that we were all “in this together.” People were remarkably understanding and accepting of quirky situations, whether IT related or the result of the blurred line between home and work (think dogs barking and children crying during meetings). That kind of tolerance is now rare. And it’s just one of many pitfalls for remote workers.

Whether you are fully remote or in a hybrid work environment, avoid the “Zoom ceiling” by understanding and working around the potential pitfalls that come from lowered visibility in the office.

Knowledge at Wharton, a business journal from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has suggested five steps to position yourself better for greater visibility to ensure that you are getting recognition for your accomplishments and staying in line for promotions and desirable assignments. Make sure your employer knows you aren’t stepping off the ladder. (more…)

It’s not just Tom Brady who is Unretiring

Millions of U.S. workers retired during the pandemic. Now many are returning to work at rates not seen since 2020.

Many are people under the official retirement age who, spurred by rising asset values or Covid-19 worries, left the workforce ahead of schedule, labor economists say. Roughly 2.6 million Americans retired earlier than expected between February 2020 and October 2021, according to estimates from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis senior economist Miguel Faria-e-Castro.

Others now quitting early retirement realize they weren’t as financially prepared to live without a steady paycheck as they hoped. Um, I am not sure that is why Brady is unretiring……

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Did You Know?

* Though just 17% of the U.S. population is 65 or older, United Van Lines reports that seniors in that age group completed 29% of all its moves in 2020. Sumter County, Florida has one of the highest levels of inbound migration of seniors in the U.S. thanks in large part to the Villages, a sprawling retirement community more than 50 miles northwest of Orlando. But large cities are seeing an influx of older people seeking the excitement and variety/volume of entertainment/restaurant options. (WSJ)

* In the 4th quarter of 2021, investors bought 18.4% of the US homes that were purchased, a record high. And possibly one of the biggest drivers of housing inflation? Higher purchase prices + higher rents = essential demand for higher wages. (FT)

* The median monthly payment on a new mortgage is now taking up a much larger share of a typical consumer’s income. It jumped 8.3% in February compared with January. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage shot significantly higher yesterday, rising 24 basis points to 4.95%. The quicker-than-expected rise in rates has weighed on demand for mortgages and refinancing loans. With both rates and prices considerably higher, the median mortgage payment is now more than 20% higher than it was a year ago. And so is pricing in some parts….Now comes the question: are incomes that much higher to sustain this? (CNBC)

* The average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York climbed 20% to a record $257,500 for 2021, the largest increase in bonuses since 2009. Securities industry jobs make up just 5% of private sector roles, but accounted for 18%, or $14.9 billion, of state tax collections in the 2021 fiscal year. (CNBC)

And read these recent articles: (more…)

U.S. Takes Step to Regulate Cryptocurrency Market

Cryptocurrency home sales barely have a toehold, and a new exec order from Pres. Biden may change the rules. The order suggests regulation and a U.S.-owned version.

Over 100 countries are exploring or piloting Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – a digital form of a country’s sovereign currency.

“The rise in digital assets creates an opportunity to reinforce American leadership in the global financial system and at the technological frontier, but also has substantial implications for consumer protection, financial stability, national security and climate risk,” according to the Executive Order.

The Order lays out a national policy for digital assets across six key priorities: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.

Executive Order key points

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Survey: Sellers Waiting Out Pandemic Are Ready to List

Homeowners have had all the usual reasons to sell over the past two years – marriages, deaths, children, etc. – but many hunkered down during the pandemic, and some feared the housing market because selling might be easy but finding a new home? Not so much.

A survey conducted by HarrisX for realtor.com, however, suggests that many of those people might be planning to list their home in 2022, with 65% of them planning to do so this winter and spring. The survey of 2,583 consumers was conducted online in September-October 2021.

Many sellers, however, want to set an asking price higher than they think their home is worth, and they expect buyer bidding wars.

When will sellers list? (more…)

Would you like free money for the holidays?

I usually listen to WGB 1030 in Boston on my morning walk and this week I have heard Billy Costa’s ads for Unclaimed Property in Massachusetts. This rang a bell for me as I have found unclaimed property at least twice and received checks.

Click on FindMassMoney and you will find this statement:
“The Unclaimed Property Division is holding over $3 billion in unclaimed funds for the citizens and businesses of the Commonwealth. The Division holds these lost funds until they are claimed by either the original owner or their heirs. Claiming property is fast, easy and free.”

It sure is.

And encouraged by my successes in Massachusetts I have received unclaimed property from Connecticut, where I lived in the 1980s, and today have filed a claim in California for my wife, also from the 1980s. And you can search in other States where you have connections – just type in XState Unclaimed Property and Mr.Google will do the rest. This is the link in Florida: FLTreasureHunt.

So, if it is actually my property, is it really free? I leave you to contemplate this existential question as you bank your check. (more…)

What Makes a Home a Smart Home?

If a property has a reliable internet connection and “smart” items in at least three categories, it is considered a smart home. “Just having a few devices in specific categories – such as certain lighting, security cameras, or appliances – qualifies a home to be a smart home.”

“These homes were once only for the ultrarich, but we’ve gone from only super-wealthy people like Bill Gates having these products to every home now having at least one or two smart items.” (more…)

15-Acre Naples, Florida, Retreat With a Menagerie With Monkeys Lists for $9.5 Million

A 15-acre Florida compound that comes complete with multiple residences, a tennis court and an animal menagerie has come to the market for $9.5 million.

The solar-powered estate, which claims to be “hurricane-proof,” is designed for living off the grid and it “offers a rare opportunity to own a tranquil, sustainable oasis in Naples,” listing agent Priscilla Kellerhouse said in a statement.

A 10,000-square-foot salmon-hued home is the compound’s main residence. The five-bedroom spread has an open floor plan, high ceilings, columns and marble floors.

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