Tag Archives: Anna Maria Island

Another Top Pick for AMI

This time, it’s the Wall Street Journal, thinking there are four ‘authentic’ Old Florida destinations, all on the Gulf Coast.

The writer never got beyond the city of Anna Maria, which is a bit of a shame. But here’s the take, along with Appalachicola, Boca Grande and Sanibel.

Still, I like Anna Maria Island best.



AMI Makes Number Three

If local traffic is any reflection, maybe it’s just as well that Marco Island takes the first spot in Trip Advisor’s ranking of the top islands in the United States. When the sun is shining, it’s tough to get on in the morning and to get off in the afternoon.

But we’ll take the number three ranking, and joyfully! For those of us who live here on Anna Maria Island, it’s clearly number one. Most of the year, it’s quiet and calm, with a seven-mile stretch of mostly unpopulated white sand. February, March and April can get kinda crowded, though.

It’s not the kind of crowded that islands, like Marco, have from high-rises all along the beach. Even when AMI is crowded on the main drag, it’s not crowded on the beach. Heck, there are only two buildings taller than two-stories-over-parking on the entire shoreline. Plenty of room for vacationers AND day-trippers from the mainland.

Anyway, here’s a link to the story. http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Islands

US House Moves Forward with Flood Bill

According to the Florida Association of Realtors, the House has decided to take up the matter of ‘fixing’ the drastic rate hikes seen by people who live in flood-prone areas, including Anna Maria Island.

They will not approve the Senate bill, according to the news report, but will craft their own legislation, which will likely then need to go into a conference committee before it is presented to President Obama for his signature.

But something is happening, and that’s GOOD!

Here’s the story:


Property sales on AMI

I’ve just completed an analysis comparing AMI property sales for 2013 compared to 2012. Categories are Homes, which includes half duplexes, townhouses and villas, Condos, including condo-tels, Multi-family (mostly duplexes) and vacant land.

Data collected includes the median selling price, median dollars per square foot and the percentage of the asking price represented by the selling price. All information comes from the Mid-Florida Multiple Listing Service. Some sales were not recorded as a part of the MLS, and they are not considered in this analysis.

 First, let’s look at sales for 2012. 

ANNUAL SALES  1/1/2012 thru 12/31/2012 
  # Sold  $ Sold   $ psf  % Asking
Homes 253  $      485,000  $       288 94%
Condos 126  $      290,000  $       254 93%
Multi 27  $      377,000  $       198 94%
Land 33  $      335,000  $         51 91%
Total 439      

In terms of numbers of sales, it was a very strong year. With 439 total sales, it showed strong demand for AMI properties, especially homes and condos. Buyers got a lot per square foot for duplexes, but then were faced with renovation costs. Most turned those properties into cute little rentals, or scraped the land and built larger homes. Land prices were nearly the same as those for multifamily properties. At least one didn’t need to incur the cost of scraping the lot.

 Now, let’s see what happened in 2013. 

ANNUAL SALES  1/1/2013 thru 12/31/2013 
  # Sold  $ Sold   $ psf  % Asking
Homes 248  $      523,000  $       329 94%
Condos 120  $      268,000  $       302 95%
Multi 27  $      438,000  $       234 95%
Land 25  $      480,000  $         62 90%
Total 420      

Note that 2013 was another strong year, even though total sales didn’t quite get to the same level as 2012. Similar forces were at work, with many buyers seeking properties they could rent and enjoy income while they enjoyed ownership. In some cases, buyers were able to achieve positive cash flow from purchases the last couple of years, and – compared even to a robust stock market – that was appealing.

How does that compare to the prior year?

    Year to Year Change    
  # Sold  $ Sold   $ psf   
Homes -2% 7% 12%  
Condos -5% -8% 16%  
Multi 0% 14% 15%  
Land -32% 30% 18%  
Total -5%      

Just about every category is up, except the number of properties sold in each category, and the median selling price of condos. Higher condo fees can take some of the blame for that, as can the fact that many condos restrict short-term rentals and are thus not as desirable. Median dollars sold are up for homes, multifamily and land, and the dollars per square foot for all categories are also up.

Don’t hesitate to call or email.


Birding on AMI

tricolor heron

If you love nature, and you like birds, you will love it on Anna Maria Island.

I’m an avid birder myself, and regularly participate in Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts, here on the island, in Bradenton and Manatee County, and in Sarasota County. I’ve also birded recently in Maine, California, Mexico, Costa Rica, and — in fact — pretty much wherever I go.

The whole island is a bird sanctuary, and that’s a ‘good thing.’ In winter, we see lots of birds that have headed south for the season (not just the regular ‘snowbirds’). Springtime sees nesting birds on the northern part of our beach, with Audubon volunteers ribboning off the nesting areas (and hoping that the birds will read the signs telling them where to nest.)  🙂

But what we have is a LOT of birds. For folks who live in many other parts of the world, we have a huge number of birds, many of them large birds, and they’re just about everywhere.

On the beaches are everything from laughing, herring and ring-billed gulls to royal, elegant, Forsters, Caspian and (nesting) least terns to black skimmers, (nesting) snowy plovers, western sandpipers, willets and other shorebirds.

Just a few feet inland, we get waders like great blue herons, black and yellow crowned night herons, green herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, little blue herons, white ibis and sometimes glossy ibis.

In the bay, look for double crested cormorants, anhingas, maybe a kingfisher or two, and lots more brown pelicans, white pelicans in winter and many terns. Sometimes we can see a frigate bird over the bay, and once in a long while, a gannet.

At the southern end of AMI, find Leffis Key, where gnatcatchers, ruby crowned kinglets, and other small birds live. Boardwalks lead through the mangroves to give views of Anna Maria Sound and the Cortez “kitchen,” where there may be a white pelican or two in cooler months. And in the Australian pines, found in all over the island, there are certainly plenty of yellow-rumped and palm warblers, with maybe a black-and-white, pine or prairie warb. There are lots of red-bellied woodpeckers, some downies, and down just south in the village of Longboat Key is a pair of pileated woodpeckers.

Look up and you’ll see that the osprey has made a stunning comeback, with one enjoying a fishy meal on just about every tall tree or lamp-post. Most of the vultures you’ll see are turkey buzzards. Sometimes we get a black vulture on the island, but rarely. And there’s a Cooper’s hawk that lives in our neighborhood. Last week, a broad-winged hawk swooped through my back yard! We can sometimes see red-shouldered or red-tailed hawks, although they keep mostly to the mainland.

I may be able to steer you to a roost for a great horned owl, and we’ve had eastern screech owls trilling to us from the palms near our bedroom.

Suffice it to say that you will be happy with birding here on AMI.

I hope you’ll contact me while you’re here, and we can go birding together!