Landscaping Pays Off!

by Wayne in Market Trends, Nature and Scenery, on September 7th, 2014

By Joe Mantkowski, ArtisTree Landscape Designer, LEED GA

dollar-sign-made-of-leavesQ:  I’d like to put my home on the market, but I need to update it before I list it for sale.  What’s the best investment to recoup my money?


A:  Luckily, the Southwest Florida market is on a rebound, so your timing is perfect.


You’ll be happy to know that reports compelling numbers from the Florida Growers and Nursery Association:

  •  Landscaping can add up to 14 percent to the resale value of a property.
  • Landscaping can reduce the time a home stays on the market by as much as six weeks.
  • A five percent investment in landscaping can raise the value of a home by 15 percent – a net 150 percent return ROI.

The American Society of Landscape Architects suggests homeowners invest about 10 percent of the value of a property in well-designed, proper landscaping. Also, according to The Appraisal Institute, “If a landscaping change is positive, it can often enhance price and reduce a home’s time on the market, but if the change is negative, it can lower the price and lengthen the time a home remains for sale.”   To improve your landscaping or for free estimates, contact ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance and Design.

So there you have it. Landscaping literally does pay off.  Happy selling!

Artistree logo

 Contact Venice Shores Realty for more information about Venice Florida Real Estate at 941-488-6644 or visit

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FHA 203(k) Loans-Which One is Right for You?

by Wayne in Loans, on July 15th, 2014

VeniceShoresRealtyThe main reason to secure an FHA 203(k) loan is when the buyers wish to repair, upgrade, or improve the home they are purchasing. FHA 203(k) loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), who have insured more than 40 million mortgages since 1934. The two primary versions are:

FHA 203(k) Streamline

FHA 203(k) Full

There is also a Powersaver Pilot 203(k) Mortgage which allows homeowners who include energy saving upgrades to obtain low cost mortgages. This pilot program is currently set to run through May 4, 2015.

Both the Full and Streamline versions are similar in that they are for owner occupied homes that are at least one year old, consisting of 1-4 units, with the work to be done by a licensed contractor, started within 30 days of closing and completed within 6 months. Luxury items are not permitted for either program. Both are subject to the FHA county loan limit.

Some of the differences are that the Streamline has no minimum repair amounts and the Full requires a minimum of $5,000 in repairs. The Streamline allows for up to $35,000 to be escrowed for repairs where the Full has no limit as long as the total loan is under the FHA county loan limit. The Streamline does not allow for structural repairs and the Full does.

It is imperative to choose the correct loan just as it is to choose the correct home. For more information on FHA 203(k) Renovation Loans, visit or call 941-488-6644. Our Team of real estate experts and family of services will guide you in the right direction.


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Life Jacket World Record Day

by Wayne in Events, In the News, Uncategorized, on May 17th, 2014
Venice residents wearing life jackets.

Venice residents participate in setting a world record for life jacket use.


SNN Photographer captures event

Venice Residents Sport Life Jackets

Residents of the City of Venice gathered to participate in the “Ready, Set, Wear It” event setting a world record for the most life jackets worn in a single event.  Groups in the U.S., Canada and around the world gathered to participate in the simultaneous event. The event heralded the beginning of National Safe Boating Week which runs from May 17-23, 2014.   It also draws attention that life jackets save lives but only if worn.  According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 85 % of boaters who drowned in 2012 were not wearing a life jacket.

Venice Florida is surrounded by the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico, our bays, and estuaries.  Fishing, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, and swimming are a way of life that is enjoyed by local residents and our northern visitors.  Our waters are patrolled by the Venice Police Department, Venice Fire Department, Sarasota County Sheriff Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S Fish and Wildlife.  These agencies work cooperatively to provide assistance to those on the water.

It is no wonder that Venice Florida is such a desirable place to live.  For more information on boating in Venice Florida or Venice Florida homes for sale, visit or call Venice Shores Realty at 941-488-6644.

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Palm Tree Bracing Protects Your Investment

by Wayne in Nature and Scenery, on April 9th, 2014


 By Bill Walters, ArtisTree Tree ManagerLight Bulb reducedpalm-tree-bracing

Q: Must I really keep my newly installed palms “in braces” for a year? We’re hosting a wedding reception in six months!

A: Generally speaking, the bigger the palm at installation, the greater its need for support from bracing. Many palms (this also applies to trees) should be braced during the first year after planting since their root ball is usually smaller in relation to the top — not a good thing when strong winds blow through. The root ball will pivot in the ground and loosen the surrounding soil. We’re talking damaged roots, overall slow establishment and a palm that will grow leaning away from the prevailing wind, even if it survives.

Because the purpose of bracing your palm is to prevent the lower trunk and root system from moving, supports should be placed low on the trunk. They should be snug enough without being so tight that they make an impression on the trunk. It’s also a good idea to check your tree once a month during the growing season and after storms or periods of high wind to make sure the supports are adequately cushioned and the bracing is doing its job.

Remove supports after your palm is well established, which usually takes no more than one or two growing seasons.  When in doubt, ArtisTree suggests you contact an ISA Certified Arborist for guidance.

As for your wedding plans, we bet all eyes will be on the bride!

 Artistree logo

Founded in 1990, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design specializes in planned community/commercial maintenance and landscape design/installation.  Services include community maintenance, pest control, irrigation, tree service, landscape design and installation, hardscape installation and landscape lighting.  ArtisTree is a privately held company headquartered in Venice, FL, with satellite locations in Sarasota and Port Charlotte. Visit us at or call Jenni at 941.488.8897, ext. 312.

For more information on Venice Florida Real Estate, visit or call 941-488-6644.

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Title Insurance Costs in Home Purchases

by Wayne in Market Trends, on February 18th, 2014

Title insurance is an essential element in purchasing a home.  Home buyers make a substantial emotional and financial investment in their home.  Even the most careful and savvy purchasers can fall victim to challenges of their home ownership.  Examples include alleged forgeries of documents, relatives of previous owners filing claims of ownership, and even undiscovered easements.  Title insurance is a home owner’s protection against such scenarios.

Most items in a purchase are negotiable and title insurance is no exception.  It has a predictable cost which is determined by the State and published.  One only needs to determine the purchase price and look on the Title Insurance chart to determine the cost.  For instance, a $200,000 purchase will cost $1075 for title insurance.  Buyers commonly pay for title insurance since they are insuring their purchase but it is negotiable.  When asking sellers to pay for title insurance, you have to remember that sellers own a calculator too.  They will simply deduct the cost of the title insurance from the offer to obtain the true offer.  Title insurance will defend the owners rights to their home and property.

If you want more information on title insurance, contact North American Title at 941-378-4279.  For more information on real estate in Venice Florida and the surrounding areas, visit or call 941-488-6644.


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Venice Florida Named Best Places to Retire in 2014

by Wayne in Area Info, In the News, on February 17th, 2014
Sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico

Beaches in Venice Florida

Venice Florida is once again recognized by a nationally syndicated publication for what we as residents already know…it’s simply a great place to live and retire.

Forbes Magazine recognized Venice, Florida to be among “The 25 Best Places To Retire in 2014.”  Forbes recognized Venice for its climate, air quality, low crime and value of its real estate.  This morning I watched the national news and listened to stories of entire states buried under feet of snow.  As I walk the beach today, with the sun shining and the temperature in the 70′s, I know I am blessed to live in Venice, Florida.

Call Venice Shores Realty at 941-488-6644 or visit for more information on Venice Florida.

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Venice Shores Realty Wins Best of Venice 2013

by Wayne in Events, In the News, on January 26th, 2014
Best of Venice Blue Ribbon

Best of Venice Blue Ribbon

Venice Shores Realty in Venice, Florida won the 2013 BEST OF VENICE award for Best Real Estate Independent Office.  They also won Best of Venice awards in 2012 and 2011.  The coveted award was presented by Tim Smolarick, the Publisher of the Venice Gondolier Sun newspaper at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in front of an audience of over 500 in attendance.

Best of Venice Ice Sculpture

Best of Venice Ice Sculpture

After a delicious banquet dinner, the Best of Venice awards were presented for various award categories to local businesses.  The winners are determined by the citizens of Venice who receive home delivery of the Venice Gondolier Sun.  The subscribers complete voting ballots which include their personal name, address, phone number etc for verification purposes.  They vote for their favorite business for each category.  After all ballots are tabulated, the winners are announced at the annual banquet.

Wayne Welsh, Broker-Owner of Venice Shores Realty attributes the award to his hand picked team of Realtors and Office Manager, all dedicated to customer service.  Venice Shores Realty consists of Wayne Welsh, Broker-Owner; Hap Welsh, Office Manager; and Realtors Matthew Ritter PA, Becca Nye, Julie Snyder, Pamela Starr, Teresa Haberman, Holly Barabas, Jim Dixon, and Larry Hinds.

Venice Shores Realty recently released it’s new website which is a state of the art search tool for homes but contains thousands of local photos, videos, area information and more.  Venice Shores Realty is located at 211 Tamiami Trail S., on the Island of Venice.  Call Venice Shores Realty at 941-488-6644 for all your real estate needs.


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Warbirds in Venice Florida-A Veterans Salute

by Wayne in Events, on January 8th, 2014

The Wings of Freedom Tour also known as the Venice Warbirds Event in Venice Florida brought WWII vintage military aircraft to Venice Florida.  P-51 Mustangs, B-17 and B-24 Bombers which have been totally restored by the Collings Foundation, educate and impressed both young and old.  Venice Shores Realty in an attempt to share yet another wonderful event in Venice, Florida, created a video to share with the public and place on our website .  This video which began as a marketing piece focused on engines and flying machines.  It quickly metamorphosed into something completely different.  After hearing story after story from the actual Veterans who were the Pilots, Gunners, Navigators, and Radio Operators who flew the missions during WWII, it didn’t take long to realize where the true story was.  Many of these brave individuals were not old enough to drive a car and were trained and flew dozens of missions in massive aircraft, risking their lives for the Country they loved.

This video is a tribute to the brave Veterans, past and present.

For more information about events in Venice Florida, visit or call Venice Shores Realty at 941-488-6644.



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Moving to Venice Florida | A Survival Guide

by Wayne in In the News, on October 14th, 2013
Swimming Pool with Orchid

Pool Home in Venice Florida












It starts with surfing the web for Venice Florida homes for sale.  Then you land on a website like and start dreaming.  You find yourself looking at Communities, video tours, beaches, community events, and of course Featured Properties.  You sign up for a Free Custom Property Search and soon you find the perfect home.  One call to Venice Shores Realty at 941-488-6644 and a courteous Realtor begins working for you, keeping you informed every step of the way.  After your arrival in Venice, Florida you fall in love with the quaint City with miles of beaches and dozens of golf courses.  An offer is made and accepted and then you realize, I have a lot to do!  Fortunately, the calm guidance of an experienced Realtor methodically walks you through the process and points you towards an invaluable resource…  .

Moving to a new city touches so many parts of your life.  There are so many tasks to accomplish.  There are schools to research, movers to schedule, mail to forward, furniture to buy, and flooring to order.  Before that you need Title Insurance, a survey, insurance, and a mortgage. has everything you need.  It is your one stop shop for our family of Resources.  Through this website you can handle everything from transferring utilities to arranging for your new driver’s license.

For more information, call Venice Shores Realty at 941-488-6644 or visit .



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How Much Did You Really Save?

by Wayne in Market Trends, on September 23rd, 2013
Chart showing inventory vs price in Venice FL

Inventory vs Price Comparison

The real estate market is constantly changing and strategies on how much to offer when purchasing a home vary in different markets.  As the Broker for Venice Shores Realty, I have seen many buyers refuse to increase their offer a couple of thousand dollars to secure a contract on a home they loved.  Both sides wanted to be the victor in the negotiation game and often it was simply a matter of pride.  One must consider a number of factors when determining a fair offer price.  The basics start with motivation of buyer and seller, comparable sales, etc.  One must also consider the market at the time and even consult their crystal ball and project where the market may be going.

The current market in September 2013 shows a declining inventory and increased prices.  In other words, a sellers market.  There is likely to be competition for the same house from more than one buyer and the seller is likely to hold closer to their selling price.

With that said, a buyer who is not familiar with the market may stick to their guns and hold firm at an offer price and allow the home to be lost over a few thousand dollars not realizing the long term financial impact.  Giving up a home for a few thousand dollars and then purchasing a comparable home in the future at a higher interest rate can have significant financial ramifications.

For instance, if we assume we offer $300,000. for a home we love and the seller insists on a purchase price of $310,000.  We hold firm and let the home slip through our fingers.  At a future date, we buy a comparable home for the same $300,000. that we originally wanted to offer.  During that time, interest rates went up from 3.75% to 4.75%.  Assuming we were putting 20% down, we would have a loan amount of $240,000.



Our 3.75% Interest Rate would result in a total of $163,040 in interest over 360 months.

The 4.75% Interest Rate would result in a total of $213,713 in interest over 360 months.

So, to save $10,000, we have incurred an additional $50,672 in debt for a net loss of $40,672.

There are many considerations when purchasing  home.  Contact a Licensed Realtor at Venice Shores Realty at 941-488-6644 or visit to ensure you have current information on the market before making the most important purchase of a lifetime.





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