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Date Archives: March 2020

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March
27

7 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home Office

Home Office Tips

Having a home office is becoming a sought-after feature for many home buyers. Whether you're an at-home worker or someone who just needs an occasional space to work on taxes and bills, you can enhance your experience by sprucing up your office space.

Our REALTORS® can help you with advice about what kind of office space might work in your home. In the meantime, here are some clever ways to improve your home office.

  1. Let the light in.
    No matter the type of work you do or the business you're in, light can help you see better, think better and energize you. Considering painting your office walls off white or bright white. Light paint will make the space look much larger.
     
    Lighting things up can also include locating your office space in front of or beside a window to take advantage of natural light. If natural light isn't an option, adding an attractive light fixture can creating an inviting work space as well.
  2. Think vertically.
    You can turn a small space into a larger space by making use of available walls. Add a wall-mounted desk to save floor space, then mount modular shelves so that they "climb" the walls. These bins become the perfect storage space for office supplies. Alternate bins with books, prints, statuary and plants (succulents, slow growers, are a good choice) to create visual interest.
  3. Go a little crazy with furnishings. 
    Nothing says "office" like a steel gray desk and a filing cabinet, but why be boring? There's no rule against eye-catching office decor. These days, you can find office-appropriate chairs in green velvet or a pretty in pink Ikea molded model. Introduce splashes of color into your office environment to create a space that you enjoy working in. 
  4. Don't forget the flooring. 
    Why settle for worn, dingy, or dark old carpet when there are so many great choices in flooring! Faux wood vinyl flooring can completely change the vibe -- just one large piece will do. Other trending flooring choices include responsibly sourced wood floors with non-toxic finishes, and engineered wood with a plywood core, an economic and sustainable choice. 
  5. Create a gallery on the wall.
    Don't need that backsplash above your desk for shelving? Create a gallery with artfully cropped prints, family pictures, your own doodles, found objects and work from your favorite artisans. You'll enjoy endless pleasure arranging your choices, and then gazing at your creation.
  6. Add a feeling of spaciousness with a mirror.
    A mirror can make your office space seem larger than it is. Go for an antique or contemporary standing floor mirror.
  7. Go green.
    Bring in the oxygen and help filter out airborne pollutants with a ficus, or similar low light-loving plant in a container. If you don't trust your green thumb, consider botanical prints, and use green accents. Green is a soothing color that helps people feel centered.

Our real estate agents are ready to help you realize the potential of your home office space. Contact us today. 

March
13

Great Things To Do When It's Not A Beach Day

Things to do Sarasota

There's no doubt about it – Sarasota has some of the best beaches in Florida.

Our REALTORS® love the beach, but the weather doesn't always cooperate. What's a family to do when hitting the coast isn't in the cards?

Luckily, there are plenty of options for fun and family bonding. World-class museums, cultural institutions, and attractions for kids abound. Any of them makes for a full day of memories that last a lifetime. 

Here are some ideas for Sarasota fun when it's not a beach day:

  1. Crowley Museum & Nature Center – 16405 Myakka Road, Sarasota, FL 34240
    Crowley Museum & Nature Center is a unique interactive experience open each Thursday through Sunday. It includes a self-guided nature trail that winds through pine flatwoods, oak, swampland, and the famous Sawgrass Marsh. There's also a museum where youngsters get the chance to explore how life looked in Florida's rugged pioneer days.
  2. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – 900 S Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Did you know you can explore a botanical garden with over 6,000 orchids near Sarasota homes for sale? The stunning, lush grounds of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens are a delight for all ages. Kids will love exploring the children's rainforest garden or picking up their own plant to take home at the plant shop. 
  3. Tree Umph! Adventure Course – 21805 East State Road 70, Bradenton, FL 34202
    Are you ready for adventure? Tree Umph! Adventure Course is waiting with all-ages action, including courses for kids and adults. Add excitement to Lakewood Ranch homes for sale as you thrill to the best in zip line entertainment. Alone or in groups, you'll explore 14 acres of daring, innovative games. There are events for guests as young as seven years.
  4. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium – 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Even though you aren't headed to the beach, you can still learn about the seas and the fish that live there! The Mote Aquarium  & Laboratory features over 100 species of marine animals in their massive aquarium. Just down the road from Bird Key homes for sale, the interactive exhibits and viewable working labs at Mote Aquarium & Laboratory offer hands-on learning for all ages. 
  5. Historic Spanish Point 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229
    Step back into a different time when you venture over to Historic Spanish Point near Osprey homes for sale. Explore the outdoor archaeological and historic museum. Make the most of your time there by booking one of their tours and learn about the grounds from the knowledge tour guides or attend one of their many events on the grounds!   
  6. Manatee County Agricultural Museum – 1015 6th Street West, Palmetto, FL 34221
    An educational day awaits you a short drive from the best Palmetto homes for sale. The top-ranked Manatee County Agricultural Museum is a must-see. With multiple events every month, the program is bursting with memorable experiences. The Living Wax Museum, Heritage Days Walking Tours, and much more will expand the minds of visitors at any age.
  7. Florida Railroad Museum – 12210 83rd Street East, Parrish, FL 34219
    All aboard! If you have kids that love all things train-related, this museum is the perfect place to take the family when it's not a beach day. The Florida Railroad Museum features the railroad line that was the first to be built in Manatee County. After viewing Parrish homes for sale, stop by and ride this historic railroad line for yourself!
  8. Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum – 402 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
    Florida has a rich history and the staff at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum are dedicated to presenting and preserving that history. Down the road from Anna Maria homes for sale, this museum opened in 1992 and has been giving visitors a glimpse of historic Florida. While admission is free for this museum, donations are appreciated! 

"Fun" might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about a home search, but Wagner Realty makes it a breeze. Our in-depth experience with Florida real estate smooths the path and gets you to closing fast. To get started, contact us today – rain or shine.

March
6

Retirees Move to Florida For More Than Great Weather

Retirees in Florida

Living in Florida offers some amazing benefits during your retirement years – sun, sand, and surf, but for people ready to embark on retirement, there's something that could be even better:

Amazing tax benefits.

Our REALTORS® know many different factors go into deciding where to call "home." When you're ready to retire, you have more options than you've ever had before. The Sunshine State is unparalleled when it comes to helping older residents get more from their retirement budget by making tax benefits as easy as can be. Let's look at some benefits that are just as attractive as the warm weather:

  1. No State Income Tax
    Many retirees continue to work part time. In many places, state income tax will take anywhere from 6% to 10% of your money every year. Not so for Florida, which is one of the few states with no state income tax. Only seven U.S. states have no income tax, and out of all of them, Florida has some of the best "quality of life" factors – especially for seniors.
  2. Low Average Sales Taxes
    Tax revenue needs to come from somewhere. Sales tax is where Florida makes up on its absence of income tax, but the state rate is just 6%, middle of the road for sales tax. Relatively few towns and cities in Florida impose any additional sales tax (although some go as high as 2.5%), and there are opportunities to make tax-exempt purchases throughout the year.
  3. Social Security is Tax Exempt
    Not only is Social Security income tax exempt in Florida, but it also will not take a cut from any of your retirement income. That includes savings and investment vehicles like the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), private or public pension funds and 401(k) accounts. Florida is one of 37 states that does not tax Social Security, but only a handful don't tax any retirement income.
  4. Affordable Cost of Living
    There are condos and smaller homes located nearby those refreshing sea breezes. The overall cost of living, including your groceries and other essentials, is middle of the road compared to the whole country.
  5. Extra Exemptions Aplenty
    There are plenty of other exemptions retirees may be able to enjoy, although some do require you to be a Florida resident for an extended time. The crown jewel of Florida taxes is the Homestead Exemption, which allows elders who've resided in Florida for several years to claim an additional exemption up to $50,000 from certain towns, cities, and counties.

Many home buyers discover Florida is the perfect place to retire. Whether you're looking at Bradenton homes for sale or further south at Sarasota homes for sale, the weather is mild, daily living costs are modest, and world-class amenities provide for an excellent quality of life. Many seniors put off downsizing or making the "big move" because it seems like such a hassle, but our agents have the years of experience and unbeatable customer service that can help you live the lifestyle of your dreams. To find out more, contact us today.

March
2

8 Tips for Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

8 Tips for Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

Cleaning your dryer vent keeps your dryer working most efficiently and helps eliminate the fire hazard that comes with dirty vents. Learn how to keep your dryer running properly, with our eight tips for cleaning your dryer vent.

  1. Clean Vents Every 6 to 12 Months
    For most newer dryers, you'll want to clean your vents every 6 to 12 months. If your dryer is older or sees unusually heavy use, then you may need to clean the vents more often. It's also a good idea to check the vent any time that the dryer doesn't seem to be drying as quickly as it normally does.
  2. Start By Turning Off and Unplugging Your Dryer
    The first step in cleaning vents is making sure your dryer is turned off and unplugged. 
  3. Move The Dryer Away from Wall to Access and Remove The Vent Clamp
    Once your dryer is turned off, move it away from the wall to gain access to the vent. Before you clean the vent, you'll need to remove the vent clamp. Depending on the design, you may need a screwdriver to remove the clamp.
  4. Clear Clogs Close to The Interior Vent
    With the vent clamp removed, start by clearing out any clogs and debris you can reach with your hands. Depending on how long it's been since you've cleaned the vents, there may be substantial build-up to remove. Get rid of as much as possible with your hands before moving on to the next step.
  5. Use a Vacuum for Deep Cleaning
    You won't be able to reach everything with your hands, so you'll also want to have a vacuum handy to clean deeper inside the vent. Try to remove as much debris as possible with a vacuum attachment.
  6. Remove Clogs and Obstructions from Exterior Vent
    After the indoor vent is clean, the final step before reattaching your dryer is cleaning the outdoor vent, repeating the same process as you did to clean indoors. 
  7. Reattach Indoor Vent
    With your vents clean, all that's left is putting things back together. Start by reattaching the indoor dryer vent, before you move your dryer back into place.
  8. Plug Dryer In, Turn on and Enjoy
    Now plug your dryer in, turn it on, and enjoy the efficiency that comes with clean dryer vents. Mark your calendar for another cleaning in six months.

Cleaning your dryer vent is a home improvement project that doesn't require a huge investment of time, and the results are more than worth the effort. Stay on top of dryer maintenance once or twice per year, and you can get more mileage out of one of the most-used appliances in any home.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/13/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/13/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 2:03:38 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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