10 Indoor Florida Flea Markets To Explore

10 Indoor Florida Flea Markets To Explore

August 7, 2015

By Natashia E. Ford- http://www.state27.com

Florida in the summertime means it’s either too hot or too wet to enjoy a full day outdoors. Days like this call for inexpensive indoor options like Flea Markets.

So you can imagine my sadness when I found out that Flea World in Sanford isclosing down for good at the end of this month.

Now what? Well, I’ve got to find some new flea markets! I reached out to our Florida experts (Realtors®), and they hipped me to a bunch of “must visit” flea markets that I’ve now added to my bucket list.

10 Florida flea markets to explore based on Realtor® recommendations.

For some reason all the ones that made my list conveniently have covered or indoor, air conditioned space.

“American Indian exhibit…alligator exhibit…tons of fresh fruits and veggies!!”

— Angela W. (Regarding International Market World)

1.    International Market World – Auburndale

2.    Wagon Wheel & Mustang Market – Pinellas Park

“Most of the indoor shops are open 7 days a week. Best place to buy sea shells and beautiful coastal decor”

— Julie O. (Regarding the Red Barn Flea Market Plaza)

3.    Red Barn Flea Market Plaza – Bradenton

4.    Oldsmar Flea Market – Oldsmar

5.    Sun Flea Market – Port Charlotte

6.    The Dome Flea & Farmers Market – Venice

“This is a great place to find just about anything. It also has a restaurant attached. Come see it. And if you fish, this is a great place to find all your fishing needs! ”

— Nancy K. (Regarding The Village Shoppes)

7.    The Village Shoppes – Ruskin

8.    The Markets of Marion – Belleview

9.    Fleamasters – Fort Myers

10. Renningers – Mount Dora

A special thanks to the local experts who shared their favorite flea markets with me.


  1. Unique & Homemade Items – You can find the most unique items at a flea market. Things you didn’t even know you needed until you see it there. And you can’t beat the prices.
  2. Fresh Produce & Good Eats – Some flea markets incorporate a farmers market. Fresh fruits and veggies! I’ve never gone to a flea market where I didn’t find something good to eat.
  3. Supports Local Small Business – The vendors are always extremely kind. It’s a great feeling to know I’m supporting a local small business.
  4. I’m Active – During the weekend I like to stay somewhat active. Walking up and down every aisle at the flea market makes me feel better about the good eats I’ve consumed.
  5. They’re Great Reasons for a Road Trip – Flea markets are pretty much everywhere in Florida. Visiting markets outside of my area gives me a reason to take mini weekend road trips.

Show Us Your Flea Finds

Have a great flea market find? Share a pic on our FB page. I’ll share my pics on there too when I visit these markets.

Write Your Own Flea Market Bucket List!

Here’s a list of over 50 Florida flea markets. More than enough to draft a good looking list.

Do you have a favorite flea market you think I should add to my list? Share it below!

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10 Indoor Florida Flea Markets To Explore

10 Indoor Florida Flea Markets To Explore

August 7, 2015

By Natashia E. Ford (www.state27.com)

Florida in the summertime means it’s either too hot or too wet to enjoy a full day outdoors. Days like this call for inexpensive indoor options like Flea Markets.

So you can imagine my sadness when I found out that Flea World in Sanford isclosing down for good at the end of this month.

Now what? Well, I’ve got to find some new flea markets! I reached out to our Florida experts (Realtors®), and they hipped me to a bunch of “must visit” flea markets that I’ve now added to my bucket list.

10 Florida flea markets to explore based on Realtor® recommendations.

For some reason all the ones that made my list conveniently have covered or indoor, air conditioned space.

“American Indian exhibit…alligator exhibit…tons of fresh fruits and veggies!!”

— Angela W. (Regarding International Market World)

1.    International Market World – Auburndale

2.    Wagon Wheel & Mustang Market – Pinellas Park

“Most of the indoor shops are open 7 days a week. Best place to buy sea shells and beautiful coastal decor”

— Julie O. (Regarding the Red Barn Flea Market Plaza)

3.    Red Barn Flea Market Plaza – Bradenton

4.    Oldsmar Flea Market – Oldsmar

5.    Sun Flea Market – Port Charlotte

6.    The Dome Flea & Farmers Market – Venice

“This is a great place to find just about anything. It also has a restaurant attached. Come see it. And if you fish, this is a great place to find all your fishing needs! ”

— Nancy K. (Regarding The Village Shoppes)

7.    The Village Shoppes – Ruskin

8.    The Markets of Marion – Belleview

9.    Fleamasters – Fort Myers

10. Renningers – Mount Dora

A special thanks to the local experts who shared their favorite flea markets with me.


  1. Unique & Homemade Items – You can find the most unique items at a flea market. Things you didn’t even know you needed until you see it there. And you can’t beat the prices.
  2. Fresh Produce & Good Eats – Some flea markets incorporate a farmers market. Fresh fruits and veggies! I’ve never gone to a flea market where I didn’t find something good to eat.
  3. Supports Local Small Business – The vendors are always extremely kind. It’s a great feeling to know I’m supporting a local small business.
  4. I’m Active – During the weekend I like to stay somewhat active. Walking up and down every aisle at the flea market makes me feel better about the good eats I’ve consumed.
  5. They’re Great Reasons for a Road Trip – Flea markets are pretty much everywhere in Florida. Visiting markets outside of my area gives me a reason to take mini weekend road trips.

Show Us Your Flea Finds

Have a great flea market find? Share a pic on our FB page. I’ll share my pics on there too when I visit these markets.

Write Your Own Flea Market Bucket List!

Here’s a list of over 50 Florida flea markets. More than enough to draft a good looking list.

Do you have a favorite flea market you think I should add to my list? Share it below!

Florida Paddle-Fishing

Florida Paddle-Fishing

May 8, 2015

Editor’s note: don’t be discouraged if you don’t own a canoe or kayak. Many locations, including Florida’s state parks, offer rentals.

By Doug Wise http://www.state27.com/blog/2015/5/8/florida-paddle-fishing

In the spring of 2006 my girlfriend (now wife) and I decided to make our first major purchase together: a canoe.

The canoe was christened as the “Compromise.”

We paddled and cast our lines in every backwater, mangrove-lined fishing hole we could find that was accessible by canoe. And along the way we saw another view of Florida we had never seen before, except in nature publications and tourism brochures.

Up close we saw egrets, ospreys, and other birds of paradise, lots of mangroves, dolphins, and, of course, fish. Some days we saw — and caught — a lot of fish. On other days … well, let’s just say we enjoyed the view more than anything.

Shhh — Don’t tell anyone.

What I didn’t realize at the time we started canoe fishing was that fishing from canoes and kayaks — commonly known as paddle-fishing — is a very popular hobby.

I also didn’t realize how many off-the-beaten-path access points to water there are in Florida where you can simply drag your canoe or kayak down to the water and paddle off on a leisurely ride or fishing adventure.

Once you start canoeing or kayaking you’ll soon meet other paddlers who will most likely share a “secret” path off some dirt road or highway that will lead you to a quiet body of water free from urban growth or development.

Shingle Creek (Orlando area). Photo courtesy of www.paddleflorida.net

Shingle Creek (Orlando area). Photo courtesy of www.paddleflorida.net

Grab your paddle — let’s start fishing.

Here are a few online, paddle-fishing resources that I use.

www.paddle-fishing.com The forum is the real gem within this website. The forum has lots of great stories and insights from beginner and expert paddle-fishermen, alike. Register for a free account and ask for some tips. You’ll be surprised by how many people respond with answers to your questions — and even some great fishing spots. There are paddlers from all over Florida who use this forum.

http://www.floridapaddlefishing.com The blog hasn’t been updated in awhile, but there are some great tips, even in posts from a few years ago.

http://www.floridasportsman.com/  — The online version of the mainstream publication. I love the articles and insights they have. They have an entire section devoted to kayaking and canoeing called “paddle-craft.” There’s a lot of great paddle-fishing advice and info in this section too.

Places to paddle (and fish).

I did most of my paddle-fishing when I lived in Tampa, so many of my favorite spots are in the Tampa Bay area.

Two places I recommend in the Bay area to canoe/kayak are Weedon Island Preserve (St. Petersburg) and Upper Tampa Bay Park (Tampa). Both offer great fishing, too.

Editor’s note: Both Weedon Island Preserve and Upper Bay Park offer canoe and kayak rentals.

www.paddleflorida.netThis website is a great place to start, in terms of locating a canoeing or kayaking spot near you. A lot of the spots listed on the website are also good fishing spots.

The website has a regional map that shares canoeing and kayaking locations from the Panhandle to the Keys.

The website has a regional map that shares canoeing and kayaking locations from the Panhandle to the Keys.

However, no matter where you live there are a ton of canoeing and kayaking spots throughout the State of Florida —some offer excellent fishing, as well.

Top left: Cockroach Bay (between Tampa and Bradenton — FL West Coast) ; Top right: Tarpon Bay (Sanibel Island — FL West Coast);  Merritt Island (on the FL East Coast). All photos courtesy of paddleflorida.net.Top left: Cockroach Bay (between Tampa and Bradenton — FL West Coast) ; Top right: Tarpon Bay (Sanibel Island — FL West Coast);  Merritt Island (on the FL East Coast). All photos courtesy of paddleflorida.net.So

TOP 10 ULTIMATE MAN CAVE IDEAS

#1: Secret Entrance

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Source: http://www.desiretoinspire.net/blog/2013/4/23/adam-hunter.html

#2: Golder’s Paradise

CEDIA_2013_MR3_media_room_golf_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960

Source: http://upcycledtreasures.com/2013/06/10-awesome-man-cave-ideas/

#3: Beer Lovers

the-heineken-man-cave-upcycledtreasures

Source: http://upcycledtreasures.com/2014/03/heineken-man-cave/

#4: All the Sports you want!

awesome-man-caves1

Source: http://upcycledtreasures.com/2013/06/10-awesome-man-cave-ideas/

#5: Garage Conversion

garage-man-cave1

Source: http://www.homedit.com/garage-conversion/

#6: Back in Time

man_cave-45-300x199

Source: http://mortonbuildings.com/man-cave-madness/

#7: The “Bat” Cave

Ferrari Press Agency Ref 4738 Batman theatre 1 03/8/2012 Picture crdit: Elite Home Theater Seating See Ferrari text A Batman fan has created a $2 million USD / €1.64 million Euros / £1.29 million GBP home cinema based on the gothic look of the Caped Crusader ‘s home It includes a Batmobile, batsuits, 180 degree film screen, winged gargoyles, private cylindrical stainless steel elevator with glowing bat symbol, mock secret tunnel exit, bat computers, and race-car inspired home theater chairs. It is being built by Canadian-based Elite Home Theater Seating at a private home in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. The ornately detailed study of the 12,000 square foot  cinema echoes the confines of the home of billionaire Bruce Wayne, whose secret identify is the crime-fighting hero. The installation includes a separate study which is the entrance to the hidden cinema. OPS: Artistic rendering showing howthe finished cinema will look
Source: http://guff.com/some-of-the-most-epic-man-caves-money-can-buy/audio-arena

#8: Out of this World

6

Source: http://www.mancavecentral.com/ManCave/7-Best-Man-Caves_2012_Total-Man-Cave-Decor-ideas.html

#9: The Game Room

cool-game-room-arcade-home

Source: http://stagetecture.com/2013/03/guest-blogger-decking-out-your-man-cavegame-room/

#10 Shed Bars

epic-bar-shed-450x336

Source: http://www.kegworks.com/blog/move-over-man-caves-theres-a-new-trend-on-the-rise-bar-sheds/

Getting your Florida home ready for the summer

We all know it can get pretty warm during the summer days here in Florida and when people think about getting ready for the summer they think about the new bathing suit they need for the beach, updating their summer wardrobe of tank tops, shorts, and flip flops. Getting your home ready for the upcoming heat is also very important as you want to make sure you keep the heat outside and comfortable inside.

#1: Get your A/C checked, paying a little to have a technician check your A/C could save you a lot in the future.

images

#2: Change your air filters, replacing your air filters are a low costs way to ensure your A/C works properly during the warm summer days.

Air-Filter-change

#3: Check your weather stripping around the doors and windows. This will ensure that while you are keeping the hot weather outside you are also keeping your cool air inside. This will also allow your A/C to run less allowing you to keep a low energy bill.

save-energy-weatherstripping

#4: Install reflective film on your windows, adding reflective film will block the sunlight that may be causing higher temperatures in areas in your home.

rh7reduced

#5: Clean out your gutters, Florida is notorius for it’s “3 o’clock” rain, so make sure your gutters are cleaned out of any debri such as leaves and braches to assure that your gutters are doing their part.

Gutter-Cleaning-Service-Cleveland-OH

#6: Stock up on your hurrican supplies, typicall the first week of June will mark the Florida Sales Tax Holiday in which items such as batteries, first-aid kits, tarps, and other items are on sale tax-free.

images (1)

It’s Time For Florida Blueberries

It’s Time For Florida Blueberries

April 24, 2015

by Natashia E Ford

This past weekend I spotted a sign announcing my local blueberry U-Pick farm, Tom West Blueberries, is now open for picking.

Florida’s berries are harvested before other locations around the country. The season gives Florida farmers an advantage by limiting their competition.Florida Blueberry Growers Association

I’m a huge fan of activities that get the kids out of the house and unplugged from their electronics. Activities that involve nature are always a win with me. Plus, blueberries give my morning smoothies that much needednutritional punch so having fresh picked berries in the house is a good thing.

The Experience at Tom West

What’s really cool about the U-picking at Tom West is that they offer more than just a blueberry picking experience. The farm, which overlooks a lake, can easily become a daylong outing. Head there early, pick to your heart’s content (they grow four different types of blueberries), and relax at one of the shaded picnic tables they offer. On the weekends, you can enjoy tractor rides and other family friendly fun! Before you leave, grab some of that blueberry honey or jam they sell. You’ll be glad you did!

The blueberries at Tom West are not organic, but the farm states that they use minimal chemicals and weed by hand.

Cost: No admission fee, simply pay for what you pick. They only accept cash.

Location: 155 W Oakland Ave, Ocoee FL 34761

Tom West too far for you? Looking for an organic farm?

Good news! Florida has plenty U-Pick Farms you can check out — Clermont, Plant City, Eustis & Yalaha boast some organic ones, too.

Find a Florida U-Pick Blueberry Farm.png

7 U-Pick Tips

  1. Pack water, a hat, sunscreen.
  2. Wear loose fitting clothes and sneakers.
  3. Spending the day? Bring a small cooler for your berries.
  4. No dogs allowed on the farms.
  5. Pick the firm berries and be careful not to remove the tops of the berries when picking from the bush.
  6. Call ahead to verify opening and closing times & payment options.
  7. Follow your favorite farm(s) on their social sites for updates.

–> Celebrate the blueberry at these upcoming blueberry festivals! <—

Blue Moon Night Picking at Lake Catherine Blueberries in Groveland May 1-3, 2015

Heading to the Blueberry Festival in Tampa this weekend? If so, I’m sure you’ll be able to get some yummy blueberry wine since the event is being held at one of Florida’s many wineries.

What are your plans for the weekend? Tom West (or one of the many u-pick blueberry farms) hopes to see you bright and early to beat the heat and the expected blueberry rush!

Pick & be merry!

P.S. If you have any creative blueberry recipes you’d like to share, post them on ourFacebook page we’d love to feature some of them!

Natashia

Changes coming this summer to FHA loan program

Significant changes coming this summer to FHA’s loan program

Be in the know before the June 15 changes go into effect

For FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 15, 2015, there will be significant changes to current guidelines, which will impact the typical FHA borrower both positively and negatively. Here are some of the most game-changing aspects of the new FHA rules:

Student loans

Underwriters will no longer be able to exclude student loan payments for FHA loans. Currently, student loan payments in deferral for at least the next 12 months can be excluded from debt ratios.

Gift funds

If down payment proceeds are gifted to the buyer, lenders will soon be required to obtain a bank statement from the donor’s account, as well as source any large deposits to the account in order to document that the donor’s funds came from an acceptable source.

30-day accounts  

For 30-day accounts such as Amex, mortgage companies will soon be required to verify the borrower paid the outstanding balance in full on every 30-day account each month for the past 12 months. 30-day accounts that are paid monthly will not be included in the borrower’s DTI. If the credit report reflects any late payments in the past 12 months, the lender must utilize 5 percent of the outstanding balance as the borrower’s monthly debt to be included in the debt ratios.

Authorized user accounts

Accounts for which the borrower is an authorized user will be included in a borrower’s DTI ratio unless the lender can document that the primary account holder has made all required payments on the account for the previous 12 months. If less than three payments have been required on the account in the previous 12 months, the payment amount must be included in the borrower’s DTI.

Employment

If an employee has changed jobs more than three times in the previous 12 months or has changed lines of work, the lender must take additional steps to verify and document the stability of the borrower’s employment income. Gaps of employment greater than six months will require six months on the new job, regardless of what created the gap. Raising a family is no longer an acceptable reason for the gap.

A prolonged period of low housing supply has made the Atlanta real estate market extremely competitive, with many more buyers than sellers. When these changes roll out, it will become crucial for real estate agents to have their buyers underwritten and approved before making any offers.

Given the extent of the new documentation requirements, lenders will need to make sure to be very thorough upfront to prevent deals from falling out of escrow. A prequalification letter based on stated income/assets and a cursory review of the credit report is no longer going to be enough.

Please keep in mind these changes are not all encompassing — more details are expected soon. Click this linkto see the full manual that will go into effect June 15, 2015.

https://www.inman.com/2015/04/29/significant-changes-coming-this-summer-to-fhas-loan-program/

Tony Davis is a Senior Loan Officer with Movement Mortgage, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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What if Your Teenager Doesn’t Want to Move To A New City?

You’ve got a new job offer across the country and you are planning to pack your things, buy a Florida home and make the big move. However, when you tell your 17 year old daughter your plans, she lets out a mournful wail and cries that it is not fair. How can you possibly take her away from all of her friends, her favorite hangout spots and the cute boy she just started seeing?

Moving house is a difficult transition and it is even more traumatic for teenagers. The teenage years are an important stage where young adults establish their individuality and independence and during this time their social circle is extremely important to them. Being removed from that against their will can make any teen feel sad, confused, angry and resentful. Also, fitting into a new social scene in a different location can be a challenge for a teen that might be singled out as the “new kid”.

How can you help your teen during this transition so that the experience will be easier on them?

How to Help Your Teen Move

Here are some tips that will make the experience of moving house a little bit easier on your teenager:

  • Give them as much notice as possible so that they have time to adjust to the idea of moving. They will feel like they have enough time to say goodbye to their friends and close a chapter of their lives.
  • Try to schedule the move around the school calendar, as moving in the summer is much less disruptive to your teen’s life than relocating in the middle of the school year.
  • Make sure that they have ample time to spend with their close friends before they leave and once you arrive, understand that they might go through a grieving process of missing their old pals.
  • When you get to your new home, make sure that your teen has plenty of ways to keep in touch with their old friends, such as an internet connection and a cell phone plan.
  • Encourage your teen to get involved in the community of your new hometown, such as joining sports clubs or attending events. This can help them to [make new friends][2].

Can They Stay Behind?

In some situations, the better option might be to let your teenager stay behind. If they are in their older teens, they will have finished high school, maybe have a job and be independent people of their own. Perhaps they could stay with a family member or parents of a friend for a while until they are old enough to move out on their own. This might make them a lot happier in the long run, rather than taking them along with you if they really don’t want to move.

For more advice on moving to your new home, feel free to contact us at info@optimaonerealty.com or phone us at 352-243-6784.

Links:

Angry: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/talk-angry-teen-5913.html

make new friends: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-make-a-bunch-of-new-friends-in-any-new-city.html

have a job: http://voices.yahoo.com/5-reasons-why-teenagers-after-school-331714.html?cat=25

[2]: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-make-a-bunch-of-new-friends-in-any-new- city.html

Home Design Trends for 2015

According to Details.com here are the top 10 Home Designs of 2015;

Big Comfy Sectionals

02-Big-Comfy-Sectionals-Houzz-main

Shades of Blue (also a big hit on the 2015 home color trends lists)

03-Deep-Blue-Houzz-main

Old Table, Mod Seats

05-Old-Table-Mod-Seats-Houzz-main

Black Window Sashes

06-Black-Window-Sashes-Houzz-main

(One of my Favorites) Vintage Tubs

07-Vintage-Tubs-Houzz-main

Decor Libraries

08-Full-Paper-Libraries-Houzz-main

Pale Driftwood Finishes

09-Pale-Driftwood-Finishes-Houzz-main

Hexagons and Honeycombs

10-A-Taste-of-the-Hive-Houzz-main

Four-Poster Beds

04-Four-Post-Bed-Houzz-main

Light Fixture Statements

01-Statement-Lights-Houzz-main

Source: By Houzz.Com Editor Sheila Schmitz

http://www.details.com/culture-trends/home-interiors/201412/interior-design-trends-2015#/slide=2