Tequesta hosts Movie in the Park

The Village of Tequesta is holding a Movie in the Park at Constitution Park on Saturday, March 20. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the movie beginning at dusk. The PG-rated film “Planet 51” will be shown and is free to residents.  
Non-residents should call (561) 575-1897 for pricing. Food and beverages will be sold for $1.
Bring the whole family, a chair or blanket and enjoy a fun filled evening in the beautiful Constitution Park.

For questions, please visit www.tequesta.org or contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (561) 575-1897 or (561) 575-1285.

Be sure and visit some of the advertisers that make this blog possible then send it along to your friends!

Ironhorse Country Club goes for $2.85 million at auction

The Ironhorse Country Club sold Monday at a federal bankruptcy auction for $2.85 million to businessman Thomas O'Malley. O'Malley, chairman of Switzerland-based refiner Petroplus, was one of three qualified bidders including Professional Golf Acquisition Inc., and Point Breeze Holdings, LLC, which is owned by Palm Beach Polo owner Glenn Straub.

The club, which filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in January, had signed an agreement with O'Malley for him to purchase the club for $2.4 million. But Page said Wachovia, Ironhorse's lender, was not happy with the price and instead wanted it subjected to other bids.

Palm Beach County property records show the 113-acre golf course and country club had a 2009 market value of $5.86 million.

"A loud roar went up when O'Malley was the winner," said Robert Naples, president of the member-owned club association, which will likely dissolve with the new leadership. "He has shown such tremendous kindness to everyone at the club."
The Ironhorse community, which is near Beeline Highway and Jog Road, has 324 homes.In December, an appeals court backed a circuit court ruling that said Ironhorse could not require residents to buy memberships to the club.

I'm not sure how this last part will play out with the other local clubs.  Most require purchase of a membership with a home.

Be sure and check out some of the advertisers that make this blog possible.
You can follow the real estate market at: http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ and send along to your friends.

Tequesta Cemetary Plots for sale on eBay

When I moved here from Miami over 20 years ago, I brought with me some cemetary plots we bought thinking that we would never leave Miami and would be buried there along with all the others in my extended family.  After we settled in Jupiter, we realized we would never be leaving here so we purchased some plots along with my folks in Riverside Memorial Park in Tequesta.  It is the original and largest local cemetary and all the Jupiter & Tequesta pioneers are either buried there or will be buried there.  We sold our Miami plots by advertising in The Miami Herald.

Riverside Memorial Park was originally established by Roy & Patricia Rood, Jupiter pioneers, although they later sold it.  It is located on County Line Road and every year holds a Memorial Day service under it's live oak trees.  The Rood's were also instrumental in founding Jupiter Christian School on land they got from the Pennock family. 

Today, I was surprised to find this eBay email:
(2) Cemetery Plots, Riverside Memorial Park, Tequesta Florida
Pioneer Block # 46 Plot # 7 Spaces # 4& # 5
$3,000.00 Per Plot or Best offer

If you are going to spend the big sleep here in Jupiter, you might want to look into these.  I can't say whether or not they are a good deal or why they are being sold, I just thought it was interesting to see them for sale.

Be sure to check out http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ and www.youtube.com/richardsites.
Check out some of the sponsors that make this blog possible then send along to your friends.

The Florida Experience comes to the blogosphere

A local, native Floridian has started a blog on the life here in Old Florida.  The blog is called, The Florida Experience and can be found here: http://www.thefloridaexperience.blogspot.com/

You can read a book written by the author: The Last Tucker which is a historical, fiction novel about life in Old Florida.

Take a look/read at his blog or this one: http://www.lifeisgoodpart2.blogspot.com/ which is written by a friend of mine.  My other sites are: www.CoastalFloridaRealEstate.net and www.youtube.com/richardsites.  Take a look, visit some of the advertisers who make this blog possible, then send along to your friends.

Yes, the Flippers are back!!

I have posted that the Flippers are back. Not the squeeky, sea mammal of 1970's TV with Bud & Sandy as his best friends but the real estate flippers. Then, this story comes in from the Miami Herald. Miami and Miami Beach are ground zero for the overbuilt condo market.

It could be one of the quickest profits made in Miami's condo market.  All it took was 20 minutes for a bulk buyer to make $200,000 by purchasing 19 units in the new Mi Primera Ilusion Villas Miami condominium and then immediately selling the same condos to another investor, according to a report from CondoVultures.com.

The Fama Group, with principal Nancy Marquez, purchased 19 units in the 30-unit condominium on Southwest 18th Avenue in Miami for $1.25 million, or $102 per square foot, according to Florida Secretary of State records. The deal was completed at 1:25 p.m., Friday, March 5.

Exactly 20 minutes later, at 1:45 p.m., Marquez's group sold the units for $1.45 million, or $118 per square foot, to another Miami-based entity, Rentdepo LLC with principals Alain Bonvecchio and Karen Stanford Bonvecchio, according to government records.

``Call this condo arbitrage, Miami style,'' said Peter Zalewski, a principal with the Bal Harbour, Fla.-based real estate consultancy Condo Vultures LLC.

Zalewski says Fama Group earned a 16 percent cash-on-cash return, minus fees.

``This is another example of well-connected condominium bulk buyers purchasing new product at deep discounts and then immediately retrading the units for a spread,'' he said.

Even the second owner purchased the condos at a 60 percent discount compared to the $293 average closed sales price in the project, according to Zalewski's report based on Miami-Dade County records.

CondoVultures.com has documented at least five examples where bulk buyers have purchased condos and resold them for more than a 40 percent spread in the course of weeks, according to the Condo Vultures Bulk Deals Database.

In this case, the original developer Mi Primera Ilusion Villas LLC, with principal Miguel Soliman, on Jan. 6 turned over the remaining unsold units in the four-story condo to an affiliate of the project's construction lender, Eastern National Bank in Miami.

Eastern National recorded the deed transfer of the units at a combined price of $2.8 million, or $224 per square foot, according to the report.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/16/1531062/buyer-makes-200000-profit-in-20.html#ixzz0iNWWiBoj

If you need more information on the Jupiter/Tequesta and Club Communities market, may I suggest: http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/  and www.youtube.com/richardsites . Be sure to send along to your friends.

WOW, let's kill the messenger!

This just in:
A study by the California Association of Realtors shows a decrease in the number of consumers who say they would use the same real estate agent again to 22 percent in 2009 from 79 percent in 2004. When asked why they would not retain their previous agent, 64 percent said their homes languished on the market and 51 percent were upset that their house fetched less than they had expected.

The study findings show that sellers with unrealistic expectations blame their agents when a transaction does not go as planned, but agents often are indeed at fault for failing to inform sellers about current market realities when it comes to pricing and financing. See my blog postings on this.

In the short term, agents can expect consumers to prefer working with individual agents, believing that a large brokerage cannot provide the personal response and service they so desire. Agents also need to drum up the courage to turn down overpriced listings that likely will not sell. See my blog postings on this issue.

Over the long term, Realtors must focus on skill, hard work, and the use of technology to provide personal service and deliver the information of most interest to clients. Moreover, agents should immediately respond to calls and e-mails, listen to their prospect’s wants and needs, and make good on their requests.

I have posted before that picking the right agent is just like picking the right doctor.  In these turbulent times, a professional "bedside manner" is critical.  And this survey demonstrates why professional pricing help is also so critical.  You, the seller, are not in the business and have emotional ties that will cloud your ability to price the home to sell.  The last 3 homes I have sold have only averaged 4 weeks on the market.

For more information go to: MY WEBSITE or MY YOU TUBE CHANNEL and send to your friends.

Jupiter Fl, DeGeorge Brothers fight over dad's BIG money

The adult children of the fabulously wealthy Lawrence J. DeGeorge, who died last year at age 88, are in the fight of their lives over their dad's money.  Both brothers are co-trustees of an estimated $200 million trust left by their late father. But they aren't exactly seeing eye-to-eye in how the trust should be handled.

After Larry launched a series of lawsuits last year against his brother, Peter now has lawyered up, bringing on the powerhouse Roy Black law firm of Miami to file a counterclaim against his brother. 

Peter claims Larry has squandered more than $12 million from the trust. Peter says the money went to Advanced Display Technologies Inc., a Colorado company owned mostly by Larry. The lawsuit describes ADTI as "on the verge of financial collapse." 

In the complaint, Peter seeks his appointment as sole trustee of the DeGeorge trust, as well as the removal of Larry as trustee. Peter complains he has not been allowed to review books and records of the trust. 

The infighting started last year after the death of DeGeorge, a philanthropist known for his donations to children's charities. DeGeorge was a major backer of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Palm Beach County and generously shared the fortune he made as former head of Amphenol, an electronics company that in 1997 was sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for $1.5 billion.

For instance, after DeGeorge died, Larry bought their father's Bombardier corporate jet for $26 million. In court filings, Peter took issue with the plane's financing from an estate entity and began asking some questions. Larry fired back by lobbing lawsuits against Peter, claiming he failed to repay numerous loans on time, including a $30 million loan.

The DeGeorge family owned houses in Admirals Cove and Jonathan's Landing, two of our finest club communities.

If you are looking at Admirals Cove homes for sale, unlike many Realtors I have lived in Jupiter for 21 years and can show you the best locations and values.  You can contact me at 561-762-4073 or by email at rsites@bellsouth.net or on Skype at rsites.

Richard Sites, Realtor



Jupiter offers workshops for homeowners seeking Federal Stimulus dollars

Jupiter Homeowners Can Learn to Take Advantage of Stimulus Programs at the First Session of Jupiter U 2010.  There's still time to register for Jupiter's fun and informative citizens' academy...."Jupiter U". This FREE course takes place at the Jupiter Community Center on Thursday evenings, March 18, 25, April 8, and April 25.

Kicking off the series of panels and workshops this Thursday is a session called "How Homeowners Can Take Advantage of Federal Stimulus Dollars." In this workshop, participants will hear from an expert panel on Federal programs such as Making Home Affordable, IRS tax exemption and credit programs, Federal Energy Efficiency grants, homebuyer credits, and much more.

Beginning next Thursday, March 25, the first of three moderated panel sessions will help residents learn about the workings of their local government, Jupiter's history and heritage, Town programs and services, how Jupiter has grown, and what types of growth may be planned for its future.

In addition to the workshops and panel sessions, several optional tours and field trips are planned. For more information on Jupiter U, and for a course schedule and outline, visit www.jupiter.fl.us or contact Kate Moretto at 561-741-2575 or katem@jupiter.fl.us.

I have signed up and will be attending and why not.  With the Federal government passing out our tax dollars like a drunken pirate throwing bead necklaces from a Mardi Gras float, I figure I better look into it.  See you there.

Be sure a visit My Web Site and My You Tube Channel then send along to your friends.

Webber & Co, CPA's opens door for business, figuratively

Webber & Company, CPA's, LLC, Certified Public Accountants is open for business.  Jupiter Farms residents Dave & Julie Webber, after spending years in public accounting, have opened their doors for business.

I met Dave through his blog posts and found we have a lot in common.  You should read his posts about this new direction his life is taking.

He and Julie have decided to focus on the more personal side of public accounting versus the large corporate work he did for years.  If you take a minute to visit their new website, you might find out they are perfectly suited for what you need either personally or as a business.  They are also Pro Certified in Quickbooks, the best selling software for small business accounting.

Take a look then pass along to your friends.  And remember this business is "green" or eco-friendly!

Tequesta Park gets a facelift

Tequesta Park is sporting a new look, as the exotic trees and those damaged in hurricanes in 2005 have been removed and in their place are more than 600 new trees, plus refurbished tennis courts. In addition, a paved walkway winds throughout the 45 acres which the Village of Tequesta leases from the State of Florida.

The parcel of land was originally part of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, immediately to its north, according to Greg Corbitt, Tequesta parks and recreation director. The village was able to create the park’s improvements through two $50,000 grants.

“We had to create a detailed site plan,” said landscape architect Connie Fisher of Roy Fisher and Associates Landscape Architects. “We did a survey of the residents on a Saturday here at the park and did a second survey of the residents online to see what they wanted this park to be. The wanted trees, better tennis courts, space to play rugby, a dog area, and a perimeter walking trail. We’re still working on the designated dog area, but people love to walk their dogs in this park anyway.”

I lived on the Jupiter/Tequesta line for about 10 years and loved it.  Everything about the places is great!  If we ever leave Jupiter Farms, we would certainly move back to Tequesta!

Visit: http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/  and www.youtube.com/richardsites and send along to your friends.

Ironhorse Country Club files for Chapter 11

This news is from January. The financially troubled Ironhorse Country Club in West Palm Beach has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing a legal struggle to collect membership fees as the regional economy spirals even lower. Court documents show that the club, now appraised at $5.8 million, down from $9 million in 2006, owes $3.6 million to creditors, including Wachovia Bank.

"It's not uncommon for country clubs, especially of our size in a small community, to have a difficult time because there are just not enough members to support it," said Bob Naples, president of Ironhorse. "You're going to see a lot more go in the direction we've gone." An appeals court judge ruled last month that the club's developer could not charge mandatory fees to residents of the 320-home golf course development. Ironhorse has received a $2.4 million offer on the property, according to court documents.

Naples said that offer came from chairman of Switzerland-based refinery Petroplus, who recently purchased two Palm City golf courses and is the owner of a Worth Avenue condo in Palm Beach. Brigette Muglai, the club's catering director, said Ironhorse will continue to operate as the bankruptcy reorganization winds through the courts.

Jupiter coconut palms showing even more damage

And you think it wasn't cold?  Really cold this winter?  Take a look at this picture.
This palm, located on the north side of the public library, was incredibly beautiful with a very full head of deep green fronds.  In fact, you may have seen some video of it on My You Tube Channel where I used it on many of my videos.  Now look what the cold has done!  This damage looks exactly like the damage caused by lethal yellowing .  And visit my website at:

Jupiter and Jupiter Farms, where has all the rain come from this season?

Winter is our dry season here in south Florida. It is part of the natural cycle although the Army Corp. of Engineers (remember them from the Kissimmee River issue?) has tried to replace nature with a canal system to harness the water. But, this winter the rain has not stopped.
For the last 24 hours it has not stopped raining here.  Of course, we need the rain and its great for the garden and the grass.  Somehow though it always seems like people drive a little faster in the rain.

The shot above was at the Town of Jupiter Clocktower where Indiantown Road meets Military Trail.

Out near Riverbend Park in Jupiter Farms, I took the shot below.

As I post from my little piece of paradise in Jupiter Farms, the rain continues to fall!  Like what you see?  Head on over to www.CoastalFloridaRealEstate.net or www.youtube.com/richardsites where you can see some videos.  And be sure to send along to your friends.

Jupiter Farms, the best Mexican Food!

Jupiter Farms, one of this areas most overlooked great residental areas, has a great Mexican restaurant and caterer.
Located in Sierra Square, Guacamole has fabulous authentic Mexican food.  This site was formerly a Spanish chicken take-out place, but it never caught on. 

I went in the place when it first opened and had a chat with the owner and his wife.  His has been in the business for years but this is the first time on his own.  The food was fabulous!

Today, I stopped in for lunch again and the place was constantly busy.  And, it's great to see people who really know Mexican food in here eating.  I'm happy to see a small family business making it in tough times.  If you are looking for a great place to eat in Jupiter Farms, maybe after going to Riverbend Park, be sure and check this place out.

Looking at homes for sale in Jupiter Farms?  I  have lived here for 11 years and can show you the best Jupiter Farms real estate.  There are some great opportunities here if you know where to look.  I can show you all homes listed for sale by all brokers.  Contact me at rsites@bellsouth.net or on Skpe at rsites.  Still like to use the phone?  Use 561-762-4073.
Richard Sites, Realtor

Jupiter Fire picture

Last week, we had a fire to the north of Jupiter.  It looked like it was in Jonathan Dickinson Park, north of Tequesta, but on the news I heard the fire was near Indiantown.

The wind was coming from the north and blew the smoke through the west side of town and ashes rained down on the Chasewood area and The Shores of Jupiter.  This shot above was taken on Military Trail near Toney Penna Drive.  Toney Penna had his golf club factory near this intersection.

There's some great other Jupiter information at: http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ and www.youtube.com/richardsites.  Be sure to send along to friends.

Loxahatchee River gets new oyster reefs

The Loxahatchee River, a Federally Designated Wild & Scenic River, is one of our main attractions and greatest natural elements here in Jupiter, Tequesta and Jupiter Farms.

The headwaters are in Riverbend Park and from there the river winds slowly past massive cypress trees, Trapper Nelson's, alligators and turtles before making its way through Jonathan Dickinson Park and flowing into the Jupiter Inlet and on into the Atlantic Ocean.

During the last two years, the Loxahatchee River District has worked with environmental managers, area resident, local students and businesses to creat new oyster reefs throughout the River.

Oyster reefs are one of the most valuable habitats in the River, offering a protection a protection for more than 300 species of fish, crabs, shrimp and other small aquatic species.. They provide a fertile feeding ground for juvenile fish like grouper, snapper and snook.

In the coming year, the Loxahatchee River District and Martin County will significantly expand this important restoration effort in the Northwest Fork of the river with plans to create over 3.5 acres of new oyster reef habitat.

Looking for a home in this area?  Use the fastest MLS search results by visiting my website at Coastal Florida Real Estate.

Jupiter Farms Easter Egg Hunt

Jupiter Farms, maybe one of the most overlooked areas in Palm Beach County for a great family lifestyle, is hosting it's annual Easter Egg Hunt & Family Fun Day.

The event will be held in the Jupiter Farms Park which you reach by taking either the Florida Turnpike or I-95 to Indiantown Road and heading west about 2 miles. You will come to a traffic light at Jupiter Farms Road where you will turn left and the Park will be on the right. You might want to check out Town & Country Feed Store while you are there.

The egg hunt starts at noon. There will also be an egg toss and old-fashioned games like a three-legged and sack races. Burgers and dogs will be available for sale.

The event is sponsored by The Jupiter Farmer and Jupiter Farms Residents.

Is this a great place to live? Absolutely! Here are some other places to visit:
http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ , www.youtube.com/richardsites, http://www.lifeisgoodpart2.blogspot.com/

Then, send along to your friends.

Riverbend Park, Jupiter, Pioneer Family Farmstead Day

Riverbend Park in Jupiter is holding it's Annual Pioneer Family Farmstead Day on March 27 from 10-3.  The Park's Farmstead  hosts it's Third Annual Historic Gas Engine and Tractor Show.  One of the highlights is the operation of the 1930 sawmill by volunteer sawyers who cut huge pine logs into lumber.

The lumber is used in the ongoing construction of the Farmstead.  The Florida Flywheelers Club, collectors of historic engines and tractors, will provide demonstrations of their equipment.  Also featured will be sugar cane grinding, feeding the farm animals, pony rides and old-time games and activities.

Admission is free so bring a blanket or lawn chairs and sit under the shade of the oaks and enjoy the music of the South Florida folk musicians.  Boy Scout Troop 109 will also be providing food.

And don't forget the peacocks in the Park!

To get to the Park, take the Florida Turnpike or I-95 to Indiantown Road, (706) and head west 1 mile.  Riverbend will be on the left.  When you are finished with the Park, you might want to take a ride and get acquainted with Jupiter Farms.  The Farms is easily one of the most overlooked spots in the area to call home and there are lots of homes for sale.  There is no HOA and you can quarter and ride horses out here.  We love it here!

Check out My You Tube Channel  where I have 2 videos on Riverbend Park and My Web Site then send along to your friends!  Looking for a home in this area?  Unlike many agents I have lived here for 22 years and can show you the best locations and some great opportunities.  Use the fastest search available at Coastal Florida Real Estate or call me at 561-762-4073.
Richard Sites, Realtor

There's an app for that! iPhones and Droids

With the growing trend toward mobile units (phone type devices) and away from even the laptop, apps are available to help the consumer even more.  I had my first smartphone in 2004 with fingertip control and the ability to write on the screen.  Just no apps.  Then the iPhone and the droid came along.

Zillow.com, which has a free app, says people are using it to look up 2 million properties a month. In addition to Realtor.com, other popular apps include ones offered by ZipRealty, Coldwell Banker, Better Homes and Gardens, and the Corcoran Group.

The apps provide the same information that Web sites do, but they allow users access without having to lug a computer around. They can make house hunting easier for both practitioners and buyers because the information is so immediately and widely available.

Be sure and check out My Web Site and My You Tube Channel and send to your friends.

Foreclosures in Palm Beach county soar

This just in from the Palm Beach Post:

Foreclosure activity skyrocketed in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast in February, fanning fears that the housing market still faces strong headwinds.

About 4,490 homes in Palm Beach County received a foreclosure filing during the month, up 63 percent from January to February and 68 percent from a year ago, RealtyTrac, an information provider in Irvine, Calif., said today.

Statewide, foreclosures rose 15 percent from January, while foreclosures nationally dipped 2 percent, RealtyTrac said.

It's unclear whether the region's big jump in foreclosures happened because more borrowers stopped paying their mortgages, lenders got more aggressive about foreclosing, or because overwhelmed courts can handle only so many defaults — or a combination of all three.

Compared with the "non-judicial" foreclosure process in California, Arizona, Nevada and other states, the judicial process in states such as Florida and New Jersey creates "erratic patterns," said RealtyTrac spokesman Daren Blomquist.
"All the foreclosures in those states have to go through the court system, and the court system can only handle so much capacity," Blomquist said. "That leads to more of a roller coaster pattern."

There's little question that Florida faces a flood of foreclosures that threatens to hold down home values for years. Florida's rate of one foreclosure filing for every 163 households was the third-highest in the nation.

"The bottom line is that Florida's foreclosure activity has consistently continued at a very high level, with its foreclosure rate consistently ranking among the nation's five highest over the past two years," Blomquist said.

Thousands of homes coming onto the market create one more drag on property values. Palm Beach County home prices have plunged 43 percent from their 2005 peak.

So, if you are thinking about buying down here, this may be the perfect chance. And interest rates are still very, very low.

Mr. & Mrs. Seller, did you read this carefully? If you are thinking about selling or are trying to sell, you should get your home positioned correctly and quickly. I have sold 3 homes in the Jupiter community of Paseos in the last 12 months and across all local markets the homes I list are only on the market an average of 4 weeks. You can still sell...and quickly, if you want to.

Some communities in particular are selling very briskly! We still have great, "A" rated schools, miles of fabulous, free beaches, the warm & clear Atlantic ocean filled with fish and golf course communities like Admirals Cove, Frenchman's Creek, Jonathan's Landing and Frenchman's Reserve in every direction. Countless celebrities, who could live anywhere in the world, call the Jupiter/Tequesta, Jupiter Island and Palm Beach Gardens area home. You can too!

You can start your search over at my website: www.CoastalFloridaRealEstate.net or if you want to find out more about this area, try my You Tube Channel, www.youtube.com/richardsites. Take a look then be sure and send along to your friends. They may be interested too!

Richard Sites, Jupiter & Tequesta Realtor

Price it right and it will ALWAYS sell !

As I post to my blogs from my little piece of paradise here on the coast of Florida, more than once I have lamented about the poor pricing practices that are dragging down the market. You can go back through my posts to find these Case Studies of seller's who did not understand, no matter how educated or intelligent, the proper pricing of homes. This is exacerbated by real estate agents who go along with this pricing in hopes of finding an uninformed buyer. Sure, there are plenty of them out there!

So here is today's take on the pricing issue: The oceanfront manse pictured above at 1370 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan just sold for $12 million.

The property last sold in June 2009 for $22.45 million. The seller was Germantown-Seneca Joint Venture of Maryland, the buyer MGM Design LLC of Illinois.

So, even though this is an oceanfront mansion, they had to drop the price nearly $ 5 million or 20% to make the sale.  If your home is not selling, it is positioned wrong....period!

Then, send along to your friends.

Python hunting season opens today

Monday was the first day of Florida's hunting season for Burmese pythons, as the state attempts to enlist experienced hunters in fighting the huge, non-native snakes. Since the mid-1990s, Burmese pythons have infested the South Florida wilderness, consuming mammals, birds and other wildlife and competing with top predators such as alligators.

The state hunt runs through April 17 in parts of the Everglades open to hunting in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, including the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land and Rotenberger wildlife management areas. It is open to anyone with a hunting license who pays a $26 fee.

At this time of yearwhen the weather is relatively cool, pythons will be in the open, absorbing heat from the sun.

No one knows how many hunters are heading out because pre-registration is not required, but there are reports of people flying in from out of state to participate, said Gabriella Ferraro, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Hunters have 36 hours to report their kills.

The biggest killer of pythons in the past few months probably has been the cold weather, although biologists say many pythons were able to wedge themselves into places of safety and wait out the cold.

Although python meat is edible, the state advises against eating it because pythons from the Everglades are likely to contain high levels of mercury. The hides have value, being used in the manner of alligator hides to make shoes, handbags and wallets.

Brian Wood, president of All American Gator Products of Hallandale Beach, said since the state last year allowed hunters to kill pythons during regular hunting seasons, he's processed three into products, including a $900 pair of pants.

http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/  and www.youtube.com/richardsites  Then, send to your friends!

Florida's orange crop will be 2 million boxes bigger than expected, but still down from last year

Florida's orange crop will be 2 million boxes bigger than expected, but still down from last year

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Jupiter Election Results

Jupiter's election results are in and incumbent Mayor Karen Golonka was re-elected.  Challenger Jimmy Burg conceded that incumbent Karen Golonka won a seventh term late Tuesday as the town’s mayor, even as final votes were still being counted.

Voting machine cartridges did not read properly for several precincts in Jupiter, forcing election workers to resort to a backup method, counting paper ballots with a machine. The glitch delayed final election results for Jupiter.

Burg, making his first try at elected office, raised about $60,600 in campaign contributions, twice as much as Golonka, who raised about $30,100. The three-year mayor position pays $22,200 annually.  

Turnout was strong, said Jupiter poll workers. “You would have thought it was a presidential election,” said Merrill Helm, a poll worker at the West Jupiter Recreation Center at Indiantown Road and Central Boulevard.

“All that negative stuff got me more motivated to make my voice heard,” said Nancy Branch, a Burg supporter who lives in the Shores neighborhood.

In the race for two town council seats, the two incumbents easily defeated their challengers.

Jim Kuret­ski, a project manager at Florida Power & Light, defeated attorney Tom Ryan in the North District seat. Todd Wodraska, vice president of Special District Services Inc., defeated Lew Lax, a retired newspaper owner and publisher, in the city’s South District.

While I might not agree with everything that is done is Jupiter, it's fair to say Jupiter is a great place to live!

Find out more at:  http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ and www.youtube.com/richardsites.  Then, be sure and send along to your friends.

Burt Reynolds Boat Ramp and Park

In Jupiter, the Intracoastal Waterway used to run around a series of islands as it meandered along.  One of those islands is still there and is home to the Burt Reynolds Park.  The 74 year old Burt is, of course, our most famous son.  He still has a house up on the Intracoastal he has been trying to sell for years.  Even though it is in an ideal location and right on the water, and the price has been dropped nearly  50% it hasn't sold.

15 or 20 years ago, this was a small park with lots of Australian Pines planted in rows running north and south. These trees provided a tremendous amount of shade. During the week you could find guys in trucks parked in the shade having their lunch and enjoying the cool breezes in this area. On the weekend, boaters could return to find their cars semi-cool.  Then, they decided to "improve" the park.  First step, cut down all the shade trees and replace them with coconut palms.

Don't get me wrong...I love tall coconut palms. I grew up with them in Miami. But the pines were lovely and provided so much shade.

These shots were taken on the east side on US One where the smaller boats launch. They can launch on this side because they can still get under the bridge at high tide. On the west side is a smaller, 2 slip ramp but the bigger boats use this since there are no fixed bridges.

Once in the water, you head north for the Inlet and out to the ocean.  You always have the chance of having a day of fishing like this one below.

Does this look like a great place to live?  You bet it is!
You can see all Jupiter homes for sale by visiting Coastal Florida Real Estate or contact me directly at 561-762-4073.

Environmental Resources Management

Several years ago, I participated in a Saturday clean-up at Jupiter Beach.  I love the beach and am frequently there.  I was shocked to find that although the beaches appeared clean, when you starting picking up the litter (flotsam and jetsam) the amount of it was overwhelming.  We were constantly needing new bags to fill.

During 2009, Volunteers with the ERM removed more than 33,000 lbs. of trash and invasive exotic plants from the woods and scrublands along the Intracoastal Waterway.  The trash varied in size from golf balls and cans to refrigerators and washing machines.

They also planted 10.300 fresh water wetland grass seedlings and 4,298 native trees, shrubs and grasses.  They also collected and potted 23,500 red mangrove seeds that will be used this year in mangrove restoration projects.  This provides sanctuary for our little marine friends to get going in life.

For more information on joining the volunteers go to www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm.

This is the kind of thing that makes living here so great!  For more head on over to my other sites:
http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ or www.youtube.com/richardsites then send to your friends!

Jupiter Florida, home to the PGA Tour players

Thursday I had the chance to go to the Honda Classic so I took a friend who had never been to a PGA event.  It was quite an eye opener for him.

Since I have played golf for decades and lived in Jupiter  for 20 years I was able to fill him in with a lot of background on the PGA Tour players that call this area home.

Up on Jupiter Island, live Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Nick Price.  Years ago, Lee Trevino had a big estate there and one day while visiting the house next door overheard him working in his garage on his golf clubs and chatting with his caddie, Herman Mitchell.  It's always interesting to be a "fly on the wall" and see the famous living just like the rest of us.

Jesper Parnevik used to live in Admirals Cove.  One day while driving through AC, I saw him being filmed hitting balls across the water on a short par 3.  I don't know what they were filming, but he sure made it look effortless.  In addition to his golf skills, he is famous for introducing Tiger to his (then future) wife, Elin.  The following year while at the Palm Beach Boat Show we were walking behind him on the docks and later saw Ian Baker-Finch near the sailboats.   Finch lives just south of Jupiter.

In Tequesta, Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Marino and Camilo Villegas all own properties along the Loxahatchee River.  Across the River, Rickie Fowler bought a home.  Any why not, it's gorgeous and a 5 minute boat ride to the Atlantic Ocean and great fishing.

Briny Baird lives in nearby Palm City and Will McKenzie calls Jupiter home as well.  And Jack Nicklaus lives in North Palm Beach.

These are just the PGA Tour pros I know of.  We also have all kinds of celebrities from other fields living here.  Why do people who have the money to live anywhere in the world pick Jupiter?
Because it's a great place to live....period!!
Like to join us here?  Give me a call!  I can show you any house listed for sale and unlike many agents, I have lived here 21 years and can show you the best values and locations.  Or use email at rsites@bellsouth.net.  Only looking for that special deal or big price reduction?  We can find that too!  Would you like to search the MLS for a home yourself?  Then try the fastest MLS search by visiting Coastal Florida Real Estate.  Every home and every picture is there in real time.
Richard Sites, Realtor

Jupiter Christian School students on 3 mission trips

Jupiter Christian School, located in the heart of  Jupiter, is in the middle of "mini-mester".

Three groups of high school students are on Christian Missions Trips to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Urban Youth Impact in West Palm Beach.  While serving, they work on agricultural, educational, medical and construction projects.  Each student comes back with an appreciation of how different other people's lives are from those they have experienced here in Jupiter.  Other groups are on educational field trips.

To find out more about Jupiter Christian School, visit their website:  http://www.jupiterchristian.org/

Jupiter is a great place to live and you can find out more at: http://www.coastalfloridarealestate.net/ or if you want to see some lifestyle videos at www.youtube.com/richardsites.

Jupiter Florida fishing, 39 lb. permit

Caught by Ed Pritchard -- "On a recent fishing trip with a friend, I caught this 39 pound Permit off his hometown of Jupiter, Florida. The fish was caught about 300 yards off the beach in eight feet of water on 20 pound test. This big fellow was released without incident."

Is Jupiter a great place to live??  You bet it is!!

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Jupiter Florida, Riverwalk

The waterfront in Florida has always been an interesting spot to watch the clash of interests. Public vs. Private.

As I have posted before, in Miami, where I grew up, while we the public were given some access to the beaches, most of the area known as South Beach and Miami Beach was taken up with huge hotels.

In Palm Beach County, most of the oceanfront property is owned by individuals although there are some county parks with access. In California, it's just the opposite and even as a young boy traveling in CA I was impressed with how smart it was to leave the beaches for EVERYBODY.

Another aspect is that decades ago, mobile home parks were built along the water and now occupy some very valuable property.  In Jupiter we have Suni Sands right on the Jupiter Inlet near the Square Grouper.  Another large and valuable piece of land in Jupiter across from Chili's was occupied by the former nightclub called Brio's.  It went out of business and the building was torn down.  In any event, the Town of Jupiter is trying to connect all these parcels with a grand plan known as Riverwalk.

Riverwalk is supposed to be shops, retails, etc. etc., and really dress up our waterfront here.  It starts south on US One, winds along behind Jupiter Yacht Club, then under the Indiantown Road bridge, along the Intracoastal, and along the Inlet.  So far, only the section near JYC has been completed and the Town is holding concerts under the bridge.  I have been to see Big Vince and the Phat Cats and had a blast.  Check the Town of Jupiter website of upcoming concerts.  There is also public access for fishing under the bridge.  I stopped by the other day and took these pictures.

Is Jupiter a great place to live?  You bet it is!!

If you are looking at Jupiter homes for sale, you can see them all at Coastal Florida Real Estate where every home and every picture is listed in real time.  No other site has any more or more current information.

Jupiter Elections on Tuesday

This just came in from the Palm Beach Post:

For Jupiter residents who prefer a town in which developers do not control decisions, Tuesday's election presents a stark choice. To keep Jupiter the kind of town most residents want, The Post enthusiastically endorses incumbents Karen Golonka for mayor, Jim Kuretski in the North Council District and Todd Wodraska in the South Council District.

The central race pits Mayor Golonka against bar owner Jimmy Burg, who had raised more money by Feb. 12 than all three incumbents combined. The two other mayoral candidates, Kevin Johnson and Susan Arena, have little hope of winning but may force a March 23 runoff if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. In the council races, Mr. Kuretski faces lawyer Tom Ryan, and Mr. Wodraska's opponent is retired community-newspaper chain owner Lew Lax.

Mr. Burg's campaign is openly appealing to Tea Party voters, emphasizing Mayor Golonka's long tenure — 24 years — and making the false charge that she plans to raise taxes 20 percent over three years. For his part, Mr. Burg can't decide whether Mayor Golonka is too pro-growth — he blames her for doubling the town's population since 1990 — or too hard on businesses — he blames her for holding up builders with "ridiculous" demands. For voters, the question to ask is "Has Jupiter grown better than other South Florida communities?"

Mayor Golonka has worked to stop big-box retail stores and auto dealers from clogging Indiantown Road. She won voter support in 2004 for a land preservation program that has spent $13 million to buy 42 acres, with $5 million remaining.
All three incumbents strongly supported the decision in 2006 to get migrant workers off Center Street by providing town-owned space to Catholic Charities. The challengers have backed off demands that Jupiter try to close the day-labor resource center, known as El Sol. The "Golonka 20 percent tax increase plan" came from town documents showing what would happen if the town didn't reduce spending. It was a routine projection, not a plan. Efforts continue to cut spending, and the town's tax rate remains third-lowest among large cities in Palm Beach County.

Mr. Burg's real beef with Mayor Golonka is over how the town has treated his bar, the Square Grouper, which has amassed code violations and had run-ins with environmental regulators over sea-grass bed destruction. Mayor Golonka and Mr. Kuretski voted against allowing the bar in 2003. While Mr. Burg's supporters hyperventilate that Jupiter's actions to force the bar to follow Jupiter's rules have been excessive, the town actually has been lenient.

Mr. Burg turned a hole-in-the-wall bait shop into a thriving outdoor waterfront bar, with live music and a marina, without first getting the proper approvals. Rather than shut him down, the town that Mr. Burg claims is overly tough on business approved the changes retroactively. The bar, at the end of a residential street, since has drawn complaints about noise, parking and unpermitted special events.

Worse, Mr. Burg has no real plan on how he would avoid conflicts if he had to vote on a dispute concerning the cost of parking for his patrons, noise complaints from neighboring Jupiter Inlet Colony and on issues that apply to competitors. He attacks Mayor Golonka for taking money from the Rendina family, a major developer in Abacoa. But through that Feb. 12 campaign reporting date, Mr. Burg himself had raised money from real estate agents, builders and the marine industry.

Mr. Lax, who lives in Admiral's Cove, hasn't taken much time to review the budget. Also, he falsely alleges that the incumbents want a commuter rail extension that would add four tracks to the Florida East Coast Railway line that runs past Admiral's Cove. While adding separate commuter and freight tracks is one potential solution, the incumbents do not advocate it. They want freight moved to a different line.
Mr. Ryan, who promises to make life easier for small businesses, criticizes Mr. Kuretski as "dead wood," a council member who is incapable of building consensus. Admittedly, Mr. Kuretski can be cantankerous. He often seems happy to be the sole dissenter on 4-1 votes. In fairness, though, he does more than complain; he proposes solutions. Mr. Kuretski opposed the 3.7 percent tax rate increase that went with this year's budget, but he persuaded the town to adopt several cost-saving measures in a 21-point plan. To avoid future tax increases, Mr. Kuretski's plan will prove vital. Mr. Kuretski also deserves credit with Mayor Golonka for limiting development that would have crowded Indiantown Road.

Business owners and developers get frustrated with Jupiter's methodical, and at-times maddening, approach to development. Yet Jupiter can boast of a quick response that helped bring Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Institute to Abacoa. The town that supposedly is unfriendly to business also reacted rapidly to land the North American headquarters of G4S Wackenhut after Palm Beach Gardens flinched.

When Mr. Burg won the right to open his bar, a different majority controlled the council, one that put business interests over residents' interests. Mr. Burg, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Lax would represent a return to that time. Mayor Golonka makes the better argument: "Jupiter has high standards. We don't make excuses for that. But it's a reflection of what our residents and a number of our businesses want. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't have been reelected."

Mayor Golonka said in an interview with The Post that she wants this to be her last term. The campaign against her, Mr. Kuretski and Mr. Wodraska has been driven by misleading claims and self-interest. We believe that the criticism of the incumbents is unfounded. We believe that Jupiter is tough only on bad business, not business in general. The incumbents have put the residents first, and the residents should return the favor on Tuesday.


Jupiter's most famous son, Burt Reynolds released from hospital

Burt Reynolds' manager says the actor has been released from a Florida hospital after a planned heart bypass operation.  Erik Kritzer said in a statement Wednesday that Reynolds had been scheduled for the operation for over a month.

Kritzer says the star of "Smokey and the Bandit," "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights" told him that he has "a great motor with brand new pipes" and is "feeling great."

Last year, Reynolds spent time in a Florida rehab center after treatment for painkiller abuse following back surgery.

The 74 year old Reynolds is Jupiter's most famous son.  He was raised in Jupiter and had a production studio in Jupiter Farms for several years.  His nephew still runs Town & Country Feed in Jupiter Farms.  Over on US One, there is the Burt Reynolds Museum with lots of memorabilia from his movie career.

Find out more about how we live here in Jupiter by visiting some of these sites:

Citrus trees in Florida, what to do in March

When I moved to Jupiter Farms about 10 years ago, I was fortunate enough to find several citrus trees on the property.  Specifically, I have 2 Key Limes and 1 each of grapefruit, Valencia orange and Honeybell.  The soil in Jupiter Farms is not the best from growing citrus.  The best seems to be up in Tequesta or along the sandy ridge that runs down into Juno Beach.  If you don't live in this area and are thinking of adding citrus trees, be sure to get the right information from the Internet and DIG A WIDE HOLE FOR THEM.

Here's a Key Lime I just got off one of my trees.

Growing up in Miami, we always had plenty of citrus around and shared it with folks when they came to visit.  This winter tradition is mostly gone now since we have so many northerners here and since the State in it's infinite wisdom came through in the early 2000's with chain saws and cut down all the really big citrus trees to try and stop the spread of citrus canker up into the commercial groves north of here.

No sooner did they get thousands of trees cut down when hurricanes Frances and Jean came through and swept the disease up into the groves.

So, here we are in the first week of March.  Your trees should be showing some signs of new growth and blooms like these.

This is an especially critical time to get fertilizer down for the trees.  They are starting their new growth and producing flowers for this year.  Be sure and get a well balanced product with modest nitrogen but a good micro-nutrient package.  You can check the University of Florida IFAS site, Mounts Botanical Garden site or just Google it.

Is this a great place to live?  You bet!!

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Gumbo Limbo, shiny new bark for this year

The gumbo limbo has to be one of my favorite trees.  It's native to South Florida so it can take whatever the climate here can dish out.  It drops its leaves once a year and they are small leaves.  But the 2 best things about it are beautiful, dark and shiny bark (picture below) and the fact that it can be started from cuttings of any size.

When we moved to Jupiter Farms from Tequesta 10 years ago, the home we bought had hardly any trees except for the native pines and some queen palms.  My family likes a more tropical look so we added banana trees which grow very quickly and add a tropcial look but we wanted some other trees.

About this same time, lightning hit a very large gumbo limbo in Tequesta and shattered the tree.  When I saw the tree broken up on the ground I spotted the solution to my problem.  Using a pickup, I picked up the biggest branches I could handle, loaded them in the truck and brought them home.

We dug holes and stuck the branches in them, then fashioned wooden braces for them to hold them in place until they rooted.  As I mentioned, these trees will root from any size piece of a tree.  In very short order they sprouted leaves and were on their way.  Once the trees are rooted, they can grow 5 or 6 feet a year especially during the rainy season since they love water.

As they have grown, I have cut other branches and used them to start more trees around the yard.  Over at Dubois Park on the Jupiter Inlet, there are some massive trees.

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