Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stumpjumper Trail Crew Application

Here in Southwest Florida we bunny-hop alligators for fun, drink swamp-water when thirsty and ride 100 miles through deep sand for kicks. All kidding aside, most people are shocked to learn that there is any mountain biking here, much less competitive local single-track (see the "S" in the trail to the right, paint it red and it's calling out, "I am Specialized.").

As a displace
d snow skier and athlete I was looking for a way to stay fit and enjoy our the Florida outdoors beyond the sandy beaches, golf courses and endless boating we're famous for. For me, mountain biking winding, fast single-track three or four times a week is about as close to nirvana as it gets.

I was hooked in 2004 and bought my first mountain bike, an S-Works Epic. I figured anything worth doing is worth doing with the best mountain bike in existence. I Am

Over the years I've ridden in local races (Xterra came here this year), traveled to 24-hour races and enjoyed epic rides from North Carolina to Colorado. But this year, I plan to take it up another notch.

With Lance's inspiration from his amazing feats in the Tour and mountain biking (something he's passionate about as well) in races like the Leadville Trail 100, I'm planning an epic adventure alongside the 2010 Tour de France. Plans are crystallizing to ride the mountainous terrain alongside the Tour beginning in Rotterdam and ending Paris.

I lived in Europe (Switzerland mostly) for almost two-years after college. I'm eager to get back to the Alps. This time, on my mountain bike, I'll be able to cover more ground than ever.

And with a new 2010 S-Works Stumpjumper FSR (the 2004 S-Works Epic is showing the creeks and digs of older age) under me, those extreme climbs will seem like the flat-lands of Florida back home!

Besides my good looks and strong, sexy legs, I bring the following extras to the table to the Stumpjumper Trail Crew:

  • I'm self-employed & love to travel.
  • Born leader in life, business and on the trail. Let me lead Southwest FL into Specialized territory. I decree NO more "Trek days" at our local trails - Trek Sucks! All mountain bikers in this kingdom shall be branded (no wimpy tattoos) with the "S" from this day forward.
  • I have 2,747 Twitter Followers and counting on my main Twitter account (I have 8 others).
  • Internet & Social media expertise (I know how to use links and labels as evidenced here). I could easily start a new blog just about mountain biking (would if you like), but believe this real estate blog can reach a more diverse group of people and teach them about mountain biking in Southwest Florida.
  • I have two Facebook pages and various associated groups.
  • I have five prominent web sites on the first page of Google for their search terms: Marbella Lakes, Aviano at Naples, Naples Real Estate, Naples Real Estate For SaleNaples MLS & others.
  • I'm a published writer.
  • I work with a broad base of real estate clients around the world from Europe to Colorado. Many are luxury home buyers that can afford top-of-the-line carbon bikes.
  • And did I mention, I love
For the Specialized Trail Crew (highly subliminal message: Pick Me!) or to join me on a local ride, please email or call me on my cell phone at 239-289-0799. See you on the trail!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Please, Overcharge Me for My Property Tax

I don't think anybody likes receiving a tax bill,
much less overpaying for property taxes in the
se challenging economic times. Foreclosures and short sales have taken a toll on property values across Florida and the country. In Naples real estate we are faced with homes that are often taxed at taxable market values above true market values. These are terms I have coined to explain why you're property values are not in line with current home sales.The difference between the two can make all the difference in the world to your pocket book.

Taxable Market Value

Each year the Collier County Property Appraiser re-assesses the market value of all the property in Collier County for tax purposes.
The Property Appraiser prepares the tax roll, but does not collect taxes or determine tax rates. The Property Appraiser does this by looking at the supply and demand through buying and selling transactions. This system for coming up with taxable market value works well in a market of increasing property values, but fails to react fast enough in a market of rapidly falling property values that we have seen over the past two years.

The failure in the system (and the little known fact) stems from the Florida State laws that prohibit the Property Appraiser from using any foreclosures and short sale transactions in their assessment of market value. In many communities, foreclosures and short sales dominate and even outnumber acceptable, or what the Property Appraiser considers arm's-length, transactions.

True Market Value

True market value reflects the actual sales you see taking place in the Naples real estate market today. It takes into account the combined closed sales of all properties, including foreclosures and short sales. This is the reality of what your home is worth when you put it on the market today and it must compete with all the properties in your neighborhood that are in default or have gone to foreclosure.

Unfortunately, you can't march into the Collier County Property Appraiser's office with a list of closed short sale and foreclosures to demonstrate that they should reduce your properties market value. Florida law prohibits those sales from being used in the re-evaluation of your property.

What Can I Do if My Opinion of Market Value Differs from the Property Appraiser's?

The first step to consider if your opinion of market value differs from the Property Appraiser's is to call them (239-252-8141) and discuss it. I have found them to be very open to discussing how they arrived at a specific property value.

If you've spoken with them and still disagree, the next step is to request a hearing before the Value Adjustment Board. You must file a written petition with the Clerk of the Circuit Court (acting as the Clerk of the Value Adjustment Board). You can obtain the correct forms from their site by clicking here (just follow the link to "Rules and Procedures for the Value Adjustment Board" in the center of the page).

Your signed petition should be post marked by September 11, 2009 (the date indicated at the bottom of the Proposed Property Tax Notice you should have received in the mail in August.

If you have any questions about closed sales in Naples, we would be happy to assist you. And if you are looking to sell your home and find a new home at true market value where you are not overpaying property taxes, we can show you how. There are wonderful Naples homes and condos for sale where you won't pay a penny extra in property taxes. And to top if off they are actually increasing in value! Wouldn't that be a breath of fresh air.