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Aerial view of Anna Maria Island by Jack Elka

I Love Finding Real Estate on Sale

| Terri White |

Before finding Real Estate on Sale

I was lucky to discover Florida’s Suncoast as a child. We were camping along the Little Manatee River, escaping the Illinois winter in paradise where adults could golf, and kids could swim and fish and make friends. Dad asked for recommendations for a really great seafood restaurant. There was only one answer: Pete Reynard’s on Anna Maria Island.

Fast forward 20 years to the late ‘80s. My partner and I were planning to relocate to Florida with proceeds from the sale of a business and the lure of no state income tax. We traveled the coast, starting in Fernandina Beach and ending up on Anna Maria Island.

First deal of many

We bought our first piece of property, a canal home in Anna Maria City, for $205,000 in 1990. Friends and family thought we were crazy. We sold it 27 years later for almost five times that. We bought our first island business for $210,000 in 1994. We sold it 26 years later for six times that.

Do I believe in real estate investment on Anna Maria Island? Hell yes. Am I done because of a pandemic? Nope. I am lucky to be sheltering in place in my latest acquisition: a bayfront condo just a short walk to the most beautiful beach in the world.

I bought it on sale, along with another rental property in Bradenton. I used a 1031 Exchange from the sale of my business and saved writing a big check to Uncle Sam. We also own two other rental homes in Bradenton and our personal residences—a new, hurricane proof home in Cortez’s Harbour Landings neighborhood and an urban farmhouse just west of Wares Creek.

Am I nervous?

People asked if I was nervous with these latest closings, especially now that I cannot rent my condo out until this is over. Nope, I am not nervous.

Remember the Millennium when people were afraid to travel because the clocks might not turn to 2000? My little business struggled with a crappy January, but people shook their fears.

Remember the oil spill? Those visitors from the Pan Handle flocked here, making Anna Maria more popular than ever.

Remember Red Tide? Well that memory is still too fresh. That was bad.

Remember how we watched Hurricane Irma put a bullseye on us? I remember the pickup afterwards, eerily alone with most of my neighbors evacuated to other states. It feels like that now. Deserted. Almost.

The future looks good for real estate on sale

I look across Sarasota Bay at my favorite spot, Swordfish Grill, where I picked up prime rib on Thursday. I will walk the beach tomorrow morning and watch the sunrise over the bay. I’ll see fishermen heading out for a good day’s work. I might even throw in a line myself.

I’ll window shop on Bridge Street after I grab a sandwich at a takeout. I’ll find a local musician streaming some kickass music and lay by the pool this afternoon, just grateful for how good life can be.

I wouldn’t be here if I had not taken a chance on Florida real estate. Am I mad at the governor for not letting me rent my property? Nope. I am soaking it up in Florida style and checking listings for real estate that’s on sale.

About Terri White

Terri White, woman in a hat

Terri White has been a Manatee County resident since 1990. Growing up in a small Illinois farm community but no fan of Midwestern winters, she found the same warmth and hospitality on Florida’s Suncoast. Over the years, many Midwestern friends and family have joined her to thaw their bones come winter.

Terri’s motto—“Living the Dream in Florida Style”— means living, working and playing between beautiful historic downtown Bradenton, where she lives a short walk from the offices of Florida Suncoast Real Estate Inc. and sneaking away whenever she can to Anna Maria Island, the best place on Earth.

A former corporate writer and editor, Terri still spends time wordsmithing. But since purchasing her first home at age 25, she learned real estate is a quicker way to wealth than writing. Once honored as Future Farmers’ of America “Sweetheart of the Year,” she looks forward to driving her retro camper to Illinois this summer to visit family and friends.

Photo Credit, Jack Elka Photography. Terri White photo from Facebook.

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