Alliance Group Blog

First Watch Restaurant in Sarasota

By | May 27, 2014

First Watch Logo

First Watch LogoWay back when, in the 1980’s a trip to Sarasota was not complete without at least one stop at the quite novel First Watch Restaurant at 8383 S Tamiami Trail. In those days it was not common to find a breakfast, lunch or brunch restaurant with health minded food, what a fabulous concept! The smell of coffee and toast, so inviting. In those days the First Watch Restaurant was a family run, one of a kind spot. Though First Watch started in California in the early 80’s, it did not survive there but opened a few years later in Sarasota. In Sarasota it is was not only popular, but grew to hundreds of restaurants in 16 states!Sarasota has several locations but if you want to relax and feel like you’re on vacation and maybe you already are, you need to visit this location.

Waterfront Dining on the Patio

Waterfront Dining on the Patio

Don’t let it fool you that it’s in a small strip mall, the lakefront setting is peaceful with a choice of terrace dining or inside, still with lovely views from walls of French windows.. I’ve always been drawn to the Bacado omelet but love the Siesta Key Cocktail, a healthy choice with yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. One of my visitors has thoughts of moving back to Sarasota solely for their vegetable soup! Now that’s saying something!!!

Check out the menu at

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Final Waterski Show for the Season

By | April 23, 2014

Sarasota Ski A Rees

Sarasota Ski A ReesIf you haven’t seen the Sarasota Ski-A-Rees waterski show, your last chance for this season is coming up on Sunday, May 4th. The show takes place at Ken Thompson Park on Lido Key on Sunday afternoons during the winter season at 2:00PM. The show is open to the public and no admission is charged but they do take donations at the end of the performance. If you’ve never seen this show it’s worth checking out!

For more information visit their website at


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Property Tax Notices Have Been Sent

By | August 20, 2013

TRIM Statement

August is a wonderful time – football kicks off, the kids get back to school … and TRIM notices get sent out.  Homeowners in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties should receive their proposed tax notice today or tomorrow (give it a couple of extra days if you’re out of state) and owners invariably have questions about their statement.  Sarasota County estimates that they receive phone calls from 10% of all owners this week.

In today’s issue I’ll break down your statement so you know what’s going where.

TRIM Notices Are Not Bills!


TRIM Statement
See that big red box in the upper right hand corner?  That should be your first clue.  TRIM notices represent your worst-case scenario for the upcoming tax bill.  The actual tax rate (millage) is subject to change over the course of the next month or so but it can’t get any higher by statute.  That said, most locales ARE raising their taxes this year – only North Port is talking about ‘rolling back’ the tax rate.

A Note About Homestead

Most owners locally take advantage of the Save Our Homes Act, commonly referred to as ‘homestead’.  This act caps the maximum amount of tax increase at 3% of the previous year’s bill AND provides an automatic $50,000 deduction but it only applies to primary residences for which the owner has applied with the county.

The homestead resets every time title is transferred so new owners are likely to pay a little more in their second year (taxes are assessed per ownership of the property on January 1of the taxable year but aren’t payable until the end of the year, meaning most owners who bought this year are able to take advantage of the previous owner’s homestead in their first tax cycle).


  1. Market Value – what the county thinks your home is actually worth
  2. Assessed Value – the value the county uses to actually tax you before exemptions
  3. Millage Rate – a fancy term for ‘tax rate’; calculate your taxes by multiplying (millage rate * .001 ) * (current year taxable value).
  4. Ad Valorem Taxes – taxes based on the assessed value of your property.  These are your school, city, and county taxes.
  5. Non Ad Valorem Taxes – taxes based on the size or number of units in your property, as determined by the levying authority.  These are the taxes for your fire service, garbage collection, and stormwater utility.

How To Save  A Couple Of Bucks

While the TRIM notices are just proposed taxes, the actual rates will be determined over the next month or so and your actual bill won’t be delinquent until April 1 of next year.  The local counties give discounts to taxpayers who pay early in the amount of 1% a month, startingNovember 1; if you think your taxes are too high, simply pay your taxes in November and give yourself an automatic 4% discount (or 3% in December, 2% in January, or 1% in February).

Most mortgage servicers who escrow taxes already pay early but it’s definitely worthwhile to check for yourself!

Interested In Buying or Selling?

When you hire Alex Krumm at Re/Max Alliance Group, you’ll get an award-winning expert agent ready to work for YOU!  I’m in the top 2% of active local agents for homes sold and I’m used to selling more homes for more money in less time.  Put the benefit of our area’s #1 brokerage to work and call today!

Alex Krumm, GRI, CDPE
Broker Associate, Re/Max Alliance Group
SAR Professional Development Committee
4-Year Winner, Five-Star Best In Customer Satisfaction – Sarasota Magazine
941-234-3597 Direct

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October Events Calendar

By | September 28, 2011


Fall festivals, art shows, new theatre productions and cooler temperatures…it’s a great time to get out and enjoy some of the activities happening in the area during the month of October:



Event or Activity


Click Link for

More Information

Oct. 1st 2011 9th Annual Daquiri Deck Tropical Splash Open Water Swim Siesta Key U S Masters Swimming
Oct. 2nd Dixie Swim Club Venice Venice MainStage Theatre
Oct. 7th Live from Downtown, It’s Friday Night Sarasota Downtown Sarasota Alliance
Oct. 7th Music on Main Lakewood Ranch Main Street
Oct. 7th Jazz at Two Sarasota Jazz Club Sarasota
Oct. 7-26th Y Not Women?? Anna Maria The Studio at Gulf & Pine
Oct. 8-9th 5th Annual Hungarian Festival Sarasota Sarasota Fair Grounds
Oct. 8-23rd Festival sARTee Sarasota sARTee
Oct. 9, 16, 23 & 30th GartenFest: Fall Music Series at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Sarasota Selby Gardens
Oct. 11-16th Ringling International Arts Festival Sarasota Asolo Theatre
Oct. 11-23rd “Disenchanted” Sarasota Golden Apple Dinner Theare
Oct. 14th Celtic Thunder Sarasota Van Wezel
Oct. 14-16th Sun Fiesta Venice Sun Fiesta
Oct. 15-16th 17th Annual Downtown Sarasota Art & Craft Festival Sarasota Art Festival
Oct. 15th Art Slam Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Oct. 15-16th Placida Rotary Club Annual Nautical Festival Englewood Rotary Club
Oct. 16th Dolly Parton Live Sarasota Van Wezel
Oct. 19th Courthouse Square Concert Bradenton Realize Bradenton
Oct. 20th House of Terror at PAL Sailor Circus Sarasota PAL Sailor Circus
Oct. 21st Seussical Sarasota The Players Theatre
Oct. 21st Mote’s Night of Fish, Fun & Fright Sarasota Mote Aquarium
Oct. 22nd Spirit Voices from Old Manatee Bradenton Historic Manatee Village
Oct. 23rd Free Water Ski Show Sarasota Ski-A-Rees
Oct. 24-30th John Hamilton Gillespie Celebration Week Sarasota Owen Burns
Oct. 28-30th Season Opener Sarasota Ballet Sarasota Sarasota Ballet
Oct. 31st Fright Night – Halloween on St. Armands Sarasota St. Armands Circle Association

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

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Ringling Museum of Art

By | August 18, 2011

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is one of the many treasures in Sarasota. We had been years ago but recently visited again and it just reaffirmed that this is a great place to live, work and play.

The art museum houses many pieces of world class art and the docents there are very knowledgeable. It was interesting to hear the background of how John Ringling collected the pieces and especially how the museum came to be. There is always something new as they frequently have traveling exhibits.

The Ringling’s home on the property, Ca’ d’Zan was built in 1925. The mansion was built in the Venetian Gothic style of architecture and is 36,000 square feet with 41 rooms and 15 bathrooms. You can tour the entire home and plan to spend some time on the terrace overlooking Sarasota Bay. The view is magnificent!

The Circus Museum on the property has been there for many years and is a must for children of all ages. The Ringling’s personal rail car is on display here along with lots of the history of the circus in Sarasota. The Tibbals Learning Center was recently added to the museum which houses the World’s Largest Miniature Circus of the Howard Brothers Circus Model. Howard Tibbals created this replica of the circus over a 50 year period and it’s really amazing to see. The second floor of this building documents the history of the circus complete with memorabilia and artifacts.

We had such a great visit that we were there until they closed at 5pm and decided to have a bite at the restaurant in the Visitor’s Pavilion. Treviso is open for lunch and dinner and they had a summer special running which included dinner for two (2 appetizers, 2 entrees and 2 desserts) plus a bottle of wine all for $39. That was a deal and the food was terrific! Even if you’re not visiting the museum it’s a great spot for a night out.

We’re so glad we live here and can take advantage of the arts, culture and many dining options in Sarasota. If you haven’t been in awhile, I highly recommend a visit to Ringling!


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Sarasota Real Estate Inventory Continues to Decline

By | August 16, 2011

The Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the sales statistics for the month of July. The number of units sold was slightly lower than previous months which is typical for this time of year in our area. The other item of note is the inventory of available of properties continues to decline and is now at the lowest level it’s been in the last decade. To view the complete press release with all the statistical charts click on the link below:


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August in Sarasota

By | July 28, 2011

  1. We’re in the dog days of summer but there are still plenty of things to do around town so don’t miss out! Here’s just a few of the events and activities happening in the Sarasota area during the month of August:


Event or Activity


Click Link for

More Information

Aug. 1-14th Beyond Bling – Voices of Hip-Hop in Art Sarasota Ringling Museum
Aug. 2nd Sarasota Slam Billfish Tournament Sarasota Sarasota Slam
Aug. 2-28th Our Son’s Wedding Sarasota Florida Studio Theatre
Aug. 3rd Summer Beach Run Venice Sarasota Parks
Aug. 5th Music on Main Lakewood Ranch Lakewood Ranch Main Street
Aug. 5th Live from Downtown Sarasota – It’s Friday Night Sarasota Downtown Sarasota Alliance
August 5th A Midsummer Night’s Stroll Sarasota Palm Avenue
Aug. 6th Sri Lankan Drumming and Dance Troupe Sarasota Dance Troupe
Aug. 6th Ready, Set, Grow Fair Sarasota United Way of Sarasota
Aug. 7th Bradentucky Bombers vs. South Florida Roller Girls Bradenton Bradentucky Bombers
Aug. 10th think+drink(Science) The Naked Universe Series Bradenton South Florida Museum
Aug. 10-31st I Do! I Do! Sarasota Golden Apple Dinner Theater
Aug. 11-28th Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun Sarasota Banyan Theater Company
Aug. 12th Friday Fest at Van Wezel Sarasota Van Wezel
Aug. 12-28th The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Venice Venice Theatre
Aug. 12th One Night Rodeo Band Sarasota Van Wezel
Aug. 13th Ranger Led Kayak Tours @ DeSoto National Memorial Park Bradenton DeSoto National Memorial
Aug. 13th Caroline Rhea @ McCurdy’s Comedy Theater Sarasota McCurdy’s Comedy Theater
Aug. 16th Bradenton Marauders Home Game Bradenton Bradenton Marauders
Aug. 16-28th Dynamic Duets of the 70’s Sarasota West Coast Black Theatre Troupe
Aug. 17-21st American Youth Circus Festival Sarasota American Youth Circus
Aug. 19th Third Friday Art Walk in Towles Court Sarasota Towles Court
Aug. 20th Celebration of Brewing at Morton’s Gourmet Market Sarasota Morton’s Market
Aug. 20-21st Hunter Jumper Horse Show Venice Fox Lea Farm
Aug. 27th Sarasota Beer Festival Sarasota Florida Beer Festivals
Aug. 27th The Fabulous Independent Film Festival Sarasota Film Festival

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

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Real Estate Market Statistics for April

By | May 17, 2011

The Sarasota Board of Realtors reports that a total of 759 property sales were closed in the Sarasota real estate market in April 2011, continuing a strong spring surge that reached the 800 level in March. The recent sales rush has taken the market to the highest levels since the fall of 2005 when sales started to decline. Prices also maintained their highest levels of the year in April 2011 for both single family homes and condos, and the available property inventory dropped to 5,258, a big drop from last month’s level of 5,501, and less than a third of the available properties on the market during the 2004-2006 real estate boom.

Click here to view the complete report and statistical charts:

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RE/MAX Alliance Group Still the Market Leader in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties!

By | April 19, 2011

DID YOU KNOW……… A few weeks ago the Herald Tribune published a blog that said Coldwell Banker was the local real estate market leader siting sales transaction figures that were incorrect and incomplete as they were skewed toward only one Coldwell Banker franchise.  Luckily, somehow the Trib was made aware of their mistake and last week published an apology to RE/MAX Alliance Group, and a new article that announced that WE are the true market leaders in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties!
Click on this link to read the article:

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Helpful Hints For Short Sale Purchases

By | April 1, 2011

First of all, let me say that short sales have come a long way. There was a time when banks were very hesitant to accept short sale offers and, as such, they were pretty unreasonable about the whole deal (wouldn’t you be, if it was you who was losing millions of dollars to bad debts?)

These days, acceptance rates are way up and processing time at the banks is way down. Lenders, sellers, and buyers alike have embraced the short sale as a legitimate way to do business.

It can still take a while.

Depending on who the bank is, the number of banks who are owed money, and the borrower’s personal financial situation, expect to wait 3-5 months for a response from the bank BEFORE the regular clauses of the contract kick in (those are the mortgage, the inspection, and the title clauses.) The bank needs to size up the specific situation, get a feel for the value of the property, determine the eligibility of the borrower for a short sale (if the seller has tons of liquid assets, the banks might hold them to their note) and exhaust all their options to try and get the highest payment for themselves that they can.
You have a contract with the seller, not with the bank.

Short sale contracts are regular real estate contracts.

Yep, you read that correctly – they’re absolutely normal in every way. Like every other real estate contract, there are certain contingencies that must be met for the contract to be finalized: the inspections have to be done to the buyer’s satisfaction, the financing has to go through, and the seller has to provide clear title to the buyer. Short sales just add another contingency – bank approval.

Banks aren’t bound to accept your contract.

They don’t have to accept your terms, they don’t have to accept your price, and they don’t have to accept you. If you have a solid offer, they still probably will – after all, banks can’t sell it over market value anyway, and they certainly don’t want to spend money they’re already losing just to maintain a property they own through foreclosure. If they can turn a profit (or reduced loss) through a short sale they’re likely to accept – but don’t be surprised if your lowball offer gets turned down outright.

The seller’s mistakes don’t follow the property.

I’ve talked to tons of buyers about short sales, and to a one they’re concerned about the liens on the property – the mortgage, the equity line, the delinquent HOA fees. They don’t want to pay them after closing and they should never have to.

Most standard real estate contracts require the buyer receive clear title to a property. That means that banks have to either accept an agreed-upon price minus any other liens that they will have to pay (including back taxes and real estate commissions) or foreclose on the property, pay the liens anyway, and then try to sell it.

Also, title is easier to convey if the property hasn’t been foreclosed on (as in a short sale situation.) In a foreclosure suit, the bank forcibly takes title title from the borrower in default, then passes it on – in a short sale, they simply release the property from the note.

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