Vol 7 No. 32 - May 2, 2007

There’s no place like home

Palantine Hill, Rome
Remains of the Palatine Hill in Rome, with the Coliseum in the background.

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

I woke up one day last week, after traveling 24 hours from an extensive European vacation, to some of my favorite things. Through the haze of my jet-lagged eyes, I could see the bright sun and shimmering water just off my bedroom. As if on cue, two large dolphins broke the water followed shortly by a manatee making its deliberate way toward the protected canals,I forgot how much I loved this place; it was good to be home.

When I found that the Bradenton Herald resumed delivery right on schedule, I thought my morning was complete, but there was more to come. The above the fold headline of the business section virtually jumped off the page, "Local home sales jump 16 percent, " International CNN had obviously missed this news in Europe. An increase of 16 percent in number of sales, not sales price, occurred between March of last year and March of this year. It’s a fantastic first step in turning around a market that most real estate professionals feel has reached its low point.

When I was in Rome, I toured the Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome and the most ancient part of the city. Between 510 B.C. and 44 B.C. affluent Romans built their homes and villas in the Palatine for the same reason we build our homes on the beach today – to take advantage of the view. The location of the Palatine was perfect. The top of the hill caught the summer breezes, it overlooked the heart of the ancient city, the Roman Forum, and it was a short walk to the Coliseum. Even then the Romans knew that location is everything in residential real estate, and prime real estate is the one with the prime view.

With taxes and insurance issues front and center up in Tallahassee, combined with the perceived low point of the market, smart out-of-state buyers will inevitably find their way back into the Florida real estate market. We have the sun, we have the beaches and we have the dolphins. Believe me the ancient Romans had it right – location, location, location.

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