While some are feeling the effects of higher interest rates and media reports the early stages of a recession are upon us, our housing market continues to remain strong, especially with homes that are well priced. I think it is safe to say the frenzy may be over as the buyers have adjusted to Covid from the panic buying it elicited. Comparing sales in June and July of 2021 to the same time period this year for Charlotte County while there were a 186 fewer homes sold, the average selling price increased from $390,024 to $461,425 or 18.3%. Sarasota County had 442 fewer homes sold during the same period of time however the average selling price of a home increased from $606,904 to $716,607 or by 18%. The fewer number of sales can be attributed to low inventory and supply chain issues that have delayed new construction. We are seeing some reductions in list price from those who wanted to test the market by pricing their homes above what the market would support. Another indication there will be more of a balance in the buyer vs. seller market.
I have often been amazed at the talent all around us, and if you’re like me, you often ask yourself, “How do they do it?” Sometimes those with these unique gifts make it look so easy we think, “I can do that.” I remember when the Beatles first came to the states and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. While many artists appeared years before the Beatles, they were credited with ushering in what is referred to as the “British Invasion.” There was something extraordinary about them that everyone wanted to emulate and ride their coattails to success, including us kids. I was in elementary school then, and my father thought it would be a grand idea for my brother and me to learn the accordion. So periodically, we would bring our accordions into school and play for our classmates.
Unfortunately for me, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Doors ruined my career on the accordion as my classmates didn’t want to hear me play “Fascination,” or “The Volga Boatman;” they wanted to hear “She Loves You,” “Satisfaction” or “Light My Fire.” Despite my father’s urgings, I quickly ditched the accordion for the more popular guitar and later got into a band. My father said I could take guitar lessons only if I continued with the accordion. I guess he wanted to carry on the rich musical tradition of his father, who attained fame as a composer of opera and was the voice coach of world-renowned opera singer Enrico Caruso. After a half dozen lessons, my accordion/guitar teacher said, “It is very apparent you are no longer practicing the accordion. What puzzles me is you can’t play “Little Brown Jug,” which I gave you to learn on the guitar, but somehow you can play “Light My Fire.” I knew I had reached my right of passage and was on a journey with my friends to a musical career as a rock and roll band guitarist. My bandmates and I thought fame and fortune were just around the corner, as we could now tell our classmates we were in a rock n roll band called “The Illusion.” I never realized how fitting that name was until my father, after hearing one of our band practices in our basement, came down and said, “If my father was still alive and heard this trash you call music, he would destroy the instruments.” I guess it was an illusion; we just didn’t realize it at the time. For someone like myself who was pretty much self-taught how to play the guitar, I compare myself to some musicians today who are self-taught and think, “I would have been better off picking up a rake.
To me, nothing sings more to my soul than music from those British Invasion years and the groups who followed them. However, when I hear some bands cover these songs, I want to listen to them played like the original artists who recorded them. Perhaps I have some of my father in me, as he wasn’t so interested in hearing the interpretation as much as how the song was originally performed. Don’t get me wrong; many artists have done excellent jobs covering songs written and performed by the original artist. Still, when it comes to rock and roll, I love to hear it performed as close to how it was originally written. Two groups come to mind where the members were self-taught on several instruments or took their skills to a higher level that went well beyond the lessons learned. They are “The Alter Eagles” and “Mike Imbasciani and his Bluez Rockerz.”
I’ve followed Mike since he was a solo act and so young they had to pass around a hat for people to tip him for his performance. Over the years, this guitar virtuoso astounds me each time I see him. Talented and highly personable, I find it amazing that he can play lead guitar solo riffs without missing a note, all while walking through the crowd and periodically stopping to engage people in the audience in a short conversation. Most people haven’t mastered the art of walking and chewing gum at the same time, yet Mike can hold a conversation with you while entertaining the rest of the audience. And if you have enjoyed the music of Eric Clapton over the years, Mike’s tribute to this famed artist takes you on a historical journey where he masterfully weaves the inspiring moments of Clapton’s career with the music of that time.
Over the years, I’ve learned the difference between a “cover band” and a “tribute band,” The Alter Eagles are a tribute band that vocally and instrumentally sound precisely like the original Eagles. Todd Pitts, the founder of the band, is self-taught on multiple instruments and has an exceptional vocal range. To read the bios of band members Todd McNamee, Ken Custalow, Tim McMaster, Guy Ruvolo, and Michael Beattie, you will quickly appreciate how they execute each song. Equally engaging and entertaining, I’m amazed at how not one but an entire group of individuals can come together with such precision yet make it look so easy and not just on their instruments. Guy slides over from his drums to keyboard, and guitarists Todd Pitts and Ken Custalow take turns putting aside their guitars to move on to the drums without missing a beat, leaving the audience astounded at the talent on display. I then think of my father’s comments and realize he wasn’t trying to discourage us but to let us know in his way that there is a great deal of passion and innate ability that create those pieces that move us, whether it is in the form of a painting, writing or song. I also realize that we are all born with unique gifts.
When asked how we can create the things we do, we often find ourselves at a loss for words in trying to explain what comes naturally to us but would be a challenge for others. I learned that lesson the hard way while building a deck with my son. While my father was not handy, somehow, I picked up an ability to see things and create them. Our son, who was helping me, asked, “Dad, how do you know how to do this? You make it look so easy?” I was at a loss for words and replied, “I don’t know, I just do.” Unfortunately for me, my wife was within close earshot of my response and, giving me “the look,” said, “That taught him absolutely nothing.” I then shared with him that there is often much thought before the project, making the result look more effortless. You have a mental image of how you want it to look, and then you mentally figure out how to accomplish it; almost like solving a puzzle in your mind.”
Recently I read an interview of a musician commenting on Paul McCartney’s success as a composer. He said, “McCartney’s lack of formal training not only allowed him to think outside the box but also kept him delightfully unaware there was a box in the first place.”
While I find music ignites the creativity in me, there are those among us whose special gift or vision inspires us and brings us a particular joy and satisfaction. Even if we can’t duplicate the works they have created, somehow our souls have been touched, and we gain the youthful desire to try. And that is what keeps us young in mind and spirit.
Did you hear PUNTA GORDA was ranked #1 as the nation’s most sought-after areas from buyers who are looking at homes in a different metro area from where they live AND we were the only city listed in top 10 in FL #lovewherewelive #garycardillogroup #localagents Read more below from Realtor.com….
Here Are the Most Popular Cities for Homebuyers in 2022—and the Places People Can’t Wait To Leave
Lots of folks traded the cities for suburbs—more space! fewer people!—while others relocated to new, often cheaper, parts of the country. And with the popularity of remote work that allows buyers to live just about anywhere and the growing frustration with record-high home prices, the real estate reshuffle isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
In the first quarter of the year, more than half, 59.7%, of all of the views on the home listings on Realtor.com® came from shoppers based in other metros, according to recent Realtor.com research. That was a 4.6% bump over the same time last year.
Our economics team analyzed the search traffic on Realtor.com to figure out the areas where people wanted to move to—and where they most wanted to leave. We scrutinized the data to determine the nation’s most sought-after areas from buyers who are looking at homes in a different metro area from where they live. On the other end of the scale, the team also found the metro areas where the highest percentage of locals were looking for homes someplace else.
“The pandemic led many Americans to revisit priorities, preferences, and timelines,” says George Ratiu, manager of economic research for Realtor.com. “Worries over health, financial pressures, lifestyle, and well-being were channeled into finding a home in a location which offered ample access to the outdoors, better quality of life, and increasingly important, affordable housing.”
As for trends, we found that the ever-elusive quest for affordability is still driving most preferences. Vacation and retirement destinations are especially popular with those browsing real estate listings from other areas. Some shoppers were looking to relocate, especially those who can work remotely. Others were hoping to purchase a second home, and then there were those who just wanted to dream.
Meanwhile, folks in the more expensive cities, colder parts of the country, and college and military towns seem to be looking for exit strategies. Folks in the chilly and pricey Northeast were the most likely to look at homes in other parts of the country. About 37.2% of them viewed properties in different regions. About 26.4% of folks from the Midwest, 25% of those in the West, and just 11.3% of people in the South also searched Realtor.com for residences located elsewhere.
To track the moves, the Realtor.com analysis covered the 300 largest metropolitan areas in the first quarter of 2022. (A metro area encompasses the main city and surrounding towns and smaller urban areas.) We limited the list to just one metro per state to ensure geographic diversity.
OK, let’s start with the most popular list—a tour of the most desired destinations for homebuyers right now!
If I had to summarize my outlook on life, I would have to say Alexander Pope’s “An Essay On Man” depicted it best when he wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” Various interpretations characterize his words: “People will always be optimistic and think something better is coming.” That certainly describes me!
I’ve often thought, “Is it the child in me who wants to see life through rose-colored glasses, or is it my desire to see the best in people and what life offers?” I sense I’m not the only one as I find many who I meet are on the same path as me, looking for those little nuggets along our life’s journey that bring us joy. When you think about it, every month of the year has that little “treat” we refer to as a holiday we celebrate with great anticipation. However, when you look into the history of many of these holidays, their origins are vastly different than how we celebrate them today. We have molded them into a day that makes us feel good and gives us that renewed “optimism.” Think about it. January starts our new year, a clean slate, if you will. Some people look at it as a start of a better year than the previous one. New resolutions are made, and who cares if they are broken a few weeks later, we feel like we got a fresh start. February brings us Valentine’s Day, and who would think we somehow could turn a day honoring 2 Christian martyrs into a romantic day for lovers. March amazes me as St. Patrick would never have deemed people from all walks of life and races would claim their Irish heritage and celebrate it until all hours of the night. Somewhere along the way, the fact that it was to celebrate the arrival of Christianity into Ireland got lost between the corned beef, Irish soda bread, and another round of beer. May brings us spring flowers, Cinco de Mayo, and a day to honor our Mothers. While I understood the significance of Mother’s Day and spring flowers, can someone explain how a kid from New York interprets a day when Mexico celebrates its victory over the French Empire in The Battle of Puebla, known as Cinco de Mayo,” as one he should commemerate as well? June was one of my favorite months as it was not only the month of my birthday but Father’s Day and the start of another great summer. Soon to follow was the 4th of July, and all we could think of were those great summertime barbeques and firework displays and not so much as those who gave of themselves fighting for our independence. While August didn’t have any particular holiday we looked forward to, it was the last month of a summer that was in full swing. Then came Labor Day, and once again, we somehow interpreted this day that originated as an observance of the labor unions contributions to the U.S. economy, as almost a weekend of rest and one final celebration before heading back to the drudgery of another school year. If you were like me, I bet you couldn’t wait for Halloween to arrive, and whoever would have thought we could have turned a day of observance for the deceased, martyrs, and saints into a night of ghoulish activities, costumes, and shopping bags full of candy! November brought Thanksgiving, which not only was the beginning of the holiday season but seemed to make us a bit more appreciative of the things for which to be grateful. There was a desire to savor the day in the company of family and friends, and it was perhaps one of the few holidays that genuinely made us reflect on the significance of that day. Then came Christmas for those of the Christian faith, and like most kids, it was a day we looked forward to since the end of summer. While it was supposed to signify the birth of Jesus Christ and God’s plan to bring salvation to the world, somehow, our focus was more about the gifts we showered on each other, and the Christ child in a manger got hidden behind that new bicycle and the mountain of toys.
I bet you think I forgot about April, didn’t you? For many, it represents the month that “God giveth and the taxman taketh away.” Perhaps Easter is God’s way of helping us endure that pain; however, Easter represents much more to me. The beginning of spring was starting to bloom. The air seemed fresher, and everything seemed to come back to life. As a child, my early recollections were of an Easter Bunny delivering a brightly colored basket full of jelly beans, a chocolate cross and rabbit, and a stuffed baby duckling, all nestled on a bed of colored cellophane grass. But, of course, no Easter would be complete without the dying of eggs and the Easter egg hunt that soon followed. As I got older, I thought, what sense did all of this make. Easter is supposed to be a celebration of the risen Christ and the hope of many for eternal life, and somehow we have a rabbit delivering colored eggs and candy. Did someone tell the rabbit he walked onto the wrong movie set?
I was relieved to find, according to Time, this “egg-laying hare” stems from a pagan tradition known as the Festival of Eostre, which honored the goddess of fertility and spring. It is said the goddess’s animal symbol was the rabbit, which stood for high fertility and reproduction rates. If you live in my community you will see first-hand the rabbits have successfully continued this time-honored tradition! However, in the 1700’s, German Immigrants coming to Pennsylvania brought this tradition of “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws,” an egg-laying hare that would lay colorful eggs and give them to good children. I can’t tell you my relief as I must have been one of the good ones, or of mistaken identity, as I always awakened to a big Easter basket full of every sugar-filled treat known to man!