Moderne Interior Design

Joan Greenfield from Moderne Interior Design.

Moderne Interior Design has been a full-service interior design firm, in Sarasota, since 1987.   Joan Greenfield holds a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design, and a state license in interior design.  This firm specialties range from classic contemporary to modern chic.

The hallmark of this company is unique individualism and custom design of anything, from furniture and cabinetry to art and sculpture.

My favorite quote-  “As I see it, the risk in design is not being different or innovative, the risk is remaining static and predictable.”

Most important to me- Personal attention to each client, along with excellent listening skills.



You can see some of Joan’s work on her website here.

Or follow her on Facebook or Pinterest.

Sarasota’s downtown art collection is growing.  With the installation of roundabouts at major intersections, it seems to be creating display points for grand works of art. Standing at 16 feet tall and 12 feet wide, it’s hard to miss the blue and orange statue that seems to have been erected overnight at the roundabout of Palm and Cocoanut avenues.

Jumping Fish

The placement of this sculpture below at Five Points, the intersection of Main Street, Pineapple Ave, and Central Ave, also has historical significance. In 1885 the Florida Mortgage and Banking Company platted Sarasota from the center of Five Points.  Rob Lorenson’s sculpture, Sarasota Deco, has graced the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue in downtown Sarasota, Florida since 2008. This stainless steel sculpture with water feature measures 16’ x 16’ x 5’ and is owned by the developer.

Sarasota Deco

Sarasota Deco

Since 1986, the City of Sarasota’s Community Redevelopment Plan requires, “Any property owner or developer who applies to the City for a Building Permit to construct or make improvements that exceed $250,000.00 in construction value… shall be required to make a public art contribution.” Depending on the value of the construction, the developer can choose to either make a contribution to the Public Art Fund or provide public art.

For a city map to see all the available public art displays, click here!

10 year Treasury yield

It’s hard to believe that almost 1 year ago I was talking about the rise in interest rates and their effect on the real estate market here in Manatee and Sarasota counties.  Interest rates were running about 4.5-5%, and were the topic of all the news blogs, TV news stations included.  At that time I was still confident that the real estate market in our area of Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, and the Islands would remain steady, for 2 reasons. First, about 50% of transactions in our area are cash.  Second, money was still relatively inexpensive to borrow.


10 year t-bond 1 month

10 year T-Bond 1 month

Fast forward one year and who would have imagined that rates today are about 3.5-3.75%.  Another interesting fact is that those who can afford to purchase with cash are opting for a mortgage.  Why?  Their financial advisors are telling them to keep the cash and use OPM (other people’s money).  In most cases, their portfolios are making more money than the current mortgage rates and providing positive cash flow, if only in terms of what they would be losing in return from investments had they taken out the cash.

Mortgage Rates- Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates- Freddie Mac

  writes: Contrary to popular belief, mortgage rates are not based on the 10-year Treasury note. They’re based on the bond market, meaning mortgage bonds or mortgage-backed securities. When shopping for a new home loan, many people jump online to see how the 10-year Treasury note is doing, but in reality, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) drive the fluctuations in mortgage rates.

In fact, it is not unusual to see them move in completely different directions…

Some bond market reporters mistakenly tie mortgage rates to the performance of the 10-year Treasury bond. Many of these financial reporters possess a broad knowledge of bond markets, but they are not mortgage experts and do not fully comprehend how mortgage interest rates are determined.

In summary, the state of Florida is still experiencing large growth, mainly coming from high tax states.  Builders are very busy here in Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota, trying to keep up with demand.  As our “season” approaches for 2019-2020 we are expecting an even balance continuation of growth.  A 3-4% increase in year over year sales of existing homes and new builds would keep prices stable.  Low-interest rates will help the market continue in its upward trend.

Multiple Offers

A multiple offer situation arises when a seller receives competing offers from two or more prospective buyers to purchase the listed property. The market conditions for multiple offers generally occur when there is a high demand for properties and a low inventory of listings or when the property is being sold by auction or a similar process sometimes referred to as an “Immediate Sale”. The primary objectives at all times are to represent your customer’s/client’s interest in the transaction and comply with the requirements of the Code of Ethics, the MLS rules, and the Company’s best practices. Multiple offers can be confusing for the seller, the prospective buyers, and even Realtors® if they do not understand the process and what obligations and options come into play for each person in the transaction.

Timely and honest communications reduce the stress for everyone while ensuring each offer is presented in an objective manner.

While a Realtor’s® primary duty is to protect and promote the interests of the client/customer, Realtors® are not relieved of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. Honest is not the same as fair. Sellers alone make the ultimate decision about what is in the seller’s best interest and how the seller wants to process the multiple offers received. Prospective buyers need to know: sellers do not have to treat the competing buyers fairly when negotiating with them nor must the offers be negotiated in the order they are received.

Seller Options: The seller has several options in responding to the multiple offers submitted. The seller decides on how to proceed and the listing agent’s duty is to provide counsel and explain the process to help the seller make an informed decision in the seller’s best interest. Seller’s options: 1) Accept one offer and reject the others; 2) Reject all the offers; 3) Work with just one of the prospective offers and counter that offer and reject the others; 4) Allow all of the prospective buyers the opportunity to improve their offers and present their “highest and best” offer by a set deadline. Upon receipt of the offers, the seller would then make a decision.

For more details and information, talk to your licensed real estate professional.

A vast majority of individuals looking for a place to buy their second homes zero in on Florida because of its wonderful weather conditions and beautiful beaches. Sarasota in Florida happens to be the number one choice of hundreds of families looking to escape the harsh winter months in their states. This fact is corroborated by the increase in the numbers of Sarasota Fl condos for sale in recent times. Here are some compelling reasons why more and more families are buying their second homes in this tropical paradise.

Miles of stunning beaches

The white, sandy beaches of Sarasota are enough to catch the imagination of people searching for a home in Florida. Also, the proximity of Sarasota to the majestic barrier islands of Siesta Key and Longboat Key compel people to make Sarasota their home.

A vibrant art and culture scene

Sarasota is the best beach town in terms of enriching arts and culture environment. It boasts of art galleries, opera, and theater to make it a paradise for people fond of art. As a bonus, they also enjoy the world-famous Ringling Arts museum and live music concerts that are organized on a repetitive basis.

A haven for golf lovers

If you are passionate about golf, you will feel Sarasota like a haven. It has several world-class golf courses to help you indulge in your love in the most scenic landscape. Sarasota also has a plethora of tennis courts.

Features of shopping and fine dining

Sarasota happens to be a leading tourist destination. Therefore, you find this beach town dotted with high-quality shops and restaurants.

Downtown Sarasota Condos

Downtown Sarasota Condos

Plenty of options for fishing

Fishing is another leisure activity that you can enjoy to the content of your heart in Sarasota. Sarasota Bay has many places where you can catch lots of fish to enjoy fresh seafood.

Many accommodation options

Sarasota has a population of 55000 and a median home value of just over $262000, however most Downtown Condos start in the $500k plus range.  You can also enjoy a high monthly rent with your investment. There are beachfront properties, ranches, golf course villas, and affordable condos for sale in Sarasota. Also, unlike many other beach cities of Florida famous as party cities, you will find Sarasota a family-oriented beach town.

If you love what you read, it is prudent to contact a local realtor to help you find your dream home inside your budget from the many Sarasota Fl condos for sale.

The Quay Site Paln

The Quay


The Quay in Sarasota is underway.  Helping to redefine the footprint of downtown Sarasota, this will be one of the newest developments on Floridas’ gulf coast.  A vision of 10 distinct parcels; The Ritz Carlton Residences acting as an anchor for the overall development.  The Quay website says “Quay Sarasota is an entirely new vision – a 14-acre waterfront district that will offer a blend of luxury residential, upscale retail, boutique hotel, and state-of-the-art office space in a scenic waterfront setting of natural beauty, eclectic architecture and active public spaces.”  This will be a game-changer for Sarasota.  With the addition of The Bay, a waterfront park just to the north, the Quay is surrounded by The Van Wesel Performing Arts, The Sarasota Orchestra, and Art Center Sarasota.  Early plans call for 695 residential units, 175 hotel rooms, 38,922 square feet of office space and 189,050 square feet of commercial space for shopping and dining.  For a flyover animated look, see the video below.

GreenPointe Communities is the developer for this project, and they have a successful track record along the Florida coastline.  For more information and the overall plan for this project, visit The Quay website here.

ABC7 Mark Boehmig

The effect of interest rates on Real Estate

Interest rates are still relatively low compared to the last 40 years.  In 1980 we purchased our first home and paid 15% interest on our mortgage, and as I look back at that purchase I’m still amazed. Our only concern at that time were the monthly payments;  that purchase was the perfect starter home for us.

My how times have changed…  Fast Forward 39 years to 2019 and interest rates are between  4.5 and 5% depending on several qualifying factors such as credit score, debt to income ratio, purchase price, and type of property (Condo, Single Family etc.).

Now that interest rates appear to have reached their low point in this cycle, the topic of rising interest rates is in the news again.

I was invited to a round table discussion at the local ABC News station, ABC7.  The expert panel consisted of  Richard Stern, Financial AdviserJerry Zivic, Consumer ReporterLeslie Swart, Mortgage Lender and myself, Mark Boehmig, a local Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company.

The topic of discussion, as you can guess, was about rising interest rates and the effect on the local real estate market.  So what are the actual effects of the rise in the interest rates?

This is the way I see it:

  • housing prices have been steadily rising for the past 8 years
  • mortgages have been tougher to qualify for
  • the government rules in place for mortgages have made the market more secure
  • interest rates have been very low for the past 8 years

With low rates and increasing housing prices, the federal government is slowly increasing the 10 year treasury bond yield, which increases the rate on money loaned to banks.  This will slow down the rise in home pricing, which keeps inflation in check.

What part of the sales cycle are we in?

Another thing to keep in mind, a 1% increase in interest rates equals a 10% decline in borrowing power.  To put this in monetary terms, if a buyer could previously qualify for a mortgage on a home with a value of $200,000. their borrowing power has now been reduced to $178000.

Real estate will adjust to these new parameters, therefore slowing the rise in housing prices.  As more inventory comes on the market the supply will increase, shifting the market from a sellers market, to equilibrium, then perhaps a buyers market.

As far as the Manatee and Sarasota counties of Florida are concerned, our market is a little different.  45-50% of our sales are cash.  How can this be?  Many people retire here.  They have sold their homes in other places and come here with cash!  Others come here buying second or third homes, and a majority of those sales are cash as well.

Keep these factors in mind if you are in the market to buy or sell property in the near future.  Having the knowledge of market conditions is important when the time comes.

The full panel discussion can be viewed here.