Treasure Coast Insider

You’ll find our blog Treasure Coast Insider to be a wealth of information. Get the latest info about what's happening on the Treasure Coast. You'll find everything from local real estate market statistics and home values, to community events, restaurants, beaches, golf, and much more. That’s because we care about our communities and want to help you find your place in it. As your Treasure Coast Insider blogger, and a resident for 40 years, you'll find an abundance of information for all age groups and interests. 

If you want to know where the best local dog-friendly parks are found, or the only-known-to-locals beaches hide, you'll find them here. The best golf courses, marinas, festivals, rodeos, playhouses, senior living activities and dancing are all shared here. If state and local parks interest you, learn what each offers in amenities and uniqueness to our beautiful area. Even restaurant discounts can be found on Treasure Coast Insider.

Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

 

Mona Leonard is blogger for Treasure Coast Insider. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you! 772-530-6131

April 10, 2020

Stuart Area Restaurant Discounts

Stuart area restaurant discounts

Stuart Area Restaurant Discounts

The Stuart area restaurant discounts listed below will be sure to make your mouth water. Locals (and other smart people) have the inside scoop on great food and restaurant discounts. Check out these dollar-saving Stuart area restaurant discounts in person.

With the Treasure Coast's beautiful waterways, there's an abundance of waterfront restaurants with delicious food and atmosphere...not to mention the view. To make it even more appealing, here's a short list of waterfront eateries... and savings!

The Sailor's Return Happy Hour

Sailor's Return is where the north and south forks of the St. Lucie River converge. Enjoy riverfront sunsets and views of Sunset Bay Marina. The historic Old Roosevelt Bridge waits for its next "draw" within just a few feet of the canopied bandstand, dance floor and bar. 

With a formal dining area for more intimate dinners and the inside bar's ambiance, Sailor's Returns' amazing upbeat atmosphere is a great way to spend the evening... or a spectacular afternoon. Great live music Happy Hour at both bars from 3:30pm-7pm with $5 drink specials and delicious appetizers for under $8. My personal favorite is the gourmet flatbread of the day, with locally famous Mrs. Peter's Smokehouse fish dip! 

Conchy Joe's

Enjoy live music, waterfront bar and restaurant at Conchy Joe's Seafood in Jensen Beach. Located directly on the Indian River Lagoon, there's lots to love. Listen to the sounds of local musicians Thursday through Monday while enjoying homemade, delicious conch chowder, calamari, raw bar, or delicious fresh-caught (never frozen) fish. The full service menu also includes salads and burgers. The wood burning grill gives filet mignon, NY strip and chicken dishes that special flavor.

With "old Florida" charm, and atmosphere, enjoy the most exotic of island drinks too! Happy hour menu and drinks are available everyday from 3-6 pm for significant savings. With an extensive kid's menu, bring the entire family for a great time.

Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House - A Little Background - The Story Behind the Story 

The Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House has terrific happy hour discounts on drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and a view that's spectacular. It's also home to an amazing story. Many years ago, I had the good fortune of taking care of Ralph Evinrude (yes, that Evinrude). I was a Respiratory Therapist and he was charming and delightful. He taught me how to view life's shortcomings with acceptance and love. 

Stuart area restaurant discounts

He married movie star and entertainer, Frances Langford in 1955 and they settled on the St. Lucie River, just off Palmer St at the north end of Sewall's Point. It was close to his Evinrude motor testing facilities. On the Indian River Lagoon, they built the restaurant and called it Frances Langford's Outrigger Resort. For many years, it's been a local treasure with great food, a beautiful view, and a shrine to his bride.

The great works Frances Langford so dedicatedly gave to her country during WWII are apparent. Singing in Bob Hope's USO shows and starring in over 35 movies, she became an icon. She was just as sweet in real life as here.

Stuart area restaurant discounts Frances Langford

Although the name Frances Langford's Outrigger is now gone from the marquis, you'll see all the history of Ralph and Frances at the Dolphin. Come see their sweet love affair, or visit the exhibit of her works at the Elliott Museum on Hutchinson Island.

Frances continued her philanthropy locally by giving huge financial gifts to Martin Memorial Hospital (now Cleveland Clinic) where I worked for over 25 years. Her legacy continues today through the Frances Langford Heart Center in Stuart.

With an expansive restaurant, several bars, and great views of the Indian River Lagoon, happy hour drinks and appetizers are a local favorite. The Dolphin also provides delicious catering with a pleasant and professional wait staff.

The Twisted Tuna

Nestled in the Manatee Pocket, a protected cove in the fishing village of Port Salerno, The Twisted Tuna bustles with nightlife, live entertainment daily, and discounts. Happy hour is 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm that includes money off on mixed drinks, special house wine and beer discounts, and $5 "bar bites."

Twisted Tuna

If you're not in the mood for waterfront, try these great Stuart area restaurant discounts, for an amazing food experience. 

Florentino's 

Stuart area restaurant discounts are all over the menu at Florentino's Italian Restaurant. With savory Italian aromas seeping into the dining area from the kitchen, my mouth starts watering when I walk through the door. The best chop steak and fries in the county or perhaps the best clams linguine (I get the angel hair) in white sauce you've ever had. Daily 2 for 1 specials abound. Tino (owner and chef) makes some of the best Italian comfort food on the Treasure Coast.

The Black Marlin

Stuart area restaurant discounts also includes The Black Marlin. With $5, $6, and $7 appetizers and two-for-one drinks from 4pm to 6pm Mon-Sat, it's a delicious decision to stop in. The menu includes Bam Bam shrimp, grilled portabella caprese and fried calamari. Enjoy a warm, inviting atmosphere with great food. Shop downtown or take in a performance at the Lyric Theatre, or perhaps a stroll down the boardwalk over the St. Lucie River. All are just steps away. 

For more information on these wonderful restaurants and others, contact Mona Leonard at StuartHousesForSale.com, your Treasure Coast Insider blogger, or call 772-530-6131.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Restaurants
March 2, 2020

Stuart Area Dog-Friendly Parks

Stuart Area Dog Friendly Parks

Stuart Area Dog-Friendly Parks

Stuart area dog-friendly parks are all around if you know where to look. With lots of space to enjoy our beautiful area, these parks are close by with easy access. Whether you want to head to the beach, or stroll through our beautiful savannas, these Stuart area dog-friendly parks are enjoyable for the entire family.

Shepard Park, Stuart

Enjoy this family pet friendly park in downtown Stuart on the south fork of the St. Lucie River. With a boat launch, grills and fun for the whole family, it's an easy, convenient location for a few minutes of peace, or an afternoon on the water. Just a few blocks south of the Roosevelt Bridge on Federal Hwy, it's a favorite. Park typically closes at 10 pm.

Flagler Park, Stuart

Nearby Flagler Park is just a two minute walk from downtown Stuart, watering holes, marinas, great food and entertainment. This pretty green space expanse has a full schedule of activities and can accommodate hundreds of people (and dogs). Right at the north and south forks of the St. Lucie River, it's a beautiful downtown waterside park.

Flager Park

Haney Creek Dog Park, Stuart

Want a park you can get some exercise in while walking your best friend? To keep you both in shape, Haney Creek Dog Park is a great place to stretch it out. A beautiful green space with room to roam, the park is conveniently located just north of the Roosevelt Bridge along Green River Parkway and Baker Rd. This park is for all dogs that like to run.

Haney Creek Dog Park

Walton Rocks Beach Dog Park, Jensen Beach

This off-leash dog park, on the Atlantic in Jensen Beach has 24 unspoiled acres of fun. With picnic tables, pavilions and bathrooms, it's a great getaway from the bustle of in town parks. For the Lab lover in all of us, it's a perfect spot for retrievers that love the water. Bring the family for a day of sunshine, swimming and lots of fun. Hours are subject to change. Closes at 6 pm.

Walton Rocks Beach Dog Park

Savannas Preserve State Park-Hawk's Bluff Trail, Jensen Beach

Just north of the Jensen Beach Causeway, this dog-friendly park is perfect for picnicking, fishing, trails, canoeing and lots more. The trail itself is a loop that's just under a mile and the scenery is unbeatable as you wander through the "old Florida" savannas. Where wildlife and water birds abound, Savannas Preserve State Park is another favorite. 

Savannas Preserve State Park

Peck Lake Park, Hobe Sound

Peck Lake Park is a little known secret nestled in Hobe Sound just off Gomez Ave. With a spectacular boardwalk to the Intracoastal Waterway, it's sure to appeal to the most curious of our canine buddies. For a more quiet approach to taking your dog to the park, this gem is peaceful and the views of the Intracoastal Waterway are beautiful. 

Peck Lake Park

Jupiter Off-Leash Dog Beach, Jupiter

Just north of Juno Beach, Jupiter Off-Leash Dog Beach is a great place to spend the day, or for some quick exercise. With beautiful blue-green Atlantic Ocean water, it's a place to unwind and let your pet have a blast. This dog beach is one of the prettiest beaches around. In northern Palm Beach County, there's lots to enjoy afterwards at some of the dog-friendly waterfront restaurants in the area. 

Lyngate Park and Dog Park, Port St. Lucie

For the best variety of dog areas, Lyngate Park and Dog Park offers three great choices, with mazes, water stations, and waste bags. Just off US1 in Port St. Lucie, there's plenty of places to sit while your dog explores. You'll leave smiling when your "best friend" is exhausted and ready to go home.

Lyngate Park And Dog park

For more information, contact Mona Leonard, your Treasure Coast Insider blogger at

772-530-6131. 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 11, 2020

Tips on Buying Foreclosures

Mona Leonard Realtor reviews foreclosures

Tips on Buying Foreclosed Homes

These tips on buying foreclosed homes will make the process easier. Searching for any new home can be stressful. Buyers in the foreclosure market, expect to find a great deal on an amazing house. However, without knowledge of the process, buying (or attempting to buy) a foreclosed home can lead to far more heartache than happiness. A buyer must go into this process with a little extra knowledge, and a little more long-term vision. Here are tips on buying foreclosed homes.

What is a foreclosure? 

A foreclosure happens when a home buyer stops making their mortgage payments. Usually after a period of 3-4 months past due, a bank will file foreclosure paperwork. The homeowner is then forced to leave the property and the bank takes possession of the home. The property is then listed as an REO (real estate owner) property for sale directly by the bank. 

Reasons for Foreclosure 

Fired from a job

Medical conditions where homeowner is unable to earn an income

Unemployed

Loss of income

Large debt and other bills overwhelming the homeowner

Divorce and other legal issues

Unable to pay HOA dues

Pre-foreclosure 

A pre-foreclosure is still owned by the homeowner. They’re typically late by 90 days or more on their mortgage, and they expect to be foreclosed on soon. A pre-foreclosure is not necessarily a short sale. 

Short sales

A short sale’s owner has asked their lender to accept less than what is owed on the mortgage in order to sell the house.  Short sales can be very different than other real estate transactions. If you submit an offer on a short sale, the owner then takes your offer to the bank to find out if they’re willing to accept the sale.

It can take many months to find out if your offer is accepted. This scares off many potential buyers because most people don’t have the luxury of waiting for approval.

5 Key considerations

Foreclosures are sold as-is 

A loan approval letter should be your first step 

Know your budget 

Find a trusted real estate agent to negotiate (as a buyer, you don’t pay the agent’s commission)

Know the neighborhood and what comparable homes have sold for recently

Loan approval comes first 

Foreclosed homes are also called REO, real estate owned. The bank owns the property. However, the same bank that’s selling the home will not finance the buyer’s purchase. You will need to have financing in place before making an offer to purchase. 

Find a lender and get a pre-approval letter before shopping for foreclosure properties. Having a pre-approval letter tells the bank that you’re a serious buyer. After all, most foreclosed properties do not sit on the market for long. 

Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan 

Pre-approval Letter Mona Leonard Realtor

Your Realtor is your best tool 

Bank-owned homes usually move fast. Your agent may have insight into deals not yet on the market too. Your agent should understand what you’re looking for and your budget. This gives you a greater chance of closing on the home you want and can afford.

Foreclosed homes are sold “as-is” 

Any foreclosed property is sold as-is. This is often forgotten in the buying process. Damage may not be obvious to you. A thorough, qualified inspector is essential and may prevent the purchase of a home that will cost far too much to repair to be worth the purchase. 

Check the landscaping 

Poor upkeep of landscaping can tell you about how long the house has been vacant. This may be far longer than the time the home has been on the market. Vacant homes break down and erode much quicker than ones being occupied.

Homes that sit vacant for long periods of time deteriorate quickly. Check all water pipes to be sure they're functional with no leaks. Leaks can cause mold to grow and cause major damage to the property. In cooler climates, a home that sits over the winter without being winterized can be a nightmare to repair. You’ll not be able to see the broken pipes until you have an inspection, or you turn on the water and find yourself in a flooded house.

Check out the neighborhood 

The area the home is in is just as important as the house itself. You must live with the people around you and they will affect the value of your home in the future. 

Pay attention to what is near the neighborhood, what businesses are around, and how many other homes are for sale. Do you want to live near the tracks if a train toots its horn at 3 a.m.? If the neighborhood isn’t where you want to be, the price of the house doesn’t matter.

Your budget is more than just a mortgage 

Almost all foreclosures will need some sort of repair to them. When figuring out a budget it is imperative that it includes a professional inspection (before buying the home), expected repairs, and some wiggle room for the unexpected issues. 

A home inspection is a must for anyone looking to purchase a foreclosed property. An inspector has technical expertise and can point out the deficiencies in the home. Many offer warranties on their work.

Buyers can take care of the little things themselves and on their own time. The issues may not change your mind on buying the house, but it will give you an idea of expenses that will come along with it in the future. 

On foreclosures, expect to have some minor plumbing issues, heating and air conditioning systems will need to be serviced or repaired, watch closely for roof leaks. The key to a successful budget is allotting enough money to repairs so you don’t find yourself struggling in an emergent situation.

Search comparable home prices 

A comparable house is one that has sold in the area, about the same size, and not listed as a foreclosure. Searching these closed listings gives a ballpark value of your home, not just what the bank is asking. There is not much room to negotiate on the price of a house listed on the foreclosed market, and not all of them are a good value.

The list price is close to the bank’s bottom line for the property. They aren’t going to deduct price for repairs, the neighborhood, or much of anything else. Doing research on comparable homes tells the buyer if they are getting a good deal based on condition and location, or if they should take a pass. 

Home buying doesn’t have to be stressful, buying a foreclosed home should not be a regret. Doing a little bit of research, combined with a good Realtor, and inspector can make all the difference in the world. 

Foreclosed listings are bought because they are a great less expensive option for home buyers. Doing it the right way, with the right long-term vision, makes for a happy home. 

Buy a HUD home 

A HUD home is a property that was foreclosed and had a Government backed mortgage, such as an FHA loan. HUD homes are listed on the HUD home store website. You can search the site and find all available properties in your area. 

Your Realtor will place your bids on the site just as they make an offer on any home. There are some great deals to be found on HUD homes, but you need to act quickly as these properties move fast. Pre-approval letter is required to bid if you require a mortgage.

Speak with a lender and apply

We hope these tips for buying foreclosed homes is helpful. As Blogger for Treasure Coast Insider, Mona Leonard's local expertise keeps buyers informed about the real estate market. Please call her with any questions at 772.530.6131

Posted in Buyer Needs
Feb. 8, 2020

A Real Estate Agent is the Smarter Choice

 

Selling a home takes a lot of hard work, and to save money, some homeowners go about it all on their own. There are pros and cons to selling a home without a professional real estate agent, and ultimately only you can weigh those options and decide which is best for you, your family, and your home. Take a look at the top ten reasons why choosing a real estate agent is a no-brainer.

 

 1.    Save thousands of dollars on your dream home! We can get you the "actual fair market value," saving you and your family thousands of dollars!

 

2.    We have exclusive access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), along with actual property valuation data tools for building comparable properties, a comprehensive market outreach network, customized Search Criteria engines that you won't find on Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com.

 

3.    We have a proven track record of dedicated specialists who get maximum exposure out of your property, 3D Video Walkthroughs, Drone Photography, and Social Media Marketing Integration tools.

 

4.    We have the Backing of a world Renown Network of Professionals. Keller Williams is the fastest and highest-grossing Brokerage in the country. Our outreach extends worldwide with over 180,000 agents and over 1,000 offices!

 

5.    We give you that ever-elusive peace of mind that every aspect from the contract to the closing table is under control. We manage all file preparation, ensure your complete understanding of the process and oversee all legal and compliance matters within the transaction.

 

6.    We Offer High-Touch and Constant Communication between not only the agents associated with the transaction but the title company, inspectors, vendors, lenders, HOA Communities, state, county, and ordinances.

 

7.    We Have The Power of Negotiation. We know the ins-and-outs of the market before taking on a negotiation, which strengthens your position and results.

 

8.    We Have Top-Notch Marketing and Advertising. Maximize your exposure through targeted marketing in direct mail/email postcards, from our massive database, and our website's "Sphere"-Stuart-Houses-For-Sale. Our website has a vast reach, with the ability to reach more than 5,000 buyers on any given day. Professionally designed ads that make your property stand out from the local competition.

 

9.    Inspired by Our Community Outreach Efforts, we take part in a program called "Paint the Town Red," which advertises your property to multiple communities across the Treasure Coast. This event encourages individuals to get involved in Keller Williams's open houses, bringing a massive flow of possible buyers to your open house. We network from all avenues, and our priority is always to bring additional traffic to your property.

 

10.  Progress Reports: Nothing is more frustrating than a lack of communication between an agent and a property owner. We are the solution, we bring a new state of the art portal, providing an up to the minute on-line "Snapshots" illustrating what we are doing to sell your home — instant information on potential buyers, feedback on the property, upcoming showings, advertisements, and open houses.

 

Please schedule an appointment so we can show you why choosing our team is a no-brainer!

Posted in Seller Needs
Dec. 20, 2019

Stuart Area Restaurants

Stuart Area Restaurants

Stuart Area Restaurants

The Stuart area restaurants below will be sure to make your mouth water. Locals (and other smart people) have the inside scoop on great food and restaurant discounts. Check out these dollar-saving Stuart area restaurants in person.

The Sailor's Return Happy Hour

Sailor's Return is where the north and south forks of the St. Lucie River converge. Enjoy riverfront sunsets and views of Sunset Bay Marina. The historic Old Roosevelt Bridge waits for its next "draw" within just a few feet of the canopied bandstand, dance floor and bar. 

With a formal dining area for more intimate dinners and the inside bar's ambiance, Sailor's Returns' amazing upbeat atmosphere is a great way to spend the evening... or a spectacular afternoon. Great live music Happy Hour at both bars from 3:30pm-7pm with $5 drink specials and delicious appetizers for under $8. My personal favorite is the gourmet flatbread of the day, with locally famous Mrs. Peter's Smokehouse fish dip! 

Conchy Joe's

Enjoy live music, waterfront bar and restaurant at Conchy Joe's Seafood in Jensen Beach. Located directly on the Indian River Lagoon, there's lots to love. Listen to the sounds of local musicians Thursday through Monday while enjoying homemade, delicious conch chowder, calamari, raw bar, or delicious fresh-caught (never frozen) fish. The full service menu also includes salads and burgers. The wood burning grill gives filet mignon, NY strip and chicken dishes that special flavor.

With "old Florida" charm, and atmosphere, enjoy the most exotic of island drinks too! Happy hour menu and drinks are available everyday from 3-6 pm for significant savings. With an extensive kid's menu, bring the entire family for a great time.

Jan's Place 

There are many Stuart area restaurants to choose from. Just across from the Indian River Lagoon, Jan's Place is an old slice of Americana. Jan's has delicious breakfasts with a great atmosphere and juicy handmade burgers. The portions are huge! Jan's is located in Jensen Beach, where pineapples were grown in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the early 1900's, John Laurence Jensen was shipping over a million boxes of the delicious fruit every June through July. The town of Jensen Beach was born and the "Pineapple Capitol of the World" became it's tag. 

Jan's Place

Basil Garden of Palm City

The best Thai cuisine on the Treasure Coast, Basil Garden in Palm City offers a complete Thai menu, so the options are many. Located just over the Old Palm City Bridge on the right, Lucky (owner) will help you choose if there are too many choices for you. She and her staff are able to create amazing dishes for everyone's palate. Basil Garden has the best peanut sauce I've ever eaten. The cucumber sauce is my personal favorite. Dessert is an extra special treat. 

 

Basil Garden

The Catfish House

The Catfish House in Hobe Sound is one of my favorite places for Stuart area restaurant discounts... and everything Southern. Their portions are so big, many patrons come in 4-6pm and share their meals, with no sharing charge! Great appetizers and the most perfectly fried fresh water catfish with the lightest batter you've ever bitten into. It comes Cajun-style too! The mouth-watering gator bites are my personal favorite. You'll never eat better gator. The sauce that comes with it is delicious too. Even kids (I have 2 little granddaughters) love them. Fried oysters, frog legs and grits round out the "Southern" in the full service menu. Delicious and large portions.  

Catfish House

Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House - A Little Background - The Story Behind the Story 

The Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House has terrific happy hour discounts on drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and a view that's spectacular. It's also home to an amazing story. Many years ago, I had the good fortune of taking care of Ralph Evinrude (yes, that Evinrude). I was a Respiratory Therapist and he was charming and delightful. He taught me how to view life's shortcomings with acceptance and love.

Stuart area restaurant discounts

He married movie star and WWII entertainer, Francis Langford in 1955 and they settled on the St. Lucie River, just off Palmer St at the north end of Sewall's Point (now Langford's Landing). It was close to his Evinrude motor testing facilities. On the Indian River Lagoon, they built the restaurant and called it Francis Langford's Outrigger Resort. There were even rooms to rent on the lagoon. For many years, it's been a local treasure with great food, beautiful views and a shrine to his bride.

The great works Francis Langford so dedicatedly gave to her country during the war years are apparent. Singing in Bob Hope's USO shows and starring in over 35 movies, she became an icon.  She was just as sweet in real life as she looks here. 

Stuart area restaurant discounts Frances Langford

Although the name Frances Langford's Outrigger is now gone from the marquis, you'll see all the history of Ralph and Frances at the Dolphin. Come see their sweet love affair, or visit the exhibit of her works at the Elliott Museum on Hutchinson Island.

With an expansive restaurant, several bars, and great views of the Indian River Lagoon, happy hour drinks and appetizers are a local favorite. The Dolphin also provides delicious catering with a pleasant and professional wait staff.

The Twisted Tuna

Nestled in the Manatee Pocket, a protected cove in the fishing village of Port Salerno, The Twisted Tuna bustles with nightlife, live entertainment daily, and discounts. Happy hour is 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm that includes money off on mixed drinks, special house wine and beer discounts, and $5 "bar bites."

Twisted Tuna

Florentino's 

Stuart area restaurant discounts are all over the menu at Florentino's Italian Restaurant in Stuart. With savory Italian aromas seeping into the dining room from the kitchen, my mouth starts watering when I walk through the door. The best chop steak and fries in the county are whipped up by Tino (owner and chef). He also makes the best clams linguine (I like the angel hair) in white sauce you've ever had. Daily 2 for 1 specials abound on this complete menu.

Fujiama Hibachi

Authentic Japanese cuisine that's fresh, healthy and delicious, it's always a performance. Great scallops, filet mignon, sushi, shrimp and more, with great chefs to dazzle everyone on table-side Hibachi grills... with three locations to choose from... StuartVero Beach and Melbourne.

Watch the very end! I wasn't expecting that!

The Black Marlin

Located in the center of downtown Stuart, The Black Marlin has $5, $6, and $7 appetizers and two-for-one drinks from 4pm to 6pm Mon-Sat. It's a delicious reason to stop in. The menu includes Bam Bam shrimp, grilled portabella caprese and fried calamari, among other great dishes. Enjoy a warm, inviting atmosphere and great food with downtown Stuart at your fingertips. Shop, or take in a play at the Lyric Theatre, or perhaps a stroll down the boardwalk on the St. Lucie River. All are just steps away.

Diamond Tearoom and Bistro

For a unique experience, check out the Diamond Tea Room and Bistro. If you're planning a baby shower, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, birthday or engagement party, Terry outdoes herself with a killer menu. From Boston lobster cakes to risotto funghi, there's deliciousness throughout the menu.

They offer chicken pot pie, Queen Margaretta flatbread, gazpacho, salmon and lots more. Terry's soups, salads and chowders, stews and amazing desserts, help round out a complete menu.Terry's high tea and lecture series is a delight. Catering (including private catering) is available as well. Located on A1A in Stuart, it's easily accessible a real treat. 

Diamond Tearoom and Bistro

11 Maple Street

Locally known as offering the finest, most delicious cuisines, 11 Maple Street is a Jensen Beach icon. Their famous elk tenderloin, pan fried Caicos conch, and wood-grilled Spanish octopus are melt in your mouth delicious. The rare seared Wahoo sushi comes with quail egg salad and date jalapeno salsa. 

11 Maple Street

For more information on these wonderful restaurants and others, contact Mona Leonard at StuartHousesForSale.com, your Treasure Coast Insider blogger, or call 772-530-6131.

Posted in Restaurants
Oct. 16, 2019

Downsizing Considerations For Seniors

 

Downsizing Considerations for Seniors

Downsizing Considerations For Seniors

Downsizing considerations for seniors can seem daunting. The lifestyle adjustments may seem uncertain and difficult. It’s also a chance to establish a healthy living environment to cope with changes life sends your way. Whether that comes from financial, emotional, or physical concerns, downsizing considerations for seniors means change. Enjoy the full quality of life in your golden years.  

Ensure A Safe Landing

Chances are you’re aware of the gradual changes that go hand-in-hand with growing older. Sometimes that can mean needing assistance with some daily basics, and if you should reach a point you could use a bit of help each day, assisted living can be a dream come true.

Seniors who require help with things like bathing, dressing, and getting in and out of bed can benefit from having help close at hand. At the same time, it’s a lifestyle-oriented toward freedom and self-sufficiency - you don’t have restrictions, just help when you need it.

There is a wide range of amenities assisted living communities offer. You can enjoy everything from laundry and transportation services to group activities and exercise rooms to gourmet meals to on-site beauticians.

Along with this array of options comes a broad price range, with facilities in Stuart typically costing $1500 to $8495 per month. These include Memory care, assisted living, and nursing homes. independent living, and residential home care. Those prices don’t necessarily reflect quality, and since there is so much variety, your best bet is to visit communities in person. 

Smaller Home = Living Large

There are many important financial benefits seniors can gain from downsizing. For one thing, it’s a chance to release the equity in your home and apply it to your life. If you have unused space, you’re no longer tied to it - you don’t need to heat, cool, or maintain it, so it lowers your utility bills, upkeep, and taxes.  

You can move to a home that is closer to places and people that improve your overall quality of life, such as transportation services, health care facilities, and grandchildren. On top of all that, if you pay for services like lawn care or handyman help, with less property, you can cut those costs as well. If you’re tending to those things yourself, it allows you to free time and energy for other things, such as hobbies, friends and family members.  

Choosing a house

If you elect to find a smaller house, there are a handful of things to look for that help make aging in place go more smoothly. When it comes to the basic structure, stairs can be challenging as you age, so a one-story home is desirable. There are also several features to consider which could either be found in existing homes or easily added.

Flooring that's easy to care for is a perk, as well as wider-than-average doors and hallwaysWhen it comes to renovations, if you need to make one room your top priority, it should be the bathroomAdding grab bars, a taller toilet, and bath seating can go a long way toward helping you stay safe.  

Allow Ample Time

Moving is a funny thing. It seems like it always takes far longer to pack, make all your arrangements, and then actually manage the move, than anyone ever expects. Bearing that in mind, start planning your move well in advance. If you have a lot of belongings and have lived in your home for a long while, start de-cluttering early on.  

Cutting down on belongings can be especially difficult, as it involves sorting through emotions attached to things and deciding what is necessary for your next phase in life. Try enlisting a friend or two to provide impartial input, and pack as you go. To help you with boxing things up, use this handy packing checklist.

Downsizing considerations for seniors can bring many wonderful perks, but there are some challenges involved. Sort your options carefully and give yourself ample time for the process. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with a better quality of life in your golden years.

For more downsizing considerations for seniors, contact Mona Leonard, your Treasure Coast Insider blogger.

 

Article was written by Andrea Needham and Mona Leonard

Posted in Seller Needs
Aug. 13, 2019

Senior Fun and Activities

Seniors On The Beach

Senior Fun and Activities

Senior fun and activities abound on the Treasure Coast. Golf, boating, tennis, dancing and swimming are just a few examples. Charitable organizations, churches, clubs (from the Women's Club of Martin County to several VFW's, Elks, Moose) and more, add to the possibilities. For senior fun and activities all over the Treasure Coast, we've got a lot to offer!

Happiest Seaside Town

In a recent survey by US News, 9 of the top 25 best places to retire are in Florida. It's no wonder Florida's at the top of the list... with low taxes, housing affordability, and overall happiness and desirability. Stuart, voted the "Happiest Seaside Town" by Coastal Living Magazine for the entire US, has lots of activities and support for seniors.  I've lived in the Stuart area for many years and love the small town charm. So many great restaurants, playhouses, golf, beaches, and boating to consider. 

State of the art healthcare is available at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health which has 3 hospitals... Stuart, Stuart South and Tradition in Pt. St. Lucie. We have award winning long term care facilities as well. Palm Beach International Airport is only about 45 minutes to the south and Orlando Regional Airport (and Disney World), is less than two hours to the north. 

Mona Leonard Reviews Stuart FL Happiest Seaside Town

Stuart Area Golf Courses

Details for public courses can be found here. There's plenty to choose from that are reasonably priced, conveniently located and tons of fun! These beautiful, affordable, year-round courses. give you miles of greens and lots of golf time. For details about specific course, check out my blog on golf courses.

Seniors Playing Golf

Dancing

Do you love to dance? Sing? Senior fun and activities include Friday nights at the Hobe Sound VFW with dancing and if you're so inclined, singing. Cowboy Bob's karaoke tunes bring out the performer in all of us. Terrific dance floor and a good sound system make the place light up with fun and friendship. Friday nights are open to all, membership not required. With very reasonable prices, enjoy their delicious menu from 4:30-7:00 pm. 

Here's a video of Elijah Fox's 100th birthday! He golfs 5 days a week and comes to dance at the VFW in Hobe Sound. It's more than just a place to go, it's family. 

Several dance studios are close by if you want some instruction and many Stuart area restaurants have live entertainment and dancing. There's plenty to choose from. 

Festivals and Art Shows

As a personal favorite, the Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival offers a large variety of art and attracts artists from all over the country. This February event on East Ocean Blvd typically benefits from beautiful temperatures with lots of sunshine. With Memorial Park and it's lovely grounds as a backdrop, enjoy free admission and the opportunity to see (and perhaps buy) some amazing art.

Another personal favorite is Under The Oaks in Vero Beach. World-class artists with amazing, high quality pieces displayed among huge live oak trees in Riverside Park on Vero's barrier island. It's a stage set for success. For a complete list of Treasure Coast area art shows and festivals, check out Treasure Coast Insider's blog on these events.

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews the Downtown Stuart Art Festival

Theatres and Playhouses

Stuart offers plenty of plays and entertainment at the Lyric Theatre located downtown. Drawing top performers and musicians, this historic theatre is loved by many Martin County residents. Great musicians, comedians, singers and entertainers are the consistent line up for the Lyric. The theatre also offers free movies in the summer. The Sunrise Theatre in Ft. Pierce, like the Lyric, has world class productions and entertainers. 

Nestled in an unsuspecting location on Weatherbee Rd in Ft. Pierce, the Pineapple Playhouse has ample parking, great plays and a more intimate experience than larger playhouses. The Barn Theatre on East Ocean in Stuart is also smaller. Another cozy theater is the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach. 

Bingo

Bingo anyone? The highly rated Elks Lodge near Kanner Hwy and US1 in Stuart boasts many Friday nights filled with Bingo and lots of senior fun and activities. Great Italian food on Thursdays with entertainment. Made-to-order meals 5-7 pm with bar service 4:30-8:30 pm. Join in the fun!

Bingo Madness and Arcade on US1 in Port St Lucie has great reviews too! With its recent transformation, it's sure to make your time worthwhile. If you're a serious player, check them out.

Bingo at Night's of Columbus  is a great spot for Stuart area senior fun and activities. One review says "this place exudes the warmth of brotherhood." The facility is also available for your events. Located in southwest Stuart. 

For more information about senior fun and activities on the Treasure Coast, contact Mona Leonard, your trusted Treasure Coast Insider blogger.

Posted in Things To Do
Aug. 13, 2019

Stuart Area Rodeos

 

Mona Leonard Reviews Stuart Area Rodeos

Stuart Area Rodeos

Many people moving to the here might not even think Stuart area rodeos exist. They exist and thrive! With over 18,000 cattle ranches in the state of Florida, we're ranked 12th in the nation for beef production. So much of the Treasure Coast is rural and agricultural. The most popular Stuart area rodeos are in Indiantown and Okeechobee. 

Indiantown Rodeo

Held in October, the Indiantown Rodeo is a favorite of Stuart area rodeos, for folks of all ages. In addition to the adult events (roping, riding and busting to name a few), the Mutton Bustin' contest is loved by kids and adults alike. During this event, young cowboys and cowgirls try to hang on... and walk away with great pride after the competition. You've never seen anything cuter. It's serious stuff for these kids and they love it.

Cowboys from all over the country come to compete in Indiantown's rodeo. It's set in lush Timer Powers Park on Citrus Blvd and the area has a long tradition for everything Western... appropriate for western Martin County. My mom grew up in this little town in the '50's. It's a great place to raise a family.

With all that nature can offer, Indiantown has it all. If you're considering this area of the Treasure Coast, you'll love the fresh water fishing in Lake Okeechobee near Port Mayaca to the west. My absolute favorite fish to eat is fresh water catfish. There's plenty to do living the country life. Ranches and wildlife areas are abundant. It's "Old Florida" beauty with all its flora and fauna. Cabbage palms, live oak hammocks, Cyprus stands, grasslands, White-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobcats, an occasional gator... and nice people.  

Mona Leonard Reviews Stuart Area Rodeos

The Okeechobee Cowtown Rodeo

The Okeechobee Cowtown Rodeo held in March each year, brings cowboys from all over the country, in search of prize money and glory. It includes bareback bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping and lots more. It's a well-attended Stuart area rodeo, usually filling the arena with spectators. For the full arena schedule, contact the Okeechobee Cattlemen's Association 

 

Mona Leonard Reviews the Okeechobee Rodeo

Want to look the part? 

Eli's Western Wear is the place to shop if you're in the mood for some western wear. A new cowboy hat, some great boots, shirts, jeans and belts, Eli's Western Wear is the place to shop in Okeechobee. The inventory is huge and if they don't have what you're looking for, they can likely order it for you. 

The Adams Ranch

The Adams Ranch includes 65,000 acres just west of Ft. Pierce. I met Bud Adams on several occasions and road shotgun in his old pick-up to view some of the gorgeous landscape and cattle on his ranch. Four generations have raised cattle here (Bud is standing in the photo). Their cattle auctions are second to none and they create a top-notch hoedown for young and old alike.

From raising money for victims of human trafficking, to putting on a great shindig for the Cattleman's Ball to raise money for the Sunrise Theatre, this family owned and operated ranch (ranked in the top 50 seed stock ranches in the country) is part of the heritage of the Treasure Coast. 

 

Mona Leonard Reviews The Adams Ranch

For more information on other terrific Stuart area rodeos, contact Mona Leonard at StuartHousesForSale.com or call 772.530.6131. As blogger for the Treasure Coast Insider, feedback is always appreciated.

 

 

Posted in Local Events
Aug. 13, 2019

Stuart Area Theatres and Playhouses

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews Stuart Area Theatres and Playhouses

Stuart Area Theatres and Playhouses

Many Stuart area theatres and playhouses have a long and interesting history. Each one is unique in its feel, intimacy, acoustics, and services. Below are several Stuart area theatres and playhouses.

The Lyric Theatre

Stuart offers plenty of plays and entertainment at the Lyric Theatre located downtown. Drawing top performers and musicians, this historic theatre is loved by many Martin County residents. The theatre also offers free movies in the summer. 

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews The Lyric Theatre 

Sunrise Theatre

The oldest of the Stuart area theatres and playhouses is the historic Sunrise Theatre at 117 S Second St in Ft. Pierce, this Mediterranean Revival Style theatre was built in 1923 and as the largest theater on Florida's East Coast between Miami and Jacksonville. The first movie shown was Charlie Chaplin's silent 1923 hit "Vagabond." After renovations made by the St. Lucie Preservation Association in 1997, the theater hosts outstanding performers and musicians. 

Mona Leonard Reviews The Sunrise Theatre

Barn Theatre

Similarly, the Barn Theatre on East Ocean in Stuart is smaller than the Lyric Theatre and the Sunrise Theatre in Ft. Pierce. It's intimate theater of just 169 seats make it cozy and more interactive. You'll see lots of local talent and some cleverly chosen plays. 

Pineapple Playhouse

The Pineapple Playhouse is nestled in an unsuspecting location on Weatherbee Rd in Ft. Pierce. The Pineapple Playhouse has ample parking, great plays and a more intimate experience (100 seats) than larger playhouses. A playhouse tradition, meeting the cast after the show is a true delight. You may get hooked on a more interactive experience at the Pineapple Playhouse than other playhouses.

Riverside Theatre, Vero Beach

 

Riverside Theatre

Maltz Jupiter Theatre

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, once owned by Burt Reynolds, draws talent from around the world. Famous for their mysteries, this dinner theatre is well-loved by many local patrons. Located in the hustling entertainment district of Jupiter, it's sure to wow you.

Kravis Center

Located in West Palm Beach, the Kravis Center is a more regional theatre experience. This beautiful venue draws performers from across the globe. This theatre attracts the best in music, comedy, plays, and other performances. It can also be reserved for graduations and other activities. You won't want to miss The Nutcracker during the holidays. It's a delight for all fortunate enough to attend this annual tradition. 

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews The Kravis Center

Area Movie Theaters

The Regency 8 Theater in Stuart has a great selection of recently released movies. With lots of restaurants close by, it gives a whole new meaning to date night. Located in the Treasure Coast Mall, the Regal Treasure Coast Mall boasts 16 theaters and amazing recliners so you can kick back and watch the show. 

For more information about Stuart area theatres and playhouses, contact Mona Leonard, your trusted Treasure Coast Insider blogger.

Posted in Things To Do
Aug. 13, 2019

Stuart Area Festivals and Art Shows

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews the Downtown Stuart Art Festival

Stuart Area Festivals and Art Shows

Stuart area festivals and art shows are in full swing during "season." All along the Treasure Coast, there's something for every attendee. Whether it's jewelry, paintings, wood-working, sculpture or clothing, the beautiful surroundings and weather make for an extraordinary day. Check out these Stuart area festivals and art shows. 

Downtown Stuart Art Festival 

As a personal favorite, the Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival offers a large variety of art and attracts artists from all over the country. This February event on East Ocean Blvd typically benefits from beautiful temperatures, with lots of sunshine. With Memorial Park and it's lovely grounds as a backdrop, and free admission, it's a great opportunity to see (and perhaps buy) some amazing art and jewelry. This February event has free admission.

Hobe Sound Art Festival 

When I first moved to Martin County at the age of 20, Hobe Sound was my first choice. It's quieter than Stuart or other cities and towns to the north. It's much less traveled than south of Hobe Sound on the Treasure Coast too.

The first home I built was in the Soundings in Hobe Sound. The "wet side" was not yet completely built out, so I was fortunate to buy a canal-front lot on Hawksbill Way. We built the house in 1987. 

Hobe Sound Art Festival is a top quality show and runs a quarter mile near the tracks on A1A. Beautiful Jupiter Island is just east of the famous Banyan trees on Bridge Rd, a stone's throw from the festival. After the festival, enjoy a relaxing day at Hobe Sound Beach, or a drive along the famous coastline. Home to golfers Tiger Woods and Greg Norman, Jupiter Island's secluded drive along A1A is breathtaking. Blowing Rocks Preserve is toward the south end and is a great place for photos or a walk. It's easy to make a day of it with the festival and a drive. This February event has free admission.

Under The Oaks, Vero Beach

Under the Oaks vero Beach

A personal favorite is Under The Oaks in Vero Beach. World-class artists with amazing, high quality pieces among huge live oak trees in Riverside Park on Vero's barrier island (Orchid Island). This March event is a stage set for success. Advance tickets, $10, $15 at the door. Children under ten enter free.

Sunfest Music Festival, West Palm Beach

Sunfest

Held rain or shine, Sunfest Music Festival along the intracoastal waterway in West Palm Beach, draws 150,000+ people annually. This family-friendly four day event has tickets available beginning at $152 for a single day. Previous performers have included Keith Urban, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Tears For Fears to name a few. The schedule is packed with back-to-back performances for hours... and days! 

Sunfest is typically held in late April. Along Flagler, between Banyan Blvd and Lakeview Ave., you'll enjoy food and wine pairing events, floating bars, the battle of the bands, a 5k event, and plenty of shopping. Fireworks are on the agenda too. 

Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival 

Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival

The Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival has become a local tradition with live entertainment, art and scheduled events. Named for the pineapple plantations that covered the landscape 100 years ago, there's fun for everyone. This 30+ year old November event has concerts, arts, crafts, street performers, bands and a midway. A delegation from the island of Eleuthra, Bahamas brings the heart-pounding sounds of Junkanoo to the festival.

Several other Stuart area festivals and art shows take place in this idyllic location including ArtsFest. Located in Memorial Park, this festival boasts culinary delights, beautiful fine art. This well-attended event began in 1988 and has grown each year.  Art in the Park, a November event is another great fine art show. Admission for either is $10.

Okeechobee Events

Okeechobee Speckled Perch Festival and Parade

Okeechobee Speckled Perch Festival

The Speckled Perch Festival and Parade is one of my favorites. If you Southern cooking, this is a fun and delicious way to spend a day. There's lots to see at this March event, including beautiful beading, leatherworks and more. The speckled perch is outstanding, and you better get there early because they've been known to run out.  

This event dates back to 1965 and is in honor of the fishing industry for the livelihoods they provided. It's in Flagler Park and you can almost feel the history. Check it out... easy day trip from anywhere on the Treasure Coast.

Top of the Lake Art Fest

Top of the Lake Art Fest hosts some amazing artisans. The quality of the works will keep you craning into each booth. This juried event has some real talent. Usually, this is a February art festival. 

As your Treasure Coast Insider blogger, Mona Leonard would love your feedback. She can be reached at 772.53.6131

Posted in Local Events