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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Ft Lauderdale Neighborhood Spotlight: Rio Vista

Rio Vista is a beautiful tree-lined community adjacent to downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Its name means "River View" in Spanish, and as you can expect, the sought-after neighborhood is nestled between the banks of both the New River and the Tarpon River, as they flow through the southeastern part of the city towards the Intracoastal. It is one of the oldest communities in Fort Lauderdale and, in addition to its shady tree-lined streets, features meandering sidewalks and plenty of unique architecture, both old and new.

At the close of World War I, Fort Lauderdale claimed approximately 2,000 residents. An era of prosperity in the early 1920’s, along with the proliferation of new modes of transportation, saw the city begin its transition from a mostly agricultural community to a full-fledged resort town. Residential areas began to develop along the New River, with the creation of neighborhoods like Rio Vista on the south bank and Colee Hammock on the north.  The first plat of the area to the south of the river was recorded by Mary Brickell, the famous pioneer developer in Miami and now a major landholder in Fort Lauderdale, as well (she also owned much of the land in Colee Hammock and along Las Olas Boulevard). Upon her death, the land to the south was purchased by C.J. Hector, who began developing the area he dubbed “River View”.  By February 1923, the Fort Lauderdale Herald newspaper (now the Sun Sentinel) reported that Rio Vista was booming, with over 5,000 feet of sidewalk laid and streetlights installed!

The land boom reached its peak by 1925, when Fort Lauderdale's population climbed to 16,000.  The late 1920’s saw a series of unfortunate events plague the city, only to be followed by the start of the Great Depression, and then the onset of World War II later in the decade.  It was after the war that Fort Lauderdale started seeing growth again when thousands of servicemen discovered the area with its pleasing climate and a chance to reasonably purchase land in a burgeoning community.  Rio Vista development began anew, thus accounting for the eclectic architectural style that is incorporated in this picturesque community.  You may find an original 1930’s Spanish Mediterranean design next to a 1940’s bungalow next to a modern estate; yet nothing seems out of place, lending to the distinct character of this charming neighborhood. 

Today our beautiful city has a total population of close to 165,000 and Rio Vista is comprised of about 1000 homes.  It is bordered by US 1 to the west, the Intracoastal to the east, SE 12th Street on the south (adjacent to the neighborhoods of Harbordale and Lauderdale Harbours) and, of course, the New River to the north.  Though the interior of the neighborhood is very quiet and peaceful with no through traffic, the enviable location (close to downtown, commercial/retail areas, as well as offering quick and convenient access to major highways, airport, and Port Everglades) makes this waterfront neighborhood one of the most desirable places to live in the area.

Of course, that’s not even taking into consideration its prime waterfront location.  Though Fort Lauderdale has nearly 170 miles of waterfront real estate (it isn’t called the “Venice of America” for nothing!), Rio Vista has long been considered one of the foremost communities for mariners to call home.  Residences along the “Rio Vista Isles”, or the finger streets on the east side of the neighborhood, have only the 17th Street Causeway bridge over the Intracoastal between them and the open sea (this bridge measures 55’ when it’s closed, but will open for vessels upon request).  Many homes here are on double lots with 100’ of waterfront.  The canals are large – averaging about 130’ wide (with depth varying from 4-7’) - offering many options for boat size.  There are also homes along a stretch of the Tarpon River, but with a width of 60-90’ and a fixed bridge at SE 9th Street with just an 8’ clearance, only smaller motorboats and kayaks can traverse this route.  But it is the dozen or so homes located directly on the New River that are the most sought-after in Rio Vista.  With 100’ of waterfront each along the river that is 140-165’ wide, there is ample space for homeowners to dock even the largest yacht right in their back yard!

The Gayle Borden Real Estate Group is the leading expert in luxury Fort Lauderdale Real Estate, working tirelessly to provide comprehensive service to all of our clients.  For information on Homes for Sale in Rio Vista or other fine Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods, please contact us by phone at 954-525-3355 or by e-mail at gayle@gayleborden.com.

Posted at 11:48:33 AM
Monday, September 15, 2014
Things to Do This Week in Fort Lauderdale (Sept 15 – Sept 21)

There is so much to do this week in Fort Lauderdale.  Our exciting city always seems to offer something for everyone, and this week is no exception.  Here are just a few of the things that we recommend…

“Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy” will take center ice at the BB&T Center (1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise) September 18-21. The action-packed ice spectacular whisks audiences on a captivating adventure to four magical locations, including the auto-racing terrain of Cars, a visit to Andy's bedroom for some fun with the stars of Toy Story 3, a journey under the sea to Ariel's world from The Little Mermaid, and then into the mystical land of Pixie Hollow for a presentation of Tinker Bell.  Admission ranges from $23 to $67 and show times vary.

On September 19, The Hard Rock Live (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood) presents “Experience Hendrix”, featuring some of the greatest guitarists of our time: Billy Cox, Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Jonny Lang, KWS, Chris Layton/SRV, Doyle Bramhill II, Eric Johnson and many more, in a tribute to guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.   Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, Hendrix is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of pop music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". If you are a fan of classic rock, and of the legendary singer, songwriter, and musician, this is a show you won’t want to miss.  Tickets for “Experience Hendrix” start at $49 and the show begins at 8:00pm.

The Ford Motor Company is partnering with the Museum of Discovery and Science (401 SW 2 Street) to bring “FORD $5 DAYS” to the Museum on September 20 and 21. On these dates, visitors only pay $5 exhibit admission per person to spend a day exploring hundreds of dynamic exhibits. Visitors will also be the first to explore the new traveling exhibit Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists that opens on September 20.  The museum is open Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-6.  Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more information on events held throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area.  And to learn more about our great city - or for information on Fort Lauderdale Real Estate - visit us at www.gayleborden.com or contact The Gayle Borden Group at 954.525.3355.  

Posted at 2:53:46 PM
Friday, September 12, 2014
Florida Sales Tax Holiday Begins September 19

September 19-21 will be Florida's first-ever Energy Star and WaterSense products tax holiday.  Buyers can save on the 6% sales tax on 16 eligible appliances and water-conserving accessories during the state's final tax holiday of the year (other tax holidays offered by the state have included hurricane supplies in May and school supplies in August).  What that means for the consumer is up to $90 in savings (not including any accompanying sales by retailers), since the exemption applies to the first $1,500 of each new Energy Star appliances of $500 or more.  The 6% discount is applied to just one of each qualifying item in this category of $500 or more.

For items priced less than $500, there is no limit on how many items that can be purchased. Qualifying Energy Star appliances include washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners, water heaters, pool pumps, air purifiers and dehumidifiers, ceiling fans and light bulbs. Bathroom sink faucets and faucet accessories, shower heads, high-efficiency toilets and weather or sensor-based irrigation controllers are also on the WaterSense list.

Buyers can compound savings with additional county/city rebates.  Broward County is offering a $100 Water and Wastewater Services credit on new WaterSense toilets.  West Palm Beach also is offering $100 credits in a toilet replacement program, which includes $100 each for up to two residential and four commercial properties. Check with your municipality to see if it is offering any rebates. 

We at The Gayle Borden Group think its a great time to invest in your home, while saving money – and water! – at the same time! 

Posted at 10:40:30 AM
Friday, August 22, 2014
Protect Your Rights as a Property Owner

If you are a property owner in Broward County, you should have already received your Notice of Proposed Property Taxes (or “TRIM Notice”); and, like a lot of people, might have wondered “What do I do with this“”  Well, the Gayle Borden Group is here to help answer that question!

Step 1: Read Your Proposed Property Tax Notice.

Many property owners ignore their NOTICE OF PROPOSED PROPERTY TAXES (“TRIM Notice”) until it is too late to challenge an assessment or question the proposed tax rates. If you wait until you receive your bill in November to complain about your taxes, you will lose your right to appeal. The first thing to know is your taxes are calculated using this formula:


The Property Appraiser determines the market value and Save Our Homes value of your property. The Property Appraiser does NOT set any tax rates or collect taxes.  Your tax rates and non-ad valorem fees are set by the various taxing authorities (School Board, County Commission, City Commission, hospital district board, water management district, and so on) listed on your TRIM Notice.

Step 2: Speak Up About Proposed Property Tax Rates and Fees.

Your TRIM Notice contains proposed TAX RATES set by the taxing authorities (i.e., School Board, County and City Commission, etc.). Properties in Broward increased on average by 7.24% in taxable value this year countywide. If you want to question your proposed tax rates, non-ad valorem fees/special assessments, or services, you should contact your elected officials who serve on the taxing authorities and attend the public hearings in September. Your TRIM Notice lists the hearing dates, locations and contact phone numbers for each taxing authority.

Step 3: Challenge Your Proposed Assessment.

Your TRIM Notice reflects our office’s ASSESSMENT of your property as of January 1, 2014, as required by Florida law. Your assessment does not by Florida law reflect your market value today. For homesteaded property, your assessed value is your “Save Our Homes” value. The market value (“just value”) by law is determined a year in arrears by using a mass-appraisal process largely based upon sales of comparable properties during calendar year 2013 less the cost of sale.

BOTTOM LINE: If you believe the market value of your property printed on the TRIM Notice is not what a buyer would have reasonably paid for your property on January 1, 2014, you must contact or visit our office or file a value petition by the September 17, 2014 deadline.

Assessment Limitations

Pursuant to Section 193.155(1), Florida Statutes, beginning in 1995, or the year AFTER your property first receives Homestead Exemption, the annual increase in assessment shall not exceed the lower of the following:

(1) 3% of the assessed value of the property for the prior year; or (2) the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers, US city average for the preceding calendar year as initially reported by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) makes this statutory determination each January. Properties homesteaded in 2013 or before will receive a Save Our Homes assessment increase of 1.5% for tax year 2014.  Non-homesteaded properties will receive a 10% assessment cap which is applied automatically and does not require an application. A property is reassessed and the 10% cap is removed the year after the property is sold or ownership transfers. For additional information, please refer to the FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) on the BCPA website.

If you think the market value for your property is wrong, the first thing you should do is email or call the BCPA office (see below).  An appraiser will listen to your concerns, and discuss the data they used to reach the value. If there was a mistake, they’ll correct it. If after speaking with them, you still believe the value is inaccurate, they can explain the easy steps you can take to file an appeal with the Broward County Value Adjustment Board (VAB), an independent and quasi-judicial review board. You can also avoid the “TRIM Season” crowds entirely by filing your VAB petition online (and paying the filing fee) at the VAB’s special petition website at: http://bcvab.broward.org/axiaweb2014


954.357.6831 (Scott Lewis, Supervisor - slewis@bcpa.net)

954.357.6832 (Maureen Morrison, Supervisor - mmorrison@bcpa.net)

954.357.6835 (John McKean, Supervisor - jmckean@bcpa.net)

954.357.7114 (William Barringer, Manager - wbarringer@bcpa.net)

954.357.5424 (David Simpson, Supervisor - dsimpson@bcpa.net)

954.357.6830 (Kelly Brown, Manager - kbrown@bcpa.net)

954.357.6900 (Ron Cacciatore, Director - rcacciatore@bcpa.net)

954.357.6904 - lori@bcpa.net

Posted at 3:54:49 PM
Monday, August 18, 2014
A1A Revitalization Update

FORT LAUDERDALE --Work is progressing ahead of schedule on the $11.8 million reconstruction of State Road A1A between Sunrise Boulevard and NE 18th Street in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) project team reports.

Work activities planned for the coming week include:

  • On-street parking on the west side of A1A will be closed between Sunrise Boulevard and NE 14 Court for safety reasons. The City of Fort Lauderdale will remove the parking payment kiosks on both sides of A1A between Sunrise Boulevard and NE 18th Street. No Parking/Tow Away Zone signs will be installed. Parking is available in Birch State Park which provides beach access via a pedestrian tunnel under A1A.
  • Crews will begin removing the sidewalk on the west side of A1A and continue removing the adjacent pavement from the parking and A1A lanes along residences between NE 14 Court and NE 18th Street. Because of this construction work, adjacent residents are advised to restrict the use of the pedestrian gates in their privacy walls that open onto A1A. Access to driveways along A1A and side streets will be maintained at all times.
  • The pedestrian crossing signal mast arms at NE 14th and NE 16th will be removed. Pedestrian access at the side streets is available at each intersection.
  • Crews will continue removing the old sea wall, sidewalk and pavement from the parking and travel lanes on the east side of A1A between Sunrise Boulevard and NE 14 Court.

For safety reasons, pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists are reminded to refrain from going around barrier walls and barricades into active work areas.

The speed limit through the construction zone is 25 MPH at all times. Two-way traffic is being maintained with one northbound and one southbound travel lane. Motor vehicles and bicycles share the road.

The sidewalk is open on the west side of A1A between Sunrise Boulevard and NE 14th Court. The sidewalk is open on the east side between NE 14th Court and NE 18th Street. A pedestrian cross walk is provided to transition between the east and west sidewalk near 14th Court.

Posted at 4:24:30 PM
Friday, August 15, 2014
New FEMA Flood Zone Maps - Effective August 18!

New Flood Maps

 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has finalized the new flood maps which will be effective on August 18, 2014. 

Currently, residents and businesses in Broward County are encouraged to view the new flood maps to better understand their potential flood risk and to help identify steps they may need to take to protect against property damage and loss.

Property owners should consider purchasing a flood insurance policy, even if it is not mandated for their location. All areas are susceptible to flooding, although to varying degrees. 

 Flood Zone Designations

The following flood zone designation determines whether or not flood insurance is mandated. 

Zone A 

Flood insurance rate zone determined by approximate methods, as no Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are available for these areas. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply. 

Zone AE

Flood insurance rate zone that corresponds with flood depths greater than 3 feet. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply. 

Zone AH 

Flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to areas of shallow flooding with average depths between 1 and 3 feet. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply. 

Zone VE

Flood insurance rate zone that corresponds to coastal areas that have additional hazards associated with storm waves. Mandatory flood insurance requirements apply. 

Zone X-Shaded

0.2 PCT Annual Chance Flood Hazard

Zone X

Flood insurance rate zones that are outside the flood plain or the average flood depths of less than 1 foot. Flood insurance purchase is not mandatory. 

To search for your property flood zone information, click on the link below:


Posted at 2:15:34 PM
Monday, August 11, 2014
Things to Do This Week in Fort Lauderdale (Aug 11 to Aug 17)

Music and comedy are at the forefront this week with plenty of live performances of both!  And for the sports fan, it’s beach soccer!  It’s all happening this week, right here in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. Keep reading for our suggestions of "What to Do This Week in Fort Lauderdale"!

On August 14, take in the USA v. Brazil Beach Soccer Challenge at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, the event will mark the first nationally-televised beach soccer event to be held in the United States. A unique transformation will turn the Seminole Paradise parking lot into a beach soccer stadium for the night, where an audience of nearly 1,000 soccer fanatics will watch as their favorite team battles it out in the sand at 8:00pm. A pre-game party will take place starting at 6:00 p.m. featuring live entertainment, food, drinks and fun. The event is free to the general public, and seating is based on availability.

On August 15, see The Wayans Brothers perform at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Har Rock Hotel & Casino.  The famous family of entertainers, including Damon, Keenan, Marlon, and Shawn will be headlining the show that starts at 8:00pm.  Tickets are available starting at $49.  

Laughter for a cause!  Support “Laughing Out Loud for Scleroderma” at the Improv Comedy Club & Dinner Theater (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood), a private comedy performance with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres featuring nationally acclaimed comedian, Dom Irrera as he headlines a night of side-splitting stand up comedy.  As part of the event, you can also enjoy post-show drinks and dessert at the adjacent Sirocco Mediterranean Restaurant & Lounge.  Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that affects about 300,000 people in the US. The evening will benefit the Foundation’s Southeast Florida Chapter which provides services for members in the Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.  Tickets are $100/person.

Giants of Rock and Blues music, including The Edgar Winter Band, Vanilla Fudge, Peter Rivera (of Rare Earth) and Kim Simmonds (of Savoy Brown), are set to bring hot fun in the summer to the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts with August 15’s highly anticipated “Rock 'N' Blues Fest”.  This performance will be a special tribute to the legendary guitarist Johnny Winter, who passed away in July.  If you are a fan of classis rock and blues, you won’t want to miss this gathering of some of the best musicians in the business.  The show starts at 7:00pm and tickets are available from $25 to $105.

Thirty-seven years ago, we lost one of the greatest entertainers and pop culture icons of our time. Are you still lonesome for the energy, charisma and the incredible voice of the King of Rock-N-Roll“ Then come celebrate the life and music of Elvis Presley, on August 16 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, when Elvis Tribute Artist Chris MacDonald presents his “Memories of Elvis in Concert”, a full production memorial tribute to the King of Rock-n-Roll complete with an 8 piece band and dancers.  Tickets can be purchased for $51 and the show starts at 8:00pm. 

Be sure to check in with us each week as we continue to share the many events Fort Lauderdale has to offer.  And to learn more about our great city - or for information on Fort Lauderdale Real Estate - visit us at www.gayleborden.com or contact The Gayle Borden Group at 954.525.3355.  

Posted at 3:43:00 PM

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Ft Lauderdale Neighborhood Spotlight: Rio Vista
September 17, 2014

Rio Vista is a beautiful tree-lined community adjacent to downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Its name means "River View" in Spanish, and as you can expect, the...
> Full Story

Things to Do This Week in Fort Lauderdale (Sept 15 – Sept 21)
September 15, 2014

There is so much to do this week in Fort Lauderdale.  Our exciting city always seems to offer something...
> Full Story

Florida Sales Tax Holiday Begins September 19
September 12, 2014

September 19-21 will be Florida's first-ever Energy Star and WaterSense products...
> Full Story