Neighborhood News

Real Service... Real Results                                         October 2010 
  102A Palm Point
Laura Cole & Tana Gaskill
  (561)        (561)
 776-4429    776-4444
 Illustrated Properties
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In This Issue
Real Estate Trends
Featured Property
Restaurant Review

A sure sign of Autumn in Florida: less humidity, car trailers and the return of absent friends!  BallenIsles Clubhouse redecoration is well under way and so far the early peeps inside look fabulous.
Once again we feature another mouth-watering review from our favorite resident gourmet critic, Vicki Slotnick.  Be sure to read her marvelous review of Nonna Maria, her new fav!
And of course, don't forget to keep up with Real Estate Trends and property news from BallenIsles.

Have fun!
Laura & Tana

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10 Reasons to Buy a home and BallenIsles Sales*
 102A Palm Point

Brett Arends has had it up to here with all the trash talk.  "Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership," Arends, a real estate reporter for the Wall Street Journal, says in his latest column entitled "10 Reasons to Buy a Home."  The housing market has seen troubled times.  But when Time Magazine announced in a recent cover feature that owning a home "may no longer make economic sense," Arends decided to draw the line against such rubbish.  He then proceeds to set the record straight with ten well-grounded reasons why owning a home is a very good thing.  Some of his reasons apply to first time home purchasers but many can be applied to purchasing a second home.  Here are his "Whys:"

  1. You'll get a great deal. With new buyers steadily creeping back into the market, determined sellers are more than willing to come to terms.
  2. Mortgages are cheap. 30-year fixed-rate loans bear the lowest interest rates in recorded history.
  3. You'll save on taxes. You can deduct your mortgage interest and real estate taxes from your itemized federal taxes.  You'll also get a tax break on capital gains when you sell. 
  4. It'll be yours. You can have all the space and privacy you typically lack as a tenant; and it will be all yours to improve as you please.
  5. You'll get a better place to live. Want a better home in a better neighborhood? You'll probably have to buy it.  Rentals like these are hard to find.
  6. Home ownership is a hedge against inflation. Long-term home ownership tends to beat inflation by a couple percentage points each year.
  7. It's risk capital. When the economy rebounds, real estate prices will climb again; which will make you awfully glad you bought when you did.
  8. It's forced savings. Your monthly rent is deposited into someone else's bank account.  Your mortgage payment helps build your own wealth through home equity accrued over the long term.
  9. There's plenty to choose from. Inventories are declining.  But there is still a good selection of homes at great prices.
  10. Sooner or later supply and demand will balance out. With the population forecast to grow by 100 million over the next few decades, roughly 40 million newly-formed households will be looking for homes. In the shorter term, with "Baby Boomers" retiring en masse, Florida will see more than its fair share of newcomers.

                                      BALLENISLES SALES -SEPTEMBER
ADDRESS                                             BR     BA       SALE PRICE   MARKET TIME

39 Bermuda Lake Drive                    3     2.1         $525,000           155

125 San Marco Drive                       3     3.0         $600,000           146

*This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Realtors Association of the PalmBeaches or its Multiple Listing Services thru 10/07/2010.  

To learn more about current Real Estate trends in BallenIsles, click on the links below.


FEATURED PROPERTY                  

1007 Grand Isle Terrace
Awesome courtyard home on nearly a half acre lot!  A unique opportunity for a lusuriously appointed home combining the privacy of a courtyard and separate guesthouse with open vistas and dramatic lake views.  Professionally decorated and offered fully furnished for the most discerning buyers.  Custom features abound including saturnia marble floors, large step-down wet bar, gourmet kitchen and a divine master suite with sitting area, his and her baths and custom dressing closets.  Outdoor living does not get any better than this with private lake patio and courtyard pool, spa and built-in grill.   Call us, to view this desireable home!

See All BallenIsles Properties for Sale

Nonna Maria reviewed by Vicki Slotnick

I am very fickle...I have found my NEW favorite restaurant in this area!  We used to take our family to Nonna Maria in the mid 90's.  More restaurants came into the area and we tired of the old Nonna Maria.  We returned a couple of months ago, after hearing that the restaurant had changed hands in 2003.  It was sold to Francois and Judy and was no longer just an Italian restaurant, but much more and much better. They bill themselves as "Italian with a French twist".  We have been there three times in the past couple of months, and each time, just when we think it can't get any better, it does! 

This most recent visit we are greeted very hospitably by Judy the chef/owner's wife, and she seats us promptly.  The dining room is a cute smallish room, not decorated in any particular fashion, just pleasant in a non obtrusive kind of way.  A waiter promptly and efficiently takes very good care of us.  There is a fairly nice wine list, and our drinks arrive quickly.  Good, crusty country Italian bread comes out quickly as well, and we devour it with butter or a very nice olive oil, as we peruse an extensive menu. We are hard-pressed to choose...everything looks and sounds so good!  R. began with a wonderful creamy wild mushroom soup, L., E., and I started with the arugula, watermelon, and feta salad with citrus vinaigrette.  The arugula was fresh and peppery, just the way arugula should be.  The watermelon cubes were sweet, and the feta was tangy.  The citrus dressing just pulled the different elements of the salad together so well.  Another time we visited, one of our friends had French onion soup which she loved.  The first two times I was at Nonna Maria I had the braised short ribs of beef over risotto with a Chianti reduction.  It was sublime, so tender and sauced perfectly, and I thought that I would have it once again, or someone else would have it and I could snag a bite.  But I decided to try something different this time and so chose the yellowtail snapper francese.  E. had that also.  It was served over spinach and sauced with lemon, white wine and butter.  The fish was moist and the sauce was perfectly seasoned and balanced.  L. had the veal saltimbocca.  I had a taste, and I will probably have that the next was a perfect combination of the tender veal, prosciutto, in sage and wine reduction served with sautéed broccoli rabe.  R. Had linguini Bolognese.  The very meaty sauce was slightly spicy, in a good way, maybe from sausage.  One taste of that and perhaps when I return, I'll order that!  It seems to me that Chef/Owner Francois really knows his way around the kitchen, in particular, his sauces.


There are many appetizers, pastas, meat, fish, and seafood entrees that will surely fill the bill for even the pickiest eater.  Desserts do not disappoint either.  Entree prices run in the $18 to $25 range, but in addition to the ala carte menu, Nonna Maria offers a prix fixe menu of three courses for $24.95: appetizer, entrée and dessert.  The portion sizes are not reduced, (in fact, they are sometimes even too large, no kidding!  Practically every selection that is on the ala carte is also offered on the prix can trust me: it's a great deal.


Hours are 4:30 to 9:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday, private parties and catering are available, and reservations are taken. 

529 Northlake Blvd.

Lake Park, FL 33408