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Listing Enhancements Free?/Users/adamp/Desktop/Oct_Mag_pics/mailbox

In the December 2006 issue of Florida Realtor® there was an article that said, “Enhance your listings on,” page 46. [Debbie Beichel, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker in Port St. Lucie, is quoted as saying], “We believe in spiffing up your listings here with photos, floating banners and headlines. You can post the information yourself and it’s a free way to improve their visibility online.”

I called and asked how I could do this for free. They told me that if I purchase the showcase listing enhancements package for $193 (for one year), I would be able to add more than one photo and also have my listings stand out.

Heidi Hilliard
EXIT Realty Preferred
Lake Mary

Editor’s Note: Oops! You’re correct. The listing enhancements on are not available for free.

Sales are Still Going Strong
While there seems to be much doubt about our national real estate market’s future, people need to know that the market and values in our area are still fairly strong and will get more active shortly when they officially break ground on our new international airport north of Panama City Beach.

The current negative market issues don’t affect all areas; however, negative articles affect investors everywhere! They need to know where the stronger real estate markets are to keep a balance of investments.

Donna Fries
Panhandle Beach Realty, LLC
Panama City

Let’s Simplify Tax Reform
I don’t agree with the complicated voodoo tax-reform measure that [state legislators] are shoving down our throats. I want to see something that makes sense and that will make me, as a homeowner, feel secure in the future. Is that too much to ask?

Without attempting to oversimplify the issue, I don’t get why they can’t just: super-size homestead exemption, make SOH [Save our Homes] portable, roll back taxes to 2004 levels, cap increases for non-homesteaded properties but without portability, increase sales tax by 1 percent to offset the loss in revenue, if needed, and leave education untouched.

Also, when talking about SOH, I hate to hear people whine: “It’s not fair that my neighbor pays less than I do.” My neighbors are 80 years old and have owned for a lot longer than I have. I’ll hopefully be 80 one day and will be paying less than my newlywed neighbors. Also, renters do use the same public services and facilities as homeowners, so the increase in sales tax is justified.

Let’s support a measure that will make us proud to live in Florida and to sell Florida property.

Carla Araujo
Choice One Realty, Inc.

State Farm Is Not Alone
I read the [EarlyBird] article about State Farm Insurance dropping 50,000 policies. Our own state insurance company, Florida Farm Bureau, has dropped all the policies in my area. We’ve been with them for 15 years—and only turned in a small claim for our pool screen after Hurricane Charlie. Of course, they dropped the coverage on the screened enclosure.

We received a cancellation notice that said they were dropping all their high-risk areas. I am in Cape Coral.

Sharee Thieleman
EXIT Realty Sunrise
Fort Myers

Submit letters to “Editor” via e-mail to, mail to P.O. Box 725025, Orlando FL 32872-5025, or fax to (407) 438-1411.

Letters are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter does not constitute an endorsement of the writer’s views by the Florida Association of Realtors®.