The Best Spring Events Near Apollo Beach

Spring has sprung and there’s so much to do in and around Apollo Beach! We’ve rounded up the best events in the Tampa Bay area for Bella Sol residents to enjoy!

Mayor’s River O’Green Fest

The Tampa Bay spring festivals begin the day after St. Patrick’s Day, with the River O’Green Fest on Saturday, March 18, 2017. For the 6th year in a row, the Hillsborough River will be transformed into a bright shade of green as Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is filled with family-friendly fun, live entertainment, food trucks, and more! Drive your boat straight up to the festivities! 

Gasparilla International Food Festival

Continuing the celebrations in March is the much-anticipated Gasparilla International Food Festival on Sunday, March 26. Hosted by some of the Tampa’s favorite artisan caterers in global dishes, the festival is a platform to support local businesses while tasting delicious cuisines. This free, family-friendly event takes place in Centennial Park, Ybor City. 

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Tampa Bay Blues Festival

Each year since 1995, some of the biggest names in blues music have taken the stage at the Tampa Bay Blues Festival in St. Petersburg, this year taking place on Apr. 7, 2017 – Apr. 9, 2017. Along with music, the festival will also host arts & crafts and good vendors. 

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Clearwater’s Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

This weeklong festival, from April 14-23, is the perfect way to welcome to warm weather of spring in Florida! From sandcastle building contests, to street performers and live music, there’s something for everyone! The first day of the festival will end with a beachside screening of Oscar-nominated Moana. Visit by boat and park at one of Clearwater’s two marinas.

Gulfport Grand Prix

Though only its first year, the Gulfport Grand Prix promises to be a weekend of boat-centered fun! With a Formula Powerboat Racing event, Antique Boat Show, and various vendors, this promises to excite all boating enthusiasts! Held on April 28-30 along Boca Ciega Bay, this is one you won’t want to miss! 

 8th Annual Clearwater Beach Taste Fest

Clearwater Beach will host this scrumptious event on the picturesque Clearwater Beach Walk. On May 12, 2017, enjoy tastings from over 30 participating restaurants, wine & craft beer, and live music, as well as raffles, a live auction, and a variety of vendors! This event also serves as the kick off to Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week from May 15-25, 2017. 

We hope you enjoy these fun events and all of the other great things happening near Bella Sol! Enjoy your spring!


How to Show Your Love All Year Long

February is the month of love, but why limit your romantic gestures to just one day? Here are 12 ideas for showing your love all year long!

1. Cook a Romantic Meal

Living Room of a New Waterfront Condo for Sale in Apollo Beach

It’s a classic for a reason! Coming home to a delicious meal and romantic ambiance is always a wonderful surprise. Candlelight, champagne, maybe some chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert? You can set up this amorous meal in your dining room, or create a romantic picnic on your balcony overlooking Bal Harbor Bay. (Don’t forget to wash the dishes at the end of the night!)

2. Let Roses Lead the Way

Use a trail of roses to lead from the front door to a loving surprise. Perhaps lead them to rose- and candle-filled bedroom for romance? For something more whimsical, have your bedroom set up as a movie theater, complete with popcorn and candy!

3. Create a Dreamy Bubble Bath

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A hot bubble bath is relaxing and romantic. Surprise your sweetheart by using a yummy-smelling bath bomb or bubble bath, fill the bathroom with candles and roses, and play a sweet song – if your married, use your wedding song for a sentimental touch!

4. Breakfast In Bed

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Our spacious kitchens help make cooking feel more fun and less like a chore! Whip up some heart-shaped pancakes (check out this post featuring 9 yummy heart-shaped treats!), chocolate strawberry crepes, or bananas foster French toast.

5. Watch the Sunset

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Set up a cozy spot on your balcony to watch the sunset over Bal Harbour Bay. You can lie on cushioned lounge chairs, or get more creative and set up a spot to snuggle made of blankets and pillows. Add a little extra romance with chocolate fondue or s’mores – use a portable fondue kit or candles to roast marshmallows. Enjoy a fun night, long after the sun has set!

6. Go Shopping

We know, this doesn’t seem romantic. However, if you truly listen to your significant other during a trip to the mall, he or she may mention something special they’ve had their eye on for a while. Go back later, alone, and pick it up to surprise them with!

7. Take a Romantic Boat Ride

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One of the best perks of living bayfront at Bella Sol is the chance for impromptu boat rides! Whether you just enjoy a day on the water, or boat to a waterfront restaurant. Check out our post on the best places to boat to from Apollo Beach – St. Pete, Tampa, and more are just a short trip away!

8. Leave a Love Note (Somewhere Unexpected)

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Try writing a note on your bathroom mirror with dry erase marker (it will erase easily), or leave a post-it note stuck to the fridge! Want something a little lengthier? Write a heartfelt letter to your loved one and leave it somewhere unexpected for them to find, like in their make-up drawer. If they’re going on a trip, tuck it somewhere into their suitcase! Having trouble think of the words to say? Try a quote from their favorite author or lyrics from a special song.

9. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Surprise your sweetie with a walk down memory lane: make a photo album of a favorite trip, your journey through the years, or another significant moment in your lives. Even if you aren’ t the scrapbooking type, online photo printers like Shutterfly offer services that make it a snap!

10. Do All the Chores

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This may not be the most exciting activity on the list, but it will definitely be one your spouse appreciates! Do the laundry, wash the dishes, take out the trash – all while your sweetheart relaxes (perhaps by Bella Sol’s community pool).

10. Be Punny

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Sometimes the most romantic gestures are the silliest. Whether your love is sweet, you’re nuts for each other, or they light up your life, a little favor and a corny sentiment can be so memorable! Search online for “romantic puns” and see how goofy you can get.

11. Make a List

No, not a grocery list! Think more romantically. List all of the reasons you love your sweetie, all the reasons you are thankful for them, or all the best adventures you’ve had together. Challenge yourself to be specific and detailed. Your honey will appreciate it, and can keep it to read in the future.

12. Take a Trip

Even though living at Bella Sol can feel like living at a resort, sometimes you still need a getaway! Lucky for you, Bella Sol is located in west-central Florida, close to the bustling hubs of Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota, and Orlando. For something serene, try a nearby river or nature park. Of course, the Tampa International Airport is only 30 minutes away, so you can truly go anywhere!

We hope you loved this list of romantic gestures! Try doing one each month, and let us know in the comments how it goes!


2017 Design Trends: What’s In and What’s Out

In: Escapism

Bella Sol is the perfect spot to enjoy one of 2017’s biggest trends: escapism. Says home decor retailer Nathan + Jac, “We will seek to create havens of calm and tranquility.” Whether you create this oasis on your balcony, or in one of the three bedrooms offered in each floor plan, Bella Sol is the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate. View our blog on different ways to decorate your balcony here.

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Out: Oversized Furniture

Gone are the days of large sectional couches and oversized ottomans. Furniture trends are turning smaller and simpler. “Oversized furniture not only serves to overwhelm, but they have become an inefficient use of space,” says Warren Sheets of Warren Sheets Design.

In: Built-In Bars

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Each Bella Sol townhouse comes with a built-in bar, but in 2017 you want want to re-think serving breakfast here and start serving beverages. In-home entertaining is on the rise, so add a liquor cabinet, some cool bar stools, and have fun!

Out: All-White Rooms

The contemporary all-white look is on its way out, as bright colors, jewel tones, and saturated neutrals like navy, are in. Pantone’s Color of the Year, “Greenery,” is definitely setting the tone for a colorful 2017!

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In: Community Spaces

Multi-family developments are rising in popularity as people begin to crave the face-to-face sociability lost with the advent of smart phones and social media. Bella Sol offers many community amenities, including a waterfront pool and cabana, as well as a gathering room.

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There are so many new design trends gaining popularity and others that are fading away. One trend that will never go out of style? Luxury living at a reasonable price! Call Bella Sol today to learn more!


Crafting the Perfect Holiday Celebration at Your New Bella Sol Condominium

Even in Florida, where residents can (and often do) go to the beach or out on their boats throughout December and January, holiday cheer is plentiful. No matter which holiday(s) you celebrate, here are some ideas on how to spruce up your new Bella Sol condominium!

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1. Prep the Kitchen

For most holidays, the kitchen is the apex of the celebrations. At Bella Sol, our kitchens open to the living room and dining area for a truly connected experience. The kitchens are also expansive (177-198 sq. ft., depending on the floor plan), giving you plenty of room to cook. The granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are nice as well!

You’ll most likely want to give your kitchen a good cleaning before the onslaught of holiday cooking, especially the granite countertops.

2. Set the Table

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A stunning holiday tablescape is the perfect decoration for your new Bella Sol condominium and is a great way for you to express your personal style. A simple winter white, lots of red and green, or blue and white for Hanukkah are a few stunning options.

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All photos found on Pinterest.

3. Get Ready for Guests

Have you read our post on Creating the Perfect Guest Room? We offered up our best ideas to make your guests feel at home, no matter the season. If you love seasonal decorating, now is the perfect time to also add some holiday flair to your guest bedroom and bathroom!

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4. Beautify the Bathroom

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Whether you have guests staying over or just stopping by for a holiday meal, the bathroom is an often forgotten room. Don’t forget to clean up the bathroom, stock up on supplies, and add a few touches of holiday cheer – knick knacks, candles, and decorative hand towels are quick and easy, and very festive.

5. Don’t Overlook the Outside

Unit 5201-22 Apollo Beach, Florida is one of the few places where your holiday celebrations can comfortably take place outside! With wonderfully warm temperatures and a stunning view of Bal Harbour Bay, your guests will likely want to spend time on the spacious Bella Sol balconies. Way back in January, we posted some ideas for decorating your balcony which could come in handy – we especially suggest creating a great outdoor bar cart!

6. Pack it Up

Storing holiday decorations can be a hassle, but you will have plenty of options for storage space at your new Bella Sol condominium, from a private garage to oversized walk-in closets and spacious utility rooms. Pack it up, put it away, and enjoy the new year!

 

 

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Bella Sol wishes you happy holidays and a wonderful new year!


Creating the Perfect Guest Room at Bella Sol

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Despite the turning pages on the calendar, temperatures in Apollo Beach are staying warm – making Bella Sol in Apollo Beach, Florida the perfect spot for a holiday get-together. Plus, since our new condominiums have 3-4 bedrooms, there’s plenty of space to make a cozy guest room. Let’s discuss some special touches you can add to make your guests feel right at home, no matter the season.

1. Offer Extra Bedding

Some guests love to snuggle up with lots of blankets and pillows, while others are warm enough with just a sheet. Since you definitely want your guests to get a good night’s sleep, we suggest offering a variety of extra blankets and pillows, especially if you tend to keep your condo cool. Our condos come equipped with top-quality overhead fans, just in case your guests get warm.

2. Keep the Bathroom Fully Stocked

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At Bella Sol, our condominiums are either 3 bedrooms/3 baths, or 4 bedrooms/4 baths, so you can have a bathroom just for guests. Make sure you put out towels so guests can find them without asking (this goes for extra toilet paper too). We also suggest stocking the bathroom with essential toiletries: shampoo and conditioner, body wash, a toothbrush and toothpaste, razors and shaving cream, and perhaps a facial cleanser and moisturizer. Travel-size toiletries or toiletries from hotels are perfect, letting each guest have a brand-new bottle of whatever they need.

3. Charging Station & Wifi Password

It’s 2016 and we are practically attached to our electronics 24/7 – yet cell phone chargers seem to be one of the most easily forgotten items! Leaving a Samsung and iPhone charger out will cover the vast majority of guests. If you’re going to make a charging station, this is a great place to put out the wifi password – you can search online for a number of pretty printables.

4. Lots of Light

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Along with overhead lighting, small task lights are a nice touch for guests. A bedside lamp, for instance, is perfect, especially when paired with a basket of magazines or books. Bella Sol is proud to offer oversized windows for natural light, but be sure to add some thick curtains in case your guests like a dark room when they sleep.

5. Snacks & Drinks

After a long day of travel, sometimes the best way to recover is a glass of water and a snack. Put out a variety of easy snacks and some bottles of water so your guests can refuel while they relax. If you have the space, a hot drink station is a nice touch too – either a kettle or keurig, and a variety of teas and coffees will make your guests feel like they’re staying in a five-star hotel – without the mini bar charges!

6. Empty Space

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Other spaces to provide include the closet and dresser, and any surfaces where guests may want to spread out their belongings – for example, the top of the dresser, or a desk if you have one. Even if you can’t spare an entire closet for a guest, our spacious walk-ins are big enough for you to use them for storage and leave plenty of room for guests’ clothes and belongings.

Other necessary but often overlooked empty space? An empty trash can and hamper. Help your guests (and you) by placing these items in the guest room, so they can tidy up after themselves.

7. A Pretty Welcome Tray

A tray with fresh flowers, a scented candle, and a handwritten note is an easy way to give your guest room that ultimate welcoming touch. For a touch of fun, add some postcards from Apollo Beach, Tampa, or Sarasota that your guests can send out. We suggest looking for a postcard with a bay view that (almost) rivals the stunning views from Bella Sol’s “invisible” balconies.

We hope these tips help you create a guest room that feels like a sanctuary! Don’t forget – we’re also offering a $5,000 credit to help you when your purchase a new Apollo Beach condo at Bella Sol! Now that’s something to be thankful for!


Why We Love the Sunshine State – And Why You Will Too!

Florida is world-renowned for its sunny weather, stunning beaches, and relaxing atmosphere. There’s a reason Jimmy Buffet hailed the state in so many of his songs – Florida is the perfect spot for relaxation or recreation! Let’s discuss eight of the best benefits of living in this serene state!

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1. Climate

Many people searching for a new home in Florida are compelled to move here for the climate! Although some may complain about the heat here, the average high in July and August is only 90°F – compare that to the midwest, where average temperatures top 100! The average temperature is actually a lovely 73°(1), perfect for enjoying the great outdoors – may we suggest a day on the water?

2. Family Vacations

Even if your kids are out-of-the-house, Florida’s theme parks are a huge attraction, and perfect for bringing the family together for a vacation! Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld Orlando are all less than 90 minutes away. For an even closer dose of fun, visit Busch Gardens in nearby Tampa – just a 35 minute drive! Best of all, every one of these theme parks offers exclusive discounts for Florida residents!

3. Sports

Florida has an abundance of well-known and well-ranked sports teams, especially in college and professional football. Do you root for the Gators or the Seminoles? What about the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, or Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

If you’re a baseball fan, you can watch the Tampa Bay Rays, and if basketball is your sport of choice, don’t miss a chance to see the Orlando Magic or Miami Heat play!

Of course, you can always take a short 30-minute drive to Amalie Arena to watch the Stanley Cup finalists, the Tampa Bay Lightning, play! You can also skip the traffic – the arena is just a 30 minute boat ride from Bella Sol!

4. Recreation

Florida is also well-known for its many recreational opportunities – boating, golfing, tennis, and beach combing are just a few of the most popular activities! Best of all, residents of Bella Sol condominiums can enjoy many of Florida’s favorite pastimes within just a few feet of their front door! Bella Sol offers a lovely pool for swimming and sunbathing, and boat-slips so you can go fishing, boating, tubing, and more! No wonder so many retirees move to Florida – they have unlimited time to enjoy all that Florida has to offer.

 

5. Taxes

Many Florida residents, especially retirees, love the tax breaks we receive! One of the biggest perks is that there is no state income tax! If you are a retiree, the benefits of this are trifold: Social Security retirement benefits, pension income and income from IRAs or a 401(k) are not taxed! Florida also has no estate or inheritance tax. Finally, there are a number of property tax exemptions – you can read about those here.

6. Ease of Upkeep

One of the biggest perks to owning a new home in Florida is the relatively easy upkeep. Fewer leaves to rake, no snow to shovel, and less seasonal maintenance. Also, if you’re living in a Bella Sol condominium in Apollo Beach, our HOA will take care of all landscaping, exterior maintenance, and more!

7. Arts & Culture

Apollo Beach’s neighboring cities of Tampa, Sarasota, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg each have a range of museums to visit, as well as the Straz Center for theater, and many arenas and centers for shows, concerts, and conventions. Statewide, Florida is ranked #15 for most museums per capita, and theaters abound as well!

8. Travel Opportunities

Florida is home to five major airports: Jacksonville International Airport, Tampa International Airport, Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, and Orlando International Airport. There are also a number of smaller airports, giving you plenty of opportunities to fly domestically or internationally.

Florida also offers an abundance of cruising opportunities. The Jacksonville Cruise Terminal serves Carnival Cruise Line. Port Canaveral in Orlando serves Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Carribbean International, and Norwegian Cruise Line. Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale serves 9 cruise lines, four of which were rated in the top 10 best cruise lines by Business Insider: Royal Carribbean, Seabourn Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, and Cunard. Other popular cruise lines that sail from Port Everglades include Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, and Princess Cruises. Last, but certainly not least, Port Miami serves 19 lines, including Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Celebrity, Norwegian, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas.

Where in the world do you want to go? Get there quickly and safely with any of the airlines or cruise lines that serve the Sunshine State!

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No matter who you are, Florida certainly has something for everyone! Ideally situated on the west coast of south Central Florida, Bella Sol is conveniently located near all of Florida’s biggest cities, yet secluded enough to offer a relaxing atmosphere when you desire serenity. Your new home in Apollo Beach awaits – contact Bella Sol now!


The Best Places to Boat To

Boating enthusiasts prefer waterways to highways – which is one of the many reasons why Bella Sol makes such a great escape. With a stretch of boat slips sitting on Bal Harbour Bay, it is quick and easy to ride from Bella Sol to a wide range of beautiful waterfront attractions throughout the Tampa Bay area. Don’t forget: for a limited time only, you can up to 50% off boat slips with the purchase of a new home at Bella Sol!

Downtown Tampa

There are a variety of places to enjoy in Downtown Tampa, all accessible in about thirty minutes by boat. You can dock and dine at The Sail Pavilion, which offers a full liquor bar, beer, wine and snacks. If you’re looking to explore Downtown, dock at the Tampa Convention Center Marina. It’s a quick 10 minute walk to Amalie Arena, the Tampa Riverwalk and a variety of restaurants and bars.

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Downtown St. Petersburg

Just across the bay, you can boat to Downtown St. Pete in less than 30 minutes. From the Marina, there are a variety of places to walk to including Jannus Live, Muvico, and Sundial, just to name a few. If you want to make a weekend of it, there are a number of St. Pete hotels that offer boat parking as well!

Old Tampa Bay

There are a variety of spots along the shores of Old Tampa Bay that are perfect for an enjoyable day trip! On the east side of the Bay, check out Hula Bay Club, Whiskey Joe’s, or Bahama Breeze. On the west side, closer to Pinellas Park, try The Getaway or I.C. Sharks. Reach any of these locations in a mere 60-90 minutes.

 


Our Favorite Boating-Inspired Decor

One of the many reasons residents love Bella Sol is the premier location! Situated right on the shores of Bal Harbour, Bella Sol is truly a boater’s paradise! As if our resort-style amenities and luxurious floor plans weren’t enticing enough , we are offering, for a limited time only, up to 50% off boat slips with the purchase of a new home at Bella Sol!

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To celebrate this amazing 50% off boat slip special, we’re sharing with you our favorite boating-inspired decor!

Seafoam Serenity

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This bedroom decor is so relaxing! The combination of white and seafoam green with wooden accents reminds us of the quixotic waters of Bal Harbour Bay and the rope accents evoke a fun boating trip!

Nautical Neutral

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This living room is so cozy and darling! We love those two accent mirrors – they look just like portholes! The framed wall art also adds a touch of nautical flair without going overboard (no pun intended).

Galley-Inspired Gallery

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Gallery walls are an extremely popular design trend now and this ocean-themed wall does not disappoint! Celebrate your love for boating with images of shells, fish, and of course, an anchor!

Boating Baby’s Room

Laurel Mews in Los Gatos, CA - 2014 Gold Nugget Home of the Year

This nursery or grandchild’s room is completely darling and perfect for a little one who will grow up boating! We love the wall art, anchor pillow, and navy stripes across the ceiling, but if you prefer something gender-neutral, just trade the blue out for a lovely gray or cream!

Sailing Into the Sunset

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Of course, the bayside location and gorgeous boat slips are a huge draw for Bella Sol residents, but don’t forget about the stunning “invisible” balconies! For those days when you’d rather not take your boat out, you can relax on your balcony – this cozy white bench, blanket, and comfy pillows make a serene resting spot for a boating enthusiast!

There you have it! Some of the best boating inspired decor. Which is your favorite? As you peruse these nautical interiors, don’t forget that the best way to enjoy seaworthy decor is from the comfort of your boat! Call a Bella Sol Sales Specialist today to find out how you can save 50% off a Bella Sol boat slip!


Bella Sol Living: HOA FAQs

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With about 1/4 of the population living in a community with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), there are many questions and misconceptions about what an HOA does. Although it varies from community to community, let’s discuss the role of the HOA at Bella Sol.

What does the HOA cover?

We spoke briefly about the role of the Bella Sol HOA in this post: the HOA covers liability insurance, landscaping, maintenance, and repairs. Bella Sol offers a variety of resort-style amenities for residents’ use, and the HOA provides upkeep for these amenities, letting you enjoy them worry-free. Here is a partial list of what we will care for:

  • Swimming pool and poolside kitchen and cabana upkeep, maintenance, and repairs
  • Landscaping throughout the property
  • External maintenance of all 9 buildings and 81 residences
  • Care for the community boat slips
  • Equipment repairs and updates in our state-of-the-art fitness center
  • Liability insurance
  • Interior repairs, as applicable
  • Gated community living and security

What are the benefits of an HOA?

The number-one benefit is the peace-of-mind provided. Not only does the HOA keep up the Bella Sol property as outlined above, but the HOA also provides a third-party to help solve any disputes amongst neighbors and offers guidelines for living harmoniously. Finally, the HOA plans resident activities where you can socialize and relax, creating a fun, community atmosphere.

Bella Sol Apollo Beach FL has a Stunning Waterfront View

What are the drawbacks of an HOA?

The most common negative people cite about living in an HOA is the implementation of restrictions on living. For example, many HOAs have rules about parking on the street, lawn upkeep, exterior decor, and others. Though these restrictions may bother you if you are fiercely independent, most people appreciate the HOA for maintaining an aesthetically pleasing neighborhood and protecting property values.

What is the cost of being in an HOA?

Many people consider the monthly cost of joining an HOA to be a discouragement from buying a condominium. However, at Bella Sol, we ensure that you are getting a return on your monthly investment. We do on-going maintenance on our buildings, property, and amenities so you can enjoy your waterfront oasis, worry free.

For a limited time, new residents will get 6 months of HOA fees paid for! Call a Bella Sol New Home Sales Advisor now to learn more!

 


Financing Your Waterfront Home

The needs of home buyers are as different as the homes they buy. What works for one may not work for another. Your home loan will likely be the largest debt you incur so it is important to have a plan and know your options.

Affordability declines quickly if interest rates and home prices rise together so timing can be very important. As the housing climate recovers, now is an ideal time to buy.

Wondering how much you need to save for your new home? It may not be as much as you think. There are mortgage loans for borrowers with large down payments and also for those with smaller down payments. While many believe a 20% down payment is required on home loans, it is actually not your only option. For today’s home buyer, there are options available to buy a home with little money down.

Fannie Mae offers 15 and 30 year conventional loans with down payments as low as 5%. Rates are low, underwriting standards are simple, and closings are quick which make Fannie Mae loans a great option for buyers in today’s market.

Consider the purchase of a Bella Sol home, taking advantage of a 5% down payment program at Bella Sol. Your monthly payment on a waterfront condominium could be less than $1800 – a remarkably competitive price for a 3-4 bedroom home in Apollo Beach, especially when you consider the many amenities your home comes with.

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There are also specialty loans available that offer no and low down payment options. For example, VA loans can be used by US Veterans and active military personnel to purchase most types of property with no money down. For Physicians, we have established at Bella Sol which offers $100% financing.

In today’s expanding mortgage market, there is a home loan to match nearly everyone’s mortgage needs. At Bella Sol, our lending partners will provide you with guidance you need to pick the right loan for you. Contact us now – your escape awaits.