Facebook Buys the Future

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The news has been circulating all over the Internet recently; Facebook has purchased Oculus Rift for $2 billion dollars. We recently ran a story about how industries outside of the device’s original gaming market could benefit from such a technology, especially real estate. Now it would appear as though those musings are closer to reality than we would have thought possible just a few weeks ago.

Facebook is widely utilized by real estate professionals for its ubiquitous reach throughout nearly all segments of society. Agents can connect with buyers, sellers and even just people who are interested in what they have to say. Now with Facebook purchasing the virtual reality platform, the financial clout and culture of innovation at the company will surely be a boon to fledgling technology that will only be helpful in the long term towards allowing the device to realize its full potential.

In our original piece, we mentioned the possibility of virtual reality virtual tours as one such use of the device’s potential. There are plenty of other possible applications, from medical to entertainment. The Oculus Rift gives reason for people in many different professions reason to be excited. Given Facebook’s goal of trying to be everything to everybody, there is increasing reason for such excitement.

There are also several other companies making strides into virtual reality hardware. If those devices live up to expectations, there is always the chance that what is possible with the Oculus Rift could also be possible with those devices as developers produce solutions to make things compatible across different platforms. There is great potential in these devices, and assuming the public does not simply dismiss them as a fad as in the past, there would be serious money to be made in many different sectors. Given Facebook’s commitment to the technology, chances are that this time around the technology will not fade away so easily.

Our original article about the Oculus Rift covered how it could be used in real estate. If you would like to read that or other articles about current real estate trends, visit our homepage at: http://bonniebarbieriteam.com

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Hernando County YouTube Resources

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There are plenty of YouTube channels devoted to happenings and resources within and around Hernando County, Florida. Here are a few of our picks for channels you need to check out for information about Hernando County and its surrounding areas.


This is the official channel of the Hernando County Public Library system. There are videos dedicated to the history of the county, library services, entertainment and more. We have highlighted videos from them a few times at http://bonniebarbieriteam.com and it is definitely worth a look if you are interested in this area.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

This is the channel for the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Home of the world famous Mermaids, as well as the Buccaneer Bay water park, this is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. We have produced other articles about the park, including detailing a trip there, as well as a look at the park’s international appeal. The YouTube channel lets you see everything the park has to offer, as well as interesting extras, such as interviews with the Mermaids. You don’t have to live here, or even be planning on vacationing here to enjoy the offerings on this channel.

HernandoCounty Sheriff

Exactly what it sounds like, this channel features news and information from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. From press conferences to PSA’s, there is information that any resident would find useful. Certainly the information here is useful to anyone in the county.


This is the channel for WUSF, the official broadcast network of the University of South Florida. Connected to the largest university in the Tampa Bay area, this channel gives you information about the university as well as news and information from around the area as well. This certainly comes in handy with their interviews with local officials and news from the area, giving listeners a very grounded, no-frills approach to local news.


Speaking of local news, here is another great source for news in Hernando County and the surrounding region. Covering Hernando, Pasco, and Citrus Counties, Nature Coast TV is a well known web-based news outlet in the area. They have been an excellent resource for staying informed on local events for some time now.

The Bonnie Barbieri Team

We know this is a little shameless self-promotion, but we would also like you to check out our YouTube page. Run by our marketing consultant, Fred Moutran, it features tours of our listings, cute little videos, as well as the occasional piece of information to help you around the house.

Photo by Guillaume Paumier

Northern Tampa Bay as a Buyer’s Market

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According to Zillow, Tampa, Florida, is currently the number three top buyer’s market in the country for real estate. Behind only Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio, Tampa is one of the best places to get a good deal on property. We have long touted the advantages the area has for buyers. Anyone who has spent a good deal of time on our site would not really be surprised by Zillow’s findings.

We have also gone a step further by recommending buyers to look beyond the major metropolitan area and look north to Hernando County, where value opportunity are even more abundant for home-buyers.

We have all of the major advantages that Tampa offers at usually a much lower cost. We have homes of all shapes and sizes to fit any taste and budget. We are also less congested and offer opportunities to build. Prices are lower, and the headaches of the city are miles away. We also boast great beaches and nature sites, our own world-renowned tourist attraction, and even a nice remote motocross trail. There is truly something for nearly everyone, except buyers who feel compelled to overpay for their homes.

If you want more information about what the area has to offer, check out our website’s guide to the area. We have articles on all the attractions, beaches, places to eat, things to do and much more. Beyond being informative, some of the articles about the county’s history are just a great read. Check it out for yourself and see everything you are missing if you are sticking to the cities.

We are one of the fastest growing markets in one of the most desirable locations in the country. If you want the advantages of Tampa without the traffic or inflated price tag, check out Hernando County. There really is little to lose and everything to gain.

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Motorcycle Madness at Croom Motorcycle Area

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For those of you who enjoy getting out in the dirt with a motorcycle or ATV and blazing a trail, we have a place here in Hernando County that you need to look into. The Croom Motorcycle Area is one of the premier destinations for riders of all types throughout the state. From open areas where experienced riders can cut loose to training areas for newcomers to hone their skills, there is something to satisfy any motorcycle or ATV enthusiast.

The park also has campsites with electricity, bathrooms, showers, and other amenities. There are also pavilions that can be reserved. If you want to reserve a pavilion, you will have to book in advance. Food and beverages are welcome with the exclusion of alcoholic beverages. There is also opportunities for wildlife sightseeing. The park is frequently seen with a couple types of deer, bald eagles, turkeys, bobcats, coyotes and many others. If you are lucky, you may even run into X-Games Champion Ronnie Siggy Renner, who has been riding at the Croom Motorcycle Area since the early 1980s.

All riders must wear helmets to ride in the park. No pets are allowed within park facilities. Riders can only ride doubles on bikes designed by the factory for two riders. Admission is $15 for one day or $60 annually. Annual rates can be pro-rated for partial years.

The park is open seven days a week from 8AM to 5PM. It is located outside Brooksville in the Withlacoochee State Forest. You can get to the gatehouse from Exit 301 from Interstate 75 if you are coming into the park from outside Hernando County. From within Hernando County, go to LaRose Rd. off Cortez Blvd. (SR 50). To contact the park, call the gatehouse at (352) 797-5759 or the visitor’s center at (352) 797-4140. You can access more information at their website in the link above. If you cannot click the link on your device, go to http://bit.ly/1fniNtr

Photo by G155

Hate Winter? Buy Florida Real Estate.

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Photo by Al Camardella Jr.

For those still stuck in the midst of the brutally cold winter that has engulfed the country, I say one word to you, Florida.

Buying real estate in Florida, especially in the Tampa Bay area and further south, means that your home is far enough south that forty degrees is usually about the lowest temperature you will deal with all year. Rarely do the temperatures in this area get much lower than that. You maybe deal with one or two days of actual “winter” temperatures per year. On the day I write this article, it is about fifty degrees out. Much of the country is still buried in snow. Jealous yet?

The thing is, the fifty degree temperatures in March that we are getting here currently are an anomaly. It is usually a good bit warmer this time of year. Much of the country is still usually cold either way. Many Floridians consider March to be the beginning of beach season, a season that generally lasts until after September. Hating that winter chill? Thinking of coming here yet?

We have one of the warmest climates in all of the country. We have the longest (non-frozen) coastline in the country (who wants to go to the beach in Alaska?). We have the largest community of water-sports enthusiasts in the country. Did I mention how long the beach season is?

Why are you still living with all of that shovelling? Why do you sit waiting for your car windshield to defrost every morning before your commute while you freeze? Why are you risking injury trudging through ice and snow just to get to and from your car? Why are you torturing yourself? You do not have to live like that. You can be living the Florida lifestyle. Sunshine, beaches, and warm tropical air can replace that frigid chill in your life. Call us and see how many affordable homes you can be living in and basking in the sunlight instead of freezing in the snow.


How the Oculus Rift Will Change Florida Real Estate

Orlovsky and Oculus Rift

AOL’s real estate page has an interesting article up currently. The article states that a 3d artist named Greg Miller has recreated Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment from the classic TV sitcom Seinfeld to be used with the new virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. The Oculus Rift is a truly fascinating piece of technology already, and the implications of such modelled 3D environments in fields outside of gaming are even more interesting.

The Oculus Rift has been largely marketed as a virtual reality gaming accessory. However, this technology could be a game-changer in many other fields. Imagine a 3D camera taking video or stills from the inside of a house. Then imagine that material made available to anyone with one of these headsets. You could go above and beyond the traditional flat virtual tour we know now and take a fully 3D, virtual reality tour of the home you are interested in buying from anywhere on the planet with Internet access.

Picture that process with a home like the one music mogul and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams recently put on the market in Miami, as we covered here. This kind of virtual reality technology now being feasible for the consumer market makes these types of tours completely within the realm of possibility. Beyond even the real estate implications mentioned here, think about taking a tour of a famous museum without even leaving the couch. There are nearly countless ways in which this technology can be used for cultural and commercial benefit beyond the scope of gaming.

If you are the type who is always on the lookout for the next big advancement in technology, this is it. The true potential of this device is still untapped and as we discover all of the amazing things it will be capable of, it will surely be changing the way we approach many different businesses and industries.

Why Scottie Pippen Can’t Sell His Florida Home

Lipofsky Pippen

Sometimes a home can be personalized so much that selling it can be difficult. Towards the end of February, NBA legend Scottie Pippen relisted his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Pippen and his wife, Larsa, have been trying to sell the 13,500 square-foot home since 2010. The gorgeous mansion has a posh movie theater, a wine cellar, a gym, and other amenities. It is a truly remarkable home.

The problem is it was clearly designed for a basketball star who designed some features with his children in mind. This is evident from the pictures on Zillow. While the interior design is clearly aiming for modern luxury, the property has plenty of features that would turn off your typical luxury home buyer. There is a full-size basketball court with an NBA logo at center court. There is a pool with a spiral slide leading into it. There is a trampoline visible in one of the pictures. Most of these are things that are likely to be a turn-off for some buyers.

It is understandable why he did these things, it was his home and he made it his own. However, now that he is trying to sell the home, he could have done some things that would help his chances of making that sale. The least he could have done was sell that trampoline before listing the place. Few things kill the value of a home and the potential to sell that home quicker than a trampoline.

Some of these things are easy fixes, others would take some investment on his part. Any of them would improve the chances of selling that home. These are things that should have been before the home was ever listed. When we list a home, we alert you to any possible issues that would make it harder to sell your home. We will work with you to ensure you are positioned to sell your listing with the minimal effort possible on your part. That is what we are here for, to take the work off your hands.

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Florida Real Estate


There are many reasons why Florida is the best state in the country to buy real estate. The Florida lifestyle is like nothing else offered around the U.S. Here are ten reasons why Florida is the place be for homeowners.

1. We have the second largest coastline in the country, topped only by Alaska. If you are moving to a place with beachfront property, you would not want that beach to be frozen, would you? That is why Florida is the best beach state in the country. Sheer volume means there is something for everyone, and it is not frozen tundra like Alaska.

2. Florida is home to one of the highest concentrations of celebrities in the world. California may have us beat since that is where many of them work, but many of them cannot resist the allure of life in Florida. Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Miami especially are havens for superstars from every aspect of media. Stars ranging from Hulk Hogan to Derek Jeter, Matt Damon to Enrique Iglesias all call Florida home. The list is huge. Check this out and see how many slides you make through before calling it a night.

3. One of the key reasons so many celebrities call Florida home (aside from the beaches)? No state income tax! Living in Florida can be a very smart financial move, especially when you have a large sum of money to protect. The ability to keep your hard-earned income out of the state coffers is a very tempting reason for many of the countries wealthier citizens to consider Florida for their permanent place of residence.

4. There are tons of attractions and other things to do. We have covered this fairly extensively before, but here is the short version for those of you who are too busy to read a second article. Sea World, Busch Gardens, Disney World, Weeki Wachee Springs, championship sports franchises, nature and historical attractions, and a ton more can all be found within driving distance of each other here.

5. The weather here is warm and sunny nearly year-round. Are you tired of the seemingly endless, brutal winter that has consumed most of the country? We are sure you are. If you had a home in Florida, you would be laughing at those poor chaps slogging through blizzards while you sipped margaritas on the beach in February. While most of the country is still in bitter winter cold, we are seeing days hit over eighty degrees fairly regularly. Escape the freeze.

6. Florida is where smart investors are looking to build businesses. Aside from that whole “no state income tax” business, Florida is also a great haven business owners. Affordable property, a pro-business government, and large, talented workforce all come together to make Florida one of the best places to open or expand a business.

7. Want to custom-build your home? Florida has plenty of land ready to build on, even near the water. From small plots for a simple home to large chunks of land that can be used for any number of purposes, you can find a lot to suit any need here. Do you want to build in town to be where the action is or out in the woods to keep to yourself? We have what you are looking for either way. Even plots of land minutes from the beach are still plentiful in Florida. There is room to grow everywhere in the state.

8. Florida’s unique mix of cultures and regional influences make it one of the few states in the country where someone from just about any background can find like-minded individuals easily. This shows itself in the food, events, and of course, the people all around the state. Florida is one of the only places where you can get a Cuban sandwich from an Italian-owned deli in a largely Greek community. That is just one example, but it is a hard one to top.

9. Florida has plenty to offer for all age groups. For kids and adults alike, there are the aforementioned beaches and attractions. The state’s tourist economy makes it a great place for up-and-coming professionals. Of course, most people know that Florida is one of the top places in the world to retire.

10. Florida homes are some of the most sought after in the country. While some states rise and fall in popularity, Florida continues to be a sought-after destination. Home prices may fluctuate, sometimes even wildly, but they always come back over time because Florida has an appeal that most states simply cannot match.

Landscaping for Florida Real Estate

This video, produced by the Pinellas County Extension, gives you numerous tips to keep your property looking its best. Florida yards have unique challenges that landscapers in other states do not have to worry about. You can easily get around many of these issues if you follow the tips outlined in this video. This way, you can keep your yard looking pristine all year.

Florida Real Estate News 3-10-14

N.E.R.D @ Pori Jazz 2010 - Pharrell Williams 1

Want another sign that Florida real estate is thriving? Music mogul Pharrell Williams is looking to sell his Miami condo. That is not the news. The news is that he has recently raised the price by $99,000. According to AOL real estate, the condo went from $10.9 million to $10.999 million. This is significant because it is a sign of a strengthening market. Not that long ago, luxury homes such as this would sit on the market through several drastic price reductions and no one would bat an eye. High-priced luxury homes would sit on the market without a buyer to be found while the prices bottomed out. Now, these homes are in-demand again and prices are starting to climb again. Continue reading