Fun in the Sun on the Outer Banks

Whether you like to simply spend a week or two lounging by a pool or stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something exhilarating, there are so many endeavors that keep you outside and active. While the OBX offers so many outdoor fun activities, as locals, here are a handful of the things we love to do.

Bike Riding

Yes, you can ride bikes most anywhere you live but there is something different about riding bikes on the Outer Banks. Whether you want to hop on a beach cruiser to casually ride along the bike paths or along the surf, or you are a serious cyclist who intends to head out every morning for a three-hour ride, the OBX is a great place to spend time exploring the barrier islands as it is mostly flat with a few bridges. A couple of suggestions for casual and family bike rides are to stick to the paths that traverse through the different areas of the OBX. Some go from town to town making it a great mode of transportation for heading out to eat. Also, be aware of those on foot and extend them some courtesies. For intense cyclists, stay off the bike/foot paths as there are wide shoulders along the roads on the OBX – just make sure to ride with traffic as you are treated as a moving vehicle and must abide by the same rules of the road as motor vehicles.

Kayaking/SUP Boarding

“Water, water everywhere” is the mantra for most of the OBX activities. There is nothing like gliding through the water either in a kayak or on a SUP board to see sea life swimming below you. The amount of waterways that crisscross through the barrier islands offer tons of places to climb aboard and have some fun all while getting a great workout. The inland waterways (sounds) that separate the OBX from the mainland as well as the waters through the wildlife refuges are perfect for casual excursions and tours while the Atlantic provides some exciting action for experienced SUP surfers and kayakers. Both activities deliver great workouts without feeling like you are working out… at least until the next day.

Kiteboarding (Kite surfing)

Have you ever just sat on the beach to watch someone kiteboarding? As an observer, it always looks so easy but it is a very hard work out that like SUP boarding or kayaking is just as fun as it is hard. Kiteboarding on the OBX is as popular as surfing. In fact, the OBX is home to the Triple S Invitational in Cape Hatteras. But do not let the extreme sport on the ocean scare you. The Outer Banks has so many sounds that are ideal for beginners who want to kite surf with winds and currents that work well to get you in the groove with a kite board. Then, when the true adventure seeker in you comes alive, head over to the coast and really kick it up a notch.


Of course, we have to mention this age old activity (and sport) on the OBX. There are so many places to fish and so many ways to do it. From simply taking a rod and some bait out to the end of one of the piers to spending the day out in the waters deep sea fishing, this is always a favorite activity for locals and visitors. From several of our vacation rentals Nags Head Pier is a short walk and a great place to take the kids. A more recent way to fish is to go out into one of the sounds on a SUP board and fish off of it. When out on a SUP board, it is absolutely amazing what you see so why not take advantage of it, stand up in calm waters and catch dinner – all while getting a great core work out!

Too Many Activities to Mention

While we listed a few of our favorite things to do, there are truly too many activities to mention. The best thing to do is think about what you really enjoy and what you want to do, then make a plan. Most importantly, since you are on vacation, no matter what you do, have fun!


Auto Insurance Quote Help – Explaining the Confusing World of Auto Insurance

Q: I have been shopping for a Florida auto insurance quote and do not understand the difference between the various policies and coverage types. Can you give me a guide to help? Thank you in advance.

A: Getting a Florida auto insurance quote can be very frustrating due to their strict laws requiring drivers to carry comprehensive auto insurance.

There are two types of coverage you must have to drive in Florida. The first is called the Financial Responsibility section. This means that you are covered for damage to other people’s vehicles and for other peoples injuries.

The second part of the FL insurance law requires that you have minimum no fault insurance which covers you and your vehicle in case of an accident. Most policies in Florida will include both types of coverage in your policy, but some companies sell them separately so be sure to ask.

The last thing to keep in mind when considering a Florida auto insurance quote is that Florida takes car insurance very seriously. If your policy lapses the DMV is notified and if you cannot prove you have a new policy your license can be suspended. Getting reinstated after a suspension is an expensive and lengthy process as well. Be sure to have your insurance card with you at all times in Florida because if you are pulled over for a traffic violation the officer will expect to see your insurance card as well as license and registration.

Lastly, we strongly encourage everyone to shop rates online and compare quotes from several different companies. This is a tremendous way to get better coverage and save money at the same time.


Real Estate Is Vital and Dynamic

I live in Stuart, Florida, which is part of Martin County. As in most of the United States, our economy is in the doldrums. South Florida’s economy is probably in tougher shape because of our heavy dependence on real estate development and construction. There is no facet in our lives where that real property does not play a role. It is vital to the economy of the nation. While real estate is one of the important legs on which our economy stands, the dependence on the one facet of land development from farmland to city is what has put the economy of Florida into such free fall. The local economy will not get better until we stop resorting to the same real estate development of the past.

For over a hundred years, Florida has been legendary for its boom and bust cycles. Our land booms are spectacular and our busts just as renowned. On the heavily populated east coast, Florida’s development occurred late in relation to the other east coast states. Climate, topography and geography isolated the state until the 20th century. While today Florida has 19 million people and is the fourth most populous state, in 1900 our population of 528,500 people was just above New Hampshire and Vermont on the eastern seaboard.

In what section of the state people lived has dramatically changed over the same period. In 1900, 70% of the population lived in the northern third of the state while only 8% lived in South Florida. While the United States was settled and explored from east to west, Florida was settled from north to south with much of that area under populated. In the 1930 census (the first census after formation of the Martin County), Martin had a population of 5111. It wasn’t until 1990 that we had over 100,000 people.

So why is it that Florida’s economy has more severe boom and bust cycles than most of the rest of the nation? Our main industries today are agriculture, tourism, trade with Central and South America and land development. Our exponential population growth is due to people wanting the “Florida lifestyle.” As the population increased, farmers decided it was more advantageous to develop their property for subdivisions than to continue producing crops and livestock. For the past seventy years, our state and local governments decided it was easier to allow the building of hundreds of thousands of new homes and shopping centers than to encourage a more diverse business development.

I have been a licensed real estate broker for over 40 years. I have bought, sold, owned, leased and managed residential and commercial real estate during that period. I am licensed in several states including Florida. I am both a CPM and CCIM and have taught different real estate at several schools in my career. If there is one thing I understand, it is the business of real estate. I know how vital the real estate industry is to a community. But government has only concentrated on one facet of that industry to the detriment of creating an integrated real estate and business economy.

To the south and north of Martin County land development has gone awry. Whether through greed, arrogance or stupidity, our politicians have allowed the sensitive environmental eco-system of Florida to be paved over. While construction added many jobs to the economy, those jobs are short term. Once the structure is built, those workers are out of jobs. There has been no economic planning for the future… only the present. Development for the sake of development is idiotic. Economic benefits go to the few and the tax payer is left with the bill of unchecked real estate expansion. If there are too many homes and commercial properties being built, then the value of all those properties will continue to fall. It is the simple law of supply and demand.

What has saved Martin County from having a similar fate as our neighbors is our Comprehensive Plan. Development for the foreseeable future should be confined within the Urban Services District. As I drive down Federal Highway (US Route 1), I see so much vacant and underutilized property for development and re-development. It is foolish not to take advantage of the infrastructure already in place.

We, as the residents, do not need our elected officials to be lobbyists for the development interests. We do not need them to stretch and change the rules to accommodate land speculators. It is preposterous to think that certain people and industries need “fast tracking”, tax subsidies and reducing or waiving of fees. Wouldn’t a smarter plan be to have a level playing field for all business? Why should I as a tax payer and small business person subsidize someone else’s business? Aren’t all businesses in the county entitled to the same level of services and to pay the same amount in impact fees and taxes?

Instead of the make-believe world that a majority of our current elected officials live in, we need to have our county and city commissions look to develop the plentiful resources within the Urban Service District. Instead of a “tool kit” to bribe a few cronies, we need “a large inclusive box” that treats all business people equally. In a community such as ours it is far better to have a hundred employers of 10 employees than one super employer with a thousand employees. In a downturn more people will keep their jobs.

Employment, especially high tech employment, is undergoing tremendous change. Frequently, people are being engaged not as fulltime employees but rather on a project by project basis. A Company based in Seattle will hire experts siting and working in London, Shanghai, Kolkata and Stuart for an individual project. We can’t build buildings for purposes that won’t exist in five years. The promises made for the future will turn out to be broken.

The continued economy of Florida and Martin County must not look to out dated and old ways of doing business. The building of vast tracts of homes and office complexes is not the key to economic development. It will only lead to further sprawl and decay. New businesses will develop organically within the Urban Service District if the taxpayers and their elected representatives provide the right atmosphere for them. We shouldn’t squander the resources and infrastructure we already possess within the county. Let’s spend our tax dollars on bringing that infrastructure into the 21st century. The buildings, roads, houses and utilities already exist. We just need to use them correctly.


How to Get Started Investing in Stock Market – 3 Must Do Checklists

Care to invest in stock market? Ask yourself if you have done these before,

Specific Investment Plan

You must be hearing the importance of investment plan so much. Unfortunately, most investors do not get it right. Initially, you should set up specific financial goal. For example, you want to retire by 40 with $5000 passive income. Secondly, discount it to current value with the inflation rate to identify how much cash you need now or later. For example, you need to have $500k cash in five years time to generate $5000 per month by 2020.

Last but not least, discover which investment option that can help you to achieve the financial goal. For example, cash deposit, stock investing, option trading or real estate.

Discover Investment Niche

Once you have the investment plan in place, you will have clearer picture where are you heading to. The next questions would be how do you get there?

Look, there are so many ways to make money in stock. So many ways that is enough for everyone to make the least money. Therefore, instead of looking for the fastest way to make money, why don’t you concentrate on which investment style suit your needs, niche and time commitment. But first, you have to understand the methodology of each concept. Day trading, value investing and swing trading are some of the most common techniques used in stock market investing.

Recognize Investment Personality

Although penny stocks investing suit me very well, the same might not hold true for you. You might not comfortable with the Over-The-Counter (OTC) purchase, its unproven track records or its natural price volatility. The fact is, neither you nor me were created equal. And same goes to other investors as well. Since individual personality, habits and thinking are affecting the decision making process, it really worth the time and effort to understand which investing personality you belongs to. You can find the information at