First world real estate problems


Passing some very long moments in a clothing store recently, I picked up a little book they were selling called "First World Problems."

The book is a hilarious compendium of things Americans worry about, and none of them have anything to do with finding water that does not carry cholera, avoiding malaria and fleeing rampaging militants.

A First-World problem would be getting too much shrimp in the shrimp salad, or having to buy Evian because Morton's was out of Perrier. Or, "Gas is getting so expensive; I wish my Bentley got better mileage."

The book, of course, got me to thinking shallow thoughts about how I could make this into a column.

"First-World real estate problems," I thought to myself. "We've got plenty of those in Sarasota."

Among them:

--"I have to drive past so many ratty houses to get to my waterfront mansion."

--"The people across the street park their cars outside."

--"Those power lines are spoiling my view."

--"The property appraiser keeps raising my home's value. Thank God I'm homesteaded!"

--"I paid a $50,000 real estate commission and I still had to pay the $295 transaction fee!"

--"We were cruising Bird Key for homes for sale, and the one we liked wasn't on my Zillow app. We actually had to call the agent to get the price."

--"I love our new home. Wish my mother didn't have to drive past the adult store when she came over for dinner. At least my husband's car wasn't there."

--"My electric bill went through the roof in September! It was so cloudy, my PV panels wouldn't work."

--"When Bubil wrote about the Pagoda Garden, there was so much traffic on Casey Key Road that I couldn't get the Rolls out. We had to take the Porsche to the the Bijou for lunch."

--"Would someone please start a water taxi that stops at Lido Shores?"

--"If they build a roundabout at Fruitville, how am I ever going to get to the Ritz?"

--"I thought moving to Rivendell would get my kids into Pine View. Unfortunately, the apples haven't fallen far enough from the tree."

--"Nobody at the club wants all theĀ  mangoes my tree produced this year."

--"Jeff Vinik demolished the mansion down the street. The noise was unbearable."

--"Pat Neal built his 9,000th home and the buyers got their picture in the paper. But not us. We bought No. 4,783."

--"We stopped paying our mortgage three years ago, and would you believe the bank is kicking us out? Don't they have bigger fish to fry?"

--"Don Saba says our lot is worth way more than our house. Why, why, did I buy on the bay?"

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: October 13, 2013
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