Wednesday, June 27, 2007

PROPERTY INSURANCEHow do property insurance rates compare in your county? Homeowners and buyers can now find comparison info on a state-run Web site, which creates a fictional house and then shows how much it would cost to insure, by company and county, based on rate filings submitted to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


A St. Augustine lawn boosts curb appeal, but a new type of grass developed by the University of Florida could make traditional St. Augustine an also-ran. Not only is this new turf far more resistant to sap-sucking, lawn-killing chinch bugs than current varieties, it’s also more attractive with a finer leaf blade and dark green hue. Need another hook? It also requires less mowing; perhaps 50 percent less than current common Florida grasses. Although IFAS officials recently approved the public release of the new grass, what’s now known as NUF-76 won’t be on the market until next year. Growers are quickly expanding acreage of NUF-76 to ensure there’s enough sod to create a buzz for the as-yet unnamed brand they hope will compete with Floratam, a turfgrass released by UF in the early 1970s that now covers some 750,000 acres around the state. Beyond homeowners, the grass could also help the environment. “If we can eliminate just one mowing per year, that could lead to substantial savings in fuel,” says Dr. Russell T. Nagata, associate professor horticultural sciences department. “And it’s possible the darker green color will prevent some people from applying as much fertilizer.”© 2007 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®