The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 17 No. 28 - April 26, 2017


Air & Energy grows

LaPensee Plumbing Pools Air


Left to right: Stewart Moon, Sr., Trudy Moon, Stewart Moon, Jr.

Watching your business grow is a wonderful thing, but watching your children grow is really what touches your heart. When you're lucky enough to see your children become successful in your business, well that's a heart exploding event.

Air & Energy Air, Plumbing & Electrical based on Anna Maria Island has been a family run business for 34 years. Several years ago, Stewart Moon, Sr. retired and made way for his son Stewart Moon, Jr. to become one of the principals of the business along with his mother Trudy Moon, who remains active in the business.

As we know, all of Manatee County is growing practically on a daily basis and Air & Energy wanted to grow right alongside of its hometown. In order to expand its products and customer service it needed commercial space that just wasn't available on Anna Maria. In 2015 the Moons purchased a 13,000 sq. ft. warehouse in a perfect downtown Bradenton location between the two bridges crossing over the river, along with a second 5,000 sq. ft. building on the same property and an adjacent empty lot just for good measure.

They rebuilt and renovated the property into a sleek and modern facility and moved in September 2015. Not only do they have immaculate ware house space for their equipment, but also private offices, training room, conference room, a workout room for employees and a full kitchen. The general work area is scattered with state-of-art computers to keep track of dispatched customer service calls, as well as all facets of this growing business. Trudy Moon says she is "very proud" of how great the building came out.

In addition, Stewart Moon, Jr. explains they have maintained their former space in Holmes Beach to be used as a staging area for Anna Maria and Longboat Key calls. This gives them the ability to provide excellent response time, even during the traffic crunching winter season. Despite this, if your service representative still happens to get tied up in traffic, the GPS in the vehicle will advise the office, which will follow up with a proactive call to the customer.

Air & Energy prides itself on being a Manatee County only business which has been expanding to Parrish and Palmetto, as well as east county and currently has 45 employees. Since it is always in the county their service time is excellent. You never have to wait for a service representative who may be on his way back from south Sarasota.

Stewart Moon, Jr. is very excited about the growth of Air & Energy generally and particularly about the growth of its home automation services. A Nexia Home Intelligence system will give you the ability to control your thermostats, door locks, garage doors and lights from your smart phone or tablet.

And there are new air conditioning systems that have remote diagnostic abilities and will send an e-mail to either your or Air & Energy to let you know there is a problem. This is an incredible valuable piece of equipment for part time residents and investment properties. Gone are the days of finding someone to check your home while you're away.

Air & Energy also can get you fixed up with home cameras also managed from your smart phone. All of this technology is a step toward a fully integrated home, and it comes at a very affordable price. Stewart Moon, Jr. said that for under $400, you can have a thermostat installed that can be controlled from your smart phone anywhere you have Wi-Fi access without a monthly fee.

Air & Energy has a highly skilled technical staff members who are trained to get the job done fast. They are continually undergoing training from both in house employees as well as company representatives like Trane Air Conditioning and Nexia Home Intelligence. The company is actively looking for technicians who want to work for a great company that provides continuing training, not to mention a weekly personal trainer.

Trudy Moon is well known for her work with the Anna Maria Island Community Center, where both she and her son are still involved. More recently, she was chairman of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and is currently the past chairman. Annually, she helps organize the Horne & Moon Scholarship Social, which is held in one of Air & Energy's buildings, to benefit the Manatee Community Foundation. This year it's on Oct. 21.

Trudy Moon says that customer service is really what they are selling at Air & Energy. She wants customers to come away from their experience thinking they were the only customers. Stop by and meet the Air & Energy team the next time you need air, plumbing, electric and home connection services. Stewart Moon's dog, Naiya, will greet you, and you'll have the opportunity to see what real growth is, straight from the heart.


555 Sixth Ave. W., Bradenton

MasterCard & Visa accepted

Financing available

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages worth another look

Investment Corner

I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn't the worst idea in the world.

I'm bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime

Space limitations don't' allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let's hit some of the highlights.

• Fees are down: The up front mortgage insurance premium applied to all reverse mortgages was reduced from 2.5 percent of the loan amount to 0.5 percent by the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013, as long as the borrower doesn't tap more than 60 percent of the available credit balance in the first year. Other fees have been standardized and are roughly in line with a traditional home mortgage, but often lenders will issue credits to offset some or all of these other expenses.

• Education: Borrowers are required to attend a consumer counseling session to make sure they understand the nature of the reverse mortgage. The cost of this session is $125

• Borrowing limit: The limit for reverse mortgage credit lines depends on the age of the youngest borrower, current interest rates and the lenders margin. Generally, you can access about half of the value of your principal resident, up to a current maximum value of $625,000.

• Payments: You don't need to make payment on a reverse mortgage. The money you borrow and accrued interest must be repaid when you no longer live in the home. This can be through a move to another location, or if you pass away. The home will then be sold, the reverse mortgage paid off and any excess above that can be left to heirs.

In the past, advice was generally to take out the reverse mortgage as a last resort when it was obvious additional funds may be needed. Under current guidelines, that advice is outdated. Reverse mortgage lines of credit actually grow over time, giving the borrower the ability to borrow more. So, the current advice in most situations is to establish the line of credit in your mid-60s, when eligible, and instead of borrowing, just let the line of credit rest with a zero balance.

A line of credit for about $125,000 will grow to about $190,000 in 10 years, 290,000 in 20 years and over $440,000 in 30 years. Establishing, but not accessing the line of credit until later in retirement gives the retiree a lot of flexibility. The exact loan characteristics are influenced by the age(s) of the borrowers as well as the current level of interest rates.

In summary, for those who may find themselves real estate rich and liquid asset challenged, a reverse mortgage may be a good option.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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