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YARD SALES GET CREATIVE

Stored under In the News on October 19, 2006 at 9:34 AM
Having a yard sale used to be simple. Set up some card tables, price any old clothes, toys or kitchen appliances, put signs around the neighborhood, and open for business.

Today, South Florida homeowners need to fill out applications, pay for permits and read regulations before they get started. And that's assuming the local condominium or homeowner association allows the sales to begin with.

As collecting becomes more popular and buying cheap has entered the mainstream, more people have tried to emulate online flea markets like eBay by selling unused clothes, electronics and household items in their front yards.

RESTRICTIONS

To forestall such makeshift retailing, cities have begun to crack down by requiring permits and limiting the number of sales. Most cities also prohibit residents from putting any signs on public property to keep streets uncluttered for drivers.

Coral Gables resident Tony Martinez had to pay $25 for a garage sale permit this summer. Martinez and his wife, Angie Stephen, also had to ask nearby homeowners to put signs in their yards to guide potential shoppers through the neighborhood's winding streets. A couple of years ago, a city inspector removed signs the couple had posted along the street.

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