Culture and the Performing Arts

Culture and the Performing Arts in SW Florida

Over the past decade, the arts have transformed Southwest Florida into one of the state’s most cosmopolitan areas. Audiences delight in our performing arts scene, where talented local actors bring life to Broadway favorites and new plays at intimate community playhouses. Fine arts lovers will enjoy a host of exceptional galleries and studios. The galleries are bursting with brilliant renderings of the picturesque local environment, unique wildlife and breathtaking sunsets. In addition to the natural selections, you’ll find a wide variety of modernism, cubism, impressionism and abstract arts.

In Naples, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts (Artis – Naples) is the premier performing arts hall in Southwest Florida, hosting more than 400 events a year including world-class dance, opera, classical and popular music and Broadway musicals. The Phil features four art galleries and two sculpture gardens. The Collector’s Corner offers an outstanding variety of art and rare gifts for sale.

Another venue for Southwest Florida performing arts is Fort Myers’ Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. For 20 years the venue has played host to the most popular shows and performing artists in the country. Cats, Mama Mia!, The Producers, Movin’ Out. You name it, they’ve had it. And if the show you’re looking for hasn’t played yet, chances are, it will.

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TOP 5 PLACES TO SPOT MANATEE IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Top 5 Places to Spot Manatee in Southwest Florida

We can’t imagine that you don’t want to know the Top 5 Places to Spot Manatee in Southwest Florida, but if you’re not from the area than you may find yourself slightly intimidated by an encounter with a saltwater mass between 880 and 1200 pounds, spanning 9 to 10 feet in length.

There have certainly been documented cases of tourists in the throws of panic when confronted by manatee or what locals affectionately refer to as sea cows, but these gentle creatures present no threat to their fellow mammal. In fact, people have historically proven to be more harmful to sea cows than they to us, which is often evidenced by the scars on their backs absorbed when boaters unknowingly clip them going too fast in no-wake zones.

The manatee, with an intelligence and complex learning ability similar to dolphins, are truly a welcoming and friendly sight to behold within the backwaters off the Gulf of Mexico. In many cases, they will likely come up for air within arms length of your paddleboard or canoe. Meanwhile, the babies of the bunch are known for their playful curiosity despite mama manatee’s protective protests.

If you’re looking for the best areas to lay eyes on these charming creatures, check out the list below for the top 5 places to spot manatee in Southwest Florida.

The Lee County Manatee Park

Enjoy the beauty of nature in this non-captive waterway for the Florida manatee. The summer months are typically too hot for these fascinating creatures so make your plans to visit this park from late December through February and you’ll ensure the best odds of a manatee encounter. The park also offers visitor information and manatee education so you can better understand the habitat and patterns of the Gulf’s gentle giant.

Lovers Key State Park

Try your luck at an opportunity to see the West Indian manatee, which can often be seen swimming along the shores as well as the back channels. If you want a closer look, pony up to a kayak, canoe or paddleboard rental while you’re there.

Manatee and Eco River Tours

This tour takes you on a boat through the Orange and Caloosahatchee River during the months of December, January, February and March. Manatee sightings are never guaranteed, but the captain is committed and will always take visitors to the most popular manatee hangout spots while offering expert insights on mysterious manatee behaviors.

Double R’s Fishing and Tour Company​

This tour starts on a covered pontoon boat in the heart of the Everglades, taking visitors through the estuaries of the Ten Thousand Islands in the most beautiful and natural manatee environment where you are also likely to see Florida alligators, dolphins and turtles. Bring your camera for this one-hour tour, which is fully narrated by an all-knowing captain.

Manatee Guides 

Manatee are actually everywhere in Southwest Florida, so grab your kayak and launch your manatee sighting search from places like Estero Bay, Orange River or Lovers Key with a certified Florida Master Naturalist. These guided tours allow visitors to learn about Florida’s habitat and the ecological struggles of manatees in addition to absorbing the natural and abundant preserve beauty that surrounds them. Again, no guarantees, but these guys are nothing short of professional sea cow trackers with decades of experience making manatee sightings possible.

 

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Flood Insurance: Facts, Fiction

Flood insurance: facts, fiction

If a flood swamps your home, will insurance cover the damage?

That depends on the value of your home, the amount of water damage and whether you have a flood insurance policy.

Just a couple days after a heavy storm soaked the Erie area, let’s look at some persistent myths about flood insurance.

Myth: You must live in a flood plain to get coverage.

If you live in a flood plain, your mortgage company will likely require you to buy flood insurance. But you can purchase it even if you don’t live within a flood zone.

“Almost anybody can get flood insurance who wants flood insurance,” says Chris Hackett, director of personal lines for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

The price through the federal flood insurance program is based on standardized rates and depends on the home’s value and whether or not it’s in a flood plain, says Don Griffin, vice president of personal lines for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Myth: Flood insurance covers everything. When it comes to the physical structure of your house, federal flood insurance policies top out at $250,000. If you have a $300,000 house that’s a total loss because of a flood, the most you can recoup through the program is $250,000 to cover the structure itself.

For your personal possessions, the cap is $100,000 under the federal program.

Myth: My homeowners policy covers floods. “Unfortunately, a lot of folks may be under the impression that their standard homeowners policy might cover flood damage,” Hackett says. But the standard policy doesn’t.”

The typical home insurance policy doesn’t cover earthquakes or floods. So a homeowner wanting coverage for either of those disasters will need to pick up separate, specific coverage against those types of disasters.

Myth: Water damage is water damage. When it comes to your insurance, not all water damage is the same.

If there’s a storm and your “roof comes off and water comes through, that would be covered under your homeowners policy,” Hackett says. “Versus a flood situation where the riverbank overflows and you look out of the front of your house and you need a boat to get from point A to point B.”

Most consumers “have a pretty good understanding” of how to draw the line between storm damage and flood damage, he says.

Myth: Flood maps don’t change. Flood plains (and flood plain maps) change and evolve. Just because you weren’t in a flood plain when you bought your home a few years ago doesn’t mean you’re not in one now.

For more information, visit FloodSmart.gov

Source:  Florida Realtors

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The Top U.S. Migration Pattern? New Yorkers Moving to Florida

The Top U.S. Migration Pattern?  New Yorkers Moving to Florida!

Many people are moving across state boundaries, and migration patterns are growing fairly common in some areas, according to a new analysis of census data from Porch, a home improvement resource.

In total number of relocators over the past five years, the most (33,391) moved from New York to Florida. A number of New Jersey residents also moved, and while most made a short trip across the border to Pennsylvania, 16,1981 headed to the Sunshine State – and at the same time, 12,571 Pennsylvanians headed south to Florida.

Outbound Michigan residents (8,820) and Illinois residents (7,875) also predominately headed to Florida.

In other migrations, Californians who leave likely relocate to Texas. In the past five years, an average of more than 25,000 people left California for Texas, likely drawn to the booming tech industries and lower housing costs.

As a percentage of a state’s total population, however, Washington, D.C., North Dakota and Wyoming saw the highest influx of residents moving in from other states, according to the analysis. Alaska saw the most residents moving away.

Relocating most often appeals to young employees, as the study found millennials were the highest percentage of people crossing state borders.

Source: “American Migration: Exploring Where People Move Across America,” Porch.com (July 2018)

 

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The Market in a Minute

 More Inventory Could Be Hitting the Market in the Near Future

For the Week Ending May 11, 2018
The consumer price index, which measures inflation, was slightly lower than expected in April. Lack of inflationary pressure helps keep rates lower.
The producer price index was also a bit lower than April’s forecast, another sign of lower inflation pressure. Prices rose 0.1% instead of the expected 0.3%.
Oil prices continue to rise, hitting the highest levels since 2014. Increasing oil prices could push rates higher.
In response to new tax code limits on property tax deductibility, NJ has enacted legislation to let homeowners declare property taxes as charitable donations.
Could more inventory start hitting the market? In a recent FannieMae survey, 45% of respondents said it’s a good time to sell, a new survey high.
Amazon’s Alexa system is gaining ground in powering smart homes. New home builder Lennar announced plans to include the technology in all new homes.

 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

 

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Looking for New Home Construction in SW Florida

Are you looking for new home construction in SW Florida?  Click the link below to search for new developments, floorplans, and more in the Naples, Bonita Springs/Estero area!

BuildersUpdate update SpotlightBuilders Update

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MONTHLY MARKET REPORT FOR MAY 2017

Naples / Bonita Springs / Estero / Marco Island Market Area

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NAPLES, BONITA SPRINGS AND ESTERO

Closed Sales

  •   The number of closed sales year-to-date for Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero increased 7% year-over-year.
  •   Closed sales priced above $2 million increased 25% through May compared to the same period in 2016.During the past 12 months, sales in this category are approximately the same as prior year (429 vs. 426).

New Listings/Inventory

  •   Available inventory on June 1, 2017 consisted of 6,910 units, an increase of 5% over June 1, 2016. This represents 6.9 months of supply based on current absorption rates.
  •   During the 12 months ending May 31, 2017, a total of 20,292 new listings were added to the market, less than a 2% increase from the prior 12 months ending May 31, 2016.

Average and Median Sales Price

  •   Year-to-date average sales price for the area increased 4% to $575,780, up from $553,785 for the same period in 2016. Median price is approximately the same as last year at $330,000 for the period.
  •   Over the past 12 months, the average sales price of properties above $2 million remained static with prior year at $3,806,276.

 

MARCO ISLAND

Closed Sales

  •   During the 12 months ending May 31, 2017, the Marco Island area had 754 closings, down 14% from the same period last year when there were 880 closings.
  • The number of closed sales year-to-date decreased 24% over prior year to 282 vs. 371 in 2016.

New Listings/Inventory

  •   Available inventory on June 1, 2017 consisted of 723 units, down from 765 units last month.
  • During the 12 months ending May 31, 2017, there were a total of 1,398 new listings added to the Marco Island market.This is a 5% reduction from the prior 12-month period when 1,473 new listings were added.

Average and Median Sales Price

  •   Average price of closed sales during the month of May was up 9% year-over-year while median price increased 3% for the period.
  •   The 12-month average price increased 7% over the prior 12 months to $767,020, up from $715,879
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MONTHLY MARKET REPORT FOR APRIL 2017

Naples / Bonita Springs / Estero / Marco Island Market Area

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NAPLES, BONITA SPRINGS AND ESTERO

Closed Sales

The number of closed sales year-to-date for Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero increased 7% year-over-year.
Closed sales priced above two million increased 5% through April compared to the same period in 2016. During the past 12 months, sales in this category decreased 13% (387 vs. 445.

New Listings/Inventory

Available inventory on May 1, 2017 consisted of 7,571 units, an increase of 11% over May 1, 2016.  This represents 7.7 months of supply based on current absorption rates.
During the 12 months ending April 30, 2017, a total of 19,826 new listing were added to the market, approximately the same as the prior 12 months ending April 30, 2016.

Average and Median Sales Price

Year-to-date average sales price for the area remained approximately the same as prior year at $568,638, up less than 2%.
Average sales price during the month of April was static with prior year (up less than 2%), while median price for the month increased 3% over April 2016.

Closed Sales

During the 12 months ending April 30, 2017, the Marco Island area had 907 closings, up 3.3% from the same period last year when there were 878 closings.
The number of closed sales year-to-date increased 24% over prior year to 335 vs. 271 in 2016.

  • Marco Island

  • Closed Sales
  • During the 12 months ending April 30, 2017, the Marco Island area had 907 closings, up 3.3% from the same period last year when there were 878 closings.

  • New Listings/Inventory

    Available inventory on May 1, 2017 for the Marco Island market consisted of a total of 765 units compared to 797 units last month. This represents 9.4 months of supply for condominiums and 10.75 months of supply for single family homes.
    During the 12 months ending April 30, 2017 there were a total of 1,446 new listings added to the Marco Island market. This is unchanged from the same period last year when there were 1,449 new listings added.

    Average and Median Sales Price

    Average price of closed sales during the month of April was unchanged year over year, while the median price was up 8.3%.The twelve month average sales price rose 7.1% over the prior 12 months, from $711,138 to $761,745.

    *Marco Island statistics are obtained from the Marco Island MLS system and include only those sales and current listings on Marco Island and Key Marco

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TOP 5 BEACHES IN NAPLES FLORIDA

The Top 5 Beaches in Naples, Florida are globally recognized as some of the most beautiful in the world, which is not surprising considering how much there is to enjoy along the unspoiled coastlines of Southwest Florida. It’s not just the soft white sand that brings thousands of new people to our area each year, but also fantastic fishing and an abundance of wildlife in the surrounding preserves. This list of top 5 beaches in Naples, Florida also puts you just blocks from luxury accommodations and phenomenal restaurants in Collier County.

  1. Clam Pass – A gorgeous stretch of shoreline located in North Naples at Seagate Drive and Crayton Road offering 35-acres of coastal County Park and wildlife preserve. Beach access is provided via a three-quarter mile boardwalk with tram that runs through red, white and black mangroves and also features a tidal bay where you’ll find avid marine life along with wading shorebirds, eagles, hawks and osprey.
  1. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park – One of the most popular seashore destinations in Naples, this park’s mile-long stretch of white sugar sand has been rated as one of the best beaches in the nation. The beach is popular for sunbathing, swimming, beachcombing, snorkeling, and picnicking. For saltwater or freshwater fishing, boaters can launch from Water Turkey Bay and travel to the Gulf or up the Cocohatchee River. Kayakers can enjoy paddling through estuaries while scuba divers can explore the hard bottom reef in the Gulf. At the north end of the island, a tower gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of Wiggins Pass and the surrounding coastal habitat.
  1. Lowdermilk Park – Located in the historic community of Coquina Sands, this lovely public park has plenty of parking and is a great place for family picnics whether on the beach or underneath one of the standing pavilions. There is even a sand volleyball court, bathroom and concessions nearby.
  1. Naples Municipal Beach – In downtown Old Naples, almost every road leads to the beach. This three-mile stretch of tropical white sand beach draws visitors and residents alike. The Naples Fishing Pier is a popular attraction here where a fishing license is not required and the opportunities for casting your line extend 1,000 feet into the Gulf. The Naples Pier is also a hot spot for those in search of spectacular sunset vistas. You will also find a snack bar, bathrooms and outdoor showers at the Pier.
  1. Vanderbilt Beach – This five-acre stretch of white sand beach is a prime shoreline for bird watching and shelling while also owning the most convenient access to hotels, shopping, and restaurants.

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FIRST QUARTER MARKET REVIEW FOR 2017

Naples / Bonita Springs / Estero / Marco Island Market Area

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NAPLES

Single Family Homes

  •   The quarterly median sales price for single family homes remained consistent with the first quarter of 2016, while the average sales price increased 4% to $793,030.
  •   There were 1,078 closings in the first quarter compared to 988 in the same period last year.
  •   Months-of-supply at the end of Q1 stands at 8.7 months vs. 7.5 months for the same period last year. This is a year-over-year increase of 16%.

Condominiums

  •   The Q1 median sales price for condominiums climbed 4% over the first quarter of 2016. Average sales price is up from $425,790 in the first quarter of 2016 to $435,439 in Q1 2017.
  •   There were 1,178 condominium closings in the first quarter, a 16% increase over Q1 2016.
  •   Months-of-supply rose from 6.2 months at the end of the first quarter in 2016 to 8.4 months at the end of Q1 2017.

 

BONITA SPRINGS AND ESTERO

 

Single Family Homes

  •   The Q1 median sales price remained approximately the same as prior year, while the average sales price fell 8% to $524,572.
  •   Closings increased 16% during the first quarter to 353, up from 305 in Q1 2016.
  •   Months-of-supply at the end of the first quarter stands at 7.1 months vs. 6.7 months for the same period last year, a 6% increase year-over-year.

Condominiums

  •   Median sales price fell 2% over the first quarter of 2016, while the average sales price declined from $323,676 to $315,601 in Q1 2017.
  •   The number of condominium closings in the first quarter increased 14% from 341 in Q1 2016 to 390 in 2017.
  •   Months-of-supply at the end of the first quarter increased to 7.6 months, up from 5.5 months for the same period last year.

 

MARCO ISLAND

 

Single Family Homes

  •   The quarterly median sales price increased 6% in Q1 and average sales price increased 10% over the same period last year. The median price escalated to $873,617 while the average was $1,007,720.
  •   There were 94 single family closings in the quarter, an increase of 29% over Q1 2017.
  •   Months-of-supply at the end of the first quarter stands at 12.3 months, down from 13.8 months for the same period last year.

Condominiums

  •   The Q1 median sales price rose 5% over the first quarter of 2016, while the average sales price increased 10% from $488,133 in the first quarter of 2016 to $537,116 in the current quarter.
  •   The number of closings jumped 24% over the prior year to 140, up from 113 a year ago.
  •   Months-of-supply at the end of the first quarter stands at 9.6 months vs. 8.1 months for the same period last year.
 Source:  John R. Wood Properties
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