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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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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Southwest Florida Real Estate Update

 

 

 

 

Productive Outcomes Expected
Economic and political factors may have contributed to the ups and downs we saw in January, but inventory levels continue to be a dynamic factor. Buyers have many choices and sellers are being faced with the reality that price adjustments are in order if attracting buyer attention is the goal. The demand is certainly there and remains strong for Southwest Florida properties leading us to anticipate a very productive outcome for the remaining weeks of season and beyond.


NAPLES, BONITA SPRINGS/ESTERO

Closed Sales

During January 2017, there were 774 closed sales in the Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero market vs. 798 in January 2016. The number of closed sales priced above $2 million year-to-date fell 34% when compared to the same period in 2016, and during the past 12 months, are down 26% (364 vs. 493).

New Listings/Inventory

Available inventory on February 1, 2017 for the combined Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero market consisted of 8,091 units, up from 7,281 units last month, showing an increase of 34% year-over-year. During the 12 months ending January 31, 2017 there were a total of 20,393 new listings added to the market, which indicates a 7% increase over the same period in 2016.

Average and Median Sales Price

The average price of closed sales in the Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero market during the month of January was $540,941, down 11% from January 2016, while the median closed sales price is down 5%. Meanwhile, the average price of sales above $2 million fell 2.4% over the past 12 months, from $3,832,508 to $3,740,781.

MARCO ISLAND

Closed Sales

During the 12 months ending January 31, 2017, the Marco Island area had 854 closings, down 11.9% from the same period last year when there were 970 closings. The number of closed sales for Marco Island during the month of January declined 18% from January 2016 (50 vs. 61), while sales volume was up 22% over January 2016. It should be noted that since this represents only one month, it is not indicative of a market trend.

New Listings/Inventory

Available inventory on February 1, 2017 for the Marco Island market consisted of 796 total units compared to 755 units last month and 712 on February 1, 2016. This represents an increase to an 11-month supply, up from 8.8 in 2016.

Average and Median Sales Price

The average price of closed sales in January 2017 rose a modest 2.6% over January 2016, while the median price was up 5.2% from the same period last year.

*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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Dog Friendly Communities in Southwest Florida 

 

You won’t find a shortage of dog-friendly activities and destinations in Southwest Florida. From doggie daycare, dog parks and dog beaches to the major shopping streets and popular restaurants. Water bowls can often be found outside storefronts and furry friends are a large part of the crowd at local art shows and parades. Southwest Florida has always been known as a dog friendly place to live.

It stands to reason that dog friendly communities in Southwest Florida are everywhere as well. There are, however, a few pet policies to be aware of as you begin your search for a new home and before you sign on the dotted line of a sales contract.

Types of Pet Policies and What They Mean

With Approval

Some Homeowner’s and Condominium Associations will require a pet application and reserve the right to review it before they make a decision on whether to allow your pets.

Limits

This indicates that pets are allowed provided they do not exceed a certain number per household or a maximum weight. Weight and size limits are outlined in the rules and regulations of the community documents.

No Approval Needed

This is a classification you’ll typically see when purchasing a single-family home. Basically, you can have as many dogs of any size – or other pets -as you want.

Not Allowed

Unfortunately, not everyone is dog and pet friendly.

How to Find the Pet Policy

Most communities have a Homeowners Association (HOA) or a Condominium Association or both depending on the structure of the neighborhoods. You can call the HOA to ask about their pet policy or reference the Rules and Regulations which can be found within the HOA and Condo documents.

When in doubt, you can always contact me and I am happy to assist you in your search for a home that allows dogs!

Source: John R. Wood Properties.com

 

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