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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MONTHLY MARKET REPORT FOR APRIL 2017

Naples / Bonita Springs / Estero / Marco Island Market Area

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Click for Full Market Report

 

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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MONTHLY MARKET REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 2017

Naples / Bonita Springs / Estero / Marco Island Market Area

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Click for Full Market Report

 

 

 

 

 

NAPLES, BONITA SPRINGS AND ESTERO

Closed Sales

  •   During the 12 months ending February 28, 2017, the Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero market had a total of 11,689 closings, 9% lower than the prior 12-month period.
  •   The number of closed sales year-to-date increased 7% over 2016 with 1,653 closings vs. 1,546 in 2016.
  •   During the first two months of 2017, closings for properties priced above $2 million were down 10% from the same period a year ago. During the past 12 months, the number of closings in this price category were down 22%.

New Listings/Inventory

  •   Available inventory on March 1, 2017 for the combined Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero market consisted of 8,099 units, an increase of 18% over the prior year.
  •   During the 12 months ending February 28, 2017, there were a total of 20,173 new listings added to the market, representing a 4% increase over the same period in 2016.

Average and Median Sales Price

    •   Average price of closed sales during February 2017 was 3% lower year-over-year, while the median price was relatively stable, posting a 1% decline.
    •  Average sales price year-to-date is $538,275, a decrease of 8% from the same period in 2016. Median sales price remained stable with less than a 2% increase ($319,000 vs. $325,000

 

MARCO ISLAND

Closed Sales

 During the 12 months ending February 28, 2017, the Marco Island area had 857 closings, down 9% from the prior year.  Year-to-date closings are up 12% from 2016 with 133 closed sales vs. 119 for the same period in 2016.

New Listings/Inventory

    •   Available inventory on March 1, 2017 increased by 25 units over February supply (808 units vs. 783).
    •   During the 12 months ending February 28, 2017 there were a total of 1,428 new listings added to the Marco Island market. The supply of new listings is unchanged from the same period last year when there were 1,452 new listings added.

Average and Median Sales Price

    •   The average sales price of February 2017 closings increased 3% over February 2016, and median price was up almost 4% for the period.
    •   Average sales price year-to-date through February increased slightly to $842,000 up from $750,500 in 2016.
      *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.
 Source:  John R. Wood Properties
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Pet Friendly Beaches Near Naples, Florida

When visiting Naples, Florida, you’ll have to leave the pets at home during most of your trips to the beach. Within the city of Naples, the few places you can let your animals run free are dog parks, all located well inland from the community’s white-sand beaches. However, venturing a little farther afield will get Fido’s tail wagging again; you can bring canine pets to a couple dog-friendly beaches elsewhere in southwest Florida.

Bonita Beach Dog Beach

In Bonita Springs, just north of Naples, dog owners may bring their pets to the area’s only off-leash dog beach. Located between Bonita Beach and Fort Myers Beach, Dog Beach is recognized by Lee County Parks and Recreation, though the park system provides no facilities or amenities. They do set and enforce a number of rules, however. You must be 15 years or older to bring a dog, and may bring no more than two dogs. Children under 5 are not allowed on the off-leash area. Non-neutered, non-spayed, aggressive or sick dogs are prohibited from entering the beach area. The beach is open from dawn to dusk.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

While Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park won’t give your furry friends full reign, it does give dogs a chance to splash in the water. Plus, it’s conveniently located in North Naples. You can’t walk your dogs along the beach, whether on leash or off. However, you can lead them, on leashes, to the boat and canoe launch area, where they’re welcome to swim in the shallow water of Water Turkey Bay. You’ll have to wade in, too, as park rules require that you keep your dog on a leash at all times. The park is located off Gulfshore Drive; head due west on Immokalee Road until you reach the coast. The beach is on your left.

On-Leash Beaches

Heading north to the beaches of Lee County, your two alternatives to Bonita Dog Beach are rather less dog-friendly and a longer drive from Naples. However, if you decide to spend a day exploring the Fort Myers area, take your pooch for a walk along the public beaches of Fort Myers Beach or the City of Sanibel. Lee County Parks and Recreation lets dog owners walk their dogs, on leashes, in both areas, provided they clean up after their pets.

Elsewhere in Southwest Florida

For the most dedicated dog owners who are willing to take a lengthy trip for their dogs’ enjoyment, several dog beaches exist a few hours’ drive from Naples. The Fort De Soto beach and park, located near St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, permits dogs to run free in designated areas. At Honeymoon State Park, in Dunedin, Florida, pups can run free in the designated dog beach area. Elsewhere in the park, the dogs must stay on leashes.

Source:  USA Today

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HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT GOLF CLUB COMMUNITY

Naples is the golf capital of the world, but how do you find the right golf club community for your style of play and living?  With at least 1200 golfing communities in Florida to choose from knowing where to start your search for golf communities in Southwest Florida can seem like a daunting task. Now you can get the guidance of a luxury real estate professional combined with the expertise of PGA golf professionals.

Golf Life Navigators and John R. Wood Properties have announced their partnership to provide client’s with expert resources that ensure the perfect fit when choosing a new home and golfing community in Southwest Florida.

Golf Life Navigators was originally formed by several PGA golf professionals who recognized the unique needs of people looking for golf communities in Florida each year. They developed an extensive survey process to help clients pinpoint three of the best choices based on preferred lifestyle, golf ability, and other relevant factors. They also took into account that the needs of the husband and wife might be quite different. Once the golf club needs have been identified, John R. Wood Properties can step in to provide expert assistance locating the perfect piece of luxury real estate within the target communities.

Seems like a match made in heaven to us!

 

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THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA ~ February 10th

THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

When you start thinking about things to do this weekend in Southwest Florida, get all of your senses ready. The Everglades Seafood Festival is a big headliner along with the legendary Chicago musical now playing at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. There will be plenty of food, good music and theater at several area events proving that there is always something to do in Southwest Florida.

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

Source:  John R. Wood Properties

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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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ANNUAL MARKET REVIEW FOR 2016

 

Naples / Bonita Springs / Estero / Marco Island Market Area

 

NAPLES, BONITA SPRINGS AND ESTERO

Closed Sales

The number of closed sales in 2016 decreased 12% to 11,582 from prior year, making it the lowest year- end sales volume since 2011, the beginning of this expansion cycle. The number of closings above $1 million decreased 14.7% over 2015 with 1,069 sales at the end of 2016 vs 1,253 at the end of 2015. The segment above $5 million decreased 30% year-over-year.

Inventory Levels and New Listings

Inventory increased 34.6% in 2016, in the combined Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero market. This is the largest percentage increase in inventory since the depths of the recession in 2008. The supply of condominiums increased 35.8%, while single family homes increased at a rate of 33.6% over the same period last year. It should be noted that John R. Wood Properties does not include manufactured product or time share condominiums in our analysis.

Availability of single family homes and condominiums increased in all price segments, with the largest increase noted in the product segment under $350,000. Product priced between $350,000 and $850,000 had the largest supply of inventory, representing over 40% of the total current inventory and an increase of 22% over the prior year.

The largest increase in condominium supply was product priced under $350,000. The largest increase in single family supply was for product priced between $350,000 and $850,000 and between $2 million and $5 million.

The sum of new listings placed on the market during 2016 was 20,392, up 9% over 2015, and the highest since 2010.

Pended Sales

The number of sales pended during the year was 13,578, down 24% from the prior year and the lowest annual total since 2012. All price categories reflected decreases, with properties priced at $350,000 or below showing the smallest decrease, and down only 10% from 2015. It is important to note that not all pended sales close. However, this benchmark along with current inventory has proven to be the best leading indicator of market direction.

Summary

Year-end evidence indicates that market direction has shifted from one that was in balance at the end of 2015, to one that is trending to an oversupply at the end of 2016. Some segments are already well above a one year supply. This market dynamic favors buyers, who now have a greater supply of available options for purchase. This shift is a notice to sellers that pricing strategy must be adjusted to reflect current market conditions.

 

MARCO ISLAND

Closed Sales

The number of closed sales in 2016 decreased 14% to 843 from 982 at year end 2015. This sales volume is the lowest since 2011, the beginning of the current expansion cycle. Properties priced above $1 million decreased 12.8% over 2015, with 149 sales at the end of 2016 vs 171 at the end of 2015.

Inventory Levels and New Listings

Inventory increased 22% in 2016 compared to last year, with the year-end inventory the highest since 2014. The supply of condominiums increased 20% over the same period last year with single family inventory increasing 23%.

Marco Island real estate is distinguished by its view and its open water access. The following summary provides insight into the availability and pricing of single family homes and condominiums based on their view. Inventory data by view has been calculated since September 2016.

Single family inventory with Direct Access has increased 17.5% and list prices have increased 5% since September. Indirect Access homes have increased 8.6% in inventory with a 5.2% reduction in average list price. Available homes with Inland and Golf Course views have increased 46% and 25% respectively with asking prices lower by 5%.

Condominium inventory with Direct Access has increased by 43% and list prices have dropped 2%. Indirect Access condominiums posted a 26% increase in inventory and a 10% reduction in overall asking price. Beachfront high rise condominiums account for the largest product offering on Marco Island. Current inventory is 6.8% higher than September 2016 with the current offering price relatively stable, down less than 2%.

Pended Sales

The number of sales pended during 2016 was 879, down 27% from 2015 and the lowest annual total since 2008. The Marco Island real estate market is heavily influenced by second home buyers and the reduction in pended sales is a reflection of the overall market softening. It is important to note that not all pended sales close. However, this benchmark along with current inventory has proven to be the best leading indicator of market direction.

Summary

The same market dynamics are evident on Marco Island that we see in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero. The supply of waterfront properties with boating access posted the greatest increase on Marco Island over the past year. Beachfront condominiums, which generally cater to the very seasonal market, have also increased, but not to the same level. Overall, the market favors the buyer and sellers should be aware of this price shift.

Source:  John R. Wood Properties

 

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2016 Year-In-Review – Naples Florida Real Estate Blog

Source: 2016 Year-In-Review – Naples Florida Real Estate Blog

 

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