This is not intended to solicit property already listed.
Housing Markets Robust
by: Dick Hogan
Southwest Florida is a home seller’s market these days, especially at the top of the market.
That’s the bottom line for two recent real estate board reports and a report by consumer financial company Smartasset.
Prices for existing single-family homes posted solid increases in Lee and Collier counties in June as inventory contracted sharply, according to statistics released by local real estate boards.
But the high end in both counties outpaced more modestly priced houses in both counties as sales and prices rose most strongly at the top.
Don’t overlook award-winning Bowman’s Beach
by: Tamara Pigott, The News-Press
It always makes me stop and think when our area receives an award for our beaches. We receive them often.
Sometimes I feel as though, because we live in Southwest Florida with endless opportunities to take advantage of all that our little piece of paradise offers, we may take it for granted. It’s only natural to do that, I realize. My friends who come to visit tell me that as soon as they step out on one of our beaches, their cares melt away. They are inspired. And rejuvenated.
“A beachcomber’s dream come true.”
So we were excited to learn that one of our natural treasures, Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island was named one of the 15 most beautiful beaches in the U.S. by Refinery29.com. We are in good company along with winners that include Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, Scorpion Bay in Santa Cruz and Cape Hatteras.
This website is a leading lifestyle resource for women and it covers everything from shopping and beauty, to travel and wellness. With a circulation of more than 4.4 million, it said: “The beaches of Sanibel are a beachcomber’s dream come true: The east-west layout of the island allows for an abundance of seashells from the Caribbean to wash ashore. Live shelling is prohibited, but you’ll be busy enough trying to collect all the goodies accumulated on the sand. DIY shell necklaces, anyone?”
In addition to the great shelling, miles of beautiful sand and wildlife, our beaches are also unique because of the easy access to get to them. Find your inspiration and feel rejuvenated.
Real Estate Again Americans’ Top Investment Choice
NEW YORK – July 29, 2015 – For many Americans, last decade’s housing bubble is largely forgotten: 27 percent in a recent poll said real estate was the best investment for money they would not need for at least a decade, according to a new Bankrate.com survey of 1,000 investors.
That No. 1 ranking marks the first time real estate claimed the No. 1 spot in the three years that Bankrate has been conducting its research. Cash ranked tops with investors in 2013 and last year.
“It begs the questions if more Americans are once again viewing real estate as a golden ticket,” says Bankrate CFO Greg McBride. Investors are urged to weigh the long-term return potential of real estate investing compared with other assets. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index has generated an annualized 9.2 percent return over the last three years through the end of this year’s second quarter, but produced an annualized 0.4 percent loss over the past 10 years.
By comparison, the S&P 500 index grew an annualized 14.8 percent during the past three years and 5.87 percent over the past decade.
Investors with sterling credit can borrow to buy real estate, which can either enhance returns or magnify losses, depending on the market.
“The singular and best reason to own real estate as an investment is to use leverage,” concluded Stephen Lovell, a certified financial planner in California. “Without it, your return on investment tends to be about 2 percent to 3 percent.”
Source: CNBC News (07/23/15) Anderson, Tom
Why Your Next Family Trip Should Be to Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island was named the No. 1 family-friendly vacation spot in the country during NBC’s Today show after winning two categories in a readers’ poll from FamilyFun magazine: The best family-friendly vacation spot in the U.S. and the top tourist town. Beloved for its white-sand beaches and abundance of natural treasures and wildlife, it’s no wonder Sanibel is a vacation haven for families.
If you’re not familiar with the area, Sanibel is a barrier island located near Fort Myers off the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast. The island has a laid-back tropical, Caribbean feel that also offers the family oasis of Martha’s Vineyard and it also has pretty awesome sunsets that drop off into the water.
Even here on The Huffington Post it’s been written: If You Like Seashells, You Should Go To Sanibel Island STAT. Apparently, the island’s beaches’ happen to have more seashells than an average beach, making it the perfect place to collect shells and even sand dollars thanks to its east-west orientation. Just be sure to leave any live Conch shells on the beach or risk breaking the state’s strict shelling laws.
What to do:
Go for a bike ride! Sanibel also won the Silver Award for Bike Friendly Community so take advantage of the safe, wide, paved bike paths throughout the island. There are also several bike rental shops that will even deliver your wheels to your hotel. Plus, some lodging will provide complimentary bike rentals for guests like at Sundial Resort where we also borrowed a cart to trail our twins behind dad’s bike as we peddled to The Sanibel Island lighthouse.
Visit the JN ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge where we enjoyed an open-air shuttle ride and explored the mangroves estuary and area wildlife. The Education Center also includes a children’s area with interactive exhibits.
You can also safely view shells and sea specimens at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, which also has a colorful kid’s lab with puzzles and books. It is also the only museum in the United States that is solely devoted to shells and the mollusks that make them.
Have fun on Bowman’s Beach, the quietest and most remote stretch of sand in Sanibel with a historic lighthouse and rustic boardwalk.