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June is Here and So is Summer in the Cape…..

June Collage Ahh yes June is here…the beginning of summer, Father’s Day, Flag Day and here in SW Florida mangos make their way to our table.  This delicious fruit is a staple here in the Cape Coral area.  In fact it has its own festival – the Cape Coral Mango Festival!  Many residents have their own mango trees in their back yards and about this time the fruit is ready for picking! Mangoes are very high in phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A, C, B-6 and E. They are healthy and delicious. Some people describe the flavor of a perfectly ripe mango being as being a blend between a peach and a pineapple. The perfectly ripened mango is juicy and sweet. They’re used in salsa, chutney, jam and juice recipes but I like to eat them plain right from the tree!

 

 

Cape Coral and SW Florida Housing Market

Median Price Jumps Again in April Picture7The April numbers are in and according to the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, market indicators for April show a robust increase in home sales compared to the same time period last year.  The median price for single family homes in Lee County, FL hit a new milestone in April 2014 by reaching $200,000, an 8.1 percent increase when compared to April 2013 and a $15,000 increase from March 2014. The median price of condos hit $170,000, up 13.3 percent when compared to April 2013 and an $8,000 increase month-to-month.  Basically, the days of “bargains” are or in some cases have come to a halt and its beginning to be more and more a sellers market!

“As home values continue to increase, the market in Lee County has become more challenging to both first time homebuyers and investors alike”, says Karen Swanbeck, Association President. “Investors are finding that market conditions are not as enticing as in past years. Both first-time and cash buyers are being asked to bring their best offers to sellers; in fact, the median days-on-market is under 45 days for homes listed for less than $250,000.”

The number of existing single family home sales that were available for purchase in April 2014 is 2.2  percent above that of April 2013 and now rests at 5,802. Inventory decreased in number by 408 properties month to month.  Single family homes of all types spent a median 48 days on market before coming under contract in April 2014, and the average home sold for 92.1 percent of its listing price. In April 2013 those numbers were 59 days and 93.7 percent, respectively.  See the complete report in the Click here: Mortgage and Housing News  If you are interested in looking for property in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or the surrounding SW Florida area give us a call or email us – our contact information is on the right hand side of this blog.

Focus on Estero

Picture9One of the many communities in the area, Estero, was actually established and incorporated as a progressive liberal community in 1894 by the followers of Dr. Cyrus Teed, who proposed a theory that we live on the inside of the Earth’s outer skin, and that celestial bodies are all contained inside the hollow Earth. This theory, which he called Koreshan Unity, drew followers to purchase and occupy a 320-acre tract in 1894. They were business-oriented and lived communally, prospering enough to found its own political party (“The Progressive Liberty Party”) and incorporate the town on September 1, 1904 as Estero. The 1908 death of Dr. Teed (who claimed to be immortal) was a critical blow to the group’s faith, whose membership dwindled into the 1960s.  The Koreshans’ original tract is now owned by Florida as the Koreshan State Historic Site.

Estero is now an unincorporated area of Lee County and home to the Germain Arena which hosts the home games for the Florida Everblades ECHL ice hockey team. Yes we do play hockey in Florida – so once again if you are a fan of the stick and the ice it’s here for you too! Estero is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Since 2000, Estero has been one of the fastest growing areas in the U. S. Until recently most of Estero’s growth has been residential, over 11,000 housing units have been permitted during the last 5 and one half years. Currently, commercial development is leading the growth curve in Estero, Florida.  On May 7, 2013, Hertz Corporation announced it was moving its corporate headquarters and about 750 jobs to Estero from its former bases at Park Ridge, New Jersey and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hertz will be building a $75 million building at the northeast corner of US 41 and Williams Road.

For more information on Estero click on the following links:

http://fort.myers.metroguide.com/city_Estero.htm

http://esterofl.org/

 

Picture23One of the most beautiful attractions in Estero is Lover’s Key state Park.  For years, Lovers Key was accessible only by boat and it was said that only lovers traveled to the island to enjoy its remote and solitary beach. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up this state park. A haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits, and bald eagles. The two mile long beach is accessible by boardwalk or tram and is popular for shelling, swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing. Black Island has over five miles of multiuse trails for hiking and bicycling. Anglers and boaters can launch thePicture14ir vessels from the park’s boat ramp. The park’s concession offers kayak tours, as well as bicycle, canoe and kayak rentals. For tour reservations and rentals of bicycles, canoes and kayaks, call (239)765-7788. Located on County Road 865 between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach in Lee County. For more information Click Here: Lovers Key state Park 

 

Parking is available at the park for a fee and the tram ride top the beach is free.  There are plenty of areas for fishing and the shelling is superb!  Also kayak lovers there are numerous channels and open water for your kayaking delight.  Imagine gliding along mangrove laden channels with an abundance of flora and fauna for you to explore!  Make Lover’s Key a must do next time you visit SW Florida and if you should decide to make this area home permanently you will have this right in your own “backyard”!


 

 

 

DSCN8983_edited-1Today In America with Terry Bradshaw – Spotlight on Cape Coral!

Terry Bradshaw presents Cape Coral in this segment of Today In America.  The segment was aired in December 2013.  Take a look click on the link and get a five minute overview of why Cape Coral  as a “natural fit for live, work and for play”!

Click on the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KEH1gY_SQg

 

 

 

 How about Wintering on the “Other Cape” in 2014/2015?

Picture11Winter is just six months away!!!  I don’t want to place a damper on things especially with the severe winter weather that permeated the Northeast and Midwest.  However. if you are thinking about escaping winter for a while and giving Cape Coral and the SW Florida area a “test ride”, you may want to consider a seasonal rental here in Cape Coral the “Other Cape” during those nasty winter weeks or months. Rentals times can be for as little as a week to a month or more.  Remember Cape Coral has 355 days of sunshine year round and winter temperature are between 60 – 75 degrees during the winter days.  So if you are planning your escape here are some links to get you started.  If you need additional assistance or have any questions about the area call us or email us.  Our contact information is on the right hand side of this blog.

 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/VRACSearch?geo=34118&token=52060cd9bed14892a3b9c2bcbe86ce41&l1currency=USD&firstVRs=1783226

http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/florida/cape-coral.html

http://www.countryclubrentalsinc.com/furnished/cape_coral/index.html

 

June 2014 Parks and Recreation Activities Calendar:

Click on the link to view the schedule of events for June in Cape Coral sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department

http://www.capecoral.net/department/parks_and_recreationhome/calendar.php#.U4o1Y41OVwU

 

 

Visit the Housing and Mortgage News Page

Get insights on the housing market, mortgages and other helpful tips!   Click here

This Months Topics:

  • Mortgage Pre Approval Letter – Why You Need It – How to Get It
  • 10 Turn Offs for Potential Home Buyers – Still have avocado kitchen appliances? Time to change!
  • Flood Insurance Update for Florida – Gov. Scott may sign a bill allowing private flood insurance
  • April 2014 Realty Report for Lee County

See You in July

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Don’t forget to fly your flag on Flag Day  June 14th – show your pride in America!

 

 

 Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there  June 15th  – enjoy your special day!

 

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We trust that you have enjoyed this issue of “Livin on the Cape”.  Our mission continues to focus on being the good will ambassadors for Cape Coral and the surrounding area of Southwest Florida.  If you are interested in more information or looking for that special place to claim as your new home send us an email by clicking on our email contact information at the top right hand corner of the blog.  Thank you and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April – A New Beginning!

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April on the Cape –

April is here, springtime, blooming flowers and plants, winter doldrums are behind us and the beauty of every morning is reflected in the terrific sunsrises and capped with beautiful sunsets. The days are getting longer and nights shorter.  Time to mulch, spread some weed and feed and spruce up the flower beds.  Everyone and everything is in motion a new beginning for a new season.  We celebrate Easter and Passover with friends and family.  And yes April 15th – it’s the day we pay our taxes!  It’s all about April in this issue of Livin on the Cape!

 

Picture12Mr. & Mrs Eagle down the street are coaching their new fledglings to fly – prettty soon they will leave the nest for good and branch out on their own.  They have been coming back to the same nesting site.  I learned that eagles mate for life and make it a point to return to the same nesting site year after year.  Here in Cape Coral the American Bald Eagle is a protected species and nest sites are monitored throughout the season. Construction of any type is not allowed within a specified distance of nesting sites.

Picture10The owl family next door has left after their new hatchling learned to take flight.   For two years now the Great Horned Owl family has returned to the abondoned eagles nest next door to us and each year they have had one hatchling.   It seems that nature is in harmony with all these new beginnings.  And for Cape Coral its a new beginning too – just read that Cape Coral/Fort Myers area is now the 10th largest growth area in the US!

 

It’s Beach Time!!!

Picture2Did You Know…..there are over 20 beaches between Venice and Marco Island?

Over twenty beach areas with pure white sand just waiting for you!  Southwest Florida is known for some of the finest beaches in Florida and is an experience not to be missed!  There are miles of beautiful, white sands sprinkled with an array of colorful shells of many varieties that appeal to visitors and residents alike.  The waters dance in colors of blues and greens, while seagulls and pelicans sing the song of paradise.  An almost endless supply of sunshine is available throughout the year which is just one more reason to enjoy Southwest Florida and the many well known beaches it has to offer.  Whether you are looking for a day filled with shelling, sand castles and sunshine, or a day of fishing and relaxation, or even a romantic getaway, the many beaches of Southwest Florida have exactly what you’re looking for.  There are beach retreats that are only accessible by boat and islands filled with breathtaking shorelines.  There are parks that are the perfect spot for a day of family fun and there are secluded tropical oasis that awaits leisure barefoot walks, tranquility and memories for a lifetime.  There is something for everyone.  Take a look at the beach guide:  SWF Beaches

Take A Walk on the Wild Side!

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 This is the perfect time of year to be visiting the natural preserves in the area.  I had been driving by the preserves on Burnt Store  Road for quite some time and decided it was time to take a hike and walk on the wild side!  I hiked both areas of the Port Charlotte Preserves last week.  It’s quite different than taking a hike in the heavily wooded forests of the Northeast.  I did a lot of hiking in the Adirondacks when I resided in Saratoga Springs, NY and it is a totally different expereince.

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Unlike the tall pine, maple and oak forests of the Northeast the preserves are a miuxture of Flatwood Pines and Cypress trees mixed in with an abundant variety of palm trees and assorted vegetation such as seagrasses and marsh reeds.  Trails are usually open from dawn to dusk and well marked.  There are guided walks available.  I hiked  the Hidden Hammock  trail a 1.5 mile loop at the Port Charlotte State Park Preserve and later hiked the 1.0 mile looop of Eagle Point Trail at Alligator Creek. There is a nature center at the Alligator Pond area with information on local plant and animal life.  An observation deck surrounds the center and stairways lead to the observation dock at the pond.

 

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And yes I was not disappointed and did manage to see the King of the Pond at Gator Pond.  Alligators can be found  throughout the many ponds, lakes and marshes.  One word of caution alligators are protected.  Do not disturb or feed them.  There is a $500 fine for feeding or approaching alligators and the trail is posted with warnings.

 

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Another great venue for the nature lover – The Audobon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 14,000 acre preserve near Naples, FL.  Founded in 1954 it contains the largest virgin Bald Cypress Forest in North America.  A 2.5 mile loop takes you deep into the swamp on an elevated boardwalk  exploring 5 different types of habitats.  .  Bird enthusiast can view different species. I had the opportunity to take some tremendous nature shots with my camera. Allow at least 3 hours for your tour.  There are plenty of viewing areas and rest stops along the trail and you really need to “stop and view”  to get the best out of your expereince.  Blue and grey herrons, wood storks and other bird species abound.  And yes there are alligators in the wet areas plenty of them!

 

 

Some tips on hiking in the preserves!  Wear light loose clothing it tends to get warm and a bit humid.  Sunscreen and a hat – even on a cloudy overcast day there is plenty of UV light available.  Water – bring plenty of water to hydrate.  Wear comfortable walking shoes.  Give yourself plenty of time you are here to observe nature it’s not a streaming video! Turn off you cell phone and disconnect for a while!

 

Links to the preserves:

http://www.checflorida.org/Alligator_Creek.html

http://www.charlotteharbortravel.com/do/beaches_nature_and_outdoors/moreinfo.php?ID=2567

http://floridastateparks.org/charlotteharbor/

http://corkscrewsanctuary.org/

 

Cape Coral/Fort Myers Make the Top 10

Growing By Leaps and Bounds!

The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area is the 10th fastest-growing in the country.  A million people now live in Lee and Collier counties, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Lee County is among the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation, according to Census Bureau information released Thursday. Top 10 fastest-growing metro areas
Top 10 Growth Areas   in the US
Area %
1. The Villages, Fla 5.5
2. Odessa, Texas 3.3
3. Midland, Texas 3.3
4. Fargo, N.D.-Minn 3.1
5. Bismarck, N.D. 3.1
6. Casper, Wyo. 2.9
7. Myrtle   Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C 2.7
8. Austin-Round Rock, Texas 2.6
9. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Ala. 2.6
10. Cape Coral-Fort Myers 2.5
Source US Census Bureau

http://www.news-press.com/viewart/20140327/NEWS0101/140327003/Census-Lee-Collier-population-hits-1-million

 To Your Health!

 

Healthcare!  Its in the news everyday and a solid healthcare system is prime consideration when looking to relocate especially if one is considering retirement.  Great news for Fort Myers/Cape Coral!  HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital  has been identified as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals in the United States. As reported by Healthgrades, a leading independent health care rating company. Only 1 percent of hospitals in the nation achieved this level of recognition for their consistent clinical quality based on an unbiased and objective review of clinical outcomes using nine years of data.

 

See the report:  http://www.healthgrades.com/quality/top-hospitals-2014

http://healthylee.com/blog/lee-memorial-hospital-healthpark-medical-center-named-among-americas-50-best-hospitals-top-1-nationwide/

 

Whats Happening in April on the Cape!

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April 2- Sunset Celebration- Enjoy Southwest Florida’s fabulous sunsets on the first Wednesday of every month. The celebration includes live music, and over 50 vendors selling arts and crafts, jewelry, gift items, and much more! Free Admission.

http://www.capecoral.com/content/sunset-celebration-1

 

 

April 4 & 5- Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta- From the African Queen to Viking Ships to floating turtles, this one of a kind event has something for everyone floating through the bimini basin at Four Freedoms Park in south Cape Coral. Come enjoy watching boat makers float their cardboard boats through the water and see which ones make it to the finish line.

http://www.capecoral.com/content/cape-coral-cardboard-boat-regatta-2014

 

 

 

April 4- Relay for Life More than just a fundraiser, this event is sure to entertain and surprise all while helping a worthy cause. Since 2002, the Cape Coral Relay for Life brings together teams of people camped around local high school tracks taking turns walking around the track continuously for 18 hours, all in an effort to raise money for a cure. Each year the event has raised over $100,000 to battle cancer.

http://www.capecoral.com/content/cape-coral-relay-life-2014

 

 

PrintApril 12- Cape Coral Bike Night- The City of Cape Coral’s Parks & Recreation hosts one the largest collection of motorcycles, live music, food, games and entertainment in Southwest Florida. With four different events throughout the season, Bike Night has become one of Cape Coral’s most anticipated events. This year Bike Night includes; two stages of live music, dunk tank, and Dixie Roadhouse Bull Riding Contest.

 

TBA- Italian-American Festival- Hosted by the Cape Coral Italian American Club, this event offers a unique blend of Italian food, entertainment, and fun. Hosted both inside the club’s hall and Big John’s parking lot, the festival offers something for everyone.

 

TBA- Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby- The Cape Coral Kiwanis Club have hosted this event for 25 years. Kids enjoy a morning of fishing on the Yacht Club Pier. There are trophies for winners in different categories. Fishing pros are on hand to teach children the tricks of successful fishing. Such prizes as free rods and reels are given free throughout the day.

 

Visit the Housing and Mortgage News Page

Get insights on the housing market, mortgages and other helpful tips!

This Months Topics:

  • The New Qualified Mortgage Rules – What are they
  • Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal – Dress up your front yard with inexpensive flower blooms
  • More Than Just the Down Payment – What other funds orsource of funds do you need?
  • It’s Tax Time – Homeowner Deductions
  • Credit Scores and Financing – My FICA Score is Not the Greatest!

Click here

See You in May!

 

Picture10We trust that you have enjoyed this issue of “Livin on the Cape”.  Our mission continues to focus on being the good will ambassadors for Cape Coral and the surrounding area of Southwest Florida.  If you are interested in more information or looking for that special place to claim as your new home send us an email by clicking on our email contact information at the top right hand corner of the blog.  Thank you and Happy Spring!

 

 

 

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