Spring

Springing into May on the Cape!

Picture1Oh yeah its May in the Cape!  Nights are starting to get longer, days are bright and sunny!  It’s great living in this part of paradise in SW Florida!  Holiday wise we have Cinqo De Mayo and Mother’s Day on tap for the month.  School ends at the end of May signaling the beginning of the summer season just around the corner! There are a host of festivals and events for the month as well as time to just sit back and relax overlooking your favorite beach area, perhaps fishing off the pier, tasting some great fruits and veggies from the local farmer’s markets or dinning al fresco on Cape Coral Parkway at one of the many outdoor restaurants and of course there is shopping, dinning and entertainment at Tarpon Point or Cape Harbour.  Whatever your flavor you simply can’t run out of things to do in Cape Coral or other places in SW Florida – From Port Charlotte to Marco Island the SW coast is brimming with things to do – you are in the best place on earth!   Whatever beach area you choose you will be on the blue green Gulf of Mexico water with gently rolling waves and miles of beaches for swimming, sunning, shelling or just plain relaxing!

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Your Place in Paradise Awaits!

The housing market was very strong this past season (Jan -April 2015)  The median sales price for homes in Cape Coral FL for Jan 15 to Apr 15 was $161,950. This represents an increase of 3.8%, or $5,950, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 8.7% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have appreciated 67% over the last 5 years in Cape Coral. The average listing price for Cape Coral homes for sale on Trulia was $287,481 for the week ending Apr 15, which represents an increase of 2.9%, or $7,992, compared to the prior week and an increase of 2.1%, or $5,892, compared to the week ending Mar 25. Average price per square foot for Cape Coral FL was $116, an increase of 8.4% compared to the same period last year.  There are still opportunities for that affordable vacation home or permanent residence in the Cape Coral area!

Cape Coral median sales prices

Number of sold homes in Cape Coral

What’s Happening in Cape Coral?

If there is any indication that business is booming in Cape Coral take a ride along the Pine Island Road corridor!  Three years ago when I arrived the area was in early recovery mode from the recession and housing bust.  Today is has been transformed to a bustling commercial corridor with an intermingling of big box as well as small business establishments.  A  barometer of a healthy housing market with tempered growth as well as investment by the local government in infrastructure to include roads as well as central utilities projects. The Southwest Cape Coral central water and sewer system is almost complete and plans are in place to begin the project in the Northeast areas.  With a ten year master plan in place, all of Cape Coral will have a centralized water and sewer utility service in place eliminating the need fro well and septic systems.  The central sewer system will protect the water tables as well as the canal system from leeching any hazardous materials in the eco system. Central treated water systems will insure pure water for all residents and businesses.  With commercial zoning limited in Cape Coral, this 2,400 acre corridor is emerging as the new “main street” for future generations. With utilities in and many successful stores already in place, Pine Island Road continues to attract more and more businesses. Recently a host of new businesses have made Pine Island Road area home!

The newest addition is the grand opening of the new WAWA Fuel and  Store Center at the corner of Pondella and Delprado – opening day was April 24th and a capacity crowd was on hand as the first WAWA Center in SW Florida opened their doors. Based in Philadelphia PA, WAWA is now entering the SW Florida markets.  Signature heroes, a gourmet coffee bar, upscale food service as well as fuel services greeted the crowds.  And as a good neighbor local charities were invited to participate raising funds for the Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Cape Coral!    Read all about it here_ http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/543735/Wawa-fans-welcome-new-store.html?nav=5004

Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Guide May -Aug 2015

Picture5Click on the link to view the many upcoming activities available in Cape Coral – from Aerobics to Zumba there is something for everyone! Athletic events, classes at the Art Center, boating the yacht club, community golf courses, swimming at the community pool, whatever your interest it’s here in Cape Coral!

http://capeparks.us/summer%202015/index.html

 

 

 

Events

 

May 1, 2015 –   First Friday Downtown Hoedown street party. FREE! Live Music, DJ’s, Food, Drinks, Vendors, and FUN! That’s right, the street in front of Dixie Roadhouse & Rockade will be blocked off and we party in the street! Bourbon Street Style!  Live bands on the BIG STAGE with DJ John Country outside!

http://www.capecoral.com/content/downtown-hoedown

May 2, 2015 – Cinco de Mayo themed event from 4:00pm – 10:00pm on Saturday, May 2, 2015 brought to you by the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral and Iguana Mia Resturant

This is a family friendly event held in the Iguana Mia parking lot on SE 47th Terrace. We will have a kids area, live entertainment on dueling stages, and much more.Cinco de Mayo

Iguana Mia,  1027 Cape Coral Pkwy. E   Cape Coral, FL 33904

http://web.capecoralchamber.com/events/Cinco-de-Mayo-2587/details

 

 

DSCN2803_edited-1  May 6, 2015  Experience the beauty of Southwest Florida’s amazing sunsets at the Cape Coral Yacht Club for the Sunset Celebration on the first Wednesday of every month. Listen to live music on the beach, shop from over 40 vendors selling unique crafts, jewelry and other gift items, or take a stroll on the pier. For vendor information please call (239) 574-0806

http://www.capecoral.net/calendar_parks/calendar_app/calendar_event_detail.html#1368#5/6/2015

 May 9, 20156th annual Cape Coral Triathlon! This is now a USAT sanctioned event and we are proud to partner with title sponsor Lee Memorial Health System. Each participant must have a valid USAT license (annual or one day). The race will feature a .25 mile swim from the Yacht Club Beach. 11 mile bike ride, and 5k run through the historic area of Southeast Cape Coral. Register at www.active.com
Picture11Thank you for visiting our blog.  Our goal continues to provide you with a snapshot of the SW Florida area and lifestyle. We trust you found the information helpful and may spark your desire to visit. Should you need additional information or if you would like to start a property search or even visit  please feel free to contact us – there is no obligation and we would be more than happy to help and answer all your questions!   Have a Happy Spring and Happy Mothers Day to all Moms!

Hello April, Hello Cape Coral

Picture13Hello it’s April 2015!  Where is the year going?  Seems just like yesterday I published the March edition of Livin on the Cape!  Well its been a warm spring already – temperatures have been in the mid to high 80’s and the AC is cranking.  Pool cover coming off next week and water temps will be regulated naturally by the sun.  Busy time in the Cape!  The influx of Northern visitors has been at a maximum this year.  Multitudes escaping from a brutal winter!  Have seen license plates from all over the Northeast and Midwest and some even from Alaska – now that’s quite a drive and determination to escape the cold!  The coming of spring has awakened our dormant hibiscus plants and now are beginning to bloom.  Soon we will traverse from the dry season to the wet one with afternoon rains that will last fro about 10to 20 minutes. A ni8ce time to sit under the lanai and just relax!  April also brings us the dreaded tax filing deadline!  This April we celebrate Easter and Passover coinciding at the same time.  We wish all our friends and family Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy Spring!

Cape Coral Growth is On!

The influx of new residents in the Cape Coral/Fort Myers area continues to be on the rise.  A sound economy, affordable housing, great weather  and a reasonable cost of living continues to be the main drivers.

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Housing Summary Cape Coral March 2015

Looking to Buy:

It’s an active market in Cape Coral and Fort Myers!  Inventories continue to be on the low end although there was an increase in listings from mid February to mid March.  Median prices have continued to increase steadily.  If you are considering that second vacation home to escape next years’ winter or looking to make this part of SW Florida your new permanent home – then now is the time.  Call or email us and we will be more than happy to help you find that new place in the sun!

 

  • The median sales price for homes in Cape Coral FL for Dec 14 to Mar 15 was $155,000. This represents an increase of 0.6%, or $1,000, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 6.2% compared to the prior year.
  • Sales prices have appreciated 55% over the last 5 years in Cape Coral.
  • The average listing price for Cape Coral homes for sale on Trulia was $377,380 for the week ending Mar 04, which represents a decline of 1.1%, or $4,007, compared to the prior week and an increase of 0.4%, or $1,657, compared to the week ending Feb 11.
  • Average price per square foot for Cape Coral FL was $111, an increase of 5.7% compared to the same period last year.

The Rental Market:

rental chart

Cape Coral Monthly Rental Summary Y to Y (2014 vs. 2015)  Note the increases in 2, 3, and 4 bedroom units.

The rental market in 2015 is being driven by three significant factors: Millennials the future drivers of the real estate ownership market (single family residences) are being hampered due over $1 trillion in student loans hanging over every financial decision. An abysmal jobs market and banks’ unwillingness to lend money are forcing millions of Americans to rent instead of buy. In addition to these factors, an unexpected side effect of the mortgage crisis has been the replacement in many neighborhoods of single-family homeowners with renters. So the upward tick in rents in the 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units in Cape Coral continues.  For investors this may be a good time to invest in rental property.

Events

Come to the Butterfly House!

DSC_0089_edited-1Want to engage in a fun, springtime family activity?  Come to the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House at Rotary Park in Cape Coral.  Free tour every Monday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Reservations are not required.  Many different species of butterflies and floral plants can be seen at the Butterfly House.  Make sure to visit the resident iguana too.  Rotary Park also offers a great nature hiking trail as well as places to sit relax and enjoy nature!   Courtesy of the Friends of Wildlife. Donations accepted. Call 549-4606, email rotaryparkinfor@capecoral.net or visit capeparks.com for information. Rotary Park, 5505 Rose Garden Road, Cape Coral.

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Here Comes the Sun(set)!

WP_20140205_006April 1st -Sunset Celebration It’s a monthly event the first Wednesday of each month in Cape Coral at the Cape Coral Yacht Club!

– Enjoy Southwest Florida’s fabulous sunsets on the first Wednesday of every month on the Caloosahatchee River.    The celebration includes live music, and over 50 vendors selling arts and crafts, jewelry, gift items, and much more! Free Admission. Cape Coral Beach and Yacht Club.  It’s a grand time, our last time we attended there was  live entertainment on the beach along with the vendors and food carts.  Took a walk out on the pier and enjoyed the evening breeze as the sun set in the West over Sanibel Island.  Just another great venue here on the Cape.  If you’d like to do dinner the new Boathouse Restaurant is right off the pier.  And if you want to boat in to the area there is plenty of docking space available.  It’s a beautiful way to spend a relaxing evening mid-week!

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Print April 11- 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. More information at:  http://www.come-to-cape-coral.com/cape-coral-bike-night.html

 

thApril 17 & 18- 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. More information at http://www.capecoralregatta.com/

 

Canals, Canals and More Canals!

capeLabeledDid you know that Cape Coral has more canals than the city of Venice Italy? Cape Coral Florida has over 400 miles (640 km) of canals, more than any other city in the world.  Most of the canals are navigable and some have access to the Gulf of Mexico. Canals are what makes Cape Coral unique, they increase quality of life with more water views for homes; provide recreation such as boating, kayaking and fishing, flood protection, and irrigation water; attract wildlife, and maintain home values.  Cape Coral includes both saltwater and freshwater canals.  Saltwater canals refers to those with Gulf access, freshwater canals do not!  The freshwater canal system makes up for this with a large network of lakes and basins for freshwater fishing. Whatever your pleasure the canal system is a boater’s paradise! Click on the canal make for a larger view of the canal system.

Map of Cape Coral, Florida and surrounding islandsThis map gives a perspective of where Cape Coral and Fort Myer’s are located in relation to the Gulf of Mexico and other waterways.  Cape Coral is a peninsula surrounded by the Caloosahatchee River on the Southeast, Matlacha Pass on the West and Charlotte Harbor on the North. The canal system can have access to all of these water boundaries and in turn to the Gulf of Mexico.  The Gulf is located on the western side of the barrier islands – Sanibel, Captiva and Boca Grande.  Fort Myers Beach is located directly on the Gulf of Mexico as is Estero to continue  South to Naples and Marco Island. To the North of the Cape one will find Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda.  All are premier communities of Southwest Florida and it’s no wonder that visitors become residents after experiencing the beauty, weather and lifestyle of the area.  Hope to see you soon!

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Lover’s Key State Park Estero

Thank you for visiting our blog.  Our goal continues to provide you with a snapshot of the SW Florida area and lifestyle. We trust you found the information helpful and may spark your desire to visit. Should you need additional information or if you would like to start a property search or even visit  please feel free to contact us – there is no obligation and we would be more than happy to help and answer all your questions!   Have a Happy Spring!

 

 

 

 

 

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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