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5 Tips For Staging A Home To Sell

pros and cons of living in hoa

Today, if you want your home to sell well and fast, you need to stage it properly. More than a third of all real estate agents stage homes as they sell them. Staging is particularly important for hard to sell properties. Listed below are 5 tips for successfully staging a home so it may sell more quickly.

1. Make Minor Improvements

What we mean by minor improvements are those tasks that don’t take much time to fix, and are usually inexpensive. There are ways you can make your home look more valuable than a competing property.

For instance, you can use a fresh coat of paint, or even add a scented candle so that potential buyers will fall in love with the property, and there will be a greater chance of making a sale. You should also clean the house properly and put some of your personal belongings out of sight, as they can be a turn off for many homebuyers.

2. Make The Home Look Lived-In

While the last point recommends that you put personal stuff out of sight, you should be careful not to make the home look cold and unwelcoming, all at the same time. A vase of fresh flowers here or there, a bowl of fruits, and other nice features can make the house feel like a home. The important thing is to ensure that there are no personal items and unique styling details that would make the buyer rethink their decision to buy the home.

3. Arrange The Furniture Properly

The way the furniture is laid out in your home can have a huge impact on the way buyers view it. Generally, you should push the furniture away from the walls. This will make the house feel larger than when the furniture is against the walls, despite appearances to the contrary.

While you’re at it, make sure the furniture arrangement does not feel formal and stiff. Even the dining room should be styled in a way that makes it inviting. A vase at the center of the table, or a bowl of fruit can change the entire room and make your house feel like the right home for the buyer.

4. Make Rooms More Valuable

If you have a large home with many rooms, some might end up being used as a dumping ground for everyone’s clutter. But you cannot let your buyers see them that way, as that may lower the value of your home. You can transform those rooms into study rooms, cozy reading rooms, or even extra bedrooms. That will make your entire home look more valuable to the buyer. You can put the clutter in a storage shed away from the premises, if you have to, because the extra cost would be well worth it.

5. Don’t Forget The Exterior

With so much focus being placed on perfecting the inside, you might completely forget the outside. And yet, this is where the buyer will get their first impression of the house. You should have a clean, well maintained property, the house number should be legible, and the porch should be clean and inviting. A new doormat can also help, as well as a beautiful garden.

Summary

Staging a home is an important part of selling properties successfully. Properly staged homes have a higher likelihood of acquiring buyers, and maybe even receiving higher offers. The above tips should help you stage your home properly and make selling it easier. If you’re moving and looking for a new property in the Southwest area of Florida, known as Cape Coral, contact us for an extensive list of properties on sale.

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The Pros And Cons Of Living In An HOA Zone

Thousands of homeowners are forced to join an HOA (homeowners association) when they buy a house in certain communities. They must pay fees to an association that is mandated to keep up their neighborhood and parts of their homesteads. This organization is like a small government (run by the developers first, then the homeowners who pay fees) that strives to uphold and keep the peace within the community.

The primary role of the association is to ensure that every tenant and homeowner in the community gets to enjoy a high-quality lifestyle. If you buy a home that is within the HOA zone, you will automatically become a member, and they will collect a monthly fee. To compensate for the payments that you make, the association provides services and various amenities like a clubhouse, private parks, or a community pool. They will also deal with basic maintenance and pest control within the community.

Some of the HOA restrictions are perfectly designed and executed without any major disputes, because the rules will be more advantageous to the homeowner than a hassle. Check out the following benefits of being a member of an HOA:

rent or own... why not rent to own a house?

Pros of Living in a HOA Zone:

1. Beautiful Neighborhoods

Because the rules about the external appearance of your home are strict, everyone in the vicinity strives to make sure that their home is up to code. It is obvious that this will result in a good looking neighborhood. Every home will appear more upscale, and any annoying eyesores on your block that were once there will be a thing of the past.

The majority of these organizations will take the responsibility of facilitating a community watch, and also build a gate around the neighborhood. They might employ a security firm to offer surveillance on the region, which will make it more secure.

2. The HOA Will Negotiate To Solve Disputes

In a community that houses many people from different regions, disputes (like an argument, a dog barking too much, where your exact property boundary line is, or loud music, etc.) will always arise. This is where the HOA will come in and address the issue. Since there are penalties for those who break the rules, you will not have many problems.

3. High-Quality Living Standards

Every rule that is implemented by the homeowners association will play a vital role in raising the living standard of every homeowner. With the help of these rules, your community will be more secure, peaceful and nicer, which will increase the quality of life.

4. Access To Free Community Amenities

The majority of these homeowners associations will channel the funds that are collected every month into establishing and maintaining community recreational sites, such as swimming pools, parks, and other facilities. Because the cost is incorporated into your monthly payment, you will have a chance to use these services, free of charge, and the association will maintain it to perfection.

5. Basic Home Maintenance

In most cases, basic home maintenance areas like plumbing, landscaping, and snow removing practices, will be conducted at no charge. This means that your duties with home maintenance are reduced, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that these services will be provided for you. The HOA will also go the extra mile to eradicate pests in your neighborhood by providing pest control services.

Cons of Living in a HOA Zone:

1. Fees

Even though the fees charged by the HOA will vary, depending on the facilities and services that they offer, they are usually very high. Some will charge high fees in such a way that the majority of homeowners will not be able to afford it.

2. Constant Maintenance

The associations come with very strict rules and restrictions that force you to maintain your home repetitively. If you don’t have enough time to give your home a nice enough appearance, or you don’t have enough money to outsource the work, there will be trouble. That, in itself, may discourage you from buying a property that is listed under an HOA.

Final Word

Being a member of a Home Owners Association is a tool that can be a blessing when you try to solve a dispute with your neighbor, or need certain services taken care of. But it can also be a curse when they force you to conduct costly maintenance tasks on your house that you think is unnecessary.

If you’re looking for homes on sale in Cape Coral, Florida and are looking a real estate agent who you can depend on, give Rebeccas Realtor a call and have a chat.

Before you decide to buy a home that is part of a homeowners association, do some thorough research to ensure that you understand how they work. This will help you to make an more informed decision.

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How Do Rent-To-Own Homes Work?

rent or own... why not rent to own a house?

The rent-to-own lease option is one of the easiest ways to eventually own the home that you are already renting. Literally, this means that your rent helps you to lay a foundation for your future, instead of it going to waste. However, just like with other major financial decisions, there are benefits and drawbacks that are associated with rent-to-own deals. Here is what you need to know about this process.

How Rent-To-Own Works

With a rent-to-own home, you can make rent payments every month, and have a portion of that money go towards buying that home. As with any other type of important transactions, the process will begin with a contract. However, with this type of contract, you will start with two agreements, a rental agreement and an option to buy agreement.

Rental Agreement

This agreement will focus on the standard lease, where it will define your rent and the terms of payment. In many occasions, the term will range anywhere from 1-3 years. There will be some standard terms and conditions that you are required to meet. For example, you might not be allowed to smoke in the house or keep pets, etc. You would have to obey occupancy limitations and general conduct prerequisites.

Once you violated these conditions, you could be kicked out, just like an ordinary tenant. Additionally, if you break the rules of the lease, you will also risk losing any funds that you had paid toward the home to be able to buy it.

There is one thing that makes this lease agreement different. As a tenant, all the responsibility of house maintenance and general upkeep costs will be on your shoulders. The reasoning behind this is that you will be motivated to keep the home maintained, knowing that it will belong to you eventually. However, the landlord may also chip in for certain repairs.

Lease Agreement

The lease alternative offers you first dibs to buy the house that you are renting, which is usually valid for the period that is equivalent to the lease period, which is set in your rental agreement. This means that if the rental agreement says that the lease term is 3 years, then the lease alternative will offer you three years to complete paying for the house. Once you have the agreement, you are assuranced that no one can swoop in and snatch your property.

You will be required to pay an option fee to maintain first dibs on the property. In most cases, the amount will vary from 2% to 7.5% of the home’s buying price. The company selling you the house will credit the option fee to the home purchase at the end of the term. Note that you risk losing this fee if you opt not to purchase the house.

Ensure that you are signing a lease option and not a lease purchase. While these terms can be used interchangeably, the lease option offers you the opportunity to purchase the home, if you wanted to. On the other hand, a lease purchase compels you to purchase a house, and this implies that the seller can sue you if you decide not to buy.

How Much Will A Rent-To-Own Cost?

In a rent-to-own arrangement, a certain portion of your rent will go towards the buying price of the house. For this reason, you need to negotiate this amount with your landlord. However, when negotiating for this deal, keep in mind that you will be forced to pay more to rent a home than those who rent in a normal way.

For example, a home that would be leased at $850 a month may go for $1,000. The extra $150 will be saved as a credit towards the purchase of your home. This means that if you want a higher credit, your rent must increase consequently. Additionally, bear in mind that your lease might say that if you pay your rent late, you will risk losing the credit for that specific month.

Conclusion

Although you will begin just renting a rent-to-own home, it is important that you consider doing some research before signing papers that will put money toward the purchase of a property. However, if you can afford to purchase a property using the traditional approach, through financing, go ahead, since it’s the best and much less risky alternative.

For individuals who are not financially stable, or those who want to keep their alternatives open, a rent-to-own home is the best way to stay in your dream house and pay for it later.

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5 Things To Consider When Hiring A Moving Company!

For most people, moving is a very stressful activity. One of the things that will add to that stress is unknowingly choosing the wrong moving company, or prematurely going for the first one that comes along. With the right company, however, the whole process is bound to be stress-free, smooth, fast, and convenient.

To avoid a nightmare while in the process of moving, here are some important things to consider when hiring a moving company.

1. Is The Company Insured?

Since there’s no guarantee that your possessions will be safe during transit, it’s advisable that you hire a company or mover who’s properly insured. The moving company will be handling your precious, fragile, and expensive items. You cannot afford to have these items damaged or lost without being compensated.

Insurance would cater for eventualities such as theft, loss, and damage to items being moved. Without insurance, the company wouldn’t have to pay for those items, and you might find yourself having to shoulder the loss alone. Ensure that the moving company is insured to free you from the worry of losing your valuable belongings.

2. What Are Their Policies?

Some company policies are designed to favor a company, and protect it from liabilities that may arise while doing business with a customer. For a moving company, there could be policies that prevent you from holding them accountable in the case of delays, theft, loss, or damage to your possessions. Or, there might be policies that protect and allow the company to introduce charges that you weren’t aware of.

Take the time to study the policies of the company you’re considering hiring. Some policies may not work in your favor, or they may be out of line with your circumstances. By knowing the applicable company policies, you will avoid committing yourself to a contract that would likely put you in an awkward situation, in the event that anything goes wrong. You also will learn about the company’s stance on different situations.

3. How Good Is The Company’s Reputation?

You don’t want to hire a moving company that has had issues with their customers in the past. Chances are good that you, too, will be unsatisfied with their services. Look for information concerning the company that you’re thinking of hiring. Ask friends and relatives about it, what they know, and if they’ve ever done business with them. Very likely, one of them will have something to say about the company’s reputation.

If asking friends doesn’t get you too far, you could also look at online reviews of people who have used the moving company’s services. Compare the different reviews of the company, and make sure they have enough of them. If they’re honestly being praised by many, the chances are good that they’re credible and worth choosing to move your belongings.

4. What Are The Moving Costs?

How does the price of the company you’re thinking of hiring compare with that of other companies? While low rates may be an indicator of poor services, prices that are too high aren’t necessarily a sign of quality services either. Don’t be tempted to choose a company whose services are priced too low, because it’s probably too good to be true.

Also, don’t fall for unfairly high prices either, thinking that it will mean better services. It’s advisable that you go for the company whose prices are moderate. For this, you would need to compare different companies, their prices, and services offered for those prices.

5. How Experienced Is The Company?

Although experience doesn’t always mean perfection, a company with many years in the moving business will have refined its services to eliminate shortcomings and mistakes. They know how to handle customers, and can take care of your belongings in a better way than the new players in the moving business can.

Because you want quality services without frustrations, it would be better to pick a company which has been in operation for several years. However, make sure to combine this with other factors, like their reputation, because experience doesn’t always mean quality.

Conclusion

Moving can be stressful, especially if you hire a moving company that offers poor services, so do some deep research into different companies before you hire one. By considering the above factors, you will have taken care of any frustrations that could arise from choosing the wrong company.

Go for a company that’s fully insured, reputable, and whose services are reasonably priced. Your moving will be hassle-free and unbelievably smooth. You won’t worry about losing your possessions or going through the ordeal of unnecessary delays.

Rebecca is a licensed real estate agent in coastal region of Cape Coral, Florida who has a talent for helping families find their perfect homes.

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5 Factors To Consider When Moving To A New Area

Moving to a new area or community has become a current trend in the present day world. People move to new areas or new communities in search of greener pastures in the name of jobs, mates, better investment opportunities, and more. This trend is facilitated by technological advancements which are able to project a view of the world, online.

This provides easy access to all the information you need on any new areas that you’d like to explore, and possibly live in. However, before moving to a new area or community, there are 5 important factors (listed below) that you should consider, which may affect your stay there.

1. The Cost Of Living

Different areas have varying costs of living. This is mainly influenced by the currency value of that particular area, which affects the overall living standards. The cost of living affects the affordability of homes, consumable goods, and utility services, among others.

Therefore, when choosing a new community to move to, you should first consider its cost of living. No matter how much income you make, you deserve to live a decent, yet comfortable and affordable lifestyle. Moving and looking for houses on sale in the beautiful area of Cape Coral? Contact Rebecca today.

2. Employment Opportunities

If you’re unemployed and wish to move to a new area in search of employment, you should first be aware that job opportunities vary from one area to another. You should identify your job requirements and then analyse the areas where those opportunities are highly concentrated. You should also look into income levels, which also vary from one area to another.

Researching well before a move helps to avoid any cases of disappointment upon relocation. Online, you can visit job market websites that give you an overview of the current state of job opportunities, and their salaries in different areas.

3. Crime Rates

Before moving to a new community, you should do thorough research on its crime statistics. This includes a study of the area’s crime rates, as well as their frequency of occurrence. You can do this online by visiting crime report websites, which gives you a clear analyses of crime statistics in various neighborhoods. Do not put your life at risk by moving to a new area without sufficient knowledge of its statistics on crime.

4. Education System

Before moving to a new community, you should first look into their education system and curriculum, and determine whether it will be a good fit for your children. Always remember that a good curriculum is essential in training children how to effectively handle their lives in the future.

You may easily find this information online by visiting different school websites that will offer sufficient information related to good schools in that area for your kids. The same process should be done with adults who want to attend college.

5. Climate

The climate of the place we live in greatly impacts our behavior, hobbies, and even jobs. The Winter or Summer conditions determine the activities undertaken in specific areas, including recreation activities. Therefore, you should choose areas whose climatic conditions suit your needs, and also favors your general health.

Conclusion

It is said that home is where your heart is, so you should find a home where you feel comfortable. The simple tips above will help you with your moving decisions. If you don’t have a family, and don’t go to college, you have the freedom to live in different places to see what you love the most!

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Sell Your House Faster With These 7 Curb Appeal Tips

Fort Myers Real Estate

 

Do you have your house on the market but are struggling to get potential buyers even to enter your home?

 

Although you may have done all that you can to make your house enticing and welcoming on the inside, buyers look at more than just the interior of a home. Many sellers are unaware that one of the most important things you can do to draw potential home buyers in to view your house is to make sure that the outside of your home looks fantastic. If you’d like to attract a larger pool of potential buyers, maybe it’s time to spruce up the outside of your home so that more people want to tour the inside of it.

 

While improving the exterior of your property may seem like an expensive project, especially considering all the interior improvements you have undertaken, don’t despair. It doesn’t have to be pricey.  Keep reading to discover seven ways you can improve your home’s curb appeal on a budget.

1. Paint your doors

The entrance to your home is the prime focus of your entire house. By creating an inviting front exterior, your home will instantly draw in the buyers. Paint only costs about $25 a gallon, so you can frugally create a bright change to your front door on a budget without hiring outside help. You could even apply an identical fresh coat to your garage door so that there is unity between the two. If you’d rather have a natural, rustic look, consider installing a natural wood door in the entryway. Add a matching welcome rug and gorgeous wreath, and even your neighbors will want to trade homes.

2. Add new hardware and numbers

 

 

Once you refinish your door, or if your door looks great as is, some new door hardware could really add curb appeal to your home. First impressions are crucial, so if you have an assortment of mismatched hardware rather than matching hardware, it could be keeping potential buyers from checking out your beautiful home.

Some good options for new hardware are a doorknob or a knocker, an exterior light, a wall mounted mailbox, and new house numbers. When visitors see the unison and beauty of the hardware in your entryway, they’ll be curious to see if the inside of your home will look as just grand as the doorway.

3. Install lighting

Have you ever driven past a house at night, saw bright lights lining the edge of the walkway, and thought, “Boy, that looks horrid”? Never, right? Those kinds of homes look fantastic and enticing. Many house showings happen at twilight once people are off work, so potential buyers will be impressed by those lights as they walk up the sidewalk.

4. Flower Power

Flowers are a super easy and budget-friendly way to add curb appeal to your home. Adding flowers can be done in a variety of creative ways. You can either create window boxes and install them beneath your windows (Check out this link for a DIY), or just buy a few potted plants or flowers and set them decoratively around your entryway.  Line your flower beds with a fun border to give it a clean and well-kept look.

 

If you don’t have much room for a flower bed border, you can purchase pots or even create them on your own to make it affordable. Get creative with the colors, but make sure they fit with the rest of the colors in your entryway.

5. Update Your Landscaping

Did you know that just a thick layer of dark mulch around your current landscaping will make your home look lovely? In addition to adding mulch, make sure to trim your hedges and rose bushes and weed your flower beds. Add a faux (or real) stone border for a nice touch.

 

You could even plant a new tree (with mulch around it) or a few flowers in a flower bed or along your walkway. Create an immaculate exterior atmosphere with these cheap and easy tricks.

6. Driveway

A driveway full of cracks and weeds will definitely detract buyers. An easy remedy for an ugly driveway is to pull out the weeds and fill in any cracks with new cement.If you have oil or gas stains from old cars, use a pressure washer and spray them down. If you don’t own a pressure washer, most home improvement stores rent them out for a small feeAnother great idea, if you have extra space next to your driveway, is to widen the driveway by either laying down concrete pavers or new gravel. Homebuyers are always looking for more space to park cars or RVs.

7. Outer Walls

Update the outer walls of your house by repainting, changing the siding or stucco, and updating the trim to match. Make sure the outside of your home is identical in style to the inside of your home. You don’t want the exterior of your home to have a western look, while the interior looks like the beach.

 

This improvement will give you the opportunity to patch any holes or cracks in the walls of your house that would send potential homebuyers scurrying away. A home with a fresh coat of paint will be sure to catch anyone’s eye, whether it’s someone walking by or a buyer looking at pictures online.

 

With these curb appeal tips, you’ll be on your way to attracting buyers to your home like butterflies to a daisy plant in no time. Pick a project, whatever you think would make your home the most appealing and have fun with it. Use our curb appeal tips, and you will be able to sell your house quite readily after a few updates. And you’ll be leaving your home, proud of the wonderful things you did to improve it.

 

The team at Rebecca’s Realtor knows the curb appeal changes that will get your home sold fast. Click here to get in touch with a helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable Rebecca’s Realtor agent.

 

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Florida’s 6 Greatest Oddities Everyone Should Visit!

Florida is home to some wacky and unique sights that are littered all over the state. This culturally distinct state in the south is certainly not a dull place. Forget about the classic attractions that draw people from all over the world, like Disneyland and Miami; Florida has much more to offer.

Here are 6 little known “odd” sights that can only be found in Florida:

#1. The Coral Castle (Leisure City)

Although it is technically not a castle, this engineering feat is a wonder to behold. The Coral Castle is a marvel that was single-handedly sculpted and created by a Latvian immigrant named Edward Leedskalnin. It consists of over 1,000 tons of limestone rock that has been quarried and carved to form walls, chairs, tables and much more.

It is a strange, yet amazing place, considering that all this handiwork was done by one man of short stature. Leedskalnin labored for nearly three decade to create this world wonder. Legend has it that it was inspired by his lost love.

#2. Butterfly World (Coconut Creek)

Butterfly World is an aviary garden and the world’s largest butterfly sanctuary. It is home to over 80 species of butterflies, with over 20,000 colorful ones from all over the world flying around. You can also marvel at the thousands of beautiful and exotic birds in this seemingly magical and enchanted world.

#3. The Venetian Pool (Coral Gables)

The Venetian Pool is like no other; it is a historical oasis that was created in the 1920s. It was a rocky quarry before it was transformed into a beautiful pool, inspired by Mediterranean architecture. The pool is very large and can hold over 800,000 gallons of water, which arguably makes it the largest fresh water pool in the United States with a natural filtering system. The ambience is out of this world, featuring whimsical waterfalls, coral rock formations, caves and so on.

#4. Christ Of The Abyss (Key Largo)

This underwater statue is a replica of a statue in the Mediterranean Sea, and it was cast using the same mold. It is found in Key Largo and it is one of the most photographed underwater sites. It is the first underwater preserve in America, and it is also considered a diver’s paradise. The 4,000 pound statue is cast out of bronze and stands beneath the water surface with arms outstretched. This 8.6 foot statue was donated in 1961 by an Italian named Egidi Cressi.

#5. Solomon’s Castle (Ona)

This aluminium castle is a classic roadside attraction in Florida, built by artist Howard Solomon. Solomon built the castle by himself for his family in 1974, and his artwork was made out of recycled materials. The 12,000 square foot castle stands out, as every exterior surface is covered with recycled aluminum printing plates. The fort looks like a medieval knight in shining armor. Solomon’s Castle is a quirky, yet delightful place to see.

#6. Airstream Ranch (Seffner)

This RV Stonehenge near Tampa Bay was a well-known sight off Interstate 4. Although it was torn down in 2017 to make room for a museum, this iconic display, which featured eight Airstream trailers shoved vertically into the earth, was indeed an odd sight.

The curious installation was the subject of a widely publicized controversy with the county, and it sure stuck out like a sore thumb. People started liking it after that, but today, it is immortalized in pictures and photos as a distant memory.

Conclusion

When it comes to unique and odd attractions, Florida takes the coveted position. The Sunshine State is definitely home to some bizarre creations that will fascinate even the most reserved people. Living in areas like Cape Coral is a blast but it is these peculiar and strange things that make Florida so special.

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5 Common Misconceptions About Florida

buying a vacation home in fort Myers florida

 

The state of Florida is often associated with sunny beaches, famous amusements parks, and numerous tourist attractions. However, there is more to Florida than what people think, or what they may hear from friends or see in pictures.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions and the actual truth behind them:

#1. It’s All About The “Beach Life”

Florida is not called the “Sunshine State” for nothing. Indeed, the state has numerous sandy and sunny beaches, and it is also famous for epic beach holidays and parties. However, living in Florida does not necessarily mean that the beach would just be right at your doorstep or within a few minutes away.

The truth is: if you happen to live in central Florida, you would have to drive 45 minutes to an hour to get to the nearest beach.  Some people may roll their eyes at this, especially if you’re not used to the beach being close by.  But being coastal, places like Cape Coral or the Gulf Coast areas, most people are used to the beach lifestyle.

 

 

#2. It’s Always Sunny

This couldn’t be more wrong. Never believe anyone if they say that it never rains in Florida. It is sunny and warm most of the time, that’s true, but it does not mean that you cannot expect a drizzle at any time. In fact, during the summer months, it can rain unexpectedly during the day. The weather can also be quite unpredictable because one minute it is sunny and the next thing you know, the rain clouds are moving in. There are just days when you really should expect the unexpected.

#3. Florida Is Only For The Young And Active

There is so much to do and so many places to enjoy in the state for the younger folks. However, it is not true that only the young and carefree can make the most out of this state. The truth is, Florida is an ideal place for older people who want to retire and settle down as well.

There are many reasons why; the weather is more favorable for the older age group, there are retirement homes everywhere, and the state is pretty laid back and family-oriented. Physical therapy has become a promising field in Florida, primarily because it is where a lot of people within the retirement age choose to live.

#4. Florida Is Just A Retirement State

While some may say that Florida is for younger people, others may think it’s just where people go to retire. However, there is more to this state than just being a place for retirement. It is also a great place to venture in a business, start a career in the medical field and pharmaceuticals, and explore the field of real estate, among many others. Florida is not just an ideal place to retire, it also has a youthful vibe as well. It is a state that can be useful for everyone, no matter what age they are.

 

#5. It Never Gets Cold

Florida may be warm and humid during the summer months, especially around the month of July, but it is not hot all year round. During the winter months of December and January, the temperature can drop to 60 degrees, which is cool enough to wear a jacket or cardigan. The state has also seen freezing temperatures, although not very often.

Conclusion

These are the top misconceptions about Florida, versus what is the actual truth. Sometimes, there is indeed more to a state that what is often heard from people and seen in movies.

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Big Cypress National Preserve: Experience One of Sunshine State’s Wonder Preserve

everglades fl

The Sunshine State has a lot more to offer than just white, sandy beaches. By visiting its most celebrated nature preserve, you can also uncover the wild side of Florida. At Big Cypress National Preserve, you can experience the vibrant culture of the people living in and around this natural haven.

Featuring a diverse set of flora and fauna, this preserve provides an excellent place to get in touch with nature, enjoy outdoor activities and learn something new. The visitor’s center is located in Ochopee.  Big Cypress National Preserve is located about 1.5 hours from Cape Coral. If you need any help with checking out properties in the area, contact Rebecca and get started.

Read on to discover this fabulous preserve:

History of the Big Cypress National Preserve

This nature preserve is located in the southwestern part of Florida. It features a rugged terrain, and is home to hundreds of plant and animal species. The preserve covers an area of 729,000 acres that is occupied by a freshwater ecosystem that forms a swamp.

Created in 1974, the Big Cypress National Preserve was established to fulfill a number of requirements. It was designed to protect the quality of the water around it and preserve its natural resources. It also promoted the integrity of the swamp from an ecological perspective.

To ensure that its ecosystem is well maintained, the preserve is staffed by the National Park Service. They combine science and management to ensure that the natural resources found here are conserved for the coming generations.

Activities At The Preserve

1. Camping

The preserve provides a wide range of activities which you can engage in to enjoy the great outdoors. One of the most popular ones is camping. You can visit and pitch a tent or travel here in your RV. There are 12 campgrounds, including Gator Head, Pink Jeep, and Mitchell Landing. With some of them, you can only gain access by foot, bikes or off-road vehicles. Check with the preserve’s website to determine what camping fees you will have to pay, along with what amenities each camping site offers.

2. Nature Walks And Tours

Nature walks are held in the preserve regularly and provide an excellent opportunity for visitors to learn more about the preserve and experience its wonders. The best thing about them is that you can take part for free. Schools, colleges, and environmental interest groups often visit the preserve and take part in these outings. Not only are they enjoyable, but they also provide an excellent learning opportunity.

An exciting walk is the One Mile Round Trip that is held here regularly. Some nature walks in the Big Cypress National Preserve require a prior reservation. You can make a booking up to 2 weeks in advance. There is always a client relations officer ready to take your call and make a booking between 9 am and 4 pm every day.

3. Wildlife

There is an amazing variety of birds and animals which you can find in the Big Cypress National Preserve. This natural haven is home to different species which are unique to the climate here. One of the most interesting animals that call this preserve home is the American alligator. It is the biggest indigenous reptile in Florida. Observing it swimming or basking on the swamp grass is always an exciting sight.

Some of the animals that you can see while taking a nature walk here include the black bear, bobcats, river otters, and the rare, immaculate Florida panther. The preserve features cypress trees where a variety of birds nest. Examples of the species which roost here include herons, egrets and anhingas. You can watch them fly around and occasionally display their feathers in courtship dances.

4. Commercial Transportation

For easy access to the nature walks and spaces in the Big Cypress National Preserve, there are commercial companies which transport visitors in and around the natural features. They provide nature enthusiasts with an opportunity to view the attractions in shuttles, vans, swamp buggies, kayaks, and canoes.

Conclusion

Overall, the Big Cypress National Preserve is one of the most exciting gems in Florida. It grants you the opportunity to get up close and candid with a variety of flora and fauna, as well as many different animals and birds. The kids can participate in some of the activities and can even become junior rangers. The preserve is one of the best places to visit if you love nature.

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7 Best Zoos In Florida

Spending your days in Florida’s most recognized zoos and wildlife sanctuaries is the best way to not only see some majestic animals, but also take advantage of the state’s beautiful weather. You can look forward to fun-filled encounters with native species like alligators and manatees, as well as non-native animals such as zebras, penguins, and elephants.

The zoos in Florida will have you interacting with, and learning about many types of animals and free-flying birds alike. Rebeccas Realtor specializes in finding the best properties in Cape Coral and other areas in Florida; contact her today with any questions.

Planning a family-friendly afternoon? Here are the best zoos to visit in Florida, whether you’re a resident or a visitor:

1. Jacksonville Zoo And Gardens (Jacksonville)

This is the most famous animal attraction in Florida. Featuring more than 2,000 animal species, the zoo covers 93 acres of land for adventure and excitement. You can roam through the Land of the Tiger, or go behind the scenes to tour with one of the zoo experts. The variety of animal and plant species that you will see here is truly mind-blowing. Everything from pygmy goats, Atlantic stingrays, and rainbow Lorikeets make this zoo truly one of a kind.

2. Brevard Zoo (Melbourne)

The Brevard Zoo will bring you up close and personal with more than 900 animals. Among them, there are 182 species from Florida, with the rest originating from other continents such as Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America. Striving to offer unique experiences, visitors can enjoy zip-lining adventures, as well as kayaking. There are also shaded boardwalks that are surrounded by wetlands and a 20,000-gallon aquarium that offers a peak underwater.

3. Central Florida Zoo And Botanical Gardens (Stanford)

This combination of a zoo and botanical garden features over 400 animals and 23 acres of native gardens for you to explore. There is also a children’s zoo alongside the Botanical Gardens that features domestic animals. If you are fascinated by fierce creatures, then the venomous snakes and non-venomous reptiles will catch your eye. The Central Florida Zoo is all about exciting adventures for the entire family. It also has a Tropical Splash Ground where people can cool off on a hot summer day.

4. ZooTampa At Lowry Park (Tampa)

There are more than 1,300 animals in the Lowry Park Zoo. The expansive park spans 60 acres and treats all of its visitors to sightings of exotic animals such as African elephants, orangutans, and koalas. Offering a great environment for kids and adults alike, ZooTampa will take you on exciting jungle safaris where you can enjoy outstanding animal exhibits. Young visitors can cool off in the splash pad area while engaging in plenty of entertaining, educational shows.

5. Lion Country Safari (Loxahatchee)

Just thirty minutes outside of West Palm Beach lies the Lion Country Safari, where you will feel as though you have walked into a whole new world of adventure. As the only drive-through safari in the state, it has more than 900 animals that are roaming the property. When you take a 5 mile drive, you will enjoy large herds of waterbucks and rhinos alike. There are also chimpanzees, giraffes, prides of lions, and birds of all kinds that move about freely on the grass.

6. Naples Zoo (Naples)

A nationally accredited zoo, Naples Zoo is an incomparable attraction in the region. Situated in a 44-acre park, the zoo was first established as a botanical garden in 1919. It has only gotten better with time. Today, visitors can go to the zoo to observe lions, leopards, tigers, gazelles, giraffes and bears. The zoo also organizes boat cruises that will offer everyone the chance to sail past the primate island and catch a glimpse of the monkeys and chimpanzees.

7. Palm Beach Zoo (West Palm Beach)

Serving as a habitat for animals from America, Asia, Australia, and Africa, the Palm Beach Zoo occupies a welcoming 23 acres of lush, tropical land. There are various animal exhibits and memorable experiences that will make your interaction with the animals here truly unique. For instance, visitors can sign up for the “Sleepy Sloth” experience to get up close and personal and touch a sloth with two toes. Giant Aldabra tortoises and the world’s largest rodents are also found in this zoo.

Best Florida Zoos Conclusion

The Sunshine State has clearly become famous for its zoos and wildlife attractions. You can spend your entire day enjoying everything that they have to offer. Needless to say, these zoos are Florida’s best-kept secrets. They are filled with all manner of mesmerizing animals, and should always be a part of your vacation itinerary.