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Buying A Second Home In The Sunshine State? Consider These 5 Spectacular Neighborhoods

Palm trees. Beautiful views. Relaxing spas and enjoyable sports. Gorgeous nature on your doorstep. Enjoy as much or as little to do as you want.  Sound good? Fort Myers, Florida is the place to live. If you’re thinking about buying a second home in Florida, moving to a different area in Florida, or finding a better house in Fort Myers, we’ve got you covered. Buying a home is a new start for you, and the neighborhood it comes with is a critical factor.  

 

We’ve searched and done the hard part for you and found the best of the best neighborhoods in Fort Myers. If you’re looking to buy in Florida, here are five neighborhoods to consider: Paseo Fort Myers, Pelican Preserve, Miromar Reserve, Moody River Estates, and Babcock Ranch. Each of these highly-rated locations will have you wishing you’d never lived anywhere else.

 

What makes these neighborhoods so desirable? Read on to see what features and traits make these five neighborhoods unique, pleasant, and perfect for your next house.

 

Paseo – Fort Myers

Location, location, location. Paseo is not only a beautiful place to live but is located in the convenient Daniels Corridor. Daniels Corridor, which leads from Gateway to the South Florida airport, is growing fast and is chock full of options for shopping and dining, along with the many gated communities such as Paseo.

 

Paseo is also right next door to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. If you enjoy walking and wildlife, the preserve offers plenty of both. You can go on a guided walk, or explore the boardwalk and Interpretive Center (nature museum) on your own. You may see a vast variety of wildlife, including turtles, otters, plenty of birds, and perhaps an alligator or two. You can find out more about the preserve here at the park’s website.

 

Are you convinced yet? Paseo has many luxurious 2-4 bedroom homes from which to choose.

 

Doesn’t sound like your cup of tea? Not to worry – next up is something equal in quality but very different.

 

Pelican Preserve

 

If you’re 55+, you can’t do better in Florida than to pick a condo or house in Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers. This community will have you living in style with the many resort-like activities and resources available. If the beautiful 27-hole golf course and delightful Golf Clubhouse isn’t enough for you, consider the spa, the fitness center, theater, and pool. The Plaza del Sol Town Center offers classes such as yoga, a studio for all kinds of arts and crafts, and even more fun like wine tastings.

 

For an active adult with a bustling social life, this is the perfect community to explore new hobbies and enjoy old ones. Of course, along with all of that are picture-perfect homes, buying a second house has never been more worth it.

 

Looking for something even more picturesque? How about an enchanting waterfront community?

For an active adult with a bustling social life, this is the perfect community to explore new hobbies and enjoy old ones. Of course, along with all of that are picture-perfect homes, buying a second house has never been more worth it.

 

Miromar Reserve

This award-winning community is not just another resort-style neighborhood. Choose your neighborhood located along Miromar lakes, and find a home perfect for you. Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club offers plenty of water sports and activities, including kayaking, water-skiing, swimming, sailing, fishing. On land, you can play golf, tennis, or enjoy the spa.

If you want a busy social life, check out the many planned events and outings, including dances, movie nights, cooking classes, game nights, and so much more for every interest and hobby. If you’d rather relax, don’t worry. The homes are luxurious, spacious, and filled with quality amenities. On top of that, you have a gorgeous waterfront right outside your front door to enjoy.  

 

As fantastic as that sounds, we’ve got more below. If Miromar looks out of your price range, read on for a more affordable but still excellent option.

 

Moody River Estates

Located on a river in North Fort Myers, Moody River Estates is a lovely gated community with spacious houses and gorgeous nature. Nature preserves and walking trails give you plenty to do outside, along with pools to swim in, tennis and basketball courts to play on, and theatres to relax in, not to mention the clubhouse and fitness center. If you have a boat, Moody River Estates offers access to Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico for plenty of water-bound adventuring.

 

Besides plenty of space to play, there is also a business center available. All of these amenities combined with fantastic houses and views equals a perfect neighborhood. They offer many different sizes of homes, too. Check them out here.

 

While all four of these options are amazing, we’ve still got one left, and it is perhaps the most unique.

 

Babcock Ranch

 

Babcock Ranch sets itself apart with its commitment to sustainability. Solar energy, well-planned town design, and preservation of local trees and wildlife are just some of the high standards that demonstrate its commitment. The homes are delightfully designed, and like the other places on our list, have many excellent amenities such as a lakehouse, pool, and a fitness and health center.

 

For the outdoorsy types, you can rent kayaks, canoes, or go fishing at Lake Babcock, along with plenty of hiking, walking, and biking options. For those with children, Babcock Ranch has a charter school committed to excellent education. In addition to all of this, Founder’s Square has plenty of dining, live music, and events for both residents and visitors.

 

When buying a second home, it’s important to consider all of your options. We’re confident that these five options are the cream of the crop and the best choice for living your best life in Florida. They combine the best of everything: quality houses, fantastic locations, plenty of amenities, a bustling social calendar, and gorgeous views. They have those things in common, but each one has its unique flavor and perks.

These are all popular, highly-rated neighborhoods, so don’t delay! Check out the houses in each neighborhood: Paseo Fort Myers, Pelican Preserve, Miromar Lakes, Moody River Estates, and Babcock Ranch. Our team at Rebecca’s Realtor will help you find your perfect home today!

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Want To Earn Income Investing In Real Estate? 5 Things You Need To Know

Real estate income investing has been around for ages. Why? Because having a piece of land has been one of the most steadfast ways to increase your cash flow.  From ancient history (when it was profitable to have a place to grow crops and raise livestock for income) to present day rentals, leases, and even modern farming, real estate has remained constant for income investing.

 

Are your wheels turning yet? Good. You should work smarter, not harder. Let’s continue with a quick guide to how to start investing.

1. What Is Real Estate Income Investing?

There are numerous ways to increase your cash flow when delving into income investing.  Knowing what options are available to you as well as having a good working definition of how to start investing will be your first key to success. Consider the three main ways to make money in real estate:

 

  1. Real Estate Appreciation:  This means that the property you purchase increases in value. It can be a bit tricky, though, and you will have to do your research. Is there a high demand for property in the chosen area? Will the property be attractive to potential buyers or renters? How much will it cost you to upgrade the property, if needed?
  2. Real Estate Related Income:  This is a method of investing by making commissions from buying, selling, or managing properties. Brokers, agents, and rental management companies utilize this form of income investing.
  3. Rental Properties:  Rental properties will generate a monthly income for you. Whether houses, apartments, condominiums, office buildings or retail properties, if you can keep them occupied, you can collect monthly income. Rental properties are the easiest way to get steady cash flow.

2. Investing In Rental Property

When it comes to owning passive income property, there are a few different options to choose from:

  • Residential:  People need homes.If you’re considering investing, this is a good place to start. First, buy a property in a desirable location, then rent the house at a rate which will bring in more than your monthly payment for the property. As long as you have tenants, you have a monthly passive income flow. Houses, apartments, and condominiums are great properties to start with when considering income investing.  
  • Commercial Real Estate:  This method relates mostly to office buildings.  You should consider the pros and cons. The good: You get long-term renters and steady cash flow, especially if you are collecting rents that are greater than the market value of the property.  The bad: You are locked into the lease as well, and may miss the return that would come if the market value of your property went up.
  • Retail Real Estate:  These are your standard shopping areas, strip malls, shopping centers, and malls. With this type of income investing, you can charge not only monthly rent, but a percentage of the store sales, which would be a great incentive for the lessor to make the property attractive to buyers.
  • Multi-use Real Estate:  This is for the income investor who wants to do it all with one property.  A multi-use property could have retail spaces, office space, and residential spaces. The beauty of such a location is that you have the potential for built-in customers on all levels.  

 

You may not be interested in just straight passive income. You may think of income investing as investing and buying trusts in properties. Well, guess what? There is something for you too.

 

3. Real Estate Investment Trusts (aka REIT’s)

For the business and tax structure minded investor, REIT’s are a good option. You can buy these trusts through custody accounts, brokerage accounts, and Roth IRAsMany people choose this manner of investing because of the potential tax incentives and the ability to invest in larger projects. REIT’s also help corporations get the funding needed, via investors, to afford sizeable real estate projects, such as luxury hotels and shopping centers.

 

For more information about REIT’s, visit Investopedia.  

4. Investing Through Home Ownership

Homeownership is the first way that most people start their income investing journey. It’s one property, easy to manage, provides a home for your family, and has good income earning potential. A home is not the same kind of real estate investment as a commercial property or apartment building.  You live in it, enjoy it, and use it for your personal life. You put money into it and at its best, it increases in equity.

 

There are many practical and money-saving reasons for owning a home. When you own your own home, you are not putting rent in someone else’s pocket. A home mortgage is often lower than rent because the owner will price the rental to make a profit. If you have a mortgage, you are saving the extra income that you would have been paying in rent.

 

Pay off your home before retirement, and you have options to get equity loans against your home for other things you want to do. Home ownership is a viable income investing opportunity, as it is a gift that keeps on giving.

 

I’m sure you are just about ready to make the call. Let’s look at one more very popular way to get into income investing.

 

5. Investing In Real Estate By “Flipping”

 

Flipping properties (or real estate trading) seems to be the rage right now. The property trader does the exact opposite of buy-and-hold investors. They look for undervalued properties that can be fixed up and sold in a few months for a profit.

 

The problem with using real estate trading as an income investment option comes when the property doesn’t sell quickly, and the investor doesn’t have the money set aside to continue to pay the mortgage on the property. So be smart if you choose to invest by flipping.

 

The information above is just a small bit of what the starting income investor needs to now to be successful. It’s easy to get started. If you would like more information on how to start investing, contact us.

 

 

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Buyer’s vs Seller’s Market: 5 Reasons Why Now Is The Time To Sell

Are you contemplating selling your home in 2018?  If so, you’re probably going through a laundry list of things to do: should you paint the entire house or just the front door? Should you landscape the yard or let the buyer make it their own when they move into the house?

A Realtor can help you decide which of these things matter most. But first, one of the most important factors to consider when selling a home is what kind of housing market you are experiencing. What exactly does it mean to be in a buyer’s or a seller’s market, and more importantly, which are we in right now? Never fear; we’ve got you covered.

A buyer’s market is aptly named, as it’s the deal time to buy a home. Typically, there is an excess of homes on the market and not enough buyers to go around. This trend tips the negotiation factor scale to the one in the market to purchase–the buyer holds all the leverage because they have plenty of other options.

On the flip side, a seller’s market is one where the seller holds the cards. Favorable conditions for a market in the seller’s corner include low-interest rates, a strong economy or at least one on the upswing, and a shortage of homes for sale. At this point in 2018, we can put a checkmark next to each of these three factors. Add a couple more current trends to our list, and now is an excellent time to sell.

1. Interest Rates Have Dipped–For the Moment

Home sellers across the U.S. have enjoyed historically low-interest rates since 2011, but this won’t last forever. While rates are straddling the low to mid 4% range, for the time being, big name housing authorities such as Freddie Mac, National Association of Realtors, National Association for Homebuyers, and Mortgage Bank Association are predicting across the board that our luck may be running out. Rates are predicted to rise next year from a half to a whole percent. In fact, some of the least optimistic forecasts say rates will increase by the end of 2018.

Sellers and buyers are at an equal disadvantage when interest rates go up: buyers will back off at the higher interest rates, dropping sellers’ prospects of making a deal at the price they want to list. Savvy buyers will be looking to snap up their piece of the American Dream before the interest rate increases, so it is wise to act fast and get your home on the market now, preferably well before the end of the year.

2. The Economy Is Growing

Across the nation, we have rising wages, stock market jumps, and lower unemployment rates. 2018 is gearing up to be a healthy year for our American economy. Consumers, by and large, understand that economic health leads to more positive feelings, which leads to more spending, which leads to more Americans pouring back into our economy and housing market. With recent tax cuts leading to even more money in the pockets of American home buyers, this is the time to sell.

3. And So Is the Homeownership Rate

The homeownership rate saw a steady decrease across 2005 to late 2017, but by late 2017 it had finally begun to creep back up for the first time in over ten years. At this time in 2018, it’s still climbing. While we’re not at the rate we were over a decade ago, any amount of growth is good news.

And there’s even more good news: experts at Realtor.com predict that an influx of millennial first-time homebuyers will be ready to get in the game in 2018, potentially making up almost 50% of the home-buyers market. With optimistic home buyers flooding the markets, now is a great time to sell.

4. Inventory Is Low

The number of houses on the market is low, sending buyers scrambling to sign papers and accept terms on their dream home. While about 1 out of 3 optimistic Americans believe that the housing market 2018 will be better than it was 2017, the experts unfortunately disagree. Forbes predicts this low housing inventory crisis might actually get worse before it gets better.

A low inventory market drives house prices up and can make it a challenge for buyers to wheel and deal. Instead, buyers understand that agreeing to the listing price or even going higher, might be the only way to secure the deal on grabbing that dream home off the market. Sellers clearly have the advantage in this scenario.

5. The Timing Is Right

2018 is just starting to stretch its arms and get its kinks out, making this the prime time to sell, and real estate trends dictate that spring is considered the ultimate time of year to list your home. And it makes sense–we’re just past tax season, and people are still in the throes of New Year’s optimism with some extra cash to boot. Allergy season has its advantages: your blooming grass, trees, and flowers work to enhance your home’s curb appeal, making your house more likely to attract potential buyers. The housing market is partially driven by weather, after all, and it’s looking like sunny skies across the U.S. for the next few months. Seller, take heed.

Can’t sell in April or May? Don’t give up hope if you can’t get that “For Sale” sign out front just yet. The upswing for home buying generally stays strong through early to mid-summer, and in sunny climates like Florida’s, home buyers often keep on the lookout for a new home through fall.

Are you looking to sell in the Fort Myers or Cape Coral, FL area? You are doing so at the perfect time, with growth on the rise and our seller’s market in full swing. The hardworking team at Rebecca’s Realtor will expertly guide you every step of the way, ensuring your home selling experience is a breeze.

Call today to get in touch with Rebecca!

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Fort Myers Makes the Grade With 10 of the Best Schools in Florida

While moving to a new place may sometimes seem hard, it’s such a relief to find a little snippet of something that can make a move easier. Fort Myers is home to some of the best beaches, restaurants, eateries, and neighborhoods the state has to offer. But did you know it is also the home of some of the best schools in Florida?

 

From the best elementary schools in Florida to the best high schools in Florida, Fort Myers boasts the full spectrum of the finest education systems in the state. Families of school-age children jump for joy to discover the quality public and private education systems moving to Fort Myers will afford their kids.

 

1. Canterbury School

Canterbury School is a private, PK-12 school that boasts elite education and a small student to teacher ratio of 8:1. Your kids will experience quality one-on-one time with their teachers, allowing for fantastic results and a 100% collegiate advancement rate among the student body. According to Niche.com, Canterbury School makes the grade with an A+.

 

2. Fort Myers High School

If you are looking for a high school where students test at a 28% higher rate in collegiate readiness than the rest of the state in English and a 15% higher rate in mathematics, then Fort Myers High School is the place for your students. You’ll find a diverse student population, a teacher/student ratio of 22:1, and government programs to assist students who are at economic disadvantages. Your students won’t lack for opportunities to advance in their education with the availability of Advanced Placement coursework and exams. Take advantage of this fantastic, grade A-worthy school.

3. Christa McAuliffe Elementary School

Do you love charter schools? Christa McAuliffe Elementary School is located in the Cape Coral community and has a student population of about 760 in grades PK-5. With an emphasis on success built on partnerships between parents, students, teachers, and the community, this school strives to empower its students with educational advantages such as small class sizes, accelerated classes tailored for gifted and high-performing students, and challenging curricula. According to Niche.com, CME earns the grade of A- for diversity, teachers, and academics.

 

4. Pine Island Elementary School

Located directly west of the Cape Coral shores, the Pine Island Elementary School PK-5 grade institution gives Bokeelia, FL a great name. With 11 students to one teacher, your kids will benefit from awesome one-on-one time, giving them an academic advantage. With a vision to develop well-rounded, creative thinkers and inspire a love of learning, the educators at Pine Island propel their students ever-forward toward reaching their full potential. This school earns an overall A-.

 

5. North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts

Is your child artistically gifted? North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts specializes in the fine arts. From drama to music, dance to digital design and visual arts, the educators here seek to stimulate young students beyond academic excellence to pursue their artistic passions. This PK-8 magnet school gets fantastic reviews from parents and boasts a 15:1 student/teacher ratio, which allows students the edge to pursue excellence in both the classroom and their artistic goals. Let’s applaud their B+ rating.

 

6. Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School

Would you love your high schooler to have a public charter school education? Enroll them at Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School – Lee Campus. Despite larger class sizes of about 33:1, you’ll be delighted to discover an excellently high average in student proficiency for both English and reading. In a partnership with Florida Southwestern state college, students have the unique opportunity to dually enroll and earn their high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree simultaneously. The 95% graduation rate sheds light on how Florida Southwestern Collegiate High School receives an A.

 

7. Bishop Verot Catholic High School

Need a private, elite school that receives rave reviews from students and parents alike? Discover Bishop Verot Catholic High School. A school where academic excellence and extracurricular fun abound, BVCHS is proud of its small classroom sizes, averaging 10:1, and 96% advancement rate to 4-year colleges. Niche.com gives this school an A.

 

8. The Sanibel School

Sandwiched between the sparkling shores of Sanibel, The Sanibel School makes quite an impression. Academic excellence and progress toward closing achievement gaps in student subgroups have earned this school the title of National Blue Ribbon School. The small student population of 325 in this wonderful K-8 school allows teachers to spend extra time with the students in their classrooms. Challenging curriculum and an emphasis on environmental education and connection to the community earn this school an A-.

 

9. Cypress Lake Middle School

Located on the southwest side of Fort Myers, Cypress Lake Middle School offers students the opportunity to grow and lead academically. Before and after school clubs help the learning atmosphere extend beyond the typical school day. Students can enjoy extracurricular clubs such as robotics, FCA, Zumba, student government, and math teams. There’s no end to the learning possibilities at Cypress Lake, and for their merits in academics, teacher quality, and diversity, they earn a B+.

 

10. Allen Park Elementary School

Are you looking for an elementary school with small class sizes and excellent teachers? Allen Park Elementary School is the place for you. With an emphasis on illuminating student minds in a safe and well-managed environment, the Allen Park staff and educators earn high marks from parents and students. They realize that not every student learns alike, and they tailor the structure of the educational environment to meet the students’ needs. For their quality of education and standards, Allen Park Elementary earns an A-, according to Niche.com

 

There’s nothing more encouraging to a parent than to know their children go to school in an environment where the academics are challenging and engaging and is a safe, stimulating space for students to learn. To locate and purchase a home in the Fort Myers area where students succeed, contact Rebecca Realtor today.

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Moving to Fort Myers? Discover These Local Favorite Eateries

When you move to a new city, it’s nice to know where you can go when you want to eat a meal. We have compiled some of the local favorite spots and Fort Myers restaurants to grab a bite when you are out on the town. From burgers to steaks, we think you will enjoy these!

Pinchers Crab Shack – Gulf Coast Town Center

With bright colors and a family-friendly environment, you can expect a great experience. Kids often come to love dining at this locally owned and operated a family restaurant as much as their parents do. Enjoy a beautiful summer day on the balcony while dining on fresh seafood prepared many different ways from shrimp tacos to our famous fish and chips. Each plate will leave your mouth watering, and what better way to top off a great dish than our watering hole. We have draft beers available as well as our 2-for-1 happy hour all day every day! Don’t forget to try our bucket of fun – 32oz of love made with either Cruzan Rum or Pinnacle Vodka and any mixture you can come up with. With many locations, you are sure to find a Pinchers Crab Shack close to you. Click here to see their menu.

 

Oasis Restaurant

This beautiful restaurant prides itself on being a pet-friendly place to eat with a patio that accommodates your little furry family members. You can enjoy a hangover omelet or something off the griddle such as the classic Belgian waffle. If breakfast isn’t what you’re craving, the Oasis Restaurant specials of the day, which vary from the french dip to the sparky burger that gets its name from the sparky sauce that is loved by many, may whet your appetite. There’s nothing like enjoying a bit of casual dining on a Saturday before some shopping at our local malls. Here’s a glimpse of their menu and restaurant.

Downtown House of Pizza

You won’t find your average chain pizza joint here, and that makes it a well-loved place to dine! Handcrafted pizzas are every pizza lover’s dream, and there have been enough reviews on Google to tell you that this is the place to go for pizza. Since opening in 2005, they have proudly served over 1.3 million customers, and their customer base keeps growing. From pizzas to subs, you can imagine the possibilities of food pleasure here.

If you desire a Grandma’s Sicilian slice of pizza covered in fresh basil, garlic, tomatoes and marinara baked on a beautiful thin crust, then stop on by and dine in or grab it to go. Either way, you won’t be disappointed. Don’t fret, though, if a Grandma’s Sicilian is not your desired pizza, because you can still get traditional toppings or even design your own slice of heaven. You can check out the Downtown House of Pizza menu here.

Mel’s Diner – Fort Myers

There is nothing like a step back in time to grab a bite to eat. Mel’s Diner is a retro 50’s diner that serves up some of the most delicious food you can imagine while taking your memories back to the good old days. You can be guaranteed to have 100% squeezed orange juice with every Real Deal breakfast you choose, from Mel’s Scramble & Power Hash to eggs Benedict. You can also expect to enjoy quick and friendly service. With over 800 reviews on Google, there are numerous praises regarding how Mel’s treats you right. Check out their Real Deal menus on their website, and while you’re there, look at Mel’s famous BBQ ribs. This is a meal you don’t want to miss out on trying.

Mission BBQ

Mission BBQ is a proud supporter of our military and first responders. You can enjoy some of the best BBQ and American sides while viewing the patriotic memorabilia throughout the restaurant. They are huge supporters of many charities for our brothers and sisters in arms, both military and civil. Mission  BBQ is one of the most budget-friendly places to eat and, with a variety of choices on the menu. You can’t go wrong with the pickup packs. Check out your amazing options here.

MiNa’s Bistro

Everyone loves a good Italian food restaurant, but with MiNa’s you also get that Latin flare. This family-owned restaurant has become a local favorite with incredible customer service. Choose an entree’ from an extensive menu, where you will discover a menu option of gluten-free pasta. This gluten-free option is loved by many who enjoy a tantalizing pasta dish, such as Frutti di Mare, which is linguine pasta topped with seafood fares such as sautéed clams, shrimp, Prince Edward Isle mussels, and calamari. Top it off with a garlic and fresh basil, white wine and light marichiara sauce. Enjoy a date night feasting on this or many other pasta dishes paired with your favorite wine in a casual dining atmosphere. To see other available dining options, please view their menu here. here.

Nomiki’s Plakka Greek Restaurant

An authentic Greek style decor and the food is what you can expect when eating out at Nomiki’s Plakka Greek Restaurant. The food is abundant and fresh. The atmosphere friendly and welcoming and enhanced with talented belly dancers as entertainment while you satisfy your taste buds with authentic Greek food. If you want to taste the best gyro meat in your life, Nomiki’s is the place to be. Find fantastic reviews and amazing photos of their delicious food on their Facebook page here.

 

We at Rebecca’s Realtor hope that naming just a handful of our local, delicious eateries has given you a look into the enticing variety of places you can dine in Fort Myers. You are sure to find a satiable spot that fits your family’s appetite as you search for a place to call home. Contact Rebecca’s Realtor for all your real estate needs, and enjoy some superb cuisine as you go.

 

 

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10 Fort Myers Golf Courses That Will Make You Want to Move

Have you ever wanted to know the best places to golf in Fort Myers? Discover 10 of the best and most recommended golf courses that will make avid lovers of the sport want to live nearby.

1. Castle Golf


Imagine for a moment a place to golf with your kids or grand-kids. Castle Golf is a castle-themed golf course that can birth a love of golfing in the young hearts of those in your life. With 18 holes, each delightfully themed and fun, this golf course has been voted #1 in Florida by Florida Monthly Magazine. Castle Golf holds the top rankings on TripAdvisor and Yelp. With an excellent rating and reviews, you have to come and see for yourself why so many people love this family golf adventure.

2. Verandah Golf Club


You don’t have to go far to find 36 holes of the finest golf you will play at fort myers golf courses. Verandah is home to 2 of the 18 championship golf courses around – Old Orange and Whispering Oak. This elegant and fun-loving club is strengthened with amazing amenities and facilities. Come enjoy some of the top-brand courses and accessories while working on that hole-in-one.

3. The Plantation Golf & Country Club


With the serene tranquility of southwest Florida’s palmettos, and 18 holes drenched in sun, you can play some award-winning golf at the Plantation. This golf course was built with a golfer’s pure and joyful experience in mind. The plantation was designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, and Dana Fry to enable an elegant and tenacious game of golf. One significant design to enjoy is the many rolls and dips, creating definite target and chipping areas to truly test your short game skills.

4. Whiskey Creek Country Club


Built in 1974, Whiskey Creek Country Club is a seasoned and well-maintained golf course. If you want to see a challenging executive golf course, visit here. WCCC does not lack in social opportunities, and with friendly and affordable memberships, you can expect to meet and greet in southwestern Florida. Low handicap players – come check out 32 of the bunkers that are protecting the greens, tees, and fairways. WCCC is designed even for those with high handicaps, with a par 60 overall design to be played within a four-hour time frame.

5. Fort Myers Country Club


Come play at Fort Myers Country Club, found on historic McGregor Boulevard. This locally enjoyed club, nicknamed “The Fort,” was established in 1917. The Fort was well known in the early 1920s because of its proximity to the Edison/Ford Winter Estates. With a historical homage, this is a go-to place for those who wish to mingle history with the present. Many golfers have praised this golf course for fantastic staff, food, and drinks, so what better place to hang out on a Saturday than The Fort.

6. Seven Lakes Golf Course


Seven Lakes Golf and Tennis Community is the winner of the Florida Community of Excellence Award. This golf course is terrific for seniors looking to retire and golf the golden years away. Seven Lakes is a 1,096 unit, adult condominium community. With its prime location in the heart of southwest Florida near shops, malls, restaurants, and entertainment and arts venues, you can improve your game and still go out at night. Many places are for the golfer only, but if you desire some bocce ball or shuffleboard, you can take a moment off the green to play a quick game before dinner.

7. Myerlee Country Club


If you are looking for a more semi-private play course, Myerlee Country Club is a place to call home. Public play is welcome, but sometimes golfers want a place to go and belong. With many attractions and a tiki bar, you can relax end still play the 18-hole course with par 60 design. However, don’t be deceived – many locals have shared that there are some challenging spots in the course. The best thing to do is come play for yourself and bring a friend!

8. Colonial Country Club


If world-class golf is what you are looking for, then you will find it here. Colonial Country Club is a place where you can find delicious food served in a more comfortable setting. Once the food has touched your soul, you can work off that extra cheesecake in the state of the art fitness and exercise amenities. The clubhouse is the place to be for social events, or for games and activities. As for the family, you can enjoy your golf game while they sunbathe or go for a walk or hike on the nature trail or boardwalk. Every member of the family has a place here.

9. Olde Hickory Golf & Country Club


For those looking to move here but want a real taste of the golf courses and clubs, Olde Hickory Golf and Country Club is a private club with vacation rentals that will make that step to home ownership closer than you ever thought imaginable. With 561 resident homes, you can be comfortable knowing this an exclusive place to golf. First class dining is a must, and so are the Har-Tru tennis courts along with state of the art fitness center. Let this 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ron Garl become your new friend and active home.

10. The Club at Pelican Preserve


Located within a 1,000 acre community, you can appreciate this beautiful course. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced golfer or brand-new to the sport, The Club at Pelican Preserve is a challenging 27-hole championship golf course. Sand, water, and grass hollow hazards perfectly compliment the generous landing areas and gentle contours. Each of these features creates a serene and beautiful place to enjoy the pristine greens and natural beauty of the club. While here, enjoy some of the best food around where you and your friends can gather to relax.

The best golf courses are the ones loved by the locals. You can check it out for yourself on Google or Yelp the personal reviews of locals that love these golf courses! When you are won over, contact Rebecca at Rebecca’s Realtor to find the perfect home nearby.

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10 Fort Myers Golf Courses That Will Make You Want to Buy a Home There

Have you ever wanted to know the best places to golf in Fort Myers? Discover 10 of the best and most recommended golf courses that will make avid lovers of the sport want to live nearby.

1. Castle Golf

Imagine for a moment a place to golf with the kids or grandkids. Castle Golf is a castle-themed golf course that can birth a love of golfing in the young hearts of those in your life. With 18 holes, each delightfully themed and fun, this golf course has been voted #1 in Florida by Florida Monthly Magazine. Castle Golf holds the top rankings on TripAdvisor and Yelp. With an excellent rating and reviews, you have to come and see for yourself why so many people love this family golf adventure.

2. Verandah Golf Club

You don’t have to go far to find 36 holes of the finest golf you will play at Fort Myers golf courses. Verandah is home to 2 of the 18 championship golf courses around – Old Orange and Whispering Oak. This elegant and fun-loving club is strengthened with amazing amenities and facilities. Come enjoy some of the top-brand courses and accessories while working on that hole-in-one.

3. The Plantation Golf & Country Club

With the serene tranquility of southwest Florida’s palmettos and 18 holes drenched in sun, you can play some award-winning golf at the Plantation. This golf course was built with a golfer’s pure and joyful experience in mind. The plantation was designed by  Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, and Dana Fry to enable an elegant and tenacious game of golf. One significant design to enjoy is the many rolls and dips, creating a definite target and chipping areas to truly test your short game skills.

4. Whiskey Creek Country Club

Built in 1974, Whiskey Creek Country Club is a seasoned and well-maintained golf course. If you want to see a challenging executive golf course, visit here. WCCC does not lack in social opportunities, and with friendly and affordable memberships, you can expect to meet and greet in southwestern Florida. Low handicap players – come check out 32 of the bunkers that are protecting the greens, tees, and fairways. WCCC is designed even for those with high handicaps, with a par 60 overall design to be played within a four-hour time frame.

5. Fort Myers Country Club

Come play at Fort Myers Country Club, found on historic McGregor Boulevard. This locally enjoyed club, nicknamed “The Fort,” was established in 1917. The Fort was well known in the early 1920s because of its proximity to the Edison/Ford Winter Estates. With a historical homage, this is a go-to place for those who wish to mingle history with the present. Many golfers have praised this golf course for fantastic staff, food, and drinks, so what better place to hang out on a Saturday than The Fort.

6. Seven Lakes Golf Course

Seven Lakes Golf and Tennis Community is the winner of the Florida Community of Excellence Award. This golf course is terrific for seniors looking to retire and golf the golden years away. Seven Lakes is a 1,096 unit, adult condominium community. With its prime location in the heart of southwest Florida near shops, malls, restaurants, and entertainment and arts venues, you can improve your game and still go out at night.  Many places are for the golfer only, but if you desire some bocce ball or shuffleboard, you can take a moment off the green to play a quick game before dinner.

7. Myerlee Country Club

If you are looking for a more semi-private play course, Myerlee Country Club is a place to call home. Public play is welcome, but sometimes golfers want a place to go and belong. With many attractions and a tiki bar, you can relax end still play the 18-hole course with par 60 design. However, don’t be deceived – many locals have shared that there are some challenging spots in the course. The best thing to do is come play for yourself and bring a friend!

8. Colonial Country Club

If world-class golf is what you are looking for, then you will find it here. Colonial Country Club is a place where you can find delicious food served in a more comfortable setting. Once the food has touched your soul, you can work off that extra cheesecake in the state of the art fitness and exercise amenities. The clubhouse is the place to be for social events, or for games and activities. As for the family, you can enjoy your golf game while they sunbathe or go for a walk or hike on the nature trail or boardwalk. Every member of the family has a place here.

9. Olde Hickory Golf & Country Club

For those looking to move here but want a real taste of the golf courses and clubs, Old Hickory Golf and Country Club is a private club with vacation rentals that will make that step to homeownership closer than you ever thought imaginable. With 561 resident homes, you can be comfortable knowing this an exclusive place to golf. First class dining is a must, and so are the Har-Tru tennis courts along with state of the art fitness center. Let this 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ron Garl become your new friend and active home.

10. The Club at Pelican Preserve

Located within a 1,000-acre community, you can appreciate this beautiful course. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced golfer or brand-new to the sport, The Club at Pelican Preserve is a challenging 27-hole championship golf course. Sand, water, and grass hollow hazards perfectly compliment the generous landing areas and gentle contours. Each of these features creates a serene and beautiful place to enjoy the pristine greens and natural beauty of the club. While here, enjoy some of the best food around where you and your friends can gather to relax.

The best golf courses are the ones loved by the locals. You can check it out for yourself on Google or Yelp the personal reviews of locals that love these golf courses! When you are won over, contact Rebecca at Rebecca’s Realtor to find the perfect home nearby. Don’t forget to check out her testimonial page for some great reviews.

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10 Things to Know When Buying New Construction in Fort Myers, Florida

Buying a new home in SW Florida can be daunting. Building a new home can be even more so. Here are ten tips that can help you navigate the waters of new construction buying.

1. Not All Agents Know The New Construction Business

Real estate agents tend to develop their skills in particular niches. Some agents familiarize themselves with the new construction business. Many construction companies have affiliated agents, and while they are amazing, their job is to sell the builder. The independent agent’s job is to sell you your dream home. There are agents that are available in the construction business and can walk you through the process of deciding what you want and don’t want. If you are going to build new construction, build something to love.

2. Savings Programs Can Help

Numerous reasons exist to buy a new home, and one is the savings that are available from various lenders. Between federal, state, and local lenders, there are a variety of programs out there to make homeownership accessible and budget friendly. The best part is that your agent has connections to lenders you can contact, and know which lenders have the know-how to help!

 

3. Negotiations are Important

Unlike previously built homes, you typically can’t negotiate to lower the price – builders aren’t this flexible. However, many hard-working builders are willing to negotiate with you about other options (also known as “back-end options”). Your real estate agent can negotiate with your chosen builders for upgrades, such as a granite countertop dual sink in the master bathroom, or even help you with available negotiating tools you can use to get the upgrades you desire. Sometimes you can talk the builders into paying closing costs. You benefit in the long run from negotiating with your builders.

4. What Is Included With Your New Construction Home?

What most people don’t know is that the model home you look at isn’t always the base model. Many times, you can see upgrades intertwined in the model home, which can mislead you. Your agent’s job is to help you understand exactly what you will be getting if you purchase the home. He or she needs to either accompany you to the viewing or help you with a list of questions to ask to make sure you are clear on what you would be purchasing or where there may be potential for a price increase.

5. Who Is Building Your Home?

Ask questions and determine who will be building your home. “Buyer beware” is always a good standard to have. Many online forums exist to research your builder. Review what previous clients have experienced and if there have been any issues with the builder recently. From the BBB to Yelp, or even asking friends and relatives, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of who is building and if the work is exceptional or not.

6. Warranty Peace of Mind

There are some major benefits to Buying New Construction, including knowing that everything will be up to code. Many builders will have a warranty that you can purchase,  or that builders will include in your new home. Enjoy peace of mind while you begin to build your new life in your new home, knowing that if an issue arises or an appliance doesn’t work right within the warranty time frame, the warranty covers it. Not all warranties are created equal, so let your agent help you decipher what warranty benefits the builder includes.

7. No More Repairs

It is common for buyers of pre-existing homes to discover issues in their new home that need repair. Many homes in the pre-existing market will require more than one type of repair. Many repairs can be expensive, such as a new roof, a complete overhaul of electrical wiring, or possible hidden rotten wood. By building a new home, you can relax with peace of mind, knowing that there won’t be immediate repairs before or after purchase. Commonly needed repairs in pre-existing homes arise due to the water heater, garage door, or other items that are as new as ten years old. By building a new home, you can avoid these costly repairs.

8. Your Preferences Are the Priority

One of the best benefits of a new construction home is the fact you get to choose your colors and patterns. Many times, people have been looking to buy a home and immediately find five things they do not like about the carpet or counters. Buyers tend to enjoy spending more time picking out what they like rather than wondering if they will have buyer’s remorse later. Newly built homes tend to have more open floors plans than older homes of different eras. Open floor plans are a draw for many buyers who are contemplating building instead of buying pre-existing homes.

9. Choose Which Building Route You Want To Take

The agent’s job is to help you decide between an architect, hire a contractor and build a custom built home, or go with the semi-custom home builders. Semi-custom homes are those that are offered as models, that you can customize while keeping the basic floor plan the same. If these aren’t your cup of tea, we can help with pre-built type homes and help to find financing to go along with them.

 

10. Build a New Home and Leave Yourself Financially Better Off

The final benefit to consider about building a new construction home is the fact that buying a home will leave you better off financially. Newly constructed homes, like others, will grow in appreciation and allow for you to have money in retirement or to borrow against if need be. You can also expect to have green appliances – no not the color green, but energy-saving appliances that will help year after year to keep your wallet bigger and your bills smaller. There are also tax savings on the mortgage interest to claim each year.

 

Your real estate agent can help you discover all of the advantages of building a new construction home for you and your financial portfolio. Please contact us today to discuss the benefits that can help you better your future in your new home.

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Here’s What to Expect When Closing on Your Home

You’ve reached the finish line. House shopping is over, you’ve gone through the loan approval process, had the home inspected, and now you’re just waiting for the day you receive keys to your new home. What happens on that day, though? The day that payment and keys change hands is called the settlement, or closing day. Most refer to it as your closing signing, but it is when you settle all pending payments, and all documents about the transfer of the title deed are signed. Expect these steps when Closing on a House.

Double Check Your Documents

Before you go to your closing appointment, review the documents that you have, which should be your loan estimate and your closing disclosure. The loan estimate should have been provided to you within three days after your loan application, and your closing disclosure should have been submitted to you no later than three days before your closing appointment. These documents should look very similar, if not identical. Check all pertinent information and make sure it is accurate. You should double check, if not triple check, your interest rate information and your address. If you see any discrepancies on anything at all, don’t hesitate to ask why.

Final Walk-through

About 24 hours before the closing signing you will have the opportunity to do a final walk-through. Make sure you are very thorough and detailed when completing your final walk-through. If you had a home inspection in the beginning, and you definitely should have, confirm that any repairs you requested of the seller are completed and up to your standards. There are specific parts and functions of the home that are a high priority to check:

  • Make sure all of your outlets are working.
  • Check that the light fixtures and ceiling fans are operational.
  • Inspect the ceiling and walls to make sure there are no cracks in them.
  • Ensure that both the water heater and HVAC system are running properly.
  • Check that the plumbing in the home is fully functional. (This is a huge one because you want to make sure you can remove waste properly.)
  • If the home purchase includes appliances, check to make sure they are all plugged in and operational.
  • Check for any new damage that might have occurred, like holes in the walls, missing roof shingles, and spacing in the floorboards.

Who Will Attend

At the place of signing, there will be a few different people there, so be prepared for a crowded room. The signing usually takes place at the closing agent’s office. The closing agent is typically the title officer, but it could be an escrow company officer. It just must be a neutral third-party that is extensively knowledgeable about the closing process. Those attending this meeting will most likely be you, your real estate agent, the seller, their real estate agent, and an attorney for both parties if requested.

There will be a few other people in attendance who are more neutral, including the closing agent, the lender, and if you have one, the title company representative. It is necessary for all of these people to be present, because not only are you transferring the deed to the house, but signing documents for your home loan as well. Many other papers will get approved, so make sure you are not skimming through any documents. Every single word needs to be read to ensure you are not getting yourself into a bind by signing something to which you wouldn’t knowingly sign.

Vital Items to Bring

When you go to your closing signing, some items are necessary for you to bring. You must have your photo ID. If you don’t, you aren’t going to be able to sign any paperwork because they won’t be able to verify that you are you. You also need to bring a cashier’s check or a certified check because personal checks aren’t usually accepted. Your funds need to have verification, and this is the easiest way to make sure of that unless you choose to do a wire transfer. You are going to need proof of your homeowner’s insurance to verify that you purchased it, and the final purchase or sales contract, just in case.

The Final Signing

On the closing day, the amount of documents you are signing is extensive. You are signing the title to your house obviously, but there are other documents on the agenda as well, such as your promissory note, initial escrow disclosure, your mortgage documents, and your deed of trust. The promissory note is just an agreement that you will repay your mortgage loan. It includes everything about your investment like monthly payments, interest rates, and the amount owed on loan. Your escrow disclosure is a document that explains how your lender will disburse funds into your escrow account. It will give a breakdown of dates and the amount to be paid on each escrow item, like your property taxes, HOA fees, and homeowner’s insurance.

Time

Closing signings are not quick in and out meetings. It will take at least a few hours, so be ready for it to take a significant length of time. Make sure that you read every single paper, from the large, bold print down to the tiny, fine print. Everything needs to be understood. Don’t skim through any documents, because this is a substantial investment and you want every word to be correct and legal in every form, as a precautionary measure to protect yourself.

Buying a home is a beautiful adventure. You have already taken the hard steps in the home buying process, and the closing signing isn’t something you should have to worry yourself about much. The professionals you hire to help you have your best interests at heart and will make sure everything runs smoothly. Be prepared for the closing process to take significant time. You might experience hand cramps, but you’ll receive your keys and title to your home.

Be sure to contact us for assistance with your Fort Myers, Florida home buying experience.

 

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Best Places to Retire in Florida

Best Places to Retire in Florida

Retiring is a big decision. Choosing where to retire is an even more difficult choice. Florida is a great place to look, as there are no estate taxes, income taxes, or inheritance taxes, giving you the chance to spend your retirement doing the fun activities you enjoy and saving money at the same time. If you’ve been looking within Fort Myers, then you know there are many areas to choose from, whether it be Bonita Springs, Lehigh Acres, Sanibel, or Captiva, as well as Estero, Fort Myers Beach, or Cape Coral. Each place has unique characteristics, as well as similarities that wouldn’t be available in any state other than Florida.

The choice is completely yours, giving you the best of all worlds. Enjoy year-round sun, atmosphere, and activities that will have you wishing you could have retired ten years ago. The cost of living is low, public transportation is cheap and easy to use, and you have sunny weather available to you for most of the year. No matter where you choose to live, the water is never very far away. Enjoy sports fishing, boating, or paddle boarding. If you love looking at the water instead of being on it, grab a towel, find a beach, and relax for the day.

Check out the list below to learn about the unique places available for you to retire within the Fort Myers community.

Fort Myers

retire to Fort Myers

Fort Myers is a smaller city but has access to many amenities, including the Southwest Florida International Airport, major retail and outlet stores, restaurants, and beautiful beaches. Fort Myers is away from the major tourist destinations, allowing you to enjoy the solitude, but not so far that you can’t visit when family and friends are in town.

Fort Myers Beach

fort-myers-beach

Fort Myers Beach is a seven-mile barrier island off of Florida. You’ll be able to visit several different beaches, shop with friends and family when they come to visit or enjoy a few rounds of golf. The Gulf of Mexico is literally at your fingertips, allowing for water sports of all kinds, as well as fun, sun, and sand if that’s your preference. Enjoy fresh seafood every day and hop over to the mainland for any and all of the amenities you need. 

Bonita Springs

retire to Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs has a population just under 50,000 residents, giving you that small town feel where you see the same people as you spend time on your front porch, whether they are off to school or shopping at the supermarket. Parks and nature preserves are being added, giving you more options for daily entertainment. Local parks hold regular events, and you don’t have to travel far for the fun activities for which you are looking. There are various stores for everyone, so you’ll always have everything you need. The surrounding beaches are just a short drive away, and there are a variety of local restaurants from which to choose.

Lehigh Acres

retire to Lehigh Acres

If you are looking to enjoy a small community, Lehigh Acres is for you. There aren’t a lot of people, and the stores are relatively close to each other, making it easier to find what you need. Lehigh puts you close enough to the major cities without having to deal with the daily activity of the inner city. Veterans Park is a large community park with public facilities that hold community events like the annual Lehigh Acres Spring Festival.

Estero

With a population of just over 30,000, Estero has a very suburban feel to it. You will be close to restaurants, clinics, and libraries, as well as beaches. It is peaceful and safe, and close enough to amenities that you can travel a short distance without having to move there. 

Sanibel

retire to Sanibel

Sanibel is a beautiful island off the southwest coast of Florida. It has excellent shops and gorgeous beaches. The population is just over 7,000, making it a serene and peaceful place to live. There are 15 beautiful beaches, plenty of shopping, and several golf courses, as well.

Captiva

Captiva is another island off the coast of Florida, although its population is barely over 200 people and you drive through Sanibel to get to it. If you want a tight-knit community, then this is the place for you. Whenever you need more people and amenities, take a short drive to Sanibel, find what you need, and come back to quiet.

Cape Coral

retire to Cape CoralCape Coral is well known for its retirees, as there are many great reasons to retire there. You will be close to the water, as Cape Coral has over 400 miles of waterways to navigate, most of which are canals.

Purchase a home on one of many canals and spend time on your back deck, fishing for your dinner, or take your boat anywhere you want to go. Most canals lead towards the Gulf of Mexico, and some even take you to the Atlantic Ocean by way of Lake Okeechobee. If you are looked for a licensed real estate agent in Cape Coral, be sure to contact Rebecca.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club has many amenities to enjoy, including barbeque grills and a playground for the grandkids, as well as shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, and outdoor racquetball courts. Pay to use the junior Olympic size pool and enjoy arthritis classes and aerobics classes. Swimming lessons are also available.

Something for Everyone

When it comes to retiring, you want to make the choice that is best for you. Any place within the Fort Myers area is an excellent choice for retirement. The sun is almost always shining, giving you options for golf, watersports, shopping, and more. When family and friends come to visit, you will be close enough to popular tourist attractions that you can visit for the day. You have your pick of beautiful beaches, nature preserves, or local parks – all fantastic places to experience nature at its best.  Whatever your passion, you can find it in Fort Myers and its surrounding areas.

If you need help deciding which area in Fort Myers to choose for your retirement, contact Rebbeca Silva Realtor and let our team help you find the home of your dreams.