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A British tourist caught this Baby Shark

A British tourist caught (and released) this cute baby shark off Captiva beach last week. http://ow.lBabyShark-CaptivaFLy/i/2iTYp

Sanibel Island Honored by Coastal Living Magazine

Coastal Living Magazine ranks Sanibel Island #3 in Top Seaside spots.

Sanibel and Captiva Islands are a sharp contrast to beach destinations in other areas of Florida most noticeably in that the islands are un-crowded and there are no high-rises. Island residents and visitors never worry about missing a sunset with the western-facing beaches and little to obstruct the Gulf of Mexico view from dawn to dusk. San-Cappers enjoy a slow-paced world with low speed limits and 0 traffic lights.

Map of Sanibel Island

Walking the beach, swimming, sunbathing, and shelling are obvious pastimes on Sanibel Island. But there is much much more. Take advantage of the full array of boating sports: fishing charters, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, dolphin-watching or sunset cruises. Cyclists enjoy 22 miles of bike paths that wind through friendly neighborhoods, shopping districts, beneath shady tree canopies, and along quiet waterways.

Learn more about Sanibel, browse current Sanibel MLS listings, or view our Southwest Florida Luxury Home Showcase at SageRealtor.com.

A Warm Welcome to Hertz – World Headquarters Moving to Southwest Florida

On May 8, 2013 after much anticipation who the Fortune 500 company was going to be, we were cheered to learn it is Hertz (currently based in New Jersey). We welcome Hertz employees with open arms and you will soon learn that the classical friendly Southwest Florida sunshine is not just in the sky, but in the hearts of the residents here. Welcome to paradise! Beaches, boating, golfing, tennis, kayaking, parks, arts… it’s all here.

In the announcement, Hertz CEO, Mark Frissora, said: “Again, I’ll bring this down to a combination of things,” he said. “One is quality of life, one is the industry is travel and tourism and that was a big draw for Florida.

Southwest FL MapThe other issue is Southwest Florida has a long way to go for growth. There is a lot of untapped potential. We wanted to be a significant entity in the community. We can draw from that community and not have to compete with 20 other large companies.”

Learn about Southwest Florida and browse Southwest Florida Real Estate. Wondering about waterfront property? Learn the lingo of canals, bays, Gulf of Mexico and what to look for in our About Southwest FL Waterfront Real Estate section. And if you are looking for luxury estate homes in Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita, or Cape Coral, check our Luxury Showcase.

Read more about the relocation and Hertz here.

Birding on Sanibel Island

Ran across this great article in the Mpls Star Trib about birding on Sanibel Island:

Forget shelling and beachcombing, shopping and sunset-watching, bicycling and boating, museum-hopping and dining al fresco in the humid Florida night. I did those things, and they were great. But by Day Three, all I really wanted to do was see a big pink bird.

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/travel/189278761.html?refer=y

Wall Street Flees NY for Tax-Free Florida

From the New York Post today (Jan 28 2013):

“An increasing number of financial firms, especially private equity and hedge funds, are fed up with New York’s sky-high city and state tax rates and are relocating to the business-friendly climate in Florida… Florida is a state of choice,” said Thalius Hecksher, global development chief for Apex Fund Services… It’s organically grown. There’s no need to drag people down here. It’s a zero-income-tax jurisdiction.” There are other perks, too — like the fact that it was 77 degrees and sunny there yesterday. “You weigh all of the benefits for being here to those in New York, and they outweigh them every time,” said Evan Rapoport, CEO of HedgeCo.net.”

We say come on down! The water is warm, the sun shines every day, and Southwest Florida is open for business.

Flipkey (Tripadvisor) Names Cape Coral Top Vacation Destination

FlipKey™, the leading vacation rental website, has revealed the top 13 vacation rental destinations for 2013 based on FlipKey traveler demand to-date, and Florida tops the list. Cape Coral FL is seventh, with nearby Naples, Marco Island, and Siesta Key also on the list.

Here’s the entire list: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10285935.htm

Forbes reports Cape-Coral, Fort Myers High Job Creation

Forbes reports Cape-Coral, Fort Myers will have the highest net job growth in the nation. Article here: http://ow.ly/gBlpD

Once again, Cape Coral is recognized as Safest City

Once again, Cape Coral is recognized as one of the safest cities in the state as well as the nation according to the 2011 FBI National Crime Report. In violent crime, Cape Coral is the safest in Florida. Local police take much of the credit. But there is another reason: the 400 miles of canals and therefore lots of dead end streets and nowhere to run. Cape-Coral-SafestCity-2011Chart

Get your Jagermeister on…http://ow.ly/

Get your Jagermeister on…http://ow.ly/fCdM0

This is a great idea. Cape Coral perfect

This is a great idea. Cape Coral perfect for this type of sports tourism. http://ow.ly/fCdhz

Congratulations to Warren & Joy of Manit

Congratulations to Warren & Joy of Manitoba on closing of this Gulf Access condo in Cape Coral. Amazing views! http://ow.ly/i/19A9D

Florida’s Real Estate Market Positive Track Continues

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 22, 2012 – Pending sales, closed sales and median prices rose, while the inventory of homes and condos for sale dropped in Florida’s housing market in July, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.

Since May 2011, pending sales have increased every month for both existing single-family homes and for townhome-condo properties. In July, pending sales were up more than 42 percent for existing single-family homes and 26 percent for townhouse-condo units, compared to a year ago. Home prices are on the rise in many markets, while the inventory of homes for sale is down. Florida’s housing market is growing stronger and stronger.

Last month, the inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.3-months’ supply; inventory for townhome-condo properties was at a 5.4-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors. Industry analysts note that 5.5-months’ supply symbolizes a market balanced between buyers and sellers.

“We really need to recognize that over the past year, we have seen a market reversal, from a clear buyers’ market to a neutral market to one that is verging on a sellers’ market,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo.

Southwest FL Real Estate Market Getting Better – Update Aug 2012

Lee County Real Estate Market Improves Again August 2012Faster Turnaround, Inventory Reduces, Sales Tick Upward

“The fact that home prices are now going up in that market (Lee County) makes people feel more encouraged about buying. They don’t want to get into a market that’s going down.”

“Cochran, a retiree from Wisconsin who’d lived in the house 14 years, sold her Gateway (Fort Myers) home in a week for $330,000 — $25,000 more than the appraised value.”

Read the full article here.

Congratulations to Fletchers on Cape Coral Pkwy

A hearty kudos to Fletchers (formerly “houlies” to the locals) for this great review from the oh-so hard to please food critic, Jean Lebouf.

News Press Dining Review, June 22 2012 – Fletchers Grill and Bar – the makeover has been remarkable – from the menu, the food prep, and the updates to the inside and out. Says Lebouf, “There’s something of a food renaissance happening on Cape Coral Parkway… this southern thoroughfare and its surrounding side streets are sprouting mom-and-pop powerhouses one after the other. Places like the Lobster Lady, Bistro in Vivo, Ciao Wood-Fired Pizza and this new Fletchers Grille & Spirits.”

Pine Island Road in north Cape Coral is home to the chains (Bonefish Grill, Carrabas, Shrimp Shack, etc), but South Cape brings us the home-grown options from funky, laid-back to 5 star quality (Marker 92, Rumrunners).

Investors Business Daily: Luxury Home Buyers Turns Up

“Sales of all homes in Southwest Florida priced $1 million to $2 million rose 13% for the 12 months ended in April, says the Naples Area Board of Realtors. Luxury homes and condos on or near the beach are the hot sellers in Naples, which at the high end is a second-home market.”

Read the full IBD Article here: Investors Business Daily, Luxury Home Buyers .

Florida’s Unemployment Drops 2.0 Percent In One Year

From the Florida Economic Department of Opportunity, June 15, 2012: Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that Florida’s unemployment rate continued its decline, dropping to 8.6 in May 2012 – the lowest since December 2008.

Additional positive workforce trends include:

  • Florida’s number of unemployed fell below 800,000 for the first time since January 2009
  • Florida’s unemployment rates have declined over the year for 18 consecutive months
  • Florida’s unemployment rate has declined over the month for 11 consecutive months
  • Florida’s job growth rate has been positive over the year for 22 consecutive months

Continue reading this article at the Florida Economic Department of Opportunity web site.

Foreign Buyers Bullish on Florida Real Estate

From the Tampa Bay Times, June 15 2012. To the snowbirds of Canada, the sunseekers of Europe and flight capitalists of Latin America, Florida sends you all a great big Thanks! for buying homes here in such abundance.

When it comes to international buyers snapping up housing in the United States, Florida property remains the runaway favorite. The state tallied 26 percent of international sales in the country, says a new National Association of Realtors report for the year ending March 2012.

“Florida has been the fastest-growing destination of choice,” states the Profile of International Home Buying Activity 2012. Canadian snowbirds have deep ties with Florida and remain eager to leverage Canada’s strong currency in buying deeply discounted property.

Continue reading  this article at the Tampa Bay Times.

Forbes Touts Cape Coral Florida Best Place to Retire

Forbes Magazine, June 2012

Cape Coral once again makes a top list of best places to live – this time by Forbes Magazine editors.

They rightly note that Cape Coral has more saltwater and freshwater canals that anywhere in the world. And they note the high quality air, great weather, and low cost of living. Yep, we could not agree more.

View the Forbes Article Here or pick up a copy of the June 15, 2012 issue of the magazine.

To learn more about Cape Coral or search homes, condos, and land for sale, follow these links:

Florida Tourism Setting Records

The stars seem to be aligning for Florida’s tourism industry. It’s leading the state in creating new jobs since unemployment peaked in early 2010. In part because more tourists are showing up in Florida from farther west in the United States these days. Why? Tourist officials note more people in markets like Kansas City and Colorado are opting to avoid their typical fun-in-the-sun choice — Mexico — because of the sharp increase in violence there.

Read the full story here.

Record-hot spring won’t trigger more hurricanes

Another month of record heat and the Gulf of Mexico does not mean the tropics will be more active during hurricane season, said Brian LaMarre, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “Warm temperatures in the winter really have no correlation with hurricane frequency in the summertime,” LaMarre said. “It doesn’t really play a significant role on hurricane forecasting because what we do look at is the overall, large-scale weather pattern.”

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