Welcome to Everything Cape Coral!

We hope that you will find the information we have included to be helpful and will better allow you to make decisions on whether Cape Coral is the right fit for your family. 

Information is added to this page on a constant basis and should serve you well even if you are already a Cape Coral resident. We think that you will love this city in Southwest Florida as much as we do.  If we haven't covered a topic that you would like to see on this page PLEASE reach out and send us your ideas. We would love that.

Please feel free to use our website to search for property in SWFL. It is a very user friendly site. If it requires a "log in" enter your email and phone number. If you are not currently working with a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help find, guide and negotiate a great home for you! 

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Dec. 13, 2018

Advice For Homeowners Who DIY

Renae Graves Realtor CapeCoralFLlistings.com Midpoint Realty Blog

When to Call a Professional: Advice for Homeowners Who Like to DIY

Americans pride themselves on their initiative and proclivity for doing things themselves. That pioneer mentality is deeply embedded in the nation’s DNA, and it’s probably why so many Americans have embraced the do-it-yourself revolution when it comes to home improvement. These days, you don’t necessarily need a contractor’s background to make substantial upgrades to your home. Many people are able to learn enough from YouTube how-to videos and from the local hardware store to markedly increase the value of their homes.

However, there are some jobs that even the most enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer should think twice before tackling. Sometimes, saving a few bucks just isn’t worth the risk of damaging your home or yourself. 

Up on the roof

The roof is one of the most important features of any house, and should typically be left to a professional roofing company. The condition of your roof can have a lot to do with whether you’re ready to sell and how much you can expect to get from the deal. Whether you’re looking at repairs or an entire replacement, it’s important to get a number of quotes from contractors, bearing in mind that the average cost of a roof replacement can range anywhere from $4,900 to $14,100.

Electrical modifications

Switching out electrical components or jumping into a rewiring project may seem like a good idea at first, but unless you’re really sure about what you’re doing, it’s probably better to let an experienced professional handle it. The potential for serious injury (or worse) is just too great, and the margin of error is too narrow to take an unnecessary risk. Professional electricians go through many years of training to earn certification.

Replacing an electrical outlet may seem like a simple project, but one wrong move, and you could have a flash fire on your hands or make an unscheduled run to the hospital to be treated for electrical shock. If you’re contemplating doing electrical work yourself, remember that the more involved it is, the more likely it is that codes and building laws apply, which could lead to all manner of complications later on when your home goes on the market.

Plumbing

Bathroom upgrades are some of the most popular among DIYers because so much of a home’s value is tied up in its bathrooms. Putting in a new toilet (for an average of about $350) or vanity and repairing a leaky faucet may be within your ability and experience, but moving or rearranging plumbing can be a risky endeavor considering the damage you could do. A major remodeling project may very well require a level of expertise that an overzealous DIYer may be ill-equipped to handle.

One question you should always ask yourself is whether you have the tools necessary to take on a plumbing project. Some of the implements needed for such work aren’t usually found in a DIYer’s toolkit. Before launching into a project about which you’re unsure, always seek the opinion of a professional you trust and, preferably, with whom you have previous experience.  You can save yourself money and some serious headaches by getting an informed second opinion.

The main idea behind any home improvement project should be to add aesthetic value and functionality to your home for the least amount of money possible. That’s why so many homeowners are so anxious to take on project themselves, even those that may be beyond their capability. It’s essential to be objective and honest with yourself when making such a decision, especially when your project involves complex and potentially dangerous work.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com. 

Dec. 10, 2018

Cape Coral makes it on Americas 100 Best Places to Retire

Cape Coral makes its debut in America's 100 Best Places to Retire rankings

Cape Coral residents and visitors say the Southwest Florida city has a lot to offer, and Forbes magazine agrees. The national business publication lists the Cape among 25 cities from across the nation as a desirable retirement destination. Sarah Coward/news-press.com

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For the first year, Cape Coral has joined the 100 best towns in America in which to retire.

Naples also made the cut, but this is its fifth time on the list.

Those two cities are among 18 in Florida, including Punta Gorda, to get a mention in the just-released 2018 edition of the popular guidebook “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire.” 

The book is available at WhereToRetire.com and Amazon. According to a news release, the editors of Where to Retire magazine ranked 800 U.S. towns after 11 months of research and 670 retiree interviews.

“Cape Coral has so much to offer our retired residents,” said Donna Germain, president/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral.   

Along with affordable housing, activities for seniors at the Tony Rotino Center, the Lake Kennedy Senior Center and other city facilities, there are programs such as yoga and Zumba classes, dinner dances, day trips, billiard tournaments and golf, she pointed out.

More: Cape Coral breaks into nation's Top 50 for 'Best Fleets'

More: Naples tops in Florida on ‘Best Jobs’ list

More: Allstate: Cape Coral ranks 5th for safe drivers in the US

The final selection represents 35 states and includes 18 Florida locales. The chosen cities vary in size, climate, amenities and lifestyle, and each falls into one of 10 categories that focus on the city’s defining feature, such as beaches, mountains, low costs, four seasons and appealing downtowns.

"It looks like y'all are doing many good things," said Annette Fuller, editor of Where to Retire magazine and the book. 

She said Cape Coral's Southwest 47th Terrace amenities and its proposed Village Square development helped vault the city into the listing, ranking among the "Best Main Street Towns." The proximity to Sanibel and Pine Island also helped, she said.

She acknowledged that Naples might typify the "main street towns" designation a little better.

"It's clearly the Fifth Avenue area," Fuller said, that put it in the Best Downtown category.
"We've seen so many pictures of that. Every retiree who was interviewed talked about it."

Fifth Avenue South is Naples' Main Street, exuding small-town friendliness with historical landmarks amid the sophisticated boutiques, neighborhood shops and colorful buildings.

Kevin Ahmadi, executive director at Gulf Coast Village, a retirement community, moved to Cape Coral 14 years ago. There were about 100,000 people living there.

"We didn't even have a Starbucks," he said. Today the city's population is closing in on 200,000.

"Our secret is out — darn," he joked about the ranking.  

"We have 400 miles of canals, and everyone can agree, it's the last affordable place for people to have access to the waters," Ahmadi said. "I think there's so much more now. Families have actually raised their kids here. I remember when I would do orientation with all employees and ask where they all were from. No one was from here. Now I've got people saying I'm from here."

Gulf Coast Village serves about 450 seniors daily from its independent living suites to assisted living and high-level care. He said he's seeing adult children convince their parents to move here.

With almost 30 years in Southwest Florida, Gulf Coast Village is continuing to expand with a community called The Preserve. It is a skilled nursing, transitional care and assisted living center at Six Mile Cypress Parkway and Michael G. Rippe Parkway in south Fort Myers.

The region's parks and quality of health care help his cause, he said.

Lisa and John Valdespina moved to Cape Coral from the Bronx in New York, they told the editors.  

John Valdespina is a retired first responder, and Lisa's parents lived in Tampa. On a visit they discovered Cape Coral.

"It was a new city," John Valdespina said. "We wanted a fresh place to start; we looked at the city and were very impressed. We have a canal in the backyard."

"How cool is that?" Fuller asked.  

Naples and Cape Coral joined Annapolis, Maryland; Charleston, South Carolina; Dade City; Frederick, Maryland; Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Greenville, South Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; and St. Augustine in the "Best Main Street Towns."

"Naples was just absolutely almost a no-brainer," Fuller said.

Punta Gorda ranked among the "Best Small Towns."

Other Florida cities in the Top 100 list include Amelia Island, Boynton Beach, Destin, Dunedin, Jacksonville, Leesburg, Melbourne, Northern Palm Beach County, Ocala, Orlando, Port St. Lucie, St. Augustine, Sarasota and Winter Haven.

 

Dec. 10, 2018

2019 Best Places to Retire

U.S. News Unveils the 2019 Best Places to Retire

Lancaster, Pennsylvania tops the list, with Fort Myers, Florida, coming in at No. 2.

Oct. 10, 2018, at 12:01 a.m.

U.S. News Unveils the 2019 Best Places to Retire

Washington, D.C. – U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled the 2019 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. The rankings offer a comprehensive evaluation of the country's 100 largest metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans' expectations for retirement, with measures including housing affordability, desirability, health care and overall happiness.

Up from No. 2 last year, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, tops the list at No. 1 due to increases in housing affordability and the overall happiness of its residents. Fort Myers, Florida, jumps from No.15 to No. 2 due to increases in desirability and happiness scores. Sarasota, Florida, falls from No. 1 to No. 3 this year due to a decline in both overall happiness and desirability. Austin, Texas, jumps to No. 4 from No. 9 due to an increase in desirability, followed by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, rounding out the top 5.

"Deciding where to retire is a big decision," says Emily Brandon, senior editor for Retirement at U.S. News. "The Best Places to Retire offers a way for future retirees to make a more informed decision based on what matters the most to them. Whether that be housing affordability, access to quality hospitals or the desirability of a place in general, the rankings offer a comprehensive list that can point people in the best direction for their needs."

This year, U.S. News increased the weight of the desirability metric from 10 to 15 percent, as it provides a more balanced understanding of the opinions gathered through consumer surveys. Desirability is one of the six factors in the 2019 Best Places to Retire methodology that includes housing affordability, desirability, retiree taxes, the happiness index, job market and health care quality. These measures were selected and weighted based on a public survey of pre-retirees (age 45-59) and retirement-age (age 60+) individuals across the U.S to find out what matters most when considering a place to retire. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as U.S. News rankings of the Best Hospitals.

Best Places to Retire is part of U.S. News' expanding Real Estate channel, which provides rankings, tools and advice to help individuals navigate the housing market, from getting a mortgage and working with an agent to buying and selling a home.

2019 U.S. News Best Places to Retire Rankings - Top 10

1. Lancaster, PA
2. Fort Myers, FL
3. Sarasota, FL
4. Austin, TX
5. Pittsburgh, PA
6. Grand Rapids, MI
7. Nashville, TN
8. San Antonio, TX
9. Dallas–Fort Worth, TX
10. Lakeland, FL

See the full list of the Best Places to Retire, from 1 to 100, by visiting https://realestate.usnews.com/places/rankings/best-places-to-retire.

For more information on Best Places to Retire, explore Facebook and Twitter using #BestPlacesToRetire.

Media Contact: Anna Beth Jager, ajager@usnews.com, 202-823-4831

About U.S. News & World Report

Celebrating its 85th year, U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars and Civic, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Dec. 3, 2018

Cruise Certificate for 2 at closing for purchase or sale of a home at Midpoint Realty

Oct. 2, 2018

Staging for a DIY Open House

 

Staging for a DIY Open House

 

The country has enjoyed a healthy housing market over the last few years.  Interest rates are low, and the economy is strong, which results in more buyers looking for houses. For some people, the strong housing market might make hiring a real estate broker seem unnecessary.

 

For those who choose the for sale by owner route, there are many time-honored tips that real estate brokers have regarding marketing and preparing for an open house. With some planning and research, however, a homeowner can pull off a successful open house.

 

Selling a home requires thoughtful planning. To plan, you need information about the market and what your house is worth and who likely buyers might be. In addition to guiding you to the right asking price, market research will let you know the competition. Understanding the market also gives you information on what buyers are looking for so you can plan market-supported renovations and upgrades before making any investment.

 

The second arm of planning is preparing the house for display. This stage can be as simple as a deep cleaning to a complete neutralization and de-personalization through a staging plan. No matter what plan you follow, you want to show your house in its most favorable light. Ideally, this means not only showing a pristine house but also a home in which buyers can see themselves living. It’s hard for someone to do that if your house is filled with clutter and your items that only reflect your own tastes. It’s often best to hire a professional to deep clean your home. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost nationally to hire a maid service is $167.

 

For these reasons many professionals advocate the extreme process of cleaning, depersonalizing and decluttering that staging accomplishes. Staging professionals are skilled at making lived-in houses resemble showcase homes. Their work can involve completely clearing the house out and then setting up rented designer furniture, accessories and artwork.

 

But you don’t necessarily have to commit to an extreme budget to reap staging's benefits. Since you're selling your house and moving anyway, take this opportunity to declutter and depersonalize as a pre-moving preparation for yourself.

 

Here are some staging tips for the DIY seller:

-       Make any small repairs and fixes that you deem necessary items like nail pops and walls to drywall cracks, which stick out as being pretty ugly to buy a house.

-       Give the whole interior a neutral coat of paint.

-       Minimize your furniture.  A few pieces in each room will bring focus and flow.

-       Add throw pillows. These small and cheap accent pieces bring a room to life with texture and color.

-       Organize closets - especially if you have walk-ins. If they are in disorder, buyers will not view them as assets.

-       Swap out colorful towels for pure white. This further depersonalizes and lends a crisp, clean look to the room. 

-       Open blinds and clean windows. Be sure to highlight any views that that property might have, and let as much sun in as possible.

 

A final step is to collect and organize all the information that you want to give prospective buyers. People love to have information - the more, the better. This will help buyers make a decision. Prepare a detailed property data sheet including details that may already be online. These physical copies are so you can put the info right in a buyer's hands and have stacks available for whenever someone has a question.

 

Through a combination of planning, research, preparation and hard work, homeowners can successfully sell their house on their own, pull off a successful open house and save money.

 

Author

 

Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.

Posted in DIY Open House
Sept. 23, 2018

Cape Coral FL Listings Website Explainer Video

July 29, 2018

7 Things Retirees Should Consider When Buying a Vacation Home

Cape Coral FL Listings 7 Things Retirees Should Consider When Purchasing a Vacation rental home

Photo credit: Pexels

Article Written by Jim McKinley

Buying a vacation home can be an exciting experience. However, there are important aspects of rental home ownership to consider before taking the plunge. According to Forbes, if you rent your home out for less than 15 days out of the year, you may not need to report or pay taxes on any income from your vacation home. Here are some basics of buying a rental home.

 

Keep Insurance Costs Low

 

Insurance fees are often unexpected costs. If you own your own home and have it insured, check the terms of your insurance to see if any secondary properties might be covered under your current policy. Talk with your insurance company to see what is and isn’t covered.

 

Sometimes, insurance companies will increase the insurance rate because they view vacation properties as riskier. Doing things like installing a security system can help shave a little money off monthly payments that you might make. Shop around to look for the best rate.

 

Think About Taxes

 

Many people don’t understand or think about the tax implications of buying a second home. Knowing the laws now will save you a headache in the future. If you plan on using your vacation home as a second residence for you and your family, then it’s likely that interest on the mortgage and property taxes are tax-deductible.

 

Prioritize Affordability

 

A basic principle to think of is simply living within your means. The concept is simple: spend less than you’re bringing in. If you follow this advice, you’ll be free to enjoy your vacation and really appreciate your vacation home. This includes saving up for big financial decisions instead of having unrealistic expectations for how much the property will cost.

 

Is It an Investment Property?

 

If you anticipate using your vacation home as an investment property where you might rent it out, you should also consider any local or state fees or taxes that might influence this decision. Each state varies in the types of fees, so ask local realtors or even people who rent out their properties in the area what kind of fees that they might have to pay. Look into buying a low-maintenance home or at least tailoring it to be low-maintenance so you can save on repairs.

 

Organize Maintenance

 

Each vacation home will require its own set of maintenance. An article in the New York Times recommends that you have a caretaker who can take care of the property. This can be for any type of task: taking care of frozen pipes, inspecting the property for damage after storms, or preparing the house before you visit. Consider visiting the area and talking with individuals who are familiar with the vacation home market to get some good leads for caretaking options.

 

Joint Ownership

 

If the costs seem exorbitant or you are looking for a better way to maintain the house, you could split up the responsibilities and the costs by sharing the property with someone else. Joint ownership is a good option if you know people who are in the market for a similar vacation home option as you.

 

Be Certain About the Location

 

It’s hard to determine where to buy. One option that you have before buying is to rent out a property for a short-term period. This can help you clarify whether you might want a winter home near a ski resort, or one that offers more of a beach ambience. It definitely can give you time to be certain about exactly what you want

 

These are just some basic tips. As you get further into house-hunting, you’ll need to go more in-depth into many the costs and considerations, but this can be your checklist to start with. Take your time with this investment. It’s a big world out there, and you never know what kinds of options are available to you.

May 23, 2018

Legacy Trail

The Beautiful Bridge Hike In Florida That Will Completely Mesmerize You

Before the temperatures reach proportions that warrant you to spend much time indoors in the AC, we recommend going on a one-of-a-kind hike along one of Florida’s best and most underrated trails. Totaling 10.6 miles in length, this unique trail has become the perfect place to hike, bike or simply stroll during the spring season. Don’t worry, you do not have to tackle the whole thing to get something out of this beautiful hike. Check out this stunning bridge hike that is nothing short of spectacular.

Posted in The Legacy Trail
May 19, 2018

Welcome to 2203 SE 1st Ter Cape Coral, FL 33909

***UPDATE*****SOLD!!!!

WOW! That’s what you will say when you walk into this updated, well maintained pool home. This spacious home is nestled in a quiet neighborhood. The renovated, modern kitchen with granite counter tops, high end cabinets and tile back splash make you feel welcomed in. There is a dining area for family gatherings as well as a breakfast bar, living room with a fireplace to accommodate guests for lots of entertaining possibilities. There is gorgeous tile flooring throughout and carpets in the bedrooms. The split floor plan offers privacy for the master bedroom with en-suite bathroom. The other two bedrooms are spacious with large closets. The expansive screened area can be accessed through two sets of french doors. The large fenced pool area with an oversized pool will be great for the kids or grand kids. This home has phenomenal landscaping and fruit trees that have been meticulously maintained with lawn sprinkler system. Water and sewer are in and paid for. This home is priced right so don’t miss your opportunity to call now and make your showing appointment before this one sells.
March 24, 2018

Open House Saturday 3/24/18