Posted by Valerie Tutor on Saturday, December 19th, 2015 at 9:25pm.
Merry Christmas to you all! I usually have great plans to be completely ready for the holiday season and usually, like now, those plans go by the wayside. I love this time of the year on the islands, though. All the stores and businesses decorate so beautifully and at night, it is a tropical wonderland. Last Saturday on Captiva, we watched the annual Christmas Boat Parade at a friend’s house on the bay. We had front row seats for the spectacle and enjoyed a great time with good friends. I am looking forward to Christmas Eve services at the Chapel by the Sea. It is a blessed experience to listen to the lovely Christmas music accompanied by the Gulf of Mexico as her waves come ashore just a few yards away. For a different experience, you can cruise with Santa and some friendly dolphins on Christmas Eve courtesy of Adventures in Paradise. That is truly a Florida paradise Christmas!
Once again, our market is hot and our continued issue is the lack of inventory. We have very few quality properties available both on and off island, but there are some gorgeous ones just waiting for a buyer. The latest statistics show that Florida has outpaced the nation in sales and sales prices. The forecasts say that will continue in 2016 with sales up 8-10% over 2015. Seasonal rentals for January, February and March are non-existent unless there are cancellations. Even the resort properties are boasting 96% bookings already. Even with the big news of the Federal Reserve finally raising the interest rate, mortgages rates are still a fantastic bargain and we have a few banks in our SW Florida area that specialize in second homes, condos, resort property and bridge loans. So if you have been thinking about buying here in Florida, now could be the time. Those that decided to wait in 2013 and 2014 as well as earlier this year have only seen prices continue to increase and the selection narrow. I urge buyers to keep an open mind and search off island communities, such as Sanibel View, Harbour Isle Yacht & Racquet Club or Gulf Harbor as well as Sanibel-Captiva.
Wishing you and your family a joyous and peaceful holiday. Here in this special place, we are eternally grateful with thanksgiving and praise to our Lord and Savior for His blessings, His peace, His favor and grace upon us. Merry Christmas to you all and remember.. in 2016, I want to Bring you Home to your special paradise place. God bless.
I am a true Florida native and proud of my heritage growing up in South Florida on an 80 acre cattle ranch only two hours from Sanibel. Since the early 1960s, my family loved to spend our free time on Sanibel and Captiva, so I pretty much grew up here. After living and working all over South and Central Florida, my husband and I were thrilled to be able to move home to Sanibel Island.READ MORE