Spring Home Buying Tips for Sanibel Island

Home Buying in Southwest FloridaSpring is a popular season for home buying. Typically, there are more homes on the market, so you’ll have more to choose from. There are also more home buyers searching for homes, so this gives you more competition. Here are a few tips to help you get started with the home buying process this spring.

Get Pre-Approved

If you have a pre-approval letter in hand, this will get you off to a great start. It will prove to sellers that you’re a serious buyer and you’ve already started the process with a bank or lender. Being pre-approved means you can act quickly when you find a home you’re interested in buying.

Find an Agent

Look for a trusted local agent who will give you the highest level of buyer representation. Choose an experienced agent who knows the local market. Your agent will be able to guide you through the process so you can make sound real estate decisions that are right for you and your specific goals.

Determine How Much House You Can Really Afford

If you’re already pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll know the loan amount you qualify for based on your income and credit information. You’ll also want to consider your other monthly expenses and the amount of savings for a down payment. Remember, you don’t have to max out your pre-approval amount when you buy a house.

Make a List of Your Needs & Wants

For many homebuyers, your budget doesn’t allow you to get every single thing you want in a home. This is why it’s a good idea to make a needs versus wants list. Focus on your must haves and also make a list of your preferred features. Read more about how to create a needs versus wants checklist

Find the Right Home

  • Start your search. Use our advanced custom search tool. Listings on Kingfisher’s site are updated daily. Use our MLS tool to create a customized search for properties that meet your criteria.
  • Save your favorites. Create a free account and we’ll send you email notifications about new listings that match your criteria.
  • Check out our recommended search categories. You can view properties by location, type, and more.
  • See something you like? Use our free mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments.

Our realtors live, work, and play in Sanibel & Captiva and we would love to help you find your new home. Contact Kingfisher Real Estate today to learn more about our services for home buyers.


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    3 Fun Ways to Spend Valentine's Day in Sanibel & Captiva Island

    This year, Valentine's Day falls on a Friday, offering the perfect, romantic way to start off your weekend. This holiday is the perfect day of the year to change up your everyday date night and do something a little bit different. Below, are three of our favorite things to do in the islands. 

    Sanibel Island Florida






    Cook a Sunset Dinner on the Beach:

    Both Captiva and Sanibel Islands feature beaches that have BBQ grills on them, creating the perfect backdrop to cook a sunset dinner with your partner. Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island is known for being pristine and quiet. The beach has nature trails and places to launch canoes or kayaks for fun activities after dinner is completed. 

    Bike on the Beach in Florida

    Rent a Bike and Go For a Ride:

    Rent a bike and ride along Sanibel Island's 27-miles of bike paths. Stop along the way to explore beaches and discover wildlife preserves. Bike to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to learn from highly trained marine biologists about the importance of shells.

    Boating in Florida

    Book a Romantic Cruise:

    Port Sanibel Marina offers several options for fun-filled boat cruises and tours. While waiting for your cruise to start, take a walk on the mile-long Nature Boardwalk, or sit on one of the three seating areas to gave at the water. Be sure to make sure your reservation ahead of time, as they are required. 


    Kingfisher Real Estate helps home buyers and sellers on Sanibel Island. Contact us today for your Sanibel real estate needs, or if you want to hear more about the area. 


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      The Best Coffee Shops on Sanibel Island

      Sanibel Coffee ShopsThere are lots of great places to enjoy a steaming cup of coffee on Sanibel Island. It's a perfect way to kick start your day whether you’re going shopping, biking, shelling, or just relaxing on the beach. Here are some of our favorite picks. 

      The Coffee Bar by Bailey’s
      2477 Periwinkle Way

      This hot spot for coffee has been around for over 100 years and offers an extensive coffee bar menu. A great place to work, read, or relax in a comfortable and historic atmosphere. They also serve delicious blended drinks and smoothies.

      Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory
      2330 Palm Ridge Road

      This casual cafe features indoor and outdoor seating along with homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and award winning pizza. The coffee selection includes espresso, cappuccino, and lattes.

      Sanibel Bean
      2240 Periwinkle Way

      From coffee and tea to smoothies and pastries, this coffee house does not disappoint. Coffee is made with the finest ingredients, always served fresh and hot. Choices include regular, dark roast, decaf, and flavored coffees. 

      Joey’s Custard
      2467 Periwinkle Way

      Enjoy a full service coffee and espresso menu with lattes, Cuban coffees, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and more. Features indoor and outdoor seating, games, and puzzles. Family owned and operated.

      If you have any questions about Sanibel Island or local real estate opportunities, contact Kingfisher Real Estate. We’d love to hear from you.


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        Best Dog Friendly Things to Do in Sanibel

        Dog Friendly Beach Sanibel FloridaLooking for something fun to do with Fido? Here is a list of some of the best dog friendly places to go in Sanibel, Florida. You’ll also discover many more pet friendly parks, shops, restaurants, and activities in the area to enjoy with your best friend.

        Gulfside Beach (Algiers Beach)
        2001 Algiers Lane

        This pet friendly beach is a great escape located near a nature preserve. It’s home to endangered shorebirds and sea turtles. The beach has picnic tables, wash stations, and restrooms. Dogs must be leashed at all times.

        Bowman’s Beach
        1700 Bowman’s Beach Road

        This secluded beach features hiking trails and beautiful scenery. There are also picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and bike racks. Dogs are allowed on a leash.

        Causeway Islands
        19931 Sanibel Causeway Road

        The Causeway Islands connect Sanibel Island to the mainland. This is a popular place for all beach activities including picnicking, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, kiteboarding, shelling, swimming, fishing, and sunbathing. Leashed pets are welcome.

        J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge
        1 Wildlife Drive

        The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the country and is world renowned for its remarkable migratory bird populations. Dogs on a leash are welcome on Wildlife Drive.

        Island Paws
        630 Tarpon Bay Road #5

        Explore this fun pet store with your four legged friend and find natural foods, delicious treats, unique toys, and gifts. Reward your best friend for being such a good companion with a healthy snack or new toy.

        Tarpon Bay Explorers
        900 Tarpon Bay Road

        This paddleboarding company rents out paddleboards to dog owners and their companions. Go off on a new adventure with your furry friend and bring a doggie life jacket if your pooch isn’t a good swimmer. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on eco tours.  

        Kingfisher Real Estate helps home buyers and sellers on Sanibel Island. Contact us today for all your Sanibel real estate needs, or if you want to learn more about the area.


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          2019 Holiday Moving Tips

          Holiday Moving TipsThe 2019 holiday season is quickly approaching and moving during the holidays is no easy task. Here are some tips to help reduce your stress so you can still enjoy this special time of year. 

          Decorate for the Holidays

          Keep the holiday spirit going and wait to pack up holiday decorations until right before your move. You can pack a box full of decorations just before you leave. Label the box “holiday decorations” so you can easily find, unpack, and put everything back up once you get to your new home. If this isn’t feasible, try to keep at least one room decorated. Be sure to take a break from all of the chaos and go for a drive around town with your family to look at the beautiful holiday lights. You’ll be glad you did!

          Prioritize, Pack, and Label

          Go ahead and pack everything you don’t need or will not use from now until the time you get into your new home. Go room to room and pack all of the nonessentials. Label and neatly stack each box so they are out of the way and ready to go. Wrap any holiday gifts and put them in a separate box labeled “holiday gifts.” 

          Make a Donation

          The holiday season is the perfect time to give away any items you no longer want or need. Many charities will be happy to pick up your donations at no charge. This will leave you with fewer things to pack while helping others. 

          Consider Timing & Budget

          The holidays are a really busy time for movers, so book your move as far out as possible. Also, moving on a holiday weekend is usually more expensive, so keep this in mind if you’re on a budget. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast and plan extra time for holiday shoppers and travelers on the road.

          If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home on the Sanibel & Captiva Islands, contact Kingfisher Real Estate today!


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            Upcoming Events on Sanibel & Captiva

            2019 Fall & Winter Events Sanibel IslandLooking for something fun to do this fall or for the holidays? Bring your family and friends to these upcoming events on Sanibel & Captiva in beautiful Southwest Florida. Click on the links below for more details and mark these on your calendar!

            Sanibel Island Farmers Market
            Sundays, October 6th - May 31st

            Ding Darling’s Family Fun Day
            Sunday, October 20th

            10K Race 4 F.I.S.H.
            Saturday, October 26th 

            Sunday, October 27th

            Howl-o-ween Celebrity Drag Queen Costume Contest
            Wednesday, October 30th

            Captiva Island Farmers Market
            Tuesdays, November 5th - April 28th 

            CROW’s Taste of the Islands
            Sunday, November 10th

            SCCF Wines in the Wild
            Friday, November 15th 

            Edison Ford Winter Garden Festival
            Saturday, November 23rd
            Sunday, November 24th 

            Thanksgiving Sunset Dolphin Cruise
            Thursday, November 28th

            Sanibel Masters Art Festival
            Friday, November 29th
            Saturday, November 30th 

            Sanibel Luminary Festival
            Friday, December 6th (Sanibel)
            Saturday, December 7th (Captiva)

            Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade
            Saturday, December 7th 

            Christmas Eve Sunset Cruise
            Tuesday, December 24th

            Santa’s Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise
            Tuesday, December 24th 

            Remember to contact Kingfisher Real Estate for all of your buying & selling needs!


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              Fall Home Maintenance Tips for Sanibel Island Homeowners

              Fall Home Maintenance in FloridaToday marks the first official day of fall! With summer fun still on your mind in Southwest Florida’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands, you probably aren’t interested in doing any home maintenance work right now. But, the longer you put off these projects, the more money you’ll end up spending in the long run on repairs. Plus, you can still enjoy the beautiful weather while freshening up the exterior of your home. Here’s a short list to get you started in the weeks ahead. 

              Check Your Roof

              Call a professional or break out a ladder and inspect your roof. Replace or repair any loose, warped, missing, or damaged shingles. Also, check the ceilings and walls on the inside of your home and look for any water stains or bulging areas. You’ll be glad you checked for leaks before it’s too late. 

              Clean Your Gutters

              Check your roof’s drainage system and clean, repair, and protect the gutters. Mesh guards work great for keeping out leaves and debris. Clogged gutters are magnets for mosquitoes and other pests. They can also lead to foundation and roof damage. The only tools you’ll need are a ladder, a hose, and a trowel or scoop.

              Seal Your Home

              Look for any cracks or holes, especially where the siding meets the foundation, and use caulk or sealant to seal up the cracks. Replace worn weather stripping on doors and windows and reseal the caulk in these areas. 

              Maintain Your Deck

              Replace any wood that’s splintering and repair unsteady railing. Fall is probably the best time to pressure wash, stain, and reseal the deck. Just be careful with the pressure washer if you’re doing it yourself. You’ll need to know how far away to hold it and how much pressure you need. Otherwise, you could ruin your deck. If in doubt, call in the experts!

              Remember to contact Kingfisher Real Estate for all of your Sanibel Island buying & selling needs!


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                House or Condo: Which is Right for You?

                Buying Home Vs. Buying Condo on Sanibel IslandIf you can’t decide between buying a house or a condo on Sanibel Island, here are some things to consider. There are pros and cons for each, and one isn’t better than the other. It’s all a matter of what’s best for you and your needs. It's really important to keep your lifestyle and your budget top of mind. 

                Privacy & Social Connections

                Condo communities generally offer more opportunities for you to build social connections with your neighbors. Because the common areas are shared, you’ll probably see your neighbors more often. A house gives you more privacy and distance from your neighbors and offers more room for kids and pets to play.

                Location & Amenities

                Many condominium complexes are packed full of onsite amenities like golf courses, tennis courts, clubhouses, fitness centers, and more. Condo owners can enjoy many extra things without ever leaving the property, and condos usually offer easy access to town amenities like restaurants and shopping. On Sanibel Island, you won’t be too far from the beach or town with either option.

                Expansion, Maintenance & Repairs

                A big advantage of living in a condo is that you’ll enjoy freedom from major maintenance and repairs on the outside, which is covered by HOA fees. Single family homeowners spend lots of time doing yard work, painting the house, and cleaning gutters. If you want extra time for recreational activities, a condo may be the way to go. If you want more flexibility, room to expand, build a deck, or customize the exterior, a house may be the answer. 

                If you have questions about buying a condo or house on Sanibel Island, contact Kingfisher Real Estate or start your search today!


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                  Fly Fishing on Sanibel Island

                  Fly Fishing on Sanibel IslandResidents and visitors alike enjoy fly fishing on Sanibel Island all year long, and they get to experience some of the best saltwater fly fishing in the world. The fish are plentiful and there are unmatched sight casting opportunities in most weather and wind conditions. Fly fishing is the most exciting and challenging way to fish on Sanibel. 

                  The most popular types of fish include redfish, snook, and tarpon with the tarpon offering the ultimate challenge. There’s a variety of fish whether you’re inshore or offshore, so a boat is not required. You may also have the opportunity to catch seatrout, ladyfish, kingfish, flounder, snapper, and many others.

                  You’ll find several fly fishing charters on the island, which provide lessons, tips, and techniques from master anglers. They will give you information on the right type of equipment and bait to use with recommendations on the best spots to catch different kinds of fish. During peak season, you’ll want to book ahead as their schedules fill up quickly. 

                  Are you ready to buy a home on Sanibel and go fly fishing every month of the year? Start your home search or contact Kingfisher Real Estate to learn more about the local market.



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                    Top 5 Things to Do on Sanibel Island with Kids

                    Kids on Beach in Florida

                    Sanibel Island offers lots of activities for families, including a variety of great shops, eateries, and, of course, beaches! Here are some of the best kid friendly things to do on the island.

                    Take a Bike Ride

                    Sanibel is a great place for an adventure on two (or three) wheels. With over 25 miles of paved bike trails (no cars), this is a fun, family friendly way to explore the island and everything it has to offer. Read our post “Where to Go Biking on Sanibel Island” for some of the best bike paths.

                    Go Shelling 

                    Get ready to find the perfect shell. There are so many beautiful shells on Sanibel, it’s no wonder Sanibel is one of the best shelling spots in the world. View our “Quick Guide to Shelling on Sanibel Island” for some tips and more information.

                    Visit the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

                    The refuge is world famous for its amazing migratory bird populations and its part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the country. Take a guided tour on Wildlife drive with a naturalist, visit the free education center, hike the trails, and watch plenty of birds.

                    Take a Dolphin Cruise

                    You’ll find lots of dolphin cruises and charters around the island. Watch dolphins, and maybe spot some birds, manatees, and other marine life. You’ll also see landmarks and other points of interest on many of the guided tours.

                    Visit the Lighthouse 

                    The Sanibel Lighthouse is at the east end of the island. Kids learn about the history of the lighthouse and the area also has a shelling beach, fishing pier, and a nature trail to enjoy. You may even see a dolphin or two.

                    For all of your Sanibel Island real estate needs, contact Kingfisher Real Estate.


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