Tips on Saving Money During Your Next Move

Packing a Moving Box

Moving your household requires planning and careful attention to detail. You will save time and money by requesting multiple quotes from moving companies, decluttering possessions, sourcing free moving supplies, and sourcing labor from friends and family. You can then make an intelligent plan with respect to fair market prices while [...]

Tips for Moving During the Holidays

Family Moving During the Holidays

Moving can be both exciting and stressful for individuals and families. Holidays can also be exciting and stressful. When possible, we suggest holding off moving your household until after a major holiday. This is not always possible. We understand. The best way to move forward is with a plan. We have put together some tips for moving during [...]

Top Things Not To Do When Buying a Home

Buyer Getting Keys to New Home

Buyer Getting Keys to New HomeBuying a home is exciting. When shopping for a home in the Sanibel Island and Captiva Island tropical paradise of Florida your attention may easily be distracted by the incredible lifestyle and culinary treasures. We recognize this. We feel it is important to help keep you on track when buying a home. The buyer’s agents from Kingfisher Real Estate will help you keep your eyes on the prize and steer you away from what not to do when buying a home. And at the end of the day (that is after closing) you will enjoy all the swimming, snorkeling, golfing, tennis, nature walks, shelling, and fabulous dining our tropical paradise has in store for you. Here are the top things not to do when buying a home. 

Not Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage: You will want to speak to several mortgage lenders and obtain prep-approval when buying a home. Sellers will not generally accept an offer without seeing a pre-approval letter from a buyer. The letter simply shows the buyer's ability to pay for the home. 

Making Big Purchases: The mortgage pre-approval process will take a look at your overall financial situation, and your ability to make payments on the loan. The lender will be looking at your DTI ratio (debt-to-income). You will need a DTI ratio of 43% or less to qualify for a mortgage. Now is not the time to make big purchases that will affect your DTI ratio. If you are shopping for a bigger sailboat or yacht it is best to hold off on purchasing until after closing. You can charter a sunset cruise with a local captain in the meantime. 

Changing Careers: You will need a stable income when applying for your mortgage. Now is not the time to change careers or give notice to your current employer. It is best to wait until you close on your home before making a career change. 

Not Shopping for the Best Mortgage Deal: Conventional loans are the most common type of mortgage loan in the United States. These loans are made by a private lender. There are also loans backed by the U.S. Government and loans available exclusively to veterans and their spouses. You will want to take the time to shop for the best possible mortgage you qualify for. Talk to the lenders and do the math! 

Not Working with a Buyer’s Agent: Real estate agents are educated professionals who deal with property transactions for a living. Working with a buyer’s agent from Kingfisher Real Estate is one of the best decisions to make when buying a home on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. They will be representing you and working in your best interest. Your buyer’s agent will understand the local market and your priorities. They will help guide you to act quickly when the perfect house comes on the market. 

Not Scheduling a Home Inspection: Home inspections are relatively inexpensive. The cost is around $300-$500 for a 2-3 hour single family home inspection. While home buyers are sometimes tempted to save a little money and skip this step, we advise against it. We will also advise you to include the home inspection on your contingency list for your formal offer. This will allow you to negotiate a better price, request repairs, or walk away from a home dependent on the outcome of the home inspection.

Not Considering Your Budget: A qualified lender will not approve a loan for more than you can afford. Nevertheless, you will want to take a very close look at your budget and lifestyle. You don’t want to be spending all of your money just to make the mortgage payment. There are beaches and golf courses to explore all around the world, family vacations and weekend getaways to enjoy, country club memberships to maintain, and many other things to spend your hard earned money on. Do the math. Look closely at your budget and determine how much of a mortgage payment you can comfortably make without sacrificing your lifestyle, or anticipated lifestyle, in your new island home in Florida (you might need a bigger boat). 

Kingfisher Real Estate agents are the most well respected group in today’s marketplace serving the Captiva & Sanibel Islands. We look forward to helping you with all your real estate needs. Contact us today!

Where The Locals Love to Eat on Sanibel Island

Dining at a Local Restaurant in Sanibel

There are over 50 restaurants on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island, providing an eclectic mix of ideas and culinary treasures brought by chefs and restaurateurs from around the world. The most discerning palates will discover interesting and delicious entrées, while your entire family will delight in the heartwarming breakfast comfort foods [...]

Must See Attractions on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Lighthouse and Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island: Aerial View

Lighthouse and Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island: Aerial ViewSanibel & Captiva Islands attracts vacationers looking for the perfect island adventure and that perfect island adventure often turns into a summer home or year round home in this inviting tropical paradise. Swimming, sailing, snorkeling, kitesurfing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, shelling, birdwatching, historical walks, nature walks, golf, tennis, and yoga delight visitors and residents alike. Here are some of the must see attractions on Sanibel & Captiva Islands that will better inform your favorite adventure as you enjoy this unique island paradise. 

Sanibel Island Lighthouse: In 1884 the Sanibel Island Lighthouse was built and homesteaders began to settle here. The tower is operational and under the control of the U.S. Coastguard. You can visit the grounds and enjoy exploring by walking through the nature trails and boardwalk. The beach is popular for shelling and the fishing pier brings smiles to successful anglers every day of the week (when they are reeling in redfish, snapper, sheepshead, and snook). 

Sanibel Historical Museum & Village: The museum was founded in 1984. The history of Sanibel Island is told beginning with the Calusa Indian and Spanish eras in the 1500s-1800s to the pioneer families of the 1800s. Historic buildings include the 1926 Post Office, 1927 Old Bailey General Store, 1900 Sanibel Packing House (a vegetable, produce, and citrus packing facility), and the 1926 Miss Charlotta’s Tea Room. Guided and self-guided tours are available to visit the buildings. The museum also manages Sanibel’s Heritage Trail which traces the island’s history through informative panels placed around the island and detailed on the map (a great adventure by bike or car). 

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum: The shell museum began in 1984 by a local shell collector and has grown into an impressive museum centered around the study of seashells and malacology (invertebrate zoology studying Mollusca). The museum exhibits include the Great Hall of Shells, Aquariums, Touch Pools (with the animals that create the shells), and various rotating exhibits. If you develop a kinship with the resident octopus during your visit, you can check in daily on the OctoCam live stream to see how the Giant Pacific Octopus is adjusting to life at the museum. 

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge: President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order to protect this undeveloped mangrove ecosystem by creating the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge in 1945 (later renamed J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to honor Jay Norwood Darling). The Visitor & Education Center is a great place to start your visit and includes a hands-on area for children. Driving, biking, and walking are permitted on Wildlife Drive: the speed limit is 15 mph and it is a one-way road for all travelers. Kayaking and canoeing are exceptional ways to explore the refuge (permitted on the right side of Wildlife Drive). The refuge is a bird-watchers paradise with over 245 species of birds. Keep your eyes open for alligators, manatees, bobcats, and otters! 

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation: The trails are open for hikers daily from dawn to dusk at the SCCF nature center (the nature center building is temporarily closed during renovation). There are over four miles of trails to explore by hiking: dogs and bikers are not permitted. You will encounter turtles, tortoises, butterflies, mammals, and a variety of birds. The SCCF manages additional trails throughout the island where hikers, bikers, and dogs are permitted: including the Sanibel Island Gardens Trail (hawks and waterfowl are present), Frannie’s Preserve Trail (turtles and birds are present in three ponds), and Bob Wigley Trail (wading birds and alligators are present). The SCCF was founded in 1967 to protect and care for coastal ecosystems. It manages over 1,200 acres on Sanibel Island. 

Dolphin Cruises: There are several businesses on the islands which offer wildlife cruises including Captiva Cruises (family owned and operated since 1986), Sanibel Thriller, Captain Randy’s Dolphin and Shelling Cruises, and New Wave ECO charters. In addition to watching Atlantic bottlenose dolphins play in their natural habitat, your cruise might bring you sightings of migratory birds, sharks, sea turtles, rays, and manatees. ECO charters also offer private excursions with a marine biologist (for a more complete immersion into the mangrove habitats, grass flats, and beaches of the region) and snorkeling opportunities to discover shells and other natural treasures. 

Shelling on Turner Beach: Turner Beach is a sheller’s dream beach with rare shells to discover and collect in relative solitude. Sanibel and Captiva islands have around 15 miles of pristine beaches to explore with over 250 kinds of seashells washing ashore from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Part of the beauty of Turner beach is its location. Turner beach is ten miles from the causeway and often overlooked by visitors as they are drawn to the other lovely beaches along the way. 

The team at Kingfisher Real Estate is happy to service all your real estate needs on Captiva & Sanibel Island. Contact us today!

Top Ways To Experience Sanibel Island This Summer

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Aerial View

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are thought to have originated approximately 6,000 years ago. The island paradise is growing old gracefully with the help of human foresight and careful consideration of the environment. Sanibel Island, Florida is home to a healthy population of mangrove flora and fauna protected by an expansive wildlife [...]

Summer Decor Ideas for Your Home on Sanibel Island

Summer Beach Decor

“Are you ready for a brand new beat? Summer is here and the time is right”...for decorating in the heat! With Martha Reeves & The Vandellas singing in the background to get you moving you’ll have your home on Sanibel Island decorated for summer in no time flat (and if you start hitting flat notes during the sing-a-long just turn up the [...]

Best Dog Friendly Beaches On Sanibel Island

Dog on the Beach

Our lives are made brighter and richer with our furry canine companions. Dogs have held a special place in our family homes for thousands of years. It is believed that they were first domesticated in Europe 16,000 years ago and then again in Asia 14,000 years ago. Archaeologists at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History are [...]

Sanibel & Captiva Day Trips To Remember

Sanibel Beach and Lighthouse

It is no secret that with the hustle and bustle of hectic daily routines, we sometimes experience burnout and desperately need to clear our minds and calm our souls. It's times like this that a day-cation is exactly what is needed to reset our body and refresh our spirit. But where will we find the best place to spend a day [...]