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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 

    BaileyFest
    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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              Biking on Sanibel Island

              Bike Paths on Sanibel IslandWith over 25 miles of bike trails, Sanibel Island offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy a beautiful bike ride. The bike trails go through back roads, friendly neighborhoods, beautiful trees, wooden bridges, quiet waterways, shopping areas, and other points of interest. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about parking! Here are a few popular bike paths.

              Rabbit Road Trail

              This short and scenic one mile path runs along a canal between West Gulf Drive and Sanibel-Captiva Road. You may see some gray marsh rabbits, herons, and alligator snouts along the way.

              Dixie Beach Road

              From Periwinkle Way to San Carlos Bay, this easy trail is straight and about one and a half miles long. Once you reach the bay, you can choose to view some bayside homes or an old shell road.

              Middle Gulf Cemetery Route

              This trail is off the beaten path and provides the opportunity to explore the backwoods and Sanibel’s pioneer cemetery, which is not accessible by car. The path is under a mile long and located east of Casa Ybel Road and continues to the beach at Gulfside Park.

              Bailey Road-Dunes Circle

              Bailey Road will take you to the bay and a left turn on Sandcastle Road goes around the neighborhood of the Dunes with beautifully landscaped, island style homes. You’ll pass the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club and across from the golf club entrance, you’ll find another bike path that goes to an exclusive waterfront neighborhood. 

              Wildlife Drive

              This four mile loop is one way, starting on Sanibel-Captiva Road and going around J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. You can stop along the path and climb up to the bird observation tower or do a little hiking on the short trails inside the refuge.

              Questions about buying or selling a home on Sanibel Island?
              Contact Kingfisher Real Estate

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                6 Best Pet Friendly Restaurants on Sanibel Island

                Dog Friendly Patio Dining Sanibel FloridaSanibel Island has some great dog friendly restaurants. Here you’ll find our top picks for Sanibel dining options that allow dogs on the outside patios. Enjoy a nice walk on the beach with your furry friend and then swing by one of these patios to grab a bite to eat. 

                The Island Cow

                This award winning, family owned and operated dining spot has great food, cold drinks, outdoor games, live entertainment, and one of the largest menus on the island.

                George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille

                Featuring outstanding service, a great atmosphere and delicious fresh, local, and fun cuisine with a lush tropical garden patio that welcomes pets.

                Blue Giraffe

                Enjoy a unique culinary experience in the garden atmosphere on the pet friendly patio. Boasts one of the best breakfasts on Sanibel and fabulous island inspired lunch and dinner menus.

                Cip’s Place

                A casual, comfortable dining atmosphere with great food including a variety of lunch and dinner entrees, appetizers, desserts, and a children’s menu.

                Over Easy Café

                Serving breakfast, lunch, and gluten free menu items. Well behaved canines are welcome to dine with their owners on the patio.

                Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen

                This eatery opened earlier this year and brings Bourbon Street to the beach with fresh crawfish and other Cajun dishes as well as live music. Open for lunch and dinner and a kid’s menu is available.

                Thinking about buying or selling a home on Sanibel Island? Contact Kingfisher Real Estate!

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                  Sanibel Home Buyers Checklist: Wants Versus Needs

                  Buying a Home in Southwest FloridaThe most important things to consider when buying a home on Sanibel Island is the home, the location, and your budget. You need to know what you’re really looking for in a home, what you really need, and how much house you can afford. 

                  You’ll save lots of time in your home search if you start out by creating a list of wants and needs. Think about your dream home. What features and amenities does it have? Write everything down and then separate these items by wants or needs. You’ll find that different wants and needs will affect the sales price of the home, and you may not be able to get everything you want. 

                  Your needs are the essentials. These are the things the property must absolutely have, or it’s a deal breaker. You wouldn’t even consider looking at a home that doesn’t have these things. These ‘must haves’ are very hard or impossible to change, like the number of bathrooms, property type (condo, townhome, house), enough space for your lifestyle, distance from the beach, or yard size.

                  Your wants are things you’d like to have and could change over time. You would look at properties without these features as long as it has everything you need. If a home has any of these things, it would be a wonderful option to consider. Things like skylights, new windows, and hardwood floors could go on your wants list.

                  Getting your wants versus needs checklist done before you begin your house hunt will save you tons of time and frustration. No home is perfect, but this will help you make sure you get the right home for you.

                  Contact Kingfisher Real Estate for all of your Southwest Florida home buying needs on the Sanibel & Captiva Islands!

                   

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                    5 Affordable Ways to Add Value to Your Home

                    Home Sweet HomeMany of the home renovations that pay off can be costly, but here are some affordable renovations that will give you the most bang for your buck on a budget.

                    1. Energy Efficiency Upgrades

                    Improving your home’s energy efficiency can make a bigger difference than cosmetic upgrades when it comes to adding value. The number of energy efficient homes continues to rise and lots of home buyers prefer energy efficient homes because of potential long term savings. Adding attic insulation and making upgrades to your windows and doors are less expensive than solar panels. 

                    2. Small Kitchen Renovations

                    Renovating your kitchen can improve your home’s value and it doesn’t have to be an expensive full kitchen renovation to make a big difference. Minor things like painting the cabinets, installing new cabinet doors, and changing out cabinet hardware can make buyers happy. Consider upgrading your countertops and install new appliances if needed, and you don’t need to invest in the most expensive appliances to make your kitchen look fantastic.

                    3. Small Bathroom Renovations

                    You can make a big impact on buyers with minor bathroom renovations like regrouting the tile, replacing caulk, and updating the fixtures, mirrors, and toilet. Smaller projects like these can give your bathroom a quick facelift on a low budget.

                    4. New Paint

                    One of the best returns on investment is also one of the least expensive. A fresh coat of paint inside and outside can really make your home shine. Interior color trends change over time, but it’s usually best to stay away from dark colors and pure white. Think about the impact the color will have on home buyers and select colors that will make it easier for them to visualize themselves living in your home. 

                    If you don’t need new paint on the exterior, just clean it up by power washing it. If your front door is old and you aren’t going to replace it, bring it back to life by painting it.

                    5. Upgrade Floors

                    Upgrading floors can add value and make your home look well maintained. Hardwood floors are in high demand, but they are more expensive to install than other types of flooring. Replace tile and carpet where needed. At a minimum, refinish hardwood floors, wax tile, and get carpets professionally cleaned. If you’re on a budget, focus on upgrading floors in the kitchen and living areas.

                    Contact Kingfisher Real Estate for all of your real estate needs on the Sanibel & Captiva Islands.

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