Phaidra McDermott

Holiday Moving Tips

Moving During the HolildaysMoving during the holiday is particularly strenuous because you’ll probably have to deal with holiday traffic, wintry weather, and planning around holiday events and family gatherings. Many adults already have issues trying to balance work and personal obligations, so adding in a move during the holidays makes things a little more challenging, but it can be done.

Most people probably want to avoid moving during the holidays given a chance. Unfortunately, we can't always choose the most convenient times to move. Therefore, if you are moving this holiday season, here are some tips for you!

Have a Gradual Packing Plan

You will avoid the common burnout most people experience with rushed packing sessions by gradually packing your stuff. It's advisable to plan your move two months in advance and start packing 2-3 weeks before the moving date. Packing early will allow you to properly organize your belongings in boxes and help you purge the stuff you don't need.

Take Advantage of the Off-Season Deals

The holiday season has no shortage of deals and offers you can take advantage of. With many people preferring to move in the summer, holidays are considered an off-season for movers. That said, there is less competition, hence higher chances for lower rates.

Similarly, Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales can help you get the supplies you need for a lower price. Most retailers will be marking down their stock, and you're more likely to get deals on moving supplies.

Consider the Hidden Costs of Moving

Moving isn't cheap no matter the time of the year. However, it could get more expensive and tighten your holiday budget if all the hidden costs of moving are not factored in. That's why you need to budget carefully to avoid getting get jumped by these pitfalls.

Hidden costs such as tips, packing supplies, special service fees, or extra care handling items service fees might make the moving more costly and affect your settling into the new place.

Donate the Stuff You Don't Need

If you have stuff sitting in your home for a long time and you don't really use them, just donate them. Excess clutter can make moving more stressful. You'd be better off donating such stuff to charitable causes before moving.

That way, you have less baggage when it's time to move and it might even lower the cost of moving.

Consider the Weather

The holiday season coincides with the cold winter months. Therefore, there are higher chances you are likely to interact with harsh weather when moving. You can't control the weather, but you can plan to ensure you are flexible even if you're hit by bad weather. You can also consider the weather when packing your stuff to avoid possible damage to your belongings.

Get a Reliable Mover

You should pay special attention to selecting a reliable mover. Getting a mover that is honest, dependable, and considerate enough to work with your timelines can help ease the stress of the whole moving process.

Good movers can even help arrange your stuff in your new place, making the moving process less troubling for you and your family.

Relax and Take It Easy

Moving is stressful, at the very least. Therefore, most people tend to start panicking at the thought of something going wrong with the whole process. That said, you need to take it easy and relax. As long as you've got yourself a reliable mover and have planned everything well, it shouldn't be too hard for you.

Moving is stressful, even more so when you have to move while everybody else is enjoying their holidays. However, the above tips should help make your move during the holiday season a little easier. 

If you’re buying or selling a home during the holidays, let Kingfisher Real Estate make things easier for you. Contact us today!


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    Top 5 Reasons to Move to Sanibel Island

    Sanibel Island BeachesSanibel Island is a small barrier island off the coast of Southwest Florida. It has a population of around 3,000 all-year-round residents, and visitors & home seekers flock to this little island during the summer to enjoy a slice of its natural beauty filled with white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and wildlife. You have the option to explore it on foot or by bike all day long. 

    It's hard not to get lost in your thoughts while strolling through Sanibel Island with nothing but the sound of waves crashing against the shoreline. Sanibel Island has an ambiance unlike anything you’ve experienced before; it's simultaneously laid back and fascinatingly beautiful. The friendly and passionate local community will also make you want to stay longer.

    So what are the top reasons you should consider Sanibel Island when looking to move?

    1. Sanibel's Fuzzy Art Scene

    Since the beginning of time, it has been tough to draw a clear line between where coastal living ends and where art begins because Sanibel and art are heavily intertwined. Artists worldwide flock here every year to create new pieces, and many consider Sanibel one of the best places on earth to paint. 

    With so much talent in Sanibel, it's no wonder this tiny island has been called "The Art Coast." Hitting workshops, galleries, and even participating in painting lessons with famous artists like Ellen Stoneking or Mike Browning are some of the highly recommended activities. So yeah, move to Sanibel and feed your inner artist!

    2. Sanibel's Active Sport Scene

    Sanibel's active scene goes beyond just fishing, sunbathing, and shelling. The island boasts of a variety of sporting opportunities for all people. From golf to tennis to volleyball, Sanibel offers has something for everyone! 

    Should you be looking for a home and are into fitness, you are on the right path to getting the most ideal place to live in the world. Here, it's possible to for golfing on Thursday, Kayaking on Sunday, and tennis and Kite Boarding every day on weekday afternoons. If this is your kind of lifestyle, Sanibel might be the perfect place for you to move to! With these amenities right there within your locality, you will never have any reason not to get out of your comfort zone.

    So what are we waiting for? Let us show you around today! 

    3. Culinary Experience in Sanibel

    In addition to its white sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets, Sanibel boasts plenty of great places to eat if you are looking for something delicious. You'll find some great pet friendly restaurants, too. With its two-mile stretch of beach, it's no surprise that Sanibel is home to the top 10 seafood restaurants in America. For any food enthusiast, digging into a platter of seafood while watching the sunset is something you want to experience. And yes, Sanibel will leave you feeling both satisfied and inspired! 

    4. Sight-Seeing in Sanibel

    When you are seeking to find your next home, consider Sanibel as a sightseeing haven. Yes, imagine living in a quaint city running past museums and lighthouses on your morning run. That's the Sanibel experience. Here are some points of interest:

    The Sanibel Lighthouse: This lighthouse has been operating since 1887 and was once used as a navigation marker for sailors. You can climb up to the top for an amazing 360-degree view of the whole area! 

    The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum: This museum celebrates all things related to shells with over 10 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens perfect for picnics or just taking in some fresh air.

    5. Wildlife Scene in Sanibel

    Sanibel Island is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife on earth, a paradise for animal lovers. The island has more than 100 miles of shoreline and over 800 acres of preserved land, which means there are plenty of spots to explore! Here is how to get to experience wildlife while in Sanibel:

    The Nature Conservancy Preserve: One hundred acres preserve with five miles worth of trails where you can spot alligators, turtles, snakes, and other native wildlife.  

    Bird watching: Sanibel also boasts 27 bird species at risk in Florida, including King Rail and Piping Plover. With so much to see on the beautiful island, it may be hard not to get distracted by the local fauna. So grab your binoculars or camera and enjoy some bird watching.

    So if you have been looking for that little shove that will push you over the edge into getting a home in Sanibel, then this should be it. You can reach out to Kingfisher Real Estate with any questions about the island, and we'll help you find great homes in this beachside paradise!


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      Sanibel vs Captiva: Which Island Is the Right Fit for You?

      Many people think the Sanibel and Captiva Islands are in the same place. However, despite their proximity to each other, these sister islands are unique in their own right. If you're looking to settle in either Sanibel or Captiva, the first step is to find the right realtors who know both regions well. The next is learning about the important differences between the two islands, and for that, you need not look any further than this post!

      Sanibel & Captiva Islands Aerial View

      Sanibel and Captiva both offer authentic island living.

      The thriving island life that Sanibel and Captiva have to offer is arguably their most attractive feature. It's hard to resist the draw of the white sands, beautiful waters, and enticing coastal weather. Either one of these islands is the embodiment of relaxation and enjoyment, thanks to the myriad of beach town-based activities. Who doesn't look forward to a dip in the water? A boat ride over the gulf to see marine life? Perhaps a fun day of games and sunbathing at over ten different beaches? For residents, amenities like schools, hospitals, and more are available. There is so much to do and see and many places to call home if you search for property. Before you decide which one is the right fit, here are a few characteristics that set these two islands apart that you may want to consider.

      As the bigger island, Sanibel has plenty more to offer.

      In terms of geographical size, Sanibel Island is vast compared to Captiva. It has a larger population, and as far as vibrant beach living goes, it has plenty to offer its visitors and residents. Periwinkle Way is brimming with many business establishments, and it is here that you will find shopping plazas, galleries, food markets, and more. You can enjoy the eclectic mix of culture, performances at the local live theatre or watch the most recent blockbusters at the local movie theatre. About 70% of the land remains lawfully protected as a natural wildlife refuge and environment conservation that you can visit anytime! There's also plenty of biking and hiking paths, along with tours on land or rented boats! 

      Sanibel Island is closer to the mainland.

      It's common for people to want to enjoy beachfront living while having the option to return to the mainland when the need arises. Reasons could range from work to the overall desire for faster access. If this is the lifestyle you seek, then you'll want to find your home on Sanibel Island. It is much closer to the Florida mainland, connected to Fort Myers via the Sanibel Causeway Bridge. Captiva Island does not have a similar mainland connection, and you would need to go through Sanibel island first to make it to Fort Myers.

      How about homes on Sanibel Island?

      If your goal is to live within the hustle and bustle of a moderately populated beach town, Sanibel Island is where you want to go house hunting. However, because of city-wide restrictions on building heights and density, you will be hard-pressed to find mega home estates. You can find standard homes and beachfront condos with the help of real estate listing updates from reputable real estate companies.

      Captiva is the more laid-back island.

      If Sanibel Island is the picture of lively beach living, then Captiva Island is the more laid-back alternative. It is much quieter here because there are fewer people and fewer busy establishments. There are no biking paths, no vibrant business streets, and instead, you will find a more calm and serene living experience with beautiful views of the gulf.

      Captiva Island offers a quaint, easy-going small-town experience.

      Instead of busy city streets, Captiva Island has small village-like commercial areas. Here you will find a few shops and restaurants that you can visit for unique dining experiences. You will also find marinas that host boat rentals if you would like a ride into the waters. 

      Captiva Island delivers a more upscale living experience.

      Captiva Island doesn't experience the same restrictions on density and building size as its sister island, so it is much easier to find huge estate homes when searching up real estate listings of the region. This freedom has also contributed to a more upscale quality of living within the island. Residents enjoy the mega estate experience, complete with opulent buildings and beachfront privacy. If this is the lifestyle you seek, consider finding a home on Captiva Island. Visitors can enjoy high-class living at the South Seas Island Resort, which offers rentable properties for brief periods as well.

      How do you choose between Sanibel and Captiva Islands? Well, the answer depends entirely on the kind of beachfront living that you desire. Realtors with extensive knowledge of these sister islands are always on hand to help you find the residence that is the right fit for you. You can also visit their websites and begin searching for your dream home using our popular recommended search categories anytime!


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        How To Find Out How Much Your Home Is Worth

        What's Your Home Worth in Sanibel & Captiva FloridaThere’s nothing more important when selling your home than pricing it correctly! Many sellers make the mistake of overpricing their homes. When you overprice your home, it usually sits on the market until you reduce the price to match the current value and market conditions. Homes that are on the market for a long time and have been reduced in price can be a red flag to buyers. It’s best to price it correctly the first time around!

        Use a Home Valuation Tool

        Check out Kingfisher’s home value estimator. This tool offers a free comparative market analysis based on the current market. We factor in similar recently sold properties, properties under contract, and other properties in the area for sale. There’s a science to pricing your home and we do thorough market research to sell your home for top dollar.

        Ask an Experienced Listing Agent

        Pricing is an art as well as a science. Our listing agents know the ins and outs of Sanibel Island. Many of our agents have lived on Sanibel Island for their whole lives, so they know how to pitch the area to prospective buyers and close a deal for you! We’ve seen what houses in your neighborhood have sold for and we know what features buyers love in a home. Our realtors are also expert negotiators, so you’ll have a trained professional negotiating on your behalf!

        Consider a Variety of Factors

        Many factors go into pricing your property, such as the location, comparable homes in the area, condition of the home, and recent home updates. If after your home evaluation you are not pleased with the appraisal value, consult with one of our knowledgeable realtors to see if any home upgrades would increase the value of your home. It’s best to keep updates small, but they can make a big difference if done right!

        Learn More About Selling Your Home

        Contact Kingfisher Real Estate to learn more about what your home is worth. Whether you’re just exploring the idea or ready to sell, we are here to help! We’re a boutique real estate firm offering an elevated level of service.


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          5 Sanibel Island Activities for Couples

          Sanibel Island is the perfect place to relax and explore with your significant other. Whether you’re on your honeymoon or permanent residents in the area, there’s plenty of fresh, fun, and romantic activities for couples!

          1. Go for a long walk on the beach to see the historic lighthouseCouple standing on beach at sunset

          It may be cliche, but nothing beats a long walk on the beach with the person you love. It’s even better when you walk with a destination in mind! Go to the Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier located at 110 Periwinkle Way Sanibel, FL 33957 to see the functional lighthouse and a boardwalk nature trail winding through native wetlands. 

          2. Test your teamwork skills with a canoe or double kayak

          Boating together is the true test of teamwork! Rent a canoe or kayak and tackle the open water together. There are several rental sites around the island, like Tarpon Bay Explorers and Adventure Sea Kayak & S.U.P.

          3. See who can spot more rare birds while bird watching

          Sanibel Island is known for its many species of birds. They enjoy the subtropical climate and can be seen from a number of places. Check out the interior wetlands either early in the day or toward sunset. The Center Tract at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, the Bailey Tract, and Sanibel Gardens Preserve are all great spots as well with well-maintained walking trails. Spot red-shouldered hawks, woodpeckers, roseate spoonbills, egrets, herons, ibis, and other species.

          4. Treat yourselves to dinner at one of Sanibel’s innovative eateries

          Chefs have come from all over the world to open up shops in Sanibel Island. No matter your palette, you’re bound to find something to your liking. The island has 50 restaurants ranging from cute ice cream shops to extraordinary waterfront fine dining restaurants with unreal beach views. Make a reservation at one of Sanibel’s restaurants for two!

          5. Enjoy each other’s company while fishing

          Relax and enjoy each other’s company while fishing at one of Sanibel’s prime spots. Go offshore fishing, inshore/back bay, fly fishing, or fish without a boat. Sanibel fishing is for all skill levels and many shops offer rental gear.

          Questions about activities?

          Contact Kingfisher Real Estate to learn more about fun activities for couples in Sanibel! We’re well versed in the area and want to share our knowledge with you.


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            The Best Golf Resorts on Sanibel Island

            Sanibel Golf CoursesSanibel Island is the perfect destination for golfing. With temperatures consistently in the 70s in the winter and gorgeous views, Sanibel Island is the place to go golfing. The island is home to three resorts: Sanibel Island Golf Club, Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, and The Sanctuary Golf Club. South Seas Golf Course is nearby as well and located in Captiva. 

            Sanibel Island Golf Club

            The Sanibel Island Golf Club has an 18-hole riverside golf course, a restaurant, and a pro shop. The resort captures the natural beauty of our barrier islands. The club has been around for over 50 years, so they’ve had plenty of time to blend the course into the island naturally. While playing on the 150-acre course, you may run into wildlife like alligators, crocodiles, bobcats, and iguanas. The resort can be found at 1100 Par View Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957 and it’s suitable for all ability levels of golfers.

            Dunes Golf & Tennis Club

            The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club is home to an 18 hole championship course. It’s placed inside an incredible, natural wildlife preserve protected by the Audubon Society. The course has something for all skill levels and it’s known as a premier golfing destination. The club has a dining facility that has been recently renovated and has picturesque sunset views. The club can be found at 949 Sand Castle Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957 and they’re open 7:30am-6pm 7 days a week.

            The Sanctuary Golf Club

            Known for its well-groomed fairways and greens, The Sanctuary Golf Club has 18 holes and a length of 6806 yards. The course was recognized by Golf Digest as one of the best private courses in the U.S.  They have dining and social opportunities, as well as a wellness center. The course can be found at 2801 Wulfert Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957, and if you play a round of golf, keep your eyes peeled for the variety of birds and wildlife that call the Sanctuary home.

            South Seas Golf Course

            The South Seas Golf Course is located nearby in Captiva. They have 9 beachfront holes and a championship 18 hole golf course. The short course has been rated one of the “Top Five Short Golf Courses” in the world. The facility is also known for the Blackwood Tennis Academy where players can learn to play or compete competitively. They have a variety of dining options as well. The resort can be found at 5400 Plantation Road, Captiva Island, Florida 33924. 

            If you have any questions about the Sanibel area, contact Kingfisher Real Estate to learn more.


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              Great Places to Shop on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

              Shopping in Sanibel FloridaYou’ll find lots of unique shops and boutiques in Sanibel and Captiva. Here are a few of our favorites. You’ll notice there a quite a few shops along Sanibel’s main thoroughfare, Periwinkle Way. 

              2075 Periwinkle Way

              This is the original store for the women’s upscale boutique brand. 

              Jungle Drums Gallery
              11532 Ande Rosse Lane

              Lots of wildlife motifs crafted from metal, wood, glass, and clay.

              Bailey’s General Store
              2477 Periwinkle Way

              Full service grocery and hardware store with fresh produce, deli, bakery, and more.

              Periwinkle Place
              2075 Periwinkle Way

              A variety of wonderful shops to explore.

              The Village Shops
              2340 Periwinkle Way

              Clothing boutiques, gifts, T2 restaurant, home goods, art gallery, and a hair salon.

              Old Sanibel Shoppes
              630 Tarpon Bay Road 

              Pet friendly shopping center with an award winning cafe a variety of popular boutiques.

              Tahitian Gardens
              1975 Periwinkle Way

              Unique collections of unique collections, toys, jewelry, designer labels, and family style dining.

              Island Gifts
              1609 Periwinkle Way

              Family owned and operated, selling shells and shell related products.

              She Sells Sea Shells
              1157 Periwinkle Way

              Award winning ocean boutique featuring an eclectic collection of shells and handmade shell crafts.

              If you have any questions about the current real estate market in Sanibel or Captiva, contact Kingfisher Real Estate. We can help you with all your buying or selling needs.


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                6 Reasons Why Out-Of-Staters Should Move to Florida

                Moving to Sanibel Island FloridaThinking about moving to Florida? Consider these appealing factors before making your decision.

                Reason 1: Incredible weather year-round

                Do you want to move from another part of the country where it gets chilly in the winter months? Live out your island fantasy every day in Sanibel, Florida. The coldest it gets in the winter months is around 50 degrees with highs at 75 degrees. The warm, comfortable weather is enough alone to move to Florida!

                Reason 2: Beautiful beaches

                Piggybacking off the incredible weather year-round, Florida has some gorgeous beaches. Sanibel Island ranks as one of the best beaches in Florida. Also, Sanibel is famous for shelling. See our guide here to give you pointers on where to look for the best shells.

                Reason 3: No state income tax

                So now you know the Florida landscape is beautiful, but you may be wondering about living and working in Florida. A major perk to relocating to Florida is the lack of state income tax. The state makes up for it by implementing a tourist tax on short-term rentals, so it’s in your best interest to commit to moving rather than making many short visits and renting.

                Reason 4: Intense sports culture

                Florida has an intense sports culture that will keep you on your toes. Including basketball, baseball, football, and hockey teams, there is not a lack of team spirit. The Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Tampa Rays, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Miami Dolphins are all Florida sports teams. Sounds like it’s time to go shopping for a sports jersey for when you move to your new home state!

                Reason 5: Cultural diversity

                Cultural diversity is a perk to moving to Florida. Florida is a melting pot of cultures, so there’s no shortage of festivals with a variety of different foods and types of music. Tampa and Miami are both a drivable distance from Sanibel Island. Be sure to take trips there to take advantage of the big city festivals and activities. Want to stay local for the day? Explore the quaint Sanibel Historical Museum and Village.

                Reason 6: Variety of activities and day trips

                Florida has several activities to choose from. There are national parks, Disney World, incredible beaches, and more. Sanibel Island, in particular, has scenic bike riding, fly fishing, historic lighthouses, dolphin cruises, and lovely restaurants. Want to experience it yourself? Contact Kingfisher Real Estate today to start the journey of buying your dream home in Florida.


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                  Winter Decor Ideas for Your Home on Sanibel Island

                  Winter DecorThe holidays are approaching, and once the decorations are down, how do you add some winter charm to your Sanibel home to make it feel like winter? Here are a few ideas to give a wintery look to your bright, sunny home in Florida.

                  Use Bold Colors

                  Bolder colors will warm up your home. Consider colors like burgundy, navy blue, emerald green, and ebony. Sprinkle a few accent pieces with these colors throughout your home, layering an assortment of colors, patterns, and textures. Maybe add a nice rug to the floor in your living room or bedroom.

                  Brighten Up the Linens

                  Swamp out any white, neutral, gray, or beige linens with colorful linens. Adding bursts of color will help create a warmer feel. Bring out some colorful throws and pillows to add more warmth to the room. You probably won’t need heavier linens in Southwest Florida, just more colors to make your home feel warm and cozy. 

                  Spruce Up Your Patio

                  Add some pillows and lightweight blankets to your patio furniture. Add a few bursts of color to winterize your porch. Keep some of the evergreen trimmings from your Christmas tree, and put them into a pot with a few pine cones wrapped in colorful strings of yarn.  

                  Winter Fragrances

                  Let’s not forget to bring in the scent of the season with a bowl of potpourri and pine cones or a cozy candle. Aim for wintery fragrances like pine needles, evergreen, pinecones, cypress, or cinnamon. 

                  If you have any questions about Sanibel Island real estate opportunities, contact Kingfisher Real Estate.


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                    Renting vs Buying: Which is Right for You?

                    Renting or Buying a HomeIf you’ve been renting properties for a while, you may be wondering when you’ll be ready and able to have a home of your own. Especially when looking at island homes, there are a lot of things to consider before making a decision. Here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out if renting or buying is right for you.

                    Do you move frequently?

                    Renting a home requires less commitment and is usually a better option for people who move around a lot. Even if you aren’t required to travel for your job, if you are a spontaneous person who doesn’t like things to stay the same for too long, renting may be the best option for you. When you rent you’re not responsible for home maintenance, which allows you to leave for longer periods of time without having to worry. On the flip side, if you’re a homebody who likes to make a space your own, buying would be the better option. When you own your home, you don’t have to ask the landlord’s permission to paint the walls or otherwise personalize the space. It is your own!

                    Are you financially equipped to buy a home?

                    This one may seem obvious, but it is the most important. Being financially ready to buy a home usually means having minimal debt and a good-standing credit score, and having enough savings for a downpayment. You should also think about job security - can you rely on an income for at least the next year? If you lose your job or receive a demotion, will you still be able to afford your mortgage? It can be scary to think about things that may not go as planned, but it’s important to consider all the possibilities so you don’t end up in over your head. If you have substantial savings for emergencies, you should feel more secure in your decision to buy.

                    Are you prepared for added costs?

                    There are a lot of expenses that become your responsibility once you own a home that you didn’t have to think about while renting. For instance, homeowners have to pay property tax, and renters do not. Also, homeowners cover the cost of home maintenance that a renter's landlord would cover, and they also have to pay for home insurance, which can cost a lot more than renter’s insurance. Owning a home is an investment that can pay you huge returns, but those returns won’t come right away, so preparing for a costly first few years is important. 

                    Which is more important to you: Stability or Flexibility?

                    When asking the question “what is right for me?”, it’s essential that you think about what you value most in your life. For some people, tying themselves down to one place feels suffocating. For these people, having the flexibility to move with little to no notice may be more important than the stability that comes with owning your own home. Buying a home is a huge investment and some people may not be ready for that level of commitment, which is okay. That’s why we rent! On the other hand, other people may find the constant moving and property search draining. If you’re someone who likes to lock things in for the long-term and is looking to settle down, you should consider buying. 

                    If you have any questions about buying a home in Sanibel or Captiva, contact Kingfisher Real Estate today.


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