We don’t have seasons here — such as warm, cold, snowy, or nice. It’s nice all year ’round.
We do have wet and dry — with the latter more famously called “season.” That means when snowbirds and winter residents are here.
It’s Saturday, October 22nd — and season has definitely started. Just a few days ago, the humidity left us and we are in that wonderful time of year when the air conditioners can be turned off and the doors and windows opened.
This is likely to continue through at least March both weather-wise and with respect to our roads, restaurants, facilities, parks, attractions, and events. Yes, we do occasionally have a ‘cold’ night when temps venture into the ’40s — having to activate our so-called furnaces, meaning the electric stove coils hidden in the air conditioning ducts. It stinks when the accumulated dust burns off — but then the cold spells are always brief and we forget about the dust (and the need to turn ‘the heat’ on every month!) Believe me, nobody does that.
This evening, (Saturday,) Mercato was buzzing. Our friends from ‘up north’ are here — in enough numbers to get all the season activities in action. It’s a vibrant and fun time of the year.
SEASON is here!
There are almost as many reasons to love living in Naples as there are people here — and for over 300 one of the favorites is DPI-SIG. That stands for the Digital Photography and Imaging Special Interest Group of the Naples Free Net. Now you know why the more easily pronounced name was added. Some members call it "Dippy-sig," but it’s always said in a loving and positive context. Last evening was the group’s 146th monthly membership meeting (2nd Thursday.)
Of course, everybody takes photos and has at least a passing interest in capturing a few good ones. But this club is way more than just a bunch of nerds sharing secrets about Photoshop — there are activities all month long, including outings, classes, workshops, and auditorium presentations by the superstars of photography such as Artie Morris, Rick Sammon, George Lepp, and Moose Peterson. To cap it all off, the club also publishes a world-class digital magazine.
Download a copy or two and get the full scoop on this outstanding organization:
Great bargains can be found anywhere if one knows where to look and has a top-level agent to deal with. Conversely, how do you rate your chances of finding a real gem on the public sites before self-driving cars clog our highways?
On the topic of Gulf views — which to honest agents means a vast expanse of blue-green water and white sand — visits to dozens of high-rise residences in the past year have convinced me that a search for the most spectacular water view for the dollar should start on Marco Island.
There are lots of very logical reasons for that, including the fact that older buildings have lower (8-9′) ceilings and are generally divided into smaller units. However, not everyone wants to live in a cavern and pay the bills to keep it livable. There are also offsetting advantages to the more mature structures: Rental policies tend to be more flexible, building setbacks usually more generous, and spaces for guest parking rarely a problem in buildings constructed before land values skyrocketed and prompted plans that provide more salable units per acre.
Drop me a note if a killer view of our coastline is more than a gleam in your eye. I know several of the best agents on Marco — and I can have one of them give you a call.
The first dry, cool air of the season arrived overnight — pretty much on time. This highly anticipated event happens most always within a few days of October 15th.
It’s 7am as I write this. Temperature 69 (it has not been under 70 since last winter) and the Dew Point is 63. The latter is the key. Start of the dry season is recorded on the books as the first day during which the average dew point is 68 … or less.
Residents in the coastal regions of Naples/Southwest Florida were spared the worst of this major hurricane, and the Tropical Storm Watch has been lifted.
By Friday afternoon, the cloudy morning had turned to periods of sunshine with barely more of a breeze than is normal for a coastal area that rarely eexperiences completely still air.
A check of several of our North Naples eagle nests revealed nothing disturbed with the raptors’ behavior patterns quite typical of the early phases of the nesting season.
CO-019a in North Naples. Nest re-buiding is accomplished one twig or branch at a time.
Spring and Fall really don’t exist as definable seasons in Naples. Summer does, of course … stretching from late March through mid-October. The remaining portion of the year is simply referred to as the dry season.
Just three days ago, we started noticing air that is somewhat less humid.
We are still awaiting that magical day — usually a few days before or after October 15th — when the air suddenly turns fresh and cool. That’s when our overworked air conditioners get switched off and the window flung open.
We’ll be sure to note that event here — hopefully in a week or so.
Attempting to put a number on the cost of renting is akin to establishing the length of a piece of string. However, there are generalized conclusions available from poking around the MLS, speaking with agents who specialize in the rental market, and becoming familiar with the numerous large apartment complexes coming out of the ground and opening for business.
Some of the latter are offering large (up to 2,000 square feet,) well-equipped units at about $1.35 per foot per month for a full year lease. (Longer leases are not legal in Florida.) The supply of brand new units, plus the attractive rates offered to get the occupancy rate up quickly, will likely put downward pressure on existing rentals of all types, private and commercial alike. I would expect to find a dollar a foot or even less for some newly-vacated properties.
At the luxury level, meaning a free-standing home in a prestigious community with amenities, I’d be thinking four to five dollars per foot per month. An acquaintance, Josh Reef at Hurzitz-James Company in Beverly Hills, has a nice 5/5½ home at 2277 Worthing Lane in Los Angeles offering 7797 square feet of comfort for rent at $39,500 a month. The math works out to very close to $5 per foot per month.
You can easily pay that and more in Naples — in season, when short term rates are triple or quadruple the year-round cost.
Now, to put that all in perspective: time commitment versus cost, let’s take a typical 350 square foot room in a mid-priced hotel. Most people would be happy to find a room here in season for $175 per night. Extended to a month, that’s $15 per foot. Go to a luxury hotel, and the cost may very well exceed $50 per foot per month.
So, with all that — that buck-thirty five rate at a new apartment complex begins to really look like a bargain. Need more info on rentals? Drop me a note below.
It’s completely unscientific, but I have always interpreted the early return of eagles as an indicator that we are likely to have a relatively calm ending to the hurricane season. Then again, there has been little late season hurricane activity directly affecting Southwest Florida over the past half-century: Donna in 1960, Andrew in 1992, Charley in 2004, and Wilma in 2005. Of those, only Wilma (October 24th) was what qualifies as a late season storm.
In any case, we have now spotted three different returning adult eagles: one each from CO-001, CO-019a, and LE-097. The eagles from CO-001 on the Conservation Collier tract) can often be observed late in the day perched in a dead tree behind the Pewter Mug Restaurant in North Naples just south of the light at Imperial Golf. The most visible nest in the area is in the cell tower at the southwest corner of US 41 and Bonita Beach Road. Pull off the road into the McDonald’s parking lot and look to the west.
Astronomical? It can be, so there is always a buzz.
Several sales were recorded this year at over $2000 per square foot — and there is a good choice of offerings on the market going as high as $6000 psf!
At the other end of the pricing spectrum, and certainly not so close to the water that salt corrosion is a problem for the infrastructure, there are hidden gems such as the golf club (two 18-hole courses, tennis, bocce, 9 pools, and a restaurant) condo pictured below at a buck-twenty a foot for nearly eleven hundred feet of clean, convenient, and delightfully economical living for snowbirds, investment rental, as a full time residence for a single person or an entry level first responder or teacher with a small family.
Now, for $129,900 this isn’t a candidate for a feature story in one of our many city magazines. But the listing has appraised at that level so will probably will not last long on the market. Want to know more? Call or text me.
There are hundreds of good reasons to make the choice of Naples as your place to live. And now, we have apparently acquired another: pickleball.
The sport’s national organization is seeking to extend its contract with Collier County to hold yearly championship matches at the East Naples Community Park through the year 2021!
Pickleball is a combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton — and it’s played with a ball with holes in it. From what I’ve heard, the game can be interesting for spectators when played at the tournament level.
Hey, this is the town long famous for holding yearly Swamp Buggy Races.
When: Saturday, September 24th
Where: The Marina at Edison Ford, 2360 West 1st Street, Ft Myers
Admission: Free, with two grades of VIP tickets available for $55 and $40
There are some widely held beliefs among locals that gas (1) is priced higher here than anywhere else in the state because “we are at the end of the supply chain;” (2) should be priced lower here than elsewhere because bulk gasoline is delivered at Port Everglades; (3) prices are artificially inflated during season. I’d say (3) is probably true — because demand increases when the population doubles, and that can justify moderate price increases. Up to a point.
It’s a known fact that some businesses here make all their profit in the winter months and break even the rest of the year. It would not be surprising to find that holds especially true in the convenience store business, the ‘gas stations’ of this era.
As for (1) and (2) — they are mutually exclusive. But I know someone who can clear that up.
I will periodically check on gas prices and publish a note here, creating a record over time. As of today, the most common price for regular seems to be hovering around $2.25. Mid-grade is about 12% higher and premium commands a 20% markup.
This is a good moment to repeat one of my periodic disclaimers: I am not dispensing or selling advice.
I will always attempt to provide accurate information, sourcing when doing so lends clarity. By design and intent, this blog is informal, breezy, and hopefully informative. My primary readers are people who love Naples and Southwest Florida and wish to someday live here; if not full time, then as one of our many seasonal residents and visitors.
So, what’s the cost of land in Naples? Try $16M an acre! Now, that’s for primo water views and/or Gulf access. Here’s the math: Researching recent sales in Aqualane Shores and Port Royal, we can point to one purchase at $13,975,900 per acre. Now, there is another value to land with direct water access — based on the linear footage along the dune line or a seawall. In that realm of measurement, there is a sale on record at $80,000 per foot! Multiplied by 206.3 — the number of feet along one side of a perfectly square acre — equates to $16.5M per acre.
At the other end of the ‘cost per acre’ spectrum — a recent sale of 5 acres for $12,500 in “The Estates” reduces to $2,500 per acre.
Talk about choices: $2500 buys you an acre in the eastern part of the county, or about one-third of an inch at the beach!
It’s a well circulated misconception that it rains every day during Florida summers. Not quite. We’ve had two days in a row without heavy afternoon rains here on the southwest coast, and today is so far sunny with only an occasional puffy cloud.
Now, we do get plenty of rain here — nearly 5 feet of it annually — about 30% more than the US average. Three quarters of our annual rainfall happens in the summer and fall. Even at that, it’s a rarity to be under cloud cover and wet conditions for an entire day.
When it rains here, it really rains. But in relatively small areas at a time.
I keep an umbrella in the car, but rarely use it. Locals generally wait in the car for a shower to pass — or simply drive out of it and run the errand a mile down the road.
Four bed, 6 bath luxury home attached. Prestige neighborhood, ready access to dining, shopping, and the Gulf. Contact me. I know the agent.
My user name is RL and the email goes to naples.net.
Before the end of 2016, the population of Florida will cross the 20 million mark. It was just half that in 1980.
1000 people per day are relocating here.
Can it occasionally be difficult to find parking reasonably close to a stretch of white sand beach and aqua-colored water? Sure, but mostly at predictable times such as high season holiday weekends.
Both Florida state law and local ordinances are heavily tilted toward easy access for all residents and visitors — assuring the global treasure that is our coastline is enjoyed universally.
Our beaches can also be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort. I invite anyone to challenge my claim that the stretch of road from Bonita Springs to Ft Myers Beach — through a series of keys and over tropical toned passes — is one of the most visually appealing in the entire country.
Need a little ‘insider’ information on where to find beach parking on any day of the year? Contact me!
My user name is rl and the account is @naples.net