Southwest Florida Real Estate Prices Rise in October.  Single family average home prices in Lee County Florida rose 7.6% in October 2014 over last year, up to $250,164, up from last year’s average of $232,526.

Southwest Florida Real Estate Prices Rise in October

Median single family home prices rose too in October, up 17.3% from last year.  October 2013 median home prices were $157,000 and this year they shot up to $184,175.

As you can see from the graph, home prices traditionally start making their move in October to the upside and lead-off the season.  It should be interesting to watch how sales numbers progress this season.

Here’s what we know.  Listing inventory is down 11.8% from last year.  Pending sales are rising.  Interest rates are low and many people fear they’ll be heading higher in 2015.  The stock market is near record highs.  People have a quiet confidence as real estate is affordable and stock portfolios look better than they did years ago.

This means that people have the ability to liquidate stocks to buy real estate which is especially important to SW Florida.  It also means that many have the ability to sell their current home or borrow against it to buy property in the Sunbelt.  This is another notch in SW Florida’s cap.

Combine these financial facts, simple supply and demand, and our abundant sunshine while the weather is cold and snowy back home, and you’ve got a recipe for some strong sales for the 2015 season.

Winter started early and hard for our Snowbirds.  Most had just about had it from last year and planned trips to Florida.  They were hit with another round of heavy snow and frigid temperatures early in the winter season this year.  If they were sick of it last year, they’re beyond tired of it already this year.

When they arrive and are sipping their umbrella drink on the beach they begin to dream and visualize what paradise would look like for them if they moved here.  We’ve all done it.  Very few people in SW Florida grew up here compared to all the people living here.  Many if not most have relocated here from somewhere else, and somewhere else is usually cold this time of year.

We expect the beaches to be packed starting December 26.  Reservations are doing well at the beach.  Traffic picked up early this year and we expect an influx starting in a few weeks.

I called the Carefree Boat Club Fort Myers to see if people up North had shown interest in boating down here this winter.  They have a Canadian boat club and many Canadians are looking forward to traveling here and checking out the SW Florida boating lifestyle.

All these visitors add to the local economy, and many buy here after seeing how beautiful it is here.  I’m not sure we need a Chamber of Commerce to promote SW Florida when we’ve got the beaches, water, umbrella drinks in the sand, golf courses, sun, and warm temperatures.

Throw in Spring Training, year round softball, tennis, and walks around the neighborhood and we’ve got a winning formula.  No wonder our local real estate market is heating up!

If you’d like to search for your piece of paradise, visit our website or call us at 239-489-4042  You can search the MLS for free and see homes on the market in real-time.  If you have a property to sell, we can help with that too.

Good Luck, and Happy House Hunting!  And remember, whether you live here full-time or just visiting, get out and enjoy the water, beach, or golf course.  People fly here the world over to enjoy this place.  Don’t take it for granted.  Get out there and get you some!

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Ellis Team

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907


Back in March we wrote an article about the benefits of joining a SW Florida boat club versus owning a boat.  The article was about people moving to SW Florida and debating whether to spend big bucks buying waterfront property so they could have a boat in their back yard.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having a nice property and having a nice boat in your own backyard.

SW Florida Boat Club Carefree Boat Club Fort Myers location
Deck Boat at Carefree Boat Club Fort Myers


There are some costs for this luxury though.  First of all, you spend a lot more for the property.  Flood insurance may be higher too, as are property taxes.  Then you have the costs of the boat.

Perhaps you have a boat payment, a down payment, Sea Tow, insurance, licensing, maintenance, and of course depreciation.  Boats never seem to go up in value, only down.  Personally I hate cleaning up the boat after I come in from a day in the sun.  It would be so nice to just walk up onto the boat and it’s all gassed up and walk right off at the end of the day.

After writing the article I looked into this membership a little further.  For me it wasn’t about moving down here and selecting a property.  I already live here and love the life in paradise.  I don’t have enough equity in my home to make a move to the waterfront so that’s not even an option.

If I wanted to get out on the water I basically had just two options.  First, buy a boat and find somewhere to store it.  My garage isn’t big enough to store and trailer a boat.  Secondly, I could check out a boat club.

Advantages of Joining a SW Florida Boat Club:

My monthly payment with the boat club is less than what a boat payment would be.  I don’t pay for insurance, towing, storage, maintenance, tax, title, repairs, or anything.  I just pay for the gas.

Best yet, when I walk off the boat I just walk away.  They fill it up with gas, clean it, park it for the night, etc.  Our family just walks off happy and we have the rest of our evening.  It’s really a beautiful thing.

I don’t have to get the boat ready either,  Years ago we owned a boat and each time we took it out I’d have to go make sure battery is working, clean it up since it had been in storage, etc.  Today I just login to the online reservation system and reserve the boat and show up.  They have it sitting in the water all waiting for me.

My family just walks on and we’re off the dock in less than 5 minutes.  I just run through a quick checklist to make sure all the life vests are there and a few other things and we’re underway.  Most boats have a GPS unit, portable bathroom onboard.  My kids like the radio.

Blow up raft off Sanibel Island Florida
Enjoying a Leisurely Day at the Beach

We even bought a blow-up raft we tie up to the boat.  Last week we anchored off Sanibel Island and had a blast.

The boat club I joined has fishing boats, leisure boats, and more.  One has air conditioning and a cabin.  They’re adding boats to the fleet all the time.  My boys are excited about going fishing one of these days.

I joined Carefree Boat Club in Fort Myers, however I like that I have access to all the Carefree Boat Clubs across the world.  Next week I have a reservation at the Cape Coral location.  Basically it feels like I have joined two boat clubs because I have access to all the boats in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

Our YouTube page has a nice video where dolphins were playing with us for about 10 minutes.  You might enjoy that video.  Joining the boat club has been great for my family.  Raising 3 teenagers and an 11 year old who thinks she’s a teenager can be challenging, and having something fun to do like going out on a boat is a great family bonding experience.

Taking the family out on a boat doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  The time you spend making memories is priceless.

And remember, if you’re thinking about moving to SW Florida, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to live the good life.  Just get out there and make some memories.

Good luck and have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend.

To view our Listings in Hi Definition, visit www.HomesinHD.TV or click on our playlist below

Fort Myers Real Estate Agent

7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr

Fort Myers, FL 33907

Each day we talk to customers that want to move to SW Florida to enjoy our year round sunshine and all we have to offer, like boating, fishing, shelling, golf, tennis, and more.  Often times customers find themselves buying expensive real estate on a golf course or waterfront homes with a dock in the backyard.

Living the SW Florida Dream Affordably

Living the SW Florida Dream Affordably Freedom Boat Club Fort Myers Beach Carefree Boat Club Fort Myers
Fun For the Whole Family

Some potential buyers dream about buying in SW Florida but are just shy of having enough money to buy that expensive golf course home or waterfront property without exhausting too many reserves to pull it off, so they do nothing and give up.

If buyers knew of cost saving alternatives to enjoy the SW Florida lifestyle we believe many would act, so we looked into affordable boating and found some answers.

Boat club costs versus owning a boat in SW Florida

You’ll see many ads for boat clubs on TV and in the newspaper and there are all kinds from local clubs to national companies.  We decided to focus on national companies because we’ve seen some local companies close shop leaving their customers out in the wind.  National companies may be more secure and offer ways to enjoy boating while traveling as well.

We focused on the two best known national companies to us, Freedom Boat Club and Carefree. Both have local and national locations and costs vary by location.  Each club works similarly in many aspects in that there is a buy-in and a monthly cost.  Freedom Boat Club has some seasonal options in addition to the yearly plans, so you can save money if you only want to use a boat during certain months.

Carefree Boat Club has the lowest buy-in at $3,500 with a 5 year rate lock and $4,500 with a 3 year rate lock. Freedom Boat Club has lower monthly fees and a $5,500 buy-in and the rate is locked in for life.

Carefree Boat club advertises that members save 40-60% compared to owning their own boat.  Freedom Boat Club provided a chart that compares the cost buying a new boat and maintaining for 3 years versus being a boat club member and saving for 3 years.  There is no doubt joining a boat club is more cost effective.

You do give up the convenience of having your boat in your back yard and using it anytime you want, but both boat clubs agree that availability is plentiful because they keep their membership numbers at certain ratios.  As they increase members they add more boats to the fleet.

Gone are the days of paying for insurance, towing services, costly maintenance,  boat payments, storage if you dry dock it or rent a slip, tax, title, and licensing, and all the headaches of owning a boat.  Don’t forget to mention the cost of selling and buying newer boats as time goes on.

For a one-time investment and low monthly fees you can have it all, and save on real estate too.  The hard core boater or fisherman will probably not be attracted to such an idea, but the casual boater who would like to enjoy the water without all the cost and headache of boat ownership will be attracted.

Snowbirds from up north who are casual boaters will be too as they won’t have to tie up hundred’s of thousand’s of dollars in expensive waterfront property just to house that boat that will also cost them.

There is a saying that goes, “The two best days in a man’s life is the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it.”  Not sure why it wouldn’t apply to women too.

By joining a boat club you take away that last day where you’re relieved to sell the boat because it cost you bunches to keep it.  Now you have an affordable alternative.

Whether you need to look for an expensive waterfront home or condo, or a more laid back parcel you can retire in, Always Call the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group 239-489-4042

Good luck, and Happy Boating, no matter how you get out there!

If you’re considering buying or selling in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Ft Myers Beach or anywhere in Lee County Florida, give us a call. 239-489-4042 or visit our website

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