Pet friendly neighborhoods that allow large dogs in Naples

Have a large pet?

This list has been generated using MLS data. I can tell you that the pet data in the MLS can be wrong sometimes so please check with me before visiting these properties so I can confirm the accuracy. You can contact me here to verify this data.

Have I missed one? Please let me know!

No Approval Needed

Neighborhoods That Allow Large Dogs

An upgraded home in North Naples’ premiere neighborhood of StoneCreek

This home located at 4119 Zelkova Court was built by GL Homes in 2017. It is the very popular “Newcastle” floor plan that features 4 large bedrooms (downstairs master bedroom and 3 guest bedrooms upstairs), a really useful upstairs loft and four full bathrooms. In my opinion, GL Homes is one of the best builders we see here in Southwest Florida. They’ve also built some of the other sought-after neighborhoods such as Riverstone, Saturnia Lakes and Marbella Isles. Their quality is excellent and the homes are solid.

You can see the full listing for this home here. Please contact us for a private showing.

I don’t know how often buyers think about the location of a home within a neighborhood but I think it’s really something to keep in mind. In big neighborhoods, it can be a hassle to live in the back, driving a while just to get out of the neighborhood, but this home is on 4119 Zelkova Court, very close to the gated entrance on Logan Boulevard. Plus, it’s a quiet cul-de-sac with only 10 homes. I was just there yesterday and neighbors were out talking to one-another while children played outside.

Need a place to park?


One of my favorite upgrades that the owners had done was widening their driveway from 2-car to 3-car. Naples typically has driveways just big enough for 2 cars so you step out into your lawn. This is widened and long enough to really be able to spread out.

We’re cooking with gas!


Naples is not known for having natural gas and buyers are often disappointed to have all electric appliances. StoneCreek is a neighborhood with natural gas! That means your range, oven, water heater and dryer don’t cost as much as they would if they were electric. Plus, cooking on gas is so much better than electric. There are no tanks to fill or worry about. The natural gas is just piped into the home.

Speaking of cooking…


I’d love for you to see the kitchen in person because it is stunning. The white wooden cabinetry is gorgeous and features soft-close hardware. Give the drawers a shove and they slowly close on their own. There’s a large pantry with shelves that pull-out. The subway tile backsplash is beautiful against the white quartz counters. There’s even LED lighting both above and below the cabinetry.

Plus, have a look toward the back of the kitchen–there is a breakfast nook with bay windows for every day dining.

It’s time to relax

The lanai outside is huge and the decking is made of shell-stone. Hot sun won’t heat them up and your bare feet will be just fine! There’s a plunge pool outside that you will use so much more frequently than a traditional pool. Why? It’s a hot tub as well! The entire pool system is controlled through your phone. You can heat the water in just an hour because of an oversized pool heater. Then, have a seat against one of the jets, relax, and listen to the waterfall. You can even take in a movie or sporting event on the lanai’s wall-mounted television while you sit in the plunge pool. Also, the pool has a sun shelf so you can certainly lay out in the Florida sun and tan! We could truly write an entire blog post just about the custom-built plunge pool!

The remainder of the back yard is fenced and there’s mesh to keep smaller pets from escaping. The deck isn’t just around the plunge pool. Instead, it is nearly the width of the home so you have plenty of places to put a fire pit or deck chairs while still having a grassy area in the back.

Finally, you’ll just love the covered portion of the lanai. There is an electric sun shade that you can lower to block the sun if need be. There’s a lot of possibilities for ways to use this space. The current owners have a TV mounted there with some great outdoor furniture and they watch movies outside while enjoying the cool evenings. They added a sauna (not included in the sale!) as there’s plenty of room. Just imagine what you could do with this!

Let’s come back inside

The entire living area downstairs has been upgraded with luxury vinyl plank tiles and they’re beautiful. The owners really picked a great color. It’s important to note though that the tile flooring that came with the home is still underneath. If you’d prefer tile, great! Just pull up the planks and you’re back to the tile flooring.

One of the characteristics of this home that I love so much is how the upgrades are so subtle yet make such a huge difference when you compare them to the basic homes for sale in the neighborhood. If you look at the left wall on the above picture, you’ll see it has this light grey wallpaper that looks so great against the flooring and kitchen counters. Also, the owners upgraded the lighting. Now, you have multiple cans of LED lighting that can change colors! They’re really great, eat up almost no electricity, and can be dimmed for entertaining.

Take one look at this dining room and you will see what I mean with the upgrades. The owner installed the coffered ceilings and they look beautiful in person. Plus, have a look at the wall on the left and it’s gorgeous tiled treatments. It’s these upgrades that really wowed me when I walked in and I’m sure would do the same for you.

A master bathroom to love!

The master bathroom is so big that half of it isn’t even pictured! It’s important to note that this bathroom features a huge soaking tub with a separate glass-enclosed shower, dual vanities, and a separate room for the commode. Just outside of the master bath are his and her walk-in closets with custom closet systems for storage.

So many ways to use the upstairs loft

At the top of the stairs and to your right is an open and spacious loft. The current owners are using it as a second family room so the adults can watch TV downstairs or on the lanai while the children can watch their shows upstairs. I’ve seen other Newcastle model homes where this loft is used as a child’s playroom, an exercise room, and an office.

Just off of the loft are the three guest bedrooms as well as a full bathroom. One of the guest bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom which is really great for guests that will certainly visit you in Florida!

The full list of features and benefits

This home at 4119 Zelkova Court in Naples simply has so many features, benefits and upgrades that we had to make a list. Here are the highlights:

Inside the home

  • Natural gas appliances including range, dryer, hot water heater, and pool heater
  • Luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout the living areas for easy maintenance
  • CAT-6 network wiring throughout the home
  • Pull-out shelving in the pantry and soft-close hinges throughout the kitchen
  • Custom storage room under the stairs with lighting and barn door
  • Reverse osmosis under the kitchen sink
  • Double oven range
  • Closet systems to maximize space and keep items organized
  • Smart home features such as NEST thermostats
  • Philips Color Hue lighting in living room and kitchen
  • LED lighting both above and below the kitchen cabinets
  • Oversized soaking tub in master bathroom
  • Cabinetry and sink in the laundry room
  • Numerous storage and shelving units in the garage
  • 10 foot high garage ceiling
  • Many TV mounts
  • USB wall outlets for easy charging of devices
  • New high-end washer and dryer
  • Ceiling fans in every room (except upstairs office)
  • Custom coffered ceilings in the dining room and beautiful accent wall

Outside of the home

  • Shell stone decking around pool
  • Plunge pool with sun shelf, jets, natural gas pool heater
  • Plunge-pool can be converted to a hot tub in an hour
  • Pentair automated pool system to operate pool functions via your phone
  • Extended pavers in the driveway to make room for 3 vehicles
  • Fenced back yard with mesh to prevent pets from escaping
  • Electric sun shade on lanai
  • Quiet cul-de-sac street with no through traffic
  • Backyard oasis with beautiful landscaping

Why is StoneCreek so popular in North Naples?

There are so many reasons why I hear customers want to be in StoneCreek. As mentioned before, it was built by GL Homes so we know the homes are really well-built and with great floor plans. It’s in a fantastic location in North Naples, just off of Logan Blvd.. That means you can quickly get to I-75 via Immokalee Road or head north on the newly lengthened Logan Blvd. to reach Bonita Beach Road.

Inside the Clubhouse

In my opinion and through my experiences showing buyers this neighborhood, it’s mostly because of the amenities. What we’re starting to see in our real estate market is that builders are competing for buyers by building out over-the-top amenities for residents to enjoy. StoneCreek certainly is this way.

The clubhouse is so close to this home that you won’t even want to take your car. Just head west and you’re there! This state-of-the-art clubhouse is the entertainment center of the neighborhood. There’s a full-size indoor basketball court, billiards room, social room and a massive fitness center all inside in the air conditioning.


Outside of the Clubhouse

This picture gives you a really great overview of what StoneCreek has to offer residents.

If you’re a swimmer, you have a huge resort pool, a separate lap pool and a large hot tub. There’s even a kiddie area (bottom-right) with a bucket that spills water onto the children and a little slide for them to enjoy.

Tennis players love StoneCreek and for good reason. There are lighted tennis courts and two pickleball courts.

Other StoneCreek amenities include outdoor basketball (I’d rather play inside in the air conditioning!), beach volleyball and playground.



Are you ready to see 4119 Zelkova?

We don’t foresee this property staying on the market very long. The price is extremely competitive and buyers in this area are flocking to StoneCreek. We’d love to show it to you though!

If you would like to see this home, please contact us. You can give us a call at (239) 248-8171 and we can set up a time to have a private tour of this awesome home.

7 Ways To Tell You Have a Bad REALTOR®

They rely on the MLS to sell your home and nothing else

Is your agent simply putting your home on the MLS and waiting for someone to hopefully come along and buy it? That’s what I see happen more often than not.

Being a REALTOR® involves selling. We’re salespeople. It is my job to either sell your home to an end-user or to other REALTORS® by making them see the features and benefits of your home and the value.

If your agent is simply waiting for your home to sell, give their broker a call and tell her you want out of your listing agreement. You’re making a major financial transaction and deserve better.

They are only part-time and have another job

You would be shocked to find out how many agents are working for you only part-time and some even work a full-time job elsewhere. I had a deal not too long ago where I was representing the seller and had listed her home. The buyer’s agent was unreachable during the day and her customer was about to miss a deadline that would put them in breach of contract, putting their earnest money deposits in risk. I called, texted and emailed to no avail. Finally, she answered the phone and screamed at me, “I cannot just walk away from my job at Hallmark because you need something.”

I absolutely hate that some agents work part-time. If your agent cannot achieve at a level that would make him or her a full-time agent, you deserve better.

They pressure you to sign buyer-broker agreements

A buyer-broker agreement is a contract that many agents ask you to sign before the agent will show you property. The contract states that you will be 100% loyal to that agent for a specified length of time. In other words, you’re stuck.

Imagine sitting down in your new dentist’s chair and he hands you a piece of paper and says, “Before I patch this tooth up, you need to promise me in writing that you’ll be my customer for the next 6 months, no matter how badly I may perform.” Would you sign it?

My belief is that if I’m not doing a good enough job for a client, the client should be free to walk away from me and use someone else. Working without a buyer-broker agreement isn’t risky at all if the service is great—nobody is going to leave.

There is a lack of communication

Do you email, call or text your agent and you don’t hear back for hours or sometimes not at all? Do you make offers on property and not get feedback promptly? Do you sometimes feel like your agent has more important things to do than to answer you?

Communication is key. I do my best to get back to my customers within an hour or two at all times. Sometimes, I’m only able to write that I will reach out later yet I will always respond. If you are my client, I will not leave you in suspense.

They do not follow up on their commitments

I hear customers complain that their agent made big promises but failed to keep his or her word. If you are asking your agent to do something for you and your agent doesn’t come through, you have to start wondering if they’re truly working for you.

Where this is often seen is in listing presentations. An agent shows up with pretty marketing materials and a list of things they will do to sell your home. Yet, you sign the listing agreement and then do not see those things on his to-do list get done. It’s dishonest and a slap in the face to the client.

They promised a high price for your home but are failing to sell it

Often called “buying the listing,” agents will sometimes tell a potential seller that they can get a number far higher than what the home is truly worth. Of course, other agents that they’ve interviewed gave them lower numbers so who are they going to pick? Yep, they’ll pick the agent that gave them a high number just so he or she would be chosen.

Once under contract, the home doesn’t sell and the dishonest listing agent starts asking for price decreases. The worst part is, you’re likely stuck with that agent for 6 months under the listing agreement.

Call the agent’s broker if you get yourself into this position as a seller. All you can do is ask to be let out of the listing agreement. Chances are though, you’re stuck with this unethical agent while the great ones are out selling everyone else’s homes!

They serve a huge geographical area

Ever hear an agent say something crazy like, “I service Sarasota to Marco Island.” How do they do that? How can they possibly be an expert in all of those markets in their giant geographical area. What I hear when I come across this is an agent that spreads herself thin to hopefully get more business.

Personally, I focus on Marco Island to Estero. I’ll service Fort Myers if it is an area I happen to be familiar with but typically I give those leads to someone more capable and knowledgable.

When you come across an agent claiming to service all of those areas, ask to see their last 50 sales. Look at where those homes were sold and you’ll see where the agent truly serves. Maybe it is in your neck of the woods but watch out if it isn’t. You need a market expert, not a jack of all trades and master of none.

How to Get Cigarette Smoke Smell Out of Your House

There are some supplies you’ll want to purchase to prepare for the cleaning that is about to happen:

  • Rags (lots and lots of rags)
  • White Vinegar
  • Spray Bottle
  • Baking Soda
  • Ammonia
  • HEPA A/C filter
  • Steam Cleaner

Get the air circulating with open windows and fans

The first step is an obvious one. We need to open every window in the home and turn every single fan on. Replacing the indoor air with some fresh air from outside will get you well on your way.

Wash or throw away any fabrics in the home

Ever go to a very smoky bar and even after you’ve left you can still smell the cigarette smoke on your clothes? The same applies in your home. Things like curtains, carpets or any upholstery that is staying in the home will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Things like fabric window coverings should be able to be washed in the washing machine. Here’s a trick—instead of laundry detergent, use a cup o white vinegar. Then, wash again using detergent. Allow them to air dry. Ideally, you can throw these items away and replace with your own new ones. If this is your choice, do not bring the new items into the home until the smell is completely gone or you’ll just get the new ones smelling bad too.

If replacing the carpet isn’t an option, the carpets will need to be steam cleaned. First though, sprinkle baking soda all over the carpets liberally. Let it sit for a few days. Then, you can rent a steamer at many grocery or hardware stores here in Naples. Make sure you get one with an upholstery attachment because you will use that on any furniture that is remaining. Repeat the process as necessary.

Clean up the HVAC system

Your air conditioner’s handler is your next stop. I would encourage having it professionally cleaned by a local company such as Conditioned Air. The air handler is taking air in around the clock so it only makes sense to have it professionally cleaned. Then, replace the A/C filter and go with the absolute best HEPA filter.

I know it’s a big step but having the air ducts professionally cleaned is another great thing to do to eliminate cigarette smoke smell in the home. There are a number of air duct cleaning companies in Naples so ask for recommendations in the Facebook Naples, FL group.

Wash the hard surfaces in your home

Grab your spray bottle and some rags and mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and hot water. You need to wipe down every square inch of hard surfaces—light fixtures, door knobs, ceiling fan blades or anything else that came into contact with cigarette smoke needs to be wiped down.

Scrub the walls too

I know, this is hard. If you want the smoke smell out of your home, you’re going to need to scrub the walls. Use a mixture of 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cub vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda per gallon of hot water. Spray, wipe. Stay, wipe. Repeat.

Use ventilators to push air out of the home

Renting two ventilators (or more if you can afford to do so) is a great option. Placing one ventilator in the room to push air toward a window while another ventilator is at the window pushing the air out is a great technique. You can move your two ventilators around the home or use more as budget allows.

Paint the walls (and ceiling)

Drastic? Yep, but it really helps a lot. The walls of your home can harbor that nasty smoke smell so painting them after they’ve been cleaned is a great way to eliminate cigarette smoke smell from your home.

Look at it on the bright side—you wanted a fresh coat of interior paint in your brand new home anyway. This is just a good motivator to do so.

That’s a wrap! Have a better method of getting cigarette smoke odor out of a house?

If you have a method that works for you, please share it in the comments!

Why Do I Love This StoneCreek Listing So Much?

My wife, Laney and I, listed this home in StoneCreek (you can see it here) and we both absolutely love it. There isn’t one particular reason we like it but rather a collection of great features and benefits that make it the total package. Contact us and see it in person but first, let’s have a look at some of those characteristics that make it so special.

The layout and flow of the home

This StoneCreek home was built in 2017 and is the “Merlot” floor plan (floor plan) and features 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths and a huge loft upstairs for a total of 3,215 square feet. There’s a 3 car garage as well. What’s great is that the master bedroom and one of the guest bedrooms are downstairs so the layout works for everyone. Downstairs also has a living area, dining room, family room and kitchen.

The pool and the view

The owners had this pool custom built just last year and they made incredibly great choices. First of all, the pool has the two water features and the sun shelf (seen in the bottom right of the picture). It’s such a great pool to relax in, especially with the lanai TV where you can watch the game and relax in the pool at the same time! The travertine decking is a big step up from brick and stays cool in the sun. Plus, did you notice how the lanai has the photo frame screen? There aren’t any support bars for the entire back section of screen so the lake view is completely unobstructed.

I love the lake view on this particular home because it looks lengthwise down the lake. A big lot premium was paid to have the privilege of having this view!

The custom millwork and shiplap walls

I’m not sure who the carpenter was that did this work but I’d like to shake his or her hand. It is so well done and really makes the rooms stand out. With such tall ceilings, plain walls like the builder supplies can often look bland. I really like how the wood is angled to align with the staircase so perfectly.

The custom woodwork is featured throughout the house but I wanted you to see the master bedroom. It’s such a subtle touch but doesn’t the wall look so much better with this?

A gas powered home with an awesome kitchen to cook in

Very few neighborhoods in Naples have gas for appliances and I hear complaints from my “up north” buyers all the time because they don’t want an electric stove. I completely understand – cooking on gas is just better. Well, you’ll find that here in StoneCreek!

There’s a huge island in the middle of the kitchen with 4 stools and can be used as a great place to sit and eat.

You’ll also find the breakfast area that’s spacious and has lake and pool views through the beautiful bay windows. I could picture myself with the family sitting there for a meal. It’s just a really cool space.

Resort amenities that rival any vacation spot

Finally, the amenities. GL Homes built StoneCreek to be a community centered around unheard of amenities. There is an indoor basketball court! How many other communities can say they have that? There’s a massive pool with a lap pool and spa attached. How about a kid’s pool area with waterslides? Check! There’s a fitness center that will take the place of the gym you’re paying for. There’s billiards, a card room, social room, yoga/dance studio and a playground for the kids.

Are you ready to take a private tour of this home?

If you’re looking for a beautiful and spacious home in North Naples, you really should have a look at 4123 Aspen Chase Drive. This is one of those houses that we just don’t see hitting the market every day. It’s one of the most sought-after floor plans in StoneCreek and for good reason. There’s a flow to the home. The rooms are exactly where you’d want them to be with 2 downstairs and 3 upstairs. There are cozy nooks where you can curl up with a book or take a quick nap. There’s a 3 car garage which we don’t see as much as I’d like to. It’s just 4 years old but feels like it was finished yesterday. It has a custom pool and not just one of the few cookie-cutter pools that the builder had as options. It truly is one of my favorite properties that I have ever listed.

Contact me and take a no-obligation tour.

Things to do in Naples, Florida

Things to do in Naples on the water

Hit the Beaches

naples-public-beaches

It should come as no surprise that our first activity involves the beautiful beaches of Naples, Florida. With miles and miles of public beach access, you can be on the sugary white sand in no time! The water temperature ranges from a low of 67° in January to 86° in August. You will have plenty of options as to which beaches to visit. Some of our favorites are Delnor-Wiggins State Park in North Naples, Lowdermilk Park, or Clam Pass Park.

If you’re a resident of Collier County, be sure to pick up your annual beach parking permit to make visiting the beaches even easier (and free!).

Useful Links


Fish off of the Naples Pier

naples-pier-naples-florida

The Naples Pier is located at the end very west end of 12th Avenue South and offers an amazing opportunity for visitors to enjoy a great day of fishing. At around 1,000 feet long, the pier has room for everyone! There are public restrooms with showers, a concession stand and beach supplies. You can even buy your bait at the pier.

What will you catch? You’ll find that just about everything is available off the pier including grouper, snook, sheepshead, redfish and even sharks! You don’t even have to have a license to fish from the pier so it’s a really great spot for people just visiting our great town.

Before you go, be sure to read the Naples Pier rules to avoid a ticket and fine.

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Cape Romano Dome House

cape-romano-dome-house

If you want a quick lesson in man vs. the environment, take a boat or jet ski ride down to the Cape Romano Dome House. The Dome House was built in 1979 with no intentions of being accessible by boat. Between storms and strong currents, the land was slowly washed away stranding the structure out at sea.

Bring a fishing pole if you visit the Cape Romano Dome House. It’s a popular spot for both fishermen and visitors now.

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Golden Gate Aquatic Center

golden-gate-aquatic-center

The Golden Gate Aquatic Center is a great place to take some lessons or bring the kids to play. The facility features a huge heated pool, wading pool and two water slides. There’s even both a 1 and 3 meter springboard.

Children under 3 are welcome for free while adults pay just $2.00 to enjoy the facility.

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Naples Princess

naples-princess-dinner-cruise

So full disclosure–this is one of my favorite things to do here in Naples and a really great spot to bring visitors. My wife and I have taken the cruise with visitors many times and it just doesn’t get old.

The Naples Princess is a 105-foot luxury yacht with the capacity for 149 people. You can take a tour of Naples Bay, see the gorgeous homes in Port Royal, or take in a sunset on the Gulf of Mexico. You can even take a dinner cruise and enjoy the bar. One of my favorite aspects of the Naples Princess is that you can go on the very top deck for the best views or enjoy the air conditioning inside the vessel.

There are daily cruises yet private charters, group events and even weddings are available on the boat.

Pro tip: You can often find deals on Naples Princess cruises on Groupon.

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Keewaydin Island

keewaydin-island-naples-fl

Keewaydin Island is a barrier island between Marco Island and Naples with close to 8 miles of beach and is only accessible by boat. It’s a great place for boaters to unwind and even bring their dogs–it’s the only Collier County beach that is pet-friendly. It’s a great place to enjoy the day with other boaters, swim or go shelling. Be prepared though as there are not any bathroom facilities or businesses on the island. However, various boats sometimes pass by offering refreshments.

How do you get there if you don’t own a boat? There are a number of shuttles, such as the Hemingway Water Shuttle, that offer rides to the island. You can also rent your own boat or jet ski.

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Rent a Canoe or Kayak and Explore

Kayaking in Naples FL

Another one of my favorite activities here in Naples, Florida is to grab the kids and rent a kayak. Exploring the local waterways in a canoe or kayak is a lot of fun. There are plenty of companies here that also provide guided tours. It can definitely get pricey to rent a canoe or kayak for an extended trip so do a little research and find the best deal for that day.

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Take a Sunset Boat Excursion

naples-sunset-cruise

Naples is known for its amazingly beautiful sunsets and our beaches are a fantastic place to relax and watch the sun disappear over the horizon. However, taking a sunset cruise on one of our boats is an even better experience in my opinion.

Pictured is the highly-rated Sweet Liberty Sunset Cruise that will take visitors on a 53′ catamaran from the Naples City Dock and into the Gulf of Mexico. Prices are around $40 for adults. The aforementioned Naples Princess is another fantastic option for catching a sunset.

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Go Shelling

Shelling on Naples beaches

The beaches of Naples and Marco Island make an outstanding place to stroll and find beautiful shells and you have many places to choose from. One of the most popular spots for locals is Barefoot Beach which is just north of Delnor-Wiggins State Park and can be access from Bonita Beach Road.

For the adventurous, consider renting a boat or taking a ferry to one of the remote barrier islands. Keewaydin Island is another great spot for shelling. Finally, a day trip to Sanibel Island can also be a fun way to find some of Southwest Florida’s best shells.

Please remember that it is illegal to take live creatures so be careful when finding starfish and sand dollars.

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Deep Sea Fishing or Backwater Fishing

Deep sea fishing in Naples, Florida

There are so many opportunities to fish the waters of Naples, Florida and one of the most fun ways is on a boat! Naples is full of incredibly skilled captains that can take you far offshore to fish the underwater wrecks or stay in the backwaters of the 10,000 Islands or our bays.

Companies like Pure Florida Deep offer a couple of ways to enjoy deep sea fishing. You can charter your own private boat for small groups or you can join other friends and families on their larger boat to save a little money.

Get out on the water and catch those group, snapper, mahi, snook and redsfish!

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Rent a Jet Ski

Jet Ski Rental Naples Fl

Jet skis are a blast and there are plenty of companies that rent them here in Naples and Marco Island. They can be rather pricey at around $120 per hour on average but it’s a great experience to have under your belt. There are even companies that provide jet ski tours of the mangroves and backwater.

Check sites like Groupon before you rent though. There are often good deals to be had!

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See the Manatees

Manatees in Naples Florida

What could be cooler than seeing wild manatees (or sea cows) in the water? These massive yet gentle animals are in the waters of Southwest Florida year-round so there’s always an opportunity to see them. However, finding them can be a challenge.

One of your best chances of seeing manatees comes with a boat ride with a local captain. The captains know best where the manatees will be depending on the time of year. Companies such as Manatee Eco-Tours will take you by boat to look for these gentle giants.

If the weather turns cold, there’s an even better option in my opinion. Just north of Fort Myers is the Lee County Manatee Park. This place is awesome! There is a power plant adjacent to the park that expels warmer water into the channel. The manatees come in droves to enjoy that warmer water and you can walk right up to the canal and see them up close and personal. The best months are December, January and February as that is when the water is the coolest. The park is located at 10901 State Road 80.

Important note: It is absolutely illegal to touch or harass a manatee. If you see them in the wild, please keep your distance and enjoy watching them in their natural habitat.

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Yoga on the Beach

Yoga on the Gulf of Mexico Beach

You may have tried yoga in a studio but have you ever practiced yoga on the beautiful beaches of Naples? Listen to the waves crash as you relax. Many of our local yoga teachers have sessions where the price is your donation. Give Donation Yoga or Naples Beach Yoga by Innergy Health a try.

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Things to do in Naples on the land

The Village Shops on Venetian Bay

Village on Venetian Bay - Naples, Florida

Visit the Village on Venetian Bay when you’re in Naples for some incredible waterfront dining and shopping. There are over 45 shops and restaurants to check out and the shopping center is very walkable. It’s just one block from the beach at the intersection of Gulfshore Blvd. and Parkshore Blvd. in Naples. You can take a look at the full directory of restaurants and shops here.

What I personally love about Venetian Village is the ability to sit outside in the cooler months and be just feet away from the water. There’s really something for everyone in this shopping center so definitely make it a point to see it!

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Naples Botanical Garden

Naples Botanical Garden

The Naples Botanical Garden is a 170 acre garden just a few miles from Downtown Naples where visitors can walk through and see some of the most beautiful flowers, plants and trees in a truly gorgeous setting.

My favorite part of the Naples Botanical Garden is the Orchid Garden. Orchids from around the world are showcased and something is always blooming! Bring your camera for this part!

There are events throughout the year so be sure to check their calendar before you go.

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The Naples Players at the Sugden Community Theatre

Naples Players Community Theater

Located right in the heart of 5th Avenue South is a great opportunity for visitors to take in some theater. The Naples Players offers a number of performances each season with tickets being very affordable. Make an event out of it and have dinner at one of downtown’s amazing restaurants before taking in a show.

If you’re interested in participating, the Naples Players have educational classes available for both youth and adult actors. Already good enough to be in a show? Audition! You could end up in one of next season’s shows!

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Sun-N-Fun Lagoon

Naples Sun N Fun Lagoon Waterpark

Sun-N-Fun Lagoon is a must-do activity here in Naples and super fun for the entire family. There are 5 water slides, a lazy river, family pool, toddler pool and even a diving pool with springboards! We’ve taken our two sons there and they absolutely love it–they can spend the entire day there having fun.

The park is located in North Naples near Immokalee Road and Livingston Road in North Collier Regional Park. Children 3 and under get in free. Kids under 48″ pay just $4.50 and everyone else gets in for only $8.00.

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Artis-Naples

Artis-Naples-Philharmonic

Artis-Naples is your home in Naples for the performing and visual arts. Artis features the Naples Philharmonic and the Baker Museum and is located near Pelican Bay and the Waterside Shops.

There are events throughout the year at Artis. Our local philharmonic members put on outstanding shows but touring acts come to the facility as well. In fact, I saw Bill Cosby perform about 10 years ago (before his legal troubles).

Check the Artis-Naples calendar and plan your visit!

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Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Naples Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is an Audubon sanctuary located about a half-hour from Naples in the heart of the Everglades. The park features a 2.25 mile boardwalk where visitors can see very diverse ecosystems. Your walk begins at the nature center and takes you through flatwoods, wet prairie, a marsh and a Bald Cypress forest. You’re bound to see animals in this incredible park. There are plenty of alligators, otters, deer and more. I even saw a spider eating a snake there! Check out the video below.


This huntsman spider was on a tree, feet above the water, and had a snake in it’s grasp. Really, what could be more entertaining to visit than Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary where spiders eat snakes?

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Tin City

Tin City Naples

Just east of 5th Avenue South and on the Naples waterfront is Tin City. It is a truly eclectic group of shops and restaurants as well as vendors selling sight-seeing attractions or fishing excursions. This is a must-do when you’re in Naples. Just look at how many different vendors are in this one area!

You will also find a number of activities based here such as Pure Florida for fishing/sight-seeing and Trike Tours USA.

You can spend all afternoon at Tin City and then have a fantastic seafood dinner at one of the many restaurants.

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Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

Naples Zoo at Carribean Gardens Giraffe Feeding

The Naples Zoo is a great spot to spend an afternoon outdoors with the animals. There are plenty of exhibits and shows throughout the day and some really unique attractions. The zoo is centered around a very large lake that has small islands in it. Each island houses a different species of monkey or ape and you can hop on a pontoon boat for a guided tour! My kids love it!

As great as the boat ride to see primates is, nothing beats feeding the giraffes by hand. Naples Zoo is home to five male giraffes and they’re friendly as can be. Guests can purchase a few leafs of romaine lettuce for $5 and have the opportunity to hand them to a giraffe to eat.

There is a really nice playground at the front of the property so your kids can burn off some extra energy after touring the zoo. There’s a cafeteria and other refreshment stations throughout the zoo grounds. When all is said and done, you leave through the gift shop where you can purchase toys, clothing and other souvenirs.

Pro Tip on visiting the zoo: Groupon regularly has deals for memberships at the zoo. Do the math on it but if you plan to go 2 or 3 times in a year, it may work out better to pay for the annual membership. Also, the Naples Zoo offers Collier County residents free admission on the first Saturday of each month. The free Saturday program has been suspended during the pandemic but should start up again soon.

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Off the Hook Comedy Club

Off The Hook Comedy Club in Naples Florida

Off The Hook Comedy Club is located right in the heart of North Naples and is a great place to spend an evening. The club features a full liquor bar and a full menu making it a great place to unwind and see some touring comedians.

If you haven’t been to the club before, I think you’ll be shocked at some of the big names the club draws in. Jim Breuer, Carlos Mancia, Kevin Nealon, Mike Epps and even Ron White of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour have taken stage at Off The Hook.

There are usually 2 shows per night making it pretty easy to get a babysitter and see one. Check their calendar of performers and get some tickets!

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Naples Trolley Tours

Naples Trolley Tours

The Naples Trolley Tour runs from 8:30am until 5:30pm every day of the week and is a really great way to explore Naples. The trolley drives around Naples making stops at shopping, restaurants and attractions. You can get on the trolley at any of their locations listed on their schedule. When you hit a spot you want to check out, simply hop off! You can get right back on next time the trolley comes by.

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Celebration Park and the Food Trucks

Celebration Park Food Trucks

If you want to have a great lunch or dinner with seemingly endless options, head over to Celebration Park near downtown Naples. A number of food trucks occupy this small area in the Bayshore Arts District near the Botanical Gardens. There’s even a tiki bar! You can sit on the water while you eat as well.

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The Alamo Gun Range

The Alamo Gun Range in Naples Florida

A gun range may not seem like it should make a list of great things to do in Naples, FL yet this isn’t just a range. The Alamo Range features an indoor range, a huge shop and the training you need to be a better shooter. They offer gun rentals as well so you can still shoot even if you do not own a gun.

They offer the course you need to get your Florida Concealed Weapons Permit.

Pair this activity with a night out or a nice dinner in the area and you have yourself a great date night!

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Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples

Golisano Children's Museum of Naples - CMON

I have two boys and the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples has been an amazing resource where our boys have so much fun. Located in North Naples, the Children’s Museum features rotating exhibits that keep the activities fresh. There’s an outdoor area with even more things for the kids to do as well as a snack bar. Upstairs, you’ll find an arts and crafts room and a lounge for the older kids to visit. There’s even a library stocked with so many great books to read to your children.

Daily passes are available yet annual memberships prove to be the better value if you plan on visiting multiple times in a year.

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Waterside Shops

Waterside Shops Naples Florida

The Waterside Shops is a high-end shopping destination located at the corner of Pine Ridge Road and US41 in North Naples. The open air shopping center features a number of fantastic restaurants and great stores anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Apple.

It’s a really beautiful setting with beautiful fountains dotting the center of the mall. Definitely stop by!

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Mercato

Mercato Shopping in Naples Florida

If you’re looking for another great shopping experience, check out Mercato in North Naples. It is a mix of stores and restaurants with residences above. There are some great bars there like the English Pub and so many great places to grab a meal. Whether you want a quick and affordable lunch at Chipotle or an incredible steak at The Capital Grille, you’ll find it in Mercato. You can even take in a movie at Silverspot Theater!

What I personally love about Mercato is that they always seem to have a great event going on. There’s live music all of the time, children’s events and even events to bring your dog to! This is definitely worth checking out!

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Gordon River Greenway Park

Gordon River Greenway in Naples Florida

Right in the heart of Naples is the 140 acre Gordon River Greenway Park. It is huge and has 2.5 miles of boardwalk or trails to enjoy. You can even bring bikes or rollerblades instead! There is a kayak launch point, spots on the boardwalk to look out over the property or go fishing, restrooms, a playground and more.

The park is conveniently open 7 days a week from 6:30am to 10:00pm. Bring your camera because you will certainly see some awesome wildlife!

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Kowiachobee Animal Preserve

Kowiachobee Animal Preserve in Naples Florida

The animal sanctuary is an educational experience located in Naples. Hurt or distressed wild and exotic animals are housed here and cared for by a large group of volunteers. There are tigers, lions, a Florida Panther as well as birds, reptiles and much more to see.

The Kowiachobee Animal Preserve has great educational events throughout town where animals are showcased and spectators can learn a great deal about them.

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Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples, FL

I really love this spot in town. The Conservancy has activities to do both indoors and outdoors. They work to rehabilitate wild animals and have veterinarians on site. One of my favorite features of the museum are the electric boat tours. Hop on the boat and get an educational tour through the waterways nearby. If you’re more of a DIY type of visitor, you’ll enjoy the kayak rentals so you can explore the Gordon River at your own pace.

I had a personal experience with the Conservancy when a nest of turtles hatched next to a condominium parking lot. The turtles were heading in all directions and in the direction of traffic. I gathered them up and took them to the Conservancy where they were housed temporarily and later released into the wild. It’s a great place–take a trip and see why I love it!

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Naples Depot Museum

Naples Depot Museum on 5th Avenue South

Head down 5th Avenue South to find the Naples Depot Museum. The museum is actually in the Seaboard Air Line Railway passenger station and has been fully restored. The museum tells the story of how Naples went from a tiny home to 300 people into what it has grown to today.

There is a train museum with a train ride for children. There are plenty of exhibits that rotate through, refreshing the museum and keeping it fun for multiple visits.

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Seed to Table

Oakes Farms Seed to Table in Naples, Florida

Seed to Table is simply indescribable. Yes, it’s a grocery store. Yes, a butcher shop too. It’s a 2 story wine dealer. A bakery. An ice cream shop. A sushi bar. It’s a playground. It’s an entertainment venue. You name it, it’s there!

This one of a kind, 75,000 square foot store in North Naples has it all. It is so cleverly thought out–you can select a steak and they’ll cook it for you in the store. You can have some wine straight from the shelves to your table. And aside from all of the culinary features of the store, there are constantly events for the public to enjoy.

Take it from me–you need to check out Seed To Table if you haven’t already.

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What is a “spec home” when discussing Naples real estate?

What is a “spec home?”

The term “spec home” is used a lot here in Florida and simply stands for “speculative.” Builders will take a lot that they own and simply start building a home they hope to sell later. The builder picks the design and finishes for the home and gets to work.

For the builder, this is an educated guess that someone will come along and purchase the home they’ve decided to build. That doesn’t guarantee that they will turn a profit on the home but here in Naples, FL that’s usually the case.

How is a spec home different from a custom home?

A custom home is just that—custom. The buyer gets to choose all of the details that go into a brand new home and can often make layout changes as well. If the buyer plans on being in the home for many years, custom homes are a great way to go since the buyer can make it exactly as she wishes. Spec homes will have many of the design elements chosen already and if the home is far along on the build the buyer likely can’t make changes.

Also, a custom home could take months to build. A spec home may be ready in a week depending on when the buyer finds it.

Advantages of buying a spec home

The biggest advantage in my opinion of buying a spec home is that it is already being built. The buyer will be able to take ownership far quicker than if they purchased a custom built home.

Another great advantage is that since spec homes are commonly purchased while still under construction, many builders will allow the buyer to make their own selections regarding counters, cabinets, flooring or paint color.

Finally, you may save some money purchasing a spec home versus going the route of a custom home. Spec homes are priced for today’s market whereas custom homes often have a slightly higher price if the builder is expecting the market prices to appreciate.

How do I find out about available spec homes?

Easy! You give me a call, text or email. The process of finding them is a bit different between buying in Golden Gate Estates versus in a developer’s community. It’s quite easy with a gated community because the builder will have a “spec list” of all spec homes ready to purchase with their prices and their of completion. In areas like Golden Gate Estates, I’ll give builders a call and find out what they have available.

Ready to see what’s out there?

If a spec home is right for you, please feel free to give me a call. I would love to send you options for you to choose from!

15 things I hate to see when I show real estate listings

Cluttered kitchen counters

Right or wrong, this shows the buyer that there isn’t enough storage space for all of those little items like coffee pots, tea pots, toasters and that sort of thing. The seller should declutter and find a great place to store those items while the home is being shown. Plus, decluttered counters simply make the kitchen look bigger!

Lights off or lights that don’t turn on

The term “light and bright” gets thrown around a lot by customers and for good reason. Buyers don’t want to buy a dark home so all lights should be on for showings.

Blinds not opened for natural light

Naples is a city in the Sunshine State, right? It’s so nice to walk into a home that’s full of natural light. Unfortunately, I often walk into homes where all of the blinds are closed and it feels like a cave. Buyers will always comment on the light when in this situation so don’t give them something to complain about. Get those blinds open and let that sunlight shine in!

Music playing

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If music is playing when we walk into your home, our first thought is going to be, “What are they hiding?” Typically, this is a red flag that there is a lot of road noise so I always turn the music off for my buyers to let them discover what the seller is likely hiding.

The sellers

The sellers should never be at a showing appointment. Sellers that want to be home will often say, “We’ll just stay out on the lanai out of their way.” No. Find something to do for 30 minutes and let the buyers experience the home without the awkwardness or the feeling of being rushed.

The listing agent

Many listings are listing office accompany meaning the listing agent will be there for showings. In unique or high-priced homes, this is rather common. However, we don’t need you there to see most listings. It really makes the buyers uncomfortable and the buyers will usually stay completely quiet. This hurts the showing because the buyers can’t point out features to each other. Put the home on a lockbox and let me do the showing.

The fridge used as a bulletin board

On my kitchen fridge at the time of writing, I have my son’s artwork, a calendar, a list of things we need at the grocery store and about 5 other papers that are up there for no good reason. Everything is stuck to the fridge with magnets. But, my house isn’t for sale! You can bet that when I do decide to sell my home, all of that will be gone and the fridge will sit unencumbered.

Bad paint colors

You picked out some outlandish colors to paint your accent walls and it is absolutely beautiful in your eyes. Sorry, but it just became a major chore for my buyers that have to repaint. I know it isn’t fun but repaint those accent walls in a neutral color so they do not distract the buyers or make them dread the upcoming chore of repainting.

Bad rollers on sliding glass doors

Ever struggle to figure out how to get the locks unlocked on a sliding door only to then find it barely rolls along the track? If we have to drag your sliding glass door open to get to the lanai, you’re sending an unambiguous signal to the buyers that routine maintenance has not been done. Call a handyman and get these rollers going smoothly again!

Unkept landscaping

When we step out of the car, your landscaping is making the first impression. It it isn’t take care of, my buyers are subconsciously wondering what else isn’t taken care of on this property. Hire a gardener and make your landscaping a selling point and not a detraction.

Business cards on the counter

It is customary for REALTORS® to leave their business card on the counter when they show the home. It’s the duty of the listing agent or the seller to remove those cards as they’re left behind. I absolutely hate seeing a pile of 15 to 20 business cards there. All that does is show the buyers that this property has been shown that many times yet it is still on the market. What’s wrong with the property? Why aren’t others buying it? If they don’t want it, we probably don’t either.

Too much or big furniture

You know the best way to make your living room and bedrooms look tiny? Stuff them chock full of oversized (or too much) furniture! If you have to, rent a storage unit while your home is on the market and keep just those pieces of furniture that are needed.

Cleaning rags, towels on the floor, etc.

Laundry belongs in the hamper. I really hate walking into a bathroom (usually a kid’s bath) and seeing a towel on the floor. I also see wet rags next to kitchen faucets or in the sink a lot too. Throw them in the hamper before your showing!

Dishes in the sink

Come on, seriously? Before heading off for your showing, get those dishes in the dishwasher! It’s a small chore that pays big dividends.

Kid’s rooms that haven’t been decluttered

I’m a father of two boys so I know the problem of kid’s room clutter all too well. Toys, books, clothes and who knows what else are all over the floor. Definitely declutter those rooms and use that storage space that you rented to put the biggest toys or furniture in until your home sells.

What is the Difference Between “Pending” and “Pending With Contingencies?”

Over the years, a lot of people have asked me what “pending” or “contingent” mean when they see it on a listing. Let’s clear up those two terms!

A listing is “Active” when it first hits the MLS

The second a listing hits the MLS, it will have the status of “Active” meaning it is on the market for sale. This is when sellers are showing the home. I bring this up though because this does not mean that there are not offers. A listing can be active and have offers on it. The sellers just haven’t accepted one of the offers or may be still negotiating the terms.

A listing goes to “Pending with Contingencies” or “Contingenct” when an offer is accepted

Our contracts here in Naples have multiple contingencies built in. A contingency is simply something that could happen in the future with a recourse for the buyer/seller.

Some common contingencies are:

  • Financing Contingency – This contingency allows the buyer to walk away from the contract and get their deposits back from the seller if the buyer cannot obtain financing per the terms of the contract.
  • Inspection Contingency – The buyer has the right to conduct an inspection and ask for repairs/remedies from the seller. If the two parties cannot agree, the buyer most likely can walk away from the contract and keep their deposits.
  • Appraisal Contingency – The buyer has the right to have an appraisal done. If the appraisal is not at least the purchase price in the contract, buyer can terminate the contract and get their deposits back or the seller can reduce the price to the appraised value.
  • Sale of Buyer’s Property Contingency – The buyer’s home must close by a given date or the buyer may walk away from the contract and get their deposits back. Note that this contingency is almost never accepted by a seller here in Naples because our market simply moves too

All of these contingencies have time limits on them—for example, the inspection contingency defaults to 15 days per our contract. If any contingency is still in effect, the property is therefore Pending with Contingencies.

A listing is “Pending” when the contingencies have been satisfied

During the course of a real estate sale, the contingencies will go away. The appraisal comes in and satisfies the appraisal contingency. Negotiations are done on inspection items and the buyer and seller reach agreement and so on.

Once all contingencies are satisfied, the listing goes to Pending in the MLS. At this point, the lender, title company or attorney are doing their part
to bring the buyer and seller together for a closing.

Why do some listings stay “Pending with Contingencies” on the MLS when they’ve been on the market for a long time?

There could be a number of reasons why you still see properties marked “Pending with Contingencies” online. The most likely is that there’s a longer contingency such as the financing contingency still in effect. The financing contingency on the Naples contract defaults to 45 days in length so that could be the culprit keeping it from just “pending.”

The second reason is simple. Agents forget to change it! I’ve made that clerical error myself before!

Can I still make an offer on a “Pending” or “Pending with Contingency” listing?

Yep, but I wouldn’t bother. The odds of your backup offer being accepted and going to closing is about the same odds as seeing Bigfoot walk through your neighborhood.

Any questions?

One of my goals is to make sure all of my customer’s questions are answered clearly. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave a comment or contact my wife or I directly. We’d love to hear from you!

5 Times When Renting Makes More Sense Than Buying

It’s no secret—I earn my living by selling property and stand by the fact that purchasing a home is the way to go… most of the time.

There are five instances however where renting is really your better option so let’s explore those scenarios.

You are new to Naples and not familiar with the area

If you haven’t lived in Naples before, you likely don’t know a heck of a lot about it. Our town is very different from one area to the next. It is so different in fact that people will cite these different areas as to where they’d like to be. I have people start their call all of the time saying they’d like to be in North Naples, Lely, East Naples, etc..

One thing I really dislike hearing from potential customers selling after a short period of ownership is that they picked the wrong area.

Renting for even a few months can help you avoid this expensive pitfall when purchasing. You’ll get to know the commute to work, the restaurants and shopping areas that you like and that sort of thing.

Your career may be taking you to somewhere new

Companies these days move employees around, open new locations or offer promotions if an employee takes a role in a new city. Take the great company of Arthrex for example. Their main manufacturing facility was located in North Naples yet they moved production to Ave Maria, over 40 minutes away. Employees had to suddenly have quite a commute to the new facility and renting may have allowed them to move closer to work once a lease expired.

Renting gives you the flexibility of simply walking away from your rental once the lease expires in order to move for work.

You’re planning on moving in the next 5 years or less

When looking to buy a home, it’s important to consider how long you will live there before moving.

Buying and selling real estate has a lot of costs involved so in most situations you will not want to purchase and sell in a few year’s time. Staying in a property for 5 years or longer will usually be long enough to offset those costs associated with buying and selling.

Your credit has some issues that need to be resolved

How’s your credit? When you purchase a home, your credit score can be the difference in high interest-rate swings on your mortgage. Or, it could be the difference in being approved or denied for a mortgage altogether.

Renting is the best solution if you’re working to raise your credit score.

You simply do not want to own a home in Naples

I know it’s tough to believe but some people simply do not want to own a home!

Maybe you simply want the ability to call the owner when something breaks and not have to deal with it on your own. Perhaps you don’t want to pay additional fees for things like landscaping.

Whatever the case may be, renting may be your best option if homeownership simply isn’t in the cards for you.