Archive for August, 2013

Take a Walking Tour of Punta Gorda’s Murals

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Cattle drive mural  In 1993, Dr. Robert Andrews had a vision for Punta Gorda. He wanted to see our town’s history come alive through art. He proposed a series of murals to the Punta Gorda Business Alliance (now the Chamber of Commerce). By 1994, he had created a non-profit organization, The Punta Gorda Historical Mural Society.  The society put to work on commissioning and creating the first mural.

Twenty years after Dr. Andrews began work on his mural mission, Punta Gorda boasts over 20 stunning and educational murals throughout the town. Now a formidable institution in Punta Gorda, the Historical Mural Society, has been involved in the creatiCharlotte harbor muralon and the restitution of all the murals. The murals do more than depict our history; they have become a part of history.

Local artist Tom Graham completed the first mural finished back in 1995 after he won a competition open to the community. Since then thirteen artists have put their talents to work on the walls of Punta Gorda. The mural cover an array of topics from the natural beauty of Southwest Florida, local black history, a tribute to our country’s heroes, and some general bits of local history. Artist Dave Lackey contributed the town’s latest mural, the Sports Memorial mural, located on the side of the YMCA (formerly the Punta Gorda Club).

Residents asports muralnd tourists alike can enjoy a walking tour of the murals by downloading the Punta Gorda Historical Mural Society’s walking tour map. History buffs and art lovers alike will love strolling through town seeing these beautiful tributes to our town history.

Have you taken the mural tour? Which is your favorite?

Visit Punta Gorda’s Award-Winning Farmers Market

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

farmers market
As we recently told you on this blog, we often catch Punta Gorda on national “Best of” lists. It should come as no surprise that our town is filled with award-winning businesses, people, and local events.

For instance, take a look at Punta Gorda’s farmers market.

In 2010, the American Farmland Trust completed an online survey of the best farmers markets around the country. The Punta Gorda Farmers market won 1st place in the Florida’s Favorite Farmers market category. Nationally, it ranked 15th in the small markets category.

The market includes over 30 vendors from all over southwest Florida. Shoppers can find an array of jellies, cheeses, dips, coffees, meats, pasta, baked goods, nuts, fresh cut flowers, and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

However, there is more to the farmers market than shopping. At the heart of any good farmers market is community. Perhaps that is why our tight-knit community’s market has received such accolades. Come down on a Saturday morning and you will find local musicians entertaining the crowd all morning. Artists demonstrate their work on the street corner. If you’ve lived in Punta Gorda more than five minutes, you are destined to run into someone you know at the market. If you are new to town, you are likely to meet some new people.

Farmers markets have become increasingly popular over the last ten years. According to the USDA, there were 1,755 farmers markets in the US in 1994. In 2013, that number is up to 8,144. The growth indicates consumers are becoming more and more conscious of where their food comes from and how it is grown. At the Punta Gorda Farmers market, you can often speak directly to the farmers, bakers, and producers of the wares you purchase.

The farmer’s market takes place downtown on Saturdays at 307 Taylor Street across from the Historic Charlotte County Courthouse. Parking is easy to find on the street or in the garage. From April through September the market is open 8:00 a.m. – noon. The rest of the year it stays open an hour later until 1:00 p.m.

Have you been to our award winning farmers market? What was your favorite purchase?


PGI/BSI Real Estate: A Look Back at the Last Six Months

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

PGI sign

In real estate, buyers and sellers often ask us to predict the future. How long is this trend going to last? Should I buy tomorrow or next month? What are home prices going to do? Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure. The best we can do is look at the past.

The chart below compares homes sales in PGI/BSI over three 6-month periods.

Comparison of Home Sales Exclusively in Punta Gorda Isles and Burnt Store Isles

Over Three 6 Month Time Frames

1/6/2010-7/6/2010 1/12/2012-7/12/2012 2/1/2013-8/1/2013
Total Number of Sales 122 170 175
Average Sales Price $354,851 $340,908 $358,187
Average Seller Negotiation 7.5% 6.78% 5.5%
Average Days On the Market (DOM) 231 227 233

What does the chart imply?

First, there seems to be significantly more buyers out there today than there were three years ago. As you know, every home sale requires a buyer. While PGI & BSI only had 122 home sales in the first half of the 2010, in the last six months there have been 175 sales. That is quite a jump.

While the numbers of buyers went up in 2012, the average sales price went down. The most obvious way to increase sales is often to drop prices. Perhaps that was the theme of 2012, but in the early part of 2013, sale prices went back up and buyers stayed with them.

More buyers equal better negotiations. While the number of days on the market has sat at about seven and a half months, sellers have been negotiating sales closer to their asking price. If you listed your home in PGI or BSI back in 2010, you could expect to take a 7.5% cut off your asking price. Recently, that number has dropped to 5.5%.  Will it continue to drop? Will groves of new buyers come to town? No one can say. Every sale is different. However, it does seem that lately buyers and sellers are negotiating from a more even playing field.

We can tell you this: It is much more enjoyable to look back at the numbers of the last six months than it was back in 2010.