Archive for the ‘Punta Gorda News’ Category

3 Things You Must Know When Buying A Condo in
Punta Gorda

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Sailboats docked at the Villas at Cedar Key

Sailboats docked at the Villas at Cedar Key

By: Adrienne Andreae

You’ve been taken care of houses for 20+ years. You’re tired. You want someone else to cut the lawn and maintain the pool.

Downsizing to a Punta Gorda condo could be the perfect solution. After so many years of homeownership, you may wonder what are the main differences in buying a condo vs. a home. I’m going to give you the basics about condo buying in a minute, but first let’s discuss the differences between a condo, a villa, and a townhome.

What’s the difference between a condo, a townhome, and a villa?

It’s my understanding that some parts of the country use these words differently. We’re talking Punta Gorda here, so I’m going to tell you what these words mean in these parts. A condo is in a multi-level complex. We don’t allow highrises to ruin are quaintness or cause traffic jams, so the highest living space you’ll see is three floors. (There is one exception to that rule. That’s another story for another post.)

Condo owners usually pay $350 per month in fees on the low side and $550 on the high end. Although, we do have a few complexes that go higher and lower in the area.

We tend to use the word villa more than we use townhome although they’re similar. A villa falls somewhere in between a single family home and a condo. You don’t have anyone above or below you. Sometimes they have two floors within the unit, but most are one. You will share at least one side with another villa. Villas have an association that takes care of the grounds and usually the outer shell of the building.

Villa fees in our area usually range between $500-650 per month.

1 Colony Pt, Vivante and Solamar complexes

1 Colony Pt, Vivante and Solamar complexes

When it comes time to purchase a condo, villa or a townhome, the transaction is very similar. Here are some basics you need to know:

Association Matters

Every association runs differently. You want an association that thinks like you do. Often I know the history of a complex or it’s reputation and I’m happy to pass any information I have on. However, the best way to learn about the association, bar going to a meeting, is to read their most current condo documents. When you put an offer on a condo, we attach a condo rider. This rider requests the listing agent give you the most current condo docs. I keep using the word ‘current’, because sometimes you’ll find these documents attached to the MLS or online. The seller pays for the most current and usually only buys them after an offer is put on the unit.

After you receive the documents, you have 3 days to back out of the contract if you don’t like what you read.

Check the Financials

Along with the condo docs, you’ll receive the financials. If a complex doesn’t keep reserves, a bank won’t give you a loan. Paying cash? You still have problems without reserves. What if the roof leaks? You and your neighbors will have to get together to fix it. The bank doesn’t give loans on these complexes, because they’re so risky. When you go to sell, you’ve cut out a fair amount of buyers.

So, how much should a complex have in reserves? That’s hard to say. Reserves are like savings accounts. Some people like to be safe and keep a lot of money in them. They will raise fees over spending money from the reserves. Some associations lean towards spending. Older complexes tend to have more in reserves, because they’ve had time to build them up. Of course, their structures are older, so you could argue they need more.

Fannie Mae likes to see a certain amount of the fees being put into reserves every year. Some complexes have great reserves and stop paying into them, like you might with a savings account. Because of this, I highly recommend using someone local for your loan. They are more likely to do the research early and find loan products that will work for you. (If you need help with this, call me. I know some great lenders.)

All Condos within a Complex are Not the Same

Customers often ask me why a condo is priced so much higher or lower than the last one sold in the complex. First, it’s likely they have two different sellers. It is also likely that although they may have the same floor plans many factors go into the price of the condo.

Obviously, a differences in views or upgrades cause price differences. What you may not realize is in some complexes some condos have deeded docks and some do not. A deeded dock can add $30k-$50k on to the price of a unit.

Have more questions about buying condos? We have answers. Please email us at info@andreaegroup.com or give us a call at 941-833-4217.

Tarpon Cove condos (orange-ish roofs in the foreground) have private elevators and many have docks

Tarpon Cove condos (orange-ish roofs in the foreground) have private elevators and many have docks

 

 

 

The Single Worst Thing You Can do When it Gets Chilly in Punta Gorda

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

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Taken in BSI this week--I'll take kayaking over thunder snow any day

Taken in BSI this week–I’ll take kayaking over thunder snow any day.

It’s chilly in Punta Gorda today. Here you are living the dream, and now you have to throw on a sweater and long pants. I know. It’s awful.

The highs won’t be in the 70s and 80s again until Saturday—two whole days from now!

What are you going to do until then?

You can go to the Club and have lunch. Get projects around the house done. Binge on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you don’t make  this one horrible mistake.

Do not, under any circumstances, call your northern friends and attempt to commiserate with their winter woes. Don’t try to get their pity. It won’t work. I’ve tried. I lived in Boston for years. My Boston friends have no sympathy for me when I whine about highs in the 50s.

I try to tell them, 50s are “Florida freezing.” They don’t want to hear it. Remember, northerners associate 50 degrees with melting snow, clearing roads, and fewer layers. It’s amazing to think in some places 50 degrees is a sign of hope.

But it’s true. It’s likely that you’ve spent the last few months talking about your boat trips, casually mentioning golf scores, and posting pictures of you at the TT’s Tiki bar. You lost any hope of sympathy months ago.

You’ll must wait out Punta Gorda’s winter with other locals.

The Good News about Punta Gorda Winters

You may never get the sympathy you deserve for surviving the chilly front of 2015. I do have good news though.

1. Punta Gorda winters last 2-10 non-consecutive days. We had a couple of cooler days last week. This cold front is supposed to last through tomorrow. Last year, I think we had four days of winter. This year we may have as many as six. It’s rough. I feel sorry for us, even if your northern friends won’t.

2. You’re life will never get to the point when you’re waiting for thunder snow. Even on our worst weather days, you’ll never go so crazy you stand outside in 87 layers hoping for thunder snow. When I see this, all I can think is, “I hope they pay that guy really well.”

cantore-thundersnow-boston-3

 

Nobody is paying your northern friends to stand out in the snow. Yet they’re still up there, not feeling sorry for you. All you can do, is get out your winter jacket and bundle up. It’s going to be a chilly, two days of winter.

How Much More Does the Andreae Group Sell in Burnt Store Isles? (The Numbers Might Surprise You)

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

by Punta Gorda pride

The 2014 sales numbers are in! It may come as no surprise that the Andreae Group has maintained the number one spot in Punta Gorda real estate sales again this year.  (We’ve held the top spot for almost 30 years.)

But have you ever wondered how much more does the Andreae Group really sell? Are we eking by to stay at number one? Well, no.

It’s easy for us to tell you we’re the best. It’s much more work to achieve the numbers to back it up. To give you an example of the difference between the Andreae Group and the rest, let’s look at just one segment of Punta Gorda real estate–Burnt Store Isles listings. Here are some things you should know about 2014 home sales in Burnt Store Isles:

  • 54 houses were sold in BSI last year. Luke Andreae was the listing agent on 17 of those homes. No other realtor had more than 3 listings sold in BSI last year.
  • The total value of BSI homes sold last year was just over $20 million.
  • Luke Andreae listings’ sales accounted for $6 million of that $20 million.
  • 31 realtors split the rest. No other realtor can claim even $2 million in BSI sales.

Why do so many people list with Luke?

Few people know Burnt Store Isles as well as he does. The Andreae family moved to BSI in 1981 when there were only five homes in the neighborhood. (His grandparents occupied one of the other four.)  In the 1980s, vacant lots stretched across entire streets, like the now-populated Licata Ct., where Luke learned to ride his bike and first discovered a cul-de-sac makes an excellent stick ball field.

By the mid-1980s, Nancy Andreae was a top realtor in town. As homes went up, Nancy would frequently load the kids in the car to tour each home’s progress.

If you live in a BSI home that was built in the 1980s, it’s likely little Luke Andreae watched your walls go up.

Luke is still a BSI resident. He still plays stick ball around the cul-de-sacs with his two daughters. (I hear the girls even let him win sometimes.)

Of course, much of the listings come from referrals. When you know an area so well, the people know you too. You can read what people say about working with Luke on his Zillow reviews page.

Have you ever worked with the Andreae Group? Do these numbers surprise you? Let us know about your experience over on our Facebook page.

2014 Best of Punta Gorda:The Year in Review

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

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Our favorite internet meme of 2014. We survived!

Our favorite internet meme of 2014. We survived!

It’s always fun to do a year in review. The better the year, the more exciting it is to take a look back. 2014 has been a good year for Punta Gorda and the Andreae Group. We’ve had fun putting out this blog for all our residents and potential homeowners. Punta Gorda continues to thrive and make ‘best of’ lists. Plus, I’m writing anything this on a typical December day with the windows open!

Most Popular Blog Posts on the Andreae Group Blog
How to Survive Your First Autumn in Punta Gorda: A must-read for anyone who fears they will miss those first few days of slipping on ice.

6 Truths Most Locals Won’t Tell You About Punta Gorda: The truth comes out. Find out what Punta Gorda residents really think.

Give Back and Get Involved:Exciting Volunteer Opportunites in Punta Gorda: We’re proud that our readers liked this one. They’re a giving bunch.

What it’s like to be a kid in Punta Gorda Then and Now: The kids today have it easy. When I was a kid in Punta Gorda, it got cold once. I still remember the day.

Punta Gorda in the News
Punta Gorda is a go-to town for ‘best place to’ list makers. Over the years, we’ve been named the best place to live, to sail, and to retire. This year the town made it on a few new lists.

Best Place to Open a Small Business: Nancy Andreae knew what she was doing when she opened her small business in Punta Gorda. She was 30 years ahead of this article.

Top 10 Safest Places in Florida: We made it on to this list for our low crime rate.

Charlotte County Ranks #1 as “biggest bang for your travel buck” by Trivago

Charlotte County Sports Park Voted Best Spring Training Spot by USA Today: There’s a lot of competition for best spring training spot. We’re proud to our small town beat out the big cities.

Festivals and annual event highlights:
In October, I wrote a post about the endless stream of fun Punta Gorda festivals. I’m not going to list them all again, but I would like to mention a few favorites from 2014:

9th Annual Wine and Jazz Festival–Not many small towns have Grammy winning musicians play their Jazz festival. Perhaps that’s why ours sells out regularly.

PirateFest: This one makes it onto our list, because it gives us an opportunity to say things like, “landlubbers” and “aaRRR” all weekend.

Haunting on the Harbor: Every year people come from all over to trick or treat in downtown Punta Gorda. Our town puts on a spooktacular affair with rides, haunted houses, and tons of candy.

It’s been an exciting year in Punta Gorda. What was your favorite event in Punta Gorda this year? Tell us over on our Facebook page.

How Does Punta Gorda Keep the Canal System Looking So Gorgeous?

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

ponce inlet croppedby

When you buy a waterfront home in PGI or BSI, it’s likely to be the first time you’ve lived on a canal. While it’s exciting to have this gorgeous waterway in your backyard, it’s normal to have questions about how the Punta Gorda canal system is maintained.

Recently, we learned of plans to start dredging the Ponce de Leon inlet. I used the news to strike up a conversation with Gary Disher, Punta Gorda’s Canal Maintenance Supervisor.

Disher was nice enough to explain everything new homeowners need to know about canal maintenance and the work happening on the Ponce de Leon Inlet.

How long have you been working with our canal system?

Disher: I started out as a contractor. It’s been about 3-4 years now that I’ve been working with them at some level.

Can you tell me a little more about the canal maintenance program?

Disher: It covers anything with the seawalls, depressions behind the seawalls. We do mangrove trimming, all of the aids to navigation, and the dredging program through the navigable portion of the waterways.

What do new residents, who maybe have never lived on a canal, need to know about maintaining their seawall and canal?

Disher: The best thing is that if anything happens to their wall they can get in contact with our Public Works department and they’ll be put in contact with me or the work order will go up front. Pretty much anything that goes on with their seawall we take care of. That’s a huge benefit to a homeowner.

I understand you’re dredging the Ponce De Leon inlet. Why is the dredging necessary?

Disher: We have an ongoing dredging maintenance program. We’ve got several inlets Bass, Pompano, Ponce, and the Burnt Store subdivision and other locations within the Punta Gorda canal system.

As the tides flow through, it carries sediment. Sediment settles and eventually the bottom builds up. A yearly thing we do is go out and do maintenance dredging to make sure our home owners can get in and out with their boats to the permitted canal cross sections for depth and width. We want to make sure whoever buys a home has access to the waterways.

You dredge every year or on a rotation?

Disher: It’s on an as needed basis. I was notified of one yesterday. A resident in Burnt Store Isles bumped bottom in a certain location. They’re going to give me some GPS coordinates. Then I’ll get the contractor out there with the dredge and make sure they remove that high spot.

With the Ponce inlet, it’s been quite awhile. I’m not sure how many years it’s been since we’ve done a full re-profile dredge. We’ve gone out and hit the high spots here and there. Now I want to go ahead and go through the headpins 1 and 2 all the way into the perimeter channel and make sure the entire channel is at its designated cross section.

If you didn’t dredge, what would happen to our canal system?

Disher: It would start limiting boat access, especially the larger sailboats would not be able to get out from the canal system and if they were bringing a boat in, they wouldn’t be able to get in.

If we don’t keep that maintained, I’ll get the call–especially in the winter low tides. Even when it’s dredged, we have some rather large sailboats in the area and if they don’t stay in the middle of the channel, they can find the bottom and I get the call. We’re just being proactive. We don’t have many issues now, but I want to make sure we’re ready for the winter season with all the residents coming back in.

When will dredging in the inlet begin?

Disher: We had a pre-kickoff meeting yesterday. We discussed are staging and how we’re going to route stuff. We verified the depths.

From the boat ramp out to the headpins or 1 and 2 markers, the dredge is to 8 feet deep. From the boat ramp in—inside the inlet from the mangrove line/shoreline to where the seawall starts at the perimeter channel–that’s permitted to  6 feet deep below low mean.

And you think this will take you to the beginning of the year?

Disher: That was our estimation. A good three months of digging possibly.

What do boaters need to know about passing through the inlet during this time?
Disher: They should keep doing what they’re doing.

We’re not going to be blocking the entire channel. They may have a delay if there is other boats passing. We talked about how to set up turbidity screens to allow boaters to still get through and get out.

We just want boaters to use caution. Just be aware of the workers and the dredge. We don’t want anyone getting hurt out there.

To sum up–Gary and his team are on it! You can move here and not know the first thing about canal maintenance. In fact, you can live here for thirty years and still not know anything about canal maintenance. You just need to know the number to Public Works: 941-575-5050.

 

 

 

 

7 Reasons Punta Gorda is the World’s Best Place to Drink a Beer

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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You can get an cold beer almost anywhere, but this view is hard to beat.

You can get an cold beer almost anywhere, but this view is hard to beat.

It’s a lofty claim.

I’ll admit it.

If it’s a nice sunny day and you’re an adult who drinks responsibly, it’s easy to enjoy a ice, cold beer anywhere.

However, few small towns offer such a varied and awesome list of beer drinking opportunities. And now that Punta Gorda will have its own microbrew line, there’s no better place to drink a beer than here.

Here’s why:

1. You can drink a beer named after Punta Gorda in Punta Gorda. Fat Point Beer, Punta Gorda’s first microbrew, has its first release this month. On August 16, they launch their Ryeght Angle IPA. You can expect to find it around Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties. The brewery plans to open for tastings sometime in September.

2. You can enjoy a real Irish Pub without the Irish weather. Don’t get me wrong, Ireland is a beautiful country. But have you checked the weather there? It’s chilly and rainy. The Celtic Ray is open 365 days a year in Punta Gorda and most of those days are sunny and gorgeous.

3. You can learn about beer while you drink it. Education is important. And the Icehouse knows it. Along with providing guests with a beer encyclopedia, the servers and bartenders are ready to answer your beer questions.

4. You can sit at an outside bar while you watch the town go by while you drink your beer. Sit at the circular bar at Jack’s and watch the world go by with a beer in hand.

5. You can run to your beer. Some say beer is an excellent recovery drink. The best place to find out is at the Foot Landing’s Wednesday Night Pub Run. The 2-3 mile run ends at the Icehouse, Deans, or the Celtic Ray. Often, close to 100 people show up for these runs. You’re bound to find someone who shares your speed and taste in ales.

6. You can listen to a band, look out over Charlotte Harbor, chat with friends, and drink a beer all at once. Head over to Harpoon Harry’s or the Tiki Bar on Charlotte Harbor for an ice cold beer while you look out at Charlotte Harbor.

7. You can drink a beer on a sunny day almost every day in Punta Gorda. While we don’t encourage 365 days of drinking, it is nice to be in a place where you don’t have to wait two months for the next sunny day.


Have you ever had a beer in Punta Gorda? Did you love it? Why? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Get Involved and Give Back: Exciting Punta Gorda Volunteer Ideas

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

by owl

Whether you just moved to Punta Gorda or you’ve lived here for years, there is nothing like getting out and giving back to the community.

You’re bound to make new friends, learn something new, and feel good about yourself in the process. Luckily, no matter what your interests and talents, Punta Gorda has a volunteer opportunity for you.

To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of volunteer ideas around Punta Gorda.

Military Heritage Museum: The Military Heritage Museum in Fishermen’s Village relies on over 60 volunteers to help visitors, as well as to archive and preserve the museum’s 30,000 artifacts. You don’t have to be a veteran to volunteer. For more information on volunteering, visit their website, call 941-575-9002, or stop in.

Punta Gorda Historical Society: Keep Punta Gorda’s rich history alive at the Punta Gorda Historical Society. The society provides educational information through books, plays, and slideshows. The society also gives sponsored tours of local historical buildings and takes on restoration projects. Whether you’re available for office work or maintenance, the historical society could use you. Visit their website or call 941-639-1887.

Peace River Wildife Center: You can help the Peace River Wildlife Center save our wildlife, one adorable creature at a time. The center rehabilitates and houses wounded wildlife. They offer an array of volunteer opportunities: PR writers, maintenance help, computer specialists, and educators. Check out their website for more information.

Charlotte County Library: You could spend your days around books encouraging others to read. The library uses volunteers to help in the stacks, with checkouts, clerical tasks, helping customers, and assisting in its youth programs. For more information check out their website or call the volunteer coordinator–Punta Gorda: 941-833-5460 Port Charlotte: 941-764-5562

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra: The Phantom of the Orchestra volunteer group helps our local symphony with fundraising and community awareness programs. To become a Phantom member go to their website.

Charlotte County Volunteers in Public Service (VIPS): If you’re interested in helping our public servants, the VIPS program offers a wide range of opportunities for you. From helping out at animal control, youth programs, volunteer firefighting and more. To review the entire list, visit their website and click Volunteer Opportunities.

Team Punta Gorda: Team Punta Gorda is comprised wholly of volunteers. The Team aims to advance and revitalize our community. In October 2014, it will celebrate its 10-year anniversary. One look at our beautiful downtown and you see the amazing work they do. For more information, send an email to team@teampuntagorda.com or call 941-637-8326.

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Inc. (CHEC): Want to spend your volunteer time outdoors? The CHEC seeks volunteers to guide nature walks, maintain the trails, and garden. In addition, they have positions in the office and store. To find out more, visit their website.

Which one sounds best to you?
Are you feeling inspired? If yes, give one of these great organizations a call and get involved today!

 

 

Take a Video Tour of Punta Gorda!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

All you know is you are done. You’re done with the scraping, the shoveling, and the trudging through snow. You can’t spend another springtime hoping the cold will end.

Next year, you will spend your winters on your boat.  You will laugh with glee as you watch the weather. The only ice you’ll see will chill your margarita.

Now that you’ve decided to finally start your search, you find the internet can give you all the facts you need about Punta Gorda. You can read about our minuscule crime rate, our near perfect weather, and the endless things to do here.

However, it might be difficult to get a feel for what Punta Gorda is really like. When every subdivision that grabs your interest has boating, golf, and tennis right outside your door, how do you know where to start?

Well, we feel for you. Punta Gorda has some amazing places to live. Although nothing compares to actually visiting and letting our buyer’s agents give you the tour, we made this video to get you started. The video takes you through the major subdivisions, explains the waterways, and shows off some of the many activities around town. We hope it answers your questions about our favorite city.

One more thing to consider: As you drool over the water views and gorgeous landscapes, remind yourself that we shot this video in February 2014.

Want your winter 2015 to look like the video? Now is the time to put away those long  johns, heavy coats, and mittens forever. Come down and let us show you around.

Spring Training is Here! Go See a Rays Game at Charlotte Sports Park

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Baseball-Wallpapers-Free1-1024x768

March in Southwest Florida means spring training. All over Florida, major league teams move into local stadiums to warm-up  for the regular season. Historically, spring training was a chance for players to get back into shape after the long winter break. Yet these days most players spend their winter break staying in shape.

While players and managers may moan about no longer needing such a long spring training, the spectator wins. You are no longer going to a game to watch players work off their holiday pie. Instead, you see professional athletes ready to show off their skills for much less cost than in the regular season.What does that mean for you? 

The Tampa Bay Rays

This March, the Tampa Bay Rays have taken over Charlotte County’s own Charlotte Sports Park. The Rays originally came to Charlotte County in 2009, and have been filling up the park ever since. A baseball game is not much fun without a cheering crowd. Last year, the Rays played 17 games during spring training and sold 106,102 tickets with an average 5,895 tickets per game. The park seats about 6000, so you can expect to feel the cheers of the crowds.

Most games are afternoon games and start at 1:05 pm. Evening games start at 7:05. You can find the schedule here. Tickets range from $15-$35. Parking at Charlotte Sports Park costs $10.

Florida’s Grapefruit league’s 15 teams started playing in February. If you are looking to see your home team play and don’t mind traveling around Florida, check out the Grapefruit League’s program here.

Charlotte Sports Park

USA Today Travel recently nominated Port Charlotte as one of the Ten Best Spring Training cities. You can vote for Charlotte Sports Park here. (We are currently number one—no surprise.)

The Sports Park underwent a $27 million renovation in 2009. It now features two outfied areas, a tiki bar, and a children’s playground.
During spring training the Rays take over the park. April through August, the park is home to the Class-A Florida State League team The Charlotte Stone Crabs and the rookie team the Gulf Coast Rays.

The park is located at 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte, Florida.

Go See Cirque Italia this Weekend in Downtown Punta Gorda

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

You don’t have to catch a plane to travel this weekend.

Europe is coming to Punta Gorda!

February 28- March 2, 2014, Cirque Italia will set up its tent at the downtown marketplace. The Cirque features a unique water stage that holds over 35,000 gallons of water. The water, which shoots up through fountains around the performers, adds an extra element of danger and excitement. You can expect to see rope and silk acts, trapeze artists, clowns, jugglers, high wire daredevils, mermaids, a laser man, acrobats, and teeter board stunts.


Cirque Italia is touring the United States putting on a one-of-a-kind performance at an affordable price. Tickets cost $10-$50. It is rare that you could be up close and personal with performers like these for less than $50.

The show’s owner, Manuel Rebecchi, comes from a family of circus performers. Originally from Italy, Rebecchi moved to the United States in 2003.  His dream was to create a one-of-a-kind performance for the whole family. According to the Cirque Italia’s website, the show can be described as “a sort of Bellagio meets Broadway!”

In 2012, the show originated in Venice, FL. The Chief Operating Officer and producer, Chantes DeMoustes hails from Clearwater. At just 25 years old, she has been dancing, choreographing, and performing for almost 20 years.

You can buy tickets online here. The show often sells out, so purchase your tickets ahead of time.

Showtimes are:

Friday, February 28—7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 1—7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 2—7:30 p.m.

The tent is set up in City Marketplace downtown. As always, there is plenty of free parking in downtown Punta Gorda.

On March 7, the show moves to Cape Coral, so if you miss it here in Punta Gorda, you still have a chance to catch it.