Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How to Achieve Your Sailboat Dreams with One Low-Priced Home

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Forget driving. You want to sail.

But to get to your sailboat you must drive. That’s no fun.

You’d like to look at your sailboat from your kitchen. But sailboat access homes are out of your price range.

Maybe. Or maybe you’re not looking in the right area. For instance, did you know in the O’Hara area of Port Charlotte you can buy a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house for $198,000?

Even if you don’t have a sailboat yet, there’s something beautiful about having sailboat potential.canalview

And if you like that waterfront view, you should know you can see the water from your kitchen.

 

 

kitchen view
Or see the boats go by from your living room…

living room

And of course, there’s a patio…

patioview

Want to see more? Take a virtual tour. Want to know more? Call our office: 941-833-4217

14 Reasons to Love Punta Gorda’s Harborwalk

Monday, March 9th, 2015

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Let me introduce you to one of my favorite places in Punta Gorda: the Harborwalk. If you’ve never been, it’s a 2+ mile trail that takes you along the Harbor and into town.

It’s an amazing trail. I know. I’m an avid runner who likes to take my running shoes on vacation. I’ve run a relay race through the beautiful mountains of Oregon, laced up to run along Lake Baikal in Siberia, and even trekked along the Italian coast.

And you know what? Punta Gorda’s Harborwalk beats them all. While many places have good walking and running trails, few have trails with so much to offer along the same route. The Harborwalk has everything.

1. We’ll start with the obvious. The view is amazing.

While you’re gawking over the view, try to imagine the salty smell of sea air. I wish I could send you the sea breeze straight through your computer. You’d never want anything else again.

2015-03-08 08.10.38

2. No cars allowed. You can bike, run, or walk without worrying about traffic.

Want to tour Charlotte Harbor by bike, but don’t have one? You can borrow one with Team Punta Gorda’s free bike loaner program.
no motored vehicles

3. You’ll never worry about having a flat. There’s a fixing station.

(If you don’t know how to fix one, ask around. Harborwalkers tend to be very friendly.)2015-03-01 07.45.17

4. Thirsty? Stop and have a drink at the Tiki bar.

Very few trails, if any others, have Tiki bars. Which is a shame, because I often think while running, “I’d rather be at a Tiki bar, right now.”

2015-02-25 18.32.33
5. If boat drinks don’t fill your belly, hop into Hurricane Charley’s for a meal.

charlies

6. You can get a full workout in at the FREE adult fitness zone.

adult fitness

7. You’re little friends can expel some of that never-ending kid energy on the playground.

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8. Adults can play too. There’s basketball and tennis.

basketballbetter
9. And of course, pickleball.

(What’s a walk without a pickleball game overlooking the Harbor?)
pickleball

10. A quick detour and you’re shopping at Fishermen’s Village!

shopping
11. You might make a new friend.

2015-03-09 11.56.17
12. Or stop for a dog.

hot dog day

 

13. Even when the route takes you away from the harbor, it’s still gorgeous.

This is where a lot of trails fail. They suck you in with a small section of beauty. Not our Harborwalk, it starts pretty and stays that way.

tree lined

14. You might see a dolphin, but you won’t see any snow.

ALL of these pictures were taken in February and March 2015. That’s right. While my northern friends were using words like, Snowpocalypse and Snowmeggedon, I was running along the trail in short sleeves!

20150310_092658

 

Want more information on beautiful Punta Gorda? Follow us on Facebook for updates.


6 Big Things to Do in Punta Gorda this January

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

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You might think I’m crazy. After all, we’re tw2015-CareBall-Inviteo weeks into January. Punta Gorda is a small town. Are there really six big things left to do this month?

Yes, there are.

In fact, so much goes on in Punta Gorda every week, that I had to cull through numerous golf events, fitness opportunities, and live shows (including an Elvis impersonator) to keep this post from turning into a short book.

Here’s the big list to get you through the end of the month:

  1. Gallery Walk: Thursday, January 15, 2015 If you haven’t been to a gallery walk yet, stop putting it off. It’s a great way to get to know our downtown businesses. Shops stay open late and many offer demonstrations. You’ll experience live music and the friendly atmosphere Punta Gorda is known for. Hours: 5:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  2. 18th Annual Sullivan Street Crafts Fair: Saturday, January 17-Sunday, January 18 For 18 years, artisans have set up their wares at the Sullivan Street Craft Fair. You can find great gifts, jewelry, and items for your home. It’s an outdoor festival. (We can do that here in January!) Admission is free. Hours: 10:00 am-500 pm.
  3. Punta Gorda Home and Garden Show: Saturday, January 17-Sunday, January 18 Get ideas and tips for everything from your roof to your lanai. Hours: 10:00 am-5:00 pm Where: Charlotte Harbor Events Center Free and open to Public
  4. The C.A.R.E. Ball: January 24 This year’s theme is the Road to Morocco. Take this chance to dance in your best Moroccan garb. (Moroccan attire not required, but encouraged.) Even better is all the proceeds from this fun event benefit The Center for Rape and Emergencies of Charlotte County. R.S.V.P. by January 16 at 941-639-5499.
  5. 7th Annual Hands Across the Harbor: Saturday, January 31, 2015 Get ready for the Chili and Beer Fest (see below) with a jaunt across the harbor. Choose from a 5k walk, 8k run, 8k longboard race, or 10 or 20 mile bike ride. (Doesn’t every small town have a longboard race?) Pre-registration is available now ($25 per person; $20 per student). Day-of registration ($30 per person; $25 per student) begins at 6:45 am. Start times are: Yoga stretch–7:30; Bike ride—7:55; Longboard race—8:00 am; Run—8:12 am, Walk—8:15 am.
  6. 4th Annual Charlotte Harbor Chili Challenge and Beer Festival Fest: Saturday, January 31 Test your neighbor’s chili-making skills, enjoy live music, and have a beer. 25 teams will compete for best chili. You vote for the People’s Choice Award. Wash it down at the beer tent where over 15 micro-breweries will be showing off their suds. Where: Laishley Park Admission: $3 Children under 12 are free. Starts at 12:00 pm. Ends with the award ceremony at 5:00 pm.

I hope this list leads you to enjoy the rest of your January! To keep up with more local events, Like our Facebook page now.

 

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.

Go Egg Hunting all over Charotte County!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

egg_colorful_easter_eggs_213884It’s egg hunting season. Well, this weekend is egg hunting weekend. Before the Easter bunny heads to your homes on Saturday night, he warms up his hiding skills on Friday night. This year the Easter bunny will be busy setting up for Saturday egg hunts all over Charlotte County.

Fun Run/Hop Easter Egg Hunt for Cottontails

Saturday, April 19, 2014 Start your day at the Foot Landing’s Easter egg hunt at Gilchrist park. Of course, Punta Gorda’s downtown running store is doing more than hiding eggs. This hunt includes a one-mile fun run/hop around Gilchrist and the Harbor Trail. Kids can fill their baskets with treats and surprises along the route. Bring your Easter baskets. If you don’t have one, the store will provide brown paper bags.

FREE registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the gazebo in Gilchrist Park.

The run/walk starts at 8:00 a.m.

Punta Gorda Historical Society Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 19, 2014 After you’ve hunted down all the goodies down at Gilchrist, head over to Punta Gorda History Park at 501 Shreve Street. The Historical Society will host their own hunt for children between the ages of 1 and 10. Even though this is the Easter Bunny’s busiest weekend of the year, he has decided he can’t miss this hunt, and will be there to shake hands and take pictures.

The hunt is on at 10:00 a.m.

Please bring an Easter basket. Entrance is FREE.

Spring Spectacular

April 19th and 20th Your kids can hunt for over 30,000 eggs at the Charlotte Fairgrounds in Port Charlotte. The Spring Spectacular’s hunt is so large they divide the kids up by age group, which makes it easier on the littlest ones.

1yr old 10:15

2 yr old 11am

3 yr old 11:45am

4 yr old 12:30pm

5 yr old 1:15pm

6 yr old 2pm

7 yr old 2:45pm

8 yr old 3:30 pm

9/10 yr olds 4:15pm

You and the family can enjoy carnival games, over 15 rides, art and crafts, face painting and more.

The festival starts at 10:00 a.m. and stays open until 5:00 p.m

Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children, and $3 for seniors. Parking is free.

For the Pets

Saturday, April 19, 2014 If your kids have four legs, that’s ok. We understand.  From 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Salty Paws in Fishermen’s Village. will host its 5th annual Easter Bone Hunt in the Center Court.

Pre-registration is required. Call 941-575-7599 for more information.

 

 

 

 

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.

Find Your Inner Artist at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Painting by Visual Arts Center student, Nancy Andreae

Painting by Visual Arts Center student, Nancy Andreae

Have you always dreamed of being an artist?  Or maybe you’d like to make some creative friends? Many people view their move to Punta Gorda as a chance to pick up those hobbies they have always dreamed they would do. Now is the time. Whether you are a lifelong artist, interested in learning a new craft, or want to meet new people, the Visual Art Center on the corner of Maud Street and Marion Ave can help you.

Classes and workshops

At the Visual Arts Center, highly accomplished artists teach six-week sessions in an array of areas. Class fees range from $95 to $130. The center divides the classes into three different sections:

  • Fine arts-Painting, drawing, and open studio classes
  • Fine crafts—Jewelry, Pottery and sculpture, and stained glass
  • Art and technology—Digital photography and editing and website design

The next class session begins November 4, 2013. Click here to see a complete list of classes and to register.

The center also offers morning and afternoon workshops. The workshops provide opportunities for you to experience the Visual Arts center before signing up for a six-week class.

Exhibits and Special Events

If you are not quite ready to pick up your own paintbrush, you can still experience the Punta Gorda art scene. The Visual Arts center houses two exhibit areas: the main gallery and the Wayne and Donna Goff Gallery. Throughout the year, the galleries host themed, judged and juried exhibits.

Beginning November 1 and continuing through November 29, 2013, the center will celebrate the life and works of John Singer Sargeant. Sargeant was the premier American portrait painter in the early 1900s. Throughout the month, the center has planned several events for the community to come together and appreciate Sargeant’s art.

For a complete listing of events, click here.

Membership and Volunteer Opportunities

The center maintains close to 1,000 members. Members receive discounts on classes and exhibits. In addition, the center invites members to display their art in all painting exhibits. Currently, membership fees are $55 annually for individuals, $80 annually for families, $25 annually for students, and $750 for lifetime memberships.

Membership is not required to participate in classes, workshops, or enter most exhibits.

As a non-profit organization, the center appreciates all of its members and volunteers. They allow the center to consistently contribute to the Punta Gorda art scene. If you are interested in volunteering, download their volunteer form here.

 

Top 3 Websites for Irresistible Home Decorating Ideas

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
From the Andreae Group Virtual Tour for 1443 Surfbird Ct.

From the Andreae Group Virtual Tour for 1443 Surfbird Ct.

Having a second home in Punta Gorda eliminates your shoveling and scraping obligations  for the winter, but it doubles your decorating duties.

Whether you love to decorate or simply love living in a beautiful home, you can find a wealth of tips on the internet. The trouble is with so much information out there, you can get lost in websites that aren’t really going to help you with your Florida home. Here are our favorite websites to help you find and keep up with what’s new in home decor.

Pinterest.com

While you are in the beginning idea stages, Pinterest can be a big help. To use Pinterest, you must create an account. Then, do a search for words that describe your project. You can be as general or specific as you need to be. You might start with a search  for ‘Kitchen decorating’. As your project moves along, you can switch to detailed terms, such as ‘kitchen faucets’. Pinterest allows you to create boards to help you organize your ideas. Create ‘boards’ for every room of your house. Then, pin the best ideas to the correlating board.

Pinterest Pros:

  • An infinite number of ideas. There are an estimated 70 million users on Pinterest. You will never be short on search results.
  • Simple search procedures. The site understands hashtags and other search tricks, but you don’t need to use them to get the results you want. Therefore, you can get the answers you want without learning a bunch of internet speak.
  • Easy to organize. The Pinterest boards make it simple for you to save the posts you like and forget the ones you don’t. This is a vital tool for you second homeowners who are trying to keep track of two homes worth of ideas.

Pinterest Cons: If you are a crafty person, you will love Pinterest. However, it is dangerous. You can go from clicking through bathroom mirror ideas to cakes-you-must-bake to dreamy knitting projects in seconds.

In addition, anyone can pin to Pinterest boards. A post that is ‘repinned’ several times may give the impression that the project is doable. In fact, if you’d like a good chuckle, do a Google search of  “Pinterest fails”.

Houzz.com

Contrary to Pinterest, which can suck you into 3,000 craft ideas in five minutes, Houzz narrows the scope to decorating ideas. Like Pinterest, you can create an account, clip ideas, and save them to different folders.

Houzz Pros:

  • It is a wealth of specific design ideas. You never need to worry about fighting your attention span.
  • Houzz keeps an active and very useful blog with tips for getting things done.
  • You can find local professional on Houzz when you decide a project needs professional help.
  • You can find and buy products right on the site.

Houzz Cons:

Because the site produces ideas from all over the world, some of the styles you see on the site won’t work well here in Punta Gorda. Florida design styles are different. Floridians don’t need to find ways to keep the cold weather out. Add the word, ‘Florida’ to your search and you will often get better results.

The Andreae Group Virtual Tours

It may seem a little unorthodox to go touring homes when you are not looking to buy. Let’s face it, the best way to discover Florida style is to see what other Floridians are doing. That is the beauty of the virtual tour. You can see how your neighbor’s kitchen cabinets from the comfort of your own home.

Andreae Group Virtual Tours Pros:

  • See Southwest Florida Style. Instead, of sorting through dark-colored log cabins, you can check out what works in southwest Florida from your home in Michigan.
  • We update the tours regularly. Every new listing gets its own tour. You could spend hours searching through local kitchens, bathrooms, and great rooms.
  • Experience what your southwest Florida home could be. The tours are all real homes. Therefore, you know everything in them is a possibility for your next project.

Andreae Group Virtual Tours Cons:

The listings often don’t last long. When you see something you like, take a screenshot of it, because it might not be there tomorrow.

What is your favorite website for decorating ideas?

 

 

 

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.

Allegiant Air Announces More Direct Flights into Punta Gorda

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

allegiant airTraveling to Punta Gorda just got a little bit easier. Beginning in late fall, Allegiant air will add 8 more cities to its nonstop air service into Punta Gorda Airport. To welcome these new markets on to their roster they are offering introductory fares from $69.99-$124.99 one way.

 

The new destinations are:

  • Youngstown, OH beginning October 30th
  • Bangor, ME beginning October 30th
  • Allentown, PA beginning Oct. 31, 2013
  • Springfield/Branson, MO beginning October 31st
  • Moline/Quad Cities, IL beginning November 1st
  • Asheville, NC beginning November 2nd
  • Cedar Rapids, IA beginning December 18th
  • Des Moines, IA beginning December 19th

Since 2009, Allegiant Air has offered flights in and out of Punta Gorda. They began with only two cities on the Punta Gorda roster: Greenville, South Carolina and Knoxville, Tennessee. They now provide direct service to 19 cities from Punta Gorda.

Tim Bradshaw, the Eastern Iowa Airport director in Cedar Rapids, commented “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Allegiant to bring direct service to Southwest Florida. From the first flight in 2004, our community has taken advantage of the low cost travel options that Allegiant provides. We look forward to a lasting partnership.”

Previously other small direct flight airlines attempted to build business going in and out of Punta Gorda, but they didn’t stick. Forbes Magazine has named Allegiant Air one of America’s 100 Best Small Companies four years in a row. With these new additions and its good reputation, it seems Allegiant air is here to stay.

Punta Gorda Airport is located off exit 164 on I-75. You can book tickets on Allegiant at http://www2.allegiantair.com. The introductory rates are good until August 6, 2013 and are good for travel dates up to February 11, 2014.