Tim Cranch wearing blue shirt

Tim Cranch

Ellie Penaranda

Southwest Florida versus the Other Side

We are on the left side of the map but on the right side of Florida! Why Naples? We get this question a lot in the real estate business here in Florida. Here’s a copy of the note with my response to a couple comparing us to the wrong side of Florida. (Okay, you know where I stand now and I am admittedly strongly biased after enjoying the Naples lifestyle full time for almost 20 years.) For those of you comparing Naples to Sarasota and other towns north of us, feel free to apply the same bullet points below.

Paul and Evelyn,

I will first briefly describe our personal experience. When we started to look at Florida for our full-time residence, we checked out both sides having friends both on the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and wanting to give a fair shake to different areas. When we landed in Naples and “discovered” it for ourselves, there was no conversation needed. We looked at each other and knew we had found our forever home. It would take a team of wild horses to get us to move. Our only regret is not having done it sooner. We owned our own brokerage firm in Northern Virginia outside of DC and it was tough to pick up after 20 years in the real estate business there.

Here are our conclusions in bullet points:

*The water is warmer on the Gulf side and you can swim year around. We visited friends in St. Augustine in July and the water was freezing. And I grew up on Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York…I know cold.

*Our beaches are better. Moreover, each one has a different character, better access to ALL beaches, more state parks in our area (Delnor-Wiggins State Beach Park and Lovers Key Beach State Park), several city and county beach parks (Lowdermilk, Naples Pier, Clam Pass, Vanderbilt Beach, Barefoot Beach, Bonita Beach) and more stuff to collect if you are a walker or a beachcomber (shells, coral, sea glass, and sharks teeth). The sand is perfect – soft, white, and cool to bare feet in the summer. Visit this page for more information on some of our local beaches.

*Then there’s “Dog Beach” in Bonita Springs. Just fantastic. (Check out the video here Dog Beach.)

*We are way more pet friendly. The whole town and area is dog crazy. Support systems for pet owners including veterinarians, dog parks, pet services, and stores.

*We are also car crazy. Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Spaghetti and Linguine. Muscle car and McLaren mania. Rolls Royce and Bentley every day. Antiques, hot rods, and RestoMods, Porsche out the wazoo. Car shows and gatherings on the weekends. Check out  “Cars on Fifth” and the “Mercato” events. Also, visit this site if you think you are a car guy: “Revs Institute.”

*We are off the chart for outdoor activities. On or off the water, everybody is active, social and moving their bodies one way or another. Tennis, pickle ball, golf and more golf, running, cycling, walking for exercise, swimming. Aside from being a world capital for golf, we are the undisputed world capital for pickle ball.

*Boating and fishing? Power boats, jet skis, sail boats, kayaks. Back bay fishing and fishing for grouper in the Gulf. Restaurants and bars by boat.

*As much as we are a “beach town,” we have the arts, music, culture, and sophistication if you want it. Nobody is going to look down on you if aren’t an art collector or a wine snob but all of the best from around the world is at your fingertips if you want to enjoy it. It is really a unique combination…….and we have lived in several different places/countries and traveled the world.

*Easy day trips and overnights for a change of scenery…….shopping at St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, hunting for prehistoric shark teeth in Venice, nightlife in Miami, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and the scenic drive to Key West.

*If you go out to restaurants, we are your town. From casual blue collar to fine dining and everything in between. Cheap or reasonable or expensive – something for everyone. All cuisines. Indoor and outdoor. Pet friendly. Beachfront and Waterfront (those are two different things in Florida). Bars and nightlife. Organic. Live music. Best pizza ever. You name it, we have it. We are a restaurant town like no other.

*We are a mecca for cycling. I know cycling. Although a road cyclist myself, there is every type and level of cycling in our area. As a side note, this is the most friendly and helpful cycling community in which I have ever biked. Everybody is helpful and courteous. Although I stay on the road, I have many friends that ride gravel and trails in several nearby parks and recreation areas. They love it and feel close to the abundant nature that all of us enjoy in Southwest Florida.

*Great hospitals and medical care available.

*We know how to celebrate holidays. Christmas boat parades, fireworks on the beach for New Years Eve and the Fourth of July. And we are really good at events, benefits, shows, and street events – Greek Festival, farmers markets, art shows, 5K runs, pickle ball championships, boat shows, and so much more.

*As far as the real estate goes, we have something for everyone. The water drives real estate values, as you would expect, but we have all price ranges. All styles of architecture, all sizes, all budgets.

*And here’s the clincher…….the people factor. As New Englanders, you might appreciate the prevailing attitude that we appreciate here in the Naples area. We are largely a mid-West population with a good representation from New England states and a sprinkling of Canadians/Europeans. I will describe the down-to-earth attitude like this……..you are walking the beach down by Naples Pier, you greet somebody with a “Good Morning” and before you know it you are engaged in a conversation…….you will not know if you are talking to a beach bum or the guy that owns the $50M beachfront home that you are standing in front of. The other side of Florida? Way too many people with “attitude” in your face.

There you go. Those are the highlights for us. Hope that helps! Tim and Ellie

Serious buyer? We listen well and will find your own “Piece of Paradise” at the best negotiated price and terms. We are full-time professional Realtors who depend on your referrals and take pride in our work. We have lived and worked through all real estate cycles. Take advantage of our skill and strategy to make you a successful buyer in a challenging market.

Serious seller? We will give you honest advice about current market conditions and pricing. We will aggressively market your home to local, national and international buyers for the best results and a smooth transaction. Our experience in handling multiple offers will result in the best terms for your own situation.

Tim Cranch at 239-272-4848    or    Ellie Penaranda at 239-776-5077