Monthly Archives: November 2018

Why Choose Quartz Over Granite for Your Kitchen Renovation?

Granite has been a staple in many Naples and Marco Island homes for years now. In recent years, this beautiful high-end finish began to steadily lose popularity points to quartz. Why have builders, designers, and homeowners begun to choose quartz over granite for their kitchen renovation projects? More choices, easier maintenance, and a more eco-friendly option to name just a few.

When choosing countertops for a kitchen renovation, designers and builders alike have begun to move away from granite and embrace quartz.

Kitchen Renovation: Quartz vs Granite

More to Choose From

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In your kitchen renovation, quartz provides more options to choose from than granite. While it looks like stone, it can be engineered to match just about any color scheme. Whether you want a lighter material or a darker color, manufacturers can create any color you want. Natural granite, on the other hand, sticks predominantly to the white, gray or pink families.

Lower Maintenance

Another reason quartz rose to the top of the list with kitchen renovation is because it is so much easier to maintain than granite. Even the best chefs spill things in the kitchen (greasy food, juice, oil, wine). These all stain the porous surface of granite, ruining its beautiful design. Quartz handles these spills like a pro. Unlike granite, simple soap and water clean up quartz in a snap. It’s also scratch-resistant and won’t stain or discolor due to hot items being placed on it. Even so, you probably shouldn’t leave sizzling hot pans directly on quartz.

Costs Less Than Exotic Granite Slabs

While some granite actually costs less than engineered quartz, the more exotic granite slabs cost more. Large kitchen islands require a large slab of granite. This can be difficult to locate. In that case, you’ll need to find two slabs of granite similar in color and design. Otherwise, the whole island looks “off”. That means cutting the slabs to match each other. With quartz, the manufacturer creates the exact size, color, and design you want. No extra cost. No waste.

More Eco-Friendly

Finally, with your kitchen renovation, quartz tends to be more eco-friendly. Granite must be quarried and, sometimes, imported (depending on where you get it from). Stick with local quartz manufacturers to cut down on transportation. Also, check out salvage shops like Home & Salvage on Taylor in Naples. They might have quartz pieces you can utilize in your own kitchen renovation for a fraction of what granite costs.

Marco Island Christmas Tree Lighting

On a totally different note, if you missed the Christmas Tree Lighting festivities in Naples last week, it’s OK. The Marco Island Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony takes place this Saturday at Veterans Community Park. Just make sure you’re there before 6 pm so you don’t miss a moment of the fun. Besides, you don’t want to miss a visit from Santa, do you?

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples FL Named Best Place to Retire in the South

You spend your entire life working so that you can eventually retire in peace. Where do you want to spend your retirement years? How about in a place that SmartAsset.com named the best place to retire in the south? That would be right here in Naples FL.

Looking for a place to spend your sunset years? Smart Asset just named Naples FL as its pick for the Best Place to Retire in the South.

Naples FL: Best Place to Retire in the South

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If you already live here, you know what Naples FL has to offer. But why exactly did Smart Asset place it at the top of its “Best Places to Retire in the South” list? Naples FL provides a welcome retreat from snowbound living in the wintertime that other cities across the county have to endure. Its abundance of retirement communities (9.66 per every 1000 residents) means that there is a community to fit any lifestyle you enjoy.

Over half of the city’s residents live in a retirement community. But that doesn’t mean that life comes to a standstill. In fact, there is one recreation community for every 1000 residents. Also, the Gulf of Mexico sits right in our own backyard. Can you say “active lifestyle”? And its 14.6% tax burden ties it for the lowest in the whole south. Smart Asset also ranked Naples the top place to retire in the whole state.

How Did Smart Asset Determine Rankings?

Smart Asset considered several statistics that appeal to retirees to determine their Best Place to Retire in the South rankings. The tax burden was one item. But they also took into account available healthcare services and the number of retirement communities. A city’s senior population helped Smart Asset gauge how popular the city was among retirees Since many seniors wish to stay active in their retirement years, the number of recreation centers available for the city’s population was held in high regard as well. Based on these factors, you can easily understand why Naples FL made the top of the list. Congratulations, Naples! If you’d like to find a place to retire here in Naples, FL, give me a call.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Christmas Tree Lighting & Celebration on 3rd St South

Now, I understand that Christmas is still 43 days away. We celebrate Thanksgiving next week. But, the people in charge of the 3rd St South Shopping District just can’t wait. They get things started early with their 2018 Naples Christmas tree lighting next Monday. And they want to invite everyone to celebrate their kick-off to this holiday season.

3rd St South hosts their annual Naples Christmas tree lighting and celebration of lights the entire week of Thanksgiving 2018...with snow!

What: Naples Christmas Tree Lighting 2018
Where: 3rd St South Shopping District (1300 3rd St S)
When: Monday, November 19th, 6 pm to 9 pm
Admission: FREE
Contact: 3rd St South (239) 649-6707

Naples Christmas Tree Lighting 2018

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From 6 pm to 9 pm on November 19th, the 3rd St South Shopping District turns into a winter wonderland. The plaza fills up with Christmas cheer when the mayor officially flips the switch at the Naples Christmas tree lighting. Listen in awe as bells ring from every courtyard in the shopping center. See the living nativity in all its glory at the tree lighting. I hear Santa plans on making an appearance as well. Next, if you believed that it never snows in Florida, you’ll be proven wrong. Every day during Thanksgiving week, snow falls on the plaza promptly at 7 pm. Then, at 7 pm every Thursday in December, expect to see snow falling in the plaza again.

3rd St Celebration of Lights 2018

For the rest of Thanksgiving week (except Thanksgiving Day), visitors can bask in the Celebration of Lights at 3rd St South. From 6 pm to 9 pm each evening, carolers inspire guests with traditional Christmas carols in the Fleischman Courtyard. This tends to be a pretty popular event in Naples at this time of year. So, if you plan on adding dinner to your evening’s plans next week, make reservations at your favorite restaurant ahead of time. Otherwise, you might not find a seat anywhere. You don’t want to miss seeing the snow falling at 7 pm, do you?

It really is the most wonderful time of the year in Naples right now. To prove it, 3rd St South hosts their Naples Christmas tree lighting event on November 19th, with their Celebration of Lights taking place until November 24th (except Thanksgiving night). And they’ve promised snow on the plaza every evening at 7 pm sharp. What a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Blair Foundation Tree Challenge in Naples

When Hurricane Irma hit the Naples area late last year, it took almost 2000 trees with it. Since then, the City has been hard at work replacing these trees, starting with the main thoroughfares. The Blair Foundation offered up $500,000 in matching donations to help plant even more trees throughout the City over a three year time period. Thus, the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge was created in Naples. But, in order to receive these matching funds, the City needs its citizens to step up and donate as well.

In an effort to replace trees killed by Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge matches donations dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000.

What is the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge?

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Money works wonders for helping cure all sorts of ills. However, a community is only as good as its inhabitants. With the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge, the foundation hoped to inspire other community members to donate money to the cause. This fosters a much closer sense of community with your fellow neighbors. It also makes you feel like you’re doing your part to make the City a little better.

Each tree costs between $800 and $5000. If of enough Naples’ residents donate, that could mean an additional 200 to 1250 trees in and around our Naples neighborhoods. And this is in addition to the $300,000 the City sets aside each year already to plant trees. The City needs individuals, businesses, social clubs, and HOA’s to donate money towards the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge. If you can afford to donate money individually, that would be awesome. However, not everybody can do it. Ask your company and co-workers to pitch in. Or, talk to the social organization you belong to (Kiwanis, Boy/Girl Scouts, bridge club, yacht, club, etc) about fundraising ideas. Get your neighbors involved. The more that contribute, the more trees we’ll be able to plant. And every dollar you donate is tax deductible!

For more information about the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge, please contact the Naples Community Services Department at (239) 213-7120. Trees are planted twice per year: spring and winter. If you donate now, you’ll be in time for the winter planting season. For 21 years, Naples has been the recipient of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree City USA” designation. We want to continue this great honor for years to come. When you become a part of the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge, you help us retain this honor. Please donate what you can. Thank you!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos