Michelle Thomas

International Coastal Cleanup 2019 Along Naples & Marco Island Beaches

Our Southwest Florida coastline is valuable real estate in more ways than one. Besides actual home values, these beaches provide a place for the area’s natural flora and fauna to flourish. It also provides endless hours of entertainment for our loved ones. We need to keep it clean and free from debris that might wash out into the ocean and harm the creatures living there. You can help by joining the International Coastal Cleanup 2019 along Naples, Marco Island, and Everglade City beaches this weekend.

Help keep our Southwest Florida beaches clean and our ocean water safe from harmful trash at the International Coastal Cleanup 2019 in Naples, Marco Island & Everglades City.

What: International Coastal Cleanup 2019
When: Saturday, September 21st, 8 am to 11 am
Where: Naples, Marco Island & Everglade City Beaches
Contact: Keep Collier Beautiful (239) 580-8319 or via email

International Coastal Cleanup 2019

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaBack in 1986, two women working for the Ocean Conservancy (Linda Maraniss and Kathy O’Hara) spoke with the Texas General Land Office about organizing volunteers to clean up their local beach. But instead of just picking up trash, they wanted to catalog every piece of trash and where it was found. They believed this would help them find ways to reduce and/or eliminate future ocean waste.

This idea quickly caught on. It eventually grabbed the attention of countries around the world. Today, dozens of countries and hundreds of coastal cities around the country participate in a coastal cleanup.

How to Join In

One way to participate in the coastal cleanup is to simply show up at any of the beaches listed below before 8 am on Saturday, September 21st. Make sure you wear sunscreen, a hat, and glasses to protect yourself from the sun. Bring a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated. If you have a large group of at least 10 people (boy/girl scouts, co-workers, clubs or organizations), you need to pre-register. To do so, contact Keep Collier Beautiful at (239) 580-8319 or via email. With only a few days left, you need to contact them right away.

Naples Beaches

  • Barefoot Beach
  • Clam Pass
  • Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
  • Florida Southwestern State College’s Adopted Canal
  • Golden Gate Canals
  • Haldeman Creek
  • Keywaydin Island (Naples Cruise Club)
  • Lowdermilk Park
  • Naples Bay (Naples Sailing & Yacht Club)
  • Naples Pier
  • Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Vanderbilt Beach

Marco Island Beaches

  • Isles of Capri
  • Tigertail Beach

Everglade City Beaches

  • Downtown
  • Immokalee
  • Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge

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

Senseless Ways to Use Your Naples Home Equity

Like many areas around the country, Naples home values increased tremendously over the last couple of years. In turn, this may have caused you to consider cashing in on some of that equity. Last week, I discussed smart ways to utilize the equity in your home. This week, I want you to know about the flip side of that coin: what you shouldn’t use your Naples home equity to fund.

While there are good ways to use your Naples home equity, there are also some bad reasons to use it. Avoid them at all costs.

Senseless Ways to Use Your Naples Home Equity

Automobile Purchase

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaLately, you’ve been desperate for a new vehicle. You managed to rack up over 150,000 miles on your 10-year-old car and would really like to trade it in on something new. Should you use the equity in your Naples home to purchase a new automobile? No. If your credit is decent, you may end up with a lower interest rate on your car loan than you would on a home equity loan. Plus, car loans only run five to seven years. On the other hand, home equity loans extend out anywhere from 20 to 30 years. During that time, you pay thousands of dollars more in interest. If you can’t afford the higher payment on the shorter terms of a car loan, you might not be ready to take on the expense of a new car yet.

Stock Market Investing

It might be tempting to take some of your home’s equity to invest in the stock market. Over the long term, stock market investing tends to be a viable way to create a nice nest egg. However, it can also be a bumpy ride, with extreme highs and lows along the way. (Remember the huge crash of the mid-2000’s?). Besides, the interest you pay on your equity loan eats into any profits you make. Plus, if your investments fail, not only do you lose the money you invested, but you also face the very real possibility of losing your home in the process.

Dream Vacation/Wedding

A three-week European vacation. You or your child’s dream wedding. A Boston Whaler Conquest. All of these come with huge price tags. But you can afford it…if you tap into your equity. Stop! Like stock market investing, you run the risk of losing your home if you can’t pay back the equity loan. Instead, divert a specific amount of money each paycheck to a special vacation/wedding/other luxury expense account. Save up over time and you pay no interest in the process. Plus, your equity may likely increase during that time period. Bonus!

Funding Your Lifestyle

Finally, never use your equity as another stream of income. If you need to dip into your equity in order to fund your lifestyle, consider scaling back on a few unnecessary expenses instead. When you look at where your current income goes, you will most likely find several places you can cut or eliminate spending to help alleviate some of your financial burdens. That’s a much smarter move than depleting your equity.

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

Smart Ways to Use Your Naples Home Equity

As home prices continue their march onward, many Naples homeowners see an increase in their home equity. That’s the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and the current value of your property. Some homeowners use this equity when they sell in order to boost their downpayment on a new home. Others want to tap into that equity before they sell. But not all uses of equity are equal. Here are a few ways to use your home equity wisely.

Do you have equity in your Naples house that you want to spend? There are some smart uses for your home equity that would actually benefit you.

Smart Uses for Your Home Equity

Home Improvement Projects That Add Value to Your Property

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaIt might be time to make some changes to your Naples home. Using your equity to do so can be a smart use of funds. Replacing outdated appliances or adding energy-efficient and smart home features are great ideas. Something as simple as replacing the garage door offers the best return on investment. Installing solar panels actually pay for themselves over time. But if you dream of adding a pool to increase your home’s value, beware. The cost to install a swimming pool is far greater than any value it might add to your property. If you’re in doubt as to whether a home improvement project will increase or lower your home’s value, talk to your real estate agent first.

Debt Consolidation

Trying to pay down your high-interest credit card debt? Using some of the equity in your Naples home might be beneficial. Of course, that depends on why you carry a lot of credit card debt. Did your credit card usage skyrocket during college? While temporarily unemployed? Have you decided to change your out-of-control ways by creating a budget? You still need to pay your current debt load down. Depending on your credit score, you could save 10% or more in interest. That helps pay down your debt faster. But, if you don’t have any intention of changing your spending habits, it would be a bad idea to use your equity to consolidate your debt. You could fall further into debt very easily.

Create an Emergency Fund

Financial experts suggest that you keep enough money in an emergency fund to handle at least six months of your living expenses. That includes mortgage, utilities, insurance, health care, food, etc. You never know when an emergency may hit your household. So, you need to be prepared. The money also should be easy to access. Instead of maxing out your credit cards to get you through a tough time, apply for a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit). If you do so now when you don’t necessarily need it, it will be there when you need it most.

Invest in Real Estate

Finally, another smart way to utilize the equity in your Naples home may be to invest in another property. This also comes with risk. But it also potentially brings in more money as well. Talk to your financial adviser to see if this is a risk worth taking.

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

Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic to Benefit Humane Society Naples

Today is National Dog Day. Barbatella, Dorona, and Sea Salt celebrate with Dine for a Paw at their restaurants tonight. Ten percent of their proceeds from today’s sales benefit the Humane Society. And your pets can dine with you! Yet another fun way to celebrate your pets and support Humane Society Naples is by attending the Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic.

Enjoy delicious food, decadent champagne, fun games, and puppies at the Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic on the lawn at Mercato on Aug 31, 2019.

What: Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic
Where: Lawn at Mercato
When: Saturday, August 31st, 2019 5 pm to 8 pm
Contact: Naples Mercato (239) 431-8259

Naples Sunset Puppy Picnic

Search homes for sale in the Naples/Marco Island areaNaples Flatbread Kitchen’s Bubble Lounge provides the Veuve Clicquot Champagne and delicious tidbits for guests to purchase. Humane Society Naples provides the puppies for adoption. But that’s not all. Some of the special menu items created especially for this evening’s event include gouda mac and cheese bites, Santa Fe chicken egg rolls, Grandpa Vinny’s meatballs, and 72-hour short ribs. Pay just $5 each for these delicious morsels. The chef also plans on putting out a selection of their famous flatbreads for just $3 each. Or pick up a piece of pizza for just $2 per slice. Margaritas and vodka spritz cocktails will also be available for $10 each. For designated drivers and others not inclined to imbibe in alcohol, pick up a bottle of water for $2 each.

While puppies, food, and champagne may be the main courses of this event, that’s not all guests will have to keep themselves busy. DJ Travis plays music to keep the atmosphere festive. And you have the opportunity to play some fun lawn games as well.

Bottle Reservations Required

With limited supplies, bottles sell out quickly. So, they require reservations if you plan on purchasing one. To guarantee that you receive a bottle of yellow label or rose, visit the Naples Flatbed reservation website here. They start at $75 each. With each bottle, receive two free souvenir champagne flutes. They sell out quickly as well!

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