Naples Named Happiest and Healthiest City in the USA…Again

Orlando may house one of the happiest places on earth. But the healthiest? Not so much. This comes as no shock to anyone who lives here, but Naples/Immokalee/Marco Island made it to the top of the “Happiest and Healthiest Cities in the USA”…again. That makes two years in a row that our Naples community ranked #1 on the Well-Being Index. Should we tell people why?

For the second year in a row, our Naples community ranked #1 on the "Happiest and Healthiest Cities in the US" list, according to a report by Gallup-Sharecare.

How Did Naples Become the Happiest & Healthiest?

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Earlier this year, Gallup-Sharecare released their 2016 Community Well Being Rankings. They looked at almost 200 cities across the United States to determine who was the happiest and healthiest. They polled citizens of each city to find out how they felt about their community in general, how strong their social ties were with others, their financial security, their physical well-being, and whether they felt a sense of purpose in being a part of their community. For Naples, this was a no-brainer. We’re extremely proud of how well our community rallies around each other, especially in times of need. Art and nature both play a large part of life here. And our local economy thrives thanks to its support of small businesses in the area.

The only other Florida community to be named in the top 10 was Sarasota. Seven California cities made the top 25, by far the most of any state in the US. We are only one of three cities to make it in the top 10 “happiest and healthiest” since Gallup began their list almost 10 years ago. Boulder, CO and Provo, UT share this honor with us.

Top 10 Happiest & Healthiest Cities in the US (according to Gallup-Sharecare)

  1. Naples/Immokalee/Marco Island, FL
  2. Barnstable Town, MA
  3. Santa Cruz/Watsonville, CA
  4. Urban Honolulu, HI
  5. Charlottesville, VA
  6. North Port/Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
  7. San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles/Arroyo Grande, CA
  8. Lynchburg, VA
  9. Hilton Head Island/Buffton/Beaufort, SC
  10. Boulder, CO

Do you think we can make the list for an unprecedented third time in a row next year? We’ll find out when they release their results in the spring of 2018. I feel pretty confident. Do you?

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

Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017

We may not enjoy white Christmases in Naples, but we certainly can celebrate “merry and bright”. At the Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017, that’s exactly what you get. Between now and January 3rd, guests will be entertained by lights, live music, and much, much more.

Enjoy a magical winter wonderland right here in South Florida at the Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017 event.

What: Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017
Where: 4820 Bayshore Dr
When: Now through January 3rd (Closed 12/24/17, 12/25/17 & 12/31/17), 6 pm to 9 pm
Admission: $10/Adult Member, $20-$25/Adult Non-Member, $5/Child Member, $10-$15/Child Non-Member
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275 or via email

Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017

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Throughout the next couple of weeks, the gardens close their doors at 5 pm for their regular guests. Then, it transforms itself into the magical Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017. Thousands of twinkling lights illuminate the gardens, accentuating the already beautiful foliage found there. The Fogg Cafe remains open in case you find yourself in need of sustenance after wandering around the grounds. Patchouli and Terra Guitarra perform Christmas classics on their guitars most nights of the event. The Kelly and Mason Duo join them from time to time. Several fun holiday-themed activities are scheduled as well. You aren’t going to want to miss it!

Tickets for Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017

Tickets cost $20 to $25 for adults and $10 to $15 for children, depending on the date and time you attend. Are you a member? Then you only pay $10 per adult and $5 per child no matter what day or time. If you’re not a Botanical Garden member, I highly suggest you become one. This is a great place to visit any time of year. All children ages three and under are free. You must purchase your tickets in advance for the Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017 event. They will not be sold at the door. To do so, visit the Naples Botanical Gardens’ website here. Members must sign in to receive their discount.

Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2017 closes its doors just three days throughout its run: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Otherwise, it’s open each and every day of the week. Tickets sell out pretty quickly. So, you’d better purchase yours today!

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

Naples Dinner with Artists 2017 Feeds the Creative Mind,

Art presents itself in many mediums. Paintings, photographs, watercolors…food. Combine these mediums and you have a veritable feast for the senses. Naples Dinner with Artists 2017 feeds the creative mind when it partners a local artist’s work with the talents of a local chef. We all reap the benefits here!

The Naples Dinner with Artists 2017 partners local a local artist's work with a menu created by a local chef to benefit children's art programs.

What: Naples Dinner with Artists 2017
Where: Naples Art Association (585 Park St)
When: Thursday, December 14th, 5:30 pm  to 8:30 pm
Cost: $130 per person or $250 per couple
Contact: Naples Art Association (239) 262-6517

Naples Dinner with Artists 2017

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At this month’s Naples Dinner with Artists 2017, Chef Bob Schultz prepares an exquisite feast to complement the works of artist Michael Monroe. Chef Schultz, owner and Executive Chef of Creative Catering Naples, has won numerous awards for his culinary masterpieces. Michael Monroe’s abstract art features the exquisite use of color that evokes strong feelings from deep within each viewer. Just imagine what treats await you when you join others on this particular winter evening.

Tickets cost just $130 per person. However, bring a date and you’ll pay $250 per couple. The Naples Dinner with Artists series runs once a month through April 2018. If you purchase tickets in advance for the entire series, you’ll receive a 10% discount. Visit the Naples Art Association’s box office online here to purchase your tickets today.

Naples Dinner with Artists 2018 Schedule

Each month features a new partnership of artist and chef. You’ll never experience the same thing twice. That’s why you’re going to want to purchase tickets for more than one night.

  • January 18th, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Artist Marvin Rouse and Chef Greg Shapiro, Chef/Owner of Tastebuds Custom Catering
  • February 17th, 6 pm to 11 pm – Couples cocktail party, live entertainment, interactive art pieces, and a Take it Off the Wall art sale. Proceeds benefit children’s art programs and scholarships. Five different chefs offer food samplings for the evening.
  • March 15th, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Artist Chris Zettel and Two Guys Catering
  • April 3rd, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Features a young artist and chef from the Collier County Public School District

Help support our local arts community. Purchase your tickets for the Naples Dinner with Artists 2017 coming up on December 14th. Enjoy an evening of fabulous food and amazing art all for a great cause.

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

2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade

Only 25 shopping days left until Christmas. But the holiday celebrating starts earlier than that. Next weekend, the public is invited to watch the 2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade navigate its way through the Naples Bay. Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, you’re most definitely going to have a great time.

Whether you watch or participate in the 2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade, you're assured to have a fantastic time!

What: 2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade
Where: Naples Yacht Club
When: Saturday, December 9th, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Admission: FREE
Contact: Marine Industries Association of Collier County (239) 682-0900 or via email

2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade

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The 2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade really kicks off the holiday season in a manner befitting the area. Owners dress up their boats with sparkling lights and other Christmas finery. Then, they set sail from Marker 18 all the way up to Pincher’s Crab Shack. But they’re not just showing off their decorating skills. These guys compete for bragging rights and their portion of $3000 in cash and prizes.

Do you want to compete? It’s free to enter. Simply fill out an entry form at the Marine Industries Association website here. All captains must attend a mandatory meeting at Pincher’s Crab Shack on December 6th at 6:30 pm. All you need is a boat, a healthy imagination to participate, and a few good crewmates to get the job done.

Best Places to View the 2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade

Make your dinner plans at any of these great restaurants and you’ll have a front-row view of the parade as it passes by:

  • The Boat House Restaurant
  • Kelly’s Fish House
  • Pinchers Crab Shack
  • Riverwalk Restaurant

Other great viewing locations include Naples Landing as well as Bayview Park. Pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and get there early to scout a good location.

Ricky King Children’s Fund

While the parade requires no participation fee, donations are always greatly appreciated. Proceeds from the 2017 Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade benefit the Ricky King Children’s Fund. This fund helps provide much-needed equipment and services to children with physical disabilities living in Collier County. So far, the parade has managed to raise $100,000 over the past 10 years for the Ricky King Children’s Fund.

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

Home for the Holidays in Lely Resort of Naples

Michelle Thomas proudly presents…

 
 

 

With over $175,000 in custom upgrades, this immaculately maintained premium cul-de-sac end lot offers magnificent lake views and a spacious Montessa floor plan. Lush tropical landscaping and custom lighting surround the outside of this beautiful residence. Spanning over 2,200 square feet of living area with three bedrooms and a den, this impeccable home presents an array of upgrades such as a newer washer and dryer, recently custom-painted interior, newer tile in the baths and upgraded faucets. Tile, volume ceilings, upgraded lighting fixtures and two designer chandeliers decorate the inside. The great room, formal dining room and expansive lanai offer the perfect setting for intimate gatherings or elegant entertaining. Access the paver lanai from the great room or master bedroom, and enjoy your private saltwater swimming pool and spa area. The kitchen boasts granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, pantry and dry bar area. Additional features include remote keyless entry system, impact glass throughout, alarm system and Nest remote thermostat. Only minutes from downtown Naples, beaches and marina, an extraordinary lifestyle is waiting for you in Lely Resort.

What Your Need to Know About Your Home Inspector

“A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. (Wikipedia )”

 

A home inspection is an important part of the home sale process for both for buyers and sellers. Here’s what you need to know about a home inspector.

What You Need to Know About Your Home Inspector

You Can Choose – Your Realtor is a valuable resource for reputable home inspectors and can recommend one to you. You can, however, choose any home inspector you like. Get references before hiring them. It’s important that they are highly-trained to spot current and potential problems before you buy or sell your home.

Spotting Big Problems – A home inspector is skilled at spotting issues based on the integrity of home-safety, the electrical work, foundation, and more. Cosmetic issues like the color of the walls or distasteful light fixtures are not a part of his inspection.

The Inspector’s Report – The home inspector’s list has a lot of items on it. It mainly focuses on damage, needed repairs, etc. Make sure you read the report and understand it completely. Your real estate agent will help you with this.

The Inspector’s Code of Ethics – The inspector is actually working for the party that pays his or her fees. However, the inspector’s integrity and code of ethics will only allow him/her to write a report based on true facts regarding the home. They will not intentionally omit information about the home that is not true. Although the report is a private matter between you and the inspector, the seller must disclose any issues that the inspection finds.

Home Inspector’s Liability – It’s great news when a home inspector doesn’t find any problems in a home. It’s important to know, however, that the inspector cannot be held liable for any issues that occur down the road.

As you can see, the home inspector plays a vital role in the purchase of a home. Your Realtor® is a skilled and trusted ally in making sure you are protected.

Contact me if you have any questions about home inspections or need a recommendation for a reputable home inspector.

5 Do-It-Yourself Home Inspections

Pride of ownership means inspecting your home on a regular basis.  This ensures that small maintenance issues don’t become big, expensive and overwhelming disasters.

5 Do It Yourself Home Inspections

 

Do your own home inspections on these five household items:

Smoke Detectors – According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ps://www.fema.gov, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month.  Check your batteries at least twice a year.  A good way to remember when to change batteries is to choose a special holiday or occasion; New Year’s Day, Daylight Savings, your birthday, etc.

Be sure to test your carbon monoxide detectors, too, if you have them.

 

Electrical Outlets – To test your electrical outlets in your kitchen and bathroom, plug in a small appliance like a mixer or hair dryer.  Push the “test” button.  If it’s working properly, your appliance will shut off.  It not, call your electrician to fix it.

 

Fire Extinguisher – Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher per floor.  It’s also recommended that you keep one in the garage.

Your fire extinguisher should be inspected and certified annually by a fire protection equipment company.

 

Staircases – Wear and tear occur on staircases and banisters.  Regular checks on stairs and banisters ensure that they are maintained.  Loose railings on staircases can cause serious personal injury.

 

Water Quality – Test your tap water for contaminants by purchasing a test kit at your local Home Depot or another home store.  The water test kits are simple to use and will let you know whether or not your drinking water is safe.

 

These five do-it-yourself home inspections will help you keep your home well maintained and safe for many years to come.  Contact me for more suggestions.

Calling All Naples Florida Area Food and Wine Lovers

Calling All Naples Florida Area Food and Wine Lovers

Paradise Coast Food and Wine Tasting Event

Calling All Naples Florida Area Food and Wine Lovers - Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience

Calling all food and wine lovers!  Mark your calendars for the Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience. This is a must-attend event!

What: Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience

When: November 11, 2017, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Where: 5th Avenue South, Naples, FL

Cost: $85 for Grand Tasting and $120 for the VIP Grand Tasting, $25 add-on to Meet Martha’s Experts; Thomas Joseph

Tickets:  Go to http://protixonline.com/events/details/?event_id=668 to purchase tickets.

This is a great opportunity to sample the culinary delights offered by some of the most renowned chefs and mixologists in the country.

Choose Your Ticket:

$85 Grand Tasting includes unlimited culinary delights including spirits from local restaurants.  You’ll also be able to see chef demonstrations and seminars.  National and local culinary experts will participate in panel discussions.

$120 VIP Tasting allows you avoid the long lines with a one-hour early-access.  Enjoy private wine and other drink tastings in the VIP Lounge.  This is in addition to what’s available in the Grand Tasting.

Need a little more of the Paradise Coast Food & Wine Experience?  For a $25 add-on Thomas Joseph, Martha Stewart’s Culinary Director will demonstrate his best tips and techniques.  A one-year subscription to Martha Stewart Living Magazine and Naples Daily News or The News-Press digital subscription.

This event promises to be a fun-packed thrill event for foodies of all experience and talent.  It’s more than the usual food tasting event.  It’s the full experience.  An exciting few steps beyond.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District and the USA TODAY Network publications.

Bring your appetite!  This event is going to be a lot of fun.

Easy and Economical Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Energy Efficient

Looking for ways to make our homes more energy-efficient? The thought of going through the whole house and making changes can be overwhelming.  Your bathroom can be the easiest place to start working on creating a more energy-efficient home.

Easy and Economical Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Energy Efficient

 

Here are just a few energy-efficient bathroom ideas:

Low-Flow Shower Head – Start by installing a low low-flow shower head. A conventional shower head uses between 3 and 4 gallons per minute while a low-flow showerhead uses about 2 gallons per minute. That’s a lot of water and money savings.

HomeTips.com provides some excellent tips for purchasing a low-flow show head.

Low Flush Toilet – Install low-flush toilets. They use significantly less water than the standard toilets in most homes. They were designed in the 1990s to address energy concerns.

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs – Replace those energy-guzzling light bulbs for energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. LEDs make a difference in your bathroom and your wallet.  Take a look at this cost-comparison.

Light Bulb Energy Savings

Fix all Leaks – When you hear the drip, drip, drip of your sink or bathroom faucet, fix it right away. It can be as simple as making a little repair. Or, it can mean replacing the fixtures altogether. Immediate fixes will save time and conserve energy in the long run.

Go to your local Home Depot to get suggestions for “greening” your bathroom. Ask if they have homeowner classes to help you learn more ways to make your bathroom more energy-efficient.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, no worries. Just contact me and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

‘Tis the Season “FORE” Golf on Florida’s Paradise Coast

Tis the Season “FORE” Golf on Florida’s Paradise Coast

Just about any day is a great day for a round of golf on Florida’s Paradise Coast.  With temperatures rounding out in the 70s and low 80s, there is no more perfect time to break out the irons than now.  

'Tis The Season for Golf on the Paradise Coast - Fiddler's Creek in Naples Florida

Naples is a Golfer’s Paradise

USA Today named Naples #5 on their list of, “10 Best Golf Destinations in the World”.  Those who live, visit and golf here would definitely agree. With 90+ golf courses in the Naples area, duffers and pros alike will easily find their own little piece of golfing heaven.

 

The Community of Fiddler’s Creek

Fiddler’s Creek in Naples, Florida is one of the most exclusive communities.  Its master plan includes luxurious homes, an elegant club and spa as well as tennis, swimming and restaurants. This is definitely the place to live the active lifestyle.

Golf – Among other awards, Fiddler’s Creek has been rated among the “Top 100 Residential Golf Course Communities” by GolfWeek.

The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek boasts an 18-hole championship course designed by Arthur Hill. Since it opened in 2002, many golfers have enjoyed great scenery, challenging holes and clubhouse.

Health Club and Spa – Luxurious treatments in the spa, an energizing fitness facility or just lounging by the pool are just what the doctor ordered. There is always plenty of fun and entertainment scheduled.  Never a dull moment.

Marinas and Beaches – Fiddler’s Creek residents have beach and marina access.  Swim, sunbathe or go boating to your heart’s content.  

 

The Homes You’ll Find in Fiddler’s Creek

Now that you know what a wonderland you’ll find in the community of Fiddler’s Creek, I’m sure you’d like to check out homes for sale in Naples, Florida.  

Take a peek at what’s currently for sale and contact me when you’re ready to buy or sell a home.  I’m here to help.