naples real estate

Is White-Boxing the Way to Go When Selling Your Naples Home?

For most sellers, home staging plays a huge part in how quickly their home sells as well as for how much. But a trend we’re beginning to see with higher-end homes like those in Naples and Marco Island is something called “white-boxing”. That’s the complete opposite of home staging. So, is white-boxing the way to go when selling your Naples or Marco Island home? It just might be.

White-boxing is a new trend we're seeing in higher end Naples and Marco Island homes. Is this the right strategy to use when selling your home?

What is “White-Boxing”?

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White-boxing is the absence of furniture or furnishings of any kind. This provides buyers with a truly blank slate. Only white walls and blank floor space. No artwork, books, area rugs, dishes…nothing. Your Naples/Marco Island home is simply a “white box” filled with infinite possibilities.

What Makes White-Boxing Popular?

Today’s luxury buyers want to go in and put their personal stamp on a place. No matter how lovely of a home it may be, they want to tear down walls, rip up flooring and customize the space to fit their lifestyle. When a seller uses white-boxing, it allows the buyer and their designer to better see what they’d like to change instead of focusing on the furniture and fixtures. For designers, this blank canvas makes it easier to render their design concepts for the buyer to visualize once customization has been completed. Plus, buyers feel less guilty about gutting a home to redesign it if it’s already empty. In fact, these buyers may pay more for a white-boxed home than a staged one.

Does White-Boxing Work for Every Home?

No. It may seem odd, but many rooms actually look smaller without furniture in them. White-boxing works best when you have large rooms and a fabulous view. Otherwise, this might not be the best strategy. Determine who your buyers are before you list. Talk this over with your Naples REALTOR® to decide whether or not white-boxing is a good selling plan for your home.

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

Naples Food Angels Need Volunteers

Did you know that one in six people in the United States goes hungry every single day. This includes men, women, and children. It affects families living right here in the Naples area. That’s heartbreaking and should never happen in a country as rich as our own. Places like the Naples Food Angels help feed these families in need every week. But they need your help.

What: Naples Food Angels
Where: The Current Community Center (13510 Tamiami Trl N #5, Naples, FL)
When: Every Saturday 10:30 am to 12 pm & Every Wednesday 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Contact: First Christian Church of Naples (239) 529-3977

Naples Food Angels Need Volunteers

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Naples Food Angels are looking for volunteers to help them with their food distribution efforts. Twice a week (Wednesday evening and Saturday morning), they open up their facility and allow local families in need to shop the shelves for free. Items they choose from include fresh produce, meat, baked goods, personal care products, and other available items. What began with service to just eight people four years ago has grown to serve over 1,000 people a month. As you can imagine, that means the Naples Food Angels need more hands helping pick up, pick through, and organize the bi-weekly distribution efforts.

How to Volunteer for the Naples Food Angels

With the Naples Food Angels, everyone is welcome. Age doesn’t matter. In fact, bring a service hours volunteer form from your school and receive credit for all duties performed as part of the Naples Food Angels family. Public service looks excellent on college applications, by the way. Currently, the “angels” need help with bakery pickups, retail rescue pickups, delivery of leftover perishables to St Matthew’s House, and distribution of food at the center every Saturday. They also need assistance with pickups at various donor locations as well as sorting and stocking the shelves of the facility at the community center throughout the week. In addition, the Naples Food Angels prepare bags for homeless teens going to two Naples area schools. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Dara Albert, volunteer coordinator with the Naples Food Angels, at (719) 304-9961.

Of course, donations are always welcome as well. The Naples Food Angels rely on donors as well as volunteers to fulfill their promise to bring good, healthy food to those less fortunate members of our community. If you’d like to donate food or personal care items in person, feel free to drop them off at the Current Community Center between 10:30 am and 12 pm any Saturday of the year. Or, you can donate money online as a one-time-only or regular recurring donation. All money raised is used to purchase food and personal care items for the families serviced by the Food Angels. Thank you and God bless.

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

Current Home Remodeling Trends for Your Naples FL Property

Are you considering putting your Naples or Marco Island home on the market anytime soon? Or are you simply looking for a way to give your property a facelift? Look for inspiration in current home remodeling trends. While currently “trending”, these changes are classic enough that they will never actually go out of style.

Does your Naples home need a change? Thinking of putting your Marco Island house on the market? Utilize these current home remodeling trends to appeal to today's buyers.

Current Home Remodeling Trends

Eco-Friendly Materials

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We live in an ever-expanding eco-conscious world. More and more buyers look for homes that include eco-friendly materials in their construction. Current home remodeling trends utilize bamboo for floors and recycled glass for their counters or showers. Composite decking like Trex deck or CorrectDeck won’t rot or peel. High-performance low-E windows add another layer of insulation by reflecting the harsh sun glare and heat, maintaining a milder temperature inside. In the winter, they help keep warm air in and cold air out. Energy-efficient appliances like tankless water heaters, ceiling fans, and smart thermostats reduce energy usage as well as costs.

Using Wood Anywhere You Want

Why limit wood design strictly to your floors? Another one of the current home remodeling trends involves using wood on walls and ceilings, too. But we’re not talking about your grandparents’ wood-paneled walls here. Think about a reclaimed wood accent wall in the dining room. Or a wood covered ceiling in your family room, kitchen or your foyer. With the various grains, textures, and colors available, wood adds warmth to any room while bringing a calming natural element of the outdoors inside.

Open Concept Kitchen

No longer are kitchens completely separate from the rest of the home. Naples homeowners love to entertain. A good host interacts with their guests, even when serving up food. One of the other current home remodeling trends we see in today’s homes is the open concept kitchen. Tear down walls where necessary to create an open sight-line to your family or living room. Add cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling. A nice large kitchen island invites guests to visit with you as you add the finishing touches to the evening’s meal. Also, forget granite. Quartz reigns supreme in today’s Naples homes. Its lighter color comes in a variety of patterns and fits in well with the coastal or resort themes that are so popular in the Marco Island/Naples area. For the more cost-conscious individual, check out these budget-friendly alternatives to create a “wow” factor in the kitchen.

Outdoor Living Space

Finally, we can’t overlook the outdoor living space. Beautiful weather means that we spend as much time indoors as we do outdoors. So the last of the current remodeling trends I’m going to talk about shouldn’t surprise you at all. Adding a fully functioning kitchen outdoors, complete with sink, grilling station, and drink fridge makes entertaining a snap. Add a media center and large outdoor fireplace to keep the party going into the cooler months. And don’t forget to keep in mind your more physically limited friends, family and, potentially, yourself down the road when creating an outdoor space everyone can enjoy.

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

Keep Your Naples Home Safe While You’re on Vacation

Last Monday was Memorial Day. This signals that summer is close at hand. Our local schools let out soon. Many people choose the summer to take long family vacations, intimate getaways with their significant other or a fun jaunt somewhere with their friends. The last thing you want to do is come home to find that someone has broken into your home. Keep your Naples home safe while you’re on vacation. Utilize these helpful hints to lessen your risk of a burglary while you enjoy a much-deserved time away.

Going away this summer? Make would-be thieves think twice about targeting your home by using these vacation tips to keep your Naples home safe while you're gone.

Naples Home Safety Tips

Social Media Blackout

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First and foremost, the biggest Naples home safety tip I can give you is to keep off social media while you’re away. Enjoy your time. Take pictures to mark the occasion. But delay posting anything about your trip until after you return. You don’t need to advertise to would-be thieves that your house sits empty while you’re hundreds of miles away. This extends to email, as well. Some of us set automatic responses when we’re out of the office. Instead of saying “I’m on vacation between this date and this date”, a simple, “I’m currently out of the office. Please contact so-and-so if you need immediate help.” Don’t get into specifics of the why or when. Of course, you could forget about the “out of office” auto-reply altogether and have someone in your office monitor your emails while you’re away.

Set Your Timers

Next, use timers for your lights. Many thieves watch homes for days…even weeks before they actually strike. They learn the daily habits of its residents. If you don’t already own one, consider purchasing a timer for your lights. They’re available online or in home improvement stores. Some allow you to set up timers for various rooms at different times while you’re away. This helps keep up the appearance that someone is home. FabatHome.com provides a list of the best outlet timers on the market right now based on user-friendliness, type, and design. Check them out to learn more before you head out to buy a system of your own.

Unplug Unnecessary Appliances

How would you feel if you came back from vacation to find that your Naples home burned down due to an electrical fire? Avoid this by unplugging any unnecessary appliances. Coffee pot, TV, computer, toaster, you name it. If you don’t use it while you’re gone, unplug it. Depending on the amount of time you’ll be gone, you may even want to unplug your refrigerator. Just make sure all perishable food items are not left inside and leave the door open to avoid mildew. Set your water heater to vacation mode by lowering the temperature. You can even turn off your thermostat as long as you don’t have plants or animals inside to worry about. If you do, you can still set the thermostat to a higher temperature than you normally would.

Keep Up Appearances

Nothing says “no one’s home” like a pile of mail or a lawn that looks like it hasn’t been mowed for a while. Put a hold on your mail with the post office for the time you’re away. It’s a quick form you can fill out at the post office. They won’t deliver your mail during the time frame you indicate. Regular delivery starts up again when you say. You can do the same for your daily or weekly newspaper delivery. Do you already have a landscaping service? Then, you won’t need to worry about your lawn. However, if you don’t, you might want to hire someone to take care of it while you’re gone.

House Sitter

Another way to keep your Naples home safe while you’re on vacation is to hire a house sitter. This can be costly but ultimately worth it if their presence thwarts a robbery. Or, instead of boarding your dog while you’re gone, have a pet sitter come by once or twice a day to check on them. The pet sitter feeds, waters and walks your dog. They can also bring in your mail and packages. But, the best thing they do is provide the appearance that someone is at your Naples home every day.

Tell Your Neighbors

If you’re friendly with your neighbors, let them know you’ll be away. They can keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report it to authorities when they see it. Of course, if you plan on having a house or pet sitter drop by, let them know that, too. The more eyes, the better.

Lock it Up

Finally, this may sound obvious, but lock your Naples home up tight. Check all windows and exterior doors to make sure they are locked before you leave. This includes the sliding glass door and french doors. Oftentimes, burglaries happen due simply to opportunity. An unlocked car or home allows easy entry. Thieves take advantage. You lose out. This could have been avoided simply by making sure everything was locked up.

These small, simple tips make your Naples home safe while you’re on vacation. They can be very effective in making thieves think twice about targeting your property while you’re away. Then, you can enjoy your vacation without the worry of your home’s security.

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

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

Quail West Naples: Luxury Living at its Finest

Looking for country club living on the Gulf Coast? Look no further. Quail West Naples offers luxury living at its finest. Settle in to opulence like nowhere else in one of the most sought after communities in Southwest Florida: Quail West Naples.

Quail West Naples offers luxury country club living in one of Southwest Florida's premiere communities. Estate homes, golf courses, country club & more.

Quail West Naples

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Exquisitely designed, estate-sized homes? Check. Championship golf course? Check. Beautiful natural surroundings? Check. Minutes to the white sands of Southwest Florida beaches? Check. Quail West Naples checks everything off your wish list in one fell swoop. Magnificent doesn’t even begin to describe living here.

Quail West Naples Homes

Quail West Naples works only with the best home builders. These homes have been built with Quail West’s natural beauty in mind. In Southwest Florida, we don’t believe in living inside a box. Quail West Naples’ builders broke down the wall between the inside and outside by incorporating both into their floor plans. Whether you’re looking for a grand estate, stylish residence or classic villa, Quail West Naples exceeds your expectations.

Quail West Golf & Country Club

Elegance and opulence meet in grand fashion at the Quail West Golf & Country Club. Renowned golf course designer Arthur Hills created two superb 18 hole golf courses at Quail West. The Lakes course offers sweeping vistas. It traverses around marshland and lakes, offering plenty of water hazards for even the most skilled golfer to work around. The shorter Preserve course wanders through Quail West’s beautiful wooded areas. The coveted 19th Hole Sunset Bar sits at the end of the Preserve course where golfers relay their best shots of the day while winding down.

While the courses offer endless hours of time on the links, Quail West Naples offers so much more. First, for the tennis enthusiast, the club’s red clay hydro courts await. Practice your backhand or obtain instruction from the club’s pros. Lighted courts allow court time well into the evening hours. Next, swim laps or take an aquatic class in the club’s Olympic-sized pool inside a gorgeous solarium. Do you enjoy exercising in a group with others or do you prefer a more solitary pursuit? The club’s fitness center offers several different classes as well as free weights, weight machines and even a personal trainer if you’d prefer. Or rid yourself of the stresses of life in the club’s luxury spa and salon. Finally, dine on the most heavenly food created by some of the best chefs around in any one of the four different dining areas of the club: the Wine Grotto, the Mahogany Room, the Grand Ballroom or the Cypress Grille.

If the Quail West Naples lifestyle appeals to you, contact me today. I’d be happy to show you what they have to offer. I look forward to hearing from you!

Featured Naples/Marco Island Home for Sale

1002 Royal Marco Way, Marco Island, FL

For more information about this or other homes for sale, please visit my Naples/Marco Island Listings page.

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

Eagle Creek Naples: Exclusive Gulf Coast Golf Community

Do you love to golf?  Florida offers literally dozens of award-winning golf courses to choose from.  You’ll find 20 of them in Naples alone.  Thinking of buying a home here?  Then you need to consider Naples’ own Eagle Creek community.

The Eagle Creek community in Naples, FL is a small, private gulf coast golf community with many fine amenities for its members.

Eagle Creek Naples

A relatively young community, Eagle Creek Naples was founded in 1984.  Its 300 acres of cypress, palm and pine tree dotted land helps maintain the neighborhood’s friendly, cozy atmosphere.  With under 500 total homes, Eagle Creek is much smaller than many of the other Naples golf communities you’ll find.

Homeowners in Eagle Creek consist of year-round and part-time residents.  Some homeowners utilize their property as strictly a vacation or winter home while others live here full time.  Whatever your goal may be, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better investment than an Eagle Creek home.

Eagle Creek Golf

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The Eagle Creek Golf Course provides 18 holes of championship golfing through some of Naples’ beautiful natural landscape.  Larry Packard engineered this amazing course when the Eagle Creek Golf & Country Club was initially conceived back in 1984.  Mr. Packard received the American Society of Golf Course Architects’ Distinguished Service Award for some of his work.  This puts him in a very elite group considering only three golf course architects have ever received such an honor by the ASGCA.

Other Eagle Creek Amenities

The centerpiece of Eagle Creek living is the clubhouse.  Here, members have access to the junior Olympic-sized community pool, tennis courts, fitness center and bocce ball courts.  Try a Zumba, yoga, pilates or barre class.  Several are offered throughout the week.  Relax in their luxurious spa.  Working out can really ramp up you appetite.  Visit the Crystal Lake Cafe to fuel up after a round of tennis, several laps in the pool or your daily workout in the gym.  No dress code here.  Enjoy an ice cold beer with your lunch right by the pool.

Eagle Creek Dining

The Crystal Lake Cafe is only one of four separate dining facilities on the Eagle Creek Naples grounds.  For casual dining inside the clubhouse, eat in the Grill Room.  Watch sporting events on any one of the three flat screen TVs while tipping back a cold one in the bar.  For more formal fare, come to the Main Dining Room.  Eagle Creek’s talented chefs prepare sumptuous meals catered to the more refined palate.  Do you need a place to host your company’s annual soiree or a fundraiser for your favorite charity?  The Cypress Room provides a perfect location for these events and is open to all members of the club.

Featured Naples/Marco Island Home for Sale

3975 Deer Crossing Ct #102, Naples, FL - Click here to find out more about this Naples FL property for sale

For more information about this or other homes for sale, please visit my Naples/Marco Island Listings page.

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

Fiddler’s Creek: Resort-Style Living in Naples

Why go away on vacation when you can live like you’re always ON vacation?  Fiddler’s Creek offers resort-style living right here in Naples, FL.  With its 18 hole golf course, lakes, parks, spa, tennis courts, marina and beach access, your quality of life just went up exponentially.

Fiddler's Creek showcases six different communities with dozens of floor plans, a golf course, beach and marina access, spa and more in Napes, FL.

Fiddler’s Creek Homes

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Whether you are looking for a quaint villa or want a custom single-family home, the master-planned community of Fiddler’s Creek has something for everyone.  Fiddler’s Creek offers eight different villages to choose from.  First, Oyster Harbor Village (the largest of all Fiddler’s Creek communities) offers a refined elegance in their 16 various floor plans starting at $316,900.  Next, Middlebrook Village showcases Mediterranean-style homes and six different floor plans starting in the mid-$300,000s.  Then, Mussorie Village sits amid lush landscaping, with five models to choose from starting at $400,000.  After that, Amador Village highlights 16 two and three-bedroom Mediterranean-style single-family floor plans beginning at $400,900.  Lagomar Village provides beautiful, tranquil views of nature directly from the comfort of your luxury home starting at $586,990.  Its companion village, Lagomar II, offers slightly smaller plans starting in the mid-$400,000 range.  Finally, Marsh Cove by Ashton Woods and the exclusive gated community of Marsh Cove by Harbourside Custom Homes are the most luxurious areas of Fiddler’s Creek.  Choose from water or golf view home sites.  These start at $750,000 and $970,000, respectively.

Fiddler’s Creek Amenities

The Club & Spa at Fiddler’s Creek – This exclusive club includes a 54,000 square foot club house, tennis courts and multiple swimming pools.  Book time for a luxurious facial, decadent body scrub or deep tissue massage at the spa anytime.  Stay fit and healthy in the state-of-the-art fitness club.  Personal trainers are available if you want a pro to help whip you into shape.

The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek – Golf enthusiasts love the Arthur Hills-designed 18 hole Creek Course.  A second course (the Preserve Course) is currently in the design stages and will be unveiled at a later date.  Practice your swing at the driving range.  While you don’t have to be a member to golf, you might want to consider it if you enjoy spending time on the links.  That’s because non-members are given limited access to the courses here.

The Tarpon Club & Marina – The Tarpon Club grants beach access to the white, sandy beaches of Marco Island.  Relax in luxury with food and beverage service provided directly to you on the beach.  Dry storage and wet slips are available to members at the Tarpon Club Marina for preferred rates.  Every day feels like a vacation when you live in Fiddler’s Creek!

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

For Sale – 9223 Corfu Court #202 Naples, FL 34114

Light, Bright 3-Bedroom Fiddlers Creek Condo for Sale with Fabulous Lake Views!

This is a lovely residence with lots of natural light. This home features large tile on the diagonal in the main living areas and carpet in the bedrooms. The spacious kitchen offers solid surface countertops and gas cooking. The living area and bedrooms have island-style lighting and fans for that Florida feel. The expansive lanai offers lots of room for entertaining and gorgeous lake views.

Located in an award-winning community with excellent amenities including fitness, tennis, dining, spa services and extensive activities and events. Golf and beach memberships are optional. Enjoy our perfect lifestyle in an outstanding location convenient to everything that Naples and Marco Island have to offer.

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit www.9223Corfu-202.com!

Contact Michelle Thomas for All Your Real Estate Needs! For more information or to schedule a showing visit www.MarcoNaplesArea.com or email Michelle.Thomas@SothebysRealty.com. Let me make your home selling and or buying experience one of a kind!

For Sale – 3141 Aviamar Circle #103 Naples, FL 34114

Furnished Home with Amazing Lake Views in Fiddler’s Creek!

Enjoy this immaculate, furnished, first-floor, light, bright residence with three bedrooms, three baths and attached garage with amazing lake views and perfect southern exposure.

The eat-in kitchen features gas cooking, light cabinetry and solid surface countertops. The master bedroom features two walk-in closets and the master bath with dual sinks has large walk-in shower, water closet and soaker tub. Tile flooring throughout for easy maintenance, large laundry room with storage and sink, security system, brand new Nest thermostat and impact glass for protection. Beds and mattresses are brand new.

The expansive, very private lanai is tiled and offers gorgeous lake views that go on forever. This residence is offered furnished and ready to move right in, including designer ceiling fans and lighting.

Marengo is a very private, quiet neighborhood in Fiddler’s Creek, an award-winning community with excellent amenities including fitness, tennis, dining, spa services and extensive activities and events. Golf and beach memberships are optional. Enjoy our perfect lifestyle in an outstanding location convenient to everything that Naples and Marco Island have to offer.

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit www.3141Aviamar-103.com!

Contact Michelle Thomas for All Your Real Estate Needs! For more information or to schedule a showing visit www.MarcoNaplesArea.com or email Michelle.Thomas@SothebysRealty.com. Let me make your home selling and or buying experience one of a kind!