Life In Bonita Springs Florida - Local Info & Real Estate


March 21, 2021

Purchasing a Bonita Springs Home to Rent Seasonally

Purchasing a Bonita Springs Home to Rent Seasonally

Bonita Springs AirbnbSo you want to AirBnB’it with a home in Bonita Springs, Florida? Here are a few things to consider that may interfere with your  plans for your Bonita Springs real estate empire. Locally there are a few rules regarding rentals in SWFL so before you get throw a plan into motion consider this:

There are rental restrictions by HOA in most circumstances. 30 Day minimum leases are the most common but some are longer.

Tenants usually have to fill out an application to join the HOA and that requires a 30 day lead time and anywhere from $50 to $150 plus back ground checks.

Many HOA’s do not allow tenants to have pets.  Worth mentioning because it can scuttle a rental when the tenants have pets.

Our peak rent prices are only during the winter months. Many homes do not rent year round for premium rent.

Most properties will not cash flow so do not assume you can earn enough rent to cover the expenses.

Taxes are charged and due by the seller on short term rentals. Failure to do so can cause stiff fines.

If your Bonita Springs home is homestead exempt you can not rent it or be subject to huge fines. 

If your dream is to own and manage short term rentals and “AirBnB it” in Bonita Springs you would have to purchase outside of a gated community without rules/regulations which means outside of a homeowner association.  Also, just because there aren’t gates doesn’t mean that there isn’t an HOA.  Sometimes there is a mild HOA in what appears to be a non-gated area. Be sure to be up front with your buyers agent about your plans after you purchase your Bonita Springs home.

If we can help you buy or sell real estate in Bonita Springs call or text 239-273-7430.

March 19, 2021

Bunche Beach Kayak Rental Fort Myers Florida Things to Do

Bunche Beach Kayak Rental Fort Myers Florida Things to Do

Bunche Beach Kayak Rental For MyersWe have enjoyed Bunche Beach, for years. No loud bars in the background, not many spring breakers, just a quiet space between Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, with a more natural beach area. This is a short drive from Bonita Springs or Estero Florida and very doable for a half day or a full day adventure.

Several years ago, the county built a structure at Bunche Beach for bathrooms and a parking area with kayak launches. We have seen the Kayak Excursions people and even talked to them, but never jumped at the chance. My daughter has begged me to go kayaking for a couple of years, so I thought, "Why not check them out?"

Today, I decided was the day. We drove to Bunche Beach and parked (I was so excited, I forgot to pay my parking fee.) and headed over to the launch area. Three hours of kayak rental for less than $60! They gave us map and directions...oohhh directions? I thought we kayaked to the left and out to the beach...but there is so much more!

The route they suggested took us through an extended mangrove tunnel, so peaceful and calming. Exiting the tunnel, you can steer left and see manatees, steering right takes you past some beautiful homes and the southern end of Bunche Beach, which we have never been to. After 20 years visiting this beach and we didn't know there was more.

Sand bars and shallow waters allow for littles to safely search for hermit crabs and conch, wading in the water, and serene surroundings for this momma bear.

It takes about 20 minutes to leisurely paddle out to the beach, then today, we had the wind to our backs for the return trip.

This kayak adventure is definitely worth the time and and the price is right!

PS: the gentlemen at the Bunche Beach Kayak rental prefer you have reservations, although we did not.

Written by Tess Brennan and CLB, special to Life In Bonita Springs.

Posted in Things To Do
March 3, 2021

Why There's No Real Estate Inventory For Sale Bonita Springs Florida? Sellers market in SWFL

No Homes to Sell Bonita Springs Seller Market

The Bonita Springs Sellers Market - Tips for Home Sellers

Even before the pandemic, there were more people who wanted to buy a home in Bonita Springs than there were sellers. 8,000 Americans turn 65 every. dang. day.

You can watch the full video here:

Main things have driven the shortage of homes for sale in Bonita Springs:

  • The economy -a record long expansion and low unemployment, pre-COVID-19
  • Home owners caught in the last big short have licked their wounds and are ready to try home ownership again.
  • historically low interest rates that give people more buying power – could purchase more expensive homes because their interest portion of their home loan was so much smaller.
  • Two new sizable new generations of home shoppers entering the real estate market. Millennials as first time and boomers planning their future are both purchasing homes.
  • There was a sharp drop in new home construction over the past decade which was reignited – Think DR Horton and Lennar Homes.

· 30 day lock down – Shortly thereafter Florida was open for business – Covid escapees from NY NJ IL CT Etc.

  • Retirement – Many Bonita Springs home owners moved into their second home removing surplus home rentals from the real estate market.
  • More buyers than sellers. Now home seller are trapped in their homes because they have no where to go if they did sell their home or condo.
Posted in Seller Tips
March 2, 2021

Bonita Springs Florida Snow Birds Become Sun Birds

Bonita Springs Snow Birds Become Sun Birds

A significant lifestyle shift has occurred in American culture and Bonita Springs has felt the evolution of the boomer population.  Our Bonita Springs ‘snow bird’ population has shifted from snowbirds to sunbirds.  So what is a sunbird?  Sunbirds are seasonal residents who were former snowbirds but have actually flipped their migration pattern. They have relocated to Bonita Springs from all over the country and officially declaring residency - purchasing a primary residence rather than a second home or seasonal rental.

Bonita Springs Sun BirdDomiciling in Florida has existed as a means of reducing tax liabilities for decades, and the infamous 183 days or six months and a day, is a necessary legality for that to occur. 

Read also: Bonita Springs Florida Tax Haven High Net Worth Residents

Yet the more recent explosion of sunbirds is driven by lifestyle choice, with the desire to enjoy all the benefits of living in the Bonita Springs climate most of the year. They only venturing up north during the heat of summer. This movement has been amplified by COVID due to Florida remaining open while many northern states have severely restricted residence, forcing businesses to remain closed and schools to teach remotely.  It made Bonita Springs, Florida the easy choice for an enjoyable lifestyle.

The sunbird’s residence up north often remains a cottage on a lake, their motor coach or an apartment/basement room or cottage in or on premise of a family members home. In different times, the ability to travel abroad for one or two months or embark on an extended cruise were popular options but  in today’s COVID environment travel has been curtailed. 

This change in lifestyle and declaring residency in Bonita Springs has also contributed to the extremely low inventory of homes for sale in Bonita Springs in spring of 2021 through summer 2021.

Read also: Bonita Springs Residency, Domicile, Declaration Domicile

Posted in Around Town
Feb. 26, 2021

Surviving SWFL Allergy Season Bonita Springs Allergy Remedy Neilmed

Neti Pot bonita Springs allergiesPart Two of five "must haves" if you live in Bonita Springs, Florida or SWFL.  It’s allergy season in Bonita Springs.  What is causing the itchy eyes, sneezing and runny noses?  Well, in February it’s slash pines and the oak trees.  Spring is in February here.  Surviving SWFL Allergy Season is tough but there are some healthy remedies.

Whether it's Oak Trees and Slash Pines in February or Rag Week and Melaleuca Trees that chronically pollinate, a medication free treatment for allergies and hay fever is sinus flushing with a neti pot. I am not going to show you how to use one but it's really not that hard to do. It's a great, natural way to help reduce symptoms of allergies. It's part of my daily routine and it has helped with sneezing and headaches due to pollen/dust/histamines dramatically.

I've tried a few brands and have liked the Neilmed Neti Pot the best because of the lid and it is plastic so if/when you drop it, it doesn't break. You can also order replacement saline packets on Amazon. I found it challenging to just find the packets so I order them online to avoid the stores. Here's a link to the video about the neti pot and the link to it is in the comments of the video here:

We’ve started a for the home channel on YouTube so you can see other helpful healthy and beauty aids that are beneficial for SWFL home owners and visitors.

Posted in For The Home
Feb. 17, 2021

Bonita Springs Florida Home Owner Essentials 1 of 5

Bonita Springs For The Home Zyliss

Bonita Springs Florida Home Owner Essentials 1 of 5

Part one of five "must haves" if you live in Bonita Springs, Florida or SWFL. First, you should have a manual can opener (think no electricity during hurricane season) and second, you should have a GOOD can opener that makes it easy to open the cans. I'm in the 'over 50 crowd' and I was having trouble opening cans with the cheapie can openers that are readily available for sale. They don't last and they rust and break easily. Every home in Bonita Springs should be outfitted with this can opener. It's easy peasy lemon squeezie! I even bought one for The Sprite who at the age of 92 could use an easier can opener for her ‘chicken and stars’ soup. 

You can see the video of the Zyliss can opener in process here: and a link if you’d like to pick one up for your house or your hurricane kit.  Speaking of hurricanes, read also:  this is a list of items that many Bonita Springs residents wished they had at home after Hurricane Irma hit.  Many of us stayed for the storm and learned some practical lessons that you can benefit from. Including get a manual can opener if you’re going to depend upon canned goods. ;-)

Posted in For The Home
Feb. 7, 2021

Bonita Springs Garage Door Opener Remote Reprogram

Bonita Springs Garage Door Opener Remote

This is an easy-peasy fix to install functioning garage door remote control clickers (transmitter) before you sell your home. As a Bonita Springs listing agent we try to locate the remotes but sometimes they do have to be replaced. It is an easier fix than you think and quite economical.

Bonita Springs Garage Door RemoteBesides owning a home in Bonita Springs, you'll need:

1 make/model number of the motor.

2 color of the program button on the back of the motor.

It's best to take photos. Then search for the correct remote on Amazon. You can also search for a video tutorial of that very specific garage door motor for detailed installation instructions. I promise that it's easy. To program simply click the color button on the motor, then click the garage door opener. When the light flashes it is programmed. It's really that easy!

Amazon can have a garage door opener/remote/transmitter to you in 24-48 hours. Easy, right? Here's a link to the openers I used (two for $14.95) but remember to always double check that the button color on the motor of your opener corresponds to the transmitter you're ordering.

You can watch the video of me explaining the process on our YouTube channel, here:

Please subscribe to stay up to date! Subscribe to YouTube We have a lot of videos about homes in Bonita Springs and tips for home sellers in Bonita Springs.  Let us know if we can help you. Call/Text 239-273-7430

Posted in For The Home
Jan. 14, 2021

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Report January 2021

Bonita Springs Real Estaet

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Statistics

Be sure to catch our Bonita Springs real estate market reports on YouTube presented by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Realtor and Bonita Springs listing agent.  The Jan 2021 Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Report is located here: Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Report Jan 2021. Please subscribe to our channel to be notified of future posts:  Subscribe to YouTube.

You can access all of the market report videos by clicking this link: Bonita Springs Market Reports

Posted in Market Reports
Nov. 20, 2020

Four Mental Health Options in The Bonita Springs Area

Four Mental Health Options in The Bonita Springs Area

Sprung from an important conversation in the Bonita Springs Estero Community Forum we have assembled this list of options for those who are looking for information regarding mental health resources in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Bonita Springs Mental Health Resources1 In Collier County, The David Lawrence Center.

2 In Collier County, NCH downtown offer inpatient mental health admission in Naples, Florida.

3 In Lee County options are Saluscare.

4 Also in Lee County, Park Royal Hospital.

Those seeking mental health assistance and intervention can also go to any emergency room, call 911, call the suicide hotline or the nonemergency line with the local sheriff office number and ask for a ‘CIT officer’. These officers are specifically trained in mental health and determining whether someone potentially meets the criteria for admission.

Posted in Around Town
June 12, 2020

Bonita Springs FL Real Estate Update May 2020 Stats

Bonita Springs FL Real Estate Update May 2020 Stats

Bonita Springs FL Real Estate Update May 2020 Stats

Well, we’re still working away down here in Bonita Springs and believe it or not real estate is still selling.  We have a wide variety of real estate, homes and condos, under contract and the price ranges run the spectrum. We’ve modified sales practices and have found some new great tools to help buyer see homes from afar.  Those tool also help weed out buyers who maybe weren’t the best candidates for the home or condo to begin with.  Plus, it really dials in the knowledge base of the property so it’s super focused and a better fit is determined before even breaching the threshold.

All that being said, here’s the stats on the latest sales of real estate in Bonita Springs and Estero Florida. The only big surprise is closed sales being down.  If you back track 30 to 60 days before May it’s right when the shut down happened so there were a few weeks when there really weren’t a lot of home buyers out there plus there were a lot of buyers who negotiated longer closings because they weren’t here and unsure of when they would be able to travel. I still have three sales pending where the buyers still haven’t physically seen the home/condo and the seller needed a longer closing so they could afford the ability and time to shop for a replacement home (that was out of state in a shut down state). 

What I can tell you about pending sales in the last several weeks is that every week the Downing Frye pending sales contract exceed the prior year’s pending sale … evening with all the shenanigans going on.  Long story short – 8,000-10,000 Americans are turning 65 every day and we are feeling the pressure of people needing homes to live in down here.

So, we still have few foreclosures, few short sales and if a home or condo is priced correctly it will sell.  What is really selling is any home or condo priced under $400,000.  That’s about 70% of our sales.  Three of my last five contracts have resulted in multiple offers.  Clean contracts, great terms for the seller and no nonsense should be employed when placing offers these days.

If we can help you buy a home in Bonita Springs Florida or list your home for sale in Bonita Springs, call or text 239-273-7430. We are experienced Realtors in Bonita Springs and would love to help you establish roots in Southwest Florida.

Posted in Market Reports