A Southwest Florida Message of Cheer and Thanksgiving


Over these next few weeks, as we shop for gifts and join in on activities, it’s also important to stop and show appreciation during this holiday season. Now, it’s easy to get caught up in all the priorities we have to take care of during this time of year.

On top of gift giving, seeing family and friends, and so much more, there’s still plenty of regular items that have to be checked off our weekly lists. And if you’re buying or selling a home in Southwest Florida right now, you know exactly what I’m talking about! But to put you in that festive spirit, I wanted to take a moment to bring you a little holiday cheer and Thanksgiving this week.

A Wonderful Place to Live

You might think that because of our warm weather, we don’t have as much of the holiday spirit here in Southwest Florida. Not so! I truly appreciate how many activities we can enjoy here; from holiday boat parades to get-togethers on the back porch. One we won’t miss, however, is shoveling snow!

My Southwest Florida Real Estate Team

I simply must give thanks for my Southwest Florida real estate team. As our market has heated up this year, even more, they’ve gone the extra mile to help our clients achieve their real estate goals. This is especially true during and after Hurricane Irma. I’m so proud that they are a skilled, knowledgeable, and friendly team!

Growing a Local Business Even More

On that note, I can also say that I’m incredibly appreciative of being a successful, local business with roots in the community. Whether it’s showing off beautiful Southwest Florida real estate or sharing everything our community has to offer, I love growing this business to help more and more people.

All Our Friends and Family

Speaking of community, in Southwest Florida, it’s all about friends and family. From Sarasota to Marco Island, we want to thank all our friends and family for everything they do. We know an amazing number of dedicated, supportive people in a variety of industries, and I’m glad we can call them friends.

And Last, but Not Least, You!

But let’s not forget you. Yes, you! As readers of our blog, you’re an important part of the picture. Whether you’re buying or selling local real estate, or you’re a fellow Realtor elsewhere in the country, we appreciate all your comments and shares! You make our blog possible, and we couldn’t do it without you.

So, we want to wish each and every one of you a happy, safe holiday season, Southwest-Florida style!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service




Buying a Historic Home in SWFL? Some Things to Consider

Buying a Historic Home in SWFL

When you think of buying a home in Southwest Florida, you might think there aren’t many historic homes left on the market. However, while we have plenty of new construction, there are also numerous historic homes throughout the area. And some of them have a ton of potential and charm!

However, when you’re buying a historic home, the purchase comes with its own set of factors to be mindful of. Of course, this is the case for a home in any part of the country, but as your real estate resource in Southwest Florida, I knew we had to put together something for those of you considering our area. So, let’s take a look!

What’s the condition of the AC unit and handler?

For homes in Southwest Florida, the AC is always one part of the property we want to look at. In the case of older or historic homes, it’s especially important to review how old the unit and handler are. lt’s also essential to consider how these may have been installed and how easily it will be to replace them in the future.

Has the roof been upgraded and cared for properly?

Since Hurricane Andrew in the 90s, home construction throughout Florida has changed quite a bit. Better-designed shingles and re-enforced structures have greatly helped protect homes in SWFL. While it won’t necessarily be a deal breaker if your home hasn’t been upgraded, be mindful if it has extra value.

What type of wiring was used throughout the home?

Just like with roofs, the art of wiring has come a long way in recent years. For example, once upon a time, homes may have had knob and tube wiring, which can be a hazard today due to degradation. It’s key to know whether a home needs upgrades in this area.

What style was the home built in?

Quaint bungalows and Mid-Century Modern lofts… when you’re buying a historic home in SWFL, you want to be familiar with the history of your home’s design. Although it’s become much easier to match styles with reproductions today, this isn’t always the case, and you’ll want to have an idea of how this might factor in.

What type of windows is in the home?

For example, jalousie windows were immensely popular in Southwest Florida homes for a number of decades. Though many people find these to be a part of the charm in a historic home, they’re also not the most energy efficient. Knowing the condition and type of windows you have will allow you to research possible upgrades for the future.

How’s your hunt for a home in Southwest Florida going so far? I’d be happy to help you with any part of the process!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service





Your Definitive Guide to SWFL Holiday Boat Parades

Boat Parades

During the holidays, there’s a Florida tradition that you simply cannot miss. And that’s the many wintertime boat parades that are held in just about every city in the state. After all, when you live in a place where a beach is never far away, it’s only natural to decorate your boat for the holidays!

And in case you think I’m kidding about how popular these are, just see for yourself! My SWFL real estate team has put together a definitive list of all the boat parades in the Southwest Florida area this year. This way, whether you’re about to buy a home in SWFL or you’ve lived here your whole life, you have a parade to put you in the holiday spirit!

Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade

This year, the 29th annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade will be on Dec. 2nd. Passing a number of popular restaurants on the beach, this parade typically features about 30 or so boats and is perfect for grabbing a bite before seeing the lights.

Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade

A little further north, in upper Southwest Florida, the Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade transverses the Manatee River in holiday style. This one is on Dec. 9th and offers several viewing locations on either side of the river.

Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

In Sarasota, the official boat parade of lights is especially popular. This may be because of the competition and trophy that’s given to the winner. The trophy remains displayed at one of the area restaurants. There’s also cash prizes as well, which brings out the friendly competition in all the boat owners. Check it all out on Dec. 9th.

Venice Christmas Boat Parade

On the first Saturday in December, the Venice Christmas Boat Parade takes to the waters. What should you expect? Lights, palm trees, waterways, and seaworthy vessels! This parade is a bit more lowkey for those of you looking for one that might be quieter, but still fun.

Punta Gorda Boat Parade

This one boasts being the biggest one in the area. And the organizers do everything they can to make that happen. One thing that I love about it is the fact that it’s the Saturday before Christmas Eve, which makes sure you’re truly in the mood for the holidays.

Gasparilla Holiday Boat Parade

For this island-style boat parade, you’ll be able to catch the boats traveling from the bayou and to Boca Grande. As a local attraction, this one is also worth checking out if you’re looking for fun, but on the quieter side.

Cape Coral’s Holiday Boat – Along

On Dec. 16th, you can enjoy the Cape’s official holiday boat parade. Now, I might be a little biased, because this one is in our own backyard for my SWFL real estate office. But because the Cape is known for its endless waterways, you can imagine that it’s extra special.

Naples Island Annual Holiday Boat Parade

Also on Dec. 9th, the Naples boat parade has an exciting theme for this year’s parade: The Canals are Alive with the Sound of Music. We’re all looking forward to how big this one turns out to be.

As always, I’m your source for everything Southwest Florida. Have a question about our area? Just send me an email!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service




4 Tips for Flipping Homes in SWFL

4 Tips for Flipping Homes in SWFL

With property values increasing year-over-year here in Southwest Florida, I’m finding more and more of my clients are asking me about investing, and one way that’s popular is through flipping homes in our area. Not only are many of them incredibly affordable, you can also hone in on exactly what can be done rehab-wise to greatly increase their value. As our market grows and develops, I’m seeing numerous opportunities for market-savvy individuals to flips homes in SWFL.

Because I’ve built my career on flipping homes, investing in properties, and consulting clients on how to do it, I’ve learned several lessons along the way. I’m passing a few of those tips on to you today so that you can begin your journey into real estate investment. Our market remains uniquely poised for investment opportunities if that’s what you’re looking for.

Choose Your Contractors with Care

In most cases, you’ll be looking for a team of professionals to come in and help you rehab a home.  Moreover, just as you probably wouldn’t hire just anyone to work in your own home, you should be cautious of whom you let rehab your flip. Here in Southwest Florida, I have an extensive network of professionals at the ready, ones I’ve worked with and trust, and I’d be happy to provide a contact for you.

Research the Upgrade Trends

Should you add stainless steel appliances in the kitchen? What about dark green tiles in the bathroom? These questions are great questions that anyone who flips homes asks themselves. But for those investors who are new to the game, it can be a daunting task choosing which upgrades to focus on. And of course, which ones will give you your most bang for your buck. For this one, it’s best to carefully study the current trends and data behind each upgrade you’re considering.

Stage that home in SWFL!

Another common mistake I see when flipping homes in SWFL are forgetting to stage the home properly. Sure, an empty house might sell, and there’s nothing that says you have to stage your property. But when flipping, going that extra mile to properly stage the home can make a true difference, both in terms of time-to-sale and money-in-pocket.

Remain objective during the process

Finally, depending on how long your project lasts and your personality, it’s easy to get attached. After all, taking a home from shabby to chic involves a lot of investment. This means that it can be hard to let go… or to think that market price should be much higher than comparable sales in the area. The best advice I can give for this one is to pair up with an expert who has flipped homes. They can provide an enormous insight into your decisions during the project.

Are you ready to flip a home in SWFL, but need that expert advice? I’m happy to consult on a flip in our area and to provide my decades of experience in investing and flipping homes. Just send me an email!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service






6 Additional Holiday Traditions in SWFL

6 Additional Holiday Traditions in SWFL

Recently, we saw how Southwest Florida residents celebrate the holidays with our own set of warm-weather traditions. After all, just because you can go to the beach every day of the year doesn’t mean that you don’t like to get in the holiday spirit!

And in reality, there’s a number of holiday-time traditions that Floridians enjoy each year. Best of all, they’re all family-friendly and a lot of fun. So, without further ado, we’re bringing you 6 more holiday traditions for anyone who lives here!

Stop by the Bubble Room on Captiva Island

We’ve talked about this off-the-beaten-path stop in the past, it’s a truly unique experience. While it’s Christmas at the Bubble Room restaurant every day of the year, there’s something extra exciting about stopping by this one during the holidays. Be sure to take lots of pictures!

Make sand angels at your favorite beach

Ask just about any snowbird who resides in Southwest Florida, and they’ll tell you that hanging out at the beach is much better than shoveling snow. In addition, during the holidays, we skip the snow angels for something distinctly Floridian, sand angels at your favorite beach, and you’re spoiled for choice.

Bake palm tree cookies with the kids and grandkids

And speaking of snowbirds, I love to recommend this activity each year during the holidays. The kids and grandkids can have a great time, and then you can send a handful of the tasty treats to your friends who are out of state. Nothing seems to ring in the holidays like freshly baked treats!

Make seashell decorations with hand-collected shells

On that note, I also like to get in the holiday spirit by collecting shells from some of our delightful beaches. Then, you can make memorable decorations with them, from tree ornaments to holiday wreaths. This one is, of course, an excellent way to involve the kids and grandkids!

Visit the hot mineral springs

Okay, I admit… we have a secret spot that will blow your mind during the holidays. On the days that the temperature does dip a little bit, the hot mineral springs in the upper part of SWFL are a treat you cannot miss. You’ll be really surprised at how amazing this is!

See the Captiva Holiday Village Golf Cart Parade

Finally, another off-the-beaten-path holiday tradition is seeing the Captiva Golf Cart Parade. It might sound somewhat quirky (and it is), but with all the golf carts decorated for the season, it is something very special.

Love how amazing our slice of paradise sounds? I’d love to show you all the amenities that are at your fingertips in Southwest Florida. Just send me an email.

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service



3 More Hidden and Amazing Areas for SWFL Real Estate

3 More Hidden and Amazing Areas for SWFL Real Estate

Last week, we saw how there are several lesser-known, but amazing places for SWFL real estate. While you might not hear about these spots as often as places like Siesta Key, for example, they still represent affordable living in paradise. And in Southwest Florida, that’s what it’s all about… living in our own paradise. On the one hand, we have some of the best beaches in the world right at our fingertips. On the other hand, we have numerous other outdoor amenities, not to mention a budding food and entertainment scene. So, today, as your premier Southwest Florida Realtor, I’m bringing you three more places that are perfect for SWFL real estate.

Holmes Beach

Even though you may not have heard of the Holmes Beach area, I promise that it’s well worth a look. This little spot is nestled between Ana Maria Island and Bradenton Beach, and it’s something else. The shores are pristine, the people friendly, and there’s one more thing I love…. You’re just a short drive to places like Bradenton and Sarasota. This means that you can enjoy the beachside lifestyle, even as you have access to shopping, dining, and many other amenities. Also, while this area does get its share of tourists here and there, it mostly stays off the radar of the big crowds.

Longboat Key

Just down the road from Holmes Beach, there’s also Longboat Key. As a tiny strip of barrier island along the Southwest Florida coast, this one is pretty easy to miss. Yet, it boasts beautiful boardwalks to the sea, quiet communities, and attractive SWFL real estate. Here, just like Holmes Beach, you’re not far from Bradenton and Sarasota, and everything they offer. With only about 6,000 residents, this tiny island is a retreat that can be your own little paradise. Plus, you’re not far from the shops and dining in Holmes Beach and Ana Maria Island going north. When you head south, you’ll find St. Armand’s Circle for even more shops and dining close by.

North Cape Coral

Finally, for our lesser-known, but equally amazing areas for SWFL real estate, we have North Cape Coral. Now, we’ve seen how central Cape Coral is known as the Venice of the United States, with all the water access for boating and fishing.  But as we turn north in Cape Coral, we find an area that has plenty of cost-effective lots and new construction that’s attractive and still connected to it all. Plus, in the next 5 or 10 years, it’s incredibly likely that these homes will increase greatly in value.

Considering real estate in Southwest Florida and need an insider that can show you around? I’m your real estate agent!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service








3 Lesser-Known, but Amazing Areas for SWFL Real Estate

3 Lesser Known but Amazing Areas for SWFL Real Estate

One question that I’m asked a lot as an estate agent in Southwest Florida is on finding the lesser known, hidden paradise in our area. And I can totally understand the sentiment. Lots of people are moving to the area—which equates to economic growth, but still, many of my clients are hunting for Southwest Florida real estate to escape to a more secluded paradise.

Now, that doesn’t mean that they want to be in the middle of nowhere. In Florida, hidden paradise is more about sleepy coastal cities and quaint little areas that have a slower pace to them. So, today, I thought it would be a great idea to share a few off-the-beaten path locations for SWFL real estate.

Bradenton Beach

If you haven’t heard of Bradenton Beach, that’s okay! As a small strip of island off our coast, it’s easy to miss, and many Realtors in the area aren’t even familiar with it. But small shops give way to a lovely beach that’s popular among locals who are “in the know.” Yet, you’re still only a short drive to places like Sarasota with its numerous amenities. This is one hidden gem that I love to share with clients, and it’s one of many off-the-beaten path local places for real estate that you have to see to believe. The shores of Cortez Beach are well worth a visit.

Lido Key

In addition, speaking of places around Sarasota… while Siesta Key is a well-known destination, Lido Key is another great place to investigate. This tiny island is all about Southwest Florida real estate that’s in the luxury range, but with all the shopping and dining at St. Armands Circle right next door, it’s hip and still slow-paced at the same time. The area is popular with residents and visitors alike, and during the weekends, you’ll find many people visiting the retail and restaurants. Still, it’s easy to feel like you’re in your own, upscale semi-secluded, version of paradise. What I love best is some of the gorgeous properties here have out-of-this-world views.

Charlotte Harbor

Let’s turn to an area with a different feel… Charlotte Harbor is popular with snowbirds and retirees for its quiet living. It remains an affordable area for Southwest Florida real estate, even as I’m seeing more people asking about this spot. Outdoor amenities are especially popular in this area, with the harbor boasting some of the best fishing and boating in the entire world. At the same time, you’re not far from either Sarasota or the Fort Myers metros, with their many other amenities.

Ready to find your own hidden paradise in Southwest Florida? I’m your premier agent in the area, and I’d love to show you more.

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service