Susan Owens
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The Definitive Guide to Buying a Barefoot Beach Home

So…You're ready to purchase your own Piece of Paradise…

I remember the moment I decided to move to Barefoot Beach. My excitement couldn't be contained.

Over 30 years later and my passion for this incredible neighborhood is stronger than ever before.

And now that you're coming to join the fun, I wanted to put together a comprehensive guide walking you through everything you'll need to know before, during and after you put that offer in.

These are the things I wish I knew when I first moved here, and the things that as a Realtor over the last 30 years I've helped countless families navigate as they've bought their own Barefoot Beach home.

So grab your morning coffee, maybe even a note pad, and most of all, don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions at all.

Buying Your Barefoot Beach Home

Once I decided to trade in the frigid Chicago winters for the warm sunny beaches of Barefoot Beach, my mind was immediately flooded with questions…

Was I really about to upend my life to move across the country?

What area of Barefoot Beach would I want to live in?

How could I be sure I was making the right move (pun intended)?

Luckily, throughout the moving process and soon afterward, I gained clarity on these questions. So let's start from the beginning.

Where Do I Begin?

With such a massive change forthcoming, it can seem a little daunting to say the least.

There are so many things to consider, so knowing what to focus on will help you cut through the noise and make sound decisions for you and your family.

Let's start with the elephant in the room.

Home prices barefoot beach property prices barefoot beach bonita springs beachfront home prices

How Much Can I Afford?

This is the very first thing you'll want to get clarity on because it will prevent you from wasting time looking at homes that either aren't affordable or are much cheaper than what you could afford.

There are a number of ways to tackle this question, but I recommend taking a comprehensive approach involving:

  1. Your Mortgage Banker
  2. Your Financial Advisor
  3. Your gut

Your Mortgage Banker

If you plan to use financing to purchase your Barefoot Beach home, sitting down with your Mortgage Banker will give you a clear understanding of what you'll be able to get in terms of loan proceeds to assist with the purchase.

As you probably know, banks became much more stringent in their loan approval requirements after the financial crisis.

They now seem to want every record of your entire existence and want to interview your 3rd grade math teacher just to give you the approved stamp. It can be even tougher if you're self employed, as many Barefoot Beach homeowners are.

Applying for a loan these days can feel a bit like an interrogation…

Knowing this, it's helpful to keep your expectations in check when it comes time to sit down with your Mortgage Banker. Having said that, you may end up walking out pleasantly surprised, finding you can afford more than you thought possible.

Before you go popping the bubbly, though, let's take a look at the next two steps in that comprehensive approach I mentioned.

Your Financial Advisor

Just because your Mortgage Banker says you can afford a particular price range, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best decision for you and your family. Your Financial Advisor will be able to help you put that pre-approval into the context of your broader financial picture.

For example, if you have a goal to start a new business or give a large charitable donation in a few years time, maybe it makes sense to keep the housing budget a little more modest. Talk with your Financial Advisor to see how this home purchase fits into your overall financial plan.

Your Gut

Once you've gotten opinions and data from your Mortgage Banker and Financial Advisor, it's time to listen to your gut.

Only you know your situation inside and out, and only you will care enough to think through every aspect of the situation. Ask yourself what your main priorities are in life and see how this home purchase fits into that picture.

At the end of the day, we all tend to have a pretty smart voice inside our head (or gut) that usually knows what's best. So when you're making as big of a decision as how much to spend on a Barefoot Beach home, it's usually wise to trust that voice.

Determine What Kind Of Lifestyle You Want

As the great Stephen Covey said, start with the end in mind.

When we apply that timeless principle to the process of buying a home in Barefoot Beach, it means we'll first need to figure out what exactly we want out of our Southwest Florida lifestyle.

Because Barefoot Beach is such a diverse neighborhood featuring many different experiences, this will often be completely different from one homeowner to the next.

For example, some people will want their Florida abode to be as simple as possible. They want to come into town for a few months, enjoy the warm weather and breathtaking beauty of the beach, then pack up and head North without much thought or worry. That type of person, depending on their other needs, might be well suited to live in the Barefoot Beach Condos, which offer residents simplicity in their ownership experience.

Another person might want to bring their extended family down each winter, so they may be better suited for a single family home, which tend to offer the most space in Barefoot Beach.

Additional Resources

To get a better understanding of which property type might suit you and your family's needs best, watch this drone overview of Barefoot Beach.

To get an even more in depth understanding of what each individual community within Barefoot Beach offers, check out our post, Everything You Need To Know About Barefoot Beach Real Estate.

Keep in mind, you don't have to get this nailed down just yet. Despite the number of options Barefoot Beach offers, it's easy enough to see multiple different property types in one outing with your Realtor. So at this point, you simply want to narrow it down so you can be more effective once you're on the ground house hunting.

Find The Right Realtor

Perhaps nothing will impact the efficiency, enjoyability and cost effectiveness of your home buying process as much as ensuring you find the right Realtor.

Along every step of the journey, your Realtor will (or at least should) be offering invaluable advice, helping you see what's around the next corner and making sure you avoid common pitfalls. Before we discuss how to find the right Realtor, let's first take a look at how your Realtor will help guide you through the buying process.

Services Your Realtor Provides

Your Realtor will do a variety of specific things throughout your buying process. This will include:

  • Using their knowledge to help you navigate local market conditions
  • Advocating for your interests throughout the closing process
  • Negotiating the best possible terms and price for your new home
  • Helping you find the best partners, such as attorneys, title agencies, inspectors, etc.
  • Providing advice on what repairs or improvements you should seek from the seller
  • Guiding you through all of the mind-numbing paperwork
  • Attending the closing to ensure any last-minute questions or issues get appropriately addressed

Considering all of that, it's no wonder why 87% of buyers bought their home through a Realtor in 2018.

How To Find The Best Realtor

Unfortunately, not all Realtors are created equally.

And when it comes to making one of life's biggest purchases, you can't afford to be making decisions based on bad information, lackluster customer service and poor attention to detail.

Knowing that, let's take a look at some tips for ensuring you find the right person for the job. Full disclosure – this is the “Shameless Plug” part of the blog post 😉

  • Look for a long track record: Only after spending a significant amount of time as a Realtor do you begin to understand the nuances of the profession and how to effectively serve your clients. Luckily, after having moved to Barefoot Beach in 1989 and getting my real estate license in 1990, I've produced a nearly 30 year track record filled with successful closings and happy buyers.
  • Look for the local expert: Does your Realtor really understand Barefoot Beach? If not, you need to find another Realtor. Specializing in a particular neighborhood allows a Realtor to understand its particular nuances and trends. Fortunately after having lived and sold real estate here for nearly 30 years, I think it's safe to say I know a thing or two about Barefoot Beach.
  • Look for testimonials: Can your Realtor provide a list of happy customers they've worked with recently? If not, that's a clear red flag you should be looking elsewhere. Luckily, you can read all of our reviews conveniently right here.
  • Ask for credentials: Does your Realtor have any certifications or credentials beyond their real estate license that would make them more valuable to your home purchase? Humble brag incoming: I hold an MBA from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, something that has helped me understand market trends, effectively negotiate on behalf of my clients, and ensure deals actually get across the finish line.
  • Ask about fees: Understanding how your Realtor gets paid is critical – it can mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings or excess cost. We're proud to offer highly competitive, straightforward pricing on our services – get in touch today to learn more.

Alright, now that we got our shameless plug in, let's continue 😉

Start Your Search

Once you've selected your Realtor, the first thing you'll want to do is make sure you're both on the same page.

Making your priorities clear will allow your Realtor to find the homes that best suit your needs and prevent you from having to waste time looking at properties that don't make sense for you and your family.

What Are Your Must Haves?

Let's establish some basic guidelines you can give to your Realtor to help guide your search.

We're not trying to think of every last detail – just enough to start narrowing down the field. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long do I envision staying in this home? This question will guide some of your later answers, so start here. If you plan to retire in this home, you may require different things out of it like an elevator, for example.
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms will I need? Do you plan to have family visiting often? If so, you might need to look at single family homes instead of condos.
  • What minimum square footage do I need? Do you value having extra space in your home or are you fine with something more simple?
  • Do I need the home to be move-in ready or am I okay with a fixer-upper? If you have some experience renovating homes and are willing to wait to move in, you might feel you can get a better deal and put your own stamp on your home by buying a fixer-upper.
  • What other features do I consider a requirement? Do you need a movie theater or a gym in your home? If there's anything more particular you'll want out of your new residence, ensure you let your Realtor know so they can include that in their search parameters.

Once you've done this, your Realtor can draw up a list of homes and a plan of attack to make sure your home search is as efficient and productive as possible.

Often times when buyers are looking to purchase a home in Barefoot Beach, they're coming from up North. In these cases we'll typically arrange a couple day period in which we might look at 20 different properties so that the buyer can make their trip down here count.

Bring In Additional Partners

While you're house hunting, you'll also want to start spending some time finding other partners who will help you throughout the buying process.

Finding these people ahead of time will give you one less thing to worry about as you're navigating your closing. 

Your Realtor should be able to offer up a handful of recommendations, so that's typically a great place to start. You'll likely need each of the following:

  • An attorney
  • An inspector (sometimes multiple, more specialized inspectors if you want to be more thorough)
  • An insurance broker
  • The aforementioned mortgage banker and financial advisor.

You'll likely want to interview a couple of providers for each of these positions, as it can make a significant difference both in the cost and quality of their services.

Select A Home And Submit An Offer

Alright, time for the rubber to meet the road.

You've found the right realtor, identified what you want out of your dream home, toured a number of different properties and you finally found it – the perfect Barefoot Beach Home.

Now there's only one thing left to do – submit your offer. 

Understand Market Conditions

To make a smart offer, you'll need to understand the market conditions you're operating within.

For example, if it's a strong buyer's market and there are plenty of homes for sale, you can often get away with an offer below asking price. Sellers in that type of market have less negotiating power, as they're not sure when the next offer may come around

On the other hand, if it's a strong seller's market and there aren't very many homes for sale, you may find yourself in a situation where many buyers are vying for the same home. In these cases you'll often times have to offer full asking price or even more to ensure you get the home. If possible, it can also help to keep your offer free from any financing contingencies and keep your closing timeframe as short as possible.

Consult With Your Realtor

Your Realtor should have a firm grip on the prevailing market conditions and should be able to guide you to what offering price will make the most sense.

That's because if they're truly the local expert, they will have been consistently conducting deals in that market over the months leading up to your purchase.

That insight will give them a pulse on the state of the market. They'll have seen which deals fell through because the offer wasn't strong enough, and they'll also see which buyers had overpaid when the seller likely would have accepted less. 

So it's important to take their counsel to heart here, as this can be the one of the most important decisions you make throughout the buying process.

Finalize Everything

Now that you've got a clear understanding of what it should take to seal the deal, provide your Realtor the specifics of your offer.

From there, they'll send your offer, along with your loan pre-approval if you're using financing, over to the seller's Realtor. Now it's simply a waiting game. 

At this point the seller will either accept, counter or decline your offer. Let's look at each scenario.

  • If they accept, great! You're off to the races and will begin the closing process.
  • If they counter, you'll need to consult with any other family members making the decision with you along with your Realtor to again get an understanding of how much negotiating power you truly have at this stage.
  • If they decline you can always submit another higher offer, but it may make sense to simply move onto the next home (particularly if they declined your offer in favor of another offer).

Begin The Closing Process

Congrats! You've had your offer accepted and now there are only a few hurdles between you and your new Barefoot Beach home!

This is the part where you'll want to begin leaning on the partners you gathered earlier. Each one will bring a unique skillset to the table and will be invaluable as you conduct your home closing.

Make Your Escrow Deposit

Once your offer is accepted you'll likely need to put down a deposit for the seller to take the home off the market.

While technically this is a negotiable point, in Barefoot Beach it almost always follows a standardized format that has two separate deposits prior to the closing date.

First you'll make a $10,000 earnest money deposit immediately after the offer is accepted. This is a show of good faith that proves to the seller that you're serious about buying the property. After this point, if you were to back out of the closing without cause, you would lose the $10,000 to the seller.

Once you've gotten through attorney review, the earnest money deposit is followed by a second installment that brings the total escrow deposits to 10% of the purchase price. This again shows the seller that you're acting in good faith.

Order Your Home Inspection(s)

The second thing you'll want to do after your offer is accepted is to order your inspection (or inspections if you're conducting a variety of different inspection types).

Often times inspections can uncover problems with the home that ultimately delay the closing process. If you're able to order the inspection right away, it will give you more time to work out any potential issues, possibly keeping the closing on schedule. 

After ordering your inspection, give some thought to the types of issues you're willing to ignore versus those you'll want the seller to fix before closing.

The extent to which you can request repairs will largely depend on the market you're in. If you're in a buyer's market, you'll have more negotiating power than if you're in a seller's market, so consult with your realtor to see how much leverage you truly have.

Order Your Title Search & Title Insurance

When buying a home in Barefoot Beach it's important to make sure that the seller owns the home free from any liens or encumbrances. Enter, your title company.

The search your title company conducts will verify just that. They'll do a comprehensive dive into public records, ensuring there aren't any unwanted surprises.

The other thing they'll help you with is Title Insurance. This will protect you and your lender if any claim of ownership was ever made against the property. 

If there are currently any claims, they'll need to be resolved prior to closing on the property.

Attorney Review

With the price tags that come along with buying a home in Barefoot Beach, it only makes sense to have an attorney review the paperwork to make sure your interests are protected. 

Specifically, your attorney will review the complex paperwork, answer any questions you may have, help negotiate any special terms you need, and can even close on the home for you so you don't have to attend the closing.

Knowing this, ensuring you have a competent and thorough attorney on your side will pay huge dividends. We can recommend a few options if you need a Florida attorney.

Complete the Appraisal

If you're getting financing on the home, one of the first things your mortgage provider will do after you submit your offer is request an appraisal.

They want to ensure that they home they're about to lend against is actually worth what you're paying for it. Because they'll tend to be a little on the conservative side, this can sometimes present issues.

If the home doesn't “appraise out” you could be forced to either come up with a larger down payment or lower your offering price. To help mitigate this risk, be prepared to defend the offering price – have some comparable sales to present, ask the seller's Realtor to provide any other offers they received on the home, or ask your lender to simply redo the appraisal.

Purchase Homeowner's Insurance

Now it's time to protect the investment you're making.

Homeowner's insurance in Barefoot Beach can be a little tricky because we're so close to the water, so you'll want to make sure you go with a quality provider.

We recommend getting a few quotes because it's easy enough to do and it can mean a great deal of savings each year.

Schedule Your Walkthrough

You're almost there!

Now you'll want to revisit the property to make sure the sellers didn't throw a big going away party and leave the place a mess 😉

On a serious note, this is your last chance to make sure everything looks good before proceeding to closing. Your Realtor will coordinate this with the Seller's realtor and it will typically be within days of the upcoming closing.

This will be much quicker than the formal home inspection you did earlier – here you're essentially just checking that nothing changed between then and now.

Head to the Closing Table

The big day has finally come! Now let's make sure everything goes according to plan.

As we mentioned earlier, your attorney has the ability to close on your behalf, so it's possible you won't even be at the closing table.

If you are planning to attend, be sure to bring two forms of ID for you and any other buyers – many of the signatures are notarized and the notary will require ID.

The paperwork will be coming at you fast and will be filled with mind-numbing legalese. Not to worry though! Your Realtor, attorney and closing agent will all be there to guide you every step of the way.

Keep in mind that when you went through the attorney review process, your lawyer already looked over all of these documents, so don't feel like you have to read through everything right there on the spot.

Now Pop the Champagne

Congratulations! You're officially part of an exclusive group of people who understand the incredible lifestyle that Southwest Florida, and in particular, Barefoot Beach, affords its residents.

You can now look forward to world class sunsets, beachfront dining, daily walks along the white sand beach, and joining the incredible social circle of Barefoot Beach homeowners. 

We're looking forward to having you!

Conclusion

If you're ready to make this dream your reality, we'd love to help you along your journey.

Get in touch with us today to trade in the frigid North for the sunny, tropical paradise of Barefoot Beach!

Call The Susan Owens Team Today!

The Ultimate Guide to Barefoot Beach Dining Options

If you're anything like the typical Barefoot Beach homeowner, you enjoy a good meal out.

Luckily for you, over the last 20 years a seemingly endless array of dining options have opened their doors, all within minutes of Barefoot Beach.

This guide is here to walk you through some of the highlights, but nothing beats experiencing the real thing for yourself! So if you're ready to make the move to Barefoot Beach, get in touch today and we'll help you find your very own Piece of Paradise. Bon Appetit!

The Club at Barefoot Beach

Forget being within minutes of Barefoot Beach…you can find fine dining without even leaving the neighborhood!

The Club at Barefoot Beach is a private, member-owned equity club featuring a variety of different offerings for its members. Located in the back of Barefoot Beach directly along the Gulf of Mexico, members can enjoy casual dining on the first floor dining room, along the edge of the pool, or even directly on the beach.

Looking to try on that new suit or dress? The second floor dining room offers members fine dining with a world class view over the Gulf of Mexico. Featuring a modern American menu, guests can enjoy everything from fresh seafood to a steakhouse quality ribeye.

Our family has been members here since it opened over 20 years ago, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Doc's Beach House

No guide to Barefoot Beach dining options would be complete without mentioning Doc's Beach House.

Odds are, if you're at all familiar with Barefoot Beach, you're already in-the-know with respect to Doc's. But in case you're not, here are the basics.

Doc's is a family-owned, Chicago sports-themed beachfront bar just a quarter mile West of the entrance of Barefoot Beach. They serve a variety of American cuisine, but are best known for their Chicago-style pizza. Another fan favorite is their Jerked Chicken Wings, seasoned with an out-of-this-world Jamaican Jerk seasoning.

For the adventurous, right in back of Doc's you can rent Jet Skis, water bikes, play beach volleyball, or even go parasailing! If you're just looking to relax, rent a beach chair, grab a beer and kick your feet up! There's truly something for everyone.

Coconut Jack's

In 2011 we had one of the biggest changes our area had seen in recent memory. The longstanding Italian restaurant Vincenzo's closed its doors, paving the way for Coconut Jack's to open for business.

The response was immediate and undeniable. Whereas Vincenzo's had sometimes struggled to keep customers coming in, Coconut Jack's barely had enough room, with customers often not even being able to pull into the parking lot and instead forming a line on Bonita Beach Rd.

Featuring bayfront views, fresh seafood and occasionally live music, it quickly became a fan favorite. Located directly across from the entrance to Barefoot Beach, this waterfront retreat is never out of reach – walk, take your golf cart or drive!

Fish House

If you're a seafood lover, look no further than the Fish House.

Fish House features fresh seafood grilled, fried or blackened to your liking and compliments it with some of the best (and most reasonably priced!) drinks around. The laid back atmosphere and quality food makes it a real staple for locals. In fact, it's become so popular that they had to buy the lot next door just to get more parking spots!

Be sure to try their coconut shrimp and golden fried lobster bites – they're the best around!

C Level Bistro & Wine Bar

Alright, let's kick things up a notch. Looking for somewhere to take your date? Look no further than C Level Bistro & Wine Bar.

The second you walk in the door you'll notice this isn't your average restaurant. Every detail of the ambiance has been carefully thought out to create a one-of-a-kind experience. From the subtle mood lighting to the big screen TV behind the bar featuring anything from Classic Rock to Smooth Jazz concerts, no aspect of the atmosphere was left to chance.

Now, you might think that all the effort they put into the aesthetics could be to cover up for sub-par food. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. They're the only place I've ever been that can hold a candle to the Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass that U.S.S. Nemo serves (we'll get to them in just a minute). They also feature a number of unique appetizers and entrees that are great for sharing.

Pro Tip: Check out their happy hour specials – thank us later!

Taco Mix

If you're a fan of Mexican or Cuban food, it would be borderline heresy not to stop into Taco Mix.

I'll admit it – I'm not the biggest fan of Mexican food. There, I said it. But I know how good this place is because my son, Alex, who is a fanatic for Mexican food, has been going there on an almost daily basis for as long as I can remember.

His favorite dishes are the Steak Breakfast Burrito and the Cuban Sandwich (which he will tell you is the best Cuban Sandwich he's ever had, despite having lived in Miami for 4 years).

A Table Apart

Just because Bonita Springs might seem like a quiet beach town in the corner of the map doesn't mean you can't get a taste of the world here.

That's especially true at A Table Apart, where you can get a truly global sampling of different cuisines. Featuring dishes from Hawaii, France, Mexico, Tahiti, Japan, Thailand and more, the menu is sure to leave nobody out.

All this just minutes from the entrance of Barefoot Beach. So go ahead, cancel that vacation and just head down the street!

Wylds Cafe

Talk about a hidden gem! Serving modern American cuisine in a fine dining setting, all while leaving behind the stuffy, character-less feeling that the big chain restaurants come with, Wylds Cafe offers a truly unique dining experience.

Tucked away in the somewhat nondescript plaza just East of A Table Apart, even many locals haven't yet discovered Wylds. That certainly isn't for lack of a great menu, though. Featuring a wide array of seafood, steaks and everything in between, you're sure to find something to satisfy everyone in the family.

Unfortunately Wylds only opens their doors during season, so be sure to stop in during the winter months!

Komoon

Looking for Asian Fusion with a twist? You've found your spot in Komoon Thai.

Featuring a unique blend of Thai, Sushi and Peruvian food, Komoon offers diners a unique sampling of different cuisines, all under one roof. 

After opening their first location on Pine Ridge Rd. in 2011, they quickly realized they were onto something and were soon able to open the location on Bonita Beach Rd. (just minutes from Barefoot Beach), and recently opened their newest location on Immokalee and Goodlette Frank Rd. Some of the fan favorites include the Triple Play Roll and the Drunken Noodles.

Doug's Seafood

Lobster rolls…they can be hard to get right. That is, unless you're Doug's Seafood.

When they opened in 2012, Doug's was simply a fish market that served lobster rolls as a bit of an extra. Lo and behold, though, the lobster rolls quickly became the main attraction and have since paved the way for not one, but two separate expansions. 

They've also slowly and thoughtfully added new items to the menu as they've grown. Try their incredible clam chowder or fried seafood baskets!

Rosati's Pizza

If you've spent any amount of time in Barefoot Beach you probably already know that there's no shortage of Chicago transplants. And if you know anything about Chicagoans, it's that they like – okay, love – their deep dish pizza.

Luckily for them, they don't have to go far to get a quality deep dish pizza anymore. Instead, they can pick up the phone and order delivery from Rosati's Pizza.

And this isn't some cheap knock off – Rosati's has roots in Chicago dating back to 1906.  So whether you order their thin crust (which many Chicagoans will tell you is the “real” Chicago pizza – not deep dish), deep dish or one of the many other options on their menu, you'll get a meal that's based on recipes that have been passed down through generations of the family. 

And let's be real – what could be better than Chicago food without the Chicago weather?

Skillets

Breakfast lovers rejoice! Skillets has been satisfying those who know how to start their day the right way since 1995.

They're best known for their quaint atmosphere, thick-cut bacon and of course, their world-renowned “Skillet browns” (a twist on hash browns where they're mixed with sour cream – an absolute must-try).

Diners beware, though – Skillets is without a doubt the most popular spot in town for breakfast, so it fills up quickly and can often have a lengthy wait. If you're going on a weekend (or even a weekday during season) you'll want to consider going a little earlier than normal so you can beat the crowd.

Trackside Donuts

Still have room after Skillets? No better place to grab a post-breakfast dessert than at the famous Trackside Donuts!

This family-owned and operated bakery does one thing and one thing only – donuts. And boy, do they do them well. And as the daughter of someone who owned 7 bakeries, I don't say that lightly.

Be sure to try their famous apple fritters.

Dolly's Produce Patch & Eatery

Why not enjoy a piece of history with your breakfast? That's what you get when you dine at Dolly's Produce Patch & Eatery.

The land that Dolly's is built on has been in their family since 1950. Originally their family home, it later became a rental property, then a motel, and ultimately a produce stand which then expanded into a full service breakfast restaurant.

Known for their intimate customer service (most Dolly's customers are locals and are on a first name basis with the wait staff, which often includes the famous Dolly herself), American breakfast, fresh produce and Dolly's famous homemade pies, this is an absolute must-try.

DeRomo's

If you're anything like me you love a good Italian restaurant. But DeRomo's isn't just an Italian restaurant. 

DeRomo's is a family-owned gourmet market, restaurant and catering company. For those who are familiar with the blockbuster success Eataly, think of a boutique version of that.

Go grab an incredible dinner and let their menu inspire you to go do your own cooking! What better place to get the necessary ingredients than their market – it features the finest wines, cheese, bread, produce and more.

Their attention to detail and quality has even gained them national recognition, having had their signature entree, Vitello Schantinella, called the “Dish of the Year” by the New York Times! This is my son's favorite dish and he gets it pretty much ever time we go.

Jimmy P's

Carnivores will feel right at home at Jimmy P's. Featuring 3 different locations, each of which has a different feeling and experience, Jimmy P's focuses on high quality and often exotic meats.

Their original location in downtown Naples offers fast-casual lunch featuring cheeseburgers, Philly cheesesteaks, Reubens and more. That location quickly grew so popular that they knew they could expand. They first decided to expand into the space next door and started serving dinners of gourmet steaks, lobster, scallops, salmon and chicken. But before they knew it, even this new space wasn't enough to satisfy the demand.

Luckily for Barefoot Beach homeowners, their second location opened much closer to home. This location originally started as both a restaurant and a butcher shop, where you can often find the exotic and high quality meats like alligator, venison, buffalo and elk. Soon after opening, though, they again realized they had a success on their hands and could grow even further. That led them to recently shutting down the restaurant portion of that location (while keeping the deli open) and opening up their most daring location yet!

Jimmy P's Charred Steakhouse is a steak-lover's paradise. Every steak they serve is Wagyu beef, which is prized for its tenderness and flavor, and is cooked in their 1200 degree broiler. If you're looking for a high quality steak and are tired of the same old chains, this is the spot you've been looking for!

Beyond Bonita

While there are still countless other options throughout Bonita Springs, the above list captures some of my personal favorites.

But that doesn't mean that's all that's within the reach of Barefoot Beach residents. In fact, if you're willing to travel just slightly farther, a whole array of different options becomes available. These are some of my favorite options in Naples and Estero.

New York Pizza & Pasta

Nobody does pizza quite like New York City…

And for the authentic New York experience in Naples, you have to check out New York Pizza & Pasta.

This family run business knows a thing or two about Italian food. The owners, brothers Max and John Maffei, were raised in Brooklyn, New York and were brought up in their family restaurant.

Their father taught them everything he knew about the business, and as the name implies, that also included cooking incredible pasta dishes.

Their full menu and great service will be sure to leave you satisfied.

Daruma

Talk about standing the test of time…I can remember taking my family to Daruma when my kids weren't even 10 years old yet. Now they're 28 and 26 and we still love going there to this day!

Daruma is a traditional Japanese steakhouse where you're seated with other guests at one large teppanyaki cooktop. They offer great steaks, seafood, sushi and most of all, great times with family and (maybe even some new) friends.

Pro Tip: Daruma is located just steps from Vanderbilt beach, so if you catch an early enough reservation, you can time it perfectly to catch a post-dinner sunset!

Tacos & Tequila

Some things are just meant for each other…peanut butter & jelly, wine & cheese, and of course, Tacos & Tequila.

If you're like most Barefoot Beach residents and don't like to “color inside the lines”, then you'll love the menu at Tacos & Tequila. They're constantly pushing the bounds of what can go inside a taco…and a margarita! Gone are the days where you're relegated to just beef, chicken or steak.   No…Tacos & Tequila is here to lead us to a brighter future – a future where you can demand more from your tacos, and your tequila.

Po' Boy Shrimp taco? Check. Korean Beef taco? You bet. Philly Cheesesteak taco? Why not? All that and I haven't even gotten to the Tequila.

Their creativity from the taco menu wasn't lost when they started working on the margaritas. From their seemingly endless selection of premium tequilas to their avant-garde margarita options, even the most experienced margarita drinkers are sure to be satisfied.

The Bay House Restaurant

This place gives new meaning to the term hidden gem…You'd have no idea it was ever there without someone mentioning it to you.

Despite that, The Bay House Restaurant still manages to have a line out the door even during summer, much less the busy season of winter. That's thanks to their diverse menu, Tommy Bahamas-like atmosphere (somewhere between casual and fancy), the live music they often feature, and their bay views.

When you put it all together you get an incredible dining experience that's sure to stand out in your mind. Give them a try but try to keep them on the hush hush – it's already hard enough to get a reservation (we know, this post probably didn't help 🤷‍♀️)!

Turtle Club

Did we mention The Bay House has an amazing older sister who lives on the beach?

Luckily for Southwest Florida, the owners of The Bay House actually got their start at The Turtle Club, a restaurant started by the Moore family in 1998. Over 20 years later, they're still serving up happiness on a plate to their seemingly endless line of customers. 

Offering a similar vibe to The Bay House, but located directly on Vanderbilt beach (meaning incredible sunsets), The Turtle Club treats its guests to a combination of a casual Old Florida environment, sophisticated cuisine, and outstanding service.

It's no wonder the success they had there led them to open The Bay House.

BrickTop's

If you're looking for a centrally located restaurant where you can enjoy shopping, dinner and drinks all in one place, BrickTop's is a sure bet.

Offering the perfect blend of a vibrant atmosphere and a broad, approachable menu, BrickTop's has become one of Naples' hottest restaurants. Trust me when I say be sure to try the Deviled Eggs & Millionaire's Bacon combo – you won't be disappointed. 

Their location in the heart of Waterside makes BrickTop's the perfect place to start a night out. But don't forget that they're also open for brunch and lunch, so if you didn't get enough on Saturday night, you can go back for more Sunday morning!

M Waterfront Grille

Known for 20 years as Maxwell's on the Bay, M Waterfront Grille has been serving up fine dining and cocktails with a view for as long as I can remember.

Featuring a broad menu including seafood, pasta and steaks, there's truly something for everyone here. Before Doug's Seafood opened, this used to be where we'd go for lobster rolls (they're just as good as Doug's, just not as close!). But even as incredible as their food is, you'll have a hard time focusing on it thanks to the incredible views of Venetian Bay.

If you're looking for ambiance, a view and a high quality meal, M Waterfront Grille never disappoints.

U.S.S. Nemo's

Best seafood dish ever? Yes, that's a bold claim, but I don't make it lightly.

I've been fortunate to have eaten seafood all over the world, but I mean it when I tell you that the Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass U.S.S. Nemo's serves up nightly is quite possibly the best piece of fish I've ever had.  But don't just take my word for it – Nemo's has countless awards to prove it

I could write an essay on the dish, but you need to just go try it for yourself. And if you're not particularly keen on Sea Bass, they have a wide-ranging menu that even includes steaks. All that and I haven't even mentioned the unique aesthetics that make you feel like you're eating dinner inside a submarine!

Yes, it's a little bit of a hike from Barefoot Beach, but you can't afford to skip this one-of-a-kind experience!

Conclusion

Writing this post reminds me just how far Bonita Springs and Naples have come from when I first moved to Barefoot Beach all those years ago.

It used to be that moving down to Barefoot Beach from, say, Chicago, meant a bit of a sacrifice in the dining arena. These days, there's really no sacrifice at all – you can have some of the best food in the world just minutes from your front door.  And the best part is, as Southwest Florida continues to grow, the dining options will only continue to grow with it.

So, if you're ready to start enjoying the unique combination of incredible year-round weather, spectacular dining and, of course, the unparalleled beauty of Barefoot Beach, get in touch today!

Call The Susan Owens Team Today!

The Definitive Guide To Selling Your Barefoot Beach Home

So you're considering selling your Barefoot Beach home.

Whether you're simply moving within Barefoot Beach or have decided to head elsewhere, it's a big decision and one you want to make sure you get right. Unfortunately, only 64% of sellers nationwide report being happy with the process of selling their home.

With so much at stake, you deserve peace of mind. After having guided hundreds of clients through the process, in this post I'll give you everything you'll need to navigate selling your home as efficiently and profitably as possible. You can be happy with the process of selling your home.

Where Do I Start When Selling My Barefoot Beach Home?

When homeowners begin flirting with the idea of selling their home, it inevitably brings up countless questions.

Am I really ready to move?

What would my home even sell for?

What would I actually walk away with?

How long would it take?

What time of year should I list my home?

And the list goes on…and on…and on…

It's enough to make even an experienced seller's head spin.

To get things off to a good start, let's first get you some data – when it comes to selling your home, knowledge is definitely power. 

Home prices barefoot beach property prices barefoot beach bonita springs beachfront home prices

How Much Will Your Home Sell For?

This question can in some cases be much easier to answer than in others.

In neighborhoods that have homes priced closer to the median home price nationwide, it's typically easier to value a home, as there are more comparable sales.

In more expensive neighborhoods, like Barefoot Beach, it can often be more challenging, as there are typically fewer true comparable sales than normal.

Not to worry though – there are a number of ways to get a considerably accurate estimate of what you'll end up selling your home for.

Zestimate Or Other Automated Valuation Model (AVM)

Automated Valuation Models use artificial intelligence and vast amounts of real estate data to produce an estimate of a particular property's value.

All of this data allows these systems to more often than not get an accurate representation of your home's value. From time to time, though, and particularly in markets like Barefoot Beach where there aren't as many comparable sales, they can be significantly off the mark, so their estimates cannot be taken as gospel. 

The advantage to using these systems, though, is that they're typically free and you can simply plug your address in and instantly get an estimate.

selling home

Consult With Your Realtor

In markets like Barefoot Beach, it's best to rely more on the local professional than a Zestimate or other AVM.

A Realtor who has specialized in a particular neighborhood throughout their career will be better able to account for the unique characteristics of your property than even the most advanced algorithm.

Be wary of Realtors who promise an overly generous price for your home. While you'll obviously want to get top dollar, overpricing ultimately doesn't work in your favor. It can lead to the home taking longer than necessary to sell with no guarantees you won't end up having to reduce the price anyways.

How Much Will You Walk Away With?

It's important to have a full understanding of not just how much your home will likely sell for, but also how much of that you'll actually walk away with after closing costs, taxes, and a handful of other considerations.

Let's take a look at each in turn:

  • Do you have a mortgage balance remaining on the home? If so, are there any fees for paying it off early?
  • What will your Realtor commission be? This can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with your Realtor.
  • Any miscellaneous fees? You'll also be charged fees by your attorney for reviewing the contracts and the title agency for conducting the title transfer, etc. These costs are typically less significant, but can still make a material difference in what you walk away with.
  • What will your taxes be? You may need to pay some taxes when you sell your home. Luckily, though, this can be more minimal than you might think. For example, if you've lived in your home for at least two of the last five years, you can pay no capital gains taxes on the first $250,000 in gains if you're single, or $500,000 if you're married. Talk with your accountant to get an exact idea of what your tax liability may be.

Knowing how much you'll actually walk away with can be one of the most important data points you'll need to make the best decision for you and your family, so it's worth investing the time to figure it out.

When Should I List My Home?

What's that saying? “Timing is everything”? Well, it definitely applies to real estate, too.

Knowing when to list your home can have a significant impact on the success of your sale, particularly in a seasonal market like Barefoot Beach.

In Barefoot Beach, many potential buyers are in town during the winter months, so understandably you want your home to be on the market during that time frame.

Having said that, over the years the Southwest Florida population has become much more consistent year-round. Every year, more and more residents decide to fully part ways with their northern abodes, making Naples or Bonita Springs their full time residence.

That means that if you do need to list your home during fall, summer or spring, there are still plenty of buyers to be found.

Consult With Your Realtor About Local Inventory Levels

As great as it would be to give a one size fits all answer, the best time to sell your home depends on a number of factors, not just the month of the year.

Depending on market conditions it may make sense to list at time that normally wouldn't be optimal. That's why it's ultimately best to consult with your realtor so they can consider all the variables and develop a strategy that's suited both to your specific needs and the conditions present in the market.

Should I Sell My Home Before I Buy?

Which came first – the sale or the purchase?

The final thing you need to consider with respect to the timing of listing your home is whether you should sell it before purchasing your next home.

This will vary greatly from one buyer to the next, so this is another question that can be helpful to consult both your realtor, mortgage banker, and perhaps even your financial advisor on.

Even if you speak to your mortgage banker and find out you're qualified to purchase your new home before selling your current home, you may want to think twice before doing so.

You need to consider the possibility that you may end up owning both homes for some length of time while you're waiting for your current home to sell, thus leaving you paying two mortgages at the same time.

If you're unwilling to put yourself in that position, there are a handful of things you can do to mitigate the risk:

  • Ensure your home sells as quickly as possible by working with an experienced Realtor with a proven track record. Without question, this is the single best thing you can do to ensure you're able to sell your home efficiently and move on to the next chapter of your life.
  • Wait to start searching for your next home until you've accepted an offer on your current home. One option to buy you some time between selling this home and moving into your next is to negotiate you staying in your current home after closing as a renter. That will allow you to get the sale behind you before turning your focus to finding a new home.
  • When you find your next home and write an offer, have your Realtor make your offer contingent on your current home selling. If you're in a sellers market, this might not be possible because the seller may already have another offer that doesn't have any contingencies, but it's still worth exploring.

How Should I Sell My Home?

So you've analyzed the different factors involved and you've made the decision that it's time to make your move (pun intended).

What next? First, you'll need to determine how you're going to go about selling your home.

Primarily, you have three main options to consider. Let's take a look at each in turn.

Engage A Real Estate Agent

This is of course the first thought most people have, and that's not without reason. Realtors take what can be an incredibly complex, stressful and time consuming process and make sense of it, guiding you every step of the way.

Specifically, Realtors bring a number of skillsets to the table that make your life easier when it comes time to sell your Barefoot Beach home. Here are some of the most important:

  • As we just discussed, Realtors can help tremendously with the work you do before even deciding whether you want to sell, such as inventory analyses, developing a pricing strategy, and figuring out when to list.
  • Realtors know what sells and what doesn't. That means they can guide your efforts to declutter your home, make any small or major repairs, and bring in the best professionals to stage and photograph your home.
  • Any Realtor worth their salt is a professional marketer. They'll help you get your home in front of as many people as possible, ensuring your home sells as efficiently as possible and for top dollar.
  • Not only are Realtors doing traditional marketing, they can also do open houses and bring in buyers from their network, ensuring an even wider pool of potential buyers.
  • With all those potential buyers seeing your property, when you get your first offer(s) your Realtor will help you negotiate the best price and terms for your home.
  • Real Estate transactions produce no shortage of complex and nauseating paperwork. Your Realtor has seen it all countless times and will be able to help you navigate it, ensuring your interests are protected.

Unfortunately, not all Real Estate agents are created equally…That's why the next step is determining which Realtor you want to engage to sell your home.

Selling Barefoot Beach Home

Find The Ideal Real Estate Agent

The key to finding the best Realtor for your home is seeking out whoever is considered to be the local expert.

Realtors tend to focus on a particular neighborhood or part of town, that way they can develop a niche and conduct the lion's share of business in that niche. This also means that they end up knowing far more about that neighborhood than other realtors. They know the pricing trends, the likely buyers, and what gets those buyers to sign on the dotted line.

Not to toot our own horn, but in Barefoot Beach, we're the local experts. I moved to Barefoot Beach in 1989 and became a realtor immediately after that. Since then, I've helped hundreds of families buy and sell homes in Barefoot Beach. We also own the site you're reading this post on right now, BarefootBeach.com, which consistently ranks on the first page of Google results for keywords related to Barefoot Beach Real Estate.

This expertise combined with our passion for this incredible community we call home uniquely positions us to provide sellers with the most stress free, efficient, and profitable selling experience possible. If you're ready to sell your Barefoot Beach home, get in touch today!

Sell Your Home On Your Own

Your second option for selling your home would be to forgo the assistance a Realtor provides and sell your home on your own.

In 2018, only 7% of the homes marked for sale were for sale by owner. The reason for this is everything we mentioned above – the marketing skills, knowledge of local trends, and expertise with respect to the paperwork all combine to make most homeowners happy to engage a Realtor when it comes time to sell their home.

Sell Your Home To An iBuyer

Need to sell fast and without any headaches? You may want to consider selling to an iBuyer.

What's an iBuyer? So glad you asked…

iBuyers are large, typically nationwide homebuyers backed by a large pool of money and advanced computer algorithms that determine what your home is worth. Once they establish that, they'll make you a below-market offer that they can typically close on in just days or weeks. Even Zillow now offers this service (albeit not yet in Barefoot Beach).

The pros are that it's quite possibly the easiest way to sell your home, having no showings to deal with, no lengthy closing period and very little in the way of inspections. The cons are that you're going to have to be willing to take a significant price cut. iBuyers make their money by only buying homes at below-market prices so they can immediately turn around and sell the home for a profit.

So if speed and ease are your priorities, this can be a great option, but if you're looking for top dollar and are willing to wait a little longer for it, get in touch with a Realtor and get the ball rolling!

How Should I Prepare My Home For Sale?

Alright, we're moving right along!

You've determined it's time to sell, found your dream Realtor, and you're ready to take the plunge. Now what?

Well, there are a number of simple things you can do to improve the odds that your home sells quickly and for top dollar.

Make Select Repairs/Upgrades

You probably have a handful of repairs or upgrades you're considering making before selling. The question is, which ones should you actually make?

The short answer? Only the repairs that buyers are actually willing to pay extra for.

This is where your Realtor comes in and is another reason you want to go with the local expert – they will know best what's hot in that particular market. What paint colors, fixtures, etc. that will make your home competitive against what else is available on the market.

This part can be challenging for many homeowners because they're changing things about their home that perhaps they designed themselves and that they particularly like. But unfortunately, selling a home isn't about personal preferences – it's about mass appeal. So you need to be willing to trust the expert and make the changes that they suggest to ensure a sale that's both efficient and as profitable as possible.

This begs the question, which repairs typically attract the most buyers?

Look for the quick wins  – fresh paint (both inside and outside), improving landscaping, new carpets, changing light bulbs to LED, etc. These items will make a huge impact on the curb appeal and overall appearance of the home, all without breaking the bank.

For larger repairs, only make them if they're absolutely necessary or if they're something that a buyer would likely ask you to fix prior to closing. This includes things like a broken furnace, plumbing issues, a leaky roof, etc.

You need to keep in mind that selling your home is basically a popularity contest – you're competing against other homes that might not have those issues, so if you're unwilling to fix these things, buyers will be more likely to simply go with the home that doesn't have those issues.

Decluttering

There's nothing quite like a move that makes you realize just how much stuff we tend to accumulate over time. Take advantage of this moment.

Before listing your home go through your closets, storage areas, and garages to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter that you possibly can.

Buyers will appreciate a clean, organized home and it will make them feel like they can move right in. Not to mention, it will also give you peace of mind knowing you've already put in the work to move out of your home as easily as possible come that time.

The other thing to keep in mind is after you're done decluttering, you'll want to make sure you have the home as clean as possible. It's worth bringing in a cleaning service to do a deep clean – again, buyers want to be able to envision themselves living there and in order for most people to do that, they want the space to be clean and fresh.

Air fresheners or candles are a worthwhile investment too. Scents are strongly linked to memory, so if your prospective buyers come in and are immediately greeted by a pleasant smell, they'll be that much more likely to remember your home among the countless others they see.

Stage Your Home

Imagine for a moment – you're a model preparing for a runway event.

The photographers, fashion bloggers, designers and everyone else who matters are all there, eagerly awaiting your entrance onto the runway.

Suddenly you appear, but to the sound of a deafening silence…

You're wearing raggedy old jeans, run down shoes and haven't even showered much less put make up on.

Selling a home that hasn't been staged properly is the equivalent of that runway appearance. You're not even giving your home a chance.

Having said that, staging doesn't have to be anything extravagant. Odds are you've already got some of your own furniture still there, so if your furniture and artwork are modern and already present the home well, you may not need to do anything other than the decluttering and cleaning we discussed in the last section.

If you have your furniture organized and laid out in a particular fashion that doesn't keep the floor plan open and inviting, consider rearranging it. But if you've already moved out or if you haven't updated the furnishings in your home in ages, it will likely make sense to spend the money to get it appropriately staged.

When most buyers are presented with the possibility of staging their home, all they can see are dollar signs – the bad kind. But in reality, staging has proven time and time again, particularly with higher end properties like the homes in Barefoot Beach, to be a worthwhile investment.

Again, it all gets back to the buyer being able to visualize themselves living there. You can even take this a step further and go with staging packages that allow the buyer to purchase the furnishings along with the home, thus making the home truly “move-in-ready”.

Take High Quality Photos & Videos

Here's where you get the payoff from all the blood, sweat & tears you put into repairing, cleaning and staging your home. Now you get to show off your finished product to the world.

In today's day and age, everyone starts their search online. That means one thing and one thing only – you'd better have showstopper photos.

Think of the online home search as an online dating app – you're not going to set up a date (showing) with someone who has terrible photos. Instead, your photos need to make your place stand out from the endless sea of competition and make buyers want to drop everything and request a showing.

This is yet another opportunity to turn to your trusty Realtor. Not only do they know the best professional photographer to use, they'll gladly pay for them on their own dime because they know just how much more likely the home is to sell quickly when it has professional photos and videos to go along with it.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all markets are alike. For example, it'd be a little challenging to do a drone tour of most apartments or homes in New York City. When you're selling a home in Barefoot Beach, though, drone tours are considered to be a must.

Take a look at this drone tour of Barefoot Beach to get an idea of how well these types of videos can show off a Barefoot Beach home.

Make It Known

Alright, now comes the fun part!

Now you get to finally let the world know that your home is for sale. Your Realtor will have a broad marketing plan to ensure the right people find out.

This will include posting on social media, the MLS, buying ads in magazines, posting it on websites that potential buyers are likely to visit (wink, wink, BarefootBeach.com), conducting open houses, and privately sharing the news with their network of buyers.

In short, you want your home to be put in front of as many eyeballs as possible to ensure all potential buyers are aware that it's for sale. Don't be afraid to put on your sales hat yourself – share your listing with your own Facebook friends and network, even encouraging your network to do the same.

Conduct Showings & Open Houses

Making progress! Now that you've gotten the word out, you'll start getting buyers who want to take a look in person.

Not only is this great because you'll potentially get an offer, even if you don't get one your Realtor can solicit crucial feedback from the buyers who don't end up submitting an offer. You'll then be able to develop with a game plan to combat any weaknesses you might not have seen before (for example, maybe more people are complaining about the paint than you had initially expected, so maybe it now makes sense to spend the money to have it painted).

The main thing with showings is to try to maintain as flexible of a schedule as possible. We know – easier said than done. But keep in mind that each showing could be the one that leads to an offer, so do your best to keep the home clean and clutter free (especially after all that hard work to get it to this point), and try to ensure your Realtor will be able to access it more often than not.

This is especially true during winter, as that's the busy season for Barefoot Beach, so showings can often pop up without much time to prepare.

Another way to coordinate this can be to develop a schedule with your Realtor so they can plan (sometimes multiple) showings in advance and you'll be able to rest easy knowing when exactly you need to be out of the home.

Seal The Deal

Congrats! After all of you and your agent's hard work, you've received a handful of offers!

Unfortunately we've still got a ways to go before we're at the finish line, but the light is definitely at the end of the tunnel.

This is also where the process can get particularly stressful and confusing, so throughout it you'll want to rely on your Realtor and attorney for their guidance.

In order to get it right, there are a handful of things you'll want to ensure you do. Let's take a look at each in turn.

Select the Best Offer

This might not be as straightforward as one would think.

If you're fortunate enough to have multiple offers, it can be tempting to just go with the highest price. Unfortunately that can lead to some unintended consequences.

The National Association of Realtors reports that 24% of home closings get delayed due to anything from financing issues, to inspections, to attorney review. When you're selecting an offer, you want to try to pick the one that you think has the highest probability of successfully closing at the highest price in an efficient time frame.

So if one buyer has a higher price but has a financing contingency, and another buyer has a slightly lower price but is paying cash and will close in 30 days, it might be in your best interest to go with the second offer.

Post 2008, US banks became much more stringent in how they underwrite home mortgages. You now have to check every box in order to get approved for a loan, so while a buyer may be confident they can get the necessary financing to purchase your home, they may be in for a rude awakening when they actually go to apply.

The other great thing about having multiple offers is it gives you much more leverage in negotiations. For example, it's possible the buyer with the highest offer may not actually need financing, it's just their preference. So maybe you submit a counteroffer at their same offering price, but with no financing contingency, thus making the offer more likely to actually close on schedule.

Even if you don't have multiple offers, you can likely still negotiate on things like closing timeframe, price, furnishings, closing credits, etc. This is your one chance to get the deal you want, so depending on how much negotiating leverage you and your Realtor think you have, don't be afraid to speak up.

If you haven't received any offers, it's time to go back to the drawing board. Selling a multimillion dollar piece of real estate, like the homes in Barefoot Beach, takes time. In fact, the average home in Barefoot Beach stays on the market for ______ days before selling, so there's no need to panic if you're not getting offers right out of the gate.

Having said that, it still may make sense to consider lowering the price to attract some new attention. Or perhaps it's time to reconsider taking the plunge on those additional repairs you were debating. Have a frank discussion with your Realtor and they'll be able to guide you through the options at your disposal.

Accept An Offer & Submit It To Escrow

Look at you! You've got an accepted offer and you're seeing dollar signs.

Now it's time to send the offer over to the title company and let the paperwork armageddon begin.

The title company is responsible for orchestrating the transfer of the deed from you to the buyer. They're confirming that you are the rightful owner of the property and that it's free from any liens or encumbrances that would negatively affect the buyer.

Although it's rare for homes in Barefoot Beach, title issues can from time to time hold up sales from closing on schedule. Therefore it's best to get the title report as soon as possible, that way if there are any issues, you and your attorney can get to work resolving them as soon as possible.

Prepare for the Home Inspection

Time to buckle up! Issues found during inspections account for 16% of delays in home closings, so this is definitely something you'll need to be prepared for.

Buyers will request an inspection within 10 days of their offer being accepted. From there, the inspector will come out to your property to identify any potential issues with the home. This includes anything structural, health related, or any mechanical issues.

Inspections typically take a couple of hours but can be longer if the buyer wants to conduct other, more specialized inspections. The inspector will then write up a report over the following 3-4 days that documents his findings.

Most homes (even newer ones) will have their fair share of issues, so expect a number of things to be brought up in the report. If you have any major problems with your roof, plumbing, HVAC systems, any structural issues, electrical problems, bug or rodent infestations or any water damage, be prepared for your buyer to negotiate on those points and request repairs.

This is where market conditions really come into play. If you're in a seller's market where there's very little inventory and buyers are fighting over homes, your buyer's Realtor will advise them that they could lose your home to another buyer if they make too many demands. In that case, you can likely push back pretty hard and refuse to make many concessions.

If, on the other hand, it's a buyer's market and you're not sure when the next buyer might come along if this deal were to fall through, you'll likely need to bite the bullet and make the repairs (or at least the most important ones) in order to get the deal across the finish line. The other option if you prefer not to go through the headache of fixing the issues yourself is to offer the buyer a closing credit so they can fix the problems themselves.

Consult with your Realtor to determine how much negotiating leverage you truly have.

Next Up, The Appraisal

Once you're past the inspection and any repairs you decide to make, the buyer and their lender will want to make sure the home is actually worth what they're paying for it. In order to accomplish this, they'll request an appraisal.

This is unfortunately yet another point at which the closing can get delayed or sometimes thrown completely off track. That's because the lender will want to make sure that if they're lending $1,000,000 to the buyer, for example, that the home isn't actually worth $900,000. So if the property doesn't “appraise out,” the deal can sometimes fall apart.

Luckily, though, there are a number of things you can do to influence the outcome here.

  • Make sure you home is spotless the day of the appraisal. You want to treat it like it's a showing, because in a way it is. Appraisers are humans too, so you want them to feel at home in your house because as much as they're trained to be objective, if they get the warm & fuzzies when they walk into your place, you're much less likely to have any problems with the appraised value. You can even consider small gestures such as leaving out warm cookies. It may sound silly, but it's all about making an impression.
  • Ensure you or your Realtor are there for the appraisal. Ultimately, everything in life is a sale. Rather than letting the appraiser come to their own conclusions about your home, you or your Realtor should be there to point out the highlights that make your property unique and valuable. Appraisers tend to get into a routine and can often miss certain features that might make a significant difference in the value of the home, so make sure you're telling the property's full story.
  • Ask for an appeal. If your appraisal doesn't come back at the price you need it to, not all hope is lost. You or your Realtor can request an appeal to have them take another look at things. During this process you want to provide as much evidence as possible that your home is worth what you say it's worth. Submit comparable sales, a list of upgrades, other offers you received, and anything else you think might help you make your case – the sale of your home depends on it.
  • Ask your buyer to switch lenders or consider seller financing. If all else fails, you still have two options. First, you can ask your buyer to switch lenders. This isn't ideal because it will start the lending process over with no guarantee that the new appraiser will come to a different conclusion, but depending on circumstances it may make sense. The second option is to consider seller financing. That means that instead of the bank giving your buyer a mortgage, you would act as the bank. So rather than being paid your home's entire value up front, you'd only receive their down payment and would then receive monthly mortgage payments until the property was paid off.

Prepare To Move Out By Closing

Once you're past the appraisal you've gotten through the hard part! Well, sort of…Now it's time to move…

Preparing ahead of time for your move will make life significantly easier when the big day finally comes. Luckily, you've already made some serious headway on this when you did all that decluttering.

Now it's time for the heavy lifting (figuratively and literally). Anything that can be packed away ahead of time should be. Try to keep things organized in such a way that will make unpacking and getting settled into your new home that much easier. Sharpies are your friend – make sure you're labeling each box with what's inside.

As it's likely that your home will sell in a busy season – when many other homeowners are moving as well – it's best to schedule your movers well in advance so you're not scrambling to find an available company at the last minute.

Closing with Confidence

After all of your hard work, you're finally about to take your seat at the closing table – congrats!

Before you pop the champagne, though, you've got a mountain of paperwork and a huge to-do list staring you in the face. Luckily, this is where your Realtor, title agent and attorney come in to guide your every move.

Prepare Your House For The Final Goodbye

Breaking up is hard to do…

Unfortunately, once you and your buyer agree to a closing date, you need to start saying your final goodbyes to your beloved home. Unless you've made arrangements to stay in the home beyond the closing date as a renter, you'll need to be completely moved out by that date to avoid violating the contract.

Before heading out though, you've got a couple last things to take care of:

  • Set up mail forwarding. Really this should be done as early as possible, because it can take time for the USPS to get this fully set up in their system. Anything that goes to the home after the closing date may never end up making its way to you.
  • Notify others of your new address. When you move there will be a number of people who'd probably like to know that you've moved – your banks, insurance companies, utility providers, friends, family members, etc. Make sure to go down the list and let each know.
  • Gather any paperwork the new owners might need. If you've kept manuals and warranty information organized for your appliances, water heaters or furnaces, place all of that in one spot out in the open so the new owners can find it easily.
  • Leave the keys and garage openers behind. Again, put them somewhere easily visible so the new owners will find them quickly.
  • Turn off shut-off valves. To prevent the possibility of a flood or fire before the sale closes, turn off the water and gas to the home. The last thing you need after all this hard work is a rude awakening finding out the house burned down after you moved out.
  • Give the house one last cleaning. Treat the new owners the way you would want to be treated. Don't leave them with a messy home that they'll need to clean before they can even think about moving in. Instead let them be greeted by a nice, clean space. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can leave behind a welcome gift and a personal note.
  • Move out. This is it. The time has come to say your final goodbye. While it will certainly be sad, the closing of this chapter will give way to the opening of a new one. Do one last run through to double check that you have everything, then say your final goodbye and head to closing.

The Closing

Let's make it official, shall we?

On closing day, consult with your Realtor and attorney as to whether you need to be present at the closing. In some states, it's not even necessary – your attorney can simply close on your behalf (note that in this case you'll likely need to sign a power of attorney ahead of time, so make sure you're prepared) and spare you the dreadfully boring paperwork.

Even if you have that luxury as an option, you still might not be willing to leave it all out of sight. If you prefer to be at closing, just let your Realtor or attorney know and they'll tell you where you need to be.

If you're going to be present at closing, be sure to bring:

  • Photo ID for yourself and anybody else on the deed
  • The deed
  • The house keys
  • Documentation of any repairs you made as part of the negotiations
  • Mortgage payoff letter
  • Property tax information including an escrow account statement if applicable
  • Closing statement
  • Inspection agreements

Receive Your Proceeds

All that painful paperwork does at least have a payoff…

Once everything has been signed, you can finally collect your proceeds from the escrow company.

They'll either cut you a check or complete a wire transfer, either of which can be done right there at the closing table. Keep in mind though, that the check will have to clear at your bank, so if you're in a situation where you're trying to close on your next home and you'll need these proceeds available, you'll want to account for some time for your bank to clear the check. In that scenario, a wire transfer is going to be a much better option because the funds are available that same business day as long as the wire is completed before 5PM EST.

One last thing to note about wire transfers (both the one your title company sends to you and the one your buyer sends to the title company) is that wire fraud is on the rise. Do whatever you can to ensure that both wires are going to the right place. For more information, read this helpful guide here.

Now You Can Pop The Champagne!

You did it! You've successfully closed a major chapter of your life and you're now onto the next adventure.

We sincerely hope this guide has been helpful in preparing for your upcoming home sale. If there's anything further you have questions on or if you'd like to learn more about how the Susan Owens Team can help you with selling your Barefoot Beach home, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Cheers!

Call The Susan Owens Team Today!

(239) 248-5580

Finding Your Dream Barefoot Beach Rental

Imagine…you wake up and pour yourself a cup of coffee, stepping outside to walk down to the beach…

With your toes in the sand, you reach for your cell phone and snap the perfect picture, capturing the incredible beauty of Barefoot Beach…

Then, for the best part….you send the picture to all of your friends still stuck up North! 

All jokes aside, escaping the North for a few months in a Barefoot Beach Home can be an incredible and relaxing way to escape the frigid North. Having said that, there are some things that every Barefoot Beach renter needs to know before taking the plunge. This post will walk you through all of them.

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What Types Of Properties Are Available For Rent in Barefoot Beach?

Barefoot Beach is a diverse neighborhood, offering a variety of options to suite any renter's needs.

Understanding these different property types is the first step in finding the right rental for you. To get started, have a look at this drone tour of Barefoot Beach homes to get the lay of the land.

As you can see, Barefoot Beach offers a diverse set of options to renters and homeowners alike. Some renters prefer the privacy of a single family home, whereas others want to be able to interact with other residents, so they opt for condo living.

Now that you've got your bearings, let's take a more detailed look at each individual community.

Barefoot Beach condos barefoot beach real estate barefoot beach condominiums

Condos

The Barefoot Beach Club Condos are the most frequently rented properties in Barefoot Beach. This is thanks to their close proximity to the beach (just steps away), The Club at Barefoot Beach, and the communal feeling that comes with easily getting to know your neighbors.

The 12 condo buildings consist of over 300 units, ranging from 1 Bedroom to 3 Bedroom floor plans. Some units feature Gulf views, while others allow you to look over the amazing backwater bays. Each building also offers access to the shared Beach Club, currently under renovations to be further expanded and improved.

Depending on the floor plan and views that the individual unit offers, condo rental rates can range from $3,000 and $16,000 per month.

Barefoot Beach Single Family Homes

Single Family Homes

Want the ultimate beachfront escape? The stunning, custom Single Family Homes in Barefoot Beach offer the pinnacle of beachfront living.

Featuring breathtaking views, uncompromising privacy, ample square footage and designer level finishes, these homes will provide the serene escape you're looking for.

The single family homes in Barefoot Beach are divided into three main sections: The Beach Gardens, Southport on the Cove, and Bayfront Gardens.

Barefoot Beach Beach Gardens Single Family Homes Barefoot beach properties Barefoot beach real estate

The Beach Gardens consist of 100 residences thoughtfully arranged in lushly landscaped gardens lining the beach. The design of the gardens ensures each home gets a stunning view of the Gulf, featuring breathtaking sunsets.

Both Southport on the Cove and Bayfront Gardens are gated subdivisions on the bay side of Barefoot Beach. Each features charming Single Family Homes that typically offer their own private docks and swimming pools, all while still being just steps from the Gulf.

Rental rates for Single Family Homes can range from $5,000 to $35,000 per month.

Barefoot Beach Villas

Villas

Looking for something in between a Condo and a Single Family Home? The Villas may be just what you're after.

The Villas community consists of 13 buildings with a total of 50 residences. Each townhome Villa has access to two swimming pools and is just steps from the Gulf of Mexico.

Villa rentals are extremely rare, but typically rent for between $4,000 and $15,000 per month.

Cottages

The Cottages are comprised of 15  individual row homes, each of which features a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico. When you walk out of your front door you’re just steps from having your toes in the sand.

But it’s not just the proximity to the Gulf that makes the location of the Cottages one of their best features. They’re also located right next to The Club At Barefoot Beach (a private club that some Barefoot Beach homeowners choose to join), their own private tennis courts, the nature preserve, and private docks just across the street for the Cottage renter who wants to have a boat easily accessible.

Cottage rentals are even more rare than Villa rentals, but typical rates fall between $5,000 and $35,000 per month.

Are There Minimum Stay Requirements?

In order to rent a Barefoot Beach property, you must plan to stay for at least 30 days. This applies to Single Family Homes, Condos, Villas and Cottages.

As this is a requirement enforced by the Barefoot Beach Home Owners Association, there is unfortunately no flexibility on this rule.

Can I Bring My Furry Friend?

Unfortunately they'll have to stay behind 😢

We know, it's tough to have to exclude a family member, but unfortunately there are no exceptions to this rule.

The good news is that if you end up deciding to buy in Barefoot Beach, you'll be welcomed by a thriving community of pet owners. You'll even be just minutes from the world renowned Lover's Key Dog Beach, where you can let your dog run free along the beautiful white-sand beaches.

Are Most Rentals Furnished?

The vast majority of the available rentals are exquisitely furnished, making it easy for you to start living your stress-free Florida lifestyle even sooner.

From time to time, though, we'll have a longer term rental become available which may be unfurnished, so bear that in mind if you're planning a longer stay.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Rent?

We might be a little biased, but there's truly never a bad time to be enjoying Southwest Florida.

Renting during the summer months offers more privacy for you and your family, while renting for the winter means you have a perfect tropical escape from the cold. The winter is also peak season (Mid-December through April), so if you're someone who wants to be here during the action, you'll want to aim for those months.

With that, summer rentals tend to offer advantaged pricing. Summer rates for condos drop to $3,000 to $6,000 per month, while home rentals drop to $5,000 to $15,000 per month.

Due to the popularity of renting during Winter, the few available properties each year fill up quickly. Therefore, we highly recommend booking your rental in advance to ensure you secure the property you're looking for.

Are Rentals Ever Available For Sale?

Many of our rentals are also available for purchasing as full-time homes.

Renting before buying can actually be a great way to “test drive” your new Florida lifestyle. Come to escape the cold and snow, stay to experience all the perks of living in a year-round beachside oasis.

Even if a rental isn't explicitly on the market, it never hurts to ask if the owner might entertain an offer.

What Amenities Can I Use?

This depends on what type of property you're renting and if you're a member at The Club At Barefoot Beach.

You can only use The Club At Barefoot Beach if you're a member, or if you've worked out an arrangement with the owner you're renting from (keep in mind, not all Barefoot Beach homeowners are members, so this would only be possible if they were a member).  If the owner agrees then the owner can no longer use the membership and the tenant must pay $250 per month to the club.

Unfortunately, you typically won't be able to sign up on your own to become a member on short notice, so if you're planning to start renting down here frequently and want to be able to access the Club, you'll want to apply well in advance (their waiting list can often be over a year long).

The Condo Club

Luckily, even if you're not a member at The Club at Barefoot Beach, you'll still have access to other clubs and amenities.

For example, condo renters have access to the Beach Club, which features Barbecue grills, a fitness center and a community gathering room, all overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. And as we mentioned earlier, it's currently being renovated and expanded to bring even greater amenities to residents. 

The Barefoot Beach Club

Renters of Single Family Homes will enjoy access to the Barefoot Beach Club (note that this is not the same as The Club At Barefoot Beach). This private clubhouse offers fitness center, a room for get togethers, and a place to get a game of tennis or pickle ball in.

Conveniently located just before the entrance to Southport, it's walking distance to all Single Family Homes within Barefoot Beach.

Is There Typically A Security Deposit?

Yes, there's almost always a security deposit.

It ranges in amount depending on the home, but it typically falls between $1,000 and $5,000.

Are There Any Fees?

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, there are fees. Luckily, they're fairly nominal.

The three fees are as follows

  • Application fee of $100
  • 12% rental tax for rentals 6 months or less
  • $250 cleaning fee upon departure

If you're renting for under 6 months, be sure to include the 12% tax, as that will be the most impactful of the fees.

What If I'm Interested In A Longer Term Rental?

While they're not as frequently available as shorter term vacation rentals, from time to time long term rentals do become available.

This can provide the perfect solution for someone looking to see if a particular home or subdivision might be right for them before pulling the trigger on buying. Some homeowners may even be willing to offer a rent-to-own contract where at any point during your rental term you have the right to buy the home at a pre-determined price.

Who Should I Talk To About Rentals?

So, you're ready to escape the frigid winter and hit the beach…Now what?

If you are ready to rent your Piece of Paradise or just need more information about renting, contact the Susan Owens Team today!

Everything You Need To Know About Barefoot Beach Real Estate

I can remember the excitement when I first decided to move to Barefoot Beach in 1989…

I was finally fulfilling a dream to escape the frigid Chicago winters and make Barefoot Beach my home.

But once the wheels were set in motion, the excitement gave way to uncertainty…

Was I really about to upend my life and move halfway across the country? What should I be looking out for? Where in Barefoot Beach did I want to be? What would life really look like once I was settled in?

After living here for the last 30 years and selling homes for the last 25, I want this post to help you answer those questions. 

What Is Barefoot Beach?

Barefoot Beach is a gated community that captures all of the advantages of living in Southwest Florida.

Its homes feature lush landscaping and waterfront views, thus giving you a feeling of seclusion and tranquility unlike anywhere else.

With access to resort-style experiences, beachside living, and the natural beauties of the Gulf of Mexico, you'll quickly figure out why we call this place our Piece of Paradise.

Barefoot Beach Sign

Situated in the Barefoot Beach community is the Barefoot Beach Preserve, giving you 342 acres of unspoiled Florida beauty right in your backyard. Yet, Barefoot Beach is so conveniently located that you'll never be more than minutes away from the renowned restaurants and shopping of Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero.

Imagine waking up to the sight of nesting eagles or a white ibis outside your window, then walking outside to search for seashells along the shoreline. After a game of tennis, you catch the sunset over drinks at the clubhouse’s full bar. With a Barefoot Beach home, this can be your reality – all while staying within walking distance of your front door.

White Ibis Barefoot Beach

Where Is Barefoot Beach?

Barefoot Beach is located in Bonita Springs, Florida, which is nestled perfectly between Naples and Fort Myers.

The community lines 8,200 feet of the Gulf of Mexico, offering unparalleled access to white-sand beaches and unforgettable sunsets.

One of the most unique aspects of owning real estate in Barefoot Beach is the exceptional privacy it offers.

There are no hotels, restaurants or businesses along Barefoot Beach – just the private residences and the beautiful nature preserve located at the end of Barefoot Beach (which we'll talk more about in just a bit).

Private Beach Bonita Springs

This makes Barefoot Beach even more private than many of the beaches you'll find in Naples. It's just you, the sand and the waves.

If you value your privacy but still want to be near the action, don't worry. In a Barefoot Beach home, not only do you have access to the tranquility of the South Florida coastline, you're also ideally positioned to take advantage of local attractions. Destinations like Coconut Point Mall, Fort Myers Beach, and fine dining options of Naples are just minutes away.

Am I A Good Fit For Barefoot Beach?

Barefoot Beach accommodates a wide range of lifestyles, so it's easy to find something that fits your needs.

Thoughtfully designed in an array of sophisticated, upscale living options, every Barefoot Beach home caters to the relaxing ways of life on the Florida coastline.

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If you're searching for upscale living with the luxuries of shelling, boating, and fine dining, along with Southwest Florida’s most unspoiled natural beauty, then Barefoot Beach is the place for you.

Whether you're looking to build your home from the ground up or purchase one of the stunning existing properties lining the brick paved streets, Barefoot Beach can accommodate your needs.

What Types Of Homes Are Available In Barefoot Beach?

Barefoot Beach offers a wide variety of properties throughout the neighborhood. From villas to single family homes, there's something for everyone:

Barefoot Beach Villas

Barefoot beach villas

The Villas at Barefoot Beach

The Villas are the first community you're greeted by after passing through the front gate of Barefoot Beach. It consists of 13 buildings with a total of 50 residences, each having access to two swimming pools and, of course, the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the added perks of living in the Villas is you're located just a short walk to Doc's Beach House, the local fan favorite for enjoying a Chicago style pizza, beer and a world class sunset view.

Pristinely maintained, the Villas are a true oasis and a wonderful beach retreat for those who live here.

Barefoot Beach condos barefoot beach condominiums

The Barefoot Beach Club Condos

Is ease of ownership your biggest priority? If so, condo living may be for you.

The Barefoot Beach Club Condos consist of 12 buildings and 348 individual units, each offering immediate access to the Gulf of Mexico and many featuring breathtaking beachfront views with world renowned sunsets.

Many of the buildings have been outfitted with hurricane shutters, so for snowbirds and full-time residents alike, peace of mind definitely comes with this piece of paradise.

Barefoot Beach Condo Clubhouse

Condo owners also enjoy access to their own separate beach club. It features a full sized pool, exercise equipment, a grill, room for private parties, and it's located right at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico. All this, and it's soon to be expanded!

Lastly, the condos offer a unique opportunity to meet many of the other residents throughout the neighborhood. Owners enjoy bumping into each other in the elevators or condo hallways, sometimes resulting in lasting friendships.This can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling components of being a Barefoot Beach condo owner. 

Barefoot Beach Cottages

The Cottages at Barefoot Beach

Looking for something in between the simplicities of condo living and the extra space that comes with single family home ownership? The Cottages are the ideal solution.

The Cottages consist of 15 individual homes, each of which features a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico. When you walk out of your front door you're just steps from having your toes in the sand.

But it's not just the proximity to the Gulf that makes the location of The Cottages one of their best features. They're also located right next to The Club At Barefoot Beach (a private club that many Barefoot Beach homeowners choose to join), which offers private tennis courts, fine & casual dining, swimming pool and beach service.

With The Cottages, it's all about “Location, Location, Location.”

Barefoot Beach Single Family Homes

Single Family Homes

Looking for some extra space and unparalleled privacy? Barefoot Beach single family homes are for you.

But before you go submitting an offer, it's critical to understand the lay of the land. Specifically, there are three main subdivisions for the single family homes throughout Barefoot Beach:

The Beach Gardens

The Beach Gardens is a community of single family estate homes that are strategically arranged on the shore around lushly landscaped gardens.

This thoughtful arrangement, which puts the homes in a series of “U” or horseshoe shapes along the beach, means that each home has its own spectacular view of the Gulf of Mexico.

Barefoot Beach Beach Gardens Single Family Homes

Each Beach Garden home offers immediate access to the Gulf of Mexico, has a shared pool with the other homes in their particular Beach Garden, and has access to the private club house, tennis courts and pickle ball courts.

If a Gulf view is your top priority, then a Beach Garden home will be a perfect fit for you.

Southport on the Bay

southport on the bay

Southport on the Bay is a charming gated community holding just over 100 single-family homes. Many of these homes offer stunning views of the inter-coastal bay, private boat docks, and private pools.

If having immediate access to your water toys or having a private pool is important to you, Southport could be your ideal piece of paradise.

Bayfront Gardens

Bayfront Gardens is located on a single gated drive and is the community where my family and I live.

Similar to Southport on the Bay, Bayfront offers homes with both private pools and private boat docks that lead out to the bay. In just 10 minutes, you can travel by boat or jet ski to the Gulf of Mexico. In 5 minutes, you can go from your front door to having your toes in the sandy beach.

With homes located on just one side of Bayfront Drive, a massive protected nature habitat lines the other side of the red brick-paved street. Here, residents often spot eagles, osprey, and an occasional armadillo.

If you prioritize privacy, immediate dock access, and a short walk to the Gulf, Bayfront Gardens will be a perfect fit.  

Barefoot Beach From The Skies

For a more comprehensive and exciting view of Barefoot Beach, watch this short but informative aerial tour my partner David Jablonski and I put together:

How Do The Different Homeowner's Associations Work?

Barefoot Beach has one master Homeowner's Association, but from there, each individual community has its own separate association. Each of these individual associations contributes a portion of their dues to the master association.

The master association maintains the front gate, including the staffing of the security personnel, along with the Barefoot Beach signage, entrance, beautiful brick paved Barefoot Beach Boulevard and the landscaping alongside it.

Barefoot Beach Single Family Homes

The Beach Gardens

The Homeowner's Association of these 100 homes offers maintenance and landscaping of their spacious common grounds, signage, swimming pools, tennis & pickle ball courts, and club house with community room & fitness center. Dues here typically hover around $7,500 per year.

Southport On The Bay & Bayfront Gardens

The two separate Homeowner's Associations of each of these two communities maintain their respective charming brick-paved streets, lighting, community landscaping, signage and decorative privacy gate.

Dues in Southport tend to be around $2,000 per year. Dues in Bayfront Garden will be $8,000 per year until the new brick-paved street is paid for in 2022, at which point they'll revert back to an estimated $3,000 per year.

The Cottages

The Homeowner's Association of the Cottages maintains the landscaping, brick pavers, signage and lighting. Dues here are approximately $4,000 annually.

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The Villas

The Villas Homeowner's Association maintains all of the landscaping, the brick paved streets, the swimming pools, and community signage. Annual dues here tend to hover around $5,000.

What Are Amenities Like In Barefoot Beach?

Living in Barefoot Beach doesn't just mean getting a great piece of real estate. You also get to enjoy the finer things in life!

Dining

The Club at Barefoot Beach offers two dining options: Turtle's Nest Casual Dining and the Shell Dining Room.

The Turtle's Nest is an open-air restaurant that serves lunch daily, extending service poolside and, best of all, out to the beach while you have your toes in the sand and take in the incredible views. Enjoy drinks, lunch specials, and homemade soups while never missing a moment of the famous Florida sunshine.

Club At Barefoot Beach Dining

For more formal dinners, make a reservation at the Shell Dining Room. In this fine dining atmosphere, indulge in artfully crafted 3 to 5 course meals while still watching the sunset glimmer off the gentle waves of the Gulf. White table cloths, a lit candle, fine wines and sophisticated cuisine make this restaurant magical.

And that's just the dining options within Barefoot Beach's gates! For a comprehensive guide to the world-renowned restaurants in Bonita Springs and Naples, check out our post, The Ultimate Guide To Barefoot Beach Dining Options.

Active Living

At Barefoot Beach, it's easy to keep an active, healthy lifestyle.

Not only do you have access to swimming, boating, fishing, and jet-skiing, for more terrestrial activities, you can try out the tennis courts, with lessons from the seasonal pro or fun competitive games with other club members. There are even yoga classes offered at The Barefoot Beach Club.

Some residents prefer to keep it simple and just walk the beach daily as part of their morning or evening routine.

However you prefer to break a sweat, Barefoot Beach can accommodate your needs.

BFB Preserve Sign

Barefoot Beach Preserve

Established in 1990, the Barefoot Beach Preserve is 342 acres of undeveloped land at the southern end of the Barefoot Beach community. The Preserve consists of shoreline, sand dunes, and clusters of sable palm, gumbo-limbo, and sea grapes.

The Preserve is also one of the last undeveloped barrier islands of Florida’s southwest coast, and thus a precious, protected home of the gopher tortoise and annual sea turtle nesting. Locals and visitors alike also know the Barefoot Beach Preserve as an unbeatable location for fishing.

The Learning Center with natural history exhibits offers presentations by the Park Rangers on topics including dolphins, manatees, and gopher tortoises. Just next door, you can find their incredible butterfly and cactus gardens. The Preserve also offers bike racks, picnic tables, vending machines, a life jacket loaner program, beach wheelchairs, and water toy rentals.

Living in a Barefoot Beach property, you will have immediate access to this abundance of Florida wildlife right in your backyard.

What's The Club At Barefoot Beach?

Living in a Barefoot Beach home means you can have access to the resort style service of The Club At Barefoot Beach. The Club is a private, member-owned equity club that offers the finest in Gulf Coast luxury experience. Here you'll find a beach-side swimming pool, tennis courts, full bar, and both casual and fine dining.

Have an event or special date coming up? The Club is a perfect location for a celebratory dinner out. For more casual dining, the Club also offers complete food and beverage service poolside, so you never have to take your toes out of the newly renovated temperature controlled saline pool.

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What Are Home Prices Like In Barefoot Beach?

Because Barefoot Beach offers such a wide diversity of properties, the price ranges can vary pretty widely.

For example, condos start at around $795,000 and go up to $2,900,000. Villas, depending on the views they offer, can range from $900,000 and $3,500,000. The Cottages typically start just North of $3,250,000. Single Family Homes can vary dramatically. Existing homes start at under $2,000,000, while the newer homes closest to the Gulf of Mexico are today reaching prices of over $12,000,000.

While that is obviously a sizable investment, Barefoot Bech properties have proven to hold their value and appreciate well over time. Take a look at this newspaper clipping back from when I first moved to Barefoot Beach in 1989. As you can see in the lower right hand corner, lots were a tad bit less expensive back then. 

What If I Own A Boat Or Want To Buy One?

The Barefoot Beach community is highly accommodating to boaters and those who wish to spend their time out on the calm waters of the bay or the alluring waves of the Gulf of Mexico. The offerings can vary quite a bit depending on where in Barefoot Beach you live, so it's important to understand the differences before settling on your piece of paradise. 

Barefoot Beach Boat Dock For Sale Barefoot beach docks Barefoot Beach real estate Owning a boat barefoot beach

Each home in Bayfront Gardens and most of the homes in Southport on the Bay have their own dock directly behind the property.

This offers unparalleled access to your water toys and is one of the most notable distinctions between Beach Garden single family homes and bay side homes. If immediate access to your boat dock is a big priority for you, you'll want to look mostly at homes in Bayfront Gardens or Southport on the Bay.

Southport On The Bay Docks

Even if you're not on the bay, you won't be far from your water toys.

Owners of Beach Garden homes may have an opportunity to buy a dock slip on the East side of Barefoot Beach Boulevard, subject to availability.

These docks are typically a short walk from your front door and can accommodate the same size and types of boats that bay side homes enjoy.

Bonita Beach boat rental Bonita springs boat rental barefoot beach

Sometimes when purchasing a home in Barefoot Beach, it will come with a dock as part of the sale. If you don't have a boat, you can sell it to a resident who doesn't own a dock but needs one. Docks typically sell for around $200,000.

Cottage owners can rent docks directly across Barefoot Beach Boulevard from them. These docks are owned by The Club At Barefoot Beach, but they rent them to any members who want the convenience of their boat near their beach and dining club.

Barefoot Beach Cottage Docks

One of the most unique features of these docks is that they're the closest in all of Barefoot Beach to Wiggins Pass, the inlet that allows boaters to access the Gulf of Mexico. That means you can walk out your front door, hop on your boat or jet skis, and be in the Gulf within 5 minutes.

What If I Prefer To Rent A Boat?

Boat Rental Bonita Springs

As many boat owners will tell you, owning a watercraft in the taxing South Florida heat is not for the faint of heart. As a result many Barefoot Beach homeowners prefer to simply rent a boat each time they want to head out on the waves.

Luckily for them, the perfect solution is right around the corner. Just a quarter mile from the entrance to Barefoot Beach is the BayWater Boat Club.

This family run business has been offering well maintained, fully gassed up boats to Barefoot Beach residents and other locals for decades. Not only that, they maintain a 10:1 member to boat ratio, meaning there's sure to be a boat available for you when you need one.

For many homeowners, this is the happy medium between owning a boat and having no boat at all.

What's The Process Like For Building A Home In Barefoot Beach?

Many newcomers to Barefoot Beach prefer to start fresh by building their dream home from the ground up.

Some will invest in one of the few vacant lots, while others will buy an older home, demolish it and begin anew.

It can be a unique opportunity to put your own touch on your future home, but there are a handful of things to consider before embarking on this exciting journey.

Building A Home In Barefoot Beach bonita springs florida home builders bonita springs real estate barefoot beach properties

As you might expect, the most important aspect of building a new home in Barefoot Beach is making sure you have the right team in place.

You'll want an experienced and creative architect and designer to design your home, and a great general contractor to build. Over the years, I've worked with a number of architects, designers and builders, and can share their contact information.

Likewise, we have resources like painters, plumbers, electricians, cleaning people, and landscapers. Give me a call today to learn more.

Hows The Weather In Barefoot Beach?

In one word, fantastic. In a few words, as good as it gets.

While everybody's freezing up north, Bonita Springs is warm and sunny

Barefoot Beach's semi-tropical weather zone makes for warm, dry and pleasant winters with average highs in the 70's and 80's. Occasionally it will dip below 70, but it's typically only for a few days before heading back into the 70's. 

In the summer daily temperatures consistently stay in the low 90's. It's rare for it to get much higher than 93 degrees.

Not only that, during winter we usually experience mostly blue skies and very little rain, as it's our dry season.

Sure, summer gets hot down here, but whether it's jumping in the Gulf of Mexico or sipping an ice cold Pina Colada at The Club at Barefoot Beach, there are ample ways to stay cooled off.

It's truly a tropical paradise.

BONITA SPRINGS

What Are Sunsets Like On Barefoot Beach?

This is the part of the blog post where the English language starts to fail us…

“Beautiful”? Sure, but that still doesn't quite cut it…

“Amazing”? Still doesn't do justice to Barefoot Beach sunsets…

You know what? Just watch this instead…

Want to know something even crazier?

That video was shot on my iPhone…no fancy camera equipment, just the raw beauty of Barefoot Beach…

So if that's what iPhone footage looks like, imagine real life…you know what? Forget imagining it – just come down here and see for yourself!

What Should You Do First When Buying A Home In Barefoot Beach?

If you are considering buying real estate in Barefoot Beach, then we are more than happy to help you through every step of the process.

The Susan Owens Team, with over 25 years of experience, is ready for any questions or concerns you may have. We're here to welcome you to the Barefoot Beach community, and are happy to speak with you in person, by phone, text or email.

Call Susan at 239-248-5580, or email at [email protected] or connect with teammate David Jablonski at (239) 961-1170 or [email protected].

We can’t wait to hear from you and to help you purchase your own Piece of Paradise.

Call The Susan Owens Team Today!