Well, we finally did it. After many years of cutting bait, we actually fished. We jumped off the fence we had been sitting on. We took the plunge. After much looking, ruling in and out, narrowing down, and pondering our options, we bought a place in Florida!
It’s in Estero, between Ft. Myers and Naples, in a community called Cascades. We had discovered it some years ago and it had been rolling around in our minds ever since. It had several things we were looking for, 55 community, not a HUGE amount of homes, a GREAT pool (because we know how important that was to our kids!), and low HOA fees. All of those amenities kept us coming back to look even though the layout of the inside of the homes was not our favorite. We did put a bid in on a similar layout last year but let it go when the owners counter offered more than we wanted to pay.
We looked quite a bit at homes on every vacation for the last several years. We’ve stayed in Cape Coral for the last several years because it was so hard for Honey to find weekly rentals anywhere else around spring break. We ruled it out though, because it was too stinking far from the freeway and it seemed to take forever to get through Ft. Myers.This year, since Honey’s retirement is approaching, we knew we wanted something for next winter. We were actually in Cascades looking at open houses when Honey asked a realtor what the homes rented for. When we found out we would pay around $12,000 just to rent, we decided we may as well put that towards our own place!
We had narrowed things down to 2 spec homes in Ft. Myers, a new build also in Ft. Myers and this place in Estero. Winner winner, chicken dinner!
These are the pictures from the website. There is so much about the place that we love, and I will tell you about a few things we will change.
Love the wider plank wood floors, all the furniture comes with the place (also another thing that pushed us in this direction), and the white plantation shutters are throughout!
The kitchen is pretty small and does not have a lot of cabinets. I have heard a rumor that Floridians eat out most of the time, so I am fairly certain Honey and I will make do with this.
I was hoping that the counters would be ugly, chipped up formica in need of replacing, but unfortunately or fortunately, it is a very nice quartz that I cannot justify replacing just because I don’t want a step in the counter that faces the family room. I’d rather it was just a one level counter. Ah well. Honey was very pleased with the appliances 🙂
Since this is not a load bearing wall, we could remove it and really open things up. The house we put a bid on last year had done it, so we know it looks very nice. The owners only had the small table you see here, and had changed the dining area to a sitting area.
I’m pretty sure we are going to want that dining area back. Plus, we have other ideas for that back wall in the kitchen. Will let you in on those plans in another post!
The hall entry is where the leafy plant is, just so you can get your bearings. There is the sitting area that we will change. There are plenty of chairs in this house. Any one need a couple chairs? The door wall to the lanai is to the left of the striped chairs, and the doorway to the master bedroom is straight back.
The view from the other direction:the hallway to the second bedroom, bath and den on the right, and the hall to the front door to the left of the fern-y plant. You can also see the laundry room as well, where the door to the garage is.
Back to the master bedroom. Very thankful that is a king because Honey and I got one a couple years ago and we are NOT going back! Besides my Uncle Bob would probably like us to get our king sized foam mattress topper out of his spare bedroom. We bought it down here one trip, when the bed in the rental was so hard I thought it was going to cripple me before we left. I can live with every stick of the furniture, a very happy surprise! Some of these turnkey places were not such a great deal! They want you to pay for their….stuff, but then you would have to pay to have it carted away! And then purchase stuff you could live with.
They were the original owners, so they have made updates all along. The bathroom was fairly recent, new cabinet and tile. I don’t care about any kind of tub, perhaps the grandkids will enjoy it 🙂
There were a couple of things that need immediate attention. Painting the spare room is number one. Those walls are really more of a neon yellowish green. Maybe we can stick a chair in here, because we gots a lots of chairs! We may change this out to a king as well.
I can live with this wallpaper for now. This looks Florida-ish to me ❤
We were so happy to have a den! It made it easier to buy a two bedroom. We are still not certain if this will be big enough for the company we envision. I guess we will find out, you’re all invited down!!! Not at the same time though!!
A few more chairs for our chair collection! They are pretty comfy too! Will probably get some sort of pull out couch or a day bed, or some kind of thing to create more sleeping space.
This is the door to our side entry front door, with the laundry and door to the garage to the right.
Immediate project number two, removal of the pineapples. Even a plantation shutter in the laundry, how cute is that? This house also has the hurricane shutters on the outside. I think they are pleated and you just pull them closed.
We first visited this house at an open house. The most complaints seemed to be the fact it was on a corner. The corner of two interior streets, not on a main, busier street. We looked at a couple of those. Much more traffic.
Side entry on the right.
Our own twin baby palm tree! There are those hurricane shutters I was so terribly describing. They must lock in the middle.
And the lanai. I love that there is already a ceiling fan out there! Because Mama needs a fan in every.single.room. That is the street beyond the hedge. I asked Honey if it bothered him that he would not have a water (ditch view, as we call them), he said it would not, because he is nosy and could watch the people walking by. Well alright then! I may have to get a robe if I plan on sitting out there early in the morning!
The realtor told us that the owners had received approval to extend the lanai out to where the brick pavers end, that would double its size. We will totally do that. and then we can put a table and umbrella out there, which will increase entertaining possibilities. Too bad we can’t stick some of those many, comfy chairs out there.
The hedge will probably be a casualty. Honey may even look into taking the lanai around the back too. We say that in a couple houses. Possibilities!
There is the corner and the streets.
The first thing that we liked about this community was the pool!!!!
It starts with an indoor pool,
and you go through the water cascading to the outside pool.
So many pretty palm trees!
It has a very nice clubhouse with activities and a library, exercise room, pickle ball and tennis courts, and lots of other things we may or may not be involved with. We had to have three character references before they would even let us move in. They take their character seriously down there!
We are very thankful to finally stop looking and we prayed that if it wasn’t what God had in mind for us than the deal would not go through. Honey felt confident it was within our budget, and the fact that it was turnkey meant we did not have the extra expense of furniture. We will probably head down there sometime this summer to take some household things down, and we will need to buy bedding, bath and kitchen things as well.
So there you have it, our new winter digs!