If you're new to the area or just starting to research and consider Cape Coral as a place you'd like to live, you're probably a little confused about the canal system. Not all canals are created equal! Gulf access, freshwater, sailboat access . . . what do they all mean?

Gulf access canals are canals that ultimately lead out to the Gulf of Mexico. Depending on the location in the Cape these canals will either empty into the Caloosahatchee River or Matlacha Pass and how long a boat trip takes to get out to open water depends greatly on the starting point. Travel time through the canals can vary from a couple of minutes to over an hour and a half.

What about direct access/sailboat access canals? These are gulf access lots, but they're special. direct, or sailboat access means the boater doesn't have to pass under any bridges to reach open water. If you have a large vessel that won't have clearance under a bridge, you will need to purchase a home or homesite on a direct access canal. Direct access canal homesites command a higher price, and the shorter the boat ride out, the higher the price tag.

If you don't have a large boat and don't have to worry about bridges, you will have many more, much less expensive options for canal front properties on standard gulf access canals. Bridge heights vary from 7' - 13.25' and again, based on the starting point there may be just one or several bridges along the route to open water. As with direct access canals, the shorter the distance to the river or Matlacha Pass the more desirable and therefore more expensive these gulf access canal homes and lots will be.

Freshwater canals may have miles of waterway but are landlocked, so to speak. Freshwater canals do not lead out to the Gulf of Mexico. Freshwater canals are an inexpensive option for those just wanting water in their backyard and are nice for small boats, kayaks, paddleboards, etc.... or to provide a water view.

Other factors that enter into the value of canal properties are width of the canal, intersecting canals, location on a basin or lake, long view down a canal, etc.

Come check out this beautiful Cape Coral Canal System and let Lisa Sawyer & Jenna Billman help you find your dream¯home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or other surrounding areas in SW Florida.  Capewaterfrontliving.com