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December 2015

State Tax Rules on Ordinary Income & Social Security

There are seven states that don't have any state income taxes. Those states are: FloridaWyoming, Washington, South Dakota, Texas, Alaska and Nevada. Tennessee and New Hampshire only tax interest and dividend income.
 
There are thirteen states that do tax Social Security: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
 
Tom: Because Florida doesn't tax ordinary income, Social Security or interest income are some top reasons many retirees choose the Sunshine State. Florida's very favorable Homestead tax laws are also attractive to retirees, leading many seasonal vacationers to designate Florida as their primary residence instead of their home state. The law requires at least six months of residency (and a few other minor requirements) in order to designate Florida as your resident state. The year round warm weather, golf and water activities don't hurt either.
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24/7 Wall Street Ranks Cape Coral in Top 50 Cities to Live
 
A recent report by 24/7 Wall Street ranked our own Cape Coral as the 27TH best U. S. city to live in.The survey of cities with populations of 65,000 or more was based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants & attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability.
 
According to 24/7 Wall St: One of the largest draws to the city of 170,000 people, apart from the canals and water access - is the city's economic expansion. Between 2012 and 2014, employment rose by more than 10%, the 5th largest growth of any U.S. city. Cape Coral's violent crime rate is also half the national average. Though the city's cost of living is 3% higher than the national average, the city's poverty rate is 12.5% lower than the U.S. average. Tom: this is just the latest in a long line of recent accolades for Cape Coral. 
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SW Florida Home Price Growth Highest in Nation
 
The National Association of Realtors reports that SW Florida's single-family home price growth in the third quarter is the highest in the nation. Compared to the same quarter last year, Naples-Marco Island (+ 16.8%) ranked third in price growth while Cape Coral-Ft Myers was fourth, with a 16.7% price spurt.
 
The two local metro areas were beaten in the rankings by two other SW Florida cities just up the coast: Tampa-St Pete-Clearwater, where prices rose 20.7% in a year, and Punta Gorda, where they were up 19.7%.
 
Sue: can we say that SWFL is one hot market right now??
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Cape Ranks High Among Florida Cities for Families & Jobs
 
Wallet Hub recently rated Cape Coral as one of the best cities in Florida for families to live. Among the 21 key metrics utilized in the ranking, Cape Coral scored high in health, education and safety, family life and fun, affordability, crime and divorce rates. Quick stat: 25 years ago the average age in the city was 62, now it's 43 years old.
 
Manpower Group ranked Cape Coral 4th in the nation in the top metropolitan areas where top job prospects are. Among the professions in highest need in the area are healthy care, education, first responder and construction. Earlier this year Wallet Hub ranked Cape Coral as the fourth best place in the U.S. to retire....quite the honor.  
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RE/MAX Offers Corporate Discount Rate at Westin Marina Resort
 
RE/MAX Realty Team has recently partnered with the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village to offer our clients a corporate discount rate. The Westin offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, Caloosahatchee River and Tarpon Point Marina. The Resort offers luxuriously appointed Traditional rooms, along with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom suites that range from 445 - 3,471 square feet.
 
Onsite amenities include two dining options, three heated pools, full-service spa & salon, Tarpon Point Marina, The Promenade Shops, daily activities program, Westin Kids Club, water taxi to Ft Myers Beach, bicycle rentals, and a 25,000 square foot event space. It is considered the ultimate rental accommodation in Cape Coral, and is conveniently located close to the SW and SE quadrants of the city. Please contact Sue to arrange for your corporate discount.
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Cape Coral's Annual Christmas Boat Parade
 
The annual Christmas Boat Parade (or Holiday Boat-A-Long as it's also referred to) takes place on December 19th. The celebration goes from 4 - 10 PM. Located at the Bimini Basin at Four Freedoms Park on Cape Coral Pkwy, the festival has food, Christmas music, and a visit from Santa Claus along with the boat parade. The parade starts at 7 PM with fireworks over the water. Each boat is covered in lights, which shimmer their colors over the water. Sue: the Christmas Boat Parade is an event we look forward to each holiday season. We have attended almost every year since 2001 and highly recommend you make the time to catch the parade if you're in the area. A wonderful Florida Christmas experience.
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Facts & Stats
 
Home Inventory in SWFL Improves: In November available homes for sale in SWFL increased to about 5 1/2 months, the highest inventory in several months. Inventory had been between 3 and 4 months for most of the summer and fall, far below normal availability, especially for those typically slow real estate months. As Snowbirds and seasonal buyers are arriving early and in droves, we expect inventory to drop again as we enter into "high season".  
 
Cape Coral/Ft Myers List-to-Sale price hits 98%: This list-to-sale ratio is the highest since the height of the 2004- 2006 real estate boom, and is getting close to the point where home sale prices could exceed asking price - not something we wish to see. Homes under $550 K are the most in demand and thus sell at closest to asking price.
 
SWFL Distressed Sales Now at 12 - 14% (depending on town): Foreclosures and short sales are 3% - 5% in a normal market, so we still have a ways to go, but the distressed home market is shrinking. A few years ago foreclosures and short sales comprised over 50% of our market. We expect to see single digit distressed sales sometime soon.
 
Average Cape Gulf-Access lot prices hit $135,000: This is higher than the $120,000 average Cape Coral home price at the bottom of our market (Jan 2011). Imagine in just 5 years our market has improved so much that gulf-access lots are selling for more than average homes were selling for!!
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November 2015
Strong Sellers Market - Annual Rents Rise 23% - Economists Predict Strong Market Through 2017 

October 2015
Cape Coral's R.E. Rebound 2nd Strongest In Nation - SW Florida Now a 12 Month R.E. Season - Chiquita Boat Lock Impact

September 2015
Shortage of SWFL Seasonal Rentals Gets More Severe - Fla. "Save Our Homes" Tax Break Kicks In Again - Cape Coral 4th Best Large City for Retirees

August 2015
City Council Votes to Eliminate Chiquita Boat Lock - U.S. Home Prices Hit Historic Highs - High Cost of Waiting to Buy

July 2015
Best/Worst U.S. Cities for Retirement - Cape Coral Inventory Falls to 2.6 Months - Homebuyer's Most Important Concerns When Looking For a Home

June 2015
New Homes A Good Option - Two SWFL Beaches in Dr. Beach Top Ten - Lee County Housing Market Continues To Climb

May 2015
 SW Florida Peak R.E. Season Extended - $400k Becoming the New $300k for Cape Coral Gulf Access Homes - Freshwater Homes an Affordable Waterfront Alternative

April 2015
Northern Winter Puts Further Strain on SWFL Seasonal Home Rentals - Monthly Payments on a $500,000 SWFL Home Today...and in One Year - Million Dollar Homes Selling Again in SW Florida  

February 2015
2015 SW Florida Market Porjections - National Online Search Sites Not Accurate - SW Florida Ranks High In Safest FLA Cities

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Tom & Sue Demogenes

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