Saturday, July 4, 2009

If Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, Live on Sanibel

Charles Caleb Colton, an 18th century cleric and writer is considered to be the coiner of the phrase that "imitation is the sincerest (form) of flattery". But Colton, who was very critical of landowners would not have approved or even understood how the phrase is appreciated by me, a landowner.

As a landowner on Sanibel twice over, I take not only pride in our vacation rental properties but great joy in offering them to vacation rental guests.

And, perhaps the nicest thing I can get back from a vacation rental guest is the remark that they had such a good time in our condo or house that they want to return to buy one of their own.

Many have made such comments in the 12 years we have owned on Sanibel, and having made them myself when I have had great vacations in a new location, I realize how infatuated anyone on a great vacation can become with their environment.

But the proof is in the pudding.

And just this week while going through my email addresses from past rental guests, I was delighted to see just how many people followed through on their infatuation.

No less than 6 couples who rented from us in the past dozen years now own a piece of paradise themselves. That's of the people I know because we stay in touch. There well may be another six who I don't know about.

And, if you add to that mix another two couples who came to our properties for the sole purpose of doing some Island real estate shopping and succeeded in finding what they wanted, that brings the total to 8.

I wonder how many vacation destinations have that kind of conversion, renter to owner?

But it's easy to understand how a good island experience inspires someone to plant some tropical roots of their own. The Island is not an inexpensive place to buy a house or condo, but the value to price is so high, that it does make you want to explore the possibilities. Just imagine, for $500K for a large condo or medium sized home, you can purchase tropical splendor, awesome wildlife, a beach that is never crowded, an enormous variety of restaurants and things to do and the ability to enjoy all of it 12 months of the year.

It's a safe environment for children, an easy environment for seniors and a stimulating environment for active adults of all ages, birdwatchers, shell collectors, boaters, biking enthusiasts and just your basic beach bums.

Taxes are not on the lowest level of possibilities, but if you live in the metro NYC or many other metro areas in the States, you will be surprised at their affordability.

Sure, your utility bills will be high in the 4 hottest months, but for the remaining 8, you will most often neither need heat nor air conditioning.

In fact, I am hard pressed to think of a reason not to convert your vacation into a home viewing expedition. Can you really name any place you would rather live?

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