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Last Paradise

Marco Island is a “one of a kind” island paradise. Some people have called it the Hawaii of the east. I have called it “home” for the past 30 years and I am still in awe of it. And yes, I still get goose bumps when I come back over that magical bridge after being away for a while. And yes, I still have epiphanies when I experience the wonders of our area. And yes, I still pinch myself when I experience those unbelievable, spectacular sunrises and sunsets or when I see the dolphins and manatees playing and mating in our backyards. These are daily occurrences that too many of us here, unfortunately, take for granted. Not me! I am very thankful for having the privilege and opportunity of living and working here for the past 3 decades. My famous one liner is “It’s great to be alive and on Marco Island!”

I recently re-read “The Last Paradise”, the building of modern Marco by Douglas Waitley,  a magnificent book that is recommended highly! I will briefly reference it with some facts that were of interest.

In 1962, Frank Mackle, president of Deltona Corporation (the developers of Key Biscayne) was invited by the Collier family to drive over from Miami to view Marco and to consider developing it. Frank said that he “couldn’t believe what he saw and fell in love with it from the very beginning!”   That was 50 years ago. 40 years prior to that in 1922, the Colliers had purchased the island and dreamed of developing it into a paradise also. The Colliers implemented their marketing and began selling lots back in 1927. The GREAT DEPRESSION put an end to their plans. A couple of other efforts were made to develop the island but all failed. The state of Florida was also offered Marco to purchase to turn it into a nature preserve, but they turned it down. I’m sure the environmentalists today in the state of Florida are deeply regretting their missed opportunity to purchase Marco for a mere $1 million.

 The first communication between the Colliers and the Mackles was in a letter in May 1962. Eventually the two families created a 50/50 joint venture and called it the Marco Island Development Corporation (MIDC). The sales price on paper was $7 million but it was so creatively structured that there was no money down and amazingly Deltona (Mackle) never came up with any cash to purchase this island. In 1968 Deltona acquired the Collier family’s 50% interest in the island with an exchange of Deltona stock! INGENIOUS!

I wanted to share a little bit of information with you so that you might consider picking up the book “The Last Paradise”. It can be purchased at either Sunshine Booksellers stores, the Marco Island Eagle or my main office. This book is mandatory reading for all my sales agents and a must read if you are purchasing property here.



Our local real estate market is PERCOLATING!! ALL the movers and shakers are busy and properties in all categories are selling again. THE TIDE HAS DEFINITELY turned and our inventory is diminishing.

In 2012 total unit lot sales increased by 72% over 2011. Total unit condo sales increased by 22% and total unit home sales increased by 12%. Our local weekly newspapers have several experienced realtors writing and reporting all the statistical facts about our local real estate markets. I also have those stats and figures but instead of just listing all that data again and having you figure out what to buy, my goal is this: I will study and analyze this data and then recommend and point out to you specific market trends, market corrections and buyer opportunities. Most of us make our decisions based on accurate information - facts don’t lie and the information I provide to you will be accurate!

Marco sells itself. I will help you make the wisest decision based on facts, so you can capitalize on some of these present and future values. There will be some opportunities that will bring some quick profit but please remember that most real estate is a long term investment and the flip/flop days of ‘03, ‘04 and ‘05 are history.



We are entering a period where there will be a low supply of properties to purchase on Marco, while at the same time, the demand is rising. This scenario always means price increases. I strongly recommended two years ago in my article titled “Dirty Gold”, to buy homesites (vacant lots). My advice was correct and the lot market is still hot, with over 184 parcels sold last year - a 72% increase in total lots sold over 2011! At that pace a lot is sold every other day on Marco. Over the last 18 months we have experienced an over-correction in certain areas of our water lots. This happened because our homesites depreciated drastically over the last 7 years from their peak in 2005. When these lots started selling again, some categories made major jumps.

There are certain lots that are more desirable than others because of size, location, exposure, etc. Call me and I will explain and print-out the best choices for you to inspect for yourself. Remember our land on Marco is really our last limited commodity, when the land is gone ...it’s gone. There will never, ever be another Marco Island. These homesites (lots) or vacant land can be purchased today and there is no time limit to build. Vacant land is low maintenance - it just needs to be mowed and taxes paid. Make your lot purchase your real estate CD to be built on in the future. In 3 - 5 - 10 years, your return on this investment will be astronomical! If you decide not to build on your lot, the equity you will have built up in it will allow you to buy a resale condo or home.



Your window of opportunity for best buys in all property categories is shrinking rapidly. Marco property is selling! This island is having a remarkable recovery. Are we there yet? Not yet, but the consumer confidence for real estate purchases on Marco is consistently very positive. Many believe, the only way for our local real estate market to go....is up! Prices will never again be this low. We are a preferred investment opportunity. Marco is your safe haven for your hard earned dollars. Wise investors are diversifying their portfolios and entering blue chip real estate markets like Marco.

Don’t sit on the sidelines and pass up on this golden opportunity. If you plan on making the Marco area your future home and lifestyle, now... is the time. Feel free to call me on my cell phone (239) 592-3000 or stop by our main office located at 207 N Collier Blvd., just one block north of the Residents’ Beach and San Marco Road. Ask for Joe Charde, aka the Guru. I am offering my 30 years experience selling Marco exclusively as a gift to you to help you make a wise investment. Joe Charde (239) 592-3000

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