KIMBERLY VINCENT LUXURY REAL ESTATE
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With kids back in school and parents busy with all those demands, September is our slowest month of the year at Kimberly-Vincent. Some realtors might complain about the annual downswing, but I actually look forward to it — for me, the arrival of September means it’s time for my next epic vacation on two wheels. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was a kid, and, in my decades behind the handlebars, I have ridden all over the U.S., carving a path through almost every state. When I was younger, my brother Roger and I used to go on long adventures together, taking 10-, 12-, or even 15-day rides. Roger has passed now, so these days I ride solo. Last summer, I left Naples and rode all the way to Colorado, passing through Arizona on the way. It was a 5,000-mile trip through beautiful mountains and deserts, and, because photography is a hobby of mine, I made plenty of stops to get great shots. This year, I’m doing a hybrid trip that will start in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Instead of riding there, I’m taking a plane and having my bike shipped over, so it’s ready and waiting. I’ll spend a couple of days in Jackson reminiscing about when my wife Caren and I got married there, right in front of the Grand Tetons, then ride out through Grand Teton National Park, through Yellowstone (where I’m Where the Rubber Meets the Road MY EPIC SEPTEMBER BIKE TRIP
hoping to get some close-up photos of bison), and into Glacier National Park, which starts in Montana and stretches all the way to Canada. I’m planning to take the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier, which is one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the country. It goes through tunnels, past waterfalls, and between towering mountain peaks. The whole journey is breathtaking. When I come out on the other side, I’ll spend a few days in Waterton, Canada, before heading back the way I came. I’ve planned for a two-week trip, and I’ll be putting in a “I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was a kid, and, in my decades behind the handlebars, I have ridden all over the U.S., carving a path through almost every state.” lot of miles each day. Beyond that, the rest of the ride will be a spontaneous adventure. I never have a plan for these trips; I stay wherever I find room, and, if I don’t find a spot to hunker down for the night, I keep going until I do. I love my September rides even though I sometimes have to trek through snow. With most kids back in school, there isn’t much traffic on the roads and even fewer vacationers. Hotel fees drop by as much as 50%, and the weather is cool and crisp. On a sunny day, it’s perfection. Every year, I make it a point to take an epic ride. I’m getting older, and I know it’s not something I’ll be able to
do forever, so I want to enjoy it while I can. When September rolls around and it’s time to embark on another one, I’m always reminded of how lucky I am to have Kimberly as a partner, so I can leave town stress-free. Without her running the business, I wouldn’t be able to be away from our listings and clients for so long. But, because I don’t have to worry, I always come home full of energy and ready to tackle October, the kickoff to our busy season. When October and its snowbirds arrive, Naples’ population triples in size. That means more buyers are in town, so Kimberly and I work hard to handle that new business along with our current clients. We organize more showings in the fall and winter than at any other time of year. From October through June, we work seven days a week, putting in 12- to 14-hour days to find our clients their dream homes. While I’d hate to give up my September motorcycle rides, I also wouldn’t trade my job for the world. Every year, coming back home is just as sweet as going away.
– Vincent Napoleon
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To Gate or Not to Gate? THE PROS AND CONS OF GATED COMMUNITIES
It seems like every time we turn around in Naples, another
both stricter and more expensive than those for ungated neighborhoods. That can be a good thing, as it leads to a very clean, homogenous look in the neighborhood thanks to the HOA’s high standards. However, if you’ve got something elaborate planned for your front lawn, you might feel like the rules stifle your creativity. feel insular even though the rest of the world is just outside the neighborhood’s gate. If you choose to live in one, be prepared to become part of a tight-knit community where everyone knows each other well. Of course, this isn’t exclusive to gated communities, but living under strict HOA rules and with fewer visitors driving through has a way of bringing people together, like it or not. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS Gated communities can sometimes
COST VS. VALUE According to the American Real Estate Society, homes in gated communities are worth an average of $30,000 more than those in neighborhoods without gates. That means you’ll likely pay a higher price up front, but your home might also retain its value better in the long run. Alternately, gated communities can have restrictions that discourage growth, which could keep property values down. As our fellow Florida real estate agent Kase Ellers put it in a Forbes article, “Diversity with nearby homes often allows for more opportunity for sales price growth that gated communities often never see.” THE HOA HUSTLE While nearly all quality neighborhoods have homeowners’ associations (HOAs) with rules and fees attached, gated community HOAs tend to be
neighborhood is putting up a gate. No doubt, gated communities are trendy, and, according to ScienceDirect, their popularity is booming outside of Florida, too. Still, buying property behind closed doors comes with a few pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider before you choose a neighborhood to call home. SAFETY OR CONVENIENCE? Gated communities are widely considered safer than non-gated ones, as the guard stations, fences, and gates deter criminals. However, some people find those safety measures more inconvenient than comforting. Gated communities sometimes restrict guests or require residents to call in with permission for them to enter, which can be a hassle for those who regularly entertain.
THE WORLD’S WACKIEST HOMES Designed by Their Owners
It doesn’t always take a master architect to create a breathtaking home. Some homeowners have shunned suburban domiciles and, with a little artistic vision and a lot of determination, built homes that capture their identities. Quirky, meticulously constructed, and always unique, here are a few of the world’s wackiest homes designed, and sometimes built, by their owners. FREEDOM COVE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA When someone says they live on the water, they probably don’t mean they actually live on the water. But for artists Wayne Adams and Catherine King, the statement is literal. Freedom Cove, their remote, magenta-green island home, floats in Clayoquot Sound near
resident Steve Rood was going for. The staircase looks like human vertebrae, skeletal hands act as towel hooks in the bathroom, and tendril-like fixtures surround the living room couch. Perhaps the most out-of-character addition to the house is a large mural of the bat symbol painted on the garage door, which is the origin of the property’s name. HOBBIT HOUSE, INVERNESS-SHIRE, SCOTLAND Surprisingly, Stuart Grant’s cozy forest cottage was not inspired by the hobbit holes of “Lord of the Rings.” In fact, Grant built it over 15 years before the first movie was released. Still, it’s hard not to imagine some magical creature taking up residence in this house, which appears to be an extension of the forest itself. Gnarled tree trunks frame a circular door, moss coats the roof, and ivy covers most of the walls, all belying a cozy interior fit for many a hobbit meal or dwarf song. These homes may not be for everyone, but that’s kind of the point. Each of these homes was built by a specific resident, for a specific resident. Still, you can’t help but be impressed by the determination of their owners to make something truly one of a kind.
Vancouver Island. They started building it from old, interlocking steel docks in 1991, and now it includes 15 platforms, four greenhouses, a guest house, an art workshop, and more. BAT CASA, SAN MIGUEL, MEXICO The best word to describe this home is probably “anatomical.” That’s certainly the aesthetic movie set designer and Bat Casa
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THE COAST OR THE COURSE? A Homebuyer’s Dilemma
If we had to pick just two things that Naples is famous for, they would be the excellent golf courses and spectacular sunsets, which dip right into the Gulf of Mexico. These two wonders draw people in from across the country and around the world, and, after living here for years, we understand the magnetism. However, if you’re planning to buy a home in Naples, it’s wise to choose a priority. Yes, you can enjoy a day on the green and then head to the beach to watch the sun go down, but securing views of both from your backyard is a bigger ask. If you’re debating your options, we’ve got a few tips that might help. THE COAST When most people think about life in Florida, they picture strolling on the beach and looking out at the ocean, so it’s no wonder that homes with views of
THE COURSE With more than 70 golf courses in Collier County alone, it’s clear that Naples is a bit obsessed with its backswing. Locals constantly debate the best courses, and retirees choose the city for its greens alone. As GOLF magazine put it, “From mid-January to early April, golfers won't find too many places on the continent with a better combination of sun and sand (bunker and beach) than Naples.” That said, there are a few downsides to living on a golf course, like destructive flying balls and limited privacy. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with the coast or the course. Both options promise stunning views, high property values, and a quality of life that can’t be beat.
the coastline are in high demand. Not many things in life can beat waking up to the sound of the sea and the smell of salt air, then walking right out of your door and onto the sand. The Gulf of Mexico checks all of those boxes, and it offers one of the world’s best views when the sun goes down. Homebuyers should note, though, that coastal homes are at greater risk of damage from tropical storms and rising sea levels than inland ones.
TAKE A Break
Cacio e Pepe
1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve. • 6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano • 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino • Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste DIRECTIONS
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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KIMBERLY VINCENT LUXURY REAL ESTATE
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Where the Rubber Meets the Road Inside This Issue 1 2 2 3 3 4 Should You Buy in a Gated Community? Crazy Homes Not Built by Architects Golf vs. Gulf Cacio e Pepe An Excursion in the Pennine Alps
An Alpine Excursion TOUR MONTE ROSA
Nestled between Italy and Switzerland, Monte Rosa is the second highest peak in the Alps, making it one of the best views in either country and one of the more physically demanding ascents in the mountain range. In the late summer and early fall, tourists and locals alike tour Monte Rosa to pay their respects to the peak and to be challenged by the cross-country trek over the mountain. The full tour of the mountain is a nine-day journey that starts in Switzerland and crosses quickly over into Italy, winding its way through both countries before eventually returning trekkers to their starting point. The out-and- back path is the most popular route, though there are other ways to approach it. However you go, you’ll encounter massive glaciers, rigorous 1,000-meter ascents and descents, and breathtaking views that are sure to make this journey memorable.
For accommodations, opt for charming mountain huts to immerse yourself in the true Alpine experience. You can book them in advance to guarantee your bunk and a dinner of spaetzle or lasagna, depending on which country you’re in that night. Unless you’re traveling with an experienced mountaineer, a guide is recommended for touring Monte Rosa, even if you only plan to traverse a small section of the mountain. Weather can vary greatly and change quickly in this region, so you never know when you’ll encounter ice or snow, which can lower your visibility. Toward the top of the peak, you’ll even have an opportunity to cross a sprawling glacier, and having a guide will ensure you have the necessary equipment for a safe trip. On top of the spectacular views, you can expect a beautiful blend of cultures and an experience unlike any other on your tour of Monte Rosa. Plus, you may even get to see a few Swiss cows or mountain goats along the way!
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