Paradise awaits you in the gated community of Falling Waters Beach Resort! Live like you vacation as you float down the lazy river offering waterfalls, tropical landscape and an exquisite resort feel. Take advantage of the large clubhouse with a full-size kitchen, dance floor, library and big screen TV. Looking for more adventure? Hit the tennis center, bocce courts, shuffleboard courts or take a stroll down the bike and jogging path. When you’re ready to call it a day, head back to your lakefront condo and cook out on your spacious screened lanai with summer kitchen as you watch the sunset over the lake with your loved ones. This getaway offers plantation shutters, a detached garage for your toys and electric hurricane shutters. Don’t miss you chance on this hidden gem perfectly located between the heart of Downtown Naples and Marco Island!
Joan and Bob Zaleski knew they wanted to spend their retirement flying, but factory-built planes were too expensive. So, they decided to build one themselves.
It took two years, four months, and eight days for the married couple to build the plane from the ground up. They say it’s a tough feat to accomplish, especially in that time frame. Some people start and never finish.
“It was a piece of cake,” said Bob Zaleski, 66, a former pilot for American Airlines, as he sat inside the pilot’s lounge at Naples Municipal Airport, steps away from the hangar housing their shiny white, red, and charcoal plane.
While the experienced pilot did confess that putting a plane together was more challenging than not, he also said he felt confident in their ability. He flew for 40 years as a commercial pilot and was a licensed aircraft mechanic.
His wife, Joan Zaleski, 59, spent decades working in general aviation.
To understand why they embarked on this journey, you have to know their story.
The Zaleskis met in the late ’70s at a flight school in Chicago. She worked in the office, and he was a flight instructor. He taught her how to fly a plane when she was 19.
After tying the knot, they knew someday they’d have a plane of their own.
Most every summer, they would attend AirVenture, an annual air show, which attracts thousands of aviation enthusiasts to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
“I would always come back from that pining for an airplane,” Bob Zaleski said.
They didn’t have a Sling 2 at the air show, so they flew out to California to take a ride in the model.
That sealed the deal. They would build a plane.
“We didn’t think about it for very long,” said Joan Zaleski. “We were off and running. We tend to fly by the seat of our pants. We never have much of a long-term plan.”
Originally from Illinois, the retired couple decided to sell their house and move down to sunny Naples in 2014.
“When we told our friends we were moving down to Naples and building a plane, they all thought we’d lost our minds,” Joan Zaleski said.
Her husband saw this as incentive.
“When you tell your friends something like that, well, you got to do it,” Bob Zaleski said.
The couple started the project in 2015, and spent at least 20 hours each week on the plane. They made sure to stock their work space with plenty of food, water and tools.
Amateur-built aircrafts are built by individuals and licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration as experimental, according to the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Costs range anywhere from under $10,000 to more than $100,000, depending on equipment and performance. A new factory-built Cessna 172 would cost more than $250,000, according to the association.
The Zaleskis spent $105,000 on their plane, which is set up with the latest GPS technology.
The Zaleskis saved money, but at a price.
The plane was shipped to them in a kit, which included a manual, and thousands of parts and 14,000 rivets, or fasteners.
“In that moment I thought, ‘What did we do?'” Bob Zaleski remembered.
“It was a little intimidating,” his wife said.
Despite the difficult task ahead of them, they moved forward, putting in the time and making friends along the way at the airport.
Sometimes, those friends would chip in, especially when it came tougher jobs, like placing the wings on the aircraft.
“A lot of the male pilots were surprised I, as his wife, was out here with him. They said they couldn’t even get their wives to fly in the plane,” Joan Zaleski said.
The couple documented their project from start to finish on a Facebook page titled Hangar 1404, which was created solely for the project. The page has more than 500 likes.
When Bob Zaleski turned on the engine for the first test flight, his wife, who stayed on the ground, took a Facebook live video to capture the momentous occasion for their family and friends.
She said she wasn’t really worried about her husband the first time he flew the plane.
“I was so excited,” she said. “I knew how we built the airplane, we know how it flies, and we did a lot of ground testing.”
Fast-forward to today, and the couple is flying everywhere. At least once a week. They’ve flown as far as Chicago for Thanksgiving, and around town. Sunset in Marco Island? No problem. The two just jump in the plane and take off, sometimes with their dog. The aircraft has some luggage space in the back.
Bob Zaleski said it’s pretty economical to fly their plane, which can travel up to 1,000 miles with one fill up of gas. As far as speed, they can go up to 130 miles per hour.
Now that they can fly, Bob Zaleski said he felt inspired to take it a step further and build a four-seater plane. But his wife was quick to say no.
“We want to be fliers, not builders,” Joan Zaleski said.
The couple hopes to fly for as long as they can.
“It’s so beautiful up there and really brings about our sense of adventure,” he said.
“It’s the ultimate freedom,” she added.
Stock Custom Homes, the luxury homebuilding division of Stock Development, continues to offer elegantly appointed residences at Quail West Golf & Country Club.
Stock recently began construction of its 6,064-square-foot Casa Bordolino model. The estate features furnishings by Sam Baker of Beasley and Henley Interior Design.
A blend of California casual and European charm, the Casa Bordolino estate will be a four-bedroom, four-and-two-half bath home. The grand estate will feature a library, great room, formal dining room, outdoor living area, and a four-car garage. The home will also include a master suite with separate his and her closets and baths.
The estate will have warm colors featured throughout, predominately creams and tans, enhancing the European charm. The main floor will be travertine laid in an old-world pattern accompanied by wide-plank wood flooring.
The kitchen will feature a 48-inch Majestic Range against a backdrop of custom tile backsplash in an ivory, gray and caramel pattern. A butler pantry will be equipped with an ice maker, warming drawers, sink, and dishwasher. Kitchen cabinets are planned to be a fawn shade with Carrara solid surface countertops, a porcelain farm sink, and bronze faucet.
The second floor, accessible by staircase or elevator, offers an entertainment area, game room with a bar and balcony view, and additional bedrooms and bathrooms. Finishes include wood floors and elements brought in by the light fixtures and soft lines of the iron stair railing.
Stock Custom Homes is working on custom estates on Marco Island, in Old Naples, Pine Ridge Estates, and the Wellington area of Palm Beach.
Online at stockcustomhomes.com.
Azure at Hacienda Lakes by Toll Brothers, leading builder of homes, is a new gated master planned community located in the Naples area. Azure will include more than 400 homes featuring all-new exterior designs and resort-style amenities.
This winter, homeowners will be able to enjoy Azure at Hacienda Lakes’ private residents’ clubhouse. The 9,000 square-foot amenity center will include a resort-style swimming pool, well-equipped fitness center, tennis courts, a flex room, and a social room with a catering kitchen. Its interior design theme will feature a neutral color palette highlighted by distinctive accent pieces, a combination of wood and tile, and patterned fabrics.
Chris Adams, Senior Project Manager for Azure at Hacienda Lakes, said construction is well underway on the clubhouse, with significant progress being made each week.
Azure at Hacienda Lakes offers three unique home collections, perfect for a variety of lifestyles, including coach homes priced from the mid-$300,000s, single-family Estate Collection homes priced from the upper $300,000s, and single-family Signature Collection homes priced from the upper $500,000s. Many of the community’s home sites feature water or preserve views.
The community is near Naples’ 5th Avenue South shopping district, beaches, golf courses and country clubs, and Artis–Naples – home of the Baker Museum and the Naples Philharmonic.
The Azure at Hacienda Lakes sales center and five decorated model homes, located at 8786 Saint Lucia Drive in Naples, are open daily. Visit AzureAtHaciendaLakes.com.
Additional Southwest Florida Toll Brothers communities include Bonita Lakes in Bonita Springs, Palazzo at Naples, and coming in summer 2018, The Isles at Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota. For more information, visit TollBrothersFlorida.com.
The Ronto Group’s gated Orange Blossom Naples community on Oil Well Road in North Naples is offering the combination of new single-family homes and a fully amenitized resort lifestyle from the $200’s. As planned, Orange Blossom will include approximately 1,600 residences at build-out. Fully developed buildable home sites are available. New single-family homes priced from the $200’s by Lennar Corporation and Pulte Homes offer a variety of floor plan choices. Furnished models by both Lennar and Pulte are open for viewing. Homebuyers have recognized Orange Blossom’s value. Nineteen sales have been processed since the end of March.
Pulte’s Orange Blossom offering includes nine one and two-story floor plans ranging from 1,674 to over 3,800 square feet base-priced from the low $300’s to the $400’s. Residences by Pulte feature 52 and 62-foot home sites with lake and garden views. The floor plans include two to six bedrooms and two or three-car garages. The plans’ gathering areas are perfect for entertaining. Flexible spaces are designed to allow working families to easily manage their busy home lives. Four distinctive exterior architectural styles are available.
Two furnished Pulte model homes are now open for viewing. A model featuring Pulte’s one-story, 2,684 square-foot Dockside floor plan is base-priced at $349,990.The floor plan includes three bedrooms, a den, two-and-a-half baths, and a pool. The one-story, 1,972 square-foot Canopy model floor plan features a gathering room, a café, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a pool and is base-priced at $297,990. A flex space can be used as a den, formal dining area, or fourth bedroom.
Homebuyers have expressed significant interest in Pulte’s Summerwood floor plan. The versatile open-concept 1,861 square feet plan offers two to five bedrooms and two or three bathrooms and is well-suited for families alike. The one-story plus an optional upstairs loft home design features an open kitchen with a center island that overlooks a gathering room that is well-suited to both entertaining and everyday living. Granite countertops and a walk-in pantry are included in the kitchen. The optional loft space features an additional bedroom and bath.The plan’s two-car garage includes an expanded area for golf cart parking or extra storage. The Summerwood floor plan is base-priced at $297,990.
Lennar’s furnished models showcase the homebuilder’s Executive and Manor home collections. One and two-story residences ranging from 1,677 to 3,857 square feet under air come with Lennar’s “Everything’s Included” pledge that provides extras and upgrades at no additional charge. Some of those features include brick pavered driveways and patios, tile roofs, granite countertops in the kitchen areas, GE stainless steel appliances, tile in the wet areas, and crown molding in the living areas.
Lennar’s Executive home collection includes six floor plans base-priced from the $200,000’s to the mid-$300’s. These residences provide 1,677 to 3,231 square feet under air with three to five bedrooms and two or three baths. The Manor home collection features five floor plans ranging from 2,244 to 3,867 square feet with pricing from the low $300’s to the low $400’s. The residences provide retreats within Orange Blossom’s fully amenitized ambiance. The floor plans offer four to six bedrooms, two to four baths, and two and three car garages. Lakefront home sites are available. Lennar’s Tivoli Manor home model features 2,267 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, including a master suite, three full baths, an open kitchen with breakfast nook, a family room, a separate formal dining room, a covered patio, and a three-car garage. The Tivoli floor plan is base-priced from $327,999.
From its landscaped gated entry feature, to its amenity complex, Orange Blossom has been created to provide opportunities for fun throughout the day. The setting offers an ideal environment for working families with children and for retirees who enjoy an active, healthy living experience. Two resort-style pools and a spa surrounded by palm trees and green spaces serve as the centerpiece of Orange Blossom’s amenity offering. Chaise lounges line the pool decks. Tiki huts and cabanas provide shady places to relax, or to enjoy a beverage from the outdoor bar. Two full-length basketball courts, a pair of tennis courts adjacent to the pool complex, a beach volleyball court, bocce ball courts, shaded picnic areas, children’s playgrounds, and a fishing pier at one of the community’s sparkling lakes offer additional possibilities for outdoor fun. A poolside Community Center includes a social room for gatherings and events, a catering kitchen, and a fitness center. The Community Center also features covered outdoor terraces for socializing with neighbors, family members, and guests.
Orange Blossom’s location provides a value to working families and retirees intent on enjoying a resort lifestyle while residing at a Naples address. K-12 schools, retail shopping venues, a grocery store, family restaurants, bars, a public golf course, and a planned regional park are minutes away.
The Ronto Group is also developing the Naples Square community in downtown Naples; the Seaglass high-rise tower at Bonita Bay; the new Omega tower that will be the final high-rise built within Bonita Bay; and the TwinEagles gated golf course community in North Naples. Ronto is now converting reservations to contracts for Phase I residences at Eleven Eleven Central, a new walkable/bikeable, access-controlled community to be built by the developer on Central Avenue between 10th Street and Goodlette-Frank Road in downtown Naples.
The Orange Blossom Naples Welcome Home Center at 1948 Oil Well Road is open daily. Visit OrangeBlossomNaples.com.
A sophisticated resort lifestyle is offered within the recently completed clubhouse at Milano Lakes, a new luxury apartment community off Collier Boulevard in South Naples.
“Milano Lakes is designed to encourage an active lifestyle with an abundance of opportunities for physical activities and social gatherings,” said Krys Hamilton, leasing specialist for Milano Lakes. “Our new residents will find the clubhouse the centerpiece of community life offering a variety of wonderful amenities.”
The clubhouse at Milano Lakes is a 5,488-square-foot building that reflects the influence of Mediterranean architecture. Facilities include a resort-style swimming pool and pool deck complete with cabana stripe market umbrellas. The well-equipped fitness center offers all of the most popular apparatus.
The interior was created by Design Group West with architectural ceiling details and a custom designed entertainment wall. A special feature is a built-in banquet seating detail for lounging and conversations around a full-size pool table. A sports court rounds out the amenities.
Located on a 23-acre site, Milano Lakes will include 296 apartment homes in eight buildings when completed, offering one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. Within the community, 96 detached garages are planned.
Occupants may choose from four floor plans, ranging from a one-bedroom design with 808 air-conditioned square feet and 889 total square feet, to a three-bedroom apartment home with 1,439 air-conditioned square feet and a total of 1,545 square feet.
Each unit includes laundry facilities, a master suite with a walk-in closet and dual sinks in the master bath, an island kitchen with a dining area, and a lanai. Elevators in each building make apartment access convenient.
Online at www.milanolakes.com.
Milano Lakes is being developed by an affiliate of FL Star, a conglomerate of real estate entities led by Gary Hains and David E. Torres.
Other projects by FL Star include Sapphire Cove, a new community of single-family homes off Collier Boulevard in Naples, and Arrowhead Reserve, a community of single-family homes in Immokalee.
FL Star also provides management services for commercial and industrial buildings for real estate owners and condominium associations including maintenance, collection of rents and financial reporting.
Naples Reserve, iStar’s 688-acre community of Southern Coastal-inspired attached villa, single-family and custom estate homes, has surpassed 300 home sales to push the community past the $150 million mark.
Naples Reserve is off to a strong start, with first quarter 2018 sales increasing 49 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.
Naples Reserve still has a select number of move-in ready homes available within Parrot Cay, Sparrow Cay, Savannah Lakes, Egret Landing and Mallard Point.
Parrot Cay is a neighborhood featuring a blend of single-family lake- and nature-view custom estate homes ranging from 2,811 to more than 5,000 square feet. Parrot Cay homes by Florida Lifestyle Homes, KTS Homes, Lundstrom Development, Marvin Development, McGarvey Custom Homes and Stock Signature Homes offer great room floor plans with outdoor living spaces starting from the high-$700,000s.
Located near Naples Reserve’s Island Club, Sparrow Cay offers one- and two-story home designs with open floor plans, flexible study space for personalization, optional summer kitchens and 2,384 to 3,516 square feet of living space. Sparrow Cay builders Ashton Woods and Stock Signature Homes offer designs with three or four bedrooms and up to four baths starting from the mid-$400,000s.
Savannah Lakes neighborhood features home designs, some with extended lanais, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces. The neighborhood’s one- and two-story homes offer three to four bedrooms and up to four-and-a-half baths, priced from the high-$300,000s.
Egret Landing is the community’s most popular neighborhood with its offering of lake- and nature-view single-family homes. Nearly 35 percent of Naples Reserve homebuyers selected from the collection of one- and two-story homes with three to four bedrooms and up to three-and-a half baths from Ashton Woods and D.R. Horton, starting from the low-$300,000s.
Mallard Point, a nature lover’s paradise, features three-bedroom floor plans with up to 2,200 square feet. Priced from the mid-$300,000s, the Ashton Woods-built homes feature secluded lake and nature preserve views.
Coral Harbor, Naples Reserve’s newest neighborhood of two-bedroom, two-bath attached villa homes introduced last year, is more than a third sold. Offering lake and preserve views, the D.R. Horton-built homes start from the high-$200,000s.
Created amongst 22 lakes and open water views, the 688-acre community emphasizes lakefront living. Lakes provide opportunities for using the community’s new Hydrobikes, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding, and scenic vistas. The community’s 125-acre Eagle Lake features a tiki hut on destination Kontiki Island and also offers a mile-long stretch of lakefront against the Picayune Strand State Forest, a 76,000-acre state park with protected pinelands, cypress swamps, marshes and abundant wildlife.
iStar has completed the community’s initial lakefront resort-inspired amenities, including the $7 million Island Club social center featuring a 5,160-square-foot clubhouse and an adjacent 3,500-square-foot fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and a movement studio for spinning, Zumba and yoga. Outdoors, a resort-style zero-entry pool offers dedicated lap lanes and room for relaxation.
Indoor and alfresco gathering areas at the Island Club include a lakeside fire pit and casual beverage and dining options at the Chat ‘n Chill Tiki Bar and Latitudes Cafe. At the Outrigger Center, a variety of watercraft options are available for residents’ use, as well as a flex-space available for game days, special events and other activities. Cruises on the community’s two Duffy electric boats depart from the center’s floating docks for residents to explore Eagle Lake and Kontiki Island. Naples Reserve also offers homebuyers along Eagle Lake the opportunity for a personal floating boat dock.
The lakefront Match Point complex, now open, offers residents access to five tennis and pickleball courts. Nearby, the Walk & Wag dog park provides a place for residents and four-legged friends to enjoy together. An additional dog park – Paws Awhile – is also planned, as well as a Kid’s Cove playground and picnic area and a linear park for biking, hiking and jogging. Navigating a loop road circling Naples Reserve, the park is designed to engage residents with their natural environment and provide an alternative mode of transportation throughout the community.
Naples Reserve residents receive complimentary one-year social memberships at Walker’s Hideaway Marina of Naples, a yacht club along the Gordon River offering a marina, indoor storage for 600 boats, two waterside restaurants, outdoor pool and sauna, and access to Naples Bay.
The South Naples community, Naples Reserve offers 16 fully decorated models available for viewing, built by Southwest Florida’s premier homebuilders, including Ashton Woods, D.R. Horton, Florida Lifestyle Homes, KTS Homes, Lundstrom Development, Marvin Development, McGarvey Custom Homes and Stock Signature Homes. Homes are priced from the high-$200,000s to more than $1 million.
Naples Reserve is located off U.S. 41, 2 miles southeast of the Collier Boulevard/CR 951 intersection and 10 minutes from I-75, Exit 101. Visit 14885 Naples Reserve Circle or online at www.naplesreserve.com.
Looking to buy a house in Florida? You might want to consider Collier and Lee counties, according to a recent survey.
Collier County ranked seventh among the best places to own a home in Florida versus renting, while Lee County came in 15th.
The question to buy or rent a home is the first hurdle for those looking to make a financially smart move.
Both options have their pros and cons, but a recent study by SmartAsset, a financial technology company, gathered data on average rents and home prices and compared buying to renting in every county in America to help those seeking to make a wise decision when moving.
SmartAsset’s study shows Collier’s average home price at $450,694. That translates to an average monthly mortgage cost of $1,712 for principal and interest. The average rent in Collier is $1,737, potentially making buying a wiser investment.
“This study looks at the time it takes for buying to become more cost-effective than renting,” said AJ Smith, vice president of Financial Education at SmartAsset. “So when the difference between the cost of buying and renting shrinks, the break-even year for a given county will drop as well. This helped Collier County rise in the rankings.”
In first place was DeSoto County, with an average home price of $131,112 and an average mortgage cost of $498 — almost a third of what it would cost to live in Collier, according to the study. The average monthly rent was $1,061.
Money ranked 100 cities to live in 2017. We based it off 170,000 data points. Here are the top 10.Time
The study compared the total costs of buying and renting a typical home or rental in each county, for a household earning $100,000 a year, according to the SmartAsset website.
For the “buy” scenario, SmartAsset made the following assumptions: a mortgage rate of 4.5 percent, closing costs of $2,000 and a down payment of 20 percent.
For each county, SmartAsset calculated the break-even point in the buy versus rent decision — the point at which the total costs of renting become greater than the total costs of buying.
For those buying in Collier, the study estimated a break-even point occurring 18 months after purchasing a home.
Of the top 10 best places to own a home in Florida, Collier was the priciest, doubling and tripling the costs of other counties.
This is the first time Collier made the top 10 list for this study. The study had been done since 2015.
Best places to own a home in Florida:
County Avg. Mth. Mrtg. Avg. Mth. Rent Avg. Home Price Rent vs. Buy Ind.
1. DeSoto $498 $1,061 $131,112 98.4
2. Okeechobee $469 $1,089 $141,259 98.4
3. Bradford $469 $986 $123,586 98.1
4. Washington $505 $975 $132,980 98.1
5. Jackson $525 $936 $138,300 97.7
6. Hendry $432 $1,116 $113,858 97.4
7. Collier $1,712 $1,737 $450,694 97.2
8. Gadsden $782 $1,357 $127,913 95.8
9. Hardee $486 $1,047 $127,913 95.6
10. Duval $772 $1,336 $203,316 95.5
TripAdvisor has released rankings of the “20 Best Places to Vacation in Florida” focusing on rental home vacation properties and Naples and Marco Island made the powerhouse list ahead of major cities like Orlando and Miami.
The 20 destinations featured are among the highest rated cities in Florida based on rental reviews on the website. To qualify the cities needed to have at least 1,000 traveler reviews and a minimum of 50 bookable vacation rental properties.
The award notes Naples has “lots to do,” highlighting shopping opportunities, the Naples Princess and Collier-Seminole State Park. Marco Island is praised for its “tropical climates and good times” and history, with the accolade mentioning Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and the Marco Island Historical Museum.
“As travel trends continue to show visitors crave authentic, engaging experiences, we know we can provide that to them here in Florida’s Paradise Coast,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There’s nowhere else in Florida that can provide our level of quality beaches paired with outdoor wilderness experiences in the Everglades as well as a vibrant dining scene, high-end shopping and world-class arts and culture. Choosing one of our many vacation rental properties lets families and groups of friends feel at home and experience the area like locals.”
The full article on “20 Places to Vacation in Florida – Where to Stay in the Sunshine State can be found at TripAdvisor Rentals.
This accolade adds to a list of recent recognitions. In 2016 and 2017, Naples/Marco Island was also:
- Ranked #1 “Happiest-Healthiest City” by Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index
- Ranked #11 “Happiest City in the U.S.” by National Geographic
- Named the “Best Beach Town to Live In” by WalletHub
- Ranked in the top 10 “Best Adventure Travel Destination in the United States” by U.S. Tourism Quality Index
- Ranked 3rd in “America’s Favorite Beach Towns” by Travel + Leisure
- Ranked 8th “Best Big City” in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler
- Awarded a 2017 Readers’ Choice Award by ConventionSouth