Friendly small town real estate transactions

May 23, 2015 -- Two days ago, six of us sat around the table in Michelle's conference room, laughing and joking. Michelle explained each piece of real estate paperwork.   J looked relieved and happy as she signed the last document necessary from her, the seller, and then she said her goodbyes.  Then Pam explained each piece of the bank's paperwork to us; she did it smoothly and clearly.

The event was downright pleasant.  Afterwards, we went to the bank to wire money to the title agency.  Willy, the pretty bank manager, handled the wiring of the funds herself.  She, like everyone in that bank, was all smiles and very helpful.  We have never before experienced a bank quite like this one, Bank of the Islands, where everyone is always friendly and helpful -- where everyone knows our names.
Front entrance to the Coconut Drive house.  It reminds
us of Coconut Grove, in Miami-Dade.

Michelle at Realty Title Services has been friendly and supremely competent at handling both closings so far -- the sale of our land last month, and now our purchase of the house on Coconut Drive.  Last month's closing was a non-event, since we sellers signed our paperwork in advance of the buyers signing theirs.

This month's closing seemed almost like a party. Our realtor, Jim Hall, was present at the closing, even though he did not need to be there.  He certainly did add to the pleasant ambiance of the gathering at the table.  Every time there has been a little hitch or even a hint of a hitch in the progression of these transactions, he's been right there, solving the problem, paying attention, giving good advice.  We are thankful for his work thus far, and we're sure he will sell our Old Banyan Way home soon.  We are also thankful for all the help we're received from Jessica Elliott, Jim's brainy and bright assistant.  What a team they are!

We'd looked for the right house for us for years. We didn't find it.  That's why we'd decided to build one.  Then suddenly, Jim found the right house for us.  We bought it just as it was listed.  We give him full credit for knowing exactly what we wanted and for bringing the house to our attention immediately.

This will be the fourth house we've owned on Sanibel (three of which we've lived in).

Many years ago, when we bought our first house on Sanibel, it was in the same neighborhood where Michelle lived with her family.  Her house caught on fire.  The culprit was a coffeemaker gone bad. Michelle and her family needed a place to live in while extensive repairs were made.  We gave them our house, while we went back to Columbus for nine months.  When we returned to Sanibel, the house was just as we had left it -- only maybe even cleaner.

So even though we live farther apart now and we lose touch from time to time, we are still good friends with Michelle.  Her background as a paralegal is a perfect qualification for running a title agency.  Her impeccable handling of every detail made it possible for us to sit back and relax.  That's one of the main reasons this latest closing was so much fun.

The back of the Coconut Drive house.
We will begin moving some things to the Coconut Drive house on June 17, after J departs.  When she returns from that business trip, she will return not to Coconut, but rather to a house she bought in Fort Myers.  She's only lived on Coconut since late 2004 (post-hurricane Charley).

We've lived on Old Banyan Way for 23 years. Moving, for us, is going to be daunting.  But I know we can do it.  We've already moved much furniture into a storage unit in south Fort Myers, in preparation for showing our home, which was definitely over-furnished.

Living in Gulf Pines has been a blessing.  It is a beautiful, natural, islandy place.  And so is the end of Coconut Drive.   There are fascinating, fine people in both neighborhoods.  We're ready to move on. Ready to move on.


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