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By Brian Arendes 239-823-3415 | Agent in Cape Coral, FL
  • "Florida Homes"-Free iPhone app

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Cape Coral, Home Buying in Cape Coral, Home Selling in Cape Coral  |  November 3, 2011 9:56 AM  |  928 views  |  1 comment

    If you looking for a home anywhere in Florida, try the FREE iphone app:"Florida Homes". It has a search function and mortgage calculators, plus a one touch feature to talk to or email the agent, me!

    Here is a link to it:


  • What’s with all these earthquakes?

    Posted Under: General Area in Cape Coral, Market Conditions in Cape Coral, In My Neighborhood in Cape Coral  |  August 25, 2011 10:27 AM  |  1,063 views  |  3 comments
    Here's an interesting article from Discover magazine...

    What’s with all these earthquakes?

    The Earth is trembling.

    A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Virginia on August 23 at 17:51 UTC. Twelve hours earlier, a magnitude 5.3 quake shook southern Colorado (I slept through it; it was 360 km away). On August 20, a magnitude 7.0 hit off the coast of eastern Australia, and another magnitude 7.0 earthquake took place in northern Peru on August 24 at 17:46 UTC, just a few hours ago as I write this.

    What gives? Are we seeing a swarm of related events? Is the Earth shaking itself apart?

    It’s easy enough to think so. But our brains are wired in a way that makes them easily fooled (proof). What we need to do is not panic — always a good start — and think this through. Happily, we have an exceptionally good tool for this sort of problem: science. Well, science and a tiny touch of math.

    Get me some stats, stat!

    You need to look at the statistics, and not by coincidence the United States Geological Survey provides them. When you look at the chart, you see that there is 1 quake per year somewhere on Earth that’s magnitude 8 or more. There are 15 between 7.0 and 7.9 every year, or on average about one every three weeks. Mag 6? 134 per year, or 2-3 per week. Mag 5: 1300 per year, or about 4 per day.

    Right away, you can see that there are going to be decent-sized earthquakes somewhere on Earth all the time. And while on average you get mag 7 quake every few weeks, in reality the distribution is random. Getting two of them within a few days of each other is not only not surprising, statistically speaking it’s expected!

    It’s unusual to get a quake centered in Virginia, but it’s not that odd. They’re rare for sure, but there was a bigger one in 1897. Colorado has had its share, too. Every state in the union has quakes; I remember one in Michigan when I was an undergrad at Ann Arbor. So in and of itself, having an earthquake anywhere in the US is not necessarily suspicious. Again, a chart on that USGS page shows that we should expect 50-70 mag 5 quakes a year in the U.S., so having two even on the same day is not all that unusual.

    It came from outer space

    So right away, the math is telling us that these quakes are probably not really clustered, and it’s a simple coincidence. Still, maybe it’s better to be sure. Could there be some other, unearthly cause?

    I’ve had a couple of emails and such asking if these earthquakes could be related to solar activity. The answer to that is: nope. First off, the Sun has been pretty quiet for the past couple of weeks, so that should be a tip-off that our nearest star isn’t to blame. Plus, Ian Musgrave at AstroBlog tried to correlate sunspots with earthquakes and came up empty. So the Sun isn’t to blame here.

    I know that there are conspiracy theorists out there trying to pin this kind of stuff on comets and things, but that’s just so much fertilizer as well. I debunked that idea years ago (and updated it here and here).

    Interestingly, a writer at DailyKos tried to pin the Virginia quake on fracking — a method of extracting natural gas from underground repositories, so calm down, Battlestar fans — but a different writer at DailyKos put that idea down. It doesn’t sound plausible to me, to be honest, if only because, as I point out above, earthquakes in Virginia aren’t unknown. But as the second DK writer points out, the causation the first writer is trying to find probably isn’t there.

    And somehow, I don’t think the east coast quake was caused by gay marriage. Or boobs.

    Plait tectonics

    So what is the deal then?

    What the science is telling me is pretty simple: what we have here is simply a restless planet coupled with our all-too-human nature of correlating events if they happen close in time or place. The latter isn’t surprising; it’s an evolutionary advantage to be able to pin an effect to a cause ("Hmmm, that rustle in the trees is probably a tiger. I’d better run."). That ability can be fooled, and get us in trouble as it might in the case of the apparently-clustered earthquakes, but in general it’s better to be able to put the horse before the cart than otherwise.

    And having a restless planet is a consequence of having a habitable one. Earthquakes and other tectonic events are a major threat to humans, but they are the trade-off of having a thin crust floating on a magma ocean. We may owe our existence to that fact; volcanoes built up our continents and helped create our atmosphere, and the liquid inner bits of our planet are what generate our magnetic field that protects us from the solar wind. Mars doesn’t have that, and over a few billion years the Sun eroded away that planet’s atmosphere. Continental drift helped drive evolution (separating species and forcing them to adapt to new environments), and hey, here we are.

    Trying to find some reason other than seismic activity for all this is natural, and as long as it’s done scientifically I have no problem with it. But I think in this case, it really all boils down to one simple thing:

    Shift happens.

  • 365 things to do in Cape Coral

    Posted Under: General Area in Cape Coral, Market Conditions in Cape Coral, In My Neighborhood in Cape Coral  |  July 27, 2011 6:36 PM  |  1,053 views  |  1 comment
  • Today: Cape to consider assessment on lots

    Posted Under: General Area in Cape Coral, Quality of Life in Cape Coral, Market Conditions in Cape Coral  |  June 27, 2011 8:24 PM  |  1,082 views  |  1 comment

    Today: Cape to consider assessment on lots

    District 1 & 2 infill parcels may face new $5,136-$6,750 ‘capacity reservation fee’

    Hugh Myers bought his home and the unimproved lot next door in 2001 not because he wanted the lot for an investment or to one day build something. Instead, he wanted to control what happened next door to his southeast Cape home and to some extent, control his level of privacy as a homeowner.

    Myers paid the assessment on the lot, now valued at $9,200. But if council approves a a proposed "infill assessment" for unimproved lots where utilities are available, Myers could be faced with another $5,000 - $6,000 - plus against future services he says he will never use. Should council go down that road, Myers said the city can expect a host of legal challenges, one of which will be his own. As of now, he just doesn't know if it will be with a law firm, a public interest group or a class action situation, he just know he's moving forward with a legal challenge.

    "I intend to move forward with a legal action if city council decides to levy another assessment," Myers said. "The only uncertainty is which avenue."

    Myers likens the proposal to "predatory government" and adds that the council is being "disingenuous" with its approach thus far.

    "They're hoping to sneak it in under the radar," he added.

    City council will decide if they want staff to continue moving forward with the proposal on Monday.

    Should they ultimately approve the proposal, it will reduce the projected water rate increase by 4.5 percent in 2012's third quarter, according to city documentation. Water rates are scheduled to increase by 8 percent if no action is taken.

    Should council decide to use the infill assessment in conjunction with a proposed shift in how the city handles its biosolids, rate increases could be slashed down to zero over the next two years.

    Either way, as it's proposed, lot owners will have the chance to pay those assessments via their tax bills over 20 years.

    Councilmember Pete Brandt said he hopes the council will move forward with the infill assessment, but said it's more akin to a "capital reservation fee" as lot owners are reserving their space in the system when, and if, they decide to build.

    "I think it's the best option we have right now," Brandt said.

    Councilmember Kevin McGrail said the assessment was truly an impact fee and, like Brandt, felt the assessment made sense.

    Unlike in the northern reaches of the city, where no pipe is in the ground, the pipe was laid in front of those lots in the south with the anticipation they would be used, McGrail said.

    "That's why it (the infill assessment) makes sense," he added.

    Councilmember Marty McClain suggested that the entire methodology was flawed from the jump, and the burden would likely fall on property owners like Myers, who never intended to use their lots for construction.

    "Based on how we set up the system, the numbers and the methodology used ... it never took into consideration someone never building on their lots," he said. "But the cost will continue to go up and the remaining portion of ratepayers will pay for something not to be built on that property."

    Correspondence he sent to city council members and the mayor went unanswered, Myers said.

    As he waits to see whether he'll be hit with 20 years of assessment payments, Myers said he will continue to monitor the decision, specifically the final wording of the assessment, if it goes that far.

    Monday doesn't represent city council's final decision, but even getting this far has made Myers feel as if he's being punished twice.

    "Why single out one category?" he asked. "It's because they think it's a politically weak category and we can't stand up to them. Well, I am going to stand up to them."

    City Council will meet Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber, City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

  • Economy to grow moderately through 2012

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Cape Coral, Home Buying in Cape Coral, Home Selling in Cape Coral  |  February 28, 2011 6:33 PM  |  1,005 views  |  No comments

    Industry economists say the U.S. economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace through next year, boosted by a rise in consumer and, especially, business spending – but joblessness is expected to remain high and the pace of the housing recovery will be sluggish.

    Read entire story...

    Economy to grow moderately through 2012

  • Economic stress falls to 18-month low

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Cape Coral, Home Buying in Cape Coral, Home Selling in Cape Coral  |  December 14, 2010 4:16 PM  |  1,016 views  |  No comments

    Good news article from Florida Realtors News...

    Read the whole story....

    Economic stress falls to 18-month low

  • Tax cuts will pass, Obama adviser says

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Cape Coral, Home Buying in Cape Coral, Home Selling in Cape Coral  |  December 14, 2010 4:14 PM  |  1,012 views  |  No comments

      The $858 billion package of tax cuts and jobless benefits that President Barack Obama and Republican leaders crafted will pass Congress without major changes despite a revolt among House Democrats, a top administration adviser said Sunday.

    Read the whole story...

    Tax cuts will pass, Obama adviser says

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