Welcome to the Livin The Dream Team Blog

If you're looking for real estate tips and the most up-to-date real estate trends in Marco Island and Naples, you are in the right place. From market trends to local events, and happenings our team is here to help navigate you every step of the way.

March 22, 2023

The Top 5 Reasons Why a Good Real Estate Agent Can Make All the Difference in Your Home Search

Buying a new home can be one of the most significant financial decisions a person can make. It is a process that involves many steps, and it can be overwhelming without the right guidance. This is where a real estate agent comes in handy. A real estate agent can help you navigate the home buying process, negotiate with sellers, and find the right home that meets your needs and budget. However, finding the right agent can be just as important as finding the right home. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of finding the right agent in finding a new home.

1. Knowledge of the local market

A real estate agent who is familiar with the local market can help you find the right home faster. They know the neighborhoods, school districts, and market trends in the area. They can also help you narrow down your search based on your needs and preferences. For example, if you are looking for a home with a large backyard, an agent can direct you to neighborhoods that have larger lots.

2. Negotiating skills

Real estate agents are skilled negotiators. They can negotiate with sellers on your behalf to get the best possible price for the home you want. They can also negotiate on other terms, such as repairs, closing costs, and other contingencies. An agent who is experienced in negotiation can help you save money and time during the home buying process.

3. Access to off-market properties

Some sellers prefer to sell their homes off-market, meaning they do not list their homes on the MLS. An agent who has been in the business for a while may have access to off-market properties that are not available to the general public. This can give you an advantage in finding the right home before it hits the market.

4. Professional network

Real estate agents work closely with other professionals in the industry, such as home inspectors, appraisers, and lenders. They can recommend professionals who are reliable and trustworthy. This can save you time and money when it comes to finding the right professionals to help you with your home purchase.

5. Paperwork and legal knowledge

Buying a home involves a lot of paperwork and legal documentation. An experienced real estate agent can guide you through the paperwork and ensure that all legal requirements are met. They can also help you understand the terms of the contract and explain any legal jargon that you may not be familiar with.

In conclusion, finding the right real estate agent is crucial in finding the right home. A good agent can help you navigate the home-buying process, negotiate on your behalf, find off-market properties, and recommend professionals who can help you with your purchase. When looking for a real estate agent, be sure to ask for referrals, read reviews, and interview multiple agents to ensure that you find someone who understands your needs and is experienced in the local market. With the right agent by your side, buying a new home can be a much smoother and more enjoyable process.


Posted in Buying a House
July 5, 2022

8571 Pepper Tree Way, Naples, FL 34114

Check out this new listing in Fiddlers Creek, an award winning gated community in Naples, Florida, near Marco Island, Florida.

It is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a 2 car garage. It comes completely furnished, all you need are a few beach clothes, flip flops and your toothbrush.

Fiddlers Creek amenities are second to none. Pools, full service spa, tennis, restaurants, work out room, golf courses and the list goes on. Residents of Fiddlers Creek love the location. It is close to downtown Naples and Marco Island. The beach is only a 15 minute drive which ever way you go. Naples is famous for it's shopping, eating and the Naples Pier. Marco is famous for it's white sand beach, fishing in the Ten Thousand Keys and laid back lifestyle. Either way you go, you will find the perfect fit for whatever you want to spend your leisure hours doing 

Posted in Naples Lifestyle
June 21, 2022

Our second book "The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your Home"

Garrett and I are excited to announce our second book "The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your Home" out on Amazon June 22. It is a follow up to our first book "The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home" published last year.  We look forward to working together with 15  other Real Estate agents from across the United States  to put this book together. Learn about insiders secrets from successful agents from across the country on how to buy your vacation or investment property. You can join us for the live feed launch on facebook June 22nd. We are humbled to a part of this experience and hope you all can join us.


Link: https://tthst1.leadpages.co/garrett-and-donna-sandell/

Posted in Buying a House
May 10, 2022

Ranked: Top Private Schools In Naples, FL

Ranked: Top Private Schools In Naples, FL - Main Picture

Naples Private Schools


Naples, Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and sunny weather, but it also has a thriving educational scene. With several excellent private schools, Naples is an ideal place to raise your children. Whether you are looking for exclusive academics or a warm, nurturing environment full of opportunities for growth and exploration, you can find the perfect school in Naples. So, if you are thinking of moving or just want to learn more about the best private schools in Naples, be sure to check out all that this charming coastal city has to offer!

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Posted in Buying a House
April 17, 2022

The 9 Best Neighborhoods In Naples, FL To Live In (2022)

The 9 Best Neighborhoods In Naples, FL To Live In (2022)

Naples, Florida, is a natural gem tucked away on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. This area has some of the best neighborhoods in Naples, FL each with spectacular homes, impressive landscaping, and more. Naples, FL is located a mere minutes from high-end shopping and world-class golf courses.

Before you jump on board and begin moving to Naples, FL there are a few things to note about the neighborhood itself. 

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Posted in Buying a House
March 14, 2022

Living On Marco Island Florida: What To Know

Living On Marco Island, FL

Marco Island Florida

If you want to live every day like you are on vacation, then Marco Island Florida is the place for you. Marco Island Florida, is actually a barrier island located off Southwest Florida in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest and only developed land in Florida’s well known Ten Thousand Islands. Joined to the mainland by bridges, just south of the city of Naples it is resort island living with all the amenities of urban living easily accessible just moments away. Who doesn’t want that? 

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Feb. 15, 2022

Top 5 Gated Communities in Naples, FL

Top 5 Gated Communities in Naples, FL

Gated Communities in Naples

Located just off the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is a dream destination for many families and retirees. Known as one of the best places to live in Florida, it’s known for the affluent lifestyle it affords, top-notch shopping options, and luxury estate homes. Naples offers everything you need if you’re looking for the ultimate resort-style living. Some of the nicest neighborhoods in Naples, FL, are the gated communities and all the amenities they offer. No matter what’s on your dream home wishlist, you can find it next to the sandy beaches of Southern Florida. Here are the top five best-gated communities in Naples, FL.

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Posted in Naples Lifestyle
Jan. 18, 2022

Why Naples Florida is a Great Place to Retire

Naples Florida Retiring

When many people think of retiring, the first place that comes to mind is Florida. While there are lots of great reasons why Naples, FL in particular is an ideal location for retirees, even those who aren't interested in living full-time in the sunshine state may want to consider spending their "golden years" here. Whether you're looking for a winter home, a vacation property, or somewhere to spend your retirement years, Naples, Florida is an attractive choice for many reasons.

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Posted in Buying a House
Dec. 29, 2021

2022 Housing Market Insights From the Experts

As we move into 2022, both buyers and sellers are wondering, what’s next? Will there be more homes available to buy? Will prices keep climbing? How high will mortgage rates go? For the answer to those questions and more, we turn to the experts. Here’s a look at what they say we can expect in 2022.

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist, First American:

“Consensus forecasts put rates at about 3.7% by the end of next year. So, that’s still historically low, but certainly higher than they are today.”

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com:

“Affordability will increasingly be a challenge as interest rates and prices rise, but remote work may expand search areas and enable younger buyers to find their first homes sooner than they might have otherwise. And with more than 45 million millennials within the prime first-time buying ages of 26-35 heading into 2022, we expect the market to remain competitive.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“With more housing inventory to hit the market, the intense multiple offers will start to ease. Home prices will continue to rise but at a slower pace.”

George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research, realtor.com:

“We also expect a growing number of homeowners to bring properties to market, taking some pressure off high prices and offering buyers more options.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American:

“Strong demographic demand will continue to act as the wind in the housing market’s sails.”

What Does This Mean for Buyers?

Hope is on the horizon for 2022. You should see your options grow as more homes are listed and some of the peak intensity of buyer competition starts to ease. Just remember, rising rates and prices are a great motivator for you to find the home of your dreams sooner rather than later so you can buy while today’s affordability is still in your favor.

What Does This Mean for Sellers?

Make no mistake – this sellers’ market will remain in 2022 as home prices are projected to continue climbing, just at a more moderate pace. Selling your house while buyer demand is so high will truly put you in the driver’s seat. But don’t wait too long. With more listings projected to become available, your ideal window of opportunity to stand out from the crowd won’t last forever. Work with an agent who knows your local market and current inventory conditions to ensure you have the support you need to make an educated and informed decision about selling in the coming year.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, 2022 may be your year. Partner with a real estate professional to discuss your goals and the unique opportunities you have in today’s housing market.

Dec. 22, 2021

The Benefits of Putting 20% Down Payment on a Home

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you’re probably wondering what you need to save for your down payment. Is it 20% of the purchase price, or could you put down less? While there are lower down payment programs available that allow qualified buyers to put down as little as 3.5%, it’s important to understand the many perks that come with a 20% down payment.

Here are four reasons why putting 20% down may be a great option if it works within your budget.

1. Your Interest Rate May Be Lower

A 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender you’re more financially stable and not a large credit risk. The more confident your lender is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the mortgage interest rate they’ll likely be willing to give you.

2. You’ll End Up Paying Less for Your Home

The larger your down payment, the smaller your loan amount will be for your mortgage. If you’re able to pay 20% of the cost of your new home at the start of the transaction, you’ll only pay interest on the remaining 80%. If you put down 5%, the additional 15% will be added to your loan and will accrue interest over time. This will end up costing you more over the lifetime of your home loan.

3. Your Offer Will Stand Out in a Competitive Market

In a market where many buyers are competing for the same home, sellers often like to see offers come in with 20% or larger down payments. The seller gains the same confidence as the lender in this scenario. You are seen as a stronger buyer with financing that’s more likely to be approved. Therefore, the deal will be more likely to go through.

4. You Won’t Have To Pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

What is PMI? According to Freddie Mac:

“For homeowners who put less than 20% down, Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is an added insurance policy for homeowners that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage.

It is not the same thing as homeowner’s insurance. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that’s required if you make a down payment less than 20%. . . . Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your monthly payment.”

As mentioned earlier, if you put down less than 20% when buying a home, your lender will see your loan as having more risk. PMI helps them recover their investment in you if you’re unable to pay your loan. This insurance isn’t required if you’re able to put down 20% or more.

Many times, home sellers looking to move up to a larger or more expensive home are able to take the equity they earn from the sale of their house to put 20% down on their next home. With the equity homeowners have today, it creates a great opportunity to put those savings toward a larger down payment on a new home.

If you’re looking to buy a home, consider the benefits of 20% down versus a smaller down payment. Lean on a professional for expert advice to help make your homeownership goals a reality.