Welcome to the Waterfront Wonderland Blog

Welcome to the
Waterfront Wonderland Blog

16 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Lender

Contact Drake Bliss at 239-910-1948 for help in locating a lender for your property purchase.


16 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Lender


16 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Lender

Loan terms, rates and products can vary significantly from one lending company to the next. Plus, how do you handle closings in the age of COVID-19?

General questions:

  • What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
  • Are your rates, terms, fees and closing costs negotiable?
  • Do you offer discounts for inspections, home ownership classes or automatic payment set-up?
  • Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost and how long will it be required?
  • What escrow requirements do you have?
  • What kind of bill-pay options do you offer?
  • Do you do remote closings?
  • Explain the process of closing with social distancing.

Loan-specific questions:

  • What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowner*s insurance, property taxes, etc.)?
  • Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
  • Who will service this loan*your bank or another company?
  • How long will the rate on this loan be locked-in? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during the lock-in period?
  • How long will the loan approval process take?
  • How long will it take to close the loan?
  • Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?
  • How much will I be paying in total over the life of this loan?

Source: National Association of Realtors®


Contact Drake Bliss at 239-910-1948 for help in locating a lender for your property purchase.

16 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Lender

Contact Drake Bliss at 239-910-1948 for help in locating a lender for your property purchase.   [pdf-embedder url="https://www.waterfrontwonderland.com/wp-content/uploads/securepdfs/2020/12/16-Questions-to-Ask-When-Choosing-a-Lender.pdf" title="16 Questions to Ask...

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Cape Coral Boat Ramps

Boat Ramp Sign
Cape Coral has both saltwater and freshwater boat ramps. Click here to see the Cape Coral Boat Ramps Locations.

Bridge Heights in Southwest Florida

Please use this interactive Google Map to check bridge heights for areas that interest you. If you see any errors or if you have additions, please contact Drake Bliss at 239-910-1948. Please do not use this map for navigating, you to to verify all information for accuracy.

Waterfront Restaurants in Southwest Florida

Please use this interactive Google Map to locate waterfront restaurants in areas that interest you. If you see any errors or if you have additions, please contact Drake Bliss at 239-910-1948.

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)


Have you been dreaming about a warm sunny climate with lots of sun and fun?

If so, Southwest Florida is a “Waterfront Wonderland” and a place where this dream can come true. Please visit the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) to find out how you can get here to see for yourself.

Cape Coral Water Quality

Cape Coral Water Plant

How does Cape Coral treat the source water to make is drinkable?

Cape Coral uses a reverse osmosis (RO) system to treat its source water. The RO plant can produce 15 million gallons of potable water per day. This makes the Cape Coral RO plant one of the largest in the United States. Cape Coral is committed to providing safe, reliable, high-quality drinking water.

What are Lakefront properties?

Lakefront Property

These properties can be either on saltwater or freshwater lakes. Prices vary according to accessibility, and location, location, location as well as view, view, view!

What are Riverfront properties?

Riverfront Properties

These properties front the Caloosahatchee, Myakka, Imperial and/or Orange Rivers and afford the widest views.

What are the Flood Zones in Lee County?

Flood Damage

Lee County has been divided into Flood Zones to signify the degree of flooding that might occur. Information on Lee County Flood Zones can be found at Flood Insurance Rate Map Flood Zones.

What does Direct Access mean?

Direct Access

These properties are also called “Sailboat Access” properties and offer “No Low Bridge” access to the Gulf of Mexico. The Cape Coral and Mid-Point bridges are approximately 55′ high but we would still refer to a property that must pass under it as “Sailboat Access”. There are also power lines at the end of Cape Coral Parkway and the Bimini Canal that restrict mast height to less than 55 feet in height. These areas are still considered direct access since they are not behind a road bridge that would restrict height from 12′ to 24′. See the Bridge Heights in Southwest Florida Blog Post

What does Freshwater mean?


These properties are located on canals, basins or lakes but do not have access to the river and the Gulf of Mexico. The freshwater canals are separated form the saltwater canals by a “Weir”. A weir resembles a low concrete dam or spillway. An example of a weir is shown here. As water flows into the freshwater canals from rain, the overflow will spill over into the saltwater canals. You can not take a boat over the weirs.

What does Golf Course Area mean

Golf Ball

Many properties in a Golf Course Area will offer direct frontage on a golf course. Golf is a very popular activity here in Florida. There are many golf courses to choose from in Southwest Florida and living on the course is a golfer’s dream come true!

What does Gulf Access mean

Boating Lifestyle

Gulf Access properties offer access to the river and to the Gulf of Mexico. The boater may need to travel under one or more low bridges (7 to 24 feet high at mean low tide) and the boat height is restricted, however, the boat length is not restricted. See the Bridge Heights in Southwest Florida Blog Post

What does Off Water mean?

Off Water

Off Water properties are the most plentiful properties in the area and they do not front any waterfront. The values of off water property depends on the availability of utility services like water and sewer and the proximity to other amenities like shopping, grocery stores, hospitals, schools, restaurants and other entertainment areas.

What does Restricted Access mean?

Restricted Access

The usage of the term Restricted as it applies to water access will mean different things to different people and real estate agents. A Restricted properties probably will offer access to the Gulf of Mexico, but the boater may need to travel under a bridge or power line and the boat size is restricted in height. The depth of the water may also be a restriction for boating. Also, some areas require the boater to travel over a boat lift or through a boat lock.I am a waterfront experts in this area and I will usually have the local knowledge to determine the boating restrictions that apply for a particular piece of property. Call me at 239-910-1948 with your questions.

What does Seawall mean?


Most properties with access to the Gulf of Mexico require a seawall to be built when the home is constructed. Freshwater properties are not required to install a seawall upon construction of a home. However, a sewall is usually the best practice. The cost for a seawall can cost $100+ per foot to have installed. If the lot has large trees that need to be removed the cost can increase. A concrete dock can be added that will also increase the cost of a seawall. Wooden docks and boat lifts can then be attached to the seawall.

Local Seawall Builders

WB Williams Brothers Seawalls, Repairs 239-283-2013, New 239-283-0341, info@wbdocks.com, http://www.wbdockbuilders.com/services

What is a Boat Dock and Boat Lift?

Boat Lift

A boat dock is a wood and/or concrete platform that gives a person access to their boat. The boat dock may or may not have a boat lift attached. A boat lift resembles a forklift that picks the boat up out of the water. The lift usually comes in sizes that denote the maximum number of pounds that can be lifted. Most boat lifts are rated for 5,000, 7,000 or 10,0000 pounds of lifting capacity. Many homes may include a boat lift behind the house to lift a boat out of the canal. Keeping your boat stored on a boat lift will help keep the bottom clear of barnacles and other marine organisms. This boat lift has also has a boat canopy to keep the sun off the boat while being stored.

What is the Chiquita Boat Lock in Southwest Cape Coral?

Chiquita Boat Lock SW Cape Coral

Hours of Operation: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. After Hours: Phone the lock operator at 239-542-5661 one half hour prior to usage.

The Chiquita Boat Lock provides Gulf access from Camelot Canal and Southwest Spreader Waterway into the ICW via the Caloosahatchee River and is located approximately 2.75 statute miles from the Sanibel Causeway Bridge. This boat lock is operated by the Marine Services Division of the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department to help manage boat traffic and water levels. The boat lock in the Southwest Cape Coral was constructed in the 1970’s to prevent saltwater intrusion into the Southwest Cape Coral canal system. The boat lock can accommodate boats up to 70 feet long, 16 wide and a 5 foot draft. With the explosive growth in the Southwest area there is a push to have the lock removed.

What is the Boat Lock in South Gulf Cove?

Boat Lock SGC

The community of South Gulf Cove (SGC) has 126 navigable canals totaling approximately 55 miles. The waterways make up nearly 1/3 of ALL the canals in Charlotte County. Theses canals lead to a boat lock providing access to the Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. The boat lock is self operated.

What is a Canal frontage property?

Cape Coral Canals

Southwest Florida is a Waterfront Wonderland with hundreds of miles of saltwater and freshwater homes, condos and land. Cape Coral, for example, has over 400 miles of saltwater and freshwater canals. The widths of the canals are from 50 feet to over 250+ feet. The depth of most canals are dredged from 5 to 10 feet in the middle of the canal. Some of the wider canals are 12 to 18 feet deep in the center. The value of the property is affected by the distance to get to the Gulf of Mexico, width of the canal and the view it affords of an intersecting canal, lake or basin. Drake Bliss is your local waterfront expert, call Drake at 239-910-1948 to discuss your boating needs.