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Beware of Email Phishing Websites!

This blog post details a very sophisticated phishing scam I got in my email. Below is the email chain I received from the scammer asking about New Homes. I responded to their cryptic 1st email and this email message is their response.


Good day Drake,

Sorry for my late reply i was away for New year celebration and medical surgery. I’m ready to purchase my new Year home. Please find new listing and letter from lender below.

HOME LISTING’S <— This was a link to the phishing website
PRE-EQUAL <— This was a link to the phishing website

Hope to chat soon.

Jonathan Brown.
(719) 398-0941 <— This Phone rings to an anonymous number


When I click on one of the secure web https links in the email, I got the web page shown below.

When I click on one of the email login buttons shown on the website, I got the web page shown below.

The image looks exactly what a Google login page would look like, however, if I continued and enter my email address and password, I could be giving the scammer full access to my email account.

One way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you add the 2-Step Verification for your email login access.

Here are the links to get 2-Step Verification for several popular email services.

Office 365 2-Step Verification

Outlook 2-Step Verification

Google 2-Step Verification

Yahoo 2-Step Verification

AOL 2-Step Verification

Facebook 2-Step Verification

I hope the above information can help you avoid having your email address stolen from you!

Even in Florida, you can freeze your credit!

Sleep Sound

Sleep Sound – Freeze your Credit!


Security freezes, also known as credit freezes will restrict access to your credit information making it difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. A recent law that went into effect on September 21st, 2018, you can now freeze and also unfreeze your credit file for free. You also can get a free freeze for your children who are under 16 or an incapacitated adult if you are their guardian, conservator or have a valid power of attorney.
Use the links below to check to see if your information was comprised in the Equifax Data Breach. put a credit freeze on your credit at the three major credit reporting bureaus.

Assigning Categories in the MLS Portal

MLS Portal Selections

I wanted to share a helpful tip when reviewing properties sent to you from the MLS Portal searches. When you get a listing to see via email, click on the property link. After evaluating the listing, you can select the “Heart Icon” located in the upper right of the window, once selected a menu will pop-down and shows you three options. The three options are shown in the image above.
You can use the “Save as Favorite” selection to add a red heart icon that signifies that you like the property.
You can use the “Save as Possibility” selection to add a yellow heart to signify to sort of like the property and need to research it further.
You can also use the “Discard Listing” selection to add a “Trash Can” icon to signify that you do not like the property.
The search results in the Portal can be searched by theses categories. You can change a listing’s status by selecting the “Heart Icon and again and making a different selection. When you discard a listing, you will no longer get status updates for it in emails.
Other Link: Finding your Favorites in the MLS Portal

Smile! You May Be On Camera

Camera Outside     Camera Inside

To help you understand Florida law with respect to home surveillance devices you should know the following: Florida law requires the consent of all parties to record telephone calls or in-person conversations, including videotaped conversations that capture sound.

Many homes have security cameras that also record any conversations you may have while in the home and all parties must consent to that recording. If there is only video recording in a home, it is permissible as long as written notice is clearly given on the premises or the recording device is immediately obvious. You may be recorded inside or outside a Seller’s property and you should receive a disclosure of such recording.

Just because you do not see a camera does not mean they are not there. So consider what you say and comment on carefully. You do not want to offend the Seller or tip your hand on your interest in the home before negotiations to purchase begin. The Seller should disclose the presence of video or audio recording devices, however, you can not count on this and need to behave as though you are under surveillance when inside someone’s home.

How to Measure Carpet


It is important that you get the correct carpet measurements for your project before going to the flooring store. Most flooring retailers will have overstock that they call “remnants”, these left over pieces can be purchased at greatly discounted prices and work great if you have individual room that need carpeting.

One option is to have a local flooring retailer professional come to your home and evaluate the amount of carpet you will need. This is the least desirable option as the retailer may not give you the measurements they used to arrive at the carpet square yards needed and may have financial incentives to over sell you.

A better option is to contact a local carpet installer to come to your house for the carpet measurements. This assures you that the carpet installer that performs the measuring will know how to optimize for installation.

You can do the carpet measuring yourself. You may need to draw a detailed diagram or use a floor plan for your home. This will help the flooring wholesaler to determine the square yards of carpet required for your installation. Do not be intimidated by measuring yourself. You will need a tape measure or electronic measuring device, notebook, calculator, and a pen/pencil. See the links below if you need to purchase these items.

You will need to draw a diagram of the area(s) to be carpeted in order to determine the amount of carpet needed. This diagram is used for estimation purposes plus carpet layout, to account for doorways, carpet seam placement, traffic patterns, hallways and closets. If you feel unsure about your diagram and layouts, ask the flooring retailer or installer to come to your home for a site inspection, and to confirm your calculations.

Keep in mind, carpet is manufactured in variety of widths, the most common is 12 foot wide rolls. This is important to note because just measuring the dimensions of a room may not provide an accurate representation for the amount of carpet needed. For example, an 11 foot by 10 foot room provides an area of 110 square feet, extra length should be added if you will be carpeting the door threshold and/or closet spaces. For carpet manufactured in 12 foot widths, 110 square feet equals 12 foot width by 10 foot length of carpet (add more as required for door openings). Purchasing only 110 square feet of carpet may result in having a piece that will not fit your room or a good deal of seaming. In this case, 120 square feet of carpet would be required to properly install an 110 square foot room. Keep in mind that the direction of the carpet pile or pattern must remain the same throughout the installation.

These rules should be considered in your calculations:
Seams should not fall in a doorway.
Measurements for rooms should start in the center of the door threshold, not the base of the wall.
Patterned carpet, such as Berber will require an additional 10% of carpet for pattern matching.

In closing, you can measure yourself or call in a professional. New carpet will make your home look and smell new again.

Salt Water Pools

Most pools use liquid chlorine to sanitize the pool water. Some people prefer using salt to sanitize the pool water. Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt. There are two parts that make up a salt water system. The chlorine generator uses electrolysis to convert the saltwater to chlorinated water. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilizes added salt and a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of liquid chlorine. The control module reports current salt level and calculates how much salt needs to be added to the pool to maintain proper chlorination.

We bought our salt water system in May of 2013 at The Recreational Warehouse store in Fort Myers. We had a local pool service company install it. We like the saltwater system much better than the old liquid chlorine method. We find the water better for swimming in and the chlorine levels have been easier to maintain than our previous method.

As a REALTOR® out looking at homes, I see a lot of saltwater control modules severely damaged by the sun. The control module is one the most expensive parts of the saltwater system. To protect this part from the sun, I suggest you place a sunscreen over the module. The sunscreen can be as simple as using an old piece of a thick sheet or pillowcase to cover the plastic control module. What I did to make a sunscreen was to first cut a hole on each side of a pillowcase near the top. Next, I attached the sunscreen over the top of the module (between the mounting bracket and the wall) using the mounting screws.

See the images above for our saltwater system, the module looks near new after many years and it gets direct sunlight all afternoon.

Seawall Maintenance and Inspections

Hurricane Irma caused damage to many seawalls in Southwest Florida. The images above of seawall damage in Cape Coral all happened during or after Irma.

When purchasing a waterfront property with a seawall, you should hire a professional seawall inspector to evaluate the present condition.

The seawall is an expensive and necessary part of your property and provides an important protective barrier that is most often ignored. If you own a property with a seawall, when was the last time you had a look at it? Have you ever had it professional inspected to determine it’s current condition or the life expectancy of your seawall? Do you have savings set aside to repair the seawall if and when it fails? Your seawall ages slowly over time and usually gives little or no warning that it is starting to fail. If the seawall fails it can take your backyard and possibly your pool or parts of your home right into the water.

Regular seawall maintenance is key, a properly maintained seawall can last from 30-50 years, if the seawall is not properly maintained you can expect to have to fail. If you haven’t had your seawall inspected recently and you are unsure about its condition, here are few ways for you to do your own routine inspection.

1) Do you see any visible cracks on the top cap or along the face of the seawall, are there any portions broken off?

2) Are your slabs leaning? Use a level to see if the top is uneven. If it is leaning toward the water, your deadmen tie-backs may have failed. If it is leaning toward the land, the bottom of the seawall may be kicking out.

3) Are there visible rust stains showing in the face. This is a sign the rebar inside the concete has been exposed to the air and water.

4) Are you losing soil behind the wall? Are there any holes next to the wall? This is usually the first sign you have a problem. This needs to be taken care of immediately, rain water should run off over the top of the seawall, not pool behind the seawall.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it is time to call in a professional evaluate your seawall. Seawalls are not typically covered by your insurance, so maintaining your seawall can help you avoid disastrous repair costs.

Welcome to the
Waterfront Wonderland Blog

Beware of Email Phishing Websites!

This blog post details a very sophisticated phishing scam I got in my email. Below is the email chain I received from the scammer asking about New Homes. I responded to their cryptic 1st email and this email message is their response. ---------------- Good...

read more

Finding your Favorites in the MLS Portal

I wanted to share a helpful tip for locating the properties you have assigned as "Favorites" in the MLS Portal searches.   When you access the MLS Portal, there is a row of menu options, to see the Favorite you have previous picked the menu item shown...

read more

Assigning Categories in the MLS Portal

I wanted to share a helpful tip when reviewing properties sent to you from the MLS Portal searches. When you get a listing to see via email, click on the property link. After evaluating the listing, you can select the "Heart Icon" located in the upper...

read more

Southwest Florida has Safe Cities!

Several of the cities I service in my real estate business made the top 20 safest cities. These are the towns of Cape Coral, Marco Island, Naples, Punta Gorda and Venice. Contact me to see homes, condos or lots in this and other cities. Visit this website for more...

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