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The beginning ...

When Maria went into early retirement because of health reasons in May 2006 both of us decided to stay the winter in warmer regions.

Our first choice was Southern Europe for distance reasons, of course. We had been thinking about Spain for some time already.
But if you decide to buy a property in a foreign country it is always better to speak the language. As both of us were not up to learning Spanish Spain was out of the question.

We always enjoyed travelling the States, especially Florida.

So we decided to give it a try, i.e. we rented a house in Cape Coral for 7 weeks.
The "Villa Eulennest" (Villa Owl's Nest) was a very good choice for a start. Though it was built on a "dry lot", i.e. it was not situated at a canal, the owner had decorated it with that much love that we felt at home instantly.

Our property manager Martin who was a realtor as well told us about the different type of houses / lots and their advantages and disadvantages.
He showed us examples for the different lots:

- a "Dry lot"
is a property which does not have any adjoining canal, this means the view is limited and the neighbor in the back is pretty near;

- "Canal lot"
describes a lot situated at a saltwater or freshwater canal; the advantage of these lots is that the neighbor in the back is on the other side of the canal, the view is wider;

- "River lot"
that is a lot at the Caloosahatchee River; these lots are liable to get flooded during high winds and hurricanes; the neighbor in the back can be seen with binoculars only, of course;

- a "Golf lot"
is at the Golf of Mexico, i.e. a sea lot; the maximum what you may wish for regarding view and privacy but also with a high risk of flooding during a storm or hurricane.

Unfortunately all houses, except the dry lots, were unaffordable for us in 2006/2007.

At the end of 2007 the American housing and realty crisis started. That was the time we started to reconsider buying a house in Cape Coral.
At the start our choices were very different: Juergen preferred newer houses with cathedral ceilings, Maria was looking for canal houses because she liked the view and the privacy, the age was not very important.

Juergen expected an older house to be in need of a lot of repairs and remodelling. Here our realtor Martin got tricky: he rented a house to us which had been built in the sixties before we made our final decision. This house had been kept in perfect shape. Now the number of choices increased immensely and we were more on the same level what we were looking for!

We put a lot of effort into choosing a house, i.e. we chose objects on www.realtor.com. Next we had a look at the Cape Coral map where the lot was, which exposure the house had and drove by.

As we were not sure if tenants really would be moving out in case we bought the house we refrained from looking at these houses mostly.

If we liked a house we called Martin to make an appointment.

That's how we found our new winter home "Kensington's Home" in 2008, and we still love it here.