author Terri James: (239) 851-2356

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Lending guidelines have changed in recent years.  The following is a list of standard requirements for obtaining a mortgage.  However, once you are pre-approved, please check with your lender as additional information may be required:

 1)      Previous year personal tax returns: all pages, all schedules including W-2’s, 1099R and K-1

 2)      Most current year to date pay stub covering at least 30 days

 3)      Two months bank and brokerage statements on all accounts including retirement (all pages of all accounts)

 4)      If on disability, will need proof that it will continue for at least 3 years

 5)      If self employed, will need two year personal and business tax returns all pages, all schedules

 6)      Copy of all mortgage statements on property that you currently own

 7)      Copy of tax bills and insurance on all property that you currently own

 8)      If you own condos, verification of home owner association dues

 9)      Copy of fully executed sales contract

10)    Copy of cancelled earnest money check (once it has cleared your bank)

In Addition:  There are a few things you need to know while your loan is in process.  

Do NOT do the following:

1.  Do NOT open any new credit cards.  It doesn’t matter how much the department store will give you off your purchase.

2.  Do NOT make any major purchases, i.e. new car, boat, etc.  These purchases can keep you from getting the mortgage on your property, as your credit score may change.



Southwest Florida in general, and in particular, Pine Island, enjoy some of the finest weather in all of the continental United States.

Pine Island is very fortunate to have so much local talent!  There are many musicians, artists, and authors!  Just stop at one of many restaurants/bars on any given weekend and hear for yourself!  You and your guests will be delighted by the many art galleries, some featuring the local artists, and shops that make Pine Island unique!

Pine Island is a mostly agricultural community with many commercial palm tree groves and vegetable farms.  Because the island is in a “Tropical South” zone, we are fortunate enough to have a wide variety of tropical plants and vegetables from all over the world, grown locally.

Many businesses and restaurants have summer hours, so you might want to inquire before coming to the island if you are traveling for something specific off season.

Pine Island has a number of banks including:  Capital Bank, Centennial Bank, SunTrust

There are several denominations of churches on the island:  Baptist, Catholic, Church of God, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, as well as non-denominational, to name a few.

There are many service organizations on the island:  American Legion, Chamber of Commerce, Civic Associations, Elks, Masons, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Moose, Scouting, and VFW, just to name a few.  There are also a number of Pine Island volunteer organizations as well.


Can I get a mortgage for this property?

If the property is a single family home, then most likely yes.  If you are inquiring about a mobile home mortgage, then you have to know: 1) it must be on property you are purchasing, 2) it must be a double wide home and 3) it has to be built after June, 1976.  You also must know that not all lenders will loan money on a mobile home.  Please read the information above regarding mortgages, so you will know what will be expected from you.

Does the island have city water?

Most of the island has private water, through Greater Pine Island Water Association, .  There is a one time membership fee, which will be transferred at closing.  There are a few areas that are on well, for more information, please contact me.

Is internet available on the island?

Yes, high speed internet is available through the local phone carrier, CenturyLink or XFinity.  There are some “wi-fi” hot spots also.

Is this home on sewer or septic?

Matlacha is all sewer.  Pine Island is primarily septic, but two neighborhoods in Bokeelia, Captain’s Cove and Isle of Pines are on private sewer.  All other single family homes are septic.  The condominium complexes and some mobile home communities are on private sewers.  For more information on a specific property, please contact me.

What are the impact fees for new construction?

Effective as of June 2, 2015, the impact fees for new construction of a single family home is $9,171.  For a mobile home on a lot, it is $7,066.  If you build on a property that has had a home removed previously, you may receive an impact fee abatement.  For more information or explanations, please contact me.

Is this property in a flood zone?  

Probably, yes.  Almost all properties on Pine Island are in a flood zone.  Although, there are a few areas where flood insurance is not required.

Will I have to have flood insurance?  

Flood insurance is recommended, but mandatory if you have a mortgage.

How much is the insurance going to cost?  

As your realtor, I cannot answer this.  I am not an insurance agent (nor do I play one in a tv commercial), so I must advise that you contact one of many local companies for these costs.  I would recommend, however, that you try to get at least 2 quotes, and make sure you are comparing “apples to apples”.

How much are the property taxes?

This is a question that everyone wants to know so they can figure out what their costs will be to own a home in Florida.  We pay our taxes in arrears, so as long as you close before the end of the year, you will pay based on the property values as of January 1 of the current year.  This means that if the property is currently homesteaded, you will receive the homestead exemption for that year.  There is a tax estimator on the Lee County Property Appraisers website , so for more information, please ask me.

How do I homestead a property? 

Again, all this information can be found on the website.  I will be happy to explain this also.

Can I buy a vacant lot and put my motor home/RV/travel trailer on it and live there for the winter?

No, Lee County does not allow this.  Whatever the primary use for that property is, whether single family homes, mobile homes, or agricultural, the home must be in place first.  No barns, storage buildings, etc. may be placed on the property until the primary use is first in place.


If I buy this home, can I rent it out and how much can I expect to receive?

First, if you plan to homestead your home, the answer is no, homesteaded homes are not allowed to be rented out.  If you think you may want to rent your property, I suggest that you contact our rental management department for your questions, Pine Island Realty, 239-283-0909,  If you plan to rent it out yourself, there are a number of websites you may want to review.  You should know that the rental season here is anywhere from November thru April.  The most requested month is February, but if you are lucky you may find a 3-6 month tenant!


Are there any boat ramps if I do not have a property on the water?

Yes, there are a couple of county boat ramps, one in Bokeelia, on the East side of Barrancas Ave., and one off of Maria Drive in St. James City, open to the public weekends only.  St. James City has a public ramp at Monroe Canal Marina.  For more information on Lee County boat ramps, please go to: .

Are there any schools on the island?

There is an elementary school for K thru 5th grades.  After 5th grade, students must go off island to one of many schools.  Lee County has “school choice”.  For more information please go to their website:   For more information regarding School Choice, please go to:

Are there any beaches on Pine Island?

Not really.  Pine Island is bordered by mangroves, so we do not have beaches like the barrier islands.  Along the bayfront properties, especially in Bokeelia, there does appear to be a beach, but be aware, this is all private property.  There is a county park in St. James City at the east end of Tropical Point Drive with picnic tables and wonderful views of Matlacha Pass.

Is there a golf course?

Yes, Alden Pines Golf Course is on the north end of the island, in the Pineland community.

Where do you go out to eat?

Pine Island is very fortunate to have many wonderful restaurants from St. James City, to Pineland and Bokeelia on the north end, to Matlacha.  Many serve local seafood fare.

Where do you go for shopping?

Pine Island has a shopping center just south of PI Center (aka the 4-way stop) in the Winn Dixie Plaza.  There is the Winn-Dixie grocery store, CVS pharmacy, Doc Watson’s Liquor Store, Laundromat, and a few restaurants.  There is a hardware store at PI Center that has quite a variety of boat and household repair items.  There is also a marine hardware store in St. James City.  Not far off the island is Cape Coral with Lowes, Home Depot, plus some major stores, i.e. Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Wal-Mart, Target, clothing stores, office supplies, etc., for most anything else, and then Ft. Myers beyond.

How far is the airport?

Southwest International airport is just off I-75, south of Daniels Parkway.  There is a new off ramp to the airport from I-75.  You should allow at least one hour if you are dropping off or picking up passengers.  If you are returning a car, then you should allow at least an hour and a half.  It depends on the time of day as to how much traffic you will encounter.

Are there any ferries to the outer islands?

Yes, there is the Tropic Star in Bokeelia that takes guests to Cayo Costa state park and Cabbage Key, call 239-283-0015 for more information.  For other charters, you may call Island Girl Charters, 239-633-8142.

What about fishing charters?

There are a number of fishing guides on the island.  Call me for more information.

Are there any boat rentals?

In St. James City contact, Monroe Canal Marina, 239-282-8600,, for boat and kayak rentals.  In Bokeelia, call Four Winds Marina, 239-283-0250,   There are others off island also, so check before you come.