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Monday, December 29, 2008

Room with a View

Buyers ask, "Is there any place that I can get a view in Old Naples"? Frankly, most people don't buy in Old Naples because they're looking for a view- View just isn't the typical reason for living downtown. Most urban-ites want proximity to beach, the shopping, walking distance to great restaurants, galleries, the parks and the live theatre. It's a lifestyle choice...Dinner at Chop's...a play at Sugden Theater...parades, art shows, Evenings on Fifth...But, if you are one of the lucky few to live downtown AND get a view, well, that dear friends is heaven on earth...Neapolitan-style! For those of you seeking the city life with a priceless view your choices are limited; but, we have several selections that even the most discriminating buyers will find hard to resist. Chip & I have been marketing the Olde Naples Seaport since before the 1st phase was more than just an artist's rendering. With 8 of the 15 residences already sold in the 1st phase and new pricing reflective of today's market we think there has never been a better value on the waterfront in Old Naples! All remaining units have over 3,500 square feet of living area with private elevators, 2 car garages and a roof top terrace featuring a hot tub under the stars! In addition to the town homes available in the 1st phase, there is an extraordinary, one of a kind penthouse in phase 2 for sale with breathtaking direct views of Naples Bay that are beyond description. Come see for yourself! Call us today for details and to schedule a private appointment to tour these fabulous properties! 239-370-0574 Thank you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

2009 Real Estate Predictions

I always try to keep this blog as upbeat as possible. I would like to make a few predictions about where I believe the real estate market in general is headed in 2009. Most of the end results will be very positive, and by this time next year I predict the recession will be over!

  • Sellers will continue to face falling prices because they are competing with 1.) banks with larger than normal inventories of foreclosures and 2.) builders who are slashing prices to sell off remaining product.
  • Mortgage holders that are in trouble and face the possibility of losing their homes will receive assistance from a variety of programs since the Senate's Joint Economic Committee has predicted 2 million foreclosures in 2009.
  • The banks will go through a necessary restructuring making short sales easier to obtain, therefore leading to fewer bank owned properties. Hurray!
  • The days of abusive lending practices is over. Thank goodness! Buyers who need mortgages will be required to provide extensive documentation as well as having excellent credit...you know, the way it always should have been!
  • There will be a renewed interest in urban living due to buyers wanting to live closer to work, schools and shopping. Much of this is the new "Go Green" philosophy...I predict there will be a demand for smaller, more energy efficient homes close to downtown areas.
  • Both buyers and sellers are becoming more tech savvy. I strongly believe that real estate companies & agents who rely on technology for marketing such as websites, social networking groups, multiple photos and video tours, webcasts & podcasts, blogging and other Internet options as well as those using a laptop with wireless or aircard capabilities for "mobile" searching will lead the charge into the new year. Staying ahead of the curve will be necessary for maintaining a market share in today's ever changing real estate climate.

The Harris Peppe Team is committed to staying ahead of the curve with regard to Internet marketing. We strive for customer service and we look forward to continuing our track record of success and earning your business in 2009!

"I skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been." ~Wayne Gretsky

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Good News

Yesterday, December 16th, 2008: The Federal Open Market Committee voted to establish a target range for the Fed Funds Rate of 0% to 0.25% from 1%. American banks have responded by cutting their prime lending rate by 75 basis points! This translates to the lowest rate in history! Wall Street approved the move by closing the Dow Jones up 359 points...both the Nasdaq and Standard & Poor's 500 index rose more than 5%. Many analysts believe the worst is behind us. Both Anthony Bolton and Warren Buffet predict we are entering a "Bull Market". However, the "price" of money doesn't seem to be as important as the "availability" of money; it is yet to be seen whether this bold move will have an effect of the distressed housing market. Banks are hoping that if consumers are able to get equity lines of credit, this could help spark the economy. ~And since, there is little room to cut rates further, the Feds will have to look to other means of attracting home buyers into the market...It sure looks like everyone is committed to making home buying more affordable. Real estate is the backbone of this nation's economy. Let's hope these rate cuts spur lending! My thinking is that those "baby boomers" with strong equity in their primary homes up north that are looking to invest in a retirement home in Florida could just take that equity out at a very reduced interest rate and pay cash for an investment in the sunshine state and get quite a bargain at that! Just a thought... Some interesting info: The cumulative average of The U.S. Prime Rate from 1947 to the present is 9.842%. The most frequent value from 1947 to today has been 7.5%. The median U.S. Prime Rate during these same years has been 8.75%. The all-time high was in December 1980-January 1981 at 21.50% (the year I got my real estate license). Today's Rate of 3.25% marks a new low! The next meeting of the FOMC will be on January 28th, 2009. Maybe lower? With today's real estate prices and interest rates, there truly NEVER has been a better time to buy! Call us today. We look forward to earning your business! 239-370-0574

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Decorate or Not To Decorate

Several of our sellers have called us to ask if they should decorate their homes for the holidays. Most of the time this is absolutely appropriate. I always like going into a beautifully adorned home this time of year...especially one with a "real" tree! It always smells so nice. I would say you really must use discretion, but it has nothing to do with holiday displays. If your home is crowded with excessive decorations that's another story all together...Also, if you are just now getting ready to list your home keep in mind that all the marketing that will be done now (photographs, virtual tours, etc) will have poinsettias, snowmen and Santas in the brochures long after the tree has been taken down. So, go ahead and decorate to your heart's content. This is a wonderful time of year and just because your home is on the market shouldn't mean that you don't enjoy living in it! Prospects know that this is the holidays and most of them comment favorably at all the pretty decorations.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Naples Listing!

Beautiful new listing located directly on over 150' of Naples Bay waterfront! Breathtaking views of sunsets and city lights across the bay...sit by the pool and watch dolphins jump as boats cruise by...This is waterfront living at its best! Spacious 4 bedroom residence has been meticulously maintained. Close to beaches and all the wonderful downtown amenities. Additional photographs and a virtual tour can be viewed at http://www.naplesrealestate.com/ or call today for a private showing: 239-370-0574.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Chip and I are up at our cabin in the mountains of North Carolina with 3 of our kids and 5 of our grandkids. When I woke up this morning and looked outside the early sun was peeping over the distant mountains, streaming through the trees and dancing on the frosty branches. Bear Pen mountain is visible through the bare trees this time of year...the back of the house faces east and I sat and drank my hot coffee and watched a lovely sunrise...taking in the beauty of the view and enjoying the quiet before the house would be alive again with children's giggles and cheering for ones favorite football team. My heart is filled with gratitude for all the blessings in my life. Good health, a wonderful husband, healthy and lovable children and grandchildren, a very special mom, great friends and family. Thank you God. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Market Share Comparison Report

This bar graph depicts the market share of 7 of the top real estate companies in Southwest Florida based on information obtained from SunshineMLS and FtMyersMLS for the periods beginning on January 1st 2007 through October 31st, 2008. The blue bars represent 2008. As you can see, Coldwell Banker Residential is #1 with a 12.3% market share. You can make the graph full size by moving the cursor over it and clicking. Please feel free to call us with any questions or comments. 239-370-0574 direct or you can email us by logging onto our website at www.NaplesRealEstate.com We look forward to hearing from you soon! Thank you and have a great day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Naples Real Estate Agent...

I started my day early (about 4:00 am) working on the details concerning a counter offer...the home is listed around $1 million...the buyer offered considerably less...the seller would not even counter...NEVER has the divide between what a seller thinks his home is worth and what a buyer is willing to pay been so great! Next, I went to see a very nice couple who bought a condo from me about 4 years ago...since then they made a second purchase in the same neighborhood directly from the developer (as an investment)...They called me to discuss listing it. They were listed earlier in the year with another agent for $999,000. It was my job to break it to them, as gently as possible, that due to the current inventory and closed sales they were going to have to keep the price under $700,000...All in all they took it well. They are, after all, business minded and understand the current market conditions. It was a good appointment and I feel optimistic about the saleability of the condo...But, being the bearer of bad news is NOT getting any easier for me... My next stop was to write up an offer with a buyer who looked at a condo with me yesterday. The property is in the neighborhood where she lives so of course it made the most sense for me to drive back there (about 35 minutes from downtown Naples where my office is located) rather than meet her here...When she answered the door with, "I guess I should have called you"...Well, the appointment didn't take as long as I anticipated... By noon I was on my 4th appointment of the day with a lovely young couple who are considering relocating to the Naples area. He had been on a very promising job interview and they just wanted to look at a couple of homes as possible rentals. Now, I don't normally handle rentals, but felt compelled to take care of this family (they have four kids) as I would hope someone would take care of any of our kids if they were far from home in the hands of a perfect stranger. The meeting could not have gone better. They liked the first house I showed them and I teased them about being so difficult! When they find out whether or not he's got the job at least they know they have a good home in a safe neighborhood picked out. ~and I feel very good about earning their future business. The day is looking up... Back at the office I proofed a few ads, returned a few calls, got caught up on emails...one of which from a seller with whom we met yesterday on a listing appointment who chose to inform us via email that they were going with another agent...Ah! -we really wanted that listing! I'm feeling sad again...Then I got a call from a really nice man that I met with his wife last "season" at an open house. He recently received a "Just Sold" postcard from us...we talked about the market, sales in his neighborhood, what his competition would be if they decided to list and he ended the conversation saying, "We would not list with anyone else"! Yeah! It was a great call and I am starting to feel better... It's after 4:30 and I have been going strong for over 12 hours and I just realized that I forgot to eat lunch...a few more things to take care of here after I finish this blog entry then get appointments ready for tomorrow and head home hopefully before dark... A Day In The Life...and at the end of the day, I still like my job...and the challenges will only make me a better real estate agent. Call me...I will always make time for YOU: 239-250-4370

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Three Choices

A lot of good things come out of our weekly sales meetings...I've been attending sales meetings every Wednesday morning for over 27 years. Some are better than others; some have interesting guest speakers, MLS trends & statistics...We get to tout new listings, share ideas, discuss price adjustments... This morning my broker wrote 3 things up on his easel... 1. Stocks 2. Real Estate 3. A Coffee Can With one question he put the current market into perspective: "Where would you put your money today?" Okay, those are your three choices, so now I ask you, "Where would you put your money today?" 'nuff sed...call us!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Thank You to Our Veterans

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th Armistice Day to commemorate the end of WW I. Congress changed the name to Veteran's Day in 1954, now a legal holiday in the United States. On this Veteran's Day, please join us in remembering those who have served our nation with valor and bravery. We salute you and respectfully recognize the selfless act of putting ones own life on the line for freedom and democracy. It is with our deepest gratitude that we honor your service and sacrifice. Take a moment today to thank a veteran...and every day, each chance you get, express your thanks for the commitment of our armed forces who by their tireless efforts bring liberty and human dignity to the world.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Naples Real Estate Stats

Things really picked up the first week of November. Showings are up, sign calls are up, Internet leads are up...even morale is up. I thought I'd share a few more stats with those readers who have called and asked questions about specific neighborhoods and the market in general. In the first week of November 2007 the local multiple listing system reported 98 residential properties going under contract (also known as "pendings") and 68 closed sales. This year we saw that increase to 165 pendings and 97 closed sales during that same time! 22 of the pendings were listings priced over $1 million. 118 were listed under $300,000. Areas that are fairly even to their average sold prices in the last 12 months as compared to the previous 12 months are: NA01: North of 111th Avenue North and west of U.S. 41; NA02, Vanderbilt Beach area; NA04 Pelican Bay area and NA19, Lely area. NA05: known as the Crayton Road area, which includes Park Shore and The Moorings is at $1,190,368 average sold price in the past 12 months as compared to $1,420,783 in the prior 12 months. Old Naples: NA06, is down from $1,597,183 to $1,109,895, and Aqualane-Port Royal: NA07 has seen a significant decrease with an average sold price of $3,807,625 in the last 12 months as compared to $6,344,029 in months 24-12. However, this area now has an average of 5 closed sales per month in the past 12 months as compared to 4 when going back 24 months; a 20% increase in the number of sales closing. If you would like an analysis of your home or of a specific neighborhood, please either call (239-370-0574 direct) or email any member of The Harris-Peppe Team today. Also, we welcome you to log on to our website, http://www.naplesrealestate.com/ and look in the menu bar for "Neighborhood Information" where you will find additional information about many of the areas we report about on this blog. Thanks and make it a great day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another Beautiful Day in Paradise

I have always loved this time of year... When I was a little girl, I used to look forward to raking leaves with my grandpa...the laughter, the jumping into piles and the smell of burning leaves vivid in my memory. I would say the changing colors of the leaves is the one thing I miss the most living here in Naples...Oh, snow on Christmas morning always a child's favorite, but now I much prefer the beautiful soft, white sand of the beaches to that colder, wet white stuff from up north. The majesty of the golden amber, burnt orange and crimson red landscape is now replicated around my home with silk leaves bought at a craft store and pumpkins from the grocery store in a variety of shapes and sizes set atop most of the tables in our home. No matter where you live, this time of year also reminds us of how quickly the days have flown by as we see holiday decorations in all the stores. Soon it will be Thanksgiving, my personal favorite holiday because it focuses on what family and love is all about: Gratitude. No messing up this holiday with gifts and guilt...It's pure, it's perfect...It's just about counting blessings. Right now it is 72 degrees outside and the sun is shining....There are no leaves to rake, but the humidity is low, there's a slight breeze and the palms are lovely and the orchids are blooming (see photo inset)...I was trying to come up with a topic to post on my real estate blog today and this was all I could come up with as I sat at my desk gazing out the window...It's another beautiful day in paradise...and I am blessed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Defining Moment

Two wonderful speeches last night... McCain's words brought tears to my eyes as I watched this hero concede in a most honorable and gentle manner. I believe the world looked at him with admiration and the utmost respect which few people have ever deserved more.. Obama's speech inspired a nation. I was equally proud of his accomplishment, the obvious emotion as he expressed so eloquently his awareness of the place in history that he alone can claim. America's healing can now begin. Now, let's get back to the order of business...Let's support one another and look ahead with hope and courage to the challenges that lie ahead...Let's seek out the things we have in common rather than the things that set us apart. "Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection" Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you vote?

My alarm was set for 6:00 am, I was up and out of the house with such enthusiasm this morning. Wanting to get to my precinct early, expecting long lines...at first I thought they moved the precinct without telling me. "Am I at the wrong place?" I actually found a parking place right up front and once inside I checked in immediately...It felt a little funny going back to the "color in the circle" ballot rather than the electronic ballot that we've all gotten used to...I had my sample ballot in hand, approached the voting booth and I don't know what exactly came over me, but I welled up with tears. How blessed we are in this amazing country to be able to vote. What a privilege and honor it is. This is a very emotional election...and I for one don't care who you are voting for...this post isn't about your choice, it's about having choices! My family is made up of Republicans and Democrats with a couple of Independents and Libertarians thrown in just to keep it interesting...We are wonderful mix of conservatives, liberals and moderates...and you know what? We all love each other. We are what America is all about. Yes, what an exciting election indeed...In my house my husband and partner, Chip, who became an American citizen last year is voting for a president for the first time...tonight we will watch the results together and know that we were both part of the process, and regardless of who wins we will wake up tomorrow morning knowing that we live in the greatest country on earth. If you haven't already voted, get out there! It is your duty as a citizen.

More Naples Real Estate Stats

October, which is typically a big listing month, saw a 7% decrease in listings taken when compared to last October. New listings this year totaled 1,696, in October 2007 new listings totaled 1,818. This information is based on data derived from the Naples Multiple Listing System known as SunshineMLS, and only Residential listings in Naples were used for the results. The really good news is our "Pending" sales were way up last month when compared to October 2007: 332 pendings vs. 567 in October 2008. That's a huge jump in units! Sales pended are always the best barometer to determine what is happening in the market now. In October 2007, 38% of the sales which pended were priced below $300,000. Comparably, 74% of the sales which went under contract in October 2008 were listed below $300,000. This is in direct correlation to the increase in the number of listings available in the under $300,000 price range. In addition, last October 14% of the sales which pended were listings priced over $1 million. This October listings priced over $1 million made up for less than 6% of the pendings. Many of the high end buyers we are working with are waiting to see how things settle out, but they are actively looking. Our listings saw a 422% increase in showing activity last month. ~and This will certainly result in offers. Please let us know if you would like us to do a more specific analysis of a particular neighborhood or condominium. It is always our pleasure at The Harris-Peppe Team to answer questions without any obligation. We welcome your comments and look forward to earning your business. 239-370-0574

Monday, November 3, 2008

It will be nice...

It will be nice for this election to be over...I can't count how many times in the past month the prospects I have talked with have used it as an excuse to put off making a decision...."Oh, after the election we will be in a better position to make a decision"...or, "We are waiting to see who wins before we book a trip to Naples to look at real estate..." and so on and so on. You get the picture. My years of experience tells me that after the election true buyers will buy regardless of who wins; and the not-so-true buyers making excuses will find another excuse...so, who wins is not really an issue with them anyway. It will be nice to reclaim a little peace and quiet at the end of the day without the evening news blaring the moment I walk in the door...and whomever is placing the candidates' signs in our front yard after dark each night will need to find another prank to pull... It will be nice when the water cooler discussions are about great condo buys and football again, ~and dinner conversations with friends and family alike go back to talking about holiday plans & vacations, diets & health issues...grandchildren...yes, that will be nice... It will be nice when all the t.v. political commercials are finally over...and all the signs around town come down...(except the For Sale signs of course)...Hmmmm...I wonder why it is that I am only allowed one open house sign on a property when I'm trying to earn a living on a Sunday, but dozens of candidate signs litter the landscape during election time... It will be nice...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Be fearful when others are greedy, Be greedy when others are fearful." Warren Buffet In other words..."Buy Now!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vote YES Amendments 3, 4 and 6

Years ago when I first got into this business my dad gave me a bit of advice...He told me not to talk about politics or religion with my customers. My first broker told me the same thing...and the first big company I worked for even went so far as to prohibit us from placing bumper stickers on our vehicles or campaign signs on our lawns. It was part of the office policy manual. In this business, as in any business, once you commit to a side half the world might not want to do business with you anymore...and it doesn't seem to matter that on the flip side the other half might then be more likely to do business with you...Unfortunate, but true. I must admit, I have had a few occasions when it was fairly obvious after getting to know someone that I let my opinions known. I can count on one hand how many times in 27 years that has happened. Only twice have I misread their comments and been wrong and wished I could have retracted my comments...Both of those occasions happened in the past few months...Hey, what can I say? It's an interesting and exciting election. More exciting than ever because I am proud to say that my husband and partner Chip Harris is voting in his very first presidential election since becoming an American citizen in 2006! On November 4th Florida voters will be voting on more than just the next president. It's safe to say my opinion on the amendments regarding real estate probably won't be held against me. So, I am hereby expressing my support for three amendments:
  • No. 3- Changes and Improvements Not Affecting the Assessed Value of Residential Real Estate.
  • No. 4- Property Tax Exemption of Perpetually Conserved Land; Classification and assessment of Land Used for Conservation.
  • No. 6- Assessment of Working Waterfront Property Based Upon Current Use.

Let me know if you have questions!

~and regardless of whom you are voting, get out there and vote! It is an honor and a privilege. Whether my vote cancels your vote or not, I hope you will call me for all your real estate needs because I'm a good real estate agent. Period! Thanks and have a great day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coldwell Banker 10-day Sale Results

The timing of the Coldwell Banker 10-day Sale nationwide could not have come at a worse time. After months of preparation and nearly 30,000 homes open across the country, news of the stock market plummeting on the preceding Friday kept most buyers away. Last Sunday's turnout was minimal at best; an average here in Naples of 1.2 visitors per open house. However, time heals all things...the market watchers know that what goes up must come down and what goes down must come up...and even just a short week later, the bad news bears couldn't keep the potential buyers away. Yesterday I had 5 separate parties through and everyone gave me the sense that there is pent up demand. Most seemed ready to find some good values. One buyer said, "I have been coming to Naples for over 20 years and I don't remember ever seeing this many good buys to choose from". Another interested gentleman explained, "The old adage of real estate, 'location, location, location' has now been replaced with, 'timing, timing, timing'." Yes, timing is everything now. ~and pricing is crucial. So, if you can find a well priced listing in an excellent location, the time to jump on it is now! As an example, the listing where I was sitting open yesterday is a brand new, never lived in, spacious 3 bedroom condo on the water with direct gulf access (no bridges). It comes with a private 2 car garage and a deeded boat dock. There are 6 units total in the building. The two top floor end units sold pre-construction for OVER $1.1 million! The remaining 4 units start at $699,000! You want value? This is it! I would be happy to provide you with a detailed search of ALL new, waterfront condos in Naples which include a dock...The next priced listing in MLS is asking $1,149,000! Once these 4 condos sell there may not be any other condos built 2007 or later listed under a million available! The seller is motivated and ready to consider all serious offers! Additional photos and a virtual tour of the property can be found on our website http://www.naplesrealestate.com/ Or call us today for a personal tour of The Azzurro 239-370-0574 If nothing else, the 10-day Sale did create some good activity...I had some great discussions with some really nice folks with whom I feel pretty good about doing future business. I understand an agent at our north office got an offer on their listing at the open house! Great news! ~and I am more convinced than ever that Naples is "under valued" (see a previous post)...the really smart buyers will be taking advantage of the amazing opportunites available to them here in paradise! Thanks and make it a great day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

NUMB3RS

I get a lot of calls from folks reading my blog asking that I continue adding more statistics. They say they enjoy reading the Naples Real Estate NUMB3RS...so, here goes: Year To Date: SunshineMLS, the southwest Florida multiple listing database, which includes (but is not limited to) Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Ft Myers and Ft Myers Beach, Lehigh Acres and Naples (including Golden Gate and Golden Gate Estates) has reported the following numb3rs: Total Residential Listings taken: 32,885 Total Closed Sales: 6,357 Total Expired Listings: 18,717 When searching just the greater Naples area, the following numb3rs apply: Total Residential Listings taken: 15,530 Total Closed Sales: 3,822 Total Expired Listings: 8,208 Thank you again for all your calls. I truly appreciate hearing from readers directly letting me know what type of blog posts most interest them! Hope you're having a great day! See earlier posts for discussion regarding average sold prices, list to sell ratios and current inventory statistics. For a current evaluation of your home or condo please call or email any member of the Harris-Peppe Team today!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Poll Closed

Last week I conducted a survey on this blog and the results might surprise you. I asked readers to choose from the following answers when asked what they look for when selecting a real estate professional:
  1. Market knowledge and success
  2. Years of experience and designations
  3. Easy to work with and trust
  4. Marketing capabilities and company reputation

83% of those polled selected "Easy to work with and trust" , followed by "Marketing capabilities and company reputation".

Call the Harris-Peppe Team today to find out why our slogan is, "...the name friends refer to friends". We can be reached directly at 239-370-0574 or log onto www.NaplesRealEstate.com to do your own search on our consumer friendly website.

Thanks to all those who participated. There will be more polls in the future!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Naples Real Estate- More Good News

My vision when I began this blog was to do my best to report as much positive news as possible. Up to now, this has not been the easiest task...However, again this morning, the front page of the local section of The Naples Daily News reports "Naples see increase in home sales". The article goes on to say that, 'pending sales are up in all six geographic areas that the Naples Area Board of Realtors tracks'. As I have reported in previous blog posts, most of this increase can be tracked to the "under $300,000" price range...But today's article indicates that homes listed in the $500,000-$2 million price point have seen pendings up 22% when compared to the same period last year! This is NOT a flash in the pan, one month scenario...No, this is a trend! I remain clear on this message, there has NEVER been a better time to buy real estate in Naples Florida. ~and I have been selling the Naples' dream for over 27 years. Call today to get a more in-depth analysis of any of the areas where you might be considering making a purchase, or to obtain a competitive market analysis of what your home's current value is in this ever evolving market. Thanks and make it a great day! 239-370-0574 direct

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Inquiries are Up!

We thought we might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, then last week's stock market plunged (in case you didn't hear)...and we had to take a step back again and make sure it wasn't an oncoming train! As it turns out, Monday saw the single largest gain in history on Wall Street...and (now here's the really good news)...our site has had record breaking inquiries in the past 48 hours! When asked by prospective buyers to do searches for properties under $500,000 I am amazed at the selection. Under $300,000 is the hottest market in Naples when just a few years ago one would have been hard-pressed to find anything in that price point. Tell us exactly what you are looking for; right down to the size, age, view and amenities and we will find it! Don't let this opportunity pass you by. Call us today. 239-370-0574 direct. We are looking forward to earning your business!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More Naples' Rankings

Today, www.NaplesRealEstate.com is happy to report some more interesting rankings about Naples that I think you will find interesting. There are 67 counties in the state of Florida. Collier County is the largest; in fact, it is the largest county land-wise east of the Mississippi River, a total of 2,305 square miles. More than 80% of Collier County is set aside as preserve lands! Naples was selected as #1 Best Small Art Town in America by author John Villani in his book, The 100 Best Art Towns in America. There are at least 150 galleries in the greater Naples area including Gallery Row in downtown. Also, The Travel Channel designated Naples as America's Best Beach in 2005. ~and Conde' Nast Traveler magazine named Naples in the best 20 beaches in America in 2006. Naples ranked # 22 Best Town to live in America by Forbes Magazine in 2008. Naples is currently ranked #2 for most golf holes per capita, but it is #1 when you count only private holes! ~and, at The Harris-Peppe Team, our customers are ALWAYS #1. Call us today so that we can tell you all about the amazing opportunites currently available here in paradise. 239-370-0574

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thought For The Day

Be Thankful for what you have, and you will end up having more- Focus on what you don't have, and you will never have enough.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Naples Real Estate Statistics

Here are a few interesting statistics: Currently in Naples there are 10,264 Active residential listings. 4,581 are priced under $300,000. 4,402 are priced over $1 million. 12% of the current residential listings in Naples are Short Sales. 81% of the short sales are priced below $300,000. The Average Sold Price in the past 12 months is $587,612. with a trend line decreasing from approximately $700,000. in October 2007 to just under $500,000 as of October 1st, 2008. The Median Sold Price in the last 12 months is $313,219. with a trend line decreasing from approximately $360,000 in October 2007 to $245,000 now. The number of units closed has increased 72% when comparing September 2007 through September 2008. This is great news! Keep in mind that Real Estate is local, and even within the Naples market certain areas have fared better than others. As an example: highrises along Gulf Shore Blvd. N. have an average sale price of $1,787,424 for the past 12 months. If you go back 24 months, the average is $1,869,732; a decrease of less than 4.5%. In contrast, you can use the area of Golden Gate Estates, where in some cases, certain NA areas have seen an average sold price decrease nearly 50%! You must be careful when reading reports that do a broad stroke of the entire Naples' market rather than specifically calculating each given area. Websites like Zillow.com, as an example, are often times inaccurate since they cannot make distinctions when doing an analysis. If you are either a buyer or a seller in the Naples area, please allow The Harris-Peppe Team an opportunity to do a comprehensive study of the area where you are looking to buy or sell. Let our experience assist you in making an informed decision in today's real estate market. *all info was received from the SunshineMLS system and is deemed accurate. Statistics based on activity in Naples Areas only.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Coldwell Banker 10-day Sales Event

In a market "plagued by a two year price slump", Coldwell Banker is asking its sellers to slash prices! We estimate nearly 30,000 sellers across the U.S. will reduce their list price during the 10-day sales event with the hope that it will increase activity. Click on this link to read the full story as seen in REUTERS yesterday 10/06/08: http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN0228964320081006 Jim Gillespie, chief executive of Coldwell Banker, was also quoted in an article by The Associated Press last Friday, October 3rd, where he spoke of the nationwide promotion. This can be found by Google-ing "Coldwell Banker 10-day Sale." Jim has also been interviewed today on CBS Radio, CNNMoney, KCBS Radio, CNBC Power Lunch (click on: http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=879758184 ), Bloomburg and Brandweek. An article in Brandweek by Steve Miller can also be read in its entirety by clicking on this link: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/technology-finance/e3i3ccdd00902078c2443f98cab7e3c3b3c The Harris-Peppe Team will be participating in this event. Their sellers were very receptive to the price adjustments and are excited about the national exposure their properties are getting through the media coverage. Each of their listings will have special finance options in place to assist potential buyers looking for a mortgage. Addresses and times of the open houses will be posted again in a future entry. If you have any comments or questions please do not hesitate to call us directly at: 239-370-0574. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Keeping the Faith

When I began this blog I wanted to try to keep it as upbeat and positive as possible. You hear enough gloom and doom without me adding to in, right? ...and the truth is, it is my nature to look for the good in each person and in each and every situation... -Around the office, in my circle of friends, and in my family, I am known as "the happy one"...after all, I have survived a few potentially fatal diseases, so if given the choice between two phones to answer: on one line a doctor with a bad diagnosis, and on the other a banker with bad news about my finances...well, which phone would you rather answer? This simple exercise always helps me to "see" more clearly. It is times like these that help us to put things into perspective. We become smarter AND stronger! We learn to prioritize...to think outside of the box...we get VERY creative. Mostly, we remember the importance of appreciating what we have. Yes, it has become increasingly difficult for me to post "happy-grams" with all the headlines in the past week...Then in church yesterday the minister spoke about "Having An Abundant Life"...and it really struck a cord. It would seem that in times such as these, the words "abundance" and prosperity are out of reach. But, what if it is our own thoughts contributing to and creating these experiences? The thoughts we have become our reality. That is not some "far-out" opinion, but rather it is a fundamental truth based on the principle of the formative power of thought. Thoughts held in our mind produce results. Haven't you known two people going through similar experiences with two completely different perspectives? With two completely different outcomes? -So, what have you been thinking lately? I am fairly certain you've been thinking about bank failures, plunging stock prices, mortgage foreclosures, rising unemployment--it's no wonder the economic meltdown has gotten so many people so depressed...However, I am going to suggest that you, at least please just try to, spend the next 24 hours changing your thoughts. Thoughts create; you've heard this so many times in your life in so many ways...This is nothing new! "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is." Indeed, we all have the potential to be happy, to be creative, in any given moment, in spite of the circumstances...It IS a choice. Chip wakes up every day and says, "Hey, I'm on the right side of the grass." It's a great way to start the day, with a grateful heart. There are so many opportunities available right now if only you look for them...Remember, your beliefs may be hard to change...they are formed by the papers you read, the news you watch, the friends whose opinions you respect and the lessons that your grandma taught you...Ah, but Faith...Faith can be unshakable. Our minister put it this way: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Good thoughts, a positive attitude and a grateful heart. That is my wish for you today. Keep the faith!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quality AND Quantity

The quality of life in Naples is tough to beat...Our doctors and world-class hospitals are at the forefront of medicine...Staying fit and healthy comes naturally to Naples residents. The gyms and spas are too numerous to mention. -and There are so many natural attractions, too: beautiful beaches, preserves and parks...boating, fishing, eco-tours, sanctuaries...not to mention golf. More private golf holes per-capita than any other city in the world! So many wonderful outdoor activities...It is no wonder a recent article in Money Magazine rated Naples and Collier County #4 for longevity in the U.S.A. where life expectancy is 80.97. I'm not sure how they measure this, but I always knew there was a connection between "quality and quantity" and often wondered why Naples had not made the list before now. Just one more reason to consider a move to Collier County...Live good, Live long, make Naples your home!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Naples is now Under Valued!

We had two very positive articles about Naples Real Estate in the local paper this week. Friday's article even went as far as to say that Naples is now "under valued"! Allow me to share a few statistics with you that I think you will find interesting. Total Closed Residential Sales in Naples YTD, per the multiple listing service is 3,425. Currently there are 10,183 Active residential properties listed in the MLS. This means that at the current rate approximately 1 in 3 properties of the current inventory will go under contract. This is a broad stroke of the market. Of course, specific neighborhoods vary, but as a rule, this is an important statistic. If 1 in 3 listings will sell (and inventory is expected to increase in the coming months as it always does in preparation of season) pricing is more crucial than ever. In 2007 there was a total of 3,910 residential closings in Naples. 1,251 were listed under $300,000. In 2008 YTD there have been 1,604 closed residential sales listed under $300,000! The article in the paper pointed to the fact that if you took the "under $300,000" listings out of the equation, our market is actually up 5%. Residential Closed sale units in Naples in the last 4 years peaked in March of 2005 at over 1,000 closings for the month. The average number of per month closings in the past 12 months is 354, and continues to look like it will remain on an upward trend. (I have only used closed residential sales in Naples, not Marco Island or Bonita Springs in my calculations-I have not used closed lots either). Call us today with any questions or comments. Anyone of us on The Harris-Peppe Team would be happy to do a specific search and or a no obligation market analysis to assist you: 239-370-0574 direct. The number of sales is up, prices are at record lows and all indicators are that they have leveled out. There has NEVER been a better time to buy in Naples Florida! There remains an excellent inventory in all price ranges. Take advantage of this opportunity to own a piece of paradise! This is one agent who truly believes we are in for a fabulous season!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Naples Florida Real Estate Best Buys!

I believe these to be two of the best buys in Southwest Florida priced under $500,000!
If making a sound investment is your motivation, call today!
  • Adorable, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, + den, single family home with a refreshing, below ground swimming pool! (check out the view) A bright and cheerful decor...ALL furnishings are included in this Key West-style cottage located in historic Goodland...move right in and begin to enjoy this lovingly maintained, charming home. Situated on a large bay with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and the 10,000 islands where you will find the best fishing in Florida only a short boat cruise away! Here at "The Pineapple Hut" you are walking distance to all the fun that Goodland has to offer. -and Just a few minutes from all the convenient shopping and amenities of Marco Island...Plus only a 30 minute drive to downtown Naples! WOW! This is a true boater's dream. This turnkey furnished cottage can be yours for UNDER $500,000! MAKE OFFERS! All reasonable offers will be considered!

  • Fabulous opportunity to own a rarely available 2 bedroom, 2 bath, turnkey furnished condo in Olde Naples just one short block to the beach and located directly on the World Famous Fifth Avenue South, Naples' main street! Here you are just steps away from breathtaking sunsets...PLUS all the amazing restaurants, pubs, galleries and fine shoppes that the downtown lifestyle has to offer. In addition to this, the condo, which is situated in a small and intimate enclave of only 14 units, can be rented out by the week! The rental history is excellent! Call for details. Lots of income to off-set debt! This would make a perfect get-away! No car necessary! Priced UNDER $500,000 to encourage offers!

Call today for appointments or for additional information about these or all other buying opportunities in Southwest Florida 1-239-370-0574 (direct) OR log onto our award winning website at: http://www.naplesrealestate.com/ You will find additional photos and virtual tours of these and our other listings on this site!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sharpening The Axe

Well, I've been back at the office now for two full days and I must say, being away certainly helped my attitude. A couple of months away gives one a new perspective. Our colleagues were glad to see us...seems the office is lacking a little enthusiasm and they think I'm just the shot in the arm it needs. Gee, it's nice to be missed. I remember when I first got into this business and the more "experienced" agents took the summer months off and I used to think, "Someday that will be me"! They always returned refreshed and ready to face the season; full of new ideas and energy. That's just how I feel! Chip and I are fortunate to have amassed a team of professionals to handle the day to day business details in our absence. -And of course, with cell phones and laptops we are rarely more than a click away. We were more than ready to jump right back into it and we are eagerly looking forward to the opportunities ahead of us in the coming months. Sure, we know there are challenges; but hey, Naples is Naples! This is paradise! It's still 80 degrees in February, right? Plus, there are so many good buys on the market. It's a great time to be a buyer! We are busy getting up to speed with the current inventory, pricing adjustments, mortgage rates and appraisal issues and in addition to all the upcoming marketing campaigns we are designing a new and exciting website! We can't wait to unveil it! We've spent the last couple of months "sharpening the axe" and we are back and sharper than ever! Give us a call. We would love to hear from you. 239-370-0574 (direct)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

On this day, "When buildings fell, heroes rose."

...and we will never forget.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Summer Sum Up

We are eager to get back to the office after spending the last 2 months out of town. While we were away we observed a few things which I thought I'd like to share in today's post: No matter how far off the beaten path we travelled; whether it was on a remote island in The North Channel, a quiet cove on Georgian Bay or a tiny seaside town along Lake Michigan, when we saw a real estate sign off in the distance it was nearly always a Coldwell Banker sign. The "blue and white" brand is universally recognized and respected. We are coming back to Naples more certain than ever that we are affiliated with the best real estate company. We never missed an opportunity to stop in and visit the Coldwell Banker offices we found along the way. We met and networked with agents and brokers from many of our feeder markets. Many of whom either knew someone who already owns a home in Naples or someone looking to buy! They were glad to have a referral contact. Unanimously, the internet was touted as the number one means of promoting listings and finding buyers as told to us by every top office and agent we met. Currently we are working on improvements to http://www.naplesrealestate.com/ and http://www.naplespreviews.com/. We will also be unveiling a third site by the end of the year which will highlight and feature only luxury homes and condos. There were days on end when we did not have reliable cell phone service and no internet connections--Krista, Meagan and Sam held down the fort like the competent experts we know they are and handled all situations with the skill and efficiency of seasoned professionals. The Harris-Peppe Team closed over $5 million in sales and currently has 7 contracts pending! We know there will be challenges ahead, but we also know we have the strength of three very important factors of success. An internationally recognized real estate company: Coldwell Banker; a winning sales team: The Harris-Peppe Team, and websites that dominate the Naples market! We look forward to earning your business. Give us a call. We'd like to put our knowledge and energy to work for you! 239-370-0574

Friday, August 29, 2008

Success!

We said we were "gone fishing"...and we did not tell a lie! Here are a few super shots of Captain Chip taken at South Benjamin Island in the North Channel in Ontario Canada...he fishes almost as successfully as he sells real estate! We will be back home soon making things happen and "reeling" in those buyers! ...After all, we are "Reel"-tors!
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Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Gone Fishing"

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I blogged. Forgive me, but even Realtors take a break once in a while. Our break just happens to be a little looooonger than the usual... Truth is, we are about to embark on perhaps our longest stretch "away" and out of touch ever! Up till now we have been very connected...whether near or far, whether we take a few days or take a few weeks, it is always with cell phones and laptop in hand. We "work" almost every day on vacation and back at the office we have our trusted Sam, Krista and Meagan always close by to pick up where we've left off. --and in a pinch, we don't mind leaning on Broker Bill. We've been gone about a week and have actually closed several sales while "on the road"...the beauty of doing business in the 21st century! --so, we will try to keep the blog going from time to time over the summer months...and most of the time we will be a phone call away (239-370-0574) or closer yet if I can find a Wi-Fi hotspot...Don't forget to check out our weekly featured property online at www.NaplesRealEstate.com or our videos on YouTube! In the meantime, have a safe and happy 4th of July celebration....and a great summer!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Naples Real Estate "Best Buy"


Brand New and Beautiful!

It's all in the details in this brand new and beautiful single family home. Situated in the magnificent, gated community of Fiddler's Creek; the amenities include a full service marina, a beach pavilion and a fabulous, resort-style Club & Spa. Fiddler's Creek is comprised of approximately 4,000 acres of which only 1,100 acres will be used for residential purposes. A firm commitment to nature and the environment; 2,600 acres are designated as lakes, golf course, parks and preserves. A 5.5 mile creek meanders through the community. There is an abundance of wading bird habitats, a nature park with boardwalk and gazebo overlook.

This lovely home is located in the newest and most exclusive village in Fiddler's Creek ~ Sauvignon. Comprised of only 10 homes in a private enclave. Hyacinth Drive overlooks the exciting 9th green and boasts breathtaking views of sparkling lakes.

Some of the custom features of this residence include a huge pool and spacious outdoor entertainment area, over 4,000 square feet, 3 large bedrooms plus a den, formal dining room and living room as well as an amazing casual room which opens to the granite kitchen. The separate guest cabana would be ideal for out of town guests or used as a studio or private owner's retreat! There's a brick paver motor court and private over sized garage.
Additional photos and a virtual tour can be found online at http://www.naplesrealestate.com/ or call us today for your personal showing at 239-370-0574. This is the kind of place you will want to call home!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Coldwell Banker CARES

Coldwell Banker is more than a real estate company.
Through our statewide efforts, the CARES foundation has raised over $2 million dollars in support of a wide variety of non-profit educational, health, environmental and cultural arts organizations throughout Florida! As real estate professionals, we cherish the value of our community and strive to improve the quality of life for every citizen. Collectively and individually, the agents in the Coldwell Banker Previews Fifth Avenue office here in Naples support hundreds of local charities. In addition to the local charities that we all choose to participate in with both our time and treasures, we are actively involved in the CARES program. Across the state, Coldwell Banker has sponsored 17 Habitat for Humanity homes. Now, we have decided to support the Ronald McDonald House as our newest statewide initiative. The Ronald McDonald House assists families in need during the hospitalization of their children. Please help us to celebrate Foundation Month in June. All year, every year; every sale or listing sold that we participate in, the Harris-Peppe Team makes a donation to this amazing charity. As a leader in your community it is up to us to make a difference. Together we ARE making a difference in our community! Thank you. Coldwell banker Residential Real Estate CARES is a chapter of the Realogy Charitable Foundation, Inc. A 501 (C) (3) public charity incorporated in Delaware. Chapters principal place of business is Florida. A copy of the official registration and financials can be obtained from the division of Consumer Services. Registration does nor endorse, approve or recommend by the state. The Foundation Tax ID # is 20-0755090

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fun Summer Activities in Naples Florida

The long, hot days of summer have arrived and if you are looking for something really cool to do, we can suggest a few of our favorites! Don't miss the Fourth of July Parade, Friday July 4th from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The parade begins at Broad Avenue South, north on Third Street, then up Fifth Avenue! Get a "good spot" early! Later that same day, the Downtown Fireworks is a show not to be missed. This annual tradition begins at 9 p.m. when a remarkable pyrotechnics display appears off the Naples Pier out over the Gulf of Mexico. Call 239-213-7120 if you are interested in parking and shuttle info. How about Summer Golf? The South Florida PGA 2008 GolfPass membership is limited to 5000, so call today! For only $48. per individual, it offers play on nearly 200 South Florida courses, including 25 country clubs. Contact them at 954-752-9299 or www.sflorida.pga.com If Art & Culture are your thing, a day wandering through the 15 exhibit halls at The Naples Museum of Art, or perhaps the beautiful von Liebig Art Center downtown? Peruse the galleries on Fifth Avenue or Gallery Row off Third. Both the Collier County Museum and Palm Cottage have summer hours. ~And let's not forget The Fifth Avenue South Gallery Walks scheduled for July 13th, August 10th and September 14th from 6-9 p.m....and circle the date now for The Labor Day Weekend Arts and Crafts Festival on Fifth Avenue South on September 6th and 7th from 10 to 5! Want to be entertained? The Naples Beach Hotel hosts FREE Jazz concerts on their lawn...mark your calendars for July 19th, August 23rd and September 13th! You won't want to miss The Evenings On Fifth either. They will occur on July 10th, August 14th and September 11th. If you want to check out what is happening at the Phil it's easy, just log on to their website at www.ThePhil.com They already have their 2008-2009 season online! Great! Maybe getting close to nature is what you are yearning for...Did you know that Naples residents can go to The Naples Zoo for free on the 1st Saturday of each month? Also, The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is alive with wildlife and color in the summer months. Maintained by the Audubon Society, this is a magnificent way to spend the day. Of course, let's not forget so many of our favorite restaurants offer summer specials...and this time of year there aren't any long waits to be seated! Perfect! Last, but certainly not least, did you know it's a great time to buy real estate? Please call a member of The Harris-Peppe Team today: 239-370-0574. We have been selling the Naples' lifestyle since 1981 and we would consider it a privilege to assist you or someone you know with a summer sale! Thanks and have a safe and happy summer!

Monday, June 9, 2008

House-Spouse magnet

This may well be one of the weirdest real estate blog entries ever, but I felt it was worth the time for those ladies out there looking for a husband...okay, don't laugh, but here goes. We have a cute little condo listed in a neighborhood and price point that we do not normally handle. The mom of the owner is a real estate agent in another Florida city and found us on the Internet. Given her daughter's situation I decided to take the listing myself hoping that someone would do the same for one of my kids. I promised her I would take care of her daughter as though she were my own kiddo. I know it gave her a good sense of comfort knowing my years of experience. Well, never did we think a year ago that the market would have continued it's downward spiral and at such a pace...This lovely little condo is a super buy, located just a few short miles to downtown Naples and all the wonderful amenities Naples offers. Further, it boasts a spacious bedroom plus a den, covered parking, cute furnishings, in-home laundry, a wonderful community pool, a nice park-like setting, golfing nearby and best of all...are you ready for this? The last two ladies who owned this condo moved in single and met their husbands shortly thereafter. Now, this might be pushing the envelope, and of course I cannot make any guarantees, but thinking outside the box is my specialty and in this crazy market I figured, what did I have to lose, right? Oh, by the way. This sweet little condo is priced at $100,000 even. Call us if you're interested in the details or check it out yourself on our website: http://www.naplesrealestate.com/

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Save $$$ On Your Home Insurance

Recently my husband (and business partner, Chip) had a Windstorm Inspection done on our personal residence here in Naples. We live on the water. The results, which we turned into our insurance company, gave us approximately a 30% savings on the wind portion of our homeowner's insurance premium. This is substantial when you consider the cost of insurance. If you are reading this, and have any questions pertaining to this type of inspection, please feel free to call Chip as he would be happy to assist you. 239-370-0574 It is important to note that Governor Charlie Crist signed a new law: SB 2860, which will require beginning in 2010, all homes insured by Citizen's Property Insurance for more than $500,000 which are located in the "windborne debris region" to disclose the home's windstorm rating at the real estate closing. This means these homeowners will have to complete the windstorm mitigation inspection prior to selling their homes. This program also applies to condominums, so it might benefit an association to check into getting such an inspection. ~AND...Starting in 2011, all homes located in the windborne debris regions must disclose this rating at closing, not just those insured for more than $500,000.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Counting Our Blessings

Well, as you can see I started out "gang-busters" when I first created this blog earlier this year...10 posts in January, my first month of blogging...Now as I look back, I haven't published an entry in about 2 weeks! Ahh! I just don't know where the time goes. Days and weeks are running together. I hear from other agents how "slow" things are and I wonder what planet they're on! We are busy! We are very busy! Internet leads, sign calls, floor calls & "walk-ins", referrals from past customers, open house prospects, making sales, managing listings and marketing. We do not know a dull day. If it isn't happening we make it happen!! Last month we had nearly a half million organic visitors to our website. There just isn't enough time in the day to follow up with all these potential prospects! Add to the mix a private life filled to the brim with children, grandchildren, friends and family...wonderful loved ones...Well, our cup runneth over...and we are not complaining. Quite honestly, just the opposite, we are counting our blessings! I had a great experience this morning. My broker is out of town and I volunteered to run our weekly sales meeting. Well, it was a great meeting if I may say so myself...not just the context, but the interaction. This office has some very talented agents...I have the best co-workers in the business. We are a family here at The Coldwell Banker Previews office. The meeting was upbeat and happy, positive and motivational. There are a lot of really good stats out there...Our market is turning in certain key segments in and near downtown Naples. One neighborhood in particular, Aqualane Shores is on track to close nearly 50 homes this year and currently only has 24 active listings. That's a 6 month absorption rate folks. You better check it out now before it's too late because Aqualane Shores is selling and it won't be long when the other waterfront communities follow! Our office pended 65 sales in May! We are up nearly 18% over the same time period last year! Buyers are making plans to come back to Naples to make decisions! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you would like information and current statistics about any particular neighborhood or community in Naples I hope you will give The Harris-Peppe Team an opportunity to earn your business. We look forward to hearing from you...now, gotta' get back to work!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1031 Exchanges

Today I attended a seminar on 1031 exchanges. I've been selling for over 27 years, and I have done my fair share of exchanges, but I went to the class anyway just to see if I could pick up any *new info to share with my customers. The class was given by a gentleman named Marshall Beene who is an exchange account coordinator with U.S. National 1031 Exchange. An investor in real estate understands how important it is to preserve wealth and assets. The investor is fortunate to have this tax code which gives them the ability to defer taxes on their gain and rollover equity of "like kind" properties. Thus, the investor continues to build wealth through real estate investments and maintains the hard earned equity. First of all, let me define what an IRC 1031 Tax deferred Exchange is: A 1031 Exchange is a transaction which specifies if an asset (a form of real estate such as land or a commercial building) is sold and the proceeds of the sale are then reinvested in an asset of a similar kind, therefore no capital gain or loss is recognized, allowing the deferment of capital gains taxes that would otherwise been due on the first sale. The actual law is Title 26, section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. All clients should refer to their CPA for tax or legal advice, but if you have basic questions about what an IRC 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange is we welcome your call. Many of these questions can also be answered by logging onto http://www.usnational1031.com/ Okay, now for the *new info...I thought this was interesting...If you, an investor, purchased a property for $200,000. and the current market value is $500,000...BUT, if you have taken equity out of the property over your time of ownership, you will still owe capital gains on the estimated $300,000 difference--known as gain (less added improvements, less depreciation, less selling expenses,etc...I'm just trying to keep the example simple) even if your current mortgage debt is $400,000 or more...The tax due on the sale is based on the estimated gain on the sale regardless of whether you have refinanced or gotten equity out of the property. In this instance, it would be better to consider a 1031 exchange and "roll" the sale into another like kind property of equal or greater value and continue to build wealth rather than get "stuck" owing taxes on a property you now have little or no equity in. Again, I always recommend you call your CPA, but I thought that in today's market there might be a few investors out there in similar situations that might find this info helpful. If you own an investment property here in Naples Florida and want more info about the 1031 exchange and how it could benefit you, please call The Harris-Peppe Team today. 239.370.0574
Thank you, and make it a great day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Monday, May 12, 2008

Name Brand Recognition

1. Did you know that 96% of consumers know the Coldwell Banker Brand? What's in a name? EVERYTHING! A strong brand can command a premium price and influence buying decisions that shape the ownership experience. Put the strength of the Coldwell Banker to work for you. With over 100 years as an industry leader and a 96% brand awareness, Coldwell Banker is in the same league as Coke, Pepsi and Nike! 2. Did you know that 80% of today's consumers begin their home search on the internet? What's in a name? EVERYTHING! That's why NaplesRealEstate.com is fast becoming the most popular website used by today's consumer looking for a home in Naples! 3. Did you know that over 70% of The Harris-Peppe Team's real estate transactions are a result of repeat and referral business? What's in a name? EVERYTHING! The Harris-Peppe Team, "the name friends refer to friends" Coldwell Banker, http://www.naplesrealestate.com/ & The Harris-Peppe Team... Call them today to put this winning combination to work for you! 239-370-0574

Monday, May 5, 2008

Market Hits Bottom!

A week or so ago our local newspaper reported that the housing market in Collier had "hit bottom" and was back on track. I'd say a lot of folks read that article because showings on our listings are up again after experiencing a bit of a lull earlier last month. At a recent real estate forum, organized by The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Hank Fishkind, renowned Florida economist spoke the words Naples real estate agents have been waiting to hear..."The markets are not eroding further". Yes, it looks like prices have leveled off, but it will probably take another 6 to 12 months for sales to really start improving in the Naples area. Fishkind described the unsold inventory of new homes in Collier County as "fairly small" while he predicts it will be "years" before prices go up again. He also spoke about the decline in housing starts which will also "bottom" out in 2008. This will make finding new homes around town more scarce in a couple of years. Certain neighborhoods are already rebounding. Why just today I selected 7 homes to show a prospect tomorrow and 2 of the 7 went under contract over the weekend! In the first weekend of May! Yahoo! Usually by this time of year Naples is pretty quiet, but people are coming back to make decisions that they didn't make in February! For a list of what we think are the areas hottest properties email or call us today! michele@naplesrealestate.com or Chip's direct line: 239-370-0574

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Say "hello" to a good buy!

Call today to see this lovely home perfectly situated on a peaceful preserve. Unbelievable opportunity to own a 3 bedroom single family home with a 2 car-garage, private pool and spa, intensely furnished turnkey and brand new carpet! This great community is a friendly neighborhood with quiet winding streets, sidewalks and cul du sacs. There's a world class clubhouse offering fabulous amenities including a huge swimming pool and excellent tennis facility. The gate house is fully manned and adds security and always a warm welcome! Come see why we think at only $349,000 this is one of Naples Best Buys! Call soon...this wonderful opportunity will not last long! 239-250-4370 direct.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's what's on the outside that counts!

A recent study produced by Hanley Wood LLC in cooperation with the National Association of Realtors' REALTOR Magazine found that the most profitable projects for return on your dollar around the house were outside projects. When looking for the top returns for the dollar, upscale siding and/or fresh paint on the exterior recouped the highest percentage at 88%. Buyers first judge a home by its curb appeal. The "Cost vs. Value Report" purports that 3 of the top 4 projects with the highest return were outside investments. Following siding upgrades (or exterior painting), the addition of a deck (in our case that would be a new "lanai":-) and new windows both returned over 80%. On the national average, the only interior job to generate over 80% was a kitchen remodel. First impressions mean the most, so put your best "face" forward. Did you know a buyer develops an opinion of your property in 15 seconds! So, sweep those eaves and sidewalks, touch up paint & paint the front door a fresh, new color...plant seasonal, flowering plants...make sure all landscaping is neatly trimmed. There is more competition than ever; make sure at the end of the day your home is the one they remember first...and for all the right reasons!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Zen and the Art of Selling Real Estate

It was about 30 years ago when I first came across "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An inquiry into Values". It is Robert M. Pirsig's first text in which he explored his theory of metaphysics and reality. Reading it reconfirmed a core belief instilled in me by my father...basically, Everything you think, you are. This mantra has become part of the fiber of my being and is reflected in everything I do, including and very importantly, my work. I don't know if there ever was a text written, ..."Zen and The Art of Selling Real Estate" specifically, but that practice of keeping good thoughts has never been more needed and or more important than it is now... Today's real estate agents face more challenges than ever before...Therefore, keeping lofty thoughts, making positive affirmations as well as maintaining an optimistic outlook while being receptive and open to communicate with each seller and buyer as they need...this "value" of customer service: the customer is always right...the customer comes first...This is the true value of selling real estate...The relationships we have taken the time to nurture and build. This is the truest measure of success. Just the other day I received a phone call from a very frustrated seller. (A lot of today's sellers are frustrated) He and his wife are two of my most favorite customers. They have bought and sold quite a few properties from us over the years. They are kind and loyal and easy to work with. After several moments of conversation he said to me, "Michele, you have the most calming voice." It was such a nice thing for him to say and it reminded me yet again how very important it is to stay in that positive place...Reacting to a person's frustration, making excuses, defending the market...none of this works. What sellers (and buyers) need is knowledge & honesty...about the price, about the market and the trends, but mostly they just want a "calming voice"... Yes, a lot has happened in the world since Mr. Pirsig first wrote about the zen approach to maintaining a motorcycle, but his theory isn't science after all, it's just the truth...Everything you think, you are --And I think I'm the luckiest person in the world to have made so many friends in my 27 years of selling real estate here in Naples. That is my value...Everything else will just fall into place.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Global Connections

Coldwell Banker and The Harris-Peppe Team opens homes to the world in 46 countries, on 6 continents...and our network keeps growing & growing. The Coldwell Banker brand name is known worldwide. Because of correcting real estate prices, historically low interest rates and the value of the Euro, the Canadian dollar and other foreign currencies, Florida real estate is "on sale" like never before! With favorable exchange rates and our global network of 120,000 sales associates in more than 3,800 offices in 46 countries, we are uniquely positioned as one of very few international real estate brands. Savvy international buyers recognize that NOW is the perfect time to buy their Florida Dream Home. On a recent online survey, Coldwell Banker in Florida determined that 47% of the agents that responded reported working with international buyers from 90 countries in the last 6 months. This is significantly higher than the national average of 33% in 2007. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, working with a team and a company that offers this global reach is of utmost importance. We know that many of our international home buyers are going to the Internet first to find their Florida home. Florida accounted for 26% of the all international home purchases in 2007...many of whom have discovered the beauty and value of Naples! At Coldwell Banker and The Harris-Peppe Team we are committed to broadening our international reach. We are committed to educating ourselves on the business protocol and buying habits of potential customers from around the globe. I'm sure you've heard the expression that "real estate is local", however, real estate has gone global and we pride ourselves in our Global Connections.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

New Feature on our site!

We love getting feedback and input from the public and our customers who frequent our website. We take all suggestions into consideration and today I am happy to announce a few improvements to our already awesome site! First of all, as a buyer you will now be able to search in better price point increments to help you zero in on listings that are closer to the actual purchase price you desire. Second, we will now be changing our "Featured Property" on our home page weekly instead of monthly. With so many wonderful listings in our inventory, and with featured properties getting so many "looks" we thought this would be a way of better exposing our fabulous "best buys" and change them out regularly. By clicking on that link on the home page you will be able to get details of each listing as well as lots of photographs and a virtual tour! So thank you for all the great comments! Keep them coming! We aim to please! --and remember, to see any of these listings, please call The Harris-Peppe Team today! 239-370-0574 direct

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Naples Real Estate Update

Like any commodity, a home's value will follow supply and demand trends.
Our current MLS inventory in Naples for active residential listings has hovered at 12,000 for several months. Competition is abundant and many buyers are waiting for prices to fall even more. Investors, for the most part, are out of the market, thereby making ours a user-driven market with price being the # 1 consideration when offers are being negotiated. Even if Naples stays on track with approximately the same number of sales this year as 2007, we have a 3 year absorption rate.
Last year MLS reported a total of 3,903 closed residential sales, down from 4,516 in 2006. There were a total of 8,859 closings in 2005 following a record of 8,995 in 2004. (I can track this back further if you are interested)...
Probably the best barometer for determining what is happening NOW in any real estate market is pending sales (actual written business). Year to date in Naples, per the MLS, we have had 1572 listings pended as compared to 1539 in 2007. Up slightly. Each neighborhood should be focused on individually, as statistics vary in certain price points and communities...even absorption rates can vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood. Please call or email us today for details on any specific property, we are happy to be of assistance and look forward to earning your business and referrals!
239-370-0574 (direct) or harris-peppe@naplesrealestate.com

Friday, March 21, 2008

Excellence is a Habit

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
Aristotle
Chip Harris & Michele Peppe are proud to announce that recently at their annual awards banquet, they were awarded the distinction of being named the top listing and selling agents at the prestigious Coldwell Banker Previews office on Fifth Avenue South in Naples for 2008. They were also named as one of the top 10 agents for Coldwell Banker in the region, as well as in the top 100 of all agents statewide!
"Chip and I believe our success can be credited to a number of factors; but mostly it is our commitment to hard work, integrity and customer service. Our market knowledge is stems from our 40+ years of experience selling the Naples' lifestyle...and we want to put this experience to work for you! Please call us today."
While past results may not be the only measure of success, for The Harris-Peppe Team, excellence has become a habit!