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Thursday, January 24, 2008

From "Good To Great" in 2008

Our company had their "season" kick off breakfast this morning and unveiled some very exciting new marketing campaigns (Good to Great in '08), enhanced eMarketing strategies, presentations by our lending and title partners, plus state and local statistics from 2007 that I wanted to share on the blog!
U.S. Real Estate Statistics
  • 1 out of every 16 households bought a home in 2007.
  • 2007 was the 6th highest # of sales in U.S. history.
Florida Statistics and other Interesting Information
  • Market share for Coldwell Banker increased 21.5% state-wide.
  • 1 out of 3 of the homes listed by Coldwell Banker sold in the first 30 days of the listing. After 30 days, those with reductions were twice as likely to sell.
  • Over 50% of the Coldwell Banker agents had an increase in business in 2007 over 2006.
  • 47% of Coldwell Banker agents worked with an international home buyer in the last 6 months of 2007. 36% of Foreign Buyer's in 2007 came from Germany, 28% from the UK, 13% from Canada and 8% from South America.
  • The median sold price for single-family homes increased by 52.5% over the past 5 years.

Naples Statistics

  • Median sold prices from January 2005 to January 2006 decreased 4%.
  • Median sold prices from January 2006 to January 2007 decreased 5%.
  • Median sold prices from January 2007 to December 2007 decreased 15%
  • Coldwell Banker closed unit sales was up 21% 2006 vs. 2007.

For additional information about closed sales in specific neighborhoods, call a member of The Harris-Peppe Team today. We are happy to assist you in making informed decisions...Let's all go from "good to great" in 2008!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Valet Service Downtown Naples!

Great news! Starting January 18th you can experience Fifth Avenue South like never before! Enjoy gourmet restaurants, world class shopping, galleries and live theater all without the hassle of finding a parking spot! On Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 PM - midnight there will be two valet stations; one located on Fifth Street South just north of Fifth Avenue South and one on 8th Street South just north of Fifth Avenue South. The cost to valet will be $5.00. There will also be a free trolley service with six stops along Fifth Avenue South from 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays! Don't forget while you are downtown enjoying the sights and sounds to stop by The Coldwell Banker Previews office at 550 Fifth Avenue South to say hi to The Harris-Peppe Team! Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vote 'Yes' on 1

Real Tax Cuts for Real People. Click on this link to see a video: Please call me if you have any questions or comments about this very important amendment. Thanks! Michele Peppe 239-262-7131 ext. 139

Monday, January 14, 2008

Florida School Rankings!

An article in the National Association of Realtors News & Events today announced that Florida public schools ranked 14th nationally with an overall grade of C+ on a report card issued by Education Weekly magazine. Much of the credit for Florida's finish, which was up from 31st last year, goes to high marks for its teaching profession and system of standards, assessment and accountability. The "B" that Florida received for its teaching profession gave the state a 4th place nationally in that category!
If you are interested in finding out how the schools here in Naples (Collier County) rank, please visit our website, and find "School Information" on the menu bar!
Remember, you may be a retiree looking to buy a second home in Naples and wonder why a school ranking would effect your decision...Good schools are important to ensure the quality of life in a community!
For additional information about schools in Collier County and homes in different school zones, contact a member of The Harris Peppe Team Today!
Thank you and make it a great day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Good News!

Are we going to let the negative media hype control our destiny? I prefer to concentrate on the strengths that exist in today's market when speaking to my sellers and buyers? Below are some recent, positive quotes about the real estate market: In his 2008 outlook, Laurence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors points out that this year will be a year of opportunity...One of the biggest mistakes that reporters make is talking about national trends. Nationally 2007 was the Fifth Best year ever on record! "2008 represents the best window that buyers will have to find excellent deals along with excellent financing." Walter Updegrave, CNN Money said last month, "Buyers: Don't try to time the market...Assuming you can figure out the ideal time to buy- that is, when prices have not only hit a trough, but are on the verge of rebounding...the best time may have already passed. An article in "Spotting Market Bottoms in 2008, Strategies for Home Sellers" reads, "with the value of the U.S. dollar low and real estate prices dropping, it isn't hard to imagine foreigners taking bigger positions in properties here as part of their overall portfolios." Rates Fall on the first economic report of 2008 according to Holden Lewis of on January 3rd, 2008. The benchmark 30 year fixed rate mortgage fell to 6.14 % according to, a national survey of large lenders. The 15 year fixed rate fell to 5.76% , the 1 year adjustable fell to 6.1% and the 30 year jumbo, for mortgages over $417,000 fell to 7.2% Now really is a good time to buy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Florida's Property Tax-Reform Plan

I've been getting a lot of calls from my customers and past clients asking me to explain to them the upcoming Tax-Reform bill which will be on the ballot later this month...Briefly, here's my understanding of the benefits:
  • The Homestead Exemption will be doubled from $25,000. to $50,000. But, the 2nd $25,000. exemption will not reduce local school tax collections.
  • The Save Our Homes (SOH) Cap of 3% will be preserved and will provide for portability. This will allow a homesteader to "move up" to a higher priced home (higher than their current home based on the tax appraiser's "Just Value assessment") and take their SOH savings on with them for a maximum of $500,000. For homesteaders moving to a less expensive home, the plan will allow them to take a portion of their SOH savings. (There are formulas for these examples which I would be happy to provide). The portability provision will be retroactive to January 1st, 2007.
  • The plan also approves a proposal that provides an assessment cap similar to the SOH cap to second home owners of non-homesteaded properties and commercial properties. The cap is set at 10% and represents a huge precedent for a state to provide tax assessment caps on second homes, investment properties and commercial property owners!
  • Lastly, the plan includes a $25,000 exemption for taxes businesses pay on equipment and other personal property.

I hope this helps...I will be attending a seminar on January 17th which is being sponsored by the Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Naples Area Board of Realtors. If I learn anything new, I promise to share it! In the meantime, it would be my recommendation for you to vote YES!

Monday, January 7, 2008

More Good News

I'm back in the office today for my first real, full day "on the job" in the new year...I like being here...working from home, prospecting, previewing listings...all productive use of time, but being here at the office today has been great. Everyone seems to be so optimistic. There's a good vibe in the air at Coldwell Banker Fifth Avenue South! That's one of the nice things about the new year...a clean slate...a promise of tomorrow! There are some positive signs indicating that Florida, specifically Southwest Florida, is moving in the right direction with regard to property values and projected sales. We can thank, in part, demographics and economic trends. Current prices have either stabilized or are continuing to decrease, but I believe we will see an upturn in the real estate market here in Naples in the 2nd half of 2008...Look, it's my job to be optimistic, but let me share a few findings I noted recently that help back up my optimism... First of all, for the third year in a row Florida metro areas dominated the Milken Institute-Greenstreet Partners "2007 Best Performing Cities Index". They reportedly look at 1-5 year job growth as well as other factors. Ocala led the list, the Naples-Marco Island area was # 6. This index includes the top 200 largest metro areas in the U.S. Also, job growth in health care, education and government; the driving force of Florida Gulf Coast University, all must be considered. These all point to long term demographics which will have a positive impact on our area in spite of the recent downward trend in construction. Florida has been one of the country's 10 fastest growing states for each of the past seven decades! Lastly, Naples will continue to lure retirees who are looking for warm weather and the best health care...playing golf in February, a healthy lifestyle. Combine all of this with the strong Euro and Canadian dollar, historically low interest rates and our excellent inventory, and I am certain we are in for a great "season"! It's cold up north right now, I'm betting on the pent up demand and the palm trees blowing in the breeze just outside my window being in my favor when the day is done...More Good News coming soon!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Deal or No Deal!

How many times have you watched that crazy game show only to witness a contestant turn down a couple of hundred thousand dollars with the hope of the million, only to end up with less than half? ...or less? ...much less... Welcome to the world of real estate Howie! Okay, let me put it to you this way, if I handed you a $20 dollar bill today, would you take it? Or...would you hold out for the possibility of getting 30 bucks a year from now? That may sound too simple, but real estate negotiations don't have to be complicated...All offers are good offers! Work it! Let's get the job done and start putting buyers and sellers together. There are a lot of really good deals to be made out there! I've never seen such an awesome inventory in all my 26+ years of selling the Naples' lifestyle. Call or email us today and let us show you some of these spectacular opportunities!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's a great time to buy real estate!

2008 is really going to be a great time to buy real estate. There are several indisputable factors that support this opinion. First of all, I can't remember the last time there's been the kind of selection that today's buyers have. Regardless what a buyer's price range, there are so many wonderful homes and condos from which to choose. Write a "wish list", chances are there won't be much compromising! You also don't have to wonder if you'll be getting into a "bidding war"...rarely is there any competitive bidding going's you and the seller. Another nice thing about today's real estate market, you can take your one is going to make a buyer feel rushed today...The sellers are patient, the real estate agents are patient, aaahhhh... Did you notice when we were all in a selling frenzy, sellers didn't have to "fix" anything? Well, today's sellers are more open to offers with inspection requests. Financing is going through its own metamorphysis...the day of "zero" down, no documentation loans that will adjust in a couple of years based on the sub-prime are gone. But, back are the good old-fashioned, hard to argue with, fixed rate mortgages! Finally, what I think is very relevant in our area; there are very few, if any, investors! We are back to being a "user-driven" market. So come on're not afraid to make decisions when you're chasing the market me, these prices won't stay down forever.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Resolution 2008

Okay, so I've already blown my one and only new year's resolution...On New Year's Eve I vowed to write in my real estate blog every day, not once every 90 days, AH! beginning January 1st...Anyway, it's the, I'll just start today, right? Making resolutions is relatively easy...Join a gym, go on a diet, manage money better, etc etc etc, but actually following through, now that's when it gets tricky! I have a folder 3 inches thick filled with "blog-intentions": newspaper articles, magazine clippings and lengthy hand written blog entries which just never got from the folder to blogspot...Most of these daily-bloggers must have nothing better to do, yes? With a full time job, a husband, 7 kids, 7 grandkids, a mom living nearby (no mom, you do not make me feel guilty), volunteering, babysitting, etc etc etc...I am just not sure when to actually pencil in "Blog time"...So, here goes, I am publicly making the commitment to blog. I am a little nervous, I must admit. The perfectionist in me must let go of trying to make each entry a masterpiece...Who cares really? I can only hope that enough people will actually read it...add to it...comment on me to see things from a different perspective...agree with me...disagree with me...connect with me...want to do business with me... Sooooo, Happy New Year everyone. Here's to a wonderful year in the real estate business in beautiful Naples Florida. Amen