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Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 Marketing Strategies

While putting the finishing touches on our 2010 Business Plan, including detailed marketing strategies and a budget, it was interesting for me to note the following observations according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR asked over 100,000 consumers to rank the "usefulness" of information sources when 'buying' real estate.
Here are some of their findings for 2009:
  • The real estate agent (81%) edged out the Internet (77%) for the top spot as "very useful" for the first time in years! Within the margin of error, this is considered a tie.

  • Yard signs, considered "very useful" 42% vs. 46% in 2008, virtually unchanged.

  • In the top 10 categories, billboards went from 9th place to 4th place for usefulness. Hmmmmm...Interesting.
  • Television, which was ranked in 10th place last year earned the #5 spot in 2009.
  • Home book magazines dropped from 27% "very useful" to 90% "not useful" in one year!
  • Newspaper advertising went from 29% "very useful" to 98% "somewhat useful".
  • Buyers ranked Open Houses as "very useful" 40% of the time in 2008, but in 2009 buyers only ranked open houses "very useful" 10% of the time!
Briefly, taking all of this into consideration, I've concluded that The Harris-Peppe Team will continue our focus on Internet marketing, expand our social media networking and devise time management plans for staying organized and on-task online. You will NOT see our smiling faces on a billboard or a bus stop bench...We are checking into the costs of TV advertising...We are downsizing and/or eliminating most print media...But, we will continue to do open houses because although it is obvious that buyer's habits are changing, we still think that next to personal referrals, the best way to meet and build rapport with a potential customer is face-to-face.
*Michele Peppe has taught Business Planning and Time Management to both new agents at Coldwell Banker and to real estate professiosnals at Arvida University as well as being a platform speaker at a number of local and state engagements.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunset Island

Chip and I drove out to Everglades City last night to have dinner with friends that were visiting from out of town. It's less than an hour drive from downtown Naples, but it might as well be half-way around the world. When you arrive in this sweet little village where time stood still more than a few decades ago you really feel like you are being tossed back to another era. Everglades City served as the county seat early in the last century until 1961 when it was moved to Naples. The first modern day settler came in 1868, although the Calusa Indians resided there 2,000 years ago. There are a lot of links on the Paradise Coast website that I encourage anyone in the area to explore. You can still dine at the famous Rod and Gun Club lodge where Ernest Hemingway stayed when he came to the 10,000 Islands to fish and hunt. Also, the historic Smallwood General Store is still operating, and the Museum of the Everglades should not be missed! There is a wonderful Bed and Breakfast named, The Ivey House.
We took the pontoon boat over to Sunset Island (the only way to get there--no cars!) and were treated to an amazing sunset...easy to see how the island got its name! There are so many treasures in Southwest Florida...Life is beautiful on the Paradise Coast!
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Honoring Those Who Serve Our Nation

Please take a quiet moment and join The Harris Peppe Team today, Veteran's Day, by recognizing the men and women who are currently defending our nation as well as those who have bravely served in the past. Let us never forget those who have dedicated their lives in preserving our cherished freedom, democracy and human dignity. In addition let us also remember the sacrifices of their families and loved ones. It is with our deepest gratitude for your service to our country that we are so thankful.
We will never forget your valor.
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Monday, November 2, 2009

Naples Real Estate Statistics for October

Naples Residential Closed Sales : A Comparison of October 2008 vs. October 2009
  • In October 2008 there were a total of 392 Closed Sales compared to 483 Closed Sales last month. Approximately a 19% increase.
  • October 2008 Closed Sales priced under $300,000 totalled 239 (61% of the total closings) vs. 323 Closed Sales in October 2009 (66.8% of the closings).
  • 36 of the closed sales in October 2008 were Previews Properties (those listed at or above $1 million dollars). In October 2009 28 of the 483 were Previews Properties.
  • Pending Sales in October 2008 totalled 570. In October 2009 we saw a dramatic increase with 1,014 residential listings going Pending.

October also saw the first increase in listings taken since March. It is typical that we see an increase in homes and condos on the market this time of year as sellers prepare for the upcoming season.

Naples is divided into Geographic Areas in the Multiple Listing System. Here is an example of the Average Sale Price changes in the past 12 months (0-12 months) vs. the previous 24 to 12 months in some of those Naples Areas:

  • NA 06: Olde Naples Prices are down -14.7%
  • NA 07: Port Royal/ Aqualane Shores Prices are up +7.4%
  • NA 08: Royal Harbor area/ Windstar prices are up +11.1%
  • NA 05: Crayton Road area: Prices are down -20.5%
  • NA 15: Between Goodlette & US 41 Prices are down -24.6%

*Keep in mind, some of those increases may have been caused by the more expensive 'newer home' listings that have been selling vs. the 'older home' listings which command much less per square foot and are priced closer to lot value in many cases. Such is the case in the Crayton Road area, as an example, which saw fewer newer home sales compared to the Royal Harbor area, which has seen more newer construction sales in the past 12 months than the previous 12 months. For more details or for results in other Geographic areas in Naples, please call us.

Based on the current inventory in the Naples MLS, today's attractive interest rates, the national Pending Home Sale Index, the number of residential listings that went under contract last month AND the increase in Internet inquiries that The Harris Peppe Team is experiencing (more than a 400% increase in website registration in October 2008 vs October 2009), I'd say we are in for a great season ahead! Factor in the pent up demand, the number of "baby boomers" moving south and the desirability of Naples Florida and we have a winning combination! There has NEVER been a better time to buy a home in Naples Florida! If you or someone you know is interested in receiving a "Welcome to Naples" package, please contact someone from The Harris Peppe Team today! We hope to hear from you soon and we look forward to earning your business! 239.370.0574

Have a great November!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat?

Can you believe it is the end of another month? The time just seems to fly by... Halloween to me always signifies the beginning of the holiday season...everywhere you look there are decorations. Each year it seems to get a little bit earlier. Doesn't it? Or is it just me? In addition to preparing for the holiday season, real estate agents in the south are also gearing up for our "other" season. The influx of "snowbirds" arriving is already evident by the out-of-state plates seen driving south along the interstate. I haven't finished my month end reports yet, but by the looks of things, after a cursory review, I'd say we are in for a good season. [Once done I will post the results of the October figures]. Inventory is down, rates are still low, the banks seems to be getting a handle on the short sale process, and there is a pent up demand looming over Naples that we haven't seen in several years. Our website inquiries are up, compared to last October a 400% increase! So, Happy Halloween everybody! "Trick or treat?" I'd say we are all in for a few treats...that is if you ring the right bell! ...Hoping you will call The Harris Peppe Team at 239-370-0575!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Staying Connected

We are eager to get back to the office after spending the past couple of months on the third leg of the Great Circle Route . While away we observed the following, which we would like to share with you: 1. No matter how far from civilization we veered off the beaten path; if there was a For Sale sign on a remote island on the rivers or on a cottage lawn on a quiet cove, it was almost always a Coldwell Banker sign!! The blue and white brand is universally recognized and respected. We are coming home more certain than ever that we are affiliated with the best full-service real estate company. We never missed an opportunity to stop in and visit with Coldwell Banker offices along the way. We met and networked with agents from many of our "feeder markets". Many already either know someone in Naples or knew someone looking to buy! They were glad to now have met a referral contact personally! 2. Even though we have a great office set up on board (see photo inset), there were many days while we were underway that we did not have reliable cell service and Internet connections- Krista, Meagan and Sam held down the fort like the competent experts that they are and handled all situations with the skill and efficiency of seasoned professionals. Together The Harris-Peppe Team closed $ 4 million in sales in the last 60 days and currently has over $ 4 million pending, including a $1.9 million dollar listing under contract that Chip negotiated last week! PLUS, We took some great new listings, too! 3. Unanimously, the Internet is the number one means to advertise, as told to us by the top agents we met along the way, as well as is evident by the number of quality leads we have been receiving each day from our websites. We now have 3 websites...and you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as subscribing to our blogs and YOUTUBE channels. We intend to continue to dominate the Naples area with our successful web presence. We know we have challenges ahead, but we also know we have the strength of these three key ingredients to success: An internationally recognized real estate company: Coldwell Banker; a winning sales team: Harris Peppe; and a fabulous web presence with NaplesRealEstate.com, NaplesPreviews.com and NaplesRealEstateEtc.com

We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to earning your business!

Call us anytime with any questions about Naples Real Estate at: 239-370-0574

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Rates Dip Below 5%

Interest rates on a 30 year home loan dropped below 5% for the first time since May! ~and, Currently 29% of mortgage experts polled by Bankrate.com expect further reductions in the next 30 days. For more information about today's rates please contact our team member at Sunbelt Lending, Kelly Rebimbas 239-273-5239 direct or email her at krebimbas@sunbeltlending.com On another note, on Thursday, The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of "signed sales contracts" rose for the 7th consecutive month! It's a good time to be a buyer! Call a member of The Harris-Peppe Team today for details about the best buys and extraordinary values available in Naples Florida.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

3rd Quarter Stats

Naples Real Estate 3rd Quarter Statistics
Total closed residential sales in Naples were up 38% in the 3rd quarter of 2009 as compared to July 1st - September 30th, 2008. Closed sales in 2008 3rd quarter totalled 1,148 vs. 1,588 total residential closings this year in the 3rd quarter. Under $300,000 again showed the highest increase: 3rd quarter 2008 saw 657 closings in this price range vs. 1,103 total closings of residential listings priced at or below $300,000 for the 3rd quarter of 2009. Some of this can be attributed to a greater inventory in this price range: price reductions (listings that were originally priced above $300,000) and an increase in new listings in this price point. Downward pressure continues in this price range due to the number of sales vs. the number of listings: consider supply and absorption rate. In the 3rd quarter of 2008 Previews listings accounted for 114 of the total closings, while in the 3rd quarter of 2009 only 96 of the closings were listed at or above $1 million dollars. To put this in perspective, there are currently 1,438 residential listings in Naples in SunshineMLS priced at or above $1 million dollars...that's estimated to be about 17% of the inventory, yet only about 5% of the total residential closings. Currently, the median sale price in Naples is approximately $170,000 vs. an estimated $250,000 one year ago. The average sale price for the past 12 months is just over $365,000. Pendings, those listings presently under contract, generally thought to best portray what is currently happening in any given real estate market, shows 740 total pendings per the SunshineMLS for residential sales in Naples. 529 of those are listed at or below $300,000, continuing that trend. 47 of the 740 pendings are Previews Properties, homes or condos priced at or above $1 million dollars. Residential new listings by the month have averaged 1,670 since September 2005. That's over 20,000 new listings every year! New listings peaked in January of 2008, then again in January of 2009. However, in August 2009 the SunshineMLS hit a low of approximately 1,200 new listings coming on the market, less than any other month going back 4 years. At this writing there are 8,049 total residential listings in Naples multiple listing system. For additional information, or for a personal evaluation of your Naples home with no obligations, please call any member of The Harris-Peppe Team Today. This data is derived from the SunshineMLS. It is based on information deemed reliable but not warranted or guaranteed. It is provided for you as a service of The Harris-Peppe Team, Coldwell Banker Previews agents at the 5th Avenue South office in downtown Naples Florida.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Relax-Unwind-Swim-Fish

"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles." ~Doug Larson
Grab your fishing pole! You are just minutes by boat to the world famous 10,000 Islands! Nearly 3,800 square feet, like new, rarely lived in waterfront vacation home located in prestigious Royal Harbor in beautiful Naples Florida. Built in 2004, this exquisite direct access home leaves no detail unattended. Features include granite through-out, tasteful decor, a heated pool & spa, boat dock with lift, lush grounds...a truly relaxing atmosphere just waiting for you to call it home. Call for your private showing today: 239-370-0574 or view the VIRTUAL TOUR now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Keeping in the Loop

The term, "Keeping in the Loop" has taken on a whole new meaning since we started this voyage in 2007. We are on the Great Circle Loop, better known simply as The Loop! Both of us are still full time real estate agents, so strategically we had to decide how to manage our business while physically not being at the office. The Internet has certainly helped keep us in the loop...we subscribe to numerous real estate newsletters such as Broker Agent Pro, RIS Media, Early Bird News (which is the Florida Realtor newsletter), The National Association online magazine-Agent Shield; as well as various social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn...and I can't forget Facebook! ~and, Even though Facebook is comprised of mostly personal connections, I have actually used it often to post real estate related information including price reductions, new listings and virtual tours!
While away Sam, who we refer to as our 'right arm', manages the office and Chip's two oldest daughters who work with us, Meagan and Krista, are our eyes and legs. We work on board everyday...answering emails, proofing ads, negotiating contracts, preparing month end reports, and of course: blogging and posting on our social networks. We are having the time of our life, and we are proof positive that you can have a balanced life filled with adventure and still stay involved in a successful career. The other day I read, 'you don't get paid for working hard, effort is not rewarded...you get paid for results'! We liked that!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Make A Difference Today

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does NOT serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children we do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some people; it is in EVERYONE! As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fears, our presence liberates others."
~Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love: Reflections on "A Course In Miracles" 1992 Find someone who needs a helping hand. Look for the good in each person and every situation. Choose to do something today that will make a positive change in the world. Decide to volunteer. Donate blood. Take a class. Begin that project you have been putting off. Say Thank you. Give back. Smile. Be like a child. Let your light shine! This message was happily brought to you by The Harris-Peppe Team. Not because it is real estate related, but just because...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our Request

Our Request: It is hard to believe that it has been 8 years since the atrocity against our great nation which changed us forever...Will any of us ever forget where we were at that moment in time? The Harris-Peppe Team, in cooperation with their parent company, Realogy, would like to request that every residence and every business fly the American flag tomorrow; in honor of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001. Let's show the world our solidarity. Following 9/11 our country pulled together and did whatever was necessary to protect ourselves and each other. The unity was unprecedented. We experienced a love of our country that possibly no other generation of Americans had ever embodied before. Through this tragedy the strength and innate goodness of our nation's people shined through. By flying your flag, you not only remember those who lost their lives, but we also send prayers out to their families and friends who continue to endure the pain of their loss. Please fly your flags in their honor. Thank you. God Bless America.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Huge Price Reduction!

Check out this week's featured home on our website at www.NaplesRealEstate.com This Exceptional Residence boasts nearly 5,000 square feet and includes 3 spacious bedrooms, a den with custom built-ins, 3-car garage, a luxurious master retreat and wrap around golf course views from every vantage point. The pool and entertainment area is lush and private. Best of all, full membership is INCLUDED in the Arnold Palmer signature golf course. This single family home is located in the Estate section of Naples Lakes Country Club. We dare you to compare the size, view, community, amenities, golf course, location and age of this fabulous home...If you are looking for value and lifestyle, this is it! Call the Harris-Peppe Team today for a private showing of this great home! 239-370-0574

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

"We should so live and labor in our times that what came to us as seeds may go to the next generation as blossom, and what comes to us as blossom may go to them as fruit. This expresses the true spirit in the love of mankind".
~ Henry Ward Beecher Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend from The Harris- Peppe Team!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

All the Bells and Whistles

Lovingly care for Key West style single family home located at the quiet end of a picturesque street in desirable Royal Harbor. Spacious Great Room features 18' cypress tray ceilings and rich crown mouldings. The fabulous pool area with waterfall leads you out to the lushly landscaped backyard and right down to your private dock with direct Gulf access! Do you want to see 'all the bells and whistles'? Click HERE for photos and a virtual tour of this magnificent residence! Call the Harris-Peppe Team today to set up an appointment to preview this home, or for a complete list of all the waterfront homes in Southwest Florida! 239.370.0574 Thanks, and make it a great day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

In the Loop, but NOT Out of the Loop

There's definitely an art to getting away and still being able to stay in touch...time management is crucial. I've taught classes over the years to new agents entering the real estate business on Business Planning and Time Management...I consider it one of my strengths. Chip & I left last week for the 3rd and final Leg of our adventure,"Discovering Ithaka". In the process of completely circumnavigating the entire eastern United States (also known as 'The Loop'), we have learned a lot...about ourselves & each other, our country--the places and the people: we've forged new friendships to last a lifetime and created memories which we will hold dear for many years to come. While away from the office one would think we would be more focused on where we are and what we are doing and not as connected to our friends, family & business back in Naples, but honestly, quite the opposite is true. While away, our team becomes our eyes and legs, but we actually work on board each and everyday. Technology is a wonderful thing...not only has email, social networking and blogging helped us to stay connected; having the office on board has also allowed us to keep current with offers being negotiated, closed sales and pendings in MLS...new listings are viewed by watching virtual tours. Our systems keep us on task and remind us who and when to call prospects....Have 'aircard' will travel! Most of the time when we talk to people they don't even realize we are out of town (unless of course they are my friends on Facebook) ha ha! We are very blessed to be experiencing this adventure...in the long run we think it will make us better Realtors. So, keep the home fires burning Naples, we'll be back before you know it...and in the meantime, I think we'll sell a few condos to some of the folks we are meeting along the loop!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Say Hello to a Good-Buy!

This is one of the best buys in Naples Florida, priced below $300,000. It is NOT a short sale or a bank owned property...It is just a well priced listing with a motivated seller looking for offers! Beautifully appointed and easy to show...Call today to see this lovely 3 bedroom coach home situated on a lake in a wonderful gated community with resort amenities. Click HERE for details! September is typically a slow month for real estate sales in SW Florida...why not come on down now and beat the rush! Interest rates are still at record lows, inventory in the 'under $300,000' price range is evaporating. Call The Harris-Peppe Team today for a list of all our Super September buys!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Website Celebrates our Beautiful Gulf!

There's a wonderful new website that will help all of us keep up with the latest news about our beautiful gulf. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance in coordination with the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples have launched an informative new website about our coast. The site will feature events, podcasts, interviews with scientists about marine life, links to worthwhile videos, a media center; even online games! Log on today an enjoy learning about our beautiful gulf coast at SupportTheGulf.org I took the Photo attached today, looking north at Lowdermilk Park...a great place to take a mid-day break! If you'd like a home or condo on The Paradise Coast, where you can enjoy taking a 'break' on a one of the world's most breathtaking beaches, please call The Harris-Peppe Team now! 239.370.0574 Come on, get a little sand between your toes! (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Celebrating Success!

I just got back to the office having attended a luncheon at a beautiful country clubhouse in Lee County, about a 30 minute ride from my office in downtown Naples. One of the perks in this business...visiting pretty places. Grandezza is lovely; it was a wonderful venue for the informal gathering of the top 25 agents in the SW Florida Region for the first 2 quarters of 2009. Hosted by our Regional Senior Vice President, Sue Wolverton, the networking was fabulous! I always look forward to these luncheons as a chance to learn from the best of the best...a small intimate group of real estate professionals committed to excellence all sharing ideas and success stories. There's never been a time that I haven't come away with something. More importantly, I get to meet new contacts each time. Today I met an agent who focuses in the Ft Myers area and specializes in golf course communities. I am certain we will be referring buyers and sellers to one another. I also reconnected with an agent on Marco Island with whom I have not seen in awhile...and I made a new friend, Bob, an agent right in the north Naples office that I had never met before. One agent I met from the Cape Coral office does podcasts on YOUTUBE...he's a "Rock Star"!
~
It was interesting to me to learn that the combined Coldwell Banker offices of Lee, Charlotte and Collier Counties closed sales are up over 40% compared to the first 2 quarters last year. As an example of comparison, the Sarasota area (also in our region, but in another MLS system) was up only 11%. Naples usually leads the pack: first one in...first one out! Also, the SW Florida region led the state in sales to foreign buyers...62% of the states closings occurred in our region! This is the first time we outperformed Miami and Orlando areas.
~
On the Coldwell Banker statewide website, our vision is stated as this: To Be the Preferred Gateway for Exceptional Real Estate Experiences. After today's meeting, I can confidently say, that both myself and my colleagues are dedicated to fulfilling that vision. Please call the Harris Peppe Team if you have any questions about the real estate market in SW Florida. 239.370.0574 Whether you are a first time homebuyer or looking to buy your luxury dream home in paradise, it will be our privilege to assist you. Looking forward to making your next purchase an 'exceptional real estate experience'.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Naples Real Estate Update

We are well into August now and July stats are in, and it is mostly good news!

The Harris-Peppe Team is busy! We are showing homes daily, writing offers and several of our listings have gone under contract. Many of the prospects we are working with are saying they believe the bottom is here or close...They're right! Here is a recap of what is happening in the Naples MLS. Looking back at July, our market was very strong considering the economy and the financial environment. Some of this can be attributed to the first time home buyers taking advantage of tax credits, but certainly not in the numbers other parts of the state and around the nation are experiencing. A lot of the buyers we are working with will be retiring in 5 to 7 years, but they are buying now because they recognize the time is right! In July 2009 there were 665 residential closings in Naples according to the SunshineMLS database. They ranged from condos selling for less than $100,000 to a single family home in the prestigious Port Royal community for $6,995,000. 44 of the 665 closings were Previews Properties (listed at or above $1 million). The median sold price in June 2008 was just under $240,000. In June 2009, it fell to just under $180,000, which is up from March 2009 when it hit a 4 year low of $165,000. 340 of the 665 closings were cash transactions, not uncommon in Naples. 70 of the 665 closings were Short Sales with a median price of $144,900, and 202 of the 665 closings were Foreclosures with a median price of just under $100,000. 997 Residential properties went under contract (Pendings) in July 2009 as compared to 563 in July 2008. Currently there are 8,199 Active residential listings in Naples. Listing inventory generally peaks each year in January, so we do expect this number will increase as we get closer to the end of the year. However, it is important to note that our absorption rate is now calculated at an 18-month supply vs a 37-month supply just one year ago! Like any commodity, a home's value will follow supply and demand trends. The increase in REO properties will continue to apply downward pressure on the properties in the lower price points. It remains a price driven market all the way around. Buyers want to see value! One thing we will always have going for us regardless of all these numbers...it's warm and balmy in Naples Florida in February! Thinking about becoming one of "snowbirds", call today 239.370.0574 or register for our best buys online at http://www.naplesrealestate.com/

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Twitter Anyone?

I just got back to the office after attending a 3 hour Twitter workshop in nearby Bonita Springs. Who would have ever thought, just a few short years ago, when I first got interested in blogging as a means to stay in touch with friends and family while I was out of town, that I would turn into this social network junkie! (just kidding, it's really not that bad--yet! I actually schedule my social networking) But, Chip & Sam (our assistant) asked me, "...three hours to just learn twitter"?? Trust me, it's not just twitter! It's a whole new twitter vocabulary, twitter applications, twitter as a "search engine", twitter as a way to build relationships...It's about "tweeting" the right stuff and and RE tweeting...linking...sharing...It's about Direct Messages and shortening URLs. It's about getting my message out there as THE real estate expert in Naples Florida! It's about doing everything we can to try to stay ahead of the competition...who are all fast on our heels...These young lions today are getting out of university with degrees in real estate....no kidding, master degrees in real estate! In the end, I'll match my experience in Naples Real Estate up against them any day of the week, but if I don't stay up to speed with all that the Internet offers, they will all be leaving me in their dust! Anyone who continues to do business as usual hasn't heard that Twitter had over a 1,700% INCREASE in unique visitors in June 2009 vs June 2008! Isn't that impressive? The entire process is fascinating to me. When they day is done, it really is all about relationships...and I met some wonderful people today...You can bet on it...I WILL be following them on twitter, and they'll be following me! -and Who knows, maybe one day one of them will buy a home from us in Naples! Click here to follow the Harris~Peppe Team on TWITTER!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Social Networking Works!

Today I have a really neat FACEBOOK story that I'd like to share... About 3 months ago I received a call from a past customer who asked if Chip & I would be interested in a referral? She knew it was in an area that we don't often work, and she said she would completely understand if we wanted to refer it out to another agent. She said the buyers were friends of her brother. I gladly accepted the referral; this is the lifeblood of any business. I've often said, it takes less energy to keep a past customer than to find a new one...and Why more folks don't have better systems for staying in touch is beyond me...anyway... I proceeded in getting in touch with the prospect and after a great phone interview I mailed out a complete Naples package, and we began regular communication via email. They flew to town for a weekend (from New Jersey) about 8 weeks ago and I showed them homes. During the conversation I asked them how they knew my past customer's brother. The wife replied, "Oh, we don't actually know her brother...I've never ever met him...we are just in the same 'group' on Facebook...one day I commented about coming to Naples to look at houses and he replied to me and told me his sister lived in Naples and had a really good agent." Long story short--Today we closed on their new home in Naples! They ended up paying more than they originally planned because they bought a house with a guest house attached to the property and went together with their parents to make the purchase! It was a wonderful transaction from start to finish! Part of the challenge these days is finding the time to keep up to date with all the new technology. We are only just experiencing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social networking. From a business perspective, making productive use of your online time is crucial to your success in today's market, regardless of what you do for a living! --and, The re-connections you make with old friends is a wonderful bonus! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions about social networking...and don't forget, if you know anyone looking to buy or sell in Naples Florida, we hope you will consider referring them to The Harris Peppe Team! Thanks, and make it a great day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slow and Steady

The headline reads, "Economists: Slow recovery on tap", but when you read further, much of today's front page article in USA Today is much more promising than not...Although 63% of the economists say the recovery is slow and gradual, Two-thirds say existing home sales have hit bottom! Bill Cheney, chief economist at MFC Global Investment said that since both the housing and car markets fell so sharply, both have the "potential to generate some large percentage increases". I think everybody is trying to remain cautiously optimistic. Housing remains front and center...Florida went into a recession nearly a year ahead of the rest of the nation...both resales and new home sales last month exceeded everyone's predictions, rising 11%. Here in Naples we are seeing so many positive signs, including pending sales up 99% in June '09 vs June of 2008; and closed sales for that same comparison up 38%! Inventory is down, Average days on the market are down. The pent-up demand for real estate is becoming more and more evident as buyers are looking for well priced properties in good locations; price being the first consideration...."buyers" being the optimum word! Internet leads so far this month have exceeded February, typically our busiest month for inquiries...and our phones are ringing. Unemployment, a big factor in the recovery, is expected to hit double digits by the end of the year, but here's some interesting information: Did you know that unemployment for those with less than a high school diploma is already hovering around 14% ? With at least a college degree, less than 5% unemployment... here in Naples unemployment rose to 8% recently, due primarily to the decline in housing permits which peaked in late 2003...and for those tracking, fell 86% since that point in time. Luckily Naples remains very attractive to those who have always gravitated to the area...High income retirees from the Northeast & Midwest and foreign nationals from both Canada and Europe. Even though those high-end earners took a beating in many cases, the home they would have paid $3 million for a few years ago is now listed below $2 million...and they're back here now looking for these good values and making offers....knowing that "slow and steady" wins the race! For information on what The Harris-Peppe Team thinks are some of the best buys in today's market, please call us. We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to earning your business. Have a great week!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Naples Florida Luxury Home Update

The positive press about real estate is not just effecting the lower price points. 35 properties went under contract so far this month, per the Naples Multiple Listing System, with list prices at or above $1 million dollars! There have also been 51 closed sales this month, including a Port Royal home which sold for $6 million! There are a lot of excellent buys in the luxury market. Chip & I have seen a dramatic increase in our Internet hits in the high-end since unveiling our newest website, NaplesPreviews.com. We think one of the best Previews buys currently on the market is our listing at The Olde Naples Seaport. (click on the link to view the virtual tour) We began marketing this project when it was nothing more than a rendering. The 1st phase has 15 townhomes starting at $1,150,000. There are only 7 left. The 2nd phase comprised of two bay front penthouses. Both have sold; Penthouse south for over $3 million dollars, and Penthouse north for over $2 million. Presently there are both furnished models as well as "decorator ready" residences available. There is a world class marina right outside your door with moorings available for yachts up to 150'. You are walking distance to all the downtown amenities, including the beautiful Naples Beaches, which were rated #1 in the nation by the Travel Channel in 2005! The remaining condos all have spectacular views, over 3,300 sq ft of air-conditioned living space, a private garage and elevator, 3 spacious bedrooms, 3.5 bath, and best of all: a roof top deck which features a built-in grill and a hot tub! Imagine the morning views out across the bay from that vantage point...or a dip in the hot tub under the stars! Please call The Harris Peppe Team for all your real estate needs. We are hoping to hear from you soon and look forward to earning your business! 239.370.0574 direct. Thank you, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Classic Olde Florida Architecture

Come see why we think this exquisite home is one of Naples finest new construction offerings. (click on photo for larger version)
Beautifully situated on an over-sized lot with lush, tropical gardens; winding brick-paver walkways meander throughout the landscaped homesite which overlook a picturesque waterway boasting direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. A boater's dream come true...the 10,000 Islands and the back water channels are just a short boat ride away and are brimming with fish and native wildlife.
This home is located in the prestigious community of Royal Harbor and was built in 2008 in the Olde Florida style architecture with Hardie-plank siding and a tin roof. No details were spared. Wrap around porches and french doors allow the outside to become part of the inside. The intricate multi-terraced tray ceilings with crown mouldings, hardwood flooring, gourmet kitchen with granite, custom lighting & Viking appliances, spacious bedrooms & luxurious baths, fabulous outside kitchen and bar, refreshing pool, soothing hot tub and an outdoor living room with fireplace are just a few of the features which sets this home apart...the list goes on and on!
Call The Harris Peppe Team for a private appointment to view your new home today! 239.370.0574

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cool Things to Do in Naples Florida for the Summer!

The long, hot days of summer are here and if you are looking for something really cool to do, we can suggest a few of our favorites!
How about summer golf? The South Florida PGA 2009 GolfPass membership is available for only $48 per individual. It offers play on over 200 South Florida courses! Look for GOLFPASS on the menu bar on their home page! This is an believable opportunity!
If Art & Culture is 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 South. You can find them listed on the Downtown Naples Association website. Both the Collier County Museum and Palm Cottage have summer hours, too!
Want to be entertained? The Naples Beach Hotel (see photo) hosts FREE Jazz concerts on their lawn...mark your calendars for August 22nd and September 19th! If you want to see what's happening at The Naples Philharmonic it's easy. Just log onto their website. They already have their 2009-2010 season posted!
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 first Saturday of every month? If you haven't been there lately they have a wonderful new Bear Exhibit! Of course, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which is maintained by the Audubon Society, is alive with wildlife and color in the summer months...see my blog post from earlier this month where I talked about the rare and beautiful ghost orchids. This is a magnificent way to spend the day! Or, why not rent a boat or jet-ski and explore the backwaters in Naples?
Of course, let's not forget so many of our favorite restaurants offer summer specials! Chip & I went out to dinner Saturday night to one of our old favorites that we haven't been to in awhile to take advantage of their awesome summer special...pick from any two entrees on the menu, plus a bottle of wine for just $25 dollars! We happily recommend The Mangrove Cafe!
A great way to end any day? Sunsets at the Naples historic 1000' pier are always the best place in town to witness the sun dipping down into the gulf. You can meet new friends, talk to the fishermen and enjoy the ambiance at Naples' most famous landmark!
Last, but not least, it's a great time to buy real estate! Please call The Harris-Peppe Team today: 239-370-0574. We've 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 in paradise!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Biggest Net

I've written a lot of posts about the size of the net that Coldwell Banker casts to ensure our listings are exposed to the most prospective buyers around the world...Just this week at The Tech Tour that I attended in Estero I learned that The Harris-Peppe Team listings are posted on over 350 websites. I can't imagine any other brand with that kind of dominance on the Internet! Chip & I have three very active websites. All designed to cater to a specific market segment. Our Luxury Properties are featured on our NaplesPreviews.com site. This site lists our team's listings as well as all listings in the Naples area priced at or above $1 million dollars. We have another website, NaplesRealEstateEtc.com which allows every single listing in the entire state of Florida to be posted. These are categorized by city, from Apalachicola to Zephyr Hills and everything in between! Our most popular site is NaplesRealEstate.com. In fact, last month we tracked over 247,000 organic visitors on this site. Content is changed regularly, so you'll want to bookmark this site by making it a favorite and come back to visit it often. Approximately 50% of our business is generated from this website. We have experienced unparalleled success due primarily to this commitment of promoting our web marketing, a powerful organic web presence as well as an unmatched level of customer service. Selecting the right real estate agent and team is crucial. It makes all the difference in the world; and in our case, the "world" is exactly what sets us apart! Coldwell Banker has over 105,000 agents worldwide in 3,600 offices, in 47 countries. Our sales volume last year in the U.S. and Canada alone topped $225 Billion dollars! If you want your Naples home or condo exposed to the best and biggest demographic of buyers, please call The Harris-Peppe Team at Coldwell Banker Previews International today. 239-370-0574 (direct). We look forward to earning your business and hope to hear you soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Place to Hang Your Heart

Looking for a place to hang your hat? Beautifully renovated, from top to bottom; come see why we think this lovely villa in Windstar Country Club is one of the best buys on the market in Naples Florida! Wide open floor plan with soaring ceilings and a breathtaking lake & golf course view...this 3 bedroom residence boasts over 2,300 square feet of air-conditioned living area plus a garden-side lanai and a private 2 car garage. The newly designed kitchen features top-of-the line appliances, high-end cabinetry and granite. The spacious Master bedroom opens to a private courtyard and has a wonderful new en suite bath with separate tub & shower, double sinks and a private water closet. Warm hickory floors and custom painting throughout creates an inviting ambiance rarely seen in most Florida villas in this price range. Best of all, you are just steps away from your own privacy garden which leads directly to a very large pool & entertainment area. The amenities at Windstar are incomparable--a brand new club house plus a masterly designed Tom Fazio golf course for the avid golfer. The community also features a world class, deep-water marina within its gates, making it the only golf course community in Naples right on Naples Bay! A boat shuttle will take you and your guests to a private island for a day of sunning and shelling on one of the prettiest beaches you'll ever find. Windstar is also an Audubon approved neighborhood with one of the lowest densities of any golf course community in SW Florida! This is true Florida living at its best, and we are certain once you see this (click here for virtual tour) magnificent home, you'll want to hang your heart here forever! For more details or for a personal tour of this property, please call The Harris-Peppe Team at 239-370-0574.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Rare Occurrence

The very rare ghost orchid is in full bloom in Naples Florida!
The Ghost Orchid is the rarest of all specimens of orchids and perhaps the most revered in the world! Right here in Naples, at the Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary for the 3rd consecutive year, we are experiencing this magnificent and rare occurrence. The current blooming phase consists of 10 buds and is visible from the sanctuary's boardwalk now through the beginning of August. (photographers are urged to bring powerful telephoto lenses as the blooms are 45' up in an ancient bald cypress tree about 150' from the boardwalk). Area botanists have nicknamed this particular plant a Super Ghost because it bloomed 3 times in 2007 and again 3 times in 2008; both summers with multiple buds. Typical ghost orchids might have 1 or 2 buds and bloom once per year, if at all.
If you are interested in traveling to Naples to witness the ghost orchid firsthand, the area's Convention & Visitors Bureau has a special "orchid deals" web page! or you can call 1-800-688-3600.
Click here for more information about this magnificent bloom!
There is rare beauty all around us. South Florida is the only place on earth where the ghost orchid is now known to bloom...We truly are blessed to call Naples home...call us if you'd like to call Naples Home.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America

The Statue of Liberty has come to embody the true essence of America. She has welcomed countless immigrants and visitors to our shores since being dedicated in 1886. The "New Colossus", famous sonnet written by Emma Lazarus, also symbolizes the universal message of hope to all people seeking freedom around the world..."Give us your tired and your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...I lift my lamp beside the golden door." I will say that for certain, one of the most moving and memorable experiences in my life was cruising into New York harbor, in our own boat, having cruised all the way there from our home in Naples Florida, and seeing this lovely lady in the distance. It was July 4th, 2007...we could never had planned it any better...we watched fireworks that night from the bow of our boat with Lady Liberty in the shadows of the lights in the sky...I get goose bumps just thinking about it now. (photo inset can be enlarged by clicking on it~that's Chip, whom I am proud to say, has since become an American citizen!) Here are some fun facts:
  • There are 7 rays on Lady liberty's crown, some say for each of the 7 continents, others say one for each of the 7 seas!
  • The exterior copper covering of the statue measures 3/32nd of an inch...less than the thickness of two pennies!
  • The inscription of the statue's tablet reads: July 4th, 1776 in Roman numerals.
  • The model for the face is reputed to be the sculptor's mother Charlotte Bartholdi.
  • The statue's real name is, "Liberty Enlightening the World".
  • Closed since September 11th, 2001, the crown is re-opening TODAY!

The Harris-Peppe Team wishes you a safe and happy 4th of July celebration with your friends and family. Please keep a moment sacred today remembering the many sacrifices that have been made and are still being made on our behalf around the world for our freedom and the freedom of all people. Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Inventory Down. Sales Up!

It's the first day of a new month and a new quarter. We completed our month-end reports yesterday and we are also carefully reviewing the year-to date statistics in each of the markets that we are most active. We found a few interesting conclusions based on data from our local MLS that I thought I would share. Keep in mind, these findings are inclusive of all geographic areas in Naples. Certain market segments are holding there own better than others, and indeed, certain areas are quite active and showing strong signs of leveling off. More than just a few local real estate gurus are predicting we may be at or near the bottom.
  • Residential Sold Listings peaked in June of 2005 with three subsequent spikes in the next 3 years in March 2006, May 2007 and May 2008. The most recent peak in May 2009 marks the first time since September 2005 that closings in the Naples MLS exceeded 700 units!

  • Residential Pending Sales By Month, which is typically the best barometer for determining what is happening "now" shows a marked improvement when tracking pendings June 2005 through to the present. The average number of pending per month over the past four years has been 475, but in April and May of this year we exceeded 1000 each month!
  • Residential Median Sold Price Per Month indicates the "middle" (half sold above this price, half sold below) from June 2005 to May 2009 at $352,006. However, if all listings priced at $300,000 or less are taken out of this equation, the Residential Median Sold Price By Month dramatically becomes $515,718. (keep in mind, 4 years ago you'd have been hard pressed to find any listings priced under $300,000 in Naples Florida. Today approximately 40% of our inventory is listed under $300,000).

  • When duplicating this same search, but only going back 12 months to June 2008 another interesting result occurs. The Residential Median Sold Price By Month hit a low of $175,000 last month. However, once again when we eliminate all closed sales of listings priced below $300,000 from the search criteria the median price for this date range is back up to $517,371.

  • Currently, Naples MLS inventory is down to under 9,000 Residential Active Listings. Just one year ago, in June 2008, we had a 33.76 month supply in inventory. But, when we take our current inventory and chart it with the current 12 month trend of pendings and closings we calculate that as of June 30th, 2009, we have a 20.79 supply in months of Active Residential Listings.

There is a strong demand for well priced listings; today's buyers are looking for value. Interest rates have remained stable. ~and We feel very lucky to be selling real estate in Naples Florida. Chip & I have had a good 1st and 2nd quarter. Year-do -date pendings and closed sales exceed 2008.

Please don't hesitate to contact us should you have any comments or questions concerning the current state of the real estate market here in Naples Florida. The Harris Peppe Team is happy to provide you with details about any specific communities or condominiums. We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to earning your business. Please call us anytime at 239-370-0574 direct. Thank you...have a super month!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jewel-box Houses

A recent article published online through Real Estate Information Systems really caught my eye! (Taken from The Orlando Sentinel and distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services)...The headline read, "Jewel-box Homes are Built Smaller, Smarter". The main reason it got my attention is because Chip & I happen to live on Jewel Box Avenue here in Naples Florida! We have always loved the name of our street, and we even named our house (yes, I name homes) Ti Bijoux (which means Little Jewel in creole)...Anyway, the article was about the new trend sweeping our country towards smaller homes, now dubbed "Jewel-box houses". The article went on to state that current economic conditions overall, but primarily the downturn in the real estate market and the new emphasis on energy efficiency has played a huge role in this trend. So many of the buyers we are working with these days are telling us that they are "downsizing" and they are specifically asking for more quality and less quantity. Homebuyers are taking that portion of their budget usually designated to size & space and now putting it towards construction details. They are "investing" in the areas of their home where they actually LIVE and eliminating the unnecessary and those areas that used to be just for "show". Not surprisingly, this new philosophy of simplifying ones life is definitely catching on...Even furniture manufacturers have begun creating pieces that are smaller, and multi-purpose! Love seats are out-selling full size couches, flat screen TVs take up less space, built-ins are more popular than ever in kitchens & closets and home-office armoirs and work stations are increasingly becoming more popular than having an entire room designated to an at home office! There are plenty of wonderful "jewel-box" homes and condos to choose from here in Naples Florida. Call us today so we can assist you with your search for your very own "Ti Bijoux" in paradise! 239.370.0574

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Naples Changing Seasons

A lot of people tell me that they don't think they could live in Florida year round because we don't have any seasons...Of course, there's always the canned replies, "Oh we have seasons alright...rainy season, hurricane season, dry season, tourist season"...But for those of us who have lived here over the years, we have come to notice and appreciate the sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle changes that come with each season. There is something magical that happens in south Florida in the late spring which lasts through the middle of summer...Something that the "snowbirds" never get to see and experience except through the photographs in books or the paintings hung in the area galleries. Our beautiful flowering trees burst with colors so vivid that if you were to only hear about it you would never believe it!
The exquisite purple Jacaranda, the brilliant yellow Tabebuia, the delicate pink and lavender orchid trees..and perhaps the most majestic of all~ with a regal name to match, The Royal Poinciana trees. Ah! Just the slightest hint of red in the middle of May...and for those of us who have experienced it before we eagerly await the glorious show of nature about to unfold. Just off Fifth Avenue, in the heart of downtown Naples, on the 6th Street parkway, there stands a row of these royal beauties (see photo attached)...and dotted on the cross streets up and down the surrounding avenues you will find all the other colors of our gorgeous flowering trees...and only during this wonderful time of year. It's not the leaves changing or the first snow fall or the red breast of a robin poking at the ground along side a yellow crocus...having seen all of those, I would have to say that our changing seasons are quite beautiful, too.
If anyone has any photographs of any of the flowering trees in Naples that they would like to share please email them to me at michele@NaplesRealEstate.com and I will post as many as I can on our website! Thanks and have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Naples Real Estate Statistics

At this morning's weekly sales meeting, at the Coldwell Banker Fifth Avenue Previews office, our broker shared with us the following statistics from the Naples area MLS: May 2008 vs. May 2009
  • The number of pendings of residential listings priced under $300,000 is up 193%. The median price in this same price range is down -39%.
  • Pendings of residential listings in the $300,001-$500,000 are up 9%, and the median price is only down -1%.
  • One of the most dramatic changes is in the $500,001-$1 million list price range where prices are up 1%, but the number of listings pending is up 24%.
  • Listings priced over $1 million dollars saw a 13% increase in the number of properties going under contract last month and the median price was down a mere -3%.

The median sales price of closed sales comparing May 2008 to May 2009 changed from $314,000 to $174,000. But, when you take the closed sales with list prices at or under $300,000 out of the equation the median closed sale price changed from $557,000 to $550,000.

Months of Inventory has been on the decline since February 2008. In May 2008, the Naples inventory had a 35.36 month supply. In May 2009, that supply decreased to 23.15. Inventory is down--Sales are up--interest rates are stable--NOW is a great time to buy!

Call us today for a more detailed analysis of your neighborhood, or of any community or condominium that you might be interested in. The Harris-Peppe Team is looking forward to hearing from you and hoping to earn your business. 239-370-0574

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Water Therapy

The ultimate in "water therapy"! Make an appointment today to see this fabulous (click on link for a virtual tour) Key West-style home located in the prestigious boating community of Royal Harbor. The refreshing pool and soothing waterfall beckon you as you enter this wonderful residence with dramatic ceilings and fine touches through-out. There's Direct Gulf Access from your private dock for the avid boater--you are just minutes to Gordon Pass or the back waters and intercoastal waterway to Marco Island--some of the best fishing on the planet! This really is the perfect time to consider buying a waterfront home in Naples Florida. Prices for Direct Gulf Access homes start in the $600's! We haven't seen opportunities like this in years! There is a wide variety of home styles to choose from, too. Whether you are looking for an older home to nest in until you decide to build your dream home on the lot, or are dreaming of a brand new Key West, Bermuda or Mediterranean-style residence, there is currently something for every waterfront buyer looking in Naples Florida. There are currently over 300 gulf access, single family homes for sale in the Naples MLS starting as low as the $300's to nearly $20 million! Call the Naples Waterfront Specialists today--Let the Harris Peppe Team show you Naples the way Naples is supposed to be shown, by boat! For a private appointment to see Naples Waterfront property by boat call 239-370-0574 (direct) or search for your waterfront dream home yourself on our newest website, NaplesPreviews.com! Water therapy has been used for years to cure whatever ails you...and living on the water in Naples Florida is the ultimate in water therapy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Social Networking and the Future of Real Estate Marketing

For those of you who follow my blog, you know I haven't been posting lately...I was away for a week, then got home with a bug that I probably picked up on the airplane...Finally back to the office today and quite honestly, I don't even know where to begin. There are a dozen newspaper articles clipped and scattered across my desk...any and all of them are blog worthy...plus several excellent Internet articles that caught my eye, also well worth sharing. I'm just out of the habit of writing a post every couple of days...strange how quickly that happens. It took me months to form the good habit of writing regularly, it takes a few days to break it! Well, here goes! Rismedia.com recently ran an article about the top 12 ways to build a following on Twitter. Not familiar with Twitter? Don't worry, it won't be long before you are "tweeting" or know someone personally who "tweets" ! Twitter is a "micro-blogging, real-time website". The most popular online social network is Facebook, currently being used by 78% of online households that use social networking, followed by Myspace (42%), LinkedIn (17%), then Twitter at 10%. I like Twitter because it's quick and easy, only 140 characters. -And because I don't spend a lot of time reading the papers or watching the news I can follow the local newspaper as well as other papers and news sources online with quick and easy posts and links. I can get baseball scores, find out what restaurants in town are having specials and what new exhibit is opening at The Met in NYC...you name it, it's great! A lot of people use Twitter to build a personal following (42%). I use it primarily to build a business following, as does 26% of the other current users. I post links to our website, my blog, new listings and virtual tours. I am more picky about who I follow than who follows me...eventually I'd like to have thousands of followers, but who I follow will still remain more specific to what I want to read about and keep up with online. I can choose with whom I wish to interact, such as other businesses and companies, brands, journalists, news anchors and the like. So, even though I am on all the aforementioned sites; Twitter and Facebook are the two I use most regularly. LinkedIn is the one I want to get better at and use more for business connections. Another article posted online just yesterday by Rismedia.com talked about how Social Networking is "exploding" in popularity. 43% of the online community now uses a social network site. This is up from just 27% a year ago. More than half of the social networkers log on at least once each day! The phenomenon spans all generations. About 19% of the people who visit these sites are age 55 and over, up 6% from just a year ago. Men & women use Facebook equally, however women are more likely to use Myspace. Conversely, more men than women use LinkedIn. Myspace also attracts a younger crowd, the majority of its users are under 35. I enjoy Facebook, which I primarily joined to get more exposure for my listings. The friends and family that I have connected with through this site has been a wonderful, surprising bonus! Why, just a couple of weeks ago while my mom and I were in the New York area visiting family we enjoyed dinner one night with an old neighbor from over 30 years ago whom we had lost contact with, but that I found on Facebook! Chip & I are doing our best not to let these generation Xer's and Y's get the best of us. We have always tried to stay, if not ahead of the curve, at least up in the front of the pack. I think that with our 40+ years of experience selling the Naples lifestyle combined with our teams fabulous websites, an irreplaceable marketing coordinator (thanks Sam!), and all the Internet marketing and social networking that we are involved in, The Harris Peppe Team can't help but maintain their stature as leaders in the Naples real estate community. For old fashioned service with a high tech twist, call The Harris Peppe Team today! 239-370-0574 Now that wasn't so hard after all. I'll be back with more local real estate information and best buys soon!

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Good to be Home

I just got back to Naples today after spending a week in the New York/New Jersey metro area on family business...it rained or was cloudy and overcast everyday--even in June the area seemed bleak to me. If I said it once I said it a dozen times, "This is why I left"...Honestly, light deprivation began to set in by Friday. Then, last night, departing the airplane I immediately felt the warmer air...stepping out of the terminal, earth smelled different...better. I think if I had been blindfolded I would have known where I was: Home. I'm lucky to call this place "home". I travel a lot. I've visited beautiful places. Going on adventures and discovering new favorite places is one of my happiest past times. But, no matter where I go---whether it be to exotic far-away destinations or up to New York to see friends and family, I'm more convinced each time that I get back, "There's no place like home...there's no place like Naples"! Have you seen this week's featured property? Log onto our website today to see a wonderful place to call home! Or, for an updated list of some of Naples' other Best Buys, please call or email us today. We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to helping YOU call Naples home, too! 239-370-0574

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Harris-Peppe Team Earns Distinction

Our broker read a letter this morning at our office's weekly sales meeting announcing that we, The Harris-Peppe Team, earned the distinction of being named in NRT's Top 100 agents for the 1st quarter of 2009 for the nation! The letter was directly from Bruce G. Zipf, President & CEO of NRT LLC, headquartered in Parsippany New Jersey. His letter went on to say, "Your achievement is even more impressive given your high-level of production during what many now feel was the most challenging quarter in our professional lifetime." It went on to say the performance of our team last quarter was "exceptional"! In addition, NRT was recognized once again this spring by Real Estate magazine as the "strongest Power Broker in the nation". NRT LLC is the nation's largest residential brokerage firm which operates under the banners of Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, ERA, Sotheby's International Realty and The Corcoran Group. It is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation and has over 52,000 real estate agents nationwide. Chip & I are so proud of this honor. We are dedicated to creating exceptional real estate experiences for our customers, especially in this current economic climate. Of course we share this distinction with our two daughters, Krista and Meagan, and our marketing coordinator, Sam Wells. Together the five of us look forward to earning your future business while continuing the level of service you have grown to expect from our team. Please call us with any of your Naples Real Estate questions or concerns. 239-370-0574 Thank you, and make it a great day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Hurricane Season - Be Prepared!

Today, June 1st, marks the first day of Hurricane Season. This will run for 6 months, through to November 30th. Here are a few facts about hurricanes, as well as a few helpful websites, that I'd like to share with you. Did you know that for hundreds of years, hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the particular saint's day on which the storm made landfall? Using a woman's name became customary after a novel called "Storm", was written in 1941 by author George R. Stewart. In 1951 the United States adopted the plan to name storms after the phonetic alphabet...Able, Baker, Charlie...But, then in 1953 the weather service returned to only using female names. This officially ended in 1978, some believe due in part to the feminist movement, when names from both genders were used to designate storms in the Pacific. One year later, male and female names were included for the Atlantic Ocean storms, too, and it has remained that way ever since. Once a system with counter clockwise motion is identified, and the sustained wind speeds at at 39 mph, the storm is named. A list of this year's names can be found on the National Hurricane Center's website. This site also has a great resource of information pertaining to hurrican preparedness. I am also including a link to Collier County's Emergency Management website, which offers important suggestions such as having a family plan among other things. Last, but certainly not least, is the great "library" website that the state of Florida just put together offering consumers invaluable information about insurance. This blog post was not meant to alarm you. Hurricanes are a fact of nature. Consider the fact that we are notified days in advance of an upcoming storm. All in all, we are quite fortunate to live in paradise...just wanted you to be prepared!

Naples Real Estate Update

It's hard to believe that it is already June! Here's a brief recap of some of the more interesting data about the local real estate market: Currently there are 1,792 residential properties under contract. This includes listings still Active with Contingencies and those Pending. Of those, 1,103 went under contract in May! 812 of the 1,103 are listed at or under $300,000. which is nearly 74%. A total of 58 Previews listings (those priced at or above $ 1 million) also went under contract. Overall, "pendings", which usually are the best barometer when determining the "temperature" of the market, are up significantly. Also, in May there were 689 total residential closings in Naples. Year-to-date there have been 2,628 as compared to 1,938 in the same time period in 2008, a 36% increase in closings in 2009! From January 1st, 2008 - May 31st, 2008 there were 303 Previews listings sold vs. 2009 year-to-date when only 202 listings over $ 1 million have sold. Even though the number of sales continues to increase there remains downward pressure on pricing, even at the top of the market. Please call The Harris-Peppe Team if you have any comments or questions regarding the local real estate market in Naples Florida. We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to earning your business. 239-370-0574 Thanks and make it a great day! The source of this information was derived from data obtained in sunshinemls.com and is thought to be accurate but not guaranteed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Florida's existing home sales up in April

The National Association of Realtors today reported that existing home sales in April rose--the eighth consecutive month with sales increases nationwide! That sounds like a trend to me! Home sales in Florida rose 18%, with a total of 13,111 homes sold statewide compared to 11,133 in April 2008. Condo sales in Florida also rose 21% in April as compared to April last year; and condos rose 6.2% total units over March! Interest rates for a 30 year fixed rate averaged 4.81% last month, also down significantly from the average rate of 5.92% in April 2008. Yes, we're qualifying buyers! Anyone telling you that banks are not loaning on homes and condos in Florida hasn't talked to our mortgage representative, Kelly Rebimbas, Loan Officer at Sunbelt Lending. Call or email Kelly if you have any questions at all concerning mortgages: 239-273-5239 direct or krebimbas@sunbeltlending.com Florida sale prices decreased 31% in the last 12 months, interest rates are down more than 1%, and inventory is at a 5 year low. If now is not the time to buy, I don't know when is! A lot of buyer's that we are talking to are voicing the following concern: "I think there may be more room for the market to go down!" What we are telling them is simple...How much more do you think it will go down? -then, Just consider that when making your offer. With inventories down, and the best priced listings selling first, many of today's buyers might just miss the boat if they don't decide soon. Fortunes are made in this type of economic climate...the opportunities in Naples Florida are excellent! For information about today's best buys in Naples Florida, please call a member of The Harris-Peppe Team today! 239-370-0574 Thank you, and make it a great day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Moment of Silence

On this Memorial Day, The Harris Peppe Team would like invite you to join us as we honor the men and women who have given their lives so selflessly over many generations to allow us to live in a country committed to freedom. It is our deepest prayer that we live a life that is worthy of this sacrifice. During this weekend where so many people begin their summer celebrations with a picnic, a family reunion or backyard barbecue, I can only hope that you will all take a moment in silence to honor those who have given their lives so that you can live a life pursuing happiness and free choices. We also want to send out a special prayer of gratitude to those who stand guard today. Wherever you are in the world, please come home soon, safe and sound.
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price,
bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose and foe
to assure the survival and success of liberty" ~John F. Kennedy
Did you know that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day? General John Logan proclaimed it as a day to be set aside as a day of remembrance for those who had died in our nation's service. On May 30th, 1868 flowers were placed on the graves of both the Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York. --Another tidbit of Memorial Day history refers to a poet named Moina Michael who conceived the idea of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day to honor those who died in service. I can remember when I was a little girl my Dad sold red poppies...the money went to benefit servicemen in need. Who else remembers wearing red poppies on Memorial Day? Click on this link if you are interested in learning more about TAPS...Did you know it actually has words? Lastly, I'd like to relate a story which is close to my heart this Memorial Day. My friend Frank, who served in Vietnam, recently found his bunk mate from nearly 40 years ago on Facebook. (Frank's wife, my friend Denise, made the connection). They had not seen each other since 1970...Today they rode through Washington D.C. together in Rolling Thunder to The Wall along with over half a million other bikers. I love you Frank. --and Thank you. Photo inset was taken today at our cabin in NC. Showing our colors at Acorn Cottage. You can click on the photo to enlarge it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Going Going Gone!

Last Friday I confirmed an appointment with a buyer who was scheduled to arrive in Naples this morning...after discussing the final details of his arrival I began the process of setting up appointments. We had been communicating via phone and email for about 30 days...much of what he was looking for was either listed as short sales or foreclosed properties. After calling on several of the short sale listings, and after discussing it with my customer, he decided to only look at non-short sale offerings. Many of those listed had already received multiple offers, and most for more than the asking price. The majority of them were still waiting for a response from the lenders involved. This narrowed the search down considerably. I proceeded to make appointments to show him and his wife 8 homes for sale which met the criteria which he outlined to me. When I got to the office this morning I re-confirmed all 8 appointments only to find that 2 of the homes had gone under contract over the weekend. I re-checked MLS and no new listings came up matching his specifications, so off we went to look at the 6 homes left on the list. When we got back to the office there were actually 2 homes that they considered making offers on, so I phoned both listing agents for more information...and, BOTH homes already had offers on them...JUST SINCE THIS MORNING!!!! So buyers, if you're reading this blog post and you think you might be interested in taking advantage of the super buys in Naples Florida, keep in mind, you are not alone! Prices haven't been this good in years and interest rates are still phenomenal! The best buys are "going going gone"! Please call a member of The Harris Peppe Team today! We hope to hear from you soon and we look forward to earning your business.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Naples Real Estate Statistics

I haven't posted in a week, so you know we've been busy. At this morning's sales meeting our title company reported that April 2009 was their best month since September 2005! I thought I'd share a few of the recent statistics with you. Once you review them, if you have any questions, please feel free to call any one of us on The Harris-Peppe Team. There have been 15,368 new residential listings YTD in the entire Sunshine MLS system. This includes 7,979 new residential listings in Naples, of which 4,346 were priced at or below $300,000. Currently there are 4,046 active residential listings in Naples priced under $300,000...this is 41% of our current inventory. There have been 3,285 pending YTD in this price point, making up 74% of the pendings in Naples since January 1st, 2009. This price range is definitely driving our market forward. Currently there are 1,799 active Previews listings in Sunshine MLS in the Naples area. There have been 344 listings priced at or above $1 million go under contract YTD. 232 Previews properties have closed YTD, making up about 10.5% of the total closings in Naples. This is actually a very healthy number when you consider that better than one out of every 10 sales is listed over $1 million! The high-end market is holding its own as luxury buyers are finding excellent values. Previews properties make up 18% of the total inventory in Naples. The closed sales in the under $300,000 price range in April 2009 vs April 2008 are up 68%. Comparing April 2008 to April 2009 in ALL price ranges, residential sales are up 20% across the board in Naples. Total inventory in Naples in April 2009 vs April 2009 is down 9% It is a great time to be a buyer. All indicators point towards a leveling off of pricing, including less inventory, pendings along with buyer's confidence up and lower interest rates! Call us today...we'd love to show you some of the fabulous buys available here in Paradise! This information was derived from data on the Sunshine MLS and is deemed to be true and accurate, but not guaranteed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Honoring The Golden Apple Recipients

Chip & I had the distinct honor last night of attending the 19th Golden Apple Teacher Recognition Celebration at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. It was a memorable evening and we left there feeling so blessed to be a part of this fabulous community. The teachers who were honored were a diverse and talented group; but they had a common characteristic...to them teaching is a calling, and their love for children was evident...many of their students were in attendance. The pride felt was mutual. Naples is so lucky to have teachers of this caliber nurturing its students. There were 34 teachers honored as Teachers of Distinction, in addition to the 6 receiving the high honor of Golden Apple recipients. They were Brent Brickzen from Palmetto Ridge High School, Sheila Buckner from Calusa Park Elementary, Anna Ruth Crouse from Poinciana Elementary, Mia German from Pinecrest Elementary, Stephanie Jonas from Veteran's Memorial Elementary and Teri Maroon from Osceola Elementary. You can learn more about these teachers and the schools they represent by going to the menu bar on our website's home page and clicking on School Information. Also recognized were the 2009 Collier County Teacher's Of The Year: Carey Brisson, Pine Ridge Middle-Collier County Middle School Teacher of the Year; Anne Fredette, Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology-Collier County Post-Secondary School Teacher of the Year; Kimberly Ragusa, Golden Gate High School-Macy's Florida Teacher of the Year Nominee; Martha Voorhees, Gulf Coast High School-Collier County High School Teacher of the Year...and last but certainly not least, Kathy Morrow, Veteran's Memorial Elementary School-Collier County Elementary School Teacher of the Year! The program was presented by The Education Foundation and hosted by Lois Thome from WINK-TV. It will air on May 9th at 7:00 pm and May 10th at 12:00 pm on the education channel, Cable 99. Another organization which is dedicated to bringing together the community and the Collier County schools in order to improve public school education and communication between our schools and the public is called Connect Now! Interestingly enough, over 70% of its members do not have children or grandchildren in the Collier County public school system. These are just hard working participants who understand the importance of education when preserving the quality of life in any community. Again, we are so fortunate to be part of a community who supports such worthwhile goals for our children. I am proud that The Coldwell Banker Cares Foundation supports the Education Foundation. -And, I am also proud that I have been a Collier County School volunteer for 28 years. There is nothing more important than making a difference in the life of a child.