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Friday, February 27, 2009

We're Busy!

Just a couple of things today... I had the pleasant experience today of driving from CR 951 (aka Collier Blvd.), which is approximately 3 miles east of I-75, all the way to U.S 41, on the recently completed east-west artery, Vanderbilt Beach Extension Road! What a wonderful ride. I am sure that all the sub-divisions in that area are thrilled to finally be done with the road construction. This will make the commute to and from that area a breeze! Also wanted to add a bit of news which appeared in today's Florida Association of Realtors online newsletter. Up until now, the National Association of Realtors has been very supportive of the Obama administration's housing and stimulus plans. However, today the NAR voiced their opposition to a budget proposal that would impair mortgage interest deductions for 100's of thousands of home owners. Click here to read the full article. One more thing...Chip and I are having a great month! January was terrific, February has been even better, and we are very optimistic that the next couple of months are going to break records! Our listing inventory is bursting with good-buys, we can hardly keep up with the leads from our websites, showing activity is up 178% over the first 2 months of '08--and we are making sales! Interest rates are still low and our loan officer, Kelly, is making loans! The weather is near perfect! It's a great time to buy! We hope to hear from you soon!

Monday, February 23, 2009

What is Previews?

Since unveiling our newest website: we've been asked, "What exactly is Previews?" Here's a little background... In 1906, a young real estate agent in the San Fransisco Bay area recognized that while people were trying to piece their families back together following the massive earthquake, there was a need for honest, knowledgeable real estate agents. Colbert Coldwell founded his company with, what was at that time, a revolutionary philosophy: "The customer's best interest above all." In 1914 Benjamin Arthur Banker joined Coldwell as a full partner and together they forged a tradition of integrity which is still the benchmark by which all firms strive to this day...Then, The Previews Program was founded in 1933 by Henderson Talbot, a young entrepreneur who was one of the first to market real estate beyond his local area. He specialized exclusively in luxury homes, and marketed them both nationally and internationally. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC acquired this program and continues to build its success through the Coldwell Banker Previews International brand. Through the Previews Program, Coldwell Banker has represented an impressive array of real estate and a notable list of clientele. Previews works with more celebrities, dignitaries and affluent buyers than any other Florida Real Estate firm! Worldwide Coldwell Banker has over 3,700 offices in 47 countries. Our track record in Luxury Real Estate is unmatched, selling more luxury homes internationally than any other real estate company. Over 50% of the million dollar + homes in the United States are sold by Coldwell Banker...We handle an average of One hundred and one million dollars in luxury home sales every day! We believe the marketing of Naples magnificent luxury residences demands the expertise of a Previews Property Specialist. Please call The Harris-Peppe Team and let us show you how we can strategically market your home to an affluent audience in search of multi-million dollar estates. 239-370-0574. Thank you. Have a great day!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Going Live! New Website Unveiled!

After months of outlining, creating, editing, taking professional photos (Amber Fredericksen), interviewing clients for the concierge, working with our webmaster (exploritech), the IDX site tech ...hours, days and weeks of hard work by our very own wonderful and amazing marketing coordinator: Sam (thank you! thank you!)...After "tweeking" and streamlining, and eliminating, and adding on, and working it out and fitting it in...color selections, font selections, music selections, etc etc etc...We have finally, FINALLY gone live!!! woo hoo! Introducing: Naples newest and most exciting website, designed specifically to cater to Previews Properties and the luxury home buyer. Check it out and give us your feedback, please! We hope to hear from you soon, and as always we look forward to earning your business! *Previews is the luxury home division of the Coldwell Banker brand!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Even More on the Bright Side...

Today I am chosing not to talk about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...Instead I thought we could all use a little more beauty in our lives...How about this photo for the "brighter side of things"? ...a sunset in Naples Florida in February! --ah yes, life is good!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back On The Market

This is an unbelievable opportunity to own a 4,908 square foot condominium directly on Naples Bay at the prestigious Olde Naples Seaport! Only two penthouses exist; and the South Penthouse sold in October 2006 for $3,100,000.! Now, the North Penthouse is "back on the market" and being offered for $2,395,000.! This spacious, never lived-in 3 bedroom plus den residence boasts attention to detail beyond reproach, a private 2 car garage, wrap-around balconies ensure forever views, gourmet granite kitchen, king-sized Master suite, and just steps to the pool--Best of all...walking distance to ALL the wonderful downtown amenities that Old Naples has to offer...Pristine beaches, the historic district including breathtaking sunsets at the 1000' Naples Pier, fabulous Fifth Avenue South with its renowned shopping, restaurants, art galleries and live theatre! The Olde Naples Seaport is the perfect place for creating life-long memories, romantic retreats and fun filled getaways with friends and family. A beautiful place to enjoy the natural beauty of Naples bay with a world-class marina right outside your door! Moorings are available for yachts up to 150'. A virtual tour of this bayfront home as well as the other properties available at the Olde Naples Seaport can be viewed on our website at Or call us today to arrange a private showing: 239-370-0574 "You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Bright Side

I heard on the radio one day last week that Florida's Senator Bill Nelson's office had received emails and phone calls encouraging him to vote against the Stimulus Bill at a 7 to 1 ratio...other reports said the American public was against this bill at a ratio of 9 to 1. With that being said, it is about to become law, if as planned, President Obama signs it on Monday or Tuesday. I'll leave much of the 1,000+ page stimulus bill to the pundits to dissect and debate...but I thought I'd fill you in on a few of the "real estate" specifics. Here's the good news:
  1. The loan limits will be raised to $727,000 in "high cost" areas.
  2. The first time home buyer tax credit will be raised to $8,000 with no payback clause.
  3. Approximately $50 billion will be used to re-write mortgages that are struggling to meet payments. Owners will have to go through a "stress" test of sorts during this foreclosure mitigation process.
  4. "Fannie" agreed to lift the cap of 4 investment properties eligible for mortgages and raise it to 10.
  5. We preserved many of the existing real estate tax credits such as mortgage interest rate deductability and the $250,000/$500,000 cap gains exclusion.

Early reaction to the stimulus bill is mixed, but many folks I'm talking to wonder why are we helping the people who haven't been paying their mortgages while those who pay on time each and every month are not eligible for any assistance even though they have not been immune from the struggle yet have proven to be better managers of their money?

We still need to push interest rates down further to help get capital flowing again. Overall, I think there was more to report on the "bright side" with respect to the real estate portion of the stimulus bill...As always, I welcome your comments.

By the way, it's 80 degrees in Naples Florida today and the sun is shining gloriously! Now that's what I call stimulus! (and The Bright Side!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Good news Bad news

The Naples Daily News continues to do a disservice to the real estate community by reporting news that can only be interpreted by professionals as false and misleading, yet many of the consumers who read the paper are running scared...The paper quoted a Moody's economic report, but failed to take into consideration that by categorizing the entire "Naples-Marco" area as one market, they completely miss the mark. Real Estate is local, but within any local market area there are pockets of other even more local just cannot give the entire area of Naples and Marco Island one broad stroke of the brush. The areas where we have seen the greatest depreciation in the past 3 years are (generally speaking), not the areas where our "snow birds", Retirees or European friends will buy 2nd homes, vacation homes or new permanent residences. The fact that the bottom dropped out and now Naples is more affordable for working families can certainly be looked upon as bad news for those unfortunate enough to have bought during the peak times. However, you must admit that this is an opportunity for all those buyers who just a few short years ago could not afford Naples...Why do we always have to look on the dark side? I read with sadness many of the comments posted on the Naples Daily News site...Name calling, rude statements, inaccurate math... Let's try to look at the bright side like one of my past customers has chosen to do...They bought a home in a lovely, gated north Naples community in October of 2005. They paid $500,000 for their "dream" home. Every year they came to Naples counting down to the husband's retirement...Today, due to foreclosures and short sales in their neighborhood, their home is worth about $350,000. But, do you know what they say to me when I talk to them, "We love our house. We would not trade the past 3 1/2 years of living in paradise for anything. We made over $200,000 on the home that we sold up north which made this move possible. We know by the time we get ready to sell the prices will come back up again." How is that for reason and understanding? Pretty darn logical! --and in truth, that is the attitude of most of the people that I talk with...So, if you're buying to "flip", now is not the time to buy...but, if you're looking to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity and want to live in and enjoy a new home or condo in Naples Florida, the time is right! People buy when they buy, they sell when they sell...last time I looked no one has a crystal ball. As a real estate professional I do the best I can with the facts I have to share public records, MLS data and details with my sellers and buyers. I want them to make informed decisions...and ultimately, they do make their own decisions. This time of year it is not unusual for me and my partner, Chip Harris, to work 12 hour days 7 days a week. We are dedicated professionals who hope to hear from you soon and look forward to earning your business. For information about Naples Real Estate and/or any specific neighborhood in Collier County, please call us today 239.370.0574. I'll leave all the negative reporting to the Naples Daily News...I prefer to walk on the sunny side of the the way, it is 80 degrees outside today! That's gotta' be worth something!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just a thought...

"Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." -Lou Holtz

Friday, February 6, 2009

Real Estate Stimulus

At first, I was not a proponent of "stimulus"...I knew the same old "pork" add-ons were a sure bet. I know something's got to be done...but, I'm certain that we don't want to continue making the same mistakes in haste...Housing is the backbone of our economy. Careful consideration of those items which the experts feel would stimulate the slumping housing market are necessary... I don't know if any one item in particular will help get reluctant buyers off the fence, but a combination of several incentives might work. I'm glad that the latest Homebuyer Tax Credit bill was passed by the Senate yesterday. It still has to go through the House and get the president's ok...As it reads, it will double the current tax credit of $7,500. (or 10% of the purchase price of the home, whichever is less). The newest proposal, introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson, a former real estate agent, will cost the federal government about $19 billion as part of President Obama's package. The tax break passed last year was only given to first time home buyers and needed to be repaid...The new tax credit of $15,000 does not have to be repaid--(unless the homebuyer sells the home within two years of closing). Purchases must be made within one year of the legislation's enactment AND it will apply to ALL primary home purchases, not just first time home buyers! Add that to the banks getting a handle on short sales and foreclosures, and the possible government buy down of mortgage interest rates and we might just begin to see the beginning of recovery folks! Regarding the tax credit; Jerry Howard, chief executive of the National Association of Home Builders said, "it will put the floor on the downward spiral" in home prices. National Association of Realtors president, Charles McMillin was quoted as saying, "I'm thrilled. It's almost like we asked for the stars and landed on the moon."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Naples Real Estate Statistics

  • Currently there are 10,783 Active Residential listings in Naples per SunshineMLS.
  • Presently there are 1006 residential properties under contract, and of those pending, 29% are listed under $300,000. 7.2% are priced at or above $1 million.
  • In 2008 51% of the closed sales were listed below $300,000., while an estimated 13% of the 2008 closed residential sales were listed at or above $1 million.
  • The number of residential listings that went pending per MLS in January 2008 was 440 total units vs. January 2009: 758. That is a huge single month increase in contract activity!

For more details about today's market, or for an analysis of prices and trends in any specific neighborhood or condominium, please do not hesitate to contact the Harris-Peppe Team today. Call us directly at 239-370-0574 or email me at

Thanks, and make it a great day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mortgage Rate Update

I just received an email from our mortgage rep outlining the following update: Last week, in just two days, the 10 year yield jumped a total of 31 basis points, mortgage rates were up 20 basis points. Market volatility is at extreme levels as uncertainty over the stimulus package, whether taking bad assets of the books of banks will actually work to open credit markets, investors moving more towards high grade corporates as the Feds want inflation back to target levels of +2.0%. They are now at (negative) -0.48%. The budget deficit is now projected to surpass $2 Trillion this year....and the Feds unsettled the markets further by talking of buying treasuries to keep interest rates low! The enormity of all of this is difficult for the average consumer to even begin to comprehend, but one thing is certain...the people I am talking to don't want a stimulus package passed with a lot of "pork" which will damage the economy even more. It is ALL interconnected, which was obvious with last week's fluctuations of mortgage rates. Who agrees that freeing up the credit markets will help stimulate the economy? The good news is: Sunbelt Lending IS making loans and rates are still the lowest they have been in years! ...and although the market is volatile, if you are waiting for them to go may not happen any time soon. Currently we can offer a 30 year fixed rate conforming loan at 5.25%. Jumbo 30 year loans are at 7.25%. The 15 year fixed rate is at 5.5%. Perhaps the best Jumbo program is a 5/1 ARM at 5.75%. Please call Kelly Rebimbas if you have any questions or comments. Her direct number is 239-273-5239. *Rates are subject to change due to market fluctuations and borrower's eligibility.