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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 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,! 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 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! 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 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 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 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 and is thought to be accurate but not guaranteed.