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Thursday, September 30, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

The difference between September 30th and October 1st is this: One day it still feels like summer, the next day you're trying to decide at whose house will you be eating Chistmas dinner...The pumpkin decorations have been out at the stores for weeks, but I was still able to avoid that "the holidays are upon us" feeling....Until today! Turning the calendar page over, and having it read "OCTOBER" does it to me every year....the end of the year is near...I've already volunteered to be on the office holiday party committee...I will be taking my grandkids to Party World tomorrow so that they can pick out their Halloween costumes...I purchased my Thanksgiving cards today, and should have them addressed by Monday--at which time I will begin writing my Christmas card list...Our end-of-the-year business gifts have been ordered, weeks ago, so that I can get them out in November and avoid the December rush! My husband, Sam, my friends and family, all know how [for lack of a better word] organized  I am...some may call it something else...It's OK, I've been called worse things...

Anyway, for those of you who share this characteristic with me, why not plan ahead for the coming season, and check out these two wonderful listings in Glen Eagle Country Club. Naples Florida hasn't been this affordable in years! Click HERE and HERE to view the virtual tours of these wonderful, affordable condos located just minutes to downtown Naples...the beaches, the world class shopping, the gourmet restaurants, fabulous galleries and live theater, all only a few miles away! Under $200,000 never looked so good!

For additional information about these two condos, or other properties for sale in Naples golf course communities, please call The Harris Peppe Team today! 239.370.0574

Thank you, and make it a great October!!

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Out of the Area-Flat Rate Brokers?

This is a long story, but I will try to make it as brief as possible. Basically, I am just wondering what kind of experiences other agents are having when out of the area, flat rate brokers are listing homes in the Naples area, and we are forced to handle both sides of a sales contract's negotiations?  I've had several experiences, none of which have ended in a sale.

Here is my latest experience:
I've been working for about six months with a potential buyer. They have been to Naples once, looked at homes with me, and narrowed their search down to one particular geographic area. They have two price points: one for a "tear down" or a home which needs some updating; and one for a newer home. I systematically run a hotsheet for them and have continued to send them new listings, back-on-the-market listings and price reductions on a regular basis. I have gotten to know their likes and dislikes very well, and they have come to trust me as a real estate professional. They put an offer in on a home about 8 weeks ago which did not go together because of multiple offers. [Yes, we are beginning to get multiple offers in Naples Florida again] They were disappointed that they did not get that home because, although it needed a lot of work, it was in a perfect location. But, they were confident we would find another property!

~Recently, while I was away on vacation, another listing came to their attention. I called the listing agent to check on the status of the home, and to get additional details. I was told to call the seller directly. It seems this home is owned by a man who, at one time was licensed. The listing brokerage is located in Hollywood Florida, and it is a flat fee agency. I came to find out later that the seller paid them $250. to have them put the house into the Naples MLS.  All discussions and negotiations would be between me and the seller. I was a bit taken back by that to begin with, as this is not common practice. Because I was out of town, my assistant Sam made the appointment with the seller to go to the home and take photographs to send to me and the buyer. Once this was completed, the buyer decided they wanted to make an offer. I then did a market analysis of the home's value which they reviewed and a fair offer was submitted. The seller kept insisting that negotiations could be done verbally. It gets a lot more complicated from here, but to sum it up, after a week of counters we had an agreed upon cash price, no conditions other than for the buyer to fly to Naples for a visual inspection, and the customary structural inspections to be completed as per the sales contract. I decided to cut my vacation short in order to be there personally to show the buyer the home. Airline tickets were purchased, rental car and hotel reservations booked.....THEN, 24 hours after the accepted sales contract had been faxed to the seller, and a day before the buyer was expected to fly to Naples to see the home, my assistant gets a call from the seller (mind you, he didn't call me), to say he never received his last counter-offer, which had been accepted by the buyer, in writing. I'd like to interject that numerous conversations had been made the day the seller's last counter-offer was accepted including confirming a time for the visual inspection, as well as requesting the seller put together lists of his service people for the buyer such as lawn care, etc.--all of this being documented in emails correspondences. Sam called me frantically, as she knew she had sent him the signed contract, and she knew that the buyer and I were heading to Naples the next day to look at the home. I called the seller immediately, and needless to say, a bit of a spitting match ensued, at which time I just turned the phone over to Chip who is always more level headed in these situations [good partnership]...sorry, but I have a "slight" problem with people totally jerking the whole wide world around, without any regard to all the lives being effected...After speaking to the buyer, they were able to postpone their trip, and get a credit for their airline tickets...Thank goodness! I then called the seller back to apologize for getting upset earlier, and he just took up where he had left off and continued to keep yelling at me, still denying that he knew it was an accepted sales I just hung up!  

Now, for those of you that might read this blog post, I'm curious: Do you really think that a seller is saving himself the list-side of a commission when he lists with an out of area- flat fee real estate company? I think that if he had a good agent working on his behalf, he could have possibly negotiated that difference, all the while staying detached from the emotions that are involved during these negotiations.

I'm not really sure what happened...maybe he got seller's remorse, maybe he got another offer...One thing I am certain of, he definitely was too emotionally charged to handle his own negotiations. Luckily, the buyer was able to change their plans...and when they do make their next visit to Naples, there are a lot of nice homes from which to choose. This story will have a happy ending!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gordon River Views

There is definitely something for everybody in Naples Florida. Check out this spacious 1st floor two bedroom, two bath condo with a 28' boat dock included! This fabulous condominium is located in Mariners Cove--a hidden treasure right on the Gordon River, within walking distance to all the downtown amenities.

The low condo fees include general insurance, professional management, a reserve fund, water & sewer, basic cable, exterior & interior pest control, lawn care and recreation maintenance such as the boat docks, and lovely riverside pool area. Pets are approved up to 35 lbs. and there is a very flexible rental program which allows for 12 leases per year with a 30 day minimum. Perfect for the investor looking to offset the debt with a nice income while enjoying their Naples vacation home throughout the year!

If you are interested in viewing additional details about this great condo click HERE to see a virtual tour, or call 239.370.0574 for an appointment today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Season's Coming"!

In Naples, when we say, "Season's coming", we don't necessarily meaning the holiday season...Contrary to popular beliefs, we DO have seasons in Southwest Florida! Dry and Rainy--just kidding...although that is pretty much right on!

~What I am actually referring to is our "Selling Season".  When the autumn winds start to churn, and leaves begin to fall...the annual migration of snowbirds begin to make their way down to a warmer climate. Whether they are jetsetters, arriving at their beachfront condo or retired CEOs heading for their golf course estate: one of many 'second' homes they own...Or even a homeless person seeking shelter from the cold...yes, our local shelters also burst at the seams when the north winds blow...Ours is a beautiful town, a magical place, that people gravitate towards each and every year. Regardless of the state of the economy...Naples is a destination! Folks from all walks of life, from all corners of the world...there is no place else they'd rather spend their winter. This migration begins in mid-October for many. Those who have sought refuge from the cold, and have made Naples their domicile must reside in Florida for 6 months and a day to enjoy the benefits of being a Florida state income tax and the like. We have FREE eBooks on our website's HOME page that you can download, one of which tells how you can make Florida your residence! 

~This coming season marks my 30th selling season in Naples...and I am still just as excited about what I do for a living as I was when I first got licensed...probably even more! Now I get to anticipate the coming season with a partner...My husband, and business partner Chip Harris. Presently we are away, up at our cabin in the mountains doing what I like to call, "sharpening the ax."---Yes, we still work everyday: make calls, proof ads, write blog posts, social network, negotiate contracts, write letters...but we also refuse to set an alarm clock, we have no real deadlines or obligations...We are currently in the midst of writing our 2011 Business Plan. Being away from the office gives us a unique perspective of what we want to accomplish, both professionally and personally in the coming year. Just like looking at a beautiful painting or landscape, you a clearer view of the big picture when you take a step back.

We are fielding many more requests for seasonal rentals than we have in the past 4 years, and I think this is a very positive indication of what is to come...of course, I always try to maintain my optimistic outlook, but in addition to my own happy spin on things, the numbers seem to point to a leveling out in real estate values. 

Earlier today, in response to an article that someone posted on facebook, I ran the numbers of what the Median Sold Price in Naples has been in the past 12 months. According to data derived from our Naples MLS the median sold price of single family homes is about $208,000. Doing that same search, but only considering the 34102 zip code, the Median Sold Price in the past 12 months was approximately $1,088,000.  The luxury market looks more promising after 4 years of the 'under $300,000.' driving the market.

So, if you are thinking of coming down to Naples this season to take a look around, get your reservations in soon! We have a terrific leasing agent on our team, and Suzanne will gladly assist you in locating a weekly,  monthly or seasonal rental in paradise! Contact us at 239.370.0574

We'll see you soon!

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mansion In The Sky

Naples Beachfront

Le Ciel Park Tower offers one  of the most prestigious addresses along Naples eminent Park Shore beach.  Spectacular views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Venetian Bay from this 14th floor mansion in the sky!

Three spacious bedrooms, 3 full-baths, an updated kitchen with stainless appliances & granite, brand new gorgeous hard wood flooring, Bahama shutters, and an expansive screened terrace with built-in BBQ...Imagine yourself watching the magical sunsets from almost every vantage point in this amazing home...steps to the white sand beaches, meandering promenade & beach-side parks, and just a short stroll to all the fabulous shoppes and fine dining waterfront restaurants at Park Shore's Venetian Village.

Le Ciel Park Tower also boasts 24/7 gated security, a magnificent gulf-front social room, state-of-the-art exercise room, 2 Har-Tru tennis courts, 2 resident guest suites, a beachside pool & spa, chickee area & grills! Owners can lease or purchase a boat slip at the nearby Venetian Bay Yacht Club. Everything is available here for the most discriminating buyer looking for an incomparable Florida beachfront lifestyle!

For a virtual tour of this home click HERE. For additional information, or to arrange a private showing please contact The Harris-Peppe Team today! 239.370.0574

Thank you, and make it a great day,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Slice of Paradise


This little slice of paradise is waiting for a new owner to call it home! Year round, or seasonally, this is a fabulous opportunity to buy a 2 bedroom / 2 bath, first floor, lakefront condo west of U.S. 41 within close proximity to the beaches, downtown amenities, and all the great Naples shopping! The western exposure gives you the best sunsets over the picturesque lake. Spacious living room, brand new "granite kitchen", tile floors, covered parking, community pool, library & hobby room and low condo fees! Aggressively priced to encourage offers at only $214,000.  Call today for more details! 239.370.0574 Click HERE for a video!

There is something for everyone in beautiful Naples Florida!

Thank you, and make it a great day,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

I remember when I was a little girl...every year on December 7th my father would share stories with me about the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a moment...a day...a date in history, that he would never forget--that our nation would never forget. It was important for him to tell me about that day---He instilled deep within me, a passionate love for my country. Today, December 7th comes and goes with very little fanfare--The "old-timers" still remember that day vividly, but many of the youth of today know nothing more than the brief paragraph in a chapter from their American History books that they read simply to pass an exam. Time will erase the sadness and horror we felt nine years ago today. Sad but true. It's inevitable. I just hope that moment in time is not reduced to a simple passage in a book for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to read about someday--We must NEVER FORGET.

~It is hard to believe that it has been nine years since the atrocity against our great nation...scars are still healing.  Following 911 our country pulled together and did whatever was necessary to protect ourselves and each other. The unity was unprecedented. We experienced a love for our country that possibly no other generation of Americans had ever embodied.  But, through this tragedy there is one thing that I am just as certain of today as I was when I was a little I was nine years ago today: The strength and innate goodness of our nation's great people will always shine through.   

~I watched a TV special last night about 911. It was a timeline--I saw the hijackers pass through security...I watched survivors tell their stories...I listened to the calm voices of the flight attendants and emergency-number operators...I re-lived the planes crashing...the buildings falling...witnessed again people running for their lives.  --Today I remember those who lost their prayers go out to the family and friends who continue to endure the pain of their loss. Today I honor those brave men and women who walked into the unknown, and put the lives of others before their own...on that day, hundreds of thousands of heroes were born.

Please take a moment to watch this VIDEO.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Latest National Association of REALTORS Research

These are the Top 10 Market Facts for Uncertain Times, as reported yesterday on The National Association of REALTORS website.  We also believe that the prices are close to, if not at the bottom in Naples; and trends have shown a leveling off in all price ranges in the past several months.  

So far, in the first 10 days of September, which is typically a "quiet" month in Naples, we have seen 280 residential properties go "Active with Contract" and/or "Pending".  12 are listed at or above $1 million, and 218 of the 280 are listed at or below $300,000. This is still the strongest price point in Naples, but we have seen consistent increases in the $300,000 to $750,000 range as well. Inventory is down across the board, and we have had several experiences in the past few weeks with sellers in that 2nd range holding closer to the asking price. As always, some neighborhoods are showing stronger signs of recovery than others.

For a detailed list of the best buys in Naples Real Estate, please contact us today. We would be happy to share with you our picks for the top 3 condo buys and top 3 single family home buys in any specific neighborhood or price range.  239.370.0574

Thank you, and make it a great day!

The Naples Real Estate Blogger


Monday, September 6, 2010

Exciting Adventures in South Florida

About 50 miles east of downtown Naples, heading through The Big Cypress National Preserve on Route 41, lies an adventure of a lifetime. Back behind Clyde Butcher's gallery, along Loose Screw Sanctuary Road, deep into the pristine swamp forest, the understated majesty of the 400 year old cypress trees and still dark waters call out to those brave enough to venture in...

For much of the 90 minute hike through the slough and ponds we walked in water up past our knees...unable to see below the surface...feeling our way with walking sticks...stepping over the hidden roots and submerged times waist deep in the cool murky waters.  [click on photo inset to enlarge] It was a wilderness that normally I would not venture out into, even in a kayak. Yet there I was, wading through my fears into the peacefulness of  this hidden treasure...There were 17 of us in our party plus Johnny, our guide. Included in the group was a retired couple in their 80's...a mom and dad with their 3 daughters ages 5, 6 and times the water so deep they had to swim across the ponds because it was over their heads! A middle-aged woman alone on her adventure because no one she knew would join her...And a beautiful, bald cancer patient conquering a fear which in my mind was a day in the park compared to the chemo treatments she's endured.  This was a last minute decision for me and Gina. We read in the Naples paper that this might be Clyde's last Labor Day "Muck-About"--we knew if we didn't do it this year, we may never get the chance again! During the entire walk I was thinking...there is nowhere else like this on the planet--how blessed am I to be experiencing this beauty, and to be doing so with my dear friend Gina.

Naples' beauty stretches out far beyond the white sand beaches and perfectly manicured golf courses...I would recommend this adventure to anyone and everyone who seeks to find a rare and untouched corner of our world.

For more information about The Big Cypress National Preserve, and Clyde Butcher's photography, as well as other information about Everglades Tours, Airboat rides and Kayaking in South Florida, please click on the links below:

Thanks for reading!
Make it a great day,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Labor Day Weekend! A Great Time to Buy a Home in Naples Florida!

"We should so live and labor in our times that what came to us as seeds may go to our children as blossom, and what came to us as blossom may go to them as fruit. This expresses the true spirit of mankind."
                                                       ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Labor Day weekend has always signified the traditional end of summer.  People plan that last long weekend--friends and family gather to celebrate with a backyard BBQ, or a day at the beach...Chip is out showing houses all day off for him. This is typically a quiet time of year in Naples, but he has three potential buyers in town...It really is a great time to buy a home in Naples! --I took advantage of a rare Saturday morning at home to pull out the pumpkins and silk autumn-colored leaves and decorated my home...I even lit a wonderful spiced cider scented candle...and a CD playing Native American flutes is taking me on a musical journey...all the senses are happy.

While my husband and business partner is hard at work, I am reflecting on the country that I am so fortunate to call my home...I think of all the hard working men and women, that amazing American spirit that makes our country strong.  I think of those protecting our freedom...both home and abroad...I think of the police and firefighters...and their families, who sacrifice so much...For so many there is no "day off" to celebrate Labor Day...For so many they are "on duty"; their service should not be overlooked.

~And so, as you enjoy this holiday weekend, take a few moments to think about your own personal accomplishments; then hold in your thoughts those that labor to make all our lives better and safer and freer everyday.

Thank you, and have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Naples Real Estate Statistics for August 2010

Is it possible that I am calculating the August real estate sales data? --Hard to believe it is already the 1st of September. Holiday decorations are already adorning the are back in pre-season has begun...We're working on our 2011 business plan and marketing budget! Where has 2010 gone? Never mind that...where did the entire decade go?

Typically, this is the quietest time of year in Naples--August figures reflect that. 
Pendings are down approximately 15% comparing August 2010 to august 2009.
The calculations below are based on the 12 months ending August 31st, 2010.

Facts and figures are derived from data obtained from the local multiple listing system: 
  • New listings taken August 2010: 1,336. Priced at or above $1 million: 126
  • New listings taken August 2009:  1,213. Priced at or above $1 million:  79
  • Pending sales August 2010: 798. Pended listed at or above $1 million: 29
  • Pending sales August 2009: 951. Pended listed at or above $1 million: 42
  • Closed sales August 2010: 547. Closings that were listed at or above $1 million: 34
  • Closed sales August 2009: 592. Closings that were listed at or above $1 million: 34
  • Closed sale finance trends: 149 of the 547 closings got some type of conventional financing, whereas 398 of the 547 closings were cash transactions.
Here is a list of the Average Residential Sold Prices in specific GEO areas where we do most of our business, as of August 31st, 2010, comparing the past 12 months to the previous 12 months:
  • NA 05 Crayton Area Aug 2009-Aug 2010: $850,310 vs prior 24-12 months: $970,272
  • NA 06 Old Naples Aug 2009-Aug 2010: $1,058,244 vs prior 24-12 months: $1,048,758
  • NA 07 Port Royal/Aqualane Aug 2009-Aug 2010: $5,177,272 vs prior 24-12 months: $ 4,216,020
  • NA 08 Royal Harbor Area Aug 2009-Aug 2010: $507,638 vs 24-12 months: $711,573
Here is a list of today's current inventory in these GEO areas and other pertinent facts:
  • NA 05 Crayton Area:  Current Inventory603 active listings. Closings in the past 12 months: 433. List Price to Sale Price percentage ratio: 89% Average Days On Market: 253.  
  • NA 06 Old Naples:  Current Inventory 272 active listings. Closings in the past 12 months: 150. List Price to Sale Price percentage ratio: 91%.   Average Days On Market: 210. 
  • NA 07 Port Royal/Aqualane:  Current Inventory108 active listingsClosings in the past 12 months: 55. List Price to Sale Price precentage ratio: 86%. Average Days On Market: 277.
  • NA 08 Royal Harbor Area:  Current Inventory: 198 active listings. Closings in the past 12 months: 90. List Price to Sale Price percentage ratio: 91%. Average Days On Market: 228.  

Basic economics state that supply and demand create value. The inventory is down for 7 consecutive months in Naples. Here are a few other factors that are influencing our present real estate market.
  • Decreasing property values.
  • An oil spill which effected 82 of the over 1,200 shoreline in the state of Florida.
  • Historically low interest rates.
  • Unemployment.

In some cases, sellers are beginning to hold tighter to asking prices, while buyers are still looking for sellers to be more negotiable. Each offer must be considered individually, as even within the local market in Naples, there are communities that continue with unusually low activity, while others have a much shorter *absorption rate. *As an example, GEO area NA 22 [south of Immokalee Road, and West of CR 951] has a 97% List price to Sale price percentage ratio, a current inventory of 349 active listings and 390 clsoings in the past 12 months. Obviously, if you have a questions about a specific GEO area, please call us directly at 239.370.0574.   

Keeping all of this in mind, The Harris-Peppe Team continues to stay busy. Our website has contributed to nearly 50% of our closings YTD. We have been successful in all price points, but especially the high-end market in the past few months.    Although we do expect a quiet couple of months ahead, this is when we "sharpen the saw", and optimistically anticipate all the potential in the coming season.

~Have a safe and happy September, and remember...if you know anyone looking to buy or sell in Naples Florida, please let us know. A personal referral is one of the highest compliments we can ever receive!

Thank you,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger