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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Select Vendor of the Week

This week's Select Vendor is Ken Watkins, the best Orkin Man in Naples!
Orkin says, "caring for your home is our business. We're not satisfied until you are satisfied. So, if you need pest control between scheduled visits we'll keep coming back until it's solved or we will refund your last service payment." Orkin's service is second to none! They have been in business for over 100 years, and have nearly 2 million satisfied customers to prove it. Here in Florida, pest control is a major issue. It is our pleasure to recommend Orkin, and specifically our Orkin Man, Ken Watkins as our Select Vendor of the week! You can reach Ken directly at 239.601.8496.
Here are a few tips to help you identify pest risk factors:
  • An open garbage can stored under a kitchen sink can be a magnet for flies, ants, roaches and rodents.
  • Mice and other pests can enter a home through tiny gaps, the size of a pencil.
  • Food that is not properly sealed in a pantry can attract pests.
  • Improperly sealed attics and crawl spaces can attract spiders.
  • A leaking roof or blocked gutter can accumulate moisture and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Torn screens cannot keep out small insects.
  • Wood stacked beside a home can attract termites or carpenter ants.
  • Landscaping growing beside a home is the perfect "ladder' for pest to climb to get into a home's rafters.

Last year termites caused more than $5 billions dollars worth of damage. It is a good idea to call Ken today and have your home checked, then sign-up for an annual contract to have your home protected. Such a simple solution to protect your biggest investment, your home!

Thank you for your time. Make it a great day,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Villas Calabria in Charming Old Naples

Located just steps from the world famous Fifth Avenue South, in beautiful downtown Naples, you will find a charming villa surrounded by lush landscaping and lovely private gardens...The side and back courtyards are accentuated with trellis & fountain, and colorful fauna. A romantic splash pool & spa with cascading water feature adds to the allure. Al fresco dining is convenient with the fabulous outdoor grill. The home boasts 3 spacious bedrooms plus a den, and 5 full baths. The home also features a private 2-car garage and a private elevator. The architectural details are reminescent of Italy with balconies and arched windows. The main living level offers a wonderful gourmet kitchen, or you could just make reservations and walk to the many fine restaurants nearby. Only 5 blocks to the pristine white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, the location of this exclusive Naples residence is undeniably the best in town! The home, located at 591 4th Avenue South, will be open on Sunday April 3rd and Sunday April 10th from 1-4PM. Click to see a virtual tour of Villa Calabria. Please stop by if you are in the area. You won't be disappointed! Please call The Harris Peppe Team if you have any questions: 239.370.0574
Thank you, and make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Naples Is In The News

"Naples Rises From Florida Housing Swamp as Wealthy Buyers Return to Market"
At last, there's some really good news being reported in today's Bloomberg Real Estate News. Read the full story here as Dan Levy puts a positive spin on the Naples Real Estate housing market, while other reporters continue with their gloom and doom! I'd like to commend Dan and his editor Kara Wetzel for taking the time to do the proper research necessary to write an accurate account of what is really happening in our town. Dan hits on several key topics including our popularity with International Buyers, the Luxury market in Naples Florida, Foreclosure Ranking and Consumer Confidence. He also quotes several authorities including Karl Case [the other half of the well respected Case-Shiller index], "Wealth determines housing, and the good places pick up first", and as I had previously mentioned in an earlier post, Lawrence Yun, chief economist in Washington for the National Association of Realtors, also predicts home prices in South Florida may show a "surprise upward." [Go to my website to read my entire blog]
I'm thrilled that what I have been reporting for months is finally making it into the mainstream!!
Thanks for reading my blog! Make it a GREAT day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More On Florida Vacancy Percentages

Just logged onto the Florida Realtors website, and lo and behold, today's feature story is yet another rebuttal to the CNNMoney article which I referenced today in an earlier post. Check out this report for more accurate information concerning Census Bureau and Florida Housing Vacancies.
Thanks again for reading my blog! I am just trying to get the most accurate information out to the public concerning Naples Real Estate!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

To Buy Or Not To Buy?

To buy or not to buy? That is the question.
For the past two days I've been fielding a deluge of calls and emails from my clients and customers concerning the recent article published by CNNMoney. Let me try to clarify...Staff writer Les Christie reports that nearly 20% of Florida homes are vacant. He mentions clearly in the second sentence of his article that he got his information from the United States Census Bureau. He continues on to purport that Collier County is the worst-hit with a "whopping 32% of homes empty".
First of all, these statistics, as previously mentioned, were derived from figures given to Mr. Christie by the Census Bureau. I wonder if he is aware that when the census was taken last year, the "snowbirds" who reside up north, but who also have a 2nd (and sometimes even a 3rd or 4th) residence in Naples, had their properties listed as VACANT in Collier County: because they were UP NORTH! I wonder if the two rental properties I own in Collier County, which were BOTH vacant at the time of the census, were also used in his reporting. Probably. That would make 66.66% of the homes I own in Collier County "vacant", even though they are clearly seasonal rental investment properties. People buy vacation homes in Naples Florida! Many do not live here year round. There are certainly other counties in Florida [there are a total of 67 counties by the way] which have a higher percentage of year round residences. This is a distortion of what is true, and very damaging to the recovery that we are experiencing here in Naples right now.
Secondly, let's remember why most people buy in Naples Florida. They are looking for a haven to escape the cold. They are looking for a lifestyle that supports the years they planned to spend their retirement in a healthy, beautiful place. They are looking for outdoor activities such as a pristine beach and nearly 100 golf courses...boating, fishing, great restaurants, world class arts and entertainment...They are looking for a wonderful, safe place for their friends, their children and grandchildren to come and visit. They are looking for a sense of community, good hospitals, good schools...a place to raise children where they can play outside 12 months of the year. They are looking for an abundance of houses of worship, a convenient airport, several excellent colleges and universities. They are willing to look at real estate, and determine the value of all of these things in spite of some ill informed reporter trying to make my job more difficult!
I'll tell you what Mr. Christie, you just stay right where you are until the late 2030's, which is when you report Celia Chen thinks Naples will "come back"--and I'll just keep showing homes in amazingly beautiful Naples Florida. There are those who want to own a little piece of paradise regardless of whether we have hit the bottom already, or whether we will hit it next year. I believe that some things are more important...There is an intrinsic value in the quality of life to which you cannot put a price tag.
Thank you for letting me vent.
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Whether your house is listed or not, these following tips are recommended for your annual Spring Cleaning!
  • Clean sliding doors and tracks and lubricate tracks if needed.
  • Pull out and wash behind appliances.
  • Thoroughly clean stove, oven and refrigerator.
  • Wash blinds, shutters, dry clean drapes.
  • Clean all cabinet doors, inside and out!
  • Wash and reorganize all drawers interior.
  • Wash inside and out all windows.
  • Pull out and vacuum behind & under all furniture and beds.
  • Clean all interior room access doors, closet doors and louvre doors.
  • Organize linen closets.
  • Empty and sanitize under bathroom vanities.
  • Determine if any painting or corrective maintenance is needed such as screens repaired or replaced, decks pressure cleaned, regrouting and resealing tile, etc.
  • Clean outside/porch furniture.
  • Empty and reorganize your clothes closet and drawers. Start a bag for Goodwill or any other local charity. If you haven't worn it since last Spring, chances are it is out of style, or doesn't fit. Someone else will appreciate it, and you will feel better. PURGE!
  • Plant Spring flowers!

Remember, this is not your normal routine cleaning...this is 'getting down to the nitty-gritty' cleaning! So, roll up your sleeves, open your windows to let the fresh air in, play your favorite tunes and have a Happy Spring!

Please let us know if any member of The Harris Peppe Team can assist you if you are interested in either buying a home in Naples Florida, or receiving a 'no-obligation' evaluation of your property in this ever-changing real estate market.

Thank you, and make it a great day!

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from The Harris Peppe Team
at the fabulous Coldwell Banker Previews International office
in beautiful downtown Naples Florida!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Select Vendor of the Week

This week we are pleased to feature Hubbell Wall Designs as our Select Vendor of the week!
Sometimes I feel a bit guilty recommending Aaron Hubbell as a house painter because his talent as an artist is so extraordinary. However, if you look at the complete select vendor list on you will find that he is the only painter on the list. That's because he is such a perfectionist, and everyone we refer him to just raves about the results. He never lets us down. We know we can count on Aaron to give our customers the most competitive price and the most meticulous work. He is a master at his craft, with a keen sense of color and texture. He also offers faux finishes in addition to his basic interior and exterior painting for both commercial and residential properties. I'd also like to add to this recommendation that Aaron is a wonderful husband and father, which he says is the inspiration in his art.
I always say, "Why not do business with a nice person?" Aaron Hubbell may make a living by being a fantastic painter, but he makes a wonderful life by creating amazing works of art. Please call Aaron the next time you need a great painter, and consider calling him for decorative tiles, or any of a number of different creations he offers. 239.290.4607 To get more familiar with his work I am inviting you to log onto his website, Fresco Studios.
Thank you, and make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Green Silk Robe

Over 20 years ago I sold a home in Naples to a wonderful couple...Joy was a teacher....we clicked immediately. We've stayed in touch over the years...Sometimes nothing more than just a few of my 'staying in touch' marketing postcards, the annual Christmas card or an occasional personal note to let her know I was thinking of her. When we did have an opportunity to reconnect, it was always like no time had gone by since our last encounter. I've sold over 1,000 homes in the past 30 a lot of wonderful couples, but Joy and her husband's purchase was one that always stands out in my mind--it was such an enjoyable transaction! One of the most delightful aspects of the sale was meeting "Dottie", Joy's mom, who already lived in a condo in Naples. Keep in mind, this was over 20 years ago, and so to this real estate gal who was in her mid-30's at the time, and who has never been one to even try to guess a woman's age, I simply suspected Dottie was at least old enough to collect social security. She was deeply caring and so happy to be involved in the process--She wanted to see the homes Joy & her husband had narrowed down to, and be part of the excitement that her daughter & son-in-law were experiencing buying their first Naples home! She was even at the closing!
Recently Joy called me--we had not spoken in years. She left a sweet message, but before I returned the call I did something I don't think I've ever done before--I search the local paper's obituaries...It was there that I found what I sadly suspected was the reason for Joy's phone call, her beautiful mom had passed away. Joy wanted me to know that her mom had told her a long time ago, "someday when something happens to me I don't want anyone else but Michele to sell my condo." Later that week I met Joy at her mom's home--she had already gone through much of Dottie's things...Together we walked through the bright and cheerful apartment, and I could just feel Dottie's spirit. I made a few suggestions on what needed to be done before we put it on the market, and I told her not to worry, I would get back in there myself and have the place staged...A few more things ended up in boxes, some knick-knacks, books, and some clothes that were headed to the local shelter...Almost all the personal things save this one lovely green silk robe hanging in the closet. It didn't look like it had ever been worn--Joy confirmed that it hadn't and when she saw how I admired it, she asked me if I wanted it. She and her husband had bought it for Dottie--guess she felt it wasn't practical--made me remember when my grandma died and all the pretty robes and pajamas that my mom had given her over the years were still wrapped in tissue paper. "Of course I'll take it, are you sure? Oh my God Joy, it's beautiful!"
Well, yesterday was the closing. Some really nice people bought Dottie's little condo, which made us feel very good. It rained like crazy yesterday...Joy and I held back tears at the closing thinking that the rain drops were Dottie's happy tears...It was really awesome to tell the closing agent how far back we all go and how I came to get this listing...and I came away from that closing with an incredible feeling of contentment. It is good to be reminded sometimes that what we do each day has nothing at all to do with contracts or closings...It's about people who touch your's about a green silk robe, which by the way, I love to wear...Thank you Dottie!
Thank you,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Select Vendor of the Week

The Harris Peppe Team is pleased to announce this week's Select Vendor is Kelly Rebimbas of Sunbelt Lending Services. Kelly has been a loan officer for over 20 years. Her professionalism and attention to detail is beyond reproach! She states, "Although there are mixed feelings about the economy today, we have seen our business grow tremendously over the past few years. It is my opinion that now is a great time to buy with low housing prices and interest rates in the 5% range. We are still providing many new mortgages for our clients, as long as credit scores are fairly good I will try my best to make it work!" Kelly also says she attributes much of her success to the support of wonderful real estate agents. Chip & I feel exactly the same way...Kelly goes the extra mile to find exactly the right program for all our buyers that need financing. We consider the vendors with whom we refer business as partners in each transaction, and with Kelly we can always count on a positive result! Our customers cannot say enough good things about her either. She's organized, returns phone calls promptly, and manages to make each client feel like they are her most important client! Her motto is, "Give more than is expected"~and that pretty much up her work ethic! To call Kelly directly please phone 239.273.5239 or you can apply online at Sunbelt Lending.
Thank you, and make it a great day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just Saying "Thank You"

From the time I was old enough to hold a pencil in my hand I was taught the art of the Thank You Note. Even before I learned to write my own name, I learned how to write the word 'love'--the perfect salutation for the many notes I would write from a very early age to the wonderful friends and family to whom I wanted to show appreciation...Still to this day I send notes and cards...and I still think the 44 cents the post office charges to get a card from my mailbox to a friend's mailbox anywhere in the USA in just a few days is a bargain indeed for the joy it gives both me and the receiver.
Chip & I like to say 'thank you' in various way to the people who make a difference in our lives--both in our personal lives and in business. A few years ago we tried our hand at a Client Appreciation Party--a beautiful venue, caterers...The entire Harris Peppe Team was there to visit with the attendees, including my amazing mom who was assigned to greeting the guests. I don't think many people there were aware of my disappointment in the turnout, and it precluded me from organizing any such gatherings since...until yesterday! Last night Chip and I hosted the first, of what I believe will be many, Client Appreciation Sunset Cruises on the Ithaka! We comfortably included 5 couples, and hired our middle son Bobby to take care of all the serving details so that I could enjoy our wonderful company. I did all the cooking, which I love to do, and Chip of course captained the boat...The weather cooperated and we saw a magnificent sunset. All 12 guests were from the same general area, but some had never met, so new friendships were made. We all talked about how we met and our connections. We joked about my many hairstyles over the years. We talked about the real estate market, The Great Circle Loop trip that Chip and I completed last year, our children & grandchildren and we talked especially about how good life is in Naples Florida.
It is a deeply satisfying for me to realize that I have made a difference in their lives...they thank me all the time...yet, I continually want to find ways to let them know that I am thankful...not only for the business and referrals that they have given to me over the years, but absolutely without a doubt, I am most thankful for the relationships that I have made over the years. These are great friends...this is a great place to live...this is a wonderful career...and I am truly grateful.
Just Saying THANK YOU, and make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Friday, March 4, 2011

Personality Tests

Survive Your Serengeti
The first modern personality test was used in 1919 by The United States Army to screen out recruits who might be susceptible to shell shock...The very well known Rorschach inkblot test was introduced in 1921....and over the years since, there have been hundreds more created for all reasons from marriage counseling to employment development to setting education goals...Today, if you are on Facebook, there are literally thousands of quizzes to determine anything from which Dirty Dancer character you are to what the color of your eyes signifies...Early on in my real estate career I attended a Steve Oniki seminar and was quite taken with the accuracy of his personality quiz and how something as simple as a handshake can help you determine what kind of a person you were dealing with in sales and in life...a method I still use to this day. Many years later, I attended another one of Steve's seminar's and it was amazing how he looked at my first test results and my second test results, and almost clairvoyantly he was able to tell me what was going on in my life.
I'm a sucker for these tests, even though quite often I am surprised by the results. The most recent best seller by Stefan Swanepoel, Surviving Your Serengeti, recommended in The Weekly Book Scan blog on, offers yet another personality quiz, but fittingly, it allows the test taker to find out what innate talents he or she possesses in order to best survive the tough times as exemplified by the animals of the Serengeti. This author urges workers in all fields, including real estate, to take this quiz to help us in "developing those skills which come naturally while also surrounding ourselves with people whose skills compliment our own".
Here are the 7 skills that Stefan Swanepoel determines help us to overcome obstacles and cope with challenges in business and in life: Strategic Lion, Enterprising Crocodile, Efficient Cheetah, Enduring Wildebeest, Risk-taking Mongoose, Communicating Elephant, Graceful Giraffe. Click here to find out what animal you are.
Once you take the test, please share your results! I am going to have everyone on The Harris Peppe Team take the test---I already know it's like a zoo sometimes when we are all at the office at the same time! (*smile*)
By the way, I am an Enterprising Crocodile (no wonder I did the Swamp Walk)! This means I possess energy, creativity and the ambition required to see future possibilities that others cannot. It states that I am passionate about work and learn from mistakes...that I understand my personal weaknesses as well as my innate strengths. It also states that I am able to recognize opportunity and can make strategic decisions with limited data.
Thanks for participating! Make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Select Vendor of the Week

Koenig Art Emporium
It is with great pleasure that The Harris Peppe Team recommends Koenig Art Emporium and recognizes them as our select vendor of the week. In this day and age, when so many businesses are succumbing to larger, national stores, the personalized relationship between the "shop owner" and the consumer is rare to find. Dick Walbert first opened his doors here in Naples over 25 years ago. He offers a wide selection of well priced art supplies, as well as very competitive pricing for custom framing. His work is impeccable, and it makes me happy to know that I am a patron of a locally owned, family business. You can find Dick and his friendly staff at 985 Central Avenue near downtown Naples. Please stop by the next time you need a treasured work of art framed---or better yet, create one yourself with their vast selection of paints and canvases. Click here for a video and more contact information: KOENIG ART EMPORIUM
Thank you, and make it a great day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger