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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Free eBooks

One of the most popular pages on our website has become the "FREE eBooks" page on We invite you to log on today and find the page listed in the menu bar on the left side of our homepage. Simply click on this link and you can download one, or all, of the four FREE eBooks listed below.
  • How to Create the Perfect Retirement: Today more than ever, you are faced with a multitude of questions about your retirement years. This eBook offers great tips on planning, including 'What it takes to be ready for retirement, whether you have enough money to retire, what to do when you do retire, and fantastic retirement travel ideas.'
  • A Guide to Establishing Florida Residency: Florida has attracted more retirees than any other state since the 1960s. This eBook covers a lot of what you need to know when deciding to make Florida your new home such as the difference between residency vs domicile, Florida taxes, motor vehicle information, voter registration and college residency requirements.
  • The Florida Beach Book: If you love exploring Florida's beaches, then this is the book for you! It covers 350 beaches across the state, as well as maps, county overviews, pet policies, dog parks and handicap accessibility.
  • How to Buy a Second Home in Florida: If you are interested in learning what you need to know about buying a second home in Florida, or a vacation property, then this eBook will be a great resource. Here you will discover what type of Florida home you should buy: condo vs single family home, the benefits of working with a real estate agent, the purchase and closing process in Florida, and tips on how to be an absentee landlord.

Please send us any suggestions on what other types of eBooks you would like us to feature on our Naples Real Estate website. ~And remeber, whether you are a first time homebuyer, or a prospect looking for a luxury home in Southwest Florida, The Harris Peppe Team is ready to assist you with all you housing needs! We look forward to hearing from you soon, and we hope to earn your future real estate business! 239.370.0574

Thank you and make it a GREAT day,

The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How Do You Say, "Lanai?"

Many times, while getting to know a buyer's wants, especially when they are relocating to Florida from a northern home, the square footage needs differ greatly from what they originally specify to what they ultimately buy...People forget, or don't realize, what an intricate part of their home's living space the lanai [also known as a screened porch] becomes. Downsizing from a 4 or 5 thousand square foot home into less square footage may seem daunting to some, until they get here and begin to recognize the lifestyle that outdoor living provides throughout most of the year. Here in Naples people decorate their outside living areas with outdoor wicker & teak and other moisture resistant materials and create wonderful entertainment areas with 'summer' kitchens and bars, dining areas, TVs with comfortable seating arrangements as well as open air patio areas that incorporate the landscaping and lighting. Most rooms in a home open up to the outside and even in private yards, those without views, an outside environment can be created to incorporate the inside out and the outside in. Chip and I have coffee on our lanai almost every morning...we love to sit outside at the end of a long day and enjoy our evening meal together...we cook outside, watch TV outside...much of our home life revolves around our backyard.
So, the next time your real estate agent tells you that you cannot get a 3,000 square foot home in your price range, don't consider it "settling" for less--consider it opening up the possibilities to the true Naples lifestyle of outdoor living--Sometimes less really is more!
Please let us know if we can help you find a pretty lanai in Naples Florida where you can have your coffee each morning! 239.370.0574
Make it a great day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fun Summer Activities in Naples Florida

Well, here it is again already...the first day of summer, and I am about to write what has become my most popular annual blog post: Cool things to do in Naples Florida during your Summer vacation! But, whether you are here on vacation or not, the locals also love this time of year--less crowds, great sales, amazing restaurant specials...May I suggest a few activities that will surely make the long summer days and nights a bit 'cooler'!
How about summer golf? For 17 years, the South Florida PGA Golf Pass program has been providing golfers the opportunity to play on hundreds of local courses at discounted rates....only $48 per individual! Look for GOLFPASS on the menu bar on their home page.
Do you want to be entertained? The Naples Beach Hotel's 26th Annual Summer Jazz on The Gulf concert series kicks off on Saturday June 25th from 7-10PM on the resort's scenic Watkins Lawn (see photo inset) with a local favorite group, Pocket Change. Circle the dates for the other concerts on July 16th, August 20th and September 17th. Also, don't forget the Evenings On Fifth as they continue all summer on the 2nd Thursday of every month. There you will find a wide variety of musical entertainment, side walk sales and excellent restaurant promotions. Or, click on this link to see what is happening at The Phil.
If Art & Culture is your thing, how about a day wandering through the 15 exhibit halls at The Jay and Patty Baker Naples Museum of Art, or perhaps the beautiful von Liebig Center downtown? Peruse the galleries on Fifth Avenue, or gallery Row off Third. Another hidden treasure are the working studios and galleries of The North Naples Arts Alliance in the Pine Ridge Industrial personal favorites are The Rosen Gallery and Studio, and The Sweet Art Gallery.
Maybe getting closer to nature is what you are hoping to do...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, the bear exhibit is wonderful, as are the giraffes--but I absolutely love Monkey Islands (probably as much as my grandkids)! A favorite way to spend a morning this time of year is wandering the trails and boardwalks at The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Maintained by The Audubon Society, it is alive with color during the summer might just get lucky enough to view the rare and breathtaking ghost orchids. Why not rent a jet ski or a boat for the day? The backwaters in Naples lead directly to The Ten Thousand Islands and some of the most pristine beaches and mangrove islands in the world. It's the Summer of Sharks at Rookery Bay. Kids 12 and younger get in free on Fridays when accompanied by an adult, for stories, crafts, live animals and much more. Call ahead for more details: 239.417.6310.
Don't miss the Fourth of July Parade from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The parade begins at Broad Avenue South to Third Street then marches down Fifth Avenue South. Get a good spot early...there's always a nice crowd in front of The Coldwell Banker Previews office at 550! Later that same day, the downtown fireworks is a show not to be missed. This tradition begins at 9 p.m. when a remarkable pyrotechnics display appears off the Naples Pier...set to patriotic music, it is one of the best shows I've ever seen...and what better setting than watching it from the beach as the rockets soar over the gulf waters! Call 213.7120 if you are interested in parking and shuttle info.
Last but not least, summer is a great time to buy Naples Real Estate...In fact, I think that might be the coolest idea of all! Please call The Harris Peppe Team today to get a list of some of the areas very best buys and excellent values. We would be happy to prepare a list specific to your needs and wants. We've been selling the Naples lifestyle since 1981 and we would consider it a privilege to assist you or someone you now with a Summer Sale in Naples.
Thank you and have a great summer! The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Real Estate Industry is Pro-Consumer

As a follow-up to my most recent post about how the real estate industry is so "pro-consumer", I'd like to share some ideas about the other occupations directly effected by a home sale from start to finish. I have thought about this a lot since Ron Phipp's talk here in Naples last week, and the idea that an average of 147 entities are involved in each and every real estate transaction is a pretty amazing fact! I started to piece together the timeline from the point of taking a listing through to closing...Here are a few of the people and businesses that benefit from this economically:
In addition to the support staff on my team, and at my office...I then make keys, call the sign company, photographer, virtual tour company--sometimes a carpet cleaner is called in, a house cleaner, a painter, a landscaper, a stager...the person who draws the floorplan, the printer, the advertising outlets and all their staff members...Contracts are accepted then the file gets turned over to inspection companies: pest inspection, mold inspection, radon, structural inspector and his or her assistants, airconditioner, roofer, pool inspector, seawall & dock contractor...a mortgage rep, a title company or attorney and their support staff and underwriters...wind mitigator, insurance agents and their staff, home watch services, furniture stores, movers...not to mention the closing gifts and the shops where they are purchased and their staff, the client appreciation dinners and those that cater and serve...the gift certificates and thank you notes...Is it any wonder at all that REAL ESTATE and housing is indeed the driving force behind a successful and flourishing economy?
I would love to hear from you if you are an individual whose job benefits from the real estate industry. Please comment on this blog post, or email me directly at Your input is very important to me, especially if you live in Southwest Florida and think that The Harris Peppe Team should consider your services to assist our customers. Currently we have a 'Select Vendor' list featured on the menu bar on the home page of our website at as well as a concierge list on our Naples Previews Luxury Website.
Thank you, and make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who is Ron Phipps?

"You don't do anything by yourself...."
~Ron Phipps
Ron Phipps. That name may not mean a lot to a lot of people, but to those of us actively participating in the real estate industry today, it's a familiar name. Ron is the current President of The National Association of Realtors. He was the guest speaker at The President's Luncheon yesterday at The Naples Area Board of Realtors, and I was one of the fortunate attendees.
Here are some of the highlights of Ron's address that struck me as being important, and note worthy:
First of all, Ron's passion for the real estate industry was very evident. He was inspirational as well as informative. Each of his stories related to a personal experience, assuring all of us he knows what we do, because he is an active real estate agent. He faces the same challenges and obstacles...he celebrates the same successes, too.
Ron shared with us that The NAR Team has been to Washington and met with members of congress, and "the banks" to discuss and offer suggestions to solve underwriting challenges and appraisal problems. He talked about how the current mortgage requirements have 'over-corrected' and he mentioned the term QRM [Quantitative Risk Management], also known by many as "skin in the game.". He is urging underwriting standards to take into consideration the entire person/family/entity when making loan approvals: reserves, assets, credit...the whole picture. He told us they are taking great measures to protect the mortgage interest deduction. This law has been in effect since 1913. Over 75 million people will be impacted if tax payers lose this deduction. 65% of the people who take this deduction earn less than $100,000! [91% earn less than $200,000.] The 2nd home mortgage interest deduction is also in jeopardy, which could greatly effect an area like Naples Florida, which has a much higher percentage of 2nd homeowners than the national average. I found this to be an interesting fact: the average net worth of a homeowner is $180,000. while the average net worth of a family that rents is $4,700.
Additionally, Ron spoke of several other issues such as flood insurance, a universal approval for condo association projects regarding FHA requirements, international buyers, mortgage caps, short sales and foreclosures.
He closed the program by urging us to be proud of our profession, stating that there are few occupations as pro-consumer as being a real estate agent. There are on average 147 entities involved in the real estate transaction from start to finish....which goes back to Ron's quote at the beginning of this post. No wonder the housing market drives the economy!
As always, thank you for reading my blog. If you or anyone you know is interested in receiving information about The Naples Real Estate market, please call us today. We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope to earn your business. 239.370.0574
Make it a great day,
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is Season Really Over?

Where has the Naples Real Estate Blogger been?
It's been a busy couple of weeks at Chip and I have been showing homes to prospective Neapolitans almost everyday for the past 2 weeks. 'Season' might technically be over, but buyers looking for real values are coming back to town now that the crowds are gone to look hard at those listings that are still available...And the best buys are going quickly! Regardless of the price range, we are seeing the 'bottom' inventory across the board being bought up by shrewd investors, smart second home buyers, international visitors, and first time home owners alike.
Here are some interesting, recent Naples Statistics:
Current Naples inventory is at 6,341 active homes & condos for sale per our local MLS data. That is approximately a 10% decrease in inventory over the same time last year. Single family homes make up 2,576 of those listings. Of the homes presently listed, 15.9% are short sales and less than 2% are foreclosures. 26% of today's homes for sale in Naples are Previews Properties [those homes listed at or above $1 million dollars]. 30% are listed at or below $300,000. Of those homes listed under $300,000 over 35% are categorized as short sales! Total closed residential sales in Naples year-to-date comprised of 16.5% short sale properties.
Currently there are 67 single family homes for sale in Old Naples. Only 1 is listed as a short sale in the MLS, and only 1 is listed as a bank foreclosure. There have been 36 single family home closings in Old Naples year-to-date. 75% of the single family homes which have sold since January 1st, 2011 were listed at or above $1 million!
For an up-to-date analysis of any Naples area in which you have interest, please contact a member of The Harris Peppe Team today. We have served the Naples area since 1981, and I believe our knowledge and enthusiasm is unmatched in the industry today. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, we hope you will interview us to assist you with all your real estate needs. 239.370.0574
Thank you, and make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's Hurrican Season~Be Prepared!

Today is June 1st, which officially marks the first day of the 2011 hurricane season. This will run for six months, ending on November 30th. Here are a few facts, as well as a few 'links' to informative 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 the storms after the phonetic alphabet...Able, Baker, Charlie...But, then in 1953 the weather service returned to using only female names. This ended in 1978, when some believe was 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. It has remained that was ever since. Once a system with a counterclockwise rotation is identified and a sustained wind of 39 mph is measured, the storm is named. A list of this year's names, as well as other good information for storm preparedness can be found on The National Hurricane Center's Website.
I am also including a link to Collier County's Emergency Management website for those of you reading this in the Naples area. This site offers important suggestions such as having a family plan, among other things. Keep in mind, this post was not written to alarm you. Hurricanes are a fact of nature. Consider this: We are notified days in advance of an upcoming storm. We are very fortunate to live in paradise...I just want you to be prepared!
If you would like additional information about how to best prepare your Naples home or condo for this storm season, by receiving a free Hurricane Preparedness brochure emailed to you directly, please contact The Harris Peppe Team by email at :
Thank you, and make it a great day!
The Naples Real Estate Blogger