A Blog for Naples and Bonita Springs FL Real Estate and Homes

 

Hap is testing system from Iowa City

This is a test .  Test # 1

Naples Real Estate and Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Condtions August 2015

People are always wondering what our market conditions are at this time of the year. Suffice to say, business is very brisk. The days of a buyer’s market are gone. Seller’s are back in control as demonstrated by the fact that real estate inventory in the Naples and Bonita Springs – Estero real estate markets are at almost historical low levels. While inventory is very low, price increases are not at the levels observed back in the days of 2005. So if you are a buyer and interested in SW Florida, I suggest you do not sit back and wait to see what will happen next month.

Here is an example of inventory comparison. In one major golf course gated community with about 1400 residences in the community, a couple years ago, there were about 130 listings. Today 29. This is being reflected in price appreciation more and more each day.

And I am addressing only the resale market. The new construction area is experiencing significant activity.

June 2013 What is the state of the current market in Naples?

So what are the current market conditions in Naples? Can you still get in under the guise of being a Buyer in a Buyer’s market? Well if there is a chance, you had better get moving because market conditions are-a-changing!

My company is the largest real estate company in SW Florida. As such, our numbers are a pretty fair measurement as to what is happening. Our pending sales contracts are up 29% over last June ( 2012 ) for the first 21 days of the month. We have already had 250 pending sales turned in this month. As I recently stated in the newspaper, we had too much sales momentum in May for it to slow down in the summer. Looks like a lot of us are going to be busy this summer!!!

That’s for the month but what about momentum for the year in comparison to last year? We have now closed 2,040 transactional sides for the first 172 days of the year. Let’s put this accomplishment in perspective. In 2007, we closed 1,971 transactional sides in TWELVE months. In 2008, we closed 1,968 transactional sides in TWELVE months. This year, we have closed over 2,000 transactional sides in less than SIX months.

I would also add that there is a tremendous amount of new construction going on.

June 22, 2013

So you are (were) hoping to ‘steal’ a property at bargain prices? !! Wrong!!

We continue to get potential clients looking to get in on rock bottom prices. A client will call us saying that they want to steal a property at bargain basement prices and still expect additional discounts. Well, your time is gone. You missed this boat.

Naples real estate prices, Bonita Springs real estate prices and Estero real estate prices are definitely on the upswing. This is even evidenced (which means it must be true!) by the national media who reported on June 5th in the Naples Daily News that ‘Home Prices (are) Up’. Naples area floats near the top of a rising tide seen across the nation. The article stated that home prices, including distressed sales, increased 10.8% compared to a year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, prices increased 5.1%. Excluding distressed sales, they rose 13.2% year-over-year and 3% over the previous month.

This information does not include Lee County.

The Naples / Bonita / Estero market does not reflect the national picture. This market’s action is very active these days with prices being driven by substantially reduced inventory.

If you wanted to get in on bargain prices, we wish we could help you but you missed this boat.

June 6, 2013

Current Status of Naples / Bonita Market – June 1st 2013

I am continually being asked what the current state of affairs is when it comes to our SW Florida (Naples / Bonita / Estero) market place. The national media continues to publish info indicating that our market place continues to take a dive. This information is either inaccurate or they are referring to areas different than Naples / Bonita / Estero.

Our company (Downing-Frye Realty) is the largest company in our market. As such, it would seem that our numbers would indicate a pretty accurate picture. In short, if we ignore the huge banner years of 2004 and 2005, 2012 was the best year in company history, not only in number of closed transactions but in transaction dollars.

But would that continue in to 2013? In a word, YES! As example, May 2013 is about 33% ahead of May 2012. Does that tell you something? Not only is the number of transactions way ahead of last year, inventory levels are noticeably reduced. The combination of the two will start to substantially affect average asking prices and therefore selling prices.

Also, unless you live here and can observe the amount of new construction, you wouldn’t believe how much new construction is going on.

FGCU Eagles flying high!!

I can’t resist blogging my feelings about Florida Gulf Coast, or as we locals prefer to call the school, FGCU.

Geographically, Naples is probably 30 minutes from campus. Bonita and Estero, a shorter ride, at about 10 – 15 minutes. From either distance, great fun is a short ride. Before FGCU had its recent run in the NCAA basketball tourney, tickets to a ball game cost less than a ticket to a bad (or even a good) movie! And many times during basketball season, you can catch both a women’s and a men’s game the same day and on the same ticket. There are many people who will come to watch the women play but not catch the men’s game.

Historically, FGCU is about 14 years old and as of 2013, about 14,000 students. It has blossomed in to a really good school both scholastically and athletically. While I am too old … strike that … too mature to attend classes, I do attend many of the different athletic venues and an occasional concert in their school of music.

School of Music. It is simply amazing what can come out of the ground in 14 years. The school of music now has international winners who are not part of faculty but actually part of the student body. It excels in piano. As I recall, the school of music has something like 41 Steinways! That is not a misprint!

Athletically, the school has teams for men’s and women’s basketball, women’s swimming (2 Olympians), men’s and women’s soccer, women’s softball and men’s baseball, both men’s and women’s golf teams, men’s and women’s tennis and cross-country teams. I am wondering what I have left out. All teams are at the top of their conferences. 2013 is the first year that this school is eligible for Division I tourneys.

Anyone wishing to investigate the school further, simply Google ‘Florida Gulf Coast University’.  Even the more commonly used initials work.

WHAT FUN!  The school is an enormous amenity for those of us forced to endure the pleasures of living in SW Florida!!  Go FGCU!!

Marla Ottensein’s Get Organized: A snowbird checklist

This article is published with Marla Ottenstein’s permission.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
No sooner do the “snowbirds” arrive than they start talking from whence they came. My mom, who lives on Florida’s east coast, is not exempt from this strange phenomenon; within minutes of unpacking, she’s already making a pile of stuff to take back “up north.” After 40-plus years, you’d think she, and all the other birds in the flock, would have the routine down pat.
The following list is a compilation of ideas and thoughts from friends and family, as well as from one interested reader in particular. If I’ve missed something, send me your ideas so I may include them in a future column.
Snowbird checklist:
Remove all furniture, cushions, plants, grills, hoses and loose decorative items from lanai/patio and store either in garage or inside home.
Bring all doormats inside.
Set thermostat to 75 degrees and if you choose to use a humidistat, set it to desired setting.
Empty icemaker and turn “off.”
Turn refrigerator to lowest setting and remove all perishable and canned food; toss out any previously opened condiments and donate to your local food bank.
Dispose of any bottled and/or canned carbonated drinks as these could explode.
Close water valves leading to hot water heater; turn “off” on circuit breaker as well.
Shut off washing machine valves.
Drain all water lines by leaving faucets open after water main is shut off; once drained, close faucets.
To prevent the evaporation of water in cisterns and seals and to prevent odors from emanating from pipes, seal all drains and toilets with plastic food wrap.
Take photographs of everything you leave in the closets. This way, if you’re up north and can’t find your favorite black cocktail dress or tuxedo, you can look at the photos to see if you left it here by accident.
Fill several gallon jugs with tap water in case your home watch service needs water for any reason while performing their monthly inspections.
If you live in a gated community, notify security with the name of the home watch company you use.
Be sure the property manager and/or community’s security office has a key (and alarm code) to your home or condo.
Notify home watch service and security office of any changes to your contact information.
Leave name and contact information of local person who will know how to reach you in case of an emergency.
Have alarm system checked before you leave; change batteries if needed.
Unplug washer, dryer, television, cable, toaster, coffee maker, computer/printer and other small appliances.
Two weeks before departure, forward all mail and periodicals to northern address; notify post office at alternate location to hold incoming mail.
Stop newspaper delivery (start delivery at alternate address).
Remove batteries from telephones and all remote controls, including garage door opener.
Change A/C filter and have HVAC drain line cleaned (I suggest HVAC maintenance twice a year, with one service appointment being performed before you leave).
Leave extra A/C filters for home watch service to change once a month.
Leave copy of homeowners insurance and agent’s name/telephone numbers in conspicuous place.
Don’t forget to take all medications, prescriptions and eyeglasses with you when you leave.
Discontinue service on phone, cable and Internet services. If available, put on “seasonal” hold. (Reinstate all services at alternate location.)
Call credit card companies and banks with alternate address and expected length of stay.
Purchase plenty of DampRid and make sure home watch service is familiar with procedures.
Leave ceiling fans “on” to increase circulation inside home. (Note: some people prefer turning their ceiling fans “off,” this is a personal decision.)
Pull all shades down, leaving 1-inch clearance.
Leave all interior doors, especially closet doors, as well as all cabinet doors, open.
Remove plastic dry-cleaning bags and foam rubber “stays” from all dry cleaned items.
If you chose to use timers on one or more lamps, be sure to check the settings in advance to ensure the timers are working.
If your home or condo has hurricane shutters, have them inspected and lubricated before departing. Some people chose to close and lock (or install) their shutters before departing, personally I prefer leaving this task to my home watch service since mold breeds in dark places.
Lock garage door from the inside and/or disable electric access.
If you leave a car here, disconnect car battery; leave windows slightly ajar and place one or more containers of DampRid in the garage, as well as inside your car. (If you have a separate dehumidifier for the garage, turn it on.)
If you ship your car back up north and have a removable SunPass, remove it and put in the protective case so you don’t get charged each time the car carrier goes through a toll booth.
Lock all windows, doors and sliding glass doors before departing.
If you own a house and are responsible for your own lawn maintenance, be sure to have the shrubs and trees trimmed before you leave, including the removal of any loose palm fronds and coconuts.
And finally, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, and again, and again; if you’re going back up north for longer than a month, the smartest thing you can do is to hire a reputable home-watch service (licensed, insured and bonded) to inspect your home a minimum of twice a month.
If your hot water heater bursts or a power surge blows the circuits on your HVAC, he or she will be able to take action before it’s too late. Make sure to instruct your home-watch service to empty, and refill, as needed, all DampRid containers throughout your home.
We invite you to send us questions about how to get and stay organized, which will be addressed in future columns.
Hint of the Day: When traveling between two or more homes, be sure to keep one full set of keys, including one for your mailbox, and a garage door opener for each home in a Ziploc bag for easy access.

So you want to play golf !! ??

Naples Daily News – Printer-friendly story

Study: Naples-Marco tops national leaderboard for golf holes per capita

By AISLING SWIFT

Friday, March 8, 2013

COLLIER COUNTY — Naples’ self-proclaimed title of “Golf Capital of the World” was solidified this week, when it was ranked No. 1 nationally for its abundance of golf holes.

The Naples-Marco Island metropolitan statistical area, which also held the top spot last year, has 1,530 holes for a population of 324,424, meaning there were 212 people per hole, according to the report, Golf Facilities in the U.S. 2013.

The report, released this week by the National Golf Foundation, tracks 18-hole course equivalents. It ranked this area No. 1 for its private clubs, but No. 28 nationally for the 450 holes — 721 people per hole — offered at a handful of courses available to the public.

Myrtle Beach/North Myrtle Beach/Conway, S.C., came in second with a population per hole of 246, and Barnstable, Mass., was No. 3 at 313. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan statistical area, which includes Bonita Springs and Estero, ranked seventh, at 393 people per golf hole.

Collier County planning records show there are 91 public, private and semi-private courses. That’s partly a result of a development boom in luxury golf communities in the past two decades. Many are designed by top golf architects such as Robert von Hagge, Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Several, including Pelican Marsh and Wyndermere Country Club, just finished multimillion-dollar club and course renovations.

“The developer surge that we saw 10 years ago brought on at least 10-to-15 18-hole equivalents” said Tary Kettle, president of The Link Related Companies, a club and hospitality consulting firm.

The plethora of courses has attracted three of the top national golf tours, as well as golf-related businesses, golfers and baby boomers.

Georgia-based Golf & Tennis Pro Shop opened its first Florida PGA Tour Superstore in North Naples in December 2009 and a year later, Texas-based GolfSmith, the nation’s largest golf retailer, opened its most technologically advanced and interactive superstore, Golfsmith Xtreme, nearby.

Realtor Matt Klinowski, a golf community expert at John R. Wood Realtors, has seen a surge of buyers targeting golf properties as overall interest in the area grows.

“As the baby boomers shift to retirement age, they are definitely coming down here to buy golf properties and second homes,” said Klinowski, who operates NaplesGolfGuy.com. “ They’re grabbing properties now because they think the timing is right and the prices are low.”

“Eighty percent of the buyers I’m working with right now are in the second property or vacation home category,” he added.

Florida, California, New York, Michigan, and Texas have the most holes for their populations, according to the national report, which lists 15,619 golf courses nationwide. In comparison, there were nearly 4,700 18-hole equivalents due to the large number of stand-alone nine-hole courses.

With the cost of golfing higher than most sports, the number of players is dwindling and other activities, such as walking, jogging and swimming are seeing increases, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers’ Association.

Last year was the seventh year golf course closures outpaced openings — about a dozen opened compared with more than 150 closures of 18-hole equivalents, according to the national report, which showed 199 under development.

In the past three to four years, Florida saw 15 to 20 closures, Kettle said, adding: “We’ve seen great weaknesses throughout the state of Florida.”

“Naples and Collier County have a greater degree of resiliency than the rest of the state,” he said. “The state of Florida is going to be at risk of more closures. We’re still at the oversupply stage. It would be great to see more youth involved.”

Recommendations on preventing mold.

Marla Ottenstein’s Get Organized: Before heading up north, snowbirds need to beware and prepare
Staff Reports
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Editor’s note: This column originally ran in September 2012, but has since been updated to reflect new thoughts and ideas.

Contrary to popular belief, mold — those microscopic, virtually indiscernible spores that float through the air and cause havoc on our lives — is not just a Florida phenomenon, in fact, in Southern California, a place where most people assume mold would never be found, the problem is nothing short of catastrophic.

It’s true homes that aren’t properly cooled are more susceptible to mold infiltration and damage than others, but homes where the air conditioner runs on an extremely cold setting 24/7 are also at risk, albeit much less. Remember, a certain amount of condensation is necessary when running any HVAC system, but too much of a good thing will undoubtedly result in a damp environment, which is just what those nasty spores are looking for.

So, what does mold look like? Have you ever noticed a constellation-like string of tiny brown dots on your clothing? Those spots are mold and no amount of detergent or elbow grease will help.

Wondering what that fine dusting of “powder” is on your leather handbags, jackets and shoes? MOLD! And what about that wet, dank smell you detect in your closets? Mold!

Remember, “mold kills,” so anything, and I mean anything, with the slightest indication of mold must be pitched — immediately — no matter how expensive or near and dear the item might be to you.

Living in Florida we hear more horror stories than most about unhealthy homes. Unfortunately, no matter where you live or how high you run your air conditioning, there is no foolproof way to completely prevent mold from entering your home. There are, however, ways to ward off the malicious curse:

Keep your air conditioning running at all times and check air ducts for debris.

If you have ceiling fans, use them. Contrary to what you might have heard, they will not blow up and burn your house down, but they will circulate the air more efficiently.

Leave closet doors slightly ajar or, preferably, leave them open all the way. (Yes, this means you may have to clean and organize your closets as well.)

Mold thrives in a dark moist environment. Remove clothing from plastic dry cleaning bags the moment you read today’s column.   The strip of colored foam that comes on some dry cleaning hangers should be removed immediately. Given time, the foam will disintegrate and stain your clothing.

If you are afraid dust might settle on your clothes, turn an ordinary king-size pillowcase (100 percent cotton is best) into a cover for your clothing by cutting a hole in the top seam and pulling the hanger through it. Note: It’s best to have one “cover” per item to let your clothing breathe.

Place one or more containers of DampRid moisture packs (I prefer the free standing containers to the hanging ones) in each closet and be sure to empty once a week. (The five minutes it takes to empty the containers once a week could save you thousands of dollars in mold mitigation fees.)

If your HVAC’s air handler is in a closet, keep the door ajar and place a container of DampRid in the closet as well.   Closets will smell fresh if you use Renuzit “Air Freshening Pearls” or a similar product.

Clothes need to breathe. Using your hand as a gauge, place one finger between each piece of clothing to create sufficient space (1-inch minimum) between hangers.

Invest in matching hangers; the ultrathin “huggable” ones are an excellent choice and will add space to your closets giving your clothes more room. (Wire hangers, which are also thin, would be my second choice; anything but the bulky plastic hangers works!)

Before hanging something up, carefully check for spots and stains. Stains left unattended for too long will “set” and cause irreversible damage.

Never hang clothes in the closet unless they are completely dry.

To avoid moisture and keep them dust-free, stuff handbags with tissue paper and store them inside the cloth dust-cover bags that come with many handbags.

Keep shoes in tiptop shape, first by spraying the insole with a disinfectant after each wear, and then by stuffing tissue tightly into the toes of all closed-toe shoes; try not to store shoes in plastic boxes.

If you’re building or renovating a home, avoid positioning closets in or adjacent to the bathroom, which is inordinately humid.   If your closet is already built and is in or next to the bathroom, opt for paint in lieu of wallpaper, which can, and will, absorb moisture more readily.

Finally, if you’re leaving town for an extended period of time, do not turn the A/C off or put it on a warmer setting, and never depend on a humidistat to dehumidify your home. By the time the humidistat kicks in, it’s too late! When leaving town, close the blinds, leaving 1-inch clearance between the window sill and the bottom of the blind; open all interior and closet doors; program timers on the closet lights to come on once a day for at least one hour (in some cases, light detracts mold) and adjust the thermostat to a cool, energy efficient temperature.

Remember, not all molds are “bad.” While “good” molds such as Penicillin can save lives, leave the harvesting to the scientists and strive to create as dry an environment as possible in your home and workplace to avoid the possibility of mold infiltration.

We invite you to send us questions about how to get and stay organized, which will be addressed in future columns.

Hint of the Day: If you’re going up north for longer than a month, the smartest thing you can do is to hire a reputable home-watch service (licensed, insured and bonded) to inspect the premises a minimum of twice a month. If your hot water heater bursts or a power surge blows the circuits on your HVAC, he or she will be able to take action before it’s too late. Make sure to instruct your home-watch service to empty, and refill, as needed, all DampRid containers throughout your home.

This article is provided with Marla Ottenstein’s permission.

Before Heading up North, Snowbirds Need to Beware and Prepare

This is a repost of an article written by Marla Ottenstein and re-published here with her permission. The original article can be viewed here: bit.ly/13t9QO8

Contrary to popular belief, mold — those microscopic, virtually indiscernible spores that float through the air and cause havoc on our lives — is not just a Florida phenomenon, in fact, in Southern California, a place where most people assume mold would never be found, the problem is nothing short of catastrophic.

It’s true homes that aren’t properly cooled are more susceptible to mold infiltration and damage than others, but homes where the air conditioner runs on an extremely cold setting 24/7 are also at risk, albeit much less. Remember, a certain amount of condensation is necessary when running any HVAC system, but too much of a good thing will undoubtedly result in a damp environment, which is just what those nasty spores are looking for.

So, what does mold look like? Have you ever noticed a constellation-like string of tiny brown dots on your clothing? Those spots are mold and no amount of detergent or elbow grease will help.

Wondering what that fine dusting of “powder” is on your leather handbags, jackets and shoes? MOLD! And what about that wet, dank smell you detect in your closets? Mold!

Remember, “mold kills,” so anything, and I mean anything, with the slightest indication of mold must be pitched — immediately — no matter how expensive or near and dear the item might be to you.

Living in Florida we hear more horror stories than most about unhealthy homes. Unfortunately, no matter where you live or how high you run your air conditioning, there is no foolproof way to completely prevent mold from entering your home. There are, however, ways to ward off the malicious curse:

Keep your air conditioning running at all times and check air ducts for debris.

If you have ceiling fans, use them. Contrary to what you might have heard, they will not blow up and burn your house down, but they will circulate the air more efficiently.

Leave closet doors slightly ajar or, preferably, leave them open all the way. (Yes, this means you may have to clean and organize your closets as well.)

Mold thrives in a dark moist environment. Remove clothing from plastic dry cleaning bags the moment you read today’s column.

The strip of colored foam that comes on some dry cleaning hangers should be removed immediately. Given time, the foam will disintegrate and stain your clothing.

If you are afraid dust might settle on your clothes, turn an ordinary king-size pillowcase (100 percent cotton is best) into a cover for your clothing by cutting a hole in the top seam and pulling the hanger through it. Note: It’s best to have one “cover” per item to let your clothing breathe.

Place one or more containers of DampRid moisture packs (I prefer the free standing containers to the hanging ones) in each closet and be sure to empty once a week. (The five minutes it takes to empty the containers once a week could save you thousands of dollars in mold mitigation fees.)

If your HVAC’s air handler is in a closet, keep the door ajar and place a container of DampRid in the closet as well.

Closets will smell fresh if you use Renuzit “Air Freshening Pearls” or a similar product.

Clothes need to breathe. Using your hand as a gauge, place one finger between each piece of clothing to create sufficient space (1-inch minimum) between hangers.

Invest in matching hangers; the ultrathin “huggable” ones are an excellent choice and will add space to your closets giving your clothes more room. (Wire hangers, which are also thin, would be my second choice; anything but the bulky plastic hangers works!)

Before hanging something up, carefully check for spots and stains. Stains left unattended for too long will “set” and cause irreversible damage.

Never hang clothes in the closet unless they are completely dry.

To avoid moisture and keep them dust-free, stuff handbags with tissue paper and store them inside the cloth dust-cover bags that come with many handbags.

Keep shoes in tiptop shape, first by spraying the insole with a disinfectant after each wear, and then by stuffing tissue tightly into the toes of all closed-toe shoes; try not to store shoes in plastic boxes.

If you’re building or renovating a home, avoid positioning closets in or adjacent to the bathroom, which is inordinately humid.

If your closet is already built and is in or next to the bathroom, opt for paint in lieu of wallpaper, which can, and will, absorb moisture more readily.

Finally, if you’re leaving town for an extended period of time, do not turn the A/C off or put it on a warmer setting, and never depend on a humidistat to dehumidify your home. By the time the humidistat kicks in, it’s too late! When leaving town, close the blinds, leaving 1-inch clearance between the window sill and the bottom of the blind; open all interior and closet doors; program timers on the closet lights to come on once a day for at least one hour (in some cases, light detracts mold) and adjust the thermostat to a cool, energy efficient temperature.

Remember, not all molds are “bad.” While “good” molds such as Penicillin can save lives, leave the harvesting to the scientists and strive to create as dry an environment as possible in your home and workplace to avoid the possibility of mold infiltration.

We invite you to send us questions about how to get and stay organized, which will be addressed in future columns.

Hint of the Day: If you’re going up north for longer than a month, the smartest thing you can do is to hire a reputable home-watch service (licensed, insured and bonded) to inspect the premises a minimum of twice a month. If your hot water heater bursts or a power surge blows the circuits on your HVAC, he or she will be able to take action before it’s too late. Make sure to instruct your home-watch service to empty, and refill, as needed, all DampRid containers throughout your home.

“Get Organized” appears on the first and third Fridays of each month. Naples-based professional organizer Marla Ottenstein is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. For information: www.ProfessionalOrganizerFlorida.com or email: Marla@ProfessionalOrganizerFlorida.com.

© 2013 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.