Archive for the ‘Bonita Springs Real Estate’ Category


Friday, February 1st, 2013

Disregarding the boom years of 2004 and 2005, 2012 represented historically the best year in the history closed sales in the Naples area real estate numbers. Buyer’s are no longer sitting on the side lines but are actively seeking buying opportunities before pricing increases really hit the market.

Overall pending sales increased 6%, from 10,070 pending sales in 2011 to 10,683 pending sales in 2012. Overall inventory decreased by 13% from 7581 in 2011 to 6557 in 2012 according to the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR).

However, according to Jack McCabe, a real estate analyst based in Deerfield Beach, prices are nowhere near 50% of where they were before the market decline.

So, Buyers be alert for opportunities.

The Naples’ ‘market’ should be considered to consist of Naples / Bonita and areas of Estero. The Ft. Myers / Cape Coral / Lehigh Acres and Punta Gorda areas are an entirely different market place and are way behind the Naples market in their recovery.

What is the current status of new construction in the Naples FL real estate market?

Friday, August 31st, 2012

The Naples Florida Real Estate Marketplace when it comes to new construction buying opportunities is back on track.  Naples and Bonita Springs Florida are unique when it comes to upscale, gated communities with full amenity packages to include golf courses and tennis complexes.  I use the term upscale which is most certainly not intended to be taken lightly.   New construction pricing will start in the high $100′s with no topside price range which can run in to the millions.

What is the current status of new construction today?  For the 1st time since the housing market crash of 2007, residential building permits in the city of Naples are on pace to meet or surpass pre-recession numbers.  To meet this additional work load, the city’s building department is adding four positions.

For all general purposes, Naples and Bonita as we know it today, did not exist for all practical purposes 50 years ago.  Naples and Bonita Springs is a young, vibrant community with MANY ‘things to do’ at all time of the year.  Having lived here for almost 20 years, I can honestly tell you that it is a fabulous place to live at any stage of one’s life time.

Retirement in the Naples, FL Real Estate Market

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Type A Retiree Concerns.

I wish I could tell you how many times a Type A Individual looking for a major residence in the Naples / SW Florida real estate market and who is about to retire will express their concern as to how they are going to keep busy in retirement. They have been so busy for years. They have been tied to a professional work schedule; they have worked long hours from dawn into late at night. My standard reply is that while I sincerely understand their concern, they will ultimately be very surprised when they look back after their first year ‘out of the office’!! When I see them a year out and ask them how they are doing, their standard reply seems to be that ‘I am so busy, I don’t have time to do the things I really want to do’! What a great problem to have!!

Such as? Many are still very active on corporate boards or consulting within their specialty fields. There are those who find time to volunteer for countless opportunities. Examples might be … SCORE where many can provide invaluable business insight to start up local start up enterprises; Florida Gulf Coast University, more commonly referred to as FGCU has opportunities for the professionally trained to lend their knowledge whether as a teacher or tutor with the same opportunities with Edison Community College or Hodges University; I have several friends who deliver meals-on-wheels or work at a local hospice and wouldn’t even consider not showing up for ‘work’; there are literally hundreds of volunteer organizations who give back to the community. Did you have time to do so when you were a professional? Most likely not. Then there are the challenges of playing golf or tennis for fun and believe me, it is a lot of fun. Remember that 9 AM meeting on the 10th floor where there was the constant strain and pressure to make decisions that affected a lot of other people? Now your 9 AM meeting is on court # 2 or the 1st tee and it is a ‘meeting’ that most really look forward to … several times a week!! There are those days when I frequently will play 2 – 3 sets of tennis as well as 18 holes of golf and it sure beats the dickens out of a 9 AM business meeting? Remember those books that you didn’t have time to read? Now there’s time! What about those late afternoon meetings when you finally got home after 8 PM and the family is already in to their evening activities and you still have work to do. Not now! Now, you might become Chef D’ Cuisine of your own castle and your wife is more than happy to relinquish the task. You get to make the dinner choices even if it is to go out for dinner!! The Naples and Bonita areas offer an abundance of cultural activities from the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts to various art associations and theater productions. Naples and Bonita is a very happening place to live.

You may still set an alarm clock even in retirement but it will be because the next day is full of things you want to do rather than schedules which must be met. How many times in one’s professional life does one live in a particular locale because their job demands they live there. This time, you get to pick where you want to live rather than someone telling you where you are going to live.

I can specifically describe my decision as to why I decided to move to SW Florida in 1993. I had reached a time in my professional career whereby I needed to find a new way of making a good living. I had sold my company and it was time to move on. I was 53 and it was in 1993. To my way of thinking, it did not make sense to start a new career in metropolitan New York City and then turn around and move somewhere in retirement. My option was to move somewhere where I could spend the rest of my life and not have to go through the process of moving again and making new friends in 10 – 15 years. I opted to move to SW Florida where I preferred Florida Green rather than Desert Brown. I made one major mistake: I wish I had done it sooner!!! It was the best decision I ever made.

I could go on. But, you will just have to experience this yourself!! WHAT A LIFE … and someone has to do it !!!!!!

Recommended Professionals for the Home Buying Process in Naples

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

There are many people involved in your home buying process in Naples Florida. It can be a bit overwhelming keeping who’s who and what they do in the process of purchasing a home straight.

The real estate agent it with your throughout the process. Larry Halpin helps you find the right home and manages the process of putting in an offer and negotiating the sale. They are essential to the process and they know the market and all the paperwork and inspections that need to be completed.

Although in Bonita Springs and Estero it’s best to start the loan application before you see an agent, But once you’ve found a home a mortgage broker or lender is necessary. Their job is to shop around and find you the best loan.

Before you get a loan you need to have an appraiser look at the home. Some people hire their own appraisers to make sure they get the best deal. An appraiser determines the exact value of your home.

Before buying a home you should have it inspected. A home inspector evaluates all major components of the home to make sure you know if anything is unsafe.

A closing agent is a neutral third party agent who helps with the home purchase agreement. Other important people in the home buying process are real estate attorney, tax professional and an insurance agent.

This seems like a lot of people involved, but they are all experts in their field to help you get through the home buying process as smoothly as possible. Don’t try to go it alone.

Things your Naples Florida Listing Needs

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Photos and the description of your house are very important to getting the home to sell quickly. You want to capture the audience and make them want to know more about the house.

Highlight unseen amenities mention the oversized garage or the amazing views. You want to draw people into the house with more than just the number of bedrooms.
Be specific. Mention exactly which updates you’ve done. Like brand new counter tops. Use brand names for appliances. Mention the newly resurfaced pools or the walk in closets.

Use the right adjectives. You are trying to peak the interest of a buyer, but too many fluff words can have the opposite affect. Be honest about the house and describe it correctly, but don’t stretch the truth. The buyers will be disappointed when they see the house in person.

It doesn’t matter if your home is in Naples, Bonita Springs or Estero. If you are honest in the description and use the correct adjectives your home will sell quicker.

Tips for Your Walk-Through before Closing in Naples, Florida

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Before you sign on closing day, you want to make sure you walk through the house and note all potential problems. Although you are very excited about new home and moving in you need to complete this important step. Go slow and calmly through the walk through, do not rush this step. You may regret it later.

Schedule enough time for your walk through, at least 30 minutes if not more. You are going through a house with a fine toothed comb and need to be as detailed as possible for the home inspection. If you can schedule your walk through 24 hours in advance that’s best. So if a problem arises, there will be time to fix them before the closing meeting.

Turn on and off all appliances and lights. Just to make sure that everything you need to work, works. This few tips will help you have a painless closing day and then you can enjoy your new home in Naples, Bonita Springs or Estero.

Tips for a Painless Closing in Naples

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

As much as we’d like it to be a closing isn’t just signing the dotted line and the house is yours. Here are a few tips to help prevent your closing from being a disaster.
Communicate with all parties involved. Ask questions to understand the process and make sure everything know what needs to happen to help your closing in Florida go smoothly. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, your real estate agent is there to help you through this.

Know that human errors happen and prepare for them. You may just have to roll with them. There are many people involved in the closing process. The more people involved the more likely there is for Human error, but the more you prepare for it the better off you’ll be. Review the load documents in advance to help catch problems before the end of the process. If you review the loan documents you will also know how much money you need to bring to closing.

Take closing day off. If all goes well you could be done in 30 minutes, but plan for worst case scenario and hope for the best.

Expect the unexpected. Watch for typos in all documents. Check the numbers, a simple typo could hurt you if you don’t catch it before you sign the documents. If you schedule your appointment early in the day, if something needs to be changed on your loan there will be enough time to complete the change that day.

Following these tips and talking to your real estate agent Larry Halpin will help you have a smooth closing in Naples, Bonita Springs, or Estero.

What Happens After Signing?

Thursday, April 5th, 2012


In the Naples / Bonita / Estero real estate market place, there are somewhere in the range of 6000 Realtors. In Downing-Frye Realty’s two offices, we have somewhere just south of 600 agents. In a booming market place such as 2005, this number grows substantially as individuals get their license and suddenly become experts. And then as the market changes direction, these same individuals fall by the wayside as they can’t afford to stay in the business. Currently (2nd quarter 2012), the market is turning upward from a ‘bottom’ and becoming extraordinarily active. This will most likely mean that in the coming months / year, more people will be taking the test to qualify as licensed Realtors.

Make sure that when you enter the real estate market place, you choose a Realtor who has been in the business for several years and has the experience necessary to know how to be of valuable assistance to you. It is not simply a matter of being able to work the MLS software. If you are reading this blog, you already know how to use the MLS system because you have been experimenting most likely with the system on-line through this website or one of my friendly competitors. It takes a lot of experience before a new Realtor is comfortable knowing the various pros and cons of the many communities in our market place as well as being knowledgeable when it comes to the mounds of forms which are necessary to complete a transaction. In this age of data processing, the real estate gods never learned the meaning of a paperless society!

When buyer’s come to the table, they need to be sure they know what’s happening to their offers once they have signed on the dotted line. It is a fair question to ask of whomever is helping you write the offer, whether it is your attorney or your estate agent. I can count on one hand the number of Buyers who ask the question as to what happens to the paperwork. How is it being delivered; does your Realtor know anything about the seller; have there been other offers?

I can tell you that the majority of buyers rarely ask for details. To whom is the offer being presented? How is it being delivered? Does your agent know anything about the seller; has the seller’s agent recently received offers? It happens more often that one might admit but there are some Realtors out there who will simply fax or email an offer without any other form of communication with the other Realtor. It has happened that an inexperienced agent might drop off a contract at an office without directing the offer to the listing agent. Little did the enthusiastic buyers realize that while they’ve mustered the courage and signed on the dotted line only to have their offer get rolled up and essentially tied to a balloon and released into the great blue yonder!!

If you’re a buyer who is making an offer to purchase real estate, here are a few more questions you need to ask:
Ask if your agent has spoken with the listing agent prior to preparing an offer to find out important information such as which closing dates could benefit the seller or to ask for property disclosures. Property Disclosures? When I purchased my first house in the mid 60s, there were no disclosures and the contract formats typically protected only the seller. These days in SW Florida, the contract formats are written to protect both the buyer and seller equally and there are a ton of disclosures particularly if that property is within a gated community. You did review the disclosures first, right? Good, that means you signed them and send them back with the offer.

Get a copy of your contract and a list of important time frames, response times for both parties involved in the contract, escrow deposit dates and home inspection deadlines.

Ask for some sort of acknowledgement from your real estate agent that the offer was actually presented and is now in the hands of the seller, the seller’s real estate agent or their legal counsel for due consideration. Whether it’s simply an acknowledgement of a conversation about the contract or an email response receipt to make sure the seller’s side knows you’ve placed an offer.

What happens to an offer after signing it? It’s a fair question to ask of whomever is helping you write the offer, whether it’s your attorney or your real estate agent. If your attorney is involved they’re generally concerned with making sure you’re legally protected. They’ll also track specific time frames after the contract is executed and advise you of action items required on your part that involve inspections, applying for mortgages, etc.

If nobody knew the offer was coming, whether it’s via email, fax or pony express, valuable time is tick, tick, ticking away. This is where sellers really learn to really appreciate that 24-hour response time they’ve been given. They especially enjoy it when they live in a different time zone or on a different continent or if there are multiple parties involved who need to be consulted before an agreement or counter offer can be made.

Instruct your agent to ask to be notified immediately if your offer becomes involved a multiple offer situation.

The key here is for you to make sure you are working with an experienced Realtor and not a newbie!! A good Realtor is not an order-taker.

Smarter Ways To Sell Your Naples House Online

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

There are fewer houses being purchased so Naples, FL sellers need to do everything they can to make their house stand out from the plethora of other houses on the market. Using social media and any online presence is helpful for selling houses, but it’s more important to engage and relate to the buyers. Larry Halpin can help!

Whether the home being sold is a suburban rancher perfect for young families or a move-in ready condo for single urban professionals, a wealth of high-tech tools is available to help sellers target the most likely buyers. Unfortunately, tech experts say, most people are misusing them.

Many people put a listing up online and hope the buyer finds it, that method can backfire if it looks too much like spam. Putting listings up where people hang out online like facebook, twitter, and YouTube and forming a relationship with potential buyers’ works more efficiently.

Target your marketing in Naples, Bonita Springs or Estero. While you can’t target specific groups to certain homes you can target certain areas. Marketing a home in unique manner intruges buyers more than just a posting on a site. But be careful not to single anyone out.

Harness the new breed of advertizing. The best way to target a buyer without discriminating a buyer is by using facebook. Digital media allows you to target buyers who are relocating to Florida.

Sell the neighborhood. One way to draw in buyers is to promote the area around Naples. Let potential buyers know great facts about the area.

There are many ways the online marketing can help you sell houses, you just have to be willing to try them.

5 reasons to buy a small house in Naples

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Naples has many beautiful homes that range from large luxury homes to smaller starter homes, finding the perfect one for you can be overwhelming. Due to the economy, mansions are being sold at rock bottom prices, but should you really buy one? Living in a smaller house has some benefits.

Small houses cost less, not even buy but also to heat and cool. Home projects such as painting cost less in a smaller house, even furnishing and decorating costs more in larger homes. Bonita Springs has beautiful homes that aren’t enormous, but are very spacious.

Small homes in Estero save time. A large house takes longer to clean and maintain the yard. You can use the extra time to do something you enjoy like explore Florida.

A smaller home in FL means less clutter. You wont have unlimited amounts of storage space, so you will be forced to simplify your home.
When making updates, like investing in new countertops, you can splurge because there is less space to cover. You can have quality upgrades.

Smaller homes in Naples, Florida are easier to sell. Buyers are interested in energy-efficient homes. Larry Halpin can help you find the home of your dreams no matter that size.