Welcome to Southwest Florida Real Estate

Archive for April, 2014

Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island

Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island. Charlie Chaplin always managed to mix a good measure of insight in with the silent movie knee-slappers. It was “The Little Clown” who once said, “The saddest thing I can Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island.imagine is to get used to luxury.” One way or another, we Americans have come up with a singularly surefire way to overcome that problem: we just constantly redefine what comprises “luxury”!
Real estate website Trulia proves the point. Each year they count how frequently certain phrases appear in luxury listings—here in SW Florida as well as across the nation. From year to year, their findings provide an interesting measure of what’s hot and what’s not in luxury listings.
Buyers Want A Room With A View (and A Marble Bath!)
The words that most commonly appear in luxury listings are marble bath, roof deck and oversize Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island.windows. Luxury listings were 78% more likely to contain marble bath than was true the previous year. And windows seemed a focal point in the latest luxury listings: three of the top seven phrases dealt with them in one way or another. Oversized windows were 56% more likely to appear this year, floor to ceiling windows were up 39%, and ceiling windows appeared 37% more frequently.
Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island. There seemed a general drift toward defining luxury characteristics as that which can be seen from outside the home as much as what is found inside. SW Florida sellers might note that, along with Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island.great windows, roof decks and terraces were other popular draws in the luxury listings.
Luxury Cooking Facilities No Longer As Hot
At the same time, cooking and kitchen amenities seemed to have faded in importance. BBQ was the amenity that dropped the most—declining by 16%. Other big losers were stainless appliances, custom cabinets, gourmet kitchen and breakfast areas.
Yesterday’s Luxury: Today’s Necessity?
Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island. A word of caution about all this: when we are deciding the important phrasing Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times, And SW Florida Luxury Listings, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Marco Island.for our own SW Florida luxury listings, it’s worth considering that what was yesterday’s “luxury” can quickly become today’s necessity. Just as we wouldn’t think of heated indoor plumbing or refrigerator as a high-end amenities, at some point they were. Amenities that were once emphasized may no longer be given prominence because buyers have simply come to take it for granted that they will be included…if they were headlined, the listing might look…well, average. As our conception of luxury redefines itself, we should expect their listing phrases will change, too.

Advertisements

Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Rea Estate, Naples, Fort Myers

Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers. A major home-selling decision arrives right at the start: setting your SW Florida home’s price. It’s a step that can be decisive for good or for ill.
Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers. But what is the “right” price? We know what it probably isn’t—it’s not the first number that pops into your head, nor is it likely to be The-Price-of-Your-Next-House-Plus-the Cost-of-a-Family-Vacation-in-Tahiti-Plus-the-New-Sportscar-You’ve-Always-Wanted-to-Own. It’s also not a price that will ‘test the market’ (to make sure there hasn’t been an upward spike in demand since the last comparable neighborhood home sold).
Setting a home’s price in the right ballpark can be easier than many people assume. You can get there by a number of different routes, most of them tied to recent neighborhood history:
BUYER APPEAL
Setting a home’s price doesn’t take place in a vacuum: first come the buyers you need to attract. If your SW Florida property is priced significantly above the market, your ‘market test’ will tell you Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers. that only uninformed prospects—or no prospects—are interested in pursuing your offer. An out-of-whack asking price can also be taken as evidence that the seller (you) aren’t really interested in making a deal happen, which will make professionals less likely to present it to qualified buyers in SW Florida.
AIDING THE COMPETITION
Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers. By setting your SW Florida home’s price significantly above the competition, you do everyone else in the neighborhood a terrific marketing favor. Even prospective buyers who appreciate your home’s innate qualities may be unable to resist what suddenly looks like a real bargain-basement buy just down the street!
Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers. APPRAISAL REALITY CHECK.
Even if you do interest a willing buyer, unless he or she belongs to Warren Buffett’s country club, a likely next step will involve a mortgage lender’s appraisal. Setting a SW Florida home’s price above any neighborhood comparable can mean an appraisal that comes in below the agreed-upon purchase price. Even if that doesn’t kill the sale through a loan denial, the buyer is likely to be penalized through a higher down payment or interest rate— either of which can play taps for your sale.
IT’S ONLY MONEY
Another (and perhaps the most persuasive) reason to right-price your home is monetary. History Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers. shows that overpricing generally yields proceeds that are significantly below those set more aggressively right from the start. It’s human nature: successive price reductions look like desperation—which invites low-ball offers.
Setting Your SW Florida Home’s Price—Why More Can Be Less, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers. If you are actively debating how to make the best of this spring’s SW Florida selling season, give me a call. Together we can map out a strategy that works!

Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas

Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas. When summer arrives, the use of a backyard increases. This is due to the fact that most individuals do not like staying inside when the weather is so beautiful.  If you are one of those individuals, it is likely that you and your family will be spending a fairly large amount of Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas.time outside.  To make your time memorable and enjoyable, you may want to consider familiarizing yourself with popular backyard activities, especially those that are designed with the whole family in mind.

One activity that everyone enjoys is eating. Whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you may want to consider having your next meal outside.  If you have a barbeque grill, you and your family may enjoy having tasty food that was prepared on the grill. If you do not have a grill, but are interested in purchasing one, you have a number of options.  A large number of retail stores, both on and offline, carry a fairly large selection of barbeque grills. Charcoal grills are a cheap way to cook; many can sell for as low as twenty or thirty dollars.

In addition to having a backyard barbeque, your family may also enjoy a backyard picnic.  Backyard picnics are often easier to prepare than most barbequed meals.  If you wish, you could easily prepare all of your food inside.  Popular picnic foods may include, but should not be limited to, sandwiches, subs, coleslaw, salads, crackers, cookies, and pretzels. If the weather is warm, you may also want to Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas.make sure that you include extra water. Water, especially during hot weather, is important for hydration. 

Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas. While eating outdoors is a great way to spend time in your backyard, it will only take a few hours.  If you are interested in spending the whole day in your backyard, you will want to find other backyard activities. One of those activities is likely to include swimming.  Swimming is a favorite summer pastime, for individuals of all ages. The only downside to swimming is that you must have a swimming pool. If you do not have a swimming pool and cannot afford to Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas.purchase one, do not worry. There are literally an unlimited number of other backyard activities that your whole family could enjoy, even without a pool. 

Other popular backyard activities involve the playing of sports games or water games. Water games, like many other backyard games, are ideal for individuals of all ages. To cool off or just participate in a family fun activity, you can purchase a water sprinkler, water balloons, or water guns. Many of these items can be purchased for an affordable price at most, on and offline, retailers. 

If sports are more your family’s style, you may want to examine purchasing a volleyball net or a basketball hoop. While a basketball hoop or a volleyball net may be an expensive purchase, it is likely that you and your children will enjoy them on more than one occasion.  If you are concerned with the cost of a basketball hoop, volleyball net, or other sports Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas.equipment, you can purchase cheaper alternatives.  Other popular sports games, which do not require the purchase of expensive equipment, may include kickball or softball. 

Spending the day in your backyard is a great to not only have fun, but to spend quality time with your family.  A backyard camp out may be the perfect end to the perfect day.  Camping is enjoyed by many.  Backyard camping is great, especially if you have small children.  Not only may they enjoy the new experience, but you will also be close to you home if something goes wrong.  For a reasonable price, if you don’t already have one, you should be able to Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas.purchase a tent and other camping supplies. 

Looking Forward To Enjoyable Weather Again? Backyard Activities For The Whole Family, Naples, Ft. Myers, SW Florida Areas. As you can see, there are a large number of backyard activities that your whole family may be able to enjoy. In fact, the above mentioned activities are just a few of the many that are available. For additional activities, you may want to ask the rest of your family for suggestions. It is possible that they may alert you to a fun backyard activity that you never even heard of before.

Smaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs

Smaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs. It just might be that a groundswell is spreading throughout the home-buying public. Smaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita SpringsIn SW Florida, smaller houses that used to be difficult to sell are rising in popularity, and I can guess why.

First, a little history. Back in 1950, what we would consider smaller houses were the rule: the average square footage came in at just 983 (try to imagine the ‘average’ family with 2 kids, 2 adults and Lassie all shoehorned in there!). By 2006, that figure had blown up to 2,248 square feet—and we all know about the bigger McMansions—just in time for the financial meltdown. Within the next few years, for the first time ever, the up sizing trend had begun to reverse. Only three years later, average square footage was 2,135.

In terms of size, today’s buyers and sellers are meeting in a much more balanced market. SW Florida Smaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springssmaller houses are no longer automatically spurned. In fact, smaller houses are the first choice for a growing number of buyers. Why?
When you really analyze it, a surprising amount of housing space is seldom used. Lifestyle changes dictate that formal dining and living rooms are much less frequently occupied. And it’s a fact that we only use a small percentage of the things that we own, so in actuality, some of many homes’ area amount to extremely high-end storage space. By getting rid of some of that unused stuff, the space it takes up can become unneeded.

Smaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita SpringsSmaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs. The old rule of thumb nationally is that property taxes average about 1% of the value of a home. Smaller houses mean lower tax bills.
Maintenance bills can be substantially lower in smaller SW Florida houses. It varies greatly by age and style, but one estimate has it that annual maintenance bills usually run between 1%-3% of total value.

Whether your hire help or handle it yourself, a smaller home can be much faster to clean. This may be less true when clutter is allowed to take over, but for those who are vigilant clutter-clearers, it means freeing more time for doing the things that you love. If you are paying someone else clean your home, it can easily equate to significant savings over the course of a year.
According to the American Psychology Association, money is the largest single contributor to stress. Nearly three-quarters of Americans admit that financial problems are their biggest source ofSmaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs stress. Purchasing a smaller house with an accompanying smaller mortgage can directly translate into a mellower quality of life.

Smaller SW Florida Houses Sometimes Make Big Sense, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs. A smaller SW Florida house may not be for everyone, but today’s buyers are considering the advantages with a much more open minds. If you are giving some serious thought to buying or selling a home, let’s talk about the wide range of possibilities on the SW Florida market today.

Understanding Real Estate Terms – From Appraisals To Comps, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Marco Island, Ft. Myers

Understanding Real Estate Terms – From Appraisals To Comps, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Marco Island, Ft. Myers. When you’re selling your home or other real property on your own, you don’t have to know everything about the process. It does help to have a practical knowledge of the Understanding Real Estate Terms – From Appraisals To Comps, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Marco Island, Ft. Myers.terms that come up during the process.

Keep in mind, these aren’t intended as “be all, end all, penultimate” definitions.  They’re working definitions for pragmatic folks. Let’s go…

1) Acceptance – A legal term referring to the acceptance of a buyer’s offer by the seller. Acceptance is often preceded by a number of counter offers between the parties.

2) Appraisal – a professional opinion of the value of real property.  Most jurisdictions have careful rules defining who may call themselves an appraiser, and most lenders have a “stable” of approved appraisers whom they use regularly.  Typically, the lender making the new mortgage loan will require that the property appraise for at least as much as the purchase price.  Occasionally, a buyer will require the same thing in an all cash transaction.

3) Bridge Loan – Short term loans used to “bridge” any time gap between the sale of a home and purchase of the next one. These loans can be valuable when escrow is delayed on the sale of a home and the seller has committed to the purchase of another home. Bridge loans are also known as “panic Understanding Real Estate Terms – From Appraisals To Comps, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Marco Island, Ft. Myers.loans”, but can be a life saver. Understanding Real Estate Terms – From Appraisals To Comps, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Marco Island, Ft. Myers.

4) Coinciding Settlements – when a buyer needs the funds from the sale of his prior home (which is under contract to be sold) in order to purchase his next home, he may well make settlement under his sale a contingency for settling on the home he is purchasing.  In reality, the sales don’t usually coincide.  They usually take place back to back.  Funds from the first are often wire transferred to the second.  

5) Closing – Depending upon the state you live in, Closing can have different meanings. Generally, the closing of a real estate transaction refers to the exchange of necessary documents, execution of the same and transfer of money.

6) Comps – This term refers to the sales prices of similar properties in the area of a house in question. Comps are used to help determine the fair market value of a property.

Understanding Real Estate Terms – From Appraisals To Comps, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Marco Island, Ft. Myers.7) Conditions – any conditions which must be met before the sale can be consummated.  Some typical conditions include things like the property’s appraising for the purchase price or more, the property’s being in good condition when a home inspection is done, the buyer’s loan being approved.

Understanding Real Estate Terms – From Appraisals To Comps, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Marco Island, Ft. Myers. As you can image, there are many real estate terms for which you have a general understanding. In our next article, we continue with the terms starting with “Condominium.”

Enjoying Vacation Time Other Than SW Florida Like Naples Or Fort myers, Oahu Vacation Ideas In Hawaii

Enjoying Vacation Time Other Than SW Florida Like Naples Or Fort Myers, Oahu Vacation Ideas In Hawaii. The island of Oahu in Hawaii is both beautiful and diverse.  A majority of people are drawn here to the excitement of Waikiki Beach with its colorful clubs and taste filled restaurants.

Enjoying Vacation Time Other Than SW Florida, Oahu Vacation Ideas In HawaiiThe island activities around Oahu range from surfing lessons and canoeing to swimming with the dolphins and scuba diving.  No matter what you or your family like to do on vacation, you can find something for everyone on Oahu island.

Adventure Those that like adventure can choose from a wide variety of water sports and land activities on Oahu.  If you would like to spend your vacation in or near the water, you should try surfing, scuba diving, or windsurfing.  The land activities here include hiking through rain forests, biking along the mountain ranges, even parachuting.

If you happen to be staying on Waikiki Beach, there are many shops that rent outrigger canoes, surf boards, and other gear on the beach.  You can even go to the Kapiolani Park for tennis, archery, and even jogging.

Enjoying Vacation Time Other Than SW Florida Like Naples Or Fort Myers,  Oahu Vacation Ideas In Hawaii. Romance RomanticEnjoying Vacation Time Other Than SW Florida, Oahu Vacation Ideas In Hawaii beach vacations on Oahu Island range from renewing your wedding vows to luxurious beach service at one of the several hotels.  If you’ve never tasted pink beer or champagne, Mai Tai Bar is the place you should check out.

If you would rather stay in a more secluded area, Kahala Mandarin Oriental is 10 minutes away from Waikiki Beach and offers a long sandy beach, great service, and swimming with the dolphins – which is something everyone is sure to enjoy.

Family beach vacations Oahu is a destination that offers many different activities for the entire family.  You can choose from children’s programs at Waikiki Beach hotels, hands on programs, and a variety of watersports. The Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the See Life Park of Hawaii are just a few of the attractions the whole family can enjoy together.

The Waikiki Beach is shallow and water is calm almost year round, especially in the winter months when the surf stayes under three feet.  There are certain parts of the beach that have a life guard on duty watching over swimmers and surfers.

Enjoying Vacation Time Other Than SW Florida, Oahu Vacation Ideas In HawaiiCulture If you are interested in Hawaiian culture on your beach vacation, Oahu Island offers a selection of museums, historical attractions, and several exhibits.  With several villages and culture exhibits, you can learn anything you desire about the culture of Hawaii.

Enjoying Vacation Time Other Than SW Florida Like Naples Or Fort Myers, Oahu Vacation Ideas In Hawaii. When the time comes for your beach vacation, the island of Oahu is a dream come true.  The entire family will love it here, with the island also being perfect for just a lovers vacation.  If you’ve never had the pleasure of going to Hawaii – there is no better time than now.

Staging Approaches To Boost Any SW Florida Home Sale, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers

Staging Approaches to Boost any SW Florida Home Sale, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Isles Of Capri, Bonita Springs. With spring already upon us, we stand at the threshold of SW Florida’s first major selling season of 2014. If you are preparing to add your own property to the SW Florida home listings, the International Association of Home Staging Professionals would like to draw your Staging Approaches to Boost any SW Florida Home Sale, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Isles Of Capri, Bonita Springs.attention to some statistics that bolster their members’ proposition. None is more compelling than this one: non-staged homes remain 79 days longer on market than their professionally-staged neighbors.

Still, since not everyone hires a professional staging company to work their magic, you’d think there would be a few DIY alternatives that would well worth doing. Of course, there are: and some go beyond the most well-known staging rules that are basic to any home sale:

1. De-clutter (then de-clutter again). The stager’s single most important line item remains this: de-clutter. There is little cost to de-cluttering a home (usually no more than a storage unit’s rental). The professional insight is that once you have done it, go back through the house and do it again! That second round might only involve boxing up a few remaining personal knick-knacks, but it can also suddenly reveal Staging Approaches to Boost any SW Florida Home Sale, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Isles Of Capri, Bonita Springs.items that clash with a room’s overall color palette.

2. Light(en) it up: Neutral colors are the rule for staging a home, but good light can be equally important. Make sure every room is well-lit, with clean windows, bright light bulbs (some do dim over time), and plenty of lamps or fixtures. If possible, disperse the height of lighting sources by mixing floor and table lamps, windows and overhead fixtures.

3. Find the focal points: The largest item in the room does not always have to be the focal item. If you have an antique chest or a captivating painting, see if you can arrange the room so that it’s the first thing your eye picks up as you enter the room. A strong focal point gives a sense of character to a room. It Staging Approaches to Boost any SW Florida Home Sale, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Isles Of Capri, Bonita Springs.works to your advantage, since the focal point naturally emphasizes the strongest feature of the room.

Staging Approaches to Boost any SW Florida Home Sale, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Fort Myers, Isles Of Capri, Bonita Springs. These are approaches that do take some time and effort—but imaginative staging really does make an impact on perceived value, and, as a result, time-on-market. For more SW Florida home selling insights, give me a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!