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Archive for February, 2016

SW Florida Real Estate Listings: Home Shoppers’ First Stop. Naples, Ft. Myers.

SW Florida Real Estate Listings: Home Shoppers’ First Stop. The first stop for anyone looking for a new home in SW Florida—or for anyone who is even mildly curious about what properties are currently available—is the SW Florida real SW Florida Real Estate Listings: Home Shoppers’ First Stop. Naples, Ft. Myers.estate listings. Like those you find here on my site, today’s online real estate listings are updated regularly all across the internet. It’s a coordinated system that appears deceptively simple on the surface, bringing you what you ask for from within the mind-boggling vast amount of detail that encompasses all the properties being offered throughout the country at that moment.
When a prospective buyer goes online to get a feel for the SW Florida properties being offered, the real estate listings she or he sees appear to be straightforward enough. The information is clearly formatted, presented in a way that makes it easy to compare with other properties’ attributes. That apparent simplicity might be a little bit misleading, as anyone who has recently put their own home on the market knows. SW Florida Real Estate Listings: Home Shoppers’ First Stop. Naples, Ft. Myers.
Before any listing goes online, all the property’s physical details have to be determined and verified. It’s your agent’s job to make sure the paperwork is complete—including the legal documentation that says, yes, this property is for sale at this amount. The 2015 NAR® handbook on multiple listing policy fills 152 pages for good reason. ‘Under the hood’ of the neighborhood listings is the structure of legal agreements that stitch together the cooperative framework that enables the smooth functioning of the modern real estate industry. Stripped of all its legal bells and whistles, it’s really an agreement among brokers and agents who agree to the way work will be apportioned and commissions shared.
SW Florida Real Estate Listings: Home Shoppers’ First Stop. Naples, Ft. Myers.As you might expect, those 152 pages also cover some special kinds of real estate listings. Homeowners, for instance, can create SW Florida real estate listings that are not made public. This is done when the seller withholds consent for a listing to be published with the MLS compilation. Although that might seem to be a particularly bad idea—like a candidate running for office who decides it would be a good idea to keep his name off the ballot—there are circumstances when it makes sense. Such ‘office exclusive’ listings can serve a useful purpose when maximum confidentiality is important. Celebrities and other publicSW Florida Real Estate Listings: Home Shoppers’ First Stop. Naples, Ft. Myers.figures sometimes use this approach, as do sellers who’d rather not publicize their plan to jump ship until it’s a fait accompli.
SW Florida Real Estate Listings: Home Shoppers’ First Stop. All this is made as simple and straightforward as possible for the benefit of all. If it were too complex, sellers and buyers would hesitate to get involved. The market would suffer. In fact, today’s SW Florida listings—especially as they are presented online, on sites like this one— represent a standout example of how technology can make even complicated commercial undertakings easier and more efficient than they have ever been. To find your next home, for instance, you need only check out the current SW Florida listings, and then there’s only one other thing you have to do: call me up!

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Holiday Magic Spreads through SW Florida Homes. Naples, Ft. Myers.

Holiday Magic Spreads through SW Florida Homes. Last week, those of us who were out and about during the increasingly short daylight hours could take in what looked like the regular number of SW Florida homes decked out with the familiar holiday paraphernalia. When the weather cooperates, it can’t help but bring a smile to your face to spot Holiday Magic Spreads through SW Florida Homes. Naples, Ft. Myers.the reindeer, Santas, menorahs, giant candles, elves—all the elements that help bring home the familiar feelings the season seldom fails to muster.
I bet it’s just that—the sheer familiarity—that explains a large part of why the words “Holiday Magic” are no exaggeration. Sooner or later we feel it. It grabs us. The holidays are back!
This usually starts (for me at least) with a valiant attempt to reject reality. Sometime between Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving, with the first department store ad or the first notes of a carol playing somewhere in the distance, we think “OH NO! – NOT ALREADY!!!” This is the part when the ‘magic’ part of the holidays is nowhere in prospect. The whole concept is at its most materialistic (the ‘material’ being that we haven’t started serious gift shopping, are too busy to even think about it, can’t recall whether the roasting pan was wrecked when last year’s Holiday Magic Spreads through SW Florida Homes. Naples, Ft. Myers.gravy got burnt, etc. etc. etc.).
Immediately thereafter, in a truly magical disappearing-of-time act, it’s suddenly a couple of weeks before the big day, when all the preparations had better have been set into motion. It’s already holiday running-around time. This is when we are out and about, and can take in all the SW Florida homes belonging to SW Florida homeowners who have the organizational skills that allowed them to erect the reindeer, Santas, giant candles, elves, menorahs, etc. It’s also the time of year when we may begin to experience some true holiday magic…especially if our Holiday Magic Spreads through SW Florida Homes. Naples, Ft. Myers.running-around to get ready happens at night, when the holiday lights are ablaze…
For some of us, there is something about those area homes decked out in lights, and the ornaments, and the music, eggnog, cookies…or even the fruitcake or the stollen or the latkes. It’s the familiarity of the way all the trappings combine to bring back memories: images of our kids’ holidays, or our parents, or dearest friends…and finally, of our own childhood.
In spite of all the running around, sooner or later, this most special, set-aside top of the year puts us in mind of how very much we treasure the ones who are dearest to us. If we’re lucky enough to have them gathered close, it’s pretty wonderful. If this year, that can’t happen—the memories will have to provide the magic. Sooner or later they usually do.
Holiday Magic Spreads through SW Florida Homes. Whether these holidays bring you Christmas or Hanukkah gatherings (or both!), here’s wishing you and yours the happiest, most joyful of celebrations—the kind that create future holiday magic!

Chance SW Florida Open House Visits can Spark Interest. Naples, Ft. Myers.

Chance SW Florida Open House Visits can Spark Interest. More than one SW Florida home sale has resulted from a couple’s chance encounter with a SW Florida open house. It still happens that they just drop in on the spur of the moment.
“Oh look! They’re having an open house down the street!” turns into curiosity, then interest, excitement—and ultimately, Chance SW Florida Open House Visits can Spark Interest. Naples, Ft. Myers.a life-altering change in where they call home.
Today that still happens, but a good deal less frequently than in the past. Part of the reason is the demotion of the open house in the pecking order of SW Florida real estate strategies. At this point, an SW Florida open house is simply never the central element in a home’s marketing blitz. The web has seen to that.
Let’s face it: if you can visit any listed home via its online virtual tour, the whole idea is that it requires a fraction of the time and effort an in-person visit takes. A home’s virtual tour is where you’ll head first. If you are aware of a SW Florida open house scheduled for the weekend, chances are you may also check it out online first. If you like what you see there, you might even be tempted to call yourChance SW Florida Open House Visits can Spark Interest. Naples, Ft. Myers. agent or email the selling agent to schedule a private showing. Getting there ahead of the masses can give you an edge if the property draws a crowd.
If the online media (including the rapidly expanding mobile universe) weren’t so ubiquitous, it’s a cinch we’d be seeing a whole lot more ‘Open House’ signs just driving around SW Florida. But it’s not a completely extinct phenomenon.
For the house hunter who is just initiating the effort—anyone who suspects that a less virtual, more three-dimensional excursion is the best way to get a feel for what’s out there—look for Chance SW Florida Open House Visits can Spark Interest. Naples, Ft. Myers.notices in the newspaper classifieds, and even check the old-fashioned places—like grocery store bulletin boards. And Sunday is still the day you’ll find the most “Open House” signs in SW Florida front yards—as well as their cooperative neighbors’ corner lot lawns.
Chance SW Florida Open House Visits can Spark Interest. Open houses can offer a leisurely weekend way to wade into this fall’s residential offerings, but for those who have advanced to a stage where a more concentrated and efficient effort is called for, there’s no substitute for the assistance of an experienced town real estate agent. And there is also no need for such a substitute—I’m right here, ready for your call!

SW Florida Home Loan Game Theory Meshes with Reality. Naples, Ft. Myers.

SW Florida Home Loan Game Theory Meshes with Reality . “SW Florida home loan game theory” sounded like an intriguing topic when the phrase first occurred to me. I thought it would mean figuring out whether a mortgage would SW Florida Home Loan Game Theory Meshes with Reality. Naples, Ft. Myers.constitute a financial move that made sense. But the more I studied “game theory,” the more complicated it got. And maybe not as theoretical as I’d thought…
As far as the terms themselves are concerned, a SW Florida “Home Loan” is exactly what it says it is: a mortgage on your SW Florida home. “Game theory” is more obscure. For openers, “game theory” sounds like a lot more fun that it really is. It’s like the bore who wants to tell you exactly why some joke is funny—the explanation isn’t at all humorous. ‘Game theory’ isn’t about playing anything. It’s about mathematics.
Professor R.B. Myerson is the authority who tells us that game theory is the study of decision-making. It’s a dissection of “mathematical models of conflict and SW Florida Home Loan Game Theory Meshes with Reality. Naples, Ft. Myers.cooperation.” That’s a pretty good thumbnail description of the board games kids play. If you remember playing Monopoly as a child, you may also remember how mad you’d get if the other players cooperated too much. Sometimes they’d trade properties with each other so that one was able to build hotels on the dark blue properties. That meant that when you landed on Boardwalk, you went broke. Professor Myerson was right: that was a study in cooperation that would make anyone feel conflict.
But the Professor’s definition also says that game theory deals with the actions of “intelligent rational decision-makers.” In home loan game theory, when the SW Florida Home Loan Game Theory Meshes with Reality. Naples, Ft. Myers.process of filling out forms and gathering backup materials goes on and on, it can seem to stretch beyond anything that’s rational. But once you do get a SW Florida home loan, the decision-making does seem both intelligent and rational.
“SW Florida home loan game theory,” then, would be the study of strategic decision-making by the person who wants to obtain a home loan and the bank personnel who give the okay. Originally, game theory only dealt with zero-sum games—the ones where if someone gains something, the other one loses. It hasSW Florida Home Loan Game Theory Meshes with Reality. Naples, Ft. Myers. since expanded to include all sorts of “win-win” scenarios, but at least one world-renowned investor has a different game theory about home loans. Warren Buffett is quoted as saying:
“You can take a 30-year mortgage and if it turns out your interest rate’s too high, next week you refinance lower. And if it turns out it’s too low, the other guy’s stuck with it for 30 years.”
Come to think of it, that’s exactly what has been happening ever since mortgage rates started coming down! Which is why I’m pretty sure that particular home loan game theory isn’t so theoretical at all.
SW Florida Home Loan Game Theory Meshes with Reality. Also not theoretical: given today’s mortgage interest rates, if you are thinking about looking into SW Florida real estate possibilities, giving me a call is a good next move!

Do-it-Yourself SW Florida Stagers Should Aim for Simplicity. Naples, Ft. Myers.

Do-it-Yourself SW Florida Stagers Should Aim for Simplicity. You might think that professional home stagers in SW Florida are intent on aiming for the kind of look that would draw oooohs and ahhhhhs if it were featured in Good Housekeeping or Better Homes and Gardens. In fact, you’d likely be more on-target if the magazine you thought of was Do-it-Yourself SW Florida Stagers Should Aim for Simplicity. Naples, Ft. Myers.actually RealSimple. In case you haven’t been near a newsstand lately, that’s the top-selling magazine “about simplifying your life.”
RealSimple (“Life made Easier”) has articles like “31 Pro Tips to Control your Clutter” and “Get Organized for Fall: systems in place, stress in check.” If you are planning to have a SW Florida home for sale anytime soon you could do worse than picking up a copy—if for no other reason than to check out its editorial slant: Less is more. Open space attracts. Simplicity rules.
Today’s home stagers in SW Florida (and just about everywhere 21st century lifestyles have invaded) work towards the goal of clarifying room spaces—making it as easy as possible for prospective buyers to imagine their own furnishings and décor preferences in place.
A further refinement is subtlety. In that light, successful staging has something in Do-it-Yourself SW Florida Stagers Should Aim for Simplicity. Naples, Ft. Myers.common with many of the best classic movie scores: it moves you without your being conscious that it’s there at all.
An experienced SW Florida stager will often put her or his expertise to work in ways that we would find hard to match, but for homeowners with a do-it-yourself bent, a good start can be to study some of the advice stagers agree upon:
Be willing to let go! Your home as you know it is likely not to be the version that will be easiest to sell. Be willing to say goodbye to anything: furnishings, floor plans, favorite décor items. In other words, remove that compact computer table from the dining room corner—the open space is more important (you future Do-it-Yourself SW Florida Stagers Should Aim for Simplicity. Naples, Ft. Myers.homeowners know they can set up an in-home office anywhere).
Color it neutral. Stagers usually shun bright colors, which may be lively but intrusive. Creamy shades, grays and soft earth tones allow viewers to cast their own preferences onto a scene. But this is a guideline that has limits, too: if neutral turns into sterile, you’ve gone too far.
Apply practical arithmetic. That is, be aware of the power of thoughtful addition and subtraction. From your now-spacious and neutral-toned rooms, subtract as much of the furniture as possible, then remove personal items and bric-a-brac. Then add back in the minimum you need to create a livable environment. If the budget allows, substitute rental furnishings (and even accessories) for original elements that are too well-worn.
Do-it-Yourself SW Florida Stagers Should Aim for Simplicity. If your home staging efforts are successful, you will have created a more showable, sellable SW Florida property. I can also be helpful by contributing feedback about what is currently popular with local buyers. Call me for a no-obligation consultation.

SW Florida Fixer-uppers can also have the “Wow Factor”! Naples, Ft. Myers.

SW Florida Fixer-uppers can also have the “Wow Factor”! You know what the “wow factor” is for any SW Florida home that’s for sale—it’s the extra something that’s highly desirable and unique to the property. It could be a three-story entry hall, or a game room that’s large enough for a pool table and a conversation pit. It might be a home theater with four SW Florida Fixer-uppers can also have the “Wow Factor”! Naples, Ft. Myers.stepped rows of velvet-upholstered movie house seats. It might be a bricked backyard barbecue arena, with a step-down standing pit which puts the Chef of the day at eye level with the seated guests.
And you also know what a SW Florida fixer-upper is. It’s any SW Florida property that is up for sale at a bargain price due to maintenance that is left for the new owner to worry about. A SW Florida fixer-upper is an opportunity for prospective buyers to become owners of homes that would otherwise be out of their price range. Fixer-uppers attract prospects who are ready to dig into projects that take varying degrees of elbow grease, imagination—and also some extra cash.
There’s an element of risk that’s usually attached to a fixer-upper, because any major maintenance or remodeling project can run into unknown snags. So fixer-upper buyers should also possess some degree of courage!SW Florida Fixer-uppers can also have the “Wow Factor”! Naples, Ft. Myers.
Sooooo, what in the world could the “fixer-upper wow factor” mean?
For one thing, any SW Florida home that’s listed for sale that has the ‘fixer-upper wow factor’ is a rare bird indeed. It is, as the title conveys, a residence in need of restoration—but which also has a design element (or elements) which are uniquely captivating. For prospective buyers who find those features intriguing, such a property can prove pretty irresistible. The price puts it within reach—and the SW Florida Fixer-uppers can also have the “Wow Factor”! Naples, Ft. Myers.design is better than anything they had been hoping to find!
In other words, a home that has the ‘fixer-upper wow factor’ is, potentially, a trap.
This is not to say that such a property cannot be a true bargain; lucky find; etc. Indeed, for the right buyer, it certainly can be. The caveat is that a fixer-upper with wow factor features can lure in prospects who aren’t really prepared for the ‘fixing up’ part. If they lack the extra funds it may take to bring the property back up to SW Florida Fixer-uppers can also have the “Wow Factor”! Naples, Ft. Myers.snuff—or lack the know-how, patience, or time such a project requires—they might be charmed into biting off more than they can chew. With indigestible results: a perpetually unfinished property characterized more ‘yccch’ than ‘wow.’
Luckily, most prospective buyers who fall into this category get over the wow factor after a second or third visit—or after a discussion with their REALTOR®—or after taking a look at the home inspector’s report. For those who are ready to dig into the fixer-upperness, they can end up with a wow of a home…at a wow of a price!
SW Florida Fixer-uppers can also have the “Wow Factor”! There aren’t a surplus of SW Florida fixer-uppers with wow on the market right now—but when you take today’s mortgage interest rates into account, there are plenty of wow-producing good bargains: call me!

Financing Alternatives may Attract SW Florida Mortgage Applicants. Naples, Ft. Myers.

Financing Alternatives may Attract SW Florida Mortgage Applicants. Whenever an unplanned and unwelcome financial situation develops, a SW Florida mortgage-holder can find himself or herself in the onerous position of being unable to Financing Alternatives may Attract SW Florida Mortgage Applicants. Naples, Ft. Myers.keep up with the monthly home loan payments. If the unhappy situation continues long enough, the likely result is a foreclosure or short sale. In addition to losing the property, the impact on personal credit then takes years to undo. That means it takes that much longer for a consumer to acquire a new home and start to build equity again.
Here as elsewhere, there were a raft of such SW Florida mortgage defaults following the global financial meltdown. Even those who had no trouble servicing their area mortgages could have suffered when they found that falling property values prevented them from refinancing—even when the purpose was to improve their property. Although those events happened years ago, it’s only now that their aftereffects are finally working their way out of the system.
A recent article in NMP—the national Mortgage Professional’s magazine—delved into the changing status of those who lost homes in the turn down. The details they researched are interesting in themselves—details that are bound to have anFinancing Alternatives may Attract SW Florida Mortgage Applicants. Naples, Ft. Myers. impact on SW Florida residential sales.
First off is the fact that enough time has elapsed for those who weathered a short sale or foreclosure to begin to return to eligibility. They’re called “Boomerang Buyers”—and nationwide, there are estimated to be 7,300,000 of them! In 2016 alone, more than a million will become eligible to return to the home-buying market. According to NMP, “they’re returning to the market in droves.” The hardest-hit states were Nevada, Florida and Illinois—but there are plenty of Boomerang Buyers scattered across the rest of the nation.
The improving mortgage eligibility landscape extends beyond those who suffered the Financing Alternatives may Attract SW Florida Mortgage Applicants. Naples, Ft. Myers.actual loss of their homes. To the more than 7 million “distressed” homeowners whose properties are still underwater (those who owe more than market value), the government’s HARP 2 program is one possible remedy. Its guidelines encourage lenders to relax the loan-to-value caps that had prevented refinancing for many of those homeowners. Reports are that it has already resulted in an increase in such refinances.
Other program combinations are helping loan originators and REALTORs® get more bank-owned homes back into homeowners’ hands. These are properties that make up the ‘shadow inventory’ of Financing Alternatives may Attract SW Florida Mortgage Applicants. Naples, Ft. Myers.unsold homes, many of which have fallen into disrepair. Because of that, they’ve been difficult to finance—and therefore difficult to sell. Through FHA 203K and Fannie Mae’s Homestyle® renovation mortgages, more ambitious prospective owners—including investors—are discovering they now have mortgage options that can put those fixer-uppers within reach.
Financing Alternatives may Attract SW Florida Mortgage Applicants. For those who have previously found it problematic to secure a SW Florida mortgage with acceptable terms, it may be worth looking into today’s improved financing alternatives. Especially with mortgage interest rates at the levels we’re seeing this fall, what you find may be a pleasant surprise—one that puts you into the house of your dreams. Call me to discuss first steps! Thank  you for reading.