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House Hunting in SW Florida Can Offer Surprises, Naples, Marco Island, Cape Coral!

 House Hunting in SW Florida Can Offer Surprises, Naples, Marco Island, Cape Coral! When you go house hunting in SW Florida, you’re likely to share a lot of the same basic assumptions that most everybody does. Whether you have a lengthy list of hard-and-fast requirements or are in more of a “just seeing what’s out there” mindset, you’re probably assuming House Hunting in SW Florida Can Offer Surprises, Naples, Marco Island, Cape Coral!that you’ll “know it when you see it.” That’s not necessarily true—for a couple of logical reasons.

First off, unless price is literally no object, your budget will dictate the segment of current SW Florida listings that your house hunting will include. Among those candidate properties, it’s unlikely that all of them share the same features—the same positives and less-than-positives. You may find that you really get a great feeling about one home, only upon reflection to realize that some of its drawbacks are serious enough to eliminate it from contention. Likewise, another home that provided a so-so first impression could wind up seriously in the running if it rings up the best collection of strong points.

Then, there’s always the unexpected. A good example was the couple who were House Hunting in SW Florida Can Offer Surprises, Naples, Marco Island, Cape Coral!fairly sophisticated when it came to house hunting experience. They had enough home ownership history to have developed clear ideas about what they wanted: 3 or 4 bedrooms, a yard that was large enough to accommodate a moderate vegetable garden and the family dog (but not so large that maintenance would become an issue).  The only absolute caveats were that it could not be so close to a busy thoroughfare that auto noises would be an annoyance; and that if there were a swimming pool, it could not be an indoor one. NOT! The husband had experience with taking care of pools, and would not countenance dealing with a steamy, chlorine-smelling indoor pool. Period.

Those were simple enough requirements. None would eliminate a good sampling of the listings that were available at the time, so the house hunting proceeded. After nixing the usual number that left too much to be desired, there wound up being a handful of attractive candidate properties. In the end, there were two that rated a couple of return visits. Although House Hunting in SW Florida Can Offer Surprises, Naples, Marco Island, Cape Coral!neither could have been called the couples’ perfect dream houses, they were close to a final decision. Just then a new house came onto the market. It was slightly more expensive (and larger) than the others, but with positively beautiful yards, front and back, and (you guessed it!)…an indoor pool.

To bring the story to its inevitable end, they’ve lived in that house for years. The indoor pool had special air-moving equipment that erased the humidity and left no chlorine smell whatever. The husband says it is by far the easiest pool he’s ever dealt with. The garden is just what his wife was hoping for. It turns out to be their dream house.

House Hunting in SW Florida Can Offer Surprises, Naples, Marco Island, Cape Coral! The moral of the story is that there’s a lot to say for keeping a balance between having an organized approach to your house hunting and keeping an open mind. To which I have to add that I hope you’ll give me a call when it comes time for your own {Your Town} house hunting!

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Some Listed SW Florida Homes Can Override The 5-Year Rule, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!

Some Listed SW Florida Homes Can Override The 5-Year Rule, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! The “5-Year Rule” as it applies to SW Florida homes listed for sale is a pretty good one, as far as real estate rules-of-thumb go. It’s part of the family of truisms that have been around long enough that you’d figure they have to be reliable—like the rule that you should plan on maintenance costing 1% of a listed home’s selling price per year; or the one the government often quotes Some Listed SW Florida Homes Can Override The 5-Year Rule, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!that housing costs should be no more than 30% of income.

The 5-Year Rule has it that if you don’t know you will remain in a new home for at least 5 years, you’d be better off not buying. The reasons are the oft-cited dollars and cents issues. In addition to the closing costs, commissions, and costs of moving your household, emotional issues are often cited: as in the familiar “moving is one of the most stressful events in life.

But like most other similar guidelines, the 5-Year Rule is useful as a starting point only. If you have no overriding issues that have set you to checking out the homes listed in SW Florida, it’s a reasonable starting point. But if other factors are nudging you into action, it’s only one way to look at the practicality of buying a home—not the final verdict. Some outside factors that might make it worth at least considering overruling the 5-Year Rule:Some Listed SW Florida Homes Can Override The 5-Year Rule, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!

  • One of the homes listed is a perfect fit AND a genuine steal. When you come across a property that is exactly what you have been looking for and the asking price is clearly below what comparable SW Florida homes are currently commanding at market, it might make sense to reconsider the 5-Year Rule. The reason is simple: if you have to move, you have reason to believe that you will be able to sell at a price that offsets the costs of the transactions.
  • The emotional cost of not owning your home is substantial. This is easily overlooked, but for some people (often, for those whose entire childhood was Some Listed SW Florida Homes Can Override The 5-Year Rule, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!centered in one home) the feeling of being untethered—or of delaying the familial commitment that accompanies the institution of homeownership—can be emotionally disruptive. It’s impossible to put a price on this, but it can make a real difference in well-being.
  • Knowing what you don’t know. The 5-Year Rule is based upon a certainty: that you will be moving away from SW Florida in at most 5 years. But what if there is less certainty? What if you simply don’t know? This is a fairly common 21st century conundrum, and it can lead to paralysis in any number of decision-making situations. Especially right now, when the homes listed in SW Florida are qualifying for today’s incredibly low mortgage interest rates, it may be worthwhile to pencil in the cash flow tradeoff versus the renting alternative. If you still don’t know 5 years from now, that same tradeoff might look a lot less worth doing!

Some Listed SW Florida Homes Can Override The 5-Year Rule, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! When the 5-Year Rule isn’t at issue (or if it might give way to one of the overriding factors), you want to be sure you are being shown the listed SW Florida homes that offer the best value in your price range. That’s where I will be certain to be your strongest asset. Call me!  

For Keen SW Florida Bargain Seekers, “Bank-Owned” Rates Study, Naples, Isles Of Capri!

For Keen SW Florida Bargain Seekers, “Bank-Owned” Rates Study, Naples, Isles Of Capri! If you are a house hunter who isn’t reluctant to dig in and roll up your sleeves, it could be worth your while to take a look at SW Florida “bank-owned” For Keen SW Florida Bargain Seekers, “Bank-Owned” Rates Study, Naples, Isles Of Capri!offerings. Deciding to do that is less popular than you’d think.

Bank-owned is a word that can summon up all sorts of negative connotations, causing even people who usually think of themselves as unemotional to hang back. Like “REO” (short for real estate-owned, a synonym for bank-owned), it is applied to SW Florida homes whose ownership has been reclaimed by the lender. Foreclosures and real estate auctions that follow are never jolly circumstances, so many don’t even consider looking at the subject residences.

It is partly because of the inauspicious histories that such properties can carry with them that the majority of SW Florida home seekers automatically shy away. Yet it can be forcefully argued that, especially for prospective homeowners who are on the lookout for bargains, the “bank-owned” moniker ought to drawFor Keen SW Florida Bargain Seekers, “Bank-Owned” Rates Study, Naples, Isles Of Capri! special attention. SW Florida’s bank-owned homes usually take some additional care in how they are examined and purchased, but they can also present value that is worth the extra effort.

Because a bank-owned home is being offered for sale by the lending institution that holds its deed, the precise way any one can be purchased varies depending upon the policies of the company involved. Some of the mythology about homes that have been through foreclosure are not true—for instance, it is not usually true that only cash offers will be considered, or that an auction will be involved (usually that phase has already come and gone).

For Keen SW Florida Bargain Seekers, “Bank-Owned” Rates Study, Naples, Isles Of Capri!What IS definitely true is that bank-owned homes have a better-than-average chance of needing some level of rehabilitation. On the other hand, if a bank is selling the property, it’s a safe bet that any cloud on the title (a second or third mortgage or other creditor liens) has been dealt with. It can be the case that a bank comes into possession because of just that kind of problem—and any newly created “freed value” might be had by a new owner at a head-turning discount.

For Keen SW Florida Bargain Seekers, “Bank-Owned” Rates Study, Naples, Isles Of Capri! The paths to buying bank-owned SW Florida homes can require patience and an experienced hand at residential negotiations, so if you are considering going after one yourself, be sure to pick a real estate agent with the requisite background. That’s true in any house-hunting endeavor, of course—and a reason I hope you’ll give me a call!

Speed and Agility Creates SW Florida House Flipping Successes, Naples, Ft. Myers

Speed and Agility Creates SW Florida House Flipping Successes, Naples, Ft. Myers. Most SW Florida house flipping veterans can look back on their successful projects and place them in either of two columns. Either they were intended to Speed and Agility Creates SW Florida House Flipping Successes, Naples, Ft. Myersbe quick flips—turnarounds where speed was a prime ingredient because of an original tactical decision—or they were not.

The quick flips depend on speedy, focused action in three of the four phases a house flipping project entails. In the opening phase— lining up the capital—speed is not important. Of course, nothing else will materialize unless financing for the SW Florida property is obtainable when needed—but there is no timer ticking away. Once it is likely that funding will be obtainable, that’s when the clock starts.

Phase Two—finding, negotiating, and closing on a suitable property—is a real foot race. A quick flip only materializes after a suitable property has been identified. “Suitable” in this context means a home that can be made attractive in the SW Florida market without requiring extensive and time-consuming rehabilitation—cosmetically challenged, but not structurally unsound. If it is already on the market, it’s probable that the present owner’s circumstances make them disinclined to oversee any turnaround work themselves. The need for speed is apparent: since the current asking price has to be low enough to allow sufficient profit upon its resale, other interested Speed and Agility Creates SW Florida House Flipping Successes, Naples, Ft. Myersparties will be interested once they get wind of the opportunity. This kind of qualified house at a sensible price is certain to find a ready buyer quickly.

During the next fix up phase, speed and agility is equally important. The work of repairing and renovating calls for fixing underlying mechanical issues, then making everything cosmetically inviting and immaculately clean. Time really IS money: not just the time a project takes, during which the investment capital can’t be allocated elsewhere—but also the house flipper’s time. It’s why many are themselves experienced contractors—and why most of the others have a deep contact list of those they can rely upon. When a turnaround effort drags on for Speed and Agility Creates SW Florida House Flipping Successes, Naples, Ft. Myersmonth after month during which the project is consuming rather than producing, the bottom line suffers. A quick flip’s success can be measured by its final net profit divided by the number of weeks it took, purchase to sale.

The end phase of house flipping is the sale—which calls for expediency for the same reasons. If all else has proceeded as planned, speed here is likely for one simple reason. If the first three house flipping phases have been professionally executed, that means that a profitable sale can happen with an asking price that’s a touch beneath comparable SW Florida properties. Nothing assures speedy success more than that!

Speed and Agility Creates SW Florida House Flipping Successes, Naples, Ft. Myers. Quick flips are not the only kind of SW Florida house flipping, either. Some properties need a lot more tender (and time-consuming) care before they can be profitably returned to market. But for either kind of buying and selling, being able to rely on an experienced Town Realtor® is a key asset. Whether your next real estate endeavor is in search of profit or simply a home that’s just right for your family, I hope to be answering your call! 

Reader’s Digest Has Lists for SW Florida Homeowners, Naples, Ft. Myers Estero

Reader’s Digest Has Lists for SW Florida Homeowners, Naples, Ft. Myers Estero. Some of  SW Florida’s senior residents will verify that The Reader’s Digest was once flat-out the most popular magazine in the country. I don’t know how far back that began, but at one point at least, it was the time-saving way Americans kept up with what was being published in Reader’s Digest Has Lists for SW Florida Homeowners, Naples, Ft. Myers Esterothe other magazines (there were lots of them). RD boiled lengthy articles down to a couple of pages.

TV is probably what spelled its decline. The internet almost finished the job—but the Digest is still going in various forms. When you come across it online, it never fails to show a whole lineup of almost irresistible Click Me sidebars. Last week, for instance, SW Florida homeowners might have been snared by “20 Secret Hiding Places for Valuables in Your Home” (if your home will host an open house anytime soon, that one would be fortuitous); “Prepare to Be Amazed By the Gorgeous Way This Woman Transformed Her Simple Camper Trailer” (although the flashy red-white-and-blue stripes on the camper shell might have been overkill); “13 Neat Ways Milk Can Help You Look Gorgeous And Clean Your House Too!”(sour milk can renew tarnished silver; powdered milk can erase fine cracks in china).

But the most relevant attention-grabber of all (for SW Florida homeowners, at least) would have been “10 Ways to Increase Home Value with Exterior Paint.” We all know that a fresh paint job will give any home a value boost—but what Reader’s Digest Has Lists for SW Florida Homeowners, Naples, Ft. Myers Esteroare the other 9 ways? Here’s a selection from the answer:

  1. Color Correct for Value—which means “use eye-catching color schemes.” This was RD’s #1 way to increase value…but I’d have to caution that if a color scheme is a bit too eye-catching, it could accomplish the reverse…
  2. Perception of Color is Very Relative—When choosing color schemes, remember that the colors need to viewed right next to each other to judge how they will actually appear to the eye.
  3. Begin with the Value—The word “value” here means how dark or light the main color will be. Decide on it first, before trim colors.
  4. Don’t Be Top-Heavy (SW Florida homeowners note: this was really the only one I thought could actually increase Reader’s Digest Has Lists for SW Florida Homeowners, Naples, Ft. Myers Esterovalue)—Place darker colors below lighter shades to prevent a top-heavy look.
  5. Choose Colors in the Right Light—view swatches in the same kind of light they’ll be seen in).
  6. Play Up the Size (use light colors to enlarge a small house and dark colors to make a large house on a small lot look smaller).

I can’t really agree with #6; most SW Florida homeowners whose houses are set on small lots would still do well to have the home look as roomy as possible.

Reader’s Digest Has Lists for SW Florida Homeowners, Naples, Ft. Myers Estero. Following the original Readers Digest concept, this boils the 10 Ways down to 6. You really could shrink it all the way down to just #4—but since it would no longer be a list, that would be overdoing it. In fact, SW Florida homeowners who clicked on the sidebar for “13 Tips for Selling Your Home” might actually benefit most from #9—which was “Get Real About Pricing.” No matter how many of the Selling Tips you wound up taking seriously, though, I would have to add one more truly practical one: Call Me!

Knowing When You’ve Found the Right SW Florida REALTOR®

Knowing When You’ve Found the Right SW Florida REALTOR®. When you find yourself being drawn to the real estate listings, even only to peek, it’s a clue that something big may be on the horizon. Either you’ve begun to think you’ve begun to outgrow your current SW Florida home, or you’re just curious about what could be available in case you should decide Knowing When You’ve Found the Right SW Florida REALTOR®to upsize, or downsize—or to move on because of a professional change that only just might be hanging there as a possibility…

The tip off is the twinge of curiosity about those other SW Florida homes—the ones that are out there on the market this summer. It’s always somewhat interesting to see what’s on the SW Florida market at any time, but if you find yourself visiting the listings more than every once in a while, it’s probably because you sense that you might find your own future somehow intertwined with one of them. Or that these could become the competition if you decide to put your own home on the market. If that particular twinge sounds like something you recognize, there’s a logical next (post-twinge) step: it’s finding a sympathetic Realtor® to talk things over with.

If you already know and have come to trust one of our SW Florida Realtors, that’s a done deal. Call ‘em up! But if that’s not the case, what to do? Finding the right professional may not seem awfully important when you are in the earliest pre-planning stages—just looking to have a brief chat about what’s going on Knowing When You’ve Found the Right SW Florida REALTOR®currently—but there’s another way to look at it. In case you do wind up making an important residential move, even if it doesn’t happen for a while, having been in touch with the right Realtor over an extended period can be a significant benefit when the time comes. Professional relationships strengthen over time, as individuals get to know each other and grow comfortable talking things over. That’s makes for the kind of team-building that’s a hallmark of success in any enterprise.

That being the case, what’s a short and direct way to distinguish a likely candidate for your SW Florida  Realtor? The right Realtor for you will of course be a strong salesperson—so any of us will be able to tell you about our skills, experience and accomplishments. The best will present those bona fides without seeming to brag—you just find out about them in the course of chatting.

Knowing When You’ve Found the Right SW Florida REALTOR®The key to finding a Realtor who is most likely to help you accomplish your goals is to find someone who is genuinely interested in you—in your situation, your background, likes, dislikes…the works! The fact is, selling a home, or buying one, is a uniquely personal business transaction. It is not like buying an automobile, because no two residential properties are identical. Buying and selling a home is a life-altering event in which personal likes and dislikes must be taken into account. The right Realtor is one who won’t hesitate to take the time to understand who you are—and what are the set of expectations that are uniquely yours. That only happens when you find someone who is interested in more than selling a house. The right Realtor is one who’s thinking how to help you build the future you envision.

Knowing When You’ve Found the Right SW Florida REALTOR®. It’s one of the key reasons that being a Realtor is such a satisfying profession. Being able to help a family find the right SW Florida home and make it their own is immensely gratifying—as is shepherding a sale from preparation to closing. Of course, either only happens when I know as specifically as possible where my client’s best hopes reside…and that’s not just about listening—but also caring too!       

5 Preventable Reasons SW Florida Closings Might Stall, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island

5 Preventable Reasons SW Florida Closings Might Stall, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island. It’s a great feeling to assist clients on the great adventure of discovering and landing their new SW Florida home. The final part of the real estate sale 5 Preventable Reasons SW Florida Closings Might Stall, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Islandcomes with the closing, where the papers are executed and house keys handed over.

Virtually all of my SW Florida real estate sales proceed to closing without significant hitches. That’s not by accident: I’ve helped clear the path by methodically checking off every item on each sale’s unique ‘to do’ list. That checklist has evolved to include the various technical legal and financial items that need to be addressed before a change of ownership can happen. At closing, they’re all addressed.

But—as everyone with many closings to their credit will tell you—even well-laid plans can begin to unravel when the unexpected pops up. Apparently “closing nightmare” stories make for great internet fodder, because you can find scores of them online. Some are tall tales, but others are exactly what’s to be expected if care isn’t taken to head them off.5 Preventable Reasons SW Florida Closings Might Stall, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island

Here is a list of five of those kinds of closing predicaments. They reflect common missteps that can derail things when everything else is in order. Since most are easily preventable, they’re unlikely to occur at the last-minute if real estate professionals have been part of the picture from the start:

  1. Agreed-upon repairs aren’t completed. This can happen for any number of reasons, but innocent or not, if the timetable for completion hasn’t been met, it can threaten to derail the real estate sale. This one doesn’t have to prevent closing. If everyone wants to proceed, the Realtors® for the parties can work out an escrow arrangement with funds set aside to cover the shortfall.
  2. The house can’t be sold. This rarer situation should have been identified before closing, but it’s possible that a mechanic’s or tax lien can show up late in the day. In cases where there has been a death in the family, it’s also 5 Preventable Reasons SW Florida Closings Might Stall, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Islandpossible that the heirs may mistakenly believe they will have a legal title to home in SW Florida before the probate process can be completed.
  3. The home loan appraisal comes up short. Both buyer and seller may be in perfect agreement about the value of the SW Florida property— but if the chosen bank’s appraiser demurs, it may be back to Square One.
  4. The buyer’s finances change. When a lender green-lights a loan based upon the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, that’s considered a key qualifier. If the buyer changes that ratio by losing income or taking on new debt (or even paying off an existing debt!) it alters the ratio, which can trigger a new investigation, stall the loan—and waylay the closing.
  5. Homeowner’s insurance falls through. It’s a bad idea to assume that every insurance company will grant required homeowner insurance. Since their binder or policy will be needed, better to take the extra moments to call to more than one agent.

5 Preventable Reasons SW Florida Closings Might Stall, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island. The best SW Florida closings are no accident: they happen when all contingencies have been discussed and worked out well in advance. They start at the very beginning—hopefully, with a call to me!