Welcome to Southwest Florida Real Estate

 First, a word about these Things to Avoid when you’re in the process of buying a SW Florida house: it’s a short list.

3 Sure Ways to Mess Up Buying Your SW Florida House, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral! The reason it’s so short is 3 Sure Ways to Mess Up Buying Your SW Florida House, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral!because of who you are—since you’re reading this, it means you’re someone who is taking the time to delve into what’s happening with SW Florida real estate. That makes it unlikely that you will fall into any of the common-sense pitfalls that populate typical Top 10 Pitfalls lists. Most of them are pretty obvious to anyone who pays attention.

Less obvious are these three. These touch on areas which can be overlooked when time is short, or emotions are high—or the SW Florida house is just so darned attractive you can’t wait to pull the trigger:

  1. Perfect house: no need to inspect! So sooooo wrong: the cost of an inspection in both time and money will always be some of the best investment results you can ever realize. It might seem as if you’re betting against your perfect deal by investing in an expert’s search for imperfections, but the opposite is true. A perfect house deserves a good inspection. Even if flaws are found that you are willing to accept because the rest of the deal is so attractive, knowing about your future property’s weak points will let you decide if and when to correct them—probably at less3 Sure Ways to Mess Up Buying Your SW Florida House, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral! expense than if you are blindsided later on.
  2. Lack of spade work. Buying a house is such a far-reaching commitment, it’s unlikely to reward spur-of-the-moment decision-making. Some otherwise quite intelligent and cautious consumers can become suddenly overcome by the impulse to stop paying rent to someone else!—and wind up buying a house that, while it does solve the rent-paying problem, does so less satisfactorily than need be. Especially for first-time homebuyers, taking the time to lay out a hard-headed budget in conjunction with minimum house 3 Sure Ways to Mess Up Buying Your SW Florida House, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral!requirements can make a huge difference in the coming years. The idea that you should take a year to plan any house-buying move is impractical in some cases—but it’s not a bad goal.
  3. Not comparing mortgage terms. Low interest rates are certainly appealing (and today’s SW Florida home loan rates are close to the 3.2055% decade low). But before signing on the dotted line, don’t let the array of numbers and decimal-dotted percentages get in the way of making the best decision. No matter what the interest rate is, it’s usually the APR—the annual percentage rate that integrates the closing costs and other fees— that proves most useful for making comparisons between offers.

3 Sure Ways to Mess Up Buying Your SW Florida House, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral! Avoiding these three is easy once you’re aware of them. There is also a way to red flag other possible missteps when you are buying a house: enlist the help of an experienced SW Florida buyer’s agent. When you give me the call, you can rest assured I’ll be watching out for your interests—every step of the way!

SW Florida Home Improvement Top 6 Fall Gotta-Do-Ems, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero! Spring cleaning season remains the time of year for SW Florida’s most rigorous home improvement efforts, but fall is also an opportune time to dig into some preventive home maintenance chores. Homes that get their owners’ attention on a regular basis don’t just SW Florida Home Improvement Top 6 Fall Gotta-Do-Ems, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero!hold more of their value with less expense—they also add some extra value: peace of mind.

These six top-level maintenance tasks may consume a weekend day or two, but will ultimately pay off by eliminating preventable deterioration:

  1. If your SW Florida roof has gutters, now is a time to clear It’s only “a” time because there should be a second round. After fall winds have deposited nature’s bounty of tree leaves and pine needles and everything else that could possibly pile up in them, it will be time to do a final clearing out. If you wait until then to tend to the gutters, there’s a good chance that sludgy goo will have formed beneath the autumn debris.
  2. Door seals. Weather stripping around inevitably decomposes over time, and hinges wear down. You can find door jamb weatherstrip kits at the hardware store, and replacing foam tape that’s lost its oomph takes just minutes. For sliding glass doors that take too much muscle to budge, it’s worth getting down on hands-and-knees to deep clean the tracks—then follow up with some WD-40 sprayed into the roller workings.SW Florida Home Improvement Top 6 Fall Gotta-Do-Ems, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero!
  3. Windows. Window insulation is right up there with the doors as key entry points for heat and cold (the kind of heat and cold that show up in SW Florida energy bills). If you are stumped by how to renew the waterproofing on some kinds of windows, Google and Bing are there to help. Search for “window weatherproofing” using the “images” choice, and see if there’s a YouTube video for one that looks like the window type that has you stumped (there almost always is).
  4. Garden. Clearing summer’s dead and dying growth and re-mulching where it’s needed is easiest to do in {Your Town} right about now. Resist the temptation to scrimp on who is or mulch: it isn’t just a pretty face (remember how much labor it saves during weed season?).
  5. SW Florida Home Improvement Top 6 Fall Gotta-Do-Ems, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero!Exterior. Now is also SW Florida’s easiest time to check for rot, insect infestation, or any other deterioration summer might have wrought on siding and trim. If an exterior paint job is overdue, this could be where my promise about just a weekend day or two might have been overly optimistic. But a fresh coat of paint now, before winter hits town, can be a meaningful budget saver in the long run.
  6. Deck. If you have a deck that takes stain, you have to do it again. Sorry, but it’s really true: the value of stain is that you only have to wash the deck and roll it on…but you do have to do it to cover the worn areas and protect the wood.

SW Florida Home Improvement Top 6 Fall Gotta-Do-Ems, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero! Those are the most frequently cited fall home improvement hotspots. If this summer’s Texas weather has been more punishing than usual on your SW Florida home, you might have some additional areas to mind—but for most homeowners, conscientiously attending to these should ensure a winter’s worth of peace of mind. One of my contributions (when it’s time to sell) is to help point out areas that buyers might think need improvement—and a well-maintained home will have very few of those. I hope you will feel free to give me a call whenever any questions arise on that score—or for anything connected with SW Florida’s real estate market!

 SW Florida Real Estate Watchers Read National Tea Leaves, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero! If you try to predict what SW Florida real estate activity is likely to be based on only our local activity, you soon find what causes statisticians to turn up their noses: the sample size is simply too small to project reliable trends. That’s why serious SW Florida observers SW Florida Real Estate Watchers Read National Tea Leaves, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero!look to the incoming real estate activity stats from Texas and the nation as a whole: and the latest numbers gave them at least two interesting clues.

At the start of the month, the National Association of Realtors® weighed in with a “sizable jump” in some of the pending home sales numbers. Pending home sales are especially interesting in a predictive sense because they are forward-looking indicators—they measure contract signings that will be finalized in coming weeks or months. The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for July notched the second highest reading-9065-in over a decade…exceeded only by April’s reading.

The NAR’s economists continued to fret about the affordability of the listings currently on the market, reflected in the continuing difficulty first-time homebuyers are having being able to find affordable homes in most parts of the country. The “robust demand for single-family starter homes” is as high as it is because many young buyers can’t find what they SW Florida Real Estate Watchers Read National Tea Leaves, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero!are looking for at a price point that’s affordable.

Not all real estate news is as relevant to SW Florida home or apartment shoppers, though. Last Friday’s news from the New York Times is a good example. It ran the story of one young musician whose quest for an affordable apartment led him to his current digs, which is a closet. Actually, according to the news item, it’s more like a “crawlspace” at 9 feet by 4½ feet. Affordable rent? Yes, for today’s Manhattan—just $450/month.

The second, more relevant finding came from the researchers at CoreLogic, who dug into the national statistics with enough gusto to emerge with a seldom-mentioned measure: price stability. SW Florida real estate watchers often read about residential real estate volatility—the gyrations sales and prices go through when SW Florida Real Estate Watchers Read National Tea Leaves, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero!financial or political turmoil causes notable fluctuations. Real estate price stability, however, since it’s the exact opposite, is seldom mentioned (probably because it sounds like nothing is happening, which journalists don’t like to write about).

But the latest finding is news. As CoreLogic’s Sam Khater writes about the year-over-year change in monthly home prices, “the last narrow band of years” that exhibited such stable home prices came “between 1994 and 1997.” The good news is that this period presaged a housing market that was so healthy it helped anchor the whole economy—probably a key reason why 2001’s economic downturn became the mildest post-war recession.

SW Florida Real Estate Watchers Read National Tea Leaves, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero! Here in SW Florida, the real estate scene continues to reward home shoppers with a host of listings that offer good value—especially with mortgage interest rates still hovering at bargain basement levels. If you decide that now is the right time to find the right house at the right price, it’s also the right time to call me!

 For SW Florida Real Estate Investments, Time is of the Essence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! “Time is of the essence!” is the kind of everyday phrase you might hear any time in SW Florida. Most often it’s tossed off casually—as when For SW Florida Real Estate Investments, Time is of the Essence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!someone gets impatient, waiting for a friend who’s been dilly dallying. That’s when it means “we’re gonna be late!”

In Texas legal contract phraseology, it has a more precise (and serious) meaning. To lawyers, including that phrase means that the parties must perform X by date Y or else! It means that missing a deadline will cause material harm. “Time is of the essence” in that connection is literal: the time element has value—it’s essential to the deal.

When you examine an investment in SW Florida real estate, the actual phrase doesn’t have to appear in any agreement docs for time to play an important part “of the essence” of the investment. This isn’t just some abstract philosophical notion—integrating it into your buying, selling and management decisions will certainly affect the concrete dollars-and-cents results.

Most basic is a concept common to all investment avenues: the time value of money. The basic principle is that, provided money can earn interest, any given amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received. Most people are painfully aware of the inflationary effect of time on the money they earn—they know darn well that $1.13-a-gallon gasoline hasFor SW Florida Real Estate Investments, Time is of the Essence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! become a distant memory (the same way great-grandparents used to describe 5¢ hamburgers).

The importance of having not just a nodding-your-head understanding, but of having a believing-it-deep-down kind of understanding of this may be why mature investors can be more stubborn about sticking to spending limits. They’ve experienced the rate at which SW Florida properties grow in value over time—which means that if they were to pay 8% or 9% over what they truly believe a home’s value to be, it could take a couple of years before its resale value would reach even a breakeven point. Thinking in terms of its time value—picturing it just lying there, inert, for a couple of years—makes for a less appealing proposition.

For SW Florida Real Estate Investments, Time is of the Essence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!For typical SW Florida homeowners whose major reason for their real estate investment is as a residence, the time element works on many channels at the same time. The residence may lose some value as daily living’s wear and tear takes a toll, but at the same time, it’s all but sure to gain value through inflation. It might lose or gain as the immediate neighborhood changes for good or ill—although it could gain considerable value through wise decorating initiatives. About those decorating initiatives: it’s a canny homeowner whose first efforts at home improvement come in the garden: the right trees planted today can become hugely beneficial a decade or two from now—and hugely expensive to try to duplicate later. If you’ve ever discussed the cost of craning in a 25-foot shade tree, you understand the reality of “time is of the essence!”

For SW Florida Real Estate Investments, Time is of the Essence, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! The hot spring-summer selling season is set to start cooling down, but there are loads of great {Your Town} properties on the market right now. Call me, because time is of…well, you know! Thank You.

For Home Buyers in SW Florida, Top 6 Questions, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri! Like careful consumers who are investigating any major purchase, SW Florida home buyers need to address some of the same basic queries. Among home buyers, those who already own SW Florida homes may think they have different questions than do first-timers, but For Home Buyers in SW Florida, Top 6 Questions, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri!even for those who have successfully navigated the process before, if it’s been a while since then, some basics may need refreshing:

  1. Should I buy or rent? This is quite rightly the lead question any {Your Area} home buyer needs to answer. It’s not one that many {Your Area} residents who are already home owners spend a lot of time on since the answer for their own family has already been a “yes.” For them, unless some major changes have come to pass, they can safely assume that homeownership is still a no-brainer.
  2. How do I get started? There are two good answers here: Get a mortgage pre-approval, and/or tap the services of a great SW Florida Realtor®. Although a lender’s pre-approval isn’t a requirement, getting a green light in advance can’t help but create a positive atmosphere with sellers and their representatives. It For Home Buyers in SW Florida, Top 6 Questions, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri!demonstrates serious intent—and in a competitive situation could even wind up winning the day.
  3. What’s the right credit score to buy a house? 620-650. Okay, okay—I know there’s actually no number that’s truly the “right” credit score for all circumstances. It depends on so many possible outside factors that the exceptions are too numerous to list. That 620 number (and higher) does seem to be one that lenders like to see; with 580 the common minimum low down payment FHA qualifier…but that can even be less in order to qualify for the FHA 10% down payment program. The only bullet-proof answer for the “right” credit score is—the best one you can build!
  4. How much will the down payment be? This one depends on the SW Florida For Home Buyers in SW Florida, Top 6 Questions, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri!property you choose, the home loan you select—and also, to a degree, on how much you want to pay. It used to be common sense that you should pay as much as you can afford in order to minimize the amount of interest you wind up paying over the life of the home loan. But with interest rates as low as they are today, some financial gurus are less confident about that advice: there may be more lucrative ways cash can be put to work.
  5. How much do I have to pay my agent? Nothing. The buyer’s agent fee is paid by the seller.
  6. Should I use a real estate brokerThis answer comes from the HUD.gov website: “Using a real estate broker is a very good idea.” As HUD says, “the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling.”

For Home Buyers in SW Florida, Top 6 Questions, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri! Needless to say, that last Top Home Buyer FAQ is a personal favorite. It’s really just another way of saying, “ Please call me!”

Ever tried to pin down the most popular house style in the U.S.? Turns out—you can’t.

For SW Florida’s Curious: Seeking the Most Popular House Styles, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! Last week it almost seemed as if the answer was at hand. SW Florida readers could have come across the ad link that promised to reveal “The Most Popular House Styles.” The come-hither promise read, “Browse our photo gallery for the most popular housing styles For SW Florida’s Curious: Seeking the Most Popular House Styles, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!and types in America.”

The most likely reason for clicking would have been for SW Florida homeowners to find out how popular their own home’s style is considered to be. If it’s the Most Popular of all, when it came time to sell, herds of popularity-seeking American buyers could come rushing over for a showing!

 If that were the goal, the first mouse click would have dashed the hope, for it showed a photo of an unadorned two-windowed center-chimneyed home that couldn’t have been larger than 400 square feet. This first style—Number 1—was the “Cape Cod Style” home.

Since few could be persuaded that Capes are the runaway #1 Most Popular homes in the U.S., it seemed probable that the author wasn’t going to let us in on the order of popularity. That suspicion was confirmed by #2 of the Most Popular House Styles: “New England Colonial.” Pictured was a 1720 model that looked remarkably well-preserved (but not particularly popular-looking).

If you grew impatient and scanned down the page, you found “Dutch Colonial,” then “German Colonial” (a brooding For SW Florida’s Curious: Seeking the Most Popular House Styles, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!hand-made brick and stone structure). Despite what the ad had promised, this was more like an Every Conceivable House Style list rather than a true Most Popular one. It was a very long page, ultimately chronicling no fewer than 57 different house styles. This was clearly not going to deliver on its promise—but the question it raised was nonetheless an interesting one. What are the Most Popular house styles in the U.S.? Are they in the South? On a lake? Actually, what is the Most Popular?

You’d think that the answer would be most likely to come from the National Association of Realtors®—but it was not to be. At least the NAR has pared the Most Popular list down to its Top 20, but heading the list is “Tudor.” I can agree that in SW Florida, Tudors may be greatly admired. But across the whole country, they’re not likely to rank as Most Popular.  

For SW Florida’s Curious: Seeking the Most Popular House Styles, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!Down there at the bottom of the NAR list are three that could be serious contenders: “Midcentury Modern,” “Traditional Ranch” and “Contemporary Style.” They could be Most Popular since all three are architecturally vague—so more homes could fit the categories. An example was “Traditional Ranch,” which can have either brick, wood, or stucco siding. Even vaguer was the Huffington Post’s top pick: “Craftsman style.” Quite a few SW Florida homes could qualify, since Craftsman style homes are “often bungalows but may be of any shape so long as they emphasize a relationship with nature and the craft of construction.” If you’re thinking that every house in SW Florida is “of any shape” and “has a relationship with the craft of construction,” I’m with you.

For SW Florida’s Curious: Seeking the Most Popular House Styles, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! Ultimately, there doesn’t seem to be a proven Most Popular house style—which may be just as well, since any style can sell quickly or slowly due to many other factors. The most popular style for any home buyer is, after all, the home that happens to appeal to him or her. Putting that buyer together with that home is how I help—and a fine reason to call me!

  Wandering SW Florida Mortgage Rates’ Infinitesimal Moves, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! The legendary figure of The Wanderer has different connotations in different cultures. English teachers in {Your Area} high school classrooms have always taught some of the most famous parts of Homer’s Odyssey—the heroic story of Ulysses, the most famous Wandering SW Florida Mortgage Rates’ Infinitesimal Moves, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!wanderer. Ulysses wandered in and out of a lot of trouble…

Planets are wanderers, too. During ancient night times, ancient shepherds looked up and watched them meandering restlessly among the stars, so they called them planets (“wanderers”). Dion (of Dion and the Belmont) was the most celebrated wanderer of the 60s—at least his hit song claimed that he roamed “around around”).

In today’s SW Florida culture, though, wondering is a lot less glamorous than it’s been through most of history. A modern definition includes the bit about moving around, but most dictionaries include less-than-positive modifiers like “aimless” or “without plan or purpose.”

So when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave a recent speech that SW Florida mortgage rate observers hoped would signal the direction where rates are headed, they expected clarity on the Fed’s plan and purpose. Last Thursday, The Wandering SW Florida Mortgage Rates’ Infinitesimal Moves, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!Washington Post headlined the following days’ financial reaction:

Mortgage Rates Wander Higher but Remain Near Yearly Lows.”

When financial writers talk about mortgage rates that “wander,” it doesn’t really matter in which direction. It means that they’re going up and down in what amounts to wandering’s “aimless manner.” If it signals anything, it’s mainly that the signals from all corners are mixed. At Jackson Hole, Chair Yellen had signaled that the central bank “is moving closer” to raising their benchmark rate, but it Wandering SW Florida Mortgage Rates’ Infinitesimal Moves, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!seemed that the signal was not too convincing: Bankrate.com found that nearly 90% of the experts it talked to think rates will remain unchanged for a while.

As for how the Post could see rates “wandering” higher yet remaining near 2016 lows, it became clear in the paragraphs down below. The average 30-year mortgage rate had changed from 3.43% to 3.46%, remaining stuck in the range that’s lasted all summer (it’s been moving up and down no more than 7 hundredths of a percent). “Wandering” sounds appropriate. Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist said mortgage rates have been “hovering;” but “wandering” sounds at least as apt. What this means for SW Florida real estate is perhaps the only really clear signal to emerge. For the moment, SW Wandering SW Florida Mortgage Rates’ Infinitesimal Moves, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! Florida mortgage rates remain appetizing low, keeping the residential market pegged at historical bargain basement levels.

Best of all, that means it’s still a great time to give me a call!

A Home Warranty Can Woo Uncertain SW Florida Buyers, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs! When last week’s surprising news (on the plus side) about consumer confidence was announced, it was one more sign SW Florida homeowners might have felt nudging them in the direction of putting their home on the market. U.S. confidence rose to A Home Warranty Can Woo Uncertain SW Florida Buyers, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs!an 11-month high in August—a turnaround from consumer blahs that had ruled during the first half of the year.

Even when there’s some time pressure to sell your SW Florida home, one snag that can stall the decision—especially for those with older homes—is the thought of the cost of bringing the place fully up to date. Even if the mechanicals (heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical) are actually in perfectly fine working order, it can seem as if potential buyers will be hard to convince that it’s the case. And if the appliances are veterans, even if they’re perfectly serviceable, potential sellers sometimes fear that prospects will shy away from the Great Unknown of costly dishwasher or clothes dryer breakdowns.

So it’s pretty good news that this is one concern that SW Florida homeowners and their future customers can do something about. The doubt-remover is a home warranty—the kind of policy that helps shield against the cost of unexpected breakdowns. Texas consumers can choose from a number of home warranty providers, each of whom offerA Home Warranty Can Woo Uncertain SW Florida Buyers, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs! varying levels of protection.

The home warranty companies provide a straightforward proposition: it is a service contract, usually a year in duration, that promises to pay if a major system or covered appliance should break down due to normal wear and tear. Some high-end policies offer complete coverage for repairs—or even full replacement if necessary. More inexpensive home warranties may provide less comprehensive coverage or require the use of specified repair services.

Once it’s been determined that the incremental cost is a worthwhile investment, it’s important to read through the previsions about what is covered—and to remember that systems and appliances have to be in good working order at the time the policy is issued. Some of the items commonly included can be the plumbing and electrical systems, furnaces and heating ducts, water heaters, pumps, dishwashers, garbage disposals, cooking appliances, refrigerators, washers and dryers—sometimes, even swimming A Home Warranty Can Woo Uncertain SW Florida Buyers, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs!pools. You can see why checking the scope of coverage is critical for determining the choice of contracts.

Lately, home warranties have grown in popularity—possibly because of timing considerations. H.U.D. says it’s because the protection they offer home buyers comes during the critical period immediately following purchase—a time when there is often less extra emergency cash on hand. That can be a critical reassuring factor for {Your Area} home buyers.

Even more convincing are the statistics from the National Home Warranty Association. If it’s as true for Texas sellers as it is nationally, it’s eye-opening. The NHW finds that when a home warranty is provided as part of the sale, it can help a home sell up to 50% faster.

A Home Warranty Can Woo Uncertain SW Florida Buyers, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs! THIS could come as welcome news if you’ve been undecided about whether this fall will be an opportune time to sell. Even if you’re on the fence, give me a call!

SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! It’s not a coincidence that the same word is used in both dramatic undertakings and SW Florida residential real estate preparation. Both describe SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!preparations that seek to establish a feeling within the beholder. Of course, staging for SW Florida home showings differs fundamentally from its theatrical homonym. With our kind of staging, the presentation is real—not make-believe.

That’s not to say we can’t borrow an idea or two from the theater. Some stage directors begin first rehearsals by encouraging the actors to overdo their readings; to “make it big—really big!” The idea is that later on, after they’ve rehearsed the same scene dozens of times, it will be harder to think creatively about interpreting their characters. There will be plenty of time to tone down wildly overdone acting, but after many days of rehearsing, over familiarity with the play will make it harder to come up with creative ideas to improve performances.

There can be some value in applying the same kind of thinking when you approach the staging of your SW Florida home—at least in the sense of thinking outside the box. One way SW Florida’s staging professionals have the advantage over homeowners who do it themselves is that they arrive on the scene without preconceptions. They get to see a home with fresh eyes. That’s pretty much impossible for someone who has lived in the place for years. The pros have also SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!developed a good deal of expertise in imagining basics, like how the placement of furniture can improve the “flow” of a home: how visitors naturally move from room to room.

When actors perform that first rehearsal, making their reading “bigger” than it will wind up being on opening night, there is an apt analogy for staging a home.

It’s about the all-important staging rudiment: the de-cluttering.

Essentially, the ideal would be to clear everything out.

SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero!Of course, unless it’s a pack-up-and-move situation, that’s usually not practical. But what can be accomplished is to progress through the house, room by room, slightly overdoing the de-cluttering. Walking through a living room that you’ve made comfortable through the years, it is really hard to think of doing much other than clearing surfaces or rearranging an item or two. But when you evacuate almost everything from a space (which is possible if you’re only moving it into an adjoining room), it’s suddenly easy to see what really needs to be moved back. And new ideas pop up for where lamps, tables, chairs might be more appealingly placed…and most important, which things aren’t really necessary at all!

SW Florida Home Showings Can Borrow Some Staging Technique, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero! Come opening night (that is, the first showing or the first open house), the results from a serious home staging effort can often earn the kind of critical results that translate into a “sold” sign in the front yard.

 Color Décor Move Ignores Likely SW Florida Home Resale Effect, Naples, Ft. Myers! It was tucked away in a backwater of The Wall Street Journal’s online Design tab, which is actually just a sub-section of their Real Estate section. “The Rise of the Colorful Bathroom” was like a conceptual hand grenade tossed into the placid lagoon of home decor orthodoxy.

Color Décor Move Ignores Likely SW Florida Home Resale Effect, Naples, Ft. Myers!As far as design insights likely to affect SW Florida’s home resale market, the pointers found in Design lately haven’t been particularly noteworthy. Earlier this month, there had been a piece about metal versions of “The Classic Peacock Chair.” That might have had some impact in Rangoon, but here in SW Florida, where peacock chairs are few and far in between, it scarcely ruffled a feather. Similarly, there had appeared “A Décor Lesson in Subtle Patriotism” with marginally subtle red, white and blue illustrations—but especially since it first appeared after the July 4th weekend, SW Florida readers were unlikely to run that one up the flagpole…

But now, tucked away beside a Most Popular Videos sidebar, came this subversive “Rise of the Colorful Bathroom.” A generous illustration showed an example of how far the author was willing to go: it portrayed a stark blue bathroom wall and sink featuring clapboard-like blue-and-gray porcelain tiles: the blue plank Color Décor Move Ignores Likely SW Florida Home Resale Effect, Naples, Ft. Myers!special. Did this mark a warning shot over the bow of one of the longest unchallenged home décor conventions—that the American bathroom palette should be, in the author’s phrase, “compulsively neutral”?

If so, would the new trend force homeowners poised to enter SW Florida’s home resale market to have to expensively retool their bathrooms’ calming hues?

Fortunately for the budgets of SW Florida home sellers, a close reading made that unlikely. Although the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) does report some tip-toeing by their members in the direction of bathroom color infusions, no more than 10%-15% of them actually expect to decorate more baths “in green, blue and black”—at least for this year. There were also tacit admissions that the Rise of the Colorful Bathroom might become somewhat diluted before it spreads much further. “Muted beats candy bright” was the caption describing a mid-toned bathroom, displaying an almost traditional “quiet, palatable personality.”

Color Décor Move Ignores Likely SW Florida Home Resale Effect, Naples, Ft. Myers!Some designers also expressed some reluctance to jump on the Colorful Bathroom train—at least in one part of the rainbow. Palm Springs designer Christopher Kennedy may opt for small touches of bright color, but will always “avoid pea greens and acid greens” because “they aren’t so great on the skin.” He goes in a rosier direction, with hip colors like blush “because it makes you look beautiful.”

Color Décor Move Ignores Likely SW Florida Home Resale Effect, Naples, Ft. Myers! As far as SW Florida home resale prospects are concerned, one devil-may-care subhead gives away a quite possible impact. The truly cool blues to emphatic blacks are labeled “resale-be-damned” colors. As we near the end of the hectic peak selling period, most SW Florida sellers are continuing to choose much more of a “resale-be-welcomed” disposition. If that describes your own stance, you’ll find it echoed when you give me a call!