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Selling Your Home by Widening the SW Florida Customer Base, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!

 Selling Your Home by Widening the SW Florida Customer Base, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! Marketers for any SW Florida business want to know as much as possible about their “customer base”—the population of potential buyers who might be attracted to their product. If you are in the process of selling your SW Florida  home, the speed at which you Selling Your Home by Widening the SW Florida Customer Base, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!succeed and the amount of profit that results will greatly depend on how effectively you appeal to your offering’s customer base: the folks who might be interested in your SW Florida property.

When you take me on as your selling agent (a good idea, for sure!), you’ve relieved yourself of the vast majority of the burden of marketing. It’s what I and the resource partners I use do as a full-time job—and we’re successful at it. You can certainly let your friends and family know that you are selling your home (and what a great place it is) if you choose, but the lion’s share of marketing to the public at large will be well and energetically handled by your SW Florida Realtor®.

Yet there is one step you can take that might be extremely beneficial to your marketing campaign. It has to do with thatSelling Your Home by Widening the SW Florida Customer Base, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! customer base we were aiming for: specifically, it has to do with widening it. It’s where the FHA comes in.

The Federal Housing Administration was created back during the Great Depression to spur home construction. By offering government-backed insurance that encouraged banks to offer home loans, it created jobs, helped families find proper housing, and spawned a host of other beneficial side effects. The FHA doesn’t actually make any loans itself—but it does assume most of the risk.

Today, due to a variety of economic factors that have made qualifying for a home loan somewhat difficult, it’s fair to say that the size of the customer base has not grown even as fast as the slow-motion economic recovery. Along with other factors, banks have been timid about lending due to the potential penalties for not following strict guidelines. The customer base—measured by how many potential Selling Your Home by Widening the SW Florida Customer Base, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral!homebuyers can easily get mortgage loans—has lagged. This situation has improved lately, but some still complain that home loan resurgence remains sluggish. Likewise, growth in the customer base.

For anyone selling their SW Florida home, one way to expand the customer base is to make your property what you might call “FHA-Friendly”—that is, transparently a good candidate to qualify for an FHA loan guarantee. This isn’t the place to go over all the details about how that can be accomplished, but if your asking price is within FHA guidelines for our region of SW Florida and you are confident that 00 defects will be found during the home inspection, much of the goal will have been attained.

Selling Your Home by Widening the SW Florida Customer Base, Naples, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral! If you will be selling your SW Florida home this fall or winter, now is a very good time to give me a call. FHA-friendly or not, we’ll make sure your customer base is primed and ready!  

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3 Sure Ways to Mess Up Buying Your SW Florida House, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral!

 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!

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!

Color Décor Move Ignores Likely SW Florida Home Resale Effect, Naples, Ft. Myers!

 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!

The Best SW Florida Agents May Differ, but Share 4 Traits, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island!

The Best SW Florida Agents May Differ, but Share 4 Traits, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island! If you are looking for the Town real estate agent who will do the best job for you, it’s logical to seek the best agent. Less obvious is what traits distinguish the best real estate agents. If you look through summaries of commonly agreed-upon qualities, most are the The Best SW Florida Agents May Differ, but Share 4 Traits, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island!same as for other successful people. A common #1 listed trait is “a problem-solver mindset”—but that would be true for most top producers in any number of occupations.

Going at it from a different perspective, the nature of the industry might make the most useful distinguishing characteristics largely personal ones. From my own point of view, four are all but indispensable:

The best agents are nice. The selling and buying of a home is serious business, so “nice” might not seem to be required…but even a hint of rancor is a bar to success. In dealing with the place that sellers call home (and buyers would like to call home), when ill will threaten to sour the atmosphere, it can thwart a transaction—even when all other factors are favorable. Although it may not sound logical, the ‘vibe’ surrounding a home’s sale can become as important as it is in establishing a business partnership, where good will is justifiably essential for success. Especially when nerves are ragged, misunderstandings are easily triggered. The best SW Florida agents adroitly handle nuances (like knowing how to prevent minor critical comments from being taken as personal slights).

They’re organized. The sheer volume of details that flood a busy real estate agent’s day has to be experienced to beThe Best SW Florida Agents May Differ, but Share 4 Traits, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island! believed. The best agents can’t be “snowed under,” because they have long ago figured out how to systematize fielding the daily load. You can tell an organized agent by their swift personal response to phone messages and email contacts.  

They’re real. Eventually, artificiality wears thin. Sooner or later, a professional demeanor that’s out of phase with the same person’s private side betrays itself as what it is: a guise behind which reality resides. The best agents know that the strongest cooperative relationships are built on trust. Whenever an unexpected obstacle enters the picture—and in the search, negotiations, and completion of the sale of a residence in SW Florida, it’s surprising if at least some snags don’t pop up. The opposite of artificial cheer is authenticity; when the voice on the other end of the phone is unfaltering bright and The Best SW Florida Agents May Differ, but Share 4 Traits, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island!energetic, it’s that much easier to make steady progress. It’s why a truism about the best agents is seldom disputed: they all seem to have one personality trait in common—a sunny disposition. That comes from loving to do what you’re doing!

The best agents don’t fear confrontation. It’s built into the mix: the interests of buyers and sellers are often diametrically opposed. That isn’t to say that, after a fair deal has been struck, both can’t walk away with good feelings about the transaction and one another (in fact, that’s often the ultimate outcome). But to get there, each should feel that their conflicting interests are being protected. Strongly protected. The best agents don’t shy away from energetically representing the wishes of their clients, even if that places them outside their preferred comfort zone.

The Best SW Florida Agents May Differ, but Share 4 Traits, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island! Real estate calls for a special combination of personality traits. Salesmanship needs to be tempered with diplomacy. Zeal with patience. And above all, the best SW Florida real estate agents love doing what we do. I hope you’ll give me a chance to demonstrate: just give me a call!  Thank You For Reading!

For SW Florida Mortgage Applicants, the Razmatazz is Necessary, Naples, Isles Of Capri!

 For SW Florida Mortgage Applicants, the Razmatazz is Necessary, Naples, Isles Of Capri! Whenever you’re in the planning stages for your next SW Florida real estate venture, the best available SW Florida mortgage rate is a number For SW Florida Mortgage Applicants, the Razmatazz is Necessary, Naples, Isles Of Capri!you look for. Whether you are thinking of a purchase of a new SW Florida home or simply refinancing your existing property, that rate determines how much you will pay each month.

You would think that getting a good idea of what that number is should be pretty easy. Certainly you would be encouraged by what you find on the web. That number—the mortgage rate—is available online almost everywhere you turn. It’s in TV ads. It’s on the radio. It’s almost looking for you.

But as everyone soon learns, those numbers aren’t exactly the ones that you need. What appears in the ads and pop-ups isn’t necessarily that number (if by “that number” you mean the mortgage rate you will wind up paying).

This whole topic was addressed this last weekend by USA Today in an article that did a good job of explaining why the actual mortgage rate that most applicants will be offered is not readily available. The rates in the ads are called theFor SW Florida Mortgage Applicants, the Razmatazz is Necessary, Naples, Isles Of Capri! “published” rates. Unlike many other kinds of consumer advertisements, in mortgage financial parlance, a “published” rate isn’t the same as a “promised” rate. As this month’s survey by Freddie Mac specified, the mortgage rate average of 3.45% was on average only available to customers who chose to pay an additional fee—in this case, .5 point of the loan amount. For a $275,000 loan, that would cost the borrower $1,375 up front to get the “published” mortgage loan rate.

That isn’t the only wrinkle. As USA Today put it, “Lenders also publish rates that have very specific prerequisites.” The rate may only apply to applicants with specific credit scores. The rate might call for a minimum loan-to-value percentage, too—or only be available in specific areas (which may or may not include SW Florida ).

For SW Florida Mortgage Applicants, the Razmatazz is Necessary, Naples, Isles Of Capri!This might sound like a deliberate bait-and-switch tactic by the lenders, but when you get to the reasons for all the razmatazz, it’s actually necessary. SW Florida’s mortgage lenders are able to keep rates competitively low by only lending to borrowers who have a very good chance of repaying the loan. Those whose histories indicate that they pose a higher risk of not being able to keep up their monthly payments have to expect that they will be quoted a higher interest rate. The last time mortgage lenders stopped doing a good job of those risk calculations, it triggered what we now call “the great recession”—and just about everyone paid a price for that.

For SW Florida Mortgage Applicants, the Razmatazz is Necessary, Naples, Isles Of Capri! So it may be inconvenient, but in order to really find out what your true interest rate will be for a specific real estate transaction, you have to go through the motions of applying for it. In this age of readily available instant information, that can seem like a run-around—but it’s necessary. I’m here to make this and every other aspect of your SW Florida real estate doings as easy as possible. Call me!

Science Fiction, Outer Space and SW Florida Housing Creation, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero!

Science Fiction, Outer Space and SW Florida Housing Creation, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero! When the name “Deloitte” is attached to futuristic predictions about any kind of industrial matters, most SW Florida readers grow less skeptical than would otherwise be the case. After all, Deloitte’s quarter-million financial services professionals earn their keep by Science Fiction, Outer Space and SW Florida Housing Creation, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero!accurately advising enterprises worldwide on which way the commercial wind is going to be blowing five, ten, or 20 years hence. The folks in charge of the worldwide enterprises are keen that their capital expenditure planning won’t look stupid five, ten, or 20 years hence.

So when a Deloitte Center for Financial Services blog describes the excitement a typical child will display when, in 2030, he’s about to “take his first trip to the moon”—well, that’s a blog that’s bound to get any SW Florida readers’ attention. It got mine because it’s contained in a blog about the future of real estate and housing.

The housing in question will be on the moon. Just 14 years from now.

The basis for this science-fictiony scenario is the European Space Agency’s plan for constructing a “moon village” on the lunar surface beginning in the 2020s. Since it’s extremely unlikely that anyone—Europeans or Americans or Asians or Science Fiction, Outer Space and SW Florida Housing Creation, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero!anyone else—will be able to ship construction crews up there on short notice, the first rhetorical question Deloitte poses is, “But who will build all this?”  If Deloitte is right, the answer could well become a major factor in the future of SW Florida’s housing industry. Perhaps the major factor.

The European Space Agency plans to use robotic 3D printers.

Here it might be useful to again review the whole 3D printer thing. My own opinion is that 3D printers are called “printers” just to get our attention. Everyone knows that what traditional printers print is decidedly two-dimensional. Technically, the thickness of ink and paper may constitute three dimensions—but they’re more flat than not. So “printing” a gun or spare auto part used to be preposterous, until inventors figured out how to spray jets of successive layers of stuff on top of each other to create fully dimensional objects.

That’s 3D printing, and it’s how the housing on the moon can be done by robots. A footnote in the Deloitte blog points to the TechTimes website, which spells out the details. First revealed in a conference of 200 scientists in the Netherlands, Science Fiction, Outer Space and SW Florida Housing Creation, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero!the timeline is aggressive. “As planned, robots will arrive on the moon first to allow for human explorers to land later…”  

The “stuff” the base will be built from is moon dirt (called “regolith”). They are already testing 3D printers able to produce 6.5 feet to 11 feet of material in one hour. According to the ESA’s director general, at that rate, “the entire settlement can be produced in just one week.” By the robots.

You can see why having Deloitte verify that this whole thing isn’t just an internet practical joke is an important part of the story. Because if the moon robots can build a settlement on the moon in “just one week,” what about settlements in SW Florida? What about housing…and strip malls? Isn’t SW Florida’s regolith at least as high quality as the moon’s? 

Science Fiction, Outer Space and SW Florida Housing Creation, Naples, Isles Of Capri, Estero! If this out-of-this-world planning has even one foot in reality, the major implications for the future of SW Florida housing and construction are worth pondering. Perhaps later. For the moment, though, we have a great selection of non-robotically built, regolith-free SW Florida properties. Call me for the down-to-earth details!