Info: Renting

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Attempting to put a number on the cost of renting is akin to establishing the length of a piece of string. However, there are generalized conclusions available from poking around the MLS, speaking with agents who specialize in the rental market, and becoming familiar with the numerous large apartment complexes coming out of the ground and opening for business.

Some of the latter are offering large (up to 2,000 square feet,) well-equipped units at about $1.35 per foot per month for a full year lease. (Longer leases are not legal in Florida.) The supply of brand new units, plus the attractive rates offered to get the occupancy rate up quickly, will likely put downward pressure on existing rentals of all types, private and commercial alike. I would expect to find a dollar a foot or even less for some newly-vacated properties.

At the luxury level, meaning a free-standing home in a prestigious community with amenities, I’d be thinking four to five dollars per foot per month. An acquaintance, Josh Reef at Hurzitz-James Company in Beverly Hills, has a nice 5/5½ home at 2277 Worthing Lane in Los Angeles offering 7797 square feet of comfort for rent at $39,500 a month. The math works out to very close to $5 per foot per month.

You can easily pay that and more in Naples — in season, when short term rates are triple or quadruple the year-round cost.

Now, to put that all in perspective: time commitment versus cost, let’s take a typical 350 square foot room in a mid-priced hotel. Most people would be happy to find a room here in season for $175 per night. Extended to a month, that’s $15 per foot. Go to a luxury hotel, and the cost may very well exceed $50 per foot per month.

So, with all that — that buck-thirty five rate at a new apartment complex begins to really look like a bargain. Need more info on rentals? Drop me a note below.

Shopping: The delights of “off season.”

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Tommy Bahama's, Third Street South, Naples FL

Tommy Bahama’s, Third Street South, Naples FL

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MLS: Million-dollar view, under $360K!

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View: Cove Towers, Pelican Bay, The Dunes, Vanderbilt Beach and Marina Bay Club

View: Cove Towers, Pelican Bay, The Dunes, Vanderbilt Beach and Marina Bay Club

Nature: Eagles return!

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It’s completely unscientific, but I have always interpreted the early return of eagles as an indicator that we are likely to have a relatively calm ending to the hurricane season. Then again, there has been little late season hurricane activity directly affecting Southwest Florida over the past half-century: Donna in 1960, Andrew in 1992, Charley in 2004, and Wilma in 2005. Of those, only Wilma (October 24th) was what qualifies as a late season storm.

In any case, we have now spotted three different returning adult eagles: one each from CO-001, CO-019a, and LE-097. The eagles from CO-001 on the Conservation Collier tract) can often be observed late in the day perched in a dead tree behind the Pewter Mug Restaurant in North Naples just south of the light at Imperial Golf. The most visible nest in the area is in the cell tower at the southwest corner of US 41 and Bonita Beach Road. Pull off the road into the McDonald’s parking lot and look to the west.

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Update: The cost of living in Naples

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Astronomical? It can be, so there is always a buzz.

Several sales were recorded this year at over $2000 per square foot — and there is a good choice of offerings on the market going as high as $6000 psf!

At the other end of the pricing spectrum, and certainly not so close to the water that salt corrosion is a problem for the infrastructure, there are hidden gems such as the golf club  (two 18-hole courses, tennis, bocce, 9 pools, and a restaurant) condo pictured below at a buck-twenty a foot for nearly eleven hundred feet of clean, convenient, and delightfully economical living for snowbirds, investment rental, as a full time residence for a single person or an entry level first responder or teacher with a small family.

Now, for $129,900 this isn’t a candidate for a feature story in one of our many city magazines. But the listing has appraised at that level so will probably will not last long on the market. Want to know more? Call or text me.

MLS: Clean, turnkey tropical getaway for $129,900!

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2 Bed/2 Bath In the heart of the urban area (34112.) Call me for more information. (239)825-5635.

2 Bed/2 Bath In the heart of the urban area (34112.) Call me for more information. (239)825-5635.

Info: Become a permanent part of the Naples/Collier County community:

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Freedom Memorial Sponsored Bricks: www.CollierRemembers.org

Freedom Memorial Sponsored Bricks: www.CollierRemembers.org

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Photo: Freedom Park on September 11, 2016

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Freedom Memorial to First Responders and Veterans

Freedom Memorial to First Responders and Veterans

Freedom Memorial Park Information Panel

Freedom Memorial Park Information Panel

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Photo: City Docks

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Crayton Cove, a/k/a "City Docks. One of three "downtowns" in Naples

Crayton Cove, a/k/a City Docks. One of three ‘downtowns’ in Naples

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Photo: New on the MLS, a rare gem (3/2½) in North Naples.

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In the low $400s, in a highly regarded family neighborhood.

Highly regarded family neighborhood, low $400s.

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News: Pickleball

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There are hundreds of good reasons to make the choice of Naples as your place to live. And now, we have apparently acquired another: pickleball.

The sport’s national organization is seeking to extend its contract with Collier County to hold yearly championship matches at the East Naples Community Park through the year 2021!

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton — and it’s played with a ball with holes in it. From what I’ve heard, the game can be interesting for spectators when played at the tournament level.

Hey, this is the town long famous for holding yearly Swamp Buggy Races.

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Photo: North Naples

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Immokalee Road at Collier Blvd. Center: The Shoppes at Pebblebrook

Immokalee Road at Collier Blvd. Center: The Shoppes at Pebblebrook

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Info: Craft Beer Fest

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When: Saturday, September 24th

Where: The Marina at Edison Ford, 2360 West 1st Street, Ft Myers

Admission: Free, with two grades of VIP tickets available for $55 and $40

Tickets: www.craftbeerfestfortmyers.com

 

 

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Photo: HB’s on the Gulf

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The Naples Beach Hotel

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Info: Gas prices

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There are some widely held beliefs among locals that gas (1) is priced higher here than anywhere else in the state because “we are at the end of the supply chain;” (2)  should be priced lower  here than elsewhere because bulk gasoline is delivered at Port Everglades; (3) prices are artificially inflated during season. I’d say (3) is probably true — because demand increases when the population doubles, and that can justify moderate price increases. Up to a point.

It’s a known fact that some businesses here make all their profit in the winter months and break even the rest of the year. It would not be surprising to find that holds especially true in the convenience store business, the ‘gas stations’ of this era.

As for (1) and (2) — they are mutually exclusive. But I know someone who can clear that up.

I will periodically check on gas prices and publish a note here, creating a record over time. As of today, the most common price for regular seems to be hovering around $2.25. Mid-grade is about 12% higher and premium commands a 20% markup.

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Photo: Seashells on Barefoot Beach

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Daybreak on the Sand

Daybreak on the Sand

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Photo: Shopping and Dining at the Water’s Edge

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The Village at Ventian Bay

The Village at Ventian Bay

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Info: Co$t of Land

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This is a good moment to repeat one of my periodic disclaimers: I am not dispensing or selling advice.

I will always attempt to provide accurate information, sourcing when doing so lends clarity. By design and intent, this blog is informal, breezy, and hopefully informative. My primary readers are people who love Naples and Southwest Florida and wish to someday live here; if not full time, then as one of our many seasonal residents and visitors.

So, what’s the cost of land in Naples? Try $16M an acre! Now, that’s for primo water views and/or Gulf access. Here’s the math: Researching recent sales in Aqualane Shores and Port Royal, we can point to one purchase at $13,975,900 per acre. Now, there is another value to land with direct water access —  based on the linear footage along the dune line or a seawall. In that realm of measurement, there is a sale on record at $80,000 per foot! Multiplied by 206.3 — the number of feet along one side of a perfectly square acre — equates to $16.5M per acre.

At the other end of the ‘cost per acre’ spectrum — a recent sale of 5 acres for $12,500 in “The Estates” reduces to $2,500 per acre.

Talk about choices: $2500 buys you an acre in the eastern part of the county, or about one-third of an inch at the beach!

 

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Photo: Waterfront Dining

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The Turtle Club on Vanderbilt Beach

The Turtle Club on Vanderbilt Beach

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Photo: “The” Beach!

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View south from the Naples Pier

View south from the Naples Pier

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Weather: Summer Rain

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It’s a well circulated misconception that it rains every  day during Florida summers. Not quite. We’ve had two days in a row without heavy afternoon rains here on the southwest coast, and today is so far sunny with only an occasional puffy cloud.

Now, we do get plenty of rain here — nearly 5 feet of it annually — about 30% more than the US average. Three quarters of our annual rainfall happens in the summer and fall. Even at that, it’s a rarity to be under cloud cover and wet conditions for an entire day.

When it rains here, it really rains. But in relatively small areas at a time.

I keep an umbrella in the car, but rarely use it. Locals generally wait in the car for a shower to pass — or simply drive out of it and run the errand a mile down the road.

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Photo: Demolished 10 years ago

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The Vanderbilt Inn in June of 2006

The Vanderbilt Inn in June of 2006

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Photo: Affordable, short stroll to the beach!

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15 minute walk to the Gulf, under $400K

15 minute walk to the Gulf, under $400K

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View depicted below: $4+M

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Four bed, 6 bath luxury home attached. Prestige neighborhood, ready access to dining, shopping, and the Gulf. Contact me. I know the agent.

My user name is RL and the email goes to naples.net.

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Photo: Naples’ Park Shore neighborhood.

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Showtime!

Showtime!

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Info: Population update.

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Before the end of 2016, the population of Florida will cross the 20 million mark. It was just half that in 1980.

1000 people per day are relocating here.

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Photo: The Ritz Carlton on the Gulf

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The other Ritz is a golf resort!

The other Ritz is a golf resort!

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Photo: City Docks, Naples

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City Docks, Olde Naples

City Docks, Olde Naples

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Info: Beach Access

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Can it occasionally be difficult to find parking reasonably close to a stretch of white sand beach and aqua-colored water? Sure, but mostly at predictable times such as high season holiday weekends.

Both Florida state law and local ordinances are heavily tilted toward easy access for all residents and visitors — assuring the global treasure that is our coastline is enjoyed universally.

Our beaches can also be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort. I invite anyone to challenge my claim that the stretch of road from Bonita Springs to Ft Myers Beach — through a series of keys and over tropical toned passes — is one of the most visually appealing in the entire country.

Need a little ‘insider’ information on where to find beach parking on any day of the year? Contact me!

My user name is rl and the account is @naples.net

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Info: Parking meters … where are they?

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We have them … but only on City streets and parking lots adjacent to the beach. You won’t find a single meter in any of Naples’ three downtowns: 5th Avenue South, 3rd Street South, and City Docks. Even the parking garages are free! More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Info: a “green flash” sighting helper

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“The Green Flash” is a worldwide phenomenon — but lots of people learn about it in Naples. That’s because watching sunsets is in Southwest Florida second only to golf as a favorite sport.

Only a handful of folks I chat with on the green flash topic claim to having seen one. That, I believe, is because of two factors.

(1) The name. It’s not really a flash — more like a blip. A very brief one, like a half a second. Don’t look for a bolt of green lightning. The photo below — a fake I created to make the point — is what you are looking for.

(2) Weather. It takes a very clear mass of air and a sharp horizon to create the optical  conditions necessary for seeing ‘the green flash.’ We don’t get much cool, dry air here other than in the winter. Some winters. If you’re not wearing a sweater — it’s probably not going to be a good evening for experiencing your first green flash.

It’s however worth the effort. Legend has it that those who have seen a green flash at sunset (or sunrise) will henceforth never go wrong in matters of the heart.

Works for me!

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Photo: The legendary “Green Flash” sunset

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Digital simulation of "The Green Flash"

Digital simulation of “The Green Flash”

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Events: Sunset over the Gulf

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While we have the same number of sunsets here in Naples as does the rest of the world, several unique conditions combine to make our  sunsets special. Among the treats: warm water that generates spectacularly tall clouds; even warmer air makes watching comfortable; and — apart from the Pacific Coast — the experience of observing the sun setting  over a large body of water.

The photo below was captured last evening at the north-westernmost point of land in Collier County: the public park at Barefoot Beach. It’s a rare evening that this mile-plus stretch of sand hosts less than the density depicted below. Sunset watching is far too disorganized and informal to be a termed a ritual — but it’s an easy fit for a memorable event and a long-time local tradition. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Sunset at Barefoot Beach

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Sunset Ritual

Sunset Ritual

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Living: at the junction of luxury and privacy

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Naples abounds in luxurious living potential: from Gulfside mansions in Port Royal and Aqualane Shores to high-rise condos with spectacular views, the choices are vast.

Search the MLS and you’ll find over 150 active listings with prices north of $5M — with 4 over $40M! And that doesn’t count the so-called ‘pocket listings’ that many firms keep out of the online sites.

However for a very special kind of individual requiring an extra level of security, privacy, and anonymity … the choices are not so bountiful. For those potential buyers, living in a free-standing home in an easily accessible location — such as on the beach or even behind an easily bypassed guardhouse — is out of the question. Some high profile individuals require a retreat that offers complete cover in and out of the home. A place that not even the glossy city mags know exist — or ask to feature in a cover story.

Curious about what Naples might have to offer in a coordinated bundle of ‘secret hideaway’ features? Call me.

This is what I do.

See also: Blog post of June 25, 2016

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Photo: an unusually calm Gulf

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Park Shore, Naples FL

Park Shore, Naples FL

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Photo: Sunset made right.

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Doc's Beach House - Barefoot Beach

Doc’s Beach House – Barefoot Beach

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Photo: the beach at Clam Pass

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Looking north from Clam Pass County Park

Looking north from Clam Pass County Park

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New Construction: Marbella Isles and Riverstone

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I have spent a fair amount of time recently in two GL Homes communities literally ‘coming out of the ground’ here in the Naples area: Riverstone and Marbella Isles. It’s an astounding sight at both locations! Homes are finished and legally occupied as concrete blocks and roof tiles are being delivered next door! We see signs “Private Residence” on neatly mowed lawns next to places that are yet to acquire doors and windows. It this a ‘hot’ market or what? In both communities, one is likely to be driving on streets the GPS has yet to hear about. In some neiborhoods, the bulldozers and paving machines that carved the layout are still on the premises! More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Biz-Jet pilots always smile on this approach.

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Short Final to KAPF 05

Right base turning short final to KAPF 05

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