Photo: Bonita Beach

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Our beaches are most crowded at sunset!

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. More: Read the rest of this entry…

Photo: Naples’ second Ritz Carlton is a golf resort.

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The Ritz Carlton at Tiburon

Info: NABOR study reveals now is a good time for buyers.

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The Naples Area Board of Realtors® recently crunched the numbers on nearly 56,000 residential real estate transactions, taking a look at the original list price/final sale price ratios in each of the 12 months of 2016.

While these averages of averages rarely produce conclusive information on specific future transactions, this report did show significant patterns that are worth passing on.

From a buyer’s perspective, the months of January, February, March, October, and November seem to offer the best chance of getting a favorable offer accepted: with homes selling for close to 80% of list. The study shows that in the seven other months of 2016, the final price on listed properties was closer to 90% of the original price point.

The MLS shows 1,312 homes for sale at one million dollars and over. That’s about a 16 month inventory, given that there were 952 sales in the same price grouping in all of 2016.

That’s a decent buyer’s market, especially going into a three-month period in which the lowest priced offers have the best chance of going to closing. Call me if you’d like the inside word on a particular property or neighborhood.

Photo: Sunset made right.

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Doc's Beach House - Barefoot Beach

Doc’s Beach House – Barefoot Beach

Photo: New on the MLS

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A custom water feature is but one of dozens of upgrades in this newly listed property in East Naples. 

Info: Mortgage rates

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The 30-year fixed mortgage fell two points this week, to 4.17 percent. Rates have been within a two basis point range over the past three weeks. Source: Freddie Mac

If you are a potential buyer (or represent one as an agent) contact me. I can suggest sources of mortgage money from my list of Preferred Vendors — compiled by MVP Realty, where I am a Florida licensed Sales Associate. Not all mortgage brokers are equally pleasant and efficient. I will poll my fellow agents within the parameters you specify and send you information on the highest ranked individuals or firms.

This, and all information I convey on the Naples market, is offered at no cost to buyers, sellers, or agents. I am not recruiting for listings or to represent anyone as a buyer’s agent.

 

Photo: City Docks, Naples

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City Docks, Olde Naples

City Docks, Olde Naples

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Info: The co$t of entry in this resort town

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As a certified Resort and Second Home Property Specialist, I’m in daily contact with some component of the new home industry because, frankly, I truly believe there can be significant upside to brand new construction over that associated with the resale market. Now, blanket statements never apply universally and I readily admit one should weigh both options as part of the due diligence associated with any sizable transaction. The new construction market does have some very attractive aspects that most buyers of second home properties should at the least seek to have weighed and evaluated by qualified professional advisors. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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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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Info: Population trends

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What do Connecticut, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming,  Alabama, California, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Virginia have in common? The first seven, listed alphabetically, lost population. The remaining eleven showed anemic growth that was below the national average of seven-tenths of one percent annually.

Florida, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington state are the fastest growing, all at rates over double that national average.

Source: © Copyright 2017 The Herald-Dispatch, Tim Henderson. All rights reserved.

 

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Photo: Luxury living, downtown.

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Meeting/Party Room — one of the many amenities at Naples Square. There are some real bargains here. Call me to find the right connections.

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Live Theater: Amadeus

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Frank Blocker (l) and Adolpho Blair (r) star in Amadeus, opening tonight for 11 performances at Theater Zone, on the CSN campus.  http://theaterzone-florida.com

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Camera Club: all welcome to free admission meeting.

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Here’s a timely tip to our seasonal residents and visitors, who are constantly on the lookout for interesting and productive things to do.

February 9th marks the second Thursday of the month — and for over 300 photography fans that means reserving the evening for the monthly meeting of DPI-SIG, the Digital Photography and Imaging Special Interest Group of the Naples Free Net. Now you know way it has an a/k/a of The Naples Digital Photography Club. Many old-timers (the club was formed a decade ago) continue to refer to it, affectionately, as “Dippy Sig.” Thursday will mark the 150th consecutive meeting of this primo example of a well managed and successful social group.

The monthly general membership meeting (free and open to the public) is only one of the regular get-togethers sponsored by the club. There are photo outings, special groups for Photoshop, Lightroom, Women (and guys too,) Lighting, and a Round Table gathering. All events are well attended — and many members enjoy the social aspects as much as the artistic, instructional, technical, and artistic happenings offered year-round.

Meetings are held on the campus of Florida Southwestern State College off Lely Parkway and start at 7pm. Full information on the meetings and all the rest are here: http://dpi-sig.org.

 

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Photo: Unbelievably affordable golf home

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Low golf fees, neat, must-see 2/2 in a 55+ community, minutes from RSW.

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Info: More on the rental market

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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. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Venetian Village

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One would be hard pressed to visit a place more “Naples” than the collection of shops, service providers, and dining opportunities than what can be found at Venetian Village.

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Photo: Like this view?

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Like this view? I can put you in touch with the owner.

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Rentals: what to expect.

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With ‘season’ fully underway, it’s not surprising to hear people comment that the rental market is ‘very tight.’ As with most things, it’s all relative. Searching the local MLS-controlled public access sites for a January and February rental at a rate of between $9,000 and $4,000 per month in Naples, Marco, Ft Myers Beach, and Bonita-Estero — reveals about 100 properties.

Is that all there is? Well, no. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: the ‘other’ side of those puffy white clouds we see in Naples

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Yes, VFR at 2500′ over Immokalee — but the PIC is a fully current ATR and occasionally files IFR so we can delightfully punch holes through those columns!

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Photo: Penthouse with plenty of party space!

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This 5,000 square foot, Gulf-view condo attaches to a private rooftop entertainment area.

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Info: Boomers retiring in record numbers!

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According a report from CRE (Councilors of Real Estate,) baby boomers are retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day! Talk about demand for second homes or a shift in one’s choice of a legal residence!

The study also predicts continued societal shifts to what has become known as the “shared economy,” changing business paradigms as pioneered by airBNB, Uber, and Lyft. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Koreshan State Historic Site (Estero)

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https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Koreshan

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Info: Open Table users’ favorite restaurants

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According to the Open Table App/web site, this month’s 10 most highly rated restaurants in Southwest Florida are:

  1. The Capitol Grill – Naples
  2. The Grill at the Ritz-Carlton
  3. Caffe Dell’Amore
  4. The Perfect Caper
  5. Chez Boet
  6. Turtle Club
  7. Bha! Bha! The Persian Bistro
  8. Mediterrano
  9. Cote D’Azur
  10. Restaurant Bonjour

Those who live here year ’round have the luxury of being able to wait for the off season — yielding our place in line to those who are here for a limited time. One of the delights of being in Naples full time is the pleasure of enjoying our many upscale restaurants freely and without lines or perking problems. Many of these same places offer specials for “locals,” especially during the week.

As for Open Table, it’s a must-have app for your phone and tablet. With it, making reservations is a breeze. If you own or manage a restaurant and are not a member, sign up here.

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Photo: the LaPlaya Hotel on Vanderbilt Beach

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Beachfront luxury suites and a world-class restaurant: Baleen.

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Event: 11th annual Empty Bowls Naples

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When: Saturday, January 28th

Time: 11am to 2pm

Where: Cambier Park, downtown Naples

What: For a $20 donation, attendees get a hand crafted bowl and the chance to sample a variety of soups made by some 50 area chefs.

Benefits: the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

More info here.

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Photo: Pelican Marsh

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American Bald Eagle: there are about 50 known nests in Collier County.

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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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Photo: Not to worry … it’s free parking!

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Nature: the Florida Burrowing Owl

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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! Finished homes are issued CO’s 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 neighborhoods, 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: Park Shore

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Defining the northernmost portion of the City of Naples, Park Shore remains one of the most desirable luxury locations in SouthWest Florida. 

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Language: What is a “season?”

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We don’t have seasons here — such as warm, cold, snowy, or nice. It’s nice all year ’round.

We do have wet and dry — with the latter more famously called “season.” That means when snowbirds and winter residents are here. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Bonita Beach

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Marco Island: even the ‘back door’ views are spectacular!

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Marco Island's "other" view, looking east from Collier Blvd and San Marco Road.

Marco Island’s “other” view, to the east east. Can you spot the Pickleball courts?

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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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Photo: private dock in Park Shore back yard

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Seagate

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Photo: the iconic Trinity by the Cove Episcopal Church

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Galleon Drive, Port Royal

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Events: The Naples Daily News Half Marathon, etc.

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After a ‘first ever in 28 years’ cancellation last year due to an unexpected tornado, the Naples Daily News Half Marathon is expected to get off to a glitch-free start tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 7am. The race begins and ends at Cambier Park.

Over time, the race has attained national status with its flat, fast course and generally benign weather. Over 2,000 runners — elite runners among them — will be competing for cash and other prizes.

Those who winter here — or choose Naples as the place to spend some vacation time are never disappointed in the number of interesting and/or unique events held here during ‘season.’

Being a spectator at a world-class running event isn’t a bad way to spend a Sunday morning!

Alternately, Cambier Park changes character entirely Sunday afternoon when the facility hosts a good ‘old-fashioned’ band concert. The Naples Concert Band plays at the shell from 2 until 4pm.

On Monday, our downtown park is the concluding point of the Martin Luther King Junior parade — which starts at 11am at South Broad in Olde Naples.

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Photo: Boating Paradise!

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Port Royal

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