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.

Photo: compact waterfront living can be affordable!

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Own a unit and live here for about $300K. That buys a 2/1 of ~750 square feet.

Own a unit and live here for about $300K. That buys a 2/1 of ~750 square feet.

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 clarify that, and will ask the next time we meet 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.

One of a kind: Buzz’s Lighthouse on Vanderbilt Lagoon.

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Just north of the County Park at the end of Vanderbilt Beach Road.

Just north of the County Park at the end of Vanderbilt Beach Road.

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!

 

Sports Bar: New York Pizza & Pasta

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Best Pizza anywhere! In the Riverchase Plaza at Immokalee and 41.

Best Pizza anywhere! In the Riverchase Plaza at Immokalee and 41.

Info: Uncrowded beaches!

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7th Ave South Beach Access at 3pm on November 28!

7th Ave South Beach Access at 3pm on November 28!

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.

Photo: Bayfront

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Bayfront -- dining and shopping at the Gordon River Bridge in downtown Naples.

Urban living with dining and shopping — at the Gordon River Bridge in downtown Naples.

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Dining: Bernie’s Diner on 41 North

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Waiting in line for breakfast is mostly an in-season (meaning winter) phenomenon — but returning snowbirds or those visiting during the summer might note Bernie’s City Diner. It’s on US41 North just across from Falling Waters and next to the new Mercedes-Benz of Bonita Springs dealership that is still under construction.  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. 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: Smokehouse Bay

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Marco Island: best views for the buck.

Marco Island: best views for the buck. This one has yet to hit the MLS. 

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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: New listing, delightfully artistic!

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Island Hideaway -- Under $1M

Island Hideaway — Under $1M

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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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Info: Cost of renting in Naples

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The most recent market update from NABOR (Naples Area Board of Realtors®) shows the average price of a rental property at $2500 per month.  More: Read the rest of this entry…

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MLS: HOA fees less than $1 per day!

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One-of-a-kind 4/3 in a quiet neighborhood; Under $499K.

One-of-a-kind 4/3 in a quiet neighborhood; Offered at $479.9K. Call me. I’ll put you in touch with the agent.

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This Blog.

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I moved here two decades ago — back in 1995 when the population of Collier County — a vast area of over 2,000 square miles — was less than 250,000. It’s 330,000 now and growing so fast there are almost 100 new residential communities, rental complexes, and assisted care facilities coming out of the ground!

I have accumulated a wealth of both historical and current knowledge of this community — information that can help anyone interested in living or investing here “cut to the chase.” I spend my days as a commercial photographer and real estate buyer’s agent (MVP Realty Associates, Florida SL3311935) and am RSPS certified (Resort and Second Home Property Specialist.)

As such, I have professional subscription access to a huge amount of information that may or may not be easily obtained or dependably accurate as the result of a casual web search. Sharing that with potential Naples residents is what I do.  More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Luxury living at Mercato.

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I can put you in touch with an agent who specializes in this community. Call me at area code two three nine, eight two five, five six three five.

I can put you in touch with an agent who specializes in this community. Call me at area code two three nine, eight two five, five six three five.

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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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Weather: Chilly!

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Well, that’s a relative thing. Temperatures dipped to 59º overnight — probably the coolest we’ve experienced since the first of the year.

It’ll be 77º by mid-day — so we’ve kept the doors and windows open. A house retains a lot of heat, apparently.

A young lady who cuts my hair — a Florida native — told me last week of a new word learned while visiting relatives in Pennsylvania.

“Furnace.”

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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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Fact: Is Naples huge or small?

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The term “Naples” applies to two vastly different areas. Legally, Naples is a small incorporated city in the very south-western part of Collier County. Its population was estimated last year to be 20,600. It’s what we locally call “downtown” and includes some very luxurious waterfront communities such as Port Royal, Aqualane Shores, Park Shore, and The Moorings. Naples is but 14.4 of the 2025.5 square miles of Collier County — about 7 tenths of one percent!  More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Info: Celebs love Naples

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Being famous has its downsides … especially when a celebrity craves privacy and the experience of “living like a normal person.” It’s a fact: many from the ranks of easily identified persons love their Naples hideaway. You cannot buy a map featuring “Homes of the Stars” in Naples.  More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Moon not over My-Yammy — but Naples!

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The closest moon in 70 years!

The closest moon in 70 years!

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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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Info: Boomers retiring in record numbers!

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According a report just released by 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: Area of rapid development in downtown Naples

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Looking northwest from 1200 feet above Radio Road at Livingston

Looking northwest from 5th Avenue South over the Gordon River Bridge

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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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Pelican Bay: still a top choice for luxury living!

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Pelican Bay adjacent to golf course

Golf course home: going on the market soon!

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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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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. It’s nearly impossible to know for sure how many places are rented privately or through agents who specialize in rentals that are not posted on the public sites — but I’d guess there are many hundreds of available ‘seasonals’ that have never migrated to the broad Internet. Expect to pay $4 to $5 per square foot per month for a quality rental — with an occasional ‘find’ in the 3’s. While there are many honest people seeking renters at fair prices posting on the Internet — they are far outnumbered by scammers who only want a credit card number long enough to rush to the nearest luxury retailer for a quick purchase that will cost you time and energy to unravel.

Naples, as always, offers an amazing array of vacation/winter refuge opportunities to meet most any price range target. Please don’t waste time and effort on scammers with online offers characterized by a requirement for a fee from the purchaser.

WARNING: We ‘legit’ people never charge for our services.Referrals are paid from the ad budgets of those who are seeking your business. Just like Nike! Or Ford!

Need help? Give me a call. I am an active Florida licensed Sales Associate ((SL331195) and a Realtor® in good standing. My 20-year residency in the area — and the contacts I have made and maintained over that time — may save you money or buy you an upgrade over what one might expect to find on the unfettered and unregulated Internet.

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Photo: Wiggins Pass in North Naples

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Cove Towers at Wiggins Bay Marina

Cove Towers at Wiggins Bay Marina

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Photo: one of TWO Ritz Carltons in Naples. The other is a golf resort.

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Ritz Carlton - Naples

Ritz Carlton – Naples

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Trending: larger garages.

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I’ve heard estimates of up to one hundred as the number of new communities, assisted care facilities, and rentals coming out of the ground here in Naples. Driving by and through those that feature new home construction, one trend is apparent: more three-car garages than ever before. About one in four new houses offer more than two spaces.

Is that because families own more cars today than in the past? Statistics seem to refute that: fewer than one in five homes have to deal with three or more cars, only a small increase over 25 years ago.

One in three buyers now shop for listings with three-car garages, while half prefer two spaces. The one car garage is the choice of only one in 10 buyers.

Reasons are many, but one factor locally is the increasing number of multi-generational homes with either a young person returning home after college or children taking care of aging parents.

Source: “America Is Building More Three-Car Garages Than One-Bedroom Apartments,” Bloomberg (Oct. 26, 2016) and “Garages in New Homes: 2015 Data,” National Association of Home Builders (Oct. 21, 2016)
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Update: Luxury building boom!

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Tower cranes at Kilea Bay and Aqua -- Wiggins Pass

Tower cranes at Kilea Bay and Aqua — Wiggins Pass

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Prestige: spend a weekend at the filming location of your favorite TV show.

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I know someone who can make that happen. Call me: Two-Three-Nine-Eight-Two-Five-Five-Six-Three-Five. A deep insider specialist will get back to you and the arrangements will be wrapped up in a heartbeat.

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Photo: Your new reading room awaits!

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Marco Island: the Affordable View Act of 2017

Marco Island: the Affordable View Act of 2017

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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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Nature: Eagles return to Lee County’s River Park

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This is one of the most easily viewable nests in the area. Drive to River Park, just north of Bonita Beach Road (NW corner.) Park on the access road behind the boatyard. The nest is 500′ to the west about 60′ off the ground.

Eagle pair returns to LE-050 (River Park, Bonita Spring.)

Eagle pair returns to LE-050 (River Park, Bonita Spring.)

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