Info: time needed to sell a home

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According to the National Association of Realtors®, the average time a listing remains on the market is just over one month. That’s down significantly from a year ago.

The report also reveals the average time to close on a home loan was a bit longer — about 8 weeks. That figure is also a bit shorter than in the recent past.

However, one statistic is heading upward: the median price of a home is up nearly 7% from a year ago. All in all, a very healthy market — except perhaps for those who are “sitting it out.”

 

Photo: The legendary “Green Flash” sunset

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Digital simulation of "The Green Flash"

Digital simulation of “The Green Flash”

Info: Uncrowded beaches!

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

7th Ave South Beach Access.

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…

Photo: An urban horticulturist’s delight — on-site greenhouse!

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Walk to all the best downtown Naples has to offer.

Walk to all the best downtown Naples has to offer.

Photo: Sunset made right.

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Doc's Beach House - Barefoot Beach

Doc’s Beach House – Barefoot Beach

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Info: changes in credit score math

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When people talk about their credit score in the context of a home loan, they generally are referring to the number provided by the Fair Isaac Corporation — known as FICO. That index isn’t changing.

However, three other credit tracking entities, Equifax, Experian, and Trans-Union, together operate VantageScore — and that is the one that is being tweaked in at least two important areas. One relates to closing inactive accounts — which had been at least informally known to affect credit scores negatively because one’s rating was based on current debt as a ratio of the total credit available. In the future, closing unused credit lines may affect credit scores positively or not at all.

In a more important way, the new formulas will assess ‘trending’ on the total debt — meaning one will be rated at least partially on whether the amounts owed are collectively going up or down. Those who are paying debt down will likely be looked upon as less risky than people who are still piling it on.

Read more here or here.

 

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Photo: City Docks, Naples

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City Docks, Olde Naples

City Docks, Olde Naples

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Photo: Estero Bay

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One of the most scenic rides in the state: Hickory Boulevard, connecting North Naples to Fort Myers Beach.

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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.

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Photo: Tiburon golf at the RItz Carlton

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One of two Greg Norman championship golf courses at Tiburon.

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Photo: Boating Paradise!

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Port Royal

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Rentals: what to expect.

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With the 2017 ‘season’ now officially complete, seasonal renters are either renewing for next year or seeking to upgrade in a market that is reputed to be ‘very tight.’ As with most things, it’s all relative. A search of the local MLS-controlled public access sites for a January and February rental at a rate of between $2,000 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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Info: Shopping bargains just around the corner

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The end of ‘season’ means money-saving opportunities on Third Street South, Naples FL

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Photo: this 1+ acre back yard is west of 951 and under $399K.

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Asian-themed back yard integrates nicely into the surrounding nature-scape. The meticulously upgraded 3/2 house is a gem that will dazzle. Call me for the listing agent’s number.

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Camera Club: all welcome to free admission meeting.

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Here’s a timely tip to anyone on the lookout for interesting and productive things to do in SW Florida.

April 13th marks the second Thursday of this 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 why it has an a/k/a of’ The Naples Digital Photography Club,’ although old-timers (the club was formed a decade ago) continue to refer to it, affectionately, as “Dippy Sig.” Thursday will mark the 152nd 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 is available here: http://dpi-sig.org.

 

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Photo: Boating paradise!

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Naples City Docks

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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: 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: Sunset at Barefoot Beach

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Sunset Ritual

Sunset Ritual

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Photo: Marco Island

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Tigertail Beach. It can’t get any better!

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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: 12 week-old eaglets ready to leave the nest

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Eaglets in nest LE-050, on the west side of the access road into River Park in Bonita Springs. 

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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: the iconic Trinity by the Cove Episcopal Church

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Galleon Drive, Port Royal

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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: water views are a hallmark of Naples living.

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Photo: Caloosahatchee River sunset

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Under $400K for this Gulf access view!

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Info: an early crystal ball into 2017.

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Copyright 2017, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Paul Davidson:  (edited for length, but not for editorial slant or content:)

Job growth (In 2017) is likely to slow as the recovery approaches its eighth anniversary, according to a recent survey of economists.

The economy is projected to grow at a 2.3 percent annual rate in 2017, up from an estimated 1.6 percent this year. That’s modestly above the tepid 2.1 percent average that has prevailed since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.

The big wild card: The Trump effect. Quick congressional passage and implementation of his plan to sharply increase infrastructure and defense spending and slash taxes could mean faster growth. But Trump’s threats to slap big tariffs on China and Mexico risk trade wars that could roil the economy.

Consumers, meanwhile, are poised to underpin economic growth again as a result of those fatter paychecks, steady job gains, record housing and stock prices, reduced debt and still-cheap gasoline. The economists surveyed by Blue Chip expect consumption to increase a solid 2.5 percent, in line with gains in 2016.

Oil prices have doubled since bottoming out early 2016, coaxing producers to revive shuttered wells and order steel pipes and other materials from U.S. factories.

Copyright 2017, USATODAY.com, Paul Davidson

 

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Photo: our delightful back waters …

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The boat ramp at Delnor Wiggins State Park — on the Wiggins Pass Estuary system.

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Photo: Wiggins Pass

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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: 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: the mural at P.F. Chang’s

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News: Condo fetches record $14.75M

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An article in today’s Naples Daily News describes the twenty-second floor Naples Cay penthouse commanding a record price of $14.75M. The story is on the front page of the Business section. Or click here for the online version.

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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: HB’s on the Gulf

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The Naples Beach Hotel

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Photo: new on the MLS

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West-facing lanai assures great sunsets year-round in this meticulous second-floor unit in a community with two championship golf courses and a resort-level clubhouse. Seller is a savvy real estate agent who knows how to price property for a quick sale. Contact me for her number.

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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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Photo: New construction amenities facility

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Newer communities provide a central location for amenities, including huge pools and often rooms for fitness, meetings, social gatherings, games, movies and a play area for children. Call me for updates.

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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 Mercedes-Benz of Bonita Springs dealership.  More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: Community School of Naples

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A brand new administration and dining facility adorns the CSN campus on Livingston Road.

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Park Shore: Rooftop panorama

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Penthouse View of Park Shore

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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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Photo: Banyan canopy

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Hurricane Wilma in 2004 did extensive damage to the banyan canopies along Gulf Shore Drive, but this one on Spyglass Lane in Port Royal remains as a memory of what had been a far more common sight.

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Photo: The Quarry

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Inland golf and boating paradise in North Naples

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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. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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Photo: new on the MLS

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This delightful open floor plan home is located in a very desirable North Naples community.

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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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Info: Population update.

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At the end of 2016, the population of Florida had crossed the 20 million mark. In 1980, the people who were here marveled at how the state’s population had reached 10 million.

One thousand people per day are relocating to Florida — which means it only takes three years to add a million residents! Montana has one million residents total, and seven other states have smaller populations.

How much of the in-migration is happening in Southwest Florida? I’d venture a guess of about 100 per day — based on the fact that there were 125 house closings yesterday. Now, not all those home sales were to newly-arrived people. However, most people purchasing a different home will be selling or have sold their prior residence.

If you are or will someday be joining that hundred per day club, call me. I can put my 20 years of local experience to work saving you time, effort, and maybe an expensive mistake or two!

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Photo: Talis Park

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By any measure of luxury, Talis Park defines the concept.

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Poll: Naples #1 city for health and happiness

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For the second year running, Naples has been named the happiest and healthiest community in the US. Read about it here at Daily Mail.com.

Source: The 2016 Community Well Being Rankings list, by Gallup-Healthways.
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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 disc of the sun, seconds before slipping beneath the water line, turns from yellow to green for that brief moment.

(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: 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: life on the beach!

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Harbor Club on Gulf Shore Drive North, across from Lowdermilk Park

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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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Photo: Home at 200 feet

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This is the view from a GUEST bedroom! L-R: The Frank Halas Bridge on Vanderbilt Drive, Pelican Isle, Cove Towers, and the two Aqua mid-rises.

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Info: what the closest Publix can mean to you.

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In addition to the obvious, every Publix supermarket in the area provides clean, safe, and well-marked restrooms for anyone who passes through the doors. Three rooms: the traditional two, plus one for family functions. The safe part refers to the fact that these facilities are located in the front of the stores — next to the busy checkout lanes. That, plus the constant attention the rooms are given by staff, places customers in the most criminal-averse situation possible.

The stores in this area are in a near perfect grid — just a few miles apart along our major highways.

Another often unexpected human urge is hunger, and the Deli in each Publix is a treat for both the palate and your wallet. Soups, salads, and custom-made sandwiches are attracting an ever-increasing number of workers on lunch breaks. Most stores have seating areas, both indoors and out.

I’m usually fairly well-organized in my daily travels inspecting the almost limitless array of residential real estate opportunities in the area. More often than not, my day concludes after a visit to one of what must be a couple of dozen Publix stores here in Southwest Florida.

 

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Photo: Venetian Bay

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They don’t build them this close to the water any more, but for a price one can have this view out the living room window or through the lanai screen!

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Photo: Spring Baseball

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Baseball fans in the “Monster Seats” at JetBlue Park, a/ka/ Fenway South, in Fort Myers. And yes, thse dents were made by baseballs!

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Restaurants: Open Table’s top 10

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This one is going to be short but informative informative:

Link to Open Table to discover the Top 10 Restaurants in the Naples area, updated to current.

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Photo: enjoy this view for under $300,000!

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New on the MLS: West of 41, 10 minutes to your choice of world-class beaches. This one will go fast. I can put you in direct touch with the agent. Call me.

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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: Waterfront Dining

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T Michaels Steak House, Venetian Village

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Photo: Bonita Beach

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Our beaches are most crowded at sunset!

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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. More: Read the rest of this entry…

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

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The Ritz Carlton at Tiburon

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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. 

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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.

 

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

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Nature: the Florida Burrowing Owl

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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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Photo: private dock in Park Shore back yard

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Seagate

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