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Photo: City Docks, Naples

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City Docks, Olde Naples

City Docks, Olde Naples. Now closed for repairs and upgrades until early 2018.

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Photo: Affordable golf

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Photo: Community School of Naples

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

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Photo: Park Shore, still at the pinnacle of prestige and luxury!

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Atrium at the Savoy in Park Shore

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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: Live downtown, walk to shops, dining, and cultural events.

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The perfect pied-å-terre in downtown Naples: 1 Bed / 1½ Bath upper floor unit.

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Photo: resort-sized amenity!

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The club at Fiddler’s Creek.

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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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Off-season delight: shorter lines at trendy eating places!

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

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Photo: WAVV 101 — Naples’ top rated station for over 20 years.

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One thousand feet of antennas broadcasting entertainment and critical communications from the geographic center of Collier County.

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Nature: South Florida’s spectacular National Parks

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We are so blessed with natural beauty, abundant sunshine, and solid infrastructure that its easy to forget we are surrounded by three National Parks and one National Preserve: Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, and Big Cypress, in that order.

All four facilities come under the management umbrella of the South Florida National Parks Trust — and they have a new website they’d love to have you visit:

http://www.southfloridaparks.org/parks/

Be sure to check each of the parks’ features and offerings — and sign up for the newsletter.

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Photo: It’s a buyer’s market for spectacular water views.

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With views like this, who needs television?

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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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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.”

 

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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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Info: Uncrowded beaches!

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

7th Ave South Beach Access.

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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: 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.

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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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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: 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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