Info: changes in credit score math

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.


Fact: Is Naples huge or small?

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!  Continue reading Fact: Is Naples huge or small?

Trending: larger garages.

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)

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

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.

Camera Club: all welcome to free admission meeting.

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:


New Construction: Marbella Isles and Riverstone

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! Continue reading New Construction: Marbella Isles and Riverstone

Info: an early crystal ball into 2017.

Copyright 2017,, 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,, Paul Davidson


Photo: new on the MLS

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.

Info: what the closest Publix can mean to you.

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.


This Blog.

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.  Continue reading This Blog.