What's Going on in Naples Real Estate

This blog page has been created to share thoughts, opinions and facts on what is happening in the Naples and surrounding area Real Estate market. We also regularly feature a local business showcase including discounts.

June 16, 2017

NABOR Real Estate Market Update (6-2017)

May Market Report Shines for Naples 
Contacts: Dominic Pallini, President, (239) 597-1666,
Marcia Albert, NABOR® Director of Marketing, (239) 597-1666
Naples, Fla. (June 16, 2017) - Overall closed sales of homes in May shined brighter than any other month previously reported in 2017, with an impressive 23 percent increase to 1,027 closed sales in May 2017 from 838 closed sales in May 2016. Likewise, overall pending sales (homes under contract) also outperformed activity reported in the last four months. Leading broker analysts who reviewed the May 2017 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), are quite confident that real estate agents will be very busy this summer.
 
"If May's momentum continues, this year will turn out better than last year," said Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. "Home sales during the summer months have become stronger over the past few years. We are no longer seeing a huge disparity in activity between winter and summer like we once did."
 
One familiar obstacle summer buyers will face again this year is a reduction in available inventory. Whereas the market saw a 26 percent increase in inventory in January 2017 to 6,393 homes from 5,091 in January 2016, the May report showed only a 4 percent increase to 5,404 homes in May 2017 from 5,207 homes in May 2016. Inventory increases are leveling off. Many broker analysts who track activity on a daily basis report that they have witnessed upwards of 900 listings disappear from the Southwest Florida MLS since May 1st.
 
"This type of behavior is short sighted," said Hughes. "Those who let a listing expire at the end of our winter season are missing a huge opportunity to sell their property during the summer months." Hughes added that our area attracts a variety of buyers during the summer such as international travelers, families from Northern states, and those relocating from other parts of Florida.
 
Comparatively, the overall median closed price decreased 8 percent in January, while the May report showed an increase of 5 percent to $355,000 in May 2017 from $338,000 in May 2016. Incidentally, January's median closed price was $314,000. If the logic behind removing a listing at the end of season is based on old beliefs that a property will obtain a higher sale price during the winter months, then sellers need to examine the May statistics more closely. According to NABOR reports, there were 424 more closed sales during May than January.
 
"Buyers during the summer are more serious," said Wes Kunkle, President and Managing Broker at Kunkle International Realty. "In season, we get a lot of traffic, but it's mostly lookers. In the summer, people are ready to buy. They ask real buyer questions, and most often have financing in place."
 
As noted by Coco Amar, a managing broker at John R. Wood Properties, activity in the $2 million and above price category has really picked up strength this year. As reflected in the report, overall pending sales in the $2 million and above price category increased 52 percent in May. There were also 78 closed sales of homes in this price category in May 2017, up from 36 closed sales in May 2016. And while the overall median closed price for homes above $300,000 increased 8 percent to $590,000 in May 2017 from $547,000 in May 2016, the overall median closed price for this top reported price category decreased 8 percent to $2,950,000 in May 2017 from $3,220,000 in May 2016.
 
The May report also showed overall inventory increased 4 percent to 5,404 homes in May 2017 from 5,207 homes in May 2016. Homes in the $300,000 and below price category had the highest inventory increase of all other price categories, reporting a 12 percent increase to 1,551 properties in May 2017 from 1,391 properties in May 2016. While still an increase over last year, the rate of the market's overall inventory increase is tempering. In fact, brokers are concerned that housing options in some geographic areas, such as in the Central Naples single family market, may start to pinch sales as this area experienced a 50 percent increase in single-family closed sales during May, but had only an 8 percent decrease in inventory.
 
The NABOR® May 2017 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® May 2017 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings: 
CATEGORIES
May 2016 May 2017 CHANGE
Total homes under contract (pending sales)
921
1,027
12%
Total closed sales 838 1,027 23%
Median closed price $338,000 $355,000 5%
Median closed price >$300K $547,000 $590,000 8%
Total active listings (inventory) 5,207 5,404 4%
Average days on market  73 98 34%
Single-family closed sales 396 485 22%
Single-family median closed price $432,000 $435,000 1%
Single-family inventory 2,744 2,734 0%
Condominium closed sales 442 542 23%
Condominium median closed price $276,000 $289,000 5%
Condominium inventory 2,463 2,670 8%
 
According to Kathy Zorn, broker/owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Pristine, "Buyers who are looking for a condominium in the Naples Beach or North Naples area this summer may encounter some challenges as these areas are running low on inventory." Zorn pointed out that in North Naples there was a 47 percent increase in closed sales of condominiums during May, a 26 percent increase in pending sales of condominiums during May, and only a 9 percent increase in inventory. The situation is even more alarming on the beach, as both pending and closed sales of condominiums increased by double digits, but its inventory rose only 1 percent in May.
 
If you currently have a home for sale in the Naples market, brokers recommend against terminating the listing during the summer. In fact, there were 875 closed sales in June 2015 and 832 closed sales in June 2016, both higher than the number of closed sales in January (603) and February (613) of 2017.
 
As a highly desirable second-home location that rarely falls below 70 degrees, Naples will always increase in population during the winter months and then decrease during the summer. But according to county growth reports, the permanent residential population in Naples is also growing steadily. When asked, several brokers say that a large majority of the next season's part-time residents, along with a host of new permanent transplants, prefer to do their home buying during the summer. So before you pull your home off the market, seek guidance from your Naples REALTOR® who can help you market your property correctly to appeal to summer buyers. A REALTOR® can also locate properties that match summer buyer needs and negotiate a purchase price that reflects the market. Discover more at www.naplesarea.com.
The Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) is an established organization (Chartered in 1949) whose members have a positive and progressive impact on the Naples Community. NABOR® is a local board of REALTORS® and real estate professionals with a legacy of nearly 60 years serving 6,000 plus members. NABOR® is a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of REALTORS®, which is the largest association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local board of REALTORS® nationwide. NABOR® is structured to provide programs and services to its membership through various committees and the NABOR® Board of Directors, all of whose members are non-paid volunteers.
  
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and who subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.
Posted in Real Estate News
June 6, 2017

Saving up for a downpayment

One of the bigger hurdles that home buyers face, especially first time home buyers, is coming up with the save up for house downpayment blogdownpayment. According to a survey conducted by Zillow, this came out as the #1 obstacle for 2/3's of the renters surveyed. This particular obstacle even scored higher than other concerns such as home sale supply and job security. 

As the price of homes increases, the downpayment expectations also grow. You will need money for a downpayment as well as closing costs. However, since this continues to be the American dream... to own a home, prospective home buyers work hard to make it happen. 

 

If you are planning to make that first home purchase in the future, here are some tips to help you plan for your down payment. 

1) No time better than the present - You will want to start saving now, if you haven't already. One approach is to calculate what the monthly costs of home ownership would be for you and take that difference between that cost and your rent costs and set aside that amount aside as savings. Put this money into a separate savings account for just home ownership. This can help lessen the temptation to use those funds for other purposes. This not only helps you save up money, but it also gets you accustomed to the financial scenario of adjusting to the monthly costs of home ownership. 

2) Do your homework - Get familiar with the different types of loans available and start weighing out those options. The type of loan you pursue may determine how much of a downpayment you will need when it is time to buy. Traditionally, home owners planned to save 20% of the home purchase value for a downpayment to avoid PMI. However, there are also other options that may have lower requirements for down payments. You may even be able to have the PMI waived once the equity in your home reaches 20%. Also, keep in mind that PMI is tax deductible. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median U.S. downpayment has declined to 10% in the last four years. Speak to a couple of different lenders to see what programs they offer and which ones you might qualify for.

3) Explore options - Once you have an idea of how much you will need for a down payment and closing costs, start figuring out what actions can you take to secure money. Certainly, you can set a budget that allows you to pull back on certain spending (dining-out, travel, etc). You may also be able to take advantage of gifting from family or borrow against your 401K or IRA. Ensure you are familiar with the guidelines and consequences of these things as part of that exploration. Some borrowers may also qualify for downpayment assistance through federal, state or local programs if they are low to moderate income earners or public servants. Visit http://downpaymentresource.com/

4) Engage the help of investors - A new approach starting to become more prevalent is to engage investors who are providing downpayment funding in exchange for a percentage of the potential value of the home. Really think through the implications of this option very carefully to ensure you are fully prepared to surrender future equity in your home, as home ownership is often a principal way to fund retirement.

San Francisco-based Unison now has a program available in 12 states and the District of Columbia that offers to match up to half of a 20 percent downpayment on a home. There are several payback scenarios, but essentially the company collects a 35 percent share of the gain, if any, in the sale of the home. Should the home decline in value, the company also shares in the loss, potentially receiving less money back on its original investment. If the homeowner hasn't sold the home after 30 years, a property appraisal is used to determine how much Unison gets paid. The homeowner also has the option to buy out Unison any time after their third year in the home. Unison also doesn't share in the equity that the homebuyer builds as they pay down their mortgage or from investments, like a kitchen remodel.

The key to all of this is thoughtful, proactive planning!

Posted in Tips for Buyers
May 30, 2017

Tax Holiday 6/2 - 6/4 for Hurricane Preparedness

This Thursday (June 1st) marks the official start of Hurricane season. Although we are fortunate to have been spared Tax Holiday 6/2 - 6/4 for Hurricane Preparedness Blogfrom Hurricanes for quite some time, it is always best to be prepared. Florida had a nice long run of 11 years without a hurricane making landfall. Our luck ran out last year when Hurricane Hermine hit the Panhandle in September and Hurricane Matthew swept across the east coast in October.

By the time a Hurricane is announced, stores are often sold out of critical supplies such as water, batteries, propane and other valuable items. To help Florida residents to be prepared, a three-day "disaster-preparedness sales tax holiday was implemented that will be in effect from June 2nd thru June 4th. 

Items that will be tax-free during the disaster preparedness holiday include:

  • reusable ice packs up to $10
  • flashlights and lanterns costing $20 or less
  • a gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less
  • batteries, coolers and first-aid kits costing $30 or less
  • radios and tarps costing $50 or less
  • generators costing $750 or less

What to bring to a shelter

Here are some ideas from FLORIDA REALTORS for a better shelter experience:

The basics:

  • Bedding, pillows and, if possible, an air mattress or cot. Most Red Cross shelters do NOT have cots and the most comfortable shelter goers had air mattresses like the Intex Comfort Plush Airbed with built-in pump. Get creative, make a bed out of sofa cushions or plastic lounge chairs or pool float.
  • Earplugs and eye masks. Babies scream, people may talk while you’re sleeping. Lights may turn on at daybreak.
  • Pack food that does not need to be heated. The food is limited at shelters, so bring extras such as peanut butter, jelly, bread, fruit and snacks and store them in an ice-packed cooler. Don’t forget a can opener.
  • Drinking water. Shelter officials recommend a gallon a day per person. Err on the generous side, you never know how long a storm will linger.
  • Surge protector and chargers. While the power is on you’ll want to make sure your phones and devices remain charged. There are not many outlets so bringing a surge protector will help and make you popular among your fellow evacuees.

The extras:

  • Games, books, cards, magazines. Once the power goes out, so do the televisions. Bring along board games for kids. If you like crafts, pack supplies, such as knitting needles. If you bring a tablet or laptop, realize most shelters, which are public schools, will not allow you to use their wireless network.
  • Air freshener. Remember: There could be a few bathrooms for hundreds of people. Also on this note, bring toilet paper and deodorant, just in case.
  • Handheld, battery-powered fans or paper fans. Storms could cut out power and generators likely would be used for lights and kitchen use only.
  • Batteries and portable battery packs. For cell phones, portable televisions, portable video games, etc.
  • Basic disaster supplies kit
  • Water. One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash and change
May 23, 2017

6 Home Insurance Myths

Everything valuable in life is often insured to protect that value. Homes are no 6 Home Insurance Myths BLogdifferent. In fact, they are so valuable that financed homes actually require insurance. Insurance helps protect the home owner when unexpected events affect your home such as floods, hurricanes, and theft. 

Even though most of us are aware with the purpose of insurance, there are also some misconceptions about insurance that this blog is intended to dispel. ?

Myth No. 1: Home insurance isn't worth the cost

Insurance costs vary by location as well as house factors such as square footage, local rebuild costs, and risk of natural disaster. The average annual premium runs about $952/yr. nationwide, which equates to about an extra $79 on top of your monthly housing costs (mortgage premium, property taxes, interest). You hope to never have to file a claim but if you do, the insurance can save you significantly.

Consider the following example. in 2014, the average home insurance claim was $9,779 and the average fire damage claim was $39,791. If your home fell victim to these types of situations, that is a significant cost.

Myth No. 2: All of a home's belongings are covered

 

Insurance policies are not designed to cover everything. As with any other insurance such as health insurance or car insurance, home insurance has limitations. 

While most standard home insurance policies cover damage caused by a natural disaster such as a fire, hurricane, or snowstorm, some types of personal belongings aren't covered under basic insurance. As such, if you own valuable jewelry or art, you may want to consider a scheduled personal property policy to cover those valuables.

Myth No. 3: Insurance covers all injuries that happen within the home

You hope to never have someone get injured at your home. However, if someone gets hurt inside your home or on your property, your home insurance policy’s liability coverage will typically kick in to cover any claim that's filed. The exception is if that person who got injured is you or your family member. If you slip in the kitchen or fall down the stairs, it is your health insurance that would cover the treatment of your injuries.

Myth No. 4: The market value of a home is what the insurance coverage should be based on

A recent survey by insure.com found that more than half of home buyers mistakenly think they should buy insurance coverage based on their home's market value. However,  most home insurance policies, use the cost to rebuild a home (replacement costs), not the market value of the home to determine rates.

Myth No. 5: My home insurance also covers my home business

Many people assume that their home business is covered by their home insurance, which may be what drives many home owners with a home business to be underinsured. According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, 61% of home-based businesses in America lack adequate business insurance.  It is important to know that business liability and business equipment is not covered by homeowners insurance.

Therefore, if you run a home-based business you’ll want to purchase a separate insurance policy for the company. It may be as easy as attaching a business rider to your existing home insurance policy for about $100 a year, which will provide about $2,000 to $3,000 of additional coverage.

Myth No. 6: Flood coverage is included in standard policies

This is an important one is some areas of SW Florida. Don't assume that your standard home insurance policy covers flood, because it often doesn't. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you should make sure to secure a separate flood insurance policy. Homes in flood-prone areas are often required to have separate flood insurance. Flood insurance is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program as well as some private insurers.

The average policy is about $700 a year making it worth considering for those that may not be in a flood zone but still wish to be covered for other flood causes such as overflowing pool, busted water line, etc.

Always consult with a professional insurance agent to get up-to-date insurance information or answers to your questions. As a side-note, I also recommend getting more than one quote on insurance to get a competitive rate. Just be sure to use the same insurance parameters to be sure it is an apples to apples comparison.

May 20, 2017

Minimizing Closing Obstacles

Minimizing Closing Obstacles Blog

 

You’ve found your perfect home and made an offer. You are anxious to make it yours. The last thing you want is avoidable obstacles. The real estate purchasing process can be quite complex with many stakeholders to deal with lenders, title companies, inspectors, etc. If you have a great, organized, proactive real estate agent, much of the burden will be taken on by them to ensure a smooth process. However, there are some common key areas that you can be aware of to help minimize any unnecessary slowdowns or hurdles in the closing process.

 

FINANCING

 

You will find that many seasoned realtors will be expecting you to have been pre-approved for a loan or at least pre-qualified. The reason for this is that you want to make sure that you understand, upfront, what your buying budget is. This includes understanding what your current credit rating is.

 

Making contact early can also help prepare you for the documents and information you will need to provide as a part of the financing approval process. Having all of this out of the way helps you focus on finding the right house (one you can afford) and being prepared with a strong offer supported by a pre-approval letter from the lender.

 

The last area related to financing is making sure that once you have decided to search for a home, you minimize any big financial swings (purchasing a new car, closing out credit cards, etc.). Those are all things that can raise a flag during the mortgage approval process and require more documentation, explanation and sometimes time.

 

APPRAISAL

 

This is another area that a great agent can help with. Before deciding to make an offer on a property, the agent should help you with some high-level analysis to make sure the home is worth what you are paying for it to avoid late-game appraisal short falls. NOTE: there are occasions when a home doesn’t appraise at what you are purchasing it for and it may still make sense to move forward and make up the short fall with more cash. The other thing to consider for the area of appraisal is to bake enough time into your close days to ensure there is time to get it completed.

 

HOME INSPECTIONS

 

First and foremost, it helps to understand that sellers are not obligated to fix every thing you wish to have taken care of. Take the time to understand how this works for the state/county you are purchasing in. A home inspection is in place to protect the future homeowners to make them aware of any significant issue and ensure that the major components of the home are in working order. In Florida, for example, the seller is not obligated to address cosmetic issues. Establishing expectations on both sides of the deal helps ensure that the train doesn’t come off the track at the final stretch.

 

I have said this many times throughout this blog but it can’t be over stated, selecting the right realtor is key to a smooth closing. Someone who is knowledgeable and diligent. Someone who is a good communicator and organized. Someone who is proactive and solution focused. Someone who stays focused on your needs!

 

Happy Buying!

May 12, 2017

Out-brief from the 2017 Economic Summit

Keeping current on the market and outlook for the area is important to me. I am never satisfied with knowing the minimum to get by, so I am always investing my time in learning more. To this end, I took the initiative to attend this years Economic Summit recently and wanted to share the NABOR article published on it. The event was very enlightening. In particular I found the information presented by Mark Strain, the Chairman of the Collier County Planning Commission to be very helpful in getting a sense of the residential and commercial plans for Naples and Collier County. By all indications the speakers felt positive about the outlook for real estate in Naples.
Out-brief from the 2017 Economic Summit Blog
2017 Economic Summit Featured Speakers: (l-r)  Chairman of the Collier County Planning Commission Mark Strain; 
Partner at Carroll & Carroll, Inc. Cindy Carroll, SRA; Nationally Acclaimed Economist Dr. Elliott Eisenberg;
and NABOR® President Dominic Pallini
Naples, Fla. (May 11, 2017) – More than 400 REALTORS® and real estate professionals interested in the economic health of Collier County attended the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) 2017 Economic Summit, “The New Future: A View from the Top,” on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at the Hilton Naples. Three industry experts provided national, state, and local analysis of recent and future growth projections in home sales and business growth activity as well as predictions on what to anticipate from lending institutions and federal regulators in the next 12 months. (see gallery of photos below)
 
“It looks like we turned a corner,” said Cindy Carroll, SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, Inc., who presented a detailed analysis and comparative review of local housing sales activity. “In the last 12 months we’ve seen inventory increase 23 percent, but that is lower than the previous year, which saw a 35 percent increase. Our inventory may be slowing, but we still have an eight month supply of homes for sale.” Carroll considers a 12-month supply of homes in Collier County a balanced market. 

With decades of experience that builds on a family legacy in the real estate appraisal business, Carroll combined her earned wisdom with data collection from the First Quarter 2017 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), and reports generated from the Southwest Florida Multiple Listing Service (MLS), to ascertain a long-view of market behaviors. During her presentation, she shared a surplus of data from these reports and her own conclusions including:
  • The Crayton/Moorings Park/Coquina/Park Shore area is saturated with new construction speculative home projects that have resulted in a 2.94 years supply of this type of home in this area;
  • The $0 to $300,000 segment of the condominium market makes up 47% of the total condominium inventory. Overall condominium inventory is up across the board geographically with the greatest increase showing up in the North, Central and South regions; and
  • That 58 percent of the active listings located in the Golden Gate Estates area off Everglades Boulevard and north and south of Golden Gate Boulevard are priced at or below $300,000.
Next to take the stage was Mark Strain, Chairman of the Collier County Planning Commission, who immediately engulfed the audience with county growth projections and proposed redevelopment and housing expansion plans. Strain’s data was extrapolated from government databases and provided an overarching look at the county’s framework for growth. 

“We are wealthiest county in Florida with an average per capita income of $78,000,” said Strain. “Our population has increased over 10.7 percent between the years 2010 to 2016. At this rate, we will reach maturation in the year 2030.”

An audible gasp was heard from the audience when he revealed that 32 residential developments were approved in the last year, amounting to an additional 4,182 new lots for sale. He also reported 76 new commercial developments approved in 2016, and 56 senior living facilities currently existing with an additional 13 planned but not yet built.

“The Immokalee Road/I-75 and Collier/US 41 corridors are the fastest growing areas in the county,” added Strain. “And a recent request to change the building height limits at the entry to the City of Naples may produce some rapid new construction, as laid out in an ambitious redevelopment plan for the Gateway Triangle area.”

Rounding out his presentation, Strain shared with the audience that Collier County has one of the lowest crime rates in the state despite its rapid population growth (Collier saw a 5 percent reduction in crime in 2015 followed by a 7.8 percent reduction in 2016). Also, as we continue to grow there are over a dozen additional schools planned at all grade levels throughout the critical growth areas of the county.  

After breaking to visit the Summit’s sponsors, which included event sponsor Quail Creek Country Club, technology sponsor Supra, and table sponsors The Arlington, Zillow, Collins & Dupost Design Group, Mattamy Homes – Compass Landing, London Bay Homes, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Stock Development, Marketplace Homes Mortgage, Seeman Holtz Property & Casualty, and Quail Run Golf Club, Summit audience members were hushed by the fast and humorous presentation style of Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, a nationally acclaimed economist and founder of Graphs and Laughs.

Eisenberg’s presentation to local REALTORS® coincidentally coincided with the release of President Trump’s proposed tax plan. In response, he quickly remarked that Trump’s proposed plan would hurt the deficit. However, he is confident that there is a low probability of it being passed in its current form.

“The economy is improving,” said Eisenberg and added that, “we are feeling tail winds, not head winds anymore.”

But he was quick to warn the audience that he is seeing a mild deterioration in the quality of new home loans. “There are several proposals out there that intend to do a lot of things including loosen regulations, begin housing finance reform, and provide relief for community banks,” he said. “But the devil’s in the details and it remains to be seen if any one of them will be delivered.”

Eisenberg also pointed out that while consumer confidence is up, household spending has been weaker as of late. “There are two things Trump has to do to get our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) above 2.5 percent: increase labor supply and increase productivity,” stated Eisenberg. “But the labor force is going down. Productivity growth is going down. The only way to get a better GDP is to have more productivity, which requires more capital investments and less regulation. There also needs to be a focus on career retraining to develop new skill sets. These steps are not in the proposed Trump tax policy.”

Another concern Eisenberg has for the economy is the fact that there is roughly the same number of people retiring as there is entering the workforce. “We are slowly running out of workers,” exclaimed Eisenberg. “10,000 workers are quitting their jobs every day.”

In terms of inflation, Eisenberg said the Federal Reserve is going to have to keep increasing interest rates. How high? “Not much,” he said. “The Federal funds rate is .875 percent now. We can expect two hikes in 2017, maybe three next year, and another three in 2019, at which time it should reach 3 percent. But it won’t grow fast enough to cause another recession.”

Pivoting to the housing market, Eisenberg had many projections to share. First, residential fixed investment is on the rise, and overall household formation is improving. Millennials are getting older and beginning to leave rentals and enter the housing market. But first-time homebuying activity is still low as this generation continues to face a lack of credit and wealth as many remain burdened with student loans. 

Surprisingly, Eisenberg recommended REALTORS® suggest short-term adjustable rate mortgages because people don’t intend to stay in their homes for 30 years anymore. For Millennials, this may mean looking at loans that better correlate with how long they intend to stay in one place. 

Another factor impacting the housing market, according to Eisenberg, is available land.

“Land use is the biggest problem driving prices up,” he said, followed by “the rising costs of inputs like wood. Trump has increased Canadian wood tariffs 20 percent. This is going to make it costly for Americans to build new homes.”

As a result, this astute national economist predicts we’ll see housing inventory change very little as people will choose to live longer in the same place.

In conclusion, Eisenberg said, “Housing prices are increasing faster than wages, and cash sales are down from its peak. But home values in the Northeast have recovered. When the markets up there are good, then Florida will be ok.”

The NABOR® Economic Summit is presented by the Media Relations Committee and Economic Summit Task Force, under the leadership of Task Force Chairman Bill Poteet. 

NABOR® would like to thank Jeff Lytle, former Naples Daily News Editorial Page Editor, for moderating the event, and Quail Creek Country Club, its primary event sponsor. 


The Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®) is an established organization (Chartered in 1949) whose members have a positive and progressive impact on the Naples Community. NABOR® is a local board of REALTORS® and real estate professionals with a legacy of nearly 60 years serving 6,000 plus members. NABOR® is a member of the Florida Realtors and the National Association of REALTORS®, which is the largest association in the United States with more than 1.3 million members and over 1,400 local board of REALTORS® nationwide. NABOR® is structured to provide programs and services to its membership through various committees and the NABOR® Board of Directors, all of whose members are non-paid volunteers.
  
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and who subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.
Posted in Real Estate News
May 11, 2017

Tricks shared by stagers

When you are trying to sell your home, staging can be critical. The goal is to create a canvas that appeals to the widest possible potential buyer pool. Although each person will have their own preferences for flooring, cabinets, layout, etc, there are some general tried and true tactics you can do to have a positive impact on the attractiveness of your home to others. Here are a handful of small tricks shared by professional stagers.

Accentuate the Positive

Draw eyes to a room's best attribute can help make a positive impression on your visitors.  If you want to showcase your fireplace or a beautiful wall of windows, this tactic can help bring attention to those highlights. Using a decorate accent such as an attractive vase or lush plant placed near/next to the room highlight you want to accent can bring attention to that.

Clean Space

You have heard it time and time again... remove clutter. But, this is one of the most impactful changes to make. Organizing and minimizing contents in spaces will give the impression of more space and help de-personalize the space so that buyers can start to envision their contents in your home. NOTE: downsizing closet/pantry contents goes a long way.

Tricks shared by stagers BlogRemove Rugs

We love our rugs because they warm up a room, define spaces and often add character. However, in some spaces, they may breaking up your open feel and making a room seem smaller. If you remove these rugs it will give the appearance of unbroken floor space. 

Make it Fluffy

This one may seem simple and silly... but, adding fluffy white towels to your bathrooms can create an impression of cleanliness and give it a spa-like feel.  

Light up Their Life

Accenting the natural light coming through the windows by ensuring that all lights are working and on during home visits makes a difference, even if it is in the middle of the day. Also make sure that window treatments are pulled open to optimize the natural light coming through windows. People are drawn to Florida for the sunshine... they want light in their lives... give it to them. 

Widen Spaces

A room that is filled with furniture and cramped makes spaces seem smaller and uninviting. Widen the walking area around major pieces of furniture, such as beds and sofas. A few extra inches can make all the difference.

 

These are some great and easy tactics to use if you aren't ready to take on the full breadth of staging your property. Not only are these easy to implement, they can be very impactful.

Posted in Tips for Sellers
April 28, 2017

Pick Where You Live Wisely

Pick Where You Live Wisely Blog

Chances are the home you select to live in will be home for years to come.  If that is your intent, then you want to make sure you are not only happy with the home but the community it sits in. This is easy if you are from the immediate area because you are likely familiar with the various communities and have done your homework. However, many buyers in SW Florida are coming from outside the area. If that describes you, how can you do enough diligence to increase the chances that the community you select is one you will fall in love with?

This blog shares a few things you can do to increase that satisfaction factor, after the close and move in.

Do some online investigation

Simple searches for “best places to live” or even “living in… fill in the blank” will bring up blogs, chat groups and other articles that will give you information to consider. You can even make your search more specific to your circumstances… “best communities in Naples for families”… “best Naples golf communities, etc. You may also want to tap into Facebook groups set up for Naples. There are groups such as “Ask Naples”… “What’s Happening Naples” etc. These groups are ripe to ask questions of the members to get their perspective.

Engage the internet

Look at the surrounding area. There are some proven indicators of community growth and stability. As an example, did you know that having a coffee shop nearby has been statistically proven to make a difference.  A study showed that over 17 years leading up to 2014, homes adjacent to the local Starbucks almost doubled in value, up by 96%. Those further out appreciated by 65% over the same period.

If coffee isn’t enough to grab your attention, you might be interested to know that similar studies by RealtyTrac found that on average homes near a target store appreciated 72% higher than homes near Walmart locations.

In 2015, RealtyTrac also studied the impact of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s on 4 million homes.  Homes in the same zip code as these grocery stores had good appreciation. Those near Trader Joes appreciated by 40% and homes near Whole Foods weren’t far behind at 34%

Study the Schools

Many homebuyers realized that even if they don’t have any school age children, the schools still affect the home values. According to Brookings Institution, living near school with high scores can increase a home’s value by over $200K. There are often also positive byproducts such as police protection and activities and space provided by the school for community consumption.

Calibrate the commute

Spend some time considering the most common places you would be community in the course of your weekly life… work location, kids activities, friends, etc. For those things that you will spend the most of your time doing, assess what the commute looks like at various times of the day and the year.  This may help you eliminate some options and shorten your list of viable communities.

Do the driveby

Once you get a short list of potential communities, spend time around them.  Go through the neighborhood a multiple times picking different times of the day and days of the week. This will give you a sense of how the neighborhood functions. Are people out walking around and talking to one another or are all cars in the garage, doors closed with little activity? Are there children around at the time that buses would typically arrive before and/or after school?  The other things to look for is how the community is maintained… are lawns neatly manicured and cared for?

Sample the area

Not only is it good to drive through the neighborhood itself to see how the community “lives” at different times of the day or different days of the week. You can also spend time in the local establishments to get a feel for the community composition and connectivity. Hit the grocery store, restaurants, parks, etc.

Recheck priorities

If you took the time on the front end to truly assess what your driving priorities were before you started falling in love with homes, this should provide you with a great compass to come back to for validation before making an emotional buying decision. Finding that home that just speaks to you can sometimes cause you to not fairly assess the other aspects of a home ownership experience that could later bite you in the tail. Be sure that you stay true to the end game and be selfish enough to look for the home that meets the house criteria in a community that meet the community criteria.

Remember you can also make modifications within the walls of the home you own… but you can’t change the specific piece of land it is on that sits inside the community it is in.

Posted in Tips for Buyers
April 24, 2017

May 2017 What's happening in Naples (and surrounding areas)

What's Happening in Naples Florida Icon

 

 

Date(s)

Event

Location

May 1-21

“The Christians”

Naples – Gulfshore Playhouse

May 1-14

“Jesus Christ Superstar”

Ft. Myers – Broadway Palm Theatre

May 1-14

“DoubleWide”

Ft. Myers – Florida Repertory Theatre

May 1-14

StayInMay Arts Festival

Naples – Multiple Locations

May 1-14

I Hate Hamlet

Naples – Naples Players

May 1

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 2

First Bite Menu Release Party

Bonita Springs – Mercedes Benz

May 2

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 3

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 4

Dog Daze

Estero – Miromar Outlets

May 4

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 4

Evening on Fifth

Naples – Fifth Avenue

May 5-7

“Body & Sold”

Ft. Myers – Laboratory Theater of Florida

May 5

Cinco De Mayo

Estero – Miromar Outlets

May 6

Great Dock Canoe Race

Naples – Dock at Crayton Cove

May 6

Downtown Derby Party

Ft. Myers – Twisted Vine Bistro

May 7

Paddle Board Special Olympics

Naples – Beach Box Café

May 7

Car Cruise-IN

Estero – Miromar Outlets

May 7

Heaven Help Me

Marco – Marco Players

May 7-21

USTA Women’s Open

Naples – Academia Sanchez-Casal Florida

May 8

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 9

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

 

 

 

May 12-13

Blues Brews & BBQ

Naples – 5th Avenue

May 12

Friday Night Concert

Estero – Miromar Outlets

May 13

Mother’s Day Chair-A-Tea

Bonita Springs – Artichoke & Company

May 14

Sebastian Maniscalco

Ft. Myers – Barbara B Mann Performing Arts

May 16

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 17

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 19-21

Disney on Ice

Estero – Germain Arena

May 19

Friday Night Concert

Estero – Miromar Outlets

May 19

Music Walk

Ft. Myers – Downtown

May 19

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 20

Ft. Myers Miracle Game

Ft. Myers – CenturyLink Complex

May 25

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Immokalee - Seminole Casino

May 26-29

Soap Fest Charity Weekend

Marco Island – Yacht Club

May 26

Music Walk

Ft. Myers – Downtown

May 27

Kids Day

Estero – Miromar Outlets

May 27

Downtown Car Cruise

Ft. Myers River District

 

 

April 19, 2017

Upgrading Condominiums

In Southwest Florida, condos are a great option for property ownership. They often Upgrading Condominiums Blogoffer ample space with great amenities and easy living. In fact, condos represent one of the biggest classes of property purchases in the area. Depending on your preferences and your budget, your best options for condominiums may be older properties that require updates, which would leave you to consider remodeling. At the right price point, remodeling may be a great option to get the location you want and personalize the finishes to your style.

Thoughtful consideration should be given to make sure you have the information you need to make informed buying decisions. Here are some things to weigh out in your exploration.

Be “in the know”

Before you dive into a remodeling project in a condominium be aware that there are many more things to consider than with a single-family home. With condominiums, there is a governing body and rules and regulations that lay out what things are allowed or not allowed including architectural guidelines as well as restrictions on things like materials, finishes, and times that construction can be performed during.

Knowing what these restrictions and requirements are before finalizing your purchase decision will help you avoid missteps and surprises. Having this knowledge also helps you avoid actions that could get you off to the wrong start with your neighbors and community. Your Realtor can obtain copies of these governing documents in advance of your decision to extend an offer on any given condo.

Project Forward

When deciding whether to purchase a condo that needs remodeling, you should work with your realtor to do estimations of the post-remodel value of the property to ensure that you are in good financial shape at the end in consideration of the cost of the original purchase plus the investment of upgrades. In some cases, homeowners are fine with putting money into the property that they may not get out when they go to sell. However, if you are in a position where you need your investments to be valued when you sell, it is worth doing some projections and estimations to make smart, financially sound remodel decisions.

Have a Vision

Taking the time to think through and lay out your vision and end-goal will help guide your remodel decisions. What is your intended use of the property (e.g. personal use, seasonal use, full-time use, rental use, short term use). Remodeling plans can then be aligned to your goal to ensure that you are making smart investment decisions. Your remodeling plans may look very different if you are planning to sell the property in a short period of time, or if you are going to be renting the property versus remodeling it with the intent to occupy the property for the foreseeable future.

Examine Structural Limitations

Because condos are inside a defined, shared exterior, there are architectural elements that may not be modifiable. These architectural elements may limit changes that you want to make. It is better to know what these confinements are before taking the remodel plunge. If the changes that you wish to make are extensive or involve moving and/or removing walls, it is always a good idea to bring in an expert early in the process. This professional can provide feedback on the feasibility of changes you wish to make in light of restrictions as well as budget considerations. Keep in mind that ceilings in condos are typically concrete, which affects how you deal with ceiling elements such as lighting and ventilation.

Enhance versus Remove

You may have to think out of the box to come up with viable solutions to your desired outcome. Removing and replacing may not be the best option in all cases. Explore options for enhancing existing elements may be more feasible. For example, rather than removing and replacing heavy entrance doors, you may be able to enhance the doors to give them a brand new look. Adding trim to walls may also give a room a new look.

Utilize Experts

Hiring an expert with knowledge and experience working in local condos will help make the process go smoother. They can ensure that all requirements are adhered to as well as coordinating work and deliveries to keep you compliant and in the good graces of your neighbors. These same resources may have relationships with building management that will serve you well.

Stay Out Of The Way

Kudos to those that have the appetite to live through construction. However, being able to complete the work before moving into the condo not only allows you to enjoy the finished product, it also makes life easier. Taking this approach lessens the stress that comes from living amidst construction chaos. Check with your condo association to see if units or guest suites within the condominium are available as this provides a great opportunity to be nearby without the burden of construction zones. Not only is there a benefit to not living through the construction, it also minimizes the disruption to the construction itself as home owners living onsite, may get in the way and/or slow things down.

If you decide to tackle a remodeling project in a condominium, doing your homework up front will help you feel good about the final product. Allow your realtor to be a part of thinking through the cost-benefit scenarios. That partnership will serve you well.