Lee County is known for its natural beauty, and area residents aim to keep it that way. That’s why it’s not too surprising that the county tops the state when it comes to recycling.
Originally conceived as a way to connect Tampa to Miami, the Tamiami Trail stretches more than 270 miles across the State of Florida. Opened up in the late 1920s, the roadway is considered one of the major forces in drawing tourists to the state. While Florida’s warm temperatures were certainly[…]
Although the history books say it began in Washington state, pickleball has quickly grown into Florida’s favorite sport. Described by some as part tennis, part ping pong and part badminton, you’ll now find pickleball courts all over the Sunshine State.
Southwest Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and beautiful homes. It’s no wonder then that some of the nation’s fastest-growing cities also sit in Southwest Florida.
From fresh seafood to the sweet Key lime pie, Southwest Florida is known for its tasty delicacies. While you can find both on menus all over the region, some of the best are hard to overlook.
A true hidden gem, Cayo Costa remains one of Florida’s best state parks. The more than 2,400-acre park is relatively unspoiled when it comes to development, making it a truly unique Southwest Florida island.
Lee County residents love where they live, and it shows as area residents do what they can to help preserve and protect the community they enjoy.
There’s more good news about coming to Southwest Florida, and this one applies whether you’re a local or a visitor. It seems flying in and out of Southwest Florida International Airport is a high-flying experience.
National homebuilder Lennar just added to its already impressive portfolio with the acquisition of luxury homebuilder WCI Communities, out of Bonita Springs. The move provides Lennar with more than 13,000 home sites, many of which are in Southwest Florida.
First opened to the public about 30 years ago, Southwest Florida International Airport, also known as RSW, continues to meet the needs of countless travelers in and out of the Fort Myers area. Once conceived as an alternative to the existing local airfield of Page Field, RSW has now grown into the nation’s third largest airport when taking into account land size alone.
If you’re in the market for a new home it’s important to do some research, not only about the location you want to live but in order to learn as much about a property as you can before signing off on a deal. In Lee County it’s easy to do, by utilizing the Lee County Property Line.
While Southwest Florida may traditionally be known for its golf courses, tennis courts and even bocce ball, it seems a new trend is taking over. Pickleball is gaining momentum in the region, joining the lengthy lists of available amenities offered within not only new communities but older ones as well.
Southwest Florida International Airport, known as RSW, scored a tie for first place among the best airports in the country in the medium-sized airport category, according to a J.D. Power airport satisfaction study released last month. It tied for first place with Dallas Love Field.
Southwest Florida is a destination for guided brewery tours for people who fancy themselves wannabe craft beer connoisseurs. A company actually called Southwest Florida Brewery Tours will take visitors behind-the-scenes on tours of local breweries to show you how beer is made.
When Canadians want to escape their cold, snowy winter days, it’s no secret where they like to head for their winter destination. We all know they head south to Florida. But did you know that the largest percentage of Canadians buy their homes in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers region after Naples-Marco Island?
The Florida Bond Program is designed to provide eligible homebuyers with a below-market interest rate. The program is sponsored by state or local Housing Finance Agencies.
The tranquility and beauty of the tiny historic river town of Alva rests in its appeal as a small town, situated in Southwest Florida. It is part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area. In 2000, the population was 2,182—a very small town, indeed.
Optimism is everywhere in Southwest Florida these days, the economy is back in a big way as evidence of the growth is everywhere!
Ranked #3 in all of Florida, the Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva offers a fantastic, thrill-seeking mountain bike trail. It is single-track and boasts plenty of adventure and challenges for beginning and intermediate bike enthusiasts on over 10 miles of fast trail.
Who doesn’t want to escape this icy cold winter? Aren’t we all tired of shoveling snow and seeing daily temperatures dip below freezing? The Collier County Tourism Bureau is raising billboards in Chicago, Minnesota and other cold climate areas to call attention to sunny Southwest Florida and lure tourists to Naples and Fort Myers for a winter getaway.
Matlacha is one of 5 waterfront communities on Pine Island. It is an old historic fishing village surrounded by mangroves, home to many offbeat art galleries, island boutiques, seafood markets, restaurants, Floridian cottages, gift shops, bait and seafood shops. Matlacha is a unique culture of artists and musicians that contribute to the island’s character and laidback lifestyle.
The Fort Myers real estate market went in to see the doctor today for its annual check-up. The doctor poked, prodded, measured……ran all the usual tests and proclaimed, “you look good and healthy to me.” The Fort Myers real estate market sheepishly asked back, “what about the cancer, triple bypass and renal failure that I suffered in 2007, 2008 and 2009……I was in very rough shape.”
Located off Hancock Bridge Parkway, one mile west of US-41, Moody River Estates is an upscale, gated community offering a true “back-to-nature feel” in a riverfront setting. Mature landscaping including a 100-year old banyan tree and oak-lined streets enhance the natural feel of Moody River Estates.
On average it cost just over $27,000 more to purchase a home in the Fort Myers area in 2012 than it did in 2011 with average selling prices increasing from $153,021 to $180,082. This increase of 17.6% in the average selling price is among the highest in the nation for the 2011 – 2012 time period.
I wish that I had a dollar for every time that I get asked, what will the owner take for that property? I usually pause, rub my hands over my virtual crystal ball and proclaim once again that over the last three years over 50,000 properties have sold in Lee County and the average selling price is 94% of asking price.
We often get asked, what will the bank take for that property…..will they accept an offer of 50% of the asking price? Unfortunately the answer is no, banks are not considering those type of low-ball offers.
Many baby-boomers have childhood memories of a Florida in the 1960s and 1970s that just doesn’t exist anymore. This earlier Florida was dominated by farming, fields of palmettos and pines and free from a 7-11 or CVS on every other corner.
RSW in Fort Myers has scored a major tourism coupe landing direct flights from Denmark cities of Copenhagen and Aalborg, Denmark’s fourth largest city. European discount operator, Comefly selected RSW for its Florida destination over East Coast destinations. Currently, RSW serves Dusseldorf, Montreal and Toronto with direct International flights.
Everyone celebrates Christmas differently, and holiday traditions and festivities do not have to be limited to singing carols around snow-covered evergreens. The merry season can be enjoyed in any climate. People in southern locales such as Florida can delight in the cheer as much as anyone else.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers area was ranked fourth nationally as a retirement destination in a study just released by Portfolio.com. Our region was second in Florida only trailing Bradenton-Sarasota in the Sunshine State. This designation is a significant coup for our battered real estate market as it validates the overwhelming sense of value many are seeing in the market.
The Associated Press ran a story yesterday titled Where fewer foreclosures are now bad for business which featured Lee County and detailed how the slowdown in the foreclosure pipeline is bad for business. The irony of this premise is thick enough to cut with a knife…..yes our economy has become dependent on foreclosure transactions to keep sputtering along.
The Washington Post covers the Southwest Florida foreclosure crisis with a powerful photo essay detailing some of the challenges in the market. At present, nearly 2/3 of our real estate transactions involve either bank-owned foreclosure or short sale listings. Valuations for distressed properties have in many cases dropped to levels below half of what these properties sold for during the real estate boom.
The Sarasota Herald Tribune has an in-depth view of the irony unfolding in Florida where tax laws that have traditionally stuck it to snowbirds are now actually favoring them.
The Save Our Homes Amendment, which was passed in 1993, was put in place to limit changes in home valuations for full-time homesteaded residences. The purpose of this amendment was protect Floridians from being taxed out of their homes as values increased over time.
We are wearing the contrarian hat this morning…..instead of discussing the hottest new listings to hit the MLS, lets take a look at the oldest, stalest listings in our MLS. These are the certifiable dogs of the market, all have been active since…….2005! Yikes, these owners have had their property for sale with the same Realtor for nearly five years.
The general consensus in the real estate industry is that listings have the most activity in the first seven days, have the best chance of selling in the first 30 days and become stale in the 90 day time frame. It is hard to imagine any buyer giving a second thought to a listing that has been on the market over 1700 days like these 2005 listings.
The latest Brookings Institute State of Metropolitan America Report has some very interesting data regarding the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). This area is categorized as a Mid-Sized Magnet with similar characteristics (high growth, low diversity, low education) as cities including: Baton Rouge, LA; Boise, ID; Greenville, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Little Rock, AR and Oklahoma City, OK.
Some of the key indicators about the Cape Coral – Lee County including our ranking out of the top 100 MSAs:
Canadian buyers are very active in the real estate market here in Southwest Florida. At this time, approximately 7% of our website traffic originates in Canada and over 10% of our transaction in the last year have been with Canadian buyers.
Long popular on the West Coast, creating a zen area in a home or yard is catching on in Southwest Florida. The Zen movement has Buddhist roots emanating from China and utilizes meditation to attain enlightenment.
ABC-7 reports that a German shepherd named Snoop is being trained to identify Chinese drywall.
The Realtor Association of Fort Myers and the Beach released November 2009 home sales numbers which highlight significantly increased levels of activity in our market. These figures reinforce the sentiment of our team which has been extremely busy with second home buyers looking to take advantage of our reduced home[…]
The Bradenton Herald reports that Chinese drywall saga is entering a crucial phase: Within the next few weeks, officials expect to determine how much of a fire hazard, if any, the contaminated product poses. They’ll also have a better idea of how much the drywall contaminates the air inside affected[…]
The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports on short sale flipping fraud that is becoming more prevalent here in Southwest Florida. In a nutshell, real estate professionals and investors are teaming up to by undervalued distressed properties from banks and then immediately flipping the property to a new buyer at a hefty[…]
The NY Times has an informative article about seller expectations and the consequences of listing a home for sale at an unrealistic price point. In our market, distressed properties are the baseline which are setting the pricing bar across most communities and sectors. If you are selling in a community[…]
With the Loonie at parity with the US Dollar and across the board price reductions, many Canadians are now considering an investment in Southwest Florida real estate. The Canadian Press reports that the currency equality is very enticing but shouldn’t be the key driver in your decision to buy real[…]
The Naples News reports that single-family home re-sales in the Fort Myers area are up 120% for the first nine months of 2009 vs. the same period last year. In the January thru September period this year, 12,526 single-family homes were sold, up from 5,727 in the same period of[…]
Over the past few years, I have been rather critical of the Save Our Homes Amendment as I have historically believed that it placed an unfair burden on the lifeline of Southwest Florida……..second home owners. It has always seemed very unfair to me that second homeowners, who were down here[…]
NBC-2 reports that 25% of all homes sold in Collier County are to foreigners. Attracting new buyers with exchange-rate goosed dollars to the market is truly the best way for us to pull this housing market up and out of the downturn. Over the past year, the top foreign countries[…]
Here is the latest news regarding Chinese Drywall which has been found in hundreds of homes and condos in Southwest Florida. It is good to see the publicly traded builders stepping up and taking responsibility for this problem. Publicly traded builders are being grilled by analysts about their liability in[…]
The Star provides a how to guide for Canadians interested in buying distressed Florida real estate. The Fort Myers area is popular with Canadian buyers. Right now, Fort Myers foreclosures and Cape Coral foreclosures are selling at highly discounted prices. With the strong Canadian Dollar, the opportunity to invest in[…]
The NY Times details the current state the Florida real estate market. The highlight of the piece for me was comparing the Florida real estate market with Mickey Rouke’s character in the movie The Wrestler. Change was often discussed during the 2008 election and after the financial meltdown, but Florida[…]
According to a recent USA Today article, only 23% of short sale deals actually ever close. This figure came from a February 2009 survey by Campbell Communications of 1,300 Realtors. More than 90% of the agents cited slow responses from the lender as the reason that short sales were lost.[…]
The economic downturn has left some slips empty at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. If you are looking for a slip in Southwest Florida, now is a good time to jump on these openings. For those looking for a dock directly behind their home, there are a wide varitey of[…]
The Chinese drywall problems plaguing SW Florida were highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article. Anyone looking at purchasing a SW Florida homes built in the 2002-2006 timeframe should absolutely have a housing inspection performed by a building inspector with experience with Chinese drywall detection.
Lee County home sales soared to 1,705 in June 2009, up from 1,417 in May 2009. Additionally, sales are up 137% from the 719 homes sold in June 2008. The median price of these June sales was $87,900, a slight drop from the May median of $88,500. Distressed properties that[…]
Maybe they should start using Becky in front of the $1m Gulf Harbour homes that aren’t moving!
For those of you considering dipping your toe in the Florida real estate market, Jim Cramer believes that we are at the bottom. The supporting logic behind this proclamation is that builders stopped new construction in Florida two years ago and inventory is being absorbed by our continued low interest[…]
Now that we are a few years removed from a major hurricane, the News-Press reports that insurance carriers are taking a renewed interest insuring homes in Southwest Florida. Homeowners are saving hundreds of dollars on their property insurance thanks to increased coverage options and their own efforts to claim discounts[…]
Time Magazine covers the topic of property tax expectations for those who have recently purchased foreclosed property in Florida. In Florida, taxable valuation is based upon average values of homes in a given neighborhood, and not based on individual transaction values. What this means is that although you may have[…]
The Chicago Tribune reports that experts are predicting a surge in the number of foreclosures due the expiring of government programs instituted by the Obama administration. Lenders have delayed foreclosure actions to get as many borrows as possible into federally sponsored programs including the Home Affordable Modification Program. The Obama[…]
The Lee County Court System created a “Rocket Docket” to expeditiously work through the 30,000 pending foreclosure cases. To date, the court has worked through approximately 6,000 cases and the backlog of foreclosures is now under 24,000 cases. If you are looking for a deal on a Southwest Florida foreclosure[…]
With the Watermen-Pinnacle site on Daniels Parkway moving forward for the location of the new Red Sox spring training facility, Red Sox fans might be curious to learn more about the area. Many are already familiar with Daniels Parkway in Fort Myers as it is one of the primary access[…]
There has recently been a great deal of euphoria regarding the real estate market here in Southwest Florida. A recent News-Press article titled Southwest Florida sees light at the end of housing tunnel cites recent home sales figures to suggest the worst is behind us. While I agree that the[…]
One of Florida’s major title insurance companies, Attorneys Title Insurance, announced that they will no longer insure transactions involving a short sale option contract. A short sale option contract is a technique being used by opportunists to buy a short sale from a bank at below market value and then[…]
According to figures recently released by Realty Trac, the Cape Coral – Fort Myers area experienced a drop in the number of foreclosure filings in May 2009. There were 1,803 filings in the region in May 2009, down from 1,902 filings in April 2009. With this drop the Lee County[…]
The most expensive home to sell in Lee County Florida during May 2009 was a Captiva gulf-front single family home located at 953 S Seas Plantation Rd, Captiva. This South Seas Resort home is 4,530 SF and features 5 BR and 5 BA on a .93-acre beachfront lot. The selling[…]
According to Preliminary reports by the Lee County Property Appraiser, property values in Lee County have on average dropped by 25% over the last year. The key driver is that over 80% of our arms length transactions have been distressed sales.
One of the things that often makes me cringe is reading the bios on other Realtor’s websites. Especially here in Southwest Florida, many open with “originally from________. It is fine to be from somewhere else, but just don’t tell us in your opening sentence. Others tout being a recent graduate[…]
If there is a silver lining in the SW Florida real estate bust, it is that I no longer get stacks of low-ball mail solicitations for vacant lots that I own in Cape Coral. Today, a different sort of Cape Coral vacant lot solicitation was sitting in my mailbox. It[…]
The most expensive home to sell in Lee County Florida during April 2009 was a Bonita Bay high-rise condo located at 4931Bonita Bay Boulevard, #1710, Bonita Springs. This Azure Tower condo is 4,240 SF and features 3BR and 4BA. The selling price was $1.925M / $454 SF. Congratulations to selling[…]
The Boston Globe reports on the significant appetite by New Englanders in Southwest Florida real estate. The Fort Myers area has a strong base of residents that have relocated from the Boston area and also attracts a significant number of New England area snowbirds each winter. We are seeing a[…]
Great to see the News-Press give some face time to the Pine Island real estate market. Pine Island offers its residents a very different laid-back lifestyle that is rapidly disappearing across Southwest Florida. There was never much speculation and over-building, and Pine Island foreclosures rarely come on the market. If[…]
Florida Weekly dives into the Southwest Florida real estate market with an article titled, Bipolar Housing. Several local real estate pros are interviewed and give their thoughts and opinions on the roller coaster ride that is our housing market. The nation is taking notice of our low prices, Fort Myers[…]
Florida Realtor Magazine interviewed yours truly for a piece on blogging called “High on the Blog.” Hard to believe that I have been posting here for five years. Over this timeframe, the SW Florida market sure has been a roller coaster ride with some very high peaks and some pretty[…]
The most expensive home to sell in Lee County Florida during February 2009 was a single-family lake-front, gulf-access home located at 522 SW 52nd Street in Cape Coral. This home is located in Southwest Cape Coral in Unit 44-1 and has frontage on one of the Cape Coral’s beloved Eight[…]
According to stats recently released by the Greater Fort Myers and the Beach Board of Realtors, membership was down about 10% in 2009 vs 2008. Hard to argue that a culling of the herd isn’t a good thing when it comes to Lee County Realtor ranks.
A recent New York Times article discusses the changing face of the foreclosure market. In the past a foreclosed home usually meant boarded up windows on the other side of the tracks. The market downturn has created opportunities nationally in upscale vacation areas to purchase foreclosed homes. Traditional second home[…]
Longtime Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan weighs in on the proposed new Red Sox spring training stadium and the current state of the Southwest Florida economy. Ryan is a straight-shooter and calls this one as he sees it. Hard to argue that it is a terrible time for a[…]
The Lee County Clerk of Courts has created a “rocket docket” to deal with the overwhelming numbers of foreclosure cases plaguing Southwest Florida. The process fast-tracks foreclosure hearing allowing judges to process a foreclosure case in under a minute. The rocket docket process is the brain-child of Charlie Green, the[…]
The Lee County Building industry Association Parade of Homes is ongoing through Feb 22. The parade showcases new homes from the finest builders in Southwest Florida. Twenty-nine homes with asking prices ranging from the $200,000s to more than $6M are on display at this years event. For more information, visit[…]
The most expensive home to sell in Lee County Florida during January 2009 was a single-family home located at 11515 Wightman Lane in Captiva. Whightman Lane is located in the village of Captiva and is one block north of the famed Andy Rosse Lane. This home is 2,650 SF and[…]
In recognition of President Obama’s visit to Southwest Florida tomorrow, here is a brief poem titled Hey Mr. President: Hey Mr. PresidentYou’re coming to Lehigh AcresTo tour the despairWith our movers and shakers Hey Mr. PresidentPlease buy my Lehigh lotI acquired it in ’05Now it’s worth squat Hey Mr. PresidentSamir[…]
The New York Times covers the economic challenges facing Southwest Florida, and in particular Lehigh Acres in an article titled In Florida, Despair and Foreclosures. The article details the boom years and what has occurred since the real estate market busted. This article is a must read for anyone that[…]
What a treat it was for me to pick up the News-Press this morning and read not one, but two upbeat and constructive articles about Southwest Florida. The News-Press story highlighting the benefits of owning a second home in Southwest Florida will certainly strike a chord with anyone up north[…]
Florida Weekly has a light and entertaining article about our gateway to the world, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). There is something uplifting about landing at RSW on a flight from up north. Shedding the jacket and long pants, opting for a pair of flip flops and digging through the[…]
Waterfront living in Southwest Florida goes together like rum and coke, Laurel and Hardy, Donny and Marie…… South Fort Myers is home to several waterfront communities offering direct gulf access boating. Many of these communities like Catalpa Cove, Intracoastal Harbour, McGregor Isles and Palm Acres offer residents the opportunity to[…]
Over the past couple of weeks, calls from the Canadian area codes of 289; 416; 418; 450; 514; 519; 613; 647; 705; 807; 819 and 905 have increased dramatically on our phone lines. In fact, more than 1/2 of the international inquires that we receive are from Canadians. With lows[…]
Market stats recently released by the Greater Fort Myers and the Beach MLS substantiate what we are seeing in the trenches. Sales in December 2008 were up a whopping 181 percent over December 2007. In December, 1,034 homes sold, up from 367 a year ago. Buyers are back in a[…]
If you are from out of town and dream of retiring on the water, now just might be the time to take another look. The News-Press ran a story today about how much more affordable waterfront property has become in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Prices have dropped across the[…]
The New York Times published an informative column on the Lee County barrier island of Boca Grande. Boca Grande sits just north of Cayo Costa Island and offers unprecedented peace and tranquility. Boca Grande residents have the opportunity to rub elbows with the rich and famous as recent visitors have[…]
The most expensive home to sell in Lee County Florida during December was a single-family waterfront estate located in the Harbour Preserve neighborhood of Cape Harbour. This home, located at 5502 Harbour Preserve Cir, Cape Coral is 7,662 SF and features 5BR and 10BA. The selling price was $2.2M /[…]
One of the questions that buyers of a second home in Florida face is whether or not to establish residency in Florida. The Bristol Press covers this issue in a column titled, Should “snowbirds” change state residency? Although this article is written by a Connecticut attorney referring to Connecticut laws,[…]
Another day…..another ambitious, but cash constrained real estate investor was featured in the Sarasota Herald Tribune. This guy is trying to raise $10M through a public stock offering to buy up under-valued luxury and mid-range vacation homes. I would love to be a fly on the wall during the road[…]
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has a very useful website that provides a comparison of homeowner’s insurance rates by county for a number of carriers. The site provides rate comparisons for two scenarios: (1) home valued at $150K, that was built before 2001 and (2) home valued at $300K,[…]
The most expensive home to sell in Lee County during November was a riverfront single-family estate located in Waldens Rivieria Estates. This home, located at 1200 Walden Drive, Fort Myers, is 6,127 SF and features 4BR and 5BA. The selling price was $3.6M / $587 SF. Congratulations to selling Realtor[…]
A Sarasota Herald Tribune story discusses the lack capital currently available for residential real estate investors. The story details an investor who is unable to attain access to capital to purchase more homes. This particular investor buys and holds, and looks for properties that are cash flow positive. I can’t[…]
Fun article in the News-Press about the benefits of living on the water here in Southwest Florida. Nothing beats the convenience of having a boat behind your house on lift, that is ready to go at a moments notice. No fighting traffic to the marina, rowing to the mooring or[…]
Outstanding column in Naples Daily News offering buyer advice for navigating through today’s market conditions. The column is authored by Tom Selck, a semi-retired architect and owner of Design Outside the Box. Buyers rule again after a decade. There aren’t many, but they will be happy. This may be the[…]
October foreclosure and new building permit numbers are in for Lee County. Foreclosures in October topped the charts at 2,665, the highest total ever for a single month in Lee County. In layman’s terms, this equates to 111 foreclosure filings a day for the 23 business days in October. A[…]
The most expensive home to sell in Lee County during October was a beach-front single-family estate located at 16596 Captiva Drive, Captiva. This 7,000 SF, 5BR, 8BA home features direct gulf views from every room. The selling price was $9.25M / $1,321 SF. Congratulations to selling Realtor Mike McMurray of[…]
Let’s imagine for a moment that you are doing some fall cleaning and under the mattress you find some Google stock certificates left over from the dot.com boom that are now worth $7M…….Now what? How about buying a home in Southwest Florida! There are a several options choose from in[…]
Confusing day for anyone reading up on the Southwest Florida housing market……. The News-Press reports that Lee second in foreclosures in Florida during September, with one in every 72 homes is facing foreclosure. On the other hand, WINK News reports that Home Sales Hit All Time High. What does it[…]