Cape Coral Income Property

A word of caution is in order for Cape Coral investors looking to acquire income generating residential property. Currently we have a major over-supply of rental properties on the market and a shortage of tenants. This clip from NBC2 highlights the current problem:

Affordable Homes in Southwest Florida

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams ran a story, The flip side of foreclosures: Affordable homes, which prominently featured the Fort Myers and Cape Coral area. The net-net take away is that affordability has returned to the area in a big way. If you are just starting your search for[…]

Affordable Gulf Harbour

The other day one of my colleagues used the words “affordable” and “Gulf Harbour” in the same sentence. Yes, we are talking about that Gulf Harbour along McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. Today there are 182 properties for sale in Gulf Harbour’s 18 distinct neighborhoods. A whopping twenty Gulf Harbour[…]

Web 2.0 Real Estate

The Washington Post discusses the rapidly growing importance of web 2.0 practices in the real estate industry. Wikipedia defines Web 2.0 as: a living term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, collaboration and functionality of[…]

Buyer Tip – Short Sale Questions

Short sales are by far the most controversial and least understood type of real estate transaction in the market today. Many local Fort Myers short sale realtors are just fishing for an offer to start the short sale process. If this is the case, don’t be the unlucky one to[…]

Foreclosure Listings

While the entire Southwest Florida real estate universe suffers from a nagging ailment known as “shortsaleitis,” I have been busy at the keyboard of my MacBookPro, with a robust supply of Red Bull and Oreos creating community specific foreclosure pages. These pages display all the listings identified as foreclosures in[…]

Buyer Tip – Lee County Property Line

We have a great resource here in Lee County to help arm buyers with as much information as possible about a property. This resource is the Lee County Property Line, which is managed by the County Property Assessor. The url for this site is easy to remember: I frequently[…]

Sanibel Condo Deals

Ever thought about getting a place on Sanibel? I know, during your last visit you checked out a few units and cringed at the prices……..Might it be time to rethink Sanibel as a viable 2nd home option? Today there are four Sanibel condos available for under $300,000 and a total[…]

Site aids buyers in making unsolicited offers is a new real estate site that allows a buyer to make an unsolicited offer on a property. For $24.95, will create, prepare and priority mail an offer to a seller. The site provides estimated valuation information for properties in[…]

Mercedes Homes gets creative

Goal: Sell 96 homes in 96 hours Give Melbourne based builder Mercedes Homes credit for creativity, they have set a goal for this weekend to sell 96 homes in 96 hours. Mercedes is advertising that buyers will save over $7 million as a result of this promotion. This equates to[…]

Cape Coral 5 bedrooms

Three bedroom homes dominate market Pop quiz: What is the toughest type of property to find in Cape Coral? Answer: Five bedroom homes In a city of 155,000 residents, there are currently only 41 single family homes on the market with 5 bedrooms. With 4,700 total single family homes currently[…]

Buyer incentives in SW Florida

Incentive offers on rise Many sellers are getting very creative in trying to sell their property. Want your mortgage paid for a year or free landscaping for a year…these deals are both currently available in the market. It is certainly refreshing to buyers to gain this power in the real[…]

Appraisal challenges

Slowdown changes appraisal process It is getting tougher to appraise the value of a home in SW Florida. With slowing sales and some price declines, appraisers are having a tough time arriving at fair valuations. Historically the best comparison properties for an appraisal have been similar properties in close proximity[…]

Real estate auctions

Auctions…..proceed with caution In a recent column, The Real Estate Professor discusses the ins and outs of real estate auctions. There have been several auctions recently here in Southwest Florida and the results have at best been mixed. The Northport lot auction was deemed a success by those involved and[…]

Lee County Property Appraiser

Gold standard for on-line tools One of the things that I don’t like about buying real estate in Lee County are those survey forms from Ken Wilkinson that without fail show up in my mailbox after making a purchase. Looking past the surveys, the Lee County Property Appraiser Website,,[…]

Title insurance costs

How much is it and why do I need it? One of the most common questions and searched phrases on this site is about the cost of title insurance. Typically in SW Florida, the seller pays the title insurance cost and is one of the key items commonly referred to[…]

Finding a good real estate agent

5 tips to success a successful relationship With the sheer number of real estate professionals operating in the area, selecting one is like a box of chocolates, You never know what you’re gonna get. It is important to honestly evaluate the merits of utilizing the convenient neighbor, relative or fellow[…]

Red Sox invade Ft. Myers

The eyes of Red Sox Nation are on the City of Palms Like the Roman Army invading Gaul in 55 BC, Red Sox Nation has descended upon Ft. Myers for spring training. We are also fortunate to be the spring training home of the Minnesota Twins, although their presence is[…]

Buying foreclosures

Everybody is talkin’ foreclosures these days At lunch, in the office and on the phone……everybody seems to be obsessed with FORECLOSURES. Foreclosure monitor RealtyTrac said the number of foreclosures nationwide was up 24.5 percent from the first quarter of 2005 to the fourth quarter. Courtesy of Money Magazine, here are[…]

Government homes for sale

HUD consolidated site A common question that I get asked is where can I find out about government owned property? The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) runs a consolidated site of homes for sale by many different government agencies. I would enjoy hearing from anyone that has[…]

Seven buyer tips

Real estate pendulum shifting to buyer With the tables turned to favor the buyer, how about some tips to gain further leverage in a buying scenario. Scripps Howard News Service offers up seven buyer tips to help buyers gain an advantage in a transaction. First tip: Buy in the offseason.[…]

Zillow debuts

Real-time home valuation tool launched Real-time self-service property valuations just got a little easier for web-savvy home owners. Zillow, a web-based property valuation tool, launched today. The service, described as a Kelly Blue Book for homes, provides an estimated value of a home utilizing information culled from county tax records.[…]

Extreme home selling

Builder giveaways help seal the deal What is a builder to do when new home inventories start to grow……..well according to this CNN/Money article they are including creative giveaways. My favorite giveaway is the the dual mode toilet that has a dual flush buttons, a water saving feature of course.[…]

Lease options

Rent-to-own deals can have pitfalls Almost every cable TV real-estate guru pitches them as great moneymaking techniques: lease-option contracts, also known as ”rent-to-own” programs. In some metropolitan areas, lawn signs, telephone poles and newspaper advertisements hawk them aggressively to modest-income and credit-challenged consumers who want to buy a home. Stripped[…]

Property Shark

On-line real estate information aggregator The Property Shark is taking a big bite out of Manhattan real estate with it’s information aggregation service. Want to get the straight scoop on your new landlord, just enter the address on Property Shark and a plethora of information about the property is immediately[…]

Buyers in drivers seat

Market evolving The Herald-Tribune comments on the changing SW Florida real estate market that has seen a shift in control away from sellers to buyers. Home buyers back in driver’s seat [Herald-Tribune]

Invasion of the geeks

Newcomers changing real estate industry A press release from issued today by Lead Lease caught my eye, Internet Entrepreneurs Will Take Control of the Real Estate Industry. While I don’t think much of the expensive hosting services offered by Lead Lease, I couldn’t agree more with the headline that technological[…] real estate search

The future of real estate search Check out, a site dedicated to real estate search. This site developed by some smart Stanford grads, represents the next generation real estate experience. Trulia appears to me to be what the off-spring of a marriage between Google and would look like.[…]

Real estate escrow evolves

Most escrow now held at title companies A change that has occurred in Florida real estate practice is for title companies to hold escrow funds rather than a broker. The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), which governs the industry, and the Florida Association of Realtors both endorse this idea. The[…]

Agents behaving badly

New listings are not always what they appear to be A practice that is becoming more common in our market is the cancellation of a stale listing and then re-listing it immediately as a new listing. Another trick that I have seen in use is a very short listing period[…]

Married with property

Options for holding real estate investments A common question that comes up when a married individual makes a real estate investment is “how do I hold title?” Nationally recognized real estate attorney and syndicated columnist Bob Bruss peels the onion on the various title holding alternatives. Why do most couples[…]

Net buyers beware

Florida swampland sales via the Internet In a flashback to the questionable land sales practices that plagued Florida in the 1960s, today some operators are selling worthless wetlands on the popular Internet auction site eBay. The Daytona Beach News-Journal ran a very enlightening story titled “Swampland sales are back in[…]

Big-time sellers market

Power rests with the seller in a boom market If you have tried to purchase a prime piece of property in SW Florida recently, hopefully you were wearing full body armor and were carrying an uzi. I have seen many bidding wars break out on a property within hours of[…]

shh….3 hot investment tips

So says Lawrence Yun, senior economist at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Heavy in-migration regions—Places where a high number of residents move in from other parts of the country, including Nevada and Florida. Future retirement destinations that are still currently affordable—Places where homebuyers plan to buy now and live once[…]

Cape project shutdown

Foundation cracks and soil problems plague 370 acre subdivision The City of Cape Coral has issued a stop order halting all construction activity at the Coral Lakes subdivision. Coral Lakes, located in Northeast Cape Coral along the Del Prado extension, covers 370 acres with nearly 1000 homes. The problems at[…]

My first deal

Breaking the iceThe decision to make my initial investment in Florida land was by far the toughest hurdle in my real estate investing career. There is no dipping your toe in the water — buying investment property is a head first dive from the high board. You can read about[…]