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Realty Check

What Your Money Will Buy
… for $4 million, $1 million and $800,000.


Close to the beach, perfect for guests and part of local history—three of the many virtues possessed by this four-building compound in Old Naples. Two guest cottages and a lighthouse dot the double-lot property centered by the main house, built in 1951. “The buyer, a couple from Toronto, Canada, was most attracted to this unique property because it was the perfect family compound,” says selling agent Chip Harris of Coldwell Banker Previews International, Naples. “They loved the proximity to the beach and the 45-foot glass tile pool, but it was the charm of the beautifully renovated main home and the two guest cottages that captured their hearts.” All the cottages are connected by walkways, and a white picket fence frames the homes from the street. The main home and cottages provide six bedrooms and five baths. The lighthouse delivers views of the Gulf of Mexico. With a living area of 3,599 square feet and a total area of 5,400 square feet, the compound sold in July for $4.3 million, furnished.


A super-private location and a host of deluxe amenities helped this Sanibel home sell in less than a month.

“Located on Sanibel’s prestigious west end, this stunning home attracted the attention of many buyers looking for seclusion and privacy in a Gulf-front community, and went under contract in 28 days,” says Eric Pfeifer, broker-owner Pfeifer Realty Group, Sanibel. “Today’s savvy buyers are acquiring some spectacular properties at great prices here.”

The buyers of this four-bedroom, three-bath home in the Gulf Ridge community got property with landscaped gardens that create the look of a resort. The Italian marble pool patio is designed around the lagoon-style, waterfall pool to create a private oasis. Dining on the tiled lanai is facilitated by an outdoor kitchen complete with gas grill, sink and refrigerator.

The kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances, birch cabinetry, granite countertops, two sinks, wine cooler, wine rack, desk area, breakfast bar and pantry.

Pfeifer reports that red maple floors are installed throughout the home. With an 18-foot ceiling, the great room includes a built-in entertainment center with custom cabinetry and gas fireplace. Built in 2001, the home has 3,057 air-conditioned square feet and 7,574 total square feet. The sale closed it in January for $1,295,000, furnished.


“One of the strongest selling points of this beautiful home in Olde Cypress is the kitchen,” reports Matthew J. Klinowski of John R. Wood Realtors, Naples. “The kitchen is outfitted with Dura Supreme cabinets, Sub-Zero appliances, separate prep and clean-up areas, warming drawer, freezer drawer, dual-wall ovens, a center island configuration and many other user-friendly components, all surrounded by handsome granite countertops. “Not only is it a chef’s ideal work area,” he adds, “but the design of the space and the choice of elements make it a natural gathering spot for guests and family.”

The North Naples home has four bedrooms, a den, and three-and-a-half baths. Built in 2001, this residence has 3,351 square feet under air and has a three-car garage. Klinowski, the listing agent, says the sale closed in October for $820,000, unfurnished. Olde Cypress, located off Immokalee Road, is a gated golf community.


Realty Check

Neighborhood Watch
Renaissance golf and country club

Renaissance golf and country club began development in 2002 along the Daniels Parkway and I-75 corridor in Fort Myers. Its coach homes, villas and executive homes are situated on approximately 500 acres. The country club includes an 18-hole, Arthur Hill-designed golf course, a fitness center, and tennis and dining facilities. Single-family homes currently range from $399,000 to $1,949,000, and multi-family pricing ranges from $133,000 to $235,000. The community is located close to all conveniences and the Southwest Florida International Airport.

Number of properties: 391

MLS sales, Jan. 2010 to Jan. 2011: 24 (plus 4 sold under construction)

Price range, Jan. 2010 to 2011: $133,000 to $1,875,000

MLS sales, Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2010: 25 (plus 2 new homes)

Price range, Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2010: $156,400 to $1.69 million

On the market: Located lakeside, this Arthur Rutenberg Biscayne, with three bedrooms and four baths, is offered at $990,000. Among the outdoor features of this tile-roofed beauty, pictured at left, are an infinity-edge pool, spa and a fireplace. Jim Petruska of Renaissance Realty points out that the wrought-iron entry doors, raised foyer, detailed ceilings, hardwood floors, and artfully integrated granite, marble, and decorative tile give this home, built in 2008, its distinctive personality. With 4,889 total square feet and 3,489 air-conditioned square feet, the home has a western exposure and lake and preserve views. Petruska notes that the furnishings are negotiable.

Sample sale: Located in the Triana neighborhood, a three-bedroom coach home with two-and-a-half baths, 2,563 air-conditioned square feet and 3,239 total square feet was sold by Jenny Moorhead of Amerivest Realty last April in a short sale for $258,000. The two-story, two-car-garage home was built in 2003 as a model. The original owner paid $400,600 in 2003.

Market Talk
New Types of Buyers

Local realtors are saying that among the house hunters on the move this past season were a few new types of buyers.

”We observed the beginnings of a new demographic,” reports Art David, of Coldwell Banker, Naples. “We worked with young professionals who already have homes here, but want to take advantage of current market pricing to move up. They came to Naples, loved it, and now want homes that are more spacious and/or more suited to the families they’re raising.”

David says his prospective buyers were looking in several price ranges.

In Bonita Springs, Bob Forman, of Downing-Frye Realty, states, “I have never seen so many prospective buyers under the age of 50. Many of these folks are shopping in the $60,000 to $100,000 range because they view local real estate as a stable investment with good growth potential.”

Timo Khammash, a managing partner in Naples for Engel & Voelkers Florida, says he, too, observes a new market presence of buyers in their thirties and forties, but has also seen the advent of more South American buyers to Naples, where the Ritz-Carltons are a major attraction.

“Miami has been the traditional destination for second-home buyers from South America,” he explains, “but they’re tiring of the big city environment on the east coast and becoming more interested in the clean version of Florida that Naples has to offer.”

Naples Cay specialist Paula Sims of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty states buyers with deep pockets are back on the prowl. “We have had much more activity at the high end of the market this season,” she reports, “especially in the buildings with units priced from the $3 millions. And due to the strength of their dollar, the Canadians are back in greater numbers.”

The lackluster U.S. economy and the cruel winter weather influenced this season’s house hunters, according to Cathy Krakowski of Downing-Frye Realty, Naples. Krakowski, who works with her husband, Peter, and partner Mickey Gifford, says, “We saw a lot of people who shopped our market so they could become permanent residents and reap the financial benefit of Florida residency, and there were those who also wanted to offset their investment by finding places they could rent.

“We also were contacted by many folks who vowed they’d never spend another winter up north,” she adds.

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