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Realty Check: What Your Money Will Buy

... for $2.4 million, $1.8 million and $515,000.

$2.4 million

“When we learned that this Harwick custom home was coming on the market, we called our buyers, a younger couple who already had a villa in Bonita Bay,” Max Lummis, Royal Shell Real Estate Inc., Bonita Springs, reports. “They both flew in from Indiana and had the home under contract before it ever made it into MLS.”

Lummis, who teams with his wife, Connie, says the four-bedroom, den, four-and-a-half-bath home in the Spring Ridge sector of Bonita Bay is endowed with such features as Brazilian cherry wood floors, a vaulted living room ceiling of pecky cypress, a wine cellar, study and office, and a four-car garage.

“Another outstanding feature,” he says, “is the beautiful lanai with a long lake view to the southwest.”

The Bonita Springs home, built in 1998, has 5,330 square feet of living area and 12,000 total square feet.

It closed in December for $2,375,000, unfurnished.

$1.8 million

“Connecticut residents waiting out Hurricane Sandy at La Playa went home with a Pelican Marsh courtyard home almost theirs,” Mara L. Muller, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, recalls.

“They came to the office on a Tuesday, and by 8 a.m. Thursday morning, they wrote an offer before heading straight back to the airport.

“In between,” she explains, “we toured many Naples communities, but they decided the amenities of Pelican Marsh and its proximity to Mercato were especially attractive.”

Their Collier County home choice was a five-bedroom, den, five-and-a-half-bath home built in 2005 in the Terrabella neighborhood. The two-story home has 4,918 square feet of living area and 6,352 square feet under roof.

Located on a cul-de-sac, the interior includes 14-foot tray ceilings, main-level master suite and guest suite, plus two second-story guest suites. The guest cabana includes a morning kitchen.

“Although they initially said they weren’t fond of the courtyard style,” Muller reports, “the minute they saw this magnificent custom-built home and guest house wrapped around the 4,000 square-foot courtyard, I could see that they had found their new dream house.”

The home sold, unfurnished, in December for $1,825,000.


“In addition to a great-looking, easy-living home, the buyers fell for the privacy of the half-acre lot and the quiet cul-de-sac,” says Judi Gietzen, then of Amerivest Realty, now of Estero Elite Realty LLC. “The beautiful fruit trees and the golf course views were also major attractions.”

Among other attractions are doubled coffered ceilings, painted faux finishes, a screened garden off the master bath and a pavered front courtyard accessed from the dining room’s French doors. The pool and spa are complemented by a summer kitchen.

Gietzen, the listing agent for the Estero property, adds, “The reason it was on the market is that the owners, who love the community, purchased a larger home in Wildcat Run to accommodate their growing family.”

The three-bedroom, den, four-bath home built in 2001 provides 2,592 air-conditioned square feet and 5,571 total square feet.

It sold in December for $515,000, unfurnished.


McGregor Corridor Riverside Homes, Close-in

 THE SLICE OF HISTORIC FORT MYERS riverfront lying south of the Edison/Ford complex, west of McGregor Boulevard and north of Colonial Boulevard has no official name, but some dub it the McGregor Corridor Riverside Homes, Close-in. Houses on the 92.55-acre tract were built mainly in the 1920s through the 1970s, but many have been remodeled or replaced with estate homes with grand river views and proximity to city amenities.

Total number of properties: 113

Total MLS sales, Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2013: 6

Price range: $820,000 to $1,995,000

Total MLS sales, Jan. 2011 to Jan. 2012: 3

Price range: $720,000 to $2,700,000

On the market: Pictured above, this two-story residence with boat dock, guest house and five garage spaces has marble and wood flooring, vaulted ceilings and opulent detailing throughout its 6,933 air-conditioned square feet.

Four bedrooms, five full baths and two half baths are provided, plus wine cellar and an entertainment area with full bar. A winding staircase and elevator lead to the balconied second floor. Included in the 13,585 total square feet are a vanishing edge pool, spa deck and summer kitchen. Listing agent Jennifer L. Fairbanks, Prudential Florida Realty, Fort Myers, says the home, built in 2008, is priced at $3.75 million, furnishings negotiable.

Recent sale: A metal roof tops this five-bedroom home with seven and a half baths. Located on six lots, the property includes a dock, 152 feet of river frontage and a screened pool with river views. Wood, tile and marble flooring accent a floor plan of 6,141 air-conditioned square feet. Listing agent Tara E. Molloy, Riverside Realty Group LLC, Fort Myers, says the 1973 home, with 9,500 total square feet, sold in December for $1.5 million, unfurnished.


Weekly Rental Options Make Some Condos Sell Quickly

RENTERS MAY BE A CURSE TO A condo’s permanent residents, but they can be a blessing to prospective buyers.

“The ability to rent by the week is an important factor to condo shoppers in Fort Myers Beach,” says Chris Loffreno, Loffreno Real Estate Inc., Fort Myers Beach. “We find many clients want rental income to help pay the mortgage. It’s possible to earn $30,000 a year in a building that allows weekly rentals.”

Loffreno notes that at Estero Beach & Tennis—a 300-unit, Gulfside complex—there were 40 units for sale before the market hit its low. Now, as recovery continues, four units were listed, ranging from $175,000 to $220,000.

“And at Seaside,” he says, “a mid-island condominium of 50 homes priced around $399,000, one was available in late January.”

Marco Island opportunities were similar in that time frame.

“In mid-February, there was one unit listed at The Somerset, a 122-unit complex, and one of 96 at Sea Winds,” says Joe Bartos, Premiere Plus Realty, Marco Island. “There were seven at Apollo, a 90-unit building, and seven of 103 at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort.”

Who’s most rent-conscious?

“About 20 percent of our clients are baby boomers, not ready to retire and looking for income potential,” Bartos says.

Nancy Burgess, Downing-Frye Realty Inc., Naples, says, “Many buyers want to take advantage of low interest rates but aren’t ready for retirement. They ask about the leasing policy because they want flexibility.”

Chuck Scariano, Downing- Frye Realty Inc., Bonita Springs, says 40 percent of his clients are interested in rentals, and about 50 percent of those are foreigners.

In Naples, however, there are dwindling opportunities for weekly rentals, according to Paulette Leffleur, R.L. Nardi & Associates Inc. “We’ve sold properties at the Cove Inn. Our experience is that those buyers are investors, seeking to expand their portfolios.”

Raymond Cabral, RE/ MAX Affinity Naples, says his clients like leasing. “In Pelican Bay, you’d more likely find 90-day leasing policies, but along Bluebill Avenue, 30-day options are available.”




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