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Realty Check

What Your Money Will Buy

… for $1.9 million, $1.1 million and $800,000. 

$1.9 million$1.9 million

Close proximity to the beach and a load of upgrades were two of the attractions of this five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home in Coquina Sands, Naples, but other factors were equally key. 

“Most appealing to the buyer was the quality of the build and the fact that the home, although not brand new, looked the part,” says V.K. Melhado of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Naples. “It did not look at all lived in.”

Built in 2007, with 3,901 air-conditioned square feet and 5,274 total square feet, the Mediterranean-style home has among its many features detailed marble flooring, plantation shutters, a wet bar with wine cooler and ice-maker, lighted coffered ceilings and a flat-screen TV in the summer kitchen.

Selling agents Melhado and his partner, Marlene G. Suarez, say the short walk to Lowdermilk Park was a potent selling point, but the home’s pool and spa area were equally alluring. “The other thing that impressed the buyer was the high degree of privacy,” Melhado adds. The home sold in November for $1,875,000, furnished.


$1.1 MILLION$1.1 million

Baypointe is one of cluster of six high-rises located in Naples Cay, a beachfront community just south of the Waldorf Astoria Naples and a few blocks west of Waterside Shops. This two-bedroom, den, three-bath unit has 2,173 air-conditioned square feet and 2,403 total square feet.

 “The Baypointe 805 floor plan, which includes two master suites, was perfect for these first-time Naples buyers,” says Paula Sims of John R. Wood Realtors, Naples. “They also fell in love with the incredible Gulf and bay views from the spacious terrace.”

Community amenities include a pool and spa, tennis courts and exercise facilities. 

According to Sims, the listing and selling agent, this eighth-floor Baypointe unit, built in 1996, closed in November for $1.05 million, furnished.



“The buyers were immediately drawn to the home’s spacious feel, as well as the overall lot itself,” says listing agent John Turco, of Prudential Florida Realty, Bonita Springs. “The lanai and landscaping were also a plus.”

Turco adds that the buyers of this upgraded home, built in 2004 and equipped with a generator and three-car garage, were also attracted to the many amenities of the Miromar Lakes community in Estero. The three-bedroom, den, three-bath home has 2,648 air-conditioned square feet and 4,517 total square feet. The property sold in December for $800,000, furnished.


Neighborhood Watch: Old NaplesNeighborhood Watch

Old Naples

They knew a good thing when they saw it. first, caloosa indians enjoyed the ambience of Old Naples, and then settlers Roger Gordon and Joe Wiggins pioneered the territory in the late 1860s. But newspaper publisher Walter Haldeman and his associates began the real development with the Naples Hotel and the pier in the late 1880s. Barron Collier’s construction of the Tamiami Trail ensured that the hidden Eden would beguile all who visited from that time forward. Old Naples is bounded by 15th Avenue South, South Golf Drive, Tamiami Trail and the Gulf of Mexico. Within its borders are vintage homes, new residences and shopping centers ranking among the state’s most exclusive. Teeming with history and sparkling with modernity, Old Naples is the heart of Collier County.

Total number of residential properties: 3,483 (1,082 single-family, 2,401 multi-family units)

Total number of MLS sales, Dec. 2010 to Dec. 2011: 139

Price range, Dec. 2010 to Dec. 2011: $75,600 to $7 million

Total number of MLS sales, Dec. 2009 to Dec. 2010: 121

Price range, Dec. 2009 to Dec. 2010: $103,000 to $6 million

Recent sale (pictured): Six bedrooms and five-and-half baths are included in the floor plan of this West Indies-style home equipped with white oak flooring, soapstone kitchen counters and marble accents. The exterior is enhanced with natural shell stone and stained cypress. Built close to the beach in 2011, with 5,183 air-conditioned square feet and 8,322 total square feet, this two-story home includes a pool said to be one of the largest in Old Naples. Listing agents Shaun Dalton and Brad Johnson, of Gulf Coast International Properties, report the home sold, furnished, in November, for $6,747,500.

On the market: Naples history and contemporary charm are paired in an Old Naples estate that includes a guest house built in 1947 and a main house built in 2001. Located close to the beach and the Third Street South shopping district, the estate provides four bedrooms and three-and-half baths within 4,213 square feet of living area. The main house gets its seaside beach cottage character from bamboo flooring; high, open beams; and a cupola. The master bedroom’s sitting area, the office/den and the third-level retreat are some of several opportunities for privacy in a home that is also conducive to warm family gatherings. According to listing agent Cindy Oneto, of Prudential Florida Realty, Naples, the home is priced at $3,299,000, with furniture negotiable.


Market Talk


The blossoming real estate market is nurtured in part by investors, say industry watchers, but they’re a breed far different from those who bought when the market was red hot.

“Back in the day, investors grabbed two or three high-rise units at preconstruction prices,” recalls Ginny Lee, a broker associate with Premiere Plus Realty, Naples. “Then they sold the contracts for a tidy profit without ever completing their deals.”

Lee relates her experience when L’Ambiance was introduced in Pelican Bay. “I purchased a desirable end-unit, and someone offered me $60,000 to sell. I never closed on that property.”

Back in the day, Lee notes, most investors were American businessmen. Now, there are more foreigners participating, and their plan is not the same.

Mary Bruce, of Sandals Realty, Naples, says a lot of today’s investors don’t seek a quick flip.

“In my experience, they’re focusing on properties from the low end of the market to about $1 million,” she states, “and they plan to rent them.” 

“As an investor myself, I feel my money is best utilized in property investment,” says Chuck Scariano. “I collect rent, take depreciation and watch values rise.”

Scariano, of Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, says he bought three units in Villagio, Estero, 12 to 18 months ago. “The one I bought for $50,000 was sold for $75,000. One that was $65,000 sold for $85,000, and one that was $90,000 is listed for $165,000, with a little wiggle room.” 

Foreigners are buying multiple properties and paying cash.

“I have one buyer from France who purchased five single-family homes,” Scarino reports. “These buyers plan to rent, watch prices rise and sell when they can realize a nice profit.” 

“Discounted prices have attracted buyers from Canada, France, Brazil, Eastern Europe and Russia,” states Roy Snow, a real estate associate with Ruby Realty, Naples. “Many see the U.S. real estate market now as relatively stable, a good investment and an escape from their own weaker currencies, savings rates and economies. They need somewhere for their money, and they believe Naples is a great choice.”

Finding renters won’t be hard. “The increase of bank-owned properties and short sales and tightened credit standards have put many former homeowners and would-be buyers in rentals,” Snow explains. “There’s a need for more rental properties here and in all of Florida.”

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