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Realty Check: What Your Money Will Buy

... for $9.65 million, $4.85 million and $1.075 million.


$9.65 million

If there’s a property that can be considered a bargain at nearly $10 million, this is it.

The 7-year-old home at 23 Second Ave. S. in Naples includes 5,573 square feet of living space across three floors, and is located both on the Gulf of Mexico and within just a few blocks of Naples’ most desirable retail and social environment, Fifth Avenue South.

The idyllic seaside residence offers a vibe of tropical  solitude merged with casual elegance. Its four bedrooms and a study all feature panoramic beach views. Other highlights include a large great room with a fireplace and a gourmet-style kitchen area that opens onto a large lanai with a cypress ceiling.

The master suite is on the top floor, with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, wet bar, satellite laundry and a covered balcony, not to mention a luxury bath and sizable wardrobe closet. Elsewhere in the home are marble and wood floors, programmable lighting, an elevator, a three-bay garage and a beachfront pool area with retractable cover, spa, and electric shutters and screens.

It was listed by John R. Wood Realtors and sold for $9.65 million in October in a deal closed by Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.

$4.85 million

Just a few steps from the Port Royal Beach Club in the attractive southwest section of Naples, the property at 3101 Green Dolphin Lane is still a gem even in its early 30s.

Built back in 1982, the 4,710-square-footer is a single-story wood-frame ranch home that includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a two-car garage on 1.07 acres facing the waters of Old Harbour Cove. It has marble and wood floors throughout and room for at least two cars in a circular driveway. The property also includes a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house, and both the main and guest homes feature cathedral and trayed ceilings.

Curb appeal is massive, with 320 feet of road frontage and an attractive southern exposure. The grounds include a large in-ground pool and a koi pond with a cascading waterfall. Also available is a private wooden boat dock with both electric and water service. The dock provides easy deepwater access to Naples Bay, which conveniently connects to the nearby Gulf of Mexico.

The property was initially listed for sale by The Forrest Company Realty of Naples in the summer, and the same organization finalized the sale for $4.85 million in December.

$1.075 million

The Barefoot Bay neighborhood in Bonita Springs is consistently home to some of Lee County’s most desirable properties, and the home at 82 Southport Cove in the gated community of Southport on the Bay is no departure from that geographic norm.

The two-story, single-family property includes 2,213 square feet of living space and, according to listing agent Doug Grant of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, was the area’s lowest-priced waterfront home by $600,000. Homeowner fees are approximately $2,300 per year.

Built on a quarter-acre of land in 1990, the home is a totally renovated three-bedroom gem that features a new kitchen with granite countertops and tumbled marble backsplashes, alongside hardwood cabinetry with stainless steel Bosch appliances.

The southern exposure lot also includes a boat dock on Estero Bay with navigable access to the Gulf of Mexico, French doors, a screened lanai and an in-ground pool/spa area with pavers. All three bedrooms have private viewing decks, and the home is within just steps of a beach with gulf access.

The property was listed by Coldwell Banker in August, and the transaction was completed by Bartley Realty on Dec. 5 for $1.075 million. It previously sold in 2011 for $850,000.



Celebration Cape

Celebration Cape is a deed-restricted gated community off of SE Eighth Street in Cape Coral—between

Nicholas and Hancock Bridge parkways—that includes unique zoning for its 58 residences to allow for oversized garages that are able to accommodate recreational vehicles and large boats.

Residents are able to take advantage of low homeowner association fees that include lawn care and park amenities, and homes in the community qualify for FHA financing.

Total number of properties: 58

Price range: $231,000 to $270,000

On the market: A newly constructed three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, left, includes 1,981 square feet of living space on just less than a quarter-acre of lot space. The interior features granite countertops, distinctive cabinets and 90-degree sliding doors, while the exterior includes a two-car garage. The home is available for $269,900.

Recent sale: Less than a year old, the 1,564-square-foot model with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms is situated on just less than 10,000 square feet of lot space at 296 Destiny Circle. The home is within four miles of five highly rated elementary schools and sold on Oct. 29 for $214,900.



Concern About Flood Insurance Rates

Steve Brown is his name. And, as 2014 gets under way, advocacy is his game.

Brown is this year’s president of the National Association of Realtors—a Washington, D.C.-based organization that boasts more than 1 million members—and at the top of the agenda for his reign is the topic he says he’s hearing about most frequently from the rank and file.

“One of the major issues that’s concerning our members is the National Flood Insurance Program, because our Realtor members are the ones interfacing with homeowners in areas where premiums are rising to unaffordable and unsustainable amounts,” he says. “To say we’re very concerned would be an understatement.”

Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act that reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program and made significant changes to the cost homeowners pay. Under the law, homeowners pay a full-risk rate. Before the act, the government subsidized the cost of insurance on many homes and grandfathered rates based on older flood maps.

Many Realtors warn that changes will harm the real estate market, particularly in states like Florida with significant coastal regions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid supports a bipartisan proposal to delay rate increases under the NFIP while a study is conducted on its affordability.

“We are here in Washington asking Congress to delay the implementation until studies can be completed to understand the impact of the higher rates on buyers and homeowners,” Brown says. “We’re going to continue these efforts. We’re not going to give up on this.

“This needs to be addressed. Affordability will be hurt. Marketability and value will be hurt. Those are all reasons that this needs to be a major issue going forward.”


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