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Realty Check

What Your Money Will Buy… for $5 million, $1.5 million and $750,000.


Beamed ceilings, Brazilian hardwood floors, arches and detailed columns are just some of the impressive features that lend cachet to this four-bedroom, den, four-full-and-two-half-bath waterfront home in Port Royal, Naples.

The two-story floor plan provides 5,575 air-conditioned square feet, while the total square footage, including the palm-circled, open, infinity-edge pool, front veranda and four-car garage, is 8,120. “The home has a beautiful and private setting on the deep waters of Jamaica Channel,” says selling agent Jackie May, of Prudential Florida Realty. “Outdoor entertaining is especially pleasant with the full summer kitchen and outdoor fireplace. And it is also just a short walk to the beach.” May adds that the new owners have done extensive remodeling in the home, which was built in 2005 and sold in May for $4.9 million, unfurnished.


“When Old Man River beckons, buyers find it hard to resist,” Jean Harvey, of Harvey & Associates, VIP Realty Group, says with a smile. “Buyers are mesmerized by the lifestyle riverfront living offers, and that’s why Catalpa Cove, located by the Caloosahatchee River, is such a popular address.” Harvey says of her May sale in the gated Fort Myers community, “The three-story home offers panoramic water views and breathtaking sunsets, but the opportunity to live on the river was the key attraction for the buyers.” The three bedroom, three-and-half-bath home, built in 2001, has 4,000 square feet under air and 9,173 total square feet. The selling price was $1,550,000, furnished.


A dream location and an ideal floor plan did the trick for buyers of a home in La Majorca, in Old Naples. “The buyers loved the openness of the floor plan, plus the patio that is nestled in the royal poinciana treetops,” says Karen Coney Coplin of Downing-Frye Realty. “But, of course, having restaurants, shopping, and recreational and cultural amenities just outside their door was very appealing to the buyers.” The three-bedroom, two-bath home built in 2001 has 1,734 air-conditioned square feet. “The new owners purchased the home unfurnished,” she notes. “They had an interior designer ready to put their stamp on their new residence.” The sale closed in July for $750,000.


Market Talk
Study Finds Fewer “Distressed” Condos

There are many indicators for gauging the real estate market’s recovery. Ross McIntosh, a long-time Collier County real estate professional and market expert, has focused on the status of “distressed” high-rise beachfront condos.

Robin Forman, operations manager at McIntosh’s REO Accelerated Disposition Associates, in Naples, looked at the condominiums—which had been on the market for two seasons or more, had undergone a price reduction of 30 percent and were less than 10 years old—from the Sunshine MLS, which covers Collier County and some of Lee. She looked at units listed up to $1.5 million. Using the analysis criteria, she recorded 30 distressed beachfront condos in November of 2009, with no significant clusters in any part of the surveyed zone.

Now the good news: In November 2010 there were five.

Forman notes that some condos that were on the market for several seasons didn’t qualify because the price hadn’t changed significantly. “We view those as owned by people who are not what we call ‘motivated sellers’,” she states. “They are listing their units, but will sell them only if they get their price.”

 “It’s a good indication that the market has stabilized in this category,” McIntosh declares. “With an inventory that low, folks who expect to come down here and steal a waterfront home are going to be surprised.”


Neighborhood Watch
Upper Captiva Island

Upper Captiva Island in Lee County is a 700-acre chunk of old Florida dotted by single-family homes in its northern sector and a state-owned wildlife preserve everywhere else. Accessed exclusively by boat or small plane, the community launched marketing in 1983, when mainland electricity arrived.

Wide setbacks and a 45-foot height restriction help give this serene retreat its unspoiled ambience. A grocery/deli, three restaurants and two beach boutiques serve residents of this community, where golf carts and bicycles are the means of transportation. Two resort-style clubs offer pool and tennis facilities. Half the 600 lots have been built upon, and rental opportunities exist.

Number of properties: 600

Number of sales, November 2009 to October 2010: 23

Price range, November 2009 to October 2010: $54,000 to $870,000

Number of sales, November 2008 to November 2009: 13

Price range, November 2008 to October 2009: $70,000 to $1.6 million

On the market: This three-bedroom, three-bath home located in Safety Harbor Club has bedrooms on the first floor and a great room with stunning views on the second floor. Built in 1993, and pictured on p. 182, the home has 1,895 air-conditioned square feet and 3,206 total square feet. The Safety Harbor Club neighborhood includes a clubhouse with pool, tennis, restaurant and dockage. According to listing agent Carin Harman, of Islander Realty, Upper Captiva Island, the price is $1.2 million, furnished.

Recent sale: Just 200 steps to the beach and the Gulf of Mexico are all it takes for the owners of this three-bedroom, three-bath home in Safety Harbor Club to enjoy South Florida’s finest natural amenities. Built in 1983 and remodeled in 2005 with terra cotta floors throughout, the many-decked residence has 1,576 air-conditioned square feet and 2,778 total square feet. According to Carin Harman and Cheryl Bredin, also of Islander Realty, the home sold for $480,000 in 1993 and for $870,000, furnished, in October 2010.

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