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Realty Check

What Your Money Will Buy

… for $2.2 million, $1.2 million and $750,000. By Maxine Ginsberg



“These longtime Sanibel/Captiva vacation homeowners were seeking a property in a true community setting,” says Toby Tolp of VIP Realty Group, Sanibel. Tolp and her husband, Steve Harrell, were the listing and selling agents for a five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house in the Sanctuary Golf Club on Sanibel. “They loved the spaciousness of the floor plan,” Tolp notes, “with its 5,600 square feet of living area.”

“They were also charmed by the home’s many outstanding features,” Harrell adds, “including a wine room, a huge media room and a balcony reading room that overlooks the two-story living room.”

Built in 2001, the home provides views of the 17th fairway and a lake. The total square footage, including the pool and spa area, is 9,493. “This home is situated on one of the most beautiful lots in Sanctuary,” Harrell states. It was sold in September for $2,225,000, furnished.


$1.2 Million$1.2 MILLION

The layout inside and the views outside were strong attractions for the buyers of a three-bedroom, den, three-and-a-half-bath detached villa in the Milan neighborhood of Mediterra in northern Collier County.

Selling agent Jim A. Nulf Jr., of Royal Shell Real Estate, Naples, said the dramatic sunset views delivered by the home’s southwestern exposure were a potent selling point. “The open floor plan is particularly distinctive,” he notes, “and was a major factor in the decision-making. The Capri II design enhances opportunities to entertain graciously inside or host gatherings conveniently on the lanai, with its pool and spillover spa.”

Built in 2003, this residence includes upgraded appliances, stone floors and column accents. Nulf adds that his clients were not only pleased with Mediterra’s extensive amenities, but especially with the friendliness of the Milan neighborhood residents.

This home, with 3,058 air-conditioned square feet and 3,911 total square feet, sold in November for $1,155,000, unfurnished.



Located in The Crescent at Pelican Bay, Naples, this three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath condominium is equipped with a marble-floored foyer, oak-floored living room and dining room, tray ceilings and French doors.

Listing agent Kathryn Hurvitz, of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, reports that each of the three bedrooms has its own bath, and there’s a powder bath as well.

Although built in 1992, there are many updates in this home, such as a new tile floor and backsplash in the kitchen and a new air-conditioning system in June 2010. This end-unit, which comes with a storage unit, has 2,800 air-conditioned square feet and 3,365 total square feet.

“The buyers were thrilled with the size of the property,” Hurvitz says, “and, most especially, their own two-car garage.”

The home sold in November for $750,000, partially furnished.



Neighborhood Watch: Wildcat RunNeighborhood Watch

Wildcat Run 

When the 584 acres that would become Wildcat Run went under development in 1985, most of Estero was little more than woodlands. Now, the Arnold Palmer golf course community is a short distance from major malls and restaurants. Home options range from condominiums, villas and carriage homes to custom-built estate homes.

Total number of properties: 450

Total MLS sales, Nov. 2010 to Nov. 2011: 14

Price range of sales, Nov. 2010 to Nov. 2011: $189,000 to $950,000

Total MLS sales, Nov. 2009 to Nov. 2010: 30

Price range of sales, Nov. 2009 to Nov. 2010: $198,500 to $1,395,000

On the market: Golf course and preserve views add to the charm of this four-bedroom, den, four-bath home. Danny V’Andrade, of Pollard & Hedrich Realty, Bonita Springs, notes that the den easily converts to another bedroom. There’s a pool, waterfall spa and a summer kitchen with cooktop, sink and quartz countertop. Built in 2008, the home has 3,451 air-conditioned square feet and 4,826 in total. The home, pictured above, is priced at $699,000, unfurnished.


Recent sale: This new three-bedroom, den, four-bath home is equipped with disappearing glass walls in the living and family room and in the master bedroom. An artful tile backsplash, double oven and wine cooler are among the kitchen’s features. The den has a wood floor and custom cabinets, and the pool has a built-in sun deck and spa surrounded by a paver pool deck. Selling agent Victor Franco, Florida Platinum Realty, Bonita Springs, reports this home, with 3,250 air-conditioned square feet and 6,000 total square feet, sold in October for $725,000, unfurnished.



Market Talk

Buyers Drawn to Smart Home Technology 

Smart home technology has been an attractive selling point in upscale home sales for a long time, but everything from those who use it to what they use has changed.

“Consumers are much more educated these days,” states Ruth Pollock, president of ISI Inc., Naples. “Many people now have experience with a system in one or two of their homes. They know what they like and what they don’t.

“The earlier technology was sometimes difficult to operate,” she explains. “There were bugs in the systems themselves and the key pads that operated them. People liked what they heard about a system, but once they were left alone to deal with it, they were less happy.”

Pollock, whose company consults designs and installs intelligence systems, says homeowners are asking for equipment that is more glitch-proof and easier to operate.

And that’s something they can get. “With time,” she notes, “the industry has adopted more standards, so that one company’s lighting product integrates more smoothly with another company’s heating and air-conditioning controls.”

And now it’s possible to operate the home’s smart technology from such items as an iPhone, an iPad or an Android device. Pollock says in-home controls can be mounted on the wall in a touch pad that can be removed and taken elsewhere.

 “More competition in the marketplace has expanded the choice of devices and lowered the cost,” she adds. “In the past, homeowners typically spent seven to 12 percent of their home’s value on an intelligence system, but now, more commonly, the cost is five percent.”

Bryan Durkin, a sales and marketing representative for Fort Myers-based McGarvey Homes, says the company thought the amenity so important that a Home 2.0 remote monitoring system is included in its $895,000 to $1.5 million detached villas being built at La Caille at Quail West. “About 60 percent of our buyers are tech-savvy business executives,” he states. “As a builder we always need to be forward- thinking. We look at the Home 2.0 as the icing on the cake.”

“Smart-home technology is the wave of the future,” says Michael Reitman, executive vice president of the Lee Building Association, “and now it’s affordable in a broader range of prices.”

Reitman recalls working on a smart house committee 26 years ago as a new arrival to Fort Myers. “It didn’t really get off the ground then, but now, with energy efficiency so important and generations growing up with sophisticated digital devices, more widespread use is inevitable.”

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