December 20, 2014

Neighborhood Watch

neighborhood.jpgLocated just east of I-75, off Immokalee Road, the 540-acre Olde Cypress golf community includes villas and single-family homes, some of which are sited in a gated, estates enclave. The Club at Olde Cypress is a spectacular amenity center completed when the project launched marketing in 1999. Two hundred acres are dedicated to a nature preserve in this tranquil community close to many conveniences. 

Total number of properties: 427

Number of MLS sales, March 2009 to March 2010: 26

Price range, March 2009 to March 2010: $375,000 to $1.3 million

Number of MLS sales, March 2008 to March 2009: 14

Price range, March 2008 to March 2009: $390,000 to $1.4 million 

On the market: This two-story, four-bedroom, den home on Mona Lisa Road, pictured above, has three full baths and two half baths. The first-floor master bedroom is equipped with a volume ceiling, wet bar and wine cooler. A large home theater and billiards room are upstairs. Built in 2005 and offering 5,538 total square feet, it is for sale at $3,299,000, furnished, reports Sue Myhelik, owner of Gulf Breeze Realty. 

Recent sale: Located in the Da Vinci neighborhood, this three-bedroom, den, four-bath home has an eastern exposure and broad lake views. Selling agent Clinton Moffatt, of Downing-Frye Realty Inc., says the home, built in 2005 with 3,755 air-conditioned square feet, has an extended lanai with outdoor kitchen, pool and spa. The kitchen’s hand-painted tile mural and the study’s cherry wood floor are among the exceptional features, he notes. With 5,422 total square feet, the home was sold by the original owner in July for $1.2 million, unfurnished.


Market Talk: Home Staging Could Bring Heftier Profit

Telling a home seller aggravated by low prices and few lookers to spend more money on the property could be hazardous to your health. Yet that’s exactly what Kathleen Garvey, Florida president of the Real Estate Staging Association, says will help get homes sold faster. 

In her Fort Myers-based business, Enhanced Interiors & Home Staging, she evaluates the salability of homes, advises effective improvements and provides them. 

“Prospective buyers have changed over the last few years,” she observes. “Most go online first, so how the home looks is of crucial importance. The National Association of Realtors reports that more than 91 percent of buyers begin their home search on the Internet.” 

Statistics also show that fewer are looking for fixer-uppers, while more will pay more for a home they can move right into. That means that the paint is pristine, the carpeting fresh and the furnishings such that potential buyers can see themselves in the rooms, she says. 

Garvey might streamline the seller’s own furnishings, repaint or fill some vacant rooms with attractive furniture. 

“People are losing money and aren’t willing or able to invest money in staging their properties,” she says. “Unfortunately, what they don’t know is that by investing in staging, they could potentially gain a higher return.”

Garvey illustrates with a Lee County home she staged in October. “The home had been on the market for three years with no activity. After the staging, the owner had two offers within five days.” 

Big city investors coming into the local market also know the wisdom of staging, she says. “They’re buying several homes on a street, staging one, and moving the staging furniture to the next when the first sells.”