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Classic Meets Exotic at Villa Lago

Villa Andalusia in Renaissance, Fort Myers, offers casual Florida living couched in Castilian esprit. The approach to the lakefront home in the Villa Lago neighborhood is extraordinary. The 176-linear-foot expanse sprawls gracefully on its .67 acreage and stands out against the sky with a diverse roof line. Inside, Iberian charm is expressed with beamed ceilings, multiple fireplaces and ornate chandeliers in the breakfast and dining rooms. Detailing is rich throughout the 4,746-square-foot floor plan.

For example, the third guest room and the library are accessed by open stairways. Soft, silvery blues play against cream and sand tones to accentuate the tropical feeling, while rich woods boost the Spanish mood. The four-bedroom home with four baths and two half baths was built by Michelangelo Homes and is priced at $2,290,000, furnished.

There’s nothing transparent about one design goal at The Mirasol in Verandah, Fort Myers: deliver great natural light without sky-high cooling costs. Built by A.R.B.C. Corp./Arthur Rutenberg Homes, the 3,674-square-foot floor plan has plentiful doors and windows for cross ventilation.

But this is not a glass house. Columns, stacked-stone detailing, a shake-style roof and wood corbels accent the architecture, as do wood and leaded-glass entry doors. The living room’s two French doors and sidelights showcase the lanai, pool, spa and the golf course’s second fairway. A glass door opens to the den, where views enrich the space via a door-sized vertical window directed through the living room’s windows.  

“The Mirasol’s design follows a traditional, classic look with a modern flair that starts outside and continues inside,” says builder/owner John Globetti. “We worked with designer Kathy Lequire for clean-lined furniture and a cool color palette. Creamy neutrals and taupes are accented with greens, blues and orange.” Located in Arlington Oaks, the three-bedroom, den, four-bath Mirasol is priced at $1,323,600, furnished.


When headlines trumpeted the $16.7 million sale of a Port Royal home in mid-January, the news didn’t surprise Bill Earls and Shannon Lefevre, broker-director and broker-associate, respectively, at John R. Wood and Associates, Naples.

“Port Royal has always performed as well, if not better, than other communities in the area,” Earls says. “Some communities in the county have had to discount as much as 60 or 70 percent, but Port Royal stayed in the 20 to 30 percent range.”

Earls, a 26-year real estate veteran, says there were 31 sales in Port Royal in 2009 and 22 in each preceding year. In 2006, before the decline, there were 27 sales. “What we’ve seen since 2004 is a steadily increasing ratio of listings to buyers,” he says. “Now that’s leveling off. The 31 sales in 2009 represent about 50 percent of the inventory.”

The buyer mix remains consistent, he observes. “About 5 percent are foreign, and the remainder are homegrown entrepreneurs and captains of industry.”

But buyers and sellers are not as casual as they used to be, Lefevre reports. “I’m finding Port Royal buyers are a lot more scrutinizing now,” she says. “Although they can afford to buy in this neighborhood, they aren’t committing as freely as they once did. They’re asking a lot more questions, looking for a lot of bang for the buck.”

Lefevre, with 13 years of real estate experience, says the down market had led Port Royal sellers to be more selective in choosing listing agents. “Now they are inquiring about the agents’ sales performance and checking references.”

Earls and Lefevre predict a steadily improving picture for the area. Earls had already sold two lots, for $3 million and nearly $5 million, by mid-January.

Lefevre chuckles when she notes that in its infancy in 1956, Port Royal lots went for $11,600

Market News
A new kind of community for Cape Coral

The architecture is laid-back Key Western, and the over-water decks evoke swanky bayside buildings in Naples’ Park Shore, but the Funky Fish Houses are being built in Cape Harbour Marina, Cape Coral.

The first multilevel model in this 19-unit enclave debuted in February’s Lee Building Industry Association Parade of Homes. Built by Marvin Development Corp., the two-bedroom, two-bath, two-level stilt home was already sold when it opened to Parade guests.

Laura Straus, vice president of sales and marketing for Realmark Development, says, “By mid-January, with our model still unfinished, we had three lots sold and two on hold.” Lot prices range from $299,000 to $399,000. The Parade model, which has approximately 1,700-air-conditioned square feet, was $389,000, furnished, without the lot.

Buyers may choose a builder from several approved by the developer, and they can custom-design their home with two, three or four levels, Straus explains. Lots average about 35 feet by 60 feet. Fee simple ownership extends 25 feet into the water, enabling homeowners to build up to a 950-square-foot, cantilever deck over the water and a dock that will accommodate up to a 50-foot boat.

Straus says the homes are approved for nightly rentals. “We’ve incorporated green building features,” she says. “For instance, the footprint of each home is compact, and the landscaping is xeriscape.”

The project is the creation of Realmark CEO Will Stout, current developer of the 150-acre Cape Harbour, and longtime collaborator, designer/artist Steve Turner, of Steven B. Turner Designs.

Neighborhood Watch:

Catalpa Cove

Next to St. Charles Harbor on Iona Road in south Fort Myers, Catalpa Cove is a 79-home community with a boat dock linked to each home. The estate sections are Catalpa Pointe and Sherrill Pointe. Two of the riverfront estate homes have side canal dockage. Community amenities include more than 1,800 feet of lighted docks, tennis and a playground.

Total number of properties: 79
Tax roll recorded sales, January to December 2009: 2
Price range: $397,500 to $595,000
Number of MLS sales, January to December 2008: 6
Price range: $495,000 to $630,000

On the market: This multilevel, riverfront home, pictured above, located on an end lot on Catalpa Cove Lane, includes a tiled lower level with room for three-car parking or boat storage. The 4,000-square-foot home’s second level contains the formal living and dining rooms, kitchen and family room. The master suite is equipped with a large balcony. A second master suite, guest room, bath and sitting area occupy the third level. Broker-associate Jean Harvey of VIP Realty, Fort Myers, says the three-bedroom, four-bath home built in 2001 has hurricane shutters and is listed at $1,790,000, furnishings negotiable.

Recent sale: This three-bedroom, two-bath, lakefront home with two-car garage has a dock on the main channel with a 10,000-pound lift and dock capacity for up to a 32-foot boat. Kitchen granite, crown molding throughout, storm protection, and pool and spa are included. Built in 2001, this home sold the same year for $290,000. Cathy and Ralph Galietti, realtors at VIP Realty, Sanibel, say this home sold in May 2009 for $595,000, unfurnished.

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