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Realty Check

What Your Money Will Buy
… for $4 million, $1 million and $500,000.


"My customers really like the way this home flows," says Karen Sweatlock of John R. Wood Realtors, Naples, "especially for entertaining. They were looking for great views, a golf course community, and a house that was big enough to comfortably accommodate family and friends. London Bay’s Granada IV in Estuary at Grey Oaks was ideal."

Sweatlock says her clients were also seeking a builder’s model and had the opportunity to work with London Bay’s in-house design staff to add custom features.

Built in 2009, the four-bedroom, den, five-and-a-half-bath home located in the Mirada neighborhood of Grey Oaks has 6,154 air-conditioned square feet and 8,760 total square feet. The two-story residence, with pool and fireplaced lanai, closed in November for $4.05 million, furnished.


Vineyards dwellers who were looking to move up within their own community chose a four-bedroom, den, three-and-a-half bath home in Wedgewood.

"These residents have a growing family and were looking to enhance their lifestyle," Oscar Velez of Vineyards Realty explains.

"They loved the dramatic floor plan and the fantastic views. The 8-foot, transomed sliding doors in the living room, family room and breakfast area really bathe the home in sunlight," he says. "And many deluxe features, such as the walk-in, climate-controlled wine cellar, add to the home’s appeal."

Built in 1995, this Naples residence has 3,909 air-conditioned square feet and a three-car garage. Long lake and golf course views are plentiful from the home and the lanai, which is equipped with pool and spa.

Velez, the selling agent, says this Arthur Rutenberg Bimini VIII, located on a cul-de-sac, sold unfurnished in July for $1.04 million.


Located in Crown Colony Country Club, Fort Myers, this four-bedroom, den, three-bath home has more than 3,000 air-conditioned square feet and more than 4,000 total square feet. Overlooking the ninth fairway, green and preserve, the residence is outfitted with an extra-special outdoor area, consisting of a spacious, pavered lanai, and waterfall pool and spa.

"The buyers were drawn to the open floor plan," says listing agent Tom Unglaub of RE/MAX Realty Group, Fort Myers. "The kitchen had strong appeal, with its granite counters and island sink, and the home had plenty of wish-list features, like plantation shutters and electric shutters on the lanai."

Unglaub notes that the beautiful views this tile-roofed home provides, its convenient location and the opportunity to join the member-owned country club were also major selling points.

The home sold in September for $529,000, unfurnished.

Neighborhood Watch

The prestigious mediterra community straddles livingston Road in northern Collier County with a total of 1,697 acres, 1,000 of which are open space. Residents of its upscale single-family homes, villas and coach homes have access to 36 holes of golf. The western sector was introduced by Bonita Bay Group in 2000; the eastern property was launched four years later. Prices range from the $600,000s to $7 million.

Total number of properties: 950

Total number of MLS sales, Feb. 2010 to Feb. 2011: 40 (plus 20 builder sales)

Price range of MLS sales, Feb. 2001 to Feb. 2011: $375,000 to $4 million

Number of MLS sales, Feb. 2009 to Feb. 2010: 30 (plus five builder sales)

Price range of MLS sales, Feb. 2010 to Feb. 2011: $490,000 to $6.75 million

On the market: The mood of an Italian country villa has been established on the outside of The Avena in Cortile with an arched entry, large wooden shutters and extensive stonework. Inside the four-bedroom, five-and-a-half home built in 2007 are such appealing features as stone floors, a wine bar with dual coolers and a second-floor entertainment area with pool room. Mark Wilson, president of London Bay Homes, notes that the 5,682-square-foot home also has an outstanding outdoor living area, with pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and golf-course views. Pictured at left, The Avena, with 8,398 total square feet, is currently listed for $4,025,000, furnished.

Sample sale: Located in Monterosso, a three-bedroom, three-bath coach home is a Bergamo floor plan that includes an outside corner master bedroom. Built in 2001 with 2,685 air-conditioned square feet and 3,699 total square feet, the upstairs unit sold unfurnished in April 2010 for $725,000. Selling agent Dennis L. Brando of John R. Wood Realtors, Naples, says the lanai has a southern exposure and views of the lake and golf course. 

Market Talk
Sales Booming for Port Royal’s Jackie May

In a real estate market that’s seen its share of plunging, there’s an unsinkable Molly Brown on the loose in Naples, selling big-ticket mansions as if the sputtering economy hardly matters.

Veteran realtor Jackie May was named the top sales agent by dollar amount for all of 2010 and through March 2011 for her company, Prudential Florida Realty, and for all of Collier County by the Naples Area Board of Realtors from Dec. 1, 2009, to Nov. 30, 2010.

According to MLS statistics, her 11 buyer sales during that latter time frame totaled $51.9 million. And there were 25 listings as well. Her turf is Port Royal, arguably the most prestigious neighborhood in Naples, where property prices start in the multimillions. 

May is no stranger to the market. The native Pennsylvanian, who came to Naples in 1987 and moved to Port Royal in 2002, was taught the business by her dad and has been working in real estate since she finished college.

So what makes her top dog? "There are two factors," she explains. "Because I live there, I am completely familiar with everything about the community. I know the properties, the amenities, the people. And I work 24/7, 365 days a year. Not too many others do that."

Brenda Fioretti, managing broker at Prudential Florida Realty, says May’s depth of knowledge in every facet of Port Royal contributes to her success there. 

"Her knowledge of the market and her laser focus on one particular area are tremendous assets," she says.

May concedes prices have gone down a little, and homes have stayed on the market a little longer than they did in the boom days. But she says this particular community has been less affected by the adverse economy than most.

"Buyers are a bit younger than they have been," she notes, "and the savvy shoppers are buying now, before prices start to climb again."

And who rules in Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and Cape Coral? Their professional associations either keep that information private or don’t keep track.

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