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Realty Check

What Your Money Will Buy
… for $2.5 million, $1.6 million and $915,000.

$2.45 million

Villa Navona at Quail West, Naples

Villa Navona at Quail West, Naples, is a two-story home with 5,397 square feet under air and 7,818 total square feet. Built in 2009 with Palladian-style architecture, the four-bedroom home has a study, game room, four full-baths, two half-baths, a pool bath and a three-car garage.

Cheryl Deering, Quail West vice president of sales and marketing says, “The buyer was taken by Michelangelo Homes’ absolute attention to detail and the quality craftsmanship found throughout the Villa Navona.” The home has won multiple awards, including the 2009 Dream Home Competition’s Gold Award for Best New Home Kitchen of the Year, and Silver Awards for Best Interior Design for a Home 5,001-6,000 Square Feet and Custom Old-World Home of the Year. It also was the recipient of three 2009 Aurora awards. The home sold furnished for $2.45 million in June.


$1.6 million

Old Florida-style villa

The Portofino neighborhood in Miromar Lakes Beach and Country Club, Estero, is the setting for an Old Florida-style villa that sold in June for $1.6 million, furnished.

According to Miromar Realty Listing Agent Maria Morales, the buyers were attracted to many things about the property, especially the unique quality of the design.

“The home has a separate, second-story guest house suite, Casita, which is accessible from the center courtyard,” she notes. “The center courtyard has been designed with an outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen, spa, pool and sunbathing areas.

“There’s also an entry courtyard,” she adds, “that makes an impressive introduction to the three-bedroom, den, four-and-a-half bathroom home.”

The Alezio model, built in 2007 by London Bay Homes, has 3,725 air-conditioned square feet and 5,255 total square feet.

“The buyers were impressed with the design and construction quality as well as the attention to detail,” Morales says.

“They wanted the character and size this home offered, and they loved the opportunity to be on the water.”



Located in the Edgewater Estates community of Gulf Harbour Yacht, Golf and Country Club, in Fort Myers

“The buyers kept coming back to view this home,” says Pat Warner, of Amerivest Realty of Lee Island Coast, Fort Myers.

“They were drawn to its great curb appeal, the lakefront location, and its golf course and sunset views.”

Warner, who was the listing agent and selling agent in the transaction, adds that the four-bedroom home built in 1996 has been 95 percent upgraded, remodeled and updated.

Located in the Edgewater Estates community of Gulf Harbour Yacht, Golf and Country Club, this Fort Myers home has three full baths and a pool half bath. Within its 3,373 square feet of living area are formal living and dining rooms and a family room with a fireplace.

Outside there’s a newly finished pool, raised spa and outdoor kitchen. After 61 days on the market, the home sold in April, unfurnished, for $915,000.


Ft. Myers BeachNeighborhood Watch

Where calusa indians built shell mounds 2,000 years ago, condo dwellers and homeowners now stroll under palms and frolic on the sands of the two islands that make up Fort Myers Beach. The two islands, with a land mass of 2.9 square miles, are a mecca for sun worshippers, fishermen, boaters and outdoor living enthusiasts. In addition to the wide variety of homes and condos for sale, 133 hotels, motels and inns host throngs of tourists who enjoy the restaurants, shops and other attractions that are part of the vibrant scene.

Total number of residential properties: 11,270

Total number of MLS sales, Aug. 2010 to Aug. 2011: 402

Price range of MLS sales, Aug. 2010 to Aug. 2011: $50,000 to $2 million

Total number of MLS sales, Aug. 2009 to Aug. 2010: 386

Price range of sales, Aug. 2009 to Aug. 2010: $64,900 to $2.1 million

On the market: Situated on the bay with deepwater, direct Gulf access and harbor views, a two- level home offers three bedrooms, two baths and 2,014 square feet of living area. Listing Agent Christian P. Loffreno, of Loffreno Real Estate, notes that the second level is a private retreat with master bedroom, bath, office and screened balcony. The heated pool, with two-story screening, looks out on a dock equipped with two electric lifts. Built in 1988, the home has a fireplace, tray ceiling, crown molding and tile flooring. It is for sale at $780,000, furnished.

Sample sale: Located at Waterside, a three-bedroom, two-bath condominium enjoys wide views of Estero Bay and San Carlos Pass. Built in 2003 and extensively remodeled, the home has 2,119 air-conditioned square feet, plantation shutters inside and hurricane shutters outside.

Waterside’s amenities include tennis courts, fishing pier, walking/jogging paths, fitness center and sauna. Listing Agent Barbara K. Mezeske, of SunStream Real Estate of Southwest, Florida, Fort Myers, reports the home sold for $640,000, furnished, in August. Mike Koch, of Lahaina Realty, Fort Myers, was the selling agent. The unit sold in 2006 for $580,000.


Market Talk

Happiness is brewing in the high end of the real estate market, and sales figures are providing the heat. Jean Harvey, of Harvey & Associates, VIP Realty, Fort Myers, reports, “By the end of August 2010, there were 66 recorded sales in the Fort Myers MLS of homes in excess of $1 million. Of those sales, 12 were over $2 million, with a recorded high of $3.7 million.

“This stands in vivid contrast to 2011, with 100 closed sales thus far of homes in the same price range,” she explains. “Of the recorded sales, 25 were in excess of $2 million, with a high of $6,087,500.”

In northern Collier County, Mediterra’s upscale properties are also in tune with the trend.

According to Mark Wilson, president of London Bay Homes, there were 63 sales and pending transactions through July 2011. By comparison, the luxury golf community recorded 64 sales in all of 2010.

The pros agree that inventory is a huge factor in what’s happening. “With the overall reduction of inventory in the local market, the high-end
buyer is coming to perceive that the bottom, or near bottom, has been reached,” says David William Auston, a realtor with Amerivest Realty, Naples.

Auston tells of a recent transaction by a colleague, in which a mega-million-dollar home sold for $4 million more than the price of comparable homes in the neighborhood, because of the limited options. “That hasn’t happened in six years,” he says.

Auston says Naples Area Board of Realtors’ tracking statistics tell the story. “The highpoint of overall inventory was in March of 2007 with 12,440 units available,” he explains. “As of July, it was 7,010.” He adds that in April 2007, the anticipated time to sell the market inventory was 34.78 months, and that in August 2011 it was 8.83 months.

“People shopping for a new luxury home are realizing that inventory is being depleted and prices are starting to rise. For homes priced between $1 million and $2 million in Naples, prices have risen for 10 consecutive months,” says Mark Wilson.

London Bay’s Stephen Wilson, vice president and CFO, says not so many model homes were built or replaced as they were sold after 2006, but that his company is about to respond.

“We’re building six models over $1 million,” Stephen Wilson states, “with three in Sarasota and three at Mediterra.”

Auston adds, “With the decreased supply and increasing demand, we’re seeing a stabilization in luxury property prices, and appreciation could be closer than most think.”

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