Home and Design

Realty Check: June 2012

BY May 29, 2012

What Your Money Will Buy

… for $6.2 million, $1.6 million and $635,000. By Maxine Ginsberg


five-bedroom home is located on a private, 1.19-acre home site with a magnificent golf course view, and that there are just under 12,000 square feet all on one floor

“Most appealing to the buyer are that this five-bedroom home is located on a private, 1.19-acre home site with a magnificent golf course view, and that there are just under 12,000 square feet all on one floor,” says Dan Guenther of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Naples.

An extra plus, he says, is that the location is Estuary at Grey Oaks, Naples, a community where the buyers already had a home. “We find many owners love the exclusive, quaint feel of the Estuary at Grey Oaks and tend to move within the community,” Guenther says. Another attraction is the exceptional opportunity to entertain guests, he explains. Two of the guest bedrooms are two-room suites with kitchens. There are six full baths, two half baths and garage space for six vehicles. The lanai, overlooking a lake and the eighth and ninth fairways, is equipped with a negative-edge pool, several seating areas and an outdoor kitchen. Built in 2010, the home has a total area of 16,279 square feet.

Guenther, who was co-listing with Melissa Williams, Sam Heitman and Michael Lawler, and the sole selling agent, says the sale closed for $6.2 million, unfurnished, in March.


The furnished home sold in April for $1,595,000

“I was thrilled when buyers with a large family contacted me to find a Marco Island home where they could escape the cold South Dakota winters,” says Sue Ackerson, broker/owner of Anchor Real Estate, Marco Island. “The perfect five-bedroom, five-bath built by Coast to Coast Custom Homes was waiting.”

Ackerson notes that her clients were impressed with the quality of workmanship and attention to detail in the house. “The home is packed with outstanding features, such as 21-foot coffered ceilings, travertine floors and a tumbled marble pool deck,” she says. Built in 2008, with 4,569 square feet under air and a total of 5,584 square feet, the property comes with a 70-foot floating dock and bridge-less Gulf access. Featured as a local magazine dream home, the interiors were furnished by Robb & Stucky, another major lure for the buyers. “The elegant furnishings made this the perfect choice,” says Ackerson, the selling agent. “How convenient for the buyers to step right in and enjoy this home furnished just like a model.”

The furnished home sold in April for $1,595,000.


McWilliams reports that the home has 2,727 air-conditioned square feet and 3,583 total square feet and sold in February for $635,000, unfurnished

It was the water access that spurred a Northeastern couple to purchase a three-bedroom, three-bath home in Town & River, Fort Myers, on their very first Southwest Florida home shopping trip, says selling agent John McWilliams, of McWilliams Buckley & Associates Realtors, Fort Myers.

“They are retired professionals with a 45-foot boat who want access to the Intracoastal Waterway,” says McWilliams. “The Caloosahatchee River is right where they want it.”

It helped that the property has 120 feet of canal frontage with deep water, direct Gulf access and a large wraparound boat dock.

The house is right where they want it, too, he explains, in an established community with mature landscaping. Built in 1974, the newly landscaped home has been completely remodeled and has a new pool and spa. There’s a new tile roof, replaced windows, new kitchen cabinetry and new stainless steel kitchen appliances.

McWilliams reports that the home has 2,727 air-conditioned square feet and 3,583 total square feet and sold in February for $635,000, unfurnished.


Neighborhood Watch: TARPON POINT, CAPE CORALNeighborhood Watch


A 175-slip marina, a 19-story resort hotel and a boardwalk village are among the amenities of Tarpon Point, Cape Coral. Marketing began in 2007 for the 170-acre community, located at the juncture of the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico. Residential options include a gated enclave of three, 14-story condominium buildings, plus waterfront single-family homes and lakeside carriage homes.

Total number of properties: 377

Total MLS sales, March 2011 to March 2012: 77

Price range: $165,000 to $2.5 million

Total MLS sales, March 2010 to March 2011: 20

Price range: $165,000 to $575,000

On the market: Sunrise views over the marina and the Caloosahatchee River are on display from the kitchen, great room and master suite of a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath condominium unit in Tarpon Landings. The elevator delivers residents and guests to a private foyer and the start of a 2,900 square-foot floor plan with sunset views over the Intracoastal Waterway from the two guest suites and the study. Listing agent Lisa Petruska, of RE/MAX Realty Group, Fort Myers, notes the private two-car garage is deeded to the property and that a pool-side cabana, with full bath and wet bar is an optional purchase. The price is $419,000, unfurnished.

Recent sale: Wood and marble flooring grace the living areas of this three-bedroom, canal-front home just minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway. The two-story home’s 4,224-square-foot living area provides a bonus room on the second floor, three full baths and two half baths. Built in 2007, the home (pictured) includes a sun deck, pool, spa and summer kitchen. The dock accommodates a watercraft up to 100 feet. The home sold for $2 million, furnished, in March.



Market Talk


Buyers can make mistakes when they search for property in the local marketplace, and those errors could cost them the home of their dreams.

Mindy Sylvester, of the Sylvester Realty Group at Downing-Frye Realty, Naples, notes that too many home shoppers don’t take the time to base their offers on important research.

“They need to take into consideration how long a home has been on the market and how its price compares with similar homes that have sold within the last 60 to 90 days,” she explains.

“If their research reveals the home is priced at market value and has only been listed for a short time, they need to make a strong offer, or they stand a good chance of losing out.”

John Krol, of Realty World Top Producers, Old Naples, says choosing the agent is as crucial as picking a property. “Your agent shouldn’t be someone you just bump into,” he says. “In particular, foreign nationals should make sure they’re working with people with experience in international transactions. In some cases, they need people who know about locking in a currency rate and what a cross border trust is. And they need to know the implications of their exit strategy when they sell. They need an agent with resources, who can guide them to the specialists they may require.”

So how does a home shopper find the right match? One way is to access the Better Business Bureau online and discover whether the firm they are considering has ever had complaints filed against them. Another is to ask questions, Krol advises. Find out if the agent is in the top one percent of local agents. That can be validated by asking to see that list that in Naples is compiled by the local board of realtors. Another is to ask if the agent is full or part-time. Ask how much experience the person has had in real estate and how many transactions he or she had last year.

“It doesn’t cost any more to have the best representation,” Krol says. And it could cost a lot not to.

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