Forclosures Decline, Home Sales Up!

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.23.38 PM
The median price of an existing single-family home in Lee County was $200,000 in June — an 8.1 percent increase from $185,000 in June 2013.

Also, sales of existing homes in Lee County in June spiked up from the same period last year, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach. However, the number of sales and the size of inventory decreased slightly from May.

Steve Koffman, broker and associate for Century 21 Sunbelt Realty in Cape Coral, said only the median price is up.

“If you look at waterfront properties, those prices are looking pretty flat,” Koffman said.

In May, the median price for a house was $195,000.

In June, there were 1,213 single-family sales, up 15.3 percent from last years’ 1,052 sales. Despite the increase, single-family home sales are down 6.2 percent from May 2014’s 1,293 sales.

“Buyers, in general, are declining,” Koffman said.

Short sales and foreclosures made up 20.1 percent of single-family home sales in June, while traditional sales made up 79.9 percent. Short sales and foreclosuresmade up 22.3 percent of sales in May 2014.

“Foreclosures and short sales are declining,” he said. “Those were remnants of people affected by the real estate crash.”

In Collier County, the median price for a house rose to $392,000 from $322,000 in June 2013.

 

The existing homes market is starting to level off from the real estate crash eight years ago.

The inventory of single-family homes for sale in June was 5,229, up 5.5 percent from June 2013. June’s inventory was down 311 from May 2014.

Increased prices gives people a chance to put their homes up for sale and then become buyers.

 

Foreclosure rates in Cape Coral-Fort Myers decreased for the month of May over the same period last year.

Information compiled by CoreLogic reveals that the rate of Cape Coral-Fort Myers area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 4.02 percent for May, a decrease of 3.11 percent in May 2013 when the rate was 7.13 percent. Foreclosure activity in Cape Coral-Fort Myers was higher than the national foreclosure rate, which was 1.73 percent in May.

Also, the mortgage delinquency rate in Cape Coral-Fort Myers decreased. In May, 7.27 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 11.25 percent for the same period last year, representing a decrease of 3.98 percent.

Source: CoreLogic

Highlights from reports

  • Highlights from the June 2014 existing homes reports:
  • In Lee, the median price of condos increased 5.6 percent in June to $171,000 from the $162,000 it was in June 2013.
  • The percentage of sellers getting the original listing price was 92.8. This is a 1.1 percent decrease from the 93.8 percent it was in June 2013.
  • The median days home was on the market in June was 53. This is a 7 percent decrease from June 2013, which was 57 days.
  • In Collier, closed sales on houses jumped to 419 from 408 in June 2013. Sales at $2 million or more declined to 16 from 22 in June 2013.

Sources: Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and The Beach; Naples Area Board of Realtors

Look For Us In This Saturday’s News-Press!

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 6.07.19 PM

 

This Saturday’s Issue of The News-Press features TechVenture Real Estate and largest unit located in the luxurious Marina South at Cape Harbour!
click here for details!

Plenty Cooking Outdoors

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 7.50.03 AMHomes in Southwest Florida are bringing the inside outside. All the comforts of home from the plush couches to dining room tables to state-of-the-art kitchens are heading outdoors. A huge trend in outdoor living keeps getting bigger and more elaborate in new homes.

It used to be that homeowners wanted a small covered area on their lanai for a gas grill and a table to eat outside. Now the stand-alone grill is something of the past. The new outdoor kitchens have everything from grills and slow cookers to stovetops and refrigerators. The tables have gone from plastic to metal or glass and the seating from wooden chairs with a cushion to full couches.

“Everyone has an outdoor kitchen,” said Nicky Weston, marketing manager for London Bay Homes. “That one I do have in every house. That is important to every client that I have. I haven’t met one that doesn’t want an outdoor kitchen.”

London’s Bay’s new Brighton model not only has an outdoor kitchen and living area, but a design that keeps the flooring, ceiling and furniture inside and outside streamline so with the doors pushed fully open it is hard to tell where the inside ends and the outside begins.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 7.50.16 AMBuilders say it’s a lifestyle that their clients clamor for.

“We hear a lot of times people get off work and they want to be outside,” explained Dan Dodrill, owner of Daniel Wayne Homes. “I just live out there. We have a barbecue, nice furniture, TV, fireplace.

It’s a lifestyle. They say they just want to live out there, retreat and really enjoy the Southwest Florida weather.”

Snowbirds spend their time here when the weather is at its best. They don’t have to worry about the heat and bugs. They are also grateful to be away from the snow and cold and want to take advantage of the outdoors.

Dennis Casey loves his huge lanai that feels like an extension of his Quail West home.

“That adds 1,000 square feet to the house,” Casey said. “When we’re down there we spend a lot of time outside so that the outdoors are important, not just for entertaining, but for living.

That living just keeps getting bigger and more elaborate, local developers say.

“It used to be just a niche for a gas grill,” described Karen Tracey of Tracey Quality Building. “Now it is much bigger and they want the outdoor living atmosphere.”

“This is a big trend. They want lots of room for outdoor entertaining,” added Rob Woods, vice president of Michelangelo Custom Homes.

Don Krispin had a Michelangelo home built in Miromar Lakes and loves the outdoor living his home provides.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 7.50.25 AM“The attention to architectural detail is second to none, and it just allows for the full enjoyment of the outdoor living that Florida offers,” Krispin said. “We have a covered lanai with roll-up screens, huge pool area, and a cabana house as well, which is sort of unique.”

Some of the more upscale homes have lanais with screens that roll down from the covered portion of the outdoors. That allows residents to have an unobstructed view when there are no bugs and nice weather, yet roll down the screens when needed.

“Especially in season we all want to be outdoors,” said Regan Reed, owner of Croix Interiors. “That’s why they buy in Naples.”

(via NewsPress)

Southwest Florida’s The Place To Rent To Boomers

real estate header
Southwest Florida is a great place for landlords to rent to boomers, according to a report out Thursday by RealtyTrac.

Charlotte County was ninth, Lee 17th and Collier 21st on the ranking of top baby boomer markets nationwide. As might be expected, those counties didn’t place on the Top 50 markets for Millennials.

The ranking was based on gross rental yield, meaning the average rent for a three-bedroom home divided by the median sales price. The study looked at counties with populations of 100,000 or more and at least a 10 percent increase in baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1964).

Charlotte had a 12.73 percent rental yield and a 34.3 percent increase in boomers from 2007-2013. Lee had a yield of 10.03 and an increase of 27.6 percent in boomers; Collier was at a 6.64 yield and a 24.3 percent jump in boomers.

The top county, Pasco, which is just north of Tampa, had a rental yield of 20.93 percent. It had just an 11.7 percent rise in boomers, but they make up 27 percent of its population. In Lee, 28.1 percent of the population is boomers.

Changes in Associations Law effective July 1st

imageHB 807 has been sent to the governor and is expected to be signed, becoming effective July 1, 2014. Today, we will focus on changes applicable to cooperative associations:

• Official Records: Similar to the law for condominiums, Section 719.104(2)(c) of the Florida Cooperative Act will be amended to provide that an association may print and distribute a directory containing the name, parcel address, and telephone numbers for each cooperative parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude his or her telephone numbers from the directory by so requesting in writing to the association. Further, a cooperative unit owner may consent, in writing, to the disclosure of other “protected” information, such as email addresses.

• Surrender of Official Records By Outgoing Directors: Section 719.104(2)(e) of the Cooperative Act has been amended to provide that an outgoing board member or committee member must relinquish all official records and property of the association in his or her possession, or under his or her control, to the incoming board within five days after election. The state agency which enforces cooperative laws is empowered to levy civil penalties for noncompliance.

• Financial Reporting: Similar to an amendment added to the condominium statute last year, Section 719.104(4) of the Cooperative Act has been amended regarding required year-end financial reports for cooperative associations. Within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year or calendar year, or annually on the date provided in the bylaws, a cooperative association must prepare a financial report covering the preceding fiscal year. The report must be provided to the members, or made available, no later than 121 days after the end of the fiscal year, calendar year, or date set forth in the bylaws. The required financial statements include compilations for those cooperative associations with annual revenues between $150,000 and $299,999; reviewed financial statements for cooperative associations with annual revenues between $300,000 and $499,999; and audited financial statements for cooperative associations with revenues in excess of $500,000. Associations with total annual revenues of less than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures. The law exempts cooperative associations operating less than 50 units. An association, by a majority vote of the members, may waive the required reports (although some type of report is always required), but for no more than three consecutive years.

• Board Eligibility: Section 719.106(1)(a)2 of the Cooperative Act has been amended to provide that a person who has been suspended from office by the state is not eligible to be a candidate for the board. Likewise, persons who have been charged with theft of association funds may not serve on the board while such charges are pending. Also, similar to what the law for condominiums has been for some time, persons convicted of a felony are not eligible for board membership unless their civil rights have been restored for at least five years.

• Emergency Powers: Section 719.128 of the Cooperative Act has been amended to grant a cooperative association with certain extraordinary powers after catastrophic events, such as a hurricane. These changes are generally similar to the changes to the condominium statute made after the 2004-05 hurricanes. Included within such powers are the authority to determine when the property must be evacuated and prohibiting property owners from returning to the community until it is determined safe to do so.

8 Stunning Florida Towns You NEED To Visit!

Florida’s a big state, and possibly the best one to road trip through!

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 12.03.35 PM

1. For secluded and untouched beauty, visit Sanibel Island.

tumblr_mlveoso1e51qejnu4o1_500 tumblr_myt25hAnED1sqgccho1_500 tumblr_mf3lafUWsV1r9ed9eo1_500

You won’t find many buildings that are taller than a palm tree on Sanibel Island, and that’s because the city has taken careful measures to preserve the natural beauty of the area. The town is markedly devoid of fast food restaurants, which were banned, and even stoplights. So get ready to step into a world that feels totally removed from the norm.

Where to stay: For an all-inclusive resort, stay at Casa Ybel, which is right on the Gulf Of Mexico and features a spa and gourmet dining. And if you’d prefer something cozy, the Mango Street Inn B&B is perfect.
Where to eat: Don’t let the name fool you, The Mad Hatter restaurant is excellent fine dining and seafood; you’ll want to take home the hot sauce from Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill.
What to do: Do the “Sanibel Stoop,” which is when you stoop down to collect some of the 250 different kinds of shells found on the island.

2. If you’re looking for fresh seafood, sponges, and Greek culture, visit Tarpon Springs.

tumblr_lxtyisirKE1qz9tzvo1_500 grid-cell-22545-1401497302-1 grid-cell-22545-1401497304-4

Tarpon Springs is a riverfront town with a historic downtown district and brick streets. It’s also heavily influenced by Greek culture — the Greeks began to immigrate there in the 1880s when they were hired to harvest sponges — and as you walk down the main drag you’ll find authentic foods, like moussaka and baklava.

Where to stay: The 1910 Inn is packed with charm and fresh bread baked daily.
Where to eat: Get a Greek combo platter at Mama’s, then indulge in some spanakopita at Hellas.
What to do: Shop for fresh sponges along the famous sponge docks; If you’re there in January, make sure to watch the Epiphany celebration held each year.

3. If you’re longing for white sand and outdoor adventures, look no further than Santa Rosa Beach.

grid-cell-3580-1400778536-5 grid-cell-3580-1400778535-2

Santa Rosa Beach is all white sugar sand and nestled along a 26-mile stretch of Florida’s Emerald Coast. It’s home to a unique artist colony, as well as the Point Washington State Forest, a 15,000-acre preserve, making this town one of those rare places where you can go from luxury to the rugged outdoors easily.

Where to stay: If you’re traveling with a family, the WaterColor Inn & Resort will have everyone covered. Or if you’re looking for something outdoorsy, pitch a tent in the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.
Where to eat: If you’re in need of a lively atmosphere, head to The Red Bar for live music and fresh grouper. Be sure to save room for a slice of key lime pie at Christiano’s.
What to do: Catch a concert at the Seaside Amphitheater, or rent a kayak and sail down the breathtaking Dune Lakes.

 

4. Delray Beach is a slice of paradise you won’t want to miss.

 

grid-cell-31169-1401497403-6 enhanced-buzz-wide-7162-1394665144-25

Delray Beach was named the Most Fun Small Town in America in 2012 by USA Today, which probably has something to do with the busy downtown area. You can sip wine as you roam through a gallery art walk, or snorkel through a sunken steamship during the day.

Where to stay: If you’re looking for cozy and fun, then Crane’s BeachHouse — with 27 guest suites and live music on the weekends — is ideal. While the Sundy House is perfect for a romantic getaway, with just 11 guest accommodations, private gardens, and an all-natural pool so you can swim with tropical fish.
Where to eat: Sip sangria and share tapas at Papa’s, or get your fill of oysters at the J&J Seafood Bar.
What to do: Walk across the three-mile boardwalk on the Wakodahatchee Wetlands to try and spot alligators and identify the more than 140 different species of birds.

 

5. For a quintessential beach town, it’s Destin for the win.

 

enhanced-buzz-wide-12242-1394666117-7 grid-cell-23109-1401497489-6 grid-cell-23109-1401497488-3

Most people go to Destin for the unbelievable beaches, and it’s easy to see why: They’re quite perfect. Plus, there’s a fun (and free!) boardwalk to stroll on. If you’re looking for loads of outdoor action, Destin is a great spot to visit.

Where to stay: The Sandestin resort is in a great location and perfect for those who have some cash to burn. But if you want to stay outdoors, you can set up camp at Henderson Beach State Park.
Where to eat: You can literally have dinner on the sand at the Beach Walk Cafe, or get your fill of seafood at the Louisiana Lagniappe, which also serves complimentary hush puppies with every meal.
What to do: Take a professional sand sculpting class from the masters, and wade around Crab Island, which is a part of the beach where the water is waist deep and floating vendors (think ice cream and sandwiches) cater to your every whim. Also, if you’re a movie buff, take a detour to Seaside, Fla., where The Truman Show was filmed.

6. For southern charm in a small town, take a side trip to Mount Dora.

grid-cell-2444-1401497543-12 grid-cell-2444-1401497542-9 enhanced-buzz-wide-21401-1394667103-13

Located more centrally in Florida, Mount Dora is a sleepy little town with enough charm to knock you off your feet. The historic downtown area is packed with boutiques, local coffee shops, and events like the annual art festival. If you’re in the mood for some southern charm, and wraparound porches, then definitely stop here.

Where to stay: For a little slice of history, stay at the 130-year-old Lakeside Inn (President Calvin Coolidge vacationed there for a month!) Or for a cozier stay, try the Heron Cay B&B.
Where to eat: You can devour a pulled pork sandwich and top it off with some key lime pie at Sugarboo’s BBQ. Or grab some authentic Cuban food at Copacabana.
What to do: Do you like antiques? Get ready to shop in the two enormous markets. Then grab a Mount Dora brew at the brewing company. Or take an eco boat tour around Lake Dora and learn about the Spanish moss. There’s an adorable farmer’s market with fresh seafood, local crafts, and produce.

7. Don’t miss visiting America’s oldest city: St. Augustine

grid-cell-16459-1401497584-6 grid-cell-16459-1401497583-3 enhanced-buzz-wide-31070-1400804485-22

St. Augustine is America’s oldest city. It was founded by the Spanish and settled in 1565, and because of that it has a lot of history to explore.

Where to stay: The St. George Inn is located smack in the middle of the historic district and even has a view of the oldest masonry fort in the U.S., the Castillo de San Marco.
Where to eat: For perfect cocktails, go to the Ice Plant Bar, and The Floridian has amazing options for vegans and omnivores.
What to do: The most unique part of St. Augustine is just how historic it is. Make sure to see the Castillo, Fort Matanzas, the city gate, and the oldest wooden schoolhouse in America.

8. For underrated history and serene beaches, check out Fort Myers

grid-cell-639-1401497657-6 grid-cell-639-1401497656-3 enhanced-buzz-wide-27267-1400783455-7

Certain areas of Fort Myers are more bustling than others, but the historic district is quaint and lined with hip bars, galleries, and plenty of trendy restaurants. The real highlight, though, are the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, both of which are still intact and worth a trip.

Where to stay: The Mango Street Inn is a B&B that’s run by a husband-and-wife team who cook up gourmet breakfasts just a short walk from the beach.
Where to eat: Start your day off right with a cinnamon roll from Heavenly Biscuit, and get your fix of southern comfort food, like shrimp and grits, at Fancy’s.
What to do: Did you know that Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were buddies? Well, they were. So much so that they owned adjacent homes where they spent their winters. You can visit both of them and walk through Edison’s laboratory and Ford’s garage. It’s well preserved and absolutely fascinating.
& Why not stay? TechVenture Real Estate would love to show you the beautiful homes and golf course communities while you’re in town, such as The Renaissance Country Club!
Main-Entry-Gate
Click Here for detailed property photos and listings!

Foreclosures Stay Low in Lee County

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.08.23 AM

Lee County continued its streak of pre-recession-level foreclosure numbers in May while residential home permits for the month showed continuing strength. Lenders filed a mere 188 foreclosure lawsuits in May, according to statistics released Monday by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association. May’s number came on the heels of April’s 195 foreclosures, the lowest since mid-2006. That returned the county to a time before the avalanche of defaults that followed the implosion of home prices at the end of 2005. Complete numbers for home permits issued throughout the county weren’t available Monday but early indications were for a strong home construction market. Builders in unincorporated Lee County pulled 88 permits in May, up from 68 in April and 80 in May 2013. In Cape Coral, 56 permits were pulled. That was up from 54 in April and 42 in May 2014. “Welcome to the new normal,” said Jeff Tumbarello, director of the investment association and owner/broker of Steelbridge Realty in North Fort Myers. “We’re pretty much just a normal market again and with twice the national cash percentage, that’s a beautiful thing.”

Tim Rose, president of Fort Myers-based Arthur Rutenberg Homes, said May’s numbers reflect the number of new residences sold about two months earlier, when sales were solid but “relatively quiet.” However, he said, “The second quarter picked up quite a bit” both in Southwest Florida and around the state. The late season came as a surprise, Rose said. “It’s unusual. Nobody has been able to put their finger on it. Has the weather affected people being able to get down here?” Tumbarello said he expects the continuing drought in foreclosures to keep the market for existing homes tight without the constant flow of homes being taken back by lenders and re-sold. Also, he said, there should be upward pressure on prices because buyers won’t be able to buy cheap from banks forced to sell large numbers of houses they’ve taken back. “Now they’ve got to buy the home from the guy who’s owned it for who knows how many years and isn’t concerned with blowing it out like the bank,” Tumbarello said. Besides Cape Coral and Lee County, numbers were released by Sanibel (three permits) and Fort Myers Beach (one permit). Numbers from Fort Myers and Bonita Springs weren’t available Monday.

 

Our Listing Featured On News-Press This Week

IMG_8820

This Cape Coral property, listed by TechVenture Real Estate, is featured this week on News-Press.com:
TechVenture Real Estate: Porto Vista Condo in Cape Coral

Click here to learn more about 1522 S.W. 50th St., #202 and view the photo gallery! Contact Brett Gowdy, TechVenture Real Estate, at 239-945-6675 to schedule a showing or any of your real estate needs.

Cash Rules Southwest Florida Home Sales

Cash is king in Southwest Florida where the certainty of a quick, uncomplicated home sale can trump a higher offer that’s at the mercy of a bank loan officer.

That’s what local buyers, sellers and brokers alike say, and the sentiment is borne out by a recent report by Irvine, Calif.-based housing data company RealtyTrac.

Among metro areas with 500,000 or more residents, Cape Coral-Fort Myers is No. 1 with 73.6 percent of its home deals in cash in the first quarter, according to the report.

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 6.44.01 PM

The Naples area wasn’t included in the report because it has fewer than 500,000 residents.

“It’s amazing how much cash offers there are,” said Courtney Neuhausel, co-owner of Fort Myers-based Sandbill Homes, which buys and sells homes and property. “You would think things would be tighter” with the recession still vivid in people’s memories.

He cited an example of a purchase brokered by Sandbill in which the buyer “offered $20,000 under list price, and the seller took it just to have the comfort of knowing it was a done deal.”

But deals don’t always play out that way, Neuhausel said, because someone in no hurry to sell won’t be swayed by the prospects of a speedy transaction.

Still, he said, some sellers — especially of land — buy and sell at a rapid pace and won’t deal with anything but cash offers because they can’t afford the delays and the uncertainty that go with financing.

When Sandbill buys land, Neuhausel said, he has to close the deal quickly and irrevocably. “If I have a nonretractable contract and I put $5,000 down, I don’t want to walk away from that money.”

Jeff Tumbarello, owner/broker of North Fort Myers-based Steelbridge Realty, said the difference between cash and carry can cut both ways.

A cash buyer using his own money might be unwilling to bid up to the price needed to close the deal in a rising market, he said, while “a leveraged buyer will pay more” because he’s financing the deal with a loan.

In that case, Tumbarello said, “the narrative favors the leveraged buyers, who are able to respond more to the sellers.”

Bob Knight, co-owner of Cape Coral-based Paul Homes, said that for a buyer having a house built, there’s been a recent shift back toward financing.

“During the recession it was more cash for building new construction because it was difficult to get financing,” he said. “Banks were still reeling because of what happened. Now, in the past 18 months, the banks have opened up a lot more.”

As a result, Knight said, some of his clients who have the wherewithal to simply write a check are financing because low interest rates make that a more attractive proposition.

From a builder’s perspective it’s a wash, he said. On the one hand, “With the bank, the money’s in place and it will be to the end of the project. It’s more work, though, dealing with the bank’s regulations.”

Dealing directly with a buyer is generally simpler but the builder has to make sure he’s good for the total cost of the project,” Knight said. In the end, “It’s probably about the same amount of time.”

Mike Diamond, of Diamond Custom Homes, who builds upscale houses in Lee and Collier counties, said his clients generally can pay cash although sometimes they choose strategically to use a private banker or a line of equity. “Most of these people aren’t obtaining a mortgage.”

Also, he said, a lot of customers simply have a lot of cash lying around with no attractive options to invest it: interest rates are low and the stock market is arguably over-bought after five years of strong gains.

“There’s just a lot of cash on the sidelines,” Diamond said.

Housing Starts Up In Fort Myers/Naples Area

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 8.31.40 AM
Builders started construction on 818 houses in the Naples/Fort Myers housing market in the first quarter of 2014, up 21 percent from a year earlier, according to a report by Metrostudy, a national provider of housing data.

“Finished, vacant home supply continues to be virtually non-existent,” said David Cobb, Metrostudy’s Regional Director in the Naples Market. “Lee County has only a 0.7 month’s supply, while Collier remains below equilibrium as well at 1.7 months of supply. As in the previous quarter, this is a reflection that almost every home under construction has been sold.”

In Lee County, there were 381 lot deliveries in the first quarter, up 29 percent from a year earlier.

The county has 6,902 vacant developed lots, down 5 percent from a year earlier, according to the report.

In addition to the developed lots, there are plans for 48,012 future lots. Many of these lots lie in the northern and eastern sections of the county, where development has been slow to recover.

Collier County housing starts rose 36 percent in the first quarter to 1,624. The annual starts rate has risen for 19 consecutive quarters, from a low of 399 in early 2009, the report states.

“Builders report that the labor market remains tight, which in some cases is limiting the supply of new homes,” said Cobb. “The supply of vacant, developed lots declined 9 percent year over year to 4,496.”