It's the sweet spot for single-family-home sales in
Southwest Florida: $250,000.
Unless, that is, you want to live south of San Carlos Park, in which case you can forget about it.
"You really can't find single-family there under $300,000 now," said David Cobb, regional director in the Naples-Fort Myers area for housing data provider Metrostudy, which tracks pricing and new-home construction in subdivisions.
But throughout most of Lee County, it's a price point that offers a decent variety of homes — although what you get for the money varies considerably by what part of town you choose.
Cape Coral is the top of the line for that price range, said Steve Koffman of Koffman & Associates, a broker/associate at #1 Century 21 Team in FL.
"They could get one of 56 homes between $200,000 and $250,000 with Gulf access," he said.
Those tend to be older houses with two or three bedrooms and 1,300 to 1,800 square feet, and "you don't get too many with pools," Koffman said.
If you can live without the Gulf access, the choices are more plentiful, he said: 143 pool homes are available in that price range.
Denny Grimes, of Denny Grimes & Co. and Royal Shell Real Estate, said homes for sale in the $200,000-$250,000 range have a median time of 30 days listed, compared to 70 to 90 days for the home market as a whole.
He attributed that to demographics: The median price of a home nationally is $200,000, so that's close to the amount a typical family would spend when relocating here from up North.
Besides, Grimes said, "If you're going to come down to Southwest Florida, where else are you going to go? You're not going to Collier County for $250,000."
There are limits to what you can get for $250,000. In Fort Myers, for example, 12 pool homes built in 2002 or later are listed for sale in that range, Koffman said.
As far south as the Daniels Parkway corridor, "The typical master-planned community with a smaller amenities package is $120, $135 per square foot," Cobb said, so a 2,000-square-foot home would be available for $250,000.
Grimes said he expects the middle-range homes in Lee County will continue to appreciate as demand keeps inventories low and builders of new homes run into buyer resistance to future price increases.
For a prospective seller of a $250,000 house, he said, "Every morning when he wakes up his house is worth a little more. The market is marching to him."