Thursday, July 19, 2018

Wealth Creation and Saving Strategies | On Money Making

5 Things You Should Know About Real Estate in Cape Coral

And since we recommended you to buy your house in Cape Coral, Florida, below are 5 things that would most likely convince you to buy one in the area.
  1. Location
Located in the southwestern part of Florida, Cape Coral. Cape coral boasts miles of coastline and hundreds of waterfront and beachfront residences. The city is also famous for being the city that has the most canals, having over 400 miles of canals.  Thus, if you are a water-lover, then you surely find the place as a paradise that will surely give you daily sea breeze and sunshine.
  1. Climate
Filled with beaches and other water bodies both natural and man-made, it would be a let-down if the city does not have a tropical weather. Fortunately, Cape Coral boasts 355 days of sunshine per year with on 145 days of precipitation, which is considered incredibly low.
  1. Prices of real estate
According to surveys and statistics, the average price of a residential property in Cape Coral is around 250,000 dollars. Which is fairly competitive for a residential property in a city popular for vacations and beach outings. Furthermore, should you consider buying an investment, then you would surely be going on the right path with the high market health rating of 7.8/10 of the city, meaning, transactions are fast and reliable.
  1. Security
The security in the area is fairly low. Take note that there is no place in the world that has zero crime rate, so the city having only over 400 counts of crime in the past year is already very good. Thus, you can rest assured that you will be safe most of the time as long as you also observe proper precautions.
  1. Real estate companies
Like any other place which has the same advantages of the city, Cape Coral is filled with real estate companies, both small and large ones. So, when you choose the real estate company that will help you with choosing the perfect property for you, always make sure that they are legitimate and trustworthy. And one way to make sure of this that the company should have a licensed real estate agent located in Cape Coral Florida.
And as additional precautions, since we are dealing with hundred thousands of money. There is no harm in doing additional researches and inquiries when choosing your real estate company/agent. One good method for determining the legitimacy and reliability of a real estate company or an agent is by verifying their license with the state government. Do a quick search on the government agency regulating the real estate companies in the state of Florida and browse through the lists and check if the company of your choice has abided with the state regulations and if they had past violations. And finally, to make sure that the company is the real deal, you can check for reviews about the real estate company online or even check the experience or rating of their past clientele.

Monday, July 9, 2018

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Property valuations up again in Cape Coral

July 5, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander
On July 1, when the Lee County preliminary tax rolls come out, there has generally been a slight increase from the estimated ones that come out the month before.
For the city of Cape Coral, that came into play again this year as the overall taxable property valuation increased 8.49 percent from last year. The estimated increase on June 1 had a slightly lower 8.10 percent increase.
But despite the positive numbers, County Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson warns that Hurricane Irma could still result in less money than anticipated from the still-to-be-finalized numbers.
That's why city officials say they are in a state of caution as budget planning process begins.
Ciyt spokesperson Connie Barron said the slight increase could provide a bit more in property tax revenue, though nothing substantial.
"We're always pleased to see property value increase for our residents. They are moving in a positive direction and are more manageable from a budgetary and property value standpoint for residents," Barron said.
In 2017, Cape Coral had an even more robust year when overall taxable valuation went up 9.57 percent.
Councilmember Jennifer Nelson said the increase wasn't a big surprise to her as she was on the Budget Review Committee last year.
City Council now needs to weigh those numbers in light of both tax rates and needs, she said.
"You want to give the residents the benefit when the economy is strong with the tax rates with either the rollback rate or reducing the millage," Nelson said. "We have a lot of projects we need to fund and once the city manager puts out his budget we can evaluate that."
The rollback rate is the millage rate at which the city would bring in the same amount of revenue from property taxes.
In recent years, the increase in valuation has resulted in some decrease in the city's property tax rate. One was planned last year until Hurricane Irma and the costs of cleanup and property damage scuttled that idea.
The current millage rate is 6.750 mills, or $6.75 in taxes for every $1,000 in taxable value.
Councilmember Marilyn Stout said the rise in valuations will likely mean a raise in taxes and/or a windfall.
"I can't imagine the council will vote the rollback rate and I don't know how much money it means, but with new construction, I imagine we're looking at additional millions," Stout said. "I hope council, instead of wishing for many things, they stay conservative."
A 8.49 increase doesn't mean the city will get an 8.49 increase in revenue. Many homes fall under the Save Our Homes cap for homesteaded properties, which means tax increases can only go up according to the CPI (Consumer Price Index) or 3 percent, whichever is lower. This year, the CPI is at 2.1 percent, Barron said.
Barron said the city still needs to be wise is its budgeting so that revenues and expenditures are managed properly.
"That's the beauty if having a three-year budget, which is what we have in place. It allows us to plan for this year and look out a few years to see where we might be to base our budget decisions," Barron said.
Lee County's tax valuation went up 6.12 percent, an increase from the estimate of 5.33 percent last month, but slightly lower than the 6.56 percent increase of 2017.
The final figures of all taxing districts will now be sent to Tallahassee for final approval. TRIM notices are mailed to property owners in August. Property owners will then have 25 days to resolve any disagreement in value with the property appraiser.
Wilkinson said that while there were a lot of pluses for property owners, there were also a lot of minuses because of damage caused by Hurricane Irma and this could still affect the numbers.
"I would caution all taxing authorities not to spend it all because we will continue to have reductions. There are things they should be conscious of," Wilkinson said. "They shouldn't have to panic. The law is the law. We work with numbers, and I can't consider the effect it has on budgets. That's their problem."
Wilkinson said he expects the TRIM process to be much busier than normal post Irma, with more reductions expected with interior flood damage as well as seawalls.
"We expect the most since 2004 with (Hurricane) Charley. The adjustments for storm damage if it hasn't been repaired by last Jan. 1 will be recognized," Wilkinson said. "The big difference will be interior flood damage, which you can't see with the aerial or on the street."

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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6 Don'ts When Buying Your First Home

6 Don'ts When Buying Your First HomePixabay
These are exciting times. You've finally outgrown apartment life or living with your parents or sharing a place with waaaaayyyyy too many roommates, and you're ready to take the leap to homeownership. Now it's time to prepare. As you embark on this journey, beware of six important don'ts that could potentially derail your purchase.
Don't think it's too early to get prequalified
So, you're just going to go out "looking" at houses, you say? The time when you just expect to drive around a little and maybe visit an open house or two is obviously the time when you're going to fall in love with a house and want to make a move on it right away. If you're not already prequalified with a lender, you may not have a chance at it. Competition is fierce across the country thanks to low inventory, and well-maintained, move-in ready homes do not sit if they're priced right. Talk to a lender now to make sure you can qualify - and learn your max budget - even if you just think you're casually looking (because that can change in a hurry!).
Don't wait to the last minute to check credit
As a continuation of the casually looking conversation…you want to check your credit the second you start thinking about buying a home. You never know what's going to be on there. Even if you've never missed a payment and have always done a good job of managing your outstanding debt, there could be errors on your report that you're unaware of or even something from many years ago that you didn't realize had been reported to a credit agency. Those little boo-boos, accurate or not, could be hurting your score, and a low score could keep you from getting a mortgage at all. Give yourself time to correct errors or fix blemishes; every tick upward can help you get a better rate and make your home more affordable.
Don't forget about PMI when calculating your monthly expenses
The idea of putting as little down as possible on your new home is attractive, especially if you're not a natural saver. Today, that can mean just three percent of your purchase price, depending on the loan. For FHA loans, it's three and one-half percent. The problem with making the minimum down payment is that you then have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
"PMI is a fee you pay on your mortgage until you owe 80 percent or less of what your home is worth. It's one reason why so many experts advise homebuyers make a 20 percent down payment; if you do, you avoid the evils of paying PMI," said Student Loan Hero. "PMI can cost between 0.3 percent and 1.15 percent of your loan annually. Depending on how much you borrow, that can mean thousands of dollars in extra costs until you can cancel your PMI."
Don't ignore the closing costs
Many of us micro-focus on the down payment when getting ready to buy our first home, but there is another important expense related to the purchase: The closing costs. Closing costs encompass a wide variety of fees, some or all of which may apply to you depending on where and what you're buying. They can include everything from the application fee and appraisal to the escrow fee to the home and pest inspection to the recording fees. You're looking at between two and five percent of your purchase price for closing fees, which can definitely add up. Many first-time buyers fail to factor this in when getting ready to purchase, and you don't want something that could amount to a few thousand dollars or more to come as an 11th-hour surprise.
Don't forget to factor in all the monthly expenses
New-home communities often quote a monthly payment that looks quite affordable and that can entice buyers who don't look more closely. That's because the payment is based on principal and interest only (Typically, you'll see a star next to the payment that tells you there's a disclaimer at the bottom of the page.). If you take a look at the small print, you'll see that there are also taxes and insurance to factor in. In some cases, there is also a homeowner's association fee. That monthly payment may not be looking so good anymore.
If you're buying your first home and coming from an apartment or other rental property, you may not have worked things like a gardener into your monthly budget. You'll also want to consider that if you're going up in square footage, there could an increase in your utilities, and you may be taking on payments for things like water and trash that were covered by your rental. It's best to have a true idea of what your monthly expenses are going to look like when buying your first home so you don't end up in over your head.
Don't think you can go it alone
Can you buy a home without an agent? Sure. Is it a good idea? Not usually. It could be that you are looking to buy a home that is for sale by owner. "In the industry, we call these types of sellers unrepresented," said The Balance. "Beware if you are trying to buy a home directly from an unrepresented seller. Odds are the seller won't know what she is doing or she might be taking advantage of you; either way, it could be problematic."
Unless you are a real estate attorney or are otherwise connected to the industry and aware of the laws, contract issues, etc., it's best for you to have representation, regardless of what type of home you are buying.

Friday, June 8, 2018


Local realtors prepare for Hurricane Season

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - The beginning of Hurricane Season will mean many people in Southwest Florida are making plans and buying supplies to reinforce their homes and for possible evacuations.
People who own businesses in the area have to prepare twice as much. Preparing for storm means securing the home and their main source of income. 
Four in Your Corner spoke with local realtors on Fort Myers Beach who described how they're preparing for this season and what they learned from last year.
Brent Perrine and Bill Pilcher are two of the owners of Island Life Realty on Fort Myers Beach. They told Fox 4 that the majority of their clients are seasonal residents who aren't typically in town for hurricane season and haven't experienced a storm before. 
“A lot of it’s educating them on making sure they have some sort of protection, hurricane shutters, impact glass”, Pilcher said.
Pilcher is originally from Florida and knows how to prepare for a hurricane. Hurricane Irma didn't slow down the number of new clients they've acquired since then. He says he intends to pass along his knowledge to his clients so they're prepared for whatever comes. 
“We’re making sure we advise those new clients as well as to what they need to do to prepare.“
Last year before Hurricane Irma, Perrine and Pilcher spent time before the storm checking in on their clients' properties. 
“We personally went out of our way to go by their properties, making sure they were secure with shutters. Some of them we had to move all of their exterior furniture inside for them.”
This year Perrine and Pilcher are making sure their clients, new and old, know what to expect and how to prepare.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sales jump in Estero, Fort Myers Beach

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A view from the pier on Fort Myers Beach. COURTESY PHOTO
A view from the pier on Fort Myers Beach. COURTESY PHOTO
Closed sales and new pending sales in Lee County showed healthy increases in April.

Single family homes and townhouses and condos sat on the market for less time than in 2017. Broken down by city, Estero and Fort Myers Beach saw massive jumps in the number of homes sold. There were 79 closed sales in April compared to just 38 last year, which is an increase of nearly 108 percent. On Fort Myers Beach, 21 homes sold compared to 11 in April 2017, a 91 percent difference. Lehigh Acres, North Fort Myers, Pine Island and Sanibel/Captiva also had large increases in the number of closed sales last month.
Closed sales were up 23 percent for single family homes last month. In 2017, there were 1,186 closed sales, compared to 1,459 last month. A total of 627 townhouses and condos sold in April 2017, compared to 770 last month, an increase of 22.8 percent.

Active listings were up for both categories. There were 6,009 active single family home listings last month, up 5.1 percent from 5,719 in 2017. There were 3,545 active listings for townhouses and condos in April — a slight increase from 2017 when there were 3,495. The month’s supply of inventory increased 5.6 percent for single family but dropped 5.7 percent year-over-year for townhouses and condos.

The biggest increases when broken down by sale price came in the $250,000-$299,999, $300,000-$399,999, $600,000-$999,999 and $1,000,000-and-above price ranges. ¦

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


List Price:$889,000

Gorgeous Gulf Access Boaters Dream Home located in the Shell Mound Park area with quick and easy access off island or by boat to the Gulf. A beautifully appointed 3 bedroom and 2 bath POOL home w/ gourmet kitchen & bar featuring, double ovens, stainless steel appliances, cook-top stove, granite counters. A huge master suite w/ walk-in closet & large walk-in shower with multiple shower heads. Open floor plan with tile throughout, surround sound, tons of storage. BRAND NEW 4 ton Rheem A/C just installed. Hurricane windows and pocket impact resistant siding doors that open to the pool. Resort style custom pool area with waterfall, private spa and pool with in-pool sitting area, and outdoor kitchen/bar & grill and a screened enclosure for great entertaining. Boat dock with 14,000lb capacity boat lift with canopy. Beautifully landscaped yard with sprinkler system, 2 car garage, paver circle driveway, and a great quiet cul de sac location only a few minutes walk to the beautiful white sandy beach of the Gulf of Mexico.


Sunday, May 27, 2018

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Inventory Keeping Spring Market Active

Brenda Fioretti, NABOR® Media Relations Committee Chair, (239) 597-1666
Marcia Albert, NABOR® Director of Marketing, (239) 597-1666

Naples, Fla. (May 25, 2018) - According to the April 2018 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), Collier County enjoys a 7.76 month supply of inventory compared to a 4-month supply nationally. This is great news for Naples REALTORS® as they transition from a very busy high season to what broker analysts believe will be a very strong summer.

"Summer buyers are going to be very happy this year because there will be plenty of choices," said Mike Hughes, Vice President and General Manager for Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. "Inventory growth has been good across all price ranges and geographic territories."
According to Cindy Carroll, SRA, with the real estate appraisal and consultancy firm Carroll & Carroll, Inc., the rate of inventory loss is declining and she predicts the Collier housing market will become even more stable before the end of the year. Carroll considers a 12-month supply of inventory a stable market for Collier County. Nationally, a stable market is reflected as having a 6-month supply of inventory.
Even though April's inventory fell 2 percent to 5,793 from 5,920 in April 2017, it's actually rebuilding from an annual low of 4,608 properties in inventory at the end of September 2017.
"The reality is, the real estate market is doing much better this year than in 2017," said Hughes, considering the 2018 statistics includes the period of time when Hurricane Irma stalled home sales activity for nearly six weeks starting in September (and as reflected in the 4Q 2017 Market Report).
Condominium inventory grew 2 percent in April to 3,003 units, over half the entire market, from 2,934 units in April 2017. The $300,000 and below price category experienced the highest increase in inventory (7 percent) to 1,472 units from 1,378 units in April 2017. Pending and closed sales of condominiums in this low-end price category were also strong, with a 17 and 14 percent increase, respectively. Interestingly, the median closed price of condominiums in April dropped 8 percent to $271,000 from $296,000 in April 2017.
"Sellers are pricing properties to sell and it shows," said Adam Vellano, West Coast Sales Manager, BEX Realty - Florida.
Carroll agreed and added, "The market for homes above $1 million is hot. If we can maintain current inventory trend levels - and I think we can - then sales of properties in this price point will be strong for at least a couple of years."
Overall closed sales increased 8 percent (month over month) in April to 978 properties from 902 properties in April 2017. And just like the first three months of the year, the high-end of the market continued to outpace other price categories tracked by NABOR® in April. As shown in the report, the number of closed sales of homes between $1 and $2 million increased 34 percent, while closed sales of homes over $2 million increased 15 percent in April.
"Closed sales of single-family homes in April were up 11 percent with an increase in every price category except the $300,000 and below range, where there are only 300 single-family homes on the market," said Brenda Fioretti, Managing Broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty.
The NABOR® April 2018 Market Report provides comparisons of single-family home and condominium sales (via the Southwest Florida MLS), price ranges, and geographic segmentation and includes an overall market summary. The NABOR® April 2018 sales statistics are presented in chart format, including these overall (single-family and condominium) findings: 
April 2017April 2018CHANGE
Total homes under contract (pending sales) (month/month)
Total closed sales (month/month)902978+8%
Median closed price (month/month)$355,000$365,000+3%
Median closed price >$300K (month/month)$525,000$525,0000%
Total active listings (inventory)5,9205,793-2%
Average days on market 9795-2%
Single-family closed sales (month/month)404450-11%
Single-family median closed price (month/month)$419,000$455,000+9%
Single-family inventory2,9862,790-7%
Condominium closed sales (month/month)498528+6%
Condominium median closed price (month/month)$296,000$271,000-8%
Condominium inventory2,9343,003+2%
Geographically, real estate activity was strong across the entire county, but closed sales of single-family homes in South Naples were most remarkable with a 51 percent increase to 62 closed sales in April 2018 from 41 in April 2017.
"North Naples was also a shining star in April," said Fioretti. "Even though inventory was down 8 percent in this geographic area, its year over year pending sales increased 9 percent, the highest of all geographic areas tracked. And its closed sales increased 13 percent year over year too."
April's month over month activity was even more impressive in the North Naples area, as reflected in a 26 percent increase in closed sales. Similarly, the median closed price of condominiums in North Naples dropped 14 percent in April to $258,000 from $300,000 in April 2017.
If you are looking to sell a home in Naples, contact a REALTOR® who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can determine the right asking price. A REALTOR® can also ensure your next purchase in the Naples area is a success. Find out more at

Thursday, May 17, 2018 239.560.1574

Eight Signs It's Time To Move Up

Eight Signs It's Time To Move Up
The starter home. It was so cute and quaint and sweet when you bought it, right? But, that was before kids and dogs and overnight quests and holiday dinners that require mathematician-level logistics to finding everyone a seat in a dining room that bursts at six people.
Let's face it: It's probably time to move up. Lack of space is the No. 1 reason people start looking for a larger home. Families expand, lifestyles change, and the sheer accumulation of stuff can make a small home feel even tighter. "More than a third of all homebuyers last year were families with kids," said Dave Ramsey. "And 37% of sellers age 36 and under cited cramped quarters as their reason for moving."
But running out of room not the only reason to consider moving up.
You've got the equity
You may have had to scrimp and save for the down payment on your first home, but, if your home has appreciated, you may be in a completely different financial position this time around. If you're the type who envisions paying off your home and being free and clear, moving up may not be on your mind. But, for the rest of us, having equity in our current home means greater buying power to buy something bigger or get into a neighborhood we covet.
You're at each other's throats
Feeling cramped and living in clutter and hating that you don't have a space of your own or even a minute to yourself? That can create stress and leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. And, it goes against the general principle of homeownership since your home is supposed to be your sanctuary! Having some extra room to spread out and yard for the kids and dogs to play in can make a real difference in the way your family functions.
Ask yourself if "your quality of life is suffering," said Unpakt. "This category can include many things: your ever-growing pack of dogs or cats who are driving you crazy. Your cascading piles of fabrics that you use for quilting, but just can't keep organized in your current space. The lack of a guest room means that when family visits, you're stuck on the couch. Whatever it might be, if your quality of life has taken a nosedive because your house is too small, well, the answer is pretty clear." 
The neighborhood is changing…and not for the better
One of the reasons you may want to start looking at a new house is because your neighborhood is starting to evolve. Maybe there are new restaurants and bars that have attracted a different crowd or plans for a huge mixed-use project that, while great for the economic potential in the area, could mean more traffic than you want in your quiet little town. Even something like a change in the flight patterns from the local airport can get you thinking about that next home.
Remodeling is price prohibitive
A good real estate agent should be able to give you an idea of what necessary (or wanted) renovations would cost to your existing home. It could be that the amount of work you would need to do on your home to get it where you want it - or get it into tip-top shape for a sale - is beyond what you want to spend. In that case, it might make better financial sense to make small improvements, put it up for sale, and put your money into a new home that better suits your needs.
You don't want to over-improve for the neighborhood
The other important factor to consider when deciding whether to move or improve your home is how the redone home would sit in your neighborhood. You don't want to run the risk of doing a bunch of expensive renovations only to have the home sit on the market because it's overdone and considered overpriced.
"Weighing against renovation is the risk you'll ‘over-improve' your home compared with others on the block," said Bankrate. "When you are in a neighborhood that has starter homes and smaller homes, adding a large addition or doing an extensive renovation may not yield the return one would expect."
Everyone else has moved on
So, your kids were young and bicycles and basketball nets lined the street when you first fell in love with your home. At the time, it was everything you were looking for. But now, so many of those families have moved on, and the lively street you loved has turned rather sleepy. If you're still holding on to the memories of what your neighborhood once was, maybe it's time to find one that better meets your lifestyle needs today.
You've crunched the numbers
Presumably, a move-up home is going to be more expensive. Beyond the equity you can use to make the purchase doable, you have to consider the monthly expenses, too. "It's not just the sticker price on the house; it's the long-term costs associated with it," said "When you go up (in square footage), you get higher property taxes, higher utilities, and more maintenance." And acquiring more rooms means shelling out for more furniture, too.
You can make sure you can afford a move-up home without becoming "house poor" by "using online affordability calculators to figure out how far you can stretch your dollar.