Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016
In-depth community and market knowledge, successful negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network are the hallmarks of how I work. 13 years as a professional Florida Realtor, I live and breath the Southwest Florida lifestyle every day. I have an in-depth knowledge of the various real estate markets from the schools, waterways, fairways, and the beaches that make up our Gulf Coast of Florida. Give me a call, I guarantee you will have a fun and stress free real estate purchase or sales experience.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Buy, Don't Rent in Southwest Florida
By Katie Bassett
With home prices leveling, residents in Florida are faced with a major decision. Should you rent or buy in Southwest Florida? While the rent vs. buy debate continues to draw attention, it was found that buying a home is 37.7 percent cheaper than renting a home on a national scale.
Right now, an average U.S. home is listed to buy at $280,103 with a mortgage rate of 3.7 percent while it costs $1,769 per month to rent according to Trulia. Furthermore, mortgage rates would have to double in order to wipe out the financial advantage of buying a home, nationally.
But how do these numbers compare to the Southwest Florida housing market? Similar to the national trends, house hunters who plan on staying put for seven years or longer are better off buying than renting in the Sunshine State.
Cape Coral- Fort Myers
Famous for its palm tree-lined streets, both Fort Myers and Cape Coral are located on the southern Florida gulf coast. This area is not only popular for retirees, but it is also home to various baseball spring training camps. For residents renting in Cape Coral, target monthly rent prices average at $1500 per month and according to RentRage, the average rent for a single family home has spiked 23.6 percent in the past year.
Similarly, renters in Fort Myers will spend on average $1,650.00 per month. It costs an average of $218,664 to buy a home in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area. The percentage cost of buying vs. renting in the area is -48.1 percent, indicating that buying costs are less than renting costs. Furthermore, is percentage is greater than the national comparison rate.
Punta Gorda is a small beach town due north of Cape Coral and is known for its laidback beach lifestyle and a plethora of recreational activities. Just slightly more expensive than Cape Coral and Fort Myers, renters in the area would spend $1,800.00 per month on average. A target home price in Punta Gorda averages $200,000.00 with a mortgage rate of 3.5 percent over a seven year period. Sectioned in with the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metropolitan area, the percentage cost of buying vs. renting in the area is -48.1 percent.
Bonita Springs sits just south of Cape Coral, but is still considered in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan area. However prices are slightly more expensive. Those renting in Bonita Springs will spend on average $2,500 per month on rent while the target home price is $270,000.00. For those living in their Bonita Springs home for seven years, the owner will have a 25% income tax rate and a 3.5 percent mortgage rate.
Naples is known for their vacation rentals and has proven to be touristy. However, there are many residents who enjoy the pristine white beaches when living in Naples. On average, a renter will spend $2,900.00 per month for a home in Naples. A buyer, on the other hand, can purchase a Naples home for $279,900, with a mortgage rate of 3.5 percent over a seven year period. While it is considered one of the more expensive areas in Southwest Florida, it still falls under the national average.
In total, it is roughly 48 percent cheaper to buy vs. rent in the majority of metropolitan areas in Southwest Florida, which greatly surpasses the national 37.7 percent. This alone should make the decision for a Florida resident. It is financially more responsibly to buy a home in the Southwest Florida region, and now is the best time to make the move.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Home of the Month: Serene But Playful
With West Indies and California coastal touches, this Port Royal home avoids the look of the typical Florida house.
BY MICHAEL KORB
Welcome to the islands. Well, sort of. There’s no denying that when you pull up to 4090 Cutlass Lane in Port Royal, you’re greeted by what appears to be the West Indies. Architect John Cooney of Stofft Cooney Architects masterfully touched on all the styling cues one would expect—loges, flat-tiled compound-pitch roofs, cypress corbels and soffits, large overhangs and porches—in an effort to avoid what the owners term “the Florida home.” And thanks to a 23,500-square-foot lot perfectly plotted for privacy, the only thing that hints at not being in the tropics is reliable Internet.
But once inside, warm wood throughout (wide-plank white oak floors and details inside, extensive bamboo in the outside living spaces) and textures give off a California coastal vibe tinged with midcentury aesthetics. Yet it’s the use of color that whimsically hints that a beach is nearby. “I wanted it to be a serene setting, but I also wanted it to be playful,” says the owner, who is based in Pittsburgh with her husband. “I enjoy color. Nobody pushed me toward anything. In fact, I was pushing them.”
Not surprisingly, with homes scattered across the country, she knew exactly what she wanted in the 5,846-square-foot sanctuary. “We spend a lot of time in California and in the islands, so we wanted an open, airy floor plan with one giant living space. We were looking for a California coastal feel, which gave us those clean lines but with a lot of wood and textures that would warm it up.”
Plus, the use of turquoise and blues plays things up without being overpowering. From the master bath’s gradient glass tile wall to the guest bedroom’s energetic sea foam, color works its magic. But nowhere is that more true than in the kitchen, where custom cabinets in a pale Caribbean blue stand out from the white quartz surfaces and oversized subway tile backsplashes. “We wanted clean lines but not cold. And I didn’t want a white kitchen,” the owner says. “I had that color in mind. It needed to be subtle and yet a statement—there is a fine line.”
But perhaps the most important feature of the home is its sightline outward. Key rooms needed to have a view and/or open to the outdoors. Cooney, working along with landscape architect Koby Kirwin, created a space that begs to be experienced. From within the outdoor living room, eyes are directed across three different levels of water surrounded by lush vegetation.
“We wanted a resort-like feel,” the owner says. “We managed to create privacy on both sides, so we really feel like we’re by ourselves even though we have neighbors on both sides. We brought in all the planting. We really wanted the house to sort of sink into the land.”
And with that they created some island life right here on the mainland.
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