John R Wood makes speech at JRW annual awards ceremony

February 27, 2017 (Naples, FL) – Nearly 60 years after Founder, John R. Wood, opened the doors of his first real estate office, over 150 agents across 13 offices in Southwest Florida were recognized for top performance in more than a dozen distinguishing categories that comprise the John R. Wood Properties Circle of Excellence Awards. The awards breakfast, which was held at the Naples Grande Beach Resort on February 22, 2017, was underscored by the attendance of its legendary Founder and Chairman of the Board, John R. Wood.

The three-hour breakfast began with a poignant video tribute that inspired laughter and appreciation surrounding the realities of the real estate profession. Special presentations were shared as individual introductions of the honorees were announced. The camaraderie between agents, staff, and managers was evidenced in the level of networking as well as through the supportive applause and standing ovations as awards were presented to fellow agents.

The now 87-year-old John Wood, who recently lost his wife of almost 66 years to cancer, quietly watched the ceremony unfold. When the awards were complete, he made his way to the stage to address the family of Realtors and staff before him. Ever the southern gentleman and family man, Mr. Wood began his speech with humbled gratitude at the success and growth of his company over the years. He reminisced about the opening of his first office in 1958 when there was only one Realtor employed. He then gave a touching tribute to his late wife and the many contributions she made to the company over the years. To close, he offered singular appreciation to each and every individual in the room for creating the amazing entity that now comprises John R. Wood Properties.

“The success of this company is because of every single one of you in this room,” said Mr. Wood. “Every single one of you. And I thank God for each of you.”

The entire banquet hall was on their feet with applause and palpable emotion. The energy within the room was a testament not only to the unique company dynamic, but also the ultimate reverence felt for a man who remains a living legend in the real estate community and especially to his family of over 500 Realtors at John R. Wood Properties.

Below is a list of the John R. Wood Properties 2016 Circle of Excellence Awards presented at the Annual Awards Breakfast

January 2017 shows increase in sales

January 2017 saw an overall increase in sales.  2016 may have been a rough year in the real estate market, but the price dips in home sales is not worrying Realtors after all.  NABOR, Collier County’s Realtor association, reports continuously track the sales in Collier County which includes mostly re-sale homes and rarely new home sales.

The median home price is down just 8% from last year during January,  but we will see these prices rise.  They will slowly start to peak once again.  Pending sales were up 9% this year and closed sales were up 6% compared to January 2016.  Making this the first dual-rise since March 2015!

January seems to be off to a good start since the hype of the Presidential election has somewhat settled and the momentum of the tourist season continues to grow.  This will surely support the consumer confidence in the marketplace and closing should continue to rise.

Inventory of homes and condos is up 26% from 5,100 to 6,400. There is still so many properties to choose from, making it a buyers market. This may be a reflection of asking prices being too high and why we saw many price reductions during the last year.  However, if homes are priced right when first listed, it should attract buyers and the offers will follow.  This is the perfect time to sell regardless if it is a buyer’s market.

 

2017 legislative priority: Time to cap estoppel fees!

A seller and a buyer are under contract for a condominium, a loan has been secured, inspections have been performed, and the closing documents have been delivered when the seller notices a $600 fee for an estoppel certificate.

Now the seller is asking what this certificate is and why it costs so much. Things get even more difficult once the seller finds out their friend, who lives in another community association, only paid $100 for an estoppel certificate a couple months back.

“I’ve been involved in these situations many times over and have many colleagues who can attest to the problems caused by excessive estoppel fees,” says Ben Friedlander, a St. Petersburg-based Realtor®. “The really sad part is that there are some association management companies out there that charge a reasonable fee. It’s the bad apples that are charging many hundreds of dollars that have turned this into such a problem.”

So what exactly is an estoppel certificate and why have Realtors made the fees charged for it a priority for the upcoming legislative session?

An estoppel certificate provides a snapshot of the fees or assessments that a seller may owe to their community association and is provided by the association or management company when the condo or home is being sold. In Florida, property owners are jointly and severally liable with the previous owner for fees and assessments that may be due to their community association. Therefore, when someone buys a property that is in a community association, they need to know what is owed, if anything, so that amount may be collected and applied at closing.

Florida law allows associations to charge a “reasonable” fee to prepare an estoppel certificate, but some association management companies have turned this into a profitable revenue stream by charging very unreasonable fees. Sellers often don’t learn about these charges until they receive the closing documents. They have no option but to pay the fee, and they do, because they cannot get the certificate from anywhere else – only from their community association. Instead of filing a complaint about the fee, the seller moves on since they no longer live in the community.

Florida Realtors is working to restore fairness and predictability to real estate transactions by supporting legislation that caps estoppel certificate fees and establishes a uniform, statewide format that ensures buyers and closing agents receive the appropriate information needed to close the real estate transaction.

“A real estate transaction is already a complex enough affair laden with different fees and costs for both the seller and buyer,” Friedlander says. “The last thing we need is for this spiraling problem to spin further out of control for home sellers. A cap on these fees is long overdue and we hope to see this relief delivered this spring.”

Original Post: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=3&id=348627

New Luxury High Rise Coming to Naples!

http://trioofnaples.com/

  • On the ground floor of the tower, TRIO will offer five commercial locations, including shoppes and restaurants, as well as a lounge and fitness studio.
  • Perfectly positioned on the nd and 3rd floors, the fully-equipped extended-stay luxury hotel apartments –from 700 to 1,200 square feet in size – feature full kitchens, modern furnishings and a washer and dryer.
  • The 24 Residences  located on the 4th to 7th floors – will be 2,432 to 2,748 square feet in size. They will offer spectacular spaces with a sense of refined elegance, opening seamlessly through floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of downtown Naples.
  • The Eight penthouses on the 8th and 9th floors will feature Lutron lighting systems, an electric auto curtain system and surround-sound entertainment.
  • We are also proudly introducing the very first private rooftop sky club to be built in Naples. Spanning 16,000 square feet, the exclusive nautically themed Sea Club with its pool, spas and cabanas is sure to become one of TRIO’s most popular attractions.
  • Other facility features include signature aromatherapy systems in common areas, state-of-the-art technology, and a parking garage with private enclosed spaces for condominium owners with several restaurants and retail location just an elevator ride away.

TRIO combines modern visionary architecture with truly unique features and amenities, plus unmatched service levels. Bathed in Florida sunshine, TRIO residents will enjoy the very best of Naples – with unobstructed, panoramic views of the world around them – including Naples Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, Gulfshore Boulevard and downtown Naples just footsteps away.

We appreciate your interest and look forward to making your experience at TRIO extraordinary and unlike any other lifestyle.

Top 10 Reasons to List With a Realtor

Still not sure if you want to list your property for sale with a Realtor® ? Take a look at these top 10 reasons to list with me, a top John R. Wood real estate agent before you make up your mind. Then check out JRW’s Listing Guide and take a look at my website to see how we are leading the market by providing our luxury real estate listings with international exposure not found through any other brokerage in Southwest Florida.

  1. Access to Buyers
  2. Marketing Expertise
  3. Sales Skills
  4. Negotiation Skills
  5. Knowledge of Service Providers
  6. Access to Buyers
  7. Price
  8. Time
  9. Experience Handling Paperwork
  10.  Knowledge of Neighborhoods

 

Over 55 Community Rules Overruled with Qualified Exemption

A 55-plus community could still have residents younger than 55 or could have residents younger than 55 or even families with small children.  Key word here though is could!  The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against protected classes,  but there are federal guidelines that can permit exemptions for communities that are specifically for adults 55+.

The primary rule is that at least one resident in at least 80 percent of the unites or properties is 55 or older.   A community may have an option to allow up to 20 percent of the occupants to be younger than 55, but they aren’t required to do so.   These associations can reject such requests because they usually reserve 20 percent to handle situations where a widow is under 55.

The important part of these community rules of 55-plus communities is that they are focusing on who is occupying the residence and not the owner.  An adult who is under 55 and purchases a home for condominium for their parents is perfectly acceptable because it is the parents who are over 55 that are dwelling in the residence.

Email Attachments? Many won’t make it through!

Hackers often use email attachments as a doorway into your computer. As a result, many providers ban certain types, and Gmail will nix even more starting Feb. 13. The reason: Some types of files are easier for hackers to use than other types.

The “type” of email attachment refers to the “extension,” which is a few letters stuck behind the final period. Gmail, for example, currently won’t forward files that have “.exe”, “.msc” or “.bat” extensions at the end. And starting Feb. 13, it will not forward JavaScript extensions that have “.js” at the end.

Users who try to attach a .js file to an email after Feb. 13 will receive a notification that says the message was blocked “because its content presents a potential security issue.” Compressed .js files stored within a .zip form will also be flagged.

If you need to send a .js file, Google suggests you use Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, or other storage solutions.

“JavaScript is a common language used when developing web applications, and while .js files are not inherently bad, you shouldn’t open them if sent from an unknown source since hackers can use them to gain access to a user’s PC and install downloaders for a ransomware or other types of malware,” TechSpot reports.

Source: “Gmail Will Block JavaScript File Attachments Starting Next Month,” TechSpot (Jan. 26, 2017)

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=1&id=347778#.WJCxIudGRrM.email

New Home Sales Drop in December 2016

An extremely noticeable decrease in home sales resulted from the November presidential election, worsening affordability and potentially curbing sales as more buyers cope with affordability issues.   The Commerce Department said that new-home sales fell 10.4 percent to 536,000.

30-year-fixed-loan rates increased to 4.19 percent, up from 3.65 percent average from 2016, which was at its lowest since 1971.  Low rates and a shortage of inventory should have boosted prices.

n the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory, financial markets are expecting faster economic growth from tax cuts and rising levels of inflation. Interest rates for both the 10-year Treasury note and mortgages have swung higher as a result.

The median sales price for a new home in December was $322,500, a 7.8 percent increase over the past year that easily outpaced average wage growth.

New-home purchases fell in the Midwest, South and West last month and increased in the Northeast. Sales of new homes can be volatile on a monthly basis.

As rates rise, there are other signs that would-be buyers are holding off.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell 2.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million.

Local Investors Have Done It Again!

James and Christopher Schucart who are known as Fifth Avenue Investments LLC have purchased another building: 837 Fifth Avenue S.  It is one of the first store fronts on the right hand side that you can notice when you enter Fifth Ave from US-41. Engel & Volkers, and Chops City Grill are currently renting in this building.  The two story building was sold at a hefty $7.98 million.  No major plans to change the building at this time. The Schucart duo have purchased more than a dozen properties on Fifth Avenue S since October 2015.

Naples’ Home Sales Fell 13 Percent in 2016

Reports from Nabor say there is a rise in existing home inventory.  Local realtors have faced several challenges in 2016 which shows the 2016 annual report.  Closed sales dropped about 13 percent to 8,510 last year from 9,751 in 2015.

In 2016, Naples’ real estate market saw a stock market slump in February, a low Canadian exchange rate, and health concerns over Zika and Brexit that spread across Florida.  Also, a nasty presidential campaign which has shook consumer confidence nationally.

In 2016, single-family sales decreased 8% over the year, while condominium sales fell nearly 17%.  Pending sales(sales that are under contract) fell about 14% as well.  Local realtors also faced the competition of new home development which also played a large role in fewer sales of older homes last year.

Overall inventory increased by 34%. Naples Beach saw that highest number of new listings with 437 homes added to its inventory and also the biggest decline in sales over the year by 21%.

John R Wood Broker, Coco Waldenmayer said, “Inventory is going up, but pricing is remaining very constant, so we seem to be defying the law of supply and demand”.   The inventory level is expected to continue its path of growth in 2017.  The stability of prices and larger inventory should provide buyers with more options.

The first 100 days of our new administration in office will be closely watched and the more positive things that they do for our economy, the better consumer confidence will become. In hopes, the number of sales in 2017 will increase.