John R. Wood agents and staff participate in Bonita Springs-Estero Relay for Life Event

John R. Wood agents and staff recently participated in the 2015 Bonita Springs/Estero Relay for Life. The event, which benefited the American Cancer Society, began 4:00pm Saturday, April 25th and concluded 7:00am the following morning. The John R. Wood Relay Team honored those who have passed from cancer, and recognized cancer survivors as they took turns walking laps, fundraising, and camping out during the 15-hour event.

The philanthropy tradition continues with staff members and agents’ involvement in numerous philanthropic and charitable events all through the year. This legacy continues to enhance the lives of our agents and staff members, and fosters positive change within our communities, serving all who have made Southwest Florida their home in paradise.

John R Wood #1 in Per Sales Agent Sales in Florida!

Naples, FL, April 17, 2015 — According to
RIS Media’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report,
which ranks the top 500 real estate brokerage
firms in the nation, John R. Wood Properties
ranked #13 in the nation and #1 in Florida in
per agent sales. John R. Wood Agents produced
$5.8 million in average sales per agent in 2014.
Additionally, the brokerage improved its
rankings significantly in overall sales volume.
In 2014, it rose to #68 in the nation versus its
#86 position in 2013.

“These rankings are remarkable for a firm that
services a relatively small geographic market
JOHN R. WOOD PROPERTIES #1
Bring Your Highest Expectations™
in Per Agent Sales in Florida
area in Southwest Florida,” states Dottie
Babcock, Chief Operating Officer. “Based on
per agent sales in 2014, John R. Wood clients
are working with the best quality agents in the
state of Florida.”

John R. Wood Properties is the oldest major
real estate company in Southwest Florida with
55+ years of experience in the market. The
firm has thirteen offices serving the areas from
Marco Island to Sanibel, and employs 400
agents and staff. For more information, visit
JohnRWood.com.

Home price report – Naples – Fort Myers – Cape Coral

Home prices are still growing in Naples, but compared to Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Naples is ahead percentage wise in the price increase. In the Naples market, compared to March of last year, prices have risen by 4.9 percent.  The recession hit Fort Myers harder than it did in Naples and Naples also recovered faster than its other surrounding metropolitan areas.  Inventory has been very low and has actually decreased to less than one percent.

March 2015 Market Report

Click Here for the Full Report!

CLOSED SALES : The number of closed sales during the past 12 months increased over prior year, while monthly sales for March declined slightly for the third consecutive month, compared to prior year. Although demand remains high, inventory shortages in key market segments have impacted the number of 2014 closings during the first three months.  Properties priced above $2 million posted a 21% increase in the number of closed units during the past 12 months (453 vs 375), the largest increase of any price segment.

NEW LISTINGS/INVENTORY : The number of new listings taken during the past 12 months is up 5% over the previous 12 months. New listings recorded in March were up 14% over March 2014. Total available inventory in the Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero market stands at 5,179 units (2,073 condominiums and 3,106 single family homes). This represents a 22% decline in condominium supply and a 5% increase in the number of available single family homes from a year ago.

AVERAGE SALES PRICE :Average sales price continued to increase over the prior 12 months, although at a more normal rate. Average sales price remains 29% below the peak for this period in 2007. Be aware that this is an average only and not pertinent to all properties. Some segments have rebounded to peak levels, while others have stabilized at levels below their record highs

New Buyer Focus: Condominium Trend Forming

Pending sales for condominiums in the $300,000 – $500,000 price category increased 53 percent. Yet, while the single family home market is very good, pending sales for single-family homes in this same price category increased only half that, at 26 percent.

The overall median closed price in all geo-specific areas of the county increased double digits compared to the same quarter last year in both the Central Naples and South Naples areas and the median closed price rose 17 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Overall inventory for the $300,000 – $500,000 price category in the first quarter of 2015 increased 14 percent from 934 homes in the first quarter of 2014 to 1,061 homes in the first quarter of 2015. Only the inventory in the over $2 million price category had a larger increase – 18 percent – expanding from 400 homes in the first quarter of 2014 to 471 homes in the first quarter of 2015.

NABOR also released its March report. Year-over-year in the overall market, including condos and single-family:

•Pending sales rose 9 percent to 1,520

•Closed sales increased 3 percent to 1,104

•Inventory declined 3 percent to 4,253 homes

•Average number of days on market fell 16 percent to 80

Cottage Chic Homes in the Heart of Downtown Naples – Coming Soon!

Two new single family homes just two blocks from 5th Avenue South with a “cottage chic” style are soon to be completed and listed for to the public.  One of the open floor plan homes is 3,623 square feet under air with five bedrooms and four and a half baths, plus a loft.  The other is 3,969 square feet under air with four bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths, plus a den.  Both homes have fountains and two-car garages.

The outdoor living space is one that is no less than exceptional with a pool and spa, outdoor kitchens, and poolside fireplaces.  Price has not yet been determined, but you’ll definitely want to see it as soon as it goes onto the market.  They won’t last long! 434 and 444 Third Ave S in Downtown Naples is in the heart of the 5th Ave shopping, dining, and beautiful beaches.

Mangrove Bay – 53 New Florida-Lifestyle Homes on Gordon River

Mangrove Bay may just be the best well kept secret in Naples.  From Goodlette Frank Rd S and First Avenue S, you can’t see much of the construction site’s progress as well as you can from an aerial point of view, but you can see an entrance that has been lined with Royal Palm Trees.  This is only the beginning and construction has been moving quickly!

Mangrove Bay 2

Currently, they are working on three model homes that will be finished and open to the public in July 2015.  53 residences are planned to be built in Mangrove Bay community with 18 single family home floor plans to choose from.  The three model residences are the Amelia III, the Sanibel III and the Keewaydin II.  These homes are not small by any means ranging from 3,331 square feet under air to 3,730 square feet under air, two story homes, and guest houses.  Each home will have a private pool and outdoor grill area:  Mangrove Bay sits on the Gordon River and will include individual covered or uncovered  Gulf access boat slips available to residents.Renderings and site plans for the Mangrove Bay development in Old Naples.

We don’t want to see you go, but here are some tips to prepare your home for the summer while you’re away!

Season isn’t over YET in Naples, Florida or surrounding areas; in fact, many of our winter visitors are staying longer and longer each year.

However, for those who are going to be heading back up north soon and just recently purchased a winter or vacation home in Southwest Florida, there are things you must do in order to properly prepare your home for the summer while you are away.

Here is a handy checklist of areas that should be covered before your final departure:

  1. In case of summer storms or inclement weather, be sure to take photos or video of both the inside and outside of your home and take important insurance documents with you when you leave. These two actions will help with any storm related claims should they arise. Also take pictures and/or video of the contents inside your home as well.
  1. Who will you entrust with caring for your home in case an issue arises while you are away? A family member, a neighbor, a friend, or a company that specializes in this service? You’ll want to designate an individual or company to assist just in case.
  1. Whomever you choose, be sure to get expectations in writing. Choosing a company that specializes in monitoring and servicing homes is always a good option and will ensure that responsibilities and liabilities are clearly defined.

 

  1. While away, your home should be checked at least once a week. An air conditioner that quits at the height of summer could be a bad situation! An unattended leak, whether from your own home or the vacant unit above, could also cause significant damage!
  1. Make a list of contact information (names. phone numbers, etc.) of everyone who has keys to your home. This list should include: homeowner associations, property managers, friends, family, neighbors, and service personnel. This is also a good time to review the list for any individuals who no longer need access to the home and consider updating your home’s access security, such as changing locks and codes.
  1. Also, make a list of all the companies and/or vendors that service your home. These companies include alarm/security companies (don’t forget the code and password!), air conditioning, cleaning service, electrician, plumber, pool and lawn maintenance, pest control and irrigation. Also include your handyman, window cleaner, and pressure washing company. Then, attach copies of contracts you have with these companies to your list. Now, duplicate the package. Leave one copy here at your home and take one with you. The package you leave behind is for those looking after your home. Should a problem arise, they’ll have the information needed to help resolve the situation. Take a copy with you because you’ll want the contact information at your fingertips, if needed.
  1. Lastly, document all the settings of your home, including air conditioning and humidistat, light timers, sprinkler systems, etc. If your home loses power for an extended period, timers will need to be reset. Don’t forget to have timers adjusted with the changing sunrise and sunset times.

Here are a few more some important items to address…

  • Change all batteries and purchase backups where applicable: smoke detectors, thermostat/humidistat, alarm (main and key pads). The availability of additional batteries for the person/company monitoring your home ensures minimal downtime.
  • Inspect all plumbing fixtures and address potential issues before you depart. It’s easier to prevent a problem than it is to repair one when you’re 1,500 miles away. A professional home watch company will know what to look for and should offer to perform the inspection.
  • Ensure the security of your home by checking all windows and doors for defects. Are the locking mechanisms in good order? Are the alarm-monitored entry points working properly? Are you using locking pins on the sliding glass doors?
  • Electrical issues: Power surges, especially from lightning strikes, are a common occurrence in Southwest Florida. The surge can enter your home through phone, electrical, cable, or data lines and destroy electronics. You can either unplug everything or contact an electrician about installing a full-home surge protector. Florida Power and Light (FPL) offers their SurgeSheild program, which is a meter-located protector that, according to FPL, “protects your home’s major motor-driven appliances.”
  • Whether you chose to leave your refrigerator operating or not, always remove perishables and turn off the ice maker. If shutting down the appliance, be sure to clean the unit and prop the doors open to prevent mold from forming.
  • The control of your home’s temperature and humidity is a must. Keep in mind that a dark, cool, stagnate, and moist environment is prime breeding ground for mold. If your home is not equipped with a humidistat, consider installing one and set it between 45 and 55 percent. Your thermostat can be set between 80 and 84. Do not prevent all natural light from entering your home. Allow about 25 percent to filter through your window treatments. When it comes to overhead fans, turn them off.
  • Never turn off water to the water heater when power is off! Just prior to walking out the door on departure day, turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker.
  • Give your home a good cleaning. This will help to minimize pests, as well as make it easier to open your home upon your return
  • Outside the home, be sure to secure all lanai and pool furniture. Store items in a garage or a lanai with hurricane shutters. You’ll then need to decide whether or not to install your hurricane shutters on remaining openings. If you don’t do them now, you’ll need someone who will do so in the event of a pending storm.

Your final steps should be to discontinue mail, newspaper and other deliveries. Share your departure date with neighbors and friends – they’ll help monitor your home. On the day you leave, don’t forget to take important documents, such as new prescriptions and home insurance information. Turn off the water at the main valve. Turn off all unnecessary lights—leave one or two connected to timers. Set the alarm. Lock the door.

This check list should not only protect your home, but provide peace of mind while you’re away! If you have any questions, just contact a John R. Wood Agent who can assist you in finding resources or making recommendations! And, of course, if you want to sell your home, do contact us as well!

See you next season!

By Nella Decesare

Information and Laughs at Economic Summit – NABOR

There were definitely many laughs about graphs at the Naples Grande Beach Resort on Tuesday for the annual outlook summit of the Naples Area Board of Realtors.  The key note speaker, Elliott Eisenberg, a former senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. traveled to Naples for the event.

The borderline comedian gave an informational, yet hilarious presentation about the underlying factors that are causing the current economy boost!  Eisenberg runs his own firm called Graphs & Laughs and even posts a daily 70 word blog post about the economy.  His enthusiasm and priceless graphs held the attention of about 400 Realtors for an hour and a half as he bounced back and forth between the presentation screens, interacted with the audience, and stood up on a few chairs occasionally.

He pointed out the lower energy prices and interest rates have allowed households to pay down debt and spend the extra money in their budgets on “stupid stuff, which is the American way and is good for the economy.”  Since the dollar is strong,  it does make it harder for American manufacturers to compete internationally causing a downfall to imports and exports.

New job openings are up and unemployment is at a low.  When in the past during the recession, as many as 8 people could be competing for the job and now it is more likely that there is only two or fewer.

He saved the best topic for last: the housing market.  One notable topic he spoke on was the low and almost non-existent interest rates on 30+ year fixed rates.  This hasn’t happened in years, but Eisenberg did predict that by either June at the earliest or September that the Federal Reserve will start raising short term interest rates.  They won’t do this quickly because they don’t want to spark inflation.

His predictions indicated that our economy is on the rise and isn’t slowing down any time soon.  The future is bright and there is no recession in the forecast unless something external and unanticipated happens!

The first speaker of the afternoon, Cindy Carroll, a well-known Naples appraiser spoke of varied long-term appreciation rates and home price growth over the last 50 years in specific areas of Naples.  She said home values should continue to rise at about 4.5 percent annually.  Also, some neighborhoods may have already reached their peak – Port Royal and some may have room to grow – Royal Harbor and Vanderbilt Beach area.

With a population influx of visitors, a housing boom, and more money in pockets, Naples will continue to grow.  Cindy Carroll said,  “This is paradise, everyone wants to live here.”

 

Vacation Home Sales at Record High!

Vacation home sales have been booming and have seen a significant increase since a year earlier.  Across the country, the National Association of Realtors reported a 57 increase from 717,000 sales to 1.13 sales has pushed vacation home sales to a new record level!  Median household income and median home prices have risen as well.  More buyers head south for a great real estate deals generally since the vacation homes are less expensive than those in the North or on the West coast.  Southwest Florida has always been an appealing retirement destination and the snowbirds have been staying longer than the usual three months of the year.