You are here :   Home
Todays is : Saturday, 19 April 2014
Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent | Greg Snow
12/12/12 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 11:32

Happy last repeating digits of this century day and night :).

Our Lee County real estate market has rebounded from a plethora of highs (50% appreciation in 2006) to lows of one of the hardest hit areas for foreclosures in the country, to 12/12/12.  Today, our prices have increased by 23% from 2011 (209 sales of $1,000,000 or more from the 161 in 2011, and 19 days to go), more new home permits being pulled (up 51% month to month from 10/1/11 for Collier, Lee and Charlotte), and Forbes magazine predicting Fort Myers/Cape Coral region will be the number one (1) job growth region in the United States in the first quarter of 2013.

Have a Happy Holiday(s) and wonderful New Year.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:46
July 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Saturday, 21 July 2012 16:31

As our rainy July nears it's end, there are some observations needed to be displayed. After paying $6.00 for a Sunday New York Times in Orlando and reading all the news fit to print, we ventured to Epcot, got wet, walked alot, ate in Canada, and walked alot more. Headed back in the rain and have been dodging raindrops ever since. The Olympics are on the menu next week, and surely some fabulous stories shall be revealed for individuals and countries. Then there is NFL camps that begin to assemble for our true National pastime of professional football. Upon a Friday excursion to the courthouse, and avoiding the motorcade of the President, went to 4B, and sat while the judge presided over 79 cases for final judgment of failed mortgages. This was the biggest eye opener for anyone that did not realize fully what we went through as a country the last 4-5 years. Hopefully, we have finally gone round the foreclosure tidal wave, and we have smooth sailing on green Gulf of Mexico waters.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:49
Jaclyn Snow's observations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 14:12

Two Markets in Southwest Florida – The Islands and Everyone Else

This graph shows different price rebounds in Southwest Florida.

By Jackie Snow

The average single-family home prices rose over 30 percent in Lee County in January compared to January 2011, causing some analysts to claim Southwest Florida is coming back after years of depressed prices.

But this apparent recovery in Lee County is primarily the result of a rebound in its two most upscale communities, suggesting the overall housing market in southwest Florida remains sluggish.

The numbers in Lee County show a dizzying decline from the housing bubble. The median sales price for a single-family home in December 2006 was $325,000. Five years and a mortgage crisis later, it was $107,250.

Sanibel and Captiva, two islands connected to the mainland by a causeway, also had prices drop, from just under a million dollars in 2006 to $850,000 in the first three months of 2011. But prices are now about 90 percent of their all time highs, compared to about 45 percent in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

John Hermann, president of Herrmann Forecasting, said that the strong and fast bounce back is surprising for Sanibel and Captiva. They were hit by a major hurricane in 2004, followed by the mortgage crisis three years later.

“It was a double whammy on home values,” Hermann said.

The rebound shows the continued popularity of the islands even as buyers remain skittish on the mainland. Obviously, waterfront and island properties will always be in demand and more expensive than other, non-water accessible homes. But while Sanibel and Captiva are the top of the market in Lee County, places like Fort Myers Beach and riverfront properties were comparably priced before the bust.

Michael Frye, owner and agent at Re/Max Realty Group in Fort Myers, said he sees waterfront prices in both Cape Coral and Fort Myers picking up, but not at the rate they sold in earlier years.

“[Waterfront properties] are what attracts people here,” Frye said. “That being said, the amounts of time for those higher end properties sales are still a little slower than we want to see.”

The islands also aren’t nearly as affluent as places like Palm Beach, a similar-sized island on the east coast of Florida where the average home price was about $1.8 million in 2011.

Still, the islands’ home prices are enough to make up for the short sales and foreclosed market that are still prevalent off-island. Take out the 1 percent of sales from Sanibel and Captiva in 2011 and the average home price in Southwest Florida drops by 6 percent.

The crash was felt especially hard here, 2nd in the nation to only the Las Vegas area. Some indicators, in fact, suggest Lee County was, and is, worse off. Over 40 percent of homes are underwater and there are 8,000 backlogged foreclosures in the county, an increase from 6,500 last July.

Sanibel and Captiva were saved in part by policies enacted in the 1970s. At the time, Lee County city planners were responding to the siren song of condominium property taxes and zoned Sanibel to build spaces for up to 90,000 people.

Residents, then numbering only a couple thousands, revolted and incorporated the island to take control back of city planning. The subsequent “Sanibel Plan” put in place strict zoning laws that restricted house sizes and vegetation removal.

Combined with efforts to put as much land as possible into the public trust, two-thirds of the island is protected sanctuary and less than 100 residential lots remain for development. Captiva stayed unincorporated and has some larger homes, but for the most part follows the lead set by its neighbor.

Lynda Traverso, a realtor on Sanibel for the last 25 years, points to the Sanibel plan as stimulating demand for a limited supply of island properties. Besides retirees, a lot of investors are coming back to the rarefied market, she said.

“You can’t rent by the week in Cape Coral,” Traverso said.

Hermann, who has been a visitor to the area for the last 20 years, thinks the Sanibel Plan worked at keeping the island attractive to a specific set that will continue to come, through mortgage crisis or hurricanes’ high water.

“It’s a totally different vibe and attracts a whole different clientele,” Hermann said. “It’s part of the charm of that area.”

Credit Reports PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 14:19

Most people know about credit reports and that a good credit score makes obtaining loans easier and cheaper. Typically in a credit report one finds information about creditors, account numbers, types of accounts, dates the accounts were opened, amount of credit or loan, payment amounts, balalnces, and if any of the accounts are past due, and how long they may be arrears. Accounts that have been closed or paid off usually remain on the report for seven years. Magnetic tape is supplied to the three repositories monthly reporting the status of accounts creditors have in their records.

Judgments, tax liens, bankruptices, and other Public Records information is supplied by local Court Houses with the information remaining on credit reports for seven years (except for bankruptices stay on 10 years and open tax liens stay on for 15 years). All inquiries made during past two years show up with the name of lender, the date, and often the type of credit being requested. Your information can differ in each bureau for myriads of reasons from dates it was reported to family members with same names being confused. It is an excellent idea for everyone to check their credit yearly with alll three bureaus. It usually costs about 8$ each, and if you have been turned down for credit, the report should be free.

The proceedure for challenging an item you disagree with, is to notify the agency of your dispute. The agency will send the creditor a dispute form, and the creditor has twenty business days to respond. If the twenty days go by, and no response has occured, you have the right to have the status changed. If a response does come back, and you still disagree, you can enter up to 100 words on the credit report explaining you view.

More later. :)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2012 15:38
Credit and how it works for and against us PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Monday, 23 January 2012 15:45

 Credit, or lack thereof, influences our lives daily, and sometimes by the minute. Ever since Credit Bureau Scores were developed in the 1980's, to help banks and financial branches make fast, objective decisions on lending money, before moving on into mortgage and auto loans, the consumer has been affected by the credit score supplied by one, or all of the big three (Experian, Equifax, Trans Union). Whether it's your "Beacon", "Fair Issac"or "Emperica" scores used to evaluate an offering of credit, your scorecard helps or hinders what you want to do, when, how, and sometimes with whom you may involve yourself in receiving a loan, credit cards, or other revolving money.

FICO, the Minneapolis company that produces the scoring model, divulges the five factors that determine your magic number -- your payment history, the amount you owe on credit lines and loans, the length of your credit history, how much new credit you've applied for, and the types of accounts you've had -- plus what percentage of your score each factor represents

  35% based on payment history, good payment history certainly helps your score.

30% on amount owed, number of accounts with balances, the balances compared with available credit limit,and the overall amount owed on all accounts are the factors alling into this category.

15% length of credit history, opening too many accounts in a short period of time hurts this category.

New credit counts for about 10% of credit scores and types of credit in use count for 10%. Number of new accounts and how long the consumer has had them is important.

 All mortgage and auto loan inquires within a 14 day period only count as one inquiry, and do not count toward a consumers score within 30 days from the date a credit report was drawn.

Keep watch for more on Credit :)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2012 11:57
2011 Reviewed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Monday, 09 January 2012 15:21

In the year 2525, "if man is still alive, if woman can survive..they may fi...",  first brought to our attention in 1969 by Zager & Evans, and probably not referencing our real estate market in southwest Florida's Lee County. Should one (althought I have been told never to should on myself :) look at the 172 closed residential sales in Lee County, Florida that were over seven figure mark (million or more), Sanibel and Captiva Islands provided us with 52 sales in our MLS,

The highest close sale was for $6.3 million at 105 Felipe Lane in Bonita Springs that closed in early October, per our MLS.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 11:23
End of the year evaluation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Monday, 12 December 2011 15:51

Slowly we turn, step by step, as we begin the exodus from 2011 in Lee County with many hopes and many questions about our real estate market. The wild ride Mr. Toad took beginning in late 2003, cresting in 2006 and early 2007, to complete chaos from 2007-2009, and into 2010, brings our journey to here and now and 2012. In November, 2009, our Lee County Clerk's office,, had 23,308 active foreclosures (down from over 25,000+ in late 2008). Our November, 2010 had 14,591 active, and November 2011 finds us with about 7800 active. The rise in consumer confidence, lessening of the unemployment rate nationally, tremendous interest rate offerings for loans, and the quality of Lee County living will ultimately attract many a second and third looks at our market from national and international buyers. Here's to the new year, 2012. :)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 08:36
Visitors PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 09:44




TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Florida's tourism bureau says more people are visiting the Sunshine State this year than last.
Visit Florida reported Tuesday that visitor numbers for the second quarter of 2011 were up 6.9 percent over the same period last year. That amounted to about 21.2 million visitors during that time.
Estimates show a 5.3 percent increase in domestic visitors, a 17.3 percent increase from the overseas market and an 18.4 percent increase in Canadian travel to Florida.
Visit Florida says tourism has been steadily regaining market share this year, outpacing the rest of the United States by more than 1 percent.
About 82.6 million people visited the state in 2010, spending more than $60 billion.

Breaking the cycle in southwest Florida PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 08:48

One nice day here this morning, in southwest Florida, as the early morning temperature was in low 70's, and my (bi)cycle ride just seemed easier this morning. As I was biking through our Eagle Ridge neighborhood, I was thinking about pent up demand for most consumers in our state and country. The continuing lingering of a recession has put our housing market in the "world of are we there yet"? if we have truly bottomed here in Lee County, isn't this a great time to buy? Prices are very attractive, mortgage rates are in low 4% ranges, and quality of life is demontrated by our beaches, waters, golf courses, and many opportubites to be outside. People are waiting for their pent up demand to buy homes, products, cars, boats, to crystalize and hit the "GO" button. Many large corporations have exceess cash reserves, but feel paralyised to spend. Many smaller companies don't have such reserves and are hesitant to hire new employees. Our U.S population is getting old(er). The age group of 50-64 is growing at about 2% versus 0.1% for ages 15-49. Older  and wiser may mean less consuming.

Lee County has so many wonderful assets that we should be a destination for worldwide visitors. Keeping even marginal progress in maintaining the quality of living here certainly will assist in our growth and re-invigoration of our housing market.

Growth in Southwest Florida PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Thursday, 15 September 2011 13:50

As we head into the old clubhouse turn for the year 2011, many interesting situations exist locally here in Lee County. Of course, our high unemployment rate of about 11.5 % is worrisome, and stagnant real estate markets in many of our feeder states in the Northeast and Midwest damage our local real estate market from becoming vibrant once again, some new statewide direction can be inferred from the dismantling of our state's growth management act. The reorganization from strong oversight of Florida's growth to "Guess who is coming to development", has made the Flordida Department of Community Affairs about as potent as the Colts without Peyton Manning. Sorry Colt Fans, but at least you are not Dallas Cowboy fans. :)

Here in Lee County, a mining operation, in Volusia and Brevard counties a 23,000 home project, and Orange County's 6300+ homes Innovation Way East development, with it's over 2.2 million square feet of research, office, retail/wholesale space, have less state interference or influence, and more local decision finality starting October 1, 2011.

This growth law for Florida was spassed in 1985, the year I moved back to Florida. it was the toughest in the U.S. The law's intent was to create long range growth plans, funded by developers paying for infrastructure, and fight the "sprawl" in other areas of our country. Local areas now seem to have enough experts to allow for removal from one more branch of government ot put it's two cents in. Currently land costs have become attractive again for acquistion and future development. When current inventory is reduced, and it is moving in that direction today, we will see how we handle development on only a local scale.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 September 2011 10:58
Trends, Now and Later in Lee County PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Snow   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 14:48

Happy day after the 4th of July. If you missed it here in Lee County, Florida, we had lots of rain, humidity, same old hot dog eating champ, and a not guilty verdict in the trial of Casey Anthony in Orlando. The NFL and NBA are not working, and the long hot summer seems longer and hotter than most years. Sometimes the more things change, the more the"song remains the same" is a recent trend in real estate here in southwest Florida and especiall Lee County. Today, we have four generations of home buyers an sellers in our real estate market.

This the first time EVER, four groups of age bracketed people have been in buying and selling modes all at the same time here. The oldest, somtimes know asthe Traditionalists (sounds like a Big Ten football grouping), are the 66 and older folks who may be firmly set in their ways and ideas of living this long and may see comfort, security, and activities as their main needs. Then we have my group, the Boomers, ages 47-65, and I will speak later to what we want:). Next is the Generation Xers, ages 35-46, many diverse needs and wants on this group between me and the Generation Y or Millennials, or youngsters 34 and younger, who want Facebook, Twitter, social interaction, and new liberties(like living in condos where they can work, shop, live,play, et al.)

How does a real estate professional best serve this foursome???? Inquiring minds need to know.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 14:37
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 14

Lee County Real Estate News
Fort Myers Headlines
Bonita Springs Headlines
Entertainment: Golf Headlines
Real Estate Headlines