Naples Tidbits #7

Ok, it’s time to update you on some of the happenings here in Naples, Florida.

  • The names of three national retailers have been announced for The Mercato development on U.S.41 and Vanderbilt Beach Road. They are kitchenware store Sur La Table, women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek, and home products store Z Gallerie. Most stores hope to be open early next year.
  • Southwest Florida International Airport had a .5 percent increase from February 2007. Almost 846,000 passengers passed through the terminal. AirTran was the traffic leader followed by JetBlue.
  • Ron and Tom White, owners and managers of the Hawthorn Suites in Naples, have been named Hawthorn Suites “Franchisee of the Year.”
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has added the Bellasera hotel to the Florida Green Lodging Program. Bellesera is the first condominiuym resort to designated in Collier County.
  • Check out the new wine shop in Riverchase shopping center on the corner of U.S. 41 and Immokalee Road. The WineStyles will also have wine tasting and art shows. Check out their website.

USA Today reports home sales increase


This weeks news brought us a report in USA Today that home sales posted their largest increase in a year in February as prices finally fell enough to lure reluctant buyers back into the market. I guess maybe we were right after all that the market is shifting.

Realtors active in the market can sense the change. We are getting much more activity at our open houses, more hits on our website and therefore more phone calls. The media is slow to pick up on this because of the delay in data coming out from the reporting agencies, but they are now picking up the drum beat.

Sales of existing homes rose 2.9% from January, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The increase, which was largely unexpected by economists, is a welcome sign of some stabilization in a housing slump that has taken a toll on the nation’s economy.

The median home price fell to $195,900, down 8.2% from $213,500 in February 2007. The median means half of the homes sold for more, half for less.

In our Downing-Frye office, we are finding that half of all the contracts are below $250,000 and the other half is over $1,000,000. Very little activity so far between those two price points.

Existing home sales are expected to remain on the slow side through 2008, but there are a host of initiatives underway to bolster the sagging market and aid homeowners facing foreclosure, prompting economists to predict higher sales later in 2008. The most recent increase in sales doesn’t capture some of those initiatives, such as letting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy larger mortgages, making them easier to get.

The current situation is a perfect storm for buyers. Much lower prices, large inventories and historically low interest rates. The smart investors are picking up some incredible deals. Who do we see taking advantage of these conditions?  We are actively working with several buyers from England and Canada.

When the media tells you the bottom has hit…you’ll have missed it!

For more information on are Naples real estate market, call Ruth Bethem, ABR, CRS, GRI Realtor® toll-free at 877-777-7545 or email her directly at

Bad real estate photo of the day #14

No, this is not a boat in high seas, but isn’t it amazing how they keep the TV and photos from sliding off the dresser. Free decorating tip…if you don’t have enough material for curtains on both sides of the window…just put one right down the middle. Cool.

Your submissions are welcomed. If you’ve seen a candidate for a Bad Real Estate Photo of the Day entry, mail the photo or a link to

Waterfront home with dock and access to Gulf of Mexico

Where: Located on Osprey Ave in the Royal Harbor area off of Sandpiper.

Price: $2,099,000

Size: 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath, 3 car garage, 3,281 sq ft of living area.

Spectacular BRAND NEW WATERFRONT home with DIRECT ACCESS to Naples Bay and the Gulf of Mexico! Luxuriously upgraded, this 4 bedroom, 3 baths, 3 car garage home has a heated pool and spa and a 58 foot boat dock! Gorgeous upgrades include stone, marble, and hardwood floors throughout, grand entry, living room opening to the lanai and raised formal dining room, plus a wet bar with wine cooler. The kitchen is fantastic with gorgeous wood cabinets, granite counters, center island, and Professional Grade appliances including Wolf gas range, SubZero, Kitchen Aid, and Dacor. Breakfast area overlooking the pool and spacious family room with stunning wood burning fireplace and a walkout to the lanai. The master suite has large closets and spa like bath with Jacuzzi Tub and Travertine walk in Rain Shower! The lanai features pavestone deck and heated pool and spa with shallow water-sundeck and an outdoor kitchen with grill and fridge. This home is complete with Hurricane impact windows and doors.

If you would like a private tour of this property, contact Ruth Bethem toll-free at 877-777-7545 or email her directly at You can also visit our website to view other properties for sale in Naples, Florida.