Life In Bonita Springs Florida - Local Info & Real Estate


April 24, 2017

Imperial River East March 2017 Real Estate Market Reports

Bonita Springs BN08 March 2017

Bonita Springs Gulf Access Real Estate

Here are the latest real estate market statistics for those of you who live in the Imperial River East area including neighborhoods of Bonita Farms, Heitmans, Quail Creek, Plan of Riverside, Pirates Cove, Gull Haven, Brendan Cove, Paradise Village and Serrano.  This is the area of Bonita Springs framed by US 41, West Terry Street, Old US 41 and Bonita Beach Road. 

Steady as she goes!  The largest challenge for the BN08 area is the scarcity of single family homes priced in the entry level.  Sales figures would be greater if there were homes to sell in the $200,000-275,000 price range.  $200,000 is non-existent in the BN08 area of Imperial River East.  City wide there are only eight homes for sale under $200,000 and they likely need work and could have qualifying issues for FHA loans due to  age and state of systems, appliances or roof. 

If you’d like to know more about buying or listing you home in Bonita Springs, Florida contact Chris by call/text 239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports
April 16, 2017

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update March 2017

Bonita Springs Home Sales March 2017

Home Sales in Bonita Springs Florida

One of the most notable figures this month is the “under $200,000” price sales figures of about 15% of the real estate market.  I just randomly chose to go back two years ago … in March of 2015, the $200,000 and under price point accounted for nearly 25% of our property sales.   If you’ve ever wondered if prices were going up or going down, this shows you that scarcity of inventory is selling off the entry level priced properties and raising the entry level prices of homes in Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida.  Real also: March 2015 Market Statistics

Real estate scarcity is regional so some neighborhoods have bidding wars for homes while others offer the luxury of time to search for the best property. If you need help finding out what type of real estate market you will be dealing with if it’s time for you to buy call or text  Angela at 239-728-7599.

The foreclosure and short sale market is nearly history. We get one or two per month at this time.

The majority of home buyers are cash buyers followed by conventional mortgages. Long story short, if you’re a homes seller your listing agent should have let you know that we’re about 64% cash and 29% conventional mortgages.  Cash purchases tend to run a little heavier during the winter tourist season, historically.

Unit sales of real estate in the Bonita Springs area is steady.  Our prices should remain stable and homes priced up to  $400,000 should continue to sell swiftly after we get through graduation season.  We’ll be a little slow toward the end of May and the first few weeks of June.  Our summer “be-back” buyers will return at the end of June and through July.  Those folks who fell in love with SWFL have been following the real estate market up north and will make a special trip back to buy.  Remember, the current statistics are 8,000-10,000  Americans are turning 65 daily right now.  If they’re retiring to warmth they’re coming to Florida. Brace yourselves.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida real estate market contact Chris Griffith by text or phone 239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports
March 17, 2017

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update Feb 2017 | Bonita Springs Homes Stats

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Stats Feb 2017

Bonita Springs Home Sales Statistics Feb 2017

If you watch the Bonita Springs real estate market closely you have noticed that our cash sales have slowly been tapering off. Whether it’s caused by the tourist season or the Trump bump the buyers have opened their wallets and purchased with a little more cash in the month of February.

A few other noticeable changes have been the the short sales and foreclosures are nearly non-existent.  There was only one closed sale of each.  Back in the you could throw a rock and hit a distressed property.  Now, well, we still have buyers come to Bonita Springs and ask for foreclosures but I have to share with them that the foreclosure boat has sailed and the banks aren’t selling them at a discount any more.

The real estate units sold is healthy and stable. If there was more property to list and sell in the entry level the stats would be higher.  Affordable housing is difficult to find in southwest Florida. Home buyers in Bonita Springs often must look in South Fort Myers for affordable homes.  The San Carlos Park area and Three Oaks Corridor often have homes at more affordable prices than the Bonita Springs market shows.

If you’d like to learn more about the current state of the Bonita Springs real estate market contact Chris Griffith by phone/text 239-273-7430.


Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update Feb 2017

Posted in Market Reports
Feb. 17, 2017

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Reports January 2017

Bonita Springs real estate Jan 2017

Bonita Springs real estate statistics January 2017

The real estate sales in Bonita Springs and Estero has continued to pick up through tourist season.  There isn’t any ground shaking news to report.  Slow and steady wins the race and that includes real estate sales. 

The short sales and foreclosure market remains a very small segment of the real estate closing sales every month.  At press time there were fewer than a dozen foreclosures and only four short sales in Bonita Springs, Florida.

The majority of closed sales are paid for with cash – 58% cash sales.  Approximately 33% of closed sales in Bonita Springs are paid for with a conventional mortgage. VA, FHA and Seller financing make up the balance of payments.

The largest selling segment of Bonita Springs homes and condos is the $200,000-400,000 range – about 54%.  The $400,000-600,000 range accounts for 18%.  We’ve seen a bump up in luxury real estate sales which often happens after the first of the year.

The units sold per month is running on par with prior months and has sustained level that has shown a healthy real estate market.

If you’d like to learn more about the real estate statistics in your Bonita Springs neighborhood contact Chris Griffith at 239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports
Feb. 5, 2017

DIY Projects in Your Bonita Springs Home

The last week was super busy for the Bonita Springs real estate market.  I’ve had the opportunity to list several homes, present property evaluations for a hand full of others and I even managed to show a few buyers homes in several communities around the area.  In a single day I was from a high rise on the beach in Park Shore Naples to a condo in Casa Bonita II in Bonita Springs.  In between were trips to Village Walk, Spanish Wells, Highland Woods, Edenbridge, Brendan Cove, Paradise Village and Serrano

This is a mere example of a fraction of the properties I visited this week.  In short, I cross a lot of thresholds.  I am an expert and I can spot an impostor and a DIY job a mile away. 

The devil is in the details and that’s where most DIY projects go sideways, the details, the little itty bitty items.  A home owner is able to live with them but a home buyer sees a half-ass job and the adding machine in their head starts adding up the time and money it is going to take to make it look right after they move in.

Take this DIY electrical job I found in Bonita Springs, for example.  It was one of several that I witnessed this week.

Bonita Springs DIY Project

Someone thought, I can swap out that last switch for a dimmer or multi-setting  switch and did so but the details  of removing the switch plate without buggering up the paint were disregarded.  Flash forward to the owner moving out and listing the home for sale.  They’ve removed all of the furnishings from this beautiful Bonita Springs home.  There really isn’t anything left to look at except for, well, the imperfections.  A fouled up light switch and paint job in a high traffic area next to the ingress and egress of the sliding door.

Yes, it can be fixed but that’s not the point. The point is that a home owner trying a DIY isn’t really doing it with success if someone else has to re-do the job.  It also makes the next potential owner, the buyer, wonder what else could have been “short cutted” around the house.

Posted in Seller Tips
Jan. 14, 2017

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Reports December 2016

Bonita Springs Real Estate Dec 2016

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Reports December 2016

December in Bonita Springs was just another month in real estate, not too quiet not too busy. Coming off of the election and heading into the holidays kept things from getting too busy.  The sales “units sold” was on par with other months.

Our short sales and foreclosures in Bonita Springs remain a a drip pace. There are very few but there are always a couple of them in the MLS system.  Homes that begin foreclosure, nationally, take about twelve-hundred days to foreclose.  The Florida foreclosure market is down ten percent.

The most impressive changes that I have seen in the Bonita Springs real estate market is the cash drying up. This month we are down to about 50% cash transactions. Years ago, due to the affordability of homes in Bonita Springs, we were in the seventy percentile for months on end.  It’s slowly changing and the interest rate hikes are sure to help cause a spike in mortgages from those who decide to buy before significant rises.

Our largest segment of home and condo sales in Bonita Springs and Estero continue to be the $200,000-$400,000 price segment of housing.

If you’d like to learn more about buying or selling a home in the Bonita Springs or Estero Florida area contact Chris Griffith at 239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports
Jan. 12, 2017

Bonita Springs HOA & Quarterly Fees

Bonita Springs HOA Gate

HOA Fees and Quarterly Fees in Bonita Springs

Recently I had a potential buyer contact me about one of my listings in Bonita Springs.  As the listing agent I make sure that all of the fees are disclosed up front. Surprises are bad for business in SWFL real estate. When the buyer responded to the email with the information about the property,  it read: I'll never consider a place that has, taxes, quarterly maintenance and yearly HOA.

Well, just to gauge expectations for all real estate consumers.  There are always property taxes.  The HOA, condo fees and master HOA fees all depend upon what type of community you purchase in, as in the level of amenities there are available that will have to be maintained. That is why it is so important to speak with a buyer’s agent to start learning about what you are looking for in real estate.

Condos have set fees that not only maintain the building and the common areas but save for replacement of items such as the swimming pool, roof, parking lot, painting; the expenses that would be incurred in private home ownership, just collected quarterly not as the repairs occur.

All that being said, one can not purchase a condo outside of an HOA or without quarterly fees.  It doesn’t work that way.  If a community has gates and offers even the smallest amount of amenities it needs upkeep and that requires money.  It is not possible to own a home with any type of common area, like gates or even the smallest amount of amenities without needing money to maintain it. 

Last, Bonita Springs is about 75% gated and deed restricted. Most of our properties have some sort of financial obligation attached to maintain the common areas or structures on site.

Posted in Buyer Tips
Jan. 9, 2017

Buying Your Resale View in Bonita Bay | Bonita Springs Real Estate

Views in Bonita Bay

The View in Bonita Bay is the Resale Value

The last few weeks I have spent in Bonita Bay showing homes and condos.  I’ve worked with buyers looking at entry level condos and buyers who were looking at single family estate homes.  The one thing they all have in common is the surprise at prices and the fact that sometimes you don’t get “update” or “spanking new remodel” at that price. 

What price is that?  Well, right now condos in Bonita Bay are just under $300,000 to get into the neighborhood.  Those condos are nice but could use some updates. Formica cabinets, Formica counters or even original, 1989 décor and furniture come with it.  How do you know if you’re getting a good value when you purchase a home that needs remodeled?  First, you look at the absorption rates to make sure the market is going up.  Second, you don’t buy the design/décor you buy the view.  I realize that not everyone wants to or has the ability to remodel a condo but it will so pay for itself if you do.

One of the condos I showed this week was a condo priced around $290,000. It was partly updated and the view was of a landscaped area and of the neighboring building.  The next condo was original everything but it had this view above.  This view is saleable in one month, one year, one decade away.  You might have to grit your teeth at the interior but that view is going to be the selling feature in a few years when the market levels or changes.

Posted in Buyer Tips
Jan. 3, 2017

Do It Yourself Projects in Bonita Springs Homes & Condos

 Bonita Springs DYI Projects Gone Wrong

Bonita Springs DIYMost Bonita Springs home sellers and tenants mean well when they “do it themselves” but often times, it shows. As a Bonita Springs listing agent I have said, on more than one occasion, that HGTV has given more than a few people just enough confidence to destroy a home or condo’s décor with a trip to the Home Depot.

Since I’ve been a real estate agent in the Bonita Springs area for close to two decades I have seen a lot of home improvement projects go well, but more of them go wrong.  Typical issues I’ve seen in home listings are painting woes, crooked trim/molding, misaligned wall paper and, while it qualifies as painting, bad faux. Ugh, no matter how hard home owners try, there is almost no way to do good faux paint.

Recently, Angela and I helped a home seller upsize to home in Collier County. They sold their home in San Carlos Park and moved to Golden Gate Estates.  The home in GGE was a do it yourself project and the new home owners have their work cut out for them.  With tons of potential, the home will be fabulous.  They just have to apply themselves to fix all of the little short cuts, including “sharpie marker painted” outlet covers.  They really do sell espresso color outlet covers at the big box stores.  It would have been less than $2 for the plate even at the most expensive of stores. 

I have started a small album of DIY projects I’ve seen around the Bonita Springs area while listing or selling homes or condos in the area.  Click here to see the Things I’ve Seen.

Dec. 29, 2016

A Good Real Estate Agent Will Say “No”

Find A Real Estate Agent Who Will Say No

Bonita Springs Real EstaetI really hate to be a dream stomper but a good real estate agent is going to tell you what is best for you in the long run and not “just make a sale”. You probably know, as well as I do, that real estate agents get a bad rap … some deservedly so.  In Florida, the bar for entry to the profession is set pretty low so I am  sure there are plenty of people making the real estate industry look bad. I can tell you from my nearly eighteen years as a real estate agent in the Bonita Springs area is that there are a lot of people who do the job really well. It is their profession, not a hobby or quick way to make cash.

My advise to anyone hiring or interviewing real estate agents is to make sure you find someone who will tell you no.  If you want a “yes man” you’re not going to be happy with your home purchase or your home sale, in the long run.

In the last year I have had to say a big “no” to more than one buyer who was making a choice that I wouldn’t be able to resell easily.  Any home can be remodeled but you can’t fix a horrible view or road noise or any other type of functional obsolescence.  I’ve talked many out of those sorts of choices not just because it’s the right the to do but, in spite of the fact that nobody buys with the intention to sell, I know they will want to sell one day and it shouldn’t be a struggle.

Due to the nature of our boomer population in Bonita Springs we run into many clients or customers who have lost a spouse.  There is often the notion that they should sell; a panic sell.  The sudden change caused by loss, probate issues, finding the right attorneys, dealing with the aftermath of medical bills can be overwhelming.  Time is generally not of the essence and you need a real estate agent who will help you make the best decision, not the fastest decision.  Sometimes that advise should be them saying no to listing your Bonita Springs home for sale until you’ve had time to adjust or process the situation. That could also mean waiting until a better time of the year to sell or finishing a household improvement project to get the most money out of your home sale.


Posted in Buyer Tips, Seller Tips