Life In Bonita Springs Florida - Local Info & Real Estate


Oct. 12, 2018

Septic Systems in Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers FL

Septic System Bonita Springs

Septic vs. Sewer Systems in Bonita Springs

The Bonita Springs area is a unique area that is mostly deed restricted and gated. There are Bonita Springs homes with septic systems. Locally, there is a large concentration of septic systems in San Carlos Park just a few miles north of Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida. The photo is a screenshot of the homes for sale in Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers homes that are currently for sale with septic systems instead of sewer systems.

In Southwest Florida there are no mandatory septic tank inspections, after initial installation, that require the septic systems to be functioning correctly or not leaking. We do have our home buyers  have a septic inspection and there have been issues found. If a buyer or their real estate agent does not have a septic inspection they would never know if there were issues or contributing to pollution of our waterways and the Gulf of Mexico.

There are a variety of providers who provide sewer inspections.  You can be provided a list from your real estate agent. 

If a home is on septic or even well for water you may be able to contact the local utility to find out if the home can be connected to city sewer. In Bonita Springs contact Bonita Springs Utilities and in Fort Myers contact Lee County Utilities

Posted in For The Home
Sept. 20, 2018

Properly Marketing Bonita Springs Homes For Sale

Properly Marketing Bonita Springs Homes For Sale

Bonita Springs Listing Agent ToolsOur last listing in the gated community of Hawthorne in Bonita Springs, Florida pended sale in only six days. It really isn’t an accident when a good listing sells quickly. An experienced listing agent should be able to calculate not only the property list price but also the absorption rate to help the sellers understand how slowly or quickly the home will sell so they can plan their next move.

We ask sellers for a lot of information before selling their Bonita Springs home.   Sometimes we don’t get that information but most of the time we do.  It’s all value-added to a home buyer. Especially a home buyer who has flown to Bonita Springs from outside of the area. They need information and the more the better.  Knowing the little details about the home, recent repairs, upgrades, mechanical improvements,etc. help a home buyer fall into love with a home.  It’s true. 

One of our favorite home selling tools is a hot bound book for each home listing.  Besides the MLS report and property disclosures there are items like survey, elevation certificate, HOA contact and information and property specific paperwork.  Home buyers love it.  Home sellers feel better served that their home is being seen, understood and sold in the best possible light.

Recently, we had a buyer’s agent send a text message about one of our “Property Information Books”. Her buyers chose one of our listings to purchase and it was because of the details in the book.  They were actually looking at two different Bonita Springs homes and chose one to place an offer on and it was our listing …because they felt they were buying a home they knew inside and out.

If you’re interested in learning more about selling your Bonita Springs home and would like to learn about your neighborhood absorption rate and glance at our real estate marketing plan call or text 239-273-7430.

Read also: Listing & Choosing a Bonita Springs Listing Agent

Posted in Seller Tips
Sept. 18, 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update August 2018

Bonita Springs Market Report April 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update August 2018

If you’ve ever wondered if Bonita Springs real estate sells in the summer take a look at the “units sold” graph.  This August was a record number of closed sales; homes, condos, land, manufactured homes and luxury homes and condos.  In short, those summer buyers, no doubt, were buying to over-winter in Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida.  Rentals are in short supply and many folks are buying a few years earlier than their actual need for a property because they can’t find a rental.

Due to healthy real estate sales the prices have been gradually climbing so we’re seeing and increase in prices and sell off of standing inventory.  Even some of the most challenged neighborhoods are seeing activity.   This is also increasing the conventional mortgage use.  Cash transactions are only about forty-five percent of the market and conventional mortgages account for about forty-one percent of the market.

Both short sales and foreclosures are few and far between. We see them occasionally but not very often.  The foreclosures sell at market value and not below real estate value.

Over seventy-six percent of the home and condo sales in the Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida area are priced under $400,000!  That’s a whopper amount of sales in entry level. Only about 2.75% of sales occurred in the $800,000 and over price point. A sobering statistic if you own luxury real estate in the Bonita Springs area and you’re wondering why you are not getting showings or why it isn’t selling.

If you have questions about the hyper-local real estate market in your specific neighborhood plan or on your street call or text 239-273-7430 so we can provide a drill down specific to your circumstances. The truth is in the numbers and we know how to crunch them! 

Posted in Market Reports
Aug. 17, 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update July 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update July 2018

Bonita Springs home sellers often wonder if they should have their home listed for sale over the summer. There are still fallacies that there are “no buyers around during summer”.  The fact of the matter is that every single day several thousand Americans turn 65.  Many are migrating to Florida whether it is to live or to vacation seasonally.  With that wave we are seeing not only the price of entry level properties go up but also the shrinking inventory of seasonal rental. Those who are retiring to warm climate or tax benefits have moved into their second home that was once in a rental pool. 

Read also: Bonita Springs Florida Tax Haven High Net Worth Residents

There are fewer rentals to go around so many would-be tenants are simply buying a littler sooner than they had anticipated.

The graphs above will show that we are steadily on track with regard to “units sold” and also that the $400,000 and under price point is king.  We’ve seen fewer folks paying cash for their Bonita Springs home purchase.  Part of that is caused by the rising prices and also the scramble to get mortgages before interest rates bump up again. 

If you have questions about buying or selling property in Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers or Naples reach out to Chris or Angela. We’re here to help!  239-273-7430 call or text anytime including evenings and weekends.

Posted in Market Reports
July 15, 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update June 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Report June 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update June 2018

Nearly seventy-five percent of the real estate sold in June was priced at $400,000 or under.  That tells you a lot about our bargain hunters this summer.  We’ve had many of the be-back buyers who were vacationing or renting in Bonita Springs last winter and weren’t able to find the home or condo they were looking for then. They’ve made a special trip back to Bonita Springs this summer to lock down a property before tourist season is in full swing again.

When summer started I told Angela that I believed that this would be the summer of the $300,000 and under sale and it is turning out to be true.  About eight-thousand baby boomers turn 65 every day and they’re all trying to rent a place in the winter and when they can’t find a rental they buy something affordable.   It’s kept the market moving all summer.  There is inventory and it moves quickly. There are even a few new construction deals in that price range.

The “units sold” are on trend and we still have a “barely there” distressed or short sale market.  There are foreclosures that have hit the real estate but they are attributed to the hurricane last year.  As you can imagine, work slows, insurance companies are sometimes difficult and sometimes life events take their toll financially.

The cash purchases is a little low and the conventional mortgage segment has grown. There are loan limits on both FHA and VA mortgages so as prices rise the loan programs become a challenge to use in some locales.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bonita Springs real estate market or the market in a specific neighborhood, contact Chris at 239-273-7430.


Posted in Market Reports
June 18, 2018

Space Saving Tips for Bonita Springs Condos

Bonita Springs Space SaverOrganizing Your Bonita Springs Condo or Home

Over the last few years I’ve moved a few times, downsizing every time. I’m still in Bonita Springs, in single family home located Bonita Farms. It was built in 1974 and it’s less than 1,500 SF of living area which means small closets and small cabinets.

One day a nifty little gadget called the spicy rack went through my Facebook feed.  I decided to take a gamble on it for my kitchen cabinet with cooking items and spices in it.  It was purchased on Amazon for $20. It was a great gamble that helped organize that cabinet and even made room for larger bottles of olive oil in the middle of the system.  I had been refilling a smaller oil bottle because the prior shelf configuration didn’t allow for a larger bottle.  The pepper mill broke when I was refilling it to put away, again, so that's why it's not in photo two.  

Only one spicy rack was installed in the kitchen. I installed the other one in a bathroom cabinet. The bathroom cabinet is t-i-n-y and nearly useless. Because of the sink trap in the small cabinet there was no way to install an actual shelf.  The bag was full of shampoos and now they’re lined on a shelf.

Bonita Springs Home Organizing

The vintage homes of Bonita Springs are certainly charming but they do lack modern day conveniences. I’m learning all sorts of ways to make space that I will share here.

The spicy rack has dozens of options for adjustments so I imagine that it would fit any cabinet. These would be especially great for the beach front condos. Most condos, like The Egret, Casa Bonita Royale and Bonita Beach Club are around 1,200 SF and space is tight. The spicy rack would really help save space!

Posted in For The Home
June 17, 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update May 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate May 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Update May 2018

The May 2018 sales figures show the Bonita Springs real estate sales that were contracted at the end of our busy tourist season. Out of curiosity I peeked back at May of 2015 just to see how home buyers in Bonita Springs were paying for their real estate and sixty-four percent of them paid cash compared to fifty-two percent in 2018.   The change is caused by a combination of rising home values and the interest rates slightly increasing. 

If you are planning on financing a purchase, buying a home or condo now over next years may save you money in the long run: If you have a $200,000 15-year loan at 5 percent, your monthly payment is $1,581.59, and at 5.25 percent, it increases to $1,607.76.  The difference isn’t huge but depending upon the amount financed and the actual interest rate at the time you finance it can add up.

In all, sales figures are strong and we’ve really had a busy post-season.  We’ve closed most of our listings and have noticed a lot of luxury real estate buyers in the Bonita Springs market.  We’ve showing property from Fort Myers to south through Marco Island.  From manufactured homes to deep water gulf access homes on the bay. 

The common trend is that many buyers are looking to retire in the next few years and they are not able to secure a rental for the winter so they are buying a home and using it a little and renting it the rest of the time. If you are in this position know that you can easily find a tenant because there is a shortage of rentals .. because the baby boomer, second home owners are actually moving into what used to be our rental inventory.

To see the rest of the trends in Bonita Springs and Estero Florida homes and condo trends click the photo album above and you can see how homes are financed, how many distressed foreclosures or short sales are in the real estate market and most importantly.  Learn what price ranges are selling the fastest.

For expert real estate buyer or seller representation contact Chris and Angela at 239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports
June 5, 2018

Pickle Ball Communities in Bonita Springs, Naples & Estero

Pickleball Bonita Springs

Pickleball Courts in Bonita Springs, Naples, Estero

If you’re a buyer who enjoys the growing sport of pickleball, here is some information to help you sort through a little of the pickleball court confusion. Pickleball in the Bonita Springs area is growing in popularity. Many communities with tennis courts have pickleball courts on the tennis courts. Many of the communities are installing their own courts, space permitting.  Those who do not have space find room just outside the gates.  Keep in mind some of the communities in Bonita Springs were built and completed before pickleball was popular.

The MLS service that real estate listing agents use to sell homes lists community amenities. For example, it will list that a community has pickleball courts but not the number of courts. For those die hard pickleball enthusiasts it’s important to have enough courts to service the population of the community. I've been asking around and have a few great places to start your home search. 

In Bonita Springs:

Pelican Landing  in Bonita Springs has six pickleball courts.

The Colony at Pelican Landing is a gated area of Pelican Landing that has access to Pelican Landing amenities in addition to the amenities available exclusively to The Colony residents.  This community has a beach park included with home ownership which is a bonus.

Bonita Bay has only 4 courts but it is a stellar community to consider.  This community has a beach park included with home ownership. 

Valencia Bonita is a new construction community (June 2018) that is going to have eight pickleball courts.  It's a 55+ active adult community and the amenities are being built.  They're unbelievable and the homes are very nicely appointed. 

In Estero:

The community of Corkscrew Shores has six courts and Bella Terra has six courts.

In Naples:

The luxury resort community of Kalea Bay in Naples has eight courts.

Kensington in Naples is getting four new courts this fall; I don't know if that is in addition to what they already have.

Treviso Bay has six courts.

Last, you may find pickleball in several neighborhoods that may be a bundled golf community. They often have robust tennis programs/pickleball.  It bears mentioning because the bundled golf is mandatory membership with golf fees typically in excess of $6,000 per year. If you do not golf it is a costly amenity for a feature you wouldn’t be using.

If you would like your community added to this list of pickleball communities comment or message the admin with the community name and number of courts.

Posted in Around Town
May 24, 2018

Cleaning Up Credit in Bonita Springs, Florida

First Time Home Buyer Bonita Springs

Managing Credit & Buying a Home in Bonita Springs

Long, long ago I had an experience with home buyers in Bonita Springs that shaped how I advised home buyers on credit worthiness or credit preparedness.  At the time I lived in Brendan Cove and tenant in a community called Serrano. The tenants called me to look at a condo for sale which was also located in Serrano.  Geographically, the communities are  just a few streets away from each other so I ran over to open the condo for sale even though I knew nothing about their credit and finances.   The unit was vacant and easy to show.

These buyer-tenants had a hard time finding a real estate agent who would work with them.  They had very little money and their credit was a disaster. They’d gotten into a predicament or two with their finances and there were all sorts of dings on their credit, lots of little charges that added up to a significant amount of debt and even an outstanding judgment. They explained their situation to me on the spot and then explained that they were going to be inheriting a large sum of money. Not enough to buy a home outright but maybe enough for a down payment for a home.

This couple had a combined family and extended family that lived with them and they never thought they would ever be in the position to put enough money down to be home buyers.  They had given up on their credit.  They admitted it.  Why bother.  Plus when you have so many issues to deal with, why worry about another ding here and another ding there.

The first thing I did was order them to pump the brakes and then hook them up with a great, local mortgage broker and make sure that they told him everything – warts and all. Great mortgage brokers will get people into a home when there are resources and motivation.  Credit was managed for a few months, letters were written to clean up a few credit items, small debts were cleaned up, large debts were cleaned up with the inheritance came in and the judgment was paid off.

What I learned from helping first time home buyers in Bonita Springs was that you just don’t know what you don’t know.  Again, we are entering another cycle of affordable housing being an issue so those with credit in poor condition may be giving up on home ownership.  Don’t.  You never know what tomorrow will bring and housing is cyclical. If you can’t buy a home in Bonita Springs on the current cycle, buy a home on the next cycle. Take care of your credit. Pay down your debt.  Save. Live within your means. 

You will never know if you’ll stumble into a little money to buy a home in Bonita Springs. You also never know when mortgage programs will change and help you buy a home, too.  Through the the last housing downturn and the recession mortgages got tough but we are back to conventional mortgages being as low as 5% down for qualified home buyers.

Read also: First Time Home Buyers in Bonita Springs

It sounds simple enough but we live in a world and, most especially, a country where everyone wants everything RIGHT NOW.  There is no patience. We also have a lot of people mislead into thinking that they don’t have to work hard for what they want.  Home ownership isn’t easy, home ownership isn’t cheap and home ownership isn’t free but with a little dedication and planning you can own a home in Bonita Springs. It just isn’t going to be immediate.  Put your head down and get to work. If you need help making a plan let me know and we can plan together.  239-273-7430, call or text any time.

Posted in Buyer Tips
May 15, 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update April 2018

Bonita Springs real estate statistics

The Spring Sales Wrap Up Bonita Springs and Estero Homes

Check out the units sold in Bonita Springs real estate.  You can click the photo album to see all of the sales graphs. We’re busy closing sales on the homes and condos that pended sale during the thick of season.  It may surprise you to know that we’ve still been selling.  It seems that savvy buyers are still out shopping and doing it with a little less competition around.

As usual the foreclosure and short sale activity is minimum.  Units sold are up a little over other years. We’re feeling the press of the Baby Boomers.  Homes priced well, in good condition sell quickly and close to list price especially priced under $400,000.  That seems to be the sweetest price range.

We actually have off-season guest flying in this May. Those who couldn’t get a rental this winter are out shopping and looking for  next winter’s home to buy in stead of rent.  I would suspect our end of June through July sales to be robust compared to last year. 

If you’re interested in picking up a residence for next winter give us a call so we can help you hone your search.  239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports