Life In Bonita Springs Florida - Local Info & Real Estate


Dec. 1, 2018

Life in a Waterfront Home in Bonita Springs Fl

Waterfront Home Bonita Springs

Life in a Waterfront Home in Bonita Springs Fl

The other day Facebook showed me memories and it was of the day that I moved into a new home in Bonita Farms. It occurred to me that people might not have asked or even considered what it’s like to live on or move to a waterfront home.  I had moved from Brendan Cove to a home outside of gates on a gulf access canal. When we arrived at the property it was actually Thanksgiving Day.

My grown children and two grand children were in tow.  We walked through the house to the back yard and there we stood staring at the canal.  The Imperial River was only about three lots to the south.  At the time the grands were two and seven years old.  My first thought was that we should do our best to get rid of the novelty of the water in the back yard. They are going to be super curious because we’ve not had access to a canal before. 

Pools and canals are a huge responsibility for a home owner in Bonita Springs, Florida.  This was the grands first experience with a canal. I know because I asked who would like to see it up close and they both raised their hands.  We, as a group, had a discussion about the water and water safety.  We then got down on our hands and knees and crawled to the edge and laid there looking at the water and the fish swimming around.

The seven year old knew how to swim but I wasn’t sure he would know what to do if he fell in unexpectedly. I asked him, “What is the first thing you should do when you fall in?” He looked around and then said, “I would go over there and get out by using their ladder”.   He at least knew enough to realize that there was no way to get out “on my side” since I didn’t have a ladder. I replied, “No, Aiden.  You stand up.  Don’t panic, just stand up because odds are that you can touch.”  It hasn’t occurred to him that the water was shallow. If he was met with falling in he could have panicked and gotten himself into a worse predicament.  Since he now had a plan for what to do if he fell in it would reduce some of the risk of the water. I had Nelson Marine install a ladder very soon after we moved into the home.

If you hadn’t considered what it would be like to live on a canal with little people in your family I thought I’d share our story. I thought the photo was cute, too.

If you’d like to learn more about gulf access homes or buying a home on a canal, river or bay give me a call. I’d love to help.  239-273-7430

Posted in For The Home
Nov. 18, 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update October 2018

Bonita SPring real estate stats Oct 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market October 2018

We continue to watch the cash payments of Bonita Springs home sales hover in the fifty percentile. As the prices of Bonita Springs real estate rises, the liquidity of home buyers tightens up so we don’t look anticipate an increase of cash buyers in the near future.

The sales volume, the units sold is somewhat steady.  The real estate buyers have returned for the season and the low inventory of rentals available fuels a bit of a buyer boom going into “season”.  We simply have fewer rentals to go around.

Our distressed sales are almost non-existent.  There are a few foreclosures and a few short sales but they are actually uncommon.  Those who are looking for a “deal” should consider purchasing a home in a neighborhood with heavy inventory and renovate/update the home.  Some great places to search for homes would be on the “original side” of Village Walk of Bonita Springs, Spanish Wells and The Reserve at Estero.  These Bonita Springs and Estero neighborhoods have inventory and the value priced homes may need updated when compared to recent design standards and new construction in other nearby areas.

The most significant volume of sales continues to be the $400,000 and under price point.  It’s symply due to affordability especially for the snow bird buyers trying to get a winter residence for 2019.

If you’d like more information about the current real estate market and negotiating in communities with favorable conditions for real estate buyers contact Chris at 239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports
Nov. 18, 2018

The High & Low Bonita Springs Home Sales Nov 2018

Bonita Springs Homes for sale

Bonita Springs Real Estate Steal & Deals

The Bonita Springs market reports are in an the results read that we are in full season. If you’d like to read the latest statistics read also: Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Reports

Out of home buyer curiosity we started publishing the high price and low price properties in the Bonita Springs real estate market.  

The most affordable property for sale at this time is a manufactured home in Lime Tree Park. Lime Tree is a 55+ active community located on US 41 sort of behind Bonefish Grille.  The most expensive home for sale in Bonita Springs for just under $13M in Barefoot Beach.

During the month of October 2018 the most affordable closed sale was a condo on Woods Circle that sold at $77,250.  The most expensive property that sold was a single family home in Barefoot Beach, on the beach, at $9.4M.

In addition to high/low we are adding our monthly opinion about where the hidden deals may be found. It’s always about inventory and supply, right? 

Currently there seems to be great selection of homes for sale in The Reserve at Estero and in Hawthorne at Bonita Springs.  The Reserve has single family homes from the mid $200,000’s and Hawthorn in the high $300,000’s.

Bonita Springs condos for sale is a little more complex. There are several neighborhoods with inventory from new construction in Bonita National to resale properties in Bermuda Park.  If you consider a second floor unit you may have leverage due to heavier inventory for condos on the 2nd floor.  About forty percent of the units for sale are first floor (in general). In some neighborhoods the numbers are lower.

There are some great ways to negotiate based on inventory/absorption so if you’re looking for a deal in Bonita Springs homes and condos give us a call!

Posted in Market Reports
Nov. 13, 2018

Sewing Milkweed Seeds in Bonita Springs, Florida

Bonita Springs Milkweed Plant

Planting For Butterflies in Bonita Springs, Fla

Like many of my home buyers and sellers I spent the last year or two moving, downsizing, remodeling and moving again. I know I have one more move, at minimum. Unfortunately, this has put a crimp into my butterfly gardening so one of the things that I do is sprinkle milkweed seeds on some of the paths and wooded areas the dogs and I travel on.

My latest batch of seeds has taken root. they will have a little challenge battling the invasive Downy Myrtle. Hopefully, a few seed pod cycles later we will see some more progress. 

If you’d like to learn more read also, Gardening For Butterflies in Bonita Springs, Florida and also read,

Thirty Days to a Perfect Bonita Springs Butterfly Garden

Posted in For The Home
Nov. 13, 2018

Inexperienced Bonita Springs Real Estate Agents

FHA Condo Bonita Springs

Inexperience Can Cost Real Estate Consumers Dearly

An experienced listing agent knows how to best protect a Bonita Springs condo seller with regard to understanding the mortgage process. Recently, I listed a fairly affordable condo in Bonita Springs and on the first day it had a few buyer tours.  One of the real estate agents who showed it, and presumably showed condos all day to buyers, called me to find out what it mean about the mortgage remarks in the confidential remarks of the MLS. When I explained to her that there was an investor who owned a large portion of units in the complex and that it could interfere with certain conventional mortgage program underwriting policies she asked me, “What about FHA?”. 

First, not all listing agents would have the knowledge regarding the investor load.  Second, we are in a low-skill real estate market and these new agents don’t really have the experience for success. I am only left to assume that this new agent showed condos all day to buyers who are financing FHA.  Long story short, the entire complex has to be approved for an FHA loan and there are so very few of those it’s almost a non-starter. I tried to explain but she wasn’t having it.  I recommended that she contact their lender and have a frank discussion about FHA and which properties are eligible.

The real heart breaker here is that there are buyers who spent a day in the car with a real estate agent who doesn’t know what she doesn’t know.  Whether you’re a buyer or a seller inexperience is expensive to the consumer.  Imagine if she had submitted a contract and my condo seller accepted it. The condo would have come off of the real estate market to work toward the closing process. The momentum would have been lost as days on market were gained.

The buyers would have started writing checks for loan applications, home inspections, HOA applications, possibly an appraisal.  The buyers could have easily been $1,000 to $1,500 into the process before someone realized they had a loan program that wouldn’t work.

There is room for everyone in the real estate industry.  Tons of new agents come when the real estate market is fluid and “easy”.  (PS it’s never easy). What the new people need to do is ask questions and assume that they don’t know what they don’t know.  I believe “in a rising tide all boats are lifted” so I tried to educate her on that facet of the loan program and she quickly got off the phone not wanting to hear it or learn the best way to move forward.  She wasn't ready to go.  So, who really  loses here?  The real estate consumer. 

If you’d like advice about buying or selling a home or condo in Bonita Springs or you’d like help with experienced agents who understand the FHA loan process give us a call.

Posted in Buyer Tips, Seller Tips
Oct. 27, 2018

Do You Only Sell Fancy Mansions? Bonita Springs Home Sales

Bonita Springs Home Price

Bonita Springs Homes in All Price Ranges

Whether you’re looking for a buyers agent or a listing agent many real estate consumers often wonder if the agent they chose works in their price range.  I’ve been a real estate agent for twenty-plus years and have been asked dozens of times “what price range I work”.  The long story, short is that both Angela and myself work every price range, every style of property, every location.  If a property is too far for us to travel, for example, north of Fort Myers, we often refer to trusted agents we have relationships with.

Today, as a test I searched the MLS. The Bonita Springs area has prices that range from about $50,000 to $12,975,000 in price. At this time the Griffith’s have listings starting from $15,000 for a vacant lot.  Why would we list a property priced so low?  Because there were sellers who want to sell it and they asked for our help.  Nobody else would help them because of the low price.  We are the agents in Bonita Springs who work with affordable homes.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of home sales in Bonita Springs and Estero occur under $400,000.  Sure, we’d love to sell the most expensive home in Bonita Springs but the reality is that consumers need a real estate agent in every price range and we specialize in all price ranges.

If you need the services of a real estate agent and you are looking for someone who will help you either buy or sell call or text us at 239-273-7430.  We’ll gladly help you regardless of the price of the property.  We especially love first time home buyers.  To learn more real also First Time Home Buyer Guide.

Posted in Buyer Tips, Seller Tips
Oct. 25, 2018

Scoring a Condo Deal in Bonita Springs, Florida

Worthington Condo Inventory

Know Your Numbers When Buying in Bonita Springs

Published Fall 2018 - Once upon a rainbow I had condo buyers who kept rumbling around looking for a winter getaway in Worthington. From time to time they’d send me out to preview a condo and toy with writing an offer.  One of the condos for sale in Worthington was a pretty unit and my buyers weren’t prepared to write an offer.  The listing agent called me to let me know that the sellers were anxious to sell and would only sell it furnished if the the price was firm.

It just so happens that I am a numbers and data person.  For a gated community with about eight hundred units in it for sale there were about fifteen units for sale.  That’s not a huge amount but it doesn’t tell you the rate of sale or what the actual inventory is. 

Whether it’s Highland Woods, Bonita National, Vasari or Worthington there are ways to figure out how much inventory there is and how long it could potentially take to sell a home or condo in Bonita Springs. The long story short for my buyers looking for a condo in a bundled golf community was that there was 26.6 months of inventory in the style of building they were searching in.

If you’re a buyer it means you can shop a little harder. Pick two or three units and make your offers accordingly.  You stand to score the best financial deal or you can negotiate for a superb unit by helping the seller understand how much inventory there is on the real estate market around their condo.  Trust me 99% of the time their agent doesn’t know how to calculate inventory.  We do.  We don’t present offers until we make sure that we don’t leave any meat on the bone, so to speak.

If you’re a seller and you’re gunning to close  sale on your condo you need to know this inventory so you can price your condo correctly.  If there is 26 months of inventory and your agent estimated a list price of $275,000-$300,000 what number do you think you should be at to guarantee you won’t be holding that condo when shutters start closing up the day after Easter?   

The owners of the condo in Worthington have no idea that there is over two years of inventory. They’re still holding the condo and only one other property has pended sale in the last 30 days.

Do you see how it works in your favor for your real estate agent to understand absorption and inventory? We sure do. Let us help you find a great deal this winter.  We’ve available daily, after hours, weekends at 239-273-7430.

Posted in Buyer Tips
Oct. 22, 2018

Bonita Springs Home Buyers–Keep Your Sneakers On!

Bonita Springs Home Hunting Shoes

Keep Your Sneakers On Bonita Springs Home Buyers

If you’re thinking of coming to the area to look for a home or condo to buy in the Bonita Springs real estate market that’s the message – Keep your sneakers on.  This time of year savvy home buyers have or are flying back to the area to pick up a home to spend the winter in.

Follow me on this – If they found  a home today, wrote a contract, had their inspections, made application to the HOA and closed sale, it would take about three weeks or more at the speediest.  If there is a mortgage involved anywhere from 30-60 days to close sale.  That would have a new home buyer in Bonita Springs ready to spend January through May in Bonita Springs.

The sneakers come into play with condition of the real estate, whether it’s a home or condo.  Whether there are three homes for sale in a neighborhood or a dozen, the homes in the best condition with the best price sell the fastest. Especially this time of the year.  The buyers are motivated because rentals are in short supply.  The last home we listed in Hawthorne was in superb condition, staged, readied for the real estate market and it was under contract in six days!

Just remember this if you are coming to purchase real estate – if you look at 1/2 dozen homes in your preferred neighborhood area, your budget or amenity (such as gulf access or the most affordable high rise with a view) remember that other buyers are seeing the same thing.  You need to hop on it before the other home buyers do!

If you would like help scoring the best home or condo in the area call or text 239-273-7430.

Posted in Buyer Tips
Oct. 21, 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Update Sept 2018

Bonita Springs Market Report Sept 2018

Bonita Springs Estero Real Estate Market Update September 2018

We’ve kicked off our winter season.  The snow birds are slowly returning and the Bonita Springs real estate sales are closing for the over-winter residents who are making Bonita Springs their permanent home.  Would you believe that 93% of our sales are priced under $600,000!?  Amazing numbers.  The majority of those Bonita Springs home sales occurred in the $200,000-400,000 price range.

Buyers are funding their purchases with cash (50%) and conventional financing (40%). We have few FHA and VA sales in the area due to loan limits and that we are not in close proximity to any military base.  There are a variety of owner financing, 1031 Exchanges and non-conventional loans such as Physician Loans or Hard Money Loans.

The Bonita Springs area is chugging along. Buyers and tenants will be in the area over winter. If you are thinking of listing your home to sell it next year be advised to get it active on the MLS toward the end of January for maximum exposure. Many home seller wait too late into spring to find a listing agent and miss the tourist season of buyers.

If you have questions about the Bonita Springs or Estero Florida real estate market call or text Chris at 239-273-7430.

Posted in Market Reports
Oct. 21, 2018

The High & Low Bonita Springs Home Sales Oct 2018

Bonita Springs Real Estate Sales

Bonita Springs real estate is made up of a huge price range of housing. We are frequently asked “what price point we work”.  We actually work with all price points and all neighborhoods.  We know that there are some real estate agents who do not work below certain price points or outside of their neighborhood.  We work in both gated and non-gated communities.  That wide variety of real estate also leads to a wide range of pricing so if you were wondering what is selling entry level and what is selling in the luxury real estate market:

Active High/Low Bonita Springs Home For Sale

If you’ve ever wondered what the current state of the Bonita Springs real estate market is, here’s the high/low of what is currently for sale in 34135 and 34134.

Excluding time-shares there are 980 homes and condos for sale in Bonita Springs, Florida.  The most affordable property is a 55+ manufactured home in Lime Tree Park priced at $65,000 and the most expensive property is a new construction single family home in Barefoot Beach priced at just under $13,000,000.

Closed High/Low Bonita Springs Homes Sold

The most affordably priced home sold in Bonita Springs was at Leisure Time Camp Sites and it closed sale at $64,000.  Leisure Time is a 55+ manufactured home community.

The most expensive sale was a single family home in Barefoot Bay and it closed sale at $2,305,000. Barefoot Bay is on Bonita Beach Road just before Barefoot Beach.

Posted in Market Reports