Life In Bonita Springs Florida - Local Info & Real Estate


May 9, 2020

Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida

Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida - Video Resources

There are a myriad of choices when looking for Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida.  We offer a variety of resources for home sellers and home buyers throughout the southwest Florida area. Whether you’re looking for a Bonita Springs Listing Agent or a Bonita Springs Buyers Agent we have resources to help you learn more about the area and the process of purchasing or selling a home in Bonita Springs. Be sure to check the playlists on our youtube channel to learn more.

If you are thinking of listing your Bonita Springs home, we have a full video channel of great Bonita Springs Home Seller tips.

If you are in the process of learning about Bonita Springs and searching for a home to buy in Bonita Springs we have a full video channel of Bonita Springs Home Buyer tips.

Call or text any time with questions 239-273-7430. Your Realtors in Bonita Springs, Florida – Chris Griffith and Angela Griffith.

Realtors in Bonita Springs Florida

April 27, 2020

Vietnam Memorial of SWFL in Fort Myers, Florida

We took a drive north through Fort Myers Beach from Bonita Springs  and ended up on McGregor Blvd. Out of the corner of my eye I caught the memorial so we turned around and went back. This memorial is located at Veterans Memorial Park at McGregor and Colonial Boulevards in Fort Myers, Florida. It is the Southwest Florida Vietnam War Memorial. This memorial lists the names of 76 fallen soldiers from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and DeSoto counties. Of course, Fort Myers is in Lee County, Florida.

The memorial consists of three 9-foot by 8-foot black granite panels etched with the names of the fallen. The engraving is the same style of lettering that was used in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. In front of the three panel is a field cross. There are a bank of flags out front and a few other items of note including a purple heart monument.

Parking for memorial/park area is located under the Midpoint Memorial Bridge. Turn off of McGregor Blvd at San Marcos and park under the bridge. We didn’t realize the parking lot was under the bridge and parked at St. Hillary’s Episcopal Church and walked over.  We created a video of the photos, here: 

This is the URL if you don't see the player:

This memorial is totally different from the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Charlotte County.  You can learn more about that memorial, here: Vietnam Memorial Wall of SWFL 93/365 Things to Do 

Posted in Things To Do
April 15, 2020

5 Tips For Bonita Springs Home Sellers With Bonita Springs Homes For Sale Under $300,000

5 Tips For Bonita Springs Home Sellers With

Bonita Springs Homes For Sale Under $300,000

If you are going to sell your home and it is priced under $300,000 in the Bonita Springs, Estero, Florida area this is what you need to know. In a recent search of 8 homes for sale in this price point only one had additional information. I have a bonafide, actual home buyer who want to purchase during a pandemic! 

The $300,000 and under price point, while it is a lot of money, is actually considered entry level in Bonita Springs home sales circles. That also sometimes means the homes are older with lower elevations and legacy building codes.  Not that any of the following recommendations are new but they aren’t widely practiced by Bonita Springs Realtors and given the pandemic of COVID19 or the Coronavirus things need to change to both protect home sellers and prospective buyers and minimize risk. 

Our recommendation is that your Bonita Springs listing agent, at minimum should provide these services as part of their marketing proposal.  You did receive some sort of a proposal, right?  We actually provide a list of actual promises so you know that you’re not taking a chance by listing your Bonita Springs home with us.

Here are the 5 must-do’s your Bonita Springs listing agent must provide in the MLS or multiple listing service to Bonita Springs buyers agents.  Why should these real estate services be provided?  So that buyers do not even breach the door until they did the preliminary work to make sure the home is a near perfect fit both in what they are searching for and the ability for it to finance with their loan programs. Not all loan programs fit every home for sale in Bonita Springs, Florida. Here are the must-do items:

1.  Hosted in the supplements of the MLS should be a survey and flood elevation certificate OR information about the rates of the flood insurance policy.  Why?  Because older homes are often lower homes and the sheer cost of the flood policy can be surprising and even put a buyer over their debt to income ratio. It doesn’t matter that a home has never flooded. The fact of the matter is that a lender is going to require a flood insurance policy if it’s in a flood zone.

2.  If the home is wood frame or significantly wood frame a copy of the homeowners policy or past wind mitigation survey to get an accurate quote of future homeowner/windstorm insurance responsibilities.

3. Complete seller’s disclosures of your Bonita Springs home that includes dates of major replacements of systems, appliances and major components such as A/C, hot water tank and  and the roof.  If the property is financing FHA or VA the roof and condition of the home for sale is going to be an underwriting condition in order to close the loan.

4.  Full photos and a visual tour of the property. Bonita Springs home sellers need to show buyers see every nook and cranny.  Bring in the right buyers who love the home and those who aren’t a perfect fit will move on to the next home . You’ll actually increase the traffic of the most qualified buyers and safe time for yourself and buyers who might be able to see it online and realize it isn’t the home for them.  Wouldn’t you rather show your home to 5 perfect buyers than 20 buyers who weren’t the right buyer?

5.  The majority of homes for sale outside of gates such as those in Heitmans, Nuttinglikit Grove, Sandy Hollow and more do not have floor plans readily available. For about $100 and sometimes even less, your Bonita Springs listing agent should order a floor plan to be made for your property. Let potential home buyers see the floor plan and flow as part of their visual tour and research.  Their buyer’s agent also knows what they are looking for so if there isn’t a great room but a living/family room set up they can explain that in advance and determine whether they should see it or not. 

There are so many tools in this day and age of showing homes in Bonita Springs. There are many more tools than this but this is what we consider a must-do and not terribly difficult or expensive. An experienced, professional listing agent will use all of the tools to sell your home in the fastest amount of time, with the least amount of hassle … including reducing you, the home owner, to exposure to unnecessary visitors and their germs.

If you'd like to learn more about selling your home in Bonita Springs, Florida call or text 239-273-7430.

Posted in Seller Tips
March 22, 2020

5 Tips for Selling Bonita Springs Homes During Covid 19 Social Distancing

Market Bonita Springs Homes Covid-19

5 Tips for Selling Bonita Springs Homes During Covid 19 Social Distancing

Let me first say that if your Bonita Springs home is for sale or you are in the process of hiring a Bonita Springs listing agent you must demand, at minimum, these best practices to protect yourself, your family and your home during social distancing due to Covid-19 in Bonita Springs, Florida.

1. Price and re-strategize your marketing of your Bonita Springs home.

2. Shuffle your photos – go pro and hold your agent’s feet to the fire.  Again, every real estate agent should have been using professional photography. This is your chance to go online and look at what your listing agent or future listing agent is doing to market real estate with great photos. If you see cell phone photos or no photos this is not in your best interest!  If you’ve selected a discount broker you need to pay the freight to get those photos.

3. Visual tour, a walk through video and not a photo slide show. Besides giving home buyers the ability to tour your home without exposing your family to any outside elements it can actually make the home rank higher in searches on some of the big syndication real estate websites. More photos, more videos equals more views. End. Of. Story.

4. Supplements in the MLS. Your Bonita Springs agent would be hard pressed to exhaust the space provided to host these valuable additional documents. Here is an example of items that can be provided to hel-p filter buyers entering your home - floor plan, community site plan/plan, memberships golf/beach,  seller;s disclosures, HOA disclosures, property feature/upgrades lists, scanned golf score card, reciprocal memberships list and on and on.

5. Provide a way for home buyers to not bring unwanted germs into the home. Provide booties or ask for shoes to come off but be sure to provide a chair so that the visitors can get their shoes on and off without getting hurt in a fall. Provide Purell at the door and/or post directions to the closest bathroom so they can wash hands upon entry. Keep the lights on and doors unlocked or directions on doors pointing buyers to use only one particular door so you can reduce use and contact on multiple surfaces. Other helpful ideas would be for your listing agent to provide directions in the showing instructions of where to park additional cars as the real estate agents will be driving separately to property viewings.

Watch the video with these tips:

If you are interested in learning the best practices the Griffith Group uses for selling our listings, call or text Chris at 239-273-7430

Posted in Seller Tips
March 2, 2020

6 Tips to Sell Tenant Occupied Homes in Bonita Springs

6 Tips to Sell Tenant Occupied Homes in Bonita Springs

Tenant Occupied Bonita SpringsGetting your tenant on board with your plans to sell your Bonita Springs home and keeping them cooperative through the process of home selling is the name of the game.  It’s a delicate balance of gaining/maintaining trust during the showing and home selling process and it can go smoothly if everyone openly communicates and knows what to expect from the listing agent and the other agents showing the home.  Here are a few tips for home sellers to consider if they find a need to sell their Bonita Springs home with a tenant living in it.

1.  Offer to form a connection with the next potential owner of the home so that the tenant can stay in the home, if the next owner will be renting. Finding a great tenant for your Bonita Springs home is a gift so if you have a great tenant, share the love.

2. Work out a time frame with the tenant so that everyone is on the same page. This allows the tenant, you and the potential home buyers understand that, for example, the tenant will be given the courtesy of thirty days or sixty days to find a new residence should a contract be executed.  The tenants will be more cooperative if they are able to make plans and not have the mystery of the unknown upset them.  While you’re working out times also promise that all showings will have either 24 or 48 hours advanced notice so they will have time to prepare.  This will also help weed out tire kickers.

3. If you do lease or renew a lease, whether it is seasonal or annual, lease with the expectation that you will be selling the home or condo.  You may even renegotiate a lease to a month to month lease so that both the home owner and the buyer have options to depart the agreement on good terms with thirty days notice.

4. Pick a few days/times that are convenient for the tenant to have the home shown.  Work around their schedule.  They may have regular appointments or life events to work around.  Every Tuesday evening they have a date with a personal trainer at the local gym or every Sunday they may be at church followed by breakfast from 9 a.m. to 12:30.  Load up the showings on those specific days when it will cost them the least disruptions.

5. Give the tenant control or the allusion of control by giving them the lockbox to hold.  A great Bonita Springs listing agent can say, Ms. Tenant, I will give you the blue supra lockbox to hold.  I will approve all showings for you and once they are approved you can set the box out of the day of showings.  Most of the time the tenants I have been working with leave the box out on porch because they understand the system and have trust in the listing agent.

6. Pay them for their time and tidying up either by discounting rent or offering a gift card, for example $25 per showing, to incentivize them to not only cooperate but to tidy up a bit for all of the showings.

To learn more about selling your Bonita Springs home call or text Chris at 239-273-7430.

Posted in Seller Tips
Feb. 18, 2020

Bonita Springs Home Seller Tips - Oven Burners

Bonita Springs Home Seller TipsOven Burner Fix for Bonita Springs Home Sellers

We list homes for sale in Bonita Springs; all over Bonita Springs in all prices ranges, too. Not all homes are located in natural gas communities or have the most current model of appliances. One of our newest listings is what would be considered an entry level condo for the neighborhood it’s in. 

The oven has coil burner tops and they were goobered up and in pretty bad condition. Otherwise the oven looked great so one of the things we did, after housekeeping readied the condo for showings, was replace the burner trays.  It’s a $15 fix that makes the oven look worlds better and also makes the kitchen look better.  The home sellers appreciate that the kitchen looks better and the potential buyers don’t get hung up on some of the smaller details that are considered annoyances and can turn into negotiating factors. 

For more seller tips for Bonita Springs home sellers read our list of, Bonita Springs home seller tips.

Posted in Seller Tips
Feb. 12, 2020

Bonita Springs FL Real Estate Update Jan 2020 Stats

Bonita Springs FL Real Estate Update Jan 2020 Stats

Bonita Springs FL Real Estate Update Jan 2020 Stats

We’re humming right along this tourist season.  The Bonita Springs housing market is stable and not showing signs of dramatic changes. It’s a fairly level and predictable market.  The sales rate in units has been consistent in resale homes for sale.  The competition for resale properties under 500K remains new construction that is happening east of 75 on Bonita Beach Road and in the Corkscrew corridor in Estero, Florida.  Like any real estate decision there are pros and cons to both new construction and resale homes.

The 200K-400K price point remains competitive as it remains our ‘entry level’ price for single family homes and condominiums.  The builders realize that is the sweet spot, too, which is why they are pumping out the product.

These graphs are mostly resale homes.  There is a whole shadow inventory of new construction closed sales that aren’t run through our local MLS.  Properties in Seasons at Bonita, Valencia Bonita and Bonita National, for example.  Tons of new product out there!

Thanks for reading!  We’re going to start video real estate market reports regularly. You can see those videos here. Please consider subscribing to our youtube channel. We appreciate the loyalty! Subscribe to Our  Youtube Channel

Posted in Market Reports
Feb. 10, 2020

5 Clutter Busters Before Listing Your Bonita Springs Home

We’ve discussed decluttering and getting rid of all of our extra stuff on this blog before. Today we are going to talk about the reason why it’s so hard to get rid of that stuff. Most of the times it’s because of the memories attached to the items, especially if there has been significant loss in the home seller’s life.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we don’t ask our home sellers to do what we haven’t had to do ourselves before.  We’ve had to sell our homes and either move or downsize. In fact, I’ve become a pro at it working through my most recent five year plan to downsize and become ‘smaller’.

Clutter Busters Listing HomeHere are five ways to start eating the ‘home selling elephant’ to declutter, eliminate and reduce possessions.

1. Remove the real junk from your Bonita Springs home. Purge anything in your home that is disposable.  Be mindful of when you open drawers, cabinets, closets, attics, garages of items that are disposables.  Paper and plastic bags, plastic storage containers and jars, magazines and newspapers, old mail, tax returns that are more than 7 years old.  You’d be surprised to find out how many Bonita Springs home sellers realize they’ve saved decades of tax returns and receipts.  Trust us, as a Bonita Springs listing agent I have a front row seat to those who are overwhelmed when they discover the hoard.

2. Make a one or two year departure commitment to your Bonita Springs home organization. If you have the luxury of time on your side, even a few years out from a move or downsize, commit to eliminating one item in your home per day.  This will force you to become a little introspective and ask yourself questions like, ‘when was the last time I used this’ and ‘do I really need 3 wine bottle openers’.  Now your thinking about all of the duplicates you may have just in case. 

3. Face facts, you’ve in Bonita Springs now and you may not need all of those winter clothes.  Time to sift through them and keep a favorite sweater or boots for the one day the weather is cold enough.  Also, since we’re amongst friends, let’s face facts about your current clothing size.  Some of us our never going to see some of those numbers ever again and it’s time to embrace it and move on with our new bodies. Winking smile 

4. Paper collected around the house is a silent enemy.  Start setting up online accounts and try paperless billing. It is a time saver, a paper saver and it keeps you from making those little piles of mail and bills around your house.  As a Bonita Springs listing agent, paper is one of the biggest clutter items that we have to hide for photos and for showings.

5. Photos, CD/DVD – purge or convert to digital files.  This is a tough one to do but you can get black Friday deals on Legacy Box reduce the paper and hard copies to either discs or flash drives.

For some people it is necessary to call an organizer, a coach to help you learn how to ready your home for sale.  There are also organizations like Caring Transitions that help home sellers in Bonita Springs transition to a smaller residence and select and weed through possessions that will or will not make the move. 

It’s always to start sooner rather than later.  A little home work up from will help you list your home to sell it quickly and for more profit, too.  To learn more, read also: Increase The Profit From Your Bonita Springs Home Sale

Posted in Seller Tips
Feb. 7, 2020

16 Reasons to Relocate to Bonita Springs Florida

Moving to Bonita SpringsMoving to Bonita Springs may be a new idea for you but the secret has been out for a while.  We will share with you all of the tips and tricks we’ve learned from living in Bonita Springs since the mid 1980’s and from helping hundreds of people not only relocate to Bonita Springs, Florida but we help them find the perfect agent ‘up north’ to sell their home, too.

Here are some great things to know about Bonita Springs, Florida before you move:

1. The People - It’s a great small town city and people are friendly.  People start looking familiar quickly and it doesn’t take long to make friends.  In fact, we have a guide for making friends after you relocate to Bonita Springs.  Read also, How to Make Friends in Bonita Springs

2. The Climate – Mother nature dishes up sunshine almost daily.  Our weather during the winter is the big draw.  People arrive from all over the world to both vacation and winter-over.  It’s one of the reasons we’ve been recognized as one of the best places to retire. Retire in Bonita Springs

Relocate to Bonita Springs3. The Nature – Bonita Springs is the ‘Gateway to the Gulf’.  We have many tributaries and rivers running through Bonita Springs that lead to the Gulf of Mexico.  Naturalists and outdoorsmen from all over the country come here to boat, paddle, fish, hike and birdwatch.

4. Accessibility – We have a great international airport RSW that is only about twenty to thirty minutes from Bonita Springs.  Many people find ease flying in and out while doing their homework and preparation in relocating to Bonita Springs.

5. Bonita Beach – We have miles of white sand beaches to walk. Plus, a variety of inland gated communities such as Bonita Bay, Pelican Landing, The Brook and West Bay Club purchased space on the beach for the residents to have access to the Gulf of Mexico.  That means you don’t have to spend millions to be able to ‘own a piece of the beach’. We have a tips for parking, too: Bonita Beach Parking Tips & Tricks Bonita Springs, Florida

6. The Storm Bubble – We just get fewer hurricanes on this nook of the coast than in other places.  It’s a historical fact.  Sure we have had hurricane come near and even through the area but far few than other places. Read also: 100 Years of Storm Tracking

7. Infrastructure – We are a new area.  When I moved here the population was only a couple thousand. Nearly every highway and utility is new.  We have great streets, biking and walking sidewalks, streetlights, water and sewer infrastructure. 

Bonita Springs relocation8. Housing – Because we are so new of an area both Bonita Springs and Estero have tons of new housing.  New housing means the newest building codes and homes and condos that need fewer updates and remodels than in historic cities.

9. Medical – Because we are so new the medical campuses are going up everywhere.  Right at the Bonita Springs/Estero line there are all sorts of medical parks, clinics and hospitals that are brand new. In addition the NCH Health System and Lee Memorial Health Systems are only minutes away in Naples and Fort Myers.

10. Parks – We had tons of great county and city planners who had the forethought to save land.  Bonita Springs is peppered with parks and recreation area plus the Lee County 2020 conservation project has preserved land all over the county for hiking, biking, horseback riding and more.

11. Golf – Not many people know this but Bonita Springs used to be the tomato capital of the world. Now it’s the golf course capital of the world and you’d be hard pressed to find a ripe tomato around here.  If you are a golfer, Bonita Springs is your next stop.

12. Tennis & Pickleball – Nearly every community has tennis courts and have been installing pickleball courts like gangbusters.  One of the fastest growing sports is pickleball.  Those who are relocating to Bonita Springs are always looking for leagues to play.

Relocating with Kids Bonita Springs13. Tax Benefits – It’s no secret that our taxes are favorable.  Our property taxes are low plus we have no state income tax.  Read also: Bonita Springs Florida Tax Haven High Net Worth Residents

14. New Schools and Colleges – This massive growth has also produced the need for schools of all types from primary through college. Most notably our area has ease of access to FGCU in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs has the newest high school in Lee County Florida. The state of the art Bonita Springs High School is located on Imperial Parkway.

15. We Are Low – We don’t have a lot of high rises, even on our beaches. We aren’t a vertical city so the density per square mile is much lower than the east coast cities of Florida that are basically concrete jungles. This also means that we don’t have a lot of building breaking up our sky line.

16. Outdoor Pet Friendly Dining – If your  best friend has fur, know that our climate and our restaurants are perfect for outside dining.  Many of our restaurants allow pets outside on the patio. From coffee shops to mall restaurants man’s best friend is like just around the corner!

Posted in Buyer Tips
Feb. 6, 2020

Increase The Profit From Your Bonita Springs Home Sale

Selling Your Bonita Springs Home Stage

Six Low Cost Pre-Listing Preps for Home Sellers

Increase the profit? Sometimes increasing the value of your home isn’t about increasing the actual list price dramatically but increasing the buyer’s perception of the value of your Bonita Springs home.  With the help of great Bonita Springs listing agent you can tweak your home or condo to get the most bang for your buck, receive more offers if the market will bear it and receive offers closer to your list price – sometimes even above list price.

The fact of the matter is a home is going to appraise for what it is going to appraise for whether it’s located in Bonita Springs, Florida or any city.  Let’s take, for example, a home valued at $400,000.  If you could realize 98-100% of list price as a sale price by investing a little time and a few hundred dollars, why wouldn’t you? Here are six low cost, easy items that can reduce the gap between your list price and offer price.

1. Pricing and inventory. Know the importance of pricing on search brackets. Nearly everyone has a smart phone or a tablet and they’re searching for homes online,  especially if they’re on vacation in Bonita Springs.  If a home is valued at $400,000 and you price it at $405,000 you’re missing a significant price bracket of $375,000-$400,000 instead of parking right on $400,000 and straddling two brackets. More exposure. More notifications to Bonita Springs home buyers who already have searches set up and are just waiting for a new listing notification. You should also know what your inventory rate is. If your real estate agent can’t calculate that number, it’s an issue. The speed and success rate of selling your Bonita Springs home will vary wildly if there is a two year supply of homes or if there is a two month supply of homes.

2. Fix everything you can easily. Make a list or better yet get a pre-inspection and get a handy man to fix the items that come up.  Your listing agent will have trustworthy dependable help who can economically perform these repairs and adjustments.

3. Eliminate polarizing issues such as odors, drastic paint colors, a carpet with a wrinkle or granny window valences.  Don’t let a pepto-pink room become the point of contention when it can be eliminated for a couple hundred bucks. The same goes with a carpet wrinkle.  Even the oldest of carpet gets a facelift when the wrinkle gets pulled out. The last carpet stretch we had done was in a home in Bonita Golf and Country Club.  The home was beautiful and priced right but it looked like it needed new carpet. It was nearly as good as new with a $150 fix!  Home buyers turn mole hills into mountains when they start guestimating repairs.  After the carpet was touched up, the home buyers never even brought up the carpet and the home sellers were thrilled with their offer price that didn’t include a request to replace carpet after closing. $150 for a fix or a couple grand credit for new carpet, you be the judge.

4. Throw in a one year home warranty. It takes me about 4 seconds to pop off a text message to Donna at Home-Tech to find out how much a warranty is for a particular property.  Maybe an A/C isn’t brand new but is working well and has seen regular maintenance. Alleviate a buyers worries with a $400 warranty and give them a year of peace of mind with coverage of appliances and major components.

5.  Fluff up the front of the home and the front door.  Make it pleasant to get to the home and to get into the home.  Curb appeal sounds corny to some people but home buyers really appreciate curb appeal.  Dust the beds with fresh mulch or put in fresh plants.  Oil or adjust the front door.  If you’re selling your Bonita Springs home and your deadbolt is installed upside down … even after living with it for all of these years, fix it.  WD the lock and hinges.  Make it easy to get in, without the hip bump.

6. Stage your home for showing success, from the photos through showings.  We offer our home sellers complimentary staging and readying service with our listing program.  It makes all the difference in the world to present well in the photos and get more buyers over the threshold and to make them stay longer when they tour.  We have to make enough space for them to imagine their possessions in your home. You don’t have to have the newest, most modern decor.   We can help you create a neutral space that give buyers pause for thought.

Give Chris a call if you’d like to learn more about listing your Bonita Springs home and how to easily and inexpensively get prepped for sale. 239-273-7430 is text friendly, too!

Posted in Seller Tips