Life In Bonita Springs Florida - Local Info & Real Estate

 

May 13, 2022

Bonita Springs Estero Real Estate Market Reports May 2022

Bonita Springs Estero Real Estate Market Reports May 2022

Here’s the latest and greatest … the May 2022 Bonita Springs market report.  The stats include home sales in Bonita Springs/Estero for the month prior. 

Again you’ll notice barely any foreclosures hitting the market. They’re still out there but it’s more like a dripping faucet.  The market is outstanding so many people who are in forbearance or pre-foreclosure have the opportunity to catch up on payments, sell their property or employ other legal matters to buy time. 

Units sold is down this year over last year simply because there is very little inventory. We’re seeing a break in the population but no break in home sales. Virtual buyers and sight unseen buyers are still in the real estate market so don’t think for one moment that fewer people means less competition. If it’s the right house in the right neighborhood a buyer may still be out there and scoop you!

The eighty percent of homes and condos sold in Bonita Springs and Estero are priced under $800,000 and there really aren’t many to go around, at that.  Seventy-one percent of the homes and condos sold in Bonita Springs and Estero were paid for with cash, followed by conventional mortgages.

We occasionally have a VA and FHA mortgage go through but it is a challenge to get mortgages accepted in multiple offer situations. We do have a plan for that so if you’d like to learn more about flexing your VA benefits give us a call. 239-273-7430 

Here are the graphs for Bonita Springs Real Estate Sales in May 2022.

Bonita Springs Home Sales

Bonita Springs Home Sales

Bonita Springs Home Sales

Bonita Springs Home Sales Foreclosures

Posted in Market Reports
May 9, 2022

Sold in Spanish Wells Bonita Springs, Florida!

✨️✨️✨️𝐉 𝐔 𝐒 𝐓 𝐒 𝐎 𝐋 𝐃 ! ✨️✨️✨️Spanish Wells Home Sold

📌28710 Megan Drive Bonita Springs, Fl

📌 Spanish Wells Just 3 Mi to Bonita Beach

📌Beat out dozens of other offers.

The new owners of this beautiful home 🏠 are excited to become Floridians! 🌴 There were dozens of offers but only one winner. 🏆How did these buyers do it? They started by booking an exclusive strategy session with us on zoom. 🖥 We were able to talk our way through a variety of neighborhoods and narrow the focus considerably before they arrived to buy! These buyers were both prepared and organized. When they missed out on their first offer they were devastated but it was training to get the next property they fell in love with. They were ready to rumble! 🥊 When that property came to market the 25+ cars waiting to get in didn’t scare them one bit. We put on our game faces and knew what we had to do. We built the perfect offer and Chris & Angela 🗣 “sold” the buyers to the home sellers beating out dozens of other offers. We do what other buyers agents don’t do and we can do this for your, too! If you’re looking for a new home in the Bonita Springs – Estero and surrounding areas schedule a strategy session, today! 🗓

https://www.lifeinbonitasprings.com/schedule-call/

April 14, 2022

Bonita Springs Estero Real Estate Market Reports April 2022

Here’s the April 2022 Bonita Springs Estero Real Estate Market Reports! We have seen a small relaxation in inventory but we’re still seeing low inventory.  It is still a seller’s market and the buyers are only momentarily distracted. 

Years ago it was like clockwork and we got slow at the end of May/beginning of June for graduations so maybe with COVID restrictions relaxing we’ll see folks travel around and be able to attend graduations again. It would provide a reprieve for buyers who are tired of getting shut out and maybe open a little room for financing buyers to get in.  We still have a lot of cash out there, though!  Take a look at the graphs and watch this video “short” titled “Is Bonita Springs Real Estate Overpriced”.  Consider clicking to subscribe as we are updating the YouTube channel more out of ease and speed.  It’s just harder to carve out time to type up blog posts and edit long form video. 

For those of you headed north, we’ll see you in the fall!  Take care!  Here's the stats:Bonita Springs real estate market reportBonita Springs real estate market reportBonita Springs real estate market reportBonita Springs real estate market report

Posted in Market Reports
April 9, 2022

The Minimum Home Seller Tips Bonita Springs or Anywhere

Listing Your Home For Sale - Any Location

Right now there is a home seller that is has not come to grips with their home selling situation.  While I’ve tried to coach them in the hiring and accountability of the listing agent or listing specialist they chose to sell their property they are currently languishing on the real market … for months.  First, even in the most robust real estate market you, as a home seller, deserve marketing materials that, at minimum, include professional photos and one visual tour.  And that visual tour is not a photo slide show it is an actual walk through video.  If the agent you are using is going to take cell phone photos you’ve made a bad hire.  If they’re not going to style and stage bonita springs home for photos, it’s a bad hire.  If there are photos of personal, very personal, bathroom items in the cell phone photos you could have had a small child take the photos and do better.

How to Sell a Home Bonita SpringsIt pains us to see it and say it but home sellers have to hold their real estate agent accountable if they ever want to sell the home up north in order to purchase Bonita Springs real estate. It is not a rare occurrence for real estate agents in Bonita Springs to be waiting for their buyer to sell a home elsewhere to  move forward. To that end we’ve help my buyers get their homes staged and sold from Bonita Springs just by looking at photos or video. 

Proper pricing, staging, deep cleaning, professional photos and video. At minimum this is what a listing specialist does.

We invite you to schedule a strategy session to learn how to sell your property whether it is a home in Bonita Springs, Florida or your northern address so that you can move to Bonita Springs.  You can schedule a phone call or private zoom meeting here:  Schedule Meeting

Posted in Seller Tips
April 8, 2022

Seven Years Ago

Today, a friend of mine sent me a picture of this little owl. She had taken the photo seven years ago, to the day, when I lived in Brendan Cove.  It was shortly before some big decisions I had made in my life.  Huge decisions, actually.  I will eventually find that piece of paper that prompted this some day. I know I tucked it away “someplace safe” … so safe that I actually forgot where I put it. Are you feeling me Gen Xer’s?

Screech OwlThe condensed version of this story is that I attended a women’s ministry event with The Springs of Bonita church and Susan Fannon lead an exercise about writing down all sorts of things that were important to us personally or described our life and our dreams. There were several questions and responses that I filled out and didn’t give a single thought to until several weeks later. 

Ones day, I had pulled into the driveway after work and started pecking through my car console organizing and throwing things away. I came across a folded up piece of paper so I unfolded it and read it before I threw it away.  As I read it I burst into tears. I realized that what I had written down as important to me was not the life I was living. I looked out the windshield at that house and the life I was about to walk back into. It was a big house with nothing but unhappiness, bills and stress. I was being drowned by a one-sided relationship that wasn’t holding up their share of the work or those bills. I was struggling both personally and physically due to the weight of life and a whole bunch of poor choices I made in situations and particularly in my people. I felt so stupid. My health was suffering.  I. Was. Done. That was my turning point, right there in that driveway. It was like a sword sliced through my life. I changed everything after that. I sold my homes, my car, got rid of all my debt, doubled down on my career and also so my service to humanity because you can’t help yourself unless you’re helping others. Of course, there is more detail to the story but I’m still  not ready to be that vulnerable.

In the back yard of that home I raised these little owls. I do miss them terribly. They talked to me and I talked back. They are such a big reminder of my old life which is why I wrote this down. I’m a bit amazed at the changes in my life in seven short years.  I mean, a lot of things changed. I have been able to use my real estate skill to help a lot of people, particularly women such as  myself, purchase homes with responsible budgets. I have helped a lot of amazing people through volunteering.  I have also branched out personally and written a book. I am just starting another book, too. The subject matter is a huge departure from real estate content. The first book is titled, It Started with a Helmet: A Retired Firefighter's Return to New York City the Day Before 9/11.  I also started a school program to get these books to middle school students or older, free of charge, so they can learn about 9/11 and Never Forget. I don’t really know what I am doing but I am learning as I go along!

It’s been a while since I updated this website with non-real estate information so I appreciate if you have read this far. I don’t really know why I wrote it except that I thought if one person reads this who is not in the place they want to be in, it may inspire them to be brave and change their life no matter how old they are or no matter how hard it seems.

If I can help you in any way whether it is by providing a listening ear, offering free advise, providing real estate service or providing complementary copies of books to a classroom near you please reach out.  Also, the church meets on Sunday at Riverside Park at 9:30 if you're not sure where to start. - Chris 239-273-7430

March 13, 2022

Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Spring 2022

 Bonita Springs Florida Real Estate

Update: Bonita Springs Real Estate Market Springs 2022

Where is the Southwest Florida, particularly the Bonita Springs and Estero Florida real estate market today?  As we break the crest of mid-March we continue to see record low housing inventory and near historic lows in mortgage rates.  The majority of home buyers in SWFL pay cash. A good hand full of home buyers are writing contracts for cash but opt for financing due to the benefit of low interest rates.

For those asking if the current gas prices or the global issues such as the invasion of Ukraine have had an impact on Bonita Springs real estate, the answer is not yet.  We activated a modest home in  a golf community on Friday and it’s had 10 showings on Saturday and 17 showings scheduled so far on Sunday and it’s only 12:35.  I don’t doubt that there are concerns but they just aren’t materializing in to action or objections.

Today as we prepare this report there are only six properties priced under 300K in Bonita Springs.  Some of them have been on the market a spell which may be related to condition or their ability to finance.  I always watch this segment of the real estate market because it reflects entry level price and what it take for the average person to put a roof over their head in Bonita.  $300,000 is a lot of money but when you consider that it doesn’t buy much and is actually a fixer upper it’s startling for buyers coming from out side of the area.  For home sellers it should compel them to realize the importance of absorption rates and what the true worth of their property may be to the right buyer.

So what’s next for SWFL real estate?  For those of you who are waiting to buy a condo or home in Bonita Springs/Estero I am going to share that since I moved here in the mid 1980’s the real estate market always had an off-season … until last year.  We aren’t getting an off-season this year, either. Bonita Springs and Estero inventory is more like weeks instead of months.   Consider that six months is a balanced market. Don’t hold your breath, folks. We are gobs of inventory away from just being balanced, let alone prices ever going down.  I do, however, predict a surplus of RV’s and possibly boats hitting the market.  Marine fuel is at $6.60 per gallon and RV’s are from $4.50 depending upon the type of fuel.

The most current home buyer and home seller tips are shared in scheduled appointment these days. If we can help you learn more about organizing your next purchase or sale you can schedule a private meeting here.

Here are the latest stats and graphs for home sales in Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida:Bonita Springs market report

Posted in Market Reports
Feb. 17, 2022

Bonita Springs Florida Real Estate Feb 2022 Update

Bonita Springs Real Estate Update


 🡩🡩🡩 The February 2022 Update CLICK PHOTO ABOVE  🡩🡩🡩

Feb 2022 Bonita Springs Estero Real Estate Market Update - It’s official. We have never seen so many people in Southwest Florida. Hotels are at capacity; homes are rented to capacity. A brief tour of local Airbnb’s show people renting RV/Campers and even “Glamping” tents in back yards. Seriously. RSW airport has hit records week after week of traveling here. I tried to have lunch this week with a potential client in our usual spot where we can get in and out in 30-45 minutes.  Two hours for lunch! It’s like spring break! America is moving to Florida! I’d thought I’d share a graph share by one of our local mortgage brokers. It demonstrates the disparity between homes available vs the population. Graph image below:

In addition, the video above will demonstrate a few of our “hyper local” statistics. I can tell you from many of the calculations that we prepare for our buyers before placing offers and for our sellers before listing their homes that we have less than 1 month of inventory available in many neighborhoods and it’s been a while since I have done a calculation with more than 2 months of inventory. Consider that 6 months is a balanced market and understand the fierce competition for homes. If you’d really like to read more about housing stats:  2022 National Housing Forecast
To that end we have a variety of portfolio properties and coming soon listings. We have an institutional offering of 12 condo units in a package. If you’re looking to satisfy a large 1031 exchange in the $3M range.  Some of these units may be available individually around $275K each.  We have to work out details regarding the liquidation process that will benefit the seller. We have a 1-bedroom canal home in Old Bonita in the high $300’s. There are about 20 opportunities in process. If we know what you’re looking for you may be able to lock something in from our list. Learn: What is a Portfolio Property

If you're planning a visit in the next several weeks sign up for a fifteen minute phone or zoom conference. During that call we provide valuable community and market information to hone your search efforts. We promise you'll be able to make better use of your time while you're in the Bonita Springs/Estero area. Schedule your appointment HERE.
Take a look below to see a few pre-built searches that may be of interest:

 

The "buyer tips in a seller's market' video is here: Buyer Tips Video Also, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel as we are always adding new, relevant as-it-happens content to help our buyers and sellers.

Posted in Market Reports
Jan. 17, 2022

Update on Downtown Bonita Springs, Florida Winter 2022

Update on Downtown Bonita Springs, Florida

Downtown Bonita Springs Riverside ParkSimply put, we simply love the city of Bonita Springs, Florida. We’re local Realtors® and community cheerleaders who have called Bonita Springs home since the mid 1980’s. We also live in downtown Bonita Springs. Our website is www.LifeInBonitaSprings.com and we curate a neighborly-neighborhood group called Bonita Springs Estero Community Forum - www.facebook.com/groups/BonitaEsteroForum or enter www.iLoveBonitaSprings.com into your browser and it will redirect you to that Facebook group.

Of course, everything we do as residents and as The Griffith Group revolves around Downtown Bonita Springs, Florida and the downtown area is ever changing. Many residents and visitors are new to southwest Florida, and they may not realize that the downtown area from Bonita Beach Rd. north to about Rosemary Drive had, at one point, fallen into a state of urban decay. A great deal of vision and a lot of positive changes have taken place in the last few decades. Years ago, Mayor Ben Nelson was a catalyst with a vision to have Bonita Springs downtown area revitalized. It was a massive undertaking and proven to be well worth the investment. To paraphrase from an event that Chris remembers him speaking at, a city is only as strong as its weakest neighborhood.

The noticeable revitalization started with the city’s acquisition of Bamboo Village, a blighted mobile home community on the Imperial River. The city purchased the land, but the land sat idle after the housing crisis. It’s currently going through channels of being developed with the Barron Collier Corporation. There have been community workshops regarding the development. The next workshop will be in March 2022 at a date and time to be determined. The last workshop was held at the new downtown public library.

The downtown redevelopment has paved the way for anchor destinations such as the public library, Everglades Wonder Gardens and Riverside Park system to flourish. With time, small businesses started sprouting up around them. There are now a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, ice cream shops, a brewery, cocktail lounge, bike shop, bait shop, kayak outfitter and a new food truck park coming soon. Downtown Bonita has become destination for fun-things-to-do and dining options. It also has great walkability and is bustling with people.

Riverside Park is one of the crown jewels of downtown Bonita Springs. It is decorated like a story book for Christmas and through the winter season it is the location of many concerts, art festivals and various ceremonies. It is flanked by the little-known Depot Park on the other side of the railroad tracks and Island Park which is accessible by foot or bike with an entrance from Depot Park and from South Riverside Drive. Few people know, but there is a recently acquired, city-owned parcel on S. Riverside Drive at the foot path entrance to Island Park which will provide another node park or grand entrance to Island Park when developed.

For those who would like to know more about what is happening in the downtown area we encourage you to join our community forum on Facebook. We also invite you to get involved with the Downtown Alliance by subscribing to their newsletter at www.BonitaDowntownAlliance.com or by attending their monthly meetings at the Shangri-La Hotel. The City of Bonita Springs also has a newsletter you can sign up for at www.CityOfBonitaSprings.org.  City council meetings are live streamed on YouTube so residents can keep up with the latest events and developments in and around the city.

From our Feb 2022 Newsletter which is snail-mailed to past clients and to those who request. This information is provided as part of an awareness campaign about the downtown Bonita Springs, Florida area. Business owners and community leaders in Southwest Florida are quietly investing in your community. We invite you to remember and support downtown attractions and businesses when you are choosing to spend your time and shared interests with friends and family. ###

Dec. 21, 2021

Chris Griffith, Author and Bonita Springs Realtor

It Started With a HelmetReflecting on the year - I'm not sure if I mentioned it on here but I wrote a book this year. It's quite a departure from the real estate world. It's a slim novel called It Started With a Helmet. If you are from #NYC or have a first responder in your family they may find it interesting. It's a fast read, two hours or less; available on kindle, too. #FDNY #neverforget #firstresponders . It's actually been a best seller. You can read the reviews on Amazon by clicking the image of the cover.  There's over 200 reviews so far. 

This just proves how wildly unpredictable life is. I'm just some random Realtor from Bonita Springs, Florida who wrote about about New York City and a terrorist attack and it garnered popular appeal. I can barely believe it. It also opened me up to the wonderful world of first responders, firefighters and especially the FDNY.  Hearts of gold, they all have!

Anywho,  if you've read this far, here is the summary about the book.

This is the summary: This is the amazing, true story of Gerald Sanford, a former New York City police officer and FDNY firefighter who retired and moved to Naples, Florida. Retirement didn’t take, and he found himself working at North Naples Fire Control and Rescue District, which is how he stumbled on an early 1900s antique fire helmet. He instantly knew the helmet was from New York City. By an amazing coincidence, Sanford presented the fire helmet back to the FDNY firehouse in the Bronx the day before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. With the city in ruins, Sanford volunteered to serve the FDNY in one of his former roles-press secretary. In this memoir, he recalls volunteering after 9/11 as well as his earlier years working for the NYPD and FDNY, including his observations of political figures such as Mayor Ed Koch, Mayor David Dinkins, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and others. Join Sanford as he shares an incredible story about Sept. 11 and how an antique leather helmet led two fire departments to forge a lasting bond.  If you care to order it or read on kindle here is a link to It Started With a Helmet.

Never forget!  Especially those 343 heroes from FDNY who ran into those burning towers to save civilians.

 

Nov. 9, 2021

The Housing Plight of the Bonita Springs Estero Workforce

The Housing Plight of the SWFL Workforce – The State of Bonita Springs/Estero Florida Real Estate

Southwest Florida has not felt such a hard pinch in local housing since the early 2000’s. Entry level buyers and consumers who are in the work force are feeling the change more so than others searching for housing. What’s causing the change is a variety of aspects, some of which were not predictable or even unimaginable. The end result is massive demographic changes and explosive population growth felt throughout southwest Florida. Here are some points to ponder:

Homes Built in the US by DecadeBoth Lee and Collier Counties were already feeling the pressure of the retiring Baby Boomer migration for years. Many worked their whole lives with a dream of a Florida retirement. The current rate of those turning 65 in the United States is about 8,000 per day. It’s a trend that will continue for years. 

Florida is not only been feeling the effects of the Boomer shift but also of the millennials beginning to settle into careers, marriages and growing families. 

In spring of 2020 the most unexpected catalyst for growth were the northern covid refugees who decided that if they had to work from home, they would pick a home in a more amiable environment with a better climate. Simply put, Florida was open for business, America was watching and decided to relocate to more favorable quality of life and economic conditions.

The home builders, in a reflex to the housing crisis after “the boom”, built fewer homes in the decade between 2009-2019. Housing starts fell short by about 20 million front doors. Typically, 25 million +/- homes are built during a decade of measure. 

As northern residents moved into their second homes it often removed a rental from the market. It wasn’t long before Southwest Florida had a rental inventory crisis brewing.

Those who couldn’t find rentals began purchasing “affordable” housing when they couldn’t find a rental and helped put entry level pricing up.

The American dream of home ownership is quite a challenge for anyone who would like to live in the area but particularly the local work force such as teachers and first responders. Those of us in the real estate industry have steadily watched entry level prices advance upward and the trend is expected to continue. 

At the time of this article there were only six properties for sale in Bonita Springs priced under $200,000. Some of them are not habitable or questionably habitable and do not even qualify for financing. Of the properties that may potential qualify for financing there are hidden pitfalls that most inexperienced buyers and many real estate agents won’t realize until they are well under contract.  

The more affordable properties are generally older and require costly flood insurance due to their elevation.

The properties may have cast plumbing, cloth wiring or need a roof which often disqualifies them from insurance. No insurance = no mortgage.

Government backed FHA and VA mortgages, which allow for less money down, do not often work for a myriad of underwriting reasons.

These properties are often in flood prone areas that may flood again.

If the property is a condo there are maintenance fees of $300 or more dollars per month which put borrowers over the debt-to-income ratio.

Property taxes will be reassessed and recaptured at a premium rate putting borrowers over the debt-to-income ratio.

Inflation is going make the consumer dollar stretch even less and further widen the affordability gap for homeowners.

This information is provided as part of an awareness campaign about housing scarcity and the rising prices of real estate in Bonita Springs, Florida. Business owners and community leaders in Southwest Florida may not realize the magnitude of the current housing shortage and how it has impacted the affordability for the work force, first responders, teachers and first-time home buyers. 

The current absorption rate for Bonita Springs homes/condos priced under $400,000 is 1.3 months. Six months is considered balanced. This “seller’s market” is extreme and we are only entering our winter season that ushers in a new wave of buyers. Relief for the average home buyer, especially a financing buyer, is not a projected at this time.

This special column was written by Chris Griffith to present to local leaders at the city, chambers of commerce and economic development council. It was also mailed to past and present clients of The Griffith Group. If you did not receive yours you can update your mailing address by sending it to lifeinbonitasprings@gmail.com