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Cape Coral Didn't Dodge a Bullet With Irma....We Dodged a Missile

 
Florida StrongTo say that everyone in South Florida was worried, stressed and uncertain before, during and after Hurricane Irma would be a huge understatement. Miraculously, Cape Coral suffered far less  damage than other towns in SWFL. The most serious issues for Cape homes were a loss of power (mostly short-term), blown out screens, fallen palm fronds, minor street flooding and other relatively minor damage.
 
Let's all be grateful that Hurricane Irma was not nearly as devastating in the Cape as projected, and our hearts go out to other Florida cities and the Caribbean islands that endured serious to catastrophic damage, and sadly, some deaths.  Tom & Sue: Thankful beyond belief that our beautiful city has been left mostly intact. We can all deal with no power for a while. Friends and clients we've been in contact with report minimal damage, and some had no loss of power at all (especially in the SW quadrant of the Cape). For certain, many prayers were answered. Good riddance Irma, you ugly beast.
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Advice Regarding Service Providers After Irma

 
Many of you with homes here will need contractors & service providers to repair cages, remove trees, etc. for damage that was caused by Irma. For those of you who are Angie's List customers we recommend that you start there (and mention that you found them on Angie's List). Angie's List is now free to join, and we've utilized their top providers many times over the last several years with very satisfactory results.
 
Another obvious option is to google top rated service providers for the specific repair that you require. We suggest you contact three or four providers as soon as possible, but don't be surprised if you don't get return phone calls, or are put on a long waiting list. It will take many weeks/months to take care of the serious damage that our neighboring cities endured. Especially for larger cost repairs, be sure to get several estimates so you aren't subject to price gouging, which is common after major storms.
 
If you will be needing a new pool enclosure, one of our preferred builders (Pinnacle) has recommended Southern Aluminum. The contact there is Mike at 239-275-3367 or 239-633-9625. Pinnacle suggests a new cage should cost around $10,000 - $12,000 depending on size and upgrades.You can also find other screen enclosure companies with positive reviews on google.
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Some Lenders Will Stop Requiring Traditional Appraisals

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac announced a new program that will allow some homebuyers to skip a traditional appraisal. The change would lower fees paid by buyers and speed up the closing process. Freddie's Automated Collateral Evaluation (ACE) will determine a property's collateral risk by culling data from multiple listing services, public records and historical home values. It will then assess whether a buyer needs a traditional appraisal or an automated one. Refinancing homeowners may also be eligible for the program.

The ACE program will factor in credit, capacity to pay and collateral to assess the quality of the loan and determine whether the estimated value of the home provided by the lender is acceptable. If a mortgage holder qualifies for an automated appraisal, he could save up to $500 in fees and close on the transaction up to 10 days sooner, Freddie Mac says. Tom: as mentioned in August's Report, lenders are gradually making loans easier to secure. Easy loans were a major contributor to our past real estate crash. Easier loan qualifications means more sales, and most Realtors strongly favor easing loan standards. But, as someone who over four decades has seen what "too easy" loan qualifications can do to real estate markets, this makes me a little nervous.
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Homeowners Only Break Even By Selling Their Home

Without a Realtor

 
Collateral Analytics completed a report that compares selling prices of homes sold via a Realtor, and the price of a FSBO (For Sale by Owner). The report, which covers the last half of 2016 and first half of 2017, shows that homes sold by a Realtor averaged 6% higher prices than when an owner sold the home on their own.
 
In essence, for the privilege of handling the marketing, photography & videos, showing the home to buyers, negotiating a contract, and handling the many other aspects of closing on a real estate transaction, a FSBO will break even after the typical 6% commission savings. A questionable use of time and added stress to be sure. Not to mention photography/video expenses.
 
There were some parts of the country where the price difference was 5%, and other areas where the sales price was 8% higher when a home was sold via a Realtor. Sue: although we could save money if we needed a tooth pulled and did it ourselves, I feel better about having a professional take care of it. I certainly wouldn't consider performing my own dental work (or many other professional services) especially if I was going to break even financially.
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D.R. Horton Withdraws from Cape Golf Club Project

 
National builder D.R. Horton was planning The Palms of Cape Coral, a several hundred home project at the former Golf Club. The company withdrew from consideration after much controversy from nearby residents and insufficient support from the city.
 
The old Cape Coral Golf Club closed in 2006 and became a blighted property three years later. Council needed to change the use of the 175-acre property so homes could be built, and they may still do so at some point, but D.R. Horton won't be the builder. An NBC@ investigation uncovered arsenic on the old golf course, which was naturally occuring.. Last month, the Department of Environmental Protection looking into that and decided to require D.R. Horton install wells to monitor the contaminant for up to a year. This could prove to be a hindrance to a future developer considering to build homes or open a new golf course.
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Cape Coral's Changing Skyline

 
billboardIn June of 2016, Cape Coral's City Council voted to approve the installation of two digital billboards, and the electronic message centers became Cape Coral's first billboards this August.
 
The structures, located at entrances to the city - one at the foot of the Cape Coral bridge, the other at Veterans Pkwy & Del Prado Blvd, are meant to present traffic notifications, as well as emergency and public information. You won't be able to miss them; they're bright, bold and big, with the Veterans Pkwy billboard standing at 75 feet tall.
 
Cape Coral owns the land they sit on, and the signs themselves, but Lamar Advertising Company paid to build the billboards and will bear the cost to maintain them.
 
Some residents are excited about the billboards and feel they'll help promote the Cape. Others believe that the massive signs are an eyesore, are worried that they're distracting to drivers, and are concerned that these two billboards open the door for multiple future billboards.
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Facts & Stats

 
Missed Mortgage Payments at 17-Year Low: CoreLogic reports that early-stage delinquencies are hovering around 17-year lows. The national level was at 4.5 %, and Florida's delinquency rate was 5.2%, both below foreclosure rates, as these numbers only represent early-stage delinquencies. Cape Coral/Ft Myers' early stage delinquency rate was only 3%, an amazing rebound from the crash of mid-2000's. Naples/Marco Island came in even better, at 2.7%. Tom: Our area is officially in full-stage recovery.
 
Be Vigilant When Holding Open Houses: Open houses can be an easy target for thieves, especially if an agent does not pay close attention, or is with other clients. There are reports of jewelry, laptops, and other electronics being stolen during open houses. With today's overwhelming majority of buyers searching for homes online (98.5%), the main benefit of an open house is for the agent to drum up new business, usually from neighbors who may be interested in listing their homes.
 
For the above reasons, we don't recommend to our clients that open houses be held unless it's a vacant home. Still, the chance of selling a home via an open house are very low....not worth the risk/reward, and the inconvenience of having a homeowner vacate their home for several hours.
 
"Zesstimates" miscalculates home values by 5.6% Average: A recent report, which coincided with a class action lawsuit against Zillow, determined that the average Zesstimate was 5.6% off the mark. In some areas, the pricing estimate was close, within a percent or two. In other parts of the country Zesstimate was off by 10% or more. A U.S. District Court ruled in the case that Zillow is not acting as an unlicensed appraiser, but merely as a "starting point" for home valuations.
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August 2017
Can't Find the Perfect Model Home to Build? - We Have Solutions - Investors Focusing on Build-to-Rent Homes - Cape Coral in Top 100 Cities For First-Time Homebuyers

July 2017
Be Very Careful When Selecting A Local Builder - Cape Home Inventory Drops To Three Months - Zero Down Loans Make A Comeback 

June 2017
Home Sales Still Strong For Low & Mid-Priced Homes - Cape Coral Named One of the Best U.S. Cities for Boaters - Homeowners Sue Zillow Over Low Home Value Estimate

May 2017
Cape New Construction Permits Spike - Rise In Cape Coral Million Dollar Home Sales - Increased Importance Of Third Car Garage

April 2017
Cape Home Prices Rise by 18% / Inventory Drops Below 4 Months - Cape Coral Already Making Top U.S. Lists in 2017 - Rising Home Prices & Increase in Interest Rates Will Make Home Buying More Costly in a Year

March 2017
Forbes Names Cape Coral #1 For Potential Growth . . . Again - Lee County Crime Rate Drops in 2016 - Royal Tee Golf Club to Re-Open

February 2017
SW Florida Home Prices Keep Rising - But Inventory Finally Improves - Cape Royal Homeowners Buy Royal Tee Golf Course - Florida's Population Keeps Rising, But 8 States Lose Residents

January 2017
Cape Coral Home Prices Increase 10% in 2016 - Cape Coral Home Prices Rise 72 Straight Months - New Home Permits Skyrocket   

December 2016
Seven Islands Project OKd by Cape Council - SW FL Now Has 12 Month Real Estate Season - U.S. Home Prices Pass Pre-Recession Peak

November 2016
Inventory Shortage Eases Slightly But Not Prices - Upscale Duplexes Being Built on Cape Coral Lots - Homebuyers Losing Taste for McMansions

October 2016
Cape Coral Again Leads Nation in Highest Rental Rate Increase - Environmental & Political Pressure to Clean Caloosahatchee River - Protect Your Florida Homestead

September 2016
Fla Has 4 Top 10 Retirement Cities - Unique Condo Community Being Developed in Downtown Fort Myers - Update on Chiquita Boat Lock Removal

TIMING THE REAL ESTATE MARKET 2017

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Tom & Sue Demogenes

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 Copyright 2014 Multiple Listing Service of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc.; All rights reserved. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site is the copyrighted and proprietary database of the Multiple Listing Service of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc. The properties displayed may not be all of the properties in the MLS' database, or all of the properties listed with Brokers participating in the cooperative data exchange program. Properties listed by Brokers other than are marked with BR logo and include the name of the listing Brokers. Information provided is thought to be reliable but is not guaranteed to be accurate; buyers are advised to verify facts before making the decision to purchase a property. No warranties, expressed or implied, are provided for the data herein, or for their use or interpretation by the user. Information provided is for consumer\'s personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This site will be monitored for \'scraping\' and any use of search facilities of data on the site other than by a consumer looking to purchase real estate, is prohibited. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items.