It’s that time of year again, Back to School.  You’ll want to check out what time your child’s school open house is so you can get the latest information you’ll need directly from the school.

You can also check out Lee County School District bus routes.  If you haven’t registered yet, we have information on how to register for Lee County Public Schools.

Considering a private school in SW Florida?  We have that list as well.

A study contracted by the county on Lee County’s road impact fees recommends an increase of 200%.  If approved, the current impact fee of $2,971 for a single family home would rise to $8,976

Many roads are at grade F, which means the county needs to build more roads and now.  How would this affect the housing market?

Re-sales would instantly be more attractive, and this would hurt home builders who are already being squeezed by rising construction costs and limited buyers who can afford any increase at all. 

Sometimes a builder can pass along extra fees to the buyers, however buyers are already being hit by rising insurance costs, rising property taxes, rising interest rates, and higher prices.  Each one adds on top of the other until at some point less and less buyers can afford to buy a new home.

The obvious choice is to buy a used home, perhaps a little older or in an outlying area, or rent.  Raising the impact fees may curb growth, but it won’t help pay for new roads which we need now if less people build because of the new fees.

Similiar sized counties to Lee County already have lower impact fees than Lee, so tripling the road impact fee will just make that situation worse.  Somehow growth needs to pay for growth, so there is no easy solution.  Nobody in Lee County would argue that the roads are fine in their present condition.  The argument is who should pay for new roads.

Property taxes in SW Florida may be dropping by as much as 11.1% if Lee County commissioners vote for the proposal.  Taxes could actually be cut even further at a later date.  The 11.1% is the minimum taxes would go down if approved.

Overall taxes won’t actually go down though, just the tax rate.  Taxes are based upon a millage rate multiplied by an assessed taxable value.  Assessed taxable values have been rising in recent years due to the increase in property values in SW Florida real estate.

A typical homeowner who owns a $200,000 home would save approximately $129, a $250,000 home would save approximately $165, and so on.

Lee County’s real estate market displayed mixed signals in June.  Single family home sales were down 31% from June 2005, and down 10.27% from May.  There were still 891 sales in June which signals buyers are still buying.  The median single family homes sale price dropped 5% from June 2005 levels, and dropped 6.46% from May 2006 levels. 

 This tells us that the sellers have adjusted their asking prices to meet where the buyers are, which is a sign the market is finding itslef and sellers are beginning to discover where the buyers actually are.

Here are some other interesting statistics as of July 25, 2006:  

 Lee County Florida Current Market Statistics.

July 25,2006 Active Pending Months Supply of Inventory
Single Family 12,053 1,343 12.97
Condo 7,387 591 14.17

 

 

May 27, 2006 Active Pending Months Supply of Inventory
Single Family 11,838 1,426 12.74
Condo 7,414 644 14.22

 

Inventory levels for single family homes in Lee County Florida have actually increased slightly from 12.74 months supply to 12.97 months supply.  This was a bit of a suprise given the trend single family homes was setting.

Condominium inventory levels actually decreased slightly from 14.22 months supply to 14.17 months supply in Lee County.

 Many consumers are confused as to what all this means.  They’re not alone, as many real estate professionals are as well.  It’s like throwing darts at a moving target.  The bulls eye keeps moving.

This could be a very good sign going forward however.  It means the market is finding itself.  After Hurricane Andrew, many sales didn’t take place on the East Coast because for two years sellers held onto yesterday’s dreams.  Sellers today have become much more realistic, and have reacted the way they need to, for the most part.  We are seeing transactions more in line with 2003 numbers, which means we have more inventory than the market can absorb right now.  It will take some time to work through the excess inventory, which will place a cap on upward pressure on prices for the time being.

The real question is, are prices done dropping?  We predicted 9 months ago single family median home prices would drop to about $260,000.  We are still above that figure at $268,000.  We were holding steady around $280,000 for 4 straight months.  The jury is still out, and I think we need another month or two to get a better handle, but I think there’s a very good chance we’re about at the end statistically.  It may not feel like the end for some sellers who still have more to go.  Not all sellers are priced where they should be.

Condos are in good supply all over Lee County Florida.  Buyers have many options.  The News Press focused on severl areas in Southwest Florida.  The areas include Cape Coral, Estero and Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and South Fort Myers, Naples, Sanibel and Captiva, Pine Island and all of SW Florida real estate.

The focus was one in a series of price ranges.  This part focused on what $500,000 and looked at homes on water and golf course properties, as well as condominiums.

Enclosed is a copy of the most recent Board Meeting Notice that is to be posted at the Clubhouse:

NOTICE

MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Notice is hereby given in accordance with the By-laws, that the aforementioned regular monthly meeting will take place at the Danforth Lakes Clubhouse on Monday, AUGUST 14th, 2006 at 6:30 pm.

Should you desire to attend and address the Board on a certain topic please email me and let me know your name and the topic you would like to discuss so we can add you to the agenda and allow ample time for several requests to be addressed if needed.

Thank you

Enclosed is a copy of the most recent Board Meeting Notice that is to be posted at the Clubhouse:

NOTICE

MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Notice is hereby given in accordance with the By-laws, that the aforementioned regular monthly meeting will take place at the Danforth Lakes Clubhouse on Monday, AUGUST 14th, 2006 at 6:30 pm.

Should you desire to attend and address the Board on a certain topic please email me and let me know your name and the topic you would like to discuss so we can add you to the agenda and allow ample time for several requests to be addressed if needed.

Thank you

HIGHLIGHTS OF MEETING MINUTES FROM 06/17/06:

NEW BUSINESS:

Open Forum– A resident suggested a Yard of the Month award to help promote the community’s awareness. A resident on FPL was annoyed that some residents are using their front entry as a storage area. Other homes have driveway pavers stacked on the property. A resident asked if the violations were being addressed.

Architectural Control Committee– The Chair of the committee provided a brief report.

Building and Grounds Committee. The Chair of the committee reported. a motion to purchase another bench exactly the same as the other 2 thru Peachtree. Approved $25.00 for a Yard of the Month Home Depot GC. A sign will be purchased/used for this event for the winner to place in yard.

Fining Committee. Reported.

OLD BUSINESS:

Downed Trees– Greenscapes lawn crew was out and took care of the work….all have been restaked

Entrance Sign– Should be completed next Wednesday or Thursday.

Entrance Makeover– K. Hayden and member of B&G committee, S. Odonnell to meet with Greenscapes on 6/21.

Roundabout—still waiting on quote to complete the roundabout the correct way with adding addtl flowers in the middle once ground is raised.

Greenscapes and Mulch.—Greenscapes does not do bulk mulch only bagged since the labor would be higher if they did. Other quotes higher per K. Hayden.Board to make decision and advise Ken this week so not to delay any further to go with GS.

Powerwashing- power washing quotes were discussed…Board to advise Ken of a decision this week if they desire to go with his qrtly quote of $325 for soffits, pool deck, pool furniture, white fence around deck & dumpster & concrete sidewalks around clubhouse.

Fountain Update-Westchester-updated what was taking place with Westchester fountains. One is to be pulled this coming week for replacement the other may just need repaired.

Financial Review.

Violations reviewed.

Leasing Equip Requirements—Berry’s does not lease Exercise Equipment. Motion to approve the $3,495.00 quote from Berry’s, plus tax and handling, for a new treadmill with a heart monitor not to exceed $4015 per the quote.

Manager’s Report.

Next meeting scheduled for 7/17/06 @ 6:30

On Saturday July 15, 2006 the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group hosted a Reflection Lakes open house tour with a limousine.  The challenge in Reflection Lakes is that it is a gated community in SW Florida, and open house signs are not allowed.  Directional signs are not allowed either, and Realtor’s and owners are not allowed to post phone numbers to call at the gates call box for customers wanting to get into Reflection Lakes to see the open house.  Even if customers could getinto the gates, they wander aimlessly around the subdivision wondering where the open house actually is.

Ellis Team RE/MAX Realty Group Office located near Reflection Lakes

To combat this, The Ellis Team came up with a pro-active marketing idea.  Our office at RE/MAX is located just outside of Reflection Lakes at 7910 Summerlin Lakes Dr.  We thought we could hire a limo company to transport customers in and out of the gates and directly to the homes on open house tour.  Customers could enjoy something fun and different, and wouldn’t have to worry about directions, or getting through the various gates.  We would have cookies and treats at the office where customers would meet to view the homes.

To promote the event, we first turned to our radio show.  The Ellis Team hosts a weekly real estate radio show on WINK AM 1240 Saturday’s at 11:00 AM. The Reflection Lakes Open House Tour would be Saturday from 1-4 pm.  We introduced the event in each the beginning and at the end of the show.  Listeners could even call our office for directions.  We also advertised all week on WINK Radio announcing the event.  Lastly, we devoted a large section of our weekly Saturday color newspaper ad to the event.

The event was a success.  We had 5 happy families tour Reflection Lakes without hassle.  They very much enjoyed the treats and limo ride as they toured in style.  They also got to see four unique and diverse properties in Reflection Lakes.  Prices ranged from $350,000 Reflection Lakes Villa Home to $760,000.  Two had lake views and two had preserve/ Lakes Park views. The customers seemed sincerely interested, and one has even put their property on the market with The Ellis Team in hopes of selling it and buying one of the open house properties. Reflection Lakes Two Story Home on Lake

We couldn’t be more pleased as to how it turned out.  And the homeowner’s association has to be happy as well, because there were no open house signs, no directional signs, no messages at the gate for customers, and nothing to enforce.  It gets quite tiring for Board members to police owners and agents hosting open houses.  Board members spend countless hours removing signs, sending notices to offending owners, dealing with owners and agents seeking to pick-up their illegal signs, and hearing complaints from residents about the offenses.  For once a Realtor complied with all the regulations and hosted an open house tour with a touch of class.

Reflection Lakes Tennis Courts

Most of all, it was fun, effective, and we look forward to doing it again soon.  If you live in Reflection Lakes and are considering selling, call the Ellis Team today to get your home listed and on the next tour.  239-489-4042  SW Florida real estate is selling.  It takes proper pricing and aggressive real estate marketing.  The Ellis Team can assist with both.

In addition to showing the homes in Reflection Lakes, we also showed the community tennis courts, community pool, and the community clubhouse.Reflection Lakes Community Clubhouse