Another top agent in SW Florida sounded an alarm.  "We don’t have a demand problem, we have a supply problem.  We’ve had a market binge and now we’re going to suffer a little bit."

While the market has turned, and we agree with this agent is saying, the Ellis Team at RE/MAX Realty Group offers this advice.  "There’s always opportunity in this market, in any market.  It forces Realtors and sellers to go back to the basics.  Some sellers get amnesia and don’t remember what it was like just 4 years ago.  Some agents have only been in the business a few years and don’t know what it’s like to really market properties" said Brett Ellis.

Selling is tougher now, just like the old days.  For a few years agents were like order takers.  Now we separate the cashiers from the seasones experienced agents who know how to sell, and the results are readily apparent.  You have to work at it, spend money on advertising, and season your negotiating skills.  Brokerage fees may rise again soon as the value of a Realtor is more important than ever, and sellrs demand exposure.  Exposure isn’t free, and neither is excellence.

Newer agents are leaving the SW Florida real estate industry in droves, like it should be.  "We had too many agents there for awhile who didn’t know what they’re doing.  We still have too many, but it’s getting better.  There’s always room for good people in this business, but not much.  The startup costs are just so high now to get in and make a name for yourself, and sellers are demanding when properties sit on the market.

Fort Myers real estate will turn around one day.  Until then, sellers should hire experienced agents who have been around the block a few times and know how to price properties, and how to market them.

Bella Terra is being built out by Lennar Homes and Beazer Homes.  Lennar is offering twin townhomes from the mid $300’s, and Manor homes and Exucutive homes from the mid $400’s.  Bella Terra i located in Fort Myers / Estero Florida in beautiful SW Florida.

Call the Ellis Team at 800-860-4042 for more details, or visit our website.  Search all homes in MLS at www.LeeCountyOnline.com

Palmetto Cove is offering pre-construction pricing from the mid $200’s  Amenities include 10 foot ceilings, granite countertops, raised panel cabinetry, 8 foot doors and tray ceilings.  Palmetto  Cove is located in South Ft. Myers.  Contact the Ellis Team 800-860-4042 for details

Stoneybrook at Gateway has notified The Ellis Team it is offering discounts to our customers as part of their closeout.  Lennar Homes is building out Stoneybrook, located 3 miles East of I-75.  Please call the Ellis Team for latest details, or tell them you’re an Ellis Team Client if you stop out on your own.  You never pay more using a Top Agent, and we can tell you about incentives the public may not hear about.

At issue is whether global warming is making our hurricane cycle more intense and more frequent.  There’s little doubt we are in a trend of increased activity for the next several years.  The question is, what is the cause?

Severl top scientists including William Gray of Colorado State believe there is no correlation.  Other scientists disagree, but haven’t been able to prove it.

I tend to believe that Global warming is a farce anyway and is part of a natural cycle.  If you think back to the ice age, obviously the earth warmed itself with no help from humans or SUV’s, or any other motorized vehicle for that matter. 

Read the link and decide for yourself.

New families move into Lee County throughout the academic year.  Regardless of when a child enters the school district, the process of getting that child registered remains the same.

All new enrollees in the School District of Lee County must register at one of the two Parent Information Centers (2266 Second Street, Ft. Myers) or (360 Santa Barbara Blvd. North, Cape Coral).

To make the process easier, it makes sense to be prepared.  If possible, parents should visit the School District’s website and tour the Student Assignment/Enrollment area.  Here parents will find all of the forms necessary for registration.  By downloading and completing these forms prior to arriving at the Student Assignment office, parents will move through the process more rapidly.  Among the required documents for those transferring from another school are the Student Registration form and the School Records Release form.

Documents that are required fro registration include:

  • Original birth certificate for each child being enrolled, or a copy faxed from the previous school to the Student Assignment office.
  • Social Security card )if available)
  • Florida Certificate of Immunization (original blue card)
  • Proof of Residence (a complete list of acceptable forms of proof is found on the website)
  • Proof of custody (if the child is not living with both natural parents)
  • Name and address of last school attended. Copy of IEP (if your child is an Exceptional Student Education program).

parents must have ALL of the required in hand when visiting the Parent Information Center, so it pays to prepare.

If possible, parents should know their zone and the school options that are available to them.  make the time to visit the schools in your zone, so that your choices are well informed.

For addition information call the Parent Information Centers at 230-337-8727.

Max isn’t predicting as many storms as last year, although 2006 could be a very active year.  Max says we dodged a bullet last year because storms didn’t hit populus areas like they could have.  Things in 2005 couold have been much worse.

It all depends on where they hit and the intensity.  The NHC will be adding a new feature to their model this year.  We’ll have more on that in a subsequent post.

The Florida single family home sales report was released, and statewide Realtor sales were down 20% over February 2005, and median sale prices were up 24% over last year.

Fort Myers, Cape Coral sales were down 9% and prices were up 22% over last year.

Naples was one of the hardest hit areas with home sales falling 47% and prices falling 1%. 

A chart illustrating the figures is included.

Local Winkler Rd neighbors scored a victory Tuesday night as county comissioners voted to continue the ban on all blasting on Winkler Rd due to neighbors concerns and past experiences.

This is a victory for existing residents, and a setback for developers as it will add extra cost to new construction, cost that must be passed on to consumers.  In the end, some projects may not be built if the cost is too high.

However, blasting county-wide is allowed as long as contractors follow certain rules.  See related article and video at NBC-2.

Below is a mild recap of what the Board had covered from 3/05-3/06. The accomplishments made, things in the works and special thanks to many who had devoted their time or helped out in some way.

I know I may have missed some and I apologize but do know everyone is greatly appreciated who has contributed their time, services and/or assistance either on or helping committees and even monetary donations for events. You are helping to make our Community a success. We look forward to even a greater year ahead!

Danforth Lakes Annual Recap—3/15/05-3/6/06

3/15/05—Current BOD elected

3/22/05—Decided on positions and responsibilities, bank acct sign—set up HOA website to keep all informed

4/06/05—Reviewed all current contracts/ins & financials in place w/MMI—started punchlist items for turnover w/Beazer—discussed problems w/sprinklers/swales & clubhouse. Discussed current rules & regs/condition of community –in order to enforce rules & regs determined changes should be made first.

4/25/05—Began review of current R&R.. Created turnover punch list for Beazer with Community wide meeting/suggestions.

5/05/05—Discussed clubhouse vandalism/things stolen/procedures, cleaning personnel & security. Discussed walk-thru w/Beazer on punchlist items created—towing contract discussion—discussed committees needed—S&W/B&G/Finance/ ACC

5/23/05—Clubhouse issues w/cleaning personnel/ Rules & Regs review line by line/ surveillance bids reviewed for clubhouse.

6/27/05—Met Community wide to review 6 pages of changes to Rules&Regs—new security in place at clubhouse.

7/11/05—Committees formed –B&G/S&W/Finance/ACC—towing co. in place. Speed humps discussed.

8/08/05—Overcharges from MMI reviewed w/new committee/ reviewed Beazer punchlist items and status/(really started questioning MMI with financials and other items not followed up on)

9/12/05—reviewed overdue hoa assessments//pool conditions reviewed//common area discussed//2006 budget talk//reviewed banking concerns and audit.

10/05— delayed to hurricane Wilma & Halloween

11/7/05—resig of a BM—terminated curr pool service—2 clubhouse break-in’s—setup personal contact with Beazer this month. Discussed concerns w/MMI services and lack of follow-up

11/17/05—budget workshop review with finance comm.

11/21/05—Discussed meeting had w/Beazer/reviewed turnover audit/discussed all concerns w/MMI over last 7 months//provided termination notice for 12/31.

12/5/05—agreed on credit due for janitorial services–budget approval—appt KO for BOD vacancy—Comm Welcome packs ready—discussed new bids from Mgt Companies—agreed on Hayden—delays started do to everything on hold for mgt co trx. Had the Entrance light lit on 12/15, and fountain out on the 20th…had to wait for new mgt co in place as of 1/1. But was told fountain would be shipped back to Wisconsin for service.

1/09/06—Met w/New Mgt Co./Rev of new bank accts/new contracts for cleaning & grounds—clubhouse procedures—new towing co discussed—request replanting quotes. Discussed fountain plans. Irrigation repaired. New landscaping Co. in place

1/26/06—Discussed roundabout incident 1/15—invoices not being pd by MMI—final turnover 1/23.

2/06/06—New financials reviewed/ delq assess rev/ violations & how to handle discussed—over 40 violations addressed since then—planned replanting of Blvd—approved clubhouse & roundabout replantings.

3/06/06—arbitration comm Appointed–up to 60 violations ///financial review of monies on hold by Beazer.///working on reviewing/pursuing over 11K assess fees due.//parking regulation changes made to eliminate street parking

Communication provided thru our website and Community emails throughout the year.

OVERALL ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR THE PAST YEAR:

1.Thermostat in clubhouse
2.Clubhouse tiled
3.Added microwave, coffee pot & trash can
4.Blinds in workout room
5.Ceilings fans in workout room.
6.Workout room equipment fixed
7.added surveillance at clubhouse
8.Caught two break-ins to clubhouse and pursued
9.Clubhouse painted and decking power-washed— bathrooms repaired & painted
10.Resolved ant issue in clubhouse
11.Pool temp stabilized
12.New doorway in clubhouse hallway to alleviate moisture buildup & bugs.
13. Most all trees replaced/removed or staked
14. Tennis courts repaired
15. New drainage system around tennis courts.
16. 2nd coat paving in Sheffield
17. Swales cleaned out
18. sidewalk replaced
19. Bike rack and benches in place
20. speed humps/sl signs in place
21. Rules & regs revised
22. Lighting at roundabout
23. Purchased folding tables for Social Committee
24. 60 violations sent in 3 months–yards, comm vehicles, & street parking being addressed.

IN THE WORKS:

1.Fountain hopefully in place by 4/15
2.Entrance sign by end of May(depends on permitting)
3.Replanting of Blvd begins the 24th (possibly 17th)
4.Roundabout finished hopefully by 4/15
5.Remaining mulch for Community by mid May.(tent)

SPECIAL THANKS:

1. All four committees: Building & Grounds(Glenda,Carol,Steph,Rich/Sean)///ARC-(Dan, Matt, Yvette, Robin & Crosby)//Finance-(Kathy,Randy) ///Social & Welcoming-(Kelly,Anissa,Christy,Jennifer)
2. Marty & Brenda sheets-(generosity in helping with all Holiday events)
3. Jim S for our cement pad for the bike rack
4. Sean Dean for all his time spent in completing many of the clubhouse tasks
5. Jim T for his assist with our sec sys and hrs spent with us at times of break-ins
6. Dawn for her help with copies made when needed
7. Donna R for assistance with distributing flyers
8.Tracy R, Misty K, Claudia & Sherry for help at Events
9.Social commitee again especially for the qrtrly newsletter/welcome packs that were started in January(see list for includes), Events planned for the past 3 holidays, coordinating a playgroup…working on coordinating a family picnic at Lakes Park THIS JUNE as we did 2/3 yrs ago—participation needed…volunteers needed for the new year!!

THANK YOU EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!