SW Florida real estate has on average bottomed out.  That’s not to say there won’t be tough times in isolated areas, but overall prices have steadied for the past three months and buyer activity has really picked up in the last two weeks.

Buyers will look back and say they should have bought in April  or May of 2006 as inventory levels were excellent for the buyers and mortgage rates were at their lowest.  Prices have also come down around $40,000-50,000 since their highs in some market price ranges.

We’ve had pent-up demand from buyers who have been afraid to buy because they thought if they just waited a month or two, prices would be lower in the future, and they would have been correct up until now.  We’ve seen prices level out.  Buyers need re-assurance that it’s OK to buy, and they haven’t had that.  This changed about two weeks ago as buyers started buying again.  When the word gets out to other buyers, they’ll all turn on, like fire ants.  Fire ants seem to bite all at once.  They’re there, everybody knows they’re there, and when the decide to bite everybody will know they’re biting.  The same is true with buyers of real estate.

Fort Myers real estate is rebounding nicely, followed by Cape Coral and Naples.  Naples probably had the furthest to fall as it was the most ahead of itself.  Cape Coral still has loads of inventory, and that will take time to work itself through.

Thye wild card is rising interest rates and rising insurance costs.  If insurance costs goes up $100/mo it reduces the buying power of a buyer by about $16,000.  Rising interest rates, insurance, and property taxes all work the same way, and could limit the price increases we’ll see down the road.

The good news is overall the market has stabilized and is near bottom.  Expect the market to level where it is while buyers eat up inventory, and eventually rise about 5% per year once inventory levels have come down.

Home appreciation could have been in the 7-9% range and may be limited by rising home ownership costs described above.  It’s possible the market will just stay level the rest of the year and not appreciate too much as we work through this inventory.  Buyers should buy now though because rates are expected to rise throughout the year, and waiting may increase the payments.

Just a quarter percent rise in rates costs the buyer several thousands of dolalrs in buying power.  For these reasons, this is why I say that buyers will look back on May 2006 as the best time to have bought real estate in SW Florida

The meeting was called to order at 5:30 PM by Barbara Bonday, President.

Directors present were Barbara Bonday, Tony Salerno, Regis Sanson, Scot Anderson, Kathleen Krieger and Paul Ehrnfelt.

Also present were Tom Smith of Benson’s, Inc. and the owners whose names are on the attached list.

APPPROVAL  OF UNAPPROVED MINUTES: By proper motion by Mr. Anderson, seconded by Mr. Salerno, the minutes of the previous meeting of February 21, 2006 were approved as corrected.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Mr. Anderson presented the Treasurer’s Report.

MANAGER REPORT: Mr. Smith presented the Manager’s Report.

By proper motion by Mr. Anderson, seconded by Mr. Ehrnfelt, it was unanimously approved to have the palm tree straightened located along the Summerlin Road wall behind Condominium III, but the Master Association will not take responsibility for the maintenance of that area as it is the responsibility of Condominium III.

ARB COMMITTEE: Ms. Bidwell presented the ARB Committee Report, a copy of which is attached and
made a part hereof.

By proper motion by Ms. Bonday, seconded by Ms. Krieger, it was unanimously approved to appoint Mary Grueneberg to the ARB Committee.

NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE: Ms. Krieger presented the Newsletter Committee Report, a copy of which is attached and made a part hereof. The Newsletter Committee consists of Kathy; Krieiger, Chairman, Tony Salerno as Board liaison, Judy Azzara, Bob Deane, Iva Maher, Judy Bauer, Pat Forbes and Theresa Monroe.

RECREATION COMMITTEE: Marie Nelson presented the Recreation Committee Report and reported on the fashion show and upcoming events.

SAFETY COMMITTEE: No report was presented.

OWNERS COMMENTS: Comments were heard from owners for future consideration.

ANNUAL MEETING MAILING: It was reported the Annual Meeting mailing will be done this week, including the new Agenda and a second proxy for return for the vote on the amendments.

FITNESS EQUIPMENT: By proper motion by Mr. Sanson, seconded by Mr. Anderson, it was unanimously approved to purchase new fitness equipment for the Tradewinds Fitness Center from Berry’s Barbell and Equipment.

By proper motion by Mr. Salerno, seconded by Mr. Sanson, it was unanimously approved to purchase the additional fitness equipment for the main clubhouse from Berry’s Barbell and Equipment.

GATES: By proper motion by Ms. Bonday, seconded by Mr. Sanson, it was approved to have each of . the six entrances to Reflection lakes gated. The motion passed 4 to 2 with Ms. Krieger and Mr. Salerno dissenting.

By proper motion by Ms. Bonday, seconded by Mr. Ehmfelt, it was approved to consider a special assessment to fund the installation of the gates of approximately $500 to $800 per unit, which will be noticed for the Annual Meeting on April 11, 2006. The motion passed 4 to 2 with Ms. Krieger and Mr. Salerno dissenting.

WEBSITE: It was reported the website needs to be updated and more information will be obtained as to costs, which range from approximately $4,500 or more.

By proper motion by Mr. Salerno, seconded by Ms. Krieger, it was unanimously approved to update the website system by either (1) Regis Sanson or (2) Lan-Blue.

DIRECTORY RULES AND REGULATIONS: No action was taken by the Board. tional information will be presented to be edited for the directory.

VIOLATIONS – RULES AND REGULATIONS: By proper motion by Mr. Salerno, seconded by Mr. Ehmfelt, it was approved to limit the time of storage pods to three days with longer periods possible with Board approval. The motion passed 5 to 1 with Mr. Sanson dissenting.

WAIVER OF LATE FEES: By proper motion by Mr. Salerno, seconded by Ms. Krieger, it was unanimously approved to obtain an opinion from Becker & Poliakoff regarding the right to collect late fees and the right to have payments made by the Condominiums on behalf of the owners.

By proper motion by Mr. Salerno, seconded by Mr. Anderson, the request to waive the late fee by 13717 Bald Cypress Circle was denied. The late fees were assessed according to the collection policy of the Association and are due as assessed.

By proper motion by Mr. Salerno, seconded by Ms. Krieger, the request to waive the late fee by 14043 Clearwater was denied. The late fee.s were assessed according to the collection policy of the Association and are due as assessed.

CORRESPONDENCE: The Board reviewed the letter from Mr. Monroe requesting that benches be placed along the boulevard.
By proper motion by Mr. Ehmfelt, seconded by Mr. Anderson, the request to place benches along the boulevard was not approved at this time.
There being no further business to come before the Board, by proper motion the meeting was adjourned.


The Following article was posted in the Reflection Lakes Newsletter May 2006.

When to Install and When to Remove?

Master Association Architectural Review Board approval must be obtained by the Unit Owner prior to the installation of any storm protection.

1) Any and all storm protection, including but not limited to, aluminum panels, manual or electric shutters,screens, etc., MUST be the same color as the surrounding exterior of the Unit.

2) Any and all storm protection exhibits and specifications submitted to the ARB for approval must contain a statement that "THE PRODUCT TO BE INSTALLED HAS PASSED THE MIAMI-DADE LARGE MISSILE AND WIND PRESSURE TESTS and FULLY COMPLIES WITH FLORIDA BUILDING CODES 2001 AS

In accordance with the design standards adopted by the Master Association’s Architectural Review Board:

1) Storm protection shall not be placed, installed, rolled down or shut/closed over the exterior of any unit UNLESS a Tropical Storm Warning, a Tropical Storm Watch, a Hurricane Watch or a Hurricane warning has been issued by the National Weather Service/NOAA for Lee County.

2) Storm protection is to be completely removed within forty-eight (48) hours after the Watch or Warning has been lifted by the National Weather Service/NOAA for Lee County.

3) Unit owners wishing to leave their Units’ storm protection up when leaving the Unit unoccupied for a period of thirty (30) days or more may do so ONLY IF THE STORM PROTECTION IS WHITE OR COLOR-MATCHED

Sales in Northern states are off according to the National Association of Realtors.  I found an excellent Blog in Connecticut with sales data that bears this out.  Linda Davis is the CT Realtor who runs this Blog and it has some interesting features.

SW Florida real estate has picked up the past two weeks, and perhaps Florida will lead the nation out of the real estate slowdown.  I’ll be writing an article soon about SW FLorida real estate sales and prices soon, so stay tuned.

The News Press asked local business leaders how their Mom has influenced them in life and business.

Here was my response:

"My mother not only brought me into this world, she also brought me into the real estate business.  She taught me everything I need to know growing up, and everything I needed to get started in real estate.

Learning from the Top Agent in Lee County was invaluable.  She taught me when to speak up, when to be silent, and most of all, how to treat people.  I learned this at age 5, 12, 18, and every step along the way.  It wasn’t a one-time lesson, it is an all-time lesson.
My mother never settled for half results.  Her motto was intend do it right the first time or stay home.  We all make mistakes, and when you do, pick yourself up and move on.  The difference between good people and great people is the speed at which they rise from adversity.  We didn’t have much time growing up to sulk about what we didn’t have or wished we had.  We just did, and we still do.
No mother could leave a better gift than what my mother has taught me."
The News Press condensed the quote so they can get several quotes in.  One correction, I am not the head of the team.  I am a partner with my Mother and Father.  My mother doesn’t just work on the team, she is the heart and soul of the team.

Myth:  I’ve sold several homes before and can do a better job than agents.


Truth:  It’s always hard to negotiate on your own behalf. Buyers usually won’t trust a For Sale By Owner and offer accordingly low.  As  professionals, we can call buyers back and follow-up, whereas a seller appears anxious when they are following up.  A buyer’s financial situation is critical when evaluating the offer, and a By Owner rarely gets this private information.  Also, customs and contracts change often, and the way you did it before may not be current with today’s laws.   Let us keep you legal and protected.  We’re experts at showing and selling homes.  We’ve helped over 3,000 families, and we’re the best at what we do.  You’ll have full confidence that we’re able to sell your home.  We’ll put more money in your pocket at closing than you can yourself, and we’ll do all the work and keep you legal.  Call us for an interview and see for yourself.


This is Myth number 1 in SW Florida Real Estate.  Each week we’ll tackle a new myth.  If you have a question you’d like answered, simply post a comment here.  For more myths and truths, click on the link provided.

SAVE THE DATE!!!!!!!!! SATURDAY, JUNE 3rd!!!! The Social Committee is planning a family picnic!!! Mark your calendars now before summertime sets in and things get to busy.

Good Food–Good Fun–Good Friends, New Friends, Old Friends!!! Come and meet your neighbors. We have alot of awesome people, families and kids in Danforth. Many times one may get the wrong impression of a person even from a post….don’t let that keep you from participating and finding out what good people our neighbors truly are, and who they truly are. (Someone recently told me after meeting me for the 1st time that they were sure I was probably at least 60 or 70 because I talk to much and just ramble on….go figure! LOL I took no offense…I thought it was quite amusing..I am just concerned if you talk more the older you get what that means for me in upcoming years down the road!)

Put everything else aside and set aside the time to partake in our upcoming Community Picnic being planned at Lakes Regional Park right on Gladiolus Rd. Bring the whole family…even Grandma/Grandpa (plus they can babysit while you mingle)

Who remembers the last one??? ah…3 years ago maybe? I think it was in May 03. Tried to find the post but think that was one of the ones lost when we lost several months of info at one time. I still have ALOT of pics from that picnic I will bring to share so you can see how you have changed these last three years…..especially the pics you all don’t know I had even taken while you weren’t watching! lol

There will be games for the kids…. and yes, even the adult kids! Remember the egg toss? We will have music, volleyball, horseshoes…. heck, I can’t tell you everything, just plan to come!

Hotdogs, hamburgers & buns will be provided along with games & prizes. You must bring your cooler with drinks & whatever else you want to go with it! Although, as far as desserts we could have a separate BIG table where we just combine for everyone to share!

Flyers will be distributed to every home and even emailed to those on file within a couple of weeks. You will need to RSVP on here, to me by email or by phone to Kelly Evers so we know how many to plan for and how many kids there will be. (ladies, for the purpose of this function pls do not include your husband in the kid count at this time) All info will be provided in the Flyer.

We are looking for help with the game planning and will also need volunteers to help distribute the flyers when the time comes. If interested and able pls post here or email me at: francine@swfla.rr.com



We have updated our latest Housing Statistics for Fort Myers Cape Coral real estate, and for SW Florida Real Estate.  Latest charts show number of homes closed 2006 Vs. 2005 by month, and sale prices 2006 Vs. 2005 by month, as well as a breakdown of all major Florida cities.

This page is a one-stop shop for all SW Florida real estate value statistics.  If you have any questions regarding values in SW Florida real estate, please contact us.

Miami Herald featured Brett Ellis of the Ellis Team re: Blogs and what they can do for your business, as well as the time it takes to be successfull in the Blogging world.

It takes comittment, and if you do it, results will come as customers appreciate timely news about SW FLorida real estate.  Not only do we post timely news, we also post articles helpful to consumers regarding buying and selling real estate in SW Florida.

We focus on Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and all of Lee County but our tips and insight work virtually anywhere.

In preparation for the 2006 Hurricane Season, Lee County Emergency Management encourages all homeowners to remove coconuts from your palm trees as in heavy winds they can easily become projectiles that can cause severe and expensive damage. Other items to be sure to remove and/or store before June 1 st include lawn furniture, planters, pool toys and similar outdoor items.

Also, please monitor the storm drains in the street in front of your home in Reflection Lakes to be sure it is always clear of debris before a storm. After the storm has safely passed, drains should be cleared again to remove any storm debris and standing water.