If you’ve been reading our articles lately you’ll notice we’re doing a series on what you can buy in the SW Florida real estate market at various price points.  In recent weeks we’ve done the $250,000 and $500,000 range and showed you some excellent choices in those ranges.  Today we answer the question, what does $ 750,000 buy in Lee County real estate market?

If money is no object, it gets a lot more fun to shop as we go higher in price.  These are by no means the entirety of the market, but rather a sampling of a few things you could buy around town in this price range.

What Does $ 750,000 Buy in Lee County Real Estate Market?

750,000 Buy in the Lee County Real Estate Market
Fort Myers Beach Waterfront Pool Home

At Fort Myers Beach we found a nice waterfront home on a wide canal built in 1981. It is 3 bedrooms, 2 baths.  It has a gorgeous pavered pool area and boat lift for your boat at the canal.  It’s located mid island at Fort Myers Beach and is listed for $725,000.

http://blog.topagent.com/2016/05/20/250000-buy-lee-county-real-estate-market/ Fort Myers
Fort Myers Gulf Access Waterfront Home

In Fort Myers we found another gulf access waterfront home.  This home has 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths with 2,549 sq ft living area.  I like the stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wood like floors, and of course its location.  Keep in mind, none of these listings are ours and we’re reporting based upon pictures in the MLS.

http://blog.topagent.com/2016/05/20/250000-buy-lee-county-real-estate-market/ Cape Coral
Cape Coral Waterfront Pool Home

In Cape Coral we found a home just under $750,000 with almost 2,600 sq ft of living area.  This too is a gulf access waterfront pool home with no bridges.  It’s a 2 minute boat ride to the river.  It has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, high tray ceilings and stainless steel appliances with granite counter tops in the kitchen. It has a boat lift and a wet bar with refrigerator area off the pool for entertaining when you get off the boat.

If money is no object, it gets a lot more fun to shop as we go higher in price. These are by no means the entirety of the market, but rather a sampling of a few things you could buy around town in this price range. Palmira Golf & Country Club
Palmira Golf & Country Club Bonita Springs

Lastly, we have a gorgeous home on the golf course for you in Bonita Springs priced below $750,000.  It is located in Palmira Golf and Country Club and features 3 bedrooms, 3 ½  baths with granite counter tops and custom cabinets on a quiet cul-de-sac street.  The community offers a resort style pool and a community center, fitness center and bar and grill.

The bottom line is SW Florida has so much to offer for all kinds of different lifestyles.  Whether you’re a casual boater, avid fisherman, tennis player, golfer, workout buff, or just like to chill out on your lanai and watch nature, SW Florida has it all.

We have single family homes, condos, villas, town homes, and coach homes for easy living.  This is one reason our agents spend time asking buyers questions.  We don’t really sell anything, because SW Florida sells itself.  Rather, we listen to what buyers like to do, what makes them happy, and how they will use their home.  Once we determine that, we can identify suitable properties and make some recommendations based upon the buyer’s lifestyle.  Each home and each community offers something different.

It can be a daunting task when you’re not from here.  Buyers don’t want to make a mistake.  This is why hiring a seasoned agent accustomed to working with buyers can make all the difference.  I can’t tell you how many times buyers have thanked us for listening to them and suggesting certain properties based upon their needs.

We help with new construction as well.  It doesn’t cost any more to use a Realtor, and many times it will save you money because we know the incentives being offered.  Builders also like Realtors because we can be a source for repeat business.  A good Realtor can point out the pros and cons based upon your needs, not the seller’s or the builder’s.

We have new construction available on our website at TopAgent.com and of course we have the entire MLS available at www.LeeCountyOnline.com  Of course, there’s no substitute for talking with experienced agents who know the area.  If our team can help, please call us at 239-489-4042

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!

Ellis Team is hiring

The Ellis Team is looking for talent.  If you’re a licensed agent in Florida and willing to learn and work, we may have the opportunity for you.  Please contact us.  Our team is growing and we need good people to help our clients.

Sales volume has slipped this year primarily because inventory levels are down. However, we have noticed a slight trend in the past few months worth noting.

SW Florida Real Estate sales 2012

Inventory levels actually rose in September for single family homes, albeit only 5 homes which is rather insignificant. Because sales are less, it did raise the standing inventory to a 3.5 month supply, up from 3.4 months the previous month. Both numbers are low.

Another trend we are watching is the median sales price, which has fallen for 2 consecutive months. This is a seasonal trend we see this time of year so we are not alarmed. Heading into season we’re going to need all the inventory this market can muster, and right now it may not be enough. Prices are still much higher than last year.

Fort Myers Cape Coral Media Sale Prices

We would have liked to see home prices rise the past few months, but not for the reasons you might think. Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, and all of SW Florida is considered a declining market by FNMA and Freddie Mac. The appraiser usually notates this on the appraisal report to the lender. According to guidelines, and area must have 3 consecutive quarters of rising prices to break a declining market tag.

Lee County had a strong 4th qtr 2011 and 1st qtr 2012 but came up short in 2nd qtr. This contradicts our data so I’m not sure how they calculate this. I’m hearing whispers that the tag may come off Collier County Florida in January, but we’ll wait and see if that actually happens.

The reason this is important is because it removes additional restrictions and paperwork requirements when the tag is lifted. FNMA is already making loans tougher this November with new guidelines. For instance, self employed borrowers will find it more difficult and cumbersome to receive a mortgage. They will require personal and corporate tax returns for last 2 yrs no matter what. Lenders are just now receiving the new guidelines and sifting through the changes.

September is seasonal, and it’s not uncommon for sales to lighten this time of year. It does feel on the street as though there’s a dichotomy to the market. Agent listings seem to either get a ton of activity and offers or very little. This may change in the next few months as snowbirds tend to scoop up higher priced inventory for second homes and investment.

The upcoming election may have also stifled buyers who are afraid to make a big purchase until the see which leadership will guide the country and what the new economic landscape may look like. We’ve seen on TV many company CEO’s waiting to make hiring and firing decisions until after the election, and it’s quite possible buyers will do the same. If you’re worried about your job, chances are you’re not in the market to change your housing.

Once the election is over, the direction the nation and economy goes in may become clearer, and consumer confidence could rise. If and when that happens we believe SW Florida is poised to take advantage with lots of potential for price appreciation. All signs point to higher once the job outlook improves, and help may be just around the corner.

Good luck and Happy House Hunting!!!


Well, it’s that time of year again and the tropical season is heating up.  Because we have an impending storm approaching we decided to do a video on Hurricane tips for agents and the public alike.  We hope these tips will help you prepare for this storm or any others that may come our way.

Hurricane Tips for SW Florida


If you’d like market information on SW Florida including the Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs real estate market and how it stacks up against the national real estate market be sure to  watch our National Housing Report

It’s that time of year again.  Final sales numbers are in, and we can accurately reflect on where we’ve been and where the market may be headed in 2010.  Each year we release the most comprehensive statistical report on SW Florida residential real estate, and this year’s report uncovers some interesting observations. 

Single Family Home Sale Prices in SW FLorida 2008-2009
Single Family Home Sale Prices in SW FLorida 2008-2009

Last year we said we really need jobs and employment to fix housing and that is partially true.  A bottom seemed to form even without jobs and housing as investors came in and competed with first time home buyers for the best bargains.  Never before have sale prices been so low as compared to rents as to cash flow for investors like we’re seeing now.  This investor boom is much healthier now than back in 2005 as investors are helping to clear the foreclosure inventory, clean up the neighborhoods, and provide stability and capital until employment returns to the local economy.  The underlying investment makes sense at today’s numbers, and in fact still has some room for price gains going forward as well.

 We also talked about the true test of a bottom last year.  “Sales volume increases, inventory levels stabilize, and prices stabilize.”  2008 saw 2 out of 3 so we speculated that 2009 might bring all 3 into alignment, and this is what occurred.  2009 saw all 3 factors come together and in fact median home prices really firmed up the 2nd half of 2009. 

Sales in 2010 were up 92.11%, month’s supply of inventory fell from 17.53 months last year to 7.11 months this year, and both the median price and mean average sale price for single family homes rose in the 2nd half of 2009.  All 3 signs point to a bottom that was reached in 2009. 

Is every bottom firm?  Just look around and you’ll see the answer is no, but we think the real estate bottom should be, as investors seem to have set the floor by scooping up everything they can because it makes financial sense.  The phrase financial sense is a far cry from the speculators we saw in 2005.

 So let’s give out some interesting facts from this year’s data: Last year we reported 9,207 sales.  This year we report 10,021 sales that sold at $100,000 or less alone, and 4,651 sold from $100-$200k.

 8,051 homes sold at or above full price last year.  That’s almost as many homes as sold in all of 2008.   Anyone who bought or tried to buy real estate in SW Florida last year knows this, as offers on properties were fast and furious.  That equates to over 45% of the homes selling at full price or better.

 So how did the county do on prices?  We’re down in price, but most of those declines were 1st half of the year vs. 1st half of 2008 numbers.  Much of the declines were year over year, and we believe prices could start showing gains year over year in 2010.  Countywide we’re reporting median prices down 38.82% and average price down 40.23%  This won’t make sellers happy, or government that relies on taxes to pay for services, but government better get ready for less very soon, because when the Lee County property appraiser comes out with their numbers later this year, it won’t be a gain.

 So which area of the county fared the best?  Our data shows Sanibel/Captiva fared the best, with a 18.51% price drop in media price and 19.45% drop in average price.  Sales were up 28.97% last year in Sanibel/Captiva. 

The headlines will read market is down close to 40% in price, but that’s not the real story here.  That was year over year data, and is primarily affected by 1st half sales.  2nd half of the year sales firmed up in price, and going forward there’s an excellent chance we’ll see some price gains year over year.  It really depends on future foreclosure activity, jobs, and the economy.  So don’t get hung up on the -40%.  Look at the trend of prices for all of 2009 and we think the data speaks for itself.  We’ll post a price graph from the report illustrating 2008-2009. 

Download your free copy of the State of the Market Report. You can look up all parts of the county, as we know, all real estate is local.  This is just a snippet of data contained in the report.

The 2009 Ellis Team annual SW Florida State of the Market Report will be released February 18, 2009 at the general meeting of the Southwest Florida Investment Association.  It is located at Island Park Bridge Club – 16520 S Tamiami Trl # 16 Fort Myers, FL 33908

The format has changed from last year’s format. This year we’ll address the following topics:

  • Sales Trends by Area
  • Pricing Trends by Area
  • Lee County Pricing Trends by Month
  • Lee County Sales Trends by Month
  • Median Prices Vs. Avg Prices
  • $ Volume of Sales by Area
  • Find Out Which Areas are Selling
  • Identify Where the Deals Are
  • How Will Recent Lending Changes Affect Investors
  • How Will Recent Guidelines Affect Condo Sales
  • Don’t Follow the Herd-Be the First to Know How This Market is Changing and Capitalize
  • Get the Facts-Don’t believe Everything You Read
  • Find out How the Stimulus Package Could Affect Our Market
  • What Does the Latest Current market Index Predict for our Market
  • Should you be Positive or Negative in 2009
  • Ask Questions-Only Even of it’s Kind Where You can ask the Experts Questions

Compare areas such as Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs, Lehigh Acres, Sanibel-Captiva, Pine Island and see how your area is doing.

This year we’ve compiled two independent sets of data.  The first is the most exhaustive set ever compiled.  We tool MLS data from multiple sources, compared for duplicates, and deleted, and scrubbed the data for known errors.  We used this data to compile a comprehensive database.  Secondly, Jeff Tumbarello has compiled the area’s finest foreclosure database.  This year we have analysed both sets of data and we’ll be able to compare and contrast the two independent empirical sets.  Foreclosures have affected the real estate market, and by analysing the two together we’ll be better able to illustrate past trends, future trends, and show how the cause and effect is influencing the other.  We look forward to demonstrating the lagging and leading indicators in this market, and how you can plan to take advantage of this knowledge.

Click here for more information on attending the SW Florida Real Estate Investors Association meeting and viewing the Annual State of the market Report.