ft myers fl homes | Fort Myers FL Homes

Back to My Roots in St. Louis

By | Market Report | No Comments

I spend most of my time discussing pertinent issues concerning Fort Myers Fl real estate since after all that is the true purpose of this website.  Periodically however I like to comment on other topics that give insight into who I am and where I am from.  I recently visited St. Louis still home to my parents, 10 brothers and sisters, my mother in law,  5 of my wife’s 6 sisters, and too many nieces and nephews to count.  As you can imagine those trips are packed with family time.  You archcan never get enough.  Whenever you live in a place for an extended period of time you begin to take things for granted.  St. Louis is full of those things.  Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo, Busch stadium and the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams, Ted Drewes frozen custard, Imo’s Pizza, and yes Lion’s Choice.   I could fill these pages with fond memories.

Important to me is to take the time to appreciate the things surrounding our Ft Myers Fl homes.  Today is the first break from the summer heat.  It is the first sample of what will be expected for the next 6 months, ideal weather.   Nearly every day I cross a bridge over the water and take in a view worthy of a post card.  Sunsets are spectacular.  Flowers can be seen 12 months of the year and of course there is the endless array of palm trees and lush landscaping.  You never want to forget the memories of your family and home town.  At the same time it is always good to stop for a minute, look around and as they say “smell the roses”.  What a beautiful place Fort Myers is.  Hope you join us soon.

Why Real Estate Agents Hate Short Sales

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I recently attended a Real Estate Trade Show.  There was a common thread in conversation.  “I hate short sales”.  While we all long for the good old days when buyers had rights (no AS IS contracts) and rising real estate values assured order in our world the simple reality is that at least for now this is not the case.  Anyone who has purchased Ft Myers FL Homes in the past five years and finds that they need to sell for any reason is upside down.  It is impossible to dispute that the market assumptions in effect then are much different now.

Unemployment in 2005 hovered around 3% and everyone was making money.  In 2009 Lee County posts 13% unemployment and many have been on the rosters for so long that they no longer are considered in the calculations.  Today we hear daily about government employees, long considered guaranteed jobs, losing their positions.  Construction jobs have all but dried up.  The result of all this hardship for many homeowners is the inability to keep up with mortgage payments.  Even homeowners with traditional equities of 20% and more find themselves upside down when property values plunge by 50%.  In the end the only way out is a Short Sale.

The key ingredient to any short sale is a purchaser.  Agents find purchasers then submit their contract along with required paperwork to a bank that is overwhelmed only to have it turned down and thus the process begins anew.  We solve that problem by stepping in and purchasing the property directly.  We are able to negotiate with the guarantee to the bank and to the homeowner that if an agreement is reached the deal will transact.  We then find buyers who are able to fix their purchase price and close with certainty in a reasonable time frame.

Clearly this is not a pleasant situation for anyone.  Having to give up a home is emotionally taxing and nobody does it without turmoil.  We are committed to taking as much stress out of the process as we possibly can by doing all negotiating and then closing the deals allowing our homeowners to turn the page and begin anew.

Take a Break! Bonefish Grill Fort Myers

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For the most part these pages are filled with facts and advice pertaining to Fort Myers FL Homes for sale.  Once in a while though, everyone needs to take a break.  What is more enjoyable than a night out for dinner or cocktails or both?  I spent more than 30 years as a restaurant owner dedicating my life to providing that enjoyment to others so I have a very real appreciation for the dedication it takes to offer first rate dining with consistency. 

My hat is off to Butch Murray at Bonefish Grill in Fort Myers.  My wife and I dine there bonefish grill fort myersregularly and we are always impressed.  The staff is meticulously trained and knowledgeable and delivers quality food and service without fail.  All of this is in addition to the spectacular atmosphere which is refined but comfortable.  Bang Bang Shrimp is mandatory so arrive hungry and be ready to be wowed.  Honorable mention goes to Leroy Selmon’s for their spectacular wings.  More on that later.  Enjoy!!

Don’t Allow Your Home to End Up in Foreclosure

By | Foreclosure Advice, Short Sale Info | No Comments

The reasons that homes end up in foreclosure are many.  Many Ft Myers FL homes were purchased under economic assumptions that no longer apply. While I understand the causes I also see the devastating affects that Foreclosure has on a person’s ability to build a new and better future.  I am no attorney but I will offer some observations in the hope that it can help prevent unnecessary hardship.  Most people who realize they can no longer afford to pay their mortgage just quit.  This begins a process which snowballs and eventually becomes too large to fix and leads to eviction and financial ruin.

What I recommend is seeking out professional assistance as soon as the problem is recognized or maybe more accurately anticipated.  Here are the first questions you will have to answer.

  • Can the house be sold for enough to pay off what you owe on it?
  • Do you have the means to solve this situation on your own?  Do you have money sitting in a bank account or equity in another property that you can use to catch up or pay off the mortgage?
  • Do you insist on staying in the home even if a solution is found?

If you the answer to any of these questions is yes then you need to implement a plan to resolve the problem according to your means.  If on the other hand you answer no, then do not delay.  Call us or another professional immediately.  Many agents try to manage this process on their own and quite frankly transactions often fail as a result.  We are experts at listing and selling real estate.  We are not attorneys or bank negotiators.  Our approach is very different.  We begin with a dedication to helping you, our client.  The first order of business is to evaluate your individual situation and determine a course of action that will work for you specifically.  Every case is different.  Assuming that short selling your Ft Myers FL Home is indicated we bring in a professional team consisting of professional negotiators, attorneys and clerical staff who work with people like yourself to relieve them of the burden that an unaffordable mortgage creates and at the same time minimize credit consequences.  We do all this at no cost to you.

The short sale process requires a buyer.  No bank is going to negotiate a settlement unless there is a buyer in place.  While our team of professionals are working on negotiations with the bank we are working to put a buyer in place so that the process is rapid and seamless.   Quite simply, this is the best system currently available.  Please do not delay.  Start your journey today to a better life.

Best Option to Get Out of Your Home NOW

By | Short Sale Info | One Comment

There is a Better Way

The current state of the economy has created havoc for homeowners and banks alike. Many Ft Myers FL Homes were purchased in light of the financial conditions of the time. Rapidly rising property values and increases in equityhouse short sale were a given. If anything was to go wrong wages were high and job security was not a question.

My, how things change. These fundamental beliefs have all been turned upside down resulting in the current chaos in home ownership. Leading the way is unprecedented unemployment and underemployment which has made it impossible for many to keep their mortgages current. The flood of toxic debt has left financial institutions reeling and unable to meet the flood requests for mediation. Realtors have been willing to step up and work to mediate short sales with lenders but each lender has different requirements and processes and as a result success is questionable at best. The whole time homeowners slip further and further into a hole that leads to either foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Out of dedication to my clients I had to find a better way. What I have found is a specialty team of experts in this process. They have assembled negotiators, attorneys, investors and counselors who not only navigate and mediate this complicated process in a fast and efficient manner but they do it with the homeowner’s interest in mind, working to settle in a way that preserves to the best degree possible, the client’s credit. An integral part of the process is finding a buyer. While the mediators are working with you, we go to work finding a buyer to make the process work. This joint effort bringing buyer, mediator, and agent together has tremendous results.
If you are upside down on your mortgage and cannot fulfill your obligation this is the best and fastest method I have seen to resolve it. I encourage you not to delay. The mental anguish that accompanies the financial stress inherent in this is overwhelming and tears families apart. You must take action. Please call me and begin the process toward a new and better life.

Should You Buy a Home or a Neighborhood?

By | Market Report | One Comment

When considering a new home purchase, what should carry more weight the actual home or the neighborhood that surrounds it?  There are Ft Myers FL homes for sale in every setting imaginable.  When considering options the inevitable decision will have to be made.  Do you settle for less house in a more desirable setting or visa versa.  I suppose that the answer to this depends on each buyer’s priorities but myFort Myers FL Neighborhood advice would be to select based on neighborhood.

Our homes are much more than a roof over our head and a place to sleep.  We “LIVE” in our homes.  The community that we choose to live in determines who our neighbors are, who our friends are, and in many instances who our kids grow up with.  I suggest that it is one of the most important decisions we make.  Above and beyond this, purely from an investment perspective, the neighborhood determines future value.  Always choose the neighborhood with the most integrity that falls within your budget even if it means somewhat less home for the money.  In the long run you will find that the value of your home will be much more secure.

Home Owners Associations – Outrageous or Justifiable?

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When shopping Ft Myers FL homes for sale one of the first questions is single family or Condominium?  For many the answer is simple.  One is clearly right and the other is wrong.  Families with young children for instance find the condominium situation to be very difficult.  For those, however, who are considering the pros and cons, the issue often arises that condominium fees are generally much higher that subdivision HOA fees.  First let me point out that in both cases the fees directly pay for benefits and services.  Generally they are controlled by a board of trustees comprised of members of the community who seek to provide the most benefit for the least money possible.  Condominium fees out of necessity cover a number of items which are generally not covered in subdivisions.  Each association is different but I will list the most common.money

  • Exterior building maintenance
  • Insurance for the structure
  • All grounds maintenance

Items that are common to both might be:

  • Street lighting
  • Common facilities maintenance (pools, work out facilities, playgrounds, etc.)
  • Basic Cable Television

These fees vary dramatically from one development to another.  Generally they correspond directly with the amenities offered but other factors such as the size of the development have a very real impact.  When shopping Ft Myers FL Homes for sale my first advice is always to establish a budget which includes all of these items.  Next consider what level of amenities you will likely be able to afford and shop within those guidelines.  It is not uncommon to run across people that say that they want resort style amenities which commonly have a monthly price tag of $600.00 to $700.00 but who only have a total budget (including mortgage payment) of $1,000.00 per month.

Whenever buying a condominium, the sale is contingent upon review of the condominium documents.  Always review these carefully and pay particular attention to the operating statement and the roster of delinquent fees.  Current conditions have left many associations in difficult positions and you want to make sure that you are not buying into a nightmare scenario that will require assessments to be levied.  There are many developments out there that are viable and offer a carefree lifestyle.  This is an important part of the service we provide.  Our job is to present you with all the information which should help you to make informed, good decisions about the living situation that is right for you.

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