Lee county absorption rate for October 2010

As buyers and sellers, we often look to our realtors for advice on current market conditions, recent changes and often times predictions into the future for what changes we believe will be coming.   It is accurate to say that home prices have fallen significantly over the past few years and foreclosures and short sales have become more prevalent.  Realtors now more than ever need to correctly price your home to compete with the huge amount of inventory currently on the market today.  One helpful calculation many realtor use is absorption rate; it really puts into perspective what is going on in the market with each price range of residential properties.  Whether you are planning to buy or sell this simple formula can give you and
your realtor a great indication as to where to list your home or what price to offer for a home.

We have broken down the different price ranges and calculated the absorption rate to give you an idea of the current conditions of the market in Lee county Florida.

Absorption rate is the number of weeks it takes to sell the current inventory at the present rate of sell.

$100,000 and under
       36 weeks

$100, 000 to $200,000
        43 weeks

$200,000 to $300,000
         63 weeks

Gulf Access any price range

           21 weeks

So what does this all mean? Well It means that if you are interested in selling your home the greater number of weeks indicates the amount of competition you will face.  Sellers need to be very aware that pricing their property correctly may result in a faster sale.

If you are buying; the larger number of weeks worth of inventory could indicate how negotiable the sellers may be, or how flexible they may be concerning sales price and terms. 

As always if we can help you with your buying or selling needs, please don’t hesitate to call.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in Success,                                                 

The Florida Future Realty Team



Foreign buyers making an impact on our market

 We have seen an influx of foreign buyers scooping up real estate in recent months, the reason for this increase is simple. The falling costs of real estate and the favorable money rate exchange is allowing for this trend to take place.   

 Foreign buyers who once thought living abroad was a pipe dream are now boarding planes from all around the world to cash in on our less than favorable real estate market.  Instead of investing in stocks and bonds, they are using their savings to pick up heavily discounted properties, especially condominiums.  Once the market rebounds they hope to sell these properties for a more than generous return on their investments. 

Miami appears to be one of the cities seeing this increase, one particular complex is more than 90% owned by foreigners, particularly Europeans and Latin Americans.  This isn’t the only state to report this trend; similar stories are being reported from Washington, New
York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.   

The questions remains, will these buyers help our sluggish real estate market quickly rebound?  Probably not, but areas like Miami and Washington have stated it has at least helped their markets to stabilize.  To put it into perspective foreign buyers still only
represent 7% of today’s totals according to the National Association of Realtors.  We still have a ways to go to see our market completely turn around, but this jolt may get us heading in the right direction. 

If we can help you with your buying or selling needs please don’t hesitate to call.  We look forward to assisting you.

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team.



Wind mitigation inspection can save hundreds

Did you know that you can potentially save hundreds on your home owner’s insurance policy?  It is as simple as having a wind mitigation inspection. A wind mitigation inspection gives your
insurance provider with certain construction features specific to your home that make it more resistant to damage due to hurricanes.  It is required by the state of Florida that insurance companies offer reduced rates to any qualified home.

What will an inspector look for?

  • An inspector will examine the level of hurricane protection on your
    windows and exterior doors, such as shutters or impact resistant windows
    and garage doors.
  • What type of roof your home has (a hip roof is the most desirable)
  • Roof to wall connections that are a installed with hurricane
    clips/straps. The discount will vary depending on the type of connection
    such as toe nail, clips, single wraps or double wraps.
  • Florida Building Code-approved roof covering.

Wind mitigation inspections are available for all single family homes, townhouses, and condos. Homeowner’s and Condo Associations also qualify for wind mitigation credits.

The “My Safe Home” program was discontinued by the State of Florida in August of 2008, it provided a free inspections to Florida residents.  Only licensed building contractors or architects certified by the state are able conduct these inspections.  The cost to have an inspection is minuscule compared to amount that you will be saving each year on your policy. 

Yours in Success,                                                 

The Florida Future Realty Team



Easy to spot signs of Chinese Drywall

With the home prices so affordable once again, there are many buyers looking for that next big purchase.  Unfortunately, we have all been made aware that some home built or renovated after 2001 could potentially be constructed with Chinese drywall. These homes can be completely remediated, but some buyers just don’t want to go to the added time, energy and expense involved in buying this type of property.

 These properties aren’t always clearly represented as infected drywall homes. So we as consumers need to get educated as to some of the most apparent and easy to spot signs.  Obviously the best way is to hire a home inspector and they can without doubt confirm or deny any suspicion that you may have.  When viewing multiple homes the cost
of an inspector can become very expensive.   Here are some simple signs to help streamline our home search.

Smell of sulfur it is comparable to rotten eggs.

Was the home constructed or drywall replaced after 2001?

There may be corrosion of the evaporator coil.

Metal corrosion and blackening on one or more of the

Copper wires

Ground wires

Electrical connectors

Un- insulated and un coated copper pipes

Chrome plated bathroom fixtures

Silver or copper hardware

The mirror backing in the bathroom

Discoloration of picture frames and kitchen utensils.

We hope to educated consumers and help them make informed and educated decisions, buying a home is a big investment and we want to help you make right decision for you and your family. 

If we can help assist you in any way, please don’t hesitate to call we would love to help your search for your new Cape Coral home.

Yours in Success,                                                 

The Florida Future Realty Team



Absorption rate and how it affects you.

Cape Coral’s real estate market has been less than predictable in recent years; we have had our share of ups and downs.  As real estate professionals there are ways to track the markets progress and predict the changes to come.  This prediction comes in the form of
absorption rate.   The absorption rate is the rate in which the market absorbs and eliminates inventory. We have broken down Cape Coral price brackets and what it means to buyers and sellers.

Homes in Cape Coral with a price ranging from $0 to $150,000 have turned over 4.5 times in the past 12 months and currently, we have 2.6 months of inventory available in that specific price range.

Homes in the price range of $150,000 to $200,000 have turned over 2.3 times in the last year and the current inventory is 8.5 months.

Gulf access homes in Cape Coral at no specific price point, in the last year have turned over 1.4 times with an inventory of 8.5 months.

What do months of inventory indicate? Typically 1-4 months of inventory indicate a seller’s market, 5-6 months is generally a balanced market and 7 months or more points toward a buyer’s market.

How does this information specifically relate to buyers and sellers of Cape Coral real estate?


The absorption rate is very important to know. Since it tells something about how long it might take to sell the home.  A higher number of inventory typically means more competition from other sellers.  A lower number may indicate that we are in a seller’s market, so the need to make sure your marketing strategies are “spot on” is detrimental to a quick sale.  Good marketing will insure your home will be displaying a sold sign before you neighbors.


Buyers also need to be aware of the absorption rate.  If the market is shifting into a time of low inventory, it isn’t the time to be throwing out “low ball” offers hoping to get a good deal. 
 When inventory is low and buyers have increased, chances are the buyers will be introduced to a situation where the home has multiple offers.  When inventory is high your chances of getting a “steal” have increased significantly.

Buyers and sellers who pay attention to the changes in the market will be more informed and can make decisions accordingly.  Most important whether buying or selling real estate in Cape Coral it is important to work with an experienced agent to help you calculate the
absorption rates for the homes that you are interested in.  

*This blog was written 6-22-10 all calculations are subject to change, for accurate up to date information please call a speak with our knowledgeable team members.

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team



What are the benefits to staging your home?

Selling your home in today’s market has proven to be a more challenging task.  Inventory continues to be flooded with short sales and foreclosures, that are driving down Cape Coral home values .  We need to be more creative than ever, and make your home shine
above the rest.  

Home staging is preparing your home for sale, with a special emphasis on presentation and appearance.

Staging a home involves things that will improve the look and feeling of your home, such as design, organization and overall appearance.  The goal when staging is to “wow” the buyer. 
This will get your home sold quickly and for maximum sales price.

Think like a buyer.  Look at your Cape Coral home through the eyes of potential buyers, what makes your home stand out? Then showcase those attributes.   Tour other homes on the market and see what stops you in your tracks, then implement those features in your own

Organize and de-clutter.  Clearing away shelves, closets and cabinets is a big part of the home staging process.  Don’t forget to get rid of personal effects such as family portraits.  

Staging increases likely hood of a sale.  When selling your home, you must do everything in your power to increase your chances of selling.  These techniques can give your and extra edge in selling the home quickly.

Staging reduces the home’s time on the market. Putting in the extra effort to stage your home effectively, will decrease the time it sits stagnant on the market.

Staging the home helps justify the asking price. We are in a buyer’s market; you need everything in your favor to justify the asking price.  Proper home staging will position your home as the front runner in the minds of the buyers.

You can think of home staging as presenting your Cape Coral house in a way that appeals to the largest possible audience, in order to ensure a quick sale for the best possible price. Good luck, and start staging.

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team.



How to pick the perfect Cape Coral real estate agent.

As with anything, the real estate profession is filled with honest trustworthy agents, but there are those who give all hard working agents a bad name, with their lack of knowledge and shady practices.  During the real estate boom, every Tom, Dick and Harry wanted to get in
on the action and unfortunately many did.  There are countless stories of many of agents that ruined deals, artificially drove up prices and were engaging in fraudulent practices with mortgage brokers  and appraisers, all for an extra buck.   Now unfortunately, consumers are having a hard time trusting Cape Coral real estate agents or brokers.  Now that the market crashed, we are left with the real professionals wanting to provide consumers with exceptional service, and honest business practices.

Here are some guidelines to help you pick the agent that is right for

Make sure you interview with the potential agent.

You need to make sure your personalities click; you will be spending a lot of time with this person.  They need to fully understand your wants and need and most importantly your budget.  Are they willing to show you properties that are not listed by their Cape Coral
brokerage? Do they seem to be honest? Are they interested in developing a long term business relationship with you? Many people buy and sell multiple times in their lives, building a strong trustworthy relationship with your customers can only benefit their business.

Do some research.

You can find out so much about a person by simply imputing their name into Google and hitting search.  Visit their website; make sure they have experience in the type of property you are looking to buy. What have they sold? What type of property seems to be their specialty?
 Most importantly, ask for references and make sure to call.

Ask your friends and family.

Most likely someone you know or are related to have bought or sold a Cape Coral property recently, and can share some useful tips and valuable information with you. Would they recommend their agents to you?  If they answered yes, what traits made that particular agent so special?  What kind of overall experience did they have?  

These a just a few tips to help you weed through the mountain of agents a find the best fit for your needs.  Put your trust and confidence in this person, they will be responsible for the largest transaction of your life and because of that pick carefully.

Call our team of highly qualified professional to answer any of your real estate related questions.  Florida Future Realty is here to help.

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team



Homestead Exemption Laws

 Over 1,000 people move to Florida every day according to dmv.org.   Not only are families relocating from other states but they are also moving from other countries.  Is this because of
the beautiful sand beaches, warm sunny weather, or miles of green golf courses?  It may just be because of the generous tax laws offered to Florida residents.

The law states that Florida residents are eligible for a 25,000 exemption on the assessed value of their home.  Those with an assessed value of more than 50,000 are eligible for an additional 25,000 exemption, depending on the value of their property. The exemption can
only be applied to non-school taxes, and the property must be worth at minimum 75,000 to be eligible for the entire exemption amount.

In order to qualify you must be a Florida resident having title to real property and making it your permanent residence by Jan 1st.  The deadline to apply is March 1st.

In addition to the homestead exemption we have the Save our homes amendment which protects homeowners by limiting the tax assessment to a maximum of 3% each year.

You may also qualify for one or all of these exemptions listed below.

  • Widow/Widower’s Exemption $500.00
  • Disability Exemption $500.00
  • Veterans Disability Exemption $5,000.00
  • Blind persons Exemption $500.00

If you are a foreign buyer there is something to be aware of and that is the FIRPTA withholding Rule.  This stands for investment inreal property tax act of 1980. FIRPTA authorized the IRS to withhold income tax on nonresident aliens and foreign corporations with sales of US real property. When a person or corporation purchases a US real
property from nonresident aliens or foreign corporations, they are required to withhold 10% of the amount. This tax is intended to ensure that the US is able to tax the gains from the sale of property.

Whether you are buying a new home or vacation home, moving from another state or another country or just planning to purchase an investment property,your taxes will always be based on the assessed market value of your property.  You will never be penalized and made to pay higher taxes simply because you are native to another place. The Homestead Exemption and Save our homes amendment are offered to full
time Florida residents.

There are exceptions to all tax information listed above we recommend visiting these sites for more detailed information.

General Info


Once you have made the decision to relocate to this beautiful
city of Cape Coral, contact our Florida Future Realty Team we are here
to assist you.

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team



Updated 1-12-2011

Homes still selling in Cape Coral?

Are we still selling homes in Cape Coral? The answer is yes, and in record numbers.  We have been getting so much negative national media attention, that our ideas are clouded with misinformation.

The National Association of Realtors published their polls and it shows that in 2009 with the assistance of realtors, 16,260 homes were sold.  In 2005 when the housing boom began, the record was 12,123

However one significant change is the declining home prices. In 2005 the median home price was 278,200, now in 2009 we were at 90,400. This decline is due to the record number of short sales and foreclosures now flooding the real estate listings.  Sellers are now coming to their senses and listing their homes more realistically, their homes are worth significantly less from what they were selling for 5 years ago.

The fact of the matter is that homes are STILL selling.  We may have to navigate through a few detours, from bank negotiations to new lending laws, but properties are moving.

Buyers also need to understand that there are great deals to be had, but when a property is under market value as many of them are, they may sell very quickly and most likely there will be multiple offers.

So when searching for real estate in Cape Coral, we suggest you secure your financing and act quickly when you find the right home at just the right price.  Call one of our agents at Florida Future Realty to assist you with your home buying experience.

Yours in Success,

Florida Future Realty Team




Selling your Cape Coral home?

It seems that buyers and sellers are still nervous about the housing market in Cape Coral. We are getting calls every day from people anxious with questions about selling their Cape Coral homes. “Is now a good time?” “What are my options if it doesn’t sell?” They speculate on
conditions improving with hopes they will get what they owe on their homes without having to put it on a short sale or worse, have it foreclosed.

The truth is, you, as a seller, will know when it is the right time. As real estate agents, we can assist you with your process, we can also answer your question, but we certainly don’t know
when you are ready to let go of your house. Sometimes, taking a “holistic” approach to home selling may work wonders for you. For instance, if you look at the home selling process in the big picture or the grand scheme instead of how it may affect you right at that
moment-it may  ease some of your stress about letting go of the house.

Big decisions like selling your home don’t come easy.
An experienced listing agent will know that and take your concerns and questions into consideration when you speak with them.  Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

1)      Interview Real Estate Agents

Ask questions that pertain to your specific needs. Decide what is important to you in a listing agent. Find out what credentials an agent has. Get references from past customers. Ask for testimonials from past clients. Check out Real Estate websites and Publications. Ask the listing agents to show you a marketing plan. A reputable agent will offer a CMA (comparable market analysis) on your home so you can make an informed decision about listing your home with them. You will know if you and the agent are a good match-after all, you have to work together.

2)      Get Your Home Ready

Pack up personal items such as family pictures. You can even rent a storage unit for a few months where your packed boxes of family treasures can be out of the way from the new home owners. Stage your home as if it was a showroom for customers to browse. If you need
assistance with staging your home, an experienced listing agent can offer advice on how to get started.

3)      Get Rid of Clutter

Remove books from bookshelves. Clean and organize shelves and closets in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. Put everyday items in a small bin in a kitchen or hallway closet for easy access. Put knick knacks away in a box and put in storage. Clean off kitchen counters. Think of your home as a model home.

4)      Make Minor Repairs

It’s not necessary to start remodeling the outdated bathroom, but it is a good idea to fix leaking faucets and cracked or broken tiles. Minor repairs can also include, patching holes in walls, replacing burned out light bulbs and fixing broken windows, doors and door

5)      Clean, clean, clean

This is the time to make your house appear shiny and new! A thorough cleaning of windows inside and out will be a welcome sign for potential buyers. A few more things to consider when cleaning and organizing your home: polish faucets, re-grout tubs and showers, get rid of pet odors, vacuum carpets, mop floors and replace worn out rugs. It is also a good
idea to make a clear pathway to your front door so that buyers feel like they want to enter your home.

6)      Outside Area and Curb Appeal

It is best to look at your house from the outside in. Mow lawns and cut down bushes or hedges that may be in the way of a clear path to the front door. If there is a pool, keep it clean. Sometimes it is best to hire a regular lawn and pool service if you can’t keep up with it
yourself. Other things to consider are to replace broken shutters, shine the door handles and pressure clean driveways. Scrutinize your home from a buyer’s point of view.

These are only a few suggestions to take into consideration. Again, an experienced agent will be able to go over any other areas of concern you may have.  Call the Florida Future Realty, Inc. office for a no obligation consultation on selling your Cape Coral or Ft. Myers home.  The office is open Monday through Friday and weekends by appointment.  

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team




Considering a second home?

What will a second home in SW Florida cost?

As the prices of homes in SW Florida are, can we say, more than affordable, many people across the U.S. and abroad are entertaining the possibility of a second home. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is “What will it cost me?” Obviously it is pretty easy to find the listing prices of homes online but to truly understand what the ‘cost’ will be can take doing some research. In this article I will go over the basic costs you can expect
to pay when investing in a second home here in beautiful Cape Coral or Ft. Myers, Florida.

First to consider: Cost of Money
Are you planning to pay cash or do you plan to get a mortgage for some of
the purchase price? If you plan to pay cash make sure that you are comfortable with the rate of return on your investment. You may wish to consider getting a loan for some of the purchase to keep more capital for other investments (more houses, or?). If you are going to obtain financing make sure you determine which loan is best for you and your needs. Most investment properties will require 20-25% down. If you are Foreign National you must be prepared to put down at least 30% in most cases. You can also attempt to receive a loan from your country as well. The rates will be lower but you may have to put up your current
home as collateral (borrow against your equity). Some second homes may be
purchased with less money down. But your payments will be much lower with
the more money you put down on your purchase.

For comparison purposes here let’s take one of current waterfront listings.

It is located at 1429 Vendome Ct. Cape Coral, Florida 33904. It is a
gulf access home, built in 2007.

The current asking price is $375,000. Let’s assume that you plan to put down 25%. This means that you will be putting adown payment of $93,750.

Here is an estimate of closing costs:

Taxes: $ 6,422.24*

Loan fees: $3,846

Prepaid taxes & insurance: $5,778

Total costs to close: $103,374.

* from current 2008 tax bill – properties are reassessed every year
here so this could change. Currently this home is assessed at $374,230.

If we can help you further your search for a new home or second home, please don’t hesitate to call. We look forward to hearing from you!

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team