What Makes a Home a Smart Home?

If a property has a reliable internet connection and “smart” items in at least three categories, it is considered a smart home. “Just having a few devices in specific categories – such as certain lighting, security cameras, or appliances – qualifies a home to be a smart home.”

“These homes were once only for the ultrarich, but we’ve gone from only super-wealthy people like Bill Gates having these products to every home now having at least one or two smart items.” (more…)

15-Acre Naples, Florida, Retreat With a Menagerie With Monkeys Lists for $9.5 Million

A 15-acre Florida compound that comes complete with multiple residences, a tennis court and an animal menagerie has come to the market for $9.5 million.

The solar-powered estate, which claims to be “hurricane-proof,” is designed for living off the grid and it “offers a rare opportunity to own a tranquil, sustainable oasis in Naples,” listing agent Priscilla Kellerhouse said in a statement.

A 10,000-square-foot salmon-hued home is the compound’s main residence. The five-bedroom spread has an open floor plan, high ceilings, columns and marble floors.

(more…)

Is Your Home (and Home Insurance) Ready for Extreme Weather?

Hurricanes. Heat waves. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Today’s headlines are awash in extreme weather, and whether you blame climate change or just plain bad luck, the simple truth is that the damage from these disasters is impossible to ignore.

Realtor.com® teamed up with HarrisX to conduct a poll of 3,026 adults on their extreme weather concerns and homeowners insurance know-how—and the results suggest that many Americans may be more vulnerable than we think.

Here are some of the key highlights: (more…)

Prediction: Lots of International Buyers Over the Next Year

NEW YORK – In June, when real estate agent Nitin Gupta took two clients to see a new housing development in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, a sales representative for the builder told him all the units were gone.

The builder had planned to sell 100 homes to investors out of roughly 1,500 he was planning to build. Investors had come to the site the day before, the rep told Gupta, and another agent had pitched the homes to a group of buyers in China over Zoom.

“He said, ‘The people were saying, I want one, I want two, I want three. Boom, boom, boom,” Gupta recalls. “The agent sold about 50 to 60 homes and the builder had sold 130 homes the first day.”

While the global COVID-19 pandemic has squashed sales of U.S. homes to foreign buyers over the last year, local buyers should be prepared for a rebound in competition from other countries in the next 12 months, economists say.

Texas, Gupta’s state, ranked as the third-most-popular destination for foreign real estate buyers between April 2020 and March 2021, according to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors. Florida and California claim the top two spots, while Arizona, New Jersey and New York follow Texas. (more…)

Tourism making major comeback in Naples and Collier County

April’s tourist numbers naturally show a huge increase from a year ago, when the national lockdown was underway, but more relevantly they are also show strong gains compared with 2019:

– A 9% increase in visitors
– A 24% increase in room nights
– A 20% increase in economic impact
– A 2% increase in occupancy

In Collier County, April might have been a bit unusual, drawing visitors here who may have wanted to come sooner, but waited to get vaccinated — or just to feel more comfortable with traveling, according to Anne Wittine, the director of data analysis for Research Data Services, the county’s tourism consultant. (more…)

Tom Brady’s modest new Yacht

Tom Brady has decided that it is time to upgrade from his current boat, a 55-footer made famous in February when the Super Bowl QB (and GOAT) launched the Lombardi trophy from the stern across the water to another yacht during the Buccaneers’ victory boat parade.

“Moving down to Tampa Bay last year, I live right on this beautiful bay — Old Hillsborough Bay — and the first thing I did when I got here was say, ‘I need a boat. I gotta be able to get out on this beautiful water.’ And I was able to do it,”

“I think the 77 will be a little bit more suited for what we need it for down here, which is a few more day trips and weekend trips,” Brady said of the upgrade.

Tom Brady; Wajer

I wonder if the new boat will have a platform as a stable base from which to throw next year’s trophy to Gronk? (more…)

Naples housing market – onwards and upwards

The March 2021 Market Report, released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), shows that March was the highest performing month in the 13 years NABOR has tracked these metrics.

Sellers are raising prices and multiple offers are still coming in,” said Budge Huskey, CEO, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “This is because inventory is limited, and more sellers are realizing now is a good time to place their home on the market and get top value in the current market conditions!”

Broker analysts predict the level of demand experienced in March is sustainable and should be expected to continue for the next few months, or longer. “Season was disrupted this year because many people elected to hold off relocating until they were fully vaccinated,” added Huskey. “Agents also report that many seasonal visitors are staying longer than in previous years, possibly because they can afford to wait in anticipation of more homes becoming available in the luxury market. I believe we’ll continue to see more newcomers from northern states looking for homes in the high end in the coming months. Beyond that, and as we enter the summer season, we might begin to see a second wave of international buyers entering our market as travel restrictions begin to relax.”

Median closed prices in March increased 12.2 percent to $415,000 (the highest median price increase month/month on record since 2008) from $370,000 in March 2020. In March 2021, there were just 1,819 homes in inventory (the lowest it has been since 2014), which was a 73.2 percent decrease from 6,795 homes in inventory in March 2020.

The March report revealed that the Naples area now has only a 1.6 month supply of homes available to buyers
Naples Housing Market

The following charts give a visual summary of market activity: (more…)

How to Win a Naples Smart Home plus Mercedes plus $100k Cash

Note: you can enter twice a day until June 11.

HGTV Naples

Click 2021 Smart Home tour for more photos. (more…)

Common House Selling Concerns, and How to Address Them

If you want to list your home, it generally is a good idea to address any house selling concerns right away. That way, you can alleviate these concerns before they slow down the home selling process or prevent you from accomplishing your desired home selling results.

Now, let’s take a look at three common home selling concerns, as well as tips to help you resolve these issues. (more…)

Home Staging Helps Buyers Visualize, Homes Sell Faster

Eighty-two percent of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, according to the National Assocation of Realtors ® 2021 Profile of Home Staging.

“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”

Staging increased the sum buyers were willing to spend for a property, according to the report. Twenty-three percent of buyers’ agents said that home staging raised the dollar value offered between 1% and 5%, compared to similar homes on the market that hadn’t been staged.

(more…)

Pink bathroom – really?

Pink bathrooms became fashionable in the 1950s because pink was Mamie Eisenhower’s favorite color. At one time it was estimated that there were 5 million pink bathrooms in this country, but they faded almost as fast as they arrived. Pink was swapped for woods and neutrals in the ’60s and the retro oranges and greens of the ’70s. The world simply fell out of love with pink.

Today, there is a resurging interest in the pink bathroom—thanks to the revival of mid-century design and millennials’ love affair with all things retro. An intact pink bathroom is now more of an intriguing design challenge than a renovation project, plus it’s a fun selling point for homeowners and renters alike.

Maybe, but a pink bathroom is not something I would choose.

It was a surprise therefore when, earlier this week, I went into my bathroom and to be confronted with this: (more…)