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Uncategorized | 13 Posts
January
13

Hello from Naples!

Happy 2023! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year! 

Rae, Fred, Nicola, Jeff, Natalie and Riley enjoyed lots of time together over the holidays. Both Natalie and Riley came home from college for a good 3 weeks so that allowed a lot of time for holiday festivities. We taught the kids how to play canasta and also played some old family favorites such as Guesstures and Skip-Bo. We attended a beautiful Christmas Eve service at North Naples Church (their music program is phenomenal). On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we had some special meals at home. In December we also participated in some community events. We went to the Riverstone holiday party where a great band kept us dancing and enjoyed dinner at Kensington at their "Eve of the Eve" event where we were serenaded by carolers. We feel blessed to have so many great neighbors to experience the holidays with.

Here is the news from Florida Weekly: Uline to recruit 150+ positions at its new Naples warehouse 

Uline, North America's leading shipping industrial and packaging materials distributor, nears completion of its 915,750 square-foot warehouse in Naples. With the air-conditioned facility set to open in spring 2023, the distribution giant prepares to recruit approximately 150 employees to staff the new building, including: 

  • 130 Warehouse Associates
  • 6 Warehouse Management Roles
  • 2 Warehouse Mechanics
  • Additional support staff, such as Custodians, Facilities, Warehouse Logistics, Analysts and Human Resources professionals

Interested candidates can browse available positions and job requirements at www.uline.jobs/florida. To receive notifications on upcoming hiring events, join Uline's talent network.

Warehouse construction began in July 2021 and remains on track to meet key milestones, including complete construction in mid-January 2023; begin receiving product and stocking the warehouse in late January; host first large hiring event in February; and begin serving Florida customers in April.

This expansion to the Paradise Coast is a result of Uline's steady growth over the last 10 years. The company has experienced double-digit growth consecutively for the past five years, currently employing more than 9,000 people across its 12 North American branches. As Uline enters the Southwest Florida market with its first Florida warehouse, the company hopes to alleviate stress from those searching for employment.

"We stand with the people of southwest Florida who were devastated by Hurricane Ian and continue to persevere through its aftermath," said Naples Branch Manager Brad Heisner. "We hope that Uline's expansion into Naples will provide a much-needed sense of stability to the community and continue to support businesses across the state."

Uline is committed to its employees offering industry-leading health and wellness benefits, on-site perks as well as training and career planning opportunities for employees at all levels to advance their career with the company.

"Our business brings year-round job stability to a market heavily dominated by the seasonal service and tourist industries," Mr. Heisner said. "We're offering healthy wages and excellent development opportunities for our employees during a turbulent time period in the community."

 

Official December 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

 

December 2021

YTD 2021

December 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in Inches

.14

40.80

.27

50.62

49.55

Record High December Rainfall

 

 

6.28 (1997)

 

 

Record Low December Rainfall

 

 

Trace (1975)

 

 

High December Temperature

87

 

85

 

 

Low December Temperature

52

 

42

 

 

Record High December Temperature

 

 

89 (1978)

 

 

Record Low November Temperature

 

 

27 (1983)

 

 

Average high temperature in December was 78.6 degrees which is slightly above normal for the month. Rainfall was below normal in December. Rainfall for the year was about 1 inch above normal. We've had almost 10 inches more rain during 2022 vs 2021.    

 

Book Review: The Girl With The Louding Voice: A Novel by Abi Daré 

I finished this book about 3 weeks ago and I have to say the main character, a young 14-year-old girl named Adunni has really stuck with me weeks after finishing her story. Growing up in a life of poverty in Nigeria, Adunni intrinsically knows education is her best hope for a future but her father rips away this opportunity for a better future when he marries her off at the age of 14 to a much older man who already has two wives. She endures a series of unfortunate events but somehow, she is able to maintain determination, strength and hope. Adunni never loses her voice or her resolve to obtain an education and along the way, she is able to find allies who can't help but be impressed by the moxie this young girl shows through all her challenges. Not only did I love getting to know Adunni but I also enjoyed learning more about Nigeria and I think you will too.    

Here are a few reviews on Amazon:

"This is a book that will stay with you for a long time. The character of Adunni immediately grabs you, a person full of life and desire and courage. The writing and language is brilliant, with shades of Hemingway in its ability to convey both the character, and the place in which it is written. Really great."

"If you love good writing, good characters, good stories. If you believe in dreams and hope. If you want to meet a little girl with integrity and gumption and heart and determination. If you want to hear a voice that is different from any voice I have ever heard and which grows in volume and with knowledge to become that louding voice. Read this book. I read a lot of books, I rarely rate any with five stars, and I hardly ever write reviews. I had to with this one. Read this book. It, and Adunni, will stay with me a long, long time."

"Wow! Quite an Interesting story of a girl who grew up in poverty in Nigerian not one hundred years ago but in this century. Her experiences and the idea that girls are still being sold into marriage and service is an eye opener!"

  

Restaurant Recommendation: Amore Ristorante 4681 9th St. N. Naples

Amore Ristorante was the perfect place to hold our family New Year's Eve dinner. This beautiful fine dining Italian restaurant was festively decorated to celebrate the New Year. They seated our party of eight in a spacious semi-private dining room. Our server was very attentive and we were impressed by the good pace of service despite the restaurant being so busy. The fresh Italian cuisine is traditional enough to recognize your favorites but innovative enough to delight a contemporary palate. All of us thought the entire meal was perfection from start to finish…What a way to ring in the New Year.

Here are a few reviews on Trip Advisor: 

"I was visiting friends who are vegan. I had a hankering for some MEAT! LOL I wanted Italian pasta of some sort. Looking thru menus I found this restaurant, and they had Bolognese sauce. Their description sounded good, so I ordered it and my friends ordered other things. We picked it up the portions were huge! Everything was included - bread, butter, dressing, extra cheese, etc. I had my pasta for 3 meals! Go here! You won't be disappointed!" 

"The restaurant is beautiful and the welcoming greeting is genuine! It is quickly obvious that they take pride in their service. We felt welcome, valued and that was before we even ordered!"

"The Caprese salad was fresh, beautifully plated and delicious; the Fritto Misto de Mare tender and fresh and the Vongole oregano...yummm; and the pasta was perfectly prepared and we debated whether the Bolognese or White Truffle sauce was the best - both were delicious!"

  

Naples Real Estate: Here are the December 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the year 2022, there were 14,109 closed sales in Naples and Bonita. This compares with 21,123 closed sales for the same period last year. Many real estate analysists in Florida are looking to 2019 to compare market data since 2020 and 2021 were such unusually strong years for real estate. Looking back at 2019 there were 13,653 homes sold in Naples and Bonita. So, sales in 2022 were about 3% higher than 2019. However, if you compare 2022 to 2021 home sales are down 33%.  

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year: 

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD Dec. 2021

21,123

5,456

10,276

2,164

2,528

699

YTD Dec. 2022

14,109

1,499

7,423

2,328

2,257

602

Difference

-7,014

-3,957

-2,853

+164

-271

-97

% Change

-33%

-73%

-28%

+8%

-11%

-14%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year. The major declines are in the lower end price categories mainly because there isn't enough inventory to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 73% is a prime example.

As the following table shows, the level of inventory varies by price point:  

Home Supply as of January 11th, 2023

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Number Sold Last 12 Months

14,109

1,499

7,423

2,328

2,257

602

Average Number Sold per Month

1,176

125

619

194

188

50

Total Available for Sale

3,130

148

1,290

584

718

390

Months of Supply January 11th, 2023

3

1

2

3

4

8

Inventory rose 6% last month to 3,130 homes. The average monthly supply increased from just under 3 months at the end of November to now slightly over 3 months in December. Supply levels in the higher priced categories have increased from a low of 3 months to a current inventory of 8 months. Most Realtors consider a six-month supply of homes to be a balanced market, so we are still in a sellers' market. There are a number of property owners currently tied up in insurance disputes. Once they are resolved, we may see an increase of available property. Property insurance has become an issue for some buyers. Legislation for a property insurance overhaul, which is likely to raise premium costs for many Floridians, was approved in December. The legislation includes no requirements that rates or premiums go down, and many in the cheaper, state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. may be forced out. When working with buyers, we advise they speak with an insurance agent to get a complete picture of insurance costs before making an offer on a property they are interested in. 

 

Kensington Real Estate:  

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership. As of January 11, 2023, there are 4 active listings in Kensington:

Type of Property

Number

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Price per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Mkt.

Estate Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Villas

2

$1,150,000

$1,325,000

$527

24

Coach Homes

2

$745,000

$899,750

$328

48

Total

4

 

 

 

 

There have been 37 closed sales in the past 12-month period. With average monthly sales at 3.08, there is slightly over one month of inventory at Kensington. As of January 11, 2023, there is 1 sale pending and 4 sales pending with contingencies at Kensington.

 

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of January 11, 2023: 

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

4

$1,195,000

$1,600,000

$385

88

Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS:

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,999

$1,500,000 and Over

Number for Sale

NA

 

NA

NA

3

1

Average Price per Sq. Ft.

NA

 

NA

NA

$384

$389

Average Number of Days on Market

NA

NA

NA

108

10

Available inventory is down 2 from last month. As of January 11, there are 4 active listings, no pending sales and 3 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 48 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 4, this means that there is 1 month of inventory at Riverstone. A sellers' market, for sure.

  

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

 

December
12

Hello from Naples!

Rae and Nicola spent the day of November 22nd delivering Thanksgiving pies to many of our current and past customers. This has been a tradition of ours for 8 years now. We love reconnecting with our clients, getting updated on their lives and their families, hearing their plans for the holidays and also having the opportunity to show our gratitude to them for allowing us the honor of assisting them with their home purchase and/or sale. We are sincerely grateful for you and we hope that in some way, we have been a blessing to your family.

Now that Nicola and Jeff are empty nesters, the holidays have become even more meaningful because it gives us an opportunity for us to spend time with our children who are away at college. We enjoyed spending time with them, close family and friends at our traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Royal Poinciana Golf Club. 

This is also our favorite time of the year because Naples is dressed in its finest with twinkling lights hung from almost every building and community entrance, palm trees shining proudly, festive Christmas tree displays, boats lit for parades and even bubble "snow" falling upon celebratory crowds. There are so many festive things to do in Naples at this time of year. We were one of the numerous gathered for the annual Christmas tree lighting downtown near the corner of 3rd and 13th on November 21st. This is an annual tradition for our family. We enjoy celebrating the coming Christmas with our community and we wish you a very happy holiday season.

  

From Florida Weekly: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary completes phase one of wetland restoration 

Staff and contractors at Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary have completed the first phase of restoration on more than 1,000 acres of wetland habitat since the initiative launched in 2018. "Now, more than ever, protecting and preserving 13,450 acres within the Sanctuary is critical to the quality of life for both wildlife and surrounding communities," says Marshall Olson, director of conservation and interim sanctuary director. "As development continues to creep closer to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, we need healthy wetlands to protect water quality, recharge aquifers, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and hold water during big rainfall events."

Launched in 2018, the project addresses the spread of nuisance, native woody shrubs in freshwater wetlands. These marshes and prairies, once dominated by diverse grasses and sedges, provided habitat for a range of wildlife species, from the tiny least killifish to the threatened Wood Stork. Now, Carolina willow and other woody shrubs are replacing those grasses, taking advantage of altered seasonal water conditions and a lack of fire. 

Audubon's restoration approach uses three steps: 1) Mechanically mulching the woody vegetation; 2) Treating non-native and other undesirable plants trying to reestablish amongst the native grasses and wetland vegetation; and 3) Reintroducing prescribed fire to manage and maintain these wetlands long term. 

Contractors mulched 252 acres of woody shrubs this year, bringing the total mulched area to 1,103 acres. This accomplishment was made possible by investments from donors and corporate partners. Audubon has identified several hundred more acres of marsh and prairie habitats invaded by Carolina willow, much of which we are targeting for restoration. Audubon will continue to prioritize fundraising for this effort and aim to mulch about 200 acres per year, which carries a cost of $3,500 per acre. Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary officials hope the public will consider supporting this effort and helping in the continuation of restoring wetland habitats that are critical for both wildlife and the watershed.

Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, has been an Audubon protected site for more than 100 years. Science- driven land management protects these 13,450 acres, including the world's largest remaining, old growth bald cypress forest. An estimated 100,000 visitors annually explore the Sanctuary's 2.25 miles of boardwalk through ancient forest and marsh habitat. Memberships and donations provide crucial support for conservation work at the Sanctuary.

  

Official November 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

  

November 2021

YTD 2021

November 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in Inches

1.55

40.66

2.45

50.35

48.23

Record High November Rainfall

 

 

9.68 (1946)

 

 

Record Low November Rainfall

 

 

Trace (2016)

 

 

High November Temperature

85

 

91

 

 

Low November Temperature

53

 

60

 

 

Record High November Temperature

 

 

92 (1944)

 

 

Record Low November Temperature

 

 

31 (1970)

 

 

Average high temperature in November was 84.2 degrees which is slightly above normal for the month.    Rainfall was above normal in November and YTD rainfall is now over 2 inches above normal.  We've had almost 10 inches more rain YTD than last year at this time.    

 

Book Review: The It Girl by Ruth Ware

This is the first book I've read by Ruth Ware. I enjoyed it and it won't be my last.

Ten years ago, a jury found John Neville guilty of the murder of April Clarke-Clivedon, a young, vivacious, beautiful, brilliant, prank-loving Oxford student. Now, having steadfastly maintained his innocence for all those years, Neville dies in prison.

The main character, Hannah Jones was April's best friend and roommate at Oxford. She provided evidence that helped to convict Neville. When Hannah learns new information casting doubt on Neville's conviction, she feels compelled to find the truth about April's death.

This book is basically a "whodunnit?" Although at least one other reviewer I read has said they figured out the answer early on…I certainly didn't. So as not to spoil the plot for anyone, I'll just say that the author Ruth Ware had me guessing again and again, until the reveal. 

Here are a few reviews on Amazon: 

"The It Girl was one I'd highly anticipated because I'm a big Ruth Ware fan. Although this was not my favorite of her novels it's definitely worth the read. The character development was my favorite aspect of the book. As well as the last couple chapters. Getting me to the meat of the twist was slow and irritating at times. The inner turmoil of the main character dragged on too long in my opinion. Thankfully the ending was a classic Ware twist!"

"Was expecting something different in the plot upon starting the book. The actual plot was even better than I expected! The characters are so well developed and it makes for an even better ending!"

"I thoroughly enjoyed this whodunnit about a murder at an imaginary Oxford College. Hannah arrives at Pelham and meets her "it-girl" roommate, April, along with 4 other students that quickly become fast friends. The murder occurs at the end of their first year and affects all of their lives. The murderer, who consistently claimed innocence, dies some years later in prison and Hannah is contacted by a persistent reporter. He has new information that leads her to doubt that the person she convicted with her testimony was really guilty. Lots of red herrings throughout the plot really leave you guessing about who the killer really is. Love triangles, love-hate relationships and interesting, believable characters make this story hard to put down. I also enjoyed reading about the elite and exclusive Oxford experience that the author uses as her backdrop for much of the book."


Restaurant Recommendation: The Rooster Food & Drink 600 Goodlette-Frank Rd.

We took the kids here for breakfast when they were in town for Thanksgiving. Everyone left full and happy! If you are in Naples, you have probably driven past this restaurant dozens of times and might not have noticed it on the east side of Goodlette-Frank Road not far from downtown, it is located in a nondescript strip mall. However, the southern comfort food here is far from nondescript! Think biscuits & gravy, fried green tomato benedict, buttermilk fried chicken & waffles and the best shrimp & grits you will find outside of the Carolinas. They are open for breakfast and lunch so the next time you are in the area and find yourself in the mood for some made-from-scratch, southern home cooking, stop by The Rooster and you will leave both full and happy. 

Here are a few reviews on Trip Advisor:

"This was a quick, low research decision for places near by the hospital. I needed to eat and kill time. The Rooster is a great place to do both. The service was friendly and professional, fast and informative. The breakfast was amazing. I do breakfasts out and love a good brunch. Everything from coffee to mimosa, biscuit to hash brown biscuit and soft scrambled eggs were fantastic. I am so picky about eggs and these were the best I have ever had, anywhere. It's just eggs probably to some. If you are garlic sensitive ask questions about the ingredients. The prices were reasonable and the restaurant itself is cute as a button. They have outside seating as well and although you are in a strip mall, you quickly forget when you walk in the door. Kudos to the whole experience and thank you Chef Bryan for a really interesting menu. I will be back ASAP!!" 

"Unique menu, great food cooked from scratch. This was my first visit so I tried something unique, pulled pork and grits. Great flavor, large portions. I also had a side of biscuits. The biscuits were the best. Definitely will try again, if not for breakfast, definitely will try lunch."

"This place has been my favorite restaurant on our visit to this area. I was jealous of my wife's shrimp and grits they looked and tasted absolutely amazing. I got a Benedict that was perfect. I would eat breakfast here every day."

  

Naples Real Estate: Here are the November 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the first eleven months of 2022, there were 13,104 closed sales in Naples and Bonita. This compares with 19,654 closed sales for the same period last year, a drop of 33%.     

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year:

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD November 2021

19,654

5,224

9,488

1,973

2,326

643

YTD November 2022

13,104

1,415

6,870

2,152

2,110

 

557

Difference

-6,550

-3,809

-2,618

+179

-216

-86

% Change

-33%

-73%

-28%

+9%

-9%

-13%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year for the first eleven months. The major declines are in the lower end price categories mainly because there isn't enough inventory to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 73% is a prime example. Although the bidding wars and multiple offers are pretty much gone, it is still a market favorable to sellers.   

The inventory of available property remains down from last year. As the following table shows, however, the level of inventory varies by price point:  

Home Supply as of December 6th, 2022

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Number Sold Last 12 Months

14,420

1,606

7,575

2,327

2,303

609

Average Number Sold per Month

1,202

135

630

194

192

51

Total Available for Sale

2,945

154

1,231

544

663

353

Months of Supply December 6th, 2022

2

1

2

3

3

7

Inventory rose 6% last month to 2,945 homes however, the average monthly supply has remained consistent at about 2 months. Supply levels in the higher priced categories have increased to 3 to 7 months. Home inventory is still at a relatively low level. Most Realtors consider that a six-month supply of homes to be a balanced market…neither a buyers' nor sellers' market. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita!

The impact of Hurricane Ian on Southwest Florida's housing market is still unclear as we get ready to enter the 2023 season. Our white-hot market has cooled off, but this was the trend before Ian hit on September 28. In the two months following the storm, sales slowed, but prices held strong in Collier County. Ian has unsettled the market with many homeowners still waiting on final repair estimates and insurance checks before deciding on their next move. There hasn't been a dramatic slowdown in sales with buyers backing out of contracts. Also, there hasn't been a huge spike in inventory with sellers putting homes on the market in a rush to leave the area. 

 

Kensington Real Estate:    

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships have sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership. As of December 6, 2022, there are 5 active listings in Kensington:

Type of Property

Number

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Average Price per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Mkt.

Estate Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Villas

2

$1,150,000

$1,195,000

$533

23

Coach Homes

3

$735,000

$899,750

$332

37

Total

5

 

 

 

 

There have been 39 closed sales in the past 12-month period. With average monthly sales at 3.25, there is about one month of inventory at Kensington. As of December 6, 2022, there is 1 sale pending and 1 sale pending with contingencies at Kensington.

 

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of December 6, 2022:

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

6

$899,000

$1,549,000

$405

71

Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS:

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,999

$1,500,000 and Over

Number for Sale

NA

 

NA

1

4

1

Average Price per Sq. Ft.

NA

 

NA

$456

$394

$389

Average Number of Days on Market

NA

NA

81

53

124

Available inventory is the same number as last month. As of December 6, there are 6 active listings, 2 pending sales and 2 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 48 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 4, this means that there is about 2 months of inventory at Riverstone. 

 

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

 

November
10

Hello from Naples! 

Like a lot of neighbors in SW Florida, Rae and Nicola spent some time in October volunteering. Nicola worked with the Naples Area Board of Realtors during their clean-up day. The small but mighty crew helped clean up a yard at a home in Naples Park which was occupied by people with disabilities that made it impossible for them to do the work themselves. Damaged trees and a damaged pergola had to be cut and brought to the curb for County removal. Nicola also volunteered with Christian workers in a Bonita Springs 55+ mobile home community to help get a home ready for new drywall installation. Meanwhile, for the last 16 years Rae has been serving as a poll worker during Florida elections. This year she worked for the entire early voting period as well as on election day. During early voting in Collier County, 56,000 voters went to the polls…51,000 to vote in person and 5,000 to drop off vote-by-mail ballots. The days are long but the results speak for themselves. Collier, and the rest of the counties in Florida, serve as a model of how to run an election. The process is simple and easy, the results are quickly tabulated and announced. The office of the Collier County Supervisor of Elections sent a thank you note to all the workers saying, "We have received many positive comments from voters about their experiences during early voting including: 'friendly workers,' 'fast and easy', 'well-organized,' and 'great workers.'  You deserve all the praise and much more for your service." 

 

From Florida Weekly: Lesson from Ian: People are the greatest bulwark

It's been several weeks now, and recovery is well underway. So, it's a good time to take stock. How bad was Hurricane Ian? And what did we learn from it?

The severity of Ian can't be overstated. For Southwest Florida, it was the worst storm in history, with losses projected to surpass $100 billion. The violence was remarkable. Geoff Noble describes the hit from his 14th floor condo in Pelican Bay, Naples. "It was unbelievable. I watched as the winds and rain increased and the storm surge tsunami flooded the berm with 4 feet of water that extended over the parking lot, into our lobby and across Pelican Bay Boulevard. The white caps on the berm lake sprayed the 12th and 14th floors of the high-rise next door. Once the ground was saturated, huge banyan and oak trees fell like dominos across Pelican Bay Boulevard. It was a terrible sight." 

Things were far worse to the north. Workmen reported cars in swimming pools. Boats were tossed around like toys and entire neighborhoods were reduced to rubble. Friends in Fort Myers Beach said a 16-foot storm surge destroyed their second-floor apartment. Recovery in Lee County will take months, even years. 

On the plus side, unlike with Hurricane Irma five years ago, people were at least somewhat prepared for Ian. Weather forecasting gave advanced warning about the track and storm-surge dangers. Wink News showed actual locations of tornadoes in real time, and NBC and ABC combined forces on TV and radio to provide timely reports.

Officials were also ready. Again, unlike with Irma, there were no hysterical cries to "evacuate, evacuate," when people had nowhere to go. This time officials provided advice on hunkering down, which is what most of us did, at least in Collier County. Kudos to outgoing County Commissioners Andy Solis and Penny Taylor for their guidance before and after the storm. And a special nod to FPL for around-the-clock work to restore power.

And, though largely symbolic, it was gratifying to see President Joe Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis meeting and vowing to work together to provide funds for recovery. No political nastiness. Just elected officials doing what we elected them to do.

What did we learn from Ian? Many things. We learned that preparation matters. No lift-station fiascos this time. We learned that mangroves don't stop storm surges. Neither do sand dunes, all of which are gone. We learned that the Miami area might have the right idea in hardening the coastline, flood-proofing buildings and constructing massive seawalls. We were reminded that living by the gulf has built-in risks, big ones.

But the main thing we learned from Ian is that people are the greatest bulwark against storms. Everyone helped, some heroically. Elderly were rescued by makeshift boats. Swimmers, risking their lives, pulled people from floating autos. Rescuers linked arms to reach people stranded in submerged mobile homes. Most just did mundane things — providing transportation (flooding destroyed thousands of cars), delivering ice and meals, helping neighbors deal with sodden rugs and carpets. Volunteering with Send Relief, Naples Moms Group, the Collier County YMCA and a bunch with the unlikely moniker of the United Cajun Navy. Everyone pitched in. Money is important and billions will be needed to rebuild. But people helping people? You can't put a price tag on that. 

 

Official October 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

  

October 2021

YTD 2021

October 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in Inches

4.37

39.11

4.66

47.90

46.84

Record High October Rainfall

 

 

17.52 (1951)

 

 

Record Low October Rainfall

 

 

.05 (1977)

 

 

High October Temperature

91

 

91

 

 

Low October Temperature

68

 

63

 

 

Record High October Temperature

 

 

96 (2019)

 

 

Record Low October Temperature

 

 

46 (2000)

 

 

Average high temperature in October was 86 degrees which is normal for the month. Rainfall was slightly above normal in October. Rainfall YTD is now just over normal. We've had almost 8.5 inches more rain YTD than last year at this time.    

  

Book Review: "Verity" by Colleen Hoover

When a friend recommended this book, I was unaware how popular it is. With over 180,000 reviews on Amazon and a 75% 5-star rating, there are a lot of people who loved this book and I'm one of them. The plot is complicated and there are a lot of twists and turns in this suspenseful novel. It is written from the point of view of Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling author. Through some twists and turns, she has been hired to finish the remaining books in a series written by Verity, a beloved author who has become incapacitated in an automobile accident. The tension builds in the book as Lowen discovers a dark autobiography by Verity while at the same time, she enters into a budding relationship with Verity's husband, Jeremy. I won't give much away here as you should read this can't put it down book for yourself.

Here are a few reviews on Amazon:

"I wanted to get back into reading but have struggled to find a book that held my interest. I took to social media and found many people raving about this book (and author) so I thought what the heck, I'll give it a go. This was it. This was just the book I needed to jump-start my love of reading again. This book was an easy read, creepy enough, kept me interested as I had no idea what to expect to the very end, which made it so difficult for me to put down... yet I felt the need to slow down because I wasn't ready to be done! This book and the writing style made me a fan and I can't wait to read more of Hoover's books."

"I absolutely loved this book and couldn't put it down! It covered a perspective of this period of history I knew nothing about and it is incredible to think it is based on a true story. Really enjoyable and I look forward to reading more from this author."

"I fought my way through the first several chapters, because Kate Quinn is a great author. This book is entirely different from every other WW2 novel that I have read. Once I got caught up in the story, I couldn't put it down. What an interesting story with powerful characters. Definitely memorable."

  

Restaurant Recommendation: A Table Apart 4295 Bonita Beach Rd. Bonita Springs

In October we finally tried a restaurant that has been on our radar for years but we just hadn't gotten there yet. A Table Apart is off Bonita Beach Road just west of 41 and it prides itself on using fresh, high-quality ingredients in its global cuisine focused menu. We thought the menu had a nice variety of selections with some good vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. We were drawn to their fresh, never frozen seafood selections and tried the Triple Tail with a Citrus Beurre Blanc sauce which was fantastic. Our server, Gregg was friendly and attentive. Our only constructive criticism of this restaurant is while the quality of food and service are fantastic, matching what you can find in a high-end downtown Naples restaurant, the atmosphere of the restaurant was that of a more casual restaurant so the experience and décor are not cohesive.

Here are a few reviews on Trip Advisor:

"Have not been for quite a few years, other obligations kept us away from Florida. It was just as good as we remembered.Triple tail is a work of art and the dessert that we thoroughly enjoyed before, was still amazing! We have never been disappointed in the quality of their food." 

"I love the fact that everything served is sustainable. Food never disappoints. Not the easiest to find but worth discovering." 

"This little understated Bistro/Restaurant smacks a big punch to your tastebuds. We have enjoyed every item we have ordered over the years. Our favorites are the escargot, beat salad and Triple Tail, but the lamb chops are also a favorite.Don't let the outside fool you, this is a lovely family run restaurant with a friendly and knowledgeable staff."

 

Naples Real Estate: Here are the October 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics 

For the first ten months of 2022, there were 12,315 closed sales in Naples and Bonita. This compares with 18,365 closed sales for the same period last year, a drop of 33%.    

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year:

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD Oct. 2021

18,365

4,975

8,814

1,825

2,151

600

YTD Oct. 2022

12,315

1,318

6,471

2,040

1,954

532

Difference

-6,050

-3,657

-2,343

+215

-197

-68

% Change

-33%

-74%

-27%

+12%

-9%

-11%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year for the first ten months. The major declines are in the lower end price categories mainly because there isn't enough inventory at this price level to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 74% is a prime example.   

The inventory of available properties remains down from last year. As the following table shows, however, the level of inventory varies by price point: 

Home Supply as of November 6th, 2022

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Number Sold Last 12 Months

14,968

1,774

7,889

2,372

2,308

624

Average Number Sold per Month

1,247

148

657

198

192

52

Total Available for Sale

2,774

140

1,193

528

588

325

Months of Supply November 6th, 2022

2

<1

2

3

3

6

Inventory rose 10% last month to 2,774 homes, rising for the first time in two months although the average monthly supply has stayed at about 2 months. Supply levels in the higher priced categories have increased to 3 to 6 months. Home inventory is still at a relatively low level. Most Realtors consider that a six-month supply of homes to be a balanced market…neither a buyers' nor sellers' market. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita! 

Per the Naples Area Board of Realtors, Hurricane Ian slowed the buying process down and delayed some real estate closings. Unlike Hurricane Irma, however, this storm was not a severe wind event so roughly 80 percent of the county was unaffected. Collier County's hurricane building code standards and quality craftsmanship by local builders helped to reduce the amount of major structural damage in the area. Additionally, drainage improvements to the City and County's stormwater infrastructure and new flood prevention management ordinances attributed to Naples' quick recovery. For buyers looking to purchase non-waterfront homes, the market is unchanged. Not surprising, several broker analysts said there has been an increase in buyer interest for homes in communities east of U.S. 41 since the storm. Some homes have been withdrawn from the market, some have been terminated, but there's also been a steady flow of new listings in since the storm.

We have noticed the number of new listings hitting the market has been very close to the number of new pending sales over the last week. Naples is well positioned to bounce back, and it will.

 

Kensington Real Estate: 

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships have sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership. As of November 6, 2022, there are 2 active listings in Kensington:

Type of Property

Number

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Average Price per sq. ft.

Avg. Days on Mkt.

Estate Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Villas

2

$1,025,000

$1,150,000

$472

21

Coach Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total

2

 

 

 

 

There have been 37 closed sales in the past 12-month period. With average monthly sales at 2.25, there is about one month of inventory at Kensington. As of November 6, 2022, there is 1 sale pending and 2 sales pending with contingencies at Kensington.

  

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of November 6, 2022: 

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

6

$899,000

$1,549,000

$405

71

Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS:

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,999

$1,500,000 and Over

Number for Sale

NA

 

1

1

3

1

Average Price per Sq. Ft.

NA

 

$365

$456

$403

$401

Average Number of Days on Market

NA

7

51

86

114

Available inventory is 3 less than last month. As of November 6, there are 6 active listings, 0 pending sales and 4 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 52 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 4.33, this means that there is about a month and a half of inventory at Riverstone.   

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

 

October
7

Hello from Naples Strong! 

We are thankful for all of you who reached out to us over the last week to check on our well-being. Like you, we are heartbroken to see the loss of life, homes and businesses in SW Florida. We feel so fortunate that both Wakelin households in Naples escaped with no damage or injury. We lost power for a few days and there was some debris from vegetation but these about the only signs that Ian had passed by for us. Collier County was spared the worst of Ian unless you live very near or on the coast. There, the storm surge caused damage to homes and businesses. We are grateful for our City, County, and State leaders who have organized the funds and workforces needed for our quick recovery. As of today, 98% of Collier County has had their power restored. Many of the shops and restaurants in Mercato, Waterside and 5th Avenue, are already reopened and ready for business. Amazingly, our John R Wood office at 3rd and Broad Ave. escaped water damage although several of the businesses on 3rd St. did not fare as well. However, a few restaurants on this street were able to clean up quickly and Sea Salt and Barbatella are now open.    

The weather since the storm hit has been unseasonably cool and dry which is a big help for the recovery efforts. With the loss of power, things would have been much more unpleasant with high humidity and rain. Mother Nature helped us out in that respect.

As our focus now shifts to our beloved but battered coastal and island communities, we are grateful that so many, from all over the country, are asking how they can help. Southwest Floridians are resilient. When things fall apart, we come together and hold each other up. We are already rebuilding what has been lost and, without a doubt, this area will soon return stronger and better than ever. Our local GulfShore Life published a fantastic article on local organizations accepting donations and searching for volunteers. Please click the photo for a link to this article if you are looking for ways to help…

  

Official September 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

  

September 2021

YTD 2021

September 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in Inches

9.72

34.74

10.26

43.24

42.91

Record High September Rainfall

 

 

20.84 (2001)

 

 

Record Low September Rainfall

 

 

1.23 (2019)

 

 

High September Temperature

95

 

94

 

 

Low September Temperature

71

 

72

 

 

Record High September Temperature

 

 

98 (1974)

 

 

Record Low September Temperature

 

 

65 (2000)

 

 

Temperatures in September averaged normal for the month. The normal average max temperature in September is 89.6 and we recorded 89.4. Rainfall was slightly above normal in September due to Hurricane Ian. Rainfall YTD is now on target. We've had almost 8.5 inches more rain YTD than last year at this time.    

 

Book Review: "The Diamond Eye" by Kate Quinn 

This novel is based on the 2018 autobiography, "Lady Death: The Memoirs of Stalin's Sniper", of the remarkable central character, the Ukrainian Lyudmila (Mila) Pavlichenko. That story is fascinating enough; but, as the author admits in a note at the end of her book, she has taken quite a few liberties with it, as well as having added substantial parts of pure invention.

Mila, who is the narrator for most of the book, was an extremely successful sniper in the Soviet Army, and had killed at least 309 of the enemy during the Second World War, though she had been hospitalized three times with injuries from German shell fire. In August 1942 the Soviet government sent her to the United States to play a part in the propaganda war: she was to tell her story and to press for more American help to Russia (like opening the Second Front). She was a great success in America and became a close friend of the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.

Here are a few reviews on Amazon:

"Another page turner from the author. A great historic fiction book on WWII Soviet sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko. Well written with amazing historic details and interesting characters. It is about friendship, love and courage and the horrors of war. Sometimes it is bit long, especially when it comes to Mila's confronting her husband."

"I absolutely loved this book and couldn't put it down! It covered a perspective of this period of history I knew nothing about and it is incredible to think it is based on a true story. Really enjoyable and I look forward to reading more from this author."

"I fought my way through the first several chapters, because Kate Quinn is a great author. This book is entirely different from every other WW2 novel that I have read. Once I got caught up in the story, I couldn't put it down. What an interesting story with powerful characters. Definitely memorable."

Restaurant Recommendation: The Local 5323 Airport Pulling Rd. Naples

We landed here in search of a good restaurant open after Hurricane Ian. The four of us were not only grateful they were open only 3 days after the storm, but we also enjoyed a delicious dinner. We thought the spicy watermelon salad was a great starter followed by entrees that included fresh, sauteed snapper piccata, Florida Gulf Shrimp pasta and the pot roast which was outstanding with perfect, slow-cooked beef and vegetables. The Local is a farm and sea-to-table restaurant that prides itself on serving fresh, local ingredients where almost everything is made from scratch in-house. We have eaten here several times over the years since it first opened and have always enjoyed their extensive and changing menu. We also appreciate their gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Here are a few reviews on Trip Advisor:

"We had the early dining menu with soups, salads and entrees. They were all excellent. The soups are flavorful. I enjoyed the corned beef and cabbage soup. The house salad had very fresh greens. The Pork Ragu and Pork Tenderloin are off the charts for great flavor." 

"This was a pleasant find…we shared a vegetable pizza…absolutely delicious! Food is fresh and very well prepared. There were so many choices it was hard to decide, next visit: another choice."

 

Naples Real Estate: Here are the September 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

It will be interesting to see what effect Hurricane Ian will have on the Naples/Bonita real estate market. Looking back, Hurricane Irma hit in early September 2017 and sales that month were not great but then activity quickly picked up and we finished 2017 with a year-over-year increase both in total sales and median closed price. Therefore, we anticipate activity will be off for the rest of October. After things normalize to a large extent, there are many possibilities. There may be some people looking to sell who don't want to face the prospect of dealing with another hurricane or they may look to sell their home at a discount in "as-is" condition because they don't want to deal with the repairs. There may be an influx of buyers, hoping to score a deal on a distressed property or from buyers who have lost their home and need a new place to live. Additionally, buyers who are facing the possibility of years of repairs may want to purchase a temporary place to reside. What we do know is inventory was very low before the storm hit and the storm's damage will likely exasperate this problem. At any rate, we will be monitoring the situation closely and are here to help whatever your unique set of circumstances might be.

For the first nine months of 2022, there were 13,922 closed sales in Naples and Bonita. This compares with 19,682 closed sales for the same period last year, a drop of 41%.

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year:

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD Sept. 2021

19,682

4,876

9,250

2,170

2,536

850

YTD Sept. 2022

13,922

1,352

7,072

2,367

2,354

777

Difference

-5,760

-3,524

-2,178

+197

-182

-73

% Change

-29%

-72%

-24%

+9%

-7%

-9%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year for the first nine months. The major declines are in the lower end price categories mainly because there isn't enough inventory at this price level to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 72% is a prime example.   

The inventory of available properties remains down from last year. As the following table shows, however, the level of inventory varies by price point: 

Home Supply as of October 6th, 2022

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Number Sold Last 12 Months

15,239

1,899

8,043

2,349

2,329

619

Average Number Sold per Month

1,270

158

670

196

194

52

Total Available for Sale

2,532

130

1,110

486

529

277

Months of Supply October 6th, 2022

2

1

2

2

3

5

Inventory fell 2% last month to 2,532 homes. This is the second monthly drop in a row. The average monthly supply stayed at about 2 months. Supply levels in the higher priced categories have increased to 3 to 5 months.  Home inventory is still at a very low level. Most Realtors consider that a six-month supply of homes is neither a buyers' nor sellers' market, so this is still a sellers' market. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita! 

  

Kensington Real Estate:   

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships have sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership. As of October 6, 2022, there are no active listings in Kensington there are however, 1 sale pending and 1 sale pending with contingencies. There have been 39 closed sales in the past 12-month period.

 

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of October 6, 2022: 

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

9

$849,900

$2,400,000

$433

64

 Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS:

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,999

$1,500,000 and Over

Number for Sale

NA

1

1

5

2

Average Price per Sq. Ft.

NA

$345

$456

$420

$431

Average Number of Days on Market

NA

24

22

75

65

Available inventory is 3 less than last month. As of October 6, there are 9 active listings, 2 pending sales and 2 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 52 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 4.33, this means that there is about two months of inventory at Riverstone

  

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

 

September
12

Hello from Naples!

August was a big month for the Wakelin family. It started with a visit from Natalie, Nicola and Jeff's oldest daughter. While she was visiting, they took a short family trip up to Crystal River Florida. They enjoyed a swim with the manatee adventure in the crystal clear, natural spring fed waters of Crystal River. The following day they drove to Weeki Wachee Springs which has a natural water park and a famous mermaid show that has been a classic Florida tourist attraction for over six decades.  

During Natalie's visit the family celebrated her 20th birthday and Riley's 18th birthday. Nicola and Jeff cannot believe they are no longer parents of minor children. In fact, as of August 19th, they officially became empty nesters, after moving Riley into Elon University which is located in Elon, North Carolina. Riley is absolutely thrilled with Elon. The move-in and orientation process was so well done. Riley has already made a lot of friends and loves the professors. As much as Jeff and Nicola miss both of their kids, it is a comfort to know they are happy, healthy and are good students.

To celebrate their new freedom, Nicola and Jeff took an extended weekend to enjoy The Biltmore estate in Asheville, NC. During their visit they toured the Biltmore House built by George Vanderbilt in 1895. The home is surrounded by lovely gardens which they also enjoyed touring. They hiked, rode horses and rafted to explore portions of the 8,000-acre estate. As beautiful as Biltmore is and as much as they enjoyed their time in North Carolina, they are always happy to return to the great state of Florida!    

 

From Florida Weekly: More restaurants, businesses sign on at Founders Square 

Many more businesses plan locations at Founders Square, the mixed-use development on the southeast corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard. The joint effort by Barron Collier Companies, Trinity Commercial Group and Metro Commercial includes The Pointe at Founders Square restaurant-centric retail hub, a self-storage business, Physicians Regional Medical Group offices and The Pearl Founders Square 400-unit apartment community. 

Still under construction in the center of the development is The Plaza at Founders Square retail strip that will be anchored by Sunshine Ace Hardware, while a 7-Eleven convenience store, gas station and car wash are being built on the first of six outparcels along Immokalee Road.

The Pointe

Opening next front and center in The Pointe will be South Street City Oven, Bar & Music. A few inspections must occur still before it can open, but the grand opening is expected on Sept. 15, said Diana Pleeter, who co-owns South Street with her husband, Bruce. "We got approval for our seating license, which is a huge hurdle," she said, noting that concerts featuring The Black Moods, an Arizona-based rock band, are already planned there for Sept. 16 and 17. "We're super close. I'm so excited," Mrs. Pleeter said. "It's absolutely amazing. It's my husband's vision. It is a really, really awesome place."

The Plaza

The Plaza, the adjacent retail strip under construction, is nearly fully leased. "We have about 9,000 square feet left," Mr. Mallory said. Sunshine Ace remains on target to open its 12th store on the eastern end of The Plaza in the first quarter of 2023. "The shops should be shortly thereafter," Mr. Mallory said. "I think Ace is going to be about a month ahead of the shops."

Other units leased in The Plaza include two restaurants, a fitness studio and a wellness center. Anchoring the western end of The Plaza will be 110 Grill, a restaurant serving modern American cuisine in a trendy, casual atmosphere. It will be the first of many Southwest Florida locations for a Northeastern dining concept named after Route 110 where it launched in Massachusetts. The 6,200-square-foot restaurant will have a horseshoe-shaped bar and a large patio with a fire pit. The 110 Grill probably will open in July or August of next year, said Jeff Doward, regional director with the RAVentures franchise group.

Havana Libre Cuban Cuisine, a local restaurant owned by Angel Madera and his family, also is coming to The Plaza. The Maderas, who immigrated from Cuba to the United States in 1995, have operated Havana Libre in Golden Gate Center on Golden Gate Parkway since 2017. Their new 4,000-square-foot location, which Mr. Madera expects to open near the end of January or in February, will have a full bar and outdoor dining. "Basically, we are going to double the size," he said. "I'm very excited."

Restore and Spenga are two self-improvement businesses coming to The Plaza. Restore is a hyper wellness center with cutting-edge services such as cryotherapy, IV drip therapy and an infrared sauna. The chain has a location on Naples Boulevard in North Naples and another coming soon to Estero Town Commons.

Senga plans its second area fitness studio after opening a location last year in Neapolitan Way in Naples. Its workout sessions include a combination of spin, strength training and yoga. Spenga plans as many as three more locations in Lee County.

Outparcels

Four of the six outparcel lots fronting Immokalee Road in Founders Square are already claimed. 7-Eleven is the only one that has broken ground so far. It is targeted to open in late October. Also previously reported, but yet to begin construction, is a branch of Dallas-based First Foundation Bank, which acquired Naples-based First Florida Integrity Bank in December. 

Two restaurants will have freestanding locations on either side of 7-Eleven. Building on its original location in Naples and a second under construction on Bonita Beach Road, Lake Park Diner will be built on the outparcel nearest The Pointe. Adjacent to the Immokalee Road entrance into Founders Square, Kelly's Roast Beef plans a drive-thru restaurant. It will be one of the first franchises for a popular fast-casual concept in the Boston area known for its roast beef sandwiches and lobster rolls. 

Two more outparcels are still available along Immokalee Road. "We just have a few more spaces in The Plaza and a couple of outparcels, so limited spaces are available," Mr. Mallory said.

 

Official August 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

  

August 2021

YTD 2021

August 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in Inches

3.05

25.02

5.87

32.98

34.31

Record High August Rainfall

 

 

15.55 (2017)

 

 

Record Low August Rainfall

 

 

1.46 (1952)

 

 

High August Temperature

95

 

95

 

 

Low August Temperature

72

 

73

 

 

Record High August Temp.

 

 

98 (2007)

 

 

Record Low August Temp.

 

 

67 (1972)

 

 

Temperatures in August averaged normal for the month. The normal average max temperature in August is 90.9 and we recorded 90.9. Rainfall was below normal for August. Rainfall YTD is now about 1.3 inches below target. However, we've had almost 8 inches more rain than last year at this time.    

  

Book Review: "Lethal White" by Robert Galbraith

Lethal White is the fourth book by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. It's just as entertaining as the others in the series. The characters are well written, the plot is filled with twists and turns and the relationship between private detective Cormoran Strike and his partner, Robin, is delightfully flirty. This story picks up where the third leaves off and follows Robin and Strike as they regroup to solve another mystery. Much of the novel deals with Robin and Strike's personal lives. Robin's marriage slowly deteriorates and Strike's relationship with his girlfriend goes through ups and downs. All the while the two harbor feelings for each other but are oblivious to the fact that the other shares those feelings. It's the classic "will they, won't they" and Galbraith (Rowling) has readers looking forward to more in future novels. The central mystery, like most in this series, is a compelling one. This book may not have the intensity of the third book; however, the slower pace allows the reader to spend more time with Robin and Cormoran.  

Here are a few reviews on Amazon:

"Wow, this was a great read. Author, Author! The plot was complicated with many characters and storylines. Strike was brilliant as always. Robin was front and center here. She worked hard on the cases and dealt with personal problems."

"I've greatly enjoyed each of the Cormoran Strike novels thus far, and this was no exception; to me it was the best of the lot. Galbraith weaves together meticulous detail and fully developed characters into a thrilling mystery. Once again, l find myself rooting for the wonderful Robin Ellacott. I highly recommend this novel." 

"This is the 4th in a series of novels about detective Strike and his assistant, Robin where a government minister is killed after being blackmailed. The story is very complicated, involving a large dysfunctional family and the backstory also complicated by the relationship between Strike and Robin and their respective relationships with their significant others. This book is hard to put down. Excellent!"


Restaurant Recommendation:  Crumbl Cookies 6270 Naples Blvd. 

We have been looking forward to the grand opening of Crumbl Cookies for almost a year now. We met the owners, Ginny and Ben Rattner several months ago and have followed them in the triumphs and challenges all restaurateurs face when starting a new business. Their first challenge was finding the perfect location and we think they found it on Naples Blvd. across from Costco. The grand opening was Friday, August 12th. There were long lines all day but the employees are very well trained and they did a great job keeping things moving. What sets Crumbl apart from other cookie companies is their weekly rotating menu. They always have their classic milk chocolate chip but then they have 5 different cookie offerings each week. The cookies are made in their in-house open kitchen and they come out warm, gooey and delicious!  

Here are a few recent reviews on Google:

"I surprised my mom with this week's cookies for her birthday and she was in love! Best cookies we have ever had. The staff was so welcoming when I walked in saying "Welcome to Crumbl". I felt great energy and vibes while in the store." 

"If we could give 10 stars we would! Every experience here has been amazing! The staff, cleanliness of the store, and cookies are impeccable. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Keep up the great work! If you have not gone yet…go now!" 

"I stopped by today with my toddler daughter and some friends with their toddlers. We all ordered cookies. We were really excited to hear that they opened one in Naples so I had to stop in. The owner came out while we waited and handed my daughter a cookie and a sticker. She was absolutely thrilled! I really appreciated the owner's politeness, friendliness, and time she took to come out and introduce herself to us. We will definitely return. Cookies were absolutely delicious as well!"

 

Naples Real Estate: Here are the August 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the first eight months of 2022, there were 10,636 closed sales in Naples and Bonita. This compares with 15,886 closed sales for the same period last year, a drop of 33%.

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year:

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD August 2021

15,886

4,456

7,473

1,553

1,869

535

YTD August 2022

10,636

1,131

5,550

1,777

1,708

470

Difference

-5,250

-3,325

-1,923

+224

-161

-65

% Change

-33%

-75%

-26%

+14%

-9%

-12%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year for the first eight months of 2022. The major declines are in the lower end price categories mainly because there isn't enough inventory to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 75% is a prime example.

The inventory of available properties remains down from last year. As the following table shows, however, the level of inventory varies by price point: 

Home Supply as of September 6, 2022

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Number Sold Last 12 Months

15,790

2,102

8,322

2,380

2,356

630

Average Number Sold per Month

1,316

175

694

198

196

53

Total Available for Sale

2,583

157

1,107

503

557

259

Months of Supply September 6, 2022

2

1

2

3

3

5

Inventory decreased 3% last month, falling from 2,756 homes to 2,583 homes. This is the first drop in 6 months. The average monthly supply stayed at about 2 months. Supply levels in the higher priced categories have increased to 3 to 5 months. Home inventory is still at a very low level. Most Realtors consider that a six-month supply of homes is neither a buyers' nor sellers' market, so this is still a sellers' market. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita! 

It will be interesting to see what role inflation and the Fed's attempt to curtail it by raising interest rates will have on the market going forward. A significant percentage of homes purchased in Naples are cash deals, mitigating some of this factor.    

 

Kensington Real Estate:    

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships have sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership. As of September 6, 2022, there is only 1 active listing in Kensington. Here's a look at the MLS market in Kensington as of September 6, 2022:

Type of Property

Number

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Mkt.

Estate Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Villas

1

$1,379,000

$1,379,000

$640

85

Coach Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total

1

 

 

 

 

There have been 41 closed sales in the past 12-month period. With average monthly sales at 3.42, there is less than one month of inventory at Kensington. As of September 6, 2022, there is 1 sale pending and 1 sale pending with contingencies at Kensington.

 

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of September 6, 2022:

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

12

$849,995

$2,400,000

$425

45

Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS:

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,999

$1,500,000 and Over

Number for Sale

NA

1

1

7

3

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

NA

 

$380

$421

$413

$469

Average Days on Market

NA

57

62

37

51

Available inventory is 4 more than last month. As of September 6, there are 12 active listings, 1 pending sale and 2 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 55 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 4.58, this means that there is about two months of inventory at Riverstone. 

  

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

 

August
9

Hello from Naples!

Rae and Fred welcomed a new addition to the family in July. They got their kitten, Sasha, from a breeder on Sanibel. She's a Maine Coon cat and is about 13 weeks old. Maine Coons are one of the oldest natural breeds in North America. They are large and social which is the reason they are often referred to as "the gentle giant". There are tales around their origin, one story involves Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France who was executed in 1793. The story goes that before her death, Antoinette attempted to escape France with the help of Captain Samuel Clough. She loaded Clough's ship with her most prized possessions, including six of her favorite Turkish Angora or possibly Siberian cats. Although she did not make it to the United States, all of her pets managed to reach the shore of Wiscasset, Maine, safely, where they developed into the modern breed of the Maine Coon. Welcome to the family Sasha!

  

 

From Florida Weekly: Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen coming to North Naples

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, a casual dining brand from Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc., plans a North Naples location in the restaurant space vacated in 2020 by Sweet Tomatoes, which operated for 10 years in the Granada Shoppes outparcel on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 North and Immokalee Road. That same second-generation space at 10940 Tamiami Trail N. previously was home to another casual restaurant chain, Romano's Macaroni Grill, until March 2008.

Construction started last week on the build-out of the new Cheddar's, which is expected to be completed at the end of January, according to development documents filed with the Collier County Growth Management Department. Build-out time for a Cheddar's restaurant normally takes 24 weeks but because of recent construction delays it could take longer, said Matt Jakubowski, construction project manager for Darden Restaurants.

The more than 7,000-square-foot building on the corner of Granada Shoppes is being gutted, reconfigured and remodeled for the restaurant conversion. A full bar will be installed where the salad bar was near the entrance of Sweet Tomatoes, site development plans show. Work will include reworking of the front entranceway, improvements and additions to the landscaping and removal of the sidewalk between the restaurant and U.S. 41 to add additional plantings, plans show. 

Cheddar's, formerly known as Cheddar's Casual Cafe, specializes in American comfort food, especially items such as its honey-butter croissants, chicken pot pie, fried chicken tenders and in-house smoked barbecue ribs. The scratch menu also includes appetizers, salads, soups, steak, seafood, burgers, sandwiches, sides and desserts.

The Cheddar's concept has more than 170 locations nationwide. The nearest location to Naples opened in December 2012 in University Plaza on Alico Road near Gulf Coast Town Center in Lee County. In addition to Cheddar's, Darden also operates the dining brands Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52 and Yard House.

 

Official July 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport: 

  

July 2021

YTD 2021

July 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in Inches

7.79

21.97

9.89

27.11

25.42

Record High July Rainfall

 

 

21.49 (1985)

 

 

Record Low July Rainfall

 

 

1.30 (1944)

 

 

High July Temperature

93

 

94

 

 

Low July Temperature

73

 

72

 

 

Record High July Temperature

 

 

99 (2017)

 

 

Record Low July Temperature

 

 

65 (1974)

 

 

Temperatures in July averaged normal for the month. The normal average max temperature in July is 90.8 and we recorded 90.8. Rainfall was above normal in July. Rainfall YTD is just under 2 inches above target.      

  

Book Review: "Blue Bistro" by Elin Hilderbrand

After reading "Hotel Nantucket" and learning about the author, I decided to pursue my love of her writing and read another one. She once said that if you asked 100 of her readers which of her novels was their favorite, 99 would say "Blue Bistro".  After reading it (and several more of her books), I agree with her loyal fans…it's a terrific book.

When Adrienne Dealey arrives on Nantucket Island, she is out of money, rudderless, and running from a life of lost connections and relationship woes. A chance encounter on the ferry to Nantucket leads her to apply for a job at the Blue Bistro where meets Thatcher Smith, one of the owners of the legendary Blue Bistro, famous for its cuisine and its reclusive chef and co-owner, Fiona Kemp. When Thatcher hires her, he also lets her know that this summer is the final season for the Blue Bistro. That is fine with Adrienne, who is accustomed to short-term gigs and ties that do not bind. Surprisingly, what happens to Adrienne in the following months changes the course of her life forever.

At first, I thought this would be a simple beach read, with typical romantic connections, but I was wrong. The Blue Bistro delves into the mysteries of human connections and the ties that bind us. It leads the reader down unexpected pathways as the fears, insecurities, and haunting past mistakes of the characters connect us to them as we keep turning pages, wondering how the journey will end. 

Here are a few reviews on Amazon:

"For a former food service manager/B&B operator who is still totally smitten with that crazy industry, I loved reliving the thrills of busy shifts, loud kitchens, hectic dining rooms, demanding customers, and all the rest. It brought it all back to me. Then there was the touching romance and complications."

"This is one of those books that grab you from the first chapter and you find yourself not being able to put it down! I love everything I have ever read by Elin Hildebrand, but this one is so far my favorite! I did not want this book to end!"


Restaurant Recommendation: Bar Tulia Mercado 9118 Strada Pl. Naples, FL 

We ate here with family last week. Mercado is the second location for the restaurant. The original Bar Tulia is on 5th Ave. next to Osteria Tulia. We had an undercover outdoor table with a great view of a thunderstorm rolling thru Mercado! Inside, diners feel welcomed by the familiar ambiance, similar to that of the original Bar Tulia. We started our meal with a salad course some choosing the Caesar and some the beet salad. For dinner our table enjoyed a nice selection of pizzas, pastas and seafood dishes. Our server was attentive and we didn't have to wait long for the food to arrive. Overall, it was a delightful evening filled with good food and family time.

Here are a few recent reviews on Trip Advisor:

"Lovely, relaxed dinner for three. Two of our party must eat gluten free; no problem here! The scallop special could be prepared GF; the salmon entree could also be made with modifications (fresh asparagus instead of farro). Both people cleaned their plates!"

"It is a very good addition to the Mercato area. Nice atmosphere, very good service, fair prices and excellent food. Portions are small but other than that, the restaurant deserves a visit."

  

Naples Real Estate: Here are the July 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the first seven months of 2022, there were 9,705 closed sales of in Naples and Bonita. This compares with 14,449 closed sales for the same period last year, a drop of 33%. 

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year:

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD July 2021

14,449

4,118

6,690

1,423

1,715

503

YTD July 2022

9,705

1,039

5,049

1,614

1,566

437

Difference

-4,744

-3,079

-1,641

+191

-149

-66

% Change

-33%

-75%

-25%

+13%

-9%

-13%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year for the first seven months of 2022. The major declines are in the lower end price categories mainly because there isn't enough inventory to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 75% is a prime example.    

The inventory of available properties remains down from last year. As the following table shows, however, the level of inventory varies by price point: 

Home Supply as of August 6, 2022

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Number Sold Last 12 months

16,097

2,296

8,482

2,336

2,358

625

Average Number Sold Per Month

1,341

191

706

195

197

52

Total Available For Sale

2,756

184

1,167

548

583

274

Months of Supply August 6, 2022

2

1

2

3

3

5

Inventory rose 3% last month increasing from 2,682 to 2,756 homes. This is the sixth monthly increase in a row…although this one was small.  Average monthly supply stayed at about 2 months. Supply in the over $3 million category actually decreased from last month, falling from 6 to 5 months.  Home inventory is still at a very low level. Most Realtors consider that a six-month supply of homes is neither a buyers' nor sellers' market, so this is still a sellers' market. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita!   

It will be interesting to see what role inflation and the Fed's attempt to curtail it by raising interest rates will have on the market going forward. A significant percentage of homes purchased in Naples are cash deals, mitigating some of this factor. 

 

Kensington Real Estate:  

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships have sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership. As of August 6, 2022, there are 2 active listings in Kensington.  Here's a look at the MLS market in Kensington as of August 6, 2022:

Type of Property

Number

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Mkt.

Estate Homes

1

$2,900,000

$2,900,000

$451

11

Villas

1

$1,379,000

$1,379,000

$640

56

Coach Homes

0

 

 

 

 

Total

2

 

 

 

 

There have been 39 closed sales in the past 12-month period. With average monthly sales at 3.25, there is less than one month of inventory at Kensington. As of August 6, 2022, there are 4 sales pending and 2 sales pending with contingencies at Kensington.

 

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of August 6, 2022: 

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

8

$849,995

$1,699,000

$424

29

Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS:

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,000

$1,500,000 and Over

Number For Sale

NA

1

1

4

2

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

NA

$380

$432

$439

$413

Average Days on Market

NA

29

34

26

36

Available inventory is 4 fewer than last month. As of August 6, there are 8 active listings, 4 pending sales and 4 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 57 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 4.75, this means that there is about two months of inventory at Riverstone. 

  

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

 

July
13

Hello from Naples!

In June Nicola and Jeff celebrated Riley's High School graduation with a trip to NYC. The destination was Riley's choice as Riley is a big theater buff so the main purpose of the trip was to see some Broadway shows. They saw Hadestown, Wicked, Chicago and Dear Evan Hansen. Wicked was their favorite and Dear Evan Hansen was a close second. During the day, they spent a lot of time walking around the city taking in the sights. They particularly enjoyed the new Little Island Park at Pier 55 and the High Line elevated park and walking trail. They also visited Chelsea Market, Grand Central Station, NY Public Library, 9-11 Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. A friend had given them some restaurant recommendations and the food was amazing! If you have the chance to visit Manhattan then you might want to try Zuma, TAO or Marea! As much fun as they had, after 4 days all were ready to return to clean, safe, less crowded, slower-paced Naples.  

Speaking of safe, Naples was just ranked the Safest Place to Live in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. In the same survey, Naples ranked #2 in Best Place to Retire and #2 for Best Place to Live in Florida. We couldn't agree more!

 

From Florida Weekly: Tourism is Rosy

THE FLORIDA TOURIST season surged the first quarter of 2022, encouraging state and local tourism industry officials and businesses to envision while keeping a careful eye on the caveats that could keep that from happening.

Numbers of visitors and other tourism metrics have taken great strides since the bottom fell out of tourism in the wake of the first coronavirus cases confirmed in Florida in March 2020. In some areas they are returning to or surpassing pre-pandemic numbers of 2019. But the challenges remain.

Domestic leisure travel visitors have been the dominant numbers in the recovery. International and business travelers, not so much. With the lifting of travel restrictions, those areas are climbing. Leisure and hospitality employment numbers, which also tanked during the COVID-19 pandemic, have sputtered in their struggle to recover, but continue to make gradual progress. In many cases, the jobs are there, but the people to fill them aren't

"It's a mixed bag," said Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. She was referring to Lee County, but the phrase could also apply to tourism statewide and locally in other Southwest Florida counties such as Charlotte and Collier, as well as east coast counties like Palm Beach. 

Season is traditionally known as January, February and March of a particular year, when the number of visitors flocking here from the cold is highest. While the visitor influx starts pre-January and continues post-March, the first quarter of the year is traditionally considered "high season," and a good indicator of how tourism will fare in a particular year. And the numbers have been going up. Visit Florida stats estimate that 36 million total visitors came to the state in the first quarter of 2022, a 39.6% increase over the first quarter of 2021, and 1.4% higher than the pre-COVID first quarter of 2019.

At Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, 1.2 million passengers traveled through in April, according to the Lee County Port Authority. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 34% compared to last year. Passenger traffic dropped to a low of 5,978,414 in 2020 as compared to 10,225,180 in 2019, according to port authority stats. Passenger traffic more than recovered in 2021 to 10,322,434.

Florida did benefit during the pandemic because of the message that "Florida is open," Ms. Pigott said. "Visit Florida pushed the message. The governor pushed the message. We pushed the message." 

As recovery in the tourism industry continues, the idea is not simply to return to the old "normal," but to embrace the opportunity to look at the industry with a fresh perspective, more innovative marketing and reshaping a new normal that fits a new, post-pandemic reality. That reality includes keeping an eye on many factors that, like the onset of COVID-19, are out of tourism's control. That is, inflation, soaring gas prices, the possibility of a recession, the possibility of a new COVID-19 variant popping up and taking over, and of course, hurricanes. The best laid travel plans are at the mercy of economics, disease, and mother nature.

  

Official June 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

  

June 2021

YTD 2021

June 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in Inches

9.92

14.18

7.82

17.22

17.65

Record High June Rainfall

 

 

21.28 (2005)

 

 

Record Low June Rainfall

 

 

0.91 (1980)

 

 

High June Temperature

93

 

95

 

 

Low June Temperature

70

 

65

 

 

Record High June Temperature

 

 

98 (2019)

 

 

Record Low June Temperature

 

 

61 (1955)

 

 

Temperatures in June averaged about normal for the month. The normal average max temperature in June is 89.8 and we recorded 89.3. Rainfall was slightly above normal in June. Rainfall YTD is right on target.      

 

Book Review: "Hotel Nantucket" by Elin Hilderbrand 

I can't believe this is the first Elin Hilderbrand book I have ever read. I absolutely loved this book and can't wait to read her other novels. I visited Nantucket many times in my earlier years and she brought it all home to me once again.   

A little Romance, a little Mystery, a little Family Drama! Her characters all pull on your heart strings and you feel as if you know them all. Some of them will disappoint you, some will make you laugh and some will teach you that love comes in all forms! I didn't want the book to end, so I read the last few chapters slowly and paused to think many times. I enjoyed all the characters, including the ghost, which I wasn't expecting. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say I couldn't put it down and the ending left me with a smile on my face. Great summer read! 

Here are a few reviews from Amazon: 

"I'm new to Elin Hilderbrand. Finished the Summer of 69 last week and couldn't help but purchase The Hotel Nantucket a scant 48 hours later. Loved it from start to finish. Satisfying closure, intrepid characters that reflect so many aspects of humanity, and so artfully articulated, I feel like I've been transported to Nantucket. With great fondness I will put this book down and will likely be revisiting my new friends again and again for years to come". 

"I have always enjoyed Elin Hilderbrand's Nantucket novels, but she has really outdone herself with The Hotel Nantucket. It's combination of ghost story, broken heart romance, surprise twists, redemption, and so much more. This was a great read, almost impossible to put down. Check-in, put your feet up, and get comfortable."

Restaurant Recommendation: Buzz's Lighthouse Restaurant 9180 Gulfshore Dr. Naples 

Nicola and a few of her girlfriends went here for dinner a few weeks ago. While she had dined here before, it had been several years since her last visit. Fortunately, nothing has changed and unlike most things in Naples, not much has changed here since this family-run spot opened 30 years ago! This is one of the very few restaurants in Naples where you can dine on the water and not spend a small fortune. The atmosphere is nautical and quirky. The menu features plenty of fresh seafood selections along with some chicken, steak and burger options. Nicola recommends Buzz's Famous Grouper Ruben.  

Here are a few recent reviews on Trip Advisor: 

"Buzz's has been here a long time and it's a tribute to their very good food that they maintain the following that they have. This is a place to get simple but excellent seafood (especially grouper) without overpaying for quality. It's an example of excellence without extravagance. If you'd like a memorable experience, choose the grouper Reuben sandwich. I haven't found anything that resembles it in Naples, certainly not at this level of standard. Get there when they open; they don't take reservations. And expect to walk away smiling and satiated!"

"Family owned, very casual overlooking Bayside and boats. Our server, Katie was amazing and delivered large portions with reasonable price. Not fancy but feels like home. Owner, Darren was very friendly including Jonas the bartender. It was our first time visiting and we would definitely go back again. Bravo!"

  

Naples Real Estate: Here are the June 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the first six months of 2022, there were 8,731 closed sales in all of Naples and Bonita. This compares with 12,855 closed sales for the same period last year, a drop of 32%.  

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year:

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD June 2021

12,855

3,784

5,868

1,221

1,537

445

YTD June 2022

8,731

928

4,517

1,453

1,431

402

Difference

-4,124

-2,856

-1,351

+232

-106

-43

% Change

-32%

-75%

-23%

+19%

-7%

-10%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year for the first six months.  The lower price categories declines are mainly due to a lack inventory to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 75% is a prime example.   

The inventory of available properties remains down from last year. As the following table shows, however, the level of inventory varies by price point:  

Home Supply as of July 6th, 2022

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Number Sold Last 12 Months

16,863

2,567

8,854

2,380

2,410

652

Average Number Sold Per Month

1,405

214

738

198

201

54

Total Available for Sale

2,682

166

1,099

521

599

297

Months of Supply July 6th, 2022

2

1

1

3

3

6

Inventory rose 16% last month to 2,682 homes. This is the fifth monthly increase in a row.    Average monthly supply stayed at about 2 months. Supply levels in the highest priced category doubled from a low of 3 months to 6 months. Home inventory is still at a very low level. Most Realtors consider that a six-month supply of homes is neither a buyers' nor sellers' market, so this is still a sellers' market. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita!  

It will be interesting to see what role inflation and the Fed's attempt to curtail it by raising interest rates will have on the market going forward. A significant percentage of homes purchased in Naples are cash deals, mitigating some of this factor. 

 

Kensington Real Estate:   

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships have sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership.  As of July 6, 2022, there are 2 active listings in Kensington. Here's a look at the MLS market in Kensington as of July 6, 2022:

Type of Property

Number

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Mkt.

Estate Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Villas

1

$1,379,000

$1,379,000

$640

21

Coach Homes

1

$699,000

$699,000

$340

26

Total

2

 

 

 

 

There have been 41 closed sales in the past 12-month period. With average monthly sales at 3.41, this means there is less than one month of inventory at Kensington. As of July 6, 2022, there are 2 sales pending and no sales pending with contingencies at Kensington.

  

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of July 6, 2022:

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

12

$699,999

$1,799,000

$421

16

 Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS: 

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,000

$1,500,000 and Over

Number for Sale

1

2

1

4

4

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

$336

$384

$432

$419

$458

Average Days on Market

9

15

3

27

6

Available inventory is 9 more than last month. As of July 6, there are 12 active listings, 4 pending sales and 2 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 61 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 5.08, this means that there is just over two months of inventory at Riverstone. 

  

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

 

June
16

Hello from Naples!

May was a fun and busy month for the Wakelin family. Besides 5 closings last month, we also enjoyed travel, graduation and a big birthday celebration. 

On May 19, Nicola and Jeff travelled to Memphis Tennessee to help their daughter, Natalie move out of her dorm room at Rhodes College to a nearby studio apartment of her very own. Natalie decided to stay in Memphis over the summer to take a couple of courses and earn some money. Natalie is working as a server and bartender at a restaurant called Babalu. So far, Natalie has been working a lot of hours, going to class and she loves having her very own place. She feels very grown up. 

Speaking of growing up, Nicola and Jeff's other child, Riley graduated from Gulf Coast High School at the end of May. It was wonderful being able to watch the class of 2022 walk across the stage at the GCHS Football stadium since they missed this opportunity when Natalie graduated in 2020. They are so proud of Riley graduating Suma Cum Lade and will be seeing Riley off to attend school at Elon University in North Carolina in August.

Rae and the rest of the family were able to honor the patriarch of the Wakelin family, Fred Wakelin as he celebrated his 80th birthday!!! Fred's brother and sister came down from New England and many friends came to join the celebration. It was held at Nicola and Jeff's home and catered by Fire and Rice who cooked a massive batch of paella right on their lanai. It was a great party and we hope Fred keeps "coming down for breakfast" for many more years to come!

   

From Florida Weekly: Critically endangered Malayan tiger a new resident at Naples Zoo

An endangered Malayan tiger named "One" is a new resident at the Naples Zoo. Naples Zoo has announced the arrival of a critically endangered Malayan tiger. The return of a tiger animal ambassador to Naples Zoo is important to the Zoo and its conservation efforts. The goal of having a tiger at the Zoo is to inspire guests to learn more about tigers and how they can help them in the wild.

In December, a Malayan tiger named Eko at Naples Zoo mauled a man, a member of an after-hours cleaning crew who stuck his hand in the cage. The 8-year-old tiger bit down on his arm and wouldn't it let go, forcing a Collier sheriff's deputy to shoot and kill the tiger.

The new tiger arrived from Virginia Zoo, where he and his brother were born in January of 2016. As the first occupants of Virginia Zoo's Animal Wellness Campus, they were named Zero and One. One will now live at Naples Zoo as a bachelor for the Species Survival Plan. Naples Zoo will give him an official name through a donor supported auction at the 2022 Zoo Gala on Nov. 17.

Malayan tigers are critically endangered, with a breeding population below 200 tigers in the wild. Their biggest conservation threats are habitat loss and poaching. There are easy ways to help tigers, from simply shopping smart, visiting Naples Zoo, and supporting the Zoo's conservation efforts. 

Ways to help tigers:

Shop smart — Your shopping choices have an impact. Palm oil is the most widely produced edible vegetable oil in the world, it is found in cookies, chocolate, potato chips, and bread – as well as shampoo, lotion, laundry soap, and a multitude of other common products. Download the Free Certified Sustainable Palm Oil App from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, available for iPhone and Android.

Visit Naples Zoo — A portion of all admission tickets sold support the Zoo's conservation efforts locally and around the world.

Donate — In 2022, Naples Zoo established the Eko Tiger Conservation Fund and has raised over $50,000 thus far for tiger conservation. Naples Zoo has supported tiger conservation efforts for years and will continue to raise funds in Eko's honor. One hundred percent of the funds received will go to helping save tigers in Malaysia through the efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

 

Official April 2022 Climate Data at Naples Airport:

  

May 2021

YTD 2021

May 2022

YTD 2022

Normal YTD

Rainfall in inches

1.01

4.26

6.42

9.40

10.24

Record High May Rainfall

 

 

11.49 (1946)

 

 

Record Low May Rainfall

 

 

0.10 (2001)

 

 

High May Temperature

94

 

95

 

 

Low May Temperature

65

 

65

 

 

Record High May Temperature

 

 

96 (2011)

 

 

Record Low May Temperature

 

 

51 (2001)

 

 

Temperatures in May averaged slightly above normal for the month. The normal average max temperature in May is 87.5 and we recorded 88.7. Rainfall was above normal in May so our rainfall deficit YTD has been trimmed to less than an inch. 

 

Book Review: "Unstoppable" by Joshua M. Greene

"Only death is permanent. Everything else can be fixed". These are the inspiring words of Siggi B. Wilzig, a survivor of Hitler's death camps. Joshua M. Greene, an eminent authority on the Holocaust, tells the story of Siggi, a brilliant and brazen immigrant who arrived in the United States with $240 and turned it into a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars. His every breath as a survivor throughout his life was dedicated to fulfilling his vows to never forget his Jewish heritage, to raise a family and to ensure the everlasting memory of those who perished during the Holocaust.  He lived his life with unrelenting gusto, never giving up or giving in, fought the Nazis, the FDIC and the Feds. He loved life and making others happy and rich. And I loved reading this inspiring, wonderfully written story of his remarkable life.

Here are a few reviews from Amazon:

"I've read over 3 dozen books about the Holocaust, and this was definitely one of the best. I couldn't stop reading it. It's a true page-turner. It's extremely well written and the story is incredibly fascinating. I thought it might get boring after the section on the Holocaust, but it just got better and better." 

"I just finished unstoppable this evening and it was such an incredibly well written and captivating story. I can imagine how much research and work goes into something like this. Joshua Greene really did a fantastic job researching his subject and capturing him through the eyes of multiple parties (family, colleagues, friends, and hobbies / charitable endeavors). Siggi seemed like such an incredibly hardworking, tenacious and complicated businessman and father. Amazing piece - I really enjoyed it!"

"Siggi Wilzig's life will long serve as inspiration for the best of mankind. The author's portrayal is superb—a biography that is well organized with each chapter encapsulating the essence of the Man, his place in Time, the highs, the lows, the brilliance and resilience that was Siggi Wilzig. Wow."

Restaurant Recommendation: Swan River 3741 Tamiami Trail N.

We had a delicious dinner here last week with friends. It's really a fish market and restaurant rolled into one. Lots of the fresh fish comes from the Boston area, so it's a popular place for Boston-style seafood. You can dine inside in the newly redesigned eating area or outside on their patio. Either way you're in for a treat. We had the Ipswich steamed clams for an appetizer. They were superb…just like I remember them when we lived in Ipswich 22 years ago. All the seafood dishes were excellent and the service was outstanding.

Here are a few recent reviews on Trip Advisor:

"I thoroughly enjoyed the clam chowder and Thai sweet chili calamari! The chowder was full of clams and the flavor profile was perfectly balanced. I will return to try their oysters as well as other seafood on their menu. Moreover, their prices were very fair. Definitely worth the stop."

"This seafood restaurant with roots in Cape Cod, consistently offers fresh northeast cuisine at a reasonable price. Reservations days in advance are an absolute must particularly during season. For a special treat, eat at the bar and let Doug, a Cape transplant, make you feel like you are back in B'town."

 

Naples Real Estate:  Here are the May 2022 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the first five months of 2022, there were 7,314 closed sales in all of Naples and Bonita. This compares with 10,744 closed sales for the same period last year, a drop of 32%.

Here's an interesting table comparing 2022 to last year:

 

Closed Sales

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

YTD May 2021

10,744

3,285

4,820

974

1,281

384

YTD May 2022

7,314

796

3,774

1,196

1,209

339

Difference

-3,430

-2,489

-1,046

+222

-72

-45

% Change

-32%

-76%

-22%

+23%

-6%

-12%

Every category we measure except one is behind last year for the first five months of 2022. The major declines are in the lower end price categories mainly because there isn't enough inventory to satisfy demand. The "Under $300,000" category down 76% is a prime example.

The inventory of available properties remains down from last year. As the following table shows, however, the level of inventory varies by price point: 

Inventory as of June 6th, 2022

Total

Under $300,000

$300,000 to $700,000

$700,001 to $1,000,000

$1,000,001 to $3,000,000

Over $3,000,000

Homes Sold Last 12 Months

17,515

2,908

9,148

2,364

2,438

657

Average Number Sold per Month

1,460

242

764

197

203

54

Total Available for Sale

2,306

148

942

432

532

252

Months of Supply June 6th, 2022

2

<1

1

2

3

5

Inventory rose 32% last month to 2,306 homes. This is the largest monthly increase in some time and the fourth monthly increase in a row. The average monthly supply has crept up to about 2 months. Supply levels in the higher priced categories have increased to 3 to 5 months.  Inventory of existing homes is still at an extremely low level. Most Realtors consider that a six-month supply of homes is neither a buyers' nor sellers' market, so this is truly a sellers' market. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita!   

It will be interesting to see what role inflation and the Fed's attempt to curtail it by raising interest rates will have on the market going forward. A significant percentage of homes purchased in Naples are cash deals, mitigating some of this factor. 

 

Kensington Real Estate:  

Kensington is the golf course community where Rae and Fred live. Golf and Social memberships are available at Kensington, although none is required to buy here. Golf memberships have sold well this year, and there is now a waiting list for membership. As of May 6, 2022, there are 3 active listings in Kensington. Here's a look at the MLS market in Kensington as of June 6, 2022: 

Type of Property

Number

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Average Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Mkt.

Estate Homes

1

$999,000

$999,000

$372

10

Villas

2

$1,450,000

$1,899,900

$500

35

Coach Homes

0

NA

NA

NA

NA

Total

3

 

 

 

 

There have been 38 closed sales in the past 12-month period. With average monthly sales at 3.17, this means that there is less than one month of inventory at Kensington. As of June 6, 2022, there are 3 sales pending and no sales pending with contingencies at Kensington. 

 

Riverstone Real Estate:

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. Riverstone has numerous amenities available for residents to enjoy. You can spend days swimming and relaxing at the community resort-style pool, playing tennis, taking a fitness class or socializing in the community's private clubhouse. Here's a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of June 6, 2022: 

Property

Number for Sale

Lowest Price

Highest Price

Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.

Avg. Days on Market

Riverstone

3

$1,250,000

$2,100,000

$468

29

Here's a breakdown of what's currently on the market thru MLS: 

 

$500,000 to $699,999

$700,000 to $899,999

$900,000 to $999,999

$1,000,000 to $1,499,000

$1,500,000 and Over

Number for Sale

NA

 

NA

NA

2

1

Average Price per Sq. Ft.

NA

 

NA

NA

$451

$503

Average Days on Market

NA

NA

NA

29

40

Available inventory is one more than last month. As of June 6, there are 3 active listings, 4 pending sales and 3 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 69 homes sold in the last 12 months. With average monthly sales at 5.28, this means that there is less than one month of inventory at Riverstone. 

  

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have.

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